Cory Ahre Answers Eleven Questions With Lisa
1.How did you get into acting? Was there a specific moment or person that inspired you?
This is a long, weird story, but here is the short version. Being a movie buff and having fancied myself a writer in high school, I had set out to do screenwriting and direct. I had no intention of acting; I really didn’t think that I had it in me. Unable to afford film school, I set out to find local film makers and ended up auditioning for Julio Olivera who was casting his short film. I auditioned just as a way to get my foot into the door; I never believed I would get the part. Well, I got the part and I found myself in my first filmmaking family. A couple of years later, I was at a film festival with another short film and I received a lot of really great feedback from people regarding my performance. Complete strangers, with no reason to boost my ego, were telling me how much they loved my performance. That was when I looked at myself and realized that I could emotionally affect people on screen in ways that I had always wanted to on paper.
2.You have done both comedy and horror; do you prefer one genre over the other? I really love both, but I also feel that the two occupy a lot of the same extreme space in terms of emotional energy. I try to fit a little darkness into most of my comedic performances and some light into the horror. Life isn’t just one emotional tone and when you play a character that way, you turn them into a caricature and the audience stops caring. Sacrament is a good example; there is nothing funny about anything that happens to my character, Jason, but I think that there are plenty of moments that will give the audience a laugh.
3.Are you interested in pursuing any other areas of filmmaking? Absolutely. I started off wanting to write and direct, so, over the last few years of acting I have been able to make some contacts and pursue that. I wrote and directed an episode of The New Adventures Of Baby Jesus, a web series created by Julio Olivera that I’m currently co-starring in. Olivera and I also wrote a feature film, Unsmokin Drake, which I directed and is currently in post production. I’m also developing a film review web series to be hosted by the film’s title character, Drake. Last, but not least, is Ain’t Clownin Round; a feature film that I wrote and will be presented in twelve chapters to be directed by various filmmakers,including myself. The story follows the exploits of a family of vigilante serial killer clowns. Starring Elizabeth Redpath (Pick Axe Murders Part 3), Maurice Foxx (The New Adventures of Baby Jesus) and myself as the Clown family; we are currently in the fund raising process and in talks with several directors.
4.What is your favorite thing about acting? It gives the actor the ability to affect people. Even though what we’re doing isn’t real, our performance can create a very real, very honest reaction and it is the reason people watch movies. If I do my job correctly, I can create an honest emotional moment for another person. I particularly love this about the horror genre because it provides a safe place for people to experience those emotions that most of us try very hard to suppress in real life.
5. What do you find most difficult about acting? Time. There is never enough time to delve into things the way that you would like to. My favorite quote from William S. Burroughs, “Time is a human affliction, not a human invention, but a prison.” A film set is one of those places where the truth of that statement becomes even more clear with each call of ,”Cut! We’re moving on!” from the director.
6. Please share a memorable experience from your time filming Sacrament. I have to be careful what I say here because I don’t want to give anything away, but one of my fondest memories is from the night that we shot the Asylum scenes with Jeff Hamielec. He is this nice, well mannered guy who plays one of the asylum wards. Watching him put on his full blown crazy and let the freak out of the cage was awesome. Like the rest of the movie, his character and that sequence is such a throwback to the movies of the genre; I just sat there watching him violently cackling in the sickly light and I felt as though I was on the set of a late 80’s John Carpenter flick. I thought, “This is fu**ing awesome!”
7. Was there anything particularly difficult about filming Sacrament? Honestly, everything about filming Sacrament was difficult for me, but that is not a bad thing. My character, Jason, really gets put through the ringer over and over again which doesn’t really lend to an easy shoot. It was rough, but I knew that and that is why I wanted the role. With the roles that I go after, if I’m not going home bruised, bleeding or broken I feel that I’m not living up to my creative obligation. I think that when I accidentally made myself bleed in the audition they knew that I was the right guy.
8. Is acting your main passion in life? First and foremost, my passion is storytelling. To tell stories that touch people and make them feel something; whether is is through acting, writing directing, comics or good old fashioned words on the page, that is what I will always be chasing.
9. How was your experience working with Shawn Ewert? Oh, that bastard……..no, I’m just kidding. It was really great. He was really great at communicating exactly what he needed both technically and dramatically from you without ever telling you how to act. We had to move really fast, but the few times that I needed one more take, I got it, even though I’m pretty sure he knew that we already had it. It was important to him that I felt I had gotten it right. Shawn is highly creative, highly collaborative and highly adaptable; exactly the guy that you want, creatively, watching your back.
10. To date, what project are you most proud of being a part of? It’s hard to say because these last couple of years I worked on a few movies where I was really impressed with everyone involved and I am very proud to have been among them. However, Sacrament, I think, holds a special place with me. It does so much and plays on so many different levels. The cast is great with horror icon Marilyn Burns leading the way and I love the themes and the way it plays with not only horror archetypes but, specifically, Sothern/Texas archetypes. It’s the kind of flick made back in the day before the MTV generation decided everything needed to look and have the substance of one of their music videos. Simply put, it is exactly what a horror film is supposed to be and that makes me infinitely proud to have been a part of it.
11. What is one thing that you would like to accomplish this year? I don’t know? Maybe get cast in an Eli Roth or Robert Rodriguez flick? Or work with Caleb Landry Jones; that cat has really impressed me and I would like to work with him before his career sky rockets. I really don’t know. This is the first time in my life where it really seems as though there are possibilities for me. My main goal is to get Ain’t Clownin Round into pre production before the year is out. I’ve been working on it for a long time and, more than anything, it is meant to be something that brings creative people together to craft a whole that is greater than the sum of it’s already awesome parts. It’s a story that, underneath all of the smut, gore and sharp edges, is about people struggling to be the best of themselves. That is something that I feel is worthy of channeling my energies into and trying to rally the most talented and creative people that I know. Also, I woulda very much like to accomplish procuring a penguin for a pet….I know this is ridiculous, unrealistic, not going to happen and if it did, I’m sure I would regret it within hours. But you asked….. so, I want a fu**ing penguin.