When Brody Scharr was eight, he landed a part in a school play at Canandaigua Elementary. And it was there, on stage, that he discovered something about himself.
Not only was he comfortable in front of an audience–he truly enjoyed it.
"I think part of it was being on stage and seeing everyone and not being nervous," Brody recalls. "Just giving it all and going as hard as I could, it was amazing."
His interest led to acting classes, and signing with a talent agency.
Last November, a phone call came that changed the game for Brody and his parents. His homemade audition tape was chosen from thousands of others, and Brody was now cast as the lead character in a series of commercials for Chuck E. Cheese's.
Brody remembers the day he received the letter saying he'd gotten the job.
"So I started reading it and I looked at my mom and I was like 'no way, no way.' And I started actually crying."
His mom and dad, Sara and Bill Scharr, are supporting their son, but not pushing him.
"I think everybody wants to see their child find something that does, as you said, light 'em up," Sara says. "And that was really neat for us, for him to come to us, and want to do more and look for more opportunities."
Brody is a pretty regular kid. He enjoys chess, and plays basketball. And he's not letting this acting thing go to his head.
"I'm really just trying to not get too big for my britches. Like my dad always says, act like you've been there before."
Brody's dad might be able to help his son navigate the ups and downs of being in the limelight. While not an actor, Bill Scharr was one of the most recruited quarterbacks in the country when he was playing at Canandaigua Academy in the mid 1980s.
He ended up playing in a big-time program, at Syracuse University.
"My take has always been you're doing something you enjoy," Bill says. "Hes making a little money, which is not the focal point. If you enjoy doing it, if you want to be good at it, you work at it."
Brody says he can envision a career in theater. Since the commercials hit the air, he's been busy acting in an independent film being shot in central New York. It's about a hockey player's life, and Brody plays the main character in his younger years.
"I feel like this is just right, and I really love it and I hope I can keep doing stuff," Brody explained.
His parents say as long as he keeps showing interest, they will be there. And while the sky may be the limit for this young actor, it seems clear that he will remain grounded.