When I left Merchant Taylors’ in 2009, I initially went to Manchester University to study French and Italian, worried that pursuing my real passion of acting without having a degree to fall back on would be irresponsible. However, I left university after only six months with high hopes to make a career doing what I loved.
I panicked, knowing how volatile the acting industry could be, and I felt reckless at having abandoned my studies with no real plan in sight. I received some words of advice from Merchants’ lovely librarian Mrs. Barry, who said ‘if you want to make an omelette, you have to break some eggs’- something that still resonates with me today! Two months later, I was living in Los Angeles, California, and studying at the world’s first acting conservatory, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood, from where I graduated in 2012.
Five years after moving here, Los Angeles is still my home and I am a working actress making my living from film, television and voice-over work. In 2013, I was invited to join BAFTA-Los Angeles as one of their ‘Newcomers of the Year’ and started filming ‘Senoa’, a thriller in which I play the lead and did my own stunt work during filming in San Diego. I am also currently producing a film for BAFTA involving members of their Newcomer Program and I am a proud member of two BAFTA-LA committees- Member Services and Community Outreach and Education, as a part of which I mentor students at a school in South-Central Los Angeles.
I remain indebted to MTGS for giving me the determination to succeed in this competitive industry and the life skills to build a new life and career in a foreign country. I will be forever thankful to Dr.Gill for directing me in King Lear and nurturing my love for acting, and to Mrs.Barry for encouraging me to take a risk, follow my dreams and, of course, break some eggs!
Charlotte Rothwell (2009 leaver)