Producers of CBC’s Alberta-shot, Heartland are looking to their own backyard for its newest cast member, who will play a recurring character in the show’s 12th season.
“They just really want to give a local person the opportunity,” says Rhonda Fisekci, Heartland’s casting director. “Heartland is a staple in Alberta so they do want to reach out to the local community. I’m sure we can find her here.”
Fisekci says the girl should be Caucasian, aged six to (a small) nine, have blond hair and blue eyes. She will be playing “a little busybody who has opinions on everything and speaks her mind.”
“They need to be confident, outgoing, not shy,” Fisekci says. “Those are the traits I would be looking for in the audition room. Kids who have no fear.”
While experienced child actresses will not be rejected, Fisekci stresses that experience is not needed for the role.
“I find that kids at this age, if you just ask them to be themselves you get much better performances,” she says.
Heartland has a good track record in discovering young talent. Vancouver actress Alisha Newton joined the cast in Season 6 and quickly became a fan favourite as Georgie Crawley.
Fisekci could not reveal more about the new character for fear of spoilers. Whoever is chosen will be required to work periodically between Aug. 9 to Sept. 28, which is when the season’s later episodes will be shot. Production on Season 12 of Heartland begins June 1. It was unclear how many episodes the new character will appear in.
Auditions will be by appointment only and will take place in mid to late June. Parents are asked to submit a recent photo (camera phone pictures are fine) and a small bio that includes the child’s date of birth, height and parent or guardian contact information.
The deadline is June 10. Submissions should be made to [email protected]
By ERIC VOLMERS