Monday, 9 August 2021

COMING HOME: Jordan Allan, a recent graduate of the Arden School of Theatre

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back! 

Graduating from drama school is never easy, regardless of the circumstances. But graduating in the middle of the pandemic? That’s a whole different situation. Anyone who has attended Drama School knows the challenges that you face upon entering the performing arts industry but imagine entering that industry when virtually nothing is going on. This is what the graduates of 2020 faced and whilst the industry-backed them up and a lot of opportunities were made available, these students didn’t get the experience they deserved.

Jordan Allan graduated from the Arden School of Theatre in 2020, one of many students released into the industry in one of the hardest times we’ll probably see in our lifetimes. Jordan was recently a part of the news concept album of ‘For Tonight’, featuring a star cast that includes Simon Gordon, Amy Di Bartolomeo, Dale Evans, Erin Caldwell, Jade Davies, Luke McCall, Jake Halsey-Jones and Soophia Foroughi.

As a 2020 graduate, Jordan tells us how this tough time has actually reminded him of how much he loves what he does. He honestly and openly shares he thought he may have lost the passion and love for it, but over this difficult time he has become more driven to enter into this career. He acknowledges that this isn’t exactly how he planned his graduation but turns that into a good piece of advice, “Be true to yourself, things don't always go to plan but you should always find a way for you to be happy.”

He is clearly supportive and passionate about the exposure of recent graduates after this tough time, being one himself it's very obvious opportunities they once had may have been taken away from them. Talking to him about some of the other issues raised over the pandemic within the performing industry, he tells us that it's a time for us all to come together and change our attitudes to create a better place for all of us. “The pandemic has dampened the mood of budding actors but many other issues have affected the way in which the industry is moving. As an actor, I realise that we are some of the most excepting people around and it's not the industry itself that has to change but the attitude of those around us.”

Over the pandemic, Jordan tells us he’s gone back to his “muggle job” working in retail, he tells us that working 45+ hours a week in that industry isn’t exactly his biggest passion but he feels lucky to have had something that has sustained him throughout this difficult time. He’s also found a love for astronomy, “I have become quite 'geeky' over stars and space over the past year as I felt like I never really had a chance to stop and just look up.”

We asked Jordan what show he’d most like to be at the reopening of, there's plenty to chose from with shows finally opening up all over London but his choice was The Lion King. This phenomenal show reopened in July and is now back where it belongs. “The opening of The Lion King is so uplifting and powerful. Imagine the feeling of that! I'd feel emotional just to be sat watching them do what they love.”

When we asked Jordan how he feels he’s grown over the pandemic, he tells us he’s actually become much more comfortable with who he is as a person. Graduating is hard at the best of times so, in the middle of a pandemic, I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. He also tells us that he understands now, more so than he did, what he wants from his career, which going forward, is the perfect attitude to come out the other end of this with.

We’re already seeing an influx of recent graduate castings happening across the industry; some recent examples would be Ben Joyce and Natasha May-Thomas taking on starring roles in Jersey Boys and Carousel as well as numerous recent graduates making their theatrical debuts in Pretty Women, & Juliet, Hairspray and so many more. Keep an eye out for recent graduates everywhere and remember to support them whenever you can!

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