For Shona Brodie Hill, the end-of-term show at Edinburgh College may just have set the young actress up for a successful professional career.
Because the 19 year old from Buckstone, Edinburgh, got an agent as a result of her performance in the college’s Performing Arts Studio Scotland (PASS) showcase at the city’s Traverse theatre.
Now she is about to star in her first paid professional assignment as one of only two starring roles in a production by one of Scotland’s most innovative theatre companies.
And just before that she got to the last five in an audition for a role on a new drama from ITV.
Shona is just one of the soon-to-be graduates from Edinburgh College to achieve a professional head start after appearing in the college’s annual Glow festival, a wide-ranging arts event involving more than 20 city venues and which is about to culminate in a London exhibition for photography graduates.
The 19-year-old-actress is one of four Edinburgh College students from the same course to be signed up by film and theatre agents Hunwick Hughes Associates – who represent top Scots actors including Martin Compston and Game of Thrones star Kate Dickie – following the Traverse showcase. The others are Carla Grant, Katie Scott, and Fraser Dodds. Fellow students Sandy Bain, Alanis Hill and Euan Gilroy were also successful in gaining representation through the Coulter Management Agency (CMA).
“Things happened incredibly quickly for me,” said Shona. “I hadn’t thought I was that good in our showcase but then I was blown away when I got an email from an agent who then agreed to represent me. Then it was the day after when I got my first audition through, and then the audition for an ITV drama. I’m not allowed to talk about that one but I got to the last five and then I heard I was being offered a role with the Mull Theatre.”
Shona is playing opposite actor Alan McKenzie in Movie Time, a touring production running from 15 July until the end of August, a production with just two main roles.
She’s been fully prepared for the life of a professional actor through her two-year HND in Acting and Performance at Edinburgh College.
“The course and the lecturers were brilliant – they really went through the practical things like getting work and getting yourself out there in the industry and getting you prepared for work.”
“It’s been one of our most successful years,” said acting and performance lecturer Scott Johnston. “The class of 2016 were a really talented group.” Scott hopes the students will follow in the footsteps of former Dr Who star and Edinburgh College alumna Karen Gillan, and emulate some of the success of PASS patron Emma Thompson.
The PASS Showcase at Edinburgh’s Traverse in late May was one of 20 events, performances and exhibitions in the Glow 2016 Festival, with the college’s students taking over venues on the college campuses and twelve external venues in the city.
The festival comes to an end with a final show in London by BA Photography students opening tomorrow (30 June 2016) at the Old Truman Brewery in London’s Brick Lane. Free Range is a showcase for the talented photographers, including British Institute of Professional Photography top student photographer for Scotland Greg Abramowicz. Further details of the London show are at www.free-range.org.uk.