While many students fantasize about appearing in a film, Diamond Bar High sophomore Cami Kuruma stepped it up a notch by winning the lead role in a recent documentary.
In the sixth grade, a scout asked Kuruma to audition for their talent studio, David DeLuise Actors Studio, which is owned by actor and director David DeLuise.
Kuruma auditioned after being encouraged by her parents and ended up making the final cut, competing with over 200 other kids. Kuruma and eleven others joined the studio where they started working with Disney Channel stars.
At the studio, Kuruma is coached on various things such as monologues, what to do while on set, and taking head shots. In addition, she takes acting classes on the weekends at studios in Beverly Hills and in West Hollywood. Meanwhile on audition days, Kuruma leaves school early to receive coaching on the script or her character.
Due to her very busy schedule, Kuruma was considering being home-schooled at one point. But, she decided to remain at DBHS.
“If you want to do acting, it has to be your main priority. If you want to be an actress or you want to be successful, it has to come first… Once school ends, I’m considering putting acting first and going farther into what I want to do,” Kuruma said.
In addition, the entertainment industry isn’t exactly easy. Kuruma has already dropped two agencies and learned many life lessons.
“Even if I think that this role is perfect for me, there’s always going to be a person that auditions for the same role but just has something better than me or that factor that I don’t have. It sucks but it’s definitely a lesson that life isn’t always fair,” Kuruma said.
Also, race plays a big role in selecting actors or actresses. Kuruma’s biggest difficulty was not being selected due to her race. A white actress would try out for the role and receive it, due to a huge factor which is having the “look” the directors search for.
“It’s hard to really find that medium of being happy with yourself yet still having things you want to work on,” Kuruma said.
However, acting has also played a positive influence in Kuruma’s life.
“It didn’t teach me lessons on just acting, it gave me lessons on life…acting made me go out of my comfort zone and push myself to do things that I never thought I would be doing. It just helped me a lot with who I am now and who I was then,” Kuruma said.
In addition, acting has created unforgettable memories for Kuruma.
One such example would be booking her first job, a documentary about survivors of human trafficking, “California’s Forgotten Children.” Kuruma landed the lead role, as the younger version of a trafficking survivor.
Although acting can have its ups and downs, Kuruma recommends sticking with it.
“It’s really time consuming and frustrating business but if you enjoy it, you should keep doing it.”