“He is a remarkable boy”, claims Andrea van den Bol, the Dean of Creative Arts at The Scots College. She is referring to Year 12 student Nicholas Hudson, the Captain of Drama, and a rising star in the Creative Arts Program at Scots.
When Nick first started to take drama lessons, he didn’t think that it would be a major passion in life. “I originally started taking lessons in Year 4”, remembers Nick, “I was so shy and had a lot of trouble speaking to people. I really needed something to help me get over my speech impediment and my parents thought that Drama could help.”
When asked about Nicholas’ achievements, Mrs van den Bol confessed that “he is currently excelling in curriculum Drama, is the captain of Co-Curricular Drama, is involved in Junior and Senior plays in leading roles, as well as in two musicals in supporting lead roles. Additionally, he has been in Theatresports teams, which have won titles consistently.”
Theatersports are free improvisational competitions where actors must work in teams to complete in an on the spot improvised performance for a live audience. This is similar to popular the TV shows Whose line is it Anyway and Thank God You’re Here.
“Improvisation is so unpredictable and exciting”, exclaims Nicholas. “Being forced to improvise in front of others has really helped me to be more prepared for changes in the spur of the moment.”
Nicholas’ proudest moment was when he performed the musical Crazy for You at the Nida Theatre, one of Australia’s most formidable Creative Arts venues. NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) has seen the acting talents of Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington, Baz Lurman and many more.
Nicholas credits his Drama teachers for his success. He says that they not only have mastery over the content, but nurture the uniqueness and individualism of boys. “Not only have they been encouraging in my success, but especially when I felt like I have failed. They helped me to face my fears by instilling confidence and self-esteem in me.”
An Interview with Nick
What do you like most about studying Drama?
Drama is an instrument in which I can genuinely come out of my shell and be as creative as I like. Learning experientially, it is an incredibly engaging subject in a way that is unique, imaginative and most importantly, fun.
What are the benefits of studying Drama?
I now have greater self-confidence when it comes to public speaking, performing and interpersonal communication. By understanding Drama, you can learn to understand anyone, anywhere at anytime. It has taught me how to communicate effectively to different audiences and how to work well co-operatively which is vital in a dramatic scene. Drama can be unpredictable and exciting. For this reason, it has also helped me be greater prepared for changes that can occur just as quickly in life as it does on stage.
What have you discovered about yourself along the way?
I have a genuine passion for performing and entertaining others, and I want to go into the entertainment industry after school. However, it does not end there. I now understand that there is no barrier that can’t be broken if you are doing something you enjoy. Drama has taught me that it is never as bad as you think - when you’re onstage all previous lack of confidence disappears and you enjoy every moment of it as I certainly have.
What keeps you driven to achieve?
What keeps me driven to achieve within Drama is our supportive culture in the Program at Scots. Each time I perform, I am constantly involved in team dynamics which can be a daunting task. However, given the level of support among the students and teachers within Drama at Scots, they help encourage my creativity, assist me in thinking divergently and drive me to achieve.
What are some of the challenges you’ve overcome?
One of the great challenges I’ve had to overcome is a lack of confidence in myself. Whether it be in improvisation, script or play devising, a lack of confidence can restrict one’s ability in Drama to perform and ultimately achieve. However, Drama provides the circumstances to break these fears and learn more about the hidden confidence within yourself.
What has been your proudest moment?
My proudest moment in Drama has been being involved in the variety of musicals and plays Scots has offered, but in particular, performing in the senior musical, Crazy for You. Not only was I part of an enormous and talented cast, we were given the opportunity to perform in the Nida Theatre - one of the best theatres in Sydney.
Is there anything that you can tell us about success with Drama at Scots?
The Scots Drama Department has seen exceptional growth, delivering a year full of dynamic, high standard performances including an abridged version of Shakespeare’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream that produced some outstanding moments and kept audiences on the edge of their seats. A similar experience was felt when watching the senior musical, Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, a bold choice that certainly payed off as the entire ensemble impressed audiences with their unique portrayals.
Success with Drama at Scots also extended to improvisation with the Scots Theatresports teams winning the annual Carlton cup competition - the second time Scots has ever won. As well as this, both the Senior and Intermediate Theatresports teams stormed their way to the semi-finals of the statewide Impro Australia Schools Challenge.
Find out more about the fine young men your son can grow into with a Scots education by downloading a copy of our Prospectus.