Samantha gets taste of Big Apple success

Bretton actress Samantha Brown off to study in New York. EMN-170516-181420009
Bretton actress Samantha Brown off to study in New York. EMN-170516-181420009

From Bretton to the Big Apple, Samantha Brown is set for a dream journey as she prepares to follow in the footsteps of Robert Redford, Grace Kelly, Danny DeVito and Anne Hathaway.

But the Voyager Academy pupil’s big break into an elite acting school, which has taught some of Hollywood’s biggest names, comes at a cost of $33,000 a year (roughly £25,000) on top of living costs.

Bretton actress Samantha Brown off to study in New York. EMN-170516-181431009

Bretton actress Samantha Brown off to study in New York. EMN-170516-181431009

Samantha (18) has won a place at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after a successful audition in London last month, but her dream prize will remain just out of reach until she can stump up both the tuition and living fees needed for her two-year course.

Reliving the moment when she found out she had been accepted into the school, she said: “I was at my friend’s house as there was a get-together. It was the morning after and we were sat around a table eating some toast. I was fully in shock - I was sat in silence for about 10 minutes.

“I had to re-read the email then I was crying my eyes out. I was ringing my mum and my nan and grandad. My mum was shocked and my nan and grandad were crying.

“The next day I was so excited. It was when I looked at the costs did it sink in that it was an awful lot of money.”

Samantha has been offered a grant of £14,000 by the academy, and she is doing all she can to find the extra money while studying for her A Levels in performing arts, drama and theatre studies, music and dance. She is contacting businesses to find out if they are willing to sponsor her, and she has set-up a fundraising page.

Samantha added: “If that does not work I will look at a career development loan. But it’s not ideal as you pay £300 a month back once you get that degree. If things do not work out I will see if I can defer my place for a year.”

Samantha, the Youth MP for Peterborough in 2016/17, is also hoping to work at the arts academy if she takes up her place before her deadline of June 5, but her visa would prevent her from working anywhere else in the US.

The teenager performs for Kindred Drama as part of the Key Youth Theatre, has taken part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival and has been offered a place on the National Youth Theatre.

Asked how she is currently feeling, Samantha said: “I’m excited. People keep saying congratulations, but I’m worried as well. This is my dream come true - I should be so happy, but I could be held back for financial reasons.

“I do not have an ambition to be famous. My goal is to be doing something I love, performing on stage. I like the fact actors can make people feel a certain way.”

To donate to Samantha’s fundraising page, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/sammie-browns-aada-fund.

To sponsor her, call 07824832630 or email sammieb4647@gmail.com.