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My name’s Harry Whittaker. I studied Writing, Directing and Performance in the Department of Theatre, Film & Television and graduated in 2015.

What did you do after graduating?

For a good while, I cried. It was the best three years of my life. I’d had the opportunity to live and breathe theatre every day, and create work with coursemates that had gone on to become my very best friends. That suddenly had to end, and I experienced the dismal lack of direction that most of us feel post-university.

After I had my degree in my hands, I headed up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with my improv company and continued to work closely with fellow TFTV graduates on a project we’d begun at university. After receiving the York Performance Award (an award that supports graduates to perform a project outside of York), we formed a theatre company: Mind Over Matter. Alongside our day jobs, we began to create new work and revisited a show we’d started in TFTV. One year later, we took Mick Gordon’s ‘On Ego’ to Edinburgh, where it received critical acclaim. We hope to announce our new project soon.

Harry at work at Minster FM - facing camera 218w

While I was working with my fellow TFTV grads, I’d moved to London and got a job acting for kids, running workshops for a company called Kidzania.

Thankfully, based on my work in student radio, in the autumn after my graduation I was hired by Global, and began working for Capital, Heart, Classic FM, Radio X, LBC, Smooth and Gold.

What do you do now?‌‌

I’m a radio presenter, currently doing Drivetime on Yorkshire’s Minster FM.

In doing your degree what has helped you in your professional life?

My job is primarily about communication and creating a relationship with my listeners. Not only did TFTV provide me with endless performance opportunities, it also taught me how to interact and work with a diverse range of individuals. As a presenter, I have to be able to create content calmly and effectively under pressure, react quickly, and meet tight deadlines. Working together to create large-scale professional productions with a tight turnaround time has ensured that I have those skills available at the drop of a hat.

Why did you choose the University of York?

I attended an interview day, and fell in love with the department.

The course description was totally unique, exciting and inspiring. I attended an interview day, and fell in love with the department.

What would you say to someone thinking about studying at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television?

Go! Go, go, go! TFTV puts you in all sorts of bizarre situations – whether it’s constructing a set that somehow has to hold 20 cast members, working on your theatrical opus at 3am or trying desperately not to corpse in your assessed dress rehearsal, the department was always simultaneously inspiring, fulfilling, and above all, a massive amount of fun.

What was the highlight of your time at University?

Harry at Minster FM side view 218w

This is too hard. I think I’ll have to have three. The first would be performing in TFTV’s 2014 summer production The Provoked Wife. Who knew working on a Restoration problem play would be so much fun. I couldn’t wait to go on stage every night.

The second would have to be winning a National Student Radio Award for Best Entertainment Programme. It was the ultimate reward for three years of very hard work.

The third would have to be graduation itself – a total celebration of the greatest three years of my life.