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Name Donna Soto-Morettini Job Title Head of Acting

Company Company Edinburgh Napier University (

When did you start your job? January 2010 Best / Worst Aspects? Actually, it’s all pretty good! Edinburgh is an incredible place to

be as there is so much for trainee actors to see and be involved in. Edinburgh Napier University is committed to making its acting and film courses the best they can be. It’s incredibly satisfying to see where your former students end up. I’m as proud of my now-famous ex- students as I am of those who have found a way to survive this tough business as producers, directors, teachers and writers. I stay in touch with many of my students and that brings me a kind of joy that a lot of jobs just don’t offer. In previous jobs, whether working with Andrew Lloyd

Webber on all four of his ITV talent shows, or at the Paul McCartney Fame Academy in Liverpool, the main issue is how it can take over your entire life. In this case there is so much to do, from directing, auditioning, training and running courses to designing new ones and getting them going; if you don’t love it, you’ll never find the energy for it. to me overall has been the educational side. I know many people think that teaching in the arts requires you to be good at the area that you teach, but in fact, the real opportunity comes from having a wide range of experiences and in being able to rely on that broad range of knowledge to keep your work inspired and relevant.

Looking back, what advice would you give to a young Donna Soto-Morettini at the start of her career? I would say don’t shy away from networking! When I was younger I always took the ‘I’ll let the work speak for me’ attitude. And while there’s some merit to that (your work MUST be good), the hard fact is that, in my world, good work just isn’t enough. Networking is one of the most important parts of just about any job, and it’s absolutely vital to building a career. It’s particularly important in both academic and entertainment industries: for better or for worse, so much comes down to networking. It’s not so much who YOU know it’s who knows YOU! The thing that’s been most valuable And finally . . . tell us more about Edinburgh Napier’s new MA in Film The University’s new MA is a brand new course and the first of its kind in Scotland which will help train the next generation of screen legends. It is also the first course to incorporate a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the learning experience and as the launch of graduates' professional careers. Get in touch to sign up for the new term! Generally speaking, Edinburgh Napier is going to keep developing not just great undergraduate acting courses, but great post-graduate and short professional development courses, so keep us in mind if you’re looking to increase your training, get back into the industry or just get started!

18 Nov–2 Dec 2010 THE LIST 93