Original reporting by Theresa Katalinas
Hatboro-Horsham High School alum Heather Cole has been an extra in “Paranoia,” the upcoming sequel in “The Amazing Spiderman” series, as well as the “Royal Pains” television show.
Yet Cole, 25, a Horsham native, has yet to see herself on the big screen.
That will change Saturday during the premiere of “Nightingale,” a martial arts/horror short film that Cole stars in.
“That’s the closest thing that I know of something I’ll be in,” Cole said of the film, which willpremiere Saturday at the Ritz East in Philadelphia.
A 2006 Hatboro-Horsham High School graduate who completed her Temple University theater studies in 2010, Cole, who mostrecently choreographed the high school summer theater’s production of “Hairspray.”
In the years since college, she’s worked in freelance capacities as a teacher for Cheltenham and Norristown school districts, Villa Joseph Marie High School and thePhiladelphia Theater Company, read scripts aloud for thePhiladelphia Young Playwrights and brought the arts to those in nursing homes through Hands Across the Ages.
“I’m all over the place,” Cole said. “I’m always running.”
A dancer since age 3, Cole has also taught dance theater, as well as clown school.
Her favorite? Cole said it changes from time to time.
“I’m very fortunate that I do have all these different outlets to turn to for money,” she said. “They’re all very different in their work ethic, but it’s been nice to be able to bounce around and not have to stay situated in one for a very long time. It’s good for me because I like to do something new every day.”
For the moment, working as a full-time actor is what Cole, since March, has set her sights on.
“Right now I’m really in love with acting for film,” she said. “You have to be willing to do both acting on the stage and for film … You kind of have to go where there are jobs. You have to be willing to go behind the scenes and get your hands dirty.”
Not to mention get up early.
Cole, who now lives in Philadelphia, starts her day at 4:30 a.m. for a 6 a.m. call time while filming for “Royal Pains.” Filming usually continues until 9 p.m., she said.
“It’s just putting the commitment in and being like, ‘I want this, I don’t care,’ ” Cole said. “I don’t need sleep.”
It’s not uncommon for her to snooze aboard buses on her way home from New York to Philadelphia, or to eat at “really strange hours.” That, she said, is the “not-so-glamorous part of it.”
So far, most of her work has been as an extra, but Cole said she’s slowly getting more speaking parts.
“It’s baby steps,” she said. “You’ve got to start from the bottom and work your way up.”
Besides acting for TV and movies, Cole rattles off a half dozen commercials she’s been featured in for everything from Miller Genuine Draft, to Nissan and Vitamin Water. She has yet to see any of the commercials, which she said are mostly local to New York.
“The problem with film is you don’t have any control over where it goes, when it’s released,” Cole said.
Cole has also been acting, co-producing and choreographing an independent film, “Die, Hipster Die.”
The “no-budget” movie is expected to wrap by early September and that can’t come soon enough for Cole.
“I want to see a finished product,” said Cole. “I want to see a film with me in to the end.”
If you go
The premiere of "Nightingale," which features Horsham native Heather Cole, is slated for Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Ritz East in Philadelphia. Click here for more details.