Bentley Storteboom, 8, has been acting for a year-and-a-half. (Candace Woods Photography)

Bentley Storteboom, 8, has been acting for a year-and-a-half. (Candace Woods Photography)

8-year-old Maple Ridge actor up for pair of national awards

Bentley Storteboom is nominated for Joey awards in commercial and film acting

Bentley Storteboom’s hard work in front of the camera is starting to pay off dividends early-on in his screen career.

The 8-year-old Maple Ridge resident has been nominated for a pair of Joey awards despite only having a year-and-a-half of acting experience.

“He’s becoming a little more successful, so it’s pretty exciting,” his mom, Jessica, said.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge actor wins big at theatre fest

Bentley’s Joey Award nominations are for best actor in a commercial (ages 7-8), and best actor in a student short film (ages 6-10).

The awards celebrate youth peformers across Canada, and will be given out in early November this year.

Jessica said her son started showing interest in performing about three years ago.

“He wasn’t your typical boy that wanted to play soccer or sports,” she said.

“But he really liked the theatre and movies, and started to ask about kids on TV, and how they got there.”

Jessica, who is a stay-at-home mom, and her husband, who operates a helicopter company, had no experience with the performing arts, so started to investigate what it took to become involved.

“It was totally new to us,” she said.

“But we found an agent that took him on, and his career started from there.”

Bentley started off being featured in a few commercials, and has since moved on to working on a network television show.

His favourite perks of the gig are being on set, and getting to explore different roles.

“He’s a very gentle child, but sometimes he gets to play a bully, which he thinks is a lot of fun.”

The work has come with its challenges for the young boy and his parents, however.

“He definitely keeps us very busy,” Jessica said. “He’s constantly auditioning for stuff and being brought on to sets.”

She pointed out, C’usquenla Elementary school in Maple Ridge have been very helpful in keeping him on top of his studies.

“They have been amazing at providing me with his work, and making sure he is always is up-to-date,” Jessica said.

The young actor has also had to learn some difficult life lessons in addition to his school work.

“He goes to about 30 auditions before he lands a role,” Jessica said. “Most of the time he’s being rejected.

“It’s not necessarily that he’s bad at what he’s doing, but it might be that his look isn’t perfect, or he isn’t tall enough.

“There’s tons of rejection, but it’s a good life lesson he’s learning – working hard will lead to success.”

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