His big break

When David Berger prepares for a role, he said he tends to read the script to himself. Then he just goes for it.

“I don’t get very nervous about acting, I just do it,” Berger said.

Berger, 15, of Pipestone, formerly of Lake Benton, got a role in the upcoming short film “The Sand Box,” which is being produced by Jennifer Kramer, an award-winning, critically acclaimed short film producer.

Berger said he was going to be filming “The Sand Box” this weekend, and the movie will be a half hour long.

Berger’s road to getting into the short started earlier this year. He’s been in several shows at the Lake Benton Opera House, including “Damn Yankees” and “Seussical,” as well as shows with the Calumet Players in Pipestone – “Peter Pan” and “Tarzan.”

“My mom got me into an agency,” Berger said.

Berger and Kramer met this past summer when Kramer came to the Pipestone Performing Arts Center for a talk.

“I gave her my name and number and said to her I was interesting in acting for you someday,” Berger said. “She said, ‘That will be great.'”

“The Sand Box” is about a 10-year-old boy, Jimmy, whose father comes back from Iraq. The story is told from the boy’s point of view. Berger said the person playing the character was supposed to be between the ages of 8-12.

“I thought, ‘oh, that’s cool, I look like I’m 12,'” Berger said. Kramer had asked Berger if he could act like he was younger. “We kept in touch and kept talking about it.”

There was another character, Shane, that Berger was told about.

“She (Kramer) sent me the audition form, I sent it in and got the part,” Berger said.

Shane, who is a little older than Jimmy in the short film, is a bully, Berger said. But he didn’t mind getting the role.

“I kind of like being the bad guys in plays,” Berger said.

Berger said “The Sand Box” is a “film festival kind of movie” and will be at Sundance. Kramer had received a “‘by invitation only’ request from The Sundance Institute to submit ‘The Sand Box’ for consideration in the Institute’s New Frontier Story Lab,” according to her website.

“It’s the biggest festival in the country for movies,” Berger said about Sundance.

Berger said people will get the chance to see him onscreen at Sundance and hopefully that will lead to something. Berger has a webpage (www.davidjberger.com), which includes his audition clip, resume and links.

“I think I can’t wait. I can’t wait to get going,” Berger said.