Teen talent rises to rock star status with ambition, goals and patience. The quest for fame and fortune is a bonus when someone does what they are destined to do and does it with a natural talent. As former Disney stars have risen in the public eye over the last decade or so, many undiscovered talents are honing their skills for song and stage. The teens of today are serious about their desires and future careers, not wanting to nudge out the established well known stars, but ready to create a path of their own in the entertainment world.
Talent shows have been around since the days of The Ed Sullivan Show of the 60’s. Just look what happened when The Beatles were showcased on that fateful night back in February of 1964. Having talent, especially as a teenager, is one thing, getting recognized and promoted is a whole other song and dance.
Through talk shows and programs such as Star Search, American Idol, The Voice and America’s Got Talent, many unknown talented teens have become everyday names in the world of entertainment. Allowing for young contestants, many teens have fulfilled their dreams by being able to audition, win or at least be recognized. A foot in the door is the first step to a life of satisfaction in making audiences smile and applaud their accomplishments.
Grant Morningstar, a 16 year old high school junior from Maryland, is no exception. The ambitious, talented teen who resembles a young Leonardo DiCaprio, is embarking on the status of a rock star as he takes on the role of Conrad Birdie in the musical Bye, Bye Birdie. A singer and guitarist, Morningstar has the look and the skill to wow the audience in the upcoming performances of the classic play at Oakdale High School, the end of the month. Long, dedicated rehearsals have involved hours of detailed work and preparation, but Morningstar is up for the challenge of taking center stage. He joins a huge cast of other leads, dancers and singers.
A humble, yet enthusiastic teen, Morningstar is well aware of the pitfalls of losing one’s privacy in the quest for fame as a celebrity. Studying music and theatre and being in over 20 productions, he is well prepared for his upcoming rock star status as Conrad Birdie. Echoing the suave moves and singing style of Elvis, who the musical was based on, will certainly prove his talent among his fans, friends and family.
Bye, Bye Birdie was first produced as a Broadway play in 1960 and later became a film starring Dick Van Dyke, Jesse Pearson and Ann-Margaret in 1963. It is a parody of Elvis’ real life when he was drafted by the Army in 1957. Saying good-bye to the girls that loved him became the theme of Bye, Bye Birdie with a stint on The Ed Sullivan Show. The musical calls for Morningstar to deliver two solos, Honestly Sincere and One Last Kiss. Morningstar is ready to go and show his stuff as a teen talent playing rock star Birdie.
An avid snowboarder and mountain biker, Morningstar is also a rock climber and a whiz at math. The talented teen is grounded in reality without his head in the stars, as he approaches new heights with his upcoming role. Supported by a strong family, he is following in the footsteps of a relative who also played Conrad Birdie over 40 years ago. The cosmic connection seems to make it all a moment in time, as Morningstar rises into rock star status of his own.
Morningstar also enjoys his psychology classes at school. He has learned that laughter and happiness is the best medicine. His motivation as an actor is to make people happy with his performances and bring a smile to someone’s face. Entertainment is a form of escape from the world’s problems, a fantasy we all want to relate to.
Optimistic and driven, the young teen has the talent to take him places beyond the mountains he climbs for fun. His accomplishments in life and skill in extreme sports has given him the power to tackle the task at hand. Grant Morningstar, a true Hollywood name in the making, will be a rising star in the years to come. As from a line in a song in the play, Morningstar has a lot of livin’ to do.
By: Roanne FitzGibbon
Interview with Grant Morningstar