Sept. 05--Beth Walters has always been interested in acting. Even as a little girl, the Darien resident knew she wanted to be in the limelight.
"I would walk around with a tape recorder and interview my pets and plants. I would ask them questions in my voice and because I knew they couldn't respond back, I would answer for them in a different voice," Walters said of her beginning stages of acting. "(Unfortunately) I have terrible stage fright. But that's what I love about radio. It mixes my love of entertainment with not having to be in front of people."
Although she enjoys radio, Walters, a morning co-host at a radio station in Brunswick, was determined to break out of her shell and pursue an acting role that literally fell into her lap. It even became a family affair. Her mom, Christine Lane, and son, Graham Walters, got a chance to be a part of a film with her.
Residents and visitors will get the opportunity to see her acting debut in the film, "Grandma's Blessings," which will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Ritz Theatre, 1413 Newcastle St., Brunswick.
"I play Felicia, who is this sassy girl who doesn't care about what people think of her. She's eccentric, and she wears what she wants.
"She dresses like a crazy lady. But she has a good heart, and she means well."
The feature film is centered on Drayton Taylor, a local television talk show host who has just lost his job and all possessions, and a 1960s Champion RV that he inherited from his late Grandma Sadie, who lived in Austin, Texas. From disaster to discovery, with the help of his comical overseeing Good and Bad Conscience, Taylor learns about the meaning of life on his journey from Texas back home to Georgia in his newly acquired vehicle.
For Brunswick resident Tyler Mitchell, who plays Good Conscience in the film, acting wasn't his first love.
"I went to college for political science, so acting wasn't my thing, but I just jumped along for the ride and it has been a great experience," Mitchell said, adding that he'd been acting for the past nine years and has been in four independent films.
His character brings laughter to the movie.
"I play off of my counterpart, (Blake Connell) who is Bad Conscience, and we make the story fun with comic relief, especially with the Bible Belt situation down here," Mitchell said.
Though the story is considered "square" with its lack of violence, cursing and sex scenes, the film is everything but old-fashioned or conventional, said Roy Kirkland, producer and co-writer of the film.
"The film is chaotic and fun, and it's so funny. It kind of pokes fun at small towns, but it's lighthearted and keeps you going like you're waiting for something to happen," Kirkland said.
Making this film, however, was a product of irony.
"Years ago, I was driving over to my business partner, (director Doug Sebastian's) house, and I saw this old RV with a for-sale sign on it. It was old and dilapidated like it was growing from the ground and I was intrigued by it," Kirkland said. "I love antiques and the more I drove by it, the more I was writing the story in my mind. The next thing I knew I was writing it with Sebastian."
Three months later, the film was born. Though the film originally debuted at Mathis City Auditorium in February in Valdosta, Kirkland says Brunswick will get the true world premiere.
"No one has seen the film in its final cut, so Brunswick will get to see the world premiere," Kirkland added.
True to his love of antiques, Kirkland says the Ritz Theatre was the perfect place to present the film.
"It's more personable and brings life to the old theaters," he said.
Even though this film takes a much more wholesome approach, Kirkland says it was the right time to release this film before the previous two movies, "Battle of the Cursed" and "Crazed."
For Mitchell and Walters, they hope patrons come out and enjoy the cinematic production.
"I just want people to have fun. It's about entertainment, nothing more and nothing less," Mitchell said.
Adds Walters: "I want it to encourage creativity and show them that (making independent films) is something they could do, too," Walters said.
-- Reporter Brittany Tate writes about lifestyle topics. Contact her at email@example.com.
If you go,
Grandma's Blessings will be presented at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Ritz Theatre, 1413 Newcastle St., Brunswick. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.dspmovies.com, or at the front door. DVDs will be available at the showing for $10.
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