Jodie Gough, an aspiring actress from Brighton, has, like so many others of our time, found her considerable talents restricted by the financial burden imposed by further education. However, unlike many others she has done something about it.
After receiving a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York whose alumni include Adrien Brody, Danny DeVito and Kirk Douglas, she set about working to fund her time in the States. She has also launched a sponsorship campaign which has gained a phenomenal amount of attention. Performance Reviewed finds out what drives the young Miss Gough to cross the pond and tread the stage.
Tell us how you got into drama.
I guess I first found my love for drama when I was in primary school. I always loved performing, and when I was seven I won the main part in the school play as Christopher Columbus! Going to a co-educational school, this was a pretty big deal! I used to play the leads in all the school plays which I absolutely loved – I then moved to secondary school and continued taking part in every single play/extra drama club that I could. And it all blossomed from there!
Why did you choose to go to America for drama school?
I found the American Academy of Dramatic Arts online when I was researching different drama schools. I didn’t know anyone that had been to drama school in New York – and it just gave me the most amazing feeling of excitement. Actually, when I found the Academy, I started crying – I just saw myself there and knew it was where I needed to go.
Do you think it’s fair for these institutions to charge as much money as they do? What do you hope to get out of it?
I know they are so so expensive, but it’s a very specialist craft and with so few places, I guess they can charge what they like. Some people don’t view training in acting as “important” as a degree from University – obviously I think this is unfair! But it is a very specialist academy and I believe you get what you pay for. I hope to get out of the Academy elite world class training, amazing experiences in a new city/country and incredible contacts provided by the Academy when I leave.
Tell us about your experiences in America so far.
I haven’t actually been to New York – which some people will find surprising. But I know it will suit me. I’m a very spontaneous, outgoing girl and exploring a new city is just so exciting! I have family in Florida and have visited them, and I love the American mindset that “anything is possible”.
Who are your role models in the acting world?
I look up to many actors – some of my favourites are Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Carey Mulligan, and Keira Knightley. And all of the Friends cast! I think you can tell if someone is a good actor because you don’t stop to think during their performance “Wow, what a good actor” – you just get lost in their performance!
What are the roles that you would love to play?
There are so many roles I’d love to play! I would love to be Roxie Hart/Velma Kelly in Chicago, Penny in Hairspray, Cosette in Les Miserables, Glinda in Wicked, Miss Honey in Matilda..I’ve got too many, I could go on and on..
How did you find playing Maria in the Sound of Music?
Playing Maria was one of the best things I have ever done. I just WAS Maria! Somehow, I never had to sit down and learn my lines or music, I kind of just absorbed it! I was so dedicated to rehearsals that it just became a part of me, and I became Maria. Acting alongside my best friends playing my husband and a goat was hilarious. It was the best experience ever, I could’ve played that part every day for years and years!
How do you intend to stand out from the crowd?
I think in America my British status will help me stand out. Aside from that, I really will take every single opportunity that comes my way out there. I want to be involved with every fringe theatre group I can, and gain as much experience as possible. My dedication and devotion will make me stand out!
Do you think you’re prepared for the hardships that come with being an actress?
Definitely. You can never really say until you are in the position, but struggling as an actress is all part of the excitement to me. I believe that you can’t truly enjoy success until you’ve endured the hardship. I know I’ll be living off minimal money etc but none of that even bothers me – if it did, I wouldn’t be pursuing acting as a career! I just want to be successful – wealth and fortune is a bonus.
Jodie is also running a fund where you can sponsor her. Click here for her website and more details.