John Moran Educational - Trust Making financial awards to support the entry into higher education
Student Profiles

The Trust has made awards to over forty two deserving students from the Merseyside region since it was set up in 2003. Here’s more about what these students did with their awards, and what it meant to them:

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Profile eight

I’m an eighteen year old student from Liverpool on my way to London and about to start a BA (Hons) Acting course at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Before summer I attended St Mary’s College, Crosby and left with 2As and 2Bs in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Drama.

Performing Arts have long been a passion of mine.  I got my first taste of the performance drug when I played the seagull in ‘The Snowman’ when I was four.  I’ve been going from strength to strength since.  I’ve been a professional performer since I was six and have been lucky enough to work with some really respectable companies, including Cameron Mackintosh, English National Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, National Ballet, Youth Theatre and National Youth Ballet.  I’ve even gone so far as to set up my own theatre company, last performing Antigone at the Unity theatre back in April 2005 and over this summer I’ve taught at the Lowry as Assistant Musical Director and at Shockout Performing Arts as the Drama and Singing teacher.  It’s a big part of my life.

I was also lucky enough to get my top choice university and for this I had the great satisfaction of turning down an offer from Cambridge!! I am the first member of my immediate family to go on to higher education and with my Dad being forced into retirement by company policy when he reached sixty and my Mum being unable to work because of long term illness, university looked like it might not happen due to financial restrictions.  The problems were further multiplied by the fact that the course itself is so notoriously intense, with most days lasting from 9am to 6pm or longer still depending on whether it’s near show time or not.  This means that finding a job will be very difficult and barely workable.  The very generous sum offered from the John Moran Trust will certainly help ease the burden and I am very thankful to them for it.

Central School of Speech and Drama is one of the best drama schools in the world and has trained the likes of Laurence Olivier, Dame Judi Dench, James Nesbitt, and Vanessa Redgrave among countless others. Once I finish my course, I hope to work in the West End in musicals and then perhaps work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Though these are high aims and though the theatre industry is famous for the amount of luck involved for a person to be successful, I believe that luck is where hard work meets determination and enthusiasm will carry me onwards and upwards!

Once again a big thank you to the John Moran Trust for their financial contribution (£1000 per year for each of the three years of my course). It has helped relieve some of the financial worry and I cannot thank you enough.

The first year has been extremely difficult, as was to be expected, peppered with sixty seven hour weeks amongst other things. My skill as a performer has been picked apart and put together again.  It’s been a thoroughly exhausting three terms.  However, it’s also been very enjoyable (in a masochistic sort of way) and a real eye opener.  It’s been made a lot easier thanks to the bursary from the John Moran Trust, and so without the lurking shadow of money at the back of my mind, I’ve been able to worry about the more important things, like keeping my feet on the ground and learning lines.  I really appreciate what the John Moran Trust have done for me, and I look forward to the challenge of second year.

My second year at Central has been incredibly difficult. Before the start of second year, our course director died suddenly which cast a shadow over the whole course. On top of that, the intensity from first year continued, with even greater expectations and tougher projects to work on. Nevertheless, it has been  very rewarding.  I've performed in "Sweet Bird of Youth", "The Country Wife", "A Little Night Music" and "Macbeth" this year, all of which have been fun, entertaining and brilliant experiences, all working with directors from across the country and the West End.

With the help of the John Moran Trust, I was able to attend a course at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia for two weeks, learning with the best and most highly acclaimed teachers in Russia, if not the world! The physical training was intense, and the lessons were out of this world. I also had a chance to see a lot of Russian Theatre, including previews for shows promising to be the award winners of the season. The style of performing is like nothing in the Western world, and it was so inspiring to watch.

I've now finished my final year at University, and I think I can safely say that these have been the best three years of my life.  I wouldn't swap them for anything in the world! This year, our performances went public. The show for the first term was ‘The Love of the Nightingale’ by Timberlake Wertenbaker, which was very successful.  The author actually came to see it on the last night which was incredibly exciting. In the second term, I was Jerry Springer in ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’ which was performed to sell out audiences, including members of the original cast and the writers Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas who were so impressed that they want to come and direct next year’s musical at Central! My professional showcase at the Fortune Theatre was also very successful and ended in me being signed to the agency Actors International. The final show was called "Oliver's Army", a new musical revue, written for us, based around the music of Elvis Costello. Once again, it was highly successful and there's talk of it transferring to the National Theatre.
So I've now finished, and I'm going out into the big wide world of Acting, starting with Orpheus at the Royal Opera House in July. As I've already said, this has been the best time of my life.  I am extremely grateful to the John Moran Trust for sponsoring me. It would have been a lot harder without them, and I can't thank them enough!