Panizza lines up acting goal

Talitha Wolfe, ALBANY ADVERTISERAlbany Advertiser

Former Royals footballer Ethan Panizza was faced with a tough decision last September when he had to choose between a future with the Claremont Football Club or pursuing his childhood dream of acting.

Amid the buzz of the semifinal, Panizza secured a place in The Australian Film and Television Academy in Sydney.

Panizza, 23, then moved from Perth to Sydney to complete a 20-week course with TAFTA.

Since that day, between couch surfing, self-doubt and working full-time as an electrician, it has been a whirlwind ride for Panizza, who flew to Los Angeles in April to complete another six-week TAFTA program.

Panizza, who will return to LA with TAFTA this September to work with the academy and his new management, Silver Linings Management, said the journey, although tough, had been very rewarding.

"It's moving so quickly and I am just really thankful," he said.

"Acting is something I've done since I was seven or eight … (It) is really where my heart is and what I want to be doing."

Panizza, who had his first taste of acting in a high school drama production at Albany Senior High School, said he was just a country kid who took a chance.

"It's the most challenging thing ever," he said.

"But it's all worth it as soon as you get up in front of the camera."

TAFTA director and founder John Orcsik, who met Panizza at a one-off audition in Perth last year, said Panizza was dedicated to acting.

"It's not just ability and wishing for something to happen, but the personality and capacity to hang in there," he said.

"He works very hard and he doesn't give up … we are looking onwards and upwards."

When Panizza returns to LA in September he will have the chance to work with some of the top casting directors in the world, including the likes of Rick Millikan, Matt Barry and Christine Sheaks.

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