Since studying drama at the college in 2000, Ceri has had a successful career as a singer, actor and TV presenter, as well as working behind the camera.
She was in girl band Pheena in the early 2000s, touring with the likes of Blue and Liberty X, has appeared on Coronation Street and Emmerdale, and more recently has worked as first assistant director on S4C soap Pobol y Cwm.
This summer she returned to Coleg Menai to direct ‘The Hunger Pang Gang’, a film produced under the It’s My Shout scheme starring students on the Performing Arts courses, with Creative Media learners involved in production.
Having also learned British Sign Language at Coleg Menai, Ceri works as a Makaton tutor alongside her TV career, and presented BAFTA-winning S4C children’s show Dwylo’r Enfys. The show uses Makaton - a language programme involving symbols, signs and speech - to help children learn to communicate.
Now Ceri, from Caernarfon, is preparing to make her film debut in Bolan’s Shoes, which is out in cinemas on September 15.
Filmed in Liverpool and Holyhead, the fictional drama is inspired by the 1970s glam rock era and centres on fans of legendary T-Rex frontman Marc Bolan.
It is directed by former Coronation Street actor Ian Puleston-Davies, from Flintshire, and stars Timothy Spall as well as Wrexham-born Gangs of London star Mark Lewis Jones, while Bolan’s son Rolan is an associate producer.
Ceri, who plays Dilys in the film, said: “It’s been a highlight of my career. It’s my first feature film so it was a pretty awesome experience. Because I’ve worked a lot behind the camera as well as in front of it, it’s fascinating to be able to see both sides of it.”
Ceri studied a BTEC diploma in Drama at Coleg Menai, and has fond memories of treading the boards at the old Theatr Gwynedd.
She said: “I really enjoyed the performing arts course at Coleg Menai. Just being around like-minded people and getting the opportunity to do the things I hadn’t been able to do in school.
“The highlights for me were the performances we did at the old Theatr Gwynedd - especially Sweet Charity, which was my favourite time of the course. We had to audition for the parts and I got one of the lead roles, which was amazing. Lisa Jones was my tutor and it was lovely to go back and see her with It’s My Shout.”
Ceri had this advice for anyone studying performing arts or thinking of applying: “The more experience you can get, the more you can learn, the better. Acting is like a muscle, you’ve got to keep doing it and you never stop learning.
“It’s a difficult industry to crack, especially for actors. You’ve got to be open to having other skills that can complement acting and lead to a job in the industry.”
Ceri is certainly multi-skilled, having trained as a Makaton tutor after winning a BAFTA with Dwylo’r Enfys. Her journey to presenting the award-winning show started when she learned Level 2 British Sign Language at Coleg Menai in 2008.
“I had always been curious and I loved the course so much!” she said. “Weird how life goes and that I could transfer those skills to then present Dwylo’r Enfys.
“Makaton signs come from BSL but they are used differently. BSL is a language used in the deaf community and Makaton uses speech signs and symbols and is used for all communication difficulties at any age.
“After presenting the series I carried on to train as a Makaton tutor and now I teach Makaton and combine it with my creative skills.”
For more information about Performing Arts courses at Grŵp Llandrillo, click here. For information on the range of British Sign Language courses available through Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, visit gllm.ac.uk and search ‘BSL’.