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Hey Young Performer, My Story Proves That A International Career Is Not impossible

I have always had an interest in performing from a very young age. My parents joke that my career in acting started the moment I uttered my first words.

13/03/2017 03:58 SAST | Updated 13/03/2017 03:58 SAST
Bianca McLean

I have always had an interest in performing from a very young age. My parents joke that my career in acting started the moment I uttered my first words. In grade eight I was accepted at the Christian School of Arts as a musical theatre major, this is where the hard hours were put in to develop my skills. At the same time I began completing my Trinity School of London Performance Arts Examinations and I am currently working on my grade eight exam, this is my last exam before I begin studying for my teachers qualification.

As for modelling I dabbled in it at a young age, but it fell away as other interests were more important to me at the time. Recently I have taken it up again at the suggestion of the South African representative of the ARTS in Orlando Florida, Elsubie Verlinden. Unfortunately the Christian School of Arts closed down in 2015, I am currently doing my matric year at Andrews Academy and my preforming arts at Stageworx as a senior student.

In order for me to make it to America I had to enter the first round of a competition called IATS which chooses which talent is put onto stage at Silverstar Casino for international talent scout Kim Myers (of ARTS in Orlando Florida) I went through the various stages of selection and made it to the final showcase. On the 7th of October 2016 I received a phone call that I was one of the performers selected to go to the USA by Kim Myers. I began to cry when I got the news, I was overcome with emotion. My dream of making it to America to showcase my talent was finally coming true.

I am passionate about the performing arts and spreading the cheer it can bring. I have on numerous occasions gone with my school to perform at both retirement villages and children's homes. I have also taken the initiative to start a drama club at Andrews Academy as well as teaching students. I would like to see the arts in South Africa develop and flourish that every talented artist is given the opportunity to shine.

The great thing about being an actor and avid reader is that you experience many lives and situations, not just limited to your immediate environment. I was always taking theatrical pieces and giving them a South African flare before performing them to my parents.

Nothing quite Like Romeo and Juliet set in the Cape flats. The joyous reactions I got from my parents ignited my passion for drama. My father was a great storyteller and would always tell me stories when driving me to school. I would then perform these to my fellow students with great gusto. These stories begin when I was six and only ended when I was almost fourteen.

I hope the legacy I leave behind is that anything is possible with hard work. Never be afraid to dream big, if your dreams don't scare you a little bit they aren't big enough.

I am considered a plus size model even though I am of a healthy weight. There is a stigma that comes with that word "plus sized", the whole of society's perceptions and especially that put forward by the modelling world needs to change! In my opinion plus size models should be considered the norm, while what we consider normal runway models should be called petite figure models instead of these impossible-to-attain standards being considered normal for young girls.

It has been said a million times that we shouldn't believe what we see in the media because of deceiving lighting and Photoshop, and I could not agree more. Positive body activists are becoming more common but are still few and far between. I would encourage young girls such as myself to not wait for a positive body activist to come around and make them feel worthwhile but rather be their own positive body activist for their own body. Eating healthy and exercising certainly helps you feel better inside and out but also treating yourself now and then wont hurt. Never push yourself to look like anybody else just be the healthiest version of you!

The industry for plus size models is currently not as big as it is in America but we are steadily growing and gaining popularity, since I believe people like to see a model that has a body that isn't that different from their own. I still believe the plus sized industry still only showcases hourglass shaped plus sized models and I hope this is one thing that can change in the future as the industry grows.

The one challenge I have faced since becoming a plus size model is having to accept that I will most probably always be considered a plus size model unless society and the modelling world changes. I have realised that my body was not meant to have 28 inch hips and I am okay with that, I have learnt to love my body through modelling. I hope the legacy I leave behind is that anything is possible with hard work. Never be afraid to dream big, if your dreams don't scare you a little bit they aren't big enough. Move over Charlize Theron, here comes Bianca McLean.

I would like to think I am a hard worker who is not afraid to go out and get what she wants. My parents have both been so supportive throughout my journey and I could not be more grateful for that.