Emily Kelly | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | Gretchen’s Lock

Today on the Actor Highlight series we are featuring Emily Kelly. Emily has quite a resume that is deeply rooted in theater. The role Emily played in the Gretchen’s Lock film is Jenn. Everyone knows that one person who is very matter of fact and likes to correct things that ain’t right (I can see eye rolls from Emily now, haha!). Emily will even admit to having a bit of Jenn’s personality. As soon as Emily auditioned for the role she knocked it out of the park! Yes, that’s for all of you baseball fans since Opening Day was yesterday. We all immediately looked at each other, wrote “Jenn” on her audition form, circled it, and maybe put a few exclamation marks beside her name also.

During filming she nailed every scene and keep us laughing in between takes. If you purchase a blu-ray of the film she ends the blooper reel laughing hysterically and puts her own take on being injured. Also, it was 1:00 am after three long days of filming so it was a nice comic relief.

Headshot-2Emily graduated in 2003 from Marshall University with a BFA in Acting and Directing.  Following graduation, she relocated to Los Angeles where she worked for eight years in various aspects of theatre and film production.  The bulk of her time as an actor has been spent onstage, although she played a featured role in Dark Alley Film’s “Killer Yacht Party” and also spent time working in post-production sound as ADR/Looping Talent.

Behind the scenes, she has produced and directed projects for a number of theatrical companies, as well as contributed production assistance and costuming expertise to a handful of film projects.  Since her return to the Ohio Valley four years ago, she has appeared in a few theatrical productions.  She is a lifelong horror fan, and someone who loved to explore Gretchen’s Lock as a teenager.

This Summer she wishes to return to the stage in a directorial capacity.

Emily_K_0001Here are the questions we asked Emily:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for Gretchen’s Lock?

Emily: My favorite part of filming “Gretchen’s Lock” was definitely the fun that we had. I wish that the cameras had been rolling between takes to catch all of our hilarious, off-color moments on the set. I think that we really fed off of each other’s energy, and it made for a great time. I couldn’t believe the chemistry that we all had, after working together for such a short time. I really think that it will show through in our performances on-screen.

MPF: Did you know anything about the local legends of Gretchen’s Lock before auditioning?

Emily: In high school, I had a small group of friends that were interested in the occult-Supernatural phenomena, mysticism, etc. Hailing from a small town with little to do to occupy ourselves, we would sometimes go to Gretchen’s Lock at night to see what we would see. There is an undeniable energy embedded in the area, and I feel as though it’s magnified at night. I can think of one particular occasion where we all experienced something that none of us could explain. I could tell you about it, but you probably wouldn’t believe me, anyway.

MPF: Do you believe in ghosts?

Emily: I absolutely believe in ghosts. I’ve heard way too many credible stories and even had poignant enough experiences of my own that it would be impossible for me not to. I think that each and every one of us leaves an indelible energy on the ground that we’ve walked and the people that we’ve met, that lingers long after we’re gone from this Earth. That energy may not always manifest itself in the same way, but I’m quite sure that it’s all around us.

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played? (Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be your role in Gretchen’s Lock).

Emily: I don’t think I have a favorite role that I’ve played, so much as I have a favorite show that I have worked on. In the months following Matthew Shepard’s murder, a theatre company from New York City traveled to his hometown and interviewed townspeople about their feelings and experiences surrounding the incident. The play that resulted, “The Laramie Project,” is a powerful examination of the depths of which human beings both love and hate. I’ve been lucky enough to be cast in two separate theatrical productions of “The Laramie Project,” once in college and once during my time in Los Angeles. Both productions featured a small cast, with each actor playing multiple roles. I’ve played roles ranging from a lesbian college professor, to the young girlfriend of one of his assailants. While I’ve always loved entertainment for its quality of escapism, I value this show so greatly for the thought-provoking dialogue that it creates. I am extremely proud to say that the Matthew Shepard Act was signed into law during our run in Los Angeles. No one may ever know if “The Laramie Project” had anything to do with such an important piece of hate crime legislation, but I like to believe that theatrical activism does play a part in raising awareness of vital issues. It’s such an important story, and I hope that I can bring a production of it to this area sometime soon.

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Emily: I’m always inspired by different actors for different reasons. I LOVE Benedict Cumberbatch. Whether he’s playing a classic, literary detective or a real-life, eccentric mathematician, his characters always feel so multi-faceted and complex. I’ve always admired Robert Downey, Jr. for his versatility. They say that it’s far easier for an actor to make someone cry than it is to make them laugh-for me, he’s one of the most successful actors in doing both.   I’m also a huge fan of Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, because their performances are always absolutely fearless.

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Emily: My favorite movie of all time has always been “The Breakfast Club.” It’s one of those movies that’s held different meanings for me throughout different points in my life. I love writing like that.

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Emily: What are my hobbies? I love to work out. I go to the gym every morning after work. It’s my me-time, and it’s my time to clear my head. Everything’s better after a good sweat. Music is another good head-clearing hobby for me. I love to play the piano. I’ll sing at the opening of an envelope. I belong to a couple of area choirs, but would really love to sing in a band again, someday. My favorite hobby, though, has to be cosplaying with my daughter. She’s five years old, and she loves to dress up for comic conventions, parties and pretty much any other event she can. We love comic books and sci-fi, so we’ve made costumes for everything from the Avengers and the Justice League, to Star Wars. We’re currently working on our new Star Wars costumes for the Steel City Con coming up in Pittsburgh this April.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Emily: From the first moment that I stepped on a stage, I knew that acting was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. There’s something really intoxicating about getting to put yourself away for a while, and be someone else for a bit. As an actor, you can be pretty much anyone you want to be-The possibilities are endless. Being primarily a stage actor, I’ve also always been drawn to the collaborative energy of performing live. When you’re up there it’s just you, your co-stars and the audience. There’s no safety net. Every performance is different. Every audience reacts differently. It’s electric.

MPF: Favorite color?

Emily: My favorite color is pink. Mauve. Magenta. Hot Pink. I love them all.

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the Gretchen’s Lock film?

Emily: Honestly, I think that my character, Jenn, is my favorite character in the Gretchen’s Lock film. When I first read the character descriptions and the sides for the audition, I knew that she was the character that I wanted to play.   I won’t reveal too much about her personality, but she is definitely an important, stock persona to the horror genre. While we’re on the subject, I will admit that I did see a little of myself in her.

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Emily: If I had to give aspiring actors any advice, I would tell them to be fearless-Don’t be afraid to leave your heart on the stage or the screen. Work on projects that you’re passionate about. Make your own opportunities. Always be punctual, prepared and professional.

Thank you, Emily, for your outstanding performance in the film! We’re so glad that you were a part of the production and you did a fantastic job!

For more information about the Gretchen’s Lock film & for tickets to the ONLY local showings in Columbiana, go HERE. We’re thrilled to bring you a locally made independent film production featuring local legends and made in Beaver Creek State Park! Thank you for your support in our endeavors & we hope to see you at the Grand Premiere of Gretchen’s Lock on April 23. It’ll be a provokingly good time!

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Deanna Sherman | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | Gretchen’s Lock

Today on our Actor Highlight series is Deanna Sherman. Deanna has done a TON of work as an actress from commercials to films and even TV series. Even before the audition process her resume was quite impressive and I thought to myself, “man, it would be awesome if she accepts a part in the film.”  Sure enough, during the audition she demonstrated her wide acting skill set and we knew she would be perfect for the role as Amy.

DeannaSherman(headshot)-cropHer bio on her IMDB page explains Deanna’s expertise very well so I’ll just copy that and paste it here: Deanna Sherman is best known for her role as Grace Todd on Homicide Hunter, airing to 1.4 million viewers in 2015 on the Investigation Discovery channel. She’s been labeled the “ID Actress” with lead and supporting roles in several other shows also airing on the network such as Evil Kin and Evil Twins. She was cast in Sundance Film Festival 2016 selection and SAG feature film, The Land from Los Angeles director, Steven Caple, Jr. Deanna’s been in numerous independent short and feature films including producing her own short, Undead Fred — runner up best film in the Cleveland 48hr film project. She trains with J.W. Myers, a director known for his family friendly films.

Her love of acting started at the age of 6, starring in a school play.She performed theater throughout elementary and high school and transitioned into film after college. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Deanna has also done several commercial and corporate video spots.

Whew, buddy! Those are some pretty amazing accomplishments! If that’s not enough here is some more:

Deanna’s Website: www.deannasherman.com
Twitter & Instagram: @DeannaSherman83
Upcoming projects: Catch Deanna on the new show Deadly Demands on Investigation Discovery April 11th at 9pm ET
She has several independent films in the works including her lead role as a private investigator in The Kingsbury Run: https://www.facebook.com/thekingsburyrun

Deanna-Amy_0001Here are the questions we asked Deanna:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for Gretchen’s Lock?

Deanna: Meeting new people and being on set with my good friend Pakob.

MPF: Did you know anything about the local legends of Gretchen’s Lock before auditioning?

Deanna: Nope.

MPF: Do you believe in ghosts?

Deanna: No.

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played? (Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be your role in Gretchen’s Lock). 🙂

Deanna: I don’t think I can pick just one because they have all been so different. I loved working on Check Please with Jared Ward, The Land with Moises Arias and multiple shows for Investigation Discovery. I’ve also worked with my daughter a few times for some short films and that is always a good time! 

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Deanna: Anyone who is successful on their own without having family in the business.

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Deanna: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Deanna: Running and photography

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Deanna: I was the lead in my school play in first grade and since then have always wanted to be an actress.

MPF: Favorite color?

Deanna: Blue 

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the Gretchen’s Lock film?

Deanna: I liked Jason’s snarky character because everyone can use a little sarcasm in their life.

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Deanna: Network, take classes, do student films! I did a whole interview about this a few years ago if anyone would like to read it:
http://www.midwestmoviemaker.com/2013/11/how-to-become-midwest-movie-actor-four.html?m=1 

Thank you, Deanna, for you time and commitment to this film! We’re so glad that you were a part of the film and you did an amazing job!

For more information about the Gretchen’s Lock film & for tickets to the ONLY local showings in Columbiana, go HERE. We’re thrilled to bring you a locally made independent film production featuring local legends and made in Beaver Creek State Park! Thank you for your support in our endeavors & we hope to see you at the Grand Premiere of Gretchen’s Lock on April 23. It’ll be an artsy good time!

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Nicholas Baronzzi | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | Gretchen’s Lock

Next on our Actor Highlight series is Nicholas Baronzzi. As I was writing the script I wanted to have one of those characters who was sarcastic, arrogant, and an interrogator. The character in the Gretchen’s Lock film who has these traits is Jason. There was a lot of interest in playing this role because, let’s face it, everyone wants to get the chance to be a jerk.

Nick_B_0001When Nick auditioned he blew us away! Without any direction or explanation, other than the character description, Nick proudly presented his audition for the role of Jason. When he was finished we looked around at each other and immediately decided that he was perfect for the role. Oddly enough, Nick has a quiet demeanor in real life, but his performance for the outspoken role of Jason was fantastic!

img_01Not only does Nick have natural acting talent he also whipped up a few original tracks that were used in the film. He is an active local music performer, blogger, photographer, and music producer. He owns and operates an independent recording studio, The Underground, in which he records and masters albums for local artists and bands. Here’s the link to his Instagram.

img_02Here are the questions we asked Nick:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for Gretchen’s Lock?

Nick: Filming in the muddy Lock at night, breath and drizzle suspended in the eerie reflected light, little spiders everywhere. It was easy to forget I was surrounded by a couple dozen people.

MPF: Did you know anything about the local legends of Gretchen’s Lock before auditioning?

Nick: I think everyone who grew up in the vicinity has this vague consciousness of the legends. I live about 15 miles from the Lock. Whether uttered behind the crackling of a campfire, told in whispers on the playground, or passed down by grandparents, the stories find their way to everyone around here.

MPF: Do you believe in ghosts?

Nick: Our understanding of the universe is so young. Though I don’t put stock in the supernatural, surely the things we can explain are dwarfed by those we can’t. The world is alive with wonder; weird things happen. I’d love to have a supernatural encounter.

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played? (Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be your role in Gretchen’s Lock). 🙂

Nick: Definitely the role of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. I showed up in pajamas, threw on a lion suit, then sat and talked while people put make-up on me. On stage, I could ham it up as much as I wanted and still be in character. Caper around in pajamas and make everyone laugh: dream role.

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Nick: Leonardo DiCaprio. (have you seen The Revenant yet!?) Daniel Day-Lewis is up there, too. #mustachegoals

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Nick: 2001: A Space Odyssey, no doubt about it.

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Nick: Listening to music, making music, and helping other people make music. I’ve converted part of the garage into a private recording studio; I call it “The Underground”. I hope to move to the west coast this fall for music—or whatever else comes my way.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Nick: I did lights for shows as an underclassman in high school. It looked like a lot of fun, but I was a quiet kid. As an upperclassman, roles kind of just came to me; I never auditioned. Our drama program was tiny—I think it’s somehow smaller now. But, when no one else could fill the role, I stepped up. And it was even more fun than I’d imagined.

MPF: Favorite color?

Nick: I’m glad you asked. It’s blue. Cobalt blue. Night sky blue. Some teacher once told me that blue is the most popular favorite color and therefore an unoriginal, “conformist’s choice”. She was wrong. Blue is a lifestyle.

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the Gretchen’s Lock film?

Nick: Jacob. I don’t know, there’s just something about him…

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Nick: Every day, people act to escape from themselves. Professional acting is the exact opposite of that.

Thank you Nick for being a stupendous jerk, haha jk! We’re so glad that you were a part of the film and you did an awesome job!

For more information about the Gretchen’s Lock film & for tickets to the ONLY local showings in Columbiana, go HERE. We’re thrilled to bring you a locally made independent film production featuring local legends and made in Beaver Creek State Park! Thank you for your support in our endeavors & we hope to see you at the Grand Premiere of Gretchen’s Lock on April 23. It’ll be a brazen good time!

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Sarah Hunter | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | Gretchen’s Lock

Today we kick off a series that highlights the cast members for the Gretchen’s Lock film. Everyone that we worked with during the making of Gretchen’s Lock were incredibly talented! We asked the cast members some questions about their experience with filming of Gretchen’s Lock as well as previous and future endeavors.

To start the series off we begin with Sarah Hunter. Sarah is a beautiful girl who has a wonderful heart. We first got introduced to Sarah a couple of years ago when we took her senior photos. Right off the bat you could easily tell how selfless and confident she is. She has been in many school plays as well as acting competitions in National American Miss pageants which she has won many times. Sarah recently signed with Pro-Model and Talent Management for local modeling and acting.

Sarah 2015_0040When she auditioned for Gretchen’s Lock she demonstrated a diverse skill set and we knew we had to have her play a role in the film. We selected her to play Gretchen and she did an awesome job and truly captured the essence of what we envisioned for the role.

Gretchen_0001

Here are the questions we asked Sarah:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for Gretchen’s Lock?

Sarah: I would have to say that my most favorite part of filming Gretchen’s Lock would be when I went into hair and makeup and was turned into a 12 year old little girl who got malaria. It was super fun and scary all at the same time! I even scared myself a few times looking in the mirror and seeing myself in some replays of scenes!

MPF: Did you know anything about the local legends of Gretchen’s Lock before auditioning?

Sarah: I did happen to hear some local stories and tall tales of the legend of Gretchen’s Lock every once in a while. I live around the area where Beaver Creek is located so I’ve visited the Lock a few times before filming. Beaver Creek is beautiful!

MPF: Do you believe in ghosts?

Sarah: I most certainly believe that there are some sort of “ghostly” spirits that still remain. I’ve always believed that there was some type of spirits around. But not sure if I would classify them as “ghosts”.

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played? (Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be your role in Gretchen’s Lock). 🙂

Sarah: Well, my most favorite role I’ve ever played would have to be when I was on the speech and debate team in high school I had the opportunity to play the role as Shrek! It was super fun and exciting to play. Getting to use that raw accent and those Ogre mannerisms was an absolute blast!

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Sarah: Oh by far Melissa McCarthy is my role model!!! She is my most favorite actress ever! She is so not afraid of being who she is and feeling comfortable in her own beautiful skin. To me, that’s inspiring enough. Her talent is by far the best in my opinion!

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Sarah: My all time favorite movie would have to be The Great Gatsby. It’s so classy and I love movies where the time period is based in the early 1900’s. They fascinate me. And I mean come on… Leonardo DiCaprio is a genius actor and super good looking! He finally received an Oscar! 😆 It was well deserved!

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Sarah: A few of my hobbies would include helping my boyfriend Zak work on and restore his three wheelers, being a member of the Columbiana County 4-H group Farmer’s Pride, and raising my farm animals for the Columbiana County fair. I’m also recently signed with Pro Model and Talent Management for local commercials and still advertising.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Sarah: The first time I realized I wanted to be an actress was during my freshman year of high school. I made the speech and debate team and was so thrilled I was finally able to express my love for acting and share my stories and talent with other kids my age and the judges! At that point, my acting skills began to get better and better as the years went on and before I knew it I was one of the top competitors in the state for my category. It was amazing. That feeling of being better than you could ever imagine at something you love to do is the best feeling in the world! I then decided that acting was definitely something I wanted to keep doing after graduation.

MPF: Favorite color?

Sarah: My all time favorite color would have to be PINK!! Pink can be such a fun and bright color or it can also be very sweet and subtle. That is why I love pink!!!

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the Gretchen’s Lock film?

Sarah: My favorite character in the Gretchen’s Lock film would have to be Esther Hale!! She [Emily Geary] looked so beautiful and dead! She played the role perfectly!!

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Sarah: My number one rule of advice for aspiring actors and actresses would be to seriously just be yourself and don’t let the fear of not being good enough get in the way of your dreams. If acting is what you really wish to do, then do it!! You are ALWAYS good enough!

A huge thank you to Sarah for being an amazing ghostly 12-year-old and for being a wonderful human! We’re so glad we’ve gotten to know you, Sarah!

For more information about the Gretchen’s Lock film & for tickets to the ONLY local showings in Columbiana, go HERE. We’re thrilled to bring you a locally made independent film production featuring local legends and made in Beaver Creek State Park! Thank you for your support in our endeavors & we hope to see you at the Grand Premiere of Gretchen’s Lock on April 23. It’ll be a spooky good time!

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