Oct. 01--Brantley Pollack just signed a record deal at the age of 20. That might seem young, but his mother said he has been entertaining people since he was two years old.
The actor and singer, who grew up in Garner before moving to Nashville last year, penned a deal with successful Christian record label Fair Trade Services on Sept. 13, giving him a base to pursue music as a career.
"Ever since I was a kid, there's never been something I wanted to do more than entertain people," Pollock said. "If I can make you laugh or cry or have a good time at a show, I'm doing my job. There's never been a doubt in my mind that this was what I was supposed to do."
The deal, which calls for a single to be produced over the next few months with options after that depending how it goes, had been in the works for months. Meanwhile Pollock kept busy with gigs, writing sessions, demo recording and acting jobs. He plays a credited role in "Balsam Falls," a movie currently in post-production that stars Robert Loggia ("Big," "Independence Day," "Scarface").
But music, he said, is his first love. Aside from his pursuit of a deal, he made it down to a final cutting stage for the popular TV show "The Voice," his mother said. While he plans to keep acting as a kind of part-time job on the side, he prefers the stage to the set.
"I find playing music on a stage in front of people to be much easier than acting in font of a camera. You can feed off the energy of the people in the audience," Pollock said. "I'd rather play music on a stage in front of 75,000 than act on camera in front of a couple people."
Fair Trade Services counts among its artists several that routinely produce albums that rank highly on Christian music charts.
"About every third song you hear on Christian radio is a Fair Trade artist," his proud mother Jenny -- a Garner High alum -- said.
Acting helps set stage
Pollock can trace a formal start in "the biz" to sixth grade when he participated in a production with a theatrical performing arts group.
"After it was over, they came over to us and said 'you need to get this kid an agent,'" Pollock's mother said.
As he explored his potential, Pollock eventually attended North Raleigh Christian Academy. But because of frequent trips to Los Angeles for auditions and small parts, he withdrew and was home-schooled his final two years of high school.
While living at an apartment complex in Los Angeles known to house out-of-town child actors for auditions and gigs, Pollock met Cooper Green, another high school actor. They became friends, with Green introducing them to a church in Los Angeles.
That connection helped Pollock down the line, giving him a place to stay in Nashville, Green's hometown. Green's parents, Brian and Wendi, put Pollock up in their home in the summer of 2012 as he worked toward a record deal.
A deal signed, a grateful Pollock has begun a new hunt: for a place of his own.
Outside of performing, Pollock said he enjoys being a part of a church ("That's where I've always found my solid friends"), and volunteering his time, according to his mother. He also said he enjoys meeting a wide variety of people.
He takes general ed classes online at Wake Tech, but despite all that's on his plate he believes in a balance of work and play, and likes soccer, pizza and, in what he acknowledges is a "cliche answer," being normal and hanging out with friends.
"He's just a fantastic young man," Jenny Pollock said. "He loves people, he's got a good heart. He's just a typical all-American young man. He works really really hard. You won't find anybody that doesn't like him."
Pollock said he feels especially lucky to have been able to work with a variety of people in the entertainment industry, and his enjoyment of past opportunities mirrors his optimism for future ones.
"Now I get to wake up every day and write music," Pollock said. "I'm super pumped to see what the future brings."
Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland
(c)2013 the Garner-Cleveland Record (Smithfield, N.C.)
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