Demore Barnes was a shy student at Sir Oliver Mowat High School in Toronto when some friends cajoled him into hosting the school's Christmas assembly. The performance was a hit, giving Barnes the confidence to try out for Squawk Box, a sketch comedy show on YTV. (Canada's version of Nickelodeon) He was eighteen years old, and it was his first professional audition. He got the job. And the beginning of a career in acting was launched. The show lasted one season, by which time Barnes knew he wanted to pursue acting as a career. He applied to Ryerson University's theatre program, but a successful audition for the CBC kids show," Street Cents", sidetracked his academic aspirations.