It’s not often that someone can turn the world of acting on its head, deconstructing the commonly held notion that timing and luck stand in as prerequisites over skill and determination.
However, 9-year-old Harrison Leahy of Hilton Head Island is a shining example of talent trumping luck, an actor breaking his own way into the spotlight instead of simply waiting on a lucky break to come to him.
Leahy’s journey began with a love for singing, often demonstrated by the making up of his own songs and singing them throughout the house. This passion soon developed into what Leahy describes as the “trifecta of performance,” adding in both dance and acting after agreeing to audition for a play – with the coaxing and support of his mom, Stacey Leahy, and vocal coach, Nancy Fontana.
His first performance was “Holiday on Main” at Main Street Youth Theatre, where he performed his first solo on stage. He went on to be cast in MSYT’s “Schoolhouse Rock Live” and the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina’s production of “Gypsy.” Leahy also received the “Star to Watch” award given earlier this year by the Island School Council of Arts.
Leahy does not rest on his laurels, however. He quickly found himself in New York City as one of the members of the Broadway Dreams Foundation, a performance arts summer camp focusing on guiding young actors through their professional journey.
A few days after camp, Leahy found himself successfully auditioning for the role as Chip, the adventurous little teacup in “Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast International Broadway Tour.” He became the first Broadway Dreams member to go on to perform an internationally touring production, a feat made doubly impressive by the fact that he had accomplished all of this in under a year.
Recently, Leahy has visited both China and Taiwan, performing for crowds that reach into the thousands.
“This has all been really fun and all I want to do is sing on Broadway,” Leahy said. “I just love to sing and share my voice with others. It makes me very happy.”
Next, Leahy is heading to Egypt, as well as Dubai, a stop that thrills the young actor for a number of reasons
“I’m really excited to see the world’s largest tower in Dubai,” he said. “It also has the world’s fastest rollercoaster!”
Leahy isn’t done yet. In fact, the rising star currently keeps a list of plays he wishes to perform hanging up in his room, including classics such as “The King and I,” “Matilda,” and “The Sound of Music,” proving that this is only the first step of many.
To follow Leahy’s journey, find him on Facebook, Instagram and www.My BroadwayDreams.com/blog.
Sam Postuma is a freelane writer living in Bluffton.