Elina Lattazio says

In the play Moonlight and Magnolias, Ron Hutchinson writes, “It is only in the movies that the dead can walk”. He then poses the question “You have any other way to live forever?”

For a teen-aged film actor, this quote strikes a chord that is very specific to the adolescent phase of life. On the cusp of embarking on the journey of life, teenagers are forced to confront the idea that their childhoods will one day come to an end. There is an ever-present sense of foreboding, reminding the person that adulthood will force changes in our lives and even our characters that cannot possibly be anticipated. Such changes come with independence and responsibility. For many, the termination of the childhood phase can be likened to the death of our sheltered, child like existences.

Participation in film aids in the transition, both in the moment and long after. Throughout this inner turmoil, acting is remarkably therapeutic. While on set, an actor escapes the present moment. In lieu of struggling with his/her own emotions and grievances, the emotions and grievances of another person overcome he/she entirely. The actor is free to feel, speak and act without the consequences of the real world. In many ways, acting is meditative.

However, when the moment ends, the artists involved are left with a treasure.

To say that film allows individuals to live forever is not limited to a film existing after a person’s passing. Throughout the beginnings and endings of all phases of life, a film remains constant. A film is a record of the teen actor’s work at a time just before he/she becomes someone else entirely: an adult.

Participating in film allows the teen version of oneself to live beyond its time. Throughout the ebbs and flows of the transition between phases, actors can look upon a film with satisfaction. They will know that in their youth, they had been part of a team of like-minded people who created something that will withstand the test of time.

The work of artists such as Matthew Marshall and Corrinne Wood provides ordinary teens with the opportunity to live forever, without stunting their creative growth. Looking back on films lets us see our development as actors, learn from our experiences, and hone skills that we may not have ever had the opportunity to hone. We learn practical skills such as working with the equipment, as well as universal problem-solving skills that will serve us throughout our lives (regardless of our chosen career paths).

I am passionate about the experiences I have had working on films such as "Malicious Attack" and "Summer of Discovery", as I have learned lessons and made memories—as well as tangible products—that will last a lifetime. I have tapped into characters, spoken words and felt emotions that have given me a broader perspective on the human experience. I have met people who have become my friends and allies in the pursuit of future acting endeavors.

Most importantly, the version of me that may not exist in a few years will always live in the moments captured onscreen. I will always be able to visit her. I have had the opportunity to live forever.

Elina Lattazio