Dawson’s Coast: Local sets sights on Hollywood as he lands on Disney Channel, big screen

Jennie McKeon
Dawson Fletcher, center, on the set of the Disney Channel show, "Good Luck Charlie."

Destin resident Dawson Fletcher is having a pretty good summer. After appearing in the hit CBS show "The Big Bang Theory" in March, Fletcher will again be hitting the small screen this Sunday on the newest episode of "Good Luck Charlie," which airs on the Disney Channel.

It was only five years ago that Fletcher first realized he enjoyed acting after participating in plays at his church. His age hadn't reached the double digits when he asked his parents to take him to California.

"I told them that I really wanted to be on the Disney Channel," Fletcher said. In a few days, that dream will be realized.

His parents Lisa and Brad were fully supportive and signed him up to train with Darla Briganti Kain at Class Act Studio and Anne Marie Crouch with AMC Talent.

With Crouch, Fletcher and about 20 other kids traveled to California to get the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of Tinsel Town agents and managers.

"The first year I went out there, nothing happened," he recalled. "I was kind of bummed."

"I would get so discouraged," he added. "When you're auditioning, you're selling yourself. So when they say 'No,' they're not saying no to something, they're saying no to you."

On the flipside, getting those call backs — or email backs — is always gratifying, Fletcher said.

"After auditioning for 'The Big Bang Theory,' I got an email the next morning saying I got the part and I just screamed, 'Yes,' " he said. "Even though it was a small part, it was such a rewarding feeling."

Fletcher realized early on that pursuing his passion would result in a rejection or two, but he didn't let it deter him.

"There's a saying that you're not going to get your first hundred auditions," he said. "It can be hard because you put your heart into everything and you get down sometimes, but there's always going to be another audition."

At 11, he departed Destin and went back out to California again with Crouch and this time, landed a manager and signed with Coast to Coast Talent Group. Dawson and his mom found an apartment in Burbank and since then, he has become bi-coastal.

"It was pretty hard at first," Fletcher said of making California a semi-permanent home. "We all went out there as a group and then it was just me and my mom, and I thought, 'This is real.' "

Academics were an easy transition since Fletcher has always been home-schooled.

Fletcher and his mom typically stay in Burbank January through May and September through November. While he misses his family, friends and his dogs back home in Destin, Dawson has grown to love the Los Angeles area and hopes to make it a permanent home in the future.

"This is something I want to do for the rest of my life," Fletcher said. "It really is my passion. Even if it's not acting per se, I want to be involved with this business. You can write, you can direct, there's so many stories out there."

Fletcher's favorite actors off the top of his head include Johnny Depp, Steve Carrell and Neil Patrick Harris. Already he will be sharing a screen with Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford in the upcoming sci-fi thriller Ender’s Game. His face is even on a movie poster for the movie, which will hit the screen in November.

His dream roles include a series regular on a hit sitcom or a detective drama. Eventually he'd like to explore deeper, more challenging roles, he said.

Not forgetting his roots, Fletcher credits the support he receives from his family and faith to his up and coming career.

"My mom has been a big part in all of this," he said. "And I think God has been guiding and directing me. I wouldn't be here without him."

To anyone with Hollywood dreams, Fletcher advises them to keep trying, just as he did.

"Don't stop because someone says 'No,'" he said. "Don't ever stop."

Don't Miss It:

Dawson Fletcher will be in an episode of "Good Luck Charlie," which airs this Sunday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m. on Disney Channel, Cox Cable channel 26. Catch him on the big screen in November as he shares the screen with Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley in "Ender's Game."