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Ocoee High's Alex Langham has Big-Apple dreams
West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 4 years ago

Ocoee High's Alex Langham has Big-Apple dreams

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by: Michael Eng Executive Editor

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OCOEE — Sixteen-year-old Alex Langham knows all the pitfalls.

He knows the acting industry is unrelenting and brutal. He knows a life in the performing arts is unpredictable, humbling and yes, even cruel.

But the Ocoee High School junior also harbors a passion for the stage, and he’s fully prepared to endure whatever gauntlet is required to turn that passion into a career.

Already, Langham has a plethora of experience to his name, including many roles within Ocoee High’s theater department. He also signed recently with Legacy Talent Group, a Jacksonville-based agency, which has led to some film experience. And his next anticipated step — securing a spot in the prestigious five-week summer teen program at the Stella Adler School of Acting in New York City — will be his biggest to date.

“It’s a program for teens, but it’s done with the rigor adult students have,” he says. “Stella Adler is the only school affiliated with the NYU Tisch School of the Arts that isn’t the Tisch school.”

In just a few weeks, Langham will audition for the program with a one-minute monologue at the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Sixty seconds. That’s all he will get to impress Stella Adler’s representatives. But, with the true love Langham exudes for the performing arts, it may be enough.

“I believe I have the talent and the passion to get in,” Langham says, smiling. “I’m excited; I love being challenged. I’m also ready to take risks. Actors who don’t take risks are just good reciters. I also know there’s always work in the work. I know I’m never going to be the best, and I’m never going to be perfect. But, I’m always looking for an opportunity to grow.”

Langham first took the spotlight when he was just 6 years old at his church, Glad Tidings Church in Ocoee. He also dabbled in school productions in elementary and middle school but didn’t discover his love for the stage until he met Ocoee High Director Jeffery Cook.

“The theater program just opened all the doors,” Langham says. “I felt more of a home there (in the school’s theater troupe) than in any other organization. Our troupe, 6893, has a motto: ‘One Goal, One Troupe.’ The troupe is a really accepting place, and that’s where I really fell in love with the art of acting. Now, as a leader, I feel blessed and honored to welcome new people in.”

In addition to his education at Ocoee High, Langham also works with Dana Brazil, director of education at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, as well as acting coach Courtney Prince. Although he has performed roles in several different genres, Langham says he prefers dramatic roles.

“I prefer the heavy,” he says. “To me, that’s the stuff that matters. I love things that are historical, that influence culture. That’s the stuff that makes a difference.”

Although Langham’s parents have been supportive of his dream, the talent came from one generation back — from his grandfather on his father’s side of the family.

“He was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, and he would give public lectures to 900-plus people,” Langham says. “One day, I asked him where it (the acting talent) came from, and he said, ‘It probably came from me.’

“The level of support from my parents has been incredible,” he says. “They’ve done whatever they’ve had to to help me succeed. Even if things at home were hectic, they made sure that I had a way to get to class. I wish everybody had parents like my parents.”

Langham cites a wide range of influences — from Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro to Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey. His bedroom is home to stacks of plays, as well, and he takes inspiration from the classics — “Les Misérables,” John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible.”

Following graduation from high school, Langham hopes to pursue acting at a leading conservatory; The Juilliard School is among his top choices. And, should he find himself in the Big Apple, he plans to immerse himself in the theater culture as quickly and as fully as possible. He understands he won’t be stepping off a plane and directly onto the stage. That’s why he’s also taking time to learn other aspects of the production industry.

“I’m learning about sets and lighting — I’m always looking to get better,” he says. “I just have to find a way to make money in the theater — as a production assistant or, really, any job I can find.”

Langham also knows that, as a Christian, he is choosing an industry that can be challenging to a person of faith. However, he sees that as an opportunity.

“I want to be identified as a person of faith in the business,” he says. “That would be such a cool opportunity — to steer against some of the stereotypes and really love on people.”

Contact Michael Eng at [email protected].

EXPERIENCE

THEATER

PRODUCTION: Moliere’s “The Miser”

ROLE: Cleante

ORGANIZATION: Ocoee High School

PRODUCTION: “Freakshow”

ROLE: Ringmaster

ORGANIZATION: Glad Tidings Church

PRODUCTION: “The Family Man”

ROLE: Vincent Blaire

ORGANIZATION: Ocoee High School

PRODUCTION: “The Iliad … Or Less”

ROLE: Principle

ORGANIZATION: Ocoee High School

PRODUCTION: “Willy Wonka Jr.”

ROLE: Grandpa Joe

ORGANIZATION: Ocoee Middle School

PRODUCTION: “Once Upon a Mattress”

ROLE: Sir Luce

ORGANIZATION: Ocoee Middle School

FILM

PRODUCTION: “Half Way”

ROLE: Narrator

ORGANIZATION: Independent Short

COMMERCIAL

PRODUCTION: Universal Studios Mardi Gras

ROLE: Background Actor

ORGANIZATION: Universal Studios

HOW TO HELP

In less than a month, Alex Langham will audition for a spot in the summer teen program at the Stella Adler School of Acting in New York City. His family has set up a fundraising site to help with expenses associated with the program. To donate, visit gofundme.com/gjwvcw.

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