Sunshine Coast actor takes on the world
Nambour resident Lea-Anne Grevett is back from the World Championship of Performing Arts, which is held every year in California, USA. WCOPA is intended to bring together different cultures to compete on the stage in a friendly environment.
Its scope is very broad; covering acting, dancing, and modelling, singing, and musical instruments. Awards are given for Junior and Senior divisions, and Lea-Anne scooped up a number of medals and awards, including the top award for Actor.
Lea-Anne's journey began last year when her grand-daughter, who is a modelling and dancing student, was talent scouted and offered a place on the Australian team at the 2019 event.
Lea-Anne arranged auditions for the other students at the dance school she runs, Studio Two in Nambour, and four of those dancers were selected to compete in the US.
When the Director of the Australian team discovered her background in acting, she encouraged Lea-Anne to apply for the senior division, and in due course, the process was completed and they were all on their way to join teams from over forty other countries in Long Beach, California.
The Australians arrived a week before the event, and spent time on social activities to build the essential team spirit. As the teams from other countries arrived they had a chance to meet, mingle, cope with language difficulties, and forge new friendships.
The Championship began with workshops on all aspects of performing.
A few of the gems from the casting workshop included: NO means Next Opportunity; Keep your natural accent, one day they will be looking for an Australian woman to deliver three lines; Do it the same way every time; and; Don't Get Grumpy.
After two gruelling fifteen hour days of the Rounds where she took a collection of medals, Lea-Anne was through to the semi-finals, and having taken the Division Championship for Acting, then went on to the grand final.
The contestants had been whittled down from about 3,500 to a couple of dozen. Two long days of rehearsal followed, preparing for the final three hour show.
Lea-Anne's time came; she hit her spot on stage, delivered her strictly timed one minute performance; and was awarded 2019 Senior Grand Champion of the World in acting.
Now back in Nambour, Lea-Anne has had time to reflect on the whirlwind of the last weeks and says she would do it all again. Paraphrasing C. S.Lewis, she believes that "You are never too old to set a dream and to chase that dream to see where it may lead you."
Lea-Anne acknowledges the support of her agent, the Goodwin Talent Agency; and the Sunshine Coast Council who assisted her students to attend with grants to each of $500.