A talented BTEC graduate from New College Swindon is in a race against time to give herself the chance of a lifetime to hit Broadway and make it big in the performing arts world.
Seventeen year old Verity Dams, who lives in West Swindon and attended Westlea Primary School, has been offered a place to train professionally at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.
Most drama school students have to apply several years running before getting a place, but Verity, who was competing against hopefuls around the world, was offered a place on her first attempt and at a remarkable young age.
She has won a place on the prestigious academy’s ‘Integrated Program’ – which is a two year conservatory training program that turns its students into professionals for the stage and screen.
And she’s been awarded an $8,000 scholarship to follow her dream. But the downside is that she will still have raise $30,008 a year for tuition and housing, which means without help she won’t be able to afford her education.
Verity, who achieved seven A*’s and five A’s at GCSE level when she attended Commonweal School for Performing Arts, said: “However cliché it sounds performing is what I was born to do and although people may think that I should have pursued a ‘sensible career’ I know I can achieve big things if I’m given the chance"
However she has to send a $700 deposit to secure the place on the course, and will have to have raised a substantial amount of her tuition, travelling and living costs by the time the course starts in mid-October. Verity said: “I have been offered everything I could ever dream of, but for a price. I am so scared that I might be forced to surrender my place and potentially sacrifice my chances of success, when I know I can make it.”
In the last couple of years Verity has appeared in a wide variety of musical theatre, such as Swindon Youth Theatre’s production of Anything Goes, West End Wales with director Mark Evans and several New College productions. She recently sung with Swindon Gilbert & Sullivan Society and is a member of the Kentwood Show Choir.
Performing Arts Lecturer Matthew Clift said: “Verity is a bright and talented student. She has exactly the right attitude to win a place at drama school. She totally deserves support and encouragement: Verity is a Swindon success story that has to be helped.”
Verity made this appeal for help: "If there are businesses or individuals out there that could help me fund my studies I don’t think I could ever thank them enough. If I can make this happen my success could fund others, I commit to putting the money back into ways that will help others follow me.”
If you can help Verity mail: email@example.com