Children love to pretend and use their imaginations when playing with family and friends. Today they may be a fireman or doctor. Tomorrow they are cowboys or Indians.
But for Juliann Cichocki, daughter of Michael and Brandy Cichocki of Lower Macungie Township, acting has become a way of life.
“I always wanted to be an actress,” she said.
According to her mother, Juliann, a third-grader at Seven Generations Charter School in Emmaus, showed an interest in acting at the age of 2.
“She would watch the TV and try to imitate what the actors and actresses were doing,” said Brandy.
While in the second grade, Juliann began taking acting classes at Main Line Models and Talent in Media, who sent her picture to casting directors. The classes started out as something “just for fun,” said her mom, and will soon be ending.
“We are hoping to find a place closer to home,” said Brandy.
Juliann was chosen as a “featured” extra to act in the short film “Child’s Play.” A featured extra, Brandy said, is an extra who is used in several scenes, not just one. In addition, Juliann was chosen from about 50 other children to act in several additional scenes she was not originally scheduled to be a part of.
Juliann, who just turned 9 on Nov. 26, spent two days with her mother in New York City for the filming of the movie, which deals with childhood bullying. Because she was picked for a non-speaking part, Juliann did not have to go through the audition process.
Although Juliann was not paid for her participation in the film, she said she enjoyed her first “job” and wants to do more.
The film, which features 17-year-old star David Alvarez, a Tony Award winner for best actor in a musical in Broadway’s “Billy Elliott the Musical,” will be shown in many international film festivals. Brandy said she was not told when the movie will be released and if it will be shown in the Lehigh Valley.
How does the future look for Juliann? She plans to attend a talent expo in Philadelphia on Dec. 17, where she will meet casting agents, attend acting workshops and meet the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Ken Howard. After that?
“I hope she can do more acting. I’m so excited for her,” said Juliann’s mom.