Before he was plastered all over the Disney Channel, Calum Worthy spent years at Isabelle Reader Theatre performing in the PACE productions.
The 22-year-old is best known for his leading role as Dez on hit Disney show Austin & Ally.
He is back in Victoria for a few days to rehearse and perform with students in the Sooke School District’s Program for Academic and Creative Enrichment (PACE) program.
Being back in town fans of the show have been recognizing him on the street.
“It’s really cool I always have some connection with the fans like we went to the same school or something,” Worthy said. “When girls recognize me it’s fun. I felt so awkward in middle school and high school. I am still dorky and awkward, but now it’s less awkward and dorky.”
Honouring his roots and the community he grew his talent in, Worthy will be acting in the upcoming PACE show And the Winner Is! The show runs for 10 days, but worthy will be in the first four shows, April 18 to 21.
His comfort on the stage stems from his first experience at three months old.
“I was born in January and was in the show in April,” Worthy said.
He was in PACE, throughout his school years.
“PACE gave me an opportunity to get comfortable on stage,” said Worthy. “I really feel PACE was the best opportunity I had to hone my talent.”
He said participating in the variety shows enabled him to practise singing, dancing, comedy and hosting.
When he is shooting Austin & Ally in front of a live audience each week, it bring him back to his stage days with PACE.
“On Austin & Ally there aren’t multiple shoots, if you don’t get it the first time then that is a problem,” Worthy explained adding the show has four million viewers each week.
On top of his years performing with the Sooke School District Program, Worthy also spend five years studying at a children’s professional acting school on weekends in Vancouver.
At age nine, Worthy landed his first lead role in a BBC miniseries I was a Rat.
“The best advice I was ever given was to you shouldn’t try to book the role, you should make it the hardest decision for them not to book you,” Worthy said.
Even with a passion for acting, Worthy is still honing his craft and trains with coaches to improve his skills.
“My mom even coaches me over Skype,” Worthy said explaining he practises for auditions with his mother PACE director Sandy Webster-Worthy.
Webster-Worthy founded PACE, Program for Academic and Creative Enrichment, nearly 30 years ago. She has a degree in theatre and directing.
And the Winner is … the audience.
PACE is performing its spring show, And the Winner Is!
The fast-paced musical variety show will span genres from movies, Broadway musicals, American Idol and American Bandstand. Hundreds of students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will perform at the Isabelle Reader Theatre, 1026 Goldstream Ave.
The show dates are April 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. matinees are offered on April 20, 21 and 27.
Tickets are $12 for adults and students and seniors are $10. They can be purchased at the Westshore Learning Centre, 814 Goldstream Ave. or call 250-391-9002.