North Harbour Club: News
Bridget Costello Loving the “life of an actress”
New North Harbour Club General Manager Courtney Jackson caught up with Bridget Costello, one of the hugely talented 2013 AIMES Awards recipients to check in during a fleeting Visa visit back to New Zealand.
Bridget won the Bruce Mason Centre sponsored AIMES Art Award in 2013, awarding her $10,000. Her studies are extensive, finishing Rangitoto College in 2007 followed by a Bachelor of Music at Victoria University in Wellington and a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance. The talented North Shore local is now well on her way to setting up a base in the UK with a professional three month contract in Norfolk working with the cast of ‘Spectacular’ after studying in London for a year.
Bridget and Courtney met up at local Jam Cafe in Takapuna to catch up on what she has been up to since winning the AIMES Award.
COURTNEY JACKSON: You’re on a very quick stop back in New Zealand – what have you done since winning your AIMES Award in 2013? How did you use the money?
BRIDGET COSTELLO: I have just graduated from The Royal Academy of Music with a Postgrad Diploma in Musical Theatre (Distinction) in London and have just returned to obtain my working visa before I head back to the UK next week. It really is just a whirlwind stop as I need to get back to London and set up a base before my contract commences in early October. As for the grant, I had planned out every detail of what I was going to use it for – I had worked out the set amount required to set up in London and pay tuition fees. Winning the Award helped tremendously and allowed me to cover these costs, enabling me to take up the opportunity – one of the greatest experiences of my life.
CJ: Tell me about life in the UK?
BC: For now, I’m just trying to get myself properly set up in the “life of an actress”. To start out I need to find myself some ‘normal’ work in nannying, waitressing or similar – lessons cost a lot of money! Within the industry I have to keep constantly up to date with my singing, acting and dancing skills so that I can be prepared at a moment's notice if I’m placed for an audition. I’ll be in London for three weeks when I get back to set up and then head to Norfolk for a three month contract until early December – it’s three shows per day with a lot of singing, dancing and acting so fairly intense. I’m also thinking of doing a TV and film short course to open up more doors and boost my confidence going into auditions. Musical performance really is all about constantly improving, regular meetings with my agent, and casting directors and always constantly finding myself new opportunities.
CJ: What are your plans for the future? You grew up on the North Shore - do you see yourself back in New Zealand?
BC: The exciting thing about the work I do is who knows what I’ll be doing in six months time – I’m completely open to new opportunities of touring or staying put in London for now. It’s exciting to not know exactly what’s next! Looking further down the track, I’d love to set up a tutoring program or something to assist young New Zealanders wanting to pursue musical theatre. I grew up close to the water and love the North Shore – I miss it every time I come back here.
CJ: What would you say to others thinking of applying for an AIMES Award in the future?
BC: Go for it – the experience itself was amazing and I loved meeting all the judges. It’s a real privilege to win so know what you want and how you’d spend the grant.
The 2014 AIMES Awards applications closed on August 8th, but check out www.northharbourclub.co.nz to see what we do.