Connor Long the hummingbird

To read on Mardra Sikora website:

Young Actors, Allies, and Awards

Mardra Sikora  March 10, 2016

As a child, I was told that a hummingbird shouldn’t be able to fly. I was told that, scientifically, it’s a bizarre phenomenon. Therefore, being an early lover and adapter of metaphor, I always considered the hummingbird to be the perfect example of being able to do something better if you don’t think about it. Now, I don’t know if the bit about the hummingbird is true, and I don’t want to, because I like the metaphor.

Young Artist Awards

This Sunday is an event called The Young Artist Awards.

I am stoked to tell you that Connor Long, a young man with Ds is not only nominated for an award, presenting, and also co-hosting the event with Shelley Anne Regner.

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Because I am a huge fan of Connor Long, I decided to find out more about the awards and see if I could help, you know, mostly by providing a bit of PR.

I dove into the YAA website and then I fell into the rabbit hole of checking out all of the awesome nominees. For example, this kid, Gavin Morales, a quite young and incredible dancer. I mean, seriously, check this out from his Facebook page:

Performing tonight at the Tampa YAGP Gala was amazing! So grateful for this opportunity! A little snippet of my solo “Luminous” choreographed by Victor Smalley.

Posted by Gavin Morales on Saturday, January 9, 2016

Plus, I was immediately impressed by the diverse faces of these young people who are up for awards.

— YOUNG ARTIST AWARDS (@YoungArtistAwds) March 10, 2016

Then I wanted to know more about the process.

I learned that the nominees are chosen from three-minute submission clips and “The submissions are judged as presented, judges do not take into account any outside factors. It is judged solely on the acting presented in the submission, did we believe the character, etc.” I learned this from Sage Kermes, a young woman working with the planning and promoting this year’s YAA (and also a previous nominee).

Soooo, let me get this straight, when people of any race, disability, gender, religion, political party, whatever?—?send in a clip showing their moment?—?this panel just watches, feels, and connects, then chooses the nominees and then, like some sort of divine affirmative action, diversity reigns? Because the truth wins. There is talent in and from all of these communities. You know, it’s just so simple I think it could work.

Anyway, I asked about the diversity and the way Sage put it was, “There was never a conversation about making sure we had a diverse group. The only question was, have we picked the most talented nominees from our submissions? and I believe we did that.”

So back to Connor, as I said, I am a big fan. The first thing I saw Connor in was the short film, “Menschen.” I was so inspired by it, I wrote six separate articles about the film, its actors/directors, its message, and its place in history. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the completion of another short film project “Learning to Drive.” In the meantime, Connor is also an online reporter with Denver’s channel 7 ABC affiliate, performing in live theater, and basically going nonstop.

He’s a hummingbird. No one has told him he can’t fly.


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