Hello all! My name is Joshua and I'm a 26 year old acting graduate student. One of my earliest memories was watching Richard Burton in The Robe. I was fascinated with the precision of his words and how he inhabited his character. I quoted the movie so much, my parents took the tape away. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to study acting in the UK, but as a home-school kid from rural Virginia, I hadn't thought it was really possible..
In the spring of this year I had the pleasure of auditioning for my dream school, Birmingham City University, and found myself on the waiting list. Just a few weeks ago, I finally received my acceptance letter and my impossible dream started becoming a reality
There's just one complication: I have less than a month to pick up my life and move to a different continent, and I need your help to get me there.
A Little Bit About Me
My family moved to rural Virginia when I was 15 years old and home-schooled me and my siblings in their religious tradition. No one in my family had been to college before, but that wasn't an option for me. For me college was where you learned how to do what you wanted to do well, everyone looked up to as a child was educated. And so, I got my GED, spent two years in community college, and was eventually accepted by Radford University, where I double majored in Theatre and Music.
College was busy. I worked two jobs throughout my undergrad, sometimes taking upwards of 20 credit hours a semester. I took classes, attended rehearsals, acted in shows during the day, and worked throughout the night. But, my hard work paid off, and not only was I able to graduate, but I graduated with honors. Unfortunately, my parents have not helped me further my education, and did not even come to my university graduation.
Since that time, I have been working as a professional actor, musician, and writer in Atlanta, Georgia, including an Acting Apprenticeship at Atlanta's Horizon Theatre. Acting for me has never been about fame and fortune, it's about connecting with people by bringing stories to life. One of my fondest memories is from touring through rural Virginia with the University opera company. After a performance, a small boy came up to me. He was very shy, but wanted to tell me how much he loved the my character, the Dog-King. He said that he didn't understand everything in the show, but he was always happy when he saw the Dog-King, because the other characters were mean to the dog, and because, he said, "I feel like a dog sometimes too." I live for that feeling. The feeling of knowing that I have personally connected with someone, and perhaps had a small impact on their lives.
About the Program, and why it Important to Me
Birmingham City University offers a one-of-a-kind accelerated one-year MA Program concentrating on the British tradition in acting. It is designed to give International students with a foundation in Realism, and a passion for live performance the opportunity to explore just what it is that makes British acting unique. I have always idolized great British actors such as Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Richard Burton. The clarity and precision these actor’s put into every scene, phrase, and word brought the world of their characters to life for me in a way that I longed to do myself. Each of these actors honed their acting skills with a foundation in the British tradition with Shakespearean, Jacobean, and Restoration texts. BCU will give me a chance to hone my skills in a similarly rigorous manner.
My Goal is to work on London's West End. I believe that with my foundation in American acting, and my training at BCU, I will take London by storm!
How You Can Help
This is a tremendous opportunity for me, but getting to Birmingham for school next month is a logistical and financial challenge. In order to make this work, I will need, among other things, plane tickets, housing deposits, and a student visa and I will need to pay for them all up front very soon.
I need your help to raise $2,200 to cover these initial costs, and 100% of every penny I receive will go to my school related expenses. It's a large amount, but every little bit will help, and hopefully I will be able to find people like you who can help me achieve this once impossible dream.
If you are not in a position to help financially, which in these tough economic times is completely understandable, you can still help by spreading the word about my campaign. Post it on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,smoke signals, messages in bottles, smoke signals, prayer, etc.
Maybe one day, another young kid in the middle of nowhere will see me bring a story to life, and realize that they too have the potential to achieve the impossible.