Christian Burgess talks to arts pupils at Fearns College, Lancashire

9 October 2014

Christian Burgess speaking to arts pupils at Fearns College, LancashireA lucky group of Key Stage 4 pupils listened intently as they learnt how actor and Vice-Principal of a leading music and drama school forged his career. Christian Burgess, of London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, visited Fearns Community Sports College in Lancashire as part of the charitable initiative Speakers for Schools.

He explained his Northern roots and how, as a teenager in high school in Beverley in West Yorkshire, he was given the choice of detention or taking a role in a school drama production. When he was persuaded to opt for the acting role it sparked an interest that led him to many stage performances, TV and film roles, including working alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the Gangs of New York.

Acting hopeful Freya Millward, 16, said: “I am doing GCSE drama and want to be an actor and found the talk very interesting. I have appeared in two versions of Macbeth in school, in Grease and am also playing the role of Mrs Lyons in the school production of Blood Brothers. The talk helped me to make up my mind that this is really what I want to do and I want to take it further. I am prepared to go to London if that is what it takes.”

“I would be happy to go anywhere to get into the acting profession as it is my passion.”

Christian, who travelled up from London to deliver the speech, told the GCSE music, drama and set one English pupils how he would probably not be able to get the job he currently has because he does not have a degree.

“What I have is experience,” he said. “And I am quite good at challenging the actors in a way that helps them to develop. The thing about acting is that it all comes from you.”

Several actors in ITV’s Downton Abbey and current James Bond Daniel Craig are all alumni of the Guildhall School.

Christian advised any pupils interested in an acting career to make sure they stay true to themselves when they are going for an audition and not to give up on their dream.