Old Flinderian Georgia Billington graduated from Matthew Flinders Anglican College last year and has since been busy pursuing her love for musical theatre.
A major highlight for Georgia was representing Australia last month as part of a team of 10 Aussie performers at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in LA, which she described as an "incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity". WCOPA features contestants from more than 70 countries and is often cited as the official ‘Talent Olympics’ for aspiring performers and entertainers, and the only event of its kind held annually in the Hollywood area, the entertainment capital of the world.
In this Beyond Flinders Q&A profile, Georgia reflects on happy memories from her Flinders days and shares how she has followed her passions and been able to overcome disappointment to create a life she loves.
Georgia also explains how her five years studying Drama at Flinders helped her to fall in love with the stage, a place she is clearly very comfortable on. She also has some sage advice about how to deal with life when things don’t go to plan!
What does life look like for you now?
Georgia: I have recently returned from representing Australia at the World Championships of Performing Arts in LA. Now, I am working and saving money before I move to New York in September. I received a scholarship to the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and will be studying musical theatre there for a few years.
What was your favourite Flinders moment?
Playing touch football with my friends! Our team was so much fun to be a part of, we all loved playing together and we had so much support from our awesome coach Mr Cameron Martens!
Do you have a role model from Flinders?
Every teacher I had at Flinders was incredible, but I must say Mr Patrick Morrow went above and beyond. I have never had a more supportive, kind and memorable teacher in my life and I am so grateful for his help throughout high school.
Could you share how your experience and learning through drama subjects at Flinders has prepared you for your next stage?
Drama at Flinders is the reason I fell in love with the stage. The supportive environment of the Drama classroom allowed me to learn and grow, without fear of failure or judgment. I studied Drama at Flinders from Years 7 to 12 and it was by far my favourite classroom to be in.
The co-curricular drama program was also where I flourished. The staff put so much time and diligence into making the productions the best they can be and it created such an amazing environment in which to grow. The drama program at Flinders helped me grow as an actor and really prepared me for my university auditions and future performances.
How easy was it to decide what to do in life?
The amount of professions I thought I wanted to do was incredible. From paramedic to teacher to veterinarian, I had a lot of different ideas. I only really knew in Year 12 that I wanted to pursue musical theatre after realising how happy it made me. I still have no idea where I might be in five years, but I am just going to take it as it comes, and do what brings me joy.
Did your further study or career go exactly as you planned?
This time last year, I was dead set on going to the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane to do Musical Theatre – that was the only path I was interested in taking. Although not getting into the Con was heartbreaking, it possibly was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Taking a gap year has presented me with so many opportunities I never would have looked at if I was studying. Now I am just about to move to my dream destination to start studying what I love to do.
What advice do you have for current students?
It’s easier said than done, but my advice is to just trust that things are going to work out. I am well known as an over-thinker and the one thing I have learnt this year is that as long as you do your best, put the work in and make sure you enjoy the journey, everything else will fall into place. Most of the time things don’t go to plan, but somehow, it always seems to work out better than you had hoped, you just have to see it in a different light.
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