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Big Screen Dreams Come True for Two TKHS Students

  Cheers went up in the movie theater when Brandon’s character came to the rescue of the female star of the movie and when getting into a short fight scene. And there were plenty of teen girls letting out a “whoop” when Brandon appeared shirtless in one brief scene.
   Equal numbers of cheers and applause erupted when Aldridge appeared as one of the rodeo contestants.
   The movie premiered at Celebration Cinema North with a red carpet event. The actors and actresses in the film exited a white stretch limousine parked outside the front door to the cinema and into a throng of waiting fans. They paused for photographs, waved to fans and friends, and gave brief interviews before being whisked away to the theater where the movie would be shown to a capacity crowd.
    “It’s fun. It’s always fun,” said Brandon, who enjoys playing basketball, soccer and running track when he’s not busy shooting movies.
    “I really appreciate all the positive feedback, and it’s really cool seeing the movie up on the big screen. I’ve seen it before, but just on my television,” he said.
   Aldridge said it was her first red-carpet event, but it’s not her first time appearing in film. In elementary school, she landed a part in a Lifetime movie called “Not Like Everyone Else,” and was cast for a national television commercial that aired a year ago. She landed a part in “Rodeo Girl” and also has finished up work in an upcoming movie called “Crowning Jules” where she plays the part of Miss Louisiana.Brandon also has a part in the “Crowning Jules” film, as the boyfriend of one of the main characters. He’s also appeared in two Mickey Matson films, starring as the lead character in the action-adventure movies.
   Brandon also has a part in the “Crowning Jules” film, as the boyfriend of one of the main characters. He’s also appeared in two Mickey Matson films, starring as the lead character in the action-adventure movies.
   Aldridge said she’s always been interested in acting and may pursue that field after high school.
   “It was pretty cool on the red carpet,” she said. “I didn’t think that many people would be there. It was great.”
   Aldridge, who started at TKHS her freshman year, said she’s studied theater in other schools she’s attended. She’s joined the digital media classes at TKHS and found success there behind the camera. She’s competed in the Meijer Film Festival each year and won an award every year.
   When she’s not busy acting, Aldridge said she enjoys hanging out with her friends, going to sporting events, playing on the tennis team and just being a typical teenager.
   She may head out west after high school to pursue acting, but said she also wants to have a backup plan that could include medicine or psychology.
   Brandon also plans to continue his acting career and will be heading to California this month to possibly read for some different parts.
   Aldridge said her favorite thing would be to work on a drama, romantic movie, or possibly a television series. Her current favorite series is “Pretty Little Liars.”
   Aldridge’s mom, Julie Fedewa, said she was very excited about her daughter’s appearance in the movie.
   “I think it’s neat. It [acting] builds a lot of skills and a lot of self-confidence,” she said.
   Brandon’s mom, Shannon, also was thrilled with the new movie.
   “It was so out of character for Derek to play this part. He wasn’t even sure he was going to do it, but I’m so glad he did,” she said. “It was so good for him to do something new, and we love the people at the Roanoke Ranch. What an amazing place.”
    The movie was filmed largely at Roanoke Ranch for Kids in Lowell. The ranch serves at-risk children, giving them a chance to interact with horses, build confidence and find hope. 
   Brandon plays the role of a teen boy working on a horse ranch when the owner’s daughter comes to stay with him for the summer. He stars in the film with Sophie Bolen from Forest Hills Central, and accomplished actor Kevin Sorbo. Aldridge plays the role of Savannah, a girl who competes in the rodeo against Bolen’s character, and who is the girlfriend of a rich teen in the movie.
   Tricia Hopper, who wrote the screenplay for the movie along with Aletha Rodgers, greeted Derek after the showing and told him he did a great job portraying the role.
   “They all did a great job. I couldn’t be more pleased,” she said.
   Mike Vander Ploeg, president of the board for Roanoke Ranch, was all smiles about the exposure the film gave to the ranch.
   “I have a new favorite movie,” he said after the show. “I’m just blown away by the movie and by all the people who have been involved in making it. I feel blessed they did this at our ranch. It gives us so much exposure to be able to continue helping kids. Every kid deserves the chance to win at something. That’s what we try to do at Roanoke Ranch, and that’s what this movie is about. It’s a great family film.”
   For more information about Roanoke Ranch, visit www.roanokeranch.com.The movie is available on DVD at select stores.
   The movie is available on DVD at select stores.