Meet Launch student Ezrah Noelle, a 17-year-old senior who spent many of her school-age years performing in Branson.
Access Launch: When did you discover your love
Ezrah Noelle: I started singing, performing and competing in talent competitions when I was 18 months old. In the very beginning I was singing at church for a couple of months, but then I started doing competitions. I was born in Oklahoma, but we ended up moving to Missouri so I could perform in Branson.
Access: What was your first big act?
E.N.: I started singing, dancing and yodeling in the Clay Cooper show when I was 9.
Access: You yodeled? Please elaborate!
E.N.: Yes! Whenever I was super young—maybe 6 or 7—I heard a video of someone yodeling and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. My mom knew how much I loved it and said I could get a mentor—well, yodeling mentors are kind of hard to come by! But we found a woman—Janet McBride. Janet also taught LeAnn Rimes how to yodel!
Access: How long did you perform with Clay Cooper?
E.N.: I started out not knowing if it was going to be a summer thing or for a longer time—it ended up being six seasons.
Access: What was it like being in a show and going to school?
E.N.: I was homeschooled because of my schedule. I would do school work, then go to the show around 6 p.m. to get ready. Sometimes I would greet people. After the show I would sometimes stick around to talk with guests—I was there until 11:30 a lot of nights!
Access: When did you decide to leave the show?
E.N.: I stopped performing halfway through my freshman year of high school. I was having to do homework at the show, and if we had morning shows I’d miss class. I decided I wanted to try to be more of a ‘normal’ kid for a little bit. It got to be a lot being a performer.
Access: What was the transition like?
E.N.: Well, I was still able to perform. I did all of the school musicals and plays. Now that I’m full-time online I’m not performing, but I still make a lot of videos for YouTube. I have quite a few subscribers.
Access: What made you transition to a Launch schedule?
E.N.: I mostly decided to go online because I wanted to work, and also because of the pandemic. My mom and my sister are super high risk, and I wanted to keep them safe.
Access: Where do you work?
E.N.: I’m a hostess at a Branson-area restaurant. I work anywhere from 16-25 hours a week. That’s another good thing about Launch—I can do homework at night when I get home or even before going to work in the morning—the flexibility is great for students who work.
Access: Okay, back to show biz—you met Steve Harvey! Talk about that.
E.N.: Yes! I was on Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey. It was a really cool experience. They flew me out to L.A., and I did all of my school work while I was there on set. It’s filmed in the same building as Dancing with the Stars, so I got to meet Paula Deen and a couple of other famous people. It was an amazing experience.
Access: What was Steve Harvey like?
E.N.: Well, I cried when I first went on stage because it was such a big crowd and it was so amazing. After I sang my first song, Steve asked me why I was crying. I told him that it was just such a blessing to have this opportunity and I felt so blessed with the life that I have. Afterwards he gave me a hug backstage and told me I did amazing. He talked about how he used to be homeless and shared that he was also so blessed to do some of the things he’s done. He was an incredible person.
Access: Have you been on any other shows?
E.N.: No—I had a casting agent who was trying to get me on a lot of shows, including America’s Got Talent. I was almost on there, but then I didn’t want to do it because they wanted me to put yodels in a pop song, which was just really weird!
Access: What’s your favorite thing about Launch?
E.N.: Flexibility. This year has been so difficult for so many people—for me, we don’t have very good internet connection at my house, and my sister has to borrow my computer sometimes—but even with this, all of my Launch teachers have been super understanding. Launch has
Access: What are your plans for after you graduate?
E.N.: I’m going to UMKC. I really want to study psychology and become a physician or a psychologist—this is partly thanks to my Launch psychology teacher, Mr Douglas! I just love that class so much! But I’ve already been accepted, and I’m moving to Kansas City.