So you know you want to be an actor; you’ve gone to a few local acting classes and you know that you want to go on and study the arts further. You’ve seen this “HND Acting and Performance” phrase bandied about a fair bit, I feel sure - but what does it actually mean to study for one? In case you’re a bit confused, here’s a bit more information.
HND stands for Higher National Diploma, and it is a standalone qualification that is equal to the first two years of uni, and the course generally lasts for two years of full time study. Taking an HND Acting and Performance will set you up for a career in the performing arts sector, and it will give you a whole host of new skills and techniques that you can use to follow your chosen path. The great thing about an HND Acting and Performance course is that it is vocationally based, meaning that it gives you a great basis for your chosen path - in your case, acting and performance. Being able to step straight out of your studies and into a meaningful career is not something that most graduates are able to take for granted - have a chat to your server the next time you’re in McDonald’s and you will most likely be amazed at their qualifications. You can avoid this path of drudgery though, you can go straight from an HND Acting and Performance qualification into a job in the acting industry.
You will study movement and vocal training as a minimum, with possibly some stage combat or other training thrown in, and you will have the chance to develop your practical skills by standing up in front of a paying audience, possibly even somewhere highly prestigious like the Edinburgh Fringe. An HND Acting and Performance is a great way to develop your personal portfolio at the same time as gaining invaluable experience and great coaching.
If you’re doing a really good HND Acting and Performance course, you will be given the opportunity for coaching by some industry professionals, who have been round the block and can show the best way to maximise your acting potential. You should also be offered the chance to have some audition coaching, to get you through the stickiest parts of this industry (ie being chosen for a part over everyone else) and to give you a fighting chance when you’re up against others who seem more perfect for the part than you (a little tip for you - they’re probably not better. You probably just think they are).
To get onto your HND acting and performance course, you will most likely be asked to perform two monologues, classical and contemporary, and have a short interview. Once you have given your all to these pieces and shone in your interview, all you have to do is work out where you will be staying while you study!