Talent scout to visit City’s industry hopefuls

Renowned New York talent scout Peter Sklar will be coming to Red Deer to inform teens about how to be successful in the entertainment industry.

“We have a lot of very high performing kids getting good grades or doing 60 hours a week in dance, but they’re self destructive like never before,” said Sklar.

He added that kids today are in all kinds of trouble emotionally and physically but it can’t be seen because they thrust themselves into this pursuit of excellence and living up to expectations.

“You can not fake liking yourself. A lot of these kids might not be in the performing arts five or 10 years from now, but the basics of what I teach will still apply.”

The free lecture, ‘Earning a Living in the Arts’ is open to aspiring dancers, singers, actors, and their parents on Sept.18 at 3 p.m. at J.D.’s Fabulous Feet in north Red Deer.

Julie Dionne, owner and director of J.D.’s Fabulous Feet, said they are excited to have Sklar coming and that she is looking forward to the changes she might see in her students.

“I find that kids have this unrealistic expectation that they have to look and act a certain way,” said Dionne.

Tricia Hercina, a mother of one of Dionne’s students, said she thinks it will be good for the kids to learn to believe in themselves.

“Whether stardom is their future or not it will be time well spent. Encouraging the kids to listen and learn is an investment in their growth as a performer and a person,” said Hercina.

Dionne said she is anxious for the students to learn that image is not everything in the entertainment industry

“It’s set in peoples’ minds that scouts look for the beautiful skinny perfect people but that’s not the case. They look to fill roles and there are chances for everybody,” said Dionne.

In the entertainment industry Dionne said there is constant rejection.

“You definitely have to be in a healthy state of mind to even be able to handle everything that is to come,” said Dionne.

Fiona Duley, a student with Dionne, is looking forward to learning first-hand what it might be like if a career is chosen in the entertainment industry.

“It will be great to know some of the challenges associated with choosing a career in dance so I can try to brace myself for the future,” said Duley.

Reservations are required but the seminar is open to young performers over 6 years of age, accompanied by a parent. Ages 18 and up do not need an adult but parents are still welcome. The workshop is free.

To reserve a spot at the lecture call Julie Dionne at 403-342-2173.