Samantha Gruskin

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

After I graduated from high school in New Jersey I started working professionally in New York straight away. I had done theatre from a young age and was really lucky to get work immediately. One job led to another and I loved it, but I felt like it was important to get some kind of formal training. I came to London as part of a programme I was doing in the US and, while I was here, stumbled across LAMDA. Literally! I decided to come visit the school as part of Open House and when I was here realised it offers a technical training course. I interviewed and got in!

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

It had everything I wanted and offered a type of training that I would never have gotten in the US. It’s entirely vocational; you get hands-on, practical experience from the first day. And you work on public productions, lots of them! The focus isn’t on how good you are academically; it’s all about getting your hands dirty and learning by doing.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

Intense and all-consuming. You have to give it everything. It’s challenging but all the more rewarding for that.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The approach of the tutors. They give the students so much autonomy to do things for ourselves, make mistakes and learn from them.

What excites you the most about LAMDA's new training centre?

It’s a bit surreal to be honest – we’ve been looking forward to having it for so long that now it’s here it feels overwhelming. I was worried that it would take away some of LAMDA’s identity. Last year when we were commuting to different venues around London for training and performances, the chaos was part of the charm of the experience. I was worried that would change now that we are all in one place but I’ve realised that LAMDA’s charm is in the spirit of the school and the people here. And that won’t change. It’s in the energy of the Academy.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Ridiculous. Rewarding. Life-changing (no one leaves LAMDA the same person that they were when they started).

Samantha graduates in 2018 from the BA (Hons) Production & Technical Arts Top-Up.