Academy Student Alain Rangel Awarded the Wesley John Memorial Scholarship

The Academy recently named Alain Rangel, Los Angeles Campus student, as the inaugural recipient of the Wesley John Memorial Scholarship. After graduating from California State University, Alain decided to pursue his dream of training as an actor and was selected for this special recognition as a second year student. “I never met Wesley John, but now I feel that I have a new friend and an artistic brother,” Alain says. “Someone that shared a deep love and appreciation for our craft. My selection as the recipient among many other talented actors, makes me feel proud of the hard work and commitment I have put into this.” 

In 2017, following Wesley John’s passing, his family and friends generously created this memorial scholarship in his name, specifically intended to benefit an aspiring actor in need of the funds necessary to continue their education. It's a fitting tribute to Wesley, who was an enthusiastic and engaged member of the Academy community. He was often found lighting up the room at alumni events, or returning as a guest speaker, encouraging students to be unwavering in pursuit of their passions. Like Wesley, Alain is a thoughtful, dedicated student who strives to immerse himself in all aspects of his training. Stephen Herring, The Academy’s Director of Alumni Relations, agreed. “The devotion shown by Wesley to his craft and his alma mater was undeniable. This scholarship is a fitting tribute to his legacy, and it could not have gone to a more deserving student.”

Wesley John - 1968-2017 (The Scorpion King, NBC's Law & Order: Los Angeles, CBS's Hawaii Five-O)
Wesley John Managbanag was born and raised in The Philippines, the son of missionary parents.  At the age of 16 he struck out on his own to study Art and English through a scholarship from Spring Arbor University in Michigan. The course of his life was altered during a trip to New York when he saw Les Miserables on Broadway, an experience that cemented his desire to pursue acting professionally. Not long after, he relocated to Los Angeles and was accepted into The Academy, graduating with honors from the Full Time Conservatory Program and The Company Program in 1992. Wesley worked steadily throughout his career, in films like Intrepid, and The Scorpion King, also appearing on television in Chuck, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Black.

The remarkable generosity of Wesley John’s family and friends in creating this scholarship bolsters his lasting and impactful legacy. Wesley’s family will always remember him as “a loving son, devoted Uncle, and wonderful brother...He had a zest for life and an unwavering commitment to family and his work passion.” It is through this scholarship, and students like Alain, that Wesley’s memory and legacy will carry forward into the next generation of Academy graduates.

In Alain Rangel, they’ve found a student in the same vein as Wesley – passionate, driven, dedicated to the work. “I want to continue learning from my peers, continue learning from all my wonderful instructors, continue improving my skills to analyze a script, continue improving vocal and physical qualities as an actor," Alain explains. "To day by day go deeper the into minds and souls of the characters I play. The biggest thing The Academy has taught me is that in order to master this craft it takes time, but if I take it step by step and put my heart into it, I will continue to improve.”