Indie Film: Aspiring actor and Windham resident Anthony Carignan stars in the first episode of a new series

Windham resident Anthony Carignan stars in the opening episode of the new travel series, “Finding Adventure.” Photo by Gini Haines

A brand new streaming service was looking for someone with a compelling screen presence and a location with high production value. Fortunately, the producers of the new outdoor travel series “Finding Adventure” found the two right here in Maine, filming its first episode in Portland, Minot and Scarborough, and choosing for its very first Windham resident and actor in grass Anthony Carignan.

“I’ve always dreamed of being an actor,” said Carignan, a graduate of Westbrook High. “My acting background so far consists of a few small roles in independent films, local commercials, basically anything I can get my hands on.” It sounds familiar enough to any aspiring Maine-based actor, though for his turn as the initial subject of “Finding Adventure,” Carignan found his hands gripping everything from the handlebars of a speedy dirt bike to working and very full lobster traps, to a faired surfboard at Scarborough Beach. (I know you don’t use your hands to surf, but you get the idea.)

The outdoor adventures of Carignan, Maine are brought to you by the Very Local streaming service, which you can get for free on your Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, or Android TV. An intriguing mix of original programming and (as the name suggests) locally relevant shows and news, Very Local has signed specialist Kinga Philipps (“Lost In The Wild,” “America’s Lost Treasures”) ocean conservationist and perpetually outdoor TV host. , as Carignan explained, “people who aren’t super adventurous, but seek to find adventure for different reasons.”

For Carignan, who – fearless actor that he is – landed the job thanks to an open casting call he heard about on the radio, his reasons are, indeed, unique. “I have Tourette’s syndrome,” Carignan explained, “so I’m not super coordinated, my motor skills are kind of deficient. You can see it on the show. And in its episode, which is now available to stream after the series premieres on Feb. 2, “Finding Adventure” was more than just a screen stint.

“They wanted someone from Maine,” Carignan said, citing WMTW Channel 8’s association with Very Local’s parent company Hearst. “But they weren’t looking for the typical Mainer who was always looking to do outdoor activities. During my auditions, I talked about Tourettes and the fact that it’s good to be different, that you shouldn’t be afraid to do new things. Said Carignan of his time as the show’s first risk-taking guest, “I think it sounds heartfelt and inspiring.”

The Maine actor’s engaging and outspoken presence makes it clear why his episode was ultimately chosen to be viewers’ introduction to a television series about very different people across the country taking unusual big steps towards the danger of a reality show. “I didn’t know in advance what they were going to make me do,” Carignan said of his experience. “At first they ask, ‘What’s your limit, something you think you absolutely wouldn’t do?'”

For Carignan, this meant that there were no more heights. And while he didn’t specifically tell producers that he in no way wanted to swim with sharks alongside Philipps (who apparently does this stuff for fun), a subsequent contestant apparently finds herself doing exactly that. For Carignan, mountain biking, surfing and lobster fishing were quite challenging, thank you very much.

Not that there haven’t been upsides to his Maine-centric adventures. “I have to eat the lobster that I catch on the show,” Carignan said. “We found it, tagged it and the producers told the restaurant ‘this is the specific lobster you have to cook.'”

“Finding Adventure” is courtesy of the Very Local streaming service. The first episode features a Westbrook High graduate. Courtesy of “In Search of Adventure”

“Finding Adventure” is just another example of how Maine-based actors have to scramble to create their own opportunities. Along with appearing in the eclectic projects seen on his ever-changing IMDb page, Carignan also laughed that eagle-eyed viewers can spot his trusty brown backpack on a bridge scene in John’s little-known vehicle. Travolta “The Forger”, if you look closely. It’s all in an often very long and lucrative work day — Carignan noted that he constantly travels to Boston and elsewhere for auditions and small roles.

As for his time on “Finding Adventure,” Carignan had nothing but praise for the Very Local crew. “Some of these shows are manipulative,” Carignan said accurately of the reality TV genre. “But they never fed me lines or anything like that. I was just being myself – and I ended up getting the first one, so I guess I did something right. Additionally, as Carignan noted, the show’s presence in cities like Portland, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Boston serves as free publicity for the locations themselves and prominently featured local businesses. (Look out for Portland’s Great Lost Bear and a Scarborough surf shop to make appearances in his episode.)

For a kid from Maine (who, as Carignan confessed, immediately fell off the little 6-year-old dirt bike his dad bought him), “Finding Adventure” was the best show business experience. “Acting was always something I wanted to do,” he said. “As a kid, I told my friends I was going to be on TV, which doesn’t happen very often when you’re from Maine.”

Noting that his proud mother has already watched his TV daredevil four times (with an on-screen photo of his mother and son at one point), Anthony Carignan hopes this is just the last step on the path to a full-time career in front of the camera.

That’s the all-actors way – sometimes you just have to fall off that dirt bike and get going again.

You can watch “Finding Adventure” by signing up to the Very Local streaming service on your Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, or Android TV. It’s free. And learn more about Maine native Anthony Carignan on his Instagram page.

Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Auburn with his wife and cat.

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