Stratton Bailey, 18, of Virginia Run was awarded two bronze medals in acting and modeling at the recent World Championship of Performing Arts held Aug. 6-12, in Hollywood, Calif.
The son of Gayle and Bonnie Bailey, Stratton competed against 3,000 individuals in 52 countries in acting, modeling, dancing, singing.
"It feels amazing," said the 5-foot-7, 160 pound Stratton. "It's a real honor because I was there representing my country."
As a result of his win, Stratton received a scholarship to the New York School of Film and Television, in Manhattan, where he began classes Aug. 23. He was one of 16 people accepted to a two-year, full-time conservatory program where he will study acting, voice and speech for film acting, movement and camera work.
He hopes to be a film or TV actor, or working in the business in some capacity — either directing or screen writing. His acting role models are Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington and Charlize Theron.
THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP of Performing Arts is the "Olympics for Performers," an international forum for aspiring performers to compete against their peers.
In March 2006, Stratton competed in the Mid-Atlantic Region and was selected for his age group to go on to the finals in Hollywood.
"When they announced the final medal results as well as the scholarship recipients, Stratton literally levitated from his chair," said father Gayle Bailey. "It was undoubtedly the happiest moment in his life as well as a moment I know I will never forget."
The first thing Stratton did was call home to talk with his brother, Gayle Tom, his sister, Jennifer and his mother Bonnie. It was 2 a.m. but they all celebrated over the phone with him.
While he and his father were flying back to Centreville, a big decision lay before the whole family but particularly Stratton. He had already received a scholarship to play lacrosse for Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania and full registration there had already taken place. When he asked his father, "What do we do?", his Dad said, "What do YOU want to do?" And they both agreed to follow your dream.
AT THE SCHOOL of Film and Television he will be working with active performers in the live theater as well as film and TV.
He had to perform two monologues: "Against All Odds" and "Better Days" to gain entry into the school where he'll study the Meisner Technique of Acting.
Stratton credits his agent, Cheryl Ann Rossi, and Kelli Walker, his local team manager for the preparation they put into the team during the last five months.
The team from Rossi Entertainment not only won more medals than any other local team worldwide, but placed two world champion categories in acting — Raphael Questa, Northern Virginia; and vocals — Pam Ward, formerly of Centreville and now Washington, D.C. Ward was also selected as the Grand Performer of the World for her vocal skills.
Stratton graduated from Westfield High last spring where he played lacrosse for four years, took part in swim and dive, and scuba diving. He also played SYA football and lacrosse, and took three years of acting at John Robert Powers in Rockville, Md., and trained with Rossi Entertainment in Springfield.