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“Coming to terms with yourself and loving yourself is a process.”

When an actor is asked about his or her goals as a performer, an average response might be to win an Oscar, or land a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But 18-year-old Corey Fogelmanis is far from average. “I’m definitely inspired by watching people do what they’re passionate about,” he answers. “So I think being able to do that for other people would be cool.”

Whether he realizes it or not, Corey’s been doing that since he was a young boy. “My name fits me really well,” he laughs. “I had lots of energy, which was always the topic of conversation with my teachers. My mom introduced me to theatre at a very young age and you could always find me singing Annie, scrubbing the floor to ’It’s A Hard-Knock Life.’”

At six, Corey started performing in local community theatre, but it was landing the role of Farkle on the groundbreaking television series, Girl Meets World, that propelled him to superstardom at just thirteen years old. “Booking the show was my first big thing,” he remembers. “It all happened so fast. We got picked up and ended up doing 72 episodes.”

Four years and three seasons later, the show was canceled. Corey found himself saying goodbye to Farkle – and his Girl Meets World family. “Whenever I finish any project, there’s always a period of depression almost,” he says. “It’s like a post-show depression just because it’s not part of your life anymore. And it’s kind of like, ‘I hope things happen after this.’”

And happen they did. Last summer, Corey returned to the stage in Dog Sees God, garnering rave reviews for what one critic described as “a daringly dark but captivating performance.” He followed that with his buzzed-about portrayal of Jasper in Fullscreen’s PrankMe. And just a few days prior to our prom shoot, Corey wrapped his studio film debut in the highly-anticipated Blumhouse thriller, Ma, alongside Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer.

While his performances are complex, Corey’s advice is simple. “Do what makes you happy,” he says. “If it makes you happy, there’s something about it that’ll make you keep going and keep pushing. Do what you want to do and do your best to surround yourself with people who inspire you and support you. Don’t feel like you have to have everything figured out. Give yourself time and be nice to yourself. Coming to terms with yourself and loving yourself is a process. It’s much easier said than done, but we’re all doing it.”

Photos by Joe Magnani

Styling by Robiat Balogun (assisted by Sinai Robles)

Corey’s Tuxedo by The Black Tux

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