Baily Boudreau is a Ferndale-based actor who turned his life around by getting sober and following his dream of performing. Three years into sobriety, and several transformations later, a scene written for a friend’s benefit is now being made into a full-length film of his life’s story… with help from donors to the project’s fundraising site.
1. Can you explain a bit about this project?
We are making a film based on my one man show, White Trash Debutante Ball. I wrote it when I got sober almost three years ago and it was a piece specifically written for a benefit a transgendered friend was having to raise money for a surgery. The response to the scene was so overwhelming I was basically begged to write the rest of this character’s story. The character had been based off of me and my life so I had no choice but to write my life, changing only things I had to for purposes of continuity and theatricality.
2. How did White Trash Debutante Ball grow over the past three years?
The play was seen originally at Affirmations. The first scene was really its own piece, and I never had any intention of writing more. The response to that piece was overwhelming and people wanted to see the rest of the story. So I wrote it… I wrote it almost three years ago, when I first got sober and this served pretty much as my fourth step in the twelve step program I belong to.
3. What is your background in acting?
I’ve been acting since the age of twelve. I went to a performing arts high school before going to Boston University as part of the school of fine arts. I left there to do a national tour of the Diary of Anne Frank before settling in Chicago and working professionally as an actor there for two years. Some tragic events caused me to return to Michigan where I have been acting, teaching, directing, writing and producing ever since.
4. What do you hope others will get out of seeing the final product?
I hope people walk away from the film with a sense of worth, a sense of acceptance not only of themselves but others. My hope is that people walk out of the theatre moved by the story and the truth they can find in it to relate to their own lives, and most importantly, with a desire to productively add GOOD to the world. To look at others they may have once thought odd or awful or despicable and say to themselves “but I don’t know their story,” and begin to look at them as equals.
5. What prompted you to get sober and how has your life changed since you have?
A DUI and court prompted me to get sober. Feeling my life for the first time in years made me decide of my own accord to stay sober. Since making that decision, my life is one of clarity, humility and a constant self-evaluation. I am free of something that kept me from theatre, love, stability; happiness basically. And though there are still crap moments, as there are in life regardless of the circumstances, I find myself today a person who believes in something bigger and better than myself, in the inherent good of humanity, in change, and in possibility. I am doing everything I ever wanted to do with my life and more and sobriety is what made that possible.
To watch the first scene of the project or to donate go to http://www.indiegogo.com/wtdb.