A TALENTED schoolgirl has been selected from more than 4,600 youngsters across the country to take part in the prestigious National Youth Theatre acting course this summer.
Esther Dina, aged 14, from Wulfric Road, Manor, Sheffield, moved to the Steel City from Nigeria when she was five.
Ever since, the All Saints Catholic High School pupil has wanted to act, and this year tried out for a place on the National Youth Theatre course. She was picked after just one audition.
Esther said: “The audition was so much fun! It was so relaxed and I managed to meet new people who had the same interests as I did so we were all so compatible. It was so easy to interact and we all got on like a house on fire.”
The day-long audition saw Esther and other hopefuls put through their paces with drama exercises in the morning and a monologue in the afternoon. Esther was nerve-wrecked at the start of the audition, but turned that into a winning performance.
She said: “I honestly can’t tell you why they picked me! I have no proper experience, I am the youngest age you can be to audition, and I don’t belong to a real drama group.
“I’ve never had drama lessons outside school. I did little drama pieces in church from time to time but nothing serious,” she said.
Her love for acting started as soon as she could start reading.
“My love for books developed into a love of film and acting,” she said.
“I see an actor as a storyteller. I so craved to tell people a story and take them on a journey that I go through when reading a book.”
She added: “I can’t tell you what it feels like when I’m acting. It’s such an euphoric feeling, it’s like the stage is my home.
“It’s something I don’t have to think about, it’s just so natural. I love it with every fibre of my being, I could do it all day and never get tired or bored.”
The two-week course will be held in August in London, where Esther will rub shoulders with some of Britain’s finest young talent.
Esther said: “I am very excited about going. It’s such an amazing opportunity. I’ve been told it can be really vigorous and draining, but I can already tell it’s going to be worth it.”
But she is keeping her feet on the ground thanks to down-to-earth parents.
She said: “My mum and dad inspire me a lot because they are both really strong people who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in. I couldn’t ask for more.”