One Columbus elementary student has had more modeling and acting gigs than some adults in the entertainment business three times her age. And although fame might not be on your wish list, it’s very much so on Kinley Shoemaker’s.

The Schmitt Elementary fifth-grader got her start on the stage in Mansfield, Ohio, in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Her mother, Amie Shoemaker, was in the cast, and then-4-year-old Kinley hung out at rehearsals. Kinley, with the precociousness that child stars seem to possess, asked the in-house artistic director, Michael Thomas, for a part in the already-cast show.

“She said to the director, ‘Why am I not in this show?’” Amie Shoemaker said.

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“He said, “I don’t know. ‘Mom, why isn’t she?’” I said, ‘I thought you had to be a certain age.’ He wrote her into the show.”

Small beginnings

Kinley’s performance in “Dreamcoat” led to another gig with the same director, “Nuncrackers,” also at the Renaissance in Mansfield, Ohio. A star, it seemed, had been born.When the family, which includes dad Ben Shoemaker, who works in catastrophic insurance, went to Chicago for family portraits, the photographer suggested that Kinley get an agent. With her wide, heavily lashed eyes, naturally highlighted honey-blonde hair and inky, inquisitive eyebrows, Kinley had a look.

Getting to know you

You can find Kinley Shoemaker

on Instagram at kinley_shoemaker and on Facebook at

Author photo
Jenny Elig is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5671.