Industry Acting School - Youth Bursary

Project by Paul McNeilly
Industry Acting School - Youth Bursary

We will provide a year's bursary to an underprivileged young person, to study acting so that they can make a positive change in their life.

We did it!

On 17th Sep 2017 we successfully raised £220 with 3 supporters in 56 days

What is the underprivileged youth bursary and its purpose?

The youth bursary is a scheme to fund an underprivilieged young person, 18-25 years of age, into the The Industry Acting School. This is a full-time drama school based at Ithaca House, Stratford, in East London, enrolling students now for the 2017 academic year. It is for those aged 18 plus. We intake a wide range of students, such as those from different backgrounds, and with different needs. We teach professional screen acting techniques to help actors get jobs in the industry. 

Our acting ethos is based on finding the truth from the heart of the actor, and working with that, as well as their individual strengths and talent, depsite any obstables they may face in life.  Our goal is for our students, regardless of age, gender or economic background to succeed and to develop their full potential, maximising positive opportunities in their life.

We offer a nurturing supportive team environment for an individual to grow alongside their fellow peer actors. Achieving paid employment in the professional acting industry then becomes an reality. Individual one to one mentoring sessions are given throughout the time at the school, as well as a year after our students have graduated.  

Our students remain focused, and develop the life skills of commitment and perseverance, in order to achieve their goals. Our students  also become confident, empowered, adaptable, and build sustainable and long term relationships with excellent communication skills, such as those with our industry experienced teachers, and the external industry contacts such as film directors and casting directors, who work closely with our students on a one-to-one basis.

Students also learn the key skills of structure, routine, and time management, which are invaluable and transferrable to other areas of life, such as with independent living, becoming a valued and contributing member to society and within their local community, and also for maintaining future employment.

For more information on how we help acting students develop their full potential, please visit our website here:



"Don't ask yourself what the world needs - ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

- Harold Thurman Whitman, Philosopher and Theologian

What will we achieve?

We will give one disadvantaged young person, who would not have otherwise had the chance to afford to attend full-time drama school, the chance to do so. Our research and experience from other actors who have attended our part-time acting classes (Bubble & Squeak Collective) has shown that due to a lack of affordable classes, and with the cost of full time drama schools, many young people who love acting and want to pursue acting full-time are deterred from doing so. There are many young people who if they focused on their love of acting as a profession, would not steer into a life of crime, drugs, alcohol, or mental health issues such as depression.

Acting is both a life changing and a life enhancing experience for those who are blessed to be able to practice the art on a regular basis. It encourages and gives youth a platform for self-expression, passion, engagement and focus, which is fundamental to help those young people who felt that they were unable to communicate their needs, such as through abuse or trauma to make themselves heard, and to mark their identitity into the world.

We are also raising awareness of the issue of disadvantaged and underprivileged youth, and the lack of opportunity to develop a career in the performing arts due to psychological, social and economic deprivation. It is fundamental that underprivileged talented individuals have equal opportunities to develop in the professional acting industry, as opposed to the acting profession being limited to just the privileged in society.

We will also support future actors of all backgrounds, moving forward in the future of The Industry Acting School. We will maintain our mission to enable future generations of actors of all backgrounds to persevere, in order to fulfill their future ambitions, and to make a positive change in their lives.

How will we use the money?

We will use the money to pay for one student to attend the drama school, for one whole academic  year, on a 5 day a week, 4 term year basis. One young person the will develop and build their confidence in their acting abilities, and become more creative and motivated to progress onto bigger opportunities with our full support.

A student is selected through our application process which is open throughout Sep 2017. Anyone aged 18-25 can apply. There is a selection and judging criteria to look at individual talent, skills and potential, and also what barriers the underprivileged young person faces in developing a professional career as an actor. We also look at what the young person's aims and goals, and where we can help them achieve this over the next few years. 


'I am amazed at the standard'.
Beth Charkham, Casting Director, 'Birds of a Feather', 'Men Behaving Badly', 'Queen of The Desert', 'The Ruth Rendell Mysteries'.

'The standard is very high'.
Irene Cotton, Casting Director, 'Steppenwolf Theatre Company', 'The Old Vic', 'The Bill'.

'Go see these people...if last night's show at The Phoenix is anything to go by, these are the ones to watch'.
Barry Ryan, Executive Producer 'Agatha Raisin', Sky

'Paul McNeilly is one of the best acting tutors in the UK with a wealth of film and TV experience. His style is refreshingly honest and brings great results. Highly recommended course'.
Does Good Productions

'I got two jobs in South Africa! One on the BBC called 'Our Girls' and now a role on the US 'Black Sails'. I can't thank you enough because without your guidance and training I would have been lost.'
British Actress, Laura Higgins

‘I am truly eternally grateful to you for putting such wonderful people and talented actors in touch with me…the guys I have worked with have truly blown me away. I am so overwhelmed by the talent involved, and a lot of that is due to you…your name is often mentioned when talking to the actors about where they found out about the series…’.
Ibi Vaughan, Producer ‘Glue’ (E4).

'… I trained under Paul McNeilly. I didn’t really go to a drama college or anything like that – it was just him and he taught me everything. He even taught me a little bit of directing and writing. You can never know too much about the business – it’s always helpful.'
Charlie Clapham, (Freddie Roscoe, Hollyoaks) – Digital Spy

‘I would suggest looking no further than ‘Bubble & Squeak‘ if the development of your discipline is acting. Nowhere will you be exposed to a greater plethora of experiences within the study. Paul McNeilly’s generous approach and meticulous teaching style will guide you through the nuances of the industry.'
Writer/Producer Doug Tang

When will the project be completed?

The youth bursary selection will be selected and finalised by Sep 2017.

The student will start their academic year training from Oct 2017.

 Who is managing this project?

Paul McNeilly (Course Director) - The Industry Acting School - Paul has 30 years extensive experience in television, film and theatre as an actor. He has also written, directed and produced films and theatre shows. He has also run the Bubble and Squeak part-time acting pay as you go classes for 8 years now. He is highly experienced in his career, and is passionate, dedicated and committed to providing opportunities for future generations of new actors of all backgrounds to develop successfully into the industry. For further information about Paul, please visit: 

Naheen Nazmin (Course Facilitator) - Naheen has spent 8 years professionally in the care sector. She has worked with different client groups such as children, young people and adults in mental health, learning and special needs, social services, homeless, education, criminal justice, drug and alcohol, and advocacy service type settings. She has also worked as a Business Adviser assisting young people to set up their own businesses, as well as working as an actor too.

Both Paul and Naheen understand, through both personal and professional experiences themselves, diverse backgrounds and the life challenges troubled young people face when pursuing a career as an actor. They are both highly committed, and will ensure that an underprivileged young person turns their life around into a positive achievable and attainable way. This will influence future generations of actors to come, as they will provide this bursary to one underprivileged student every academic year, so that this vital and absolutely necessary support remains in place, both now and in the foreseeable future. 

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