Young Kris Thomas 'had it all,' says former talent coach - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Young Kris Thomas 'had it all,' says former talent coach

(WMC-TV) - Two Memphis contestants remain in the competition on NBC's hit show "The Voice."

When live rounds start tomorrow night, Memphians will be cheering on Sarah Simmons and Kris Thomas.

Thomas learned to sing in his father's Memphis church, but sharpened his skills on a different kind of stage in Midtown Memphis.

The Young Actors Guild and the non-profit's founder Chrysti Chandler Session were there for Kris back in 2000, at the beginning.

"I knew he was going to be a star when he first hit that stage," Session said.

Session looks for Memphis kids who otherwise might not get intensive training in the performing arts, but who have promise.

When Kris Thomas tried out to join the guild, he was a 14 year old with major talent.

"He came in for his audition, and he just blew everyone away with his high voice and his personality and persona. He had it all," Session said.

Kris landed the leading role in the play " Save us Children."

He toured with the cast, performing at schools across the Mid-South.

"A lot of them try to give me credit for their talent, but they are naturally born with that talent," Session said. "What I do is I enhance their talent."

One of the first things Kris had to work on was his stage presence. He often would put his head down while performing.

"I would always tell him: only the strong survive," Session said. "That has always been my motto with all the kids. And when I'm looking at him it's his strength."

His boyish good looks no doubt have added to his natural star power, she said.

"He still looks the same. You know he has that baby face. His voice has developed a lot and his stage presence has developed as well."

13 years ago she looked at him as a student - today she sees a winner.

"He has the whole package."

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