Damian Brush has always been a character. At least that's what his stepdad says.
The 14-year-old's passion first began at home with skits and unboxing videos he filmed for his YouTube channel.
It wasn't until his English teacher suggested he sign-up for Actors Access, a website for aspiring actors to get work, that he landed his first acting role.
Damian was one of five actors with speaking roles in the short film "The Difficult Kids", which will be featured at the Toronto Short Film Festival in March.
The small role not only sparked his love for acting, but mom Chelle Brush-Gauthier and stepdad Dan Gauthier credit acting for helping Damian come out of his shell.
"Damian was often bullied for being the character that he is," Gauthier said. "For being outgoing and having all these original thoughts. He would get teased and bullied, so we think acting really helped him out."
Damian said acting has given him more confidence and helped him get through some sad times. He particularly likes making people laugh.
"I actually had depression for a little while," Damian said.
He used his new found confidence to develop his skills by participating in various acting workshops held by Talent Inc. Canada.
During a workshop held in Sudbury last year, Damian received an invitation to attend the Talent Inc. showcase in Toronto from Feb. 6 to 9. While at the showcase he performed voice overs, video commercial and scenes for a panel of casting directors, but Damian says he shines most while doing improv.
"I can just think of things really quickly and it's just fun for me." Damian said.
Out of the more than 300 young aspiring actors who attended the showcase, Damian received a second level score in his age group. He was among 11 other Canadian actors to receive a scholarship to the Talent Inc. showcase in Manchester, U.K. this October.
"I didn't even think that I was going to get bronze," Damian said. "When I got (the scholarship) I was like 'holy beep'."
"I had tears in my eyes because I was so proud of him and just to see the absolute joy on his face was worth everything," Brush-Gauthier said. "It was just amazing."
Following the Toronto showcase, the family received numerous call-backs and two offers to sign with agents. But the family won't be taking any offers until after they hear what the judges have to say in the U.K.
The Talent Inc. U.K. event will be held in the Contact Theatre in Manchester from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.
Agents and managers will be flown in from the U.S. and Canada. Along with agents from the U.K., the agents will educate and audition emerging performers in showcases that show off their television and film acting skills as well as specialty talents such as singing and dancing.
While Damian's entry, which is worth $3,200 CAD, is covered — getting there is not.
The family has set-up a GoFundMe account to help them cover the cost of accommodations, food and travel to and from the U.K.