Thursday, 1 November 2018

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Thomas Alderson

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.)

Thomas Alderson trained in directing with Ashlie Corcoran at Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver BC

(October 24, 2018) As I reflect on my experience in Vancouver, it’s difficult to put into words the gratitude I feel towards both The Arts Club and Theatre Ontario for making this possible. 

Aside from all of the wonderful insights I had into the rehearsal process, which I shared in my earlier posts, I had some amazing one-on-one counselling with Director Ashlie Corcoran, nearing the end of my time in Vancouver. 

She shared with me her personal journey to becoming a director, and eventually Artistic Director. She offered amazing advice about trusting your own instincts and not being afraid to seek out opportunities that might scare you. She talked about her experience applying for jobs and learning opportunities, and how she was constantly gaining knowledge and growing as she worked towards her goals. Not only did she find learning and growth, but she also enjoyed her journey. She talked about finding ways to make the process of applying for opportunities (both successfully and unsuccessfully) a learning opportunity. She also stressed that I should not be afraid to ask for feedback and guidance along the way. 

She gave me amazing advice on how to remain personally creative and self-motivated. She encouraged me, saying, “You don’t have to wait for an opportunity; you can create them yourself, however large or small.” 

Lastly she has been amazing, continuing to support me even after our time together has ended. She has offered to be a reference for me for further applications for emerging director opportunities. Although she lives in Vancouver and I am back in Ontario, we are in contact. I am so grateful to feel her support even from across the country.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2019.

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

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