Talented local students star in new TV ad


Seven talented actors have been selected to star in a new TV ad campaign airing this month giving them an ideal first step to their on-screen careers.

The Gateshead College performing arts’ students were chosen to act in the commercial, which has been commissioned by Gateshead Council to encourage local people to think about becoming foster carers to local teenagers.  

Curriculum leader for performing arts, Paul Phillips, who has worked nationally as a freelance director and actor for 11 years, said: “Practical experience like this builds the confidence of students, and gives them real world experience so they can find success in both their studies and careers beyond college.

“The students were very professional and enjoyed every minute of the filming and rehearsal process. The finished product is fantastic and is something they can all be really proud of, as well as a great piece of work to include in their portfolios.”

The 30 second advert is set to be aired on both ITV Tyne Tees and new regional channel Made in Tyne and Wear throughout December.

The group of budding actors took part in a ten-hour filming day in locations across the North East to compile a selection of scenes for the commercial, which included a portrayal of a typical teenager’s daily life which culminates in an emotional family dinner scene.

The advert shows how foster carers can reach out to young people and make them feel secure and supported. It aims to encourage people to contact Gateshead Council to find out more about fostering opportunities

Lead actor in the commercial will be Rees Monaghan, 16, from Gateshead, who was chosen along with the others from over 30 hopefuls after successful screen testing and auditions which reflected a real-work scenario.

He said: “It was a great opportunity to be cast as the lead role in the commercial, giving us a chance to not only use the skills we have learnt so far on the course but also gain practical experience which will be so valuable in the working world.”

Students on the Year 1 Diploma in Performing Arts study a variety of units to develop their knowledge and skills, including TV and film studies, musical theatre, radio drama, physical theatre, principles of acting, singing, dancing and performance.

As well as practicing their practical acting skills, students are also encouraged to study theory behind the industry, including research into the history of the performing arts and various established companies relevant to the industry. In the second year students are also introduced to more technical subjects such as budgeting, business and advertising.

The course is run in partnership with Live Theatre, Northern Stage and Sage Gateshead. Students are given weekly actor training sessions at Live Theatre, singing and voice sessions at Sage Gateshead and an annual week long residency at Northern Stage, leading to a performance at the theatre.

Students are also encouraged to build their work experience by performing plays to primary school audiences and perform ‘flash mob’ performances in support of local charities.

Lyndsey Gilmartin, marketing and recruitment officer at Gateshead Council said: “The ad looks fantastic thanks to how professional the students were. They were all well-read and prepared, and delivered great performances to keep to the schedule.

“We wanted to use local, Gateshead-based youngsters in the advert so chose the college because of its leading performing arts course. The advert showcases Gateshead and local talent.”

The 30 second advert is set to be aired on both ITV Tyne Tees and new regional channel Made in Tyne and Wear throughout December. Here's the Post by Gateshead Council's Foster Service.