First year BFA Acting student Sophie Wilde was baking when she got the call
NIDA first year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) student, Sophie Wilde, remembers exactly where she was when she received the phone call from NIDA’s Director of Acting, John Bashford.
‘I was at a friend’s house baking raspberry pies. I was squeezing some lemons and all of a sudden my friend grabbed me and started shaking me and said that my phone was ringing. I picked it up. It was John Bashford. After he talked for what seemed like ages, he told me that I’d been selected for the BFA Acting course. I think I started crying. I was emotional but very happy,’ said Wilde.
Since that day in December 2016, Wilde has come a long way on her NIDA journey – one that started when she was only five years of age.
‘I started going to NIDA when I was around five to do the NIDA Open courses. I’d always wanted to come to NIDA and study. I went to Newtown High School for Performing Arts and studied drama. Then I took a gap year and after that I auditioned. Now here I am.’
Those early years of training in the NIDA Open program were instrumental in helping Wilde decide that NIDA was the place for her.
‘I chose NIDA because, from the Open courses and a couple of productions here, I was already aware of the strong feeling of community that this place has. So I was enamoured by the idea of coming here. But, aside from that, NIDA for me was always the big one. The one everyone seems to want to go to. It’s always been something that I wanted to do. It’s such a big and amazing school in Australia for acting.’
With all the collaborations that happen at NIDA, between BFA Acting and MFA Directing, BFA Acting and MFA Voice cohorts – the list goes on – and the diverse range of theatre training happening here, students from different disciplines are able to interface with not only each other, but with tutors, guest tutors, like leading puppeteer Finn Caldwell and guest directors, like Judy Davis.
‘NIDA has a sense of community and support, and is a place where people are as passionate as you are. It’s hard to find that anywhere else; to come into a space where everyone has that drive. It’s pretty special to be a part of that.’
Exemplifying that point further is Wilde’s recent work (as a robot) on the triple j Unearthed music video project, with Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) and Master of Fine Arts (Directing) students.
‘I worked with MFA Director Alanah Guiry. Third year BFA Design for Performance student Kyle Jonsson approached me and asked whether I wanted to be involved. I did not hesitate. It spring-boarded from there. We did a couple of rehearsals and then we filmed the video in NIDA’s Space Theatre. It was an incredible and interesting process,’ said Wilde.
‘It’s a great opportunity to be involved in these side projects which allow you to further your connections with other students, who are from different disciplines and different years, and learn about that collaborative process.’
Wilde went on to say how creativity and passion is palpable in the hallways of NIDA and that students can find inspiration around every corner. First year BFA acting students are free to attend showings of works from different cohorts across different disciplines. For instance, Wilde recently went to a showing of Unplugged, in which third year BFA (Acting) students perform basic scenes, with little to distract from what they are saying and doing: acting in its purest form. She was both inspired and excited for what was to come.
‘It’s inspiring to see that’s where you’re heading,’ she concluded.