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South Dallas actor is among young stars of Disney's 'Secrets of Sulphur Springs'

Johari Washington, 11, appears in the role of Topher in season two of the popular Disney series "Secrets of Sulphur Springs."

DALLAS — A young South Dallas resident is having fun balancing life as a student and a career as an actor.

Johari Washington, 11, is one of the actors starring in season two of Disney’s "Secrets of Sulphur Springs."

“I’m on a Disney show,” Washington explained. “People, some of them recognize me more. Even little kids at my school, are saying, ‘Can I have your autograph?’”

The action-packed show is about a group of kids who find a secret portal that allows them to travel back in time. Along the way, they run into a few ghosts, while uncovering clues around the mystery of a girl who disappeared.

Washington is playing to role of Topher in season two.

“Topher is that one kid, he pretends he’s brave, but in reality, he’s a very, very, scared kid,” said Washington while sitting on his porch in South Dallas.

Performing on stage, in commercials and on the small screen are skills the sixth grader said he’s been working at since age 3. 

His mother, Tanja Hoard-Washington, started sending him to auditions. She died six years ago due to complications with breast cancer. Washington said his mom remains a source of inspiration.

“Whenever I get ready for a commercial, or whenever I get ready for an audition, I usually breathe, and then my mom starts speaking to me like, ‘You can do it, baby! I believe in ya,'” Washington explained.

The young artist calls his family and faith his support. Washington said his dad, Darron, helps keep him grounded and focused.

“Oh, my dad, he’s a good guy. He helps me a lot whenever it comes to acting. He’ll help me get the props, get ready, and learn my lines and stuff like that,” Washington added.

Off-screen, the young actor describes himself as a normal kid and a hard working student at Kingdom Collegiate Academy in DeSoto. Washington said he enjoys gaming and showing his athletic skills in shot put and discus throwing events.

"Secrets of Sulphur Springs" is being renewed for a third season.

For now, you can catch episodes of the show each Friday on the Disney channel. Season two is also available on Disney+.

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