Disney star Shane Harper is among the entertainment scheduled for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.
♦ 5:30 p.m., Nov. 17, Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade
♦ Michigan Avenue, from Wacker Drive to Oak Street
♦ (312) 409-5560;
Updated: November 14, 2012 6:09PM
Shane Harper’s Disney dream has come true.
The star says he feels as if he is sitting on top of the world. Between acting and singing gigs, the 19-year-old performer relishes his current career opportunities and his cute blonde girlfriend. . . . And on Saturday, he finds himself performing on top of the Best Western Float during The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival presented by BMO Harris Bank.
So, what in the world could be bothering him?
“I wasn’t able to bring my guitar with me this time because I had way too much luggage,” Harper said from a movie set in the middle of Louisiana. “It’s weird. All I want is to play my guitar when I am on a movie set. But then when I am out on tour, all I want to do is get into a role again. When I am doing one thing, I am missing the other. I guess that’s how I know I should keep doing both.”
Indeed, Harper is enjoyinglife. The California native has had quite the busy year, most recently opening for “Call Me, Maybe” sensation Carly Rae Jepsen and touting his new EP “Dancin’ in the Rain.” A full-length album was also released early this year on Deep Well Records, and Harper said work has already begun on a new album.
“It gets a little weird when girls get up on stage crying and get wild,” Harper said, whose iPod is filled with Jon Mayer, Adele and ’80s favorite Phil Collins. “Chicago is one of my favorite cities, and every time I go out and play there, the fans are incredibly sweet and supportive. Listening to them screaming and getting excited about the music never gets old and it is much appreciated. As far as I am concerned, when they are fanatic about the music and who we are as people, it just builds us up as an artist even more. Plus, I never, ever thought someone would actually pay me to see me play. It’s amazing.”
His popularity as an actor has also grown through his roles on such Disney Channel ’tween favorites as “Zoey 101” and “Wizards of Waverly Place,” along with his current recurring role on ratings-grabber “Good Luck Charlie.”
“We are going back into production in January, which marks our fourth season,” Harper said. who also performs at the Magnificent Lights Festival in Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan) at 2 p.m. Nov. 17 and participates in a Radio Disney meet-and-greet at Navy Pieron Nov. 18. “We are all really excited since Disney (Channel) never really do shows for more than four seasons, so its kind of a golden number for them. As a cast, we have all grown up together. It’s been fun.”
One more reason he is on top of the world? Remember the cute blonde Harper calls his girlfriend on the show? Ends up he has been calling her his real-life girlfriend for over a year and a half.
“We decided together that we would never avoid the question entirely,” he says of his “Good Luck Charlie” co-star Bridgit Mendler. “We have been friends for a long time and I am just such a fan of hers. Her record just came out too, and I am so proud of all the hard work she put into it. We are both getting to do what we love, so it’s a really exciting time.”
Tricia Despres is a local free-lance writer.