A Belper teen has been tipped for stardom by Hollywood talent scouts after she scored medal success at an industry summit in Los Angeles.
Saskia Searle, 16, brought home three gold medals and a silver for acting and singing from the iPOP! event in California last month.
While her classmates at Belper School were celebrating the end of their GCSEs, Saskia was jetting off with mum Linda and dad John to take the stage with some of the best in showbusiness.
She said: “It’s an industry showcase with more than 800 performers chosen from more than 40 countries, and it attracts lots of top scouts and agents.
“I did auditions, endless hours of boot camps, and competitions and met people from around the world.”
Saskia was chosen to attend the event after auditioning in Manchester at Easter.
Belper audiences might know Saskia’s unmistakable voice from her regular solo performances at charity events, or her work with guitarist Tony Stark in the eclectic duo Sweet Liquorice.
Primarily a musician, at iPOP! Saskia was encouraged to remember some of her other performing arts training as she was put through her paces as an actress and model.
She said: “I just wanted to do singing, but I’ve always loved acting too and thought I might as well give it a go.
“There were only about 20 medallists, and I came away with a gold for most promising actor, another for my singing, gold a commercial I made, and a silver for my monologue.”
Crucially, she also caught the attention of the industry players.
She said: “I got about 25 callbacks from agents at the end of the week - the most of anyone there.
“I met each of them one by one. I was more excited than nervous, just to think something could ome from it.”
Saskia has now been taken on by a manager, who will look to help get her career started in Britain.
She said: “I just hope for anything - whatever comes next, I’m excited for it.
“In the mean time, the Sweet Liquorice gigs keep coming which is great. I had to catch my flight back from LA to play at the Belper Games.”
With a predicted A* in GCSE music on the way, Saskia plans to start at the specialist music college Confetti in Nottingham in September.
For upcoming Sweet Liquorice tour dates, see www.fb.me/SweetLiquoricemusic.
For Saskia’s solo dates, see http://bit.ly/2uXaZzw.