Joey and Ramona Loudermilk are now the proud parents of a Power Ranger.
Their son, John Mark Loudermilk, was recently chosen to join the cast of the television show "Power Rangers Megaforce." . He will play the role of Noah, the blue-dressed Power Ranger. The family lives in Ellerslie, Ga., and John Mark, 21, is a Harris County High School graduate.
"We're ecstatic," Joey Loudermilk said of his child starring in a series, he said, that is seen weekly by 20 million viewers in 40 countries.
The formal announcement came at a Power Rangers convention, Power Morphicon, last week in Pasadena, Calif. Starting in September, John Mark will spend eight months in New Zealand filming episodes, the first of which should be seen in January.His father, general counsel for Aflac, said John Mark is prohibited from doing any interviews at this time.
"He is really excited because he going to have his own action figure," his mother said. She added that she has always thought of John Mark as an action figure.
"He has always been an active person," she said. "He has always wanted to help others.
When he got the role, he told me he was excited because he would be able to visit children in hospitals."
As for John Mark getting the role, she said, "it is all kind of surreal."
John Mark is one of six Loudermilk children, three of whom, including him, are adopted. The parents say he is the only child who ever showed an interest in drama, and that did not begin until John Mark was a high school freshman. "At first, he was just hanging out behind the stage toting props between scenes," his father said. "His senior year he was the lead in the school play "The Diviners."
John Mark was planning to go to Columbus State -- then his life changed. He attended a talent screening at St. Luke United Methodist Church by Actors, Models and Talent for Christ. AMTC describes itself as a movement to launch stars who are role models in the entertainment industry. The screening got John Mark a spot at an AMTC camp in Tyrone, Ga., and later at a large convocation featuring young entertainers and talent scouts in Orlando, Fla. There he was discovered and offered a partial scholarship to the New York Film Academy to study acting.
At 18, he was on his own in New York City. His father said John Mark was more interested in film work than stage work, and opted to study his second year at NYFA's Los Angeles campus located on the backlots of Universal Studios.After graduation, he signed with a manager, which led to him signing with a booking agency that led to an audition for the role of a Power Ranger.
"Dad, I could tell they loved me at first sight," was how John Mark described the audition, his father said. He was called back for another audition and won the role. His father said 2,600 actors auditioned for the five Power Rangers.
His mother said she was not thrilled about John Mark pursuing an acting career at first. "I feared for him," she said. "I didn't want to see him fail to get his dream. God opened the door."
His father, too, was concerned but never told his son no. "You should never tell a child they can't do something when it comes to pursuing a dream," he said.
At the Morphicon, John Mark, who as a young child once had a Power Rangers birthday cake, was introduced to fans with the other new cast members. He told his father he could hear the screams before he even took the stage.
So how does John Mark like his new superhero outfit?
"He told me it's hot," his father said.