WALLA WALLA - Chloe Danielson is a dancer, a sophomore in high school and a fan of Patrick Carman. And recently, she's become a character in Carman's newest book, "Trackers."
"Trackers" was released in May as a new type of book to engage young readers. Along with the physical book there are accompanying videos online that readers gain access to with a password from the book. To understand the full story readers must watch the videos online and read the pages.
"It's a good way to get kids reading because you can't just read the book or just watch the videos, you have to have both to get the plot," Danielson said.
Nationwide auditions online brought tapes from all over the country with excited young actors trying out for the cast of "Trackers." Danielson sent her video in feeling nervous that it wasn't as good as she hoped. Jeffrey Townsend, director of the videos, and Carman had picked Danielson's video out from the start, keeping her in mind.
"She auditioned initially online and we had already kind of pulled her aside in our minds as a serious contender before we had any idea she was local," Townsend said.
After the auditions Danielson was cast as Emily. According to Danielson, Emily is very different from herself. Emily is an outgoing tomboy who is very protective of her friends. Danielson has been taking dance for five years and said acting was a new adventure she enjoyed, too.
Shooting began in the summer and the other four cast members flew to Walla Walla and settled into their cast house. Since Danielson lives here she didn't move in with the rest of the cast. Townsend was initially concerned she might not be included with the rest of the cast, but said he was pleasantly surprised with how hard Danielson worked to be involved.
For four weeks during the summer the cast spent long hours shooting. Danielson remembers many of the night shoots lasting until 5 a.m.
"I was mainly nervous but it was fun," Danielson said.
According to Townsend, Danielson had nothing to worry about.
"I never had to worry about her state of mind or worry about her learning her lines or being prepared," he said. "Sometimes an actor delivers a line exactly the way you hear it in your head and that was very true very often of Chloe. It's really a different gift than just pure acting."
The next book, "Trackers 2," featuring the same cast is set to release this fall.
Jennifer Jorgenson can be reached at email@example.com.