Thursday, August 1, 2013

Barbizon of Akron Alum goes from Bullied to Big-Time!

The story of Duncan Anderson, a 14-year-old from Hudson OH, was like so many others we hear in today’s news: bullied for Turrets and his Jewish religious beliefs, pulled from school, complete lack of confidence … he was suffering and headed in a downward spiral. It’s all changed. Here is the short version of his news-worthy story:

Worried about his confidence and ability to cope with his peer issues, Duncan’s parents unknowingly started him down this road to self-discovery when they enrolled him in Barbizon of Akron. “We originally signed Duncan up for classes at Barbizon to improve confidence and self esteem after he was bullied during middle school. We never expected a legitimate career in modeling/acting! Now, as a result of IMTA, Duncan has his choice of Hollywood agents and managers. This experience has mushroomed from a way to gain confidence to a bona fide opportunity to have a successful career in Hollywood!” says his mother, Kimberly Resnick-Anderson.

Duncan flourished in the atmosphere and came to life in front of the camera – learning both lifelong and industry skills such as public speaking and interviewing, to appropriate dressing and etiquette and posture. Cumulatively these grew his self-confidence and helped with his positive self-esteem. After discovering his new love for the camera and how it was both calming and empowering him, he decided to audition for IMTA through Pro-Model & Talent Management. Partnered with Al Onorato, Los Angeles Manager [instrumental to careers of stars including Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood, Kevin Spacey & Sean Murray {of NCIS}] the staff at Pro-Model & Talent saw the magic and spark that Duncan held within him. They offered the opportunity for Duncan to attend the International Convention held in New York City this past July. Working extensively with Acting Coaches, participating in photoshoots and learning, with his mother, more about the opportunities in the National Markets, Duncan and his mother headed to New York. Success abounded.

“Winning two awards and five honorable mentions were certainly wonderful, but the interest he generated from agents and managers was amazing! In all, 23 industry professionals showed interest in Duncan. After consultation with PMTM mastermind, Mary Sklamba, we selected the agent and manager we felt were the best fit for him.” continues Kimberly Resnick-Anderson, Duncan’s Mother, who attended the event with him. Mary Sklamba is the Agency’s National and International Placement Director.

What does the future hold for this bright young star who has turned his life around? According to his mother, “Our loose plan is to head out to LA for a "trial" period of three months and get a taste of life out there. If things go well, we will consider permanently relocating as a family. The first question Duncan's younger brothers, Cooper and Parker, asked was "When do we pack?" “. We shall all see.

With the right guidance, support and direction, the world will see Duncan’s gifts – including those kids who bullied him right out of school. Duncan’s message is a positive one. Not having experienced such close friends and an extracurricular “family” before, his mom says Duncan’s biggest highlight of this experience was “bonding with the group [attending the convention with PMTM]. He feels a strong connection to the contestants and directors after sharing such an intense and emotional week. They are extended family. Duncan's experience has been life-changing.”

Duncan’s story illustrates the possibilities that our youth hold within themselves. The possibilities that are just waiting to burst forth with the right direction and support from family, friends or community. No matter what his future holds, Duncan’s story, we hope, will inspire other youth to overcome serious life challenges and develop into confident, young adults with focus, drive and a positive outlook on life.

For more information on Duncan and his experiences, or to speak with someone from Barbizon of Akron, email newfaces@barbizonakron.com.