Student Profile : Meet Ava McClean

There is so much talent in the building at ACA HQ and we wanted you to have the opportunity to get to know our students, outside of their performances.

Please enjoy the first ‘Student Profile’ in our ACA Current Students series.


Name: Ava McClean
From: Manly, Sydney.
Graduating class of 2024

What made you apply to ACA?
I had been looking at ACA as an option for my acting career for the majority of my HSC year in 2021, though I felt the pressure from school to go and apply for other courses, so I did. But, when it came down to deciding what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go in the next three years and beyond, I really (really) wanted to pursue my love of acting. ACA had always been at the top of my list of where I wanted to further my education and ability as an artist, and I couldn’t have made a better decision.

What’s the best part of your week at ACA?
Well that’s a really difficult question, I can’t narrow it down to a class so, if I could choose a day, it would be Friday’s (no not because it’s practically the weekend), where in the morning we have ballet and singing and we have the second half of the day in impro, it’s incredibly fun and challenging but seeing my progress in each of those classes makes Friday’s even more rewarding.

What’s your Fav show at ACA (that you’ve performed in)?
I think a lot of first years would agree that Aussie’s was an absolute highlight, especially post covid it was amazing to be back on stage. Aussies was the first show we have as a year group and it led to a connection between us all that we didn’t have before this process. Aussies for everyone, was an unforgettable experience with the cohort and directors, Troy and Johann.

Fav show at ACA that you’ve seen?
Love and Information, the skill shown by the actors in third year, the tech team and the director.. in the ROUND! I cried, laughed and cringed, seeing how much the crew loved the show was so amazing. I loved it.

What advice would you give to someone auditioning for ACA?
This sounds super corny but, be yourself, at the end of the day you got this audition because you have the talent and skill as you are. Be open to change and critique, the team watching your audition want you to succeed. Their notes are to assist you and see how capable you are with applying feedback, so take risks and put yourself out there.

What type of career do you hope to build post-graduation?
I love film, and the production side of film-making, so I’m really leaning towards the screen. Though that doesn’t mean I won’t be auditioning for stage roles at any chance I get, being onstage is a different kind of feeling and it’s incomparable to film.

What actor inspires you?
Jennifer West has gotten me hooked on Benedict Cumberbatch, he’s just so good. The way he works with Shakespearean text and makes it unique and truthful to himself, to the point most audiences grasp what he’s saying. His ability to work so well on stage and screen, and capture audiences attention so well. He’s so good.

What are you currently rehearsing and what role?
We’re currently devising for our show coming up in the next few weeks, and there aren’t any roles at the moment, but I don’t think there will ever be any roles. Devised is more about discovering our voices and physical connection to create art and images. We’re still in the process of creating to see what we’re going to put in the show.

What skill (element of your performance) are you working on and hope to nail before graduation?
Something that I know that I really need to work on is making my ideas or my character’s ideas be felt by the other actors on stage and not myself. It’s an incredibly frustrating process of trying not to internally process everything, as we usually do in life but make everything essentially radiate on to the audience. It’s a process of time and risk taking to get there but it’s something I am striving towards to achieve by graduation.

Thanks Ava, we can’t wait to see you shine over the next 3 years!

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