Amber Blease at the Royal CSSD
31 January 2017
Now, Amber Blease has been in back touch to let us know how things are going at the prestigious London drama School.
But Amber's achievement is really the story of how she, and her incredibly supportive family and friends, managed to get her there in the first place.
Amber grew up in Birkenhead, attending Weatherhead Comprehensive School in Wallasey. Despite her humble background she gained a place at Wirral Grammar School and subsequently attended University after her successful sixth form studies.
As a child, Amber had always had a passion for performing, but it was not until University that she discovered a real love for contemporary theatre. She subsequently involved herself in as much acting as possible before discovering that she had been accepted to study at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
However, the cost of studying at one of the top UK drama schools is normally a completely unsurmountable barrier for a young person of Ambers background. In this case, the one year intensive course fees were nearly £18,000 - that is around two-thirds the average annual salary in the UK. Take into account the cost of supporting yourself in London and it is no surprise that opportunities to enter the creative industries are still very much reserved for a select few.
But Amber Blease has something more than money to fall back on – an undeniable determination and self-belief.
She has held a local barn dance, run raffles, set up a GoFundMe page, employed social media, written hundreds and hundreds of letters to organisations, companies, actors, alumni of the school, friends of the family.
Her family have also hepled a lot and late last year she performed a one woman show at the Mitchell Group car showrooms in Cheshire Oaks where she managed to raise several thousand pounds.
Now Amber is benefitting from all that hard work. Since starting the course in September 2016 she has had the opportunity to train with the nation's leading acting, voice and movement coaches. Her days at the school are long, typically 9am to 9pm. But the intense syllabus is designed to prepare the most promising actors for work in the professional world. Indeed, she has already had professional headshots taken for her casting profile on platforms such as Spotlight and she will be involved in her first public showcase in London during April 2017.
The Olivia Rae Foundation is proud to have helped Amber during this incredible journey and we wish her all the success she deserves. When such personal aspiration is supported by family, friends and community, the potential of youth is reified.
Amber is still working hard to fund her studies so please visit her personal GoFundMe page for more details.
Through its fundraising and grant making the Olivia Rae Foundation aims to support young people on Merseyside in achieving their aspirations through Education and the Arts.