Hello once again from the ever increasing world that is OneFilmFan.com! We have been very fortunate to be connecting over the last 8 months with multiple directors, actors/actresses, and crew members from a myriad of independent films, from micro-budget to mid-range, and featuring casts of up and coming to established levels in the industry. And so, here we get to continue this fun adventure, thanks to the efforts of director Chris Esper and his newest short film comedy, “Please Punish Me”, via our interview with actress Lorrie Bacon! From short films, to TV series, to feature length efforts, Lorrie’s career to date has been quite diverse. Here, we choose to let her speak to the beginnings, the paths walked, experiences playing dominatrix with “Please Punish Me”, and beyond.
One Film Fan: Born on the East coast, two years, and out to the West coast, and now back on the East coast! You’ve kinda moved around! Through this, how were you first drawn to the acting profession and additionally when was it decided it would be a career choice?
Lorrie Bacon: I have to say that a very young age, I think it was TV. Watching TV as a young child. Shows like “I Love Lucy”, “Carol Burnett and Friends”, “Lawrence Welk” (yes, Lawrence Welk!), any variety shows, it really made me want to be an actress. I LOVED to sing as a kid, too. I was singing all the time. My friends in the neighborhood and I would put on shows in my front yard or garage. I was drawn to dancing as well. Any type of performance was what I was interested in.
I grew up in a small town where there were not a lot of opportunities for me to perform or act. Also, growing up in a one parent household, I’m sure it was difficult for my mom to drive me here or there for a class or rehearsals for a play. So, really, I did my own learning by watching. Of course there were school performances, singing concerts, and classes like square dancing or a student play that of course I’d join. I was also part of a special choral group called Honor Choir. You’d have to have the talent and the grades to be part of it because we’d travel to other schools to perform, which got you out of school for a day.
O.F.F.: How did you further learn the art (ie: mentors, influences, and schooling)?
L.B.: My first drama class in junior high! I was thrilled that drama was offered! I had a great teacher, he was very encouraging. I was hooked! Then high school drama courses, then community theatre. I did A LOT of community theatre! I observed and watched a lot of actors while doing that. I took it very seriously. I’d go to plays, not to enjoy them, but to learn. I’d critique and made notes of what worked, what didn’t, and how I could accomplish the same good skills and to stop bad habits. I worked with many different directors and actors via different genres. I had small parts, big parts, as well as working with lousy and wonderful directors. I have to say that the best study I have had was by just doing it. I was also part of an improv group that really helped my creativity, plus helped me think and act quickly. Having good instinct helps greatly.
O.F.F.: When preparing for a role, do you always have the same routines/methods to get into a character or does that vary depending ON the role? Additionally, how much research do you tend to do FOR a character?
L.B.: Never the same. It is always different!! I think it depends on the role. If it’s a challenge, I will do research. I may sit down and write a character biography. It depends. Sometimes, I get cast as a character that I just KNOW. I can relate them and just let it flow without over thinking it.
O.F.F.: Has there been a certain character (or characters) to date you’ve enjoyed playing in particular and why?
L.B.: Yes! There have been many. The first one that comes to mind was Anelle in “Steel Magnolias”. Anelle, transforms 3 times in that play. Belgravia in “Man Alive”, she was a mannequin. I had no blocking! That was the best! But the challenge was to have little movement and subtle facial expressions to “say” something with my face so the audience understood what I was “saying”. Mary, in “How The Other Half Loves”. I was so nervous and shy…something I am the opposite of! And Jean, the drunk wife in “Funny Money”. Playing drunk is not as easy as people would think. A.D.A Kinger in “Family Problems”–yikes, she’s so bitchy and no one likes her! And playing Do Rey Mi has to be #1 for me. What a FUN role!! Seriously, so fun! Saying to someone that I played a dominatrix in a film gets some pretty funny reactions!
O.F.F.: What have the experiences been like in TV roles vs. indie/short film roles? Similar? Completely different?
L.B.: I think with TV (web series) roles, they need to remain consistent, which is difficult sometimes because a lot of time can go by to film a series. And I have overlapped projects during filming a series. With a film role, it can be done pretty quickly, 1-10 filming days opposed to months on a series.
O.F.F.: So, onto your recently completed project, the short film comedy ”Please Punish Me”, currently going out onto the Festival circuit. What drew you to this film?
L.B.: The story. I thought it was unique and cute. It really is heartwarming and funny. I think some people can relate to Scottie’s situation. I can, not the part of having great luck all the time, but being stuck somewhere in a job or situation that you just don’t have passion for. You’d rather be doing something other than what is being handed to you. My favorite line from the movie is, “It’s better to work at something you love than to succeed at something you hate”.
O.F.F.: Without spoilers, tell us a little about the character, Do Rey Mi, you play in it.
L.B.: Well, Do Rey Mi is a dominatrix who LOVES her job. She is good at it! She’s very tough, and if she thinks her employees are not stepping up, she will step in–happily! She knows how to seduce and scare all at the same time.
O.F.F.: Even given the film’s comedic circumstances, was it at all hard to embody a character whose occupation is within a house of ill punishment repute?
L.B.: Not at all!! This character is sooooo not me! I just took it and ran with it. I did not do research on a dominatrix, I just took what I believed one would be and didn’t hold back. I just had fun with it.
O.F.F.: How was it working with fellow actors David Sackal, Talli Clemons, Bradley Rhodes, Joanna Donofrio, and Mark Carter? Any silliness to report from behind the scenes while filming?
L.B.: I cannot say enough good things about my cast mates! TRULY the best cast to work with. All of them are talented, smart, funny, creative and wonderfully sweet individuals! You know, during our filming, everyone was VERY professional, that there really was no silliness or shenanigans. But we had a few rehearsals beforehand and we had introductions to our characters and where they came from and how they came to be and we just laughed over some of the stuff that we came up with. Just rehearsing the scene with Mark was full of laughter. He is such good actor, so funny, his timing is impeccable. I couldn’t help myself, I would laugh at his portrayal of Cruger. He took me out of character every time!
O.F.F.: Additionally, how was it under the direction of Chris Esper? Impossibly difficult, right? But seriously.
L.B.: OMG, YES, extremely difficult!! LOL No, seriously, Chris Esper is beyond his years. He is an amazing director. He knows exactly what he wants and needs and is eloquent in his direction. I am very lucky to have worked with him and I hope to God I will have the chance to work with him again. Chris is someone who will go far. He’s just got “it”. The “it” that will make him very successful and probably very famous. I heart Chris Esper as a director and friend. He’s a great guy who will go far.
O.F.F.: What other projects are on the horizon for you currently and/or the near future?
L.B.: I have 2 feature film projects coming up and will be involved in the New Haven 48 Hr. Film Project.
O.F.F.: Indie and/or short films in general are often small budget, but very rich in talent, story, and character. Do you find this to be true in your experiences to date and how do you see indie film’s place in a current industry of massive Hollywood blockbusters that get all the attention? Secondly, how does that affect you as an actress?
L.B.: Yes. It always amazes me the talent that’s here in the Northeast. Many of the indie films from this area deserve the attention of Hollywood, in my opinion. GETTING the attention of Hollywood is the most difficult part. It’s frustrating, but that’s not going to stop me! I am going to do what I do. Work hard, learn a lot and keep improving myself. Taking on challenging roles and promote the films not only that I’m involved with but the films and projects others are involved in. I support indie films whenever and wherever I can.
O.F.F.: We also saw from your bio that you’ve done a goodly number of plays and associated stage work. Is this something you wish to continue in addition to film? If so, in what ways or mediums?
L.B.: Absolutely! I love being on stage! Talk about different from film, but different in a good way. I believe theatre strengthens my skills as an actor. I am hoping to do a play in the Fall for a community theatre in Windsor, CT where I reside on the board. I would love to someday direct a play. One of the reasons I haven’t done a lot of theatre recently is because of the time constraints. Theatre is very demanding. It is difficult to rehearse even 2 days a week with a full time job. It takes a lot of energy and, unfortunately, I don’t have the same energy level as I once did.
O.F.F.: Gotta ask it to end things….what is YOUR favorite film of all time? Why?
L.B.: “Sunset Boulevard”. Gloria Swanson is a genius. She portrayed every emotion and is so interesting to watch. She is an amazing actress! I don’t think this movie will ever go out of style. It’s a classic. Anyone can enjoy it.
And there you have it straight from the actresses own mouth! A diverse and accomplished thespian, we get the feeling we have not heard the last of Lorrie Bacon and wish her nothing but the best of luck as she traverses the often unsteady waters of indie film, stage, and other endeavors she dreams to be a part of! Want to keep up with Lorrie and “Please Punish Me”? Check out the following:
Lorrie’s Twitter account: here
Lorrie’s Facebook Page: here
Connect on LinkedIn: here
“Please Punish Me” Facebook Page: here
Our usual heartfelt “Thank you!!” to the wonderful and whimsical Ms. Bacon for doing this interview! Keep watch for her and the film at a Film Festival near you! As always, thank you for reading and until next time, take care!