Rowlands will perform several roles in an original People's Light and Theatre Company production Aug. 8-9. The show will cap the theater's Summer Stage summer youth program, where students go to class for six hours every day to learn about acting and stage production.
Already, Lidondici has performed in three People's Light productions, two Shakespeare festival productions and two productions at Lionville's Barley Sheaf Theater. He has appeared on a local radio show and has attended television and entertainment seminars.
New York-based talent agency Edie Robb Talent Works acts as his manager, referring him to auditions and casting directors.
"Casting directors give my manager a list of the type of person they are looking for, and the manager gives me the time and location of the audition," he said.
Lidondici regularly auditions for television and print advertisements and commercials. He has done eight auditions since February, including tryouts for television commercials, television movies and films such as Rocky V, although none panned out. He was featured in a anti-drug print ad for United Health Systems that has not been released yet.
Manager Edie Robb, who handles the careers of several area child model/ actors, said Lidondici has the potential to have a serious acting career.
"He's bright, he's quick, he's sharp. He's adorable and very talented. He's got a great future," Robb said.
Robb said Lidondici's size - 5 feet, 7 inches - is big for his age, but that could work for him later on.
"Casting directors generally like children playing down, meaning a 15- year-old would play a 13-year-old. Because of Michael's size, he auditions for 14- and 15-year-old roles. Later on in life (casting directors) want tall people, and his size will work to his favor," said Robb.
Lidondici changed his name to make it easier to remember. "The people at auditions wouldn't even try to say my last name. I figured it was harder to remember someone just from their first name. There might be three or four Michaels auditioning for the same part," he said.
After checking with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the union for film actors and actresses, he chose Rowlands because it was his grandmother's maiden name.
"One woman suggested Trevor Rowlands, and I really liked that. Maybe I can be a Trevor later on in life," he said.
Lidondici's mother said that while she did not push Michael into an acting career, she supported his ambition.
"I'd hate for people to think this is something the mother is pushing, but I think the experience is good for him. The acting has to help him in terms of self-confidence, and a certain maturity comes from being rejected," she said.
Lidondici knew he was interested in an acting career as a small child.
"Even as a little baby I was a showoff. When the other kids were building tents out of cardboard boxes I was using them as a stage, singing and dancing on top of them," he said at his Guthriesville home as he prepared for a baseball scrimmage last week.
"Eventually I'd organize the kids and give them roles in my production," Lidondici said.
He has been going to People's Light seminars since he was 8. In a one- month summer program, young people learn the craft of acting and technical aspects of theater production.
"We write the script, and design the costumes, the props and the set. It gives everyone a chance to do everything. It gives kids a better idea of what work goes into an entire production," he said.
"Every year it's gotten better and better. It's fun to work with the smaller kids, helping them learn how to act," he said.
On a trip to Walt Disney World two years ago, Lidondici toured the underground "backstage" areas of the amusement park while his mother went through Epcot Center. The tour was part of a Walt Disney World entertainment seminar.
"She was checking out all the different displays from around the world. That stuff is boring, so I signed up for an entertainment seminar. We got to tour miles of underground tunnels where the performers prepare for the shows. I shouldn't be telling you this, but we saw all of the Goofy and Mickey Mouse costumes. Now little kids will read this and say, 'You mean (Mickey Mouse) isn't real?' "
Entering seventh grade, Lidondici is looking forward to becoming involved in drama at Lionville Junior High.
"They put on musicals every year. I guess I'm gonna have to learn to sing," he said.