Bundy man accepted at NIDA
A BARGARA man is dreaming of a career in film and television after winning entry into the country's most prestigious acting school.
Matt Pearce, 21, is about to move to Sydney to take up a place at the National Institute of Dramatic Art – the training ground of Aussie acting luminaries such as Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Mel Gibson and Judy Davis.
Mr Pearce, who has spent the past few years performing in Bundaberg Players productions, said his experience on the local stage could not prepare him for the arduous nature of the audition process for the top-notch school.
“It was pretty much the most intense thing I've ever done,” he said.
After performing his monologue, being shortlisted, then individually interviewed by NIDA acting department head Tony Knight, Mr Pearce was finally told what he'd been wanting to hear for months – that he'd beaten about 2000 hopefuls from around the country to be one of just 16 accepted for this year's intake.
“When I found out, I called everyone pretty quickly and chucked it up on Facebook,” he said.
“I'm pretty nervous – but very excited.”
The full-time course starts on January 31 and will run for three years, with students doing demanding 9am to 6pm days five days a week.
Mr Pearce said he was bitten by the acting bug in Year 11 and joined the Bundaberg Players soon after, a move he is now glad he made.
“They pushed me to do better. I owe a lot to them,” he said.
His first lead role with the group, and his favourite to date, was as Curly from the 2008 musical production of Oklahoma.
Bundaberg Players president Nigel Dick said he was thrilled about Mr Pearce's acceptance to NIDA.
“We're certainly very excited for him. He's got a very astute, level head,” he said.
Despite the rigorous schedule ahead of him, Mr Pearce's immediate concerns are the ones that plague most ordinary students – finances and food intake.
“I think I'll have to basically live off two-minute noodles for a while,” he said.