My name is Ondra Pilnaj and I am a musical theatre performer. On the 27th of April, 2018, I became the first Czech Republic citizen to have ever been accepted to Boston Conservatory at Berklee as a Musical Theatre Undergraduate. Unfortunately, I am the working class citizen of a developing country, and I am not able to pay for the tuition myself. I am very much afraid I might have to decline the greatest opportunity of my life because of it. There are no scholarships available for my situation at the moment, and to apply for a student loan I need an American cosigner. I know I would be the most responsible and diligent student as I would work my hardest to make myself the best performer I can be.
I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, and ever since I was eight years old I knew there was nothing else I would like to do more than to perform. At the age of 15 I was accepted to the theatre department of the Prague Conservatory‘s high school program. However that was also the point when I started to experience severe depression and anxiety. After a while I was not able to study anymore because of my mental state. The doctors prescribed me pills and I gained almost a 100lbs in just a few months. I thought my life was over.
I was lucky enough to find help with the therapeutic community at the age of 20. I spent over a year working hard on overcoming my depression and anxiety, stopped taking pills and lost all the weight I gained from taking them. I returned to high school to graduate with all A’s, and later I started working with multiple musical theatre productions in Prague.
I also became involved as a volunteer with the “Hate Free” human rights group in Czech Republic. Since I was a little kid I found it extremely hard to understand why anyone would ever treat someone differently for their physical features or peaceful beliefs.
I would like to see what it is like to live in a society where people are determined to fight not only for their own rights but also for the rights of others. I am fully committed to continue fighting for people who face discrimination based on their sexuality, race, religion, nationality, gender identity or other reasons, throughout the rest of my life!
In January 2018, I used all my money to travel to Boston, MA to try my luck with one of the most prestigious musical theatre programs in the world– and luckily, I was accepted!
Now I know everything has its purpose. If it were not for all the falls and pain, I would never have had the courage and willpower to try to achieve the impossible. Sometimes you have to fall into a deep abyss in order to be able to climb a mountain later.
Please let me climb to the top.
You can find my letter of acceptance along with other materials in Documents section. The tution cost and other mandatory fees are displayed on this website: https://bostonconservatory.berklee.edu/offices-and-services/tuition-and-fees.
The total goal for this academic year is $60.000, which would cover the cost of tuition, off-campus housing, books, travel, food and all other fees and payments.
I am trying to get financial support from international companies, state authorities and private donors.
If you can, please, donate to my Czech transparent account: 3129207153/0800.
You can see all incoming and outgoing payments here: https://www.csas.cz/en/transparent-accounts#/000000-3129207153/Ondrej-Pilnaj
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
phone: +420 728 665 396
Thank you. ?