Actor Adam Beach urges young natives to dream big
A Hollywood star with humble beginnings is urging First Nations youth to dream big, because sometimes dreams come true.
"To say, 'I want to be a Hollywood star. To be like Johnny Depp.' People think that's crazy," Adam Beach told a receptive audience in the remote Saskatchewan community of La Ronge on Tuesday.
Beach, 37, said his Hollywood career, which has included roles on the TV's Law and Order SVU and John Woo's movie Windtalkers, began as his own "crazy" dream.
"To me, where I am from and what I was doing, it's absolutely crazy," Beach said. "I grew up in [Winnipeg's] north end — prostitutes, gangs and bad stuff."
Beach said he turned to acting and traditional spirituality to rise above the challenges he faced.
His visit to La Ronge and a number of neighbouring communities included a message based on his own life experience: Youths should grab hold of their potential.
"I don't drink, I don't do drugs," Beach added, noting too many young people fall into a risky lifestyle. "That's a reality I saw out there. But it's a reality that should be changed."
Celebrity bingo caller
After talking with students and signing autographs, Beach was pressed into service to act as a celebrity bingo caller in nearby Stanley Mission.
The special role was scouted by Tammy Cook-Searson, chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.
"I called Larry Charles, a guy that calls bingo in Stanley," Cook-Searson explained. "I said, 'Would you mind if Adam came there?' He said, 'Well, as long as he doesn't get in my way.' So he went to the band hall and called bingo. It was pretty funny."
Beach is originally from the Dog Creek First Nation near Ashern, Man.
His Saskatchewan visit is set to run until Friday.
- The director of Windtalkers was John Woo, not Clint Eastwood as written in an earlier version of the story.Oct 05, 2010 10:55 AM CT