An aspiring Norwich actor is hoping to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Paul Rudd, Danny DeVito and Robert Redford after landing a place at the New York drama school where the movie stars honed their craft.

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Twenty-six-year-old James Ducker, of Dereham Road, has been accepted onto a two-year course at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts but in order to realise his life-long dream, the former Costessey High pupil needs help to raise the equivalent of £50,000 to cover the tuition fees and living costs while he is studying in the United States.

He hopes a grant from the academy and a career development loan will cover half of the costs, but he still needs to raise about £25,000 in order to take up the sought-after drama school place in September next year.

“This opportunity to hone my skills and do what I want to do is beyond what I ever imagined and all I can hope is there is an opportunity out there to help me achieve my dream,” Mr Ducker said.

“The school itself is one of the most prestigious in America and it is a wonderful opportunity for me to pursue the career I have always dreamed about.

“Previous alumni include Adrian Brody, Paul Rudd, Anne Hathaway, Kirk Douglas, Danny DeVito and Robert Redford. “Needless to say the school is well worth the money for the chance.”

Mr Ducker has been acting since the age of eight. He took classes at the Norwich Theatre Royal’s arts school and later the youth theatre. He has performed with the Norwich Players at the Maddermarket theatre, and has also acted with the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre and Studio Theatre company and worked on short and full-length films with Norwich University College of the Arts’ students.

While at University in Northampton he worked with the Royal Theatre in Northampton on a production of Twelfth Night with Lucy Speed, Paul Fox and Rebecca Grant.

Outside of acting Mr Ducker has worked in a number of roles, including working in a bank and teaching English in Taiwan, and he is currently working at Carphone Warehouse in Great Yarmouth.

Anyone who is able to sponsor Mr Ducker should contact him by emailing jducker.jd@gmail.com

Do you know someone who is set for stardom? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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