Actors embark on careers

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Nanaimo actors are proving success in the film industry is possible close to home.

Students in Spotlight Academy are landing roles in film and television projects in Victoria and Vancouver.

“It’s great for Nanaimo to know they don’t need to go somewhere else for training in the arts,” said Adrian Hough, an actor and owner of Spotlight Academy.

Brett Dier filmed an episode of Smallville in Vancouver; Jake Walker filmed part of the mini-series Impact in Victoria; Danny Bristol filmed Slapshot: The Junior League, which Hough also acted in; and Christopher Wood is performing with Chemainus Theatre Festival in South Pacific.

“Any one of these kids could be the next one,” Hough said.

Hough bought Spotlight Academy from founder Jacqui Kaese earlier this year, after teaching at the school for more than four years.

“I loved teaching a lot more than I thought I would,” Hough said.

In addition to acting classes, he also points potential actors in the right direction by offering guidance, experience and access to agents.

“I do everything I can to enable that for them,” Hough said.

The school is focused mainly on film and television but classes in modelling, taught by a former top model from Germany who now lives in Nanaimo, will be offered in the fall.

Workshops with acting teachers and casting directors are also planned.

“Training is everything,” Hough said.

The impression is that success in the industry happens overnight, but Hough said that’s not the case. Training, hard work and enthusiasm will make it easier, though.

“It’s a lifelong study – it’s a craft,” Hough said. “The ones who end up working are the most excited about doing the audition.”

And often the life of an actor is not all glamour.

While filming an episode of Eureka – the series pilot was filmed in Nanaimo – one of the lead actors described to Hough working 12- to 15-hour days for 27 days straight.

“The thing they don’t tell you is success is just as hard as failure,” Hough said.

Hough worked on screen for more than 25 years, with this year one of his busiest. He finished roles in the films Dim Sum Funeral, Slapshot: The Junior League and the episode of Eureka.

“I’m excited about the work – about teaching the work, about doing the work,” Hough said.

For information on classes and workshops, please e-mail info@spotlightacademy.com.


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