I need cash to keep my Hollywood dream alive

0
Have your say

it’s a dream come true for any budding thespian – the chance to study at the drama school that has turned out talents including Robert Redford, Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall.

So when former Telford College student Christopher Nolan won a place at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, he was delighted.

But his dreams may be thwarted because the course fees will cost him $60,000 – more than £37,000 – and he can’t afford to go.

For the 24-year-old, who lost his job with a glazing company some months ago and has struggled to find work since, it is an impossible sum.

His parents Frank and Caroline, a window cleaner and sales advisor respectively, are doing their best to help, but it is too much for them to raise in less than two months.

Now he is appealing for a benefactor to chip in and help him realise his dramatic potential.

Mr Nolan, who lives in Clermiston, said: “Unfortunately because I’m not from a wealthy background family-wise, I’m looking for ways to fund it, for sponsorship.

“I’ve tried my best to save up money, but if you’ve not got a lot of money to start with, it’s quite difficult.

“I can only try. There’s a lot of famous actors that have been there, it’s a really prestigious drama school and I went down to London to audition and I got in first time, so I feel it would be stupid to give it up without trying.

“I don’t really have anybody that can help me with this and I’m that determined, I just want to try.”

Mr Nolan said he was amazed to be accepted to the school after the audition in June, but with the new term due to start on September 1, he was left with little time for fundraising.

He said: “There was a part of me thinking it’s such a prestigious school it would be quite hard to get in, but the person that auditioned me said I was the best he saw that day.

“It’s a great opportunity, but the money thing is the only thing that’s letting me down.

“I’m applying for financial aid from the school, but there’s a chance that I might not be able to get the money because it’s quite short notice, so I might not be eligible.

“I’ve phoned Scottish Arts Council, but they unfortunately can’t help – if I wanted to start my own theatre company they could, but they don’t help with people that are going to education.

“My mum and dad are trying their best to help me, but they’ve not really got that sort of money.

“But I shouldn’t let my dream go because I’ve got no money.”

As well as being a former student of Telford College’s performing arts department, Mr Nolan has attended Edinburgh Acting School and performed on the Fringe.

Former fellow Telford student and founder of Edinburgh-based theatre company That’s Lunch productions, Michael Shand, said: “He was a very, very good actor when he was at college.

“I think he was a bit of a wasted talent, so that now he’s got into this American school it would be a real shame if he couldn’t go.”

sgyford@edinburghnews.com