Once again, we’re very pleased to be participating with in the 26th Annual Living History Tour. This falls outside of the normal casting things we usually work on, but it’s a really fun event and a great cause in Los Angeles – and they this year, there are once again a number of roles that need to be filled. If you or someone you know is interested and available, please contact Michael Sonntag ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 898-2763.
See below for details…
The West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA) is holding their annual Living History Tour on Saturday, September 24th at the Rosedale Cemetery on Washington Blvd. in the West Adams District in Los Angeles. This year’s theme is MAKING A DIFFERENCE: The Bumpy Road toward Civil Rights, Social Justice and Equality.
If you’re not familiar with the event – it’s really cool! It’s a walking tour through the cemetery – a lot of prominent Los Angelenos are buried there. What they do is pick ten people each year who are interred, and have actors portray them. Then, people tour the cemetery grounds and stop at each of the ten gravesides, where the actors then tell the audience about the life of the person – dressed in-character with set dressing. It’s all volunteer-based, so there is no pay – the money collected goes to WAHA for historic preservation resources.
We’re still looking for actors to play many of the characters:
- [JOHN BALLARD] Male. African-American. 30-50. A freed slave from Kentucky – his success in business led him to help build First African Methodist Episcopal’s (FAME) first church.
- [PEARL NG KIM LOUIE] Female. Asian. 20-30. Chinese actress who speaks English with accent, or Chinese-American actress – ideally would be able to speak some Chinese. Early Chinese Angeleno whose mother was brought to San Francisco as a child slave in the 1860s, and whose parents both were among the earliest Chinese Christians in Central CA.
- [HATTIE MCDANIEL] Female. African-American. 45-55. Famed Academy Award winning actress who was also a civil rights activist and played a pivotal role in ending “racial covenants” that prevented people of color from living in some Los Angeles neighborhoods.
- [HUGH MCBETH, SR.] Male. African-American. 55-60. Prominent lawyer, Utopian, and in the 1940s, staunch advocate for Japanese-Americans’ property rights and their rights as U.S. citizens.
- [GEORGE KAZUYOSHI MATSUURA] Male. Asian. 30-35. Japanese-American baseball pitcher in the Nisei League in the 1930s who was “evacuated” from his West Adams home in 1942.
- [SIDNEY DONES] Male. African-American. 35-40. Film director and actor in the 1920s, who also was a real estate developer responsible for the Booker T. Washington building on Central Avenue.
- [WILLIS OLIVER TYLER] Male. African-American. 30-60. Civil rights attorney who fought for the rights of Buffalo soldiers. CAST: Mel Hampton, Sr.
- [HALLIE ALMENA DAVIS LOMAX] Female. African-American. 35-45. Firebrand civil rights journalist who chronicled her own experiences as well as the lives of civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. CAST: Judith Walton
- [VADA SOMERVILLE] Female. African-American. 40-55. A founder of the NAACP’s Los Angeles chapter and the first female African-American dentist to graduate from USC. CAST: Janel Glover
- [JOSEFA TOLHURST] Female. Caucasian. 40-50. President of the Friday Morning Club and a strong campaigner for women’s right to vote. CAST: Colleen Crosby
You can see the attached document (below) to get a better idea what the people looked like. There is very little time commitment involved. Just one rehearsal beforehand (and a costume fitting at the same time) – and then the performances the day of the tour – figure early morning until early-mid-afternoon. There is also a wrap party afterwards which all volunteers are invited to attend.
It is not necessary that you have professional acted before – just a willingness to speak in front of a few groups of people is necessary. Scripts will be provided, but are only used as a guideline. They do not need to be memorized and recited by heart – they are just to give each performer the background on the character, so that they can improv their story when they’re telling it. An acting coach will be on hand to help actors prepare as well.