A BUSINESS owner from the Scottish Borders is just one step away from pursuing her dream career as an actor as she prepares for her second year of training at one of the UK’s leading performing arts academies.
Zoe V Kedding built a successful career as owner of their family owned hotel The Plow Hotel, in Town Yetholm, and as a partner in the waste management company Dunedin Recycling Group in Edinburgh.
But she has decided to pursue a professional stage career after returning from a trip to Australia and earning a coveted place at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh.
Zoe first discovered she had a talent for acting in her elementary school, St. Mary’s Melrose, when she was cast in a school play and hasn’t stopped since.
She was regularly involved in amateur dramatics, public speaking and various music productions.
The 32-year-old said: “I first performed in a school play when I was just five years old. I lost my confidence for a while but managed to get it back and start performing again. Every time I was on stage, people asked me why I didn’t go to the theater. The truth is that I like to entertain people and make them laugh.
“I applied for a place at The MGA Academy because I wanted to train professionally but stay with my son in Scotland. I contacted my old drama teacher for advice, and she recommended the MGA Academy because she had heard good things.
“The teachers are very good at preparing students for the course. You must not be late and must attend all classes. The training really gives you a sense of the discipline you need to be successful once you graduate. As a successful entrepreneur I already had a strong sense of discipline, but for younger people with less experience it can really make a difference.”
Since joining the MGA Academy, Zoe has found a love for Shakespeare and would love to perform at The Globe Theater in London one day.
“My fellow acting students and I made a play that addressed how sex is considered a taboo subject by society. We wanted to offer an open and intergenerational conversation through the piece. ”
The MGA Academy of Performing Arts was established in 2005 to provide a platform for aspiring performers to stay in Scotland while studying at a level equivalent to prestigious London colleges.
Attracting aspiring performers from the UK and across Europe, the school is now recruiting for the 2022-23 entry into BA (Hons) Dance, Music Theater and Acting, with auditions taking place on Sunday 7th August.
In 2017, The MGA Academy achieved full accreditation from the London-based Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theater (CDMT) and its full-time courses are accredited by Bath Spa University.
School Principal Marcella Macdonald said: “We are delighted to announce that registrations are now open for our final audition for courses starting this year. Auditions will take place on Sunday 7 August in Edinburgh, but there is also an opportunity to attend virtually. At the audition we are looking for potential rather than perfection and would encourage aspiring artists such as Zoe from the Scottish Borders to apply.”
Recent MGA Academy graduates include Disney movie star Thomas Doherty (The Lodge, Descendents 2), West End stars Fergal McGoff (Matilda, Mamma Mia and The Bodyguard), Caitlin Tipping (Frozen Musical and SIX’s UK tour). ) and Thiannon Chesterman (Mrs Henderson Presents and Grease), and Rebecca Stenhouse, who recently played Sandy in Grease aboard Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship.
To apply for a seat at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts ahead of the auditions on Sunday, August 7, visit www.themgaacademy.com/apply