A teenager who dreams of being an actress is desperately trying to raise money to fund her education after she won a place at a prestigious acting school but cannot afford to go.
Jodie Gough is a 19-year-old aspiring actress from Brighton, who has been granted a small scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts on Madison Avenue in New York, whose alumni includes Hollywood stars Kim Cattrall, Grace Kelly and Robert Redford. After her initial excitement at being accepted, she realised she could not afford the rest of the fees and has set up an online appeal to help her pay her way.
Jodie, whose parents split up when she was three and whose mother has Cerebral Palsy, says she feels she "belongs at the Academy" and is "100000% dedicated to becoming the best actress I can be".
Although she attended one of Britain's most prestigious schools, Roedean, she was only able to do so due to winning two scholarships to pay the fees. The teen has currently raised £1,740 but has to raise £10,000 before she can afford to pursue her dream.
Jodie in one of her many acting roles
So, to help publicise her appeal, HuffPost UK Students sat down with the budding actress to find out a bit more about her.
When did you start acting and why ?
I started acting when I was really young, at my primary school! I loved taking part in the school plays, and then when I was about 8, I was moved into the Senior choir - It was then that I was told I could sing!
That year I took the lead role as Christopher Columbus, and I just loved every moment. I don't really remember the very first time I acted, because I was so young - but I carried on because it gave me such a buzz and I loved performing.
Who are your fans/support base?
My fans are my friends and family - it sounds cliché, but it's so true! They have been such a fantastic support, coming to every play I've been in, sitting front row! I'll never forget the time I played Maria in 'The Sound of Music' and my grandparents bought me flowers to the Green Room - I felt like such a star, I was overwhelmed.
Who is your idol?
I've always had such a thing for Angelina Jolie - she's my ultimate icon. She's so diverse, she was simply incredible in one of my favourite films "Girl, Interrupted". I also really admire Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Tom Hanks, among many! I always admire actors who I can watch and never think "wow, what a good actor" during the performance - it shows you truly believe the character they are playing, and not thinking about them as "acting".
Who would you most like to act on stage with?
Oh wow, what a question! I know that Tom Hanks is currently on Broadway in "Lucky Guy", and as he has always been one of my favourite actors, it would be a dream come true and an honour to work with him! He is such a talented actor! One of my dreams is to play either Velma Kelly/Roxie Hart in the stage version of Chicago, so I would love to work with the Chicago cast!
What would going to NY mean to you?
Absolutely everything. It's my ultimate dream, I can't put into words how much I want to go, and how I know that my destiny is to go to New York. It's just the most inspirational city - my friends used to say how they would "see me on Broadway" one day, and it never felt like a possibility until I won my place at the Academy. I can't let this opportunity slip away - I know I belong there. It just means the world to me.
Describe yourself in three words
Determined! That's the first word. People that know me well, know that I do NOT give up, once I set my mind on something. I would also describe myself as strong (mentally!), and passionate. I know I will experience many knock-backs as an actor, and I just can't let them affect me; as for passionate, I just love what I do and I hope my passion comes across in my performances.
Are you surprised at the number of anonymous donations you've had so far?
Oh, so surprised! I am so overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity so many people have shown me! It's extremely hard knowing that the chances are I might not be able to go to New York due to money, but knowing that anonymous people have seen my video and believe in me, just keeps me going. I can't thank them enough.
What's your ultimate dream?
My ultimate dream is to be successful! Not rich, thats a bonus, but successful; to be a working actor! My ultimate, ultimate dream would be to see my name in lights on Broadway. It makes me so excited just daring to think about it.
To sponsor Jodie, head over to GoFundMe and make sure you spread the word!
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