When Heritage High School student Brock Ciarlelli got the call aspiring actors dream about, his mother was so excited she almost crashed their car …
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When Heritage High School student Brock Ciarlelli got the call
aspiring actors dream about, his mother was so excited she almost
crashed their car into Los Angeles traffic.
He had just received word he’d landed a recurring role on the
hit ABC sitcom “The Middle,” and he has since appeared in five
episodes during the show’s two seasons. The show also features
Patricia Heaton from “Everybody Loves Raymond” and Neil Flynn from
The thrills have yet to stop. Ciarlelli, now 17, won the Best
Recurring Young Actor in a Television Series at the 2011 Young
Artist Awards in March. It was his second nomination for his role
as middle-schooler Brad Bottig, the flamboyant boyfriend of one of
the show’s main characters, Sue.
Earning the prestigious award came as a genuine surprise for
Ciarlelli, who knew he was facing strong competition.
“When they called my name, I just sat back and let it sink in
for a quick second,” Ciarlelli said.
The good news keeps on coming. The show’s producers recently
told him he would be brought back for the third season, which will
begin airing in September. He’ll be moving to Los Angeles full-time
in the fall to attend Chapman University and continue his acting
career. Since landing his role on “The Middle” two years ago, he
has split time between California and Colorado while wrapping up
his studies at Heritage.
Now somewhat of a veteran, Ciarlelli says he feels more relaxed
while filming. He’s able to breathe and focus on the task at hand,
and his efforts show up on camera.
“By doing that, it makes my performance a lot better,” he
For his mother, Priscilla Ciarlelli, the excitement has yet to
wear off. Her pride in her son is apparent in every word she
speaks, and she hardly ever misses a performance.
“It’s exciting. I’m tickled to death that I get to see him in
action,” she said.
Brock realized he wanted to be an actor at the young age of 5,
after watching a community theater production of “The Wizard of
Oz.” He has involved himself in dance, theater, choir, and other
performing arts ever since. It’s this work ethic that he hopes to
continue as a full-time actor in Los Angeles.
Fame and fortune aren’t his goals, he said. He simply wants to
make ends meet doing what he loves: acting. He looks forward to
living in the city and being able to audition for roles more
“We’re very proud of how practical and realistic he is,”
Although he doesn’t have the time to commit as an actor in
Heritage’s theater club, he participates on the paint crew, which
allows more flexible hours. He enjoys being involved and helping
where he can, and appreciates that his fellow students treat him as
“It’s nice that I have true friends that don’t treat me any
different (since starting on ‘The Middle’),” Brock said.
At Chapman University, Brock plans to study both screen acting
and mathematics. Math will serve as his backup plan if acting
doesn’t work out.
As of now, that doesn’t appear to be an issue.
“There’s nothing like seeing your kid live his dream, and that’s
what I’m seeing Brock do,” Priscilla said. “For a mom, there’s
nothing better than that.”
The Middle airs at 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights on ABC. The final
two episodes of the second season are scheduled for April 13 and
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