Kelly Juvilee is acting out her stage and screen ambitions thanks to joining De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) through Clearing.
Photo credit: Open Lens Portraits
After graduating from Performing Arts in 2013, Kelly set up her own theatre company called Out of the Blue, specialising in making dated comedy or satirical plays relevant for a modern audience.
“I secured venues in the West End, held castings and did all the marketing on social media and financing,” said the 27-year-old from Greece, who has lived in the UK since she was five.
“We received five-and-four-star reviews for all of our performances and I even secured an agent, which is how I transitioned to screen acting.”
During the past two years, Kelly has been in adverts for brands such as Mazda and Pizza Express, as well as in short and feature length independent films.
She said: “My highlight so far was getting to work with Michael Dappah on his new comedy series #SWIL on YouTube while I was at the Cannes Film Festival last year. We got to film in a beautiful villa and meet a celebrity that was very humble and kind.”
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Kelly was busy writing her own short films to take to festivals. She was also collaborating on a new short with filmmaker friends called Unready, which explores the negative effects of miscommunication.
Since the global pandemic Kelly started a blog - Read My Lips for acting tips - for aspiring actors who have just graduated or returned from a career break.
“My acting career has flourished during lockdown due to all the time available,” she said.
“I have spoken to and performed monologues via Zoom with 13 casting directors to grow my brand and to introduce myself. It has been great seeing our community come together and there are lots of opportunities for graduates too with companies such as Warner Bros. and big agents.
“So, although lockdown has been devastating in many ways, it has also been a time to really think about our lives and what's important to us as individuals and as a human race.”
Kelly had to go through Clearing because her college provided incorrect A-level coursework for the class, which wasn’t revealed until everyone failed their exams.
She said: “My only options were to retake those subjects for a further two years or go through Clearing. I was distraught.
“Luckily, I saw DMU’s amazing Performing Arts course and I rang straight away. I was accepted on the spot due to the extra UCAS points I had from a fourth A-level that I hadn’t dropped.
“Looking back, Clearing was the best move for me. University was a much better fit for me than drama school, which was my original plan. My tutors prepared me for starting my own theatre company and I wouldn't be where I am without them. I'm so pleased I found DMU.”
Highlights of Kelly’s time at DMU include volunteering with The Spark Arts for Children, which introduced her to Leicester’s Curve theatre and led to a puppetry placement with a local artist.
“It was a wonderful experience and so brilliant to gain valuable skills before graduating,” she said.
Kelly offered encouragement to students going through the Clearing process this year: “As long as you make the most of the course you've been accepted on, you can achieve anything.
“Setbacks will teach you, like they did me, that life can throw curveballs but that sometimes they’re exactly what we need. Make the most of them and be the best version of yourself.”
Follow Kelly Juvilee on Twitter and Instagram.
Posted on Tuesday 21st July 2020