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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Introducing Ethan Mathias, a Player in "Miracle on Christmas"

Even at 11 years of age, acting is but one of his many talents in the performing arts and otherwise.

Ethan Mathias between takes during production of "Miracle on Christmas." Image: Horse is Ready Productions.

Ethan Mathias is a fifth grader in a hurry. How so? The young Michigander, who thinks he may want to become an engineer when he's older, speaks Spanish - courtesy of his immersion elementary school that teaches in the language - dances both ballet and tap, plays the piano, sings and acts. And it is that latter discipline he suspects will be his career of choice if the aforementioned interest in engineering wanes.

We're betting on acting, because it clearly runs in his family, his very, very large family - Ethan is the youngest of 11 children!!! - and several of those older siblings are performers. He says the acting game has been a part of his life virtually from birth, literally: on the way home from the maternity ward, his parents, with him in tow, stopped off at a theater where one of Ethan's sisters was performing in a production of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Ethan himself had his first stage role under his belt before he turned six, has done plenty of community theater musicals since and has even appeared as an extra in the television shows Fargo and Next.

Miracle on Christmas, a faith-based movie written and directed by yours truly, will afford him his debut film role. Ethan plays Caleb Boyce, the youngest child in the family of protagonist Mary Boyce, who is portrayed by Christian actress Erin Bethea. Though his character spends much of the movie trying to keep up with his big sister, he does manage to steal a scene or two, including one with a Dickensian flavor to it.

Ethan describes working on the film as "an amazing experience," citing how "nice and kind" the crew and cast were. He particularly enjoyed bonding with the other child actors on set, saying that during breaks between their scenes and school work - yes, there was plenty of that - they played "a ton of Uno." Being that this was his first movie, he was surprised to learn that it was in at least one way easier than theater productions: with shoots that last many days and feature multiple takes, movie actors don't need to memorize all of their lines in one go like their theater counterparts do for a stage play.

We are pleased to report that Ethan feels our picture is both a "100% Christmas story" and a real family film that audiences will enjoy. We're in complete agreement with him and can't wait for you to render your judgement when Miracle on Christmas comes out during this year's Yuletide season.


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