Albert Belz has worked in television, film, theare, and as a screenwriter. He was born in Whakatane, New Zealand and lived in Auckland until the age of 12. He later lived in both Hamilton and Wellington. His first script Te Maunga was performed in 2001 received positive reviews from critics.
Q: What year did you graduate from James Cook High?
Q: What was your favourite subject in high school?
A: Media studies and drama
Q: Who was your favourite teacher, and why?
A: Mr. Kent, my drama teacher and Mr. Peters, my media studies and journalism teacher.
Q: What was your favourite memory from your time at James Cook?
A: Playing teen-angel in the school musical, Grease, and lunchtime rugby.
Q: How did you start your career as a theatre professional?
A: I started as an actor on television. I acted in Shortland Street, Hercules, Young Hercules, and so on. When the television work dried up I started writing plays for me to act in. Nek minute, I got hooked on writing.
Q: Did your time at James Cook put you on the path of going into the arts? If so, how did that happen?
A: Yes, drama and media studies were offered as subjects. Both led to my love of stage and film.
Q: How did you become involved with the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT)?
A: I trained for a post graduate certificate in high school teaching after returning from Oz in 2015. While training at Papatoetoe High School, I bumped into one of the heads of MIT who said I should come lecture at MIT, so I did.
Q: What was your greatest challenge in becoming a theatre professional?
A: Money$$$. The arts feeds the soul, but not the wallet.
Q: What are some of the projects you’re really excited to work on this year?
A: I’m currently in Melbourne working on my new play, ‘Astroman’ with Melbourne Theatre Company. After that I’ll be working with Ilbijeri Theatre and indigenous, first nations creatives on a brand new piece for Australian and New Zealand festivals. Then back to writing scripts for Shortland Street.
Q: What advice would you give to JCHS students that attribute your success?
A: If you’re passionate about the arts, find good people who are just as passionate. These people will be your 2nd whanau, you’ll all be leaning on each other heeeeaps.