Local Boy Sets Out to Make Dream of Being Famous Come True


Having Norrie Disease, a rare genetic disease, Cannon Wood was born with nearly no sight, then completely losing it, he is still your typical robust little boy.

Attending Benjamin Logan Elementary, he told his parents that one day he wanted to be famous, and that dream is now coming true.

Cannon was selected recently as the model on the cover of The Fun Company’s Holiday Catalog, and when his mom shared it on social media, it wasn’t long until a director for a short film took notice and contacted her.

The director contacted Mandi Wood and asked her if Cannon was interested in acting, and of course, he was.

In a whirlwind of events at the end of October and for most of November Cannon sent videos, auditioned, was cast, and then he and his mom flew to LA to film.

Cannon even had to learn how to play piano slightly in just 3 short weeks.

The short film features a blind autistic boy with innate musical talent.

The film is currently going to several film festivals in hopes of being picked up for a full-size film not just a short.

Earning a small stipend, and enjoying the all-expenses paid trip to LA Cannon is well on his way to being a famous actor, and Mom and Dad couldn’t be prouder and are still in a little shock.

Here’s a little background about the short:

  • Born three and a half months prematurely, Derek Paravicini is blind and has severe autism. But with perfect pitch, innate talent, and a lot of practice, he became a concert pianist by the age of 10. Here, his longtime piano teacher, Adam Ockelford, explains his student’s unique relationship to music, while Paravicini shows how he has ripped up the “Chopsticks” rulebook. Click HERE to watch the TED video.
  • Derek Paravicini is blind, can not tell his right hand from his left, and needs round-the-clock care. But he has an extremely rare gift—he is a musical prodigy with perfect pitch whose piano playing has thrilled audiences at venues from Ronnie Scott’s to Las Vegas, the Barbican to Buckingham Palace. Born prematurely, Derek remained in the hospital for three months and technically “died” several times before he was finally strong enough to go home. It was not long before his blindness became apparent, and later it became clear that he had severe learning difficulties and autism. Desperately trying to find something to engage and stimulate baby Derek, his nanny discovered a toy organ and put it down in front of him. Miraculously, Derek taught himself to play. Music proved to be an outlet for expressing himself and communicating with others—his way of dealing with a strange and confusing world. Click HERE to see the book.