Layla is already starting to realise her dream of becoming an international singer, songwriter and actor.
Grow a Star scholarship recipient Layla Schillert is already starting to realise her dream of becoming an international singer, songwriter and actor.
The 17 year old from Newcastle is using her scholarship to compile her marketing portfolio to gain opportunities to study theatre and drama in the United States.
In January 2023, Layla travelled to the US with the Aussie All Stars musical theatre group to perform at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, and at Disney in California. Layla got to work with industry professionals in New York, developing a short ‘run’ of Shrek the Musical which the team ultimately performed in Atlanta. Layla also worked with the creators of Beetlejuice and The Music Man, both currently showing on Broadway, and workshopped with performers from Almost Famous, Hadestown and The Play That Went Wrong.
While in Atlanta, Layla was unexpectedly asked to lead a small troupe with Daniel J Mercer in Dot and The Kangaroo. She says it was an amazing experience but also scary because she didn’t know it was coming.
“It went really well and performing in front of 8000 people was unreal,” Layla says.
2023 has also already brought Layla other success and experiences. She made the Top 50 of Channel 7’s new Australian Idol talent program.
Layla is also assisting the team at Home in Place and Grant Walmsley with the production of songs for Grow a Star and other programs.
“I have really enjoyed the challenge and opportunity to give back to Home in Place’s Grow a Star program – for giving me the scholarship and believing in me.”
“Getting the scholarship helped me financially but also gave me confidence to keep pushing for my long-held dreams.”
“I would love to be accepted to study at a major drama school in the future, such as Stella Adler in New York and, one day, be a regular on Broadway.”
Currently completing Year 12 at the Hunter School of Performing Arts (HSPA), Layla is hoping to initially get into a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree at the University of Newcastle.
Layla is no stranger to the stage, having performed in many local productions. Her talent was recently recognised with a CONDA (City of Newcastle Drama Award) for Excellence by a Performer 18 & Under in a Supporting Role for her role in the musical Seussical. Some of Layla’s other recent performances include Jersey Boys (Civic Theatre), Puffs (Civic Playhouse) Starstruck as a featured HSPA vocalist and the School Spectacular in Sydney.
Layla is on her way to being a star!
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