The Herald Bulletin

January 7, 2013

Pursuing her dream

Frankton grad chases acting career in New York

By Dani Palmer
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Anderson native and 2012 Frankton High School graduate Alexa Munger isn’t a famous movie star, but she has big dreams to someday become one.

Munger was accepted into the New York Film Academy in New York City, but decided to forgo it for now to focus on auditions.

“I decided I’d pursue my dream and just go full-fledged,” she said.

Since September, Munger has been to about 30 meetings and auditions, including commercials and a TV show.

She had an audition for the upcoming primetime soap opera “Deception” where she read for a character screaming and crying as she watched her brother being killed.

Not giving any spoilers, she said that plot line had a twist and that having a brother herself, it was tough to act.

But she loves the challenges.

“I’m a really outgoing person and I love trying new things,” she said. “There’s no limits to it (acting). You can be anyone.”

And Munger is learning as she goes.

To support herself, she works as a waitress and at a Juicy Couture on Fifth Avenue. She said she feels blessed to meet people in the industry daily.

“It’s crazy out here. If I’m not doing one thing, I’m doing another,” she said. “I had to grow up a little bit.”

The 18-year-old said she’s doing many things on her own for the first time, such as paying bills and doing laundry, and that she wants to keep a level head and make good decisions. Her strong ties to her faith help, she said.

It gets to be lonely, Munger said. She’s made new friends, but misses her family and old friends “a crazy amount.”

Her mother, Lisa Chambers, said Munger is really fighting for what she wants and doesn’t let doubters get her down.

“I believe in her 100 percent,” Chambers said. “She has a driving force that’s remarkable. It’s amazing what she’s putting herself through.”

Munger said she would have never just dived in, though, if she didn’t have some ties to the industry.

She’s friends with actor Josh Flitter, whose movie credits include “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Nancy Drew,” and still works with the manager she met in California.

Munger’s acting dream started in the sixth grade when Chambers heard a radio ad about auditions for children who entertained.

She said that sounded just like her daughter — who would act out her own shows when she was little. The family even bought her a little stage.

So, with just a disposable camera and a trip to Abercrombie and Fitch, Munger said, photos were taken for the auditions.

To be honest, she said, it seemed “super sketchy” at first, but 11 callbacks later, she was one of 10 kids selected to go to California where she took acting and voice classes and lived for about a year.

The family moved to New York for a couple of years afterward and Munger said she did catalog work and commercials, including a “Hannah Montana” one, and was an extra on the soap opera “One Life to Live” in a few scenes as a cheerleader.

It was in her high school years that her family moved back to Anderson.

“(My family) wanted to give me the chance to decide who I want to be and if I want this life,” Munger said.

She said Frankton High School didn’t offer drama or theater classes, though, and that she’d like to help change that if she ever makes it big.

“Sometimes you change your mind (about the career you want),” Chambers said. “But she’s headstrong about having this life and doing what she wants to do and having her dreams come true.”

The Film Academy is an issue that may be revisited later, Chambers said. At a cost of about $60,000 a year, she said, it’s a pricey career investment she wants Munger to be sure of.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.