Columns and stories of life from the Fredericksburg area.
On camera, local young actress comes alive
FILM: SPOTSYLVANIA GIRL ACTS IN TV MOVIE
By CATHY DYSON
Rachel Rose Lynch is talking about the many parts she’s played as a 10-year-old actress, including the time she pretended to have a seizure.
She was doing an instructional video for the American Red Cross. She watched about five minutes of YouTube videos—of people in real distress—to better understand what happens.
Then, as her mother, Pat, described, Rachel “nailed it” on camera.
A reporter interviewing Rachel says she’d like to see that. Would Rachel do an encore performance?
Without further ado, the preteen throws herself on the wooden floor of the family kitchen. She skews her legs in an awkward position, turns her head to the side.
She rolls her head back and starts convulsing. She looks so realistic that those watching worry they might do the same.
Rachel pops up and brushes herself off, but won’t tell all her secrets.
She doesn’t disclose how she caused herself to foam at the mouth on camera.
“It’s kinda disturbing and I’m not gonna reveal it,” Rachel says in an exaggerated Southern accent.
Such is the life of a budding actress who’s been attacked by zombies, survived an apocalyptic disaster and screamed her way through a car crash.
But the biggest star in the her crown—so far—will hit the Hallmark channel tonight.
Rachel has a role in the movie “Lake Effects,” a family film shot on location at Smith Mountain Lake in Southwest Virginia.
Rachel, the youngest of four daughters of Robert and Pat Lynch of Spotsylvania County, tells people she plays Catherine, “a snotty little girl” who sticks her tongue out at the art teacher.
Her mother adds a dose of realism, confessing that Rachel’s in the first 10 minutes of the film and never did a scene with actress Jane Seymour, the star of the movie. But she did get to ride in a limousine with Mary McDonough, who played Erin on The Waltons, and have her picture taken on the red carpet during the première.
“They gave her the Hollywood treatment, and that was so special,” said her mother.
Rachel watched her older sisters do shows at Riverside Center Dinner Theater and liked what she saw. She also liked that they earned a little spending money.
She started taking classes and doing auditions when she was 6.
She played a school girl in “Evita,” a beggar child in “Scrooge: The Musical” and a little monster in “There’s a Monster in My Closet” at Riverside.
Doing five shows a week, she learned about the demands of theater life.
Rachel quickly demonstrated that she’s really good at conveying different expressions and multiple personalities, said Rollin Wehman, the general manager at Riverside and part of the bell choir at Falmouth Baptist Church with Rachel.
“She’s remarkably versatile and a joy to work with,” he said. “She’s just a sweet kid, and she has not let the success change her at all.”
Her contacts at Riverside led to contracts with agents up and down the East Coast. Once she got the part for “Lake Effects,” which was shot in October 2010, she got more auditions, callbacks and parts. She played a young Jena Malone in an episode of Biography Channel’s “Celebrity Close Calls,” and got to do a simulated car crash with so many rolls she had to struggle to keep from laughing.
She also played a child eaten by zombies in a remake of the cult classic, “Plan 9.”
Rachel has agents in Baltimore, Raleigh, Portsmouth and Philadelphia. Her manager is working to get her into the New York market.
She also takes vocal, dance and acting lessons, plays soccer and softball and does her schoolwork on location.
At home, she has to do chores like her older sisters.
“We want her to have as normal a family life as we can,” her mother said.
Rachel’s flair for the dramatic surfaced again.
“This family’s not normal, and it never will be,” she said.
COMING INTO FOCUS
If Rachel had been the first child, she probably would have been the last, her mother said.
“I am so offended,” Rachel quipped.
As a child, she was nothing short of outrageous. All over the place, into everything, demanding immediate attention.
“Acting was the one thing that brought her focus, it gave her a way to apply all this energy,” her mother said. “That’s why I really encouraged it in the beginning, not because I wanted her to be famous or to make a lot of money. I thought, this is going to be an opportunity for her to focus on things.”
Rachel has an outgoing personality all the time, but “she just comes alive when you put her on camera or put her on a stage,” said Ruth Daiger, one of several Riverside mothers who share tips about agents and auditions.
Daiger believes Rachel is already successful at acting because she understands the process. She knows there will be a series of auditions, that she’ll need stamina and discipline to get through them and she’ll have to handle the rejection that comes with the turf.
“She really enjoys the process, and she thrives because of that,” Daiger said.
Daiger predicts that the movie roles and commercials, parts on stages and appearances in videos are just the beginning for Rachel Rose Lynch.
“I feel fortunate to know her now,” she said.
WANT TO WATCH?
Spotsylvania 10-year-old Rachel Rose Lynch appears in “Lake Effects,” premièring tonight at 8 on Hallmark Movie Channel. Shot at Smith Mountain Lake in Southwest Virginia, it stars Scottie Thompson, Jane Seymour, Madeline Zima, Eyal Podell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Ben Savage, Jeff Fahey, Casper Van Dien. Watch a demo of Rachel’s work at fredericksburg.com.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425