Eagle Arts Academy has had a great start with its arts-infused program. Disney’s Mitchel Musso recently dropped in to share his story with students.
Musso, who played Oliver Oken on Disney’s Hannah Montana, was right at home with the interviewing format first used at the school’s “Inside the Eagle Arts Studio” just a few weeks earlier with actor/comedian Tommy Davidson of In Living Color fame.
“We are on our way,” Interim Principal Jeannette LaFleur said. “This has been a terrific month.”
Musso, 23, sat through two sessions with students as they interviewed him in a variation of Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio hosted by James Lipton. They used three students instead of one and thought up their own questions.
“We use this format to work on interviewing skills,” LaFleur said. “Students research the person they are interviewing and try to find questions that associate their subjects with their lessons or events.”
Eagle Arts students were curious about being a child actor, if Musso had been homeschooled, missed his family or ever bullied.
He called life as a child star “amazing.” But warned it comes with a cost. “You are told what to do and say and what to wear,” he said, adding that he did miss out on a lot of things, but he wouldn’t change things.
Musso went to public school until the sixth grade, and then was schooled on the set. To the audience’s surprise, he went through some of the same things as other kids. “I was surprised to find out that he was bullied,” sixth grader Emma Daubenmire said. “He’s, like, famous!”
Musso also is known for other Disney Channel roles, such as Jeremy Johnson in the animated series Phineas and Ferb and King Brady on Pair of Kings. He also was the host of the Disney Channel’s PrankStars. As an accomplished songwriter and singer, his songs are pop favorites.
Celebrity interviews are an important part of the program, but the book-to-film series brings “artademics,” the arts-infused instruction program, to the classroom and materials. This year, Alice in Wonderland rules.
“On all grade levels, we will be introducing a series of choicework projects, reports and fun guidelines that takes this wonderful story and allows the children to explore their creativity and imagination,” said school co-founder Gregory James Blount. Look for Alice in Wonderland throughout the year in classroom learning and extracurricular activities.
Eagle Arts Academy is an arts-based curriculum charter school at 1000 Wellington Trace. The school, which opened in August, has more than 650 students in kindergarten through grade six.
ABOVE: Disney’s Mitchel Musso with Eagle Arts Academy students.