An actor from Kelowna returns to his hometown in early August for a role in a new film called “Invasions”.
Justin Lacey, a 2003 graduate of Kelowna High School, says the Okanagan’s television and film production industry is booming.
And Lacey, who was born in Singapore, says there are a growing number of opportunities in B.C.’s film and television industry for black, native and colored actors.
“I think the opportunities are increasing, but there is definitely room for more,” Lacey, 36, said Thursday. “I think the writers understand the growing need for characters from diverse backgrounds in stories, so I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
After graduating from KSS, Lacey, who had dual citizenship, had to return to Singapore to perform compulsory military or public service. He worked as a firefighter for two years and had friends who worked in the film and modeling industry.
“They convinced me to find an acting agency, which led to an audition for a local drama series called Lifeline,” Lacey said. “It was the best time of my life.”
After returning to Canada, he held various jobs in Kelowna while honing his acting skills and unsuccessfully auditing in Vancouver. It was a tough step, he says, and an aspiring actor needs to be prepared.
“You can go to a hundred auditions and not have a single callback or reservation,” he says. “Depression, doubt and jealousy can set in. It is important to pursue your dreams, but just as important to take the time to take care of your mental well-being. “
Recently, Lacey has had roles in the feature film A Christmas Miracle, the American network’s Arrow show, and the upcoming Netflix series Lost Ollie, based on William Joyce’s popular children’s book.
Production of “Invasions”, directed by Sophie Jarvis and funded by Bell Media, Telefilm Canada and RSI Television, is scheduled to begin in Kelowna in early August.
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