Texas State Acting Alum Premiers at SXSW 2015

Taken at SXSW 2015 Credit: Emily Reas
Molly McMichael
Taken at SXSW 2015 Credit: Emily Reas

Graduating only last spring from Texas State University, Molly McMichael makes her SXSW debut in the film “6 Years”. Since she was apart of the BFA Acting program here, I asked her what tools she had found to be most useful out in the professional world.

Molly: Well, in our acting classes, they teach you to have your own acting process. Like what to do when you get a first get a script, and even before then, how to audition. You know, how to go into an audition room. And then once you book the job, how to start working on a character whether that’s, you know, reading the script a thousand times.

Since she mentioned auditioning, I asked her what the process was like for “6 Years”.

I have an agent in Austin. His name is Michael Pruitt with Actor’s Clearing House. He sent me the audition and, you know, I fit the background and the breakdown that they needed. I went into the audition room- they didn’t have us with any sides or anything. We just went in kind of cold turkey. Basically, it was the director and the first A.D. [Assistant Director] who was in there, and we kind of just improved. She was like, “We’re just going to talk to you a little bit. Get to know you.” Because the script was a lot of improve and the way they filmed it. Then I got a callback. Then they cast me!

The mention of improv made me curious on how the script was formatted. For instance, whether there was a certain amount of scripted dialogue or if there were only certain concrete ideas that needed to be filmed, but how it happened was up for grabs.

Taken at SXSW 2015 Credit: Emily Reas
Taken at SXSW 2015
Credit: Emily Reas

So Hannah Fidell also wrote “6 Years”, and she, I think, had like 40 pages of dialogue. Which isn’t too much for a full length film. We would get to set with “bare bones” I guess you could say of things that needed to happen-like major points. And then we would have a rehearsal with Hannah. So, the thing I really loved about working with Hannah- she’s a great, great director. She would just really talk to us about our character. Instead of going over lines, we would go over what does the character want in the scene. What is your relationship? What time of night is it? Are you drunk? Are you sober? You know. She definitely gave you free reign to play around.

I then asked what her most memorable memory was from working on set. Whether it was fun or sad…preferably fun.

There was a day that we went into a river, and we just all got to play around and splash each other and I guess that was one of my most fun days because all the best friends were there, so it was what. 7 of us or 6, just hanging out. Making a movie, and it was fun.

And 6 Years isn’t the only project on Molly’s radar. She will be in the film “Texas Rising” opening in theaters later this year as well as has recently moved to L.A.

In May. May 25th, Memorial Day, “Texas Rising” premiers, and that’s going to be pretty big. I actually just recently moved to L.A.! I’m going to be doing all the premier stuff for “Texas Rising” there. And right now I am looking for management or an agent in L.A. I’m taking meetings and doing things like that to try and build my name there. It’s been really, really good. I’m really excited for the future.

And we’re excited for you too Molly and what the future holds. This has been Emily Reas with KTSW 89.9.