Weekly Feature

2017-04-19 / Front Page

CMS student getting noticed through music video


Alexa Friedman Alexa Friedman Trying to prove that she’s worthy of the limelight, Clarence Middle School student Alexa Friedman, 14, has been chasing paid work in movies, music and TV since third grade, splitting her time between Western New York and Burbank, California.

As of Monday, she has realized one of her dreams, having completed work on a music video of “Enraptured,” one of two songs she helped write this year with her vocal coach, which caught the attention of directors, as well as listeners, on artist-focused music website ReverbNation, according to her mother, Becky Friedman.

The “extremely proud” mom said the video, now in post-production, includes 10 backup dancers and is set in a post-apocalyptic landscape similar to that of the “Mad Max” film franchise.

The video illustrates a “triple threat” of singing, dancing and acting credits sought after by entertainment industry professionals, she said, and is an opportunity that is the result of nearly a decade of her daughter’s hard work and perseverance.

“[For] nine of her years, this is all she’s dreamed about and strived for,” said Friedman, explaining that her daughter hasn’t been intimidated or discouraged by auditioning alone in front of up to six adults, as many as 25 times per season. “Sometimes she’s lucky and she gets a callback, and sometimes she doesn’t, but every one is a growth experience, and she’s never given up.”

Excited to finally realize a dream, Alexa said she’s “in awe of” the music video-making process.

“Usually I’m the one going, ‘Wow! I wish I was doing that,’” she said. “Now that I’m finally doing it, I don’t know how to wrap my head around it.”

Through making the video and her entertainment work in general, Alexa hopes to prove to herself and others that a career in music and acting is within reach for those who work hard, and she said she’s looking forward to when her efforts pay off big.

“I can’t wait for that day, because it will probably be one of the happiest days of my life,” she said, dreaming of one day working as a singer or actress — or both — in Los Angeles, and to having “a big, happy family that I can easily support.”

For her fellow entertainment industry hopefuls, she had the following message:

“Don’t give up on your dreams. Some people may call you crazy for wanting them, but they’re going to want a dream in the future just as badly as you want yours, so go for it.”

According to Friedman, Alexa got her start in the entertainment industry at age 4, participating in radio advertisements promoting her parents’ Fireplace Outlet business.

She started acting through Exxcel Model & Talent in Williamsville at age 5, memorizing scripts by hearing lines recited by her acting classmates.

Noticing her talent, staff from Exxcel told Alexa’s parents when she was 8 that they should head to Los Angeles, and so mother and daughter spent spring semesters for five years in Burbank.

To date, Alexa has netted two film credits, for “Sarah Smile” and “Being George Clooney,” and TV credits in Fox’s “The Middle,” and Disney’s “School of Rock,” “Walk the Prank” and “Game Shakers.”

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