By age 10, Evan Whitten has accomplished what many actors can only dream of.

He's shared scenes with an Academy Award-winning actor, has a recurring role in a television show and is the lead role in a feature film. It's hard to believe that he's achieved all of this before junior high.

"This is for me," Evan said. "I love acting. I get to be a different me."

Evan, born and raised in Bakersfield, started his acting career at Stars/Bakersfield Music Theatre. His first role was Baby Shrek in "Shrek The Musical," said Frank Sierra, one of the directors for the youth summer workshop.

"He was always the littlest with a big voice," Sierra said. "I remember he came out on stage during 'Shrek' and took control of the stage."

During his time at the summer workshop, Evan was good at following directions and adding his own take on characters. 

The key to being a successful actor, no matter the age, is to always pursue training and learn everything that life can teach you, Sierra said.

"Don't be afraid to audition," Sierra said. "Learn from the experience of what life has to bring to you."

From there, Evan made his way to television, landing parts on television series such as "The Resident," "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels" and "Mr. Robot." Rami Malek served as a hero and a teacher while on set with Evan.

"There was this time where I had problems with the script," Evan said. "I didn't get the script on time and I didn't know my lines. We didn't have a lot of time but Rami sat down with me and went through the lines. After that, I got the scene."

The success of such a young actor can still be surprising for his family.

"I'm biased because he's my son but he's always good at whatever he tries," said his mother, Maria Whitten. "When we first started him in acting it was always for fun. I never thought he would be as big as he is."

Spending time at home in Bakersfield while in quarantine, the young actor has big plans for the future.

Evan's latest film "Dino Dana — The Movie" was set to be released March 21 but was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic. One project that he worked on before quarantine, the upcoming Fox television series "Next," is planned to release in September.

"You have to love acting," Evan said. "Don't do it to be famous or have lots of money. You have to genuinely love it."

For more on Evan, check out his Instagram: @evan.whitten.

Bowen West can be reached at 661-395-7660.

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