Vita Cooper

13-year-old Niko Ceci is an “all-around performer” with a deep love of acting, singing, and dance that he’s been lovingly feeding since he was a small child watching Annie and The Wizard of Oz or live theater with his family. “I started doing acting…and I never looked back,” Niko shared. “I love it with all my heart, and it’s truly my passion.”

Recently, Niko worked on I Woke Up a Vampire, a supernatural tween drama that follows Carmie Henley (Kaileen Chang) as she navigates new powers and challenges when she discovers on her 13th birthday that she is a half-human, half-vampire Vampling. She is supported by her best friend Kev Gardner (Niko). “Kev is helping her navigate her way through this new world,” Niko told us. “They’re also just trying to navigate their way through middle school.”

For Niko, who also recently starred in Apple TV+’s Circuit Breakers, diving into supernatural worlds is beyond exciting. A Harry Potter fan who has always dreamed of magic and adventures that are out of this world. For Kev, being part of Carmie’s world means he gets to show off how tuned in he is to the unexpected. “He’s such an amazing friend to Carmie, and he’ll support her through everything and honestly drop everything in the snap of a finger to help her,” Niko said of his character. “I think he’s a little bit excited because he’s able to use his years of research and comic book knowledge to protect Carmie from potential enemies as she begins this supernatural life.”

Playing Kev was a breeze, and not just because Niko loved the concept. He told us that from the first time they worked together he and Kaileen were a perfect match. “We clicked,” he said. “…so playing best friends was not a challenge for us.” Being a vampire or a vampire’s best friend might not be everyday, but it was simple for this dynamic duo. “I wasn’t really acting with her. It was just so natural. It was like I was just talking to a friend.”

Even as they navigate supernatural powers, fangs, and Carmie’s other changes, Kev and Carmie are trying to survive middle school like anyone else. These challenges are part of the strength of the show and what makes it a “dream project” for Niko. “I love throughout the show that you can see the relationship between Carmie and Kev really grow and get even stronger. I think it’s a really strong part of the show, showing friendships and having close friends and people that support you is important. It’s amazing seeing different characters grow into different people, better people.”

He credits the writers with giving I Woke Up a Vampire that depth. “I find a lot of time in kids’ shows, the writing can be super simple, but the writers on our show took it to a different level and made sure that every episode was interesting and made sure that people would want to click play for the next epsidoe and so that’s a thing I definitely love about I woke up a vampire too that I think definitely stands out from a lot of other kids shows.”

I Woke Up a Vampire debuted on the Family Channel in Canada May 5 and will be making its way to Netflix later this year. Niko celebrated the show’s premiere with a watch party with some members of the cast and crew including Aaliyah Cinello who plays Madison in the show. “Celebrating this show with people that were with me and the cast for the whole journey was even better because we got to watch it together and laugh and see…all of our hard work and everything. It was great to see it together, sharing that moment with someone else that was there with you was really fun.”

When he’s not acting, Niko is working on his music (keep an eye out for his next single coming out later this year) or dancing which he says has improved his acting and confidence. “Dance to me means expressing myself through art, through movement. So depending on the emotion during the day, I would like to dance different styles. So if I’m more sad, contemporary. If my blood’s pumping, you know, hip hop. And I think it’s just such a great way to express yourself.” His personal favorite style is hip hop. “I love to go super full-out.”

Our final question for Niko? What would he do if he woke up a vampire? Well, first things first, he would fly. After that? “I would be so excited! I don’t know, I think Carmie’s life just gets so much more interesting with this new aspect, so I think having that aspect in my life would also just make my life—I mean my life is already very interesting. There’s lots of roller coasters—but add even more aspects to my life…I’ve always dreamed of having magic or something like that. I would figure out how to do good in the world through a world of supernatural and how to bring joy even when times are dark.”

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.