For those who regularly read my interviews, you probably know that I take great delight in interviewing and featuring young people. After all, they are our future, and very often they create some of those special characters that truly bring us heartfelt emotion and plenty of unbounded joy. In the case of David Raynolds, I actually have Jaime Callica to thank for the introduction as it is Jaime who has quickly become one of my favorite actors, and when he tweeted out the fact that this young man was appearing in Wayward Pines with him, I knew I needed to request an interview with David. And recently, David and I did chat about his career from beginning right through his current works.
(Just to set the record straight, David’s mom was right there for the duration of the interview, and this woman is so devoted that she has chosen to change her job and her schedule to support her son’s aspirations.)
DR: My mom is homeschooling me. So my mom is my teacher. Really, my mom is so cool. My work has kept her so busy, and she is definitely committed to helping me fulfill my dreams.
I was so impressed, David, with the music video you sent me. You are only eleven, and you can really sing. What I liked was that you sounded like a kid. You didn’t sound like an adult. Sometimes singers your age like to push their voices to try to sound like adults–which can damage your voice. But you didn’t do that, and it was so good to hear.
That was the purpose because the reason I got into singing is because nowadays, there’s all these love songs, and kids are singing inappropriate songs for their age. So I thought I would make appropriate songs.
That is good–that is really good ’cause there’s not enough of that around. So what is it that inspired you to want to become an actor?
Well, I just like being other people–if you know what I mean.
So did you start doing that when you were really little?
When I was four years old, I started. And I started singing basically when I was born.
So at the age of four, did you start acting professionally, or was it just for fun?
I was pretty professional.
So when did you get your first job in the business?
Six years old, I think.
What was your first job?
My first job was not a full-length movie. It was a short film. It was a PSA for cyberbullying and then for kidnapping safety.
Well, last year I got into one. I got to do some voiceover for a film. Then I got on a pilot for a TV series. Then, before my birthday, I got two TV series. One was a recurring role, and the other was just a guest role. One of them is called Travelers. It’s a really cool show, and it’s going to be on Netflix.
Now, as far as Wayward Pines–which I probably wouldn’t have noticed had it not been for Jaime Callica. I really like him–I interviewed him earlier this year. And I take it that you and he hit it off well, too.
He’s a nice guy.
Well, this is kind of related to the question. I was with one of my first big agencies. And then my agent didn’t sign me up for anything for two years. So when I switched to my second agency, I got an audition for Wayward Pines. And that was the first audition that I booked. And that was my first audition with that new agency, and it only took a week for that audition to come my way. Then I got another audition, and I booked it for Travelers. The first, Wayward Pines. The second, Travelers.
In this second season of Wayward Pines, how many episodes are you in?
I am in four episodes.
So without giving away the storyline, can you tell us anything about your character?
So my character–trying not to give away the storyline here–my character Drake is a kid with malnutrition at the beginning. And so there’s a doctor. I have a mom. My dad apparently died in the abbies attack, and I was basically raised by my mom. And I’m sick, and I get nursed back to health then. And that’s about all I can say without giving away the storyline. Drake is part of the students–the Wayward Pine academy. He is a very shy, very private person. He’s also not very talkative. In episode two, they are starving due to the struggle the town is having with food. We are hoping that they will bring my character back next season. My mom says that the directors and the producers are so happy with me.
No, there are some background actors and extras that are kids. Actually, the other kid characters are older than me. There are about three kids that are part of the major cast. A kid named Frank, a kid named Lucy, and Drake–that’s me.
Well, that’s pretty cool that you are one of the three main kids.
And I’m also the youngest of the main kid cast.
Well, I know I will be watching out for you since Drake returns this week with episode six. What epsisodes is your character in?
I was in episode two, but then I am also in episodes six, eight, and nine.
When you’re filming Wayward Pines, what is the atmosphere like on set?
The atmosphere is really fun, but you have to get serious. On any set, it’s really fun for me. I mean, it’s possible that other people don’t think it’s fun.
(His mom and I enjoyed a great laugh at this response–I love David’s attitude!)
I would think with Wayward Pines it would be very intense.
Most of the time, the stories are very dark and intense. (pause) So, as far as music, how long have you been working to get your music career going?
At six years old, I started with instruments. I also participated in a musical composition competition, the Kiwanis Music Festival. I won Gold Award at the age of six and seven for the songs I wrote. And one of the songs on the album, Sun to Shine, is my own composition–I won the Gold Award for it. Although I’ve been singing since I was born, professionally, I began working on it since last November.
My vocal coach is the former coach of Michael Bublé. I’ve been working with her about two months now. It was after I released my album that I started working with her. My album was done with no coaching.
And you also do concerts?
I wouldn’t call them concerts exactly. Just stage work where I perform for people. So I guess you could call them concerts. Right now my concerts are local, but who knows? Maybe I’ll travel around one day.
I bet you’d like that, David.
Actually, I don’t like planes that much.
I’m not terrified of planes. I just don’t like them very much. People say they’re the most safest transport, but in my opinion, I’m not sure.
You’ll probably get over that
Yeah, probably. I am not sure how much I fly, but maybe a few times a year. I do like traveling to Europe though.
So was that just a vacation–is that why you flew to Europe?
My mom’s family is in Europe, so I guess you could call it a vacation. Maybe like a reunion?
So, David, at your age of eleven, how do you keep yourself out of trouble and remain positive and stay away from the bad stuff that some kids get involved with?
Well, I guess I pay attention. I listen to my mom–sometimes–and I just avoid that kind of stuff. We have standards. And even from the time I was a baby, I wouldn’t get knives without my mom’s permission–I still don’t. And I don’t like to do anything dangerous. I don’t play with outlets. I don’t like swearing.
I also want to be a role model for other kids. While I might have the time to get involved with some of these bad things, it’s just not in my nature. If I ever do get really bored, I choose to rebuild some Lego project or something. Or just anything to keep myself occupied. I like to be busy.
So what else do you like to do when you have free time?
Sometimes, I like to go swimming. I do karate–Krav Maga. It’s straight combat that they use in Israel. You could actually kill someone using it. I know how to disarm guns and knives and sticks. When I was on the set of Travelers, they had real guns, and I said, “I know how to disarm these guns.” And they were like, “Really?” And then when I did it, they were like, “Oh my goodness! How did you do that?” So I’ve got great self-defense skills. I don’t use them to hurt anyone, just to protect myself if I ever was in danger. One of my teachers (or one of my Senseis) says, “If someone tries to kill you, you should return the favor.”
(I don’t think David understood why his mom and I were cracking up at this point.)
Also, in my spare time, I like to visit my friends’ houses. And I’m also getting into archery this summer. I’m good at math, and I’m also a collector. I like to collect things like Legos. And I have a series of 1985-1995 comic books. I also like history, dragons, and video games. Oh, and I’m good at chess.
I was also on a Yo-kai Watch commercial. It’s made by Nintendo. People say that the Yo-kai Watch is going to be the next Pokemon. I also got to be in the Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu–the only kid to ever be in that cartoon. Like all the other kids were actually adults. I also love voiceover.
One more thing I want to mention. The Wayward Pines people at Fox created a Wiki page for me on the Wayward Pines Wiki.
And I hope you don’t mind my mentioning a few things here at the end.
Feel free–go ahead.
I would like to thank all the people who are helping me, and thank you for reading this.
I would like to express special thank yous to the following people:
Stella Riesen of Mountain View Academy Calgary, Ania Danylo, Julian LeBlanc and Athena Russell of LeBlanc School Of Acting Vancouver, Doug Abrahams, Murray Yates, Kirby Morrow, Beverly Delich, the Wayward Pines Producers, and casting director Maureen Webb.
See what I mean? This young man is so beyond his years, it’s mind-boggling. As I reviewed the interview, I realized that he didn’t understand why both his mother and I were so amused by some of his responses. Honestly, his professionalism and the fact that he has such a grasp on this business that he has chosen at his tender age of eleven is absolutely unbelievable! This kid is convinced one hundred percent about the course of his life, and his grasp of concepts and truths are beyond what so many adults even understand. Our merriment was a direct result of the fact that he is an unexpected breath of fresh air in a business replete with those who expect an easy ride or figure that something is owed them. These are the youngsters who enter the business and culminate their tumultuous career with a walk on the “wild side” which leads to their involvement in the more sordid activities that make their way into the tabloids. With young David, however, I am fully persuaded that this will not happen to him for two very specific reasons. First of all, his mother has invested her entire life into helping him to accomplish his dreams. That woman is unswervingly devoted to him, and he is well aware of her sacrifices and love for him and his endeavors. And secondly, the boy has an uncanny sense of who he is and what he wants out of life, and he will not give that up for the sake of gaining a few friends or taking an effortless road to success. He will “stick to his guns,” so to speak, and eventually accomplish what some adults will never do in this business. In fact, it would not surprise me that in twenty years or so, he will be the one in charge of creating an environment where even more young people can thrive within this business. No doubt, he will create an oasis where only positivity rules and standards for behavior and skill are extremely high. And by the way, don’t ever think David will deviate from his convictions. And as the years advance, it overwhelms my imagination to consider what the future holds for one so bright and grounded as he. Be sure you tune in to Wayward Pines on Wednesday, June 29th, as his character, Drake, makes a triumphant return to the screen (along with Simeon–oh yes, I look forward to that!). And be sure to check out all of the following sites for more information, and please follow David on his invigorating journey!
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