This time last year, Nic Westaway was a nervous WAAPA graduate poised to try his luck in the big smoke. Now, he's the hottest thing on Home and Away and at the weekend returned to Perth along with a legion of Seven stars for Telethon.
"I visited my drama school last night and said, 'good luck for showcase' because they leave this morning to go over to get agents which was me a year ago," he told AAA on Saturday.
"It was so surreal because a year ago I was them but now a year later I'm being flown in for Telethon."
Since beginning on Home and Away this year as the River Boys' mysterious half-brother Kyle, the Robert Pattinson lookalike hasn't found time to return to Perth for almost a year.
But the Margaret River-raised actor has caught up with his family for the first time since last December.
Westaway said that being away from his family has been a challenge. "Skype helps," he said. "We sort of knew this was going to happen towards the back end of drama school, I said 'I'm going to move to the other side of the country', so I spent a bit of time with my family before I moved."
Despite being thousands of kilometres away, Westaway credits his family for keeping his feet on the ground.
"At the moment I think I'm handling (fame) quite well," he said. "I've got a lot of friends and family who are very grounded and they said if my head gets too big they'd have no problem shrinking it."
Excited about attending his first Telethon, Westaway threw himself into the festivities, visiting Princess Margaret Hospital on Saturday and taking up a spot on the panel.
On Saturday night, he attended the Lexus ball before enjoying his first ride on a helicopter to Bunbury with some other stars on Sunday.Home and Away airs Monday to Friday at 7pm on Seven/GWN7.