Encampment, Wyoming

The year 2019 has started off to be a doozy already. I was booked for a feature film scheduled to shoot in February, and just like that, the production was halted. The first major setback of the year hit me like a ton of bricks. I was really excited for it. Although I’ve been on two features last year in minor roles, this was going to be my first feature with a meaty part that’s integral to the story. On January 7th, I got an email from my agent saying that everything was at a halt, with no real explanation from the director or producer. It was a letdown, but not something I can’t get back up from.

Last week I had two self-tape submissions for roles, and an in person audition for a play. I haven’t heard back from any of them, but the play was Tuesday’s with Morrie, and I loved the book so I had to read for Mitch, even though I’m a little young for the role. After waiting for an hour, the casting director was ready to see me, which was interesting because it was a long wait, but I was able to have ample time to prepare. I went in with another gentleman going for the Mitch role, because “my” Morrie didn’t show up, so we read the scene together, then they wanted us to read the first half of Mitch’s monologue.

I wanted to give the other guy some privacy, so I went to the hall, and I could hear his performance, and it wasn’t bad, but they stopped him midway through. He gathered his things and told me to go in. I began, and after a while, I thought they would stop me, but I ended up doing the whole monologue.

When I was finished, the CD said, “That was very good! You have a natural way about you!”

I was super excited. I still don’t know if I got it or not, but I was the audition felt great, and that’s all I could hope for. Either way, I’m happy with my performance, and hope to do even better at the next one.

The next day, after work, I packed my things and drove to Encampment Wyoming for my scene on Thursday in the feature film “Vision of Sonia Greene” which is set in the 70’s. It was a small speaking role, and I wasn’t paid much for it, but I was just thrilled to be there. This was the first time acting has taken me out of state, and it was a blast.

The morning of the tenth, I wake up before everyone, make some coffee and start putting all of last years auditions into a spreadsheet to keep track of it all, then we headed to the basecamp for production. In the scene, I was supposed to be the passenger of the truck, but because nobody else could drive a manual transmission, this good ‘ol boy got to drive a ‘52 Chevy. It only took one or two takes for the five shots we had for the scene, but everytime, I felt like we were visiting the past, and it was one of the most unreal experiences I’ve had on set.

Driving an old truck might not seem like much to some people, but to me, it was an example of luck meeting preparedness, and has further inspired me to keep at this wild dream of mine. I’m unable to stop smiling when I think about the experience, and I can’t wait to see where else this path will take me. I really and truly love doing this however and whenever I can.

We were able to finish the scene quick enough that I had enough time to race back to Denver to revisit my love of improv at the Remake Rumble showcase at the Grafenberg Theatre. I was lucky enough to be able to reimagine “Jerry Maguire” with my writing partner and good friend Gary Miller. We went up against a team remaking “The Titanic.” We all had fantastic performances, and although they won the match (they deserved it, absolutely hilarious), it was great to get back into the improv mindset and just have fun onstage. It had been over a year since I did any “Yes and-ing” so I’m happy to stay creative.

Tonight I’m working on Voiceover reels and continuing to push myself creatively.

2019 is already amazing and no matter the setbacks, I’m going to MAKE it amazing. Cheers.

Ty Sells