Alumna Rosalind Hoy, who graduated from Regent's in 2012 with a Foundation Certificate in Acting, is now running a theatre company and arts organisation Zoo Co.
What are you working on at the moment?
I run a theatre company and arts organisation called Zoo Co. I’m the Creative Producer for the company and also perform in our shows. Currently we’re in a bit of an admin phase as we’re applying for our biggest Arts Council England bid to date. We’ve just finished touring our show The Girl Who Fell in Love with the Moon and completed a second phase of R+D working with the Harwell Campus (RAL Space and European Space Agency) to develop a new show bringing together space science and theatre.
Tell us about your journey from graduation to where you are now.
After a brilliant year at Regent’s, I left slightly disheartened by what seemed to be the impenetrable acting industry. After a year or so of working as a sales assistant, then a receptionist and doing a bit of teacher training too, my friend from school contacted me about setting up a theatre company. She invited me into the rehearsal room as an External Director during the production of our debut show The Hive. We did a short run at a local theatre and were then fortunate enough to win the Les Enfants Terribles award which gave us a £1000 cash injection, mentoring and a venue at the Edinburgh Fringe and from that point onwards, it has been nonstop!
Since our Fringe debut, we have been back two more times and have enjoyed sell out shows and lovely reviews. We’ve created three indoor shows which have toured to over 50 venues across the UK and 2016 saw us make our international debut at SIPFest Jakarta. Our outdoor show, Monotone Man was watched by over 15,000 people at 4 different festivals and a condensed version, 10ft tall version, can currently be seen projected on a shopping centre in Croydon!
The past five years have been very exciting but also filled with very difficult challenges. As a publicly funded arts organisation our resources are always stretched and we have had to overcome a lot of obstacles in order to keep working and creating theatre. I’m often learning on the job and, within a small arts organisation, that can mean anything from figuring out how to file your company’s tax return to understanding how your new set fits together!
What are your plans for the future?
2018 will (funding dependant!) be a really exciting year! We’ll be touring our show GIANT alongside our engagement programme, creating a brand new show called Sirens that we hope to be taking to Edinburgh Fringe, continuing to work with the Harwell Campus on the Space project and really rooting ourselves as an arts organisation in our hometown of Croydon.
How did your studies at Regent’s impact on you professionally and/or personally?
For it being such a short course, I really learnt a lot from my Acting Foundation course at Regent’s. I was taught by people who I knew really cared about me, which is so important when you’re opening yourself up to the vulnerable way of working that is necessary within an acting course. I learnt a lot about the skill of acting, voice and movement which I apply in my performances. Personally, I have made lifelong friends in both my teachers and my peers. I have been across the globe to visit them and some I have lived with! I’ve watched my friends perform in Edinburgh and London and I can often rely on them to be in the front row at my shows too! I have also been given loads of opportunities from Regent’s since I left including coming in to give talks, working with students and performing Shakespeare at Middle Temple Library which was a once in a lifetime experience!
What is your funniest/fondest/best memory of Regent’s?
I think at the time it probably wasn’t the funniest or the fondest memory, but in hindsight, the final showcase was a brilliant day! It was so wonderful to see all our work come together and watch my classmates perform and act alongside them in front of an audience. It was really special.
What advice would you give to recent graduates starting out in their careers?
Take every single opportunity you get! Obviously it’s a competitive world but there are loads of opportunities out there and those opportunities are even better (and more frequent) if you haven’t got there by bringing other people down. My ethos is to share every experience, be that good or bad, in the hope someone can learn from my mistakes or share in my successes.
What three words best describe the experience that Regent’s provides?
Opportunity-filled, hilarious, lasting.
You can see GIANT in Croydon on 25 May 2018