Three Dunedin performers came away with a haul of medals and prizes at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles.
Renee O’Brien, Oliver Davidson and Sarah Latta were part of a 25-strong contingent from New Zealand, the Black Stars, who travelled the two-week international competition at the end of June.
Ms Latta and Oliver Davidson are both first-year University of Otago performing arts students, while Ms O’Brien works and occasionally does solo singing gigs.
Ms Latta’s acting talent won her an industry medal and a $20,000 two-year scholarship to the New York Film Academy, which she would undertake at the academy’s campus on Australia’s Gold Coast, either midway through next year or in 2019.
Mr Davidson took on all four disciplines – acting, dancing, singing and modelling, coming away with one bronze medal, four silver medals and two gold medals, as well as two-year $20,000 scholarship to the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
He was one of 10 competitors who took home scholarships to the acting school, which prepares students for film acting, and said he planned on taking up the scholarship next year. He would need to raise funds to cover his living costs.
Ms O’Brien took home three bronze medals for her singing in the open, gospel and self-written categories.
She had found out about the international competition – which featured more than 430 competitors from more than 50 countries – after a talent scout saw one of her performances and suggested she enter.
Ms Latta had a similar story, after appearing in a film by a daughter of a talent scout who suggested she enter, while Mr Davidson had heard about it via friends who had taken part in the past.
The trio all said the highlight of the two-week trip was a tour of Universal Studios, which included sets from the Harry Potter and Jawsfilms, along with others.
Mr Davidson said he could have taken two or three days more to look around the studio, saying he wished he was still there.
“And the fact that when we came back we lost 25 degrees in temperature,” he said.