Royanne Kelly says she has always wanted to be an actress, but it's been a lot more than talk and dreaming for this 12-year-old Georgetown girl. Back in third grade, the acting bug bit Royanne when she was picked to be in the play, The Elephant’s Child. A list of 12 or so plays followed, most at the Palace Theater. "After my first show, I knew I wanted to do this forever,” she said.
She's played the lead, Belle, in Beauty and the Beast; Wendy in Peter Pan and the main characters in several others. She has also had parts in several productions at school. She was involved in the play, Rock of Ages just before school started. “I am amazed at how quickly she learns her lines and how animated she’s become in her roles,” said her mother Carol.
Her parents have been very supportive of their daughter's dream, with dad, Bruce, building sets for some of her plays at Village Elementary School. “It’s been a great joy watching her grow into her dreams,” said Bruce.
Carol, knowing how much her daughter loves the theater, along with her sister, and a cousin, decided to turn a room in their home into "The Hollywood Room". Royanne was not allowed to enter the room until it was completed. In June, a grand opening was held with friends and family attending. The room was fit for a star, including a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star with Royanne's name on it.
This school year, the seventh-grader is in varsity theater classes and choir, setting the course for her entire future. "My goal in life is to be a famous actress on TV. I already have a college plan," she said. A member of Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ, she plans on majoring in Children's Ministries. She then wants to go to college in Dallas and earn a degree
She knows her dreams can be achieved thanks to the devotion of her parents. "They always cheer me on, even when I have the smallest part. They tell me it's a learning experience. But, I know they will be really proud of me if I make it-no WHEN I make it!" she said.
Life has given Royanne experiences that have helped her shape her future.
Two years ago, she was a crossing guard at school when a pre-kindergarten student opened a car door and a ball fell out. The child was nearly hit when he climbed out of the car to retrieve the ball as it rolled in front of oncoming traffic. "I pulled him out of the way, grabbing him around the waist, "Royanne recalls.
Another experience has helped her make the decision to get involved with the church youth. A speaker at a summer church camp spoke about bullying and the message hit home with Royanne. A few years back, three students were bullying her at school, making fun of her looks. The speaker’s message led to her decision to help other children.
For now, Royanne is focusing on her school work, trying out and getting acting parts, and enjoying the room her family created for her to dream about her future.
Story by Kathleen Holton