That was Ed Smith’s reaction when he heard Lauryn Glossett recite the history of the church at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Lockport a few years ago.
And she was only 12 years old at the time.
“When I heard her read, I was shocked. She was phenomenal,” Smith said. “I saw a golden opportunity to bring her into this film."
Smith and his business partner Darryl Pitts were filming the movie “The Rhythm and the Blues," about a family of Chicago blues musicians in the 1960s, Smith talked to Pitts about offering Lauryn, now 15, a role.
Smith said he then approached Lauryn's parents Lee and Kendra Glossett and finally Lauryn herself.
Lauryn accepted the part as soon as Smith said “movie.”
“I was very honored,” Lauren said. “It was very humbling to be asked to be in such a big project. He knew that I do acting at school and act in Kidz Kabaret in Naperville. But never a movie.”
Lauryn, who's always been “an onstage person" and said she’s been singing “as long as I can remember,” started acting at age 10 and began singing with the church choir five years ago.
At Minooka Community High School, where Lauryn is a sophomore, Lauryn played the lead camper in the mystery ghost story, "Campfire."
As part of Kidz Kabaret, a children's theater, Lauryn has played Gabriel in "High School Musical," the wardrobe in "Beauty and the Beast" and Rusty in "Guys and Dolls."
So Lauryn was very excited to portray the “love interest and school mate" of one of the characters (Larry), the person who encourages him to go back to school, she said.
"I love portraying different characters and stepping out of my comfort zone to do something," Lauryn said. "In the long run, that has always been a positive experience."
During filming, Lauryn saw firsthand the differences between acting on stage and acting before a camera.
“Onstage you have no cuts,” Lauryn said. “You go out there and do what you have to do. If you mess up, you keep moving.”
Acting for film is a slower process than a play or a musical, especially with cuts and costume changes, she said.
“You sit around and wait a lot,” Lauryn said.
Although Lauryn was not required to memorize her entire script at once for she did so anyway, since she is accustomed to learning all her lines at once for stage productions.
Now that Lauryn’s experienced stage and film, which she does prefer? Musicals, because she loves to sing and she loves hearing the audience's response, she said.
Still, with filming "The Rhythm and the Blues," Lauryn learned a valuable lesson.
“The littlest movement can have a scene go downhill quickly,” she said.
Goal: “I would like to act in college and go to school for law later in life. I’ve always been interested in attorneys and their roles, how they handle themselves in court, and divorce attorneys really stuck out to me, the hard work they do to serve families.”
Favorite role: "Probably this one because I had never done it before. I went into it with a blank slate. Everyone one on set was so nice. It was a very inspirational experience."
Words of Wisdom: "Just never give up. You may audition for a role and you may not get it. That doesn’t mean you’re not as good as the next person.”
For more information about "The Rhythm and the Blues," visit therhythmandtheblues.com.