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News > LoOK > Staging Success with Eliza Duckworth

Staging Success with Eliza Duckworth

Eliza Duckworth(OK 2013-22) graduated from Year 13 at Kellett in 2022 with a passion for acting and a desire to follow her dreams. We caught up with her to see how her journey is going.
12 Jun 2024
Written by Old Kellettonian
United Kingdom
Eliza Duckworth (center) acting.
Eliza Duckworth (center) acting.

Written in the Stars

I’ve wanted to become an actress for as long as I can remember. When I was young I was in acting groups and I did dance classes and singing lessons, and then began to get parts in musicals with a children’s production company. I also took every opportunity to join productions at school and one of my fondest memories was playing Abigail in Arthur Miller’s ‘Crucible’ during my final year at Kellett.

Feeling Inspired

Through the years I’ve found many actors and actresses inspiring, for instance, Hugh Jackman, Emma Thompson, Emilia Clarke, and so many more. The list keeps growing! Lately, I’ve been most inspired and influenced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, especially as I’ve been going down the writing route recently– I think both her acting and script writing is really superb.

Forging a Path

Once it became clear that acting was my true passion, the idea of going to drama school in London came naturally. After graduating from Kellett, I went to ArtsEd to do an Acting Foundation Course and then I began applying for BA courses at various drama schools. I didn’t have any success, so I ended up applying to Queen Mary University through clearing. This wasn’t what I’d imagined for myself, but I knew that getting my education was important and it turns out that the course I’m taking is perfect for me. 

Looking Back

My best memories from Kellett are the amazing school trips we went on. In year five we went to the Great Wall of China–it was so much fun and it really gave me time to bond with my friends. Another was our trip to Mongolia, a place I never thought I’d have the privilege to go to–it was so beautiful and the culture was so rich, I think about that trip all the time. I’m still in touch with a lot of my old classmates and we see each other when we can. The Old Kellettonian meet-ups are a huge help to rekindle friendships, and I always try to attend them as they’re very grounding and comforting for me. 

Life Lessons

I think the biggest lesson I learnt from Kellett was that If I really want to achieve something, there’s no reason as to why that can’t happen. All of my teachers really inspired me, especially in my last two years at Kellett, but Magi Chen, my old form tutor, who I met at the very beginning of year seven, taught me kindness and patience, and I really value and appreciate everything she did for us.

Teen in the Tech Era

I got my first Smartphone when I was eleven years-old, simply because I began travelling home after school by public bus. I think it began to have an effect on my self-esteem when I was in year eight, as everyone around me was changing and I wanted to be pretty, and I wanted people to think I was pretty. Naturally when you see beautiful women online you compare yourself to them. Sadly, I thought this was the definition of beauty, and I didn’t know about angles, posing, filters and editing.

Strike a Pose

I felt a societal pressure to look a certain way: wearing the correct makeup and dressing properly, especially during my GCSEs in 2020. I think because so many of us were online due to quarantine, it became even more difficult to not see posts that targeted younger women addressing the way they looked. Fortunately, I think the film industry is trying to change and a large part of the community feel it’s important that this continues.

Keeping it Real

My family is very vocal, so we tended to have open and honest conversations as I was growing up. I think this is really important, as it’s easy for children to access negative content online, even things that may at first seem harmless. In my experience, heavily monitoring your child’s phone has negative impacts, as it can lead them to rebel against authority as they get older. Staying aware of what they are doing and having regular discussions about it is key to managing any ill effects.

Moving On

Luckily, I realised during my A-Levels that forcing myself to look how other girls looked had a lot of negative effects on me, so I changed my wardrobe and cut off all my hair. I never felt more like myself and I’ve never looked back! I hope to become a successful actress after I graduate, but talking to others in the industry I’ve realised that this takes time, so I altered my mindset to not put pressure on myself. I just want to create something or be a part of a production that I’m proud of which can help me on my journey.

Below are some pictures of Eliza's from her time at school (login to view).

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