About five years ago, I met a great actress named Cassie Shea Watson. She played my mom in the movie Origins, a zombie horror story.
I found out then that when she’s not making movies or TV shows, she’s a singer who performs at clubs around town, and also runs an acting and voice school called Performer’s Edge. One of my cousins, Aaliyah Martinez, is one of Cassie’s students, and she’s a really, really good teacher.
So I already knew that Cassie was a good actress, singer, and teacher, but I didn’t know she was also a director until last week, when I got the chance to be in a short film she was directing with her students. She needed a couple of older boys, so I spent last Saturday on set with her. Now I know she’s a great director, too — we filmed the whole thing in one day, and she kept everybody on task, organized and moving quickly. All her students showed up prepared and ready to work, and it was an impressive shoot.
Here’s a photo from the shoot. Can’t wait to see the film — it’s about bullying and suicide, which seems to be a theme I’m seeing in a lot of films and auditions lately. And, of course, I play a bully in this one, too. Which is kind of odd, because I’ve done it several times lately, but I hate bullies and I’ve been bullied, but I would never bully anybody. (Well, I pick on my sister and some of my cousins, but that isn’t bullying — it’s just joking around and we all know we are playing. They give as good as they get, I can promise!)
I don’t usually work free — one of the Bible verses I was taught to take to heart is, “The workman is worthy of his hire.” (1 Timothy 5:18) — but I am always happy to help a friend. I’m lucky I got to work with Cassie when I was younger, and that I’ve been able to stay in touch with such an awesome lady. It’s so cool when people like her take an interest in kids and teenagers who are just learning about the film industry!