Actor Josh Dallas offers advice to FC thespians

By Darian Eswine and Marah Harbison

FC theater students received a few welcome tips of advice from none other than Prince Charming.

New Albany graduate Josh Dallas, star of “Thor” and the upcoming ABC series “Once Upon A Time,” visited FC on Oct. 11 to talk about acting with director Chris Bundy’s theater classes.

Dallas began acting at an early age by making small appearances in the Weber School of Dance recitals, where his mother taught.

“I would be like a pink elephant or a Prince Charming, something random, whatever they needed me for,” said Dallas.

He continued acting in middle school and high school and pursued his dream.

“I was in ‘Oliver,’ ‘The Boyfriend,’ ‘West Side Story,’ ‘Crazy for You’…”

These were the joint productions New Albany performed with FC. As he said, “Floyd Central was like my second home. I loved performing here.”

He decided acting was his passion because it gives him freedom.

“It’s also always pretty kick ass to throw swords around and ride horses and stuff,” Dallas said, laughing.

In his junior year of high school, Dallas acted in “Pirates of Penzance,” which was taken to the International Thespian Festival. After auditioning at the festival for scholarships, he received the Sarah Exley Scholarship. The scholarship is given to one American every three years and provides the opportunity to study acting at Mountview Conservatoire for Performing Arts in London, England.

“I took the offer and ran with it. It was the time of my life,” he said.

Dallas said he sometimes feels he missed out on the American college experience; however, he credits his education for where he is now so he would not change his experiences for anything.

“My education and experiences shaped me into who I am now. I met people and I guess they recognized something in me and pushed me in that direction.”

Just as the New Albany-Floyd County School Corporation puts emphasis on the arts, Dallas agreed that the arts are essential to developing a young mind.

“It is so important because it helps you grow and helps you become aware of what’s around you.”

He credited the arts as invaluable and said he is grateful for everything he achieved and everyone he met while going through the system.

“There is an extraordinary program here [NAFCS] and a very rare and special performing arts program. People here are passionate about what they do.”

Of course, high school theater is different from the professional world. Dallas said his breakthrough role was “Thor,” where he starred alongside Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman.

“A movie set is exhilarating, exciting, terrifying, joyful; it’s everything.”

With fame comes limelight and critique, but Dallas said it just comes with the territory.

“[Criticism] It’s hard, but you know what’s true and the people around you know what’s true so you just can’t worry about it.”

Dallas said to keep grounded, a person just has to remember the truth and reality and to remember what is truly important.

“You can do TV shows, movies, talk shows, whatever…that isn’t what lasts. If all that hype is what fills you up then that’s not a healthy place to be.”

Dallas’ role models include his mother and all of his teachers he has had along the years. They grounded him and keep him grounded in home and in what he has learned. He said they push him to do more. Acting-wise, Paul Newman (“Cool Hand Luke”) is his role model.

“Paul Newman was such an incredible actor, incredible businessman, and just a good human. He was a good man and he loved what he did.”

One of Dallas’ favorite movies is “Cool Hand Luke.” Dallas joked that his favorite TV show is “Once Upon A Time,” which is an upcoming ABC series, in which he stars as Prince Charming. “Once Upon A Time” premieres Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8/7c. As for other projects, Dallas starred in “Five,” which is a made-for-TV movie profiling different lives affected by breast cancer. He will also be starring in a 2012 film titled “Red Tails” about war pilots.

“I hope I can just continue acting and doing what I love and keep challenging and changing myself,” he said.

After accomplishing so much in his short career, Dallas has one piece of advice for young aspiring actors.

“Be ready for tough times. But if it’s in your heart, then you’ve got to follow it through with confidence and keep following your dream.”

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