Weekly Feature

2017-11-29 / Front Page

CHS student’s music video wins Hollywood media award


Alexa Friedman Alexa Friedman By her own account, Nov. 16 was the happiest day of Alexa Friedman’s life.

The 14-year-old Clarence High School freshman was breathless when “Enraptured” — a music video she starred in and a song she helped her vocal coach write — won best independent music video at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards.

“Enraptured” beat out nine other nominees, and Alexa said she was shocked to be selected from an “intimidating” field of candidates.

“Just to be nominated was enough for me,” she said during an interview last week. “It was like a dream come true, because I’ve always dreamed of going to an awards show and walking the red carpet, and doing all that. Doing that all on one night and winning on top of it was like the extra little cherry on the sundae.”

Established in 2009, the HMMAs recognize music showcased in a variety of visual mediums, as well as the individuals responsible for creating, producing and placing that music, according to the organization’s website.

The event also features live music performances, celebrity appearances, a VIP reception and gourmet dinner banquet.

Alexa considered the win validation for the work she has done since third grade to get noticed in the entertainment industry, splitting time between Western New York and Burbank, California, to audition for paid roles in movies, music and TV.

The award is also a milestone on a personal journey that has included bullying, which Alexa experienced upon entering middle school, according to her mother, Becky Friedman.

Friedman said she believes that the harassment — in the form of physical abuse at school and online messages prodding her daughter to attempt to hang herself — was fueled by envy from students who didn’t know her daughter or understand her unusual schedule.

“When she hit middle school, you’ve got all those other schools that then merge into one big school, and so the [students] who weren’t used to what she was doing were jealous,” Friedman said.

Alexa’s response to the harassment was to help write two songs, which will follow “Enraptured” and are titled “Meant to Be” and “Take Me Down.” Together, they are encouraging messages of how to overcome adversity and stand up against hate.

“They both really talk about what I went through through bullying, how I stayed strong and how to stay strong,” Alexa said. “It’s just finding those people that you can connect with and finding those people that are like your family. They can trust you, and you can trust them, and you just need to surround yourself with those people and block out the haters.”

Friedman, who said she cried for 10 minutes when her daughter won, couldn’t be prouder.

She said she loved seeing Alexa’s video played back for an audience of about 2,500.

“It was just so overwhelming that that was my little girl,” she said, tearing up again. “She looked gorgeous. Just beautiful.”

Despite her reaction, Friedman said she’s still in disbelief over the win, as she was when her husband told her on Nov. 15 about a prophetic message he found in a fortune cookie while enroute to the HMMAs.

“He called us while he was eating at P.F. Chang’s, and he said, ‘You’ll never guess the fortune I got,’” she said.

That fortune, now attached to the back of Alexa’s cellphone, reads: “A dream you have today will come true tomorrow.”

To learn more about Alexa Friedman and to listen to her work, visit her on ReverbNation at https://www.reverbnation.com/alexafriedman.

email: arizzo@beenews.com

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