Congratulations to Patel Conservatory theater student Shelby Ronea who makes her film debut this weekend in the independent film Sex Ed, starring Haley Joel Osment.
The film is about an inexperienced teacher, Osment (Sixth Sense, Pay It Forward), who tackles sex education with his inner city middle school students. It takes place and was shot in Tampa last year. Shelby plays one of the students.
Her role in Sex Ed is among many recent opportunities for Shelby. She was recently chosen to be a film critic for KIDS FIRST!, which posts film reviews by youth on Huffington Post and You Tube. In July, she attended the renowned Second City Training Center on full scholarship.
“Being at Second City, it was so surreal. Being there and talking to people who’ve been on Saturday Night Live, it left me speechless. I had so much fun and I learned a lot about comedy,” said Shelby.
A sophomore at Blake High School, Shelby has been studying theater at the Patel Conservatory for more than two years. She is currently a theater apprentice working with instructor Eugenie Bondurant (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, ) who teaches the on-camera acting classes.
“Before I started at Patel , I didn’t have a lot of acting experience,” said Shelby, “Eugenie has helped me so much with my career.”
She said her classes at the Conservatory have helped her gain the skills to audition for plays and films, and helped her land roles at school plays.
“Patel [Conservatory] is like a huge family full of professionals, helping you. It’s just a loving environment,” she said.
Sex Ed was her first film audition, which turned into her first professional opportunity. Working with Osment was also like working with family.
“He was like a big brother, he gave a lot of good advice,” she said.
Sex Ed premieres Nov. 8, 2014 at the Studio Movie Grill at University Mall.