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Big Dreams
Tuesday, March 03, 2015

"When I was little, I saw 'The Wizard of Oz' at the State Theatre (Center for the Arts), and it was one of my first memories," she said. "I remember thinking that is what I want to do -- sing, act and dance."

Davis started working on her dream by taking voice and dance lessons when she was very young and participated in small church and school events.

Davis graduated from Geibel Catholic High School in 2001 and then pursued her education at Seton Hill University in Greensburg.

In 2009, Davis moved to New York City where she still resides, and began auditioning for various plays and musicals, which is where she first heard about the movie that would lead to her first staring role in a film.

"There was all this talk with my actor friends -- they said they are doing all these movies there (the Pittsburgh area)," said Davis. "I looked online and saw that they (North Shore Productions) were casting. I sent my headshot and resume."

After having an audition through teleconferencing, Davis found out in the spring of 2012 that she received the lead role of Maggie in the movie "All Saints Eve."

Davis said she was excited to play Maggie because it was a role that offered unique challenges that in turn helped her grow as an actress.

"She wasn't like any other character I played before. I always do these girl-next-door (roles) usually," she said. "She (Maggie) was a little quirky. She is sort of the leader of the group. I made people listen to Maggie. No one knows what to do, and they all listen to her."

According to Elizabeth Rossi, writer of the film and University of Pittsburgh graduate, the plot of "All Saints Eve" centers around a group of friends who must stay alive and discover the truth of an unleashed curse that was incited by a farmer in the 1800s when he was murdered by a sinister preacher and an angry church mob.

The movie also provided Davis with the opportunity to film near her hometown.

"It was shot in Moon Township at this old house. It was really scary at night. We would do 2 a.m. shoots and there were lots of storms, and it was constantly raining," said Davis.

After filming had finished in the summer of 2012, Davis was contacted in late 2013 to once again play Maggie in a few scenes that were shot a little closer to home.

"We decided to add a scene. We had to do the hospital scene again, and we had to do it at the Brownsville Hospital," she said. "It was so cool because my grandparents were from there and my dad was from there and my uncle lives there."

Since production has ended, and the film is now available through Amazon, Video on Demand and Family Video, Davis has been auditioning, blogging about being single in NYC at beatlesgirl89.wordpress.com and following her other passion of advocating for animals.

"Lately a lot of good things have been happening with NYCLASS, the animal rights group I've become involved with. NYCLASS is a nonprofit organization committed to ending the horse and carriage industry in New York City," she said. "We recently had an event at Peter Max's, who is one of my favorite artists, and is best friends with Paul McCartney, so that was pretty surreal to me."

Davis, who first imagined herself as Dorothy from Kansas, has words of advice for others dreaming of their big break.

"It's really hard and people can be pretty nasty, but you just keep going and doing what you love. I don't think I know one actor/singer in my life right now that hasn't been bullied at some point for being different or weird," she said. "I think it is important to take all the negative energy that’s causing you so much pain in the present and be grateful because it will work to your advantage in the future, no matter what path you choose."

 

Writing Popular Fiction Alumnus Wins Prize, Contract for Debut Novel
Saturday, January 24, 2015
 
 
 
John Fortunato '14, a graduate of Seton Hill's Writing Popular Fiction program, has been awarded the Tony Hillerman Prize for his novel, "Dark Reservations." The prize is given to the best debut mystery novel set in the southwestern United States. Fortunato's prize includes a contract with St. Martin's Press for publication of his novel.


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