Douglas is a ten year old entertainer. He’s one of the Principal characcters stars in “Kinky Boots” , and he plays “Young Lola”. His character is a younger version of Tony winner Billy Porter, who plays “Lola/Simon”. He recently performed with Mariah Carey at Christmas In Rockefeller Center. He has also appeared on the Sesame Street Float in the Thanksgiving Day parade, On Good Morning America with Pharrel Williams, performed at Carnegie Hall, competed and won dance competitions starred in a short film did a taping on CBS. He is on the rise to greatness. This little star’s name is Douglas Baldeo.
Douglas, tell me a little about your character in “Kinky Boots”?
Douglas: I’m in the musical “Kinky Boots”. I play “Young Lola”, she is a younger version of “Lola.” I have to wear heels and sing and dance. The acting and the singing is my favorite, but, the dancing I like the most. I have the audience right in front of me and it’s a huge crowd every night. I perform 8 shows per week. The play is on 45th street and 8th avenue at The Al Hirschfeld. I had auditioned for the part and got a call back the very same day. It’s a very good show. I enjoy myself.
Tamika Douglas (Douglas Baldeo mother stated); When Douglas was three years old, I realized he loved to entertain people. He was very artistic. I started an after school program that catered to his needs. So, I invited various artists from the Arts Council of Westchester to come in and do various workshops in pottery, acting, dance, storytelling African Drum and dance classes. Everything he had an interest in, I tried to offer and I just made a business out of it. When he was six, he said he wanted to go to a professional school to learn how to dance and it took off from there.
What professional school did you go to Douglas?
Douglas: The Edge School of the Arts(ESOTA).
You recently appeared on the Sesame Street Float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? How as that experience?
Douglas: I appeared on the float of the Sesame Street characters. Big Bird, Elmo, Fairy Godmother and The Grouch. It was a lot of fun
Tamika: His agent asked for some dance videos. They wanted a young boy who could dance, and they selected him out of 250 entries. They selected him to be on the float of Sesame Street this Thanksgiving. I’m very proud of him.
Before Kinky Boots, what other shows have you been in Douglas?
Douglas: Before Kinky Boots, I danced at the Edge School of the Arts, Dream Makers Performing Art, and Royalenova, where I did a lot of competition dancing. I also attend Broadway Dance Center which is a really good dance school. It’s a great technique school. You get to do a lot of dancing. They are the one who sent me out to audition for Mariah Carey and I booked it. I feel really good about this. It’s really fun because so many kids came out to audition.
Do You Have Siblings?
Douglas: I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. And they don’t do what I am doing. One is doing track. That’s my brother Nathaniel. Nathaniel is 6 years old. My sister Davien is also 6 years old and she is doing Ballet. My other brother Dreden is a soccer player. He is 10 years old.
Who has been motivating you, pushing you the most to go for your dream? Who’s your biggest fan?
Douglas; Well my mom is. But other than that, it would be my aunt Desi. She looks out for me a lot. I appreciate it because she comes to almost all of my performances. Yeah!! Every single one of them.
Tamika; She’s actually my aunt. She’s my mom sister. She loves everything that he does. She really make an effort to attend and be there for him.
Douglas; Her son Conroy normally takes me to work everyday, but today he is with his cousins Jovan, Loni and Kevin. They are just coming back from college.
Where Do You Go to School?
Douglas: I am homeschooled. My tutor is Miss Lisa. She helps me everyday. I start school at 11:00 AM and then I get out at 4:00 PM. I study social studies, language arts, science, math, history. My favorite subjects are language arts and social studies. I’ve been doing home schooling for almost 12 months now. This month , December would be a year. Before Miss Lisa, my old home school teacher was Mr. Bernard. Before that, I went to a professional performing arts school called Ballet Tech. It’s located on 20th street and Broadway. There, I did jazz dancing but, it was more ballet. Even though I love ballet, I also love soccer.
What other sports do you like?
Douglas: Soccer and basketball. And then tennis and volleyball. I’m really good at these sports but, tennis is what I am best at. I beat my mom at tennis all the time. When we go on vacation, they would always have a tennis court. I would play my mom and I would beat her all the time. I have a trick for her.
What else would you want to say to someone who is trying to do what you are doing?
Douglas; They should never give up. Something is going to happen. Like, I never knew I was going to get the part of Kinky Boots because I never knew how to sing. But, I got the final call back surprisingly and I booked it. My mom came to the backyard excited screaming like an elephant. It was crazy. I want to tell every person to never give up. Something is going to happen. Don’t think that you can’t do it because you can. If I can do it, you can do it. I went to a workshop with this agency called Kennedy Talent Management and it was there I got tips on my audition. Being in the show is a big opportunity because a lot of kids don’t get the same privilege. Like, I’m doing this show called Kinky Boots and its doing very good because it won a Tony Award. A lot of people don’t get to do it.
Tamika: The cast of Kinky Boots won the Tony Award in June of 2013. Douglas joined the cast in September of the same year. He is a part of the Tony Award winning musical. He started when he was 9. Its great because there are not a lot of African American children on Broadway
Douglas; I won 8 dance competitions before. I came in first and second place in 8 dance competitions. This was in New Jersey, Florida, Long Island and Atlantic City. I accepted the Audelco Award for David Greer for an event we did at Carnegie Hall with Chapman Roberts. He was a conductor and choreographer and an amazing singer. He can hear over 50 people singing at one time and he would know who is singing the wrong key. He said at the Audelco event that “Singing saved Him.” That was very nice. David wasn’t able to attend the event, so Mr. Roberts called me up on the stage and presented the award to me. So, if you are trying to start anything, “Don’t Give Up”. Something is going to happen. Something is going to happen. Something is going to happen.”
Tamika; Douglas really shocked people with what he could do. He has great showmanship as well as his talents. I really wanted him to be empowered which is why I encouraged him to pursue his talents and not say, because you’re a boy and you shouldn’t do ballet. I encouraged him and this is where he is now. So, I encourage all parents to do the same. Which is one of the reasons why I just started my own company. A lot of moms would ask me; How do I start? So I’m starting up an agency called “4Star Talent company”, that showcases dancers, actors, singers and models to industry professionals.
I’m based out of Westchester County, where I’m from and it’s a way of bringing something back to the community that can expose other children of color, other minority to this. Because at the end of the day, no one is going do it for you but you. I just started this company and I’m having my first showcase on February 21st, 2015 at The Radisson Hotel in New Rochelle, NY. I’m inviting casting directors, talent managers, talent agencies, as well as modeling agencies to come and view the participants for representation. Registrants will also participate in category specific workshops to help with audition technique. They are not mandated to participate in each category, but they get the opportunity to showcase their talent to decision makers in the industry. So, I’m trying to guide them through the process and bring them to the industry. I want to give other kids like Dougie the opportunity to be seen. Sometimes its lack of knowledge of what steps to take. I don’t know all the answers, I just know what I’ve done with my son. And I want to provide a blueprint for others to do the same for their children. I’ve heard that Danny Aiello auditioned 150 times and he was told “NO” each time. On that 151st time, he was told “YES”. He got his first job. So Never give up. Like Dougie said “Don’t give up.” Keep going. It will happen. Timing is everything. It will happen. So keep trying. For more information about the company please visit our website at www.4startalent.com
Douglas ended the interview by singing “The Most Beautiful Thing In The World”, the song he performs in the show. Awesome voice. Well done. He can dance, act, sing and he is inspiring other children who are trying to get involved into this type of business. Little Douglas would always say… “Never Give Up! Keep Going! Something Is Going to Happen.” Something did happened for him. Little Douglas is definitely living his dream