She left her mark on the Vernon stage, but now Ariel Klim is making a name for herself in film.
The 20-year-old Vernon actress is up for Best Leading Actress in a Short Film 15-19 Years in the Joey Awards for her portrayal of Gracie in Crimson and Blue.
“It didn’t feel real at first, but I’m really excited and really nervous about it,” Klim said.
Crimson and Blue is a story about the power of one’s first love and how that can resonate with someone throughout their life, filmmaker Randy Kirk said.
“Anyone who has had a first love will be able to relate to this story in their own unique way, which makes this film special,” Kirk said in a past interview with The Morning Star.
Klim’s co-star Nikolas Filipovic, a Penticton-born product, is up for Best Leading Actor in a Short Film for his efforts.
Now in the planning stages for the awards gala Saturday, Nov. 10 that will see her walk the red carpet, Klim said her background lies primarily in theatre.
“I have done a lot more acting in theatre than I have in film,” she said and added that her past film work was largely off-screen.
Though it isn’t the first time she has been on the silver screen, as she has made cameo appearances during each of her behind-the-scenes films, she laughed.
Klim got her acting start after taking in performances by Charity Van Gameren’s Center Stage Performing Arts Academy before it got its name.
“I used to be the kid in the audience watching the people on stage. I was always in awe of them,” she said.
“Before I knew it, I was in it. I just never stopped. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Once I got the taste of acting in a play, I just kept going and I wanted more.”
Klim began acting with Center Stage in Grade 5 and was with the Academy for about eight years. She also performed in the BX Elementary choir and Seaton Secondary School’s 27th Street Theatre Co. under Lana O’Brien.
After graduation, Klim temporarily relocated to Victoria where she earned a diploma in musical theatre from the Canadian College of Performing Arts. During her two-year program, which wrapped up in April 2018, Klim performed in the Shakespeare classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the year-end production Working as well as choreographed her own piece.
“Now that I’m finished with college, I’d really like to get back into film,” Klim said. “I’d really love to perform whether it be in theatre or film, but I’d be just as happy to teach it.”
Upon her return to Vernon, Klim took up a teaching and assistant role at Accentz Dance Studio where she used to train.
“It was slightly strange to be back,” she said. “It was strange to step into the other role.”
Beyond her work, Klim said she is currently working with Kirk on another project, the details of which are currently under wraps.
“One of the things that I love is when you’re performing, you can create any character you want. With any character I play, I always bring a piece of myself into my character and take a piece of the character with me as well,” Klim said.
“The people you get to meet along the is one of my favourite things about performing. Every time I’ve performed, I’ve met at least one person I’ve really connected with.”
Despite what some said when she opted to pursue a career in theatre, the stage is where her heart belongs, Klim said.
“Acting isn’t always looked upon as a great profession. I want to pass on to next generations that, no matter what people say, to follow your dreams. It doesn’t matter what people say as long as it makes you happy.”