Life isn't just what one sometimes expects and it can surprise you in all segments. This is a story about a talented and ambitious young man who, only a year ago, couldn’t even imagine applying to an academy abroad and getting a chance to attend a prestigious academy in New York City. How does an orphan, a boy from a small town of 3,000 citizens, come close to realizing the American dream in the greatest city in the world? Sounds unreal. That’s how he felt after he got a return email from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) that he was accepted. He is still not entirely aware of what is happening and he probably won’t be until he lands in New York. It is significant for him that the academy recognized his talent and has entrusted him with a place in AMDA rewarding him with a merit-based scholarship and congratulating him on his outstanding achievement. Although he has been granted certain scholarship benefits, he still has to pay a certain tuition fee and that's where you, dear Benefactor come in. And this is his story:
"My name is Marko Dumančić and I come from the small town of Kupres, Bosnia and Herzegovina. A lot has happened in my 26 years of life. Growing up in a conservative environment and being different just isn't acceptable in such a place. Why? Because when you love to dance, act, sing, and not to be like „all the other guys“, you are bullied and labeled for life. So was I. As my city was destroyed in the war and it took years to rebuild, I didn’t have an opportunity to develop my talents the way I wanted to. Everything changed when I moved to Croatia to study at the Faculty of Geodesy, University of Zagreb. Technical University and art don’t go together, do they? During that period, my desire for art became greater. So I applied for an audition for the X-Factor Adria which led me to Husar&Tomčić singing school. Thus began my new journey in the direction of education through an intensive musical program. A year later I became a member of Ansambl Kolbe (musical theater ensemble) which deepened my passion for the theater stage and has encouraged me to dive deeper into the world of musicals.
Despite all the nice things, life hasn’t spared me. In just a few years, both of my grandfathers died of cancer. Not long after that both of my parents also passed away from cancer. My sister and I became orphans. We’ve found ourselves questioning how to continue living despite everything that had happened. Most people thought we were taking sedatives, but our smiles and hopes for a better tomorrow came from another source, from our faith. All the love I've put into the rehearsals and performances healed my soul and with it, my grief became less intense. I got the lead role in the first Croatian musical about the life of St. Anthony. It was intense to work during the day and have rehearsals in the evening, for months. Since the whole project was on a volunteer basis, it just shows that a lot of love was behind the whole story. Two years of performances in various theaters throughout Croatia and abroad, new acquaintances and friendships have made my life fulfilled and complete.
Until the global pandemic completely shut us down, and a strong earthquake that destroyed Petrinja and damaged Zagreb and its surroundings brought fear into our everyday life. But with the wonderful people that life has given me and enough time to think through this period, I decided to rise up and take my potential to the next level. How did I know that being a musical performer is my calling? Because that spark in me never went out, because it wasn’t just my whim but the love that wanted to flow into emotion and give itself to the audience. Sometimes we look for an answer outside of ourselves, even though it is always hidden inside us.
In August 2020. my sister got married so I no longer had to take care of her financially and I realized that it was my turn to move towards my goal. Although I’ve graduated and received the title of Engineer of Geodesy and Geoinformatics I’ve told myself that I would take life into my own hands and make a masterpiece out of it. So I gathered my strength and applied to the academy with a goal to chase my dreams.
Thank you, My dearest Benefactor for being a part of my journey and helping me with donating and sharing."