Libby Kay has always wanted to be an actor. Now, as she approaches graduation, she can go into auditions not as Libby from Melbourne, but as Libby from NIDA.

“There’s no doubt it gives us a selling point,” she says, as she contemplates the ultra-competitive industry she is about to join.

Libby and her classmate Alfred Kouris are two of the students finishing their three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) degrees at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Like many, Libby and Alfred were attracted to the idea of studying at NIDA because of the opportunities it can open up.

Many of the students have been in talks with productions and agents throughout their schooling, although they are generally unable to be officially ‘picked up’ until after graduation in 2022.

Should a big opportunity arise however, the institution will try to help students as much as possible. Alfred says: “There is an expectation that sometimes during third year things will happen.”

Libby adds: “The verbal rule is that if it is career defining then you’re allowed to take time out of school.”

Libby and Alfred are aware that a degree at NIDA allows emerging actors to be taken more seriously and recognised for their commitment to their art.

“The duration of it also speaks about how you’re taking it seriously, and that you know how to work really hard and sustain yourself,” says Alfred.

After three years at one of the nation’s most celebrated and prestigious theatre schools, both Libby and Alfred are ready to embark on a new chapter of their careers.

Alfred says: “A bunch of agents say the same thing which is that when you finish drama school you have your white belt. It’s not that you finish drama school and you’re this fantastic actor. You finish drama school, and you start again. I’m really looking forward to starting again in what is, using the umbrella term of ‘the industry’ – a different world.”

Libby and Alfred are itching to get out there and embark on their careers. Take note of their names, and remember you may have first read about them in Urban Village.