‘Why we joined the union’
Volume 116, No. 5May, 2016
I joined Local 802 when I won a role in “School of Rock: The Musical.” I was cast as Freddy and I play drums in the production. So I get to be a professional musician and actor at 13 years old. Local 802 has been a source of support throughout my experience working on this show. I want to perform and make music as often as I can. I love anything related to music, but I particularly love rocking out on stage, playing drums and singing. I also play a little guitar. I first learned music at a Suzuki music school in Connecticut. My parents signed me up and I learned beginner piano and some theory and music appreciation. I demonstrated I had a very good ear for music but not the discipline to practice in the way that Suzuki likes its students to practice. It wasn’t until I discovered rock drumming that I realized what it means to be driven and passionate about an instrument and about performance. The practicing came naturally from then on – I play because I love to play and not because someone is telling me to do so. I recently performed at the Hard Rock Café as a featured performer at a benefit for children who can’t afford a music education. (The money went to a charity called “Let Them Rock,” which was started by the School of Rock music program.) For that show, I played drums, sang, and participated in a “drum off” with rock drummer Mark Schulman, who tours with Pink and has played with Foreigner, Simple Minds and Billy Idol. I got to play with several lineups of musicians, including the kids’ band from “School of Rock: The Musical.” It was amazing! Music to me is about expressing and feeling. If you don’t feel it, you’re never going to be able to play it in any way that will make an impact. Music helps me to get in touch with myself.