Lacey Oake, from Red Deer, in a scene from ‘Before I Change My Mind,’ a feature film by Trevor Anderson, a Red Deer native living in Edmonton. It will be screened next month at the Calgary International Film Festival. (Contributed photo)

Lacey Oake, from Red Deer, in a scene from ‘Before I Change My Mind,’ a feature film by Trevor Anderson, a Red Deer native living in Edmonton. It will be screened next month at the Calgary International Film Festival. (Contributed photo)

Red Deer’s Cornerstone Youth Theatre actor branches out into feature films

Lacey Oake, 13, appears in two movies shot in Alberta

Lacey Oake has gone from starring in Cornerstone Youth Theatre musicals to acting in full-length films.

The 13-year-old Red Deer resident appears in two Made-in-Alberta movies that will be screened in the coming weeks.

Before I Change my Mind is by director Trevor Anderson, a Red Deer native who now lives in Toronto. Lacey plays one of the lead roles. Her character, Izzy, is friends with a non-binary person who’s having identity challenges while growing up in the 198os.

“While the other students wonder if new kid Robin is a boy or a girl, Robin (makes) increasingly dangerous choices to fit in,” states the official plot summary.

“It’s a coming of age story,” added Oake, who recently completed Grade 8 at Westpark Middle School.

This movie was filmed in central Alberta last summer, including outdoor scenes in Red Deer. Oake believes viewers will definitely notice the ‘green onion’ water tower in some shots, and could also recognize some neighbourhoods where bike riding scenes were shot.

Before I Change My Mind will make an international debut at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland on Aug. 10. It was voted “one of the top 10 must-see” movies, with Anderson nominated for a Golden Leopard Award.

The film has also been selected for the “Alberta Spotlight” section of the Calgary International Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 22 to Oct. 2.

Oake stepped into her first professional film role as Aela in the horror movie Jikirag, made by Vancouver’s Constellate Films. This movie will be distributed to U.S. theatres this fall by Vertical Entertainment, and she believes it will also be shown in Canada.

“Making my first horror film was a bit scary, I’m not going to lie,” said Oake, recalling all the gory makeup. “But now that I know how it’s made, I’m not going to be scared when I watch it,” added the teen, who will starting high school this fall.

This full-length film is about pagan villagers who have battle “madness and the macabre” to save themselves from a monstrous creature. It was shot just outside Rocky Mountain House. Oake believes it has an underlying ecological message: “If you take too much from the forest, the forest will take it back. It’s about how there are consequences to actions.”

The trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Oake said she found her love of acting at Cornerstone Youth Theatre. Since joining at age nine, she’s performed in 10 shows, most recently appearing as the lead Red in Grimm — A Mixed Up Musical Adventure.

Several years ago, family friend Christy Marchuk, who was studying Motion Picture Arts at Red Deer Polytechnic, asked Oake to appear in several of her short student films. Through these experiences, Oake discovered she really enjoyed underplaying her emotions for the camera.

“Honestly, it wasn’t too difficult. It was a natural thing…”

She’s since signed with two talent agencies, in Alberta and in Vancouver, which are making her aware of various film opportunities.

“It’s so amazing that a Red Deer girl is doing so great in the acting world, I’m so proud of her,” said her mother Tracey Oake.

Lacey said she would love to pursue an acting career someday, but if doesn’t work out, she plans to become a real estate agent/house decorator like the ones on HGTV.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

film