Child actor hails from Danville


Check out Buddy Handleson on your TV this weekend. The 10-year-old actor from Danville is co-starring in "'Til Death" at 7 p.m. and is a guest star on "Sons of Tucson" at 9:30 p.m., both on Fox television.

"My favorite role was on 'Sons of Tucson,'" said Buddy. "I play a character named Gabe, who's sort of a kiss-up to adults."

When Buddy was 3 years ago, he was spotted by model and talent agent Cathy Steele in Orlando, Fla. She had a booth at an outdoor fair that Buddy attended with his parents Athena and Jay

"She grabbed his mom and said, 'That's a really good-looking kid,'" recalled Jay. "We did get some head shots done but decided he was not ready. Then when he was 7 he saw those pictures and asked, 'What are these for?' We said, 'Those are for if you wanted to be an actor.'"

By this time, young Buddy was ready. He went to a modeling showcase in Orlando, where he won some awards.

"When we got back here, we got him involved in acting school," said Jay, driving to Daly City for classes with acting coach Romeo Marquez, who now offers lessons in Danville.

When agents viewed the children at a showcase, they contacted Marquez and asked to see Buddy. Now the young actor has agents in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He attends Venture School, which allows him time for his auditions and acting, plus he goes to school in the studio while filming.

"During pilot season, we are usually down there three times a month - from one day to a week," said Jay.

Buddy said he likes comedy best. He laughed to remember a scene in "Hannah Montana" where he and others were beating up a mean character with balloons. "That was really fun," he said.

"When I have a big comedy thing, I'll watch something that seems really funny and see how they act and see how I can put that into what I do," he explained.

Sometimes he has to act angry.

"I just act mad and think of something that could make me stressed," he said.

He also does drama.

"I played a kid who got hit by a car," he recalled. "They put real hospital stuff on me."

Although he added that they didn't actually stick him with needles - they just made it look that way.

"I'm working on fake crying, I haven't gotten that down," he said. "I'm getting close to it. I rub my eyes and try to keep them open as long as I can, and when I blink I can get my eyes to water."

When he arrives on the set, they will tell him where his trailer is and he'll get on his wardrobe.

"Then I'll go to makeup and then I go to school," he said. "They call me when they are ready for me to be in one of their scenes."

Usually there is a small rehearsal before filming to look over their lines or go through them.

"They usually do four takes and then they'll look over all of them and see which ones they like best," Buddy noted. "We usually watch the full episode to see what it looks like before it's on television," he said. "It feels weird to see myself right there."

Back home in Danville, Buddy does his schoolwork and plays with the kids on the block. He's thinking he might want to start playing baseball. When he grows up, he would like to be a director, he said.

Anyone who wants to start following the career of Buddy Handleson of Danville can start Sunday night.

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