Throughout November 2019, Screenwise was privileged to meet a wide range of highly talented young actors who submitted applications for the Screenwise Founder’s Scholarship in 2020. Now in it’s third year, this newly established and highly valued industry program offers a wealth of value and guidance to one talented recipient each year, including one two-year full-time scholarship to study the Diploma of Screen Acting 10065NAT. The Founder’s Scholarship covers tuition fees for the 10065NAT Diploma Screen Acting Program over the complete course of two years, and includes production of the Scholarship recipient’s Showreel and Industry Graduation Showcase upon completion of the program.
This year we are proud to present the recipient of the Screenwise Founder’s Scholarship in 2020, Veronica Chan.
Veronica migrated to Sydney, Australia from Taiwan at the age of 10. From a young age Veronica has overcome many hurdles to pursue her very strong passion for the screen arts. The Screenwise Founder’s Scholarship will give her the remarkable opportunity to make the most of her strong work ethic and unique talents as an actress. Her identity as an Australian with strong ties to her Taiwanese Heritage plays a key role in what drives her interest in themes of diversity and family in Film and Television. We sat down with Veronica Chan to find out more about her plans at Screenwise and her dreams for the future:
Firstly we’d like to welcome you to the Screenwise family! What made you apply for the Screenwise Founder’s Scholarship?
Thank you so much for such the warm welcome! I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be part of the family! Screenwise has been on my radar for the longest time because to me it was the only place offering a comprehensive course focusing specifically on screen acting. I previously completed a short course and really enjoyed it, so there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that if I was going to pursue screen acting seriously, this was the place to do it. Additionally, with the help of the scholarship it would significantly ease the burden of funding for a range of living expenses, so I could fully focus on learning the craft. At the time of applying, I had already gained a degree in business and was working full time at a corporate job. But I had finally reached a point in my life where I wanted to follow my instincts and pursue my passion for acting. I knew if I didn’t give this a go, it would be a regret that would hang over me for the rest of my life. So with that in mind, I plucked up the courage and applied. Who would’ve thought that I would be here two months later!
What are you looking forward to the most in the Diploma of Screen Acting 10065NAT and your time at Screenwise?
I’m looking forward to so much! To be able to come to class and work on what I love every day, to fully immerse in learning and improving in this craft, and gain solid insight into the industry. I also look forward to meeting, collaborating and growing with other talented individuals, and share this journey of development as a group. Not to mention learning under the tutelage of industry seasoned teachers. I absolutely cannot wait to get started!
What inspired you to pursue Screen Acting?
Ever since I was young I have had a passion for storytelling. I believe this first originated from learning English through reading when I first moved to Australia. This interest soon expanded towards storytelling through film. Whilst I was drawn to the stories themselves, I became obsessed with exploring the creative process behind making films. It was through watching countless videos of behind the scenes footage and actor interviews that the idea of becoming an actor became apparent to me.
Growing up in my household I was never presented with many options as a career, so the idea of acting as a career didn’t occur to me until much later in my life. Through reading books I could explore as many different personas in my mind. It was a way for me to experience hundreds of different lives, in my one lifetime. Also having already been on different sets, I absolutely love the energy and the creative atmosphere. Everyone is on set with one common purpose and passion. The collaborative nature of film is something I have never seen elsewhere. The love, dedication, and pride everyone has in the industry is something that I want to be a part of. Obviously there’s more to the story, but in short I decided to give it a go and now here I am!
Where would you like to see yourself in the next ten years?
I would love to be at a place as an actor where I’m able to bring to life a wide range of complex characters, each telling a unique story. I want to be experienced in acting in numerous different genres, as well as in different languages too, to honour my bilingual upbringing. Diversity is a huge personal priority of mine also. I’d love to be collaborating with creatives from various backgrounds, fields and experiences. Of course it would be an absolute dream to be able to have worked with artists that I have admired growing up! I also hope that ten years from now, I would have been part of the movement to help bring more diversity to screen, not just on the type of characters presented, but also on the type of stories being told. In short, a solid, hardworking actor out there smashing up stereotypes!!
Do you have any advice to someone thinking about applying for the Screenwise Founder’s Scholarship?
Just go for it!
Don’t think about all the maybes and what ifs. Don’t let fear and doubt pull you back as it did for me. Life is short and you only get to live once, so don’t let inaction become your regret. If acting is something you’re interested in, or have been seriously thinking about, take up this chance with the Scholarship and apply. At the end of the day you have nothing to lose and a life changing opportunity to gain. All you have to do is take that first step, and come what may, you will be one step closer to your dreams. If I can do it, you can too!