The business of being Sebastian

CARL COLLISON

Being exposed at an early age to the worlds depicted in various written stories is what drew Benedikt Sebastian to pursuing a career in the arts.

The actor, singer and screenwriter, who was brand ambassador for the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Fashion Film festival, held at the V&A Waterfront on Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23, says: “I grew up listening to stories my mother wrote and read to me and my siblings, and I remember thinking how incredible it was that these worlds existed. Later, when I began to read, I was even more intrigued by the stories people created – from fairytales of old to more contemporary imaginings.”

The Green Point resident adds: “I was also exposed to theatre and performing artists at a very young age. So, from an early age I was interested in the arts.”

His formative years having cemented his interest in creative expression, Mr Sebastian then went on to study drama at Proarte Alphen Park School of the Arts in Pretoria.

“From there, onwards,” he says, “it evolved into a love for music, fine arts, design and writing which have all culminated into a career in the film world these days.

“Apart from having studied acting and writing at various South African and international institutions, I also have a degree in visual communication.”

The dedication to honing his craft through learning has yielded the desired results: roles in, among others, the film Blood and Glory (Modder en Bloed) and the television series Jongo.

He is also working on completing his second album and, as a screenwriter, received a nomination for the Writer’s Guild of South Africa Muse Awards for Best Animation or Web Series script.

Busy as that schedule is, Mr Sebastian still manages to find time to serve as one of the South African ambassadors for Green Monday, the global initiative which aims to get people to eat only plant-based meals every Monday.

As to how his connecting with Green Monday came about, Mr Sebastian says: “I immediately connected with that cause, especially because I am a vegetarian. Awareness of our impact on the environment is the first step towards a better future.”

As to what his career future holds, he says: “I am working on a couple of screenplays at the moment and am also preparing for a few acting roles on local and international productions.

“Cape Town is filled with opportunities at the moment, so,” he smiles, “there is always something that I am busy with.”