Calle Walton’s acting career began with a kindergarten production of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”
She’s come a long way since then — the Peterborough 19-year-old landed a recurring role on the new television show “In the Dark,” which premiered on The CW Network earlier this month.
The “dramedy” (drama/comedy) series follows a blind woman named Murphy who is trying to unravel the mystery of a friend’s murder. Walton plays Chloe, the daughter of Dean, the detective investigating the case. Like Walton, Chloe is blind.
Walton learned of the opportunity to audition for the show through her school, the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford, Ontario, in Canada. Though Walton attended ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough and walked with her class at graduation in 2017, she began attending the school in Canada, which serves blind students, after losing her vision during her senior year.
Casting agents for the show, which shoots in Toronto, reached out to the school to invite female students to audition for the role, according to Walton.
“I didn’t realize I was, but I was so nervous, and I honestly thought I bombed,” she said. “So, when I found out that I got the part, I was just so shell-shocked and surprised and amazed.”
To help her step into the role, Walton said she worked with an acting coach, who ran lines with her and helped her make her performance more “personal and realistic.” She’s also learned from other seasoned actors on the show, including Perry Mattfeld, who plays Murphy, and “Mad Men” alumnus Rich Sommer, who plays her father.
“It was nice, because I was able to put a lot of me into the character while making the character their own person. So with Chloe, she’s kind of reserved, kind of shy, doesn’t really have too many friends. Her dad picks out all her clothes,” Walton said. “So it was kind of different to play that kind of a character, but I loved it.”
After her first foray into acting as Goldilocks, Walton continued to take the stage throughout middle school and the beginning of high school, but said she hadn’t acted much recently because of her vision loss.
But she’s always enjoyed trying on different personas.
“When I was littler, I would dress up in different outfits, I’d put on a British accent or anything and just go around town as a different character,” she said. “I loved to take on the role of someone completely different than me.”
She first began having issues with her sight in 3rd grade, when her vision went black and blurry one day at school. Her eyesight returned, and doctors biopsied a mass on her optic nerve, she said, but didn’t correctly identify the cause until after she lost her vision again when she was 17. This time it didn’t come back.
That was when her doctors determined her vision loss was caused by germinoma cancer, Walton said. After undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, she found out she was cancer-free in 2017.
Walton said she’s enjoyed having the opportunity to represent those with vision loss on TV, and is glad to be part of a show that centers on someone who is blind.
“There are a couple (shows) with blind people as kind of maybe background characters, but I feel like this is the first show that’s really shown that blind people aren’t just useless lumps,” Walton said. “We can do something; we can solve a murder mystery and try and figure out what’s going on.”
When it comes to Walton’s future, the sky is the limit — she will continue to attend W. Ross Macdonald School for the next year and a half, until she’s 21 — and she’s hopeful that this role is just the start.
“This is my dream. So I’m going to stick with this. And I do want to go to school at some point and get my teaching degree, but as long as acting keeps going, I’m going to roll with it all the way,” she said.
“In the Dark” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW Network.