• Mark Westbrook

Write A Personal Statement For An HNC Acting Course

You may think that when you are applying for an HNC acting course that it is your acting that will get you selected for the course. This is true, of course, but before you get to stand up and strut your stuff, the panel will be reading your personal statement and making judgements based on that too, so it is important to write a good one. But how do you do it, and do it well? Here is a little run down for you:

Be honest. No one likes a faker, and you will be called out on the things that you write on your statement, so make sure they are true.

Keep it simple. Don’t go overboard on the flowery words or write like you’ve swallowed a dictionary; this will make you sound like a pretentious person that nobody will want on their drama course.

State WHY you are interested in the course you have applied for. Things like “I’ve loved acting since I was a kid, it’s in my blood, bla bla” is a very good way to get people to switch off, so try to be original.

Be honest about your experience. If you haven’t done a lot of acting, you don’t have to pad out your school play bit part to make it sound like you deserve and Oscar - it’s your talent and passion now that will attract the panel.

State your limitations early. If you mention things that you wish to improve near the beginning of your statement, then move onto more positive parts later, the reader will be more likely to see past your weaknesses.

Mention your strengths as well. Not TOO loudly or aggressively, of course, but make sure that you show the panel what you are good at as well as what needs improvement.

State what you would gain from a place on the course. It’s all very well pleading for a place, but what the panel really want to see is how you would benefit and grow from the opportunity.

Say why you want to do what you have chosen to do for a living. Again, try to come up with an original answer to this one; rabbiting on about how much you love acting will bore the reader to tears - they’ve heard it all before!

Proofread it. There’s nothing quite so unprofessional as a personal statement that is filled with grammar and spelling errors. Get someone else to look over it too, as they might spot something you’ve missed.

Put it away for a couple of hours. This is a good tip as your brain will be working away at it in the background, even if you’re not thinking about it any more, and you may find that when you go back to it you are struck with some wonderful inspiration.

It’s always a good tip to read the requirements for the personal statement, as the reader might be looking for specific things. If there is nothing requested then just write your statement as you normally would. And for heaven’s sake, tailor it to the course you are applying for, if you are applying for more than one. It doesn’t look good to read that you want to apply to a different course than the one that you are actually applying for!

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