Starstruck in Scituate: Roger Dawley Launches his Professional Acting Career

2015 SHS Grad Stars in "Paw Patrol Live!"

Roger+Dawley+during+his+SHS+performance+of+Once+Upon+a+Mattress
Roger Dawley during his SHS performance of Once Upon a Mattress

Roger Dawley during his SHS performance of Once Upon a Mattress

Maura Dawley

Maura Dawley

Roger Dawley during his SHS performance of Once Upon a Mattress

Colleen Quinn, Kat English, and Caroline Quinn

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2015 Scituate High School graduate Roger Dawley, who is a student at Fordham University, is making a name for himself in the competitive world of entertainment. Currently touring with the Nickelodeon children’s show “Paw Patrol Live,” Dawley is playing the role of Ryder, the main character of the show.

Dawley said he received a request to audition by a New York City casting director. According to Dawley, his audition was very typical–he had to sing, read a selection of sides, and go to a dance call. Everything moved very quickly after that, and Dawley said he decided to run with the opportunity after he got the phone call. “Nine months is a long time to be away from familiarity,” said Dawley, but he was very excited to launch his professional career.

The demands of Dawley’s role with “Paw Patrol Live” include traveling across the country, rehearsing, meeting fans, and, of course, performing. Dawley explained how a typical day varies from city to city, depending on how much time he has off each week. Dawley participates in “meet and greets” after every show, which is his favorite part of the job. One memorable meet and greet in LA included Kim Kardashian and Fergie with their children. Dawley described this experience as “pretty awesome.”

The Dawley family was not surprised to see where Roger is now. Dawley’s younger sister, SHS freshman Nora Dawley, is happy to see her brother in a high profile acting role. Describing Roger as outgoing, Nora said her brother is “doing what he wants to do.” Roger’s mother, Maura Dawley, said Roger was always “hysterical” with an “advanced sense of humor,” even at a young age. She explained there is only about a 2% chance of earning a living in the entertainment industry, so Dawley’s success was “not so much expected.” Dawley said her son made her “laugh every day” with his friendly sense of humor.

Dawley first started acting in the Cushing Elementary School plays, with a role when he was just in kindergarten. Performing in a speaking role when he was in third grade, Dawley said the audience’s reaction had him “hooked” to entertaining people. During his days at Cushing, fourth grade teacher Kate Martin was one of Dawley’s directors. Martin said Dawley was able to improvise unlike most other young actors. She said he improvised an entire scene when others forgot their lines during a Cushing production of “Twinderella.” This scene was a favorite among the audience.

Scituate High School science teacher Steve Maguire, who was one of Dawley’s favorite teachers, enjoyed having Dawley in class during his junior and senior years. Maguire said he attended many school plays starring Dawley. “It was obvious he was talented way beyond his years,” Maguire said, telling kids to get his autograph because he believed Dawley would be famous one day. With predictions about Dawley being on Broadway or doing stand-up comedy, Maguire described Dawley as “magical” on stage.

Professional playwright and former SHS Drama Club advisor Lisa Rafferty first recognized Dawley’s stage talent when he portrayed Bundles McCloskey in a production of “Annie” at Cushing Elementary School. She later directed him as Reverend Parris in “The Crucible,” for which he won an METG acting award. Knowing Dawley from the early days of his acting career, Rafferty described him as “blessed with innate talent,” believing any director would be lucky to work with him.

Gates Middle School Assistant Principal Ryan Beattie, who directed Dawley in the SHS productions of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Damn Yankees,” described Roger as “enthusiastic and very talented.” Beattie said Dawley worked hard in every play and put forth his best effort and fullest energy. He credited Dawley with being a confident person, stating he always admired Dawley’s strong sense of self and authenticity. “He knew who he was, and everyone loved him for it,” according to Beattie.

Born to be on the stage, Dawley advises others with similar dreams to “absorb as much as possible.” He believes the theater community around Scituate has some creative outlets where actors can thrive. Dawley said opportunity has come to him “solely because of friendly interactions.” Focusing mainly on the “Paw Patrol Live” tour right now, Dawley is taking online classes while on the road. After his contract ends in May, Dawley plans on moving back to New York City. When asked to give advice to aspiring SHS actors, Dawley said, “Be nice! It turns out that it’s not about talent at all. A lot of people are talented, but not everyone is friendly.”

 

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