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  • ALS in the Movies …and YOU could be a “star”

    Posted by Dagmar on February 4, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    We in the ALS community are always on alert about the portrayal of ALS and similar disabilities in books, movies, tv shows, and other forms of media. And I have exciting news about what I think is a big step forward in the inclusiveness of disabled actors – – and a rare opportunity to help raise awareness about ALS – – in the movies!

    Here’s the news:
    I have been in contact with a writer/director based out of Los Angeles, who is in pre-production with a film he wrote where the lead character has ALS. The film is a genre piece and doesn’t center on the disease. Rather it’s the focal point of the character’s journey, which through the trials of the story, she comes to accept, and learns to live the life she has with meaning and optimism.

    In his quest to want to tell this story correctly, he has reached out to me with questions about my own experiences with ALS, and I have been happy to help him with this. Now, he is underway with casting and so far, is still auditioning for the lead roles. One of the minor characters is in an advanced stage of ALS and has a conversation with the lead (who was just diagnosed).

    Here’s the exciting part – – – In an effort to be authentic as possible, the director would like to cast an actual ALS patient. So, if you are interested, and living in either California or Oregon, please read the casting call that I have posted in the comment section below.

    I plan to post updates as the project moves forward – – giving you a front-row seat to what I’m calling “ALS in the movies!”

    Dagmar replied 1 month ago 12 Members · 34 Replies
  • 34 Replies
  • Dagmar

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    Hello ALS community,

    We’re searching specifically to cast an actor with ALS. More information about the role is below. As of now, looking for actors based in California or Oregon. Thank you so much for your consideration.

    CASTING FOR AN INDEPENDENT THRILLER FILM

    THIS IS A ONE-SCENE ROLE ON A LOWER-BUDGET FEATURE FILM.

    WE WILL CONSIDER AN ACTOR WITH EXPERIENCE OR A NON-ACTOR.

    THE ROLE WILL SHOOT ONE DAY IN MARCH, PER AVAILABILITY. ROLE CAN BE MALE OR FEMALE, PREFER AGE of 30s-50s.

    [JAMIE] Jamie is a person with ALS; he or she is in a wheelchair. Jamie takes part in a FaceTime session with ‘Elsa’, asking her questions about her situation — and gives her pointed, empathetic advice regarding her recent diagnosis…3 speeches & 7 lines, 1 scene. Seeking an actor or non-actor with ALS who’s using an AAC device for speech.
    This is a one-day role in the movie, we are looking for someone based in either California or Oregon. Any ethnicity. Paid job, at scale plus ten SAG/AFTRA Ultra Low Budget Agreement rate for one day.

    Producers are committed to diversity, inclusion, and authenticity. We strongly encourage performers {with ALS} to apply for this role.

    AUDITION OVER ZOOM IS REQUIRED.

    UPDATE: this role has been filled. Check back for updates on the movie’s progress.

    • ICNU

      Member
      June 5, 2024 at 1:21 pm

      Sorry. I live just outside

      Chicago !!

      THXX Carl Letcher

  • Dagmar

    Member
    February 7, 2022 at 11:49 am

    I hope one of our forum members will audition and be picked for the role!

    If you are the one, please let us know… and, keep us updated on how it all goes 🙂

    • Lisa Bonahoom

      Member
      February 11, 2022 at 11:41 am

      Hi Dagmar!  I auditioned yesterday and it was a marvelous experience!  I was an actress before ALS and I thought it was gone forever. I so enjoyed working with them. I will let you know  what comes of it. Thank you for the connection. Lisa

      • Amanda

        Member
        February 14, 2022 at 9:11 am

        Lisa,

        That is so cool!! I a super excited for you.  Yes, please keep us all posted!!

        Amanda

  • Gwen McMartin

    Member
    February 8, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    This is wonderful! The more exposure ALS & MND have in the world the better!  Increasing awareness & then support for research is crucial.

  • Lisa Bonahoom

    Member
    February 17, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    Dagmar and friends, I got the part!  So excited!!  I did the callback today.
    Lisa

    • Roxanne Kusske

      Member
      February 17, 2022 at 2:12 pm

      Congratulations!

    • Amanda

      Member
      February 22, 2022 at 10:35 am

      LISA!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!  Now I know a real star 🙂  I can’t wait to hear all about your experiences. Please keep us posted.  This is so exciting.

  • Dagmar

    Member
    February 17, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Yay!

    Congratulations Lisa!!!

    This is big – – please keep us posted on how things go – – and, when we’ll get to “see you in the movies!” 😉 😉

    Dagmar

  • Kathy stitz

    Member
    February 17, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    Congratulations Lisa and best wishes!

  • MaryConnolly

    Member
    February 22, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Awesome Lisa! Just awesome. Thanks for representing us!

  • Lisa Bonahoom

    Member
    March 15, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Hi friends!  Just an update. I am filming April 20th. So excited to represent!  I will keep you in the loop. Lisa

    • Dagmar

      Member
      March 15, 2022 at 4:20 pm

      YAY! Lisa! Thanks for the update.

      By the way, do you have any idea when the film will be finished and we’re able to see the whole movie?

  • Bill Corrigan

    Member
    March 17, 2022 at 7:43 am

    Congratulations Lisa! How exiting and great to hear the producers are after authenticity. May everything go smoothly for you.

  • Lisa Bonahoom

    Member
    March 23, 2022 at 7:46 am

    The film is still in production and I don’t know it’s release date. I will share when I do. Lisa

  • Lisa Bonahoom

    Member
    April 8, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    I am looking forward to filming in two weeks!  I am sending my son to pick up my late sister’s wheelchairs to use for the shoot. We will be filming in San Francisco     My sister’s home and table was chosen by the production company. Thank goodness for family!  Lisa

    • Dagmar

      Member
      April 9, 2022 at 12:10 pm

      Wow – – things are moving along Lisa! Can’t wait to read about your experiences from the actual filming. Good luck – have fun! Thanks for the updates 🙂

  • Kathy stitz

    Member
    April 16, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Lisa, We will be thinking of you on Wednesday for the filming!  Hope everything goes well for you.

  • Lisa Bonahoom

    Member
    April 16, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    The shoot was moved up one day.  We are now shooting on Tuesday!  I will share the experience when I can!  Lisa

  • Kathy stitz

    Member
    April 17, 2022 at 7:29 am

    We will be thinking of you on Tuesday then! Let us know how it goes when you have time.

  • Lisa Bonahoom

    Member
    April 17, 2022 at 10:23 am

    I will be using my late sister Carol’s wheelchair.  It will be a tribute to her. ALS took her last year.

    lisa

  • Kathy stitz

    Member
    April 17, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Lisa, I’m so sorry for the loss of your sister.

  • Lisa Bonahoom

    Member
    April 20, 2022 at 3:18 pm

    It’s a wrap!   We filmed yesterday and it was an amazing experience. The director and film crew were so thoughtful. It was filmed in my sister’s house in San Francisco. We worked around the sounds of the city!  It was strange to be in my sister’s wheelchair. It fit me .  The makeup artist did her best to make me look sick, as my character was much more impacted by ALS. Such a memory!!

  • Dagmar

    Member
    April 20, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    Congrats Lisa! What a unique and wonderful experience. it’s great to hear the feedback about the director and crew. I had emailed back and forth with the director early on – – when he asked me if I knew anyone with ALS who might want to be in his movie (HA!) and he was kind and considerate then too. ………..and to be in your sister’s wheelchair (hugs to you).

    You are paving new ground for the visibility of the ALS community. Thank you again for stepping up. And for keeping us informed along the way.

  • Dagmar

    Member
    June 3, 2022 at 11:30 am

    CONGRATULATIONS – – to Lisa Cross! (Bonahoom) – – our very own forum member/actor/now in a film!…..Lisa was featured in the special article that was published today in ALS News Today! It’s all about the film she’s in, how she heard about the part, and how working with the ALS community left the director with a new-found understanding and respect for those who live with ALS.

    Read the full story here:

    “Performer With ALS Returns to Acting for ‘Reel’-life Diagnosis”
    https://alsnewstoday.com/news-posts/2022/06/03/actor-brings-her-disease-silver-screen-new-movie-about-als/

    High five to Lisa! 🙂

  • KarenM

    Member
    June 7, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    Awesome news Lisa! 🙌

  • Dagmar

    Member
    June 4, 2024 at 12:41 pm

    I’m excited to announce that the Hollywood movie – – “New Life” – – has made it to the big screen!

    It’s been a long but, fast 2 years in the making… and our ALS New Today Forum members have been a part of the process. So, BRAVO everyone!

    You can read the back story here: https://alsnewstoday.com/news/actor-brings-her-disease-silver-screen-new-movie-about-als/ OR, you can read through all the above comments and replies.

    The movie, directed by John Rosman, is a noir/mystery. But the unique thing is that the main character is having ALS symptoms AND consults a REAL (not someone playing a patient) ALS patient.

    Read about it here: https://www.als.net/news/director-john-rosman-on-his-film-new-life/

    The movie is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

    YAY!

  • samfriedlander

    Member
    June 4, 2024 at 9:57 pm

    Hi, my name is Sam Friedlander! I was very excited to see this opportunity. I’m a comedian and I have ALS. Throughout my ALS journey, I use jokes and humor to laugh at life and try not take anything too seriously. I have remained optimistic throughout my ALS journey and continue to see the beauty in life always. I used to do standup comedy in New York and San Francisco. I have two daughters who are 24 and 27 and we think it’s a great idea to make a movie casting someone with ALS. Here is a recent project I did where I ran for the Marin County supervisor as a joke and made a joke website. Click this if you’d like to check it out: https://www.marincountysupervisor.com/

    Thank you very much for considering me. Sincerely, Sam

    • Dagmar

      Member
      June 6, 2024 at 12:32 pm

      Hi – – although the movie mentioned above has already finished filming and is available on Amazon…. there are groups you can join to still put your name out there. I will look thru my notes and post it here.

  • Steven Witt

    Member
    June 6, 2024 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Dagmar! Here is the trailer for the movie, and I am struggling to find the connection with ALS. https://youtu.be/l-7H-WqXX5k?si=02vP_ntnfrWFpprZ

    • Dagmar

      Member
      June 7, 2024 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Steven, It’s not apparent in the trailer, but the whole movie involves the storyline of a female detective/agent who has the initial symptoms of ALS while pursuing her target. She does visit another ALS patient to find out more about the disease. I have written a new column about all this, which will be published this Tuesday – – I’ll post it here. Dagmar

  • Dagmar

    Member
    June 11, 2024 at 5:55 pm

    Here is my column on the movie “New Life”

    https://alsnewstoday.com/columns/finally-some-positive-disability-representation-new-movie/

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