Actors normally audition for parts. Screen tests are certainly required for those up for a role. However, there was no try out for Kendra Sherrill, who landed a plum gig in the Pure Flix comedy “Live+Local.”
Sherrill, 29, who directs films when she isn’t focusing on her duties as the director of the Children’s Film Festival in Seattle, isn’t normally an actress. However, producer-writer Dan Merchant and Rich Cowen, who founded the production company North By Northwest, asked the Liberty Lake native to play lovable Lucy, the intern-turned-producer, in “Live+Local” without requiring a showcase of her acting chops.
“It was super surreal getting asked to act in “Live+Local,” Sherrill said. “I couldn’t believe they didn’t even ask me to audition. But I’ve known Rich and Dan for a while since I was part of ‘Z Nation’ with them.”
Sherill worked in the ‘Z Nation’ production office in 2014 during the first season of the zombie horror television series, which was shot in Spokane.
“So Dan and Rich know me,” Sherrill said on a call from her home in Seattle. “They know my background in wardrobe, editing and more behind the scenes type of stuff. I’ve done some commercials as an actress but I never acted on an actual TV show.”
But Merchant knew the energetic and bubbly Sherrill would be perfect as Lucy. “I auditioned Kendra two or three times for some other parts and she was always the runner up since there was always someone who was always absolutely perfect for the role she was going for,” Merchant said. “So this time I said, ‘You know who would be perfect for the part is the girl who is always No. 2.’ Kendra is great in the show. She was so nervous being around these pros but she was a delight. She is so much like Lucy. I don’t think it took much for her to act.”
Sherrill sees it the same way. “I am Lucy,” Sherrill said. “I basically play myself. Lucy, like me, is enthusiastic and an over-achiever, who is anxious all the time. I just channel myself. Lucy is thrown into being a producer for the radio show and here I am, not normally an actor and I’m working with Dave Coulier and Pat Cashman. It’s an unreal experience.”
Sherrill envisioned herself working in film and television for as long as she can remember. “That world is my passion,” she said, adding she was inspired by classic films. “I absolutely loved movies like “Singin’ in the Rain.’ I couldn’t stop watching those movies that were filmed in Technicolor as a child. The classics moved me to create.”
Sherrill wrote, directed and starred in her own productions ever since she was in high school. “The footage from what I did during those days is somewhere in my parent’s house,” Sherrill said. “It all started for me back home.”
Sherrill was born in Seattle, but her parents moved back to Spokane where their family base was when she was a baby. The Central Valley High School alum, class of 2011, lived in Liberty Lake and Spokane until she moved to Seattle in 2020.
“Spokane is home base,” Sherrill said. “It’s where almost all of my family is. I go home whenever I can.” The Eastern Washington University alum, class of 2015, who was a film major, spent much of January and February back in Spokane while shooting “Live+Local” in Airway Heights.
“I enjoyed my time back in Spokane not just because I saw my family but it was amazing working with Dave Coulier, who is a legend. He’s so great in the show and so is Pat Cashman, who is the funniest person I ever met and he’s a legend here in Seattle. And then there’s Emily (Pendergast), who is so great on the show and on ‘Veep.’ She and I fell in love during our table reads. We’re soulmates.”
Sherrill proved to be a multitasker since she simultaneously worked on her children’s film festival and “Live+Local,” which airs new episodes every Thursday through Aug. 4.
“That was tricky but I made it work,” Sherrill said. “Filming happened a few weeks before my festival was about to start. I had this rolling desk on the set. In between takes I would work on the festival. I was doing two jobs at once.”
The former director of the Spokane International Film Festival tends to spin multiple plates. Aside from her post as the director of the Children’s Film Festival, Sherrill is also the editor of the children’s television series “Look, Listen and Learn,” which is shot in Seattle.
Is Sherrill up for a potential second season of “Live + Local” with her very busy schedule? “Absolutely,” Sherrill said. “I’ll definitely do whatever I can to make it happen. I already made a request to Dan that if there is another season of the show, can we not shoot around the time when I’m planning my festival? Regardless, I will make it work out since I love the show and I love coming home to Spokane. Riverfront Park is just so beautiful. I love the ice ribbon and the downtown area.”
Sherrill will return home soon because she is getting married in September at Zephyr Lodge in Liberty Lake. “I’ve been working on the wedding for a while and I’ve been having fun with that since I love planning events,” Sherrill said. “I’m totally in my element. My wedding day will be here before I know it.”
Sherrill will honeymoon in Maui and Disneyland. “I love all things Disney and Pixar,” Sherrill said. “After that it’s back to work. But the great thing is that I do what I love and it’s what I was passionate about since I was a kid growing up in Spokane.”
“Live+Local” can be streamed on www.pureflix.com/movie/live-and-local.
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