“I grew up at YATI and now I’m teaching there,” explains Joey Jarossi who clearly loves this famous Islington drama school. “When I first came to YATI I was about eight years old and I was lucky enough to be taught by Anna Scher when it was the Anna Scher School. I was super shy, but I grew in confidence. Now I’m teaching at YATI I’ve seen some kids completely transformed,” he explains over a cappuccino at Costa Coffee on Islington Green just before his afternoon workshops start.
“It’s a great community, like a family. No one ever leaves – they might go away for a bit (maybe to university) but then they come back,” says Joey explaining that he began there at eight, left, then returned to YATI aged 14 and fondly remembers doing the show Billy Elliott.
Joey, 24, is very friendly, sharp-eyed (he’s quick to spot the X-Factor celeb in the coffee shop – Fleur East) and totally switched on to drama. But if you ask him what he’s acted in he’s not boastful, often claiming he was a “background character.” He’s clearly a huge fan of theatre and has been on YATI’s acting books, but he’s also really enjoyed working as a chaperone for YATI’s Isaac Andrews when filming Hercules and a horror film called Blackwood.
“I say to parents all the time when they ask about sending their child to YATI that they don’t have to be all ‘jazz hands’ or want to be famous. Not everyone wants to be a star. At YATI they’ll make friends, build their confidence and find an artistic outlet,” he says. “Some of my oldest friends went to YATI with me when we were really little. And I found it such a saving grace when secondary school was a bit too much.”
Places Joey Jarossi likes in Islington
YATI – anyone can go to a show (the big one is the Xmas show) and there are even adult classes. Call up, email or pop in and ask.
Almedia Theatre is great I’ve done loads of courses there including a year long course, called LAB. We put on a show for a week in the big theatre. I want to go back as I haven’t seen anything there for a while.
I love the Little Angel Theatre. If I’m babysitting in the day (for five to 13 year olds) it’s my favourite place to take the kids I’m looking after to, but I’ve got a whole repertoire of fun places we can visit.
I love Rowans Tenpin Bowling in Finsbury Park. It’s so cheap and my friends love going thre too for the arcade, pool, dance mat and the bowling. I also work at the Everyman Cinema in Belsize Park and we had our staff party at Rowans.