Aren Buchholz has a budding career as an actor, and his roots are in Yorkton.
"My first experience was in Saskatchewan, I booked the recurring guest star role of Jaime on Rabbit Fall which stars Andrea Menard and Kevin Jubinville, which aired on Space and APTN," Buchholz told Yorkton This Week. "My character was in three episodes in the second season, and actually stabs the main cop character Tara (Menard) for the end of season cliff hanger. The show did not get picked back up for a third season but it was an amazing experience."
Buchholz said his experience on Rabbit Fall really solidified his interest in acting.
"It was on the set of this show that I fell in love with the art and business, and knew this is what I wanted to do," he said. "Andrea and Kevin were both great mentors and helped me every step along the way. Andrea even helped me with decisions to go to Vancouver and what to do. Truly a great person and mentor, I love her.
"Also the producers at Angel Entertainment (who produced Rabbit Fall) Wally Stuart and Bob Crowe were very good to me and helped me lot on my first set.
"I was very lucky to book this big of a role for my first role ever, back then I didn't realize how good it was but now after being in Vancouver for awhile, I see how amazing that first experience was and what a great way to break into the business."
The Saskatoon experience built on a seed Buchholz said began when he was in Yorkton as a youth. He was born in the city in 1991, and lived in Springside until the age of five when his family moved to Dundurn, near Saskatoon.
"My father grew up in Yorkton, Blair Buchholz, and my grandparents still remain there, Elaine (Buchholz) Lutcher and Norm Lutcher," he said. "I played a lot of high level hockey growing up and since the age of 10 I attended the summer hockey camp in Yorkton, great program.
"My grandparents' cabin is also at Good Spirit Lake at Burgis Beach, and my family used to have a cabin on the other side by the golf course and provincial park, so every summer I was in that area either in Yorkton playing hockey or trap shooting, or at the lake at Good Spirit.
"That whole area is truly another home away from home and I try to get back as much as I can. Also, my high school drama team won Provincials at Sacred Heart in 2006 and I won the University of Regina acting award, that was an awesome experience."
Buchholz said he was a typical kid, loving hockey, but also found his way to the stage early on.
"Ever since I was young I had either a hockey stick in my hand, or was performing for my family, my first true performance being in my grandmother's (Elaine Lutcher) family Christmas play as a sheep when I was 4, she takes credit for me getting into acting," he said. "As a kid growing up and performing at talent shows or Christmas plays, acting was always a dream I had, but my true passion came when I started competitive high school drama. I started when I was in Grade 7 at my high school Hanley Composite under director Leanne Griffin.
"Being able to create characters and immerse myself into the role completely enthralled me. Whether it was a comedic or dramatic role, I loved the feeling of affecting the crowd and allowing them to experience the full range of human emotion through my vulnerability. It is a beautiful art form. After these years of training with my teammates and under Leanne Griffin, I decided to get an agent in Saskatoon. That's when I started taking the acting a little more seriously."
While Rabbit Fall was the first break into television, Buchholz said he has had bigger roles since.
"To date I think my biggest role would have to be my guest star appearance of Leroy in the episode 'Leroy' on a new show called Level Up which airs in 2012 on Cartoon Network," he said. "It was a great role, and is very recognized by the American market.
"I had a lot of fun playing Leroy and it's a great step towards something bigger. In February of 2011, I was also very close to booking a three-year contract role on the famous soap series Days of Our Lives. I flew down to L.A. to test screen at NBC Studios, which is huge in Burbank and was the only Canadian they brought in for the role, which was pretty cool.
"It was down to me and four other guys, and they told my manager they decided to go a bit older on the role -- at the time I was 19."
Missing the role has not deterred the young actor, who said he feels he is close to something bigger.
"I plan to go down to LA for pilot season in 2012," he said. " I am auditioning and coming close to booking recurring and lead roles on new shows coming out -- I can't name which ones sorry, so it is only a matter of time before something happens."
Not that Buchholz expects an acting career to be an easy one.
"I realize though, a lot more hard work, dedication and sacrifice is needed, and whether my next big role is 10-months from now, or 10-years, I'll be happy following my passion and dream," he said.
Buchholz said as he pursues roles, he is also working to develop his own projects as a vehicle for his acting.
"Also I co-own a production company with my best friend Grayson Williams, called Running Off Dock Productions (RODP) which we founded in our early high school years. We started by making school projects and now we're filming pilots, short films, and web series. We have many projects in the works and hope to have a web series air in mid-2012.
"My dream is to have our production company one day working steadily with a fair income, and for us to produce our own projects. It's every actors dream, but I hope to make it a reality."
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