29 August, 2019 Arts

A unique learning experience at prestigious American Performing Arts college

Year 11 student Billie and Year 10 student Lara recently travelled to America where they studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), a prestigious American Performing Arts college with campuses in New York and Los Angeles.

While at AMDA, Billie and Lara experienced what it’s like to work professionally in the Performing Arts and have both returned to School this semester inspired and motivated to pursue their shared passion for acting.

  • a-unique-learning-experience-at-prestigious-american-performing-arts-college
    Billie being filmed during one of her classes
  • a-unique-learning-experience-at-prestigious-american-performing-arts-college
    Lara on screen

The opportunity for Billie and Lara to attend the college came after AMDA visited St Michael’s earlier this year and hosted workshops and auditions for our senior students. Read more about AMDA’s visit here.

AMDA was very impressed by our talented senior Performing Arts students and a number of students were offered places at the AMDA High School Summer Conservatory program in 2019/2020.

Billie and Lara are the first St Michael’s students to experience the program. Billie chose to travel to Los Angeles during the recent mid-year break and Lara elected to study in New York.

“It was an amazing experience, I learnt so much,” said Billie. “We were able to work with lots of different professionals such as actors, cameramen, directors and producers.”

Through her experiences at AMDA, Billie gained a greater sense of confidence and met like-minded peers from around the world.

Studying at AMDA has given me more confidence in myself and my skills, and has helped me to go from wanting to try out for things at School such as House Aerobics and the School play, to actually giving it a go. Year 11 student, Billie

Billie’s mother Phyllis accompanied her on the trip and was quite nervous dropping Billie off at the AMDA campus but was left feeling comforted and reassured after meeting AMDA staff and seeing the campus for herself.

“AMDA is located in the heart of Hollywood, which is quite eccentric and quirky, and as a parent, the most important thing is to know that your child is going to be happy and safe,” said Phyllis. “From the moment we arrived at AMDA I was completely surprised and relieved at the sense of warmth, security and safety I felt.”

“Billie’s opportunity to experience the Summer Conservatory Program in LA was invaluable, the teachers and educators are professionals and experts in their fields who are incredibly dynamic mentors and the training that Billie received was highly professional,” she said.

Lara also had a wonderful experience learning alongside 15 other high school students at the AMDA campus in Manhattan.

“The schedule was very intense, with classes commencing at 9am and finishing after 9pm every day, seven days a week,” said Lara. “By the end of the course, we had all filmed various scenes and really learnt a lot about the craft of screen acting and were given fantastic advice and feedback from our AMDA teachers.”

Thanks to this experience I made great friends and met some wonderfully talented people from around the world.Year 10 student, Lara

St Michael’s is fortunate to have wonderful Performing Arts staff who have built a strong relationship with AMDA, and we look forward to providing students with further opportunities to have professional experiences and develop their skills and confidence.