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Alumni Success Stories: Kevin McHale of “Glee”

kevin mchale kd collegeUnless you live under a rock, you’ve probably either seen or heard about the TV show Glee. What you may not have known about Glee, however, is that multiple main cast members attended acting classes at KD Studio. Today we’ll tell you more about one of our most notable alumni, Kevin McHale – although you may know him better as Artie Abrams.

Kevin McHale’s Road to Stardom

Kevin was born and raised in Plano, just minutes from KD Conservatory’s campus in Dallas, Texas. After attending acting classes as a teen, he landed his first minor television appearance on an episode of the long-running Nickelodeon show All That in 2005. He then joined a boy band in 2006. The band, NLT (which stands for “Not Like Them”), toured as an opening act for The Pussycat Dolls in 2007, released a few singles, and had a guest appearance in Bratz: The Movie, although their album release was ultimately canceled. In 2007, Kevin also appeared on an episode of The Office, in which he portrayed a pizza delivery boy who is accidentally taken hostage by main character Michael Scott.

After his appearance on The Office, Kevin landed a three-episode appearance on Nickelodeon’s hit show Zoey 101 in 2007, followed by a two-episode appearance on HBO’s True Blood in 2008.

Life as Artie Abrams

In 2009, Kevin McHale finally scored the role he’s widely known for playing: the wheelchair-bound high school student Artie Abrams on Glee. Artie’s character is said to have been paralyzed since age 8 due to a car accident, so Kevin had to learn how to use a wheelchair for the role. He still learns the same dance routines as the rest of the show’s cast, but must perform them in a wheelchair. In an interview with the LA Times, he said it has given him a new appreciation for the simple things – like walking.

“More than ever, I realize how grateful I am to be able to get up between each take and walk around. I’m glad that I can represent that kind of life on television so millions of people see it every week. And the whole point of it is to show that Artie can still do everything everyone else can that matters,” he said.

Since becoming a starring cast member of one of the most popular shows on television, he’s been flying high. Many of the songs from the Glee soundtrack have reached the Billboard charts, including many featuring Kevin. In 2010, he got to perform at the White House, and also took part in the Glee Live! In Concert! tour. He also appeared alongside cast mate Darren Criss in Katy Perry’s 2011 video for her hit song “Last Friday Night.”

Kevin’s come a long way since his time at KD Conservatory, and we couldn’t be more proud of him!

Do you want to be an actor?

KD Conservatory has acting, musical theater, and film production programs to help prepare students for careers in the entertainment industry. Contact us with any of your questions, or check us out on Facebook for ongoing updates and information!

Photo via Flickr

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