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Switching coasts pays off for DeVore

November 01, 2004|by JANET HEIM

janeth@herald-mail.com

Two years ago, her two-door Honda Civic loaded with possessions, Angela DeVore drove cross-country with her father along for moral support. She was in pursuit of a career in the TV and film industry.

Today, a lengthy resume and list of celebrity encounters are proof that the risk paid off.

DeVore, 24, graduated from Williamsport High School in June 1998. Her high school coursework completed in January of that year, she headed to Savannah School of Art and Design in Georgia - prior to high school graduation.

It was trips to New York City with her parents, Ralph and Luanne DeVore, to see Broadway shows and her love for classic movies that guided her career choice, she said.

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DeVore graduated with a B.F.A. in film and video in 2000. While in college, she got to work as an assistant in the art department for the movie "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" and helped in the casting department on the movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance."

Other experience included working as a lighting technician for concerts starring Bob Dylan, Billy Idol, Lenny Kravitz and Tom Petty.

Unsure what she wanted to do after graduating, DeVore returned to Washington County about the time filming began on "Gods & Generals." She got a job working in the art department, as well as encouragement from the crew to make the move to California.

DeVore thought over the idea of a move for about a year while working as an assistant photographer in Baltimore, then decided to go for it. She had considered moving to New York City, but knew there were more opportunities for her on the West Coast.

The move paid off. DeVore now works for E! Entertainment on its "True Hollywood Stories" series. She also did a freelance job for a New York City advertising agency as a prop stylist and set decorator for a Clairol Herbal Essence shampoo commercial that was produced just for an "American Idol" finale.

Her most recent celebrity encounters include working with Elvira on a Halloween special that aired Sunday night, and with Jackie Collins on a six-week series that is being shot at four- and five-star hotels.

DeVore is responsible for set design and how scenes should be shot, props and floral arrangements, among other things. She said Collins compared her floral designs to those at Neiman-Marcus.

The creative work of building sets wasn't new to DeVore. Her father, who lives in Williamsport, was a local float builder who retired several years ago after 40 years in that business.

She attributes her career success to the understanding of set design and construction she gained from working with her father in his business.

"I realize that the skills he taught me in commercial art and float building help me every day," Angela DeVore said.

DeVore, who lives near Burbank, is glad she made the move, although she admits traffic takes some getting used to and the hours she works can be long.

"The nature of the beast in this business is that you work for short periods of time and have lots and lots of stuff on your resume," DeVore said.

She said she is considering hiring an agent because there's little time to search for jobs while she's working. She hopes to get a job on a network series that guarantees nine months of work with more regular hours.

"Generally, I love what I do. You just wish there were more hours in the day so you could do other things you want to do," she said.

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