I am 16 and have been offered a role in the National Youth Music Theatre's production Sweet Charity. I am seeking £500 towards the costs.
The money raised via Talent Backer will help cover costs for accommodation, food, rehearsals and tutoring over the three weeks of preparation (residential rehearsals in Leicester from 7-13 April and 1-14 August) prior to the show which will take place at the Curve Leicester on 16-22 August. The funding will also help cover my attendance costs for the week of the show performances.
This opportunity is simply a once in a lifetime chance for me to gain experience in a professional environment with the support of professional directors, choreographers and musical directors.
During the week of the show, there will also be a number of professional casting agents watching the show, which will give me a great opportunity to showcase my talents and hopefully then take the next step towards a career in the performing arts profession.
I regularly appeared in school plays and musicals at primary and high school and remember my first appearance on stage when I was 8 years old, where I played The Artful Dodger in a school production of Oliver.
I found being on stage was a passion but at that time, I also enjoyed playing rugby league. Along with my brother Josh (who is a year older than me) we were already playing for our local RL club Newton Storm. My dad was our coach and chairman of the club so we committed all our spare time to playing sport.
In 2011 I was asked to join my local amateur dramatics society in Newton le Willows (NADOS) which I was able to fit it alongside rugby. Since then, I have honed my skills by performing in numerous plays, musicals and pantomimes with NADOS and other societies across the North West.
Having played rugby league for 10 years, I had to make a difficult decision last year and choose between a career in sport or the arts. I had been invited to join the St Helens RLFC scholarship train on squad, but I realised that my real ambition was to be on stage so I chose to dedicate my efforts to becoming a professional actor/performer.
Funding for young people wishing to pursue a career in the arts is practically non-existent. Bursaries and scholarships are almost unheard of and the industry has become flooded by people from very wealthy backgrounds. I have every intention of breaking the mould and being a success in the industry without being able to rely on unlimited financial support from my family.
My skills and experiences in Musical Theatre have helped me develop my skills to the point where I am often being asked to perform with other amateur societies across the North West.
I received a NODA (NW) nomination in 2013 for my portrayal of Daddy Brubeck (played by Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1969 film version) when I appeared in a production of ‘Sweet Charity’ with my local society NADOS.
I have also appeared with the Stockport Operatic Society in their production of ‘Hello Dolly’ and spent 3 months with their choreographer learning to tap dance in preparation for their 2014 production of ‘42nd Street’ at Stockport Plaza theatre.
I am appearing in a big-budget youth production on ‘Les Miserables’ at Oldham Coliseum in June 2015 and have obviously been selected by NYMT to appear in their summer production of ‘Sweet Charity’ at Curve Theatre in Leicester from 19-22 August. NYMT boast an alumni that includes Jude Law, Orlando Bloom, Matt Lucas and recent Best Actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.
To help raise funds for my appearance with NYMT, I am organising a fundraising summer showcase, which will take place at Byrchall High School (Ashton-in-Makerfield) on Saturday 11th July 2015. This will feature some of the best young talent in the north-west, who have all agreed to appear in the show in order to support my fundraising activities. All the performers are people I have worked over the last 5 years and the show will certainly be a huge success.
As an aside, I have also started my own part-time business doing Spiderman appearances for parties and events, which has proven to be extremely popular. I recently invested in a movie-quality costume and I am getting regular bookings across the region most weekends. I am now using my Spiderman costume to help me raise funds for NYMT, which includes local summer fayres and school events. You can view images and obtain more information via my twitter account @SpideysNet and www.facebook.com/spideysnet
The opportunity to attend NYMT is simply a once in a lifetime chance for me to gain experience in a professional environment with the support of professional directors, choreographers and musical directors. During the week of the show, there will also be a number of professional casting agents watching the show, which will give me a great opportunity to showcase my talents and hopefully then take the next step towards a career in the performing arts profession.
Whilst I am currently in my GCSE year, I have already been offered a place at Manchester College on their Performing Arts course. At degree level, I have ambitions to attend LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) or Guildford School of Acting in order to develop my skills as a performer.
In the long term, I certainly have ambitions to appear on stage, but would also very much like to move into TV and film.
The opportunity to attend NYMT will provide me with a chance to showcase my skills to some very influential people within the industry. This will in turn help open some doors for the future and allow me to demonstrate my acting, singing and dancing abilities on a national scale.
Newton-le-Willows Amateur Dramatic & Operatic Society (NADOS)
Forty Years and Beyond (Musical Review) – Barnaby (Hello Dolly)
Aladdin the Pantomime – Security Guard
Our Day Out (Play with Music) - Riley
Hot Mikado (Musical) – Gentleman of Japan
Noel Pantomime – Buttons
Adventure in Pantoland – Host/Presenter
Music Mania (Musical Review) - Marius (Les Misérables)
Pumba (Lion King)
Sebastian (Little Mermaid)
Sweet Charity (Musical) – Daddy Brubeck (NODA NW Award Nomination)
Cinderella (Pantomime) - Buttons
Hello! Dolly – Barnaby Tucker
Stockport Dramatic Society
2013 Hello Dolly (Musical) – Chorus
2014 42nd Street (Chorus/tap dancer)
Next Generation Youth Theatre (Mossley)
Musical Review – various solo performances
2015 Les Miserables - The Foreman & Student
National Youth Music Theatre
2015 Sweet Charity
My fundraising story for NYMT also attracted the attention of our local press:
I have to raise £1500 in total and have a number of fundraising events and activities planned in additon to the support I am seeking via talent backer.
I have approached each of the drama societies I have been involved with over the last 5 years and have asked that they support me, even in a small way.
I have also started my own company deliverying delivering party appearances in order to help raise additional funds. This is obviously placing a lot of demands on me, particularly when also revising for my GCSE exams, but I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to achieve my goal.