After spending 30 years working in the entertainment industry, Dave Wiggins made the transition into teaching when he joined Cambridge Regional College in October 2020 as Creative Industries Lecturer in the Supported Learning department.
As a young man starting out in his career, Dave had a passion for performing and wanted to make his hobby become his living, on the premise that work would never be unenjoyable if doing something he loved. Through hard work and persistence Dave built up a successful career as a gigging musician, before forming a tribute band where he gained transferrable skills such as marketing, promotions and stage management.
Whilst working as both a freelance musician and actor, Dave took on a role in a school teaching young people with special educational needs. He split his time between teaching and performing, later exchanging teaching for University, where he studied Performing Arts. Dave later progressed onto a Masters in Screen Performance and Production, while touring the world.
Dave said. “I fell into teaching and soon discovered a love for it. For me teaching is a two-way process, I learn as much from the students as they learn from me.”
In his Creative Industries role with CRC, Dave uses his industry knowledge and experience, to steer his students around the pitfalls and opportunities within entertainment and the arts, such as the mindset needed for success and the importance of demonstrating skills.
Dave added, “Building a portfolio is essential in this industry as it builds up evidence and demonstrates experience as you take the next steps on your journey. I tell my learners, ‘If you want to be a filmmaker, start making films now’.”
Creative Industries, Supported Learning, at Cambridge Regional College, covers every area of the industry, from being a cameraman to editor to production. As diversity is opening up opportunities for all, there is no reason why Supported Learning students can’t achieve the same success. The equipment available to the students is industry standard, so when they leave us, our learners have already acquired the knowledge and expertise to step into the workplace.
Upon completion of the Level 1 Creative Industries course, learners can progress in a number of ways. They can move onto the Level 2, mainstream Creative Industries course, depending on their personal circumstances, or they can take a side-step to explore another industry.
Dave concludes, “There is an abundance of opportunities at CRC, and we are committed to directing and supporting our learners in their next steps. The advice I give to all of my students is that hard work and personal investment is what gets you ahead. Don’t restrict yourself to learning your art in college alone. Practice everywhere – at home and with your friends.