OFF TO NY: Rocky triple threats Mackinnley and Ashleigh receiving their scholarships.
OFF TO NY: Rocky triple threats Mackinnley and Ashleigh receiving their scholarships.

Former Rockhampton actors take New York by storm

ASHLEIGH Mitchell is about to take a bite out of the big apple as she prepares to move overseas, after beating out international talent to win a scholarship to The New York Film Academy.

Ashleigh will join long-time friend and Rockhampton boy Mackinnley Bowden at the Academy on May 27 next year.

She received a partial scholarship and would be away for at least two years.

"I'm most excited about how practical the course is and the exposure you get from it," Ashleigh said.

"It looks really challenging which is exciting."

The 18-year-old said she was excited to have one of her good friends from Rocky at college with her in the states.

"He's been a really good friend of mine for years and having him tell me how amazing it is over there makes me even more excited to get there and start," Ashleigh said.

Mackinnley moved to America last year to study at the New York Film Academy after landing a scholarship at the same time as Ashleigh.

He said moving to the states from Rockhampton woke him up to the opportunities the world had to offer.

"I was originally in Florida for seven months where I interned at a professional theatre company as a sales rep," Mackinnley said.

"I was privileged enough to be a part of their gorgeous production of West Side Story as Riff."

Mackinnley then made his move to New York City where he now studies at The New York Film Academy in the Musical Theatre program.

"The training is intense and wild but the city demands nothing less of me," he said.

"Every day presents a new challenge, and with it a new opportunity for growth and learning."

Mackinnley said the city had led to exciting things.

"I've originated roles in new upcoming musicals and been involved in concerts featuring music from some of theatres greatest and most well renowned contemporary composers," he said.

"I've even been a part of some stunning Off-Broadway golden age revivals."

He said growing up in Rockhampton he had the mentality that the town limited him.

"It was easy to feel suffocated by the intimacy of a small community environment," he said.

"However Rockhampton taught me what it means to be a good person, and it's taught me the importance of having a home."

Mackinnley said there wasn't enough space in the world for all the gratitude he had towards his home town.


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