BUDDING stars in South Tyneside are being given a unique opportunity to kick-start their screen careers.
A new group is being set up to help youngsters aged from eight to 14 learn the basics of life in front of the camera – and behind it.
South Shields man Terry Perry, who already directs two theatre groups in the town, wants to help young talent get involved with the film and TV industry.
He said: “Some people are destined for a career as an actor, while others are more suited to working on the production side.
“There are a lot of talented young people in South Tyneside, and we want to give them a chance to come and have a go.
“They can learn a few lines and get some experience of performing in front of the camera. It can be a daunting experience at first, but it becomes easier with practice.”
The new group will meet at the Brinkburn Community Association in McAnany Avenue, South Shields, which also hosts the Nearly Famous performing arts group and the South Tyneside Academy of Musical Performance.
Mr Perry, 55, who is originally from South Shields but now lives in Newcastle, runs both groups, which focus on performances involving music.
He says the new group is all about acting.
He added: “Anyone interested in acting and camera work can come along and learn a bit about how films are made, camera techniques and the basics of acting in small, manageable bites.” The Nearly Famous performing arts group was founded by Mr Perry and his son Chris in 2003, and provides musical theatre opportunities for people under the age of 25.
The group’s recent variety show at the Brinkburn Community Association raised £650 in aid of the Tibet Appeal.
The appeal was launched in the Gazette last year by South Tyneside’s Glenn Nicholas and Barry Swainston, to support blind children at a school for the blind in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, Asia.
Chris Perry, 22, is now a star in London’s West End after graduating at the London School of Musical Theatre three years ago.
The new group starts on Saturday, May 26. It will take place every Saturday from 10.30am to noon, at the Brinkburn Community Association. For information, call Mr Perry on 07896 277127.