A teenager who wowed judges with a mime performance and dramatic reading of a passage from Lord of the Rings has said it was "incredible and unexpected" to be named Young Actor of the Year.
Jason Hoare overcame strong competition last Saturday (26 November) to claim the Eisteddfod title in its second year.
The De La Salle student – who turned 16 this week – said he was overwhelmed with joy and emotion to discover that he had taken the award, which offers prize money of £500 and the chance to benefit from the experience of theatre professionals and other performance opportunities during the year.
"The feeling was incredible and unexpected as all of the competitors were exceptional and I really enjoyed all their performances. It all came together for me on the night, and when the wonderful adjudicator said my name, it felt like time had just stopped. Everyone was so happy for me and it was just such an amazing night," he said.
Jason's love of acting can be traced back to his first appearance at the Eisteddfod when, aged just seven, his parents entered him for his first classes. He has taken part every year since then, working together with his family to select and prepare the pieces.
Pictured: The gala took place at the Jersey Arts Centre.
At the Eisteddfod Speech and Drama gala night at the Jersey Arts Centre, Jason was among seven entrants to present their entries from three disciplines they chose in the Speech and Drama section during the previous week.
Explaining his choice, Jason said: "I chose the mime because it is a challenging and underrated skill. I love the comedic aspect of mime and it is always great to see the audience enjoying it, which is what I aim to achieve.
"For the prose I performed an extract from the Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien, who I think is a brilliant writer. I entered the piece into the Young Actor to capture the horror, fear and emotions of the scene, conveying these to the audience."
Over the past two years, Jason has taken part in a number of different productions.
Pictured: Jason tried to capture the "horror, fear and emotions of the scene" in Fellowship of the Ring.
He was part of the cast for Theatre Workshop's productions of Footloose and 9 to 5, and this year played what he described as his 'dream role' of Mr Wormwood in the Jersey Amateur Dramatic Club's production of Matilda. During October half-term, he took part in his first Jersey Youth Performing Arts show, playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet the Musical.
"I love performing pieces that explore different characters and emotions, and especially ones that are a bit different but which I feel the audience will enjoy. We try to pick challenging or unusual pieces that are less well known. This allows me to develop as a performer and is a great learning experience for me as well as something the audience can feel connected to, surprised by or engaged with depending on the piece," he said.
Now Jason aims to use the impetus provided by the award to secure further opportunities to perform locally before he hopes to have the opportunity to study performing arts at college after he has completed his studies in the island.
"I am extremely grateful to the Eisteddfod for this award as it has encouraged me to believe that I could pursue drama as a career and that I may be good enough to get there if I work really hard. The prize money will prove extremely useful in this endeavour. I am saving the money to help support my education at college," he said.
On Saturday evening, adjudicator Ann Bauer gave the award for outstanding senior to Magnus Surcouf and outstanding junior to his sister Anastasia. The best overall group award went to Grainville School's Year Seven Drama Club and the most memorable adult performance to Christopher Davey.
Pictured top: Jason Hoare at the Arts Centre. (Jon Guegan)
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