It's a tale as old as time: A kid growing up in Canada is a gymnast competing all around the country. Then one day his dentist's wife puts the idea into his head that maybe he should try acting.

OK, maybe the story's not that typical, but that's how it happened for newcomer Nolan Gerard Funk, who stars in Nickelodeon's movie musical, "Spectacular!"

"When I was 13, my dentist got me in the business," he said. "I needed a new dentist. I called him up, I went in, and somehow I got talking to his wife and she was like, 'Our kid's in the business.' She sent me to an acting school, and that's how I got discovered. I was discovered through my dentist."

That led to small roles in shows like "Smallville," "Supernatural" and "Aliens in America." But Funk hopes that having the lead role in "Spectacular!" will be his big break.

"I play Nikko, who is this too-cool-for-school, daring, bold, confident, edgy rocker, and he gets kicked out of his band and dumped by his girlfriend," he explained. "But he is so determined to become a rock star, he's willing to do anything to get there."

It's a role that he can relate to since, like Nikko, he's faced adversity from outside forces about pursuing his dream of being a performer. "I have a lot of similarities with Nikko. We both love performing. And we both have people in our lives telling us we couldn't do it, and we should focus on getting a real job. And I think also a big similarity is that I've had to learn so many lessons about being considerate of other people."

So what happens in a post-"Spectacular!" world for Funk? "I've been doing some TV shows. I'm doing this show 'Castle,' " he shared. "I've got a few movies in development with the studios. I've got a few other films coming out."

With a career still in its fledgling stages, Funk has an idea of some of the work he'd like to do in the future. "I'd like to work with great directors and other actors. I'm a big fan of directors like Baz Luhrmann and Paul Thomas Anderson," he said. "And there's a lot of great up-and-coming directors I'd like to work with. I love good material."