An impossible dream could come true for Whaplode actress Olivia Black, who has been handed a “golden ticket” to theatre stardom.
The 18-year-old Spalding High School student has won a place to study at one of the United States’s top drama schools, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York.
Olivia was offered a place to study in the Big Apple after an audition in London where she sang a beautiful version of Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened to My Part?) from the musical Monty Python’s Spamalot.
“I was driving home from the audition with my mum and said to her ’it’ll either be a no or a yes, but I won’t have the funds to go,’” Olivia said.
“When the envelope from AMDA came, I thought it was awfully big for a rejection letter. It must have taken about 12 readings of it to see the words ‘Congratulations, we would like to offer you a place’.
“It’s like a golden ticket for me to go to AMDA because they only give it to people who they really believe in, so I can’t say no to it.”
From the age of eight, it’s been Olivia’s dream to perform and she has starred in a number of shows by Spalding’s Act II Theatre Company, including Totally ’80s at South Holland Centre, Spalding, last Saturday.
But she now faces a race against time to raise the £60,000 she needs for the two-year course at the academy founded in 1964 by Philip Burton, father of Welsh acting legend Richard Burton.
Olivia said: “This is an amazing offer and I’m very lucky to have been chosen for a place at AMDA, but it comes at a price and one that isn’t easily affordable for someone with my circumstances.
“I’ve emailed every famous person I can think of, including Sir Elton John and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as businesses to ask for sponsorship.
“Unfortunately, I was rejected by a lot of drama schools in England but I won’t even consider a different career path.
“The more I read about AMDA, the more I really like it and I’m asking anybody who can to donate something to help me in my quest for a career in musical theatre.”
You can email Olivia at firstname.lastname@example.org