Gerringong's Declan West, 14, is saving every penny for Hollywood

STAR IN THE MAKING: Declan West wants be the next Hugh Jackman. In the meantime he'll continue working at Nickelodeon and taking classes at Emily Stratten's Kiama Actors Studio. Picture: Sylvia Liber
STAR IN THE MAKING: Declan West wants be the next Hugh Jackman. In the meantime he'll continue working at Nickelodeon and taking classes at Emily Stratten's Kiama Actors Studio. Picture: Sylvia Liber

When some teenagers get a part-time job they like to save for something special like a new skateboard or party outfit.

Gerringong's Declan West, 14, is doing exactly that but his savings goal is to help him crack Hollywood.

He's been studying acting for five years and managed to score a presenting role with children's cable network Nickelodeon for the past two.

"I've had a passion for acting ever since I was Max in my kindergarten production of Where the Wild Things Are," he said.

"It wasn't just the play, it was the way it made me feel. Like the first time I was in front of a camera - it's like when you're in a barrel [surfing] or skydiving."

After paying his way to Los Angeles early last year for an acting intensive course with Margie Haber, and again with his mum in December to find an agent, Declan is hoping to head to Tinseltown for a third time in the near future.

The teenager is trying to secure a working visa in the US to be able to audition for roles on television and movies - something he can do via video from his own home.

Mum Samantha said as a parent Declan's goal brings with it challenges because there are two other siblings to be conscious of, but his dedication has shown his parents how much he wants this dream.

"It's not just 'I want to be a famous actor now' because ... he's constantly at us and wanting to do it," Mrs West said.

"As a parent you've got to go with that and try and encourage them as much as realistically possible."

Declan hopes to get his visa in coming months and start auditioning for big roles. In the meantime he'll continue working at Nickelodeon and taking classes at Emily Stratten's Kiama Actors Studio.

Gerringong's Declan West, 14, is saving every penny for Hollywood first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.