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From Hardcourt to Hollywood: The Woodlands grad Chasen Parker is making a name for himself


No matter how old we are, a small part of us is always yearning to pursue our childhood dream, and for most, our childish eyes were focused on one thing — fame.

Being like the people we see on the movie screens is something that everyone secretly wishes to attain. Whether we want to be Batman, Luke Skywalker, or Katniss Everdeen, we all seek greatness that will stand out to the world.

Although not many people are able to achieve this dream, actor, writer and director Chasen Parker will stop at nothing to succeed.

Born to ex-Hollywood actors, Richard and Andie Parker, and grandson of the three time Oscar nominee, Eleanor Parker, Chasen was destined for fame.

He started acting as a child at age two, starring in both fast food commercials and daytime dramas — including NBC’s Sunset Beach, 7th Heaven, and General Hospital.

The Parkers moved to The Woodlands, Texas in an attempt to give Chasen a normal childhood.

So much for that…

Chasen set out to pursue the entertainment business after breaking his foot going into his senior season of basketball.

This life altering injury inspired him to star in his high school’s production of “You Can’t Take it With You,” where Parker rediscovered his long lost love for acting.

After uncovering a new found passion for writing and directing in college, Parker set out to make his own mark on the film industry.

He started by producing and acting in his own short films. This eventually led to stronger relationships with more successful actors in the industry, such as Lance A. Williams—who recently played a role alongside Denzel Washington in his new movie, The Equalizer 2.

Williams plays the main character, Leon, in one of Parker’s most recent short films, American Fish Trap. This film, along with another one of Parker’s original short films, _Vault_, was featured at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in France this summer.

Chasen Parker at the Cannes Film Festival in France (Courtesy Photo) 

Clint Eastwood’s old school spaghetti westerns are what originally inspired Parker to film his newest western, American Fish Trap.

His film is set somewhere in Texas, the day after the American Civil War, where two confederate soldiers finally returning home are forced to use the help of a clever slave named Leon in order to save their kidnapped loved one.

“[My main goal through the character of Leon] was to take the black stereotype into something much deeper, and in the end give something that feels the rewarding pop that we wanted for Leon,” Williams said.

The film’s nod at racism during this period is something that takes the film to the next level.

Williams even put himself into a slave’s shoes by not wearing any throughout the entire film, which was mostly set outside. Williams’ dedication and specific intention in every aspect of his role is what made Leon’s character so grounded — giving chills to the audience.

After his recent success at the Cannes Film Festival, Parker has big plans to move to California in pursuit of making a living doing what he loves.

But before he leaves, he has decided to set his newest work in The Woodlands.

He plans to put his own twist on the culture of the bubble — that is The Woodlands — through the means of a dark comedy.

Parker is an inspiration to all young people seeking to pursue the entertainment business. At such a young age, he has achieved things that many people spend their lives trying to accomplish.

“My advice would be to just wing it,” Parker said. “If you want to act, you want to write, you want to direct, just throw yourself into it and you’ll figure it out. We all don’t realize it, but we wing it a lot more in life than we want people to know, so just wing it and figure it out over time.”

Ryann Booth is a student at TWCA and a member of the VYPE U Ambassador Program. To learn more about how you can become a VYPE U Ambassador at your school...


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