Wamesit Lanes Person Of The Week: Peter Harris
Aug 02, 2016 05:03PM
By Bill Gilman
One day, this boy discovered he enjoyed performing for people. And what's more, the boy discovered he was good at it.
And so, with the support of his family and friends, the young boy set out on a quest to not only build a career but to use his talent to make a difference in the world.
So begins the tale of Peter Harris, a rising freshman at Tewksbury Memorial High School and our Wamesit Lanes Person of the Week.
Just 14, Peter has already laid the foundation for a promising career in the performing arts. His credits include commercials and voice-over work, including Disney's "Gaspard and Lisa" and 55 episodes voicing Benjamin Bouncer in the animated series "Peter Rabbit" on Nickelodeon.
He has also appeared in the made-for-TV movie "Preying for Mercy", and the films "Forgetting Sandy Glass" and "Measure of a Man".
But the highlight of Peter's fledgling career has been performing in the film, "Manchester By The Sea", starring Casey Affleck and Kyle Chandler. The film, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, wowed critics and audiences at the Sundance Film Festival and is being prepared for a limited release in November before a broad release in December.
Playing the younger version of one of the film's lead characters in a flashback scene, Peter worked directly with Chandler and Affleck.
Filmed on the North Shore, "Manchester By The Sea" also stars Matthew Broderick and Michelle Williams.
Peter's acting career began when he was 8 years old. He and a friend went to an event in Boston and performed in an acting competition. Peter won and advanced to a national competition in Floirida, where performed very well.
"There were a ton of kids from all over. They had auditions and monologues going on throughout the week," said Peter. "Eventually, I placed third. That's where I picked up an agent. Then I got a manager down the road. Since then I've been acting out of Boston and New York."
Peter's pursuit of a career as an actor has required his family (mom, dad and twin brothers Devon & Trevor) to be willing to make sacrifices of time and finance. There are frequent trips to New York for auditions and call backs. But Jane and Pete Harris have been willing to make the commitment needed for young Peter to have the best chance at success.
It would be easy for a talented young performer to get caught up in dreams of stardom and the perks that go along with it.
But Peter sees his early success as an opportunity to pursue a project that is is close to his heart.
"(My family) was eating at a diner up in New York and we had always been talking about making our own film," said Peter. "And the idea of spreading awareness about bullying came up. We all started talking about it. We started writing down ideas on a napkin at a diner."
"We started getting some stuff going. We weren't kidding around. We really wanted to do it."
Peter and his family have been able to land a director, who has also worked with Peter on the screenplay. The big issue right now, as with most films, is funding. Jane Harris estimates the cost to produce the film will likely be between $500,000 and $1 million.
He is not sure how long it will take. But Peter is committed to making it happen and spreading the message about the problem of bullying, both in the real world and the cyber community.
The working title for the project is "The Bully Movie" and a Go Fund Me page gives people the opportunity help Peter Harris make the movie a reality. Click here to donate.
For being named Wamesit Lanes Person of the Week, Peter Harris has received a gift card from Wamesit Lanes Family Entertainment Center.
Do you know a friend, neighbor or family member who deserves a pat on the back for something cool they've done? Nominate them for Person of the Week by emailing their name, along with the reason they should be honored, to Bill@yourtewksburytoday.com.
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