Terissa Kelton spends her days around cameras, costume artists and creative geniuses.
Kelton, Texas State alumna, is developing the next set of projects for Twitchy Dolphin Flix, an independent film company in Austin. Her involvement in the theater program at Texas State led her to Twitchy Dolphin.
“Through the classes developing stage acting, I found myself to be a more subtle actor,” said Kelton, 2010 graduate with a BA in acting and mass communication. “I talked to Laura Lane, a faculty member, and started looking for other projects.”
In spring of 2009, Kelton found a casting call for “Look At Me Again,” a film being produced by the company. Even though she only went in as an extra, Kelton was asked to audition for another film. She has been involved in every film since.
“Terissa has lots of moxie and pluck. After she came on board as an extra, I knew she had a future here,” said James Christopher, president of Twitchy Dolphin. “She has that certain work ethic this business takes, and how to be subtle with emotions where it was needed.”
Christopher said that subtlety is important in film. Since the audience is only a few feet from the screen, actors must not go over the top with emotion.
After acting in “Turkey Day” and “Snatch ‘n’ Grab,” Kelton tried her hand at producing.
“The owner had pre-cast for “Goin’ Guerrilla,” but he asked me if I wanted to produce,” Kelton said. “I helped with publications, worked with script writers, and really enjoyed the whole process. I eventually got an acting spot, so it was an interesting dynamic being actor and producer.”
Kelton went on to produce “3 References,” her sole position for the film. She said she was more excited about this film, which just recently wrapped, because she could focus on producing a great movie.
Double majoring at Texas State helped Kelton produce and work in the film business.
“It’s cool because I know how to highlight my acting, approach the camera and how to write press releases on the other side of things,” Kelton said. “It really helped me learn how to keep connections and not burn bridges, which can be a tremendous downfall in a small world like the indie film industry.”
Kelton has worked on six films with Twitchy Dolphin over the past three years. The company has won awards at major film festivals around the country.
She credits her success to Texas State, which helped her prepare for this unique business.
“The professors really helped me understand to always be going on to the next thing,” Kelton said. “To move on if you don’t get a role and try to expand your skills.”
Kelton’s training, passion and work ethic created a unique style of acting that fits into the Twitchy Dolphin scene. As Christopher said, “it takes a special someone to be twitchy.”