TEN Cast Interview: Sophia Cacciola

Next up in our series of interviews with the cast of TEN, here’s Sophia Cacciola, who plays a folk singer in the film. (In real life, she sings too – and drums – in numerous bands, such as Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Darling Pet Munkee, Space Balloons, and the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library.) She’ll also be spending a lot of time behind the scenes of TEN, making sure the entire production runs smoothly by managing everything from props to wardrobe to the feeding of 17 hungry, tired cast and crew members. Sophia wishes it to be known that this interview was conducted before she had received her first dose of caffeine from the Sexy Coffee Robot.

Photos by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

What’s your acting background? Being in a band, I’ve been in music videos; the biggest one is “Arrival” for Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.

That was an eleven-day shoot for two minutes of video. Sort of stressful, but it came out good. With Darling Pet Munkee, we’ve done a bunch of videos, and with the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, we did a short film. I’ve been on a local TV reality show, Quiet Desperation – it’s a somewhat scripted reality TV show about Rob Potylo’s life. I’ve been terrible on that, but I’ve been on it. Usually they cut my lines. [Laughs.] And then most recently I was in our friend Mark Phinney’s film that’s coming out – it’s called Fat. I played a girl at a dinner party, and a guy wants to flirt with me, and I think we’re having a nice conversation, and then I mention my boyfriend, and he flips out. That’s my whole scene, and it’s about two minutes long, but I have lots of lines. It was really fun, because that’s the first thing I’ve done for a real movie. And that’s it; I didn’t do theatre, I didn’t do plays. Oh, and I was a troll in The Hobbit, around sixth grade. That’s the only play I ever did. And I just screamed “Mutton!” but I screamed it, like, sixty times throughout the play, and I did it in a weird voice. It was like, “Mutton!” [growls], and people would try to imitate it, but they couldn’t do it.

So after that experience, you never wanted to be in another play? I just didn’t stick with it. Acting was never my thing because I would have been way too self-conscious to act, I think. But Space Balloons kind of brought me out of my shell. With Space Balloons, we wear capes, we’re these characters. And I was like, if I’m willing to be this ridiculous and not care, then I can do other stuff. It’s not out yet, but we taped a bunch of little PBS-style TV show things for Space Balloons. That was fun but also ridiculous. So it’s mostly been music-related, I guess. I feel a little guilty because I never went into acting, and yet I’m trying to act a little bit now, later in my life.

How did TEN come about? So, Michael [J. Epstein] and I have been working on a lot of projects together, mostly music but getting into film. We’ve produced several music videos and we were just looking for other projects to do, just to practice and to have fun. So when our friend Sarah emailed us about a trailer competition, it sounded fun and we got together and started working on it. Once we had the people in the trailer that were super excited to make it a thing, we were like, alright, let’s think about it, and then we did the Kickstarter, and I kind of half-hoped it wouldn’t happen, because it’s so much work. It’s good though. [Laughs.] But it has taken over our lives 24/7.

What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenge for you during this project? Well, we tried to write some of the roles around people we knew we had, and their strengths, so my role is pretty small, really. I don’t think it’ll be that hard, but I still have to practice. What’s hardest is that I’m going to have to feed everybody – 17 people to feed – and just make sure everyone’s happy…ish. Somewhat happy. That’s going to be the biggest challenge, I think. I feel like food is like a drug and will make people happy. I want people to be happy.

What are you doing to prepare yourself for the acting portion? I’m trying to nail down the perfect outfit for my character, and then I feel like I’ll be pretty good. And I want to watch some Janis Ian and Joni Mitchell videos to see how they talked and to try to get into that role. And I’m growing my hair, which has been happening anyways outside of this. But now I have an excuse for not cutting it.

What are you most looking forward to? I like working really hard for a short period of time on something creative, so it’s exciting to me that there’s an end point to something. With bands, it’s just like, you do a record, and then you do another record, then you get some more shows, and it just goes on forever. With the movie, it’s going to go on for a long, long time, but it’s like a thing on its own, and so the eight days that we’re in Rhode Island will be like a whirlwind. I’m thinking it’ll be like tour. I love being on tour in the van, just hanging out with people and having a mutual experience that’s tough and fun and a lot of work. I find that fun. So I feel like it’s going to be like tour, because we’re just stuck in this house, dealing with each other, and hopefully we’ll have a fun time.

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