Want to get a word in edgewise with Holden Goyette? Think quick.
Holden, an eighth grader, doesn't have a lot of time to sit and schmooze. He's on the go: To school, to track and field or cross country practice, to volunteer work throughout his community. Or, just maybe, to a stage, television or movie shoot in Portland, or Spokane, or Seattle.
"Last summer, I took some time off just to be a kid," he says. "This summer? Not sure. It's 'pilot season' in LA, so …"
"Pilot season" is when a couple jillion pilots for potential television series get filmed, in hopes that lightning will strike and the show will get picked up by a network or a distribution company. That means lots of roles and lots of work for actors.
Holden wants in on that.
The Sherwood student has his own page on the Internet Movie Data Base, or IMDB.com. Likely, his most famous work to date is that of the character 5K, whom he played for five episodes of Season 3 of the Syfy channel show "Z Nation."
"It's pretty much 'Walking Dead' with a more comedic style," Holden says.
He's also appeared in the 2018 film "Losing Addison" and the 2017 film "Zilla and Zoe."
Holden lives in a quiet neighborhood in Sherwood. His father, Rob, is a sonographer (he reads medical ultrasounds) and his mother, Leslie, is a full-time mom who also did a lot of theater when she was in school, and who is an aspiring screenwriter. If the dice roll the right way, Holden and Leslie might work on an adaptation of one of her scripts together. Leslie is in the midst of finding the funds for it now.
Meanwhile, at school, Holden runs cross country and track. He doesn't do much theater at Laurel Ridge, although that could change next year when he transfers to Sherwood High School (first to the old school for his freshman year; then to the massive new high school, now under construction, for his sophomore year).
In between being a student and an actor, he's involved in volunteering. For the past couple of years, he's been the "Elf on the Shelf" for a local Christmas celebration. "I'm the first person the kids see when they walk in," Holden says. "It's fun. I love it."
He's stuffing Easter eggs this spring. He's participated in the Archer Glen annual carnival, working in booths.
He and his family also make sandwiches, pack fruit and visit homeless camps in the Portland area. They take hygiene supplies, as well.
"At first, we just walked into homeless camps and started handing out food," Leslie says, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, well … that turned out to be a little dangerous. We're more careful now."
"It's really important to help people," Holden says. "A little bit can go a long ways."
His local stage work has included playing a townsperson in the Lakewood Theatre Company adaptation of "Inherit the Wind," earlier this year. He also did "Our Town" at Portland Center Stage a few years ago.
He tried his hand at commercial work when he was 5 years old and, when he didn't get the gig, "I was just bawling my eyes out in front of my mom," he says.
After that, his parents helped him take it to the next level and connected him with a talent agent, Puddletown Talent in Portland.
That led, among other gigs, to a commercial shoot for a kid-oriented tablet computer. The ad was shot through the Dreamworks banner up in Seattle. Dreamworks is the brainchild of Hollywood moguls Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and is responsible for such megahits as "Shrek" and the "How to Train Your Dragon" franchise.
So is this a career for Holden? He's not so sure.
"I'm still figuring out what I want to do."
Name: Holden Goyette
School: Laurel Ridge Middle School
Why he is amazing: When he's not volunteering at his school, in his community or with Portland's homeless population, Holden is a professional actor with an impressive list of roles.
More Amazing Kids
Every year, Pamplin Media Group celebrates youths throughout our communities for their volunteerism or for the adversity they overcame. See our 2019 Amazing Kids special section.
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