Lifelong Chelsea Resident Writes His Own Ticket





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By Mary Hall

Eric Weber didn’t dream of being a writer; in fact, acting was his game.  He tried to get into Michigan productions any chance he got.  He always told the student’s he taught as a substitute for schools in Washtenaw County to “Go for it! You never know what will happen until you try!! Believe in yourself!”

Trying to follow his own advice, Eric discovered that finding a local production to act in that didn’t cost him more than he would make to perform in was nearly impossible. That’s when Guy Sanville, the Artistic Director of The Purple Rose Theater, gave him an idea: “Write the part you want to play,” he suggested.  Eric didn’t think he could – after all, he thought, I’m not a writer….or am I?

Eight months later, he was exhausted. He went through six drafts before he found one he was happy with. Then, “Secrets: The Truth Is Not Always What It Seems,” was born. Eric self-published his thriller/mystery book that was edited by Angela Whitlock. He also published a story entitled “The Envelope” during his eight-month writing journey.

Eric immersed himself in writing.  His style is to actually take on the personas of each character as he’s writing about them; in this way he said he can better understand what they would do and say.  He became so exhausted mentally that he found he needed to take a break.

Eric’s version of a break may surprise you.  He decided to answer an ad on the internet placed by Ryan Hill Casting Group.  They were looking for a man who could pass for a fifty-ish corpse.  Eric thought, “Why not try?” and answered the ad.

Four days later, as Eric was in a library, he got a call from Ryan Hill.  They wanted Eric to be in a music video being filmed in Detroit.  Eric was so excited, he literally had to go to another place in the library where it was more appropriate to express his happiness.  Imagine his glee when he got there and found out the music video was being done for none other than Eminem himself.  Eric stated that Marshall Mathers III is a professional yet kind person.  He treated the extras with care and respect, taking the time to introduce himself to each of them and shake their hand.  He did not put on airs at all.  To see Eric in the video, just go to YouTube.com and search for the “Framed” video.  Eric plays the murder victim with the slashed neck.

Eric tells me that even this little bit of fame has changed the way some people treat him.  People who were not nice to him before suddenly want to be his friend. Eric’s not having that.  He knows who his real friends are; the people who have been there for him through thick and thin, supporting his creative efforts.  This is not a man whose loyalty can be manipulated.

As for future endeavors, Eric is starting to get some attention from movie producers interested in turning his book into a movie.  He is open to this, as long as it’s based in Michigan, and he continues to look for acting projects in Michigan.  He is a big fan of keeping his work here and employing as many Michigan people as he can along the way.

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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