Eveningside Casting Sketches
Interwoven narratives behind the scenes
THERE HAS BEEN SO MUCH WRITTEN about the way every detail in making the pictures is obsessively planned. That’s true in many ways. But for every fine-tuned, mapped out, story-boarded or sketched element, there are typically several others that are completely serendipitous, and unexpected. That is never more true than when it comes to casting.
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In the case of the above picture, The Laundromat 2021-2022, the story of how we wound up casting the central figure in that picture began on the set of Royal Cleaners in 2018.
Royal Cleaners, which has actually been closed at that location for years, was once owned by Rebekah’s grandfather. The business had been closed long enough by the time we made the picture that we had to art direct some of the signage, the Royal Cleaners van, as well as some props in the interior so that it looked like it was still functioning. Rebekah visited set to watch that picture being shot.
When it came time to make The Laundromat in 2021, we thought of Rebekah and her son Sirus, since in the original concept, there was going to be a young teenage kid standing on the opposite corner from the woman in the window. That idea changed, and instead became a “LOST” flyer on a phone pole, a small detail. Nonetheless, we used Rebekah’s son’s picture on that flyer. It seemed like a cool Easter egg.
Across the street from where we were shooting The Laundromat, there is a very busy convenience store. People from the neighborhood were starting to gather in its parking lot to watch the shoot. Among them was a group of teenage kids who had ridden their bikes there to buy sodas. That’s where we met Easton, who we wound up putting in The Storefront Window, shot the following week, many miles away from The Laundromat.
“The day I was in the picture, the set was really cool. All the old cars, and the vibe. Also kind of spooky, like Tim Burton,” Easton recalled via a phone conversation recently. “And I thought it was kinda cool that Gregory said I reminded him of a young version of himself. I’ve always felt I was born in the wrong decade, that’s for sure.” Easton went on to mention the Speedies, and also that he writes his own music, plays guitar, and sings. He also says in terms of life goals, he doesn’t want fame and fortune: “I’m a simple guy. I wanna be on a lake in a small house and just write songs.”
Easton continues: “Gregory told me when we were on the set that Twisted Sister had once played in the bar next door.” [True story.] “You guys gave me a Dio shirt to wear in the picture. I also brought a couple skateboards cause Gregory wanted me to bring them just in case. It was cold that day. I had a blast. I’d do it again a hundred times.”
The next picture we made, not far from The Storefront Window, was The Burial Vault. We featured Sirus here, Rebekah’s son. Proof that everything winds up happening for a reason: Sirus was perfect in this picture.
Editor’s note: The text accompanying this post was written by Juliane Hiam, Gregory’s partner and creative producer. For more insight into Gregory’s casting process, watch There but not There.
Eveningside opens Nov. 8 at Daniel Templon Gallery in Paris. For more information visit their website.