BATON ROUGE — A disabled veteran and founder of a non-profit organization is hosting a fundraiser dinner for veterans.
Bad Habitz Organization is hosting a casino night out fundraiser on Sept. 30 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at American Legion Post 38, 131 South Woodale Blvd.
Bad Habitz trains veterans in the film industry and hires veterans to fill close to 60 percent of the cast and crew, according to DeAnna Charett, the organization’s founder.
“I’m a veteran and also in the film industry,” she said. “I saw how the film industry helped me with my PTSD. I was lost after getting out, and the film industry helped with that.”
Charett said there are many ways acting can help veterans with struggles with PTSD.
With acting, there are a lot of acting exercises that we do to get a character breakdown for ourselves,” she said. “How to get to the emotional states we need to. That has helped me channel my PTSD and emotions. To come up with a good character that is real and that I’m emotionally attached to; because of that, training and understanding of how to get out of that emotional state helped me deal with some of these issues.
“To be able to do that in a safe way has been a tremendous coping mechanism for me,” she added. “They are there to help me with techniques I’ve learned.”
Charett said she started her foundation in 2021. The organization was born out of a documentary she was working on that featured veterans and the obstacles they faced.
She learned camera work and was offered a role in a film after posting a picture of herself in martial arts gear.
“I posted a picture of me in my martial arts gear, and an agent contacted me and said, ‘Hey, because of Hurricane Katrina, they’re talking about filming a mortal combat movie. Would you like to be an actress in that movie?’ she recalled. “I signed and started acting in 2007. In 2013, I started working as a crew on local projects here. I started my own production company, to start producing.
“This means a lot personally to me,” she added. “There is this saying we have 22 a day who commit suicide. Maybe because they’re not getting the support or treatment they need, it could be multiple situations. I was almost a 22, two different times. My agent spoke to me and had me get help. They get lost for a long time and take jobs they’re not happy in. We’ve been trained to do one thing for so long, and when we get out, try to figure out what to do that covers what you’ve learned. It’s hard to transfer back to civilian.”