Our class of 2021 really are something to shout about. They’ve overcome challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. And they’ve done it all during a pandemic when student life has been changed beyond recognition. We couldn’t be prouder of them so we’re telling their stories.
Wed 14 Jul 21
A seizure disorder made the prospect of university life daunting for Tazi Amey but supportive friends and lecturers, and a home in the Theatre Arts Society ensured she was able to make the most of her Essex experience safely and anxiety-free.
“I have always loved theatre and before university I had a big musical theatre background,” said Tazi, who is graduating with a BA Drama.
Choosing her subject was easy for Tazi but finding somewhere that would make her feel supported was just as important.
“I suffer from a seizure disorder and these seizures happen whenever and wherever. At the start of my degree I had very little control over when they would happen,” she explained.
Tazi’s seizures are mentally and physically exhausting and have resulted in head injuries and dislocated joints.
The supportive theatre community at our Colchester Campus was just what she needed: “Every lecturer I met at the Open Day filled me with confidence that I could come here without feeling so much anxiety around my health.”
"I had huge amounts of support from staff in my department as well as classmates, especially around exam seasons where my stress levels would be intensified."
She joined the Theatre Arts Society on her first day at Essex and hasn’t looked back since, working behind the scenes in productions including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Doctor Faustus and the annual pantomime.
At the end of her first year, Tazi was given the Outstanding Contribution Award by the Society and later became President.
With the support of her friends and lecturers she’s now looking forward to postgraduate study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
“I had huge amounts of support from staff in my department as well as classmates, especially around exam seasons where my stress levels would be intensified,” she said.
“My friends always believed in me and staff often went out of their way to ensure if I was to have a seizure it would be in a safe place. This allowed my anxiety to ease. I always had someone or somewhere to go to,” she added.
Tazi chose the Guildhall to continue her studies because of its reputation, progressive course and location. She’s taking a year out first to explore whether she wants to focus on stage management or production management.