Thursday 4th May 2017
Downton Abbey star delivers acting master class at JLC
Downton Abbey star Kevin Doyle returned to his former college to deliver an acting master class to current students. Kevin, who graduated from John Leggott College in 1979 returns to the college every year to support students studying drama, this year going into a session to support students embarking on auditions.
“This place is really important to me and it did change my life,” says Kevin “it steered me in a direction that I didn’t think was possible. It was because of the teachers who donated their out of hours’ time and they were just such a massive support.
I come back as I feel a debt to them. Having people coming in from the outside who are working in industry like my own and telling them what it’s like and getting and hearing a fresh voice. Offering advice about possible routes to success and giving them my life experience so far.”
Known as the perpetually unlucky butler-turned-footman Molesley in Downton Abbey, Kevin is set to star in Doc Martin, heading to Cornwall to film his part “I am looking forward to very much. It’s for a few weeks, so hopefully the sun will shine.”
Curriculum Leader Kelly Rinaldi “Kevin Doyle has been coming into JLC for the last 10 years to support our aspiring actors with their audition monologues. Kevin actually got in touch with me to offer his support to our learners as a way of giving something back to JLC and the Drama department specifically, as they helped Kevin see his talent as a performer and supported him with his Drama School application.
Kevin now comes once or twice a year to work with students one-to-one on developing their vocal and physical delivery in auditions and talks to larger cohorts of students about the merits of drama school and university.”
Kevin continues “I was brought up here and my dad went to Kirton Lindsey as he was in the army. So we moved down here from Newcastle and I stayed here until I left John Leggott College.
The college is almost unrecognisable from when I was here, I mean the amount of investment in the drama studios, dance studios, media, IT and all of that it’s unrecognisable.”
Second year student Josh Bainbridge, formerly of Huntcliff School, worked with Kevin during the day, “after five years of Drama I thought I was ready to go into the industry and was confident in that, when Kevin came in and worked with me on my audition pieces he showed me there was always room for improvement and worked with me to make my speech’s stronger. This workshop has been invaluable in my journey to become an actor.”
Kevin concludes “it’s difficult because you hear of statistics all of the time about how tough a life acting is, it’s difficult to get over that, the competition is fierce and the life can be hard. However if you experience that thrill in performance and it is a thrill, be it dancing or singing or acting or playing an instrument. If you have that, that can sustain you through emptier times, darker times. It’s a wonderful, wonderful life.”