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Baltimore youth have high aspirations for the stage

Dionne Beverly
Dionne Beverly
provided by Dionne Beverly

The poet, Langston Hughes, in a piece called 'Dreams' said, "Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow." This writer was recently reminded of this in an interview on Friday, July 18, 2014 as she spoke with a dynamic duo with dreams and aspirations to which they are holding.

She is the youngest of four and "an actress in progress". Her name is Dionne Beverly and although she is 20 years old, she has a special plan for her life.

She attended Baltimore Civitas High School, then went on to the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts for two years. This led to her discovery of self and trying out for auditions. She attended the Arena Players youth program for one year and had performances in 'The Wiz' (2009), and 'Fame' (2010).

Beverly is inspired by her father, Juan, who also writes and acts, mainly for their church, Victory Ministries International, where Tony Smith is the pastor. Beverly also says her mother, Kelly, is always encouraging her to pursue her dreams.

Currently, Beverly is working on a special project with the other half of the team, Daron Cheatham. Together, they have a work in progress, which will lead to two different television shows. Although she has no upcoming roles, Beverly said she wants to focus upon the writing in order to achieve her goals. She envisions herself in Hollywood, writing, producing, directing, acting, and winning awards. She just needs to know who the contact people are to get her foot in the door,

She said people should not give up, but keep pushing and encouraging themselves. She said, "If you have a dream, keep at it until it comes to life."

Dionne Beverly can be contacted on her website at

The other half of the powerhouse duo is Daron Cheatham, a nineteen-year-old actor and singer. He is the oldest of eleven and graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts in 2013, where he majored in drama. His passion for the stage, however, began when he was a student attending City Springs Elementary School, so he began to take classes in middle school.

He now attends New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, with the goal to complete all three years, locate an agent, move to New York, Atlanta or Florida and start his career. His plan is to be on Broadway at least twice and to appear in three television shows.

Cheatham said he has always had a passion for acting. As a child, he always wanted to act and not just as a hobby. He says his mom, Sherron, is very supportive. Cheatham's family encourages him and he says that the fact that Jada Pinkett-Smith is from Baltimore also inspires him. According to Cheatham, "If she can do it, I can do it".

He already has some performances under his belt. He appeared in 'The Fire Safety Show' (2012), 'Hairspray' (2012), 'Look Homeward, Angel' (2013), and 'The Execution of Justice' (2013).

Cheatham is currently studying to become a better actor, but plans to have an agent/manager as well as a main role in one or two television shows. He is also involved in writing a show with partner, Dionne Beverly, and plans to act in the sit-com they are creating.

He, too, thinks people should always follow their dreams and believe that they can do things no matter what the situation. He said, "Even though people may try to discourage you, know that you long as it's positive".

Daron Cheatham may be contacted at and Facebook/Daron Rising Star.

As these two young people hold fast to their dreams, this writer is sure their determination and perseverance will produce results.

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