Tyler Hebb still thinks of Windsor as home, but his career aspirations have him elsewhere.
“I love Windsor but, right now, my dreams are up here,” he said.
The 18-year-old Calgary resident, who lived on Chester Road for 13 years before moving West, recently travelled to the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Los Angeles in his first attempt to wow industry professionals.
It was a bold move for a teen with a few small-stage musicals under his belt, but it was one that certainly paid off.
He walked away from acting and modeling competitions for the 18-24 age categories with a scholarship to the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, one gold medal, three silvers and the title of overall divisional winner in the senior spokesmodel contest.
Hebb’s manager, Barbara Murphy, says his commitment to becoming a character before he steps on stage is obvious in each performance the versatile young actor gives.
“One of his characters he took on for WCOPA was Heath Ledger’s the Joker from “The Dark Knight.” He studied and refined that character until it was simply amazing. He was no longer Tyler, nor was he Heath Ledger nor Jack Nicholson. He was his own version of the Joker that combined elements of both and elements of himself,” Murphy wrote in an email to the Hants Journal.
“My end goal is to be a TV actor — act for a living, it’s what I love to do.” - Tyler Hebb
Murphy says entertainment industry professionals presented Hebb with an award set aside for “performers they feel they would like to work with” in the future.
“He’s got an incredible sense of humour and is only serious when he has to be. He has an aura about him that emits such positive energy that you can’t help but love the kid.”
In November, Hebb, who is still in high school, will be travelling to Toronto to meet with an agent.
The self-identified method actor says he tries to make a character’s every habit his own before appearing before an audience.
“I have to be the character before I even perform.”
He says countless hours of preparation made it relatively easy for him to make the transition from mild-manner Tyler Hebb to the villainous Joker.
“I would sit in my room and my mom thought I was talking to myself for like four hours a day.”
Hebb says earning a $2,000 scholarship to attend the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts for four weeks next summer will make him more competitive as he tries to turn his passion into a lucrative career.
“My end goal is to be a TV actor — act for a living, it’s what I love to do.”