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MEET THE YOUTH AMBASSADORS

We are delighted to announce the appointment of six Youth Ambassadors drawn from the ranks of the recent NYMT company.

Lauren Ellington, Lizzie Jay, Tim Mahendran, Freddie Tapner, Stephanie Childress and Zak Eastop tell us what NYMT means to them.

 

LAUREN ELLINGTON

For me, the NYMT is a place where I can be myself. It is a safe haven where any young person can share their love of performing and the theatre with others who share the same passion. NYMT is where the seemingly impossible always becomes possible and what is achieved by the company in a short amount of time is unimaginable! The creative teams are extraordinary. Apart from passing on their incredible talents, they give you the confidence to reach your highest target within a superbly positive atmosphere. The friends you meet at the NYMT will be your friends for life.

NYMT has changed me as a person. Apart from giving me some of the greatest opportunities of my life, the tutors and pastoral team really make you believe that with hard work and dedication you can actually realise your dreams!


LIZZIE JAY

My name is Lizzie Jay, I am 19 years old and am in my second year of studying Ancient History and Egyptology at University College London. I auditioned for NYMT in 2013 and gained the part of Polly in their new commission, THE OTHER SCHOOL, at the St James Theatre, London. I also performed with some other current members and alumni at charity and corporate events in and around London. Being part of NYMT is genuinely the best thing that's ever happened to me. It is such a special and unforgettable experience being around such talented and like-minded young people and having the opportunity to work with professionals who treat you like a professional yourself. I am so thrilled to be a Youth Ambassador this year and can't wait to see what 2014 brings for NYMT!


TIM MAHENDRAN

NYMT is just one big family. I was first introduced through a workshop week at Westminster Under School in October 2011. This week was truly one of the best weeks of my life and it made me realise just how fantastic NYMT is and how much I wanted to be a part of it. I auditioned for the company in 2012 and gained a part as Archie in 13 THE MUSICAL, which was performed at The Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue - an experience so good I find it difficult to find the words. I was also in THE OTHER SCHOOL in 2013 at St James Theatre, again a momentous life event. It is incredible how NYMT creates such a professional environment yet everyone has so much fun. I have met friends that I will keep forever and have worked with extremely talented people. It is an enormous part of my life and has taught me such a huge amount. It is a great honour to be a Youth Ambassador for such a respected and unbelievably amazing company!


FREDDIE TAPNER

It is a huge honour and a total privilege to be a Youth Ambassador for NYMT's 2014 season. I auditioned for NYMT in February 2013 quite by chance: a friend had been a technician a few years previously and had told me how brilliant the casting process was, so I signed up on a whim and went along just to experience the audition day. By some miracle I found myself with a recall and then, eventually, in the cast for THE OTHER SCHOOL at the St James Theatre. The summer was incredible - the creative team was second to none (picked up from Matilda, Merrily We Roll Along and Billy Elliot no less...) and treated us as equals and collaborators, as well as mentoring us and pushing us to the limits of our abilities. To be able to be part of an effectively professional production in the heart of London was quite literally a dream come true - no other youth company in the world offers you such remarkable exposure to the very best people and resources in showbusiness. The NYMT family is supportive, encouraging, huge fun - and always in the pursuit of excellence in this mad world of pretending to be someone else.


STEPHANIE CHILDRESS

I am 14 years old and currently at the French Lycee in year 11 doing my GCSEs. I am co-leader of the National Youth Orchestra and attend the Royal College of Music on Saturdays. I first joined NYMT in 2010 as a violinist in the orchestra for SWEENEY TODD and again in 2011. I led the orchestra for the production of WEST SIDE STORY this August and was very privileged to work with Tom Deering, who involved me in all aspects of the music. Being in the company of extraordinary people in a totally professional environment, working hard to get the productions ready for amazing professional performances, have transformed my life as a musician. I have learnt so much from the performers as well as the technical staff. NYMT has given me the best experience I could hope for as I want to be a conductor. It is a great honour for me to be one of NYMT's Youth Ambassadors.


ZAK EASTOP 

I was very lucky when I was young to have been born into a musical family and, because of that, started from the stupidly young age of four on tenor horn. I moved to trumpet when I was seven and joined the junior department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama aged nine. Since then I have held the principal seat in the Barbican Youth Orchestra (2010/11) and the National Children’s Orchestra (2011) as well as playing freelance for the Kensington Philharmonic Orchestra and for a group called Not So Silent Movies, who improvise soundtracks live on stage to silent films. I was also a member of the National Youth Jazz Collective in 2012 and I occasionally play lead for the London Gay Big Band. I have recently started to play the cornetto and love it! I find renaissance music totally fascinating. I wanted to join NYMT when I saw that they were doing WEST SIDE STORY. I immediately signed up and auditioned, getting in on second trumpet. When I heard that they were still looking for the first trumpet, I asked to re-audition and they gave me the part. Needless to say I was happy, nervous and very scared – WSS is famously hard. It made me work! This is one of the reasons NYMT is so great; it makes you want to get up and practise. I met some of the most amazing people on the course and am forever grateful to NYMT for giving me the chance to play such an incredible part and work with great people like Tom Deering, Nikolai Foster and Drew McOnie. I had never worked so closely with actors, dancers and singers before and gained a whole new outlook on music. NYMT is a massive part of my life now and being made a Youth Ambassador is the icing on the cake!


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