Mountview's Summer Bootcamps: Catching up with participant Ethan Gray

Over the summer Mountview is buzzing with students from around the globe, taking part in our Acting and Musical Theatre Bootcamps. During three weeks of intensive training, participants worked with industry professionals on skills ranging from movement, voice and unpacking Shakespeare, to thorough drama school audition preparation.

Part way through this year’s programme, we sat down with Ethan Gray who joined us for the Acting Bootcamp from Orange County School of the Arts in the United States.

How are you finding your experience so far at Mountview?  

I’ve been really enjoying it. My favourite part so far has been really getting into the meat of scripts and characters. Last week we performed a duologue that we worked on within three days then performed for the class, fully off-book. It was a really fast-paced experience but I had so much fun with it. I hadn’t really done something like that before, as intensive but also as in-depth, and it really worked the actor muscles I had been wanting to work for a long time.  

This week in Shakespeare we have been doing the same thing, but looking at one scene of Macbeth, really developing these characters from a place that we can find within us. Making them familiar and making the language familiar, building from there to make our own Shakespeare technique. Those have been my favourite parts, working on scenes.  

How have you found it coming from overseas? Was it easier to settle in than you thought?  

It was much easier to settle in! I think everybody here at Mountview, especially in the summer programmes, because it’s such a prestigious school in London, everybody knows that they’re here to get work done, to train, to get experience. No matter your experience level coming in, everybody had that same mindset. I’ve been able to work with students for who Mountview was one of their first real intensive acting course, versus students who are currently in uni studying acting, whether in the States or in London. It’s been really nice to find people who are so passionate about the same thing as me.  

Getting used to the surrounding area has been much easier than I thought it would be as well. I’m getting to experience it with everyone else, getting to explore and learn about Peckham and Mountview with them, it’s just been nice – something new and different!  

What would you say to somebody considering coming to Mountview for a summer course?  

I’d say do it! It is definitely worth it. It is much cheaper than any programme in the United States, that’s for sure! But it gives you new perspectives when you travel abroad to study something that you’re passionate about. Not only because you can experience new culture, new people that you might not see on a daily basis, but you also get different techniques and life experiences from your teachers. Different levels of passion and commitment than you might have experienced back home, and it’s really really welcoming.  

The other thing I would say is it might be daunting at first, it was for me being a student coming from a foreign country almost half-way across the globe, but London is a lot more familiar to me than I thought it would be. Obviously there’s no language barrier so that doesn’t hurt, but it’s been very fun getting to experience something extremely different, even though it might have felt unnerving at first travelling away from home.  

Are you interested in training at Mountview? Sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this webpage and follow us on social media to be the first to know about our Summer Bootcamps when they return next year.