27 May Inspirational actor nominated for arts awards
He landed his first TV role when he was just six-years-old and now Reece Donnelly is using his acting experience to help other kids fulfil their showbiz potential.
The Waterloo Road star, who got his big break on CBBC show Carrie & David’s Popshop, was so keen to see other young Scots get big parts in TV and film he set up his own theatre school.
Reece’s pupils are already reaping the rewards of his expertise with one being chosen to star in the TV remake of David Walliam’s book Grandpa’s Great Escape and 15 others winning roles in a new school-based BBC drama being filmed in Glasgow.
The 21-year-old actor’s dedication to creating TV and film stars of the future has earned him a Sunday Mail Young Scot Award nomination in the Arts category.
Reece, of Cambuslang, near Glasgow said nothing beats seeing his students getting a foothold in the industry.
He said: “Learning to act is all very well but if you don’t have the skills to cope with an audition then you are never going to get anywhere.
“I wanted to give kids an all round platform that would prepare them for the world of showbiz with workshops on the auditioning, script reading and getting into character.
“Theatre schools down south offer similar courses, which means English kids tend to get further in auditions than kids from up here but we are changing all that.”
Reece, who was discovered by an agent when he was six, said the secret to Theatre School of Scotland’s success is his team including drama coaches Katie Rutherford and Kirsty Strain, singing coach Alana Cook and classroom assistant Deziree Donnelly.
They opened in August last year and have classes in Cambuslang and Possil with more than 100 pupils aged four to 21. Plans to open a city centre class are in the pipeline.
Reece, who has starred in a raft of plays and TV adverts, has enlisted a host of his celebrity friends to do workshops with the kids including River City’s Jane McCarry, Holly Jack and Gary Lamont and Hollyoaks star James Sutton.
Reece said he feels both honoured and humbled to be nominated for a Young Scot Award. He said: “It’s so lovely to be recognised for my work but I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be following a career I love and being able to pass on my skills to the stars of the future.”
Reece was nominated by John McDade, whose daughter is a pupil at the school.
He said: “Since joining my daughter, has grown as a person, an actor and developed a sense of confidence I have never known her to have. Reece’s hard work and dedication to the industry and helping other young people is outstanding, He is a role model to all of his pupils.”
Young Hero – sponsored by Co-op Food
Community – sponsored by the Scottish Government
Unsung Hero – sponsored by Solace Scotland
Year of Young People 2018 Champion of the Year
Excellence in Education – sponsored by University of St Andrews
Enhancing Education – sponsored by Skills Development Scotland
Sporting – sponsored by sportscotland
Health and Wellbeing – sponsored by Active Scotland Division
Equality and Diversity – sponsored by Standard Life Aberdeen
The Arts – sponsored by Creative Scotland
Entertainment – sponsored by Scottish Citylink
Environment – sponsored by QMS
Enterprise – sponsored by HSBC
Do you know someone as inspirational as Reece? – if so please go to www.youngscotawards.com