When Mitchell Kummen began tweeting about Summer of Dreams (Mitchell is one of those young people that so completely impresses me in every way so I follow him very closely), I noticed that he kept mentioning this young musician named Sean Thomas. Now, I had never heard of this guy, but Mitchell seemed to be really motivated by and supportive of him. Once I realized that Sean was going to be featured in Hallmark’s upcoming film Summer of Dreams, I knew I wanted to reach out and interview him. Sean was overwhelmed and amazed that I asked him, and he excitedly agreed to answer a few questions about himself, his music career, and his role in this upcoming Hallmark film.
What inspired or caused you to want to become an entertainer?
I’ve been VERY lucky to have been surrounded by people who have supported and encouraged me to follow my passions (music, acting, and philanthropy). I hope to always use my talents to make people happy and bring people together, and hopefully make a difference!
What are your specific talents?
When I was younger, my choir director realized I had absolute pitch (or perfect pitch). That means I can recognize or create any musical note without a reference tone. For me, I see the sounds in the world as piano keys. Every sound I hear is translated into notes. Sometimes it’s like a symphony, but it can also be a distraction. Having perfect pitch makes it easy to learn how to play new instruments.
A funny example of that is one day I went to an auction and saw a harp on the stage. I was drawn to it and just started to play. The room went silent and everyone cheered. I bid and won the harp. I play the piano, keyboards, bass, guitar, drums, and theremin.
My favorite place to be is in a recording studio. Writing songs, creating melodies, and recording harmonies is like my Disneyland. I’ve been given some funny nicknames in the recording studios – One-Take Wonder, Melody Man and Harmony Hottie (haha!).
I’ve been lucky to record in some really amazing studios. I also have my home studio, and I use Protools 12hd to record. I love using my studio to help other musicians record their music.
Because I hear the world in musical notes, I’ve turned my experiences and moments into lyrics and melodies for as long as I can remember. The first song I ever wrote was Your Love. I wrote it for my grandmother after she was diagnosed with cancer. She lived in Toronto, and I would call and sing it to her during her treatments. After she passed away, I recorded my first CD and used it to raise money and awareness for cancer.
How did you get started as an actor/voice actor?
I took acting and voice acting courses and realized that being able to sing was an advantage. I always couldn’t wait for my next lesson so my mom knew I loved it. I made a voiceover demo, and then I was contacted by my current voice agent. I’ve been a voice actor for seven years. I have done numerous commercials, including a Superbowl commercial! One of my cutest commercial characters was Sudsy, the baby bubble in the Scrubbing Bubbles commercials. I’ve also been in several animations. My favorite was when I played the lead character, Buddy, in Season three of Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train. I also voiced the voice of Buddy for the live tour of Buddy’s Big Adventure. There was a lot of singing, and I loved being a part of it. I learned so much about paleontology on that show! One of the more challenging voice jobs I’ve had was recording children’s language books. My energy level had to be high, and I had to pronounce all of the words very clearly. Lately, I’ve been studying accents and dialects. It’s super fun!
How did you get involved with the film Summer of Dreams?
At first it almost didn’t happen. When I got the audition, I was really excited because it combined two of my passions: music and singing. It would be my first on-camera role and it was even a Hallmark movie! Everything happened really fast. I got the call from my on-camera agent telling me I was offered a role in the movie. Even though my character, Nick (a music student), only had a few lines, I was super excited about the opportunity! The only problem was I had a scheduling conflict.
I was scheduled to be in Los Angeles to record my new songs and attend a popular music school for the summer. This was something I had been looking forward to all year. When I was offered the role, it was funny because I had to choose between being a music student and being a music student! I was still able to record my music in L.A. before I had to be on set. Summer of Dreams really was my summer of dreams! I definitely made the right choice.
I’m still pinching myself, are you kidding me? I got to work with Debbie Gibson! Did I mention I got to work with Debbie Gibson? Everything about Debbie blew me away. She’s talented, so nice, really supportive, and beautiful! BEST music teacher I’ve ever had! ☺
When I think about being in a Hallmark film and everything from my audition, to the wardrobe fitting, the interesting filming locations, the delicious food, all the crew, the amazing cast, and the talented and encouraging directors and producers who taught me so much, I feel so lucky and grateful for all these experiences.
One thing the viewers will see while watching Summer of Dreams is how supportive the characters are to each other. That was and still is very true! I have made friendships (Mitchell Kummen, Zenia Marshall, Farryn VanHumbeck, Eric Gibson, and Shon Burnett) that will last a lifetime!
Things heated up on the last day of shooting when the fire alarm sounded. The fire trucks came, everything was fine, and we wrapped shortly after. Our goodbyes were long because we didn’t want it to end.
Any other upcoming works you can mention?
Yes! I’m really excited about the new songs I wrote and recorded in L.A. with Chris Baseford. He’s a really talented producer, engineer, and mixer that has worked with some of the top names in the music world such as Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Shinedown, Rob Zombie, and Tommy Lee/Motley Crue! I had a blast in the studio with Chris. I can’t wait for everyone to hear my new songs!
Please tell us about your philanthropy work. Why is it so important to do this work?
When I was eight years old and watched my grandmother battle cancer, I thought that just because I was a kid, it didn’t mean I couldn’t help. I founded a program called Kids Can Help. It’s a program where kids can help kids. I’m proud to say the Kids Can Help program has raised over $100,000 for the BC Children’s Hospital! So far!
One year, I had extra Justin Bieber tickets, so I called the BC Children’s Hospital and asked if there were any patients who had Bieber Fever. I met a girl named Samantha Mantyka who had cancer. That night Samantha thought I gave her a gift with the tickets, but when I got to know her, she was the one who gave me a gift. I wrote a song for Samantha called Angel Friend after she passed away in 2011. Her bravery, courage, and smile continue to inspire me to encourage people to help make a difference. The Kids Can Help program makes me very proud that there are kids in my generation who want to make a difference.
What do you like about working for Hallmark?
I like working for Hallmark because they make movies with warm, loving, and feel-good stories. I feel honored working for them knowing that their movies make a positive impact. My family has always loved Hallmark, and now I even feel like I am part of a bigger family!
What is your advice to young people in general who are growing up in a world where negativity is so prevalent?
NEVER stop learning. NEVER stop teaching. When I educate people about the things I care about, I’ve noticed they start believing in it too. It becomes an opportunity for them to think about their own passions and to encourage others.
I know from experience that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a difference. When other people realize that, they also want to make a difference. What I always say is “If everyone makes a small difference, together, we can make a big difference!”
Well, Sean fully dazzled me from the start, as he was humble, congenial, and responsive with me. However, my respect and admiration for Sean go far beyond that. Reading he has perfect pitch was enough for this music teacher to become giddy–that gift just doesn’t seem to happen much in this day and age anymore. But let me continue. Sean now has the distinction of being the first interviewee to bring me to tears–and I don’t say that lightly. I couldn’t get through his story about the girl to whom he gave his Justin Bieber tickets without becoming highly emotional. And this boy is still a teenager! I know how easy it is for adults to grouse about how immoral the youth are of this world in today’s society–I have been known to mutter things similar to that. Be that as it may, Sean is an example of what is right with the youth of this world. If he is a prototype of adolescents who are making a difference in this world–you know, the ones you never hear about–maybe our world is in rather capable hands after all. Regardless, make sure you tune in tonight (August 27) to the Hallmark Channel and watch Summer of Dreams. There is no doubt it will be an energetic celebration of life, love, and more. Furthermore, be absolutely certain you are following Sean at all of the links below as he is one to watch in the coming weeks, months, years, and decades!
Your Love (First song Sean wrote)