Even at 3, Wolly Fowkes was a natural showman.
His dad would pull out a video camera and together they’d venture into the woods in their backyard in Oak Harbor to shoot scenes for a new episode of a family video they called, “Walking in the Woods with Wolly.”
Wolly played both the narrator and lead role as they explored the woods.
“He had an interest in being on TV,” his father, John Fowkes said.
“We’d go back home, he’d watch it.”
Wolly Fowkes is 12 now and his interest in being in the spotlight has only grown.
He is home-schooled by his parents through the Oak Harbor School District’s HomeConnection parent partner program.
While some children are involved in such extra curricular activities such as soccer or band, Wolly attends voice and acting classes at a modeling agency in Seattle.
“He doesn’t know any fear,” said his mother, Penny Fowkes. “That’s what they like about him. He’s easy to work with.”
Wolly’s dream is land a part in a commercial, or be discovered as a child actor or model.
It’s a huge dream for a kid, and hardly a unique aspiration. But instead of just day dreaming, he’s trying to gain skills to position himself to get the best opportunity.
Wolly was selected to compete in an acting, singing and modeling competition in New York City July 21-27.
He auditioned in March for the opportunity to compete at the International Modeling and Talent Association convention in New York. The family is trying to raise money for him to make the trip.
Wolly attends classes at Seattle Talent to work on his voice, acting and skills in front of a camera.
The son of two community theater actors, Wolly needs little help with courage.
“He loves to be up in front of people,” John said.
It’s in his blood.
John and Penny met in 1992 while performing at the Whidbey Playhouse. They currently teach theater to HomeConnection students.
John also performed for many years as a magician.
Acting is a family affair.
John and Penny will be participating in two Whidbey Improv Team shows May 24-25 at the Whidbey Playhouse.
Wolly watches, participates and absorbs.
He’s played roles in school plays and performed on a local dance team. If there’s a chance to be front and center, Wolly takes it.
“It just seems like a calling,” Wolly said. “There’s no other way to describe it.”
Wolly keeps a video log on YouTube about his efforts to try to raise money for the New York trip. He’s sang on the streets of Seattle for donations, with a parent only a few steps away.
The IMTA convention in New York is an opportunity to be discovered for a select few.
Penny said she and her husband support her son’s pursuit of acting and modeling, but are not the driving forces pushing him in that direction.
She said it’s so competitive that takes extensive training to catch the attention of a talent scout or a casting director.
It’s not just about looks, but also stage presence and confidence. Those are skills he’s been developing in Seattle and through his parents.
It’s Wolly’s passion that keeps his parents active in supporting his dream.
“You either love it and are willing to work for it,” John said, “or you don’t.”
n To help pay for Wolly’s trip, which includes one parent, to New York, donations may be made to the HomeConnection Booster Club, 600 Cherokee St., Oak Harbor, WA 98277, or through Seattle Talent in care of Wolly Fowkes.