Duo to follow their dreams of fame to L.A.
November 6, 2008
By Chantelle Lusebrink
Since each could remember, Alyssa Wright, 13, and Alita Campbell, 14, have longed to leave their mark on the world of film.
“I’ve always wanted to act,” Alyssa said. “When I saw Miley Cyrus get famous, I knew I wanted to be like her.”
The two girls — best friends who attend Issaquah Middle School — have built their dreams on work and dedication, often missing winter and summer breaks to rehearse for local productions, like the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker” and Village Theatre’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and, of course, their school plays.
“But it’s worth it, because I’m addicted,” Alita said.
After years of waiting for a chance to aim for the stars, the girls will arrive Jan. 3 in Los Angeles, where they have been invited to perform at the International Presentation of Performers.
The event is an international talent seminar and scouting event, where children come to meet agents and prove they’re the next fresh face.
The girls auditioned for the event at the end of summer, Holly Campbell, Alita’s mother said.
Since then, the girls have been rigorously training in Seattle to perform in their categories — acting and singing.
Both girls also recently finished an independent film produced in Seattle, called “Dear Lemon Lima,” where they said they picked up a lot of new knowledge they hope will make them competitive.
Each girl will perform a scripted scene, a television commercial and a monologue during their acting presentations, and will perform two songs during their singing audition. But they are most excited about the acting.
“I love being on camera and being someone else,” Alyssa said.
“There’s something about not being yourself, being someone else as a character, but putting a piece of yourself into the character,” Alita said. “It’s better than any sport I’ve ever done in my life.”
Other children who have attended the event have landed roles ranging from small national advertising campaigns to starring on television shows, like “Gossip Girl,” or acting alongside actors, like Ed Harris and Brad Pitt.
“It will put her in front of hundreds of agents, management companies and the music industry, all in one shot,” Sherrie Wright, Alyssa’s mother said. “It gives her the ability to showcase in front of all of them, which is almost impossible to do.”
It is also an opportunity for both to learn important life skills, like public speaking, Holly Campbell said.
The girls are funding the cost of their $7,500 trip to L.A. through sponsorships.
“We think this will give them an opportunity to try it out but stay local, which I think, is a great thing right now,” Holly said.
“This is a big step for us and our parents,” Alyssa said. “I’m so thankful they support me.”
But don’t think they’ll let it go to their heads.
“You see people, like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, get caught up in their celebrity powers,” Alita said. “Our goal is not just to be famous. If that comes with the package, that’s great, but this is my passion and I want to do it forever.”
And if Hollywood doesn’t make their dreams come true, the girls have a backup plan.
“I think it would be cool to be a CSI (crime scene investigator),” Alita said.
Alyssa plans to pursue her other talent, writing and singing songs and playing the guitar.
“But when it comes down to it, I really want to be acting,” she said.