Junior aims big in his journey to Hollywood

Kyan Blacklock balances the hectic schedule of a high schooler with a professional modeling and acting career



GETTING INTO CHARACTER: Junior Kyan Blacklock practices filming monologue scenes with a friend in California. Blacklock started pursuing professional acting and modeling in seventh grade, and often travels to California to participate in photo-shoots and film sessions.

Sammie Thompson, Managing Editor

Not again.

Junior Kyan Blacklock reaches into the outer pocket of his backpack and switches his ringing phone to silent as he feels a stinging glare coming from his teacher. The call isn’t coming from a random spam number, however. It’s coming from an agent offering Blacklock an opportunity he doesn’t want to pass up: an audition for a new movie.

As well as being a full-time high school student, Blacklock is a professional model and actor. In the past, he has worked on commercials, TV shows, movies, and short films.

“I like doing auditions a lot,” Blacklock said. “One of my favorites was called “The Fabelmans.” It was a Steven Spielberg movie that’s currently in production right now. That was a crazy fun audition that I did a few callbacks for.”

Blacklock has also participated in auditions for Netflix’s “That ‘90s Show,” a spin-off of “That ‘70s show,” and Disney’s “Amy and Amarillo,” which will come out in a couple of years.

“Disney auditions are fun, but not really,” Blacklock said. “The conditions aren’t that fun because they’re very specific in what they want, but they don’t give you everything they want. Netflix ones are also great. I did one a while ago for a new Netflix show coming out but I didn’t get the part I don’t think; they haven’t cast it yet.”

While Blacklock has been involved in the modeling and acting worlds for several years, he took his career to the next level a year ago after gaining attention from managers and agents at a youth talent program.

“I started doing low-key modeling and acting stuff in seventh grade,” Blacklock said. “I joined an app called Backstage and from there I got picked up by a small company and we just did photos and stuff for a while. Then last year was when I officially went to this place called CGTV in Los Angeles, and from there I signed with my manager.”

Blacklock was never involved in theater classes or clubs, like many young people in the acting and modeling industries are. He started working on his career after observing others’ passion for it.

“I think I just kind of got into it because I liked the lifestyle,” Blacklock said. “I saw that people loved it and I wanted to do the same thing, which kind of drew me to it.”

Many believe that involvement in the entertainment industry takes a lot of work and preparation in order to be successful. Blacklock felt ready for the pressure because of the support from his family, especially his mother.

“I was excited because I know his skill levels and because he was so excited to try,” Blacklock’s mother, Kalyn Blacklock, said. “I was anxious, because who hasn’t heard all the rumors about Hollywood, and I was nervous for him, but mainly I was just excited to see him tackle his dreams.”

COVID-19 has changed how casting calls and auditions operate. Many casting calls are required to be in a certain region, and Blacklock often travels to California to do certain roles.

“I like the spread-outness of the job during COVID,” Kyan said. “Usually in a month, I’ll have two weeks in the month where I’ll either get one audition or randomly they’ll say I have three that I have to get done. I can deny them, of course, but that’s no fun. It’s a lot of practice and a lot of high-paced moving when you’re not ready for it.”

In addition to school, acting, and modeling, Blacklock works part-time at Starbucks. His busy schedule often requires sacrifices to get everything done.

“It’s always weird because in my head I put acting over school,” Kyan said. “I always tell my Dad that I have to do an audition first and he tells me I have to do my homework.”

As Kyan has become more involved in the industry, his support system has grown.

“He’s got a great manager and agents that believe in him, so he’s got a good team,” Kalyn said. “His friends keep him grounded and humble. Being able to watch your child’s dreams come true and watch them be successful and grow, it’s all a parent can ask for. Kyan has sacrificed a lot in his personal life for this career, and you have to be ok with that.”

Part of Kyan’s support system is his peers at school. Junior Roman Davis has known Blacklock since they were in sixth grade together.

“He practices auditions when we hang out sometimes and I’ve helped him film one during the summer,” Davis said. “He visits Galveston a lot to do photo-shoots and has invited me before but I wasn’t able to go.”

Other students have felt motivated by Kyan’s career aspirations and the success that he has had in the last year.

“Kyan has inspired me in many ways but I think one of his best qualities is his drive to achieve his goals,” junior James Pont said. “He has wanted to act and model forever and seeing his dreams come true has been awesome to see.”

Similarly, Kyan has been inspired by other actors since he was young. He has been coached by well-known figures such as Hutch Dano, who plays Luther from “Zeke and Luther,” and Adrian R’Mante, who plays Esteban in “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”

“I would love to do it full time,” Kyan said. “Acting is not a set career. You could be sitting there minding your own business and boom there’s a movie audition you have to get done. Schedule changes are prominent.”

Kyan’s mother holds an optimistic view for his future and the future of any aspiring actors and models.

“It takes 100 “nos” before you get that “yes,” but it only takes one “yes,” Kalyn said. “You have to keep your grades up and stay out of trouble. It takes dedication, passion, and thick skin. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the process. Every “no” is a learning experience.”