One minute you're acting in your high school's production of Footloose, the next you're selling out two screenings of your new indie short film at the 2016 Twin Cities Film Fest. At least, if you're 2004 Rosemount High School graduate Angeline Anderson, you are.
Anderson's producing debut, "Once Upon a Prince," was part of the Family Fables shorts program at St. Louis Park's Showplace Icon Theatre Oct. 23. Though the movie premiered at the Studio City International Film Festival in Los Angeles last November, the Twin Cities Film Fest marked its local debut.
Anderson said the modern day fairy tale was well received by audiences and critics alike. The actress not only produced the film, but also played the part of Violet, a young woman whose real life does not at all resemble that of the fairy princess she plays at children's birthday parties. Things turn around when she hits it off with a single dad who hires her to appear at his daughter's party, and the two have to decide where to take things from there.
"Everyone loved the storyline, and the ladies could relate to Violet's struggles. I couldn't be happier with the feedback I received from people," Anderson said. Twin Cities Film Fest organizers were pleased too. So pleased, in fact, they encouraged her to submit any future productions to the festival.
Anderson got her start in theater close to home, securing roles in "Dames at Sea," "Footloose," and "Les Misérables" at Rosemount High School. She also participated in community theatre productions of "Footloose" and "Annie."
Anderson said her mom raised her to be well-balanced and encouraged her to try different activities growing up. She took vocal lessons and piano lessons and participated in competitive cheerleading, but it was the acting that stuck with her. "I just found a passion for it," she said. "I've always loved performing, so it just naturally fell into place for me ... I love that film allows a person to kind of escape reality. People can go to cinema and escape and relax a little bit."
The actress took a break from theater after high school to study media communications and human communications at Bethel University. A manager brought her to Los Angeles in 2009. There, she met Jeffrey Brooks of Inner Circle Theater, who became a mentor to her. "Once Upon a Prince" came to life when Brooks hired a costumed princess for his daughter's birthday party and dreamed up a storyline that played out like a real life fairy tale. He thought Anderson would make the perfect princess and encouraged her to take off with his idea and make it her own.
"It's hard to break into the industry out here and try to make a name for yourself," Anderson said. "You can sit around and wait for your agents to find you auditions, or you can create your own work." Anderson said it was fascinating to see the production come to life from a producer's point of view. She got to develop her own treatment for the story, meet with scriptwriters, and be a part of everything from production meetings and castings to callbacks and location scouting. "It's so rewarding to see something that you saw as an idea develop into a whole thing and then be played on the big screen," Anderson said. "It was interesting because now that I've done my own work and seen the behind the scenes, I don't have the nerves going into auditions." Anderson enjoyed the experience so much, it inspired her to form her own production company, though she will continue to pursue an acting career as well. "I enjoyed dipping my hands in both areas," she said. "I like that I can embody a character that may not be who I am in real life and allow audience members to make an emotional connection."
Anderson will play the lead in her upcoming short film "Down with the Swirl," a romantic comedy about an interracial couple. She also is working on a web series about a book club and her first feature film. She hopes to screen more movies in Minnesota soon.
"Keep dreaming and hoping for those happily ever afters," she said, "because they do happen."
Link to original article: www.rosemounttownpages.com/news/4164745-rhs-grad-making-her-dreams-come-true-film
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