Jackman inspires Matt Manahan
FROM working with his idol, making new friends and learning a host of new skills, St Joseph's past student Matt Manahan has thoroughly enjoyed his first year of study at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
While Matt admits moving out of home and to the other side of the country was not easy, he has no regrets.
He described the year as "brilliant" and it was no surprise he cited meeting and working with his idol, Hugh Jackman, as the highlight of his year.
"Hugh Jackman is a graduate of WAAPA and it had always been a goal of mine to meet him and, about three months into the year, I got to," Matt said.
"He was at the campus for the launch of his new foundation and he did a few workshops. I got to work closely with him.
"It was just exciting to give him a handshake and a hug, I didn't think I would ever get to do that.
"I had never been so star-struck in my life."
Matt said he even had a quiver in his voice when he spoke to Jackman.
"The nicest thing he said to me was that I reminded him of himself when he was at WAAPA," he said.
"He told me that I had the flair and determination that he had and to keep at it."
Matt said his goals and plans had changed dramatically during the past 12 months.
"I was set on Broadway but, in the past 12 months, my plans have changed," he said.
"So many doors have opened and I am just going to concentrate on honing my skills for the rest of the course and see where I end up."
In two weeks Matt will return to the Granite Belt for the summer holidays.
While here, he will take to the stage at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre to perform a range of songs.
"I have had a lot of people asking me what I have been up to and this is my way of showcasing what I've been learning to the community," he said.
Matt has a special place in his heart for the Stanthorpe community.
"I would not be here (in Perth) straight out of school if it had not been for the support of the Stanthorpe community," he said.
"I can't thank them enough for their support over the years."
The teenager said he looked forward to taking to the stage in front of his home crowd.
"I think I get more nervous performing for a home crowd than I do performing for random strangers over here."
The November 28 concert will be held at the civic centre from 7pm. Entry is $10 for adults and kids under 12 are free. Tickets are available from Better to Print, St Joseph's School or at the door 20 minutes before the performance.