From a very young age, Ava Obermeyer had an interest in performing. More recently, she and her mom had the opportunity to be extras in a movie that will be out in theaters Oct. 24.
The daughter of Dr. Doug and Sarah Obermeyer, Batesville, recalled listening to radio station Star 93.3 out of Cincinnati six years ago when she heard an advertisement about auditions for AMTC, Actors, Models and Talent for Christ. Before recently closing, this nonprofit organization “was dedicated to finding, preparing and launching performers into the world’s most influential mission field: entertainment ... (and) promoting God’s talent to become positive role models in an industry that influences our entire culture,” her mom revealed.
Ava auditioned in September 2013 and participated in AMTC’s Summer Shine 2014, which included six days of workshops by industry experts and a variety of talent showcases for all ages. There were over 900 performers, and the event concluded with one-on-one interviews for the performers with 50-100 top film, fashion, theater and music executives. “Ava was 9-years-old and performed in 10 showcases that consisted of a commercial she created, cold reads, scene reads, improv, fashion and commercial runway, musical solo and duet with 28-year-old Suzanne Stalker,” Sarah noted.
The young lady prepared for these performances by attending three launch weekends, one at AMTC’s New York Hub and two at the Chicago Hub. She also attended a photo shoot in Chicago to include in her portfolio.
At age 12, she performed in Summer Shine 2017 at the Gaylord Palms Hotel, Orlando, Florida. She did 10 showcases, which included playing piano and singing “Lost Boy” by Ruth B and “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson. She also met with some agents who offered encouragement.
Through AMTC, Ava received emails with casting companies looking for actors and extras. “Usually, the places were too far away in Houston or Los Angeles,” the Batesville High School freshman said. However, in September 2016, she was cast as an extra for “The Reliant” through Katz Kasting. Since family members could also be included, her mom decided to go with her. They traveled three-and-a-half hours to Coshcoton, Ohio.
The movie, based on a book of the same title by Dr. J.P. Johnston, is about “an economic collapse causing widespread rioting and social unrest, leaving a 19-year-old girl struggling to care for her siblings in a stretch of woods bordered by lawless anarchy, wondering why a good God would let this happen,” Sarah revealed. The author’s family members were extras, too.
The mother and daughter duo were in the wedding and funeral scenes, which were filmed in an old church.
Sarah announced, “We were told that we couldn’t take pictures on the set and were not to speak with the actors during filming. I was in the room having my makeup touched up while Mollee Gray, who was in ‘High School Musical,’ was in there, too, but at the time, I didn’t know it was her. Josh Murray, who was in ‘Killing Lincoln’ and ‘Touched by Grace,’ walked through the basement of the church where all us extras were sitting. I remember seeing some younger gals getting his autograph while off set.”
“We could have been part of the riot scene but, unfortunately, it was being filmed the following week Thursday through Saturday, and the kids were in school and we had plans for the weekend .... We would have liked to have seen Kevin Sorbo, but he was not part of our scenes.”
Even though the Obermeyers had their day in the spotlight, they were told there was a chance their faces might be blurs onscreen.
However, they did enjoy the experience.
Ava got to meet contemporary Christian music singer/songwriter Nicole C. Mullens after filming. “She told Ava to pull out her Bible, and it will inspire her to write her own music. She also encouraged her to keep pursuing her dreams,” Sarah said.
Her daughter recalled, “We did the scenes over and over, but we did have a good amount of down time when we went below the church in the fellowship hall. The whole room was full of people, and we had pizza!”
In addition, “It was great being surrounded by all the people who seemed really professional.”
Sarah revealed, “What amazed me was that they had so little to memorize .... We heard a lot of ‘Quiet on the set, the scene number/name and then rolling.’”
The nearest showing of “The Reliant” is at Springdale 18 Cinema, 12064 Springfield Pike, Springdale, Ohio. “It’s showing for one night, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.,” Sarah noted. “We are so excited to see this film after the production started three years ago.”
They both look at movies differently now.
The 14-year-old said, “I never considered how many extras they had to have for a movie. When I see all the extras, I’m thinking, ‘I bet they’re having fun!’”
“We’re seeing the fun part,” once the movie is completed, her mom pointed out. “Now I realize how long actors have to be on set and away from their families and how much traveling they have to do.”
Ava, who has two younger siblings, Zeke, 13; and Arie, 6, says she would like to be in a movie again. “I really, really like acting and singing, but I have to be realistic. If you don’t make it big, you don’t make that much money.”
“I’m thankful for all I did with AMTC. It was a very good experience, and I learned so much from it.”
Her future plans include “becoming a chiropractor and doing vintage racing like my dad.”