Friday, October 23, 2009

Meet Heather Shaw -- Bride #2, Mary Jones

Many screenwriters imagine a specific actor when they're writing a part. Maybe they've pictured Robin Williams or Jim Carrey taking a wacky crack at their lines and adding some funny little gag... or perhaps they've pictured Bridget Fonda beating up the neighbors or Juliette Lewis on a rampage. But we never did. When we wrote this, we didn't explicitly focus on a look or a person. We worked on the back story and creating believable characters with a little history in their back pocket.

I personally liked the idea of having a young teen pregnant bride -- because they're all too common. And of course a good opportunity for comedy. There are two ways to go with something like this... she could either be a caretaker kind of gal (who would naturally take care of her father after her mother died), or she could be just a little pissed off, because, you know, her mom was dead and she was pregnant and it's messed up. So we went with that. But who do you picture playing a role like that? Not Reese Witherspoon or Rachel McAdams or Anne Hathaway. Maybe Lindsay Lohan, but that's it.

We called in three actors for the part of Mary Jones -- the goth, pregnant teen with a punk rock attitude. They all looked so pretty in their headshots, but I wanted to open the door a little to see what they could do. During her screen test, Heather turned into someone else when she read the part of Mary. That sweet girl that walked in the door went away and Mary Jones, the spitfire, came out. We looked at the tape a couple of times but there was no doubt. We liked her Mary, testy and all. Plus Heather didn't care if we wanted her hair dyed black. No hesitation, no problem. Go goth.

Heather will be a great addition to our cast, if only because she'll be the best sport and we can play tricks on her. Thank you to Heather!

Heather Dayah Shaw was raised in Santa Cruz County, CA and has been active in the performing arts for most of her life. Heather is trained in many styles of dance and has a passion for choreography. She has danced as a company member in both the Santa Cruz Ballet Theater and the Teen Dance Company of the Bay Area. Other performance highlights include singing at Carnegie Hall with the Cabrillo Chorus and appearing as a guest on the television show “Q&A.” Some of Heather's musical theater credits include The Music Man (Zaneeta), Oklahoma!, Bye Bye Birdie, and Camelot. Heather began college at 15 years old. Now 19, she is continuing her education at UC Berkeley as a Philosophy and Theater double major with a Dance minor.

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