Nominated for an Oscar

The Office, ER and All My Children are all popular shows that, to a normal person, are just viewed through a TV screen each week. However, to aspiring actor, senior Oscar Blanco, these series are more than just a mindless pastime.
While every other kid was sitting in his/her second grade classroom, Blanco was starting his acting career at Barbizon Modeling Agency.
“You basically take classes through this agency for about six years. After that you get the choice to go to New York and continue your career or stop there and just stay in Chicago getting miscellaneous roles,” Blanco said.
Blanco says Chicago is a harder place to pursue your acting passion because it’s just starting out with major productions.
Going to California is a good way to become known and helps him stay away from being typecasted.
“In Chicago, every role I got was a gang banger or his son because, to them, I’m just a Latino kid that looks about 15, but in California there’s so many opportunities where you get to make a name for yourself instead of them making it for you,” Blanco said.
Being a full time student and having to fly back and forth between Chicago and California is a big hassle.
“I don’t balance school and acting. It’s hard to do when you’re remembering 16 pages of lines because you have to fly out for an audition the next day,” Blanco begins. “But, when I get back home I try to catch up and devote my time more towards my classes.”
Blanco says having to balnce being a student and an actor is one of his hardships of starting the career young. With friends, roles and assignments on his plate, there is barely any free time. However, having those friendships keeping him grounded is a good way to still keep living his normal high school life.
“Oscar is really outgoing and is always doing something crazy. He keeps us all entertained, he’s just a funny guy and it’s fun to have him around,” senior Carter Byrd said.
Having this busy schedule also takes people that are willing to share the load.For Blanco, his mother and grandmother were a key to the success he’s had so far.

“Well, my mom was the person who originally payed for me to get into the agency and my grandma is the one who usually flies out to California with me when I get the roles so that’s a huge help. Also, when I go to California, I stay with my uncle who I literally just met when I started getting roles down there,” Blanco said.
After hours of practicing lines and perfecting the character’s persona, he ends up giving his most prized acting skills each time.
“My favorite role was playing a boy named Carlos on ER who was infected with HIV,” Blanco said. “It was my first co-star role and it was probably the biggest part I’ve ever received.”
Living through experiences that many people can only dream of, Blanco has some tips on how to be a successful young actor or actress.
“You have to just do it. No one is going to come up to you and just give you a role. So, make sure you learn your lines way in advance, know the character you are going to portray and try out for every role you can. The worse thing you can do as an actor is not be open to going out of your comfort zone,” Blanco said.
Staying motivated as an actor that has to go through so many ups and downs in his career, he has to keep something that helps him stay centered.

“The dream keeps me motivated. I do this all because I see the future I have in it,” Blanco said.