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A Player Becomes a Star

Shannon Walsh ’10 being interviewed on the Red Carpet

Many Staples Players have dreams of being in the movies, but few actually become stars. Among the exceptions is Shannon Walsh ‘10, who is featuring in Wes Craven’s new thriller, My Soul to Take.

The film is about the Riverton Reaper, who is a serial killer with schizophrenia. He returns to Riverton 16 years after he died with the intention of murdering the seven children who were born the night that died. As the students begin to be killed, a mystery begins to develop over which of the seven children has been reincarnated into the Riverton Reaper.

Walsh plays the role of Melanie Pratt, the Principal of Riverton High School’s daughter. Melanie Pratt is the best friend of Penelope, who is possibly the Reaper. Also, Brandon O’Neil, who is one of the seven students that may be the Reaper, impregnates Pratt.

As a sophomore at Staples, Walsh sent in a headshot for what was, at the time, a small non-speaking part. After the film went to Los Angeles to be edited, Wes Craven and the movie’s production crew decided to expand the role of Melanie Pratt. It was then that Walsh decided to audition for the expanded part of Pratt, and received it. Although the filming of movies usually takes about three months, Walsh worked intermittently from her sophomore year into her senior year.

Walsh commented that she had a fantastic time making the movie.

One of her favorite times was, “sitting on the bleachers filming my scene with Zena [Grey] and Wes [Craven]. Wes would be giving direction between scenes, but it was all very relaxed, which isn’t what you’d expect. Of course it was quiet and serious and more intense while being filmed, but [they] joked around a bit between takes, and it was a very comfortable environment. It wasn’t close to as intimidating a situation as I thought it would be.”

As well as filming, Walsh enjoyed going to the premier in New York City, two nights before the film opened.

“It was also really nice because I got to reconnect with cast members I hadn’t seen in a long time- they’re all very down to earth people who I love keeping in touch with. At the end of the day, it was honestly just an experience I am so thankful to have gotten.”

Walsh says that she is constantly auditioning, and it is easier for her now that she lives in New York. She also credits Staples Players for helping her become the actress she is today.

“Staples Players was a fantastic place for me to learn- it’s where I performed in my first play- I started acting my sophomore year. Mr. Roth taught me many things that I still keep with me as I audition for various things in the industry,” Walsh said.

The film has received mixed reviews from critics, but many consider it a must-see horror for anyone who loves the thrill of scary movies.

Good luck to Shannon from the entire Staples High School community!

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