The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10012
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The Performer
Houston Vandergriff dancing in A Christmas Carol, The Musical
Houston Vandergriff dancing in A Christmas Carol, The Musical
The Performer

William Shakespeare once said: All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts... I think I was born to be on stage! I love to play many parts. I try to perform in any and every way I can " dancing, acting, singing, modeling " you name it, I love it! At the Passion Play of the Smokies in Townsend, Tennessee, I play a villager who meets Jesus. All of my family members are in the cast of the play, which is near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We do shows through the summer and fall. This summer, a movie producer saw me performing at the Passion Play and cast me in a small part in his movie, Light, Streets of Redemption. It should be out in early 2010. I play a boy who can see an angel. It was fun getting to meet the other actors and working with the director and film crew. My picture for last year's Buddy Walk' Times Square Video Presentation is from my performance in A Christmas Carol: The Musical that I did with the Southern Kids in Theater(SKIT). I played a party guest at Mr. Fezziwig's Christmas ball. I take two different dance classes. One is for just kids with Down syndrome, and is called The Sunshine Ambassadors. We perform at our regional Buddy Walk', the Dogwood Arts Festival, and other events around our area. Our special group shows everyone what kids with Down syndrome can do. My other dance class is a boys dance class for jazz, tap, and ballet. I have been in the Nutcracker with the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association for the past three years. I have danced the part of a soldier and a party boy. This year we performed with a live orchestra and it was really special. One day, I hope to play the Mouse King, but I have to get a little bigger to fight the Nutcracker! In this summer's production of Splash Kingdom I played the a soldier and did sign language to a special song. In The Story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz, I play Ezekiel. We have performed this play several times throughout or region. My picture was on a billboard for a magazine advertisement, and I am soon going to be in a fashion show for Goodwill Industries. I am signed with a talent agency, Talent Trek. Through them, I have done several cool things, including a photo shoot for a back-to-school fashion section. I also went to Nashville to film a commercial for the U.S. Armed forces that is being broadcast around the world. It is a public service announcement for military personnel to let them know about help that is available to them if they have kids with special needs. Down syndrome has never gotten in my way, it has opened many doors.




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