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The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Christmas star

Senior reaches acting goal, premiers in her first movie
Senior Claire Capek filming a scene with her costars

In between scenes, senior Claire Capek sits around the campfire with her celebrity co-stars chatting about how the movie had been going. The fire crackles as marshmallows begin to melt and snowflakes drift down from overhead. 


This is the biggest production Claire has ever been involved in. She plays Becca Larson in the full-length Christmas movie, A Christmas… Present. Her costars are Candace Cameron Bure, Marc Blucas and Caleb Reese Paul. Together they    play one big family, trying to set aside their differences to come together for the holidays. 


But off set, they’ve also come together as friends. At 2 in the morning, the cast had to film a campfire scene in frigid temperatures. Visually, the crew has set up an entire winter wonderland, the ground covered by the blanket of a soft snowfall.


However, behind the camera, lies an entire film set. It’s the end of summer in the middle of 90-degree Tulsa, Oklahoma. 


In between filming scenes with the tech crew trying to solve an issue, Claire and the cast momentarily stop to just chat. For Claire, the past few weeks have been amazing with everyone becoming great friends. The warmth of the scene mimics the warm relationship the actors have built together. Once the camera starts rolling, the actors all go into their lines. Transitioning between the conversation and acting had become effortless.


“It was really great sitting there just talking with everyone,” Actor Caleb Reese Paul said.


Shooting a full-length movie has been one of Claire’s long-time acting dreams. Along the way, Claire also found an opportunity to make some close friends. She saw past the fame and felt close to Candace Cameron Bure, known for playing DJ Tanner on Full House. 


“Candace just handed me her phone and was like, ‘Here, take a video vlog for me, do whatever you want and then I’ll post it on Instagram,’” Claire said.


As Claire relished the moment of warmth between the cast, she thought back to the days before filming began. This was one of her long-time acting dreams, and it was now a reality.


“It was definitely always an end goal to be in a movie,” Claire said. “I think anybody who really sets their heart on acting, that’s what they really want to do.”




One month earlier. After an early-release day at school, Claire walked into her house and set her backpack down. This afternoon, like always, there’s homework to be done, plans for dinner to figure out and friends to call. But before all of that, Claire always starts the afternoon the same way.


“I like to sit in the office with my mom,” Claire said. “We just chat every day about how my day went.”


During their conversation, Claire’s mom Shana Capek got a call from her agent, Steven. 


“We got another callback,” he said. “There’s an audition that opened up, and we need you to come into the office to discuss it. How would you like to be in a movie with Candace Cameron Bure?”

It was definitely always an end goal to be in a movie, I think anybody who really sets their heart on acting, that’s what they really want to do.

— Claire Capek, 12

Immediately, Shana jumped up and pulled Claire into a hug. This movie was going to be seen by millions of people. Claire couldn’t believe it.


“It never went through my head like ‘oh, my gosh, I’m booking a movie,’” Claire said.  “It wasn’t in my head. But it was very much in my mom’s head. We were both so excited. It was definitely good news.”


Claire started modeling and acting at six years old, appearing in magazines, short films and music videos. Over her career, she’s climbed from small projects to larger, more well-known productions. That day, she finally got confirmation that one of her long-time acting dreams had come to pass: acting in a full-length movie. 




For the first day of filming, Claire climbed out of her mom’s car, exhausted after the six-hour drive to Tulsa before walking across the parking lot. They’ve arrived at the Firebird Studios production office.


“The first day was a lot of introductions,” Claire said. “It was kind of the most awkward day because we had just got to Oklahoma and we were really tired. 


Her first impression of the film crew was all of them silently turning to look at her, not sure who she was.


“The first part of it was for a COVID meeting. So everyone looked at us because we didn’t have masks on or anything,” Claire said. “So they’re like, ‘Who is this?’ and it felt a little bit weird.


“Hi, I’m Claire, I’m playing Becca in the movie.”

As the group realizes who she is, they continue with the meeting. After the introductions, the intensive process to fit her costume begins. 


“She did a hair and makeup test,” Shana said. “So they would know what her character looked like every day on set. 


Claire had pictures taken in the wardrobe of her hair and makeup. After that, the crew made sure they were all in agreement that they liked how her character looked. While in costume, Claire’s first film proved to be an opportunity to use her 11 years of experience to become more connected with the role she was playing for the film.


“I feel like throughout the film, as an actor, I took it upon myself to dig deeper into my character, instead of just being a name on a page,” Claire said.


Claire incorporated her dry sense of humor, witty personality and problem-solving skills into her character. This would show through very much while filming the movie.


“Claire had to make sure that when she was doing the different takes of her lines that she wasn’t coming across as snarky or just mean, just a nice, but a very busy teenager,” Shana said. “So with that direction, Claire interpreted each of her lines however she saw fit and really never got any redirection.”




At the end of every shoot, Claire and the other child actors went off to the tutoring room to take care of their assignments.


“We had to do three hours of school every single day for it to count,” Claire said. “And they put you in this little room with the set teacher, and you sit there and get your school knocked out.”


Filming a movie far from home meant Claire and the other student actors had to do her school work remotely through Canvas. When Claire wasn’t acting, she and the other child actors were working hard, taking care of their studies.


“I would say school was an

Senior Claire Capek, Candace Cameron Bure, Marc Blucas and Caleb Reese Paul taking a joyful group photo.

obstacle,” Caleb said. “The 1% negative of the filming would be the interruption from the fun work.”


Claire had to keep her Texas life in order while taking care of herself in Oklahoma. For the four weeks that Claire was on the film set, she balanced everything, all while filming a movie.


“I had to plan everything ahead of how I’m going to play in school, how many stay in contact with my family, my boyfriend, my friends, all that stuff,” Claire said.




Claire’s character, Becca Larson, was a driving force in moving the plot forward. With the two parents of the film being very busy people with different expectations of the holidays, along with the younger brother not knowing what’s going on, Claire connected deeper with her character to fill her role in the plot.


“I didn’t just want to be just their daughter that doesn’t have any idea, and this just in this film, because they needed two kids,” Claire said. “So I kind of took it upon myself to dig a little bit deeper as my character since I’ve been acting for 11 years. That’s just what I’ve been trained to do.”


With the recent release of the film on Nov. 27, it’s available across several streaming platforms such as Disney+, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

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About the Contributor
Garrison Acree, Entertainment Editor
Garrison Acree (he/him) is on his second year on staff as a junior. When he’s not banging his head against his keyboard trying to work out the bug in a website’s code or trying to use JavaScript, he’s using writing as an outlet for creation and for spreading God’s word. He hopes to branch out from writing a little and support the staff in the design and photography departments. The attitudes of women and fish towards him are too varied and complex to be accurately described in a bio.  

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