Tarrytown resident Simon Cadel, 15, had quite the summer. When most teenagers are learning to drive and heading to sleep away camp, Cadel has been getting to work as the star of a new DHX comedy series for the Family Channel, The Wonderful Wayneys.
Cadel stars as Emmett, the lead character in The Wonderful Wayneys, created by Tom Saunders (Arrested Development) on the Canada-based Family Channel, alongside distinguished actors Jason Priestley and Molly Ringwald. The story follows an over-achieving family: good-looking, MENSA smart, athletic, and popular–except Emmett (Cadel), who marches to the beat of his own drum.
“Emmett is a lot like me, he’s very quirky and he tries to do the right thing but sometimes it doesn’t work,” said Cadel, a newcomer to the acting biz. “He’s constantly trying to prove himself to his family, but he doesn’t really measure up with the rest of his siblings and his parents.”
Cadel started doing stand-up comedy at age 12 when he took classes at Long Lake Camp for the Arts in the Adirondacks, and has been taking lessons with Scarsdale-based comedy coach Scott Blakeman, once Jon Stewart’s comedy coach, ever since. Saunders, a longtime friend of Blakeman, attended one of Cadel’s stand-up shows, which led to Saunders inviting Cadel to audition for a small “comedic sidekick” role in his recently picked up series. After his initial audition, Cadel did a second audition for the starring role, in which he was ultimately cast.
Cadel is also proud to announce that he co-wrote an episode script with Blakeman and Betsy Cadel, his mom, which will be included in the first season. “The episode is going to be directed by Jason Priestley, and I was so excited by that because he’s incredibly talented and I think he’s going to make the script look really good,” Cadel said.
Cadel will spend the next few months on set full time, with a tutor to help him cover his academics. When he returns home after filming ends, Cadel will start for the first time at Sleepy Hollow High School. For most high schoolers, any excuse to get out of class is exciting, but Cadel stresses that working on your own TV show is hard work.
“The most surprising thing about being on a show is how difficult it is,” said Cadel. “When you’re watching a TV show you never really think about everything that goes into it, and being in the middle of it, it’s amazing to see how much work goes into these episodes.”
The sitcom, which went into production last month, is set to debut in early 2016.