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Armani Calvo in 8th grade in the play Elf Jr.

Armani Calvo Takes on Theater

Armani Calvo, 14, is taking on theater one play at a time. Calvo has been interested in plays since he started singing when he was only one year old. Calvo has been in four plays through Nutley Parks and Recreation and one at the Nutley High School this year. Calvo has participated in Annie Jr., Seussical Jr., Elf Jr., and can soon be seen in the NHS production of Pippin.


Calvo has been performing since he was three years old. His mom put him in professional hip hop classes from the ages three to eight. “Armani picked up a mic before he could walk," said Belinda Aquine, Calvo's mother.  "When he was one, he used to line up all his stuffed animals on his bed and sing to them. When he was three I took him to his first concert, Daddy Yankee.  He sat in the second row [and]  he told me, 'I want to go on stage.' That moment I knew he would was going to be in entertainment."


Calvo has gotten a variety of roles in the plays that he has performed in. In Elf Jr. and Pippin Calvo had supporting roles. "Sometimes I don't get the main role which is no problem for me because the part that I get always fits me perfectly," said Calvo. "One day, I'll get a lead role that will fit me."


Calvo said that he has always enjoyed performing in plays since seventh grade. Calvo’s first play was Annie Jr., and had the lead role of Daddy Warbucks.  Calvo tried out for lead role of Mr. Mayor in Seussical Jr. and after a few days later of waiting to see if he got the part, Calvo saw his name on the list of leading roles.  “At first, I hated it; not the part, just the thought of wearing the costume," Calvo said. "Then again it's Dr. Seuss, and I got through it, and the costume wasn't even that bad."


Most recently, Calvo tried out for Pippin at NHS.  Pippin focuses on a young prince who finds passion on his journey and adventures in his life. Calvo’s excitement toward the play seems that it will be a memorable one for him. “I was very happy, especially during callback days, because at the moment, I realized that this play will be one that I'll remember for a lifetime,” Calvo explained.


Being on stage brings out the emotion and excitement that one has while performing in front of a lot of people. Calvo may be an outspoken person, but could be nervous when it comes to performing in front of people. “I get really scared when I sing in front of people sometimes, but then I get into the mood of the song, I don't get scared, and I give it my all,” remarked Calvo. When it comes to others, like his mom, she gets emotional when Armani performs. “I just cry,"  Aquine said. "I get so emotional. I think 'he came from me and he can do so much that I can't.'” 


Calvo spends his free time playing basketball in Nutley’s parks, hanging out with friends, going to school and spending time with his family. His family knows that he is a good kid with many talents and that he cares for people.  Aquine said, “I see him as my son, so my opinion is bias. Armani is a kind kid. He cares about others and what genuinely happens to them.  He's extremely talented and lots of fun to be around."