An interview with Francesco Gabriele
Why did you choose to work at St Mary’s?
Drama St Mary's is a great, small and friendly environment filled with creativity. A hidden gem in UK Actor's training.
The first time I entered the campus I was fascinated by the stunning location and felt very welcomed. The facilities are simply amazing, and the architecture is wonderful.
When I started to teach Acting for Screen, I was very inspired by the commitment and professionalism of all the staff and by the talent of the students. I think that's fantastic that students have the chance to experience rigorous Conservatory training, without missing the overall University experience.
Do you have any tips for someone looking to begin a career in Acting related industries?
First of all, it has to be made clear that a career in any creative industry is a tough one. The competition is fierce, so you must be ready to excel and, at the same time, be able to handle rejections. At any level and at any stage of your career, you must be ready to deal with constant rejections, it's just part of the job.
I strongly believe that solid training is vital to sustaining a life-long artistic career, and it's absolutely possible to make a living being a successful working actor. By that I mean being able to work constantly and make a living working in Theatre, Film, TV and Radio. The main advice I would give is to be persistent and focused. Knowing your craft but being humble is one of the keys for success. Ah, and to always be on time!
Which past experiences do you bring to your lecturing?
I grew up in Italy and soon after High School I moved to Rome to study Acting at Teatro Azione Drama School. After receiving my Diploma D'Arte Drammatica, I realised that to increase my opportunities to work and become a better artist, I needed to learn English and have more life experiences. So, I moved to Los Angeles to study and then London to do postgraduate study.
In 2014, I established my film production company, Thespian Films, with the aim of emphasising the creative role of actors on set. Over the years, I have directed and produced several films that have been selected and awarded in numerous international film festivals.
My first feature-length film, Blue Hollywood, had its premiere at the BT Tower in London as the closing night film of the BAFTA Qualifying British Urban Film Festival. My short film, Italian Miracle, played at over 40 festivals worldwide, including the Oscar & BAFTA Qualifying LA-Shorts Fest and won the Jury Award at the Stony Brook Film Festival in New York. I am also an associate member of Directors UK.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I absolutely love to see the improvement and growth of the students. During the first class of term, most of the students are very intimidated by the camera and lights, some of them shed tears or are completely blocked. But, by the end of the module, they are very familiar and comfortable on a film set and can embrace the characters fully by experiencing real emotions in front of the camera. They learn that they cannot lie to the camera. Their journey is extremely gratifying.
View Francesco's academic profile