Trading up to go to college

West Linton actress Carlyne Gibb in her role as the Little Mermaid
West Linton actress Carlyne Gibb in her role as the Little Mermaid
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A West Linton actress has been offered a prized place on the prestigious Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama’s (RWCMD) musical theatre course.

But unless Carlyne Gibb finds the approximately £20,000 needed to attend, she won’t be able to take up the unconditional offer, one of only 10 places.

She said: “I have worked so hard to get this far and really don’t want to not be able to afford to go.”

The RWCMD was named by The Guardian newspaper last year as the best college in the UK for drama training. And Carlyne is one of the first without a degree to be taken on the one-year postgraduate course, from her audition and professional acting CV alone.

She hopes to organise a fundraising concert and is currently trading up a paperclip - to a bottle of malt whisky so far – and will auction off the result (@paperclipfund)

The 26-year-old also has a fundraising page – www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-scottish-actress-s-plea.

And she is selling limited edition Disney pins and collectibles from Disneyland Paris, where she played Walt Disney’s Little Mermaid, Ariel, on eBay to raise money.

She has also started her own social media company – www.contagionuk.com – to support her through the course.

Carlyne’s first professional role was Cinderella at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh in 2006. She has played Wendy in Christmas productions at Aberdeen’s HM Theatre and Eden Court in Inverness and has worked continuously in performing arts.

But, explaining why she wants to go, she told us: “It has become clear that my development as an actress can only be advanced with vocational training.”

Also a dancer, Carlyne, who trained with Scottish Ballet, Ballet West and the Latvian Ballet Company, is currently specialising in tap.

She told us: “I am a keen aerialist with experience in circus silks, aerial hoop and flying wires. I love the thrill of aerial work and it’s certainly something different to add to my CV.”

But she added: “I love acting through song the most. It is such a moving experience to put words to song and music helps the audience identify with a piece – there is nothing quite like music to evoke an emotional reaction.”

She said she has received good support so far: “My family have been super, helping me as much as possible financially and giving me more support than I could ever ask for.

“I’ve also been lucky enough to have the support from top theatrical and vocal professionals, including Lorna Brooks who coached me for my initial audition. My friends are giving as and when they can, and I’ve been blown away by the support of Scottish actor Stuart Martin who donated to my fundraising page despite not knowing me personally. Any support, no matter how small, is hugely appreciated. I am trying to find grants and trusts to apply to for funding, and am approaching local businesses for corporate sponsorship. More details can be found on my funding page, but rewards include mention on my website, regular updates, and tickets to my first professional show after graduating.”