New York Acting Training for Scottish Actor

New York, United States

I've been accepted to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York to study acting, beginning this September. The Academy is the oldest acting school in the English-speaking world and its glittering alumni have been nominated for almost 100 Oscars in its 125-year history. 70% of the school's students are North American, so for me to have been accepted as one of 30% from thousands of candidates from around the world is flattering and, I hope, a testament to my potential. The school is unique as an American drama school in that it auditions around the world and I was lucky enough to audition in my hometown of Edinburgh, not being able to afford flights even to New York to audition at the Academy itself. In fact, if I were to successfully raise the funds, studying in New York would mark my first time in the US and the longest flight I'd have ever been on!

Education in the United States is by no means cheap and being an international student, I am ineligible for student loans in the traditional sense, with bank loans only being available up to a small portion of the amount I require, $52000 (around £33000), for just one academic year in the two-year degree. This figure includes all school fees and equipment and the unavoidable high living costs of Manhattan. To accept my place, I need to prove to the school and the US authorities that I can provide the full amount before I can secure a student visa, and that process means I really only have until early July at the very latest to have my funding secured and take up my place in September. Neither myself nor my family (my mother is a single parent) have the money, so I've had to approach fundraising in several ways:

The school itself has awarded me its full need-based scholarship of $6000 (around £3800), but otherwise I've struggled to raise funds so far. I've applied to around 20 charitable trusts and foundations, whittled down from a longlist of over 50 I researched. I'm still waiting on responses from many and will receive answers from two of the larger trusts in June, but for the most part, these charities no longer accept applications, no longer fund the arts or no longer make sizeable awards, meaning the combined awards from each of the charities would still leave me with a shortfall and I've received quite a few apologetic rejection letters already, even from the bigger trusts. I'll be applying for a Personal Development Loan (available within a 12-week window of the course beginning), which as I mentioned before, only offers a portion of the figure I require. I've been advised and helped by many lovely people from several of the institutions in my life, from my high school to my places of work at Edinburgh's Lyceum (where I was an usher and youth theatre member) and Traverse (where I now work as a bartender and have performed in several shows) Theatres. I've had generous and glowing references from the Lyceum's Artistic Director throughout my application, audition and fundraising process, advice and support on charitable fundraising from the Traverse's Executive Director and its Club Members and the Chairman has supported me in writing to corporate sponsors and local businesses for financial donations. I'm also writing to successful actors, particularly those from Scotland for support and advice. On a smaller scale, I've been working 6 days a week as a bartender and have sold my collections of CDs, DVDs, books and used clothes to contribute to realising my goal. I also manage the Edinburgh band Discopolis.

The reason I'm presenting this project to crowdfunding is as I've explained above, that I can't achieve my goal through traditional sources or through any personal wealth. I've depended on the kindness of friends and colleagues so far, and now need to depend on the kindness of strangers to make this happen. Thank you for reading and for any support you may be able to offer me.


The owner of this project has not made any updates yet.


Steve - I admire your tenacity and spirit, and as a native New Yorker I can understand your desire to train in the theater capital of the States. Honestly though, many many MANY training programs that are closer to home (RCS, RADA, LAMDA, Guildhall, the Gaiety, Trinity) are going to give you far far FAR better training than the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. AADA isn't taken very seriously here in the States, and it's certainly not going to equip you for a career as a professional actor in the way that the top quality schools in the UK or Ireland will. If you desperately want to study in the US, consider doing some smaller fundraising to get yourself a plane ticket and hotel for auditions next winter for the top-tier schools in this country (Juiliard, Carnegie Mellon, North Carolina School of the Arts, Guthrie Theater, Boston University, etc.) They all audition in New York around the same time, and they're a much better investment. I wish you all the best.
Hi Steve, my stepdaughter is in the same boat as you. She is starting supposedly in September at AADA. She is only 17 and we are finding the funding really difficult. Could you advise us, or recommend anyone you think that has been helpful that we could speak to regarding funding/Sponsorship. Hopefully see you over there!! Good Luck and hope you make if in September rather than January.


Users details

Days to go
GBP £1,100.20
4% raised of our GBP £25,000 goal
This project ended on Monday, Jul 2nd - 22:00

This project's deadline has now expired - you can no longer back these rewards

You cannot back this project, funding is now complete.


The Warm Thanks Award

£1.00 or more : A warm, hearty thanks.


The Music To My Ears Award

£10.00 or more : A warm, hearty thanks and a special signed CD from Edinburgh band Discopolis, who I manage.


The Shall We Dance? Award

£25.00 or more : A warm, hearty thanks, the Discopolis CD and 2 places in a salsa dance class in the Traverse Bar Cafe in Edinburgh.


The All The World's A Stage Award

£50.00 or more : A warm, hearty thanks, the Discopolis CD, 2 places in a salsa dance class in the Traverse Bar Cafe in Edinburgh and a ticket to a one-man performance I'll be giving in Edinburgh in July.


The All The World's A Stage For 2 Award

£100.00 or more : A warm, hearty thanks, the Discopolis CD, 2 places in a salsa dance class in the Traverse Bar Cafe in Edinburgh and 2 tickets to a one-man performance I'll be giving in Edinburgh in July, plus a post-show discussion afterwards.


New York, New York

£500.00 or more : A warm, hearty thanks, the Discopolis CD, 2 places in a salsa dance class in the Traverse Bar Cafe in Edinburgh, 2 tickets to a one-man performance I'll be giving in Edinburgh in July, a post-show discussion afterwards and dinner with me! Also my warmest, heartiest thanks for such generosity.