Providence Theatrical Release – Coming Soon!

In less than a week Providence will be releasing to AMC theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Charlotte, Tulsa, Destin, and Jacksonville. It doesn’t seem possible that our little silent movie love story is getting a real theatrical release. Who would have imagined? Certainly not us.

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I remember when we were working on post production, it seemed like everyone else was working on intense issue driven movies. They were all making bold statements with their films, and here we were making a simple little love story without dialogue. I was feeling so discouraged thinking that what we were doing wasn’t worthwhile enough. So I went to God and asked if we were just wasting our time, if we had misunderstood Him and if we were supposed to be making a more powerful sermon driven movie. And God spoke clearly to me. He said, “The world needs a simple little love story.”

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So we continued on with our work, giving it our all, doing our absolute best, but knowing that we were creating a specialized product for a niche market. We did it as an offering to God, trusting Him to do with it whatever He chose. When the movie was complete, we looked at our options. On a whim, we submitted Providence to AMC Independent. And the rest, they say, is history.

We have no idea what will be the response to the theatrical release, but, again, we’ve given it our all, done our absolute best, and we’re trusting God to take it from here. Aready we have witnessed miracle after miracle as God has taken Providence in directions we never could have foreseen and spoken to people through it in ways we never could have imagined. And the great thing about it is that so many others have been able to join us on this wild and crazy ride and have been witness to all these miracles as well. I am humbled by the many people who have prayed us through this journey. i rejoice that already God has used the movie to bless numerous individuals. And I eagerly look forward to whatever the future holds and all that God will do with our simple little love story. Thank you all for joining us. Hold on tight, the adventure is just beginning and I can tell already that God has some simply amazing things in store in the weeks and months to come!

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Inner Beauty – With Apolonia Davalos

Apolonia is a beautiful actress, a talented vocalist, a creative filmmaker, and a vibrant speaker. She is also one of the bubbliest personalities you’ll ever meet with an infectious laugh that is distinctly her own. Here’s her inner beauty testimony.

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There was a call for the unification of the English speaking and Spanish speaking Christians at my church for a merging bilingual service to HONOR our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. The call for such symbolism was for volunteers to join the choir. To sing as angels sing for the Lord. I was one of three English speaking volunteers amongst 20+ Spanish speaking voices. I was nervous at first. For I did not know what to expect, and I don’t speak the language (especially since most of the lyrics were in Spanish). But I do speak music! Miraculously, the language barrier didn’t matter. We gathered and bonded with our fellow Basses, Tenors, Altos, and Sopranos. The music and our love for God unified us! We understood the language of a smile, the tune of each note, and our love for each other needed no interpretation, for we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Finally, it’s the day of the performance. Our official call-time was 5:30 AM. Showtime 6:00 AM. We sang in praise for two separate celebrations until 9:00 AM. Each program was a huge success and our joined voices aided our fellow parishioners in worship with the Lord and each other. In my quest to focus on being #Noble through the #InnerBeauty campaign launched by Jenn Gotzon, I found that being of service to a cause to bring two cultures together within my community was, in itself a noble mission, and therefore, a noble act!

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Submission by APOLONIA DAVALOS

www.Apolonia.Weebly.com

www.Twitter.com/APOLONIAD_Prod

Instagram @APOLONIADAVALOS

Recent Film Credits:

Principal Actress of “The Good Book”. Director/Writer/Producer of “Children of War”.

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Jenn Gotzon became spokesmodel for Zhen Jixian company Jubilee who is leading the beauty industry in China with her image appearing across Asia by summer 2016 on billboards magazines & beauty campaigns.

She personally is using the platform to give back and inspire teens and ladies to know their beauty comes from within. She  encourages everyone to join in the #innerBeautyChallengewww.jenngotzon.com/inner-beauty

Lee Ann Maloney – Actress

Lee Ann Maloney is a simply delightful woman both on and off camera. She has this ability to notice what is needed and do what it takes to fill the gaps. As an actress, she’s professional and prepared and makes everyone on set feel comfortable. And behind the scenes she’s running around helping wherever she can be of service.

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When did you first take an interest in acting?

I’ve been interested in acting since I can remember.  As a little girl, my sister and my brothers and I would make up skits to perform in front of our family.  I was always involved with the school plays and then into my high school years I began to think about it seriously.  When I was a senior in high school, I went to Dallas to audition for an acting school in NY, American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA).  They were very selective and I wasn’t sure I would be accepted (they only enrolled 90 students for that next year out of the whole U.S.).  I was one of those 90 – however, after much thought and discussion with my family, we decided it wasn’t the right time for me to pursue that.  Being only 18 and never really traveled much at all, NY was just not in my future at that time.  So, I took some local acting classes at TPAC with Ruth Sweet after I graduated high school.  But then my life took a completely different course and I didn’t pick up acting again until about 25 years later.

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What was your first role?

My first role was playing a teacher in Country Strong.  I have to back up by saying, this was the first thing I auditioned for after taking many classes at The Actor’s School in Franklin, TN.  My mentor and coach, Alan Dysert, told me I should just “go out there and audition for something”.  So, I auditioned for Country Strong – well, it was more like a “cattle call” – just show up with your picture and info and stand in a long line.  A month went by and I never heard anything so I figured they didn’t think I fit a role.  But then I received a call that they were wanting me to play a teacher in a scene.  And that I would be in a scene with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. That was my very first experience on the set of a movie.  I didn’t have any lines, but I enjoyed just being there observing everything going on.  There were about 20 children in the scene as well so that was a fun atmosphere and definitely helped me feel at ease. (I used to teach preschool choir at my church). I didn’t get to meet Gwyneth or Tim, but they were very nice and helped keep the kids involved and made us feel like we were an important part of the scene.  And that’s when I really caught the acting bug.

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What led to your interest in film acting?

I’ve always loved movies.  With my theater background, I knew movies would be a new challenge.  They are both very different types of acting.  I’ve been told more than once to “tone down the facial expressions”! In one of Alan’s classes, he taught acting for commercials.  He worked on a commercial demo with me and then he sent it to local talent agents to promote my acting ability.  That’s when I was asked to sign with DS Entertainment in Brentwood, TN.  I’ve been with them for 6 years now.

What film/tv/commercial projects have you been involved in?

Movies: Country Strong, The Identical, The Good Book, Providence

TV: Nashville, Outlaw Country, Still the King

Commercials: Wellpet, St. Francis Medical Center, Dollar General, American Pickers, Mrs. Grissom’s, Nashville Title Insurance Corp.

I’ve also done voice over work for Home Center Network and other radio spots.

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Tell us about your role in The Good Book.

I played Daniel’s Mom. Daniel begins the story when he accidentally starts a fire in our home and runs away.  I really enjoyed working on The Good Book.  Without any dialogue, our expressions and movement were what told the story.  And so, my tendencies to have to “tone down the facial expressions” didn’t really apply here.  Although, I wanted to seem real and authentic.  I had to show different emotions, such as worry, relief to have found our son, etc.  Donnie Hall played Daniel’s Dad.  When we were shooting the scenes running downstairs from the fire, we didn’t have to worry about sound (with it being a silent film) so Donnie was playing Johnny Cash’s song “Ring of Fire” as we ran.  I had to keep myself from laughing at that point.  We had a lot of fun on set!

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With Providence you got involved behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera. Which do you prefer – cast or crew?

I really can’t rank one over the other.  I truly enjoy learning about all aspects of film making. For Providence, I was Production Assistant, helped with props, costumes, and scene takes. At one point I even helped as a stand in for Juli!  I was also in front of the camera briefly when I played the role of Edith’s nurse.  It takes so many people doing various things, I just wanted to learn what goes on in front of and behind the camera.  Who knows, I may try my hand at writing as well.  I think that’s my next challenge I want to set for myself.

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Do you have any upcoming projects you can talk about?

I just recently worked on Billy Ray Cyrus’s Show, Still the King, which will air sometime in 2016.  I can’t say much about it except it was a blast.  And this show is going to be hilarious.  Look for it on CMT.  I really do enjoy comedy.  One thing I told Billy Ray as I got on set is, “I’m playing this character up like Carol Burnett would”.  He said, “ah, that’s great!”  The crew cracked up after each take.  And the director said to me, “young lady, you are hilarious!”

What do you do when you’re not working on a film/tv set?

I wear many hats.  My husband, Andy, and I have one son, Parker.  He’s in 8th Grade.  I’m in between a stay-at-home-mom and helping Andy at our company, Nashville Title Insurance.  I’m also “Den Mom” to many future and current NFL players since Andy is also a sports agent.  (He wears many hats as well)!  Our agency is E610 Athletes, which stands for Ephesians 6:10…..”Putting on the armor of God”.  We strive to help these young men with their lives on and off the football field.

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Anything else?

I just want to thank you and Fred for giving me the opportunities to work with them.  You are amazing people and great to learn from.  I knew I was going to be very comfortable on set the first time I met you when you said “let’s open this day of filming with prayer”.  I knew right then that I was where God wanted me to be.  My passion is to help tell stories on screen that bring thought provoking, heart healing and God centered messages that people need to hear.  I also believe that there is healing through laughter and I plan to find more work where I can help people find their smiles!

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Inner Beauty – With Pauline Marquez

This week’s Inner Beauty guest blogger is Pauline Marquez a mother of three beautiful children and the author of the Portal Wars trilogy. Her first two books are already available with the last one coming out in March.

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Remember back to those days when you were just a child, looking up at the stars, dreaming of all the great things you planned to do or become when you got older? And then, as fast as blinking an eye, you’re an adult. Life has thrown its twists and turns your way. Some of them put you on a path that wasn’t at all what you envisioned when you were that little kid gazing at the stars with that carefree tender-hearted spirit. It’s at that moment, when you’re faced with the heartbreak, the loss, the pain, that you have to decide how you’re going to react, and how this trauma is going to mold you.

I went through a moment in  my life when I had lost so much. After fighting to save my marriage as long as I could hang in there, I lost it. I lost my home, my husband, and my ministry. The things I held most dear to my life were gone, just like that. Depression set in deeply as the nights filled with tears that came from the endless pain in my heart. I can tell you one truth, so many nights when I was all alone, I would just call on the name of Jesus. I kid you not, when the Word of God says the Lord is your Comforter, it’s true. He comforted me, gave me the strength to get through the days. I was blessed with friends that came my way and extended their hands to help lift me up again. And my family was always there for me. Indeed, I was truly blessed.

It is important to give yourself time to heal from a broken heart and crushed dreams, but the healing does come, and I am so thankful for it.

This year for the #InnerBeauty challenge I chose the word #Courage. This is my year! I have broken free of all the depression! And I have decided to step outside of as many comfort zones as I can this year, and I’m going to do it fearlessly.

One such decision is to pursue my dream of going on a missions trip to another country, which means I will be working on learning another language too! Lima, Peru in June 2016 will be the destination, and I cannot wait to see the great things the Lord has in store for that trip.

I’ve just finished writing the last book in a trilogy which the Lord told me to write, a project that started many years ago. Now in March 2016, I will be self-publishing the third and final book, a journey that in many ways, helped me through my years of pain. Look out world for ‘The Great Portal Wars Trilogy!’ A message of a fight for hope even when there is nothing but darkness surrounding you in every possible way. An incredible story that helped me find my own courage as I typed through every word. And now I’m ready to share it with the world.

So back to that childhood kid gazing at the stars. I did have dreams, and yes, they may have not turned out the way I had planned. But no matter what, never give up your hope, and God always rebuilds and new dreams do come. Just decide. Decide not to give up on God and not to give up on yourself. Take courage my friends and take one day one step at a time. Always do your best, and do that which is good; that which is right; and one day…and that day will come… you’ll look back and be proud of the legacy that you left behind. Let forgiveness reign in your heart, let go of all your fears and the courage will soar!

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Postal Wars Trilogy website

 

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Jenn Gotzon became spokesmodel for Zhen Jixian company Jubilee who is leading the beauty industry in China with her image appearing across Asia by summer 2016 on billboards magazines & beauty campaigns.

She personally is using the platform to give back and inspire teens and ladies to know their beauty comes from within. She  encourages everyone to join in the #innerBeautyChallengewww.jenngotzon.com/inner-beauty

 

 

My High School English Teacher Would Be Proud

Mrs. Hecker, my high school English teacher, was a brilliant woman with high expectations for our class of advanced English students. By the time we graduated, she wanted us to be able to write at the level of John Steinbeck. My expectations were much less lofty. I wanted to be the next Erma Bombeck.

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Literature analysis was important to Mrs. Hecker. We didn’t just read books or stories. Instead, we dissected them and analyzed them and discussed them until I wanted to scream. I didn’t care why the author chose to set the story in a crumbling mansion rather than a ranch house. I had no interest in the repeating patterns or use of color to convey a message. And symbolism was compeltely lost on me. I took the stories at face value and couldn’t understand why my classmates were raving about works that to me were dull as dirt (I’m still not good with simile).

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After college I put my writing education to use. I quickly discovered I wasn’t nearly as funny as Erma Bombeck nor as smart as John Steinbeck, but my unpretentious writing style turned out to be well suited for journalism. Then I married a comm major, and before I knew what was happening, I was writing screenplays. I fell in love with the simplicity and brevity of the genre. And now, by some strange twist of events, I am the writer and director of an art film. Yes, me, the one who never liked analysis. I have a movie that includes all those elements we used to study in high school.

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In Providence I’ve incorporated setting and tone and symbolism, patterns and imagery. Even a little allegory. I spent many hours planning details that can easily be missed by the casual viewer, but are being appreciated by the film lovers who take the time to look for the depth of layers. I’m disappointed when reviewers take it at face value and call it a simple film. I’m overjoyed when reviewers call it deceptively simple and then marvel at the layers.  I think Mrs. Hecker would be proud.

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If you’d like to see Providence for yourself and look for the layers of details, you can catch the movie at select AMC theaters starting February 12. I will be conducting Q and A sessions at Destin, Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Charlotte and would love to see you there to talk more in depth about the literary and art elements. I’m also excited to announce that it will be showing at the AMC Empire 25 at Times Square, Orange 30 in L.A., as well as other theaters across the country.

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Brenda Jo Reutebuch – Vocalist and Actress

I had the privilege of having Brenda Jo Reutebuch a part of the cast of Providence. The first thing you notice about Brenda on set is her professionalism. She comes prepared, with a vision for ways to make the most of her character. She also reaches out to other actors who might not have her experience and she shepherds them, guiding them to help them perform at their best as well. 

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Katie Elaine Photography

Tell us about your musical background.

Wow, I’ve been singing since I was old enough to stand on the church pew with a hymnal, but didn’t sing my first solo until 6th grade. I’m the youngest of four girls, all of whom can sing. I used to joke that by the time I came around, I just had to figure out what part was left and sing that one. I attended St. Paul Bible College (now Crown College) in Minnesota for five years, studying in the Music Education and Church Music Programs. I was blessed to have two very gifted vocal instructors along the way, too – Joseph Huffman and Leland Flickinger. I also play at the piano, guitar and clarinet, but wouldn’t say that I’m accomplished in any of them.

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What are some of the groups you’ve performed with?

Regarding music groups, I’ve performed with several groups from college (Choral Club, Concert Choir, Symphonic Band, Light Shine ladies trio, Cornerstone Mixed Quartet, etc.). I have also been blessed to perform with a Contemporary Christian Band called Dove here locally for two years between my freshman & sophomore years of college (long story). Then after college, I travelled with the group Continental Singers & Orchestra. In the vocal groups, I most usually sang Lead or 1st Soprano. However, since then it seems I sing more Alto or Tenor then anything. I was able to spend a few years with a wonderful group of people in a mixed quartet we called “Bought And Paid For”. We were four people from four different denominations that never found any doctrinal issue we disagreed on. And we had so much fun together. And after our individual responsibilities caused us to end the group, I began a solo music ministry, travelling & singing all over the country in various churches until the early 90’s.

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Photos by Kathy Baxter, Dan Reutebuch, Rich Voorhees

When did you first discover a love of acting?

I think I always have loved being an actor. I can remember being in the back seat of our family car on a long ride somewhere, coming up with the most imaginative dramas to play out in that car. (I’m surprised that we never got pulled over for the dramatic scenes being played out by this precocious little girl.) But I didn’t really get to act in a “real” play until I was in high school. It was the musical, Oliver, and I was the Strawberry Seller and a member of the chorus. Loved it!!! I was hooked, for sure. And thanks to Mrs. Pat Seifert, I learned a thing or two about professionalism through those experiences.

Brenda Strawberry Seller 1978

Photo by Freda Sisson

What led to your interest in film acting?

Honestly, it was a God-thing. I hadn’t been able to participate in any theater or other productions for several years, since I had to settle down and  “get a real job” to pay the bills. But the Lord first rekindled this acting desire in my heart when I happened to catch a radio station I never listened to run an ad about an open audition in Lafayette, Indiana, that weekend, back in 2009. So after getting home and talking with my husband about it, I went. It turned out to be the day I met Kim Myers, of The ARTS. Wonderful godly woman. In just a few months after that, I was performing before several talent scouts and agents, attending seminars by professionals in the industry and speaking personally with several of them. That opened the door for me to start pursuing my passion again.
Shortly after that, I signed with the Helen Wells Agency, in Indianapolis, on advice from one of the casting directors from New York. I have been blessed to participate in a few commercials through them, always learning something new on every set. Then soon after signing with HWA, the Lord changed my shift at work, so that I could once again participate in the local Civic Theater group. For a while, it seemed as if I were in every play. And loved it! But with this new invention called Facebook, I started joining a lot a acting groups, and even started a couple. It was through my contacts there that the filming doors started flying open. My first encounter into the film industry, I was just supposed to be set dressing photos (of a deceased relative) for a film already underway. But after meeting the director, (Candy Beard), she decided to write flashback scenes for me, so that I was included in the film itself. After that, I was looking into every legitimate avenue for Indie Films I could find. And the rest is history.

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Grandma Betty in Bedtime Story

Tell us about your role in The Promise.

The Promise is a film about a young girl trying to find true love, while still taking care of her somewhat eccentric grandfather, because of a promise she made to her dying grandmother. I play the grandmother. In this film, grandpa and I are full time caregivers for the granddaughter after her parents (our son and daughter in law) are killed. And then, at some point, grandma gets cancer and doesn’t survive. Most of the film is the comedy of errors that ensues after grandma is gone, as the granddaughter tries to have a normal life of a young woman in her twenties with a crazy grandpa that seems to be bent on ruining her dating life.

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Homefront

What other films have you been involved in?

I’ve been blessed to participate in a number of projects in these last three years, the first one coming in 2012 – From Ashes, in which I played the shelter administrator, Nancy. It’s a story about the very real problem of human trafficking in the USA, written & directed by a wonderful young lady, Autumn Libengood. Most of this cast & crew were under the age of twenty five, present company excluded, of course. It was premiered the summer of 2015, and is about to hit the Film Festival circuit.

After that, I had the opportunity to work with Chip Rossetti in January 2013, on the film, Homefront about three American soldiers who have been captured by the enemy. It explores their recollections of what they left behind. I play the mother (Linda Philips) of one of the captured soldiers. It went straight to DVD. We had a release event & DVD signing that summer, in Evansville, Indiana.

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From Ashes

After Homefront, I took part in what was originally designed to be a TV Sitcom Pilot, but was later turned into a Feature Film. This film was called, Old Folks Like Us, about four senior citizen couples living out their somewhat comical lives. In this one, I died my hair blonde, because I was portraying a widow who was holding on to her youth as best she could. This film was the product of writer/director Candy Beard of Dreams Come True Films (DCTF).

In the next several months following that, I was given the opportunity to play a pioneer woman in the 1800’s, in Jovial Giants Productions, At The Foot Of The Rainbow. That was a fun character, giving me a greater appreciation for the many, many layers of clothing the pioneer women had to wear. This film is still in post production.

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The Foot of the Rainbow

Then, in Dreams Come True Films’, Vanished, I played the loving, yet gullible mother of a kidnapper. It premiered in September, 2014, in Terre Haute, Indiana. This was my first Red Carpet Event. This film is now available on DVD, and has already been in some Film Festivals. Vanished stars Richard Bryant (of Army Wives) and newcomer Caitlin Smith.

Last summer, I was awarded an unexpected role in Camp Tough Love. I had signed on to this film as the still photographer, and was going to have one scene as a minor character. Then two weeks before we started filming, the lead adult actress had to drop out due to a conflict with another film, and the writer/director, Dan Parks, asked me to fill the role. We had worked together on At The Foot Of The Rainbow, so he knew my work, but that only gave me two weeks to memorize my first six scenes. But God is good! I should have known He’d get me through it. In CTL, I play the camp counselor, Carmen, to six troubled teenage girls. It is currently in post production.

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Providence

Then, as you know, Sharon, I was privileged to work in a wonderful film being released to the AMC Theatres in February, 2016. This film is called, Providence by writer/director Sharon Wilharm. I had the opportunity to be in two scenes of this unique, dialogue-free film about a romance that covers forty years. I play a church member at an Easter sunrise service and a grieving woman at a cemetery. In these two scenes, I was able to play opposite the two adult leads, Juli Tapken and Rich Swingle. What a wonderful experience that was. I have long held both of these actors in high regard.

I have also had minor roles in other films/shorts/TV episodes, including Nat Geo’s How To Survive The End of The World, Smoke & Mirrors, and the still in post projects, Nouvelle Vie, The Shoes, Love Of A Lifetime, Gambling With Life, and Secret Betrayal. And I am currently filming another DCTF Feature Film called, “The Promise”, in which I play the dying grandmother, as mentioned earlier. (Note: This project is now on hold as my co-star is in need of open heart surgery. His health is definitely a priority.)

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Photo by B.E. Entertainment

What do you enjoy the most about working as a film actress?

I guess I’m just a dreamer, and love pretending. It’s great to explore what others might be feeling or experiencing in certain situations. I’m one of those people who even come up with different scenarios for why someone just cut me off in traffic. Maybe they’ve had a bad day, or maybe they just lost their job, etc. I think it’s just part of who I am as a person. I can’t help myself.

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Photo by J. Kyle Keener

What would be your dream role?

My first answer would be “the next one”. But honestly, I would love to do a good old fashioned musical, along the lines of  Singin’ In The Rain or White Christmas. I also would love to do an accurate Biblical Epic, and a Western. I know, my dreams are very diverse.

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Red carpet premiere of Vanished

Anything else?

I have made some absolutely wonderful friends through the film work. Kimberly Richardson and I first met while filming Old Folks Like Us, and became instant friends. We have worked together several times since then. She and her husband, Nate were a perfect friend fit for my husband, Dan and me. I have also been blessed to meet/work with Juli Tapken, Rich Swingle, Ken Kercheval, Richard Bryant, Drew Waters, David Ross, and so many other great actors, directors & writers.

Brenda Collage Photo

Collage by BJR. Photographers include Dan Reutebuch, Rebekah Lieto, Voorhees Studio Inc/Rich Voorhees, Katie Elaine Photography, Dave Price, Daniel Beard, Lynchpin Creative 

Providence Movie – An Answer to Prayer

Three weeks from today Providence movie will release to select AMC theaters across the country. One of those is the AMC Empire 25 located at Times Square. On opening night several of the actors will be in attendance there, including lead actor Rich Swingle. Here’s his inspiring story of how that night will be an answer to a prayer that was first prayed eight years ago. 

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When Joyce and I first moved to Midtown Manhattan in 2008 I was coming down this escalator the first time we saw a movie at the AMC Empire 25, and I said a prayer that one day I’d be coming down the same escalators having seen a film in which I’d performed. Maybe I was prompted to pray that night because I had been at the opening of the theatre in 1997. The 25 screens were attached to the Empire Theatre, which was moved 168 feet westward to make way for the screens, shops and restaurants! The 3,700 ton structure was pulled by two giants. LOL! You can see what I mean and a number of fascinating features from the original theatre, which now makes up the lobby of the megaplex here. The grand opening was really something and had a major impact on me.

At any rate, that prayer I said on the escalator two years before I’d even been in a feature film was answered tonight — on Joyce and my 226th monthaversary — in a small way. We saw the trailer for Providence, in which I play one of the lead roles. It’s playing in select AMC Theatres starting February 12, but if you’re not near one of those you can watch the trailer below. The 4K footage looked stunning on the big screen. So, the greater answer to that prayer will be fulfilled 21 days from now when Providence opens in this architectural wonder.

This article originally appeared on Rich Swingle’s website. Rich is a professional actor who travels around the world doing his one man shows. He’s been in 19 feature films in the past six years.  Read more about Rich’s acting journey.