By L. Tanner Smith (director/co-writer/producer)
Konstantin Stanislavski remarked that “there are no small parts, only small actors.” Dabbs Greer, a bit actor, once said, “Every character actor, in their own little sphere, is the lead.”
Well, anyway, we’re very pleased and happy to announce four other supporting actors taking bit parts in Millennial With a Cane.
Wayde Bowser will play the role of “Bill Stengel,” Delilah’s former cranky boss who doesn’t particularly care for Del’s negative attitude. Bowser is a former co-host of MMA in the Heartland (TV Show covering Mixed Martial Arts in Kansas and Missouri Areas) and a 22 year retired military veteran (Navy, Army) deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jackie Jarvis is “Andrea,” the kind general manager at Del’s old job who sympathizes with Del but is powerless to stop her termination. Jarvis previously appeared in the MWAC vignette What Not to Say to People With MS and was the lead in my no-budget feature film The Cold.
Drew Smith will be playing “Paul,” Liam’s father who overcompensates for his son’s chronic illness. Smith is a news director/journalism professor at Kansas State University and a former Sports Anchor/Director at WLUK Fox 11.
And Brent Custer will play the role of “Gus,” Lily’s arrogant, “bro-ish” jerk of a date. (There won’t be a second date.) Custer has appeared in both film and stage works in the Kansas City area. I documented behind-the-scenes for a play he was in during the 2018 KC Fringe Festival. (Link to my documentary here.)
Boy, am I glad Brent gave me permission to use this headshot!…But, to be fair, I’ll also include the other one he sent:
- What originally drew you to the project?
Wayde: I would like to be a part of productions that are both successful and meaningful. This movie touches on subject matter that is not talked about often. I myself know only a little about MS, and that is likely more than most people. If this movie can raise awareness of MS, then it will definitely be meaningful.
Jackie: We’re BFFs.
Drew: I was interested in the project because of the message of the film and the depiction of the struggle to live and fit in in a society that sometimes makes that hard. We all have things we struggle with- some are hidden and some are not.
Brent: I saw you post about the film on Facebook. I remember you from the documentary last year and wanted to be part of what you do with your own original material.
2. Why do you want to participate?
Wayde: I want to tackle quality dramatic roles. Movies that focus on real social issues produce excellent dramatic cinema. This project will hopefully help me evolve as an actor, and let me be a part of creating something I will be proud of.
Jackie: Making films with you is fun.
Drew: I wanted to participate because I feel I have a compassion for people, and want to help those who struggle, and being involved in this kind of art is a productive way to help others feel accepted and valued, regardless their circumstances.
Brent: I love acting/movies/theatre and love to get involved whenever I can.
3. Who do you think MWAC will speak to? Why should people be interested in it?
Wayde: Obviously this will speak to those who afflicted with MS. I hope that it will also influence those who interact with them. Give them a different perspective. I believe that unfortunately we all judge people, each and every one of us if we want to admit it or not. This is not something that can be changed, but information and multiple perspectives can help people judge others a little more fairly.
Jackie: [It will speak to] anyone who’s ever felt misunderstood.
Brent: I think MWAC will speak to anyone trying to make their way through hard times and life challenges. There’s never any shame in asking for help and guidance through unfamiliar territory. I hope this film will speak to anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t belong or feel a lack of community.