Plus One Adds Horror To Dramatic And Comedic Credentials Of Nyc Actress

Profile of New York City Actress’ Role in Plus One
Plus One Adds Horror to Dramatic and Comedic Credentials of NYC Actress
Source - Edward V. Lacina and Jeffrey Stuchala

When the Toni Vitale sits down to watch a horror movie, she’s always a few steps ahead of any foreshadowing - especially in terms of the real scary moments.  “I fast forward past the bad parts, and then watch it again even though I know what’s going to happen,” says Vitale.  As for actually acting in a horror film, Vitale believes the actor must also separate themselves from the flow to make a ghostlike the one that chases her in Plus One seem real.

“You have to prepare in a way that maybe isn’t at all in relation to the film

in order to bring that kind of scared emotion,” says the NYC resident who recently directed and acted in several short films of her own writing.

Among a group of five friends in the short film, Toni’s character (Jolene) incurs the afterlife wrath of Vicky (Leah Gallimore).  “The two male friends rapped and murdered her, and she won’t stop haunting me until I kill them both,” says Vitale. 

Jolene eventually relents and the first falls, but she finds out one is not enough. “That’s why it’s called Plus One,” says Vitale. “She tells me, ‘I’m not done yet. It’s me or him.’”

Either way, horror is a departure for an actress whose more familiar with drama and comedy.  She credits getting back into workshop mode for allowing her to scare up her scream and meet this challenge.  “I’ve been back training for about a year now. It was the best thing I ever did for myself, because as an artist, when you stop training, you get rusty,” she said. “I could not have done this film a year ago.”   

The chance came off a class she took

a few years ago with the filmmaker/writer/director Edward V.  Lacina. “We kept in touch, and he thought of me when he needed someone to pull this off,” says Vitale.

A turn of events she had no reason to take personally.  “He’s a got a bit of sick, twisted side. He likes that kind of stuff,”  jokes the Meisner trained actress.

He does, though, on his website express concerns over whether all the dark thoughts and introspection into the recesses of the mind were a red flag. Eventually realizing he wasn’t the only one in this boat, horror films became a tool to explore the depths without feeling there was something wrong with him. 

Vitale simply chalks it up to creative people being creative. “That’s what an artist really is,” she says. “We all have these deep thoughts and feeling.” 

But the film firmly in the can, the festivals will be the beneficiaries of the story’s decent, and no matter how it turns out, Vitale got a rise out of the journey. “The experience alone of doing this film has definitely been worth it,” she concludes. 

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  • hrwabc  28-08-2016
    I could not have done this film a year ago
    reply 0
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