Shine Bright: Local Teen Celebrity Pursues Acting and Future Activism

We see them. They’re leading the way as influencers in their own right. Black talented youth who are ahead of the curve and serving in a lane, and league, all their own. This four-part series delves into who they are and what’s next for them. This is the final part.


He’s 13 years old with an impressive résumé already under his belt.

Detroit native Chase McGhee, of Canton, has been acting practically as long as he’s been alive.

McGhee, who starred in his first-ever role with his dad at just four years old, shortly had an agent after that, and “jobs started rolling in” for commercials and scenes on television.


Detroit native and actor Chase McGhee and his family. Photo provided by Lance McGhee

His early career work paid off because he was in Dolly Parton’s “Heartstringstelevision series in 2019, “Dinner in Americain 2020 and “The Greatest Gift 2.0” in 2012.

“It’s pretty fun. I enjoyed it a lot,” McGhee said of acting, adding that since he was so young, he always had “so much attention on set.”

McGhee said that he doesn’t bring up his acting life a lot unless someone asks him about it.


“Yeah, I’m pretty open with it and they want to know all about it and the jobs I’ve done. I like the attention– it makes me feel better about my accomplishments.”


McGhee, who is very interested in public speaking and interested in social equality, activism, and “speaking out for what’s right” has his sights set on pursuing politics when he gets older.


“There’s been so much happening in the past year and I’ve been very in touch with it and I feel like I would be great for it with my leadership skills and ability to take action,” he said adding that at times on different sets he was the only Black person in the room in the predominately white field.


McGhee said that one of the great perks of his job is that he gets to rub shoulders with Hollywood giants, and the travel.


“Some of them aren’t as they seem on TV and stuff like that and they have completely different personalities,” he said, adding that he enjoyed working with some and having a “genuine connection.”


McGhee added that anyone at any age can pursue their dreams.


“It’s all about your determination and if you really want to do it, try,” the Detroit native said.


McGhee’s father, Lance McGhee, said that his son reached a level of achievement at the age of 13, that most actors never acquire.


“He has been booked by some of the biggest clients on the planet for commercials. Clients such as Marvel and Netflix have booked him for TV. As his father, I’m proud to have watched his ascension and will continue to motivate him to be passionate about his craft,” he said, adding that this started when his son was 3 while watching Sesame Street. “One day he told me that he wanted to be on TV So I worked with his mother, found him an agent, and he has been working ever since.”


He added that Michigan is a very difficult state to be in for those that want to make it big in the acting business.


“Chase serves as an example that talent and hard work can afford you opportunities no matter where you are if you are passionate about what you want to do. He is a strong actor still perfecting his craft and an excellent student,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of Chase River McGhee. So long as he remains committed to his craft, the sky is the only limit for him.”


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