"Sometimes all it takes is one desperate act”
Sam Weston, played by Benson Simmonds, is a professional actor who is desperate for the opportunity to act in front of an audience. So desperate in fact that he abducts a random woman, played by Fiona Hogan, from the street, pulling her into an alley at gun point, and forcing her to be a captive audience.
The woman naturally assumes that Sam wants her money and valuables. When he frantically tells her he doesn’t want her money or valuables, she assumes the worst-case scenario only to have him say “What I want … what I want is to act! This is a theatrical mugging”.
Humorously Sam even hands her his resume with headshot included! Dumbfound by Sam’s proclamation the woman questions him “You’re mugging me so you can act?”
Applaud Or Die has an unconventional story concept that works very well because of the level of depth and believability that Benson brings to the Sam character.
The viewing audience is taken on a bit of a tour of Sam’s various emotional characterizations, and are unsure of what to expect next.
Ultimately what plays out towards the end of the short film is unexpected and gives Fiona Hogan’s character a chance to exact a bit of accidental revenge on Sam.
Applaud Or Die is worth a watch for its interesting concept and worthy execution.
About Benson Simmonds
Benson Simmonds is an award-winning actor, award-nominated writer/filmmaker and a celebrated acting teacher and coach. Benson, originally from Canada, first appeared on television at age 7. New York beckoned and upon graduation from college, Benson left for New York. Benson was one of the top students at the Sonia Moore Stanislavski School but was fascinated by the Meisner technique and was accepted to the two year Meisner program with Kathryn Gately. Benson also studied with world renowned acting teacher Ivana Chubbuck. He won the coveted LEO AWARD (Western Canada's version of the Oscars) for best actor in a short drama. Benson also was nominated for best writer and best short film.
Benson moved to LA, within his first 3 months in LA, Benson shot and booked a pilot, began teaching and shooting his third short film, which he is currently editing. He continues to book work both in the US and in Canada. Benson continues to teach and coach in LA and has just completed his "Master the Audition" DVD for purchase.