Mother noticed his talent at age 2

LAUREL YOUTH HITS THE BIG TIME

November 29, 1992|By Scott Alwin | Scott Alwin,Prince George's Journal

LAUREL -- Roger Myers is fidgety. A reporter has been asking the budding Hollywood actor questions for an hour and he seems as if he'd rather be playing with his pint-sized dog.

After all, the boy is only 9 years old.

Roger (full name: Floyd Roger Myers Jr.) seems to be on his way.

The Laurel fourth-grader has done numerous national television commercials and recently played the young Will Smith in an episode of "Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

But the biggest accomplishment of his young life was appearing in "An American Dream," the recent two-day ABC miniseries chronicling the ascent of pop music's first family, the Jacksons. Roger played young Marlon, one of the brothers who made up the Jackson Five.

Roger said his character had trouble learning the dance steps that made the group so famous.

"He [Marlon] could get some of it, but it was like a little spot where he'd mess up," Roger said. Later on, he said, "Marlon became the best dancer."

Although the miniseries and Fresh Prince appearance are Roger's first big breaks, he has done modeling and print and television commercials since shortly after his mother, Renee Trice, took him to three New York theatrical agencies at age 2. "He was independent. He wanted to do things on his own at a very young age," Ms. Trice said. "I just took it as if it was something he was meant to do because God gave him all this talent."

"[Talent agents] saw it. Everybody saw what I saw. He's just been going ever since."

Roger's part in the miniseries was filmed in the spring in Pittsburgh. In the movie, he lip-synched his singing parts but he rapped on a track on the soundtrack album for the series.

During filming, Jermaine Jackson and his family took a liking to Roger, Ms. Trice said.

Roger spent the summer at the family's palatial home outside Los Angeles, where the remainder of the film was shot.

"It was exciting but it was amazing, that place," Roger said. "You could go in the gym, come out and not know which way to go."

Now he is back with his mother in their Laurel apartment and attending a talented and gifted program at a county elementary school, where he became an overnight sensation after the airing of the "Fresh Prince" episode.

Roger said his classmates mobbed him the next day, nearly pulling off his shirt and demanding autographs.

"When I looked up I saw 34 pieces of paper on my desk," Roger said. "And one boy told me: 'Man, you better give me your autograph. If you don't give me your autograph, I'm going to bust you.'

"They treat me like I'm their king," Roger said of the attention. "I come home with dollars. Girls give [me] notebook paper . . . They buy me cookies.

"I like when they're happy, but I don't like when they get all over me and act like they've never seen me before."

Ms. Trice said they will return to California after Thanksgiving toaudition Roger for pilot shows being considered for next year. And, although her son is a star, she said he receives no special treatment athome.

"I still discipline him," Ms. Trice said. "I'm still going to get on him and correct him."

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