Former Students' Profiles

Manali Bhatia - Lynfield College (2006 - 2010)
  • What did you do after school in the way of work, training and tertiary study?
My goal since Year 11 was to work towards getting into Film School. After participating as an active student in the Drama department for 5 years, I knew I wanted to move further in the Performing Arts industry. 
Manali Bhatia-178 In 2011 I started studying at Unitec Institute of Technology, Mt Albert in the Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts programme. Since I majored in Film/TV Production, my training was mostly in managing short films from concept to delivery and organizing the logistics of the production: Organizing production meetings, location management, holding auditions, preparing the film's budget etc. I got to experience working as a Production Assistant on a web series (Flat 3), reality TV show (Te Kapa - Maori TV) and a short film (Mad Pearse) which now has made its official entry into Cannes short film corner this year!
  • What are you doing now?
In order to gain more industry experience, I take up volunteering opportunities and freelance in the industry as a Production and Location Assistant. I am also in the process of incorporating my own company 'Navi Collaborative': which mainly focuses on collaborating  with local artists on projects that reach out to a wider community. We want to include mixed media in our projects and not just limit our art to Theatre or Film. We participated in the Auckland Fringe Festival in Feb 2015 with a Performance Installation called 'The Dummy' (details in our Navi Facebook page) - This was our first experimental theatre piece we staged as a company. 
  • Where do you see yourself career-wise in five years?
In 5 years I want to build and brand Navi Collaborative as an established name in New Zealand as a creative production company. I see myself running medium to larger theatre, short film, music productions & other hybrid forms of art. I want to constantly keep creating hence I know I am someone who wants more out of a career than just a job. Ideally, I want to produce films and enter them in film festivals across the globe and travel to build an international network. 

Billy Scarfe - Lynfield College (2008 - 2012)
What did you do in the way of work, training or tertiary study?
Since I was about 7 or so, a dream of mine was always to be a news reporter on the television or a sports commentator. With this career path in mind, I knew that Drama would assist me in some way, shape or form. My love for drama started at a young age and I knew that this had to continue throughout my high school days and hopefully throughout my life. I began studying a Bachelor of Communications Studies at AUT University in 2013. With a major in Television and Radio performance, my performing arts skills come into play almost every day. As the course is very practical, I am receiving a great amount of hands on experience in both Radio and Television studios, broadcasting my show on the university radio station 4 times a week, as well as news reading in front of camera for studio broadcasts.

What are you doing now?
I am currently in my final year of a bachelor of communication studies at AUT, and have just one semester left in order to graduate. Along with finishing off my degree, I am working part time at Newstalk ZB along with Radio Sport, where, again, the skills that I have learnt through my years within the Performing Arts department come into play.

I am mainly doing producing however, I have produced and performed some on air content such as small radio documentaries on different New Zealand sporting achievements. I have also been acting in students films that have been created for assignments, along with the 48 hour film festival.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully my work with the current radio stations will help me get my foot in the door. I would like to eventually do some sort of on air work on either of the two stations I currently work for whether that be news reading, current affairs talk back or pre recorded documentaries and profile pieces. This would be my ideal place of work, however camera performance wouldn't be a bad alternative either.

Ways in which your learning in Performing Arts at Lynfield supported your direction?
I definitely believe that my education in the performing arts at Lynfield has helped me a great deal in my direction, both at work and at university.

Throughout my tertiary study I have had to do performances and presentations constantly and the confidence gained by continually performing throughout my years at college helped with this. I wasn't as nervous as I had had experience performing in front of an audience quite a lot in drama class. It also come into play when presenting on air radio. Voice projection is crucial when speaking on radio, and was fortunately something that I had learnt previously through drama.
                                         Billy Scarfe

Bianca Paine - Lynfield College (2006-2010)
Bianca Paine-567
  • What did you do after school in the way of work, training and tertiary study?
After school I went straight to Auckland University and studied a Bachelor of Performing Arts. Along side of that I was dancing with a Hip Hop group called 'Request'. We performed all over New Zealand and Australia and competed in Various competitions. I competed at the world Hip Hop championships- Las Vegas with Request for 3 years in a row, winning 2 gold medals and one Bronze.

I had only been studying my BA for a year when I was offered a contract to dance in a Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show along with 5 other girls from my group. I could not miss this opportunity so I put Uni on hold and took the job. We went through an intensive training/ creation process for this spectacular show for 6 months, in Montreal. We rehearsed 10-12 hours a day, 5 days a week. Our training included clowning & acting classes, pilates, ballet, heels classes and makeup tutorials. I then moved to Las Vegas where we performed the show in our resident theatre 'Mandalay Bay' for 2 years, 5 days a week, 2 shows a night.

During my time in America I also took some singing and dance classes on the side, to keep improving as an artist, as we were performing the same show every night.

  • What are you doing now? (2015)
 I moved home to New Zealand after my contract ended. I did have hopes to stay in Las Vegas and be resigned to do the show for another year but unfortunately I injured myself and had to have surgery on my kneeNow living back here I am ready to start my next adventure.

I haven't really been dancing anymore as my injury restricts me, however I'm really getting back into drama. I have been taking singing and drama lessons weekly. I also go to a crossfit gym called 'Ludus Magnus' every day, to keep strong and active. I have also been doing some bartending in the weekends to earn some extra pocket money. 
  • Where do you see yourself career-wise in another five years?
In a few months I am going to audition for a 1 year intensive acting course called 'The Actors' Program' I hope to be selected for that. I think this will really help boost my career in the performing arts industry.

In another 5 years time I hope to be on my way to teaching performing arts and possibly even being an acting coach/ director of theatre shows. I decided not to continue my BA, as it wasn't hands on enough for me. I also believe that I have had enough experience/ know the right people to do really amazing things very soon.
  • Can you identify any ways that your learning in performing arts at Lynfield College supported your direction?
My learning in performing arts at Lynfield College hugely supported my direction; especially Drama class in Years 12 and 13 with Celia Nicholson. In those two years I really discovered my passion for Drama and Performing. Having such a fantastic, enthusiastic teacher made me think that teaching drama could be something I would like to do one day.

Drama at Lynfield not only gave me knowledge about the history of Drama, but a huge amount of confidence because of all the improvising exercises we did. My favourite part of Drama was our performances. I would constantly be rehearsing, even outside of class, I just couldn't wait to get on that stage! That really confirmed for me that performing is what I want to continue doing, I just love it!

Nicole Jourdane Lim-Kwan  - Lynfield College (2007-2010)
In 2011, I started studying at the University of Auckland. I am currently in the fifth and final year of my Bachelor of Law (Honours) and Arts Degree.
  • Where do I see myself in five years
 In five years, I see myself as an established legal practitioner- hopefully in the area of either criminal, public or family law. However, in the long run, I wish to be a part of the Ministry of Justice’s Policy Development Team. It has always been a dream of mine to create, research and evaluate policies particularly, policies relating to the Criminal Justice System and the drivers of crime. I have always been interested in the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect of policies and laws and moreover, have always wanted a career which would allow me to contribute to New Zealand’s welfare.
  •  Performing Arts
 I was a student of the Drama Department in Lynfield College from Years 10-11 and was also involved in the school production in Year 10, 11 and 13. I have always been told that there is no link between Performing Arts and Law. However, I honestly believe that my participation in Performing Arts during my time at Lynfield College has enabled me to be more confident in public speaking; a skill greatly needed as a law student/lawyer.  Also, I firmly believe that my improvisation skills- learnt during my time at Lynfield College- have allowed me to excel in debating-type assessments at University which require me to think quickly on my feet.
                 Drama Alumni Nicole Lim-Kwan profile pic