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TAFE at School sets the stage for Savannah

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Judd's interest in performing arts has seen her immerse herself in drama since she was in primary school

"I've taken drama classes since high school and always participated in the performing arts. I love performing, whether it's dance classes outside of school or participating in class assemblies in primary school," explains Savannah.

After discovering that she could earn a certificate in acting while still in high school, she jumped at the chance to come to TAFE Queensland's South Bank campus to study through the TAFE at School program.

TAFE at School courses allows students to study for a qualification at TAFE while in high school, enabling them to join the workforce sooner, build practical skills, and graduate job-ready giving them a head start in the job market or enrol in further study.

"When I saw the email from my school for TAFE at School courses available in 2022, I immediately signed up for the Certificate III in Community Dance, Theatre and Events (CUA30220). Although my friends and I just called it a Cert 3 in Acting."

Through TAFE at School, Savannah spent one day per week while in high school building practical acting skills in an adult learning environment under the guidance of teachers from the industry.

The course introduced her to the art and craft of acting and performance, preparing her to continue performing or embark on further studies in the performing arts.

"It was so inspiring and exciting coming to TAFE to study, and I knew I was in the right place studying the right course."

Helping Savannah learn her craft were her teachers, who used their real-world industry experience and knowledge to support, encourage and challenge her each day she was in class in a flexible learning environment.

"My teachers were amazing at supporting all their students. Patrick and Brian are so passionate about the course and made sure they pushed us to do our best," explains Savannah.

"Lisa had us nearly dead at the end of her lessons, but she always helped us out when we needed it, helped us with assignments and had some good music!"

The course taught Savannah acting exercises, theory and practical techniques to help her engage with audiences.

"We learnt to train our bodies, how to exaggerate movement and projection techniques, then we'd do course work and finish the day devise scenes," says Savannah.

"We also learnt how to deliver monologues, engaging the body to perform physically and to grow in confidence when getting into character. I couldn't say what I enjoyed the most - I treasured every moment of my studies."

Enhancing Savannah’s experience further were her classmates, whom she worked with like a team, encouraging and supporting each other.

"One of the best things was finding amazing people to spend those Wednesdays with," she continued.

"By the end of the year, we were one big family - always bouncing ideas off one another in a non-judgmental learning environment that left us all feeling inspired. Seeing how we all improved as performers and people was amazing," explains Savannah.

"I look back to when I started, and I'm a much better performer now. The other great thing was that the practical and fun classes didn't feel like studying, and it's amazing to see how quickly we learnt!"

Now entering year 12, Savannah plans to finish high school before continuing in acting, but thanks to TAFE at Schools, she has a plan for what she wants to do with her life and career.

"TAFE at Schools gave me a good idea of what to expect in theatre and acting as a career. I'm 100% more confident to take it on as a career, and I want to do it professionally because it's what I love. Fingers crossed to be getting on a red carpet!"

"I had such a fantastic year at TAFE, and I recommend studying at TAFE to anyone interested in the hundreds of available courses.

"The teachers are highly qualified, ready to help you become the best version of yourself, and you'll meet plenty of people with the same interests as you and make lifelong friends," concluded Savannah.