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Cameron Rhodes to attend Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

PUBLISHED: 16:16 29 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:16 29 December 2018

Cameron worked to help finance his acting dream

Cameron worked to help finance his acting dream

Archant

A young man from Rossendale fought his way though to be one of just 38 hopefuls to win a place at a top drama academy

A career on the stage is the dream of countless young people but, for Cameron Rhodes, it meant working in a burger bar. At 16, he got a part-time job at McDonald’s to fund drama classes at Rossendale Dance and Drama Centre in Waterfoot – a mark of his determination to make it.

And it was worth the effort. Of more than 3,000 young people who auditioned, Cameron has been selected for one of just 38 places at the prestigious Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. It is one of the UK’s top academies with a worldwide reputation, producing stars such as Twiggy, Amanda Holden, Mina Anwar and award-winning Ken Stott. Its president is Dame Judi Dench.

It is four years since Cameron left Fearns Community Sports College, Stacksteads, with dreams of becoming an actor after getting a BTEC* in Performing Arts along with nine A and B grade GCSEs. While there, Cameron, who lives in Waterfoot, took on the role of Danny in Grease and played an Ugly Sister in Cinderella. His drama teacher, Emma McCulloch, was his inspiration to take up acting as a career.

The 20-year-old has twice been on stage in Les Miserables – once with RDDC and the second time with Emil Dale Academy in Hitchin, where he completed his BTEC in Musical Theatre. He hopes next time he’s in the show it will be as a professional.

He started at the academy three months ago and is loving every minute. ‘There were three rounds of auditions for Mountview,’ said Cameron. ‘At the first I had to sing, deliver a monologue and dance. They scored everyone and put them into one of three rooms. The first was a recall for the degree course, the second for a foundation course and, if you were in the third, you went home.’

The academy offered Cameron a Dance and Drama award, similar to a scholarship, to help with the £14,000 annual course fees, but he has to fund accommodation costs in London for three years.

He was also successful in obtaining a financial support from national charity, The Realising Dreams Foundation, and has now set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay for the rest.

He said: ‘When I did my A levels I did an extended project for my AS level where I wrote, starred in and directed a musical on the life of Marilyn Monroe, for which I got an A*.

‘At Emil Dale I have just been in Sweeney Todd and I would love to be in Les Miserables again, but this time I would like to get paid for being on stage working professionally.

‘My dream is to be a West End performer and to be able to make a living from performing.’

For Cameron, being in front of a hundreds of people helps him overcome his natural reticence. ‘It is easier for me to act on a stage in front of an audience than it is to go into a shop and ask for something sometimes,’ he said. ‘On the stage you can be someone else.’

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