A Thorn­hill teen who chased her Hol­ly­wood dream

Ac­tor Romy Welt­man on her big break on the Fam­ily Chan­nel and jet­ting off to L.A.

Richmond Hill Post - - Currents -

Al­though most kids spend their gap year back­pack­ing through Europe or work­ing odd jobs to save for university, Romy Welt­man is spend­ing hers in Los An­ge­les try­ing to land a role on a new sit­com or hard-hit­ting drama.

Welt­man spent 2016 and 2017 as one of the stars on the Fam­ily Chan­nel hit se­ries Back­stage. In 2018, she grad­u­ated from West­mount Col­le­giate In­sti­tute and de­cided to head to Hol­ly­wood for a four-month stint to au­di­tion for pilot sea­son.

“I got into act­ing in Grade 6. It was a lit­tle bit of a fluke. I never thought this would be my life right now,” says Welt­man. She says she was a shy kid, so in or­der to draw out the ex­tro­vert within, her par­ents sent her to Char­ac­ters The­atre Troupe.

“I loved it,” says Welt­man. “My par­ents hardly rec­og­nized the kid that came back.”

Af­ter that, Welt­man joined Judy and David’s Trav­el­ling Troupe, which of course was con­nected to

Char­ac­ters The­atre. And while per­form­ing in the youth cho­rus of Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color

Dream­coat, she was ap­proached by Shari Qual­len­berg of AMI Artist Man­age­ment Inc.

Af­ter a meet­ing be­tween Qual­len­berg, Welt­man and her par­ents, ev­ery­one de­cided that it was time to in­clude film and tele­vi­sion au­di­tions into the young ac­tor’s reper­toire.

“At first my par­ents were hes­i­tant. They didn’t want to put ex­tra pres­sure on me, but we started re­ally slowly and worked our way up to big­ger parts and harder au­di­tions,” she says.

It wasn’t long be­fore she booked her first gig. The role was that of a ghoul­ishly eager au­topsy par­tic­i­pant in a com­mer­cial for the Doc­tor Dread­ful Alien Au­topsy, a clas­si­cally creepy toy of the 2012–2013 era.

“I had such a great ex­pe­ri­ence on set,” says Welt­man. “There were so many other kids that it didn’t feel like work at all.”

At this point she was still in mid­dle school but would even­tu­ally be­come very in­volved in West­mount’s drama pro­gram in ad­di­tion to her film sched­ule.

“All my teach­ers were in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive and help­ful,” she says. “They never gave me a hard time when I had to miss class for film work or au­di­tions, and they would al­ways help me catch up.”

Now at age 18, Welt­man has been steadily work­ing in both film and tele­vi­sion, in­clud­ing her role as Kit Dunn in Back­stage. The show hear­kens back to mu­si­cals like Fame, following stu­dents of the Keaton School of the Arts through the in­evitable drama of high school.

“I got to be Kit Dunn for two years. It was amaz­ing,” she says. “I re­ally learned the ins and outs of a TV se­ries on that set.”

She says her de­ci­sion to head to L.A. for pilot sea­son sparked while she was on set for Back­stage. She was only in Grade 9 at the time.

“The other ac­tors were talk­ing about pilot sea­son, and Shari was able to get me rep­re­sen­ta­tion down there, so I thought why not re­ally give it a try?” she says.

Right be­fore leav­ing for L.A., she landed a role in Canada’s pre­miere pe­riod de­tec­tive show, Mur­doch Mys­ter­ies.

“I got to play Is­abel Carmichael, on the two-part sea­son fi­nale, who was re­ally fun to play be­cause she’s very de­vi­ous and noth­ing like me,” says Welt­man.

What’s next for this ex­tra­or­di­nary teen?

“You can never be too sure in this in­dus­try, but I’ve got­ten close and truly be­lieve that ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son,” she says.

Welt­man will ap­pear in the two-part sea­son fi­nale of ‘Mur­doch Mys­ter­ies’

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