Atlanta Public School’s Alumn Catches A Big Break

TALIA+IN+THE+KITCHEN++

Juan Botero

TALIA IN THE KITCHEN

Harry Suazo, Writer

“A common misperception about acting is that it’s fake and you’re just pretending, but I can tell you from experience, that it’s actually just real life. It’s truthful and honest, and being yourself, which is why we relate to it so well.”

Will Wilson is a 17 year old actor from Morningside, who starred in the Nickelodeon show, Talia in the Kitchen. But how does any famous actor become an actor in the first place, they start just like everyone else.

Wilson grew up in Morningside where he went to the elementary school, and then Inman for one year. During the summer of his 6th grade year, his family moved to Arkansas for a job opportunity for his father, Bill Wilson.  It was a big move, leaving behind a tight-knit group and a loving church community, but Wilson said it was a necessary step in his development as a person and it jumpstarted his career.

“It was a forced change that took me out of my comfort zone and helped put things into perspective and at the same time it helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my life.” said Will, “Put more simply, I would not be who I am today if I hadn’t moved to Arkansas.”  

When he arrived, he didn’t fit in, but eventually he found a different, but welcoming group. Once he became acclimated with his new surroundings he found his passion in the, where he could do something he really loved and in a safe, confident atmosphere. Although Wilson eventually became an actor, he originally didn’t see it as an viable career path.

“ I thought it was absurd to pursue acting as a real career. I actually wanted to be an architect. It seemed like a really interesting profession to pursue and a fun way to spend my time. But one day, as I was getting my haircut, the barber, who went to architecture school described his experience there as degrading from having a fun college life. When I thought about it, I realized I didn’t actually like it enough to work 12 hours a day on that one thing, and later that day I realized something,” said Wilson. “Why can’t I succeed at acting just like anyone else? Later, I found that deciding not to do something because it was hard was ironic because eventually I decided to pursue something even harder.”

Wilson recalls that his path to becoming an actor was somewhat convoluted.

“It’s not a straightforward path that you could take to become a doctor for example, but for becoming an actor I honestly couldn’t tell you how to start because it’s so different for everyone.”

Wilson started at well-known agency called NcK Talent in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which earned him an acting trip to Los Angeles, where he worked with IPop, a huge agency that represented a lot of people. Over time he made some connections and was called to the ‘Crawford Agency’ which became a stepping stone for him to reach Allegory Agency in LA. After spending some time with them, he was sent to Gray Studios, a successful and quickly expanding coaching company which visited Nashville, TN monthly by 2014. By this time he had moved back to Atlanta, where he would travel to Nashville every month for a weekend and take 12 hours of acting classes per weekend, for 3 months. Later the company came to Atlanta for two hour classes every sunday, which Wilson has taken for two years straight since late 2014.

“The whole process was very arduous, and I think the thing that got me through it all was that I knew deep down that I could get through whatever life threw at me, to do something that I loved so much.”

After this hard work, Wilson concluded that he had done about 110 auditions in 27 months, and he booked 8 of them. He explained that although it seems like a really small amount, an actor usually gets about 1 out of 50 auditions. In the past two and a half years, Wilson got to travel for auditions and through it he has done amazing things and met amazing people. At an acting camp in New York, where he had a conversation with Hugh Jackman and the director of SNL.

When he returned to Atlanta, he got to spend some time with some old friends including some of our very own Danny Lazega and Dominic Coletta. He recalled a past adventure playing airsoft at the Morningside Nature Preserve, when he was back in Atlanta in 9th grade.

“At some point it started raining, so we just started running and screaming like savages with airsoft guns in our hands. Running through the trees all muddy and wet, it felt like we were in second grade again. It was pouring, and if anyone saw us it would look ridiculous and probably scary but, in the moment it was happening, it was really nice to be around people that I could use my imagination with again.” said Wilson.

Outside of acting, Wilson loves playing soccer, writing short films and writing poetry, in fact he has written around 85 pages of poetry over the course of 4 months. Due to his line of work and multiplicity of talent, he regards himself as more of an artist than an actor. Over his years of study in this profession he found that the single most important and powerful thing you can do when communicating with an audience, in acting, is giving people something they don’t know that they want. Everyday, popular shows around the US and the world, make a name for themselves by giving people what they want.

“It’s cheating.” says Wilson, “Sometimes you have to make art for a real purpose, not because you have to, but because you choose to.”