Writing her own script
Emily Marszalek always knew she wanted to act but it wasn’t until she started studying that she discovered a love of storytelling.
With a love for emotions and connecting with an audience, Emily knew from a young age she wanted to become an actor.
“I find the most beautiful thing about acting is that it’s practically the act of empathy. You’re making someone feel something, and you're feeling something, and it's just a whole experience that is, honestly, the most rewarding thing to be a part of and participate in,” Emily said.
“I can't pinpoint the moment when I knew I wanted to become an actor. It’s been ever since I can remember. When I was in high school, I did a program at Queensland Theatre. It was a little youth ensemble, and then straight from high school I started my Bachelor of Creative Industries (Acting and Performance)(ARB401) at TAFE Queensland.”
Deciding to study with TAFE Queensland was easy for Emily. She knew she wanted to combine university thinking with hands-on learning.
“Linking the theory and the practical is perfect for setting a good working foundation. TAFE Queensland has a great reputation for hands-on experience and that's something that I was always interested in,” she said.
“They also have amazing lecturers. Even going in for the audition, the way they helped direct us, I knew right then that this was the place I really wanted to be and these were the people I wanted to learn from.”
“It was just like everything that they were telling me and directing me confirmed it to me. I remember thinking this is a really great program.”
Emily always smiles when she talks about the many opportunities to grow her acting skills that her course has given her, including her first paid gig working on a TAFE Queensland TV commercial.
“The marketing team at TAFE Queensland pitched the idea to us — they always feature real students and staff — and we got to audition and everything,” she explained.
“It was honestly the most amazing experience I've ever had, getting to work on set. I got to work with the director and all these camera crew. It was so immersive into everything I was interested in, and it's grown my passion even more.”
Having world-class facilities at her fingertips has also given Emily even more insight into what working in the industry is like.
“We have this amazing theatre at South Bank called The Black Box. It's this massive room that's completely black and has an amazing lighting rig. It's really a great space that’s always available to us to rehearse in, not only just to perform,” she said.
“If I want to go in early and rehearse a few scenes I can do it in The Black Box. It’s been helpful for me to get familiar with an industry-standard theatre setting and how everything works.”
“It also helps us learn how to project our voice and keep our breath control, because even when we learn in some of the classrooms it's not the same when you perform in a theatre.”
Emily says the smaller class sizes have given her more opportunities to work one on one with her teachers, and being able to access additional student support along the way has been vital.
“I’ve accessed academic support and it's not just for if you’re struggling, but if you simply want someone to check over your work and to help bring your marks to a better point.”
“It's been great to be able to go to someone for help and walk away knowing you’re on the right track,” she said.
“The academic support team help you not only understand the assignment, but how to understand in the future. They really direct you and guide you into using what you’re learning and apply it to the future.”
It’s support and the numerous growth opportunities she offered that makes it no surprise Emily recommends studying at TAFE Queensland.
“I'm still studying now, but I definitely believe everything I've learned will help me be successful in the future and help me hopefully get a job.”
“One of the things in acting is you get an agent, and they help you find jobs. At the end of our third year, we get to do this big performance where agencies are invited to come and watch. It’s such a great opportunity to get your name and talents out there. TAFE are committed to helping you make connections and find success.”
Emily’s passion and dedication to her craft is clear to see, and it’s no wonder with her experience so far that she’s committed to seeing her qualification through. As for where she sees herself in the future she’s not certain on the details, but she is sure about her decision to study.
“In the next five to 10 years I hope to be working on sets or in theatre. I don't mind, whether it be directing or producing, hopefully acting. I just want to be part of the industry in any way I can because I love it.”
“What I see myself doing in the future will hopefully be submersed completely into this industry, but doing this course is what I feel is right for me, right now,” she concluded.