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Riley Jones

I was born and raised in Gateshead and had an interest in Drama from a very young age. Having studied it throughout my academic career to a high level I wanted to pursue acting as a career. However I did not want to go down the Drama School route and found that Northumbria University offered a great course in Performance.

What are you doing now?

Since leaving Northumbria I have gone on to various different jobs in the acting world. Some of which include a national tour of Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters which played at Newcastle Theatre Royal, Live Theatre's critically acclaimed Wet House which received three Journal Culture awards, Lee Hall's Cooking with Elvis also at Live theatre as well as playing Detective Constable Edwards in ITV's popular crime series Vera which I've now been in for 4 series and will be filming the fifth this year.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

Northumbria helped me to develop my skills as an actor. It gave me a place to learn, practice and develop different techniques all of which have been vital in me achieving my career goals.

What was the best thing about your course?

My course covered lots of various aspects of Acting techniques but also allowed you to focus on the ones of particular interest to you. This freedom helped me to develop my own personal technique drawing on various elements.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

During my time at Northumbria my biggest inspiration was a lecturer called Matt Cummins who taught Acting, Voice and Text. His teaching methods were different to anything I had ever experienced before and he helped to unlock aspects of my performance technique which have helped me become the actor that I am today.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

The use of your body as a tool for your work is the most important thing that I learnt during my time at Northumbria that I still use throughout my work. Using your voice and physicality to not only explore a character but to portray them accurately. And most importantly looking after your body. You wouldn't believe the amount of strain you put on your voice for example when touring 1000 seater venues for 6 months with only 1 day off a week. Northumbria helped me to use my body correctly to ensure I can continue to work at a high standard for long periods of time.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

There are too many things to single out just one. The campus, the lifestyle, the facilities, staff and friends I made during my time at Northumbria are all important elements which made the whole experience enjoyable for me.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Do it. If you've considered university and Northumbria is on that list then go for it. It's one of the best things I've ever done and has definitely set me up for my career whilst having a great time doing it.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Worth every penny.


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