“Above all, SCHS taught me that if you grab all opportunities, work hard, and follow your heart you will succeed. I have proved that.”
SCHS Pupil 2001-2008
I spent seven joyful and challenging years at SCHS. The teachers were the most incredible people. Looking back, they were all so supportive and generous with their time and help. I knew from the start that I was an unusual child. My verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests were off the scale but I was totally hampered by what was revealed in Year 8 as dyslexia. The teachers went out of their way to help me develop coping methods, as I knew the information but did not understand the written question and could not explain myself in writing. I became very proficient at Maths. I ended up doing my statistics GCSE a year early. I was chosen by the school to do a 10-week Masters’ Maths Class with maths students from other top schools.
I achieved a B grade average at GSCE. In the Sixth Form I studied subjects I enjoyed – Physiology, by distance learning, in which I obtained a D grade, Physical Education (C grade) and, my favourite, Drama (B grade). I was hampered by my dyslexia but received an unconditional offer from the prestigious East 15 Acting School and could therefore study for the final summer exams without feeling stressed. I also threw myself into extra-curricular activities. I was school stage manager, assisted in sport and drama lessons and clubs, and was head of the school counselling team. I think this taught me more about life than any exams.
I graduated from East 15 after three years of exceptional fun and hard work. I was at university for an average of 50 hours a week of contact time (compared with the normal eight hours at most universities) and had essays to write on top of this. I now have a BA Hons in World Performance (2:1).
After graduating I knew I did not want to be an actor and was offered an internship at a top personal management company almost immediately. Within a couple of months I was promoted to agent assistant, then to full agent and I am now an associate agent within a year of joining the company. I have worked for some of the biggest companies within the entertainment industry, including BBC, ITV and Sky, and have been invited to attend Surviving Actors as a special guest lecturer. More recently I have been unanimously elected to the EABF executive committee. This is the charity behind the Royal Variety Performance and the Head is HRH Queen Elizabeth. I am the youngest member and have already been invited as guest of honour to many functions as a representative. (This has not quite sunk in yet; there are many members who are knighted or have an OBE or MBE. I can’t believe that people invite me!) The future holds the opening of an entertainment theatre venue in 2014, carrying on my charity work and, I hope, becoming an executive agent by end of year. I have started a Masters, and hope to develop further as a fair boss, increasing the team of people I employ. The sky is the limit!
This all seems a long way from the ethnic minority kid from a council house, dressed from head to toe in green, who first arrived at SCHS from a primary school where physical violence was commonplace. I owe so much to the teachers who were amazing and without whom I would not be where I am today. They taught me the basics of everything. A special mention should also go to the careers department which, as I gather from my contemporaries, stands head and shoulders above those in other schools. Their advice was invaluable. Thank you to everyone who helped me in my continuing journey.Back to Alumnae profiles