OK Bye – By @josieaefinlay
By Josie Finlay
We learned the other day that our strategy teacher Uri is a member of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain. Well, he must feel right at home at SCA because it’s one rip roaring rumbler of a ride, am I right! You’ll come off it drained, ill and throbbing with adrenaline, with your hair all fucked and the shrill screams of your ride-mates echoing in your ears. But at the same time you feel a bit thrilled and you also get one of those cool photo keyrings to take home. (In this analogy, the photo keyring is your book.)
I remember being at this point last year, devouring all the advice SCABs from students about to leave SCA. They made it seem like some sort of massive deal. I was sceptical. But they were kind of right – it’s quite a heavy year, and advice is really useful. So here’s mine. No scaremongering, no preservatives, just #cold #hard #facts.
- Learn to love being told you’re shit. I found this tough at the beginning, but I think one of the most valuable things I’ve learned this year is not to take criticism personally. Harsh feedback isn’t poison, it’s nourishing nectar that will make you and your work exponentially better. Which leads me on to…
- Start meeting people as early and as much as poss. At the beginning of second term, we’re encouraged to start going for crits. This involves contacting teams at agencies and then visiting them to show them your work and get feedback. I found this absolutely terrifying at the beginning, as my work was basically a pile of nonsensical loo paper. Don’t let that put you off. Teams in agencies don’t expect to see a perfect (or even very good) book from a student team. They’d much rather see your stunning character, your keenness and your ability to act on their feedback (even if it turns out the feedback doesn’t quite work). I honestly can’t stress this enough – by the time it gets to summer and your book is actually ok, teams at agencies are being bombarded with emails from students. So if you’ve already fostered a relationship, you’re much more likely to get in there. Essentially: get over yourself and show off your rubbish book early.
- Do fun stuff on weekends. It’s tempting to spend weekends slaving over briefs, but you’ll get weird and stale and mad if you do it all the time. Go out and see movies, exhibs, markets, ponds, or read stuff, or whatever. You’ll be a much more normal person, plus your work will end up being better for it.
- Get some proper bloody stationery. Ugh. I started off so well. I even wrapped my first term notebook in sticky back plastic. But as the year went on I descended and started using flimsy little exercise books, random notelet blocks of about 5 pages and dry felt pens. Now it makes me feel physically ill to look back at those notes. I’d say it’s worth the effort/extra few pounds to use some good qual stationery – healthy notes need a healthy home.
- Listen to the mentors, but don’t listen to the mentors. SCA has loads of in-cred-ible mentors with soooo much experience and wisdom. Milk them for all they’re worth, because they’re fantastic. But sometimes the best thing you can do is ignore feedback. It’s tempting to ask loads of mentors for advice, but it’s impossible to take it all into account. Once a mentor green-lights an idea, just start making it – don’t ask 4 others what they think of it because one of them won’t like it and you’ll get panicked and leave it all til an hour til deadline.
- Put that modelling contract on hold. A year at SCA is going to make you gain weight/break out/get a rash/lose all trace of colour from your skin/develop eye bags as deep as an evening round a campfire with Eyal from Love Island 2018. You will enter as a swan and emerge as a caterpillar. It’s inevitable, so you might as well accept it I’m afraid !
- I always find it weird when people say ‘have fun’ in a list of rules because that makes it sound the opposite of fun. But, er, have fun. You will, anyway. Yeah, it’s hard, but it’s so, so fun. You’ll love it. I’m quite jel of you, actually.
- If you’re fretting or whatever and fancy some more of this hot air, dm me on insta @josieaefinlay.
Thanks for an incredible year SCA 2018-19, it’s been REAL!