You guys may not know who Elspeth Weingarten is yet, but you will soon. She joined the site in late December and, since then, hasn’t posted a single blog or video. She hasn’t appeared on Digression Session, she wasn’t interviewed for Creative Chaos. But believe me when I say that she has been invaluable.
Elspeth is playing a supporting role in my upcoming Podcast Play, Bloodshot. She plays Simple Sally, an insecure 17-year-old running with a really strange crowd. As her name would imply, Sally isn’t the brightest bulb. However, nor is she written to be dumb. Sally views herself as a moron, and those she keeps company with reinforce this with constant name calling and put downs.
Of all the characters I’ve written over the years, my heart goes out to Simple Sally the most. In the long and complicated road to bringing together a production of Bloodshot, Elspeth is the fourth actress to take on the role. First there was a girl named Ryan, who fit the part like a glove. We did three months of rehearsals before cameras rolled in 2003, and Ryan’s performance was spot on. Then, a week before production began, she simply vanished. Never even bothered to quit, she just stopped returning phone calls.
In a panic, I cast another girl for the role – Keri. Keri was terrible, both as an actress and a human being. She caused trouble with the other actors, she couldn’t remember her lines to save her life, and didn’t understand the character of Simple Sally at all. It is because of this performance I don’t mourn that production of Bloodshot not surviving.
Finally there was Demetriss, a talented actress cast in the attempted 2006 version of Bloodshot that was never made. I’ll never know how good she might have been, but I do know how good Elspeth is. She stands out in a cast of stand outs. Mixing one part Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors with a dash of Harley Quinn, her vocal performance is at once unique and yet familiar enough to evoke sympathy in recognizing the inspirations behind it.
Aside from the sheer talent at creating this voice, Elspeth also delivers a heartbreaking performance as Sally. She understood how to play her, not as an idiot or a bimbo but as a fragile teenage girl who never found her place in the world. Even through the comical voice a humanity shines through in Elspeth’s performance that shines through the darkness of the story.
Elspeth may not be the most prolific member of this site, but by bringing her talents to our Podcast Play department she has done us a huge service. She is a true professional. Her lines were delivered early, she was happy to take directions for re-takes, and she never acted like the project was beneath her in any way.
Elspeth has told me she is up for more Podcast Plays. Anyone looking to cast a fantastic actress for their project – look no further.

By James

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