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Pair make tape for movie
Two hopefuls audition for spots in Inuit teen movie

Sarah Ladik
Northern News Services
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Two Inuvik teens have taken their first steps towards stardom, auditioning for a chance to appear in a feature-length film later this year.

NNSL photo/graphic

Wallace Goose, left, and Gabrielle Nogasak get ready to audition for a chance to attend a performing arts camp - and possibly act in a feature length movie - in Iqaluit this spring. - Sarah Ladik/NNSL photo

"I'm definitely nervous," said Wallace Goose, who appeared in last year's school production of Alice in Wonderland as the Mad Hatter. "Going from being on stage to being in front of a camera will definitely be a change."

His fellow actor Gabrielle Nogasak said she was nervous as well, but having no previous acting experience, was at least unburdened by contradicting impulses.

"My dad told me to do something with my life while I'm still young," she said. "I want to act."

Their big shot may have arrived. An open call has been put out for youth across the North to audition for the chance to participate in the Arctic Youth Performing Arts workshop in Iqaluit in February. Producers will choose from the 30 workshop participants who will be involved in a feature presentation.

The film, to be shot in Iqaluit in April, is called The Grizzlies and will tell the story of a group of Inuit students in a small community whose lives are forever changed through team sports.

"When I saw it, I saw that it was the opportunity of a lifetime," said teacher Abe Drennan. "Not only to be trained, but to experience the production of a full-length movie."

While students in Iqaluit can audition in person, Goose and Nogasak met in the music room to record their own scenes last week. Katie Nolan, production executive for The Grizzlies, told the Drum previously that producers will potentially visit communities to see actors in person in early February, but that no dates had been set.

"When they were making The Revenant, they held an open casting call in the NWT and a girl from Fort Simpson made it and is in an Oscar-nominated movie," said teacher Steve Dagar. "This is a real opportunity."

Goose said he had never really considered acting before his turn as the Mad Hatter, but that performing was quickly growing into a passion to rival his guitar playing.

"Reading the script and doing the scene, it felt a bit more real, like I was really creating the character inside of me," he said. "I loved playing the Mad Hatter, but this feels more serious."

Drennan said the whole point of the drama program at East Three is to encourage students to express themselves and to give them a chance to work through things in a different way.

"We hope they connect with their own creativity," he said. "The more opportunities we can give them to experience their own inner artists, the better."

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