This 12-year-old actor has been making the festival circuit around the country to promote his film, “Po,” a movie about a child with autism dealing with the recent passing of his mother, which opened in Los Angeles on Friday.
Julian’s family enrolled him in iCademy because of its flexibility, engaging and challenging curriculum, and individualized learning experience.
As Julian builds his acting resume filming movies or traveling to promote a release, he must keep up with his academics.
He has grown up traveling around the world because of his father’s job as a banker. With iCademy, he was able to experience the topics he was learning about online in real life where he was living. When he was learning about the pyramids, he went to Cairo, and when he was studying the Terracotta warriors, he visited the statues in China.
Currently in 7th grade, Julian first enrolled at iCademy in kindergarten, when he tried out two classes – history and reading. He then enrolled full time in 1st grade.
“iCademy is a really good education with flexibility,” Julian said. “I have to be able to go to last-minute auditions and do school on set.”
Virtual school has been helpful for his acting and auditioning schedule. Because school is portable, he can bring it anywhere when he is on set; if he has a 10 a.m. audition, he has the flexibility to come back home later and finish up his school work for the day.
Born in Tokyo, Julian modeled as a baby and first started acting when he was 6 years old in Singapore. His parents got him an agent in Los Angeles at age 7, and one of his first acting jobs was when he got a call to read with Billy Crystal in a movie.
Julian has been in TV shows including Serangoon Road, Rizzoli & Isles, and Community. He has even starred in such movies as Wiener Dog Nationals and Wiener Dog Internationals, a cool scary short called Itsy Bitsy Spiders, and his latest movie, Po, in which he plays the title character.
“In Po I felt a responsibility to the character to try to portray him as accurately as I could,” Julian said. “In order to prepare to play Po, I worked a lot with the director. We developed certain mannerisms for the character. Then, he and I would play board games or Legos and I would have to stay in character. That made it easier to be consistent. I also watched documentaries on autism and met with some kids on the spectrum.”
He is thankful for his online classes because without them, he would be behind in school.
“I am lucky – since my school is already online, I am easily able to keep up while on set,” Julian said, adding that he has a three-hour block where he can doe can do schoolwork while he is on set.
Julian said that online school makes him feel like a part of a community, even when his acting jobs have him on the go.
“All my teachers from K12 have been great,” Julian said. “As we traveled around the United States to film festivals for ‘Po,’ many teachers came to see the movie. It was great to go to different cities and feel how much my school supported me.”
Julian encourages K12-powered students and others to watch his hard work in Po.
“K12 has been a great experience for my family and me,” Julian said. “We feel like I am getting a first-rate education while being able to pursue my dreams.”