Many Welsh or Wales based arts graduates are finding this current period especially difficult. Their usual opportunities to meet agents, prepare for final year exhibitions or productions may take place later in the year or sadly not at all. To raise awareness of the diverse talent graduating this year GTC is offering any Welsh or Wales based graduate the opportunity to be showcased on our website. If you are interested, please do get in touch.
Hi Moli great to meet you. Can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?
Hello! My name is Moli Bethan Williams and I am a 20-year-old final year university student studying Acting at UCLan. I’m from Wrexham, North Wales but I currently live in Preston, hoping to move to Manchester in a few years. I am a fluent Welsh speaker. My hobbies include watching films, socialising with friends and reading. I also play the cello and enjoy singing. Over the past few years, I’ve performed in several professional productions on stages such as Liverpool Empire and The Manchester Place Theatre. Acting and performing have always been a passion of mine.
Here is a link to Moli’s Spotlight Profile
So, what got you interested in the arts?
From an early age I attended a local youth theatre (Bitesize Youth Theatre) where I discovered my passion for performing. For most of my childhood I would tend musical theatre, drama and dance classes at Bitesize, where we would compete in national competitions, perform in numerous shows and build repertoire preparing for auditions. In addition to this, being brought up through the medium of Welsh the Eisteddfodau was a huge influence throughout my school years.
Can you tell us about your creative process?
Devising and creative work has always been something I have enjoyed doing although it takes me a while to find a starting point to my work. Last Summer I trained in the South of France with Pantheatre. The training was heavily based on impulse and improvising both vocally and physically within the space. Having confidence in my ideas was something I was struggling with before my time in France and since then I’ve been braver with my creative process and believed in myself much more and our third-year devising module has benefited from this.
A lot of my creative process tends to stem from life experiences and reading poetry, historical resources and folk tales. Now that everything has slowed right down, there’s time for artists to find motivation to be creative, maybe learn a new instrument, work on a speech for example. Hearing from my course mates this time is given them space to develop skills to build their actor CVs and to prepare them to be ready to break into the industry once normality returns.
As a young Welsh artist graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?
I was lucky enough to have been able to perform in my Manchester showcase for industry professionals in the beginning of March, but unfortunately our London showcase got cancelled. As there has been a pause in the call for actors and creators to make work, Spotlight which is a casting platform connecting performers, agents and casting directors has given all members an extra three months on their yearly subscription which will be a massive financial help to many graduates. Everyone in the arts are suffering during this time, and mental health is something that many graduates struggle with anyway, they feel lost and confused as to what’s next. This I would imagine would be amplified for many at the minute with their university experience has been cut short and in addition to the current climate.
A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?
Twitter has proven to be an amazing resource for me personally, I have an actors account set up which is mainly used for networking and broadcasting news. Last week Twitter had a Showreel Share Day, this enabled graduates and actors to showcase their talent to a vast audience and get valuable feedback from industry professionals.
All my university classes and lectures are done on Skype calls in small groups which took some time to adjust to but is very beneficial. The National Theatre are broadcasting their best loved plays on You Tube weekly. This is a lovely idea and is attracting huge audiences. This Thursday Jane Eyre is being shown, one to watch!
If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?
An area of the arts which is profoundly underfunded is the Youth Music Services. Over the past few years, cuts have been made to peripatetic music teachers which has resulted in Music Services to close. I was in Wrexham County Choir and Wrexham Strings Orchestra for most of my childhood and teenage years, and unfortunately these cuts are preventing Welsh students to experience the same things I had, for example be a member of the National Youth Choir of Wales.
What excites you about the arts in Wales?
I think the main things that excites me is the future of arts though the medium of Welsh, over the past few years the number of Welsh speakers has risen therefore more Welsh plays, films and poems will be written. It’s a very exciting time for a growing language.
And finally what was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?
Last week I watched the National Theatres One Man Two Governors starring James Corden. This was a fun play, lots of comedy element, a live band and a great cast! Really cheered me up to watch some great theatre with my family who also really enjoyed it. Reminded me that once normality is restored, arts will rise again, stronger than ever and will be appreciated more than ever before.