Marlborough native pursues film career in Los Angeles
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Marlborough native Evan Fonseca has relocated to the Los Angeles area, where he recently attended the screening of his short film “Joe Vegas” at the Action on Film International Film Festival. A 2013 graduate of the Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts, Fonseca is that film’s screenwriter, director and lead actor. His interest in various aspects of the entertainment industry began at an early age.
“When I was growing up, I used to watch old movies with my grandmother,” he said. “She’d be folding laundry while watching a movie, so it wasn’t work for her because she was in this other world. To me, that was a big deal to be able to entertain people like that; to be able to take them away from whatever they’re doing for two hours.”
Fonseca dabbled in acting while attending Immaculate Conception School in Marlborough, where as a fourth-grader he portrayed the male lead in a play about Jack and Jill. He acquired much more acting experience in grades six through 12 while studying at Worcester Academy, where all students are required to earn credits in the visual and performing arts. Also at that time, he developed a curiosity of writing.
At age 16, Fonseca and his father saw the film “The Departed” at the Strand Theatre in Clinton. That’s when he discovered the concept of integrating his interests of acting and writing, while also appreciating the skill of directing.
“Seeing ‘The Departed,’ it finally clicked for me that I wanted to do movies,” he recalled. “That film is a flawless piece of art. And it was a movie that both my father and I agreed was a lot of fun to watch. I thought this was the pinnacle of filmmaking and hopefully someday I could achieve that.”
While much of filmmaking is based on fantasy, Fonseca approached his dream realistically and immersed himself in writing on a regular basis.
“I thought to myself, ‘You’re just a 16-year-old kid, living in Marlborough, Massachusetts; nobody is going to give me an awesome movie to write,’” he said.
He soon found a role model to emulate who is a film actor, screenwriter and director.
“Watching Ben Affleck’s career was an example I should follow – and I’m a huge fan,” he shared. “When Ben Affleck won the Oscar last winter for ‘Argo,’ I got text messages and phone calls as if I had just won because all my friends know how much I love him.”
Fonseca’s short film, “Joe Vegas,” tells the story of a young man who drops out of college, tries unsuccessfully to get work as an actor, and then moves back with his parents who live in a retirement community.
“I wanted to make that film because it was cathartic,” he explained. “My number one fear at that time was failing in Hollywood and having to move back to Massachusetts with my parents. It was cathartic for me to watch this character, Joe, play out my worst nightmare, so that I would have the confidence to know that it doesn’t have to happen that way.”
Having his film accepted in the festival was the confidence boost Fonseca needed, he noted.
“It felt so good to be a part of the filmmaking community of Los Angeles,” said Fonseca, who earned a bachelor’s degree in film. “I realized that I’d come so far from being that kid who was a freshman at Syracuse University a few years ago, to now being an accepted filmmaker. It gave me the encouragement to keep going. I’m here for the long haul.”
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