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Alumnus James Caverly Stars in "Only Murders In The Building"

If you’re a Hulu TV viewer, there’s a good chance you have seen Lahser alumnus Joey Caverly on your television screen. The hit show "Only Murders In The Building" stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Nathan Lane, and Joey Caverly, Lahser Class of 2007, starring as Nathan Lane’s son Theo. Representing a young adult who is deaf on the show, communicating with American Sign Language, Joey is a graduate of our BHS Deaf and Hard of Hearing program. Check out this video sharing the cast’s reflections on Episode 7: The Boy From 6B, which is all about Caverly and read below to learn more about Joey’s experiences as a Bloomfield Hills School student, along with some words of wisdom. Many congratulations to Caverly on this recent television success!

What was your favorite experience as a Bloomfield Hills Schools student?
Homecoming week, hands down. Nothing like competing against other classes, watching your football team win, and dancing with your friends late into the night!

What were the most important lessons you learned at Bloomfield Hills Schools?
I was a bit of a class clown growing up, always being silly and outspoken to invoke laughter from my classmates and teachers. In high school, I learned that there are ways to channel this energy - either by focusing on schoolwork or finding appropriate moments to be myself and tell a joke or a sketch. I had great teachers that provided that outlet for me through class activities.

Were there any classes that you took in BHS that inspired you to become an actor? And specifically, as a DHH student, were there any experiences or classes that empowered you to represent the DHH population on the big screen?
Growing up I've always had this drive to entertain people as much as I could, anytime, anywhere. Once in English class, we were reading Romeo & Juliet out loud, and I got to read the part of Lord Capulet...needless to say, my delivery of "Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!" was so striking that it brought a breath of life to a somewhat stale reading of Shakespeare by high-schoolers. It wasn't the moment that made me want to be an actor, but it's a culmination of moments like these that I realized I was really good at what I do, which is entertaining people. I've never participated in the annual high school play at Lahser (why must every year be a musical??) but I starred in every production that the DHH program held during those four years--it was the most fun I've had.

Share a bit about your educational and career background. What led you to the awesome role on Only Murders in the Building?  
After graduation, I studied Theatre Arts at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. After receiving my degree, I led a successful career as a stage actor performing for The National Theatre of the Deaf, Huntington Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Studio Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, and on Broadway in 2018 at Studio 54. Not only do I act but I've also written plays, directed productions, and had a brief stint as a scenic carpenter for three years. It's challenging enough to navigate my career since the entertainment industry was never designed for a Deaf person in the first place, but through perseverance, training, and good-natured humor, I learned how to be a better advocate for myself and for the Deaf community. Fast forward to last year when I moved to NYC, I auditioned for Only Murders In The Building, and that natural instinct, my acting ability - the one I've honed throughout school and beyond - landed me the significant role on the TV series. It's a dream come true.

What advice would you give current students or alumni?
BE YOURSELF. Always.
 

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