Cassandra Star Armstrong

Fort Francis, Ont. CDN

Originally from Fort Frances, Toronto, Cassandra Star uploads her own music and covers songs on Youtube along with her sister, Callahan. They have been posting music videos on Youtube since the first lockdown in 2020

Most kids dream of becoming a veterinarian, teacher or firefighter, but for Cassandra Star Armstrong, she said she has never thought of being anything other than a performer.

“I’ve honestly never thought of anything else,” Cassandra said. “I’ve always been singing and humming and dancing and I love to make people happy.”

At just 10 years old Cassandra has already performed with Broadway stars, started a popular story time series on her YouTube channel and recorded a multitude of songs.

Cassandra captured the attention and hearts of the Fort Frances community at the start of the pandemic last April by starting a story time series where she would read and re-enact children’s books such as The Paper Bag Princessand Rock Away Granny. The story time was developed as a way to connect the community.

“A lot of kids in Fort Frances and around Ontario are really sad, lonely and they can’t really see their friends… and I knew that books were comforting so I knew it would help,” Cassandra said.

She said adults and children have sent her videos to tell her how much her story times have helped them through the pandemic and that she is very grateful for the support and kindness she’s received from people in the community.

Not long after, Cassandra and her mother Nikki were contacted by award-winning author and singer/songwriter, Carolyn Sloan, telling them how much she enjoyed Cassandra’s story time of her book Welcome to the Symphony.From there a friendship grew and Cassandra was given the opportunity of a lifetime.

Cassandra collaborated with Broadway stars and New York City musicians to record Give Love, written by Sloan in 2015 for a children’s choir. This is the first time it has been professionally recorded.

The co-collaborators included Dan Micciche, music director and conductor of the Broadway musical Wicked, Broadway performers Kara Lindsay and Kathryn Allison, and Emmy-award winning pianist Robbie Kondor.

Cassandra said it was a dream come true to work with Sloan and the performers and musicians from Broadway because her ultimate goal is to one day perform on Broadway.

Cassandra said she began to sing at the same time she began to talk, humming along with her older brother and sister who Cassandra said would always sing around the house. Not long after, she began acting and dancing, performing wherever she could in the community.


“I always used to dance and perform little made up skits for my family,” Cassandra said. “I’d always just kind of have fun with it and use my imagination.”

Cassandra and Nikki were recently given a taste of what is to come during their zoom call with agents from New York City and Los Angeles.

Nikki said it was quite intimidating but that it was a good experience for the both of them to see ‘the big cutthroat world of Hollywood.’

“[Cassandra] handled herself well, she wasn’t freaked out but I was sitting there thinking ‘I don’t know where she gets her courage from because I would be dying right about now,’” Nikki said.

Although COVID has been a struggle, Nikki said there has been a positive aspect to it when it comes to auditions because there is more opportunity with Zoom.

“There’s a lot more opportunity for someone who’s far away,” Nikki said. “We’d normally have to fly to L.A. or New York but with COVID we have those opportunities just by staying at home.”

As for what’s next, Cassandra is set to collaborate again with Sloan on her web-based educational platform TeachMe TV. The videos offer peer-to-peer learning covering a variety of topics and is set to launch later this year.

Nikki said the calls from agents and participating in the Give Love video all came so fast and it made her realize that this was a bigger deal than she initially thought. She added that it was hard to wrap her head around it because they are from a small town and aren’t around the entertainment industry every day.

“I just knew that she felt comfortable performing and I could see her light up when she was in front of people,” Nikki said.

Nikki said she’s ‘cautiously optimistic’ and does not want to jump into anything, adding that Cassandra is only 10 years old and has a lot of time ahead of her.

Cassandra sings this emotional piece in memory of her brother Nicholas who passed away.

 

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