The Arden graduate Thomas Vernal has secured the role of ‘The General’ in the upcoming UK and International tour of The Book of Mormon.
We spoke to the talented performer, who studied Acting for Live and Recorded Media about the acting industry, his achievements so far, and his time at The Arden.
What would you say are the top requirements for someone entering this line of work?
Discipline, punctuality, humility, hard work, dedication and honesty. Honesty not just towards others and in your work, but most importantly being honest and true to yourself, who you are, what you stand for and what you believe in. Oh, I almost forgot… You need to be thick skinned too.
What are the most challenging aspects of your current job?
One of the most challenging aspects about my job, is breaking personal barriers and stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to learning new things. Also having to prepare my mind and my body for very long, tiring and physical rehearsal days.
What are some of the accomplishments you’re most proud of in your career so far?
I think working with one of the most decorated writers, directors and visionaries for the arts of our time, is one that sticks out to me. Kwame Kwei-Armah was the director on “One Love – The Bob Marley Musical”, so being able to work closely with and to learn from him was an amazing experience. But to top it all off, the show came to my home town of Birmingham where I was able to play the main stage at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
How did your experience at The Arden prepare you for what you are doing today?
My Arden experience prepared me for every eventuality, from screen to stage, to voice over work, and even down to being self-employed and looking after my accounts and affairs as an actor. I couldn’t have asked for a better form of training to get me ready for the type of industry that I am in today.
Acting isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle and at The Arden, you’re in the best hands possible.
If you could offer just one piece of career advice to students, what would it be?
Graft to perfect your craft because hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Make time to unwind and recharge your mental, emotional and physical batteries. Although being an actor is one of the most amazing experiences in the world, it is also a business and you are your own boss.