River Drosche, 11, is a Texas born actor who charmed viewers as Young Levi in the TBS series “Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail,” opposite Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Steve Buscemi (Con Air, Fargo, Ghost World, and a list of over 160 TV/Film credits). River began his acting journey at the age of six when he attended an acting class and immediately discovered a new-found passion.
What was your first acting role and why acting?
My first major acting role was in The Rookie on ABC in 2019. Acting wasn’t something I set out to do. It wasn’t intentional. I was young and my parents thought I would like to be in soccer and flag football, you know, all those things boys my age were supposed to do and like. They signed me up for those. I got through them but didn’t like either of them at all. One weekend my sister was taking some singing and acting classes in Brownwood. I was the little brother tagging along. My mom and dad decided to let me be a part of those since I was there anyway. I hadn’t enjoyed other stuff they had thought I might like, so they were like “why not.” It ended up being really cool. I liked it a lot.
What do you like about acting, and is there anything you don’t like about acting?
There are a lot of fun things. A direct aspect is getting to play characters that you aren’t in everyday life. You get to be something or somebody new and different all the time. I love getting to go to the coolest places and work with some of the most talented people. That is one of the super fun parts.
What I don’t like, well there isn’t much. I would probably say it is one of the by-products of acting and that is homeschooling. Yes, it is easier for acting but I don’t get to go to different school buildings and see different teachers for different classes. I don’t get a specific ending or get to see the same friends every day. I am in California for most of the school year, so I miss the Friday night football games in Texas and parties that my friends go to.
You played Young Levi in the TBS series “Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail,” opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi. What was it like working with them? How did you land the role?
Playing Levi was a really great experience. The role was so much fun. That was my first major recurring role. I could not have asked for a better cast and crew. Steve and Dan were both phenomenal. I learned a lot from them, as actors and everyday people. It was a very positive experience and everyone was very encouraging. I would always have my joke of the day ready for Steve, and he would do the same. One person on that set told me to enjoy my anonymity, and that was something I will always remember from that job. They taught me things beyond the role though. One of the directors took me and let me be part of things behind the camera and how that side works.
I auditioned for the role in December of 2020. It was just over a week later that I received a message that I had been pinned for the role, which means they were getting closer to making a decision. We were in Lampasas, TX, on Christmas Eve looking at Christmas lights in the park when we got the call from my managers saying that they had the “unofficial” word that I had booked the job.
What would be your ideal role to play and why?
My ideal role would be something in Stranger Things or a Marvel movie/TV show. And why? Well mainly because I would have a lot of fun with all the CGI. I have an upcoming Blumhouse Productions movie that I just filmed a part in. The fun thing was I have never played this kind of character before. It’s always kind of refreshing to play totally different characters than what you are used to playing. I also have a movie called A Christmas Story Christmas that was released on November 17, 2022, and you can watch it now on HBO Max. It is also going to be released on Apple TV soon as well. It is a sequel to the original Holiday classic A Christmas Story.
What sort of advice would you give other kids who want to become an actor?
It is hard. It takes a lot of patience. Get into an acting class. If you are not getting auditions for a while, don’t give up, just be patient. Keep working and wait. If you aren’t booking roles, it’s not always your acting. There is a ton more that goes into booking a role, your hair length or color, eye color, height, size, the family they are trying to place you with that has already booked their parts, availability, etc. It might just be that you didn’t look like the person that casting had in mind.
Cover photo Photo courtesy River Drosche.
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.