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If you Googled Marion County native Audri Clark, you’d get a lot of standard results: a Facebook page, Pinterest profile, and Twitter account – but you’d also get a result most people can’t say they have, their name on IMDb.
That’s because Clark, 24, of Lebanon, is an actress who has been in plays and appeared on a web series and TV show.
Clark, who works at All Paws Veterinary services and as a caretaker, humbly got her start in theater when she was just 7 years old. Though she can’t remember the name of her first performance at Lebanon United Methodist Church, she said she remembers having to wear a big boa.
“I had to be the diva of the group and I just remember it being so much fun,” Clark said.
While some people might get stage fright, for Clark, it was something she loved because she got to be someone else.
“I loved it right from the jump,” Clark said. “It’s just a really easy way to express yourself and it’s a break from reality because you don’t have to be you - you become that character.”
But, at the time, being a human chameleon was only a hobby for Clark and she didn’t consider doing it as an occupation. But going to college changed that.
After finishing high school, Clark went on to complete her secondary education at Lindsey Wilson College. There, she majored in criminal justice and minored in theater. During her time at LWC, she got more experience in acting with the Lindsey Wilson Players. According to Clark, she was a freshman when the performance group was first started.
“I was there from the beginning to all the way where it is now,” Clark said.
Being a member of the group allowed her to travel outside of the commonwealth and perform as various characters.
But for right now, she loves to play comedic roles and enjoys being the character that induces laughter.
“I’ve been everything from a monkey, to a man, to an intoxicated man,” Clark said.
One of the most difficult parts of becoming a new identity, she said, was erasing some of the thoughts, ideas and opinions you had about the character’s personality. On top of that, she said another challenge was interacting well with other characters in the performance, particularly if you don’t get along with them.
A working woman
Less than a year after she graduated, Clark played a role in the web series, “The Accidental President.” The series was produced by Left Brain Digital in Nashville, Tenn. The production was based on a book under the same title written by Dixie Swanson.
While she was on set, Clark would get serious face time with the camera. It was also her first speaking role outside of college.
Her line? “Good morning and excuse me, ma'am.”
Though the role was small, it would be a whole new experience for Clark because instead of a live audience, she was performing in front of a camera.
“On the stage, there are no re-dos,” Clark said. “Whereas with TV, it’s like ‘OK, that wasn’t right, cut, redo.’”
She said it was frustrating at times when they would do the same scene over and over again.
Under those circumstances, some may think it would take days or weeks to complete the project. But they’d be wrong. Clark said her role was completed in one late night session that ended after midnight.
Despite the frustrations and heavy workload, she said it was fun because she got to meet a lot of different people.
Besides her role in “The Accidental President,” Clark has also appeared on the TV show, “Nashville.” In that show, she played a concert audience member. While her screen time was short, she was in the front row of the program’s set and can be easily spotted.
One thing that may surprise people about being on a set is that it may not be as luxurious as you think. Clark said while taping for “Nashville,” the cast was supplied with lunch but people were asked to bring several of their own outfits for the crew to pick.
“‘This is what we want you to wear,’” Clark recalled. “‘Do this to your hair, change this, don’t do that,’ and they would put you where they wanted you to be.”
A tough business
Though her moments on screen have been brief, Clark noted the industry is very difficult to get into.
“I would’ve given up a long time ago if it wasn’t for the support of my family and my friends and several community members,” Clark said. “This business is so pressing and it’s so hard to keep going because for every hundred no’s you might get one yes. You have to actually have a drive and a passion for it to keep going because it’s so easy to give up.”
Currently, she is signed on with the Crawford Agency, which has offices in New York, Miami and Los Angeles.
According to her, after getting scripts from the agency, she records herself performing the bit, and sends it back.
“It can be weeks, even months before I hear anything from them,” Clark said.
Despite being in such a difficult industry, Clark said she is hoping to make it to the big screen one day and has had several auditions she’s waiting to hear back about.
If opportunity knocks, she’s ready to drop everything to answer the door.
“Not a whole lot of people can say that they’ve actually chased their dream,” Clark said. “But I’m doing it and it’s not easy, but that’s what it has to boil down to.”