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Maria "Mia" Ventura Lucas '17

Course studied:
Film Studies & Drama

Actor and Singer (stage name: Mia)

Mia Ventura Lucas

What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?

I chose Brookes because it had the perfect balance between modernism & tradition. It is located at the historical city of Oxford, yet it has a very modern and up-to-date teaching system.
I think Brookes has extremely groundbreaking technology, an amazing campus and also a fascinating library collection. Moreover, it allowed me to do a Double Major, combining both Film & Drama which not a lot of places offered at the time.
Also, Brookes provided a great environment to learn, with every supportive teachers and staff that guided me every step of the way.

What is your best memory of your time at Oxford Brookes?

Well quite frankly all the three years I spent there were amazing so I have a hard time choosing a favorite memory.
I think the experience that best contributed to my training as an actor and as a professional was by far when the Film department brought in the renowned actor Toby Jones for a masterclass. He taught us very valuable technique and industry insight. I remember that he was very specific on industry conduct, not only in the UK but worldwide.

I deeply thank the amazing Laura Higgins, from the drama department, who mentored me and always advised her students to be more proactive and creative on their projects.

After graduating from Brookes what were the next steps for your career?

During my time at Brookes I was involved with the local theatre community, some composed by previous alumni, so initially I performed locally. After graduating I got offered a Merit Scholarship to further train as an actor in NYC and so I decided to move there. I have been working as an actor ever since.
I deeply thank the amazing Laura Higgins, from the drama department, who mentored me and always advised her students to be more proactive and creative on their projects. I am currently producing my play ‘The Blue Hour’ and still treasure those as valuable lessons.

What was your inspiration to move into your current profession?

I grew up involved in theatre. I have some family members who are performers and so I was always fascinated by their lives. However, I’d say initially what really drew me in was my love for film. I remember watching actors on the television and crying because I wanted to be able to do what they did.
I think once I got older I understood that what I felt was empathy. I think our jobs as actors is all about sharing realities with people that otherwise would have never been able to experience them, as means to create more empathy and understanding in the world.

What success stories/achievements have you had in your role?

I have acted Off-broadway shows, I have coordinated one of the top 10 film festivals in the United States (Chelsea Film Festival 2019), through which I met and worked with amazing people like Katrine Narducci from The Irishmen, or the Oscar-winner Paul Haggis. I stage managed an off-Broadway musical which included performers with people like the amazing James Romick (who was Phantom of the Opera on Broadway!).
But to me the most exciting thing I’ve done so far is definitely producing and writing my first original play, ‘The Blue Hour’, written in my second language, so I think all those English essays did paid off!

Make small, realistic goals for yourself every day, you will be one step closer to the path that makes you truly fulfilled and happy.

What is the best advice someone has given you?

Be the hardest working person in the room. The moment you stop working and start making excuses and comparing yourself to others, that’s the moment that others will jump ahead. I also like to point out though, that a performer’s career isn’t a sprint but a marathon, so be patient with your own individual process.

What advice would you give to others?

Don’t let your fears get in the way of what you want to build for yourself. If you make small, realistic goals for yourself every day, you will be one step closer to the path that makes you truly fulfilled and happy. Trust yourself & trust that you got what it takes.

Other comments

Brookes is extremely welcoming of international students, and really provides a sense of multiculturalism. It supports the arts and the students that wish to create. I hope this can inspire all the artist out there that just need a little push. Take a risk, Brookes will guide you.