The casting team scheduled three open casting call sessions; July 15, July 20th, and July 29th. So far we’re been highly pleased with the talent the Espanola Valley, New Mexico area has available to offer. We’ve experienced some unexpected but welcoming surprises during the open casting call. One is that due to the burgeoning film industry in New Mexico…many people living in our valley have participated in numerous films as “extras”. This experience provided on “on ramp” and stronger interest in persuing acting.
As a result, many aspiring actors had professional training they’ve undergone and experience in theatrical plays and short films. In fact, in our first audition we had 60 attendees and about 1/3 or our speaking-roles could of been filled that night if we made final decisions. Therefore, we were more confident and thrilled at the realization that casting all speaking roles would be easier than anticipated. The good “problem” now is that we have a lot of good talent for the same role.
Another unexpected surprise was a Norteno band showed up. The missed the part about the story including a “kids” talent show. However, since they made the trip all the way from Albuquerque, NM we decided to listen to their music for two reasons: 1. They made a long trip just to audition 2. Perhaps we could change the script and integrate them
The performed two songs: A Norteno & a Country song. After they played these two songs we still didn’t see a place for them in the story. At that time Writer-Director, Francisco V. Gonzalez III, noticed a sticker on the band leaders instrument: Bass. The sticker said “Jesus Lives” or “Jesus Saves”. That triggered a serendipitous idea. Francisco ask the bassist if they played any Christian songs as this was Faith-based story. They responded yes and mentioned the song, “One Day At A Time: Sweet Jesus” by Cristy Lane. This is an old song that has been recorded by many musical stars including the great Merle Haggard.
Writer-Director Francisco loved their rendition and further asked if they could sing the song in the Spanish-language. They did sing it flawlessly in “Spanish” and now he’s rewriting the script to see where, and if, they can be integrated. To be continued….
Above is a gallery of a few shots of the audition area at El Buen Pastor Church, Espanola, NM and the attendees.