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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Former Barter Theatre actor scores a film deal on reality TV show

Will Bigham
Will Bigham

By Debra McCown, Bristol Herald Courier | August 23, 2007

In this "make-it-or-break-it" year, Will Bigham has made it.

"It feels amazing, it really does," Bigham said Wednesday, in his first media interview since winning Tuesday night's FOX reality TV series "On The Lot." "I'm still, like, up in the clouds right now."

The series was a competition among aspiring filmmakers. Viewers voted for their favorites and voted Bigham, a five-year actor at Abingdon's Barter Theatre, into the top spot.

"The Barter was a huge part of my growth as an artist," Bigham said. "If I hadn't gone to the Barter, I wouldn't be here now because it has informed everything I've done since I left there."

Before the TV series, he and his wife, Catherine, were barely scraping by as filmmakers in Los Angeles, and 31-year-old Bigham said he got on the show for the opportunity, not the money.

"There's no way I could fail because I didn't want to be sent packing out of town," he said. "So that was one thing that was just urging me on every step of the way, but now I don't have to think about it because I've got a job."

Bigham's prize: a $1 million development deal with DreamWorks.

"It's not a million-dollar check or anything like that," he said during a Wednesday telephone interview at about 11 a.m. Pacific time. "I go into work here in about three hours now at DreamWorks, so we'll see what happens."

He said he wasn't allowed to talk to media until the show was over ? and it was tough to keep the secret.

"I'm glad I can talk now," he said.

Bigham, a Canyon, Texas, native, said he wants to thank all the people who called in and voted for him ? and he'll be back in Abingdon before too long.

"Abingdon is, it's one of our hometowns, it's where my wife's family is from, so we'll be back there," he said. "So be on the lookout for us, and we'll be heading to the Barter as soon as we can, too."

He said his next film project is likely to be a comedy, and he sees a successful filmmaking career ahead of him.

Meanwhile, he encourages other big dreamers to pursue their goals.

"It doesn't matter where you're from, it doesn't matter how big the dream is, if you can just keep trying, you can succeed," Bigham said.

"I guess the next story I tell you're going to have to pay $10 at a movie theater to see."

A! ExtraTopics: Film, Theatre