Adam Beach is a prime example of ‘becoming skilled’ while not attending a regular academic institution.
In a recent interview with Adam, he says that he dropped out of school after Grade Ten to pursue an acting career. Adam’s attempts to continue Grade Eleven were put to a halt because of job offers to perform theatre. After a second attempt to continue Grade Eleven … his family agreed that the window of opportunity for acting was available and to take it. It was a family decision. Not his own.
Indeed, the window of opportunity to obtain experience as an actor was very small, but he also says that things have changed over the years. If Adam had known he could have had a tutor while still acting, or that the option of homeschooling was available, things could have been much different.
This is one of the key reasons Adam has structured his Adam Beach Film Institute to assist Aboriginal youth get ahead quickly and have the same growth, but without the frustration. Adam points out that the key to success is education, and the choice of additional education should always be available.
Over the years Adam has learned many lessons, and some of the most important lessons were learned being a parent. He tells his children, two teenage sons and a young daughter, that their career choice will be theirs, but to keep in mind that education helps focus on strengths and broadens awareness. He also points out that education is not always ‘academic’ education and there will always be a spot for them in his Film Institute!
This summer Adam will be awarded an Honorary Degree from Sir Wilfred Laurier University for his dedication and achievement in the arts. The Adam Beach Film Institute is aimed at attracting Aboriginal film industry students, but is more about on-the-set training than classroom study. ABFI was incorporated in 2012 as a non-profit and plans are to have a campus in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The long-term vision is to have studios that produce movies and TV shows and provide work for his students and graduates.