Ringland teen actor off to US for Disney talks
STAR IN THE MAKING: Chelsea Toms, 17, from Ringland, Newport, who is off to America to meet TV and film producers
A BUDDING Newport actress hopes to get her big break in America after being invited to meet top television and film producers there.
Chelsea Toms, 17, of Ringland, beat 3,000 hopefuls in February to win one of 18 places at London’s Celebrity Talent Academy, which she now visits regularly to attend acting workshops with the likes of actor, singer and dancer Ray Quinn.
Last month the academy arranged for her to attend an invitation-only audition in front of leading Hollywood acting coach Howard Fine and Glee actress Naya Rivera, who plays cheerleader Santana.
The very next day she received a phone call asking her to fly to America as soon as possible to meet top producers, including those at Disney, at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Youngsters who attend the meetings have a 60 per cent chance of being booked for acting jobs, and Chelsea hopes this will be her opportunity to make acting a career.
Her mum, Rebecca Clarke, said the family was really proud and excited for her.
She said: “It could be a small part of a big feature film, we just don’t know.
“She’s done really well, she’s got her head screwed on and has known for about three or four years what she wants and where she’s going.”
Chelsea, who has previously appeared in music videos for artists Tinie Tempah and Example, as well as shows at Newport’s Dolman Theatre, is now working hard to raise money to fund her trip.
The family estimate it will cost around £5,000 to pay for flights and accommodation, and alongside studying for her A-levels in performing arts, drama, English and Welsh Baccalaureate, as well as holding down a job at McDonald’s, Chelsea is organising a concert to help raise the money she needs.
The event on July 11 at Chelsea’s school, Llanwern High, will include performances from Stage Struck Performing Arts and dance group Dance Express, while youngsters from AlwayPrimary will sing.
Tickets cost £2.50 and can be arranged by calling Mrs Clarke on 07833 474804.