Teenager faces the price of fame
Updated 9:20am Thursday 1st May 2014 in By Marion Sauvebois
JAMIE Carter’s dream of making a name for himself on Broadway could be crushed as the teenager struggles to come up with the £25,000 needed to train at one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the world.
Following a nerve-wracking audition in London, the 18-year-old from Penhill was one of a handful of young thespians to be accepted to the New York Film Academy.
But securing a place in NYFA’s musical theatre programme was only just the beginning as Jamie realised he would have to fundraise his way to the Big Apple to cover tuition fees of around £43,000 for the two-year course. After much effort, he was awarded a scholarship of nearly £18,000 for the entirety of his training.
Yet, unable to collect the rest through donations and earnings from his part-time job at Swindon’s Outlet Centre, the young actor has now had to defer his studies for a year and is urging generous locals to help him fund his ambition.
“The school has given me a bigger scholarship of $30,000 but unfortunately I still can’t afford it,” said Jamie, who was recently awarded The June Edge Cup for Most Promising Performance Under 21 for his role in Much Ado About Nothing at the Easter Festival of Plays.
“I have been working at Floral Inspiration at the Outlet Centre all day Saturday and Sunday and after college on Friday if I finish early. It takes its toll on you. But it’s worth it and when you want something so bad you do anything for it.”
He added: “When you get a yes in the audition you don’t think about the financial side of things, the excitement takes over. It’s not until a few weeks in that you think ‘I’m going to have to fundraise and it’s a long shot’.”
“The New York Film Academy have offered to postpone and carry over the funding for me to the following September, in 2015, if I studied over there this summer for six weeks. “This gives me funding options whilst over there and a whole year out when I come back to fundraise for the two-year course.”
But leaving New York at the end of the summer programme will be difficult for Jamie after getting a taste of the life he may never have if he fails to raise enough to pay for the course.
“When I found out I had been accepted it was unbelievable,” he said. “To have that kind of career, it’s the only thing I want to do. Performing is who I am.
“I’m so excited about going to New York for the course on June 30 but it will feel like it’s all being snatched away when I go home again and have to wait until I raise enough money for the course.”
Jamie is offering his services to local schools to run drama workshops. He is also looking for sponsorship from Swindon businesses.
To make a donation or sponsor him email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07972281398.