Aidan Considine has performed before hundreds of people at martial arts competitions across the nation, but he never had acted in a movie. Now the 13-year-old karate kid is making his motion picture debut, thanks in part to his award-winning skills.
Considine, who is finishing seventh grade at John F. Kennedy Middle School in the Bethpage school district, has a featured role in "Underdog Kids," an action-comedy adventure being released on DVD in two weeks.
Master martial artist, actor and filmmaker Phillip Rhee and actors Beau Bridges and Tom Arnold are in the film. Rhee also was the movie's director.
Considine plays the role of Alex Michaels, one of a group of inner-city children who are martial arts students and go on to compete against the undefeated junior national karate team in Beverly Hills, California. His character is trained by mixed martial arts champion "Jimmy The Lightning Bolt," played by Rhee.
"Martial arts was easier for me than being on camera," Considine said. "I haven't acted before in a scene or a movie, but karate I have been doing since I was 4 1/2. I am used to performing for people -- not acting for people -- but it got easier."
Considine, of Plainview, has competed at the national and international levels and has more than 100 awards under his junior black belt.
His coach, Matt Emig, formerly lived in Shirley and now resides in Los Angeles, working as a stuntman. Emig, who continues to coach Considine via the Internet, recommended him for the film. "He is one of my top students," the coach said. "He is really talented, and he fit the part."
The film's plot centers on a struggling community center's karate team that loses its instructor a week before the national tournament. A washed-up former champ who has returned to his old neighborhood -- Rhee's character -- steps in to see the team through, with the kids learning lessons of courage and honor along the way.
"Aidan Considine was picked out of over 600 kids because he had the look, attitude, skills and natural acting ability we were looking for in the role of Alex," Rhee said.
Considine filmed his role during the summer of 2013, when he was 11. His parents, Mei and Chris Considine, operated in tag-team fashion, trading periods with one being in Los Angeles with him and the other staying at home with his brother, Christian, who then was 7.
"It was a lot of sacrifice, but we felt he had a lot of potential and a lot of talent," his mother said.
Considine said one of his favorite moments was meeting other actors on the set.
"It was really nice. They were helping me," he said.
The DVD is scheduled for release July 7 by Anchor Bay Entertainment and is expected to be broadcast that day on Starz channels. Considine's family is holding an invitation-only screening Wednesday at AMC Loews Raceway 10 in Westbury.
Considine has weathered some struggles since the filming: He fractured his left ankle four days before Thanksgiving in 2013. After recovering, he re-injured the ankle less than two months later, breaking the tibia and fibula and dislocating his left foot.
He returned to competition this year and won awards at tourneys in Chicago, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Quebec, Canada. His next contest is July 3-4 at the U.S. Open ISKA World Martial Arts Championships at Disney World in Florida.
Considine said he plans to audition for other film roles. He continues to train locally at Busto's Martial Arts in Plainview, where he also instructs kids.
"For me, it is not really a sport," he said. "It has now become part of my life."