Each year, an estimated 500 people apply for the Musical Theatre degree at the prestigious Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University. It is a gruelling audition process with many hopeful performers applying and auditioning year after year before finally, if ever, being accepted into the final cut of just 24 students. Among this year’s elite intake was recent Year 12 graduate, Thomas Currie.
Thomas is passionate about performing and has been heavily involved in School productions since Year 8. Going into Year 12, he recognised that it would take more than just ‘passion’ to make a career in theatre – he would need a business plan. So with great maturity and level-headedness, he spent his final year researching his tertiary options and skilling-up with extra-curricular training. When it became clear it would be unrealistic to apply and audition for all of the major theatre courses while trying to complete his VCE, he decided to simply apply for his first preference – Queensland Conservatorium – and if he was unsuccessful, try again for all options next year. Knowing how rare it is to get into the Conservatorium first go, he was hopeful but realistic so when news came in that he had been accepted, mid-way through Year 12 exams, he said he was both astounded and relieved.
“At times (the audition process) was very confronting. I really didn’t think I would get through.”
“I’m very happy and very lucky to get in first year.”
Thomas’s outlook on his future is smart and positive. He believes that to succeed in the industry, you need to be focused and well-rounded and he feels that Ivanhoe Grammar School has given him the perfect foundation for that. Success in the performing arts requires a certain mindset that balances being both business- and community-focused; a quality that his role-model, Hugh Jackman has in spades. “I love how smart he has been with his career, and that he is a good person in real life.”
And of the tertiary options in performing arts, why Queensland Conservatorium so far from home? Thomas said that as well as its reputation, the course is hands-on, with experienced faculty and a culture that mimics his experience at Ivanhoe Grammar School.
Many in our community would say that the news of Thomas being accepted into such a prestigious school is no surprise. However, the performing arts is a notoriously difficult industry to break into at the best of times, and not only has Thomas been accepted into one of Australia’s most prestigious performing arts schools, he has done so from his first audition, straight out of secondary school.
It just proves what everyone in the school community already knew: that Thomas Currie is a star on the rise.