The business behind the big screen

By Laura Mortkowitz

Bruce Willis walked into the room and asked, “Are you excited?”

Junior Kim Vogel’s only response was, “Are you kidding?”

Then only 19 years old, Vogel had the opportunity to work three days in a row with Willis on the set of the movie The Sophomore.

Chances are, if you’ve gone to a Rider play, you’ve seen Vogel on stage. Despite her enthusiasm for the fine arts, Vogel is actually a marketing major. However, she has been taking theater classes since freshman year.

“She is about as hard-working as they come,” said Miriam Mills, assistant professor of fine arts. “She started as a freshman, and she came into class with energy and passion.”

She became serious about acting when she was 15 years old but has been in plays since she was a little kid. This summer she also filmed an HBO movie, Taking Chance, with Kevin Bacon.

“I’ve just been breaking into it slowly,” Vogel said. “I tried an agent but now I’m in the market for a new one and I’ve pretty much been doing it on my own.”

Vogel has been relying on Web sites such as Backstage.com or Craigslist.com. It hasn’t been easy because she has been looking for good roles. Vogel has now been in two episodes of the Court TV show Forensic Files as well as several independent films.

For Taking Chance, Vogel said she is only background. For The Sophomore with Willis, she’s in a lot of scenes where she stands next to him. In one scene, the camera starts on her and pans over to Mischa Barton, who also stars in the film. For her work on The Sophomore, Vogel received a Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) waiver.

“You need three waivers and then you’re in SAG,” she explained. “You have to pay a certain amount of money. When you get your waivers, it’s a big thing.”

Vogel, while excited about her waiver, is happiest about the chance to act. Her business major is a back-up for her dream job as an actress.

“Ideally, [acting] is all I want to do,” she said. “It’s not even to be famous. If I could just act I would just be absolutely happy. That’s why I’m also doing business here, in case I want to do a production company or be a manager.”

Vogel quoted a saying that there are “two types of actors in the world: the ones that say they don’t want to be famous and the ones that don’t lie.” Vogel views herself as the latter.

So far, Vogel has continued her professional career by creating a page for herself on The Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com). As of now, only Forensic Files shows up on her page, but her other movies will be added when they get approved by the site’s moderators. This involves confirmation from directors and producers.

The one part she played that has stayed close to her heart is one from when she was in high school.

“I played Alice in You Can’t Take it With You,” Vogel said. “That’s how I met my boyfriend.”

Her boyfriend of four years, Dan Chimento, just transferred to Rider. According to him, they hit it off immediately.

“We did cold readings where two or more read from the scripts to see chemistry and such,” Chimento said. “We read together for Tony and Alice, the romantic leads.”

Chimento is “obviously proud of her,” but he is also stunned at how she handles herself.

“The thing that amazes me most is she never loses sight of what’s important,” he said.

Vogel stays busy in between roles with Alpha Psi Omega where she serves as treasurer. She collects soda tabs for Ronald McDonald charities, works Midnight Run and handles fundraising. She is also a tour guide during the summer and regular school year, a Bronc Buddy on move-in day and a Peer Mentor, who runs a freshman seminar.

After the small successes Vogel has accomplished, she is remaining modest and is keeping high hopes for the future.

“I’m still a struggling actor and I’m still trying to make it,” she said. “I’m very excited I got on IMDb while I was still a teenager.”

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