Student actor balances school and the arts

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By Nafisa Hossain

Junior Nathaniel Potvin is not your typical high school student. He is part of iGranada and most of his education takes place outside of a classroom. Additionally, Potvin has to balance schoolwork while pursuing his career in acting at the same time.

Potvin started out as a dancer at Dance Dimensions where he learned hip hop but soon caught the attention of an acting manager. The manager felt that Potvin had a real flair for acting and wanted Potvin’s talent to shine on the big screen. Potvin then acquired an agent with Norwood Talent Agency but in the recent years he has worked with McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA) for dance and Abrams for films and commercials.

Through acting, Potvin received the opportunity to work with people like Mykelti Williamson who played  Bubba in “Forrest Gump,” Toni Braxton, a popular R&B singer in the Lifetime movie “Twist of Faith,” and Debbie Ryan, the star of the hit Disney Channel show “Jessie.” Potvin’s acting experience has had a profound impact on his life by giving him opportunities to work with acclaimed stars and teaching him valuable lessons about being humble and true to himself while playing the roles of several characters.

“When you are an actor, it is not appropriate to consider yourself to be above everyone else; it is actually extremely inconsiderate because in this business you need to have a system that is based on humility. You have to be grateful for the opportunities that you are given because there are thousands of actors in Los Angeles who are all fighting for the same roles that you are,” Potvin said.

Potvin reiterated the importance of humility and optimism as essential to be successful in show business. But even with the pressure that sometimes comes with the rejections for certain parts, Potvin’s acting experience has been overwhelmingly positive. In addition to being on “Twist of Faith” and “Jessie,” Potvin has been on the ABC show “The Middle,” the CBS show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and many others, like “Girl Meets World.”

Additionally, Potvin’s favorite role of all time has been playing the character Shane on the hit Disney Channel show “Jessie” because it combined all three of his favorite things: acting, dancing, and being on camera.

Acting clearly plays a huge role in his life, but Potvin believes that balancing school and acting is very important. Although many actors traditionally give up going to school in favor of pursuing their acting careers full time, Potvin believes that education is very important.

“School needs to be exploited when one is an actor because it will help me reach my goal of going to college and  to pursue other interests than solely acting like cinematography or directing which I am really interested in,” Potvin said.

Even though Potvin has an acting career, he feels the importance of being social and involved with school. He goes to the Granada Hills Charter High School everyday to hang out with his friends and interact with the school community which provides him with normalcy and the opportunity to just be a regular teenager.

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Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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