Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Boy's Life: Malik McKeldie

The sixth-grader at E Prep Cliffs Campus, a Breakthrough Schools charter in the Goodrich-Kirtland Park neighborhood, enjoys drawing, though he only knows how to draw animals right now. When he sits down to create, his father inspires him. “He draws everything,” he says, "because he’s a tattoo artist."

My biggest fear used to be stage fright. I get it sometimes but not as much. I want to be an actor, but stage fright is my biggest fear. I shake. At this school, I talk in front of class more often than at my old school, where I really didn’t get in front of my class. I like people to see me. I want to be famous and express myself.

At my old school we did a play. It was about Santa Claus. Nobody had a really big part. It wasn’t a big play. I played Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It really didn’t feel like a play though, because we acted, but I didn’t really act. I just talked. It was probably because I didn’t know how to act. I didn’t really start wanting to be on TV until last year or two years ago.

When you act, it’s like movement. Actions can speak words too. When you just talk, it’s not as funny or fun. I was watching Disney Channel, and they get real people on TV. They said that this guy had stage fright too, and this group came to his house. He acted real good even though he had stage fright, and he ended up being on Disney Channel.

I can see myself doing a lot of things when I’m 22 — in the NFL, the NBA or an engineer. By the time I’m 22, I might not be an actor anymore. I won’t give it up, but I’ll probably feel that’s too old.

I’ll change in high school maybe a little bit. But I like myself right now. I like to be good and respectful. Sometimes I have discipline problems. When I’m mad and I don’t care about anything, that’s what I don’t like about myself. It affects other people sometimes. — as told to Sheehan Hannan

[Editor’s Note: As an extension of the “A Boy’s Life” feature in
Cleveland Magazine's March issue, we will be publishing additional boys' stories on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the month. For all these stories, click on the "A Boy's Life" tag.]

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