Former Telford College student James Farley is living his dreams in London, after realising a lifelong ambition to become a professional actor.
James, 23, from Great Chatwell near Newport, went to the town’s Adams’ Grammar School before completing level three BTEC qualifications in performing arts and dance at Telford College’s King Street campus.
It proved to be the perfect stepping stone to earn James a place at drama school – and after patiently waiting for his chance, he hasn’t looked back.
He said: “Getting into drama school is extremely competitive, so it took me three years to finally be offered two places.
“In the end I chose to attend the Manchester School of Theatre and completed a BA (Hons) in acting, which I graduated from in July last year.
“I was lucky enough to be signed with an agent from our industry showcase and have spent my days since auditioning for a wide variety of projects.
“My first job was touring to schools in Liverpool and Merseyside with All Things Considered Theatre. It was a piece about child sexual exploitation and I played a 13-year-old boy being groomed online by an older man.
“It aimed to empower children by helping them identify the warning signs of grooming, and psychological and emotional abuse. It was an incredible experience.”
James is now living and working in London, and has just finished a seven-week run in a comedy called Party, at a London fringe theatre, celebrating gay solidarity and friendships in the height of the AIDS crisis.
He said: “Looking back to my time at college, it has helped to put me exactly where I wanted to be. I am living in my favourite city, and earning a living doing what I love. And right now I couldn’t be happier.”
Rob Bennion, his tutor at Telford College, said: “James is an excellent example of someone who has followed his dreams.
“He was always committed to becoming an actor, and was resilient in his quest to gain a place at acting school.
“James was a model student during his time at Telford College; he always showed good initiative and put his own style into his work. We wish him the best of luck in his acting career.”