Sarah McMullen in 435 South Magazine

Motto: Go big or go home.
Sarah McMullen looks like she just stepped off a soundstage in Hollywood. Hip, fresh-faced, effervescent and confident, the ninth-grade student appears to have the world on a string.

That’s not very far from the truth. McMullen, who sometimes feels like she lives a double life, is a master multi-tasker, striking a healthy balance between school work, friends and community service in Johnson County while fulfilling singing and acting obligations in Los Angeles. Her career was jumpstarted in eighth grade after she was a two-time regional grand prize winner of Radio Disney’s Hannah Montana talent competition. She packed her bags, moved to L.A. for two months where she teamed up with her L.A.-based manager Jonathan George and wrote her first two singles, “How Do I Break Free” and “Twisted.” Those songs held the top spot four consecutive weeks and broke multiple records on Tween Pop Radio.

Nominated for the LA Music Awards “Pop Artist of the Year” in February, the pop-rock songstress will join a star-studded lineup at the famed Paramount Theatre in November for the 20th annual ceremony.

McMullen performed in February at Hollywood’s legendary Avalon Theatre; as part of the Kids 

Helping Kids Project Haiti concert which raised more than $25,000 for the devastated country ( She also appears as Raegan in a movie, “Last Ounce of Courage,” currently in post-production.

Back in Overland Park, McMullen attends school, listing biology and communication arts as her favorite classes. She’s a dancer, Girl Scout, a freshman honors student, class treasurer and logs in hours doing community service at homeless shelters, playing bingo with senior citizens and volunteering at Church of the Resurrection. At home McMullen enjoys baking—chocolate chip cookies, homemade pizza and green bean casserole are among her specialties—and spending time with family.

McMullen, who says she’s happiest when she’s performing, admits she’s had to grow up fast in order to be successful in the show business world and cites some valuable lessons that will help her in the future. “Not everyone in life is fair and nice,” she says. “But whatever you’re doing, you give it your best. There’s no room for regrets.”

Her life is an exhilarating whirlwind and for McMullen, the fast pace is just fine. “Everyone has to make sacrifices if you choose this type of career,” she says. “I know I’m doing what’s right for me.”

words: Kimberly Winter Stern

photos: Blixt Photography