An aspiring actress has been offered a place at a top American drama academy.
Esme Stephenson, originally from Tynemouth, has been offered a scholarship at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in New York, whose alumni include Anne Hathaway, Danny DeVito, Grace Kelly, Paul Rudd and Adrien Brody.
The 21-year-old, who attended St Thomas More RC Academy in North Shields, is hoping to accept the place next September to give her time to raise the $30,000 needed for tuitition.
Esme, who has just completed a degree in English Language in Sheffield, was left stunned after being offered the scholorship.
She said: “I had no expectations of getting in because there are thousands of people who audition each year, it is an established drama school with a good reputation.
“I auditioned more so for the experience, I didn’t have high expectations so I was stunned that I managed to secure a place.”
Speaking on the costs, Esme added: “I am hoping to be sponsored in any way, I am willing to work for charities, organise events, help out in the community.
“Raising money this way will also hopefully provide support and entertainment for local people and engage them, it’s nice to think that my methods of fundraising will benefit others and not just myself. I have a year to raise the money so I’m remaining optimistic. It is too much of a good opportunity so I am determined to work as hard as I can to raise the funds I need.”
Esme was a member of the Live Youth Theatre and STAGE Performing Arts School in Tynemouth while has performed at Northern Stage, Newcastle, The Whitley Bay Playhouse, The Priory Theatre and the Live Theatre.
She has also appeared as an extra in Downton Abbey, a walk on part in Vera, and had a small part in ITV’s ‘Off Their Rockers’.
Esme added: “I have always had a huge passion for acting, so gaining a place at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts feels extremely rewarding, I can’t wait to hopefully get started there in September next year, or in January if I manage to raise enough funds in the next five months.”