CLOSE-UP Ready: Young actor takes stage, other pursuits with gusto

Published 12:15 am Saturday, February 11, 2017

RESERVE — For as long as she can remember, Sydney Knoy has wanted to be on stage.

The bright and outgoing 11-year-old sixth grader at St. Peter Catholic School in Reserve has been a regular in school productions, playing anything from a mouse to an evil twin sister in more than half a dozen plays.

She also regularly participates in workshops at St. John Theatre.

It’s just in her blood, she says.

“I just like the lights on me,” said Knoy, the daughter of Jessica and Carlos Knoy. “I just feel like I’m in my own space in my mind, kind of. Once you get on the stage, it just comes to life. I started by just wanting to be in the school play. Once I started my first year I wanted to continue on just to have fun and see what it was like. Now I want to continue on and go into high school and do that too.”

Her favorite role, she said, was the evil twin.

“It was really fun to get into that character,” she said.

Although she intends to pursue her love for the stage as she grows older, she also enjoys the role of athlete.

She is an up-and-coming softball and volleyball player.

“I would say I’m kind of a little bit good,” she said. “Not real, real good. I like to watch the games on TV and then actually go out and do it. It makes it come to life, sort of. I love to be active.”

Another role Sydney enjoys is altar server. She regularly performs the task during weekend Masses and, occasionally, during the week as needed.

She said it always interested her, watching other youngsters go through the rituals of Mass.

“When I used to be, like, 5, I used to hear the bells when they would ring them and I always wanted to know what that was,” she said. “Then I just wanted to be the one up there ringing the bells. It just interested me. I love doing it.”

She said her time on the stage helped her overcome any nerves she might have had.

“I only got nervous the first time,” she said. “I didn’t know where I was supposed to go, what I was supposed to do. It’s just a learning in progress.”

Then there was the time she received a donation for serving in a funeral. After getting past her initial surprise over the gift, she tried to figure out what to do with the money.

“I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t really need it,” she said. “Our school was having a canned food drive, so I went to the store and bought things people would need and brought it in.”

The youngster also went door to door in her neighborhood asking for donations.

“I just said, ‘Hey, I’m Sydney. Do you guys have any non-perishable foods?’ she said. “I did that for about three days and brought it all in and they counted it all up and we had a lot of cans.”

St. Peter principal Marie Comeaux said Sydney helped the school collect more than 1,500 cans.

“At the beginning it was like a competition,” Sydney said. “Then I started to think, like, what if I didn’t have food? That would be sad. So I just kind of caught on. They need food so I’m going to just help out a little with the community.”

Comeaux said Sydney spurred an uptick in donations by her fellow students.

“(She) was instrumental in rallying others to donate, as she could be seen pulling a wagon filled with canned goods that she purchased and gifted to others,” Comeaux said.

Sydney also is organizing a drive for the local animal shelter. “A Cause for the Paws” will collect items to be donated to the local facilities.

“She is an outstanding, well-rounded role model for the youth in her community who seeks to serve others,” Comeaux said. “With amazing young people like her, who allow their inner light to shine, all of our futures are much brighter.”