Glenwood actor hits the big screen in “Searching”
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Connor McRaith first caught the acting bug in sixth grade, playing the role of the Artful Dodger in Defiance Community Players production of “Oliver.”
Fast-forward to today, and the 2012 Glenwood Springs High School graduate is on the big screen in the movie, “Searching,” which is playing at Movieland 7 in EL Jebel.
“He was always around plays as a little kid,” said Kate McRaith, Connor’s mother and the drama director and an English teacher at Glenwood Springs High School. “He had the talent, just never had an opportunity until sixth grade.”
From that first role, McRaith honed his craft as an actor.
“I did as many Defiance shows and high school musicals as I could,” McRaith said from his North Hollywood home.
After high school McRaith spent a summer as a rafting guide, before attending University of Northern Colorado in Greeley where he studied Musical Theater.
Through the university he was able to audition in New York City his senior year, and the week before his graduation he also auditioned in Los Angeles.
A few days after commencement, McRaith again flew to New York City on a call back audition for “The Book of Mormon.” McRaith didn’t land the part, so he decided to chase his dreams and move to Hollywood.
He did just that, driving to California a week and a day after receiving his bachelor’s degree.
“It took a while to get acclimated to the Hollywood lifestyle,” McRaith said. “I moved on a total whim, crashing on friends couches for a little while.”
Audition after audition McRaith applied his craft trying to make his way in Tinseltown.
“Most people have a handful of job interviews in a lifetime, I may have 50 in a month,” McRaith said.
Connor says he has been really lucky in the 2½ years he has worked with his team and management company, and they have put him up for great roles in his short time in Hollywood.
“Been lucky enough to film four movies so far,” McRaith said.
McGraith also has filmed a Lifetime movie called “Crazy Love,” which has yet to be released, and also a couple of movie shorts and a web series.
So far this year Connor has appeared in the movie “Destined to Ride” that starred Denise Richards and Joey Lawrence that is available to stream on sites like Amazon and YouTube. “Destined to Ride” is about a despondent teen sent to live on a ranch with her aunt for the summer.
“Definitely been riding the high of cloud nine with having two movies come out in two weeks,” McRaith said.
“Searching” is McRaith’s second movie, but it is his first substantial role. It premiered in August, stars John Cho and Debra Messing, and is a thriller about a father trying to track down his missing daughter through her laptop, tracing her digital footprint.
“The whole movie was filmed in 13 days,” McRaith said. “I was on set for two days. It was amazing being behind the scenes and in the action.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be part of it.”
His family and friends are excited to be part of it, too, but they were unable to get tickets for Thursday’s opening night. It’s no problem. They’re going Friday.
“It’s so strange to see him up on the big screen, it’s surreal,” Kate McRaith said.
When he is not working on set or auditioning, McRaith works as a bartender and server. He spends his downtime with his friends, who he said keep him grounded, enjoying the beach and ocean.
Although McRaith misses Glenwood Springs, he says he has found his home in Hollywood.
“I’m definitely where I’m suppose to be right now,” McRaith said.
Members of the valley’s Jewish community gathered at the Albright Pavilion at Aspen Meadows Thursday for their second annual menorah lighting ceremony to celebrate and acknowledge the first day of Hanukkah.