Amanda Reid is the oldest of nine siblings in the Reid family. All performers: actors, gymnasts or athletes. Reid was a gymnast herself until she turned 13, when her passions turned toward North Texas Performing Arts Academy.
“Switching over to dancing was easy since I was already athletic from gymnastics,” Amanda says. “Acting was a little bit harder for me because I was more insecure there and because I started so late in the game.”
Many students at North Texas Performing Arts Academy start as young as five years old, with many of Reid’s classmates starting classes eight years before she did. Amanda was so nervous, in fact, that she auditioned with her back to the judges, too nervous to sing on a stage for the first time.
“People kept telling her ‘you’re already caught up because you’re already successful in what you’re doing if you’re just doing what you love,’” Tara Reid, Amanda’s mother, says. “She worked her butt off. We’re a competitive family with nine children, so when she started here, she took every class she could take like she was on a rampage.”
Amanda was on such a rampage, in fact, that she packed in 40 shows over the past five years in NTPA. Not long after beginning the program, Amanda also booked Miss Juneteenth, a movie featuring a former beauty queen and single mom who prepares her daughter for a beauty pageant. In the locally-filmed production that received accolades from several film festivals, Amanda played a teen girl named Tanika.
“I was always super hard working and I feel like that came from gymnastics and that discipline of taking direction and notes that your gymnastics coach gives you,” Amanda says. “I kind of molded into this [acting and performing]. It was easy to pick up on stuff.”
The hardest thing to learn while at NTPA, she says, was acting.
“I would rely so much on my singing voice and I would think that was all I had,” Amanda says. “It wasn’t until I booked my TV show and I had nothing to do with singing that I was like ‘oh, I have other talents too.’ That’s when I finally gained my confidence.”
Amanda booked an Apple TV show, though details at this point are limited, especially with the writer’s strike.
“It was still so hard filming with a bunch of actors who have been doing this for forever,” Amanda says. “But the people were just like a family and made me feel fantastic.”
Looking to the future, Amanda is headed to Shenandoah College this fall. Though she never planned to go to college, she felt called by her grandmother’s mark left as a voice professor and her time there during the audition process.
“There were other colleges that were like ‘You’re not going to audition, you gotta be here and learning,’” Amanda says. “But Shenandoah was all about [letting me audition], so I didn’t even care to look at any other schools.”
In addition to auditioning for more TV shows, Amanda is excited to return to songwriting.
“Songwriting is also a really big thing in my life that I would do all the time,” Amanda says. “I stopped for a while because I was doing a ton of shows. … Once I got my TV show and went down there, my creative juices would wake me up in the middle of the night, and I’d just start writing it down.”