The Great Gordino Newsletter – First Day At University!

September sees the first day of university all over Britain, and the course I applied for kicks into gear, it’s a time to reflect on why I’m not there…
"The Great Gordino"
It was late last year that I decided I should try to go for an acting degree at Rose Bruford college. It was local, well recognised in the industry, and had a nice small feel to the place.

I set about the process, which can be somewhat tangled for someone who isn’t at school, but I sorted out my references, exam results (from 30 years ago!), wrote my personal statement, and paid the £70 it cost me to apply.

I got invited to an audition, and that’s when things started to go awry!

I knew I would have to do a Shakespeare piece, that’s common practice for drama schools, so I picked one I had actually studied at school, and rehearsed it on my own.

At the audition I was struck by how much I missed being around people with an entertainment bent, and I was pleased that the auditioner was having a full blown, genuinely interested chat with me about my past, my intentions and ambitions.

After the individual auditions we had to do some group work, which involved standing in a circle and ‘throwing noises’ at each other, then discussing how it made us feel.

I wanted to say how it really made me feel, but had to bite my tongue as I knew that this kind of exercise is an integral part of actor training!

Two weeks later I heard the news – I had not got in. There were only 30 spaces, so my default expectation, as it is with any audition, is that I would not get in. That’s no dismissal of my skills, it’s purely a recognition of the numbers game in the performing world – applicants always outnumber positions.

You don’t expect feedback either from auditions, and it was no different this time.
I suspect the notes might have read –
“Atrocious acting. Shocking Shakespeare. Alliteration not bad.”

Later in the year, we have what’s called the clearing system. This means that universities with spaces try to tie up with students still looking. I got email after email offering me places doing all subjects.

The acting course all required auditions, and were also a long way away, so I would have to move rather than commute. Totally unrelated subjects did appeal, but I had to ask myself if I was like a kid in a sweet shop rather than thinking objectively.

From my previous time at university, I knew that part of the experience is to spend time away from home, to meet new people and develop. Sometimes the lesson time is only a few hours a week, and even then the subject matter is padded out.

When you throw in the fact that in many fields you can learn just as much from a short sharp cheaper non university course, I decided not to go for any.

So, what’s the next step?

Well, I think I’ll book myself onto a short course in a certain field of performing, which date clashes meant I couldn’t do in the summer, and am thinking that selling PLR is the way forward for me with my internet business interests.

PLR means private label rights. That basically means that someone buys the right to use my articles on their site with their name attached. They can also use the content in other ways.

It’s a well established way for people to provide content without having to write it, and it’s a way for writers to monetise their work.

I’ve looked at it before, and dabbled, but my current thinking is that it’s the way forward for me.

So there we are, and here I am! I’m using the summer of Olympic inspiration and the start of the university year without me to give myself an injection of momentum, and we’ll see what happens!

Ok, that’s it for today, do let me know what you think!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. You can grab my motivational book on Kindle for a couple of dollars
‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’
P.P.S. You can get updates about new posts in your email via the box at the top right

Do leave a comment!

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  • I really like this post, Gordon. It reminds me that I have done more first days at University than I care to remember, and although I have also finished all the courses, and done well, it’s not necessarily the be-all and end-all. At the beginning of this year I made the Big Decision not to do any more academic stuff, but to get out in the real world and do what I love, be me instead of trying to be what I think is expected, and to stop playing small. That’s how I’ve ended up working on a book…eek! Really looking forward to hearing how things go for you. H

    • You make a good point about it not being the be all and end all. In some professions it is essential, medicine and law come to mind.

      In acting, blimey it helps a huge amount, but it is not the only way in – not by a long way.

      I like your attitude of real world versus academia, and it’s something I’ve grappled with over the expanse of time.
      I’m also looking foward to seeing how things go! ha! Cheers, Gordon

    • Thanks Roy,
      I’ve never been afraid to learn new things, which maybe even more importantly means I’ve never been afraid to admit lack of knowledge/skills in the first place! I was hoping that being an old boy would help, because universities like taking on mature students as it looks good for their stats. I guess they must have already had their quota!
      Cheers, Gordon

  • I returned to the University a few years ago, and learned that the new Master’s Degree I got wasn’t what I wanted to do after all. However, it did give me new-found confidence to pursue my business full-time.

    Being someone who works a lot with energy, I would say that your thoughts about not getting in and your expectations to be turned away had more to do with it than anything. While some people prefer to be “realists” (I used to be one of them), I’ve found that nothing works out in life unless you throw yourself into it with full abandon and expect only the best results!

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    • Thanks Amethyst,
      You’ve hit on a couple of points…
      Lots of people get to the end of a degree and find it wasn’t what they wanted, and 3 or 4 years is a long time to spend to get an end result like that. That’s partly why I wasn’t devastated not to get in, which brings me to the second point…

      Thoughts about not getting in and expectations to be turned away did not have any impact, no. Throughout the whole process I knew that what I brought to the table in terms of experience, ambition and personality made a great fit for the college and the course. During the process I expected to get in.

      What I meant in my article was that in the world of entertainment, the numbers game means that you carry on as if you hadn’t got it, you cannot sit around hanging everything on it, particularly when you don’t get feedback. As an example, it could be that they loved me and my audition, that I fitted their age targets as well, but in another audtion they saw someone exactly the same but 2 inches taller. Or 2 inches smaller.

      That’s just the way it is with auditions, and you have to accept that. I’m sure the 2 people sitting across the table in the audition room would have been in no doubt where my energy was pointing!

  • I could be a fulltime student if someone would pay me to be one. I love studying new things. I am often tempted by new courses but like you have pondered if I was being a “kid in a candy store.” I say well done for having acceptance for the situation and for finding alternatives. I have never heart of PLR, would love to know more.

    • Thanks Kama!
      Onwards and upwards with a different route for me, since the acting school obviously missed out(!) PLR is private label rights. It’s a great model as it allows writers like us to, er, write, and sell the licence so that website owners who do not want to, or can’t write, can use it as their own.
      You can sell the rights over and over – the writing does need to be tailored with slightly less individuality than I’d prefer, but I’m going to give it a good go which I should have done ages ago!
      Cheers, Gordon

  • Hey Gordino, well just after I finished college I stopped taking any more “normal education studies” to pursue a career as a professional guitarist in contemporary music.

    Needless to say, I did that for many years (10-15) until I finally realized I needed to do something that will provide me with a more stable income and I decided to attend Engineering school at about 25 years or so which is when normally everyone else is already positioned and working.

    I don’t regret any of that and I’m still very proud of my achievements even if they came at very odd times in my life so do what you must, follow your gut!

    I own a lot of PLR content (good and bad of course) and I think they are great not only for starters but for anyone who is clever enough on how to rewrite them and create something unique from them.

    There more ways than this to profit from them but it’s the one that I think could bring more profits. Well that one and maybe an actual PLR membership site but that’s a little bit more complicated to build.

    Cheers and all the best! 😉


    • Thanks Sergio,
      Having also been in professional entertainment (though not for nearly as long!) I too am all too aware how unreliable it can be for income.
      The plan is to use internet marketing to provide that financial foundation to be able to do things with.
      Should have set up PLR site ages ago!
      Cheers, Gordon

  • Hi Gordon!
    I have often joked about being a lifetime student after I returned to finish my degree. I think as long as you end up in a place that’s better for you you can always find another way into acting. And who knows if you won’t find those similar skills can be put to good use marketing.

    All the best to you with the PLR articles.


    • Hi Elisa,
      Acting is such a hard profession security wise. It’s great if you get to the very very top, but anything other than that can be a hard slog with low pay and having to take any work that comes – not as glamorous as it often seems.

      I think what’s held me back with PLR before is thoughts about doing things differently – pricing or limited licences, when in fact I need to just get it up and running – can always changes things later! Hopefully up within a fortnight.
      Cheers, Gordon