Sterling College Sophomore Michael Gordon Stars in Independent Film

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sterling College sophomore Michael Gordon went to the Asheville Film Festival in North Carolina this past November—and watched himself on the big screen. Gordon played the lead in the film “War Stories,” which premiered at Asheville in the feature film category.It was a bit like stepping into the past. “War Stories” was filmed four years ago when Gordon was in high school. Though he had acted in more than twenty shows at that point, they had all been stage productions, so when Gordon heard of a film being produced in the Wichita area, his home town, he decided to expand his experience. “(T)ons of other people” showed up at the auditions, he said, but he tried out for the lead role, and got it.“It was a great first film project to work on. Lee is a talented director,” said Gordon. “He has a good eye—and he is able to draw characters out with the camera.” Whitman submitted the film to the Asheville Film Festival, and he and several of the cast members, including Gordon, travelled to the premier. In the film teenager Tim Curtwright, played by Gordon, discovers that his father did not die in the Gulf War, as his mother has told him ever since he was a young child. Curtwright realizes his father may still be alive and goes on a journey in search of the truth.

“War Stories” placed third in its category at Asheville, and Whitman plans to submit it to other film festivals. In the meantime, Gordon continues to pursue the craft he loves. “Theatre allows me to step outside my own challenges and into someone else’s,” said Gordon. “The beauty of this craft motivates me, and I have an internal drive to get better at it.” He has been doing just that at Sterling College, where he majors in theatre with an emphasis in education and seeks to learn as much as he can from Theatre Chair Gordon Kling and Senior Associate Professor Diane DeFranco-Kling. “Their intelligence for the craft can be seen in everything they do,” said Gordon of his professors. “They know so much about what I aspire to know. Working with them is phenomenal.”He has worked often with them in the last year and a half. As a first-year student, he played Tardiveau in “An Italian Straw Hat”; Officer O’Hara in “Arsenic and Old Lace”; and a role in the one act “Hard Candy.” This past fall he was Mike Dillard the iron worker in the 2009 Homecoming musical “Working.” “Gordon has a wonderful singing and speaking voice—rich and resonant,” said DeFranco-Kling. “He also has a rare desire to constantly improve himself. Those are qualities that make a great actor.”