Connor McRaith, Glenwood Springs High School Alum, Hits the Big Screen in New Movie “Searching”

Sophie Carnoali, Editor

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Living in a household whose values lie in following your dreams and passions, led Connor McRaith to pursue one of the most unpredictable yet rewarding careers out there.

Connor McRaith is an actor in Hollywood who for the past couple of years has been trying to make it to the big screen, until one day he did. This year Connor landed a role in the movie “Searching”, which hit theaters this September. Not only is Connor originally from Glenwood Springs, but his mother, Kate McRaith, is an English and Theater teacher here at Glenwood Springs High School. Although Kate is the director of the successful and state recognized theater program at GSHS, theater was never truly a large part of Connor’s life until high school.

“Theater wasn’t as prominent coming from my mother when I was younger. She would do little plays when she was working at Yampah, but it wasn’t like now. Then she started working at GSHS my sophomore year of high school,” said Connor. Even though he was exposed to theater through his mother, Connor was also exposed to acting in different formats. He played Oliver in 6th grade with Defiance Theater and had fun doing impressions as a child.

“When he was little, there wasn’t much in the form of Children’s Theater,” said Kate. “However, he was a really good mimic, he would act all the time, he did a particularly good Golem from Lord of The Rings. He’s also really good at accents, whenever we would go to England he would just pick up accents like that.”  During High School Connor began to partake in the theater program at GSHS, but it wasn’t until a school organized theater field trip that Connor realized that acting was his passion.

“I wasn’t initially going to go to college for acting, but then I went to Thescon” a statewide high school theater convention held annually in Denver, CO. “I did the college auditions, just on a whim,” Connor said. “Then I got a couple of callbacks for a couple different colleges, and ended up talking to this one college rep for a really long time and he told me that “you can do something that’s going to get you more money, but you are going to be less happy, or you can work really hard towards the thing that’s going to make you happy for the rest of your life.” Then I thought well maybe I should go into acting because it’s what I love.”

This love for acting led Connor into one of the most rewarding, yet difficult to be successful in, careers out there. When asked what one of the downsides to pursuing acting was, Connor responded “Just One?!” However, when narrowing it down Connor said the hardest part was not dwelling on rejections.

“Going out on auditions all the time, sending in self-tapes, and auditioning in front of all these different people. You go in and you do it, then you just have to forget about it and pretend it never happened,” said Connor. “You put all your eggs in that basket for 5-20 minutes and then you just have to forget about it. That is for sure the hardest part because we’re humans and we love to dwell on things.” Along with forgetting comes not being too hard on yourself “because if you have to forget that means you didn’t get it.” Along with forgetting and not being too hard on yourself, Connor believes that it’s hard to stay positive when you didn’t get a role. “There are a million different reasons to why you don’t get roles; there might be someone who has an in with the director, casting, or producers, they decided to go a different way with a different type,” said Connor.

As for the rewards of acting, Connor thinks that acting is “super fun and super cool,” because “you get to create things people can see all over the world and things that are really amazing and empowering. Just being apart of something that people could watch for years,” Connor said. To be able to make an imprint on someone’s life either right now or 10 years down the road watching the movie, it pretty amazing to think about. “

For the movie “Searching”, Connor didn’t have the largest role, but to him, even being apart of something of that caliber was huge.

“In  “Searching” I don’t have the biggest part, but I got to be apart of it, and it’s something truly spectacular. The main family is Asian American and the way the story is told is unlike any other thriller before.”

For Kate, she was unsure if she was going to like the movie.

“I actually wasn’t sure that I would because he described that it was all shown through the screens of technology, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to believe that. I thought I might find it distracting” said Kate. “But I didn’t at all.  I completely got lost in it and sucked in, I loved it so much more than I expected. It’s so cool and I’m really excited for Connor to be involved in that. Although he isn’t in the movie a lot when he is he fills the screen. Even being associated with the movie is incredible.” Not to mention that Kate was also very excited about Connor being in a movie with John Cho, Kate being an avid fan.

When looking back at all that Connor has achieved, Kate reflected on the advice and encouragement she instilled in Connor before he took his big journey into stardom.

“I’ve always encouraged my kids to follow their passions and that you shouldn’t get to the end of your life with regret saying “if only”.  Just do it, go for it, and try it, because that way you will always know, and if it doesn’t work out you know you gave it your best shot,” said Kate. As well as the fact that “you learn things along the way and you can always go off into a different direction.” Kate made it clear that she always wanted Connor to understand that he needed to “just really embrace life, opportunities, take risks, and follow his passions.”

As for Kate, her hopes and dreams are one of a supportive and caring mother who wants to see her son succeed in life and happiness.

“My real hopes and dreams for him are that he finds joy and purpose in his life, however that may look. If acting is his path then I hope he succeeds in making a living as a working actor.”

As for Connor, his hopes and dreams entail fighting crime on the big screen alongside Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers in a Marvel Film.

So watch out Hollywood, you have a star from Glenwood Springs, Colorado breaking through

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