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For Annette Lawless, it is about being around the camera

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — People who watched “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” last weekend at the Wellington Regent may have recognized Annette Lawless, a 2003 Wellington High School graduate, on the screen.

Or maybe not.

Lawless played a shield agent in the movie – you know, the Marvel Comic agency that helps stamp out bad guys.

Annette Lawless

Annette Lawless

It wasn’t a part that got a lot of play. Lawless isn’t quite sure her part was in the movie.

“I don’t always see the movies I’m in,” Lawless laughed.

But for Lawless, the daughter of Charles and Di Lawless of Wellington, she’s a busy woman these days. She doesn’t necessarily want to watch the film. She wants to be in the film.

Lawless loves the camera -whether being in front of it or behind it. And she has managed a career as being both an actress and a journalist — not to mention being a web designer and podcast host.

Sumner County residents know her best as the weekend anchor and reporter for KAKE-TV Channel 10 in Wichita, a job she secured in 2013. Lawless also works for Fox 8 News in Cleveland, Ohio.

Her broadcasting career has been a fruitful one thus far. Lawless recently won a Edward R. Murrow award – the most coveting award in TV broadcasting — for a story she did about a special needs girls becoming a homecoming queen. Her work has also produced her an Emmy, and dozens awards in producing, reporting and photography from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters among other associations.

While broadcasting has defined her success, acting is her passion.

Fortuitously, her journalism work landed her in Cleveland which has significant movie studio activity. Lawless switches back and forth between Wichita and Cleveland TV news stations, but while in Cleveland, she tries to satisfy her acting obsession on her days off.

“I think I’ve been in at least 20 films — including a couple of Avenger movies,” Lawless said. “I was most recently in the movie ‘Draft Day.’ I played a secretary in the background in a scene where all the major actors were there.

“It was a big scene, I guess. Someone set something on fire in the office.”

She hasn’t seen ‘Draft Day’ either or could tell you the details of the movie. Again, she isn’t sure if she made the movie or not.

“I get paid the same regardless,” Lawless laughed.

Lawless is a fill-in actress. She said she will be called in for a scene as an extra or fill in when a major star can’t be present for a scene. If she looks like the actress, she will stand-in for her so the scene can get shot. The pay is good but the days are long, she says. She might be working eight hours on a scene that is less than a minute on screen or get edited out completely.

“It’s like TV news,” Lawless said. “You really think the scene your in will be a more crucial part of the movie, but sometimes it is not.”

Lawless doesn’t care, though. She loves the limelight something she developed while being a drama student at WHS. During her high school career she nabbed more than 75 awards in speech, debate and acting.

That led her to pursue a degree in broadcasting, print journalism and public relations at Kansas State. Upon graduating from K-State in 2008, Lawless was hired on to do a few ESPN spots for the major sports network concerning Kansas stories. That led her to getting hired on in local TV news. Today she not only acts, but has a couple of podcast show, and has even done some stunt work (see her IMDB.com biography here ).

“I love storytelling — and acting and reporting fits my personality,” Lawless said. “I get to meet interesting people and talk all day long.”

While she has bits and pieces in major films, she is making a name for herself on the short film circuit.

Recently she starred in a short film called “Check Please” which she starred with Jared Word, who played a role on the TV Show “Homeland.” See information of the short film here:

“I’m excited because the film has been picked up by film festivals across the country,” Lawless said.

But despite her aspirations in acting, she doesn’t think she will leave journalism anytime soon. After all it’s about the story.

The following video was an example of where the two careers of reporting and acting collided. This video is about Charlie Sheen, who had just been kicked off the TV Show “Two-and-a-Half Men” and was booed off stage for a comedy act in Detroit a few years ago. Lawless had the duty of doing the interview for Channel 8 when he arrived in Cleveland.

“The Charlie Sheen story is something I’ll never forget,” Lawless said. “I was surprised he had a gold tooth. I guess Hollywood has a way of masking imperfections. Thank goodness. I’m sure I’d need quite a few!”

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