Writer and actor Soph Galustian on how LSBU pushed her out of her comfort zone
Drama and Performance graduate Soph Galustian discusses her recent career success as an actor in Everyone Else Burns and as creator of Peck 'Eds, including how her studies prepared her and the advice she'd give to aspiring young writers.
What led to you studying the Drama and Performance?
I’ve wanted to pursue drama since I was a kid! It was never going to be anything else.
Why did you choose to join LSBU?
I loved the location, so central and right in the heart of London. The course also gave me the freedom to create my own theatre, which I loved. It seemed to really encourage us to write and produce our own work which interested me a lot.
We also got to perform our final piece at Southwark Playhouse which was an amazing experience.
How did you become involved in Everyone Else Burns?
I was sent through the audition by my agent and I recorded a self tape, then got through to zoom auditions and then a few days later found out I got the part! It all happened very quickly which doesn’t always happen but it was great. It’s also always great to get audition experience.
What did you learn during the experience?
It’s always great to learn more about being on set. It wasn’t my first time on set but I think you pick up different things each time, which is always invaluable. Also meeting an entire cast and crew as well as working with some amazing creators is as always, a dream. I had a bit of a hair makeover which was a first for me. I had the back of my hair dyed bright red/orange! I’m up for anything in that sense, even more so if it helps the development and portrayal of my character.
How did it feel to write Peck 'Eds? And to have it picked up by BBC3?
Peck 'Eds was my first baby so I think you’re always attached to your first project. I actually developed Peck Eds from my final project in my third year at LSBU - just goes to show that it all matters! I was overwhelmed when it was picked up by BBC Three and filming it in my hometown at my old school was one of the highlights of my career so far.
What advice could you offer aspiring young writers?
Create, create, create! Don’t stop. Even if nobody see’s your work straight away, it’s always handy to have a stack of sketches or scripts or characters to come back to - you never know when you might need them!
Get together your strongest bit of writing and if you’re a performer, get it filmed. Even if it’s on your phone! Something is better than nothing. And if you’re not a performer, get it in tiptop condition in correct script format and SEND! Find the producers from your favourite shows and email it to them, tweet it to them, IG it to them! You feel like a pest but my favourite motto is “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”.
I sent my videos hundreds of celebrities/producers/directors on Instagram and asked for them to share it if they liked it and low and behold, after many painful rejections that determination is what led me to my first project with the BBC. Have no shame, do what you need to do. Opportunities aren’t going to fall at your feet, sadly, so go and grab them yourself!
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Well, that would be telling! My debut book No Worries if Not is out in April so I’m focusing on the pre-release at the moment.
I’m also developing a new show with a known broadcaster as well as auditioning as much as possible.
How do you think your time at LSBU prepared you for your current career?
LSBU pushed me out of my comfort zone, which I needed. It gave me the tools to write and create my own work which has prepared me for life in a tough industry. So rather than waiting around for jobs to come to me, I am equipped to make my own work and always move forward. I never knew I could write until I attended uni and was given the opportunity to safely create for the first time.