OWOSSO — When Caleb Silvers decided to pursue acting at the age of 18, he knew nobody was going to hand great roles to him — it would take a lot of hard work to get where he wanted to go.
Now 24, Silvers continues to chase the dream; his latest project, “The Holden Family Plan,” premiered Saturday at Owosso’s NCG Cinema.
“Ever since I was little, acting was just my passion. I liked changing characters, becoming someone else…I like to touch people’s hearts and change people’s minds,” Silvers said.
Silvers attended Owosso Public Schools until middle school. He was homeschooled for the remainder of his education and graduated in 2013.
Shortly thereafter, he landed his very first role as an extra in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” which filmed in nearby Detroit and premiered in March 2016.
After taking a break, Silvers returned to acting about a year and a half ago, earning a series of small parts in various projects, including “Christmas Coupon,” set to premiere this December during Hallmark’s 25 Days of Christmas.
It was on the set of that film Silvers met fellow actress Bethany Hazelitt, who developed the script for “The Holden Family Plan.”
“When we were trying to cast the role for the project, my friend Emily asked ‘What about Caleb?” Hazelitt said. “And it was really cool because even before filming Caleb and I would spend a long time on the phone talking, going over the script but also just getting to know each other more…I think one of the first scenes we filmed, it was one of our intense, emotional ones and I just thought ‘Good thing we know each other a little bit.’”
The short film, approximately 45 minutes long, was shot over the course of two weekends in April, primarily in Ann Arbor and Saline. A few scenes were also filmed in Corunna, at Pine Tree Cemetery and Cherie’s Boutique.
It was Silvers’ first leading role, as he co-starred alongside Hazelitt as a newlywed couple forced to care for their 8-year-old niece after her parents were murdered in a home invasion.
Silvers admits it was difficult at times to achieve a feeling of accuracy in the character, given that he has yet to become a father in real life.
“It was challenging getting into that character, some parts I had to yell at her and it was tough,” Silvers said. “Oftentimes the director, Benjamin Olson, would have me go into a different room to put the scenario through my mind so I could get those emotions going. Then it was like ‘Hurry up and shoot it!’”
In addition to acting, Silvers works full-time at Young Buick GMC as a service adviser. Despite the long hours, Monday through Friday and every other Saturday, Silvers makes time to chase his dream.
“We fit it in. If I have to film during a week day, we’ll figure it out after 5:30 p.m. and we’ll work all night if we have to,” Silvers said. “I’m very motivated when it comes to that because acting is my passion, so I’ll be tired out but then I’ll just get into it. I’m like ‘Okay, I’m done with this work, now I’m going to do my real thing, the thing I love most.’”
“There’s a lot of days where I’ve only gotten an hour or two of sleep because I’m focusing on my other projects, but I get it done,” he said.
In the last 18 months, Silvers said he’s appeared in about 19 projects, including various short films, a few small roles in full-length features, and even a commercial for a record label in Detroit.
This fall, he will take on his biggest project yet, a supporting role in the film “Evil in Plain Sight” which begins filming in Houston, Texas, in November.
Silvers said he rarely relies on an agent to find work. Instead, he has focused on making connections within the industry.
“It’s all about connections, you know..there’s this one girl I filmed a short film with, I was just an extra and she was too…Her friend is the writer of this movie “Evil in Plain Sight”, so she encouraged me to try out. Me and Sarah, the director, became really good friends…she looked at my work and said she had a role for me.”
In the upcoming film, set to premiere in October 2020, Silvers will play the role of detective Sam Bell, a Houston police officer working alongside other local law enforcement to stop a deranged serial killer from striking once again.
As for Silvers’ ultimate goal?
“Making it….I want to be seen with my work all around the world. I want to show people my art.”
“The Holden Family Plan” is no longer showing at NCG Cinema, but will soon be available on indiestream.tv, according to director Benjamin Olson.