August 30, 1999
Chalon Williams (left), son of Bill and Sandie Williams, plays Kevin Bacon's (right) neighbor in Stir of Echoes.
by Deborah Stone, features writer
Getting into the movies is a dream for many actors. Hard work and persistence can pay off, but a little luck along the way may boost their chances even higher.
For Chalon Williams, 1998 Woodinville High School graduate, being in the right place at the right time certainly gave him the advantage he needed to make his dream come true.
Williams didn't begin studying acting until the end of his junior year at WHS when he hurt his back and couldn't go out for track. After appearing in West Side Story, he was bitten with the acting bug and went on to act in several other of the school's plays during his senior year. He decided to pursue acting as a career and received a theatre scholarship at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Last year, the Dean of the theater department at Roosevelt approached Williams about doing an audition for a casting agency in Chicago. The agency was casting for a new movie, Stir of Echoes, with Kevin Bacon. Williams had the physical appearance of one of the characters, a high school football player, and was encouraged to try out for the role. After three auditions, he was chosen to play the part of Adam.
"Each time I was called back to audition, it was nerve-wracking," said Williams. "At the last callback, there were thirteen guys going for two male parts and they kept sending people home one by one, until finally it came down to two of us. I couldn't believe I got it!"
Williams took two weeks off of school to shoot the movie, which was all done last fall in the Chicago area. Stir of Echoes is a thriller-mystery about a man (Kevin Bacon) who discovers he has ESP. He keeps seeing the ghost of a girl who has disappeared, and he tries to find out what happened to her.
"I play a good/bad guy character who is Kevin's neighbor in the movie," explains Williams. "It's a good starting role, as I have speaking lines and do some scenes with Kevin. He was nice to work with and treated the other actors with respect. The whole crew was great. Everyone was very helpful. We shot all day, usually from 7 a.m. until very late in the evening, but the time went fast because it was so interesting and exciting to me. Since it was my first movie, I learned so much."
Williams has since seen the movie, although it is not due out to the public until Sept. 10. He's a bit timid about the opening of the movie to the public because he is somewhat concerned about the reactions of other people to his performance.
"I thought I was okay," says Williams, "but I don't know how other people will think I did. I know I'm most critical of myself. I'll just have to see what happens."
With such a positive experience, Williams is eager to audition more and has since found an agent in the Chicago area. His priority is to make a living from acting, but he understands that this is not easy. In addition to majoring in theater, he is also studying international relations as a back-up.
"I am interested in other cultures and want to become multilingual," comments Williams. "I am learning Italian right now and it's fun to be able to speak different languages."
Although he enjoys a variety of cultural activities, including going to the opera, Williams also lists his interests as, "sports, working on cars, and girls."
For this well-rounded and talented young man, fame is just a few steps closer.