Straight out of high school in 2006 UCOL performing arts graduate Jamie Smith knew he was interested in the arts but was looking for the skills to turn this passion into a career.
For Jamie that meant enrolling in UCOL’s Diploma in Performing Arts.
The programme allowed Jamie to get a taste of what a full time acting career is like and pushed him out of his comfort zone.
Jamie says he was able to try different areas of the arts that he never would have without UCOL.
“The course gave me the opportunity to solidify my passion for acting and helped me determine which areas of the arts I really wanted to focus on.”
Surrounded by like-minded, passionate people, Jamie also met his best friend while studying at UCOL when they combined their skills in a short film shot near Ruapehu.
In a rewarding experience recently Jamie was able to work on the same location again whilst shooting BP’s ‘Peter and the Rabbit’ ad, in which he played the main character.
Since graduating from UCOL Jamie has completed further studies at Toi Whakaari (NZ Drama School) and now works in the arts, primarily in the film industry. Jamie continues to audition for acting roles, but for the past three years has been employed as a Stunt Performer on live action films and in Motion Capture.
He says developing a career in the performing arts has required a lot of him mentally, as well as physically, but he loves the varied nature of the industry.
“One day I can be in a motion capture suit doing very technical and challenging movement stuff and the next I could be in a treetop or roof rigging up pulleys and ropes to send me or another performer flying through the air.”
Jamie believes that studying at UCOL provided him with a wide range of skills that paved the way for further education and laid the foundations for a successful career in the performing arts.
Despite the wide scope and the challenges posed when working in the industry, Jamie is really enjoying his work.
“The team you work with, the other performers, riggers and co-ords at the end of the day make it all worth it.”