Houma teen surprised as anyone as path leads to silver screen

HOUMA — Excuse Sean Cunningham if he still hasn’t figured out the words to describe what’s going on in his life.

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In the past year alone, the 13-year-old has worked on movies ranging from “Alabama Moon” with John Goodman to “Jonah Hex” starring John Malkovich and Josh Brolin.

Both Hollywood films are set for distribution within the next year.

“It’s unbelievable,” Cunningham said. “I’m still having trouble believing it.”

The Houma teen’s budding acting career began taking off when a family friend encouraged him to check out the John Robert Powers talent agency in Metairie, which offers classes in acting, modeling, singing, dancing and life-skills.

“People noticed he was quite a character,” Sean’s mother, Michelle Cunningham, said. “He seemed to take to it naturally from the start.”

After engrossing himself in everything the agency had to offer, his instructors encouraged him to attend 2008’s iPOP competition in January in Los Angeles. iPOP, which stands for International Presentation of Performers, is a chance for children and adults from J.R. Powers talent agencies around the country to meet Hollywood decision-makers. While there, participants recite scripts, act, dance and perform for judges.

Not only did Cunningham stand out among his peers, but he swept nearly every category at the competition.

“I didn’t expect the response I got,” Cunningham said. “I won most of the categories and was named actor of the year.”

His mother and father, Clint, were flooredtoo..

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