If there's one thing everyone knows about strippers, it's that they have the ability to change people's lives. And that magic is the basis for the indie film Meyerland, whose creators have been scouring Houston to find a young actress to play Stormy, a topless dancer dancer who has a profound impact on a kid who lives in the titular community.
"It's about a lot of things -- growing up, religion, what it takes for people to change their lives for the better," co-writer and director Blake Newman told Hair Balls. Newman and producer Mark Stoloraff are Houston expats living in L.A. They ran Curtains Theater, which showcased mostly original material about life in Houston, in the '80s and '80s. (The former theater's parking lot is now home to The Social).
Newman said he hopes to start shooting on location in late fall or winter, although the schedule depends on whether his team is able to land a known commodity for the male lead. He said the role of Stormy will probably go to someone as-yet undiscovered -- and possibly an actual dancer; he hopes to audition local strippers.
According to his bio, Stoloraff is a founding partner of Antic Pictures, "a production company producing a slate of low-budget, high-quality digital features."
"We don't think a star exists who could play Stormy...it's a fairly risque role and she has to talk like this," Newman says with a twang. He says about 60 women auditioned for the role in the most recent round of casting. "The last round [of auditions], I didn't really find her, although I found some other talent....There are probably 40 or 50 roles in the movie; we'd like for most of it to be home-grown talent."
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He and co-writer Ben Sayeg spent three years on the script, which was inspired by -- you guessed it -- an actual stripper named Stormy. Who lived in Meyerland.
When the film is completed, Newman hopes to take it to the Sundance or Cannes film festivals.
"But the whole independent movie business is changing rapidly, there's all sorts of different avenues you have to take," Newman said.
The whole thing makes us wonder where the real Stormy is now. We may have to hit every strip club from here to Beaumont to find her.