KPU student to act and sing in the “Talent Olympics”
Culture / June 14, 2016
Argel Monte de Ramos will represent his country this July
Kyle Prince and Monica Mah, contributors
This year, at the 20th annual World Championships of Performing Arts in Long Beach California, Canada will be represented by Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s own Argel Monte De Ramos. The multi-talented business student will compete in six singing competitions and two acting competitions this July at the event which is widely touted as the “Talent Olympics.”
After originally auditioning in 2013, Monte de Ramos was forced to decline entry in the event due to financial issues. He auditioned again last November and, once he received the call telling him he’d made it into the competition, Monte de Ramos “literally called all the companies [he] had been working with before.”
Participation in the competitions isn’t cheap. The 10-day World Championship event can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $6,000, depending on where the competitor is coming from. Luckily for Monte de Ramos, one of his former employers agreed to help pay his fees by sponsoring him through the competition.
In addition showcasing his skills, Monte de Ramos notes that he will potentially be able make important connections at World Championship of Performing Arts, connections that could greatly benefit a career in acting or dancing.
“A lot of directors go there and do talent scouting,” he says. “There are real people from the industry that are coming.” On top of the exposure, the winner of the championship gets signed with a contract for a year, where they stay in Los Angeles for the duration of their reign.
“So if I’m going to win a medal, that’s just a bonus,” says Monte de Ramos.
But aside from the glamour and the show-business opportunities, what he’s most excited for is the chance to properly test his talents as a performer. He’s looking forward to “seeing if [his] talent really pays, if it’s really marketable.”
According to Monte de Ramos, one teacher who stands out at KPU as an inspiration is Fred Ribkoff, the professor for an IDEA class which helped him become more confident in his acting abilities.
“I was thinking this would be too easy for me, I’m not going to grow,” he says, regarding his apprehension in taking Ribkoff’s course. “But Fred Ribkoff really inspired me to keep going with acting. There was a point in my life where I realized acting isn’t for me … that class really helped me a lot to realize that I should keep on going and keep stepping forward which is really cool.”
“Argel is, quite simply, a multi-talented and dedicated performer,” says Ribkoff. He recalls the acting class Argel took with him, and speaks fondly about his “enthusiasm and creative output.”
Monte de Ramos also acknowledges everyone else who inspires him through their continued support. “The support coming from my friends and my family, and everyone else that I don’t know just messaging me and saying I’m really great is overwhelming, and I’m really happy that they’re with me in this.”
To describe Monte de Ramos’s talents, Ribkoff mentions his role as Mrs. Venable during the end-of-semester play the IDEA class put on. “He stole the show without trying to—his love of performance is simply contagious.”
Looking forward to the Talent Olympics in July, Monte de Ramos says he’s not quite sure whether or not he’ll walk away with the championship, but he’s confident in his ability to “slay” his way through the competition.
“If the judges decide to pick other people, I’m not going to be like, ‘Oh no, I lost.’ More like, ‘I won because I made it here.’”