Monday, October 21, 2013

Eleven-year-old actress awaits the red carpet - By Rob McClure

Since wrapping up her starring role in the short film “Penelope”, Sophey Potter has already set her sights on her next open call audition, hoping to land her next big role in a full length movie. The energetic eleven year-old Windham resident and Hollywood hopeful has stars in her eyes; fresh off her latest horror film, shot in Westbrook, Maine.  The film is described as a “dark fairy tale set in the Maine woods, where evil twists the imagination of a young girl as her older sister gets pulled to the horrors that lurk within.” It is one of five short films that make up the program “Damnation 2013”, which features independent films based in Maine with a Halloween theme.  Each year five Maine filmmakers are invited to produce a film for this annual event.  

Sophey landed her leading role as Penelope through an open audition and was “freaked out” when she got the news three days later. The films Director, Jennifer Widor Smith, said “many talented little actresses came through the door, but when Sophey Potter began her audition, I knew instantly that I had found Penelope.” She added, “Sophey brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the set and I look forward to working with her on future projects.”

Her parents, Troy and Jennifer Potter, both had some experience in school theater when younger and have taken a very grounded approach to their daughters rising stardom by insisting school always comes first. After discovering Sophey’s passion for acting, her parents have been determined to support her acting aspirations, and gave praise to the local performing arts community for being so helpful.  Jennifer, a Raymond Elementary School teacher, identified Windham Center Stage and the School House Arts Center in Standish as especially important to young performers in the area. 
When asked what it was like to be the star of a film, Sophie said it was hard work. She worked 8-hour days for three days and had early mornings. “I was mostly moving around, acting and showing emotions and there was some really good food.” Sophey was very careful to not to talk about everything in the film, it is a horror film after all and understandably there are some things that could spoil the ending. 

So what’s next for this rising star? Well, for one, she is going to keep things balanced by continuing her regiment of school, running, swimming, jazz dancing and playing the cello, even though she doesn’t particularly care for sports.  She also enjoys chorus and hopes to one day sing with the Windham Chamber Singers. Her future plans include going to acting school in New York and becoming the next Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe. 

This young film star is excited to be attending the première this Friday night at the Portland State Theatre, where she will be wearing her white dress from the film, and the best part; she gets to bring her best friend along for the walk down the red carpet. 

“Damnationland 2013” opens Fri, October 18 at 7 p.m. at the State Theatre in Portland. This will be the first of many screenings, and the program will travel to other theaters in Maine, Ohio, New York City and Los Angeles. More information about other screenings can be found at

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