Student Spotlight: Shaila Mudhoo

Shaila Mudhoo BA (Hons) Theatre and Drama

Who or what inspires you?

The person who inspires me the most is my mum. She was the first person to realise my love for the arts through singing, dancing, and acting from a young age. She would put my interests first and found ways to provide me with the best opportunities to continue growing as an actress.

She has always taught me that nothing is impossible. If you truly want it, you can get it, but it takes a lot of hard work and commitment. Once you put in the effort, you will see the impact it has on your journey.

Another thing that inspires me to work towards an acting career is the ability to revel in the emotions and release hidden feelings through a character. It gives me a chance to express how I’m truly feeling as myself.

I love how it can be an escape as well as a creative outlet to portray what you feel is right for the story and character. Having this power allows the audience to be drawn into the story that you’re conveying as they will believe the reality you’re constructing.

This inspires me to continue learning and expanding on thoughts and ideas, as there is no limit to the world of creativity.

Can creativity save the world?

I believe that creativity is a powerful form of communication. It can inform the world of issues and topics in a way that penetrates minds and remains with you. I think it provides an insight to different aspects in the world. I think it helps everyone learn to understand how to handle sensitive issues, as they are presented with ways that we can help each other.

Creativity is everywhere we look, even when we don’t notice it.

Where has your creative journey taken you since starting at USW? What projects are you working on at the moment?

Since being with USW, I have been in four short films, have voiced in three radio dramas and have worked with the Sherman Theatre for my work placement. I have also expanded my stage acting with the University, as I took part in a piece directed by a third year during my first year, and I performed in the Climate Change ‘CCTA’ Show in November 2021.

There are many opportunities to collaborate here – three of the short films I have been a part of have been USW student films. When working with fellow students of USW through different courses, I’ve been able to network, and it gave me the chance to learn with other students.

I am currently working on a stage performance with my course and we'll be creating a performance of the Greek tragedy, ‘Electra’ in 2022, which I’m looking forward to.

What do you have planned next / after you graduate?

One of the first steps after graduating is to build my showreel for agents using the experiences I’ve gained throughout my final year. This will highlight my acting abilities through different roles and genres.

My goal is to find a job as a performer or a part of the crew in a theatre, which will enhance my knowledge of the job from different aspects. The road to pursuing an acting career is not easy, but I am prepared to face the obstacles!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself as a first year starting at USW?

If I could go back in time, the advice I would give my younger self when starting as a first year is to not give up easily and to not be afraid to take risks. It is essential to trust your own ability and with that continue to adapt and develop further.

I would tell myself that if you don’t succeed in getting a role, that does not mean anything on your acting ability. The rejection prepares you for something greater and better for you. It’s easy to be disheartened and get discouraged when not accomplishing the goal of getting a role but use this as your drive and your motivation to encourage you to improve and to continue evolving as an actress. It is a learning curve and it’s an important part of this job.

What makes studying Theatre and Drama at USW so special?

The main thing about studying Theatre and Drama at USW is the freedom to create and the space to expand your imagination. Working through different challenges, such as devising, directing and acting, has developed my skills and prepared me for the acting world.

At USW, I’ve also worked with creative individuals and developed my team-working skills, which is important when working with other actors.