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Alumni

Josie Cerise

Career Path: Actor & Performer
Location: UK

I  was born in Christchurch, New Zealand but moved to the UK when I was 8 years old. I trained as a dancer, but really started to enjoy acting when I went to college and studied A-level Performance. Since leaving Northumbria I have had successful career as a performer. Immediately after I finished the course I was awarded a place on InterACT; the year long professional acting apprenticeship run by Northumberland Theatre Company. Through the course I attended amazing masterclasses with leading industry practitioners, from the RSC to Frantic Assembly. It also allowed me to gain work experience with renowned theatre companies such as Northern Stage in Newcastle and the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton.

What are you doing now?Josie Cerise

Currently I am touring the UK in a new show called 'Monday's Child' for Tutti Frutti and York Theatre Royal. I now specialise in high quality children's physical theatre and television. I appear in the live action children's show, 'Ha Ha Hairies' in which I star as the young gymnastic and energetic daughter 'Mini Ha Ha'. It has been nominated for a Kids BAFTA award twice, and aired on Cartoonito across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and the UK. I recently finished filming the new series of 'Grandpa in my Pocket' starring James Bolam, I guest star as twins Milly and Molly Muddleton who get muddled up!  My theatre credits include working with the fantastic Tall Stories. Firstly I played Mouse in 'The Gruffalo' which toured for 12 months including a West End stint at Christmas. I went on to tour Australia with 'Room on the Broom' which premiered at Sydney Opera House and was recently nominated for an Olivier Award. I also performed their new show 'My Brother the Robot' at the legendary Roundhouse in Camden.  Initially I was signed to a co-operative acting agency (actors run the agency and take it turns to work in the office), I learnt a lot about the industry from my time with them. I have recently signed with a new renowned Manchester agent, and I am excited to see what happens next!

How connected was your course with industry?

Very connected! As a performer I am passionate about devising. Dr Kate Craddock is making exciting work in the North East. Watching her fantastic one woman show 'Hand me Downs' was highly inspirational to me. Because of this, for my final performance I devised a new all female ensemble piece, that went on to be performed at Northern Stage.

What was the best thing about your course?

The Performing Arts department lecturers are employed professionally as actors, directors, writers, facilitators, dancers and singers. Training with those who do this for a living, meant I was learning up-to-date techniques and philosophies.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

At Northumbria I began the journey (which never ends!) of finding out who I am as a performer. The course allowed me to play and explore my skills, which helped me to discover what makes me unique.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

Northumbria taught me to be independent and to take responsibility for my own work. The course encouraged me to be proactive and has helped me develop a positive attitude towards acting.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Collaborating with my fellow students and lecturers. I immersed myself in various projects from student films to outreach drama work in the community.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

There is so much going on not only at Northumbria but throughout Newcastle. The arts scene is vibrant in the North East. There are always exciting projects to get involved with that will enrich your experience and develop your skills. Make the most of your time and be proactive, you will make contacts in the industry and build up your CV.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Fun. Creative. Exciting.

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