Credits for Cram: Actor wraps Woody Harrelson flick, Twins commercial, audio book

MN Twins Paul Cram
Photo by: David Thomas Markley

Monday, August 24, 2015 8:46 am | by Michelle Miron Editor

Paul Cram Forest Lake Lowdown Newspaper
MINNEAPOLIS — Paul Cram's friends frequently ask him why he doesn't move to New York or Hollywood for his acting career.

The young Wyoming native, who now lives in Minneapolis, tells them he's happy with the work he's getting here in his home state. After all, he just wrapped a relatively big-budget movie starring Woody Harrelson, is starring in a Minnesota Twins commercial and recently recorded a book on tape he's hoping will lead to a bigger career in that arena.

“I'm happy with where things are heading,” he said. “I'm proud of my body of work, and not living in LA, that's such a huge accomplishment for me.”

In upcoming dramedy "Wilson" he plays Piper, the prison cellmate of Harrelson's character in scenes filmed at the Ramsey County Correctional Facility in Maplewood. He said industry contacts tipped him off to local auditions so he could join the approximately 70 percent of the movie's cast that was local.

That's not unusual," he noted. "A lot of supporting roles are cast locally if the market has a talent base, and we have the Guthrie in Minnesota so tons of actors here are just amazing.”

While he didn't get the role he had in mind, he was able to work with the director on his interpretation of "Piper" so all were satisfied. He called the film“interesting,” noting it features dry humor in the same vein as 2001's “Ghost World” (both are based on graphic novels by Daniel Clowes). A release date has not been set.

Paul Cram Mn Twins Game
Photo by: David Thomas Markley
“I really enjoyed working with Woody Harrelson,” Cram reported. “I was slightly intimidated, obviously, but he was so kind and down to earth … his persona and everything is so laid back and personable. There's part of me thinking “Wow, that's cool” and another part of me doing my job.”

Cram didn't interact with actress Laura Dern, but did see her on set.

In his Twins commercial, he plays one three co-workers who sneak out for a Twins game before sneaking back to the office with raccoon-like sunburns, feeling guilty until they see their boss with the same telltale markings. He's always a little stunned , he said, when strangers recognize him from such short commercials — especially since he watches little TV himself.

Narrator Paul Cram
His first work as an audio book reader, “The Face Stealer” by Robert Scott-Norton, hit Amazon last month. He said the recording work (he was along at a metro-area studio) was so enjoying and challenging as an actor that he's pursuing more jobs in that field.

“It's exciting, fun and interesting to me, just because I like to read so much and I love it when people read to me,” he noted. “ I feel like I'm having a little bit more control about what I'm doing, as opposed to the film world. I am able to give voice and expression to every character in the entire thing.”

Recording sessions for the 10-hour book lasted 205 [25] hours.

“That was a lot longer than I thought it would be,” he remarked. “I never sat down and read an entire novel out loud.”

The hardest part? Mastering and remembering different voices for the characters, both male and female.

“Instead of a strong dialect, you play an adjective,” he explained of his technique. “You keep (the word) in the forefront of your mind when doing a character, with changes in cadence and inflection.”

He was a little apprehensive after opting to give the lead character a slight British accent, he noted, but the British author seemed to love it.

Some of Cram's other gigs in the last few years include a movie called "Anniversary" he shot in Maine for about six months, which is now in post production; an episode of the History Channel TV show “America Unearthed” in which he played a would-be assassin to Lincoln; and the indie film “Dust of War,” now available in DVD. In addition to appearing in a myriad of independent horror flicks, he was also the Scream Collector Intern in TV commercials for Nickelodeon Universe.

Cram was home schooled while growing up in Wyoming, getting his acting start in productions at Assembly of God Church in Chisago (now Maranatha Church) and the Maplewood Community Center. After that, he told the Lowdown in 2013, he “worked for free a ton and built up my resume until I was able to start getting paid work locally, then nationally."

Lowdown newspaper cover with Actor Paul CramThese days, his local agent helps him get jobs and alerts him to auditions both in and out of state. He often takes "day jobs" between acting gigs (most recently working at a farmers market and in web design and photography), using extra time to read up on the industry.

For more info on Cram and his career, access www.paulcramactor.com.

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Check out some of Cram's latest projects:

• A clip of the “The Face Stealer” audio book is on http://tinyurl.com/prghhkn . The book became available on Amazon July 27.

• Movie “Dust of War” is available on Amazon and at Wal-Mart.

• For the History Channel TV show “America Unearthed,” Cram appears in reruns of the episode “Lincoln's Secret Assassins” which first aired in February, 2014. 

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