For many, Crawley is known as the home of Gatwick Airport, hometown of music sensation Robert Smith, the go-to place for aspiring performers at The Hawth as well as place of residence to the local Tilgate Park. Many people, however, do not know is that Crawley is raising the next generation’s upcoming talent, varied from artists to musicians, from designers to dancers. 

Proudly representing the youth’s unique passion and drive to create, Sixth form student Olivia Cooper expresses her views on the artistic progression of teenagers and how many are striving to make it in the film-making community. Currently studying Drama, English Language and History at A-level, she spends her free time playing the mellophone, singing and educating herself in media and film. For many students like Olivia Cooper, preparing for the world of acting and musical theatre is a stressful process, but Cooper encourages others like herself that “it is important to stand out in an industry where you’re constantly compared to someone else”.  

An important part of her life is centered around the creative industry. “My Dad gave up his dream to become a musician but he's always found a way to incorporate or go back to music throughout his life”. Cooper believes that her curiosity when it comes to expressing herself artistically stems primarily from her father, as “he’s always made sure that [she] had some form of creative exposure, usually through music”. 

Now, Cooper is auditioning for drama schools as well as working towards widening her knowledge on the industry. “Im learning to embrace rejection and understanding that facing the world of acting takes nerve and commitment” states Cooper.

Her determination helps her build “solid ground to stand on so if drama school doesn’t happen this year, I have the support to keep the dream going”, which is something all aspiring creatives should be doing: striving to pursue what they love.