Natural Talent Wins

Jamie North could best be described as an accidental Shakespearian. 

He has never read an entire Shakespeare play in his life, he doesn’t know much about the famous man, and he had no intention of finding out either.

But fate has deemed otherwise, as it seems that when it comes to performing Shakespeare, he is one of the best in the country.  Earlier this year the Cambridge High School year 13 student was prompted by his teacher to enter a regional audition for a spot in the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company. 

Jamie believes he ‘‘winged it’’ by performing a quickly put together item from King Lear. But the judges discovered he had a natural talent for acting, and as a result he was given a direct entry into The National Shakespeare Schools Production Week in Auckland. 

While there, his performance to a live audience was assessed for compatibility, willingness to learn, and suitability for the group.

He excelled again and was later selected to go to London next year to perform at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre.

This unique international resource is dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare’s work and the playhouse for which he wrote, an opportunity most Shakespearian actors could only dream of, but Jamie’s obvious talents appear to be taking him there effortlessly.  
There was, of course, no way he would turn it down. 
‘‘How often do you get to perform at the Globe?’’

Jamie admits to being pretty stunned at his selection, but instead of shying away from Shakespeare, he is embracing this new-found talent. 

‘‘The other performers auditioning had been reading Shakespeare’s sonnets every night from the age of five, but I haven’t read a single one of his books,’’ he laughed. 

The London adventure is a three-week study tour in July 2013, co-ordinated by the SGCNZ with WP Maher Tours, and Shakespeare Globe Education in London. 

The trip includes being rehearsed by a Globe director, performing on the Globe stage, theatre tours, a Shakespeare rally, attending performances, workshops, talk shops; then historical Shakespeare ‘‘scene setting’’, tours and performances in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Jokes aside, Jamie said the trip would be a great time to further his acting and develop his skills.

‘‘It will be really great, and good for acting confidence,’’ he said.

Jamie currently studies drama at Cambridge High and has taken part in a number of school productions and performances.

‘‘I love the arts – music and drama,’’ he said.

Article and Photo by Cambridge Edition

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