A Scout for Rhode Island


I have to admit that I love the name.

As someone who grew up in the “hippie” era and attended college in bucolic Vermont, I’ve seen my share of unusual names.  Names like “Moonbeam” and “Riverseed” and “Echo,” but this is the first time that I heard of anyone named Scout.

But shame on me.   I must have missed that day in English Literature when we talked about the famous novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as Jean Louise “Scout” Finch was one of the main characters.

According to most sources, “Scout” is portrayed as a 5-year-old tomboy who is “intelligent, curious and courageous.”   I don’t know about the tomboy part, but young actor and singer-songwriter Scout Lyons (who was named after the character) is certainly the other three.

Her story is just as interesting.

Born in Providence, she is the daughter of Bob (a Middle School Teacher) and Mary (Lewicki), a registered nurse.

She graduated with honors from the Met School in 2017, and later attended classes at CCRI.

Her interest in acting started watching the Disney Channel at the age of 4.

She liked it so much that she started writing her own songs.

Her parents were her biggest fans, taking Scout and sister Tess to plenty of concerts and movies.

 At 11 years old, fate dealt her a tough hand.   She was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  “It kind of gave me a different perspective.  I was lucky to come out of it, and it showed me at an early age how precious life is.”   Scout continued, “I decided right then and there that I have to do what I want to do – write and sing and act.”

Shortly after, fate dealt a better hand to Scout.

She got her first acting job (as someone in the background) when she heard that actor Mark Ruffalo was filming a movie in Providence.

Always the “impulsive one,” when her parents took her to the movie set, Scout “flung the door open and sprinted to the set!” She said “I went right up to Mark and was introduced to him by a family friend.   We had something in common because Mark survived a brain tumor, too.”

“Mark was so nice that he had us (the whole family) back every day to watch the production.”

Around that time, 11-year-old Scout was also contacted by “A Wish Come True” (that grants wishes to children 3 to 18 with life threatening illnesses).  She told the organization that her wish was to act on the Nickelodeon series “Victorius.” 

“It happened.  A Wish Come True made it happen, and I got to appear with Ariana Grande and Victoria Justice!”

A couple years later she would have a small part in Rhode Island’s own Verdi Productions, appearing in “Almost Mercy,” directed by Tom DeNucci.

Her first “speaking” role came in 2019, when she had the part of “Penny” in the dark film, “The Killers Next Door,” which is still doing well on Amazon.

Her music career had also simultaneously developed, releasing her first single “Do My Thang” in 2016.   The whimsical single with Teddy Bears and Dancing Unicorns chalked up over 75,000 views on You Tube.

 Just a few weeks ago, Scout released her newest single, “Stalker Song,” directed by her boyfriend Zack Koehler.

But her biggest role yet is a new movie by Verdi Productions, “Secrets at the Museum,” which was released on October 12th on the Lifetime Movie Network.

She said, “it’s a breakout role.   I played the main actor’s younger sister Harper, which can be seen on Hulu.”

 Asked about her young life in the film and music industry in general, she heaps praise on the Verdi family and their company, Verdi Productions, led by Chad Verdi who has made quite a name for himself in the higher echelons of Hollywood.

 She said “when I was 17, I had a Production Assistant job at Verdi Productions.  They’ve been instrumental in my entire career.   I went from getting coffee to being a personal assistant to Chad Verdi.  It has really been helpful, giving me a unique perspective for acting.

Asked about filmmaking in Rhode Island, as opposed to other places, she was quick with her praise.  “Steve Feinberg (Executive Director of the RI Film and Television Office) is wonderful.   He brings meaningful products to Rhode Island, and the Verdi family is well-known and respected in the film industry.  Rhode Island is a great place to shoot a film and the 30% tax breaks helps a lot.”

The Verdi family thinks highly of Scout as well.  Verdi Productions Producer Chad Verdi, Jr. summed it up nicely.  “When I first met Scout we shared an immediate connection, she is the true definition of a Rhode Islander.   Scout has faced many obstacles in her life which have contributed to her immense inner strength and has truly become part of the family.  She is now in a prime position in her career where I have every confidence in her ability to thrive and take the next steps to stardom.   Scout is a hard worker and when placed in front of the camera she executes her scenes seamlessly, a knack that does not come easy to just anybody.   We are proud to have worked with her as an actress in many of our feature films, and we look forward to continuing our relationship as working with Scout is a genuine privilege.”

 My final question was what advice she would give to budding actors.   She said, “start in production.   Work your way up.   Start by getting coffee and do a good job.  Learn as much as you can and the next thing you know auditions will be coming your way.”

 Not bad advice for any profession.

You can see Scout performing her songs at the Parlour Providence on “open mic” days, or check out her professional life of songs and acting at Instagram.com/scoutlyons.


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