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Seymour’s Skogman receives his big break

By Greg Bates

SEYMOUR – Waking up in his West Hollywood apartment last November, Calahan Skogman had a message on his phone. It was his agent.

Just a couple days earlier, Skogman had returned from Budapest, Hungry, for a final screen test trying to land a role in the Netflix TV series, “Shadow and Bone.”

“And he’s like, ‘Skogs, you booked it,’” Skogman said. “It’s very hard to even express the feeling. It felt so surreal. For me, it was absolutely a dream come true.”

Skogman, a 2011 Seymour High School graduate, went from acting in a couple plays in high school to a few more in college. Now, he’s landed a role for a highly-anticipated show.

The 27-year-old said he feels blessed to be able to catch a break this early in his acting career.

When Skogman moved to Los Angeles four years ago to pursue acting and screenwriting, he knew his career path could be an uphill climb.

“In the acting and entertainment industry, anything can happen and it’s very grueling,” Skogman said. “It’s a tough industry. You know that. You kind of accept that going into it, and you’re kind of going into it despite the odds, which are so low. You’ve really got to love it. You’ve really got to be passionate about it and have this belief in yourself and this vision. I was truly trusting that.”

Skogman said he always considered himself a creative, emotional and passionate person.

“I was always obsessed with movies,” he said. “I was a kid who was watching three, four movies on the weekends and really disappearing to those worlds. I’d watch the Oscars every year by myself and get emotional and think about big dreams. Because Seymour is such a small town, I did have dreams of going out and seeing the world, exploring and trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to become and all that. I had seeds of it then.”

Growing up in Seymour, Skogman was a standout in basketball and football.

He was a three-year starter on the basketball team, eclipsing the 1,000-point mark for his career.

When Skogman was in elementary and middle schools, he watched his idols at Seymour play for a state title seven straight years.

As a senior in 2010-11, Skogman led Seymour to state before falling in the semifinals.

Basketball dominated his life.

“It was a big part of shaping who I was,” Skogman said. “It taught me a lot about dedication and hard work and the things you’ve got to bring to the table to be successful and kind of taking it a day at a time and putting all the work in and thousands and thousands of hours in that gym.”

Following graduation, Skogman played basketball and football at the University of Minnesota-Duluth before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

In 2014, Skogman decided to audition for a leading role at La Crosse in the play, “The Metal Children.”
Skogman landed the role, which completely rerouted his life.

He opted not to play his final year of eligibility on the basketball team, instead concentrating on acting in four straight shows.

He earned his theatre acting degree from UW-La Crosse in winter 2015 and was accepted into graduate school at the University of Southern California the next year.

“I expanded the journey I was on and continued to change my life and my perspective and everything,” Skogman said.

While at USC, in which he graduated in May 2019 with a master’s of fine arts, Skogman played minor roles in a few short films.

Six months after commencement, Skogman’s agent secured the audition for him in “Shadow and Bone,” a fantasy-adventure series based on the best-selling books by Leigh Bardugo.

Skogman auditioned for the role of Matthias Helvar, one of the six main characters.

“I felt when I read it, it was a perfect role for me, which is really, really exciting,” Skogman said. “I tried it like every other audition where it’s, OK, I’m just going to do my work and see what happens. I was really focused on that. Then, obviously, my whole world gets flipped upside down in a matter of a couple weeks.”

After securing the role, Skogman spent three months, December to February, in Budapest shooting the first season.

“Shadow and Bone” is currently in post-production and scheduled to air on Netflix in the fall.

Skogman said he plans on staying in the acting and screenwriting business for the long haul.

He said he’d really like to write a feature film that gets picked up by a major company and act in the film as well.

“Art is just what I do; it’s what I love,” Skogman said. “It’s what I wake up thinking about, that’s what I go to bed thinking about. I’m writing all day. I’m thinking about acting. I’m still the little kid that’s watching the movies. I still get lost in those stories. You get me talking about acting, I might not shut up for a couple hours. Everything about it, I love it. It’s my love and my life, for real.”

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