Local child joins NBC hit, while his twin acts on HBO
Former Colerain Township child rapper Lil' C-Note has traded his music career for a recurring role on NBC's hit drama series "Heroes."
Working as Carlon Jeffery, his real name, he debuts Oct. 15 as Damon Dawson, younger brother of Monica Dawson (Dana Davis, "The Nine"), the newest regular "Heroes" character with extraordinary powers.
The Dawson kids on the show are living in New Orleans with their grandmother (Nichelle Nichols from "Star Trek") and cousin Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey), son of "Heroes" character Niki Sanders (Ali Larter).
"Being an actor is a whole new experience to me. It's fun to do," Carlon, 14, says by phone from his Los Angeles home.
The former Bevis Elementary School student arrives on NBC's buzz drama a month after his twin sister Carla's debut on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." She has taped 10 episodes as Vivica A. Fox's daughter on Larry David's sitcom.
Carlon and his mother, Serita, drove from here to Los Angeles in January 2005, after he won rapping and monologue awards at an Orlando talent showcase. They never came back.
"We had no intention of staying out here. But his career took a different direction. He came out here for music, but he began acting," she says.
All of this started from Serita reluctantly letting her sister, Althea Richard of North College Hill, develop Carlon's rapping skills seven years ago. Wings Model Management owner Jake Lang, who worked with the rapper here, is not surprised by his success.
"He's very good, and with his braided hair, there aren't many kids that look like him, which is why he's doing well," Lang says.
After the mother and son settled in Los Angeles, Carla finished sixth grade at Pleasant Run Middle School and joined them in June 2005. Husband Carl Jeffery arrived in April last year, after being transferred by the U.S. Postal Service.
The twins have taken dance lessons in Los Angeles from Shane Sparks, the Aiken High School graduate and "So You Think You Can Dance" choreographer, and acting lessons. They've worked together on MTV's "Punk'd" and "After School," a film not yet released.
Carlon appears again in the Oct. 22 "Heroes," and in at least one November sweeps episode. He refuses to talk about Monica's special power revealed Oct. 15.
"People will have to watch the show," Carlon says.
Sister Carla has auditioned for Disney and Nickelodeon shows, and ABC's "Miss/Guided" midseason comedy. She has dreamed of being a star since performing in grade-school talent shows.
Their mother worries that Cincinnati fans might not realize that Lil' C-Note is now actor Carlon Jeffery. They never publicized his real name here for privacy reasons.
"It was kind of scary for a while. We kept getting stopped in shopping malls. They (fans) were taking pictures and asking for autographs. They would find out what school he went to, and find ways to call our house," she says.
Carlon wants to return to his rap roots and tell fans here in person about his TV fame.