SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s high school musical season and this week, Fayetteville Manlius presents the Little Mermaid. NewsChannel 9’s Extraordinary talent of the week is one of the stars, with Carrie Lazarus saying his story is quite extraordinary.

Manny Coleman looks so at home on stage, but just the thought of it used to terrify him.

Yet in 6th grade, Coleman decided to face his fear and audition.

“My mom convinced me to do it. I always had terrible terrible stage fright. I’d be on stage and instantly just start crying,” said Coleman.

But Coleman didn’t cry, he got the part, and has been on the stage ever since.

With The Little Mermaid being his last, Coleman has been a part of 16 shows.

“You’re not yourself in that moment, you get to express yourself in other ways through different people. You get to be a prince, I get to be a prince who would have ever thought,” said Coleman.

He plays Prince Eric.

When Coleman was a freshman, his grandmother bought him a piano for Christmas and taught him how to play. Now, he writes music.

In between rehearsals for the show, Coleman has been auditioning for college music programs. He wants to be a teacher, as he was inspired by his music teachers and his very young family.

His mom is 33, his grandmother is 51 and his great-grandparents are 71. Three generations of role models.

“A lot of it has inspired me to keep moving forward and pursue my dreams because they weren’t as fortunate. My mom had me very young, and she was never able to fulfill her dreams and the fact that they want that for me, it makes me want to keep going,” said Coleman.

Manny Coleman is NewsChannel 9’s Extraordinary talent of the Week.