September 8, 2016

Local HSC student Sophie Shafeeva was one of 12 teenagers across the country recently accepted into a two-week acting course at The National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA).

Sophie is completing her HSC at Charlton Christian College, Fassifern, while also attending professional acting lessons with a former teacher at NIDA.

For more than 50 years, NIDA has selected only the most talented individuals from the thousands of aspiring actors, designers and technicians who audition for a place every year.

Famous graduates include Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson, Sam Worthington, Richard Roxburgh, Colin Friels, Hugo Weaving and Miranda Otto.

Sophie, from Bonnells Bay, says she learnt at NIDA what it takes to be a professional actor.

She says the students completed 11 hours of intensive acting per day, and all took part in a small performance at the end of the two-week program.

“It is an amazing and life-changing opportunity to be involved in a production under the lead of incredibly talented teachers,” she says.

Individuals were scored and given feedback on the best study options for the future.

Sophie says she has always been passionate about performing on stage, but it was her recent role as the Wicked Witch in her school’s production of the Wizard of Oz that cemented her desire to perform full-time.

“Playing one of the principal cast roles in the musical was my first major role and my starting point,” she says.

“It was then I understood performing was something I wanted to link my life with in the future and do full-time.”

Sophie will audition for a place in one of the leading acting universities later this year.

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