"The conservatoire is full of vibrant personalities, and I wanted to thrive in a place that prides itself on promoting individuality."

Melissa Cameron: BA (Hons) Musical Theatre

Image: David John Photography

Melissa Cameron: BA (Hons) Musical Theatre

Meet Melissa Cameron, a BA (Hons) Musical Theatre student currently in her third year at Leeds Conservatoire. Melissa recently became a Help Musicians: Ian Fleming Musical Theatre Award 2021 holder, where she gained funding to develop her skills further and invest in creative projects.

We spoke to Melissa about studying at Leeds Conservatoire, the Musical Theatre programme and her ambitions for the future.

Hi Melissa - What made you want to study at Leeds Conservatoire?

On my audition day, I felt the conservatoire staff were interested in me as a person and as a performer. The conservatoire is full of vibrant personalities, and I wanted to thrive in a place that prides itself on promoting individuality. Also, it was a new course, which excited me because I wanted to be involved in something that was keen to adapt to current industry needs.   

You are in your 3rd year of our musical theatre course. How are you finding it so far? What's your favourite thing about the course? 

I am loving it! It's a lot of hard work in the best way. The conservatoire has a perfect nurturing but challenging environment to get the most out of training. They're super at connecting us to industry professionals, which has helped us understand the industry standard from the start. My favourite thing about the course has to be that we could tailor the 3rd year with a module in a specialist skill, so I could do some actor-musician work and explore that part of myself as an artist.

Has there been anything that has made you really push yourself as a performer? 

For me, this year's swing project has been one of the biggest learning curves. There's so much to think about when learning several tracks, and it's been a great opportunity to overload your brain with information and make it manageable. It's shown me I can do a lot more than I thought I could when I stay organised, well-rehearsed and calm. Finding my own process for learning, recording, retaining, and performing material has made me so much more confident in myself.

What was the best piece of advice you've had since starting Leeds Conservatoire?

Positive Mental Attitude. Walking into an audition or a class or rehearsal and anticipating something will go wrong is allowing failure to be at the forefront of your mind. Focusing on one aim gives me something to strive for and is a lot easier to handle than worrying about everything. If I tell myself a bunch of positive affirmations before I go in, I believe them, and I feel fantastic. Have self-belief and be your own cheerleader!

What sort of accommodation are you living in? What advice would you give to new students about accommodation? 

I currently live in a student house with my friends, which is fun and feels like a family home. In my first year, I lived in student halls, which was nice for meeting different people and settling into living away from home.

What is the best thing about living and studying in Leeds?

Leeds is such a cool city with a great music scene. It's perfect for me as someone interested in music and musical theatre so I can go to the theatre and gigs whenever. Because I'm studying at a music conservatoire, there is a lovely community aspect too, so there is always someone willing to offer their skills to a personal project.

What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking of applying for your course?

Go for it. I've learnt so much about myself and expanded who I am in and beyond Musical Theatre. There are no boxes about who you have to be, and Leeds Conservatoire has been great for me. I've discovered I have so much to offer as an artist.

What are your goals for the future?

I am currently seeking representation and hope to get an agent. Then auditioning and creating and performing in new exciting Northern work! I am also working on an EP that I hope to release soon. I am really keen to chase the songwriter within me too.

How would you describe your experience at Leeds Conservatoire in 3 words?

Changed My Life.

Find out more about our BA (Hons) Musical Theatre programme.


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