TheatreiNQ offers a Bridge

Current members of The Bridge Project, Byron Howells and Jacob McCarthy. PHOTO: Chrissy Maguire

Budding actors eager to make a career from their craft are being invited to audition for the 2020 intake of Theatre iNQ’s The Bridge Project.

The Bridge Project offers its students the chance to receive practical actor training, working alongside experienced professional actors including Theatre iNQ’s founders Terri Brabon and Brendan O’Connor; and has a strong track record of alumni going on to train at the best acting schools in Australia and build successful careers in theatre, television and film.

What is The Bridge Project looking for?

Terri and Brendan said they were looking for young people who were serious about forging a career as professional actors.

“We’re looking for young people who either know this is what they want to do for a career and are willing to work really hard and learn or those kids that are maybe on the fence,” said Terri.

“The Bridge Project, particularly the first year, is a really great way to sort that out in your head.

“We’ve had lots of kids come through that have done one year and decided that’s not the lifestyle for them and then they can live the rest of their lives not questioning whether they should have pursued acting as a career.

“We’re looking for young people who really want to dedicate themselves to seeing how good they can possibly be. Obviously it’s going to be a lot of hard work but if they’re the right person they will enjoy that.”

What can students expect from The Bridge Project?

Brendan and Terri cautioned that The Bridge Project is hard work that, which will ultimately prepare its students for life as an actor.

“These kids, if they’re out of school, really have to dedicate themselves to going to find a job so they can pay their rent – or live with their parents – and come here all of the time, it’s pretty much all they do,” said Brendan.

“And that’s what being a professional actor is all about. By the end of the first year, if you don’t leaving the world where theatre’s your hobby for the one where theatre is your job, you’ll know.

“We’ve had a couple of really talented people who did very well and worked very hard but by the end of it just said “No, this is not what I want it to be. This is my fun hobby and I’m going to be a school teacher” and off they go and they’re very happy being school teachers.”

For those students whose professional acting aspirations are affirmed by their experience in The Bridge Project will help ready them for a life in the performing arts.

What does The Bridge Project teach young actors?

Students in The Bridge Project will learn the technical skills required of a professional actor, be given career mentorship as they prepare to enter the profession and gain important personal development tools.

“One of the things we try to teach the Bridge kids is to have courage and confidence in themselves and to present themselves not somebody else,” said Brendan.

“There’s lots of milestones in acting and getting to those takes resilience. If you don’t learn resilience – and you can really only learn it through experience – chances are you just won’t get through.”

Rejection doesn’t mean you’re flat out not good, it just means you’ve got work to do


Terri added that often the first set-back is enough to stop a young actor in their tracks; and encouraged people not to see rejection as a definitive ‘no’.

“We find that even with The Bridge Project people come and audition and they might not be quite ready that first year, so we’ll suggest they do a voice workshop or some training to improve where they need to,” Terri said.

“Current ‘Bridgee’ Elyse Phelan (DNA, Through the Looking Glass) didn’t get in the first time she auditioned. We liked her, but she didn’t make the top four her first time around; but she took our advice, did some training, came back and now she’s our Apprentice.

“A lot of people, young people particularly, don’t take that first rejection well – they might audition for NIDA and not get in – lots of people don’t get in! – and they’ll decide not to be an actor anymore. That’s sad because who knows how many young people could really be amazing, but give up on that first go? I feel that that’s one of the roles we play with The Bridge: teaching the kids rejection doesn’t mean you’re flat out not good, it just means you’ve got work to do.”

TheatreiNQ will hold auditions for The Bridge Project in Townsville on 23-24 November 2019, in Charters Towers on 30 November 2019 and Ayr on 1 December 2019. For more information, click here.

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