Josh Armstrong studied at RCS over a decade ago and returned to lecture in Aesthetics and Composition within the Contemporary Performance Practice programme.
Tell us about your role.
As well as lecturing in Aesthetics and Composition, I also lead the professional practice modules of the Contemporary Performance Practice degree and teach business skills in the BMus programme. My role is to ensure our curriculum equips students with a diverse set of skills; as well as developing them to be the best artist they can be, we also augment their learning with classes in fundraising, marketing and entrepreneurship. This gives them a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the professional world.
I also have an active role in student recruitment. We want students who are creative, socially-engaged and passionate about making their mark in the arts – I help to find this talent across the world.
What do you look for in new students?
I look for students who have an awareness of themselves within a larger socio-political landscape, who are passionate about using the arts as a vehicle for change and interested in making their own art. Sometimes we get people who come to their audition and interview and they’re not 100% sure what they want to do and how the course can help them – that’s ok!
If you’re hungry and open to learn and grow, we can work with you over the four years to help you develop your own unique voice.
What makes the study of Contemporary Performance Practice important within today’s society?
CPP provides space for you to create and try something new. It embodies practices that are at the fringe of traditional drama programmes, and, I think, provides a healthy challenge of histories and tradition whilst seeking new ways we can move things forward.
As a graduate, what’s it like returning to RCS as an employee?
I graduated almost a decade ago and means I’ve now spent one third of my life at RCS! I think my experience working in a variety of professional contexts helps to bring a different insight into the programme. I arrived here in 2006 unsure of what my own aspirations were – I knew I wanted to be involved in theatre but I didn’t want to be an actor. This programme helped me find my voice and discover new ways of understanding a professional artistic practice in contemporary performance and interdisciplinary art.
You led the large interdisciplinary project, Last Futures – what was this like?
Last Futures was a devised performance and exhibition involving students from RCS, The Glasgow School of Art, University of Glasgow and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and performed at Tramway – to work on a project of this scale and with so many talented people was incredible. Developing these partnerships makes us realise how important all of our different art forms are to one another. Projects like this are a great way to enable collaboration and expose students to even more amazing experiences.
Favourite moment of 2017/18?
Has to be watching Last Futures of course!