I remember when we were set to film in early January 2014, and one of the last roles we needed to cast was "Danny". There were a ton of submissions, so I literally watched every reel of the 40 or 50 we narrowed it down to. One actors performances stood out like a shining star and he became my top choice. At that time, we didn't have time to audition, so I wanted to meet this young actor and called him. We had a great conversation and I learned he had dealt with a family member with Dementia and had martial arts training. There was something else though... a compassion that you rarely find in talking to young people today. He seemed much older then his 20 years. This was David Topp.
We set up a day the following week to meet and unfortunately, that was the day, our lead actor playing "Jared", left the project and it was suddenly derailed. I chatted with David and let him know we would be setting up auditions and that literally he was the actor to beat.
Once Debra set up the auditions, David was unable to make it. We saw some good young actors, but I wasn't as moved just yet. Debra arranged a second session and we brought even more young talent in and David was the first to join us that day. He's as gracious and engaging in person as he was on the phone. I was sold. He was my "Danny".
Then Nicholas Podany walked in. He was one of the last, but literally blew us away. Just a thrilling new talent, and a musician along with it. I'm positive Nicholas will become become a household name, if not one on the car radio! Afterward, Debra, myself, and other producers looked at the auditions and literally two stood out far above the others. David Topp and Nicholas Podany. Dead even on talent.
As hard as this decision was, it really fell back on one of the earliest things we all talked about in deciding to produce this project, and that is, those who have been touched by any one of the topics in this film, will have the heart and desire to put more into it. David reached out to me and shared how much this story was affecting his life and what it meant to him. Ultimately I would be lucky with either of these young actors, but I really feel fortunate to have David attached.
Enjoy the work to come from this young man. He's a star in the making.