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Alumnus hopes to break into acting industry through online series

March 1, 2011

Eric Colton doesn’t consider himself to be a moron — but he willingly has joined ranks with people who don’t mind acting like them on the Internet.

Colton, a Los Angeles resident and MSU alumnus, recently landed a recurring role on a new online series, “Dumbass Filmmakers!”

The comedy web series centers on two lovable “losers,” played by Hunter Lee Hughes and Elizabeth Gordon, who come together to make a movie, despite opposition, criticism and a lack of knowledge about the film business.

“I hope that it gets a following,” Colton said. “Everyone knows those people who have no sense of reality — you can have a good laugh at their expense.”

The first season of the show has been filmed and currently is in the editing process. Once edited, the show will be hosted on YouTube and Vimeo and the episodes will be posted on dumbassfilmmakers.com.

Colton plays Ricky Blaine, the ex-boyfriend of Hughes’ character, Harrison DeWinter. Colton said his character Blaine used to think DeWinter was brilliant but became arrogant after having some success with a reality show of his own.

Although Colton is straight and plays a gay character, he said he and Blaine share a certain confidence that makes the role a natural fit.

“He’s very cocky and confident in himself, which I can relate to,” Colton said. “With comedy, it’s a relatable thing where I can transition my confidence in myself — it’s very easy for me to play in comedy.”

Gordon, a Los Angeles resident who also is the co-creator and a producer on the show, said she met Colton when he auditioned for a part in her short film, “Winner Takes All.”

Gordon said when the producers were casting for the show, she thought Colton would be a good fit for the part because of the level of energy and humor he brings to the table.

“The character had to have a likability so you would listen to what he’s saying,” Gordon said. “(Colton) brought some stuff that we wouldn’t even have thought about it.”

Rob Roznowski, the head of acting and directing in the Department of Theatre, said the wave of the future for a lot of actors relies on making webisodes for a new generation of Internet viewers. Roznowski said the show can be successful because of the increased viewership of online programming.

Roznowski, who was one of Colton’s professors during his time at MSU, said Colton was approachable and likable, which made him a natural in front of the camera.

“He took my auditioning class, which is notoriously difficult, and he excelled at it,” Roznowski said. “Just the amount of audition with every type of obstacle: film, audition, theater, monologue — he did great at that.”

Gordon said seeing the show will help viewers build connections with the characters who deal with relatable issues, such as friends, family and relationships.

For Colton, the future lies with continuing to work at his craft and hopefully getting one of the pilot shows he’s auditioning for picked up by a network.

He said landing a role in a major movie or sitcom will help him become a well-known name in the industry and benefit the future of his career.

“I can get my big break at any moment — I’m in the game,” Colton said. “I’m getting in the door. When you’re in the game, you can’t really complain.”

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