Derry’s stars of the future got a little help on their road to stardom on Friday when former Junior Apprentice finalist Lewis Roman flew into town for a special masterclass.
The cheeky Scouser, who made an impression on Lord Sugar in series 3 of the BBC series, spent time with the senior pupils at Fresh Academy of Performing Arts at the Gasyard on Friday.
The 18-year-old says he owes a great deal of his confidence to Fresh’s founder Sinead Crossan, who taught him GCSE and A Level drama while he was still at school in Liverpool’s St. John Plessington Catholic College.
“Sinead came into the school and she gave us so much confidence. She was so enthusiastic and she made learning fun. We were all nervous to start with but it wasn’t long until we loved it.”
Lewis said that while drama is not an academic subject as such, the importance of teaching children performing arts cannot be underestimated.
“It is about giving children greater self-confidence. For me it gave me the ability to stand in front of a group of other people and pitch a sale or whatever.
“People can write drama and performance off but it offers a really strong set of life skills. I’ll never be able to thank Sinead enough for the confidence she gave me - and while I haven’t gone on to pursue a career in drama, I’ve used a lot of those skills in business and I know I will take them forward in my career.”
Lewis offered words of advice and coaching to seniors at Fresh for an hour on Saturday morning.
Sinead, who now teaches at Foyleview School in Derry, said she was delighted that the Apprentice finalist dropped in to see her new venture.