R0 of R45 000 raised

I believe that I was born to perform. As a child, I walked on my tip-toes and performed in front of the mirror. I think the ‘younger me’ was practicing for the opportunities that I would later experience in my high school career (and in the near future). The Arts are a part of my journey and it has become a platform to express myself, tell my truth and cope with any problems that Life throws at me.

I’ve dreamt of becoming an actor since Grade 1 but never thought that I could realistically achieve this dream. It was only in high school that I became aware of my calling and began nurturing my talent. I have been given the most incredible opportunities by the people that believe in me and I couldn’t ask for anything more. My family has been struggling financially for years and I am so blessed to have received a scholarship to study at one of the most prestigious schools in my country. However, on my first day of high school, I suddenly realised I was different. I was a gay person of colour with a lack of financial resources going to school surrounded by wealthy and mostly white, heterosexual students. It was my choice to either embrace it or see it as a disadvantage. I chose to embrace it.

I want my art to inspire others and give them the drive to achieve their own dreams. I am just a boy from a poor family and I have been given platforms and opportunities which have allowed me to apply to my dream school – Juilliard.

I am not necessarily trying to change the world, but if I empowered one person, whether they’re gay or straight, white or black, male or female –that will be enough for me. I know that the road will be rocky and that things are not always going to go my way, but I want to be challenged and pushed to the boundaries. I want to grow and explore life. I want to feel the strength in my legs when I dance, I want to feel the power in my voice when I sing and I want to feel the energy from the audience and the connection to my character – I feel like Juilliard can bring that out in me. I want to be an actor because I love to perform and transport others to another universe; I want to perform because I want to inspire those like me or those who see themselves in me.

South Africa will always have a special place in my heart. I decided to apply to Juilliard because I’ve learned that dreams deserve to be chased and that everything will fall into place if it was meant to be. Many of my friends find it difficult to believe that one South African boy from a small suburb can chase such big dreams. But I’ve always believed that a person’s place of birth shouldn’t determine their success in life or prevent them from achieving their dreams. A big goal of mine is to use what I have been taught overseas and hopefully return to SA and help those who feel disempowered by poverty build a life for themselves.

I have been granted the opportunity of a lifetime – I have been invited to a live audition with Juilliard. This means that I am top 15% of all applications, which is a tremendous achievement. I am creating the fund-me page to raise money for my audition that takes place on 27 January 2018. The money will be used for my flight and accommodation in New York. I am determined, hard working and hope to make the most out of my experience.
Performing, in general, is magical and I think this is evident when I perform. I want my work to be witnessed by many, not for the fame, but to inspire as many people as I can. It is important for you to know that I try to spread love and laughs whenever possible and live by Ellen DeGeneres’ motto of “Be Kind To One Another.” My past has made me the person that I am today and I would love to start sharing that with the rest of the world, one performance at a time.


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