Actors sought for 'The Dealership' TV pilot
Local actors are being asked to pull out their head shots, dust off their resumes and stop by the Iron River Community Center on Sunday, Dec. 2, for a chance to be featured in a local TV pilot.
Call it "A Dealership Christmas" take two.
The creative force behind the pilot is Jacey Dean of Iron River. She was inspired to write a script by the daily comedy she found during her work as a finance manager at Kari Toyota in Superior.
"There are so many funny things that happen at a dealership," she said, and truth is stranger than fiction.
When she threw the idea out to the world two years ago with a Kickstarter campaign, it failed to gain traction.
"We had one single donation," Dean said.
Instead of letting her idea die, she started working side jobs to amass the spare funds to make the production work.
"I really love the concept and the story," she said. "I want to see it done and I don't like quitting."
In addition to her full-time customer service manager job at Hobby Lobby in Duluth, the Iron River woman has taken side accounting jobs, taught sewing classes, sold produce from her farm and written articles for publications.
During that time, her production company Hollywood Rookies also produced "Closure," an award-winning short film.
Now she's ready to film "The Dealership," a proof of concept pitch pilot that could spin off an entire series.
"Everyone and his brother has an idea; almost everybody has a script," Dean said. "The production companies, the big ones, don't want to put work into testing your idea. They want to see audience interaction and what they're doing. Even if ours isn't perfect, it's better to get it done, so we can see how people like it, then to constantly try to sell a script."
The ensemble comedy has been refined to focus more on one character and some drama has been added, based on a feedback session with a Sony Entertainment executive.
"It is the same project," Dean said. "It has a slightly updated script."
The Iron River woman spent 12 years in Los Angeles. She attended college and acting school, acted in short films, wrote three and co-produced one before bad health brought her home. She aims to widen the scope of the entertainment industry with Hollywood Rookies and "The Dealership."
"I really think we need to break the mindset that you have to produce in Hollywood," Dean said. "I think we have abundant resources that aren't being used in this area."
She encouraged actors of all ages to come to the live auditions from 3-6 p.m. Sunday. They can also submit a video audition by Dec. 7. Speaking roles are available for men and women ages 20-65 and one male child to play a 10-year-old. Extras are also needed.
"This time, instead of trying to pull actors that I knew already from outside cities, I really wanted to see how much good, camera-comfortable talent we could find here," Dean said. "I'm trying the open call casting. It's an unpaid opportunity, but if it works it's great exposure. If not, what have you lost?"
Actors should prepare a memorized monologue of three minutes or less.
"I would love to see a monologue that the actor identifies with," Dean said. "If people choose something that they identify well with, it will let us know what sort of character they might fit within the script. For callbacks, they can read the actual characters."
Even if someone's not the right fit this time, Hollywood Rookies is putting together a pool of local talent for the future.
"We hope to, God willing, keep producing even after this one and if we have good monologues from local actors, we already have talent that we know is ready and accessible for the next project," Dean said.
The pilot episode will be filmed during a three-day period around New Year's at Kari Toyota with a possible scene at Bentleyville. Dean's toying with the idea of a train shot at the Depot, as well.
Although the crew and funding are already on tap, additional donations or discount food for the cast and crew during filming days would be appreciated.
Visit hollywoodrookies.wixsite.com/episodes or email HollywoodRookies@gmail.com for more information.