Rehearsing choreography, reciting lines and running through lyrics in the corridors is standard practice at LMA, but it’s not every day that the Kids From Fame are the ones hitting the high notes alongside us. For the past couple of weeks, we played host to eight of the original cast members of the iconic TV series, Fame, as they prepared to take to the stage for the Fame UK Reunion charity concerts.

And, if you were one of the lucky ones to snap up a ticket for the sold-out performances at the M&S Bank Arena, you’ll agree that it was a pretty special show, especially as some of our students and tutors joined them as backing dancers, backing vocalists, choreographer and director, while LMA Choir also lent their talents.

Of course, we couldn’t wave goodbye to the cast without picking up some of their expertise and were thrilled when Nia Peeples, who played Nicole in the series, agreed to run a special masterclass with our students, sharing advice and tips for the top.

Nia, who also starred as Pam Fields in US drama Pretty Little Liars, spent an afternoon with around 100 students, sharing the ups and downs of her career, coaching our budding actors through a scene and teaching our aspiring Musical Theatre stars a thing or two about stage presence.

She even found time to drop in on our second year BTEC acting students’ class between rehearsals, offering tips on how to perfect their American accents ahead of their end-of-year show, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.

So, here are Nia’s top five tips for success:

  • Keep it real – whatever the part you’re playing and however big or small your role is, always play the truth in a make-believe setting. Ensure you do your research and know your character inside out so that you understand exactly what makes them tick and how they’d react in different situations.
  • Be strict with yourself – make yourself number one and look after your health, both physically and mentally. It will impact on how you deal with the inevitable knockbacks and how you perform.
  • Maintain a work/life balance – while it’s important to be strict with yourself and have discipline, it’s also essential to know when to relax and take a step back. If you go full throttle 100% of the time, there’s no time to enjoy and savour your successes.
  • Fame actually isn’t everything – striving to be at the top of your game doesn’t necessarily mean red carpets and paparazzi flashbulbs. Your goals shouldn’t be centred on being a ‘celebrity’; instead, work on perfecting your skills and fame may come as a bi-product.
  • Only compete with yourself – of course, we all know that performing, whether on stage or screen, is a competitive industry, but don’t get lost in comparing yourself to others. Focus on being the best you that you can be, constantly learning and improving on your last performance.

Catch a glimpse of Nia’s masterclass on our Instagram feed here and let us know what you think!