The Putnam Examiner

Carmel’s McLaughlins are Broadway Bound

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The McLaughlin family (left to right clockwise) Corey, April, Caitlyn, Caleb and Crystal. Corey McLaughlin Jr. is not shown.
The McLaughlin family (left to right clockwise) Corey, April, Caitlyn, Caleb and Crystal. Corey McLaughlin Jr. is not shown.

Imagine discovering what you love to do at an early age and getting the opportunity to do it. For Caleb and Caitlyn McLaughlin of Carmel their dreams have become a reality and they cannot wait to see how far they can go.

The two youth spent the summer performing alongside the adult cast of “Lost in the Stars” at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. At 6-years-old, Caitlyn performed as Anita and was the youngest member of the company to ever grace the stage.  Caleb, 11, shined as he sang “Big Mole,” as a solo in the second act.

The experience would have made most children awestruck, but for the McLaughlins it only made them want to be on stage more.

Caleb and Caitlyn started performing several years ago with the Piped Piper Theater Company.  It was then that they first found the fulfillment of acting.

“When I was a little girl [around 3 years old], I realized that I loved singing and dancing,” recalled Caitlyn.  She performed in “The Sound of Music,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Cinderella,” but found that she was only getting company parts because she was too young to read lines.

Motivated with the hope of getting a role that had lines of her own, Caitlyn eagerly learned how to read. Her hard worked paid off when it came time for Piped Piper to put on “The Jungle Book,” Caitlyn secured a solo. Now she is hooked.

“She loves to sing,” said Caleb and Caitlyn’s father Corey McLaughlin, a classically trained singer who owns SeaChic restaurant in Mahopac. “It is her passion.”

Caleb was cast in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “The Sound of Music”, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Cinderella” and soon realized he could not get enough. He started going on auditions and received roles.

“Caleb is a talented actor, singer and dancer,” said Corey McLaughlin.

“He came to us and told us this was something he really wanted to do,” said Caleb and Caitlyn’s mother April. “So we started to take him to auditions and he pretty much has gotten the role for every part he has auditioned for.” Caleb has filmed a short film titled “Noah’s Origami,” as well as a commercial.

Corey and April McLaughlin are also parents to Corey Jr., 23 and Crystal, 19.

Caleb recently landed the role of young Simba in “The Lion King” at the Minskoff Theatreon Broadway. He is currently in rehearsals and is expecting his open

ing night to be Sept. 25.

With Caleb having to perform eight shows a week, April McLaughlin has decided to home school both Caleb and Caitlyn this year, which will allow Caitlyn to go to more auditions.

“We try to be supportive parents,” said Corey McLaughlin. “We have taught all of our children to speak their mind and to know that Mom and Dad have their back 110 percent. I think that is what has helped them with their stage performances.”

“Our family is very supportive and we love it,” said Caitlyn.

Right now, Caleb and Caitlyn want to see how far they can get in show business. Caleb hopes that one day he can have a television show on the Disney Channel and gets to move to California. If the kids stop enjoying it or they lose sight of their priorities, then Corey and April will be ready to step in.

“We keep them grounded and let them be kids,” said Corey McLaughlin. The day that they each decide that they do not want to do it again, they do not have to do it anymore. Also we base all of our blessings and what they are doing based on God. The second that God is out of the picture they will not do it anymore. They each have a relationship with god on their own, the pray on their own, they give thanks on their own and that is key for us.”

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