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Starving Artist

Written by: Marshall Weishuai Yuan |   Directed by: Marshall Weishuai Yuan |  Genre: Drama

 Starving Artist opens with an audition, and instantly I knew what this short film would be about as if the name of the film wasn’t enough already. Cal (Marshall Weishuai Yuan) is an aspiring actor living the dream. Living out of his car, taking any odd job he can get, and attending as many auditions as he possibly can. Almost right off the bat, I was shown how hard it was to balance working and getting paid with auditions and Cal’s attempts to infiltrate the industry. Whoever said following your dream was easy is an idiot. Am I right?

 As Cal continues his routine while trying to balance his cash flow, he enters into an audition that he feels he has a great shot at. As luck would have it, he gets a callback. At this point, Starving Artist feels like a celebration, and with any celebration comes the celebrating part. Cal treats himself to a few cans thinking he has a few days before his callback time. But in this industry, things change fast, and Cal’s phone is ringing off the hook. On the verge of passing out, Cal doesn’t even notice. His callback time has been changed to the next morning, bright and early.

 What comes next I’ll not comment on but what I can address is that Starving Artist is a great-looking micro-budget film. It feels polished up, the timing felt right, and the acting from Marshall Weishuai Yuan as Cal comes through as natural and believable. Also of importance, unlike many micro movies I’ve watched, the audio is done really well also. That includes some great background scoring used nicely. It’s easy for me to imagine that the portrayal of the “starving artist” is accurately presented, although maybe in real life, the ending wouldn’t have been what it was. Being an actor or any artist really can be tough. Starving Artist may only scratch the surface from what I’ve been told, but it does so very well.

 In short? This was an excellent short film, in my modest opinion. It looks and sounds good and managed to hold my interest entirely for its nearly 20-minute length. The one thing that surprised me was that lots of the content in this film is relatable to lots of people who are not actors. There is that. This was an incredibly solid short film that deserves 4.5 stars. Thank you for reading.

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