Parker Collins has been on stage since he was 5 - " half his life.
His first performance was in â€œScrooge: The Musicalâ€ at Theatre Bristol. â€œBefore that I loved to sing for the guests at The Christmas Place Inn, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,â€ he says.
Pigeon Forge and Dollywood play a large role in Parkerâ€™s life.
â€œWhen I was little my family would take me to Dollywood every weekend to see the shows. I could not even sit in my seat because I wanted to be on stage singing and dancing. My favorite show was â€˜Dreamland Drive-In,â€™ and I knew every song by heart. I told my mom and grandparents one day when I am big I will be on that stage,â€ he says.
At 10 years old, Parker may not be the definition of â€œbig,â€ but heâ€™s met his goal of being on the Dollywood stage. He spent two months this year working on their stage in a performance of â€œO Holy Night.â€
â€œI enjoy taking on the role of a character and making it my own. Pretending to be someone else is so much fun and exciting. I have had the opportunity to perform at a lot of different places like Theatre Bristol, The Paramount Theatre, The Christmas Place Inn and Barter Theatre.
â€œMy favorite role was Winthrop Paroo in â€˜The Music Man.â€™ I could be a little mischievous and funny and talk with a lisp. I also liked playing Jacob in â€˜O Holy Nightâ€™ because it is important to tell the real reason for Christmas,â€ Parker says.
Heâ€™s already received rave reviews for his performances at Barter Theatre:
â€œOne of the best things about this show is seeing the enthusiasm and budding professionalism of its youngest cast members. Parker Collins for example, who is a fourth-grader at Van Pelt Elementary School in Bristol, Virginia, absolutely defies category as Winthrop Paroo. Not only does Parker have a large and significant role, he also sings, dances and manages to maintain his characterâ€™s lisp all the way through,â€ (Bristol Herald Courier review of â€œThe Music Man).
â€œIf anybody has ever stolen a show with so few lines as Parkerâ€™s portrayal of a newsboy I have yet to know about it,â€ (Bristol Herald Courier review of â€œMiracle on 34th Streetâ€).
Parker says that his influences are â€œRick Rose and the talented cast of Barter Theatre, my piano teacher Mr. Don Norman and the amazing director and cast at Dollywood. I have sure learned a lot from these people. God has blessed me with such talented people. We are like a family.â€
Musical theater is his favorite. â€œI love to sing and dance. Comedy is my second favorite, because I like to make people laugh,â€ he says.
Parker has been playing the piano since he was 3 years old, and he also plays the guitar. He recently started taking tap dancing lessons.
He is a fourth grade student at Van Pelt Elementary School, Bristol, Virginia. Parker is the 10-year-old son of David and Allyson Collins.
He is well on his way to achieving his dream. â€œWhen I grow up my dream is to go to college and study musical theatre and become a famous performer,â€ Parker says.