Dima Sol: business administrator turned actor
While many students take a part-time job to earn some extra money, few can have made such a success of it as Dima Sol. The LSBU BA (Hons) Drama and Performance student has already appeared in a number of plays.
Dima is understandably proud of his achievements, but is quick to praise the structure of his degree – which is designed to actively encourage students to undertake work experience. “The schedule at LSBU is adapted to improve students’ employability, so you have the opportunity to work outside the university and gain some practical experience,” he says. “That helped me to develop myself as an actor.”
In contrast to the success he is currently enjoying, Dima’s route to an acting career has not been straightforward. Despite finishing his studies in Economics at a Business School in his native Germany, Dima never truly felt at home with a head full of figures. His heart already belonged to drama.
“After my studies, I started work as a Business Administrator, but I’d already decided I wanted to be an actor,” he says. “Performing means everything to me. Even though others might have seen my job as the first step in a good career, I was always looking forward to my time off when I would dance hip-hop and breakdance, doing what I loved.”
I chose the course because I wanted to become an actor, and it offered me everything I needed and more.
Moving to England, Dima secured a place studying BA (Hons) Drama and Performance at LSBU – and he hasn’t looked back since. He explains. “I’m learning about theatre from different perspectives – that of actor, director, all the roles in a production. It’s helping me to become a much more rounded professional.”
Dima’s learning has been helped by using the facilities at the Edric Theatre. With seven studio theatres, rehearsal spaces and backstage facilities, as well as a dedicated performance space with a 90-seat auditorium, it’s an aspiring thespian’s dream. “Using such professional facilities made a big difference,” says Dima. “It helped us all to prepare for the performance we were staging there, and gained a better feeling of the space.”
It proved ideal preparation for Dima, who was able to put everything he learned at LSBU into action when he was called in to audition for the theatre company ART-Vic. It was to be a performance that changed his life.
“The company specialises in classical texts such as by Beckett, Chekhov, Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky,” explains Dima. “My success saw me land a role in The Seagull by Chekhov, followed by Wife For Sale by Checkov, where I appeared in five of the eight stories. Since then, I’ve played in Lolita by Nabokov, Morphine by Bulgakov, and currently, I am rehearsing The Idiot by Dostoyevsky.”
In The Idiot, which ran at the Theatro Technis from 27 February until 11 March 2017, Dima is played the lead role - Prince Myshkin, a young man whose goodness and open-hearted simplicity is mistaken for weakness and lack of intelligence. “It was one of the most difficult characters in literature, so it requires an enormous amount of preparation,” says Dima. “But i found that my time at LSBU is helping me. I approached the character using Stanislavsky’s techniques I learned from LSBU. In our first year, we created a rehearsing notebook for one of the productions. I am still using it and follow the instructions and notes I made back then.”
In the future, Dima hopes to add to his considerable theatrical experience by establishing himself as a screen actor. For now, however, all his energy is focused on the moment the curtain rises in the Theatro Technis, and he does what he’s always wanted to do – act.