Has this summer passed quicker than any other or is it just me who feels this way? It seems like once June hit we warp-sped into July for a nanosecond and here we are in mid-August ready to begin the 2018-19 school year. The pace of life hastens as our children grow, that is an undeniable heart aching aspect of parenthood. As adults, time is viewed as a valuable commodity and we try to instill that into our children as we present opportunities for them to participate in extracurricular activities. When we see the scope of their interests narrow, and they live, breathe, sleep their new passion — we are bound to support their dream.
Seeing a young person exploring the depths of their talents is incredible. The Sarasota Post recently spoke with Owen DeMaio, an eighth-grade student at Booker Middle School who works with Rise Above Performing Arts, a local theatrical group. Rise Above is a nonprofit organization showcasing the talents of local actors and actresses with large Broadway-type musicals including “Narnia,” “Grease,” and the upcoming “13,” which Owen stars in. With a core group of seasoned actors and directors at the helm, many of their shows quickly sell out. This past summer the Rise Above Show Choir won Grand Champions at OrlandoFest. We love that Owen has found a true love for acting at such a young age. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him in character and I find his dedication to his art to be inspiring. I hope you do too!
SP: What do you like about working with Rise Above Performing Arts?
Owen: I love Rise Above because of the opportunity it gives me to showcase my talents. Plus, I see a lot of my friends from school there. I love the sense of having a second family.
SP: What first drew you to acting and how did you know it was for you?
Owen: I was drawn to acting when my dad and I started listening to Broadway songs from “Godspell” and “Rent”. When I was in 5th grade I appeared in “101 Dalmatians,” and it was then that I decided to go to Booker Middle School which has a wonderful performing arts program. A friend at Booker told me about an organization called Rise Above. I joined later that year and got a role in “Into the Woods.”
SP: Tell us a little bit about your part in the upcoming production, “13.”
Owen: I play a boy named Archie. Archie is your regular, everyday middle schooler except for the fact that he has a degenerative neuromuscular disorder and is an outcast to the rest of the students. His best, and only friend is Patrice, another outcast at Dan Quayle Junior High. “13” is both funny and serious. It describes what is feels like to be 13 and shows what it takes to become a man.
“13” premiers at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center in Sarasota on September 20 and runs through September 23. Currently there is a contest to win tickets to Hamlet for whomever fills the most seats, so Owen would appreciate if you enter his name, “Owen DeMaio” if ordering tickets to “13.” We wish the entire cast and production crew great success on “13” and we look forward to following Owen’s acting career in the future.
For more information on Rise Above Performing Arts or to purchase tickets to “13” (don’t forget to mention Owen’s name), please visit their website click here.
Photos courtesy of Rise Above Performing Arts Facebook page and The Sarasota Post.