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Independent Films Help Support Mainstream In Finding New Talent

Paula Jai Parker puts her career and faith in the same hands as she talks about her role in “Last Call at Murray’s”.

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"Last Call at Murray's'

“I let God be my manager. I will go with who wants me and they wanted me, and it’s a good feeling to be wanted. Also in this movie, I got the opportunity to sing, and I love to sing! You know the grass is always greener, actors want to sing, singers want to act, athletes want to act and rap, so I like being diverse. I auditioned, and I gave it my all and they wanted me,” says Paula.

Parker plays Danice, a lawyer, in "Last Call at Murray's" and while she aims to be the consummate professional at all times, she hides a family secret. Honoring her mother’s wishes will mean her sister may never forgive her actions.

“My character Danice is a professional person, but she is not a good singer, that’s both the crazy and beautiful part of this character, so I wasn’t allowed to sing well. They wanted her to be a regular woman when she sang, so they didn’t add any reverb or effects. I had to try and dumb it down. Everyone at Murray’s has a story to tell. Her story is about her family and her life and what’s going on in her life- the singing for her was just a release.” adds Parker.

“You know like most people who sing on karaoke, or they sing in the shower, it’s a stress reliever. For some karaoke allows people to have all eyes on them for just a few minutes. This movie gives everyone their moment to shine for various reasons. It’s not gratuitous it’s about people and life and people trying to figure it all out. I loved the script and I got to work with some great people.”

Despite having to hold back on her singing talent and not being able to sing to her best ability, “Last Call at Murray’s” got Parked noticed.

“You never know who is watching "Last Call at Murray’s” and this film swept through the film festival circuit creating a lot of buzz. Top producers and directors are always looking for new writing and acting talent. Even though Danice didn’t kill it at Karaoke, I sold the song well enough to go onto another great project appearing in “Ray Donovan.” I think that says a lot for our indie film and working on independent films in general. That’s why we do independent films as actors because we want to be seen and we love to work. When people say they don’t do independent movies – I don’t understand that as that’s where it’s at – it gives people an opportunity to be seen. It also allows you to do things that you may not get a chance to in mainstream. The way this movie was directed was inspiring. Everything was a continuous shot and it was complicated and choreographed. The good thing is you have a little more freedom with independent projects and can delve into characters and bring out that emotion again, not always that freedom in mainstream.”

“Last Call at Murray’s” has been described as a heartfelt comedy, a movie of self – awareness, defeat and success, so what is the message viewers will remember?

Parker says, “I hope they see themselves in us, each character represents a different part of life. I don’t feel like we are preaching we are trying to show people their lives through our characters. We don’t always get to see everyday people on film. If you like to watch little green people or super models or robots, that’s all good, but people like to watch real people. I don’t know any little green people nor do I have an endless list of beautiful people in my life with beautiful clothes doing the unimaginable it’s not realistic all the time. I think this movie takes the stress of being a regular person and takes the pressure off being you. It’s ok to fail sometimes, we all do.”

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