Milton actress finding success in movie industry

Milton actress finding success in movie industry  Photo courtesy of Narrow Edge Productions.   Milton’s Alysa King (right) plays the role of a babysitter in a scene with Madison Ferguson out of the thriller film Berkshire County.

Milton actress finding success in movie industry

Photo courtesy of Narrow Edge Productions.

Milton’s Alysa King (right) plays the role of a babysitter in a scene with Madison Ferguson out of the thriller film Berkshire County.

Milton Canadian Champion
By  Julie Slack

Wearing fishnet stockings and combat boots, Alysa King didn’t feel awkward at all going into a Toronto Starbucks for her morning caffeine fix.

In fact, it was just another day in the busy Miltonian’s life. The young actress who’s making a name for herself in the Hollywood movie scene, was dressed for an upcoming photography shoot, one of several pots she’s stirring as she continues her acting career.

Professionally, she said, she’s been at it for three years, but she’s been “acting her whole life.”

Her parents, who also call Milton home, got her involved when she was a baby. At the time, King, 28, said she was modelling and acting for a number of companies, including K-Mart, Sears and Chrysler.

Later, she participated in every school play at Our Lady of Victory and did a number of musicals with Milton Youth Theatre Productions, including the lead role in the non-profit organizations first-ever show, Dracula Spectacula.

Now, she’s the main character of the award-winning film directed by Audrey Cummings called Berkshire County. Filmed in Toronto, the film is a thriller about a teenaged babysitter (played by King) who must go beyond what she ever thought capable in order to survive a home invasion on Halloween night.

King said it was an honour to be cast as the main character in a film directed by Cummings. She said the director is well-known in the Canadian film industry and some of her short films have been featured in the Toronto International Film Festival.

It was a role King said she was lucky to land considering there were some 200 young women who auditioned.

Earlier this month, the film premiered in Los Angeles at the horror film festival Shriekfest and it took home the Grand Jury Award of ‘Best Horror.’ It was up against 1,000 submissions.

“This is especially notable because it is the first time a female director has ever won this award,” King said. “Also it’s the first time a Canadian film has won since 2007.”

Berkshire County will be screened at several upcoming horror festivals worldwide, including the New York Horror Film Festival and the Razor Reel Fantastic Film Festival in Bruges, Belgium.

It’s slated to make a theatrical release in Canada in early 2015.

King, who went on to graduate from Sheridan College’s theatre program, then Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in drama and English and a Bachelor of Education, is excited for the film’s local release. She rhymed off several backgrounders to the film that make it extra special to her. She actually slept inside the mansion where it was filmed for most of the shoot because the days were so long and strenuous.

King said the film was shot completely out of sequence, so it was challenging.

“I was constantly shifting emotional states throughout the day,” she said. “It also made it hard to keep track of continuity.”

Fortunately, she pulled it off and laughs about the coincidence that took place during the premier of the film, which has several visual references to horror film The Shining. While staying in Hollywood, she was in room number 217 — the same room number made famous in The Shining.

She said Berkshire County will be in at least nine other festivals, including Costa Rica, Barcelona and New York, where she hopes to get a chance to meet famed horror director Tim Burton, who will be accepting an award.

King said she enjoys all genres of movie and is also a huge fan of science fiction.

“I love acting, love getting to be a different person, living in someone else’s shoes,” she said, noting Berkshire County is the biggest film she’s worked on. “It’s neat because it’s not only the biggest film, it’s that I’m in 95 per cent of it…I pretty much carry the movie.

“It’s really challenging, but really fun,” she added. “I like any work though,” noting she’s done romantic comedies and even musicals, since she’s also a singer.

She’s also involved in a personal project, “a back-burner project, sort of a one-woman theatre show that’s been my labour of love.”

A graduate of Bishop Reding Secondary School, King works on her project whenever she has a chance. It’s about her personal relationship with her father, who has a rare form of dementia called frontal temporal dementia, that leaves him totally unable to care for himself. She said she was very close to her father when she was growing up. Money raised by that project when completed will go to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, she said.

She’s also part of Toronto’s Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament acting as Princess Catalina.

And, when she’s at home, she said she dresses up as a princess for kids’ birthday parties. Her “side-job,” Once Upon a Party, sees her wear various costumes to entertain children at their parties.

King invites people to visit her facebook page at Alysa C. King, or follow her on twitter @alysaking, or go to keep up to date on her career.

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