April 24, 2014

Elyria
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Avon Lake girl a rising musical talent

She`s only in seventh grade, but 12-year-old Callie Sullivan of Avon Lake is a force to be reckoned with.

The Learwood Middle School student already has starred in several plays, including Disney`s “High School Musical,” has sung with rock star Pat Benatar and bands including Yes and Styx, and belted out the national anthem in front of thousands at National Hockey League games.

What makes this extensive resume even more impressive is that Callie also makes straight-A`s in school.

Callie`s latest endeavor is Playhouse Square`s presentation of “A Christmas Carol,” in which she plays a supporting role and is an understudy.

“This is the first project I`ve had where I actually am getting paid,” Callie said. “It`s a huge honor to be a part of this.”
Callie also studies Irish dancing and has won several awards for her graceful feet.

“My cousins are Irish dancers, and when I saw them doing it, I knew I wanted to, too,” she said. “I pretty much taught myself, starting when I was a little kid. I watched ‘River Dance` and thought to myself, ‘I can do that.` ”

Callie, who also participates in swimming programs at school, said her teachers first recognized her talent and recommended to her parents that they encourage and support her abilities.

Tammy Sullivan, Callie`s mother, said that she has supported her daughter by being there just enough so that she doesn`t interfere with her daughter`s hopes and dreams.

“I didn`t want to be that kind of parent,” she said. “I wanted to encourage her without pushing her too hard. She knows what she likes and doesn`t like, and as long as she`s making good grades, I will continue to support her efforts.”

“A Christmas Carol” is being performed through Dec. 23 at Playhouse Square Center in Cleveland. For tickets or information, call (216) 777-4444.

Contact Lee Ann Mullen at 329-7155 or metro@chroniclet.com.