BTEC Higher Nationals Case Study: Alex Garrick
After completing her BTEC Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts in 2014, Alex went on to study at New College Nottingham for a BA in Theatre Arts (Acting). The qualification enabled her to get onto Spotlight (a platform which connects performers with roles in theatre, television, and film productions), get an agent and then start working professionally as an actress.
Not the traditional classroom route
I have both dyslexia and dyspraxia, so I wouldn't consider myself as being very academic. A BTEC gave me the opportunity to gain both further and higher qualifications, without the fear of examinations.
Thanks to the vocational nature of the qualification, I was able to get physically involved with my courses and absorb information without too much written work or revision, apart from preparing for a role, which is something I enjoyed anyway. Rather than reading about a practitioner I was able to put theory into practice, which I feel benefits a lot of people who struggle in the traditional classroom environment.
Never stop learning
The BTEC Higher National definitely boosted my academic confidence, knowing that I was able to complete my education to a standard I wouldn't have believed was possible when I was a struggling child. It helped drive my ambitions a lot further than I ever thought.
“It's a fun environment to work within but you have to give as much back, it takes a lot of hard work to achieve your goals, but it is possible. Don't give up and believe in yourself.”
I am not going to lie though, although it helped me on the steps to even starting to be a success, it has been a tough road that I am still travelling and if you want to make a career for yourself, you have to keep at it, even after completing your education. I continue to attend weekly acting classes to keep me creatively active. It really takes drive and ambition to make it.
Stepping towards a professional acting career
After completing my HND, I spent a further 9 months topping up into a BA honours degree in Theatre Arts (Acting) at Nottingham Trent University (New College Nottingham). I graduated with a 2nd class honours and, considering my learning difficulties, I am very proud of that achievement.
It has been 7 years since I completed my HND and I have spent them working towards a professional acting career, mainly in screen but I want to experience as much as i can.
“We all have the power to change ourselves and others. Never let people tell you can't achieve your goals in life. You will get there one day.”
I had my first paid acting job in April 2019 which was a corporate piece I have performed in Scotland, Switzerland, Turkey and Denmark. I am currently working towards performing on screen as well as stage, with the help of Act4tv.