Even at fifteen, Connor McAllister has lived in more places than many people. He added, “I’ve lived in four states, including Washington, Minnesota, New York and now Virginia.” He has an older sister and two younger sisters. “Sadly, no brothers.” Along with his sisters, an array of animals keeps McAllister busy. “My house is like a zoo with 3 dogs, 7 cats, one bird, one leopard gecko, and two snakes, but I enjoy it.”
He began acting around five years ago and is already a seasoned vet. “I have been in 13 shows. I’ve done 5 shows with Smokestack so far, but hope to continue with the group for many years.” A fondness for entertaining people led McAllister down the acting path. “In 5th grade (while in Minnesota) I was old enough to audition for Mulan through school as one of the soldiers. From there, my passion for acting grew and I’ve kept up with it.”
McAllister approaches roles differently based on if the character he is portraying fictional or non-fictional. But with either chose there is a great deal of studying involved. “I have had several roles where I researched the lives of those characters, such as Samuel Adams, William Dawes, General Burgoyne, and Middleton Page Lapham, to learn a little more about them and how to properly represent them.” For a fictional role, he turns to movies and plays to learn more about his character.
Once McAllister gets to know his character, controlling his emotions to fit the scene becomes the focus. “Whether the scene is serious or funny, having control of those emotions can help guide the way,” he said. Dedication is another quality actors must have to play a convincing role. McAllister added, “If this is truly your passion, then you have to give your role and cast team everything you have.” In order for a production to truly resonate with an audience, McAllister feels it comes down to the show running smoothly and everyone being on point.
McAllister noted his portrayal of Grunt in Firebringer as a favorite role in his young career. “It was one of the biggest roles I had been cast for, as it had the most lines, and I also had multiple signing solos. Grunt’s character was amusing as he was goofy, charming, spirited and awkward, which, to be honest, fit my personality well.” His dream role would be DC Universe’s Beast Boy. “I think a live-action movie with his unique personality and ability to change into animals would be very entertaining.”
McAllister is looking forward to a summer performance of Channeling Grimm. “I always enjoy doing shows with Smokestack and the people who typically audition.”He is also counting the days until October for this year’s performance of Ghosts and Gravestones. “It’s interesting to tell the stories of people laid to rest here in Danville.”
In the future, McAllister hopes to expand on his acting career to include movies and big productions. “I would also hope to strive as an entrepreneur in 3D printing and graphic
design… a few more reptiles wouldn’t be so bad either,” he concluded.