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Naked Leader Week 798 – 26 November 2018
Time to Read: 5 minutes
Stevee wonder as Oscar boosts profile
This month, Clive Barrett, speaks with Stevee Davies – actor, producer and casting director:
FILM casting director Stevee Davies is the perfect example of someone who may well have written the Naked Leader ethos himself.
The 28-year-old knows where he wants to go, knows where he is now and is setting about getting there as quickly as possible.
Stevee, whose involvement with films stretches back to 2009, first as an actor, is fast gaining himself a formidable reputation.
Playing roles in a Touch of Frost and appearing in Les Miserables are among his acting credits in his formative years while he has since moved in to casting where he has built a glowing reputation.
Nothing will have prepared him for the elation of being involved in an Oscar-winning production, though, The Silent Child (2017) earning the accolade for Best Live Action Short earlier this year.
The film is about a four-year-old profoundly deaf girl named Libby, who lives in a world of silence until she is helped by a caring social worker who teaches her the art of communication.
Stevee was thrilled to be involved with such an exciting collaboration and said, rather modestly:
‘The past year has been quite good.’
On the sensational Oscar victory he adds: ‘It completely surprised all of us. I got involved when a friend of mine, Chris [Overton], who I had worked with previously as an actor, approached me.
‘Chris and his partner Rachel [Shenton] were so passionate about it. They didn’t make the film just for the sake of it. It had a meaning and it was made to raise awareness which I think was key to its success. I was involved from the very early drafts and at meetings. It was great.’
It was Rachel’s screenplay debut, her father becoming deaf for the past two years of his life. Her deaf awareness led to her desire to tell this story and urged her to put pen to paper.
Stevee has been casting for the past four years, a role that requires strong instinct for acting talent, dedication, and a deep passion for the craft.
Finding the right people, introducing ideas, working closely with producers, it’s all part of his remit.
‘I’ve been lucky enough to work and assist on various studio feature films over the past four years,’ he added. ‘It can be a long process. It can come down to availability, even money. It involves a lot of scheduling and working out diaries and it’s what I really enjoy.’
A pertinent life lesson which others could take from Stevee is to believe in what you do.
He is driven more by making a difference than any financial gain and appreciates being in a role that allows his creativity to flourish.
‘It’s the thought of being involved with projects that mean something,’ he explains. ‘Or projects that are interesting. For instance, I’m currently working with a group of young filmmakers on a film involving stillbirth. Again it’s getting that message out there. It has meaning. As long as I am fulfilling my creativity I’m happy.’
And what about that Naked Leader ‘can do’ attitude and meeting founder David Taylor?
‘I was a sceptic before I met David but I was introduced to him by a mutual friend and there are no illusions with him. His is real work and I responded to that.
‘I have a vision, know where I’m going and I want to get to where I want to be. While I’m in my 20s I want to enjoy living and give it all I can. In 30 years time I don’t want to think of what might have been.”
I close with David’s take away from Stevee’s story:
“Stevee proves that anything is possible. Winning an Oscar is not easy – it is the pinnacle of ambition for him and his company, and I know he won’t stop there. He is the living example that anyone can achieve anything they choose, anytime they are prepared to believe in themselves and their team, take action and never give up”.
Thank you Stevee and Clive.
If you have any recommendations or suggestions for future Leader Features please email Clivebarrett@nakedleader.com.
With my love and best wishes to you all