The deadline for making the payment of £16,500 for this course is the 1st of September. Its the 29th of August. If its not made by then - your place, your treasured place of 1 of 30, from around 3000 will be offered to someone on the 30 person waiting list. Who, no doubt, have been saving all year to make the payment at the drop of the phone call by cheque or bank transfer - why yes! which would you prefer?
I have still not made the payment.
Not because I love the thrill of uncertainty, but because I dont have it yet. £16,500 is more money than I have ever hoped to earn in a year let alone possessed in my bank account. When I first applied the tuition fees were headlined clearly in bold italics to remind me of what was expected to pay upon offer of a place. I thought, just get a place first, then worry about that. Hurrah, I am offered a place. Just apply for the AHRC grant and lots of other grants, then worry about asking the bank for money. Oh look, I didn't get the grants, I'll apply to the Career Development Loan and ask my uncle for the rest. Worry about paying it back when I get it. Uh-oh, the bank didn't approve my application and my uncle doesn't have "the rest". I am out of options. I'm not going to Central, my heart is broken and I am angry, frustrated and deflated.
"Why dont you ask for donations Ellie? Write to people? You cant give up. "
"Emma, its sixteen thousand pounds. I dont think my mates would have £16 to spare at the moment."
"You have to try."
"You're an idiot. Do it."
So I did it. I made a website, got in the local press and facebooked the hell out of my plea. Along with all of this, some very generous donations from my friends, family, people who I now wish to call my family! along with the amazing act of my parents - extending a mortgage by £10k (which I will be paying back for the next 5 years), I have raised enough to pay my fees. I am going. I just have to make this payment. My parents mortgage hasn't come into the bank yet hence the waiting.
Its been a sickening, long and exhausting trial but I know it will be worth it. I questioned before applying for a very long time about the excessive cost of the tuition fees. Are they worth it? What is the worth? £16k can buy a lot and allow you to do a lot of other things. A mortgage, a round the world ticket. But what would I do with a house? Sit underneath its tiles and gaze at my new table covers whilst day dreaming of what I could have done with my career. Travel to Peru, China and India telling myself all this culture an experience is filling the stage shaped hole inside. Nothing. Nothing else in the world means more to me than respecting my craft and myself enough to train my voice and body, expanding my skill, my abilities, my dreams and my career. Acting is the only thing I have ever been sure of and really known. And I have to remember why I applied to this school, no other school, this course in the first place. Its world renowned, its relevant and exciting. I just hope they can give me back as much as I am going to give them. And I'm not even talking about the money.