An Inside Look At Indie Acting and What It Takes

This week FDTC writer Stephanie Hensley shares her experience viewing the casting call for Angel, the newest film from Concept Media and Jonestown Films.
by Stephanie Hensley

Date: June 24, 2017

Time: 11 am

Location: Louisville, KY

Event: Angel open casting call



Angel is the newest movie from Concept Media and Jonestown Films. Tory Jones and Shawn Burkett were kind enough to let me get a look at the process of what an open casting call for indie film is like… And I was entertained and educated by those prepping and hopeful as each left the audition with a positive spirit that they would be “chosen” to be a part of the film, which is filming in October of this year.



I encountered (from a distance) an attractive middle aged bald man pacing and talking to himself “to get into character”, two very polite black boys (the bathroom guards) joke and try to hide their nervousness, a pleasant woman who told me about “smart yoga” and how it helps her prepare, and some amazing older women who just laughed and bullshitted in order to relax.



I watched kids dressed like super models enter the audition. I witness ladies dressed up like they were ready for a night on the town. There were men dressed in full suits… And then there were the folks like me, dressed for comfort but wearing their anxiety like perfume. It was something I will never forget. I am often on the flip side of the auditions… I am the one watching and critiquing but rarely do I ever get a chance to witness the prep (unless it is with Erin Butusov from the comforts of our own home).



We arrived early and me (in my true nature since it was a weekend off) drank and watched the crowds come and go. I spoke with a gentleman who drove from Pennsylvania who entertained the fuck out me as he talked about his experiences working on Bad Moms 2 (which I cannot wait for, as a mom, they nailed it!).



Erin’s audition was towards the end of the day so as the hours went on I witness excitement turn into anxiety into relief as each actor left their audition. Tory and gang we’re kind enough to let me in the audition room when Erin auditioned. A table of well informed and talented men watched each potential talent. This is something I am more familiar with, but the whole experience makes me respect actors even more than I already do, I wasn’t even there to audition, but as soon as they started recording, I felt nervous for everyone before and after the current audition.



Tory is hot off his success of The Wicked One and he and the cast and crew involved took time to sign dvds and photos for folks who were fans. I was thrilled and excited to witness this behavior. I know auditions are wearing and tiresome but remembering your fans is a big deal for anyone trying to make in this business, and these guys nailed it!



The short of this ramble is this: I never wanted to be an actor and after watching all the techniques and methods… I am glad the acting bug never bit me. My hat is off to all who chase that dream. I know from filming, actors don’t get enough credit. Some of my best shots are due to the cast caring and knowing their characters.



Anyways…. Keep an eye out for Angel from Shawn Burkett and Tory Jones. I have been following their selections and it looks like they had some tough decisions to make, but the cast looks amazing… If Angel is anything like The Wicked One, it will be one to talk about for years to come!



Good luck to the cast and crew… And expect another update as Tory has offered for me to come down and witness some filming antics. Which is always rad because every filmmaker does something differently and I think I can learn from him, his team, and his process!



(Image was taken from Facebook)