A Performing Arts student from Nescot has won a place at a prestigious American drama school that has trained actors including Anne Hathaway, Danny Devito, Grace Kelly and Robert Redford.
Pascalina Ofori, who finishes her two-year Level 3 course this summer, will move to Los Angeles in August to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
“I’ve just found out, and I still can’t believe it’s actually happening,” said Pascalina, who lives in Thornton Heath.
“It sounds so cheesy to say, but it honestly is a dream come true. It’s such an amazing opportunity, and I know I’m going to learn so much and get so many opportunities.”
Pascalina, 18, went through a gruelling process of paper applications, dramatic and character references and sending academic transcripts before being invited to audition in London on April 14.
She read one monologue from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and another from a 2008 play called Random, and was asked to ‘cold-read’ a third she hadn’t seen before.
Pascalina will study a two-year programme, with units ranging from dialect to screen techniques, and said she is particularly looking forward to stage combat and voice training.
“The thing I love most about acting is being able to tell a story or explore a character,” she added. “It’s a different way of being able to look at issues or ideas in a way that everyone can understand.”
Pascalina is currently rehearsing Animal Farm, to be staged at Nescot on June 15 and 16, and said her favourite performance at the college so far was Burning Bird, which was centred on the riots.
“The teachers at Nescot are amazing and so supportive, and I’ve learnt so much about performing and the industry,” she said.
“I’ve learnt a lot of technical things, like about how to prepare to play a character or how to control my voice or my nerves, but also broader things like how to work in a team and how to be myself.
“There’s a lot of emphasis on working as a professional company, but you’re also expected to know your strengths and weaknesses as a performer, and to take responsibility for improving.”
Gavin Maxwell, Performing Arts Section Leader at Nescot, said: “All the team are genuinely proud of Pascalina and really pleased for her that her hard work throughout the course has paid off.
“We know Pascalina will absolutely shine at the academy, and we’re excited to see her career go from strength to strength.”