• STV
  • MySTV

Pennywise actor earns place at 'performing arts Olympics'

Oli Keenan was a smash hit when a video of him dressed as the clown went viral at Halloween.

Viral: The actor's portrayal of Pennywise was a smash hit.
Viral: The actor's portrayal of Pennywise was a smash hit. Oli Keenan

An actor whose portrayal of Pennywise the clown became a viral hit has been chosen to represent the UK at the World Championships of Performing Arts.

Oli Keenan, from Clydebank, went viral in October after dressing up as Stephen King's horrifying character for Halloween.

The 22-year-old interacted with trick-or-treaters visiting his family's home, and a video of his act has been viewed more than 20m times.

Now Oli has been scouted to take part in the World Championships of Performing Arts in the United States.

"We do something big like that every year, my birthday is October 29 and my mum's is the 30th and so Halloween is a big deal at our house," Oli said.

"So I always dress up and get involved. It's the only night of the year I get to scare children and not feel too bad about it."

A trick-or-treater filmed Oli's creepy act and posted the video online, soon amassing millions of views.

"After all the stuff at Halloween I was contacted by the regional director scouting for Team UK and she asked me to come down and audition," Oli explained.

He was soon chosen to represent the UK in the acting category, with dancers and singers also taking part in the event, dubbed 'the performing arts Olympics', from 60 different countries.

"They're handing out £390,000 in scholarships to American acting schools and you're performing in front of industry professionals and producers out in Los Angeles," Oli said.

'I'm really, really excited about it, it's one of these things you don't get the opportunity to do that often and you don't have things like that to that scale here in Scotland.'
Oli Keenan

"I'm really, really excited about it, it's one of these things you don't get the opportunity to do that often and you don't have things like that to that scale here in Scotland."

Oli dreamt of being an actor since he was a child, and although he took a break from drama after college, his new-found fame gave him the "boost" he needed to continue pursuing the profession.

He said: "I've been doing it ever since I was really young, I was about nine or ten when I started at a local theatre school.

"I had always been interested in it at school and ever since I was a child, whenever anyone asked what I wanted to be, I said an actor.

"[The viral video] was that little boost of confirmation that I needed."

Oli will take part in different auditions as part of the championship, doing comedic and dramatic pieces in a bid to impress the judges.

The final will be broadcast live in the US on July 21 from Long Beach in LA.

The prospect of potentially winning a scholarship to an acting school in the US is an exciting one for Oli.

"It would be crazy, it would be very very exciting," he said. "It would change my life completely."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.