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What started out as an unexpected call from an acting school has turned into a budding career that has spanned TV and stage for one Queens elementary school student.
On Jan. 9, Jordyn Midi returned to the fourth-grade at Sacred Heart School in Cambria Heights after spending the last three months performing as Kayla in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show. The 9-year-old Long Island resident has been acting since she was 4, but this was her first time performing on stage, so she was thrilled to share her experiences with her friends.
“It was really fun because I never got do something that big before,” she said.
Jordyn always had a natural talent for acting, according to her family. The girl would sing or dance when around company, much to the delight of her friends and relatives, according to her mother, Toni Marie Midi.
“Everyone called her ‘Hollywood,’” she said.
Jordyn did not have to go to California to show off her talent. Five years ago, the family received a random phone call from the John Robert Powers Acting School on Long Island. Her mother said she did not know who referred her to the school, but she and her husband Phil accepted its offer for an audition and every weekend Jordyn would attend acting classes.
Eventually she hired her own agent and manager and was off auditioning for various acting roles, primarily ones in local commercials.
“They would write me scripts and I would audition in front of everyone,” Jordyn said of her tryouts.
The girl performed in several commercials for various products and services, including Downey fabric softener, Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants and Best Western Hotels. Her favorite role on the small screen was for the Greater Rochester Health Foundation’s “Be Healthy” campaign, which promoted exercise and better eating habits for youth.
In the ad, Jordyn had to play around in a park with other kids her age, and she made some new friends.
“There was a game we played where there was a hose on a swing and we had to catch all the water we could,” she said.
Last year, she auditioned for the role of Kayla in the Radio City show and was up against 200 girls her age. Despite the huge competition, Jordyn knew she would land the part.
“I’ve never seen her so confident after an audition like that,” Phil Midi said.
After a call back audition in the summer, the show’s producers chose Jordyn to play the girl in the show along with two other Queens girls from November to the first week in January. In the play, Kayla and her mother take a magical journey from New York City to the North Pole, where they meet Santa Claus and learn the value of the holiday season.
Jordyn had to spend a lot of time preparing for the show, where she performed six days a week, but she said the process was fun.
“It’s longer, it’s an everyday thing and you get to meet more people,” she said.
The glamor of the stage did not keep the girl from her academic studies. Jordyn had an on-set tutor and her Sacred Heart teachers would give her assignments on a regular basis.
Toni Marie Midi said that when she received Jordyn’s report card, her teacher touted her academic success since she made the honor role.
“She would tell her students, ‘Jordyn isn’t even in class and she’s handing in her assignments early,’” the girl’s mother said.
Even though she has given up the stage lights for a desk, Jordyn said she will continue to hone her performance skills and one day make her way back to theater acting.
“Stage work is so cool because it is an everyday thing,” she said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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