Dwight in Shining Armour's Sloane Siegel is the teen inspiration to watch out for, and not just for his acting credits
18-year-old Sloane Siegel's journey from a rescue farm to winning the Best Actor Award as the lead in a TV Series three years in a row at such a young age is beyond inspiring
Sloane Siegel's journey as Dwight in the ongoing BYU TV series 'Dwight in Shining Armor' has been colossal but, in real life, the young actor has indulged in even bigger adventures, all the at age of 18.
On the show, Siegel's Dwight goes from being a regular teen interested in photography to befriending a sleeping medieval princess Gretta (Caitlin Carmichael) who must defeat her enemies alongside her sidekick Baldric (Joel McCrary). Dwight's path is one filled with action and nothing short of epic as he goes through a less-than-typical coming-of-age journey. That's all very inspiring and entertaining, but Siegel's personal journey from a rescue farm to winning the Best Actor Award as the Lead in a TV Series — three years in a row — at such a young age is beyond inspiring.
However, acting wasn't the first career choice for the young star. "I actually wanted to be a marine biologist, until I figured out I had to actually go into the ocean," Siegel shared in an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW). "I tried a few things: soccer, hip-hop dance, and musical theater. I really enjoyed performing in theater. Even at 7, I knew everybody's lines in the show and, when they forgot, I would perform it for them."
But, of course, his mother knew what was best for him. It was her who gave him 'a literal right or left choice' as she was picking him up from school one day after hearing a radio ad for an acting school. "She said I could go left and go to a soccer playoff game, or I could go right and drive three hours away to something that was probably a scam," quips Siegel. "I don’t know what was going through my little eight-year-old brain during that decision, but something made me pick the acting school. It ended up being real and I got a scholarship. Then, I took classes for a year and got sent to a showcase. I got a manager and they said, 'Hey, you should come to LA.'"
Thus, the journey began. Siegel was accompanied by his dad to California for his initiation into the entertainment industry. "On my first night, I received my first harsh rejection and, two hours after that, I booked my first job becoming SAG eligible the next day. I never intended for this whole acting thing to happen. When I was little, I never even considered that my life would take this direction. I just kind of went with the flow until I became old enough to realize that I was building not only a career but a whole life grounded in acting. I love and am thankful for every minute of it."
As commendable as that is, turns out, acting isn't Siegel's only area of expertise. Alongside playing Dwight, the teenager also sometimes ended up contributing to the plot for a few episodes as a co-writer. "Joel, Caitlin and I have a lot of time in between scenes while we’re waiting for everything to be set up, so we usually sit there and toss around episode ideas for fun. Until one day Caitlin and I were sitting there and I said, 'What if everybody went camping and got put on a truth potion?'," he reminisces.
"Caitlin lit up and we started creating a story. Then we thought, 'Well, darn if we made this much of a story, we may as well pitch it to our showrunners/creators/writers'. So, we spent the weekend writing up a pitch packet/outline of an episode and they loved it so much they wrote it and gave us a story credit. I absolutely love our show and its world, so being a part of creating an episode and seeing our names on the front page of the script gave me one of the giddiest feelings in the world!"
Siegel's writing expertise also shows in areas out of the TV show. He is also currently working on a novel of his own! "My novel is quite strange. It’s set in purgatory and it’s about a man undergoing trials straight out of nightmares to reclaim pieces of his soul and re-live the most conflicting moments of his life to decide for himself whether he’s fit to pass on. The book is mainly an avenue to propose and discuss philosophical questions about the human condition because I would love to begin a writing career of stories that make the audience truly ponder and question the material they’re reading. I’ll try and get it published by the end of this year, but that depends on if I’m filming something for a long period of time. Wink. Wink. I do have 4 other novels in the works after this first one though and I’m also developing my first graphic novel series."
When he's not playing Dwight on the show or spending long hours on his novel, Siegel also has another commitment that he indulges in quite passionately. As a young individual deeply invested in the environment, Siegel wants to share a very important message with his fans. "Minimalize your use of plastic and your wastefulness of those types of products that aren’t biodegradable. Take some time out of your week to help clean up a beach or to nurture a garden. Be conscious of your influence in the environments and ecosystems around you. If you’re traveling or hiking, here’s one of my favorite quotes from 'Gortimer' by the late Lora Fuller: 'Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.'"