Scholarship helps budding performer on way to stardom
18-year-old wins place at performing arts school
AN 18-year-old performing arts prodigy from Ruislip is being helped to achieve his dreams thanks to a £37,000 scholarship to attend a worldrenowned school.
Dominic Potter started singing when he was around eight and how he first performed in front of a huge crowd at his grandfather’s funeral.
After a rigorous audition process Dominic has been accepted into the prestigious Urdang Academy in Islington and is due to start in September thanks to generous funding from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
Dominic, who lives in Cedar Avenue, had to audition for the school on Sunday May 29 and then auditioned again on Wednesday June 8 for the foundation.
The former Bishopshalt School student, said: “I’m really excited.
“My gran is 79 and she still had a part-time job to pay for everything. My mum has been a single mum for a long time. She finds it a real struggle.
“She had to work two jobs to pay for everything.
“I want to be able to get three years of amazing training and make them proud and pay them back.”
Dominic first started singing in year four at Bourne Primary School and said he was inspired by his music teacher.
He said: “That’s how my mum figured out I had a good voice. I didn’t notice because it was just my voice.”
After playing a role in Oliver at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, around aged 10, Dominic signed with a talent agency and played a part in the 2006 horror film Dark Corners – despite being too young to actually see it on its release.
He then went on to shoot a television advert which saw him stay in a five-star hotel in Prague for a week.
Dominic, who is currently working in Lush cosmetics shop in central London, added: “It’s annoying because I was too young to enjoy it.
“It was a great experience though.”
After studying for a year at Millennium Performing Arts in Greenwich, he decided to apply to Urdang after his current school received a bad Ofsted report.
At the audition at Urdang in the Old Finsbury Town Hall, Dominic impressed so much he was given the opportunity to perform in front of the school’s principal, Stephanie Pope.
More than 2,000 people applied to start in Urdang and the scholarship is only open to the top five students or applicants.
Urdang has a rich history of training performers who go on to star in West End shows, including Matt Henry who graduated in 2003 and played Simba in The Lion King.
Dominic’s mum, Pauline Hutcheson, said: “I’m completed shocked. I’m really surprised actually.
“He’s wanted to audition for quite a while and he never thought he was good enough.”
The 52-year-old added: “To get this scholarship means a lot.
“He wanted to get into the school and he worked really hard for it.”
Dominic first performed in front of a large crowd around three years ago at his grandfather’s funeral.
He said: “My gran talks of how proud of me he would have been.
“That’s why it’s such a big thing for her.
“The funeral was the first time I got up to sing in front of a big audience.”
He is currently looking for a place to live before he starts the three year course at Urdang in September.
“He’s wanted to audition for quite a while and he never thought he was good enough”
n STEPPING ONTO THE STAGE: Dominic Potter with mum Pauline, right, and his gran – he first performed in front of a large audience at his grandad’s funeral