Acting Foundation Course – Bastian’s Story

Bastian's Story

Bastian Calva is from Mexico City and has been working as an actor for some years. In 2022 he decided to develop his craft by enrolling on the 10-Week Acting Summer Foundation Course at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. We spoke to Bastian about what he learned and how the programme has helped to further his career.

Why did you choose the foundation course at BOVTS?

Working as an actor in Mexico City and LA, I quickly learnt it was impossible for me to take an extended break from work in order to take on further training opportunities. However, I knew my career could be enhanced by some traditional drama school teaching, so I looked into short courses and was thrilled to discover that BOVTS offered an Acting Summer Foundation Course.

Taking off ten weeks would be much more practical than taking a year out of my career. To cut a long story short, this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

BOVTS foyer at dusk

What were your favourite aspects of the foundation course?

The feeling of being in a safe place. I felt comfortable enough to take risks and try new approaches to my acting.

To be taught by teachers still working in the industry is invaluable. I know that every tool they have given me is effective, reliable and current.

From the experienced staff to the other actors enrolled on the short course, there is a distinct, artistic community at BOVTS. I came away feeling like I had adopted a new family!

Three students sat on wall outside of BOVTS

How do you feel you benefitted from the course?

I was actually wrapping on a Netflix film when I found out I had been accepted to the Foundation Course, which was a career highlight for me. Yet, I’ve found that since receiving the training from BOVTS I feel even more confident on the choices I make. I have a new-found sense of freedom when I am interacting with my scene partner, and it’s all thanks to the Foundation Course. It was such an amazing experience and I miss the School greatly – but, as we say in the industry, the show must go on!

ⓘ Please note that the BOVTS foundation course is a separate programme from the BA Hons course. Whilst BOVTS believes the foundation course is excellent preparation for auditioning for drama school, there is no automatic entry to Year 1 of the BA course, nor any guarantee of success at preliminary or recall audition.

Further information about the ten week foundation course.

One of my favourite parts about BOVTS is that it feels ‘homegrown’. From the set to the costume, lighting, acting and sound, every single aspect of a theatre production or film is down to the students. The location of Clifton is so serene and the School being so small everyone knows each other and it feels so personal and special. Violet Morris, BA Professional Acting Student