Tuesday, June 3, 2014
A creative whirlwind has moved into Summerville and is influencing the art scene in various ways.
Robert Hazelip, an actor and owner of Impact Creative Arts Academy, moved to Summerville with his wife Jen and their three kids two years ago with dreams of contributing to the creative arts.
Since moving to Summerville the Hazelips have used their acting resources and talents to open a creative arts school, Impact Creative Arts Academy. Impact was opened in March earlier this year on Old Trolley Road. The building was originally a dance studio, a layout Hazelip took advantage of. According to Hazelip it was his dream to combine the creative arts—dance, acting, singing, and film—together.
The name Impact was a word that always stuck with Hazelip, and was also the name of the company he worked for in New York. The word has an effect, Hazelip said.
The parents and other individuals interested in Impact have been supportive of Hazelip and his actions in the community: “Everything is organized chaos right now...but the feedback has been phenomenal.”
Throughout the months of June, July and August, Hazelip and his associates will be hosting several summer camps through the academy such as a Television Acting Camp, Pop Star Camp, Princess Camp and others.
A fall curriculum is in the works, but nothing has been finalized yet. According to Hazelip, the idea of a homeschooling program mixed with the creative arts is also a future possibility. Although Impact seems more catered towards children with its summer camps, there are also classes for adults interested in the creative arts.
Hazelip has lived between New York and Los Angeles ever since he was 19 years old, working at 4 World Trade Center by day and auditioning for roles by night. During his time in New York he attended college courses and studied theater before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career in television.
He is listed on the popular film website, IMDB, under his stage name, Robert Forrest. The name is a combination of his and his father’s first name, which he adopted because of constant mispronunciation. On the site, readers can view his list of performances in shows such as “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Saved by the Bell,” among others.
Hazelip’s passion for acting developed when he was a child, moving around with his family.
“I developed an ear for dialects,” he said, and an interest in human behavior that he believes contributed to his acting career.
It was during his time in Los Angeles acting and waiting tables that Hazelip met his wife Jen, a fellow actor. After the fall of the World Trade Centers the two missed the East Coast and married before leaving Los Angeles.
The two lived in New Jersey for some time, building a family but desired a change. New Jersey wasn’t the place they wanted to raise our children, Hazelip said. Two years ago the family moved to South Carolina and hasn’t looked back.
In accordance with his new business, Hazelip has also found time to continue his acting career in Summerville. Hazelip is currently starring in a Piccolo Spoleto play “Johny Duke Left” as the main role, Tucker Simmons. The play opened last week and will conclude June 5. The play, which is 90 minutes long, is a “good Lowcountry comedy we can appreciate,” Hazelip said.
He called the performance his Lowcountry “theatrical debut” and cited the thriving arts scene in Charleston and Summerville as a help in launching his acting career and business. “The art community is so supportive.”
He said Summerville is full of talent and everyone can benefit from a class in creative arts.
Hazelip said that he wants to use his resources as an actor and coach to help people in the industry here in Summerville.
“Everyone can get something out of it.”