Ben J. Pierce in A Shakespearean Tale!

Ben J. Pierce as Will Surrey

FFP’s recent production (and world premiere!) of A Shakespearean Tale! featured Ben J. Pierce in the role of star and storyteller, Will Surrey, proprietor of the single gas station in the “charming” town of Stratford Corners, Alabama, in 1955.

Ben began in our homeschool co-op drama class productions years ago. You’ll recognize his smiling face in the header of the FFP website. He was always a delight to work with, easy to coach, eager to be expressive, and blessed with a very good memory for lines.

He discovered he really liked acting and now he’s a professional with an agent. We thought we’d tell you a little about him.

When Ben was 10 years old, he loved watching the Nickelodeon television show BrainSurge.  He asked his mom how he could be a contestant and she told him to do some research to find out.  He had to be 11 to audition. Close to his 11th birthday, he got an email that BrainSurge was opening up auditions for their second season.  Ben made a video audition and, 10 days after its submission, the show called and offered him a spot.

Here’s how Ben’s mom, Cynthia, describes what happened:

Ben gets slimed on BrainSurge with Jordin Sparks

Within days we were flying out to Los Angeles to tape. He was assigned to the special episode co-hosted by American Idol’s Jordin Sparks. He competed alongside 5 other great contestants and ended up winning the whole competition. In traditional Nickelodeon fashion, he was green slimed along with Jordin Sparks!  It was such a fun experience and it sparked a desire in him to “do more.” We prayed about it and decided to leave it in God’s hands instead of me doing research and finding out how to get started in the television/film industry. Within weeks, a fellow homeschool acting family posted that Cathryn Sullivan, acting coach to such big-name stars as Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, had moved her studio to Lewisville, Texas, and was opening up her very first homeschool class during school hours. This felt like an open door to us, so we walked through it.

It has been three years now and Ben has since then been blessed to be signed with The Campbell Agency and has worked in short film, commercial, fashion show, print, and now theater with the excellent Family Friendly Productions group. He even had the fun opportunity to perform an original comedy routine at the Hyena’s Club in Dallas last fall. He was most recently cast for a kid’s variety show that is in “workshop phase,” so only the Lord knows what may or may not come of it. But all along the way he has had a blast and is enjoying meeting so many new and talented people.
As for the Totinos Pizza Rolls commercial, (done during rehearsals for A Shakespearean Tale!) this is his first official television commercial. He has done industrial commercials, which are like in-house training videos for companies. His were for educational materials. The funny thing is, I didn’t ask his agent for any of the details.  I probably should have, but we were just so happy he was chosen out of so many wonderful and talented boys who auditioned. It is such an honor. We give God the credit for all his opportunities. I don’t even know how much he is getting paid!  Crazy, huh?  He doesn’t do it for the money, he does it for the love of acting.
Ben fit right into the cast of A Shakespearean Tale!, befriending all, clowning around, leading by example, and easily working well with everyone, from the adults to the youngest actors. No “I’m a pro” attitude with this fellow — he’s just an all-around great young guy, as he has always been.

Ben’s mom added the following comments on what it takes to launch an acting career:

Keep that eye peeled!

It is amazing how much hard work and time (and money on training) goes into developing an acting career. He has worked for three years just to get to the place of booking his first TV commercial. There is no such thing as an overnight success. People who we see show up seemingly out of nowhere into stardom have actually been working for years and years to get that kind of recognition. It’s just that no one recognized them before!
Well, as Will Surrey would say, keep an eye peeled for this young ‘un. He’s well worth watching!

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