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Fil-Am accepted at prestigious London drama school

January 9, 2013 2:30pm
A New York Fil-Am acting student headed to the United Kingdom this week after being chosen to study at the London Dramatic Academy Conservatory Acting Program, in partnership with Fordham University.

Daniel Velasco, a junior theater performance major at Fordham University-Lincoln Center and a member of the Screen Actors Guild (now known as SAG-AFTRA) since he was 10, left on Jan. 7 for the Spring 2013 program of the London acting institution located on Kensington Square.

The study will be until April.

Accepted to the program by audition and recommendations, part of Velasco’s tuition will be covered by his college grants and scholarship awards.

Among them is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship awarded him recently by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education.

“It will be a great opportunity for me to study classical, as well as contemporary British theatre in its proper environment,” said the Manhattan-born Velasco, who has had several TV show appearances and print and TV commercial credits for various major brands.

“This is a great chance for me to further my studies in acting.”

Velasco was a college sophomore when he made his main stage debut at Fordham as the lead actor of “Swooney Planet,” and recently as a supporting actor for “Eurydice.”

He also acted in numerous plays while in high school at Loyola School NYC.

He also has attended several acting trainings and seminars, and while earning a black belt in mixed martial arts.

The London program is based on the curriculum and practices of the great British Classical training academies.

It involves daily physical and acting classes such as acting Shakespeare, period dance, physical theater, voice, speech/dialects, acting, stage combat, and movement, generally from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    
Weekly classes include theater history, literature and dramatic criticism, based on regular theatre and site visits and other cultural activities.

Emphasis is placed on small classes and one-to-one tutorials, as well as the creation of a vibrant and artistic group.

Velasco’s mother, Vivian Velasco, a longtime Fil-Am community leader, said despite economic challenges, she and the rest of the their relatives and friends, are giving their full support to her son and his dream.

Noting that a large part of her son’s expenditures in London will come their own pockets, Vivian said she believes it will all be worth it.

“Daniel is the son every mother could wish for,” said the single mother, who is an accountant and member of the board of directors of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI).

“More than his passion for acting, he was taught to serve and respect others as a Boy Scout in grade school (at Immaculate Conception School, where he graduated first honors), and he got involved in Christian Service camps twice a year throughout his high school, caring for the poor and disadvantaged.”

Acting really runs in the Velasco family, according to Vivian, who was a member of the famous Folklorico Filipino Dance Company of New York.

Her late father, Napoleon Velasco, is a brother of the late LVN actress Norma Blancaflor, while her mother, Pacita, is a cousin of actress Alicia Alonzo and the late Anthony Alonzo.

“And with Filipinos and Filipino-American artists making waves on stage, TV and cinema, we have high hopes Daniel will find his niche in the field he has chosen,” Vivian said. - Filipino Reporter



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