What are you up to in your creative work at the moment?
I am currently developing my own play Leo Rising. The play is about three people, all facing tough situations that are pushing them into an understanding of themselves based on their belief systems, which are not actually true to who they really are.
Leeds Playhouse (Creative Education and Playhouse Youth) and Theatre Royal Wakefield are supporting myself and the Leo Rising team to engage with college, sixth forms and alternative education settings for English and drama related courses. The visits are free workshops focused on extracts of Leo Rising.
This support has given us the opportunity to have a number of conversations with young people about the play’s truthful and representational elements. They feel these are reflected within the play and find the upcoming presence of these elements in the industry vital and this an urgent piece of work in theatre.
What are the highlights of your arts career to date?
All of my experiences help me learn and develop to become a stronger creative and performer. I have recently been successful in auditioning for the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, which was a standout moment for me. I am looking forward to attending the Senior Acting Course in London this Summer – and after this, will become an official member.
What do you hope to be doing in five years time?
In five years time, I hope to be still developing my craft whilst successfully acting and performing in a professional capacity.
How did you use Arts Award to develop your creativity and skill set?
I am currently taking part in the Leeds Playhouse Young Leaders Programme. This is fully funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
Through Young Leaders I am currently developing key artistic skills, everything from planning and delivering workshops and events to work experience with supporting BUZZ PROJECTS, which is designed especially for young people aged 14 - 25 with learning differences.
The group is a space for young people to work on their own projects but also learn new techniques and try new ways of expressing themselves through visual arts – and it is a pleasure to be a part of their spring and summer terms. The Young Leaders course will culminate in gaining the Gold Arts Award.
What advice would you give to young people doing Arts Award who want to follow in your footsteps?
Work hard, commitment is key and pay attention to the feedback you get. Take advantage of advice, training, support and courses available to you and use them to develop your strengths as well as any weaknesses.
It’s important to find your own voice. Using this and being proud of it will only help you to realise the goals to which you aspire.
For more on Leo Rising, read our interview with Brandon by Voice contributor Lucy Dyson.