Camryn Clune uses talents to give back to community

By Lauren Kirchmyer

Camryn Clune is not your typical 15 year old. The petite blonde dreams of being on Broadway someday and focuses on advancing her talent as a triple threat as much as she focuses on her school work.

What sets Camryn apart from other talented teenage performers is the way she uses her talents to give back to her family and the local community.

When Camryn was about eight years old, she invited some friends over to her house to join her in performing for her family. At this point in time, she was in her third year of taking dance lessons. Her father, Doug, built the girls a small stage to perform on as they choreographed routines, created programs, put together a seating chart and more.

“My husband and I were amazed at what she was doing,” her mother, Patty, said. “Every year she wanted to do more, so we kept going with it.”

“It was the following year that I thought it might be nice to raise a little money from all our efforts and help out someone in need,” Camryn added. “It felt good to be able to do what we love and help other people at the same time.”

When she was nine years old, Camryn switched dance studios. Her move to Sam Smith School of Dance is what helped her embrace performing. “Sam Smith, who passed away last year, was a big inspiration for me,” she said. “I am very thankful I had a few years to work with her.”

People began to notice the young girl was “theatrical,” so when she was 11 years old, her parents enrolled her in a summer theatre camp at The Academy of Theatre Arts. She fell in love with theater and asked her parents if she could continue in it once the camp was over. Dina Slawson, the academy’s owner and artistic director, suggested for Camryn to audition for her Academy Performance Group.

“At the time my mother had never even heard me sing so she questioned this option a little bit,” Camryn said, but she auditioned and was accepted into the company. “My life changed right there.”

Camryn, who just completed her freshman year as an honor student at Mount Saint Mary Academy, now trains all year long at The Academy of Theatre Arts on top of her dance classes, voice lessons/coaching and piano. She even performs in her high school musicals and sings for senior centers, hospitals, restaurants, children’s parties, weddings and funerals. On Saturdays during the school year, she sings in a band called Psalm 151 at her church. She also sings the national anthem at events throughout Western New York, including Sabres games.

Her talent has received recognition numerous times. She currently carries the title of Amherst Teen Idol and has previously won Worship Artist of the Year and Buffalo Italian Idol.

“She reaches for the best and doesn’t settle for less,” Patty said. “Camryn is also very compassionate and always wanting to help other kids.”

Her favorite way to help other kids is by continuing her backyard performances, which have turned into full-scale, two-act productions. Since starting her performances seven or so years ago, Camryn and her friends have raised around $15,000.

“I truly believe that when you are blessed with something you should use it to help others,” Patty shared.

“It’s a great feeling to know that all the hard work you have just done has truly helped someone and maybe even changed their lives,” Camryn added. “I feel extremely happy and very blessed.”

Camryn’s more recent fundraising project is what she calls Princess Parties 716, where she goes out to various events in the community dressed as Disney princesses. This time, the money is going towards her training.

“I’m always working on something. I carry a lot of tote bags,” Camryn joked. “As you can imagine, all the training I have costs money and really adds up. My parents already work so hard, and they spend too much on me. They deserve to have help from me with making money.”

Camryn 2

“Everyone should come out and support Camryn at any of her performances if you ever get the chance,” Patty shared. “It is helping her reach her goals as well as helping others!”

To learn more about Camryn, visit her website or visit her music page on Facebook at To help Backyard Broadway raise money for those in need in the community, visit or To learn more about Princess Parties 716, visit or

Lauren Kirchmyer is the entertainment reporter for If you have a story idea, please email her at

West Senca Chamber Ad