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LOCAL ACTRESS: ’Busco born actress gets her break in show biz

August 14, 2012

Photo contributed Kayla Crance, originally from Churubusco, will appear in the upcoming season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Sept. 27 on ABC.

LOS ANGELES­ — Churubusco native, Kayla Crance, isn’t just gushing over “McDreamy,” she’s acting with him. Crance will appear on the upcoming season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, an ABC prime-time medical drama, starring Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, also known as “McDreamy.”
Since graduating in 2011 from Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), she’s been working in some background acting and was fortunate enough to appear as a featured background actor in the Sept. 27 episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
“I’m working on some background acting for other shows such as ‘The New Normal,’” said Crance, a 2007 graduate of Churubusco High School.
Crance is currently in Los Angeles pursuing acting and other film and televison producing opportunities.
She said, “I’m doing background work on films and television shows when possible and hopefully getting ready to begin some acting courses at Playhouse West and trying to secure some auditions. I do try to come home to Indiana when possible, because it will always be home.”
Leaving turtle town for the big city was a big chance for Crance. She said it was a bit overwhelming at times and it’s been a big adjustment.
“‘Busco is a very unique place to grow up and live so to be taken out of that environment is an interesting experience. To some degree, it has been alright because so many people out here are also artists and actors. The chances are good that you will find people that share the same interests and goals as you,” said Crance.
“Sometimes you can still be very alone, even when you are in a huge city surrounded by people. But it is a really good feeling to step out of your comfort zone and make yourself go after your dreams.”
Crance said that acting was something that tapped into her natural creativity.
“When I was younger, my best friend and I were always putting on little plays and filming our own little shows,” said Crance.
“Around the same time, a friend of the family was looking for some kids to appear in a community theatre musical in the ‘Busco area and asked me to be involved. I really enjoyed it and that sort of started my interest in theatre. After that, I started auditioning for community theatre shows and I would say that after my first real role as Imogene in ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’, I was hooked.”
Crance went on to stretch her acting resume in high school. Whether she was working behind the scenes or in the spotlight, Crance was involved in each performance at the high school. She said she enjoyed each show, but there were two that stood out in her memory.
“In terms of the plays put on by the high school, I think my favorite role would have to be Mrs. Harkness in ‘Thunder on Sycamore Street.’ It is a pretty serious and dramatic play and it deals with some real issues. I enjoyed it because I sort of got to be the comedic relief and bring some laughs and fun to the show,” said Crance.
“My first show, ‘Will Rogers’ Follies,’ was also fun because I was really just in the chorus, but another student and I got to appear as the stage hands and we had a funny little scene of our own.”
As the curtain would draw to a close each performance, Crance said that family and friends were her biggest supporters and the inspiration behind her becoming an actress.
“I always knew that I wanted to act. Whenever I watched a movie or television show and someone on the show really connected with me and feel for their character, it was inspiring to me, but my mom has also really inspired me. She has always been really supportive of me and encourages me to follow my dreams.”
When Crance wasn’t in the spotlight, she was running it. With her experience behind the scenes, Crance tried her hand at directing.
Crance directed shows at Churubusco High School while attending college. She said it was a learning experience, but she gained more confidence with each show she directed.
“Directing at the high school is really a difficult thing because you are basically wearing all of the hats. There is virtually no budget and not always a huge pool of crew to choose from. So, I found myself in charge of pretty much everything from set design and construction to the marketing and promotion of the show. I am a very organized person so it was right up my alley, but it was overwhelming at times. I like directing because I do like to organize things and be in charge and that is a good way to do that. It also offers another way to tell the story besides just appearing on stage,”Crance said.
More recently, Crance has focused more on film and television projects.
After being cast in a local independent film, “East of Nowhere,” Crance was initiated into the inner network of local actors and found herself in Evansville.
“One of the directors of ‘East of Nowhere’ told me about a casting call for another independent film that was going to be filmed in Evansville. So I auditioned for a role and was cast in a leading role as the daughter of the main character. That movie was called ‘Three Tears on Bloodstained Flesh,’” said Crance. “It’s still in the post-production process, but we’re hoping to see it soon.”
Crance’s goal now is to establish herself as a working actor and obtain an agent to represent her.
“I do enjoy being challenged so I like to find roles that make me work or are maybe non-traditional. I also enjoy writing little sketches and screenplays, very much like when I was younger, and would like to eventually start filming and making my own short films and productions.”
To follow Crance on her acting aspirations, visit her website at www.kaylacrance.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KaylaCrance.

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