When I started at the Anna Fiorentini Theatre and Film school aged 8 I was shy and introverted, but had an undeniable passion for performing (manifested in my Spice Girls karaoke sessions in my front room). Similarly, on my first day at the school, I was very nervous as I couldn’t tell between my pas de bourrée and my pirouette, or my major and my minor scale. However, ten years at the school has not only developed my skills in singing, dance and drama, but made me a confident young adult with a passion for performance, and an ambition to pursue that passion further.
Growing up with an older sister with severe autism meant I could rarely have friends round, and couldn’t enjoy family occasions such as holidays or days out. In this way, the school provided an opportunity where I could have fun outside of the often stressful home environment, make lots of friends, and do something I was interested in. Additionally, as my love of performing developed from a weekend hobby to a real passion, I become more determined to continue my training, and experience the industry professionally.
To this extent, the school had aided my academic studies enormously, through GCSE’s to my A-levels, which I have just finished sitting. My training at the school had undeniably given me a more informed and confident approach to A-level drama, and a richer understanding of many of the styles, practitioners and plays studied. Similarly, the practical approach to performing texts has given me invaluable skills in studying drama texts in A-level English Literature. Furthermore, whilst balancing studying with performing in three pantomimes and preparing for auditions and LAMDA exams has been challenging, it has only made me more determined to excel in both. I’m now looking forward to studying Theatre and English at the University of Bristol in October this year, and then hope to go on to train at a drama school.
Through the outstanding teaching and amazing performance opportunities provided by the school, I have been given a platform to enjoy and enrich my passion for performing. Now aged 18, leaving the school which has been such an integral part of my life for over a decade feels slightly surreal, but I will undoubtedly take all the skills, friends and memories it has given me over the years with me.