People You Know: Erik Moody — actor, teacher. His new movie debuts Friday in Lewiston

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LEWISTON — On Friday, Oct. 31, Erik Moody stars as a man struggling with psychological trauma in “Dark,” a thriller in the Damnationland film series airing at Guthrie’s new theater.

Last summer, he was the voice of a paratrooper in the History Channel’s miniseries, “D-Day in HD.”

And last year, he was on screen as the shady Jesse in “Beneath the Harvest Sky.” 

The tall, lanky 29-year-old has acted in more than 10 films, done voice-over work for countless TV and radio ads and has given a voice to the happiest acorn ever.

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While Oakhurst was a Portland Red Claws sponsor, Oakie the acorn mascot used to bust out in song during game timeouts.

“I’m the ‘Do the Oakie Shake‘ …” Moody said. He grinned. “It’s out there now.”

Moody moved from Portland to Lewiston last May when his fiancee’s job brought them here.

Originally from Saco, Moody acted in his first play in sixth grade. He graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in theater, eventually spending six months in Los Angeles, long enough to make connections.

“I loved it,” he said. “I was able to do some small independent projects but really got a wonderful sense of that area. I got a call from some folks I met out there to come out and shoot in January.”

It’ll be his next film — a psychological thriller. 

“I’m very grateful; I’ve been able to do a lot of random things,” Moody said.

The downside to such a long resume?

“I feel like I’ve constantly been running,” he said.

After teetering on the edge of burnout, Moody said he spent most of this year on the acting front, limiting his jobs to voice work. He’s trying to enjoy the here and now.

This past summer, he taught at the New England Film Academy. During the school year, he’s an ed tech III in Saco, working with third- to fifth-graders in a special education classroom. It’s a handy place to occasionally bust out in an accent.

“It’s trying to find some way to connect, to give them the invitation to trust you,” he said. “I feel you can do that through humor. If you nail the voice right, that’s when they’ll come up to you.”

About 10 years ago, Moody taught Readers Theatre in the area through L/A Arts in local classrooms. Students were cast in roles and read pieces aloud. Moody called it a “beautiful” experience.

“I look back to being a kid,” he said. “Sometimes you just really want to be heard.” 

These days, Moody’s picking movie roles for the challenge, he said. “Dark,” directed by Ranin Brown, is a subtle, spooky short.

“This is one of the more challenging things I’ve had to work on, and I’d love for people to come check it out,” he said.

kskelton@sunjournal.com 

Go and do

Damnationland 2014/Guthrie’s Independent Theater’s grand opening

What: Damnationland is a shot-in-Maine-by-Mainers, horror-themed film series in its fifth year. This year, there are six short films.

Where: 22 Park St., Lewiston, the new home of Guthrie’s Independent Theater.

When: Friday, Oct. 31. Doors open at 7 p.m., the movies start at 9 p.m.

Cost: Free, in honor of the theater’s grand opening night. There’s space for about 90 people.

FMI: guthriesplace.com, damnationland.com

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