Jay Mar Albaos: Your honesty matters, but also be prepared
1. Tell us who you are and how you ended up at Uniarts Helsinki.
I’m Jay Mar Albaos, I come from the Philippines. I was interested in studying performance, so I googled different options and found out about Finland and the Theatre Academy offering the Live Art and Performance Studies (LAPS) programme and decided to apply in 2015. I graduated in June 2018 from the programme.
2. What was your entrance exam like?
It was one of the most memorable parts of my whole study experience. It was intense but much effort was made to ensure that all applicants felt comfortable. I got along really well with all of the applicants. I felt like they consisted of a nice bunch of people who were really keen on furthering their knowledge in the field of performance.
3. How did you prepare for the entrance exams?
I just made sure that all of the documentary requirements were in order. I trained myself physically for 5 months. They also asked us to prepare a pecha kucha, for example, and I prepared an outline that I was happy about.
4. What were the advance assignments like?
I did research. Coming from a very different background and education philosophy I didn’t really understand all of the assignments. I just made sure that my personal views on things, whether heavily backed by theory or not, came through.
5. What is your overall impression of your studies at the LAPS programme?
It was very rigid. It was kind of an academic and cultural shock; moving to another country and starting at the programme. At times it felt quite overwhelming to take on so many new things simultaneously, but overall, the programme was a very nourishing experience.
6. What did a typical study day look like for you?
Fluctuating between intense and relaxed, and diverse. You can have courses that run for a week like one wave after another.
7. What was best in your studies?
The push to do better and be better. One of the biggest helps from the LAPS programme was that I was able to improve my academic writing without compromising my artistic writing. I was able to make these two communicate with each other.
8. What was the most challenging in your studies?
The academic writing was the most challenging. If you are a full-time practicing artist, it can be too much, but over time it will become easier. The teachers gave very nuanced support.
9. What advice would you give to future applicants?
If you feel like challenging yourself and feel like moving forward; if you feel like you want to understand yourself and your work better, then go for it! Your honesty matters, but you also have to be prepared. Read, invest in what you know and bring that knowledge to the table. Ultimately that honesty will guide you in the future, as well.
Want to study both theory and practice of Live Art and Performance Art? Apply to the LAPS master’s programme!
The LAPS programme is seeking new students at the January 2019 round of admissions. Learn more about applying, advance assignments and the programme below and apply!