Mariah Nonnemacher says she caught the acting bug at age of three.
“Ever since I could walk, I told my mom ‘I want to be an actress’, and that was it. Like it just stuck, and she thought like I’d grow out of it and maybe become a doctor or something, and that never happened,” she said.
Shortly before earning her bachelor’s degree in fine arts and acting from Oklahoma City University, she applied to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London to pursue her master’s degree.
“They had one audition in New York, and one audition in L.A., and I went to the one in New York,” Nonnemacher said.
The school only accepts ten students a year, worldwide.
“I was like you know what I’m just gonna do it like, what do I have to lose, I thought why not, I thought, if not I’ll go straight to L.A.,” she said.
A month-and-a-half after her audition, she received the email that would have her fate.
“I was really scared to just open it, and I stood there for 10 minutes debating whether or not I was gonna do it, so finally when I did, I was of course hyperventilating and crying and on the floor, and my grandparents come in here thinking I’m dying or something, and they have no idea what’s going on, so they’re just like oh my gosh should I call an ambulance or something, and I was like I got accepted,” she said.
The 22-year-old is only one of two hopefuls in the U.S. to receive an acceptance letter, and just one out of 6,000 selected from the audition in New York.
“I’m just an average girl from little Alma, Arkansas who wanted to be an actress, and I watch movies, and I see that and that’s what I want to do, and I want to portray a story in someone’s life,” Nonnemacher said.
She hopes to ultimately follow a career path similar to Quentin Tarantino’s and be able to produce, direct and act in films.
Nonnemacher leaves for London on Sept. 16. Classes begin in October, and her training there will last a little over a year.