Local residents looking to break into show business now have an option close to home. Anderson Talent is a new Powell River-based agency representing actors for film, tv and commercials.
It was started by Paige Anderson, artistic director of Laszlo Tamasik Dance Academy, after she saw a niche market.
“I’ve found there are a lot of talented people in Powell River that want representation, but many Vancouver agencies are hesitant to represent them because they’re worried they won’t come down for auditions in time,” she said.
Pursuing acting does tend to require a flexible schedule and, for those based in Powell River, the ability to travel on short notice.
“Sometimes the audition is the next day so you have to be prepared to jump in your car that night or morning. It is a little bit harder for people who are living remotely, but it’s doable. I do it for my daughter,” said Anderson.
BC’s film industry remains robust, according to statistics released by provincial agency Creative BC. Attractive film tax credits continue to bring productions to Hollywood North, centred in Vancouver. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, more than 450 productions generated $3.4 billion for the BC economy and supported the employment of more than 60,000 workers.
“Vancouver is exploding in the film industry right now,” said Anderson. “There are tons of movies and tv series being filmed there all the time. There is lots of opportunity.”
The demand is not just for children and young adults, she said, but people of all ages.
“From babies right up until however old you want to be when you want to do it.”
The brand new agency already has its first success. Powell River actor Tai Brown, 12, booked a role on a pilot for a new tv series. “It was his first audition, first callback, and boom he got the part,” said Anderson.
Though natural ability is important, the key is to treat the craft like dance or an instrument; take lessons and practice a lot.
“You have to put the time and hard work in to make it work,” she said.
Growing up in Powell River, Anderson said opportunities were not like they are today.
“I wish I would have [pursued acting] when I was a kid or a teen,” she said. “I didn’t know how to get started. Things are a lot different now with social media and the internet. But in my journey of being a figure skating coach, dance teacher, choreographer and owning a dance company I’ve discovered my passion is not necessarily me doing it. It’s me helping or facilitating others. That’s what I get excited about.”