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Heaven’s acting career set to take off with Futures Fund help

Heaven Leigh-Spence

Heaven Leigh-Spence

Heaven Leigh-Spence worked with fellow University of Sunderland students and the Futures Fund to set up her career in the entertainment industry.  

The Drama graduate used her scholarship funds to create a showreel and to have headshots taken, giving her a professional portfolio and profile that has already been sent to hundreds of casting directors and agencies across the country.  

She believes that the profile has already given her an important headstart ahead of fellow actors to secure roles in the future.  

“It has allowed me to take the first step on the ladder,” she explained. “The hope is that I will eventually be signed to an agency and receive a role in professional TV programme or and film.”  

Heaven worked extensively with award-winning University of Sunderland students from Flat 14 Productions to create her showreel, ensuring she was not the only one to benefit from the experience of working on a professional set.  

She penned a three minute script with director Glen Harris, working alongside local actors at locations across the city of Sunderland. Not only was Heaven able to fully showcase her acting skills, she also learned a great deal from spending a full day on set.  

“Filming my showreel was a fantastic experience as it allowed me to work closely with a camera crew as a leading role and gain a better experience of what it is like to be on a film set,” she added.  

The process of working with a production crew on set as a professional actress for the day only further fuelled Heaven’s desire to become a success in the industry.  

She explained: “The experience overall has also confirmed for me that this is the career path I want to go down and has done nothing but increase my passion.”  

The showreel, combined with the headshots taken by professional photographer Imran Mirza, has given her a portfolio that will showcase her talents to the fullest extent.  

The budding actress is hugely thankful to the Futures Fund and its donors and said that it was only with their financial support that she was able to create such a high quality showreel.  

She concluded: “I genuinely feel that the money from the Futures Fund has provided with me the key I needed to open the first door. I truly don’t believe I could have found the funds to set myself up as an actress whilst I was still a student, so I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and would like to say a massive thank you to the donors and committee for the funding.”  

“I would highly recommend the Futures Fund to any student with an idea, plan or a dream they just can’t quite fund.”

Article written by Matthew Shevlin, University of Sunderland Journalism graduate.

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