Dame Helen Mirren has expressed her fears for young people who are wanting to become actors and actresses. She is anxious that only young people with rich parents would be able to afford to go to acting school.
This BAFTA winner was only able to act because of the National Youth Theatre (NYT). The NYT is a charity that offers free training to young people aged 14-25 and was founded in 1956 by Michael Croft and Kenneth Spring. Each year the charity holds open auditions for young people and successful candidates are then enrolled onto an eight month intense training program. Over the training period the pupils get to act in front of a camera as well as onstage and how to work things behind the scenes.
Dame Helen said “I could only become an actress because of the existence of the National Youth Theatre. I mean talent and ability, of course you can find in a posh person but you can find it in the least posh person too”.
Research has suggested that one years tuition at a private acting school can cost over £9,000. Many famous British actors such as Daniel Craig, Colin Firth and 12 Years a Slave actor Chiwetel Ejiofor couldn’t afford private acting so they enrolled onto the National Youth Theatre course. These actors have now gone on to win and be nominated for various different acting awards.