Local dancer Isaac Clark landed himself a role in the yet to be released Dance Academy recently. He tells FOCUS readers about this experience and the fundraising event he will be holding when the movie is shown at the Belgrave Cinema in Armidale in April, with all proceeds going to beyondblue.
How did the movie opportunity come about?
The Principal of Australian Dance Enterprises had mentioned me in a comment on Facebook, regarding a Bloch dance wear competition to be an extra on the new and upcoming Dance Academy, opening in cinemas April 6th 2017, which required one dance photo and a paragraph which consisted of twenty five words or less about which character of the TV series you related to and why. I entered, “I relate to Tara, because she is from the country and she dances from the heart without relating to any aspect of gymnastics”.
How was the experience?
The experience was nerve-racking and stressful, surreal – a blur to start. My first personal introduction was to Nic Westaway from Home and Away. As I entered the set, I immediately wanted to leave, because I was so nervous. Everyone seemed so famous and professional, and then there was me. That is what I felt, until I met the other extras and the main cast. That was when I found out that, up close, everyone is just as normal as we all are. When entering the scene, the director yelled out action, my nerves disappeared, and I felt like an actor; it was so exciting. We filmed six times, and I was lucky enough to have the scene start on me.
What was the most enjoyable part?
The most enjoyable part of the whole experience was being able to work with the most amazing people and meeting the cast. There was a cast member not there on the day, but she sent a video message talking about how she wished she was there and hoped that I had the best day.
What did you find difficult or challenging?
The most difficult part about the experience was working in an environment where you had to wait a long period of time, which made me more and more nervous as the day continued.
Did the experience influence your view on your dance career?
This one day has completely changed my view on how my career could go in life. I would love to be able to dance and act on stage, as well as on screen. It has made me want more in life from the entertainment industry.
Why have you decided to do this fundraiser?
I was lucky enough to have this wonderful opportunity and was supported by my family and friends, so I wanted to give something back.
My family has had firsthand experience with mental illness, especially severe depression and anxiety. We have also reached out to beyondblue, who were extremely helpful. Around two million people in Australia live with anxiety, one million with depression, and eight Australians die from suicide every day, six of whom are men. beyondblue support service was contacted by 107,053 people in 2015 (up 17%).
This is worth supporting.
What do you hope to achieve?
I hope to achieve more awareness, especially in young people and young men. I want this subject to be talked about more in the community; I want to let people know that help is available 24/7, not only for the sufferers, but for their families and friends.