THE Rotary Club of Duns agreed last week to make their largest grant ever in support of an individual - £1,000 - to Duns actress Frances Pattinson to go towards her living expenses while she attends the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
Frances was selected to attend NYCDA’s two-year Professional Training Program for Film and Television Performance at a highly competitive interview in London. 350 applicants were called for interview, including Frances, the only girl from Scotland among the candidates, so she was thrilled to be one of the nine who were offered places on the course, especially as Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Julia Roberts have all been involved in workshops on previous courses.
Frances has been awarded a scholarship by the Conservatory to cover her course fees, but the problem is her living expenses in New York, which will be £11,600 per year.
Because she’ll be, in Sting’s words, a ‘Legal Alien’, Frances won’t be allowed to work over there, so she has to try and raise the funds to cover her expenses before she goes to New York at the end of August. She explained to Rotarians why she thought it would be worth their while to support her.
Frances caught the acting bug in 2009, when she was 13, playing ‘Puck’ in Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. And it was whilst performing Puck’s soliloquy that Frances realised that this was what she wanted to do.
Since then she has never wavered in her determination to succeed and she convinced Rotarians that she is not a quitter and will keep at it until she makes it. Going to the New York Conservatory is a big part of her plan for success in the movie business.
In accepting her grant Frances promised that when she was a big star she would come back to Duns to help the Rotary Club to raise funds for other good causes.