To Be Clear

My name is Michelle, I love God, my family, my friends and Musical Theatre. I enjoy Doctor Who and Vegan Baking.

I'm going into my 3rd year on the BA Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This blog will document my journey amongst other things.

P.s. I wrote a short story and you can buy it at the link below:

E. /

What Kieran questioned in the Equity session. #seriousactors #lifequestions

That's really amazing advice, thank you! Do you feel like not being super thin has specifically affected your treatment or experience at the conservatoire? Like have you ever felt judged there? Also, when you all are doing your shows each year do you have to audition for roles, or do your instructors assign parts to make sure everyone gets equal performances and all that?
michellehopewell michellehopewell Said:

No trouble my dear. Honestly, just be who you are. I have to say that the Conservatoire as an establishment really doesn’t care about “what you look like”. Yes, they’ll always want you to be at optimum fitness and health, but no one wants you to be stick thin. In fact many of the lecturers have encouraged me about my size and told me that I am gorgeous the way I am. We’ve had contemporary classes were it doesn’t matter what size you are, if you are a girl or a boy, you lift each other. I think, honestly, the biggest challenges and varying treatment come mostly from a personal battle. You’ll find yourself having to fight yourself not to treat yourself differently from others. Sometimes, you can feel, or at least I’ve felt, like some peers treat you differently. Obviously whoever might be going through their own personal body image issues, might project their issues on you, but not necessarily because of any maliciousness.; BUT that kind of thing happens no matter where you go in the world. 

In first year you don’t do any shows. You do some external events. Depending on the shows some first and second years get to audition for 3rd year shows, but that changes from year to year. In second year you work on a devised musical with your peers that you dont audition for, parts are assigned depending on how the show is devised. At the end of your 2nd year you audition for 3rd year shows and then the show is cast by the lecturers. 

Any other questions?

I'm going for musical theatre! What do you mean by devised piece? Also I suppose the biggest question I have (and I really hope this isn't invasive or too personal) is about your experience there as a curvy (or whatever word you're comfortable with) woman. I'm definitely not the usual thin/svelte/whatever type actress and I'm always really nervous about it and VERY self-conscious and self-doubting, especially when it comes to auditions. Do you have any advice for overcoming this type of thing?
michellehopewell michellehopewell Said:

Hey! Sorry for taking so long to respond! The devised piece was basically something you create yourself and it had to include a piece of text, movement/dance, a song and you had to play an instrument. (I didn’t play an instrument as I only picked up piano when I started at RCS) Its really a chance to see how creative you are. Though, I think the audition process has slightly changed since I auditioned back in the day - but you could always email the department to have more questions answered :)

Hmmm that is a million dollar question. I don’t mind answering at all. Honestly? It’s hard. Its something that I personally battle with everyday. I have never and probably will ever be that skinny MT. I’ve always been the curvy girl, plus size girl, bigger girl, fat girl…whatever you want to call it. Right now, I’m on a journey in which I have to just love the body and the skin I’m in. Its difficult. I used to be very self-conscious and have a lot of self doubts…but I find that when I’m doing what I love: I forget to care.

I think the journey involves forgetting to care and learning to realise that you are so precious, beautiful and unique. There will never be another person on this planet that is like you and that in itself…is wonderful.

All we can do is own who we are and what we do. There’s no reason we can’t be everything any other girl is just because we’ve got little extra somethin, somethin going on.

Just be you! Be kind, be loving, be compassionate, have faith that can move mountains, be courageous, be sexy, be strong, be fun, be an advocate, be an artist, be an activist. Be. 

So, yes, its difficult, but from today, just start understanding….you’re amazing. 

Audition…and kick ass! 

My 2014 Menu’s Tuesday dinner #Roastedchicken #chickpeas #roastedtomatoes

Hi! sorry to bother you but I saw that you are studying at RCS and I really really want to go there. i was wondering if you could tell me a bit about your experiences, like how the auditions were and the kind of learning environment and that sort of thing.
michellehopewell michellehopewell Said:

Hey! Its no bother at all. You caught me right before I start back up with classes. 

Are you thinking of applying for Musical Theatre or Acting? I can’t give you much info about the acting course, but I can tell you some stuff about MT. 

I believe the audition process has changed since I did my audition two years ago; but mine was a first round of auditions, then you got a recall on the day. If you made it past that recall, you then had another in which you had to prepare a devised piece. Once you performed that devised piece you then had to go away during the lunch break and prepare another devised piece. Then you found out whether or not you were successful. The auditions were challenging, but also extremely interesting and quite a fun experience.

Its a very specific learning environments and it takes a while to adjust to it. Its fantastic, but A LOT of hardwork and the only way to really prepare for it, is to experience it. There are some incredible opportunities and you get the chance to work alongside some incredibly talented students and creatives…but its a lot of hardwork. The great thing about our MT course compared to a lot of other London drama schools, is that we’re being taught to learn who we are as artists rather than just another chorus member. 

Is there anything specific you wanted to know? 

It’s a seriously gorgeous day! #lovemystreet #Sundaysun #beautiful #autumnsun #lastdayoffreedom

My heart is full of hello and goodbye and see you later and laughter and tears. It’s full of summer sun and Autumn wind. Today has been historic for many reasons, but everyday we’re blessed enough to take another breath, we get the chance to make history. A chance to do the smallest things with the biggest amount of courage. That being said, 3rd year here I come.

Hopewell’s struck again! New suitcases for the short travel back to Glasgow and Nandos. #lovethem #Hopewells #family #foodhome #finalyearprep

Me: “I will never EVER be able to put down this recent John Legend album. This brother is smooth, I can’t even begin to….. *hears Jack Freeman* ….w-what was I…I think I was….what…I just…m-marry me? Where am I?”

For reals though, this guy right here ya’ll! 

#tbt to one of the most incredible days in a long time! The day I got to meet one of the people who inspire me, @heatherheadley A true woman of God, and an incredible artist. I can only pray I get to the chance to be such a masterful storyteller! #tbt #amazingday #thebodyguardmusical #musicaltheatre #MTnerd #heatherheadley #incredible #thankful #3rdyearhereIcome #toomanyhashtags