La Famille Ep. 1 Table Read

Next up, I’m working on finishing up all four episodes for my limited series version of La Famille. I’m having an online reading on Zoom for the pilot episode on this Saturday, Sept. 12 at 2pm and you can RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/794606601355410 I am recording the reading if you can’t make it and posting the video on the site.

I will be having a reading of episode 2 in the near future, so be sure to be there!

Film Festivals!

In other news, loyal viewers, the pilot episode for the La Famille limited series is a semi-finalist in the Filmmatic Drama Screenplay Awards and a finalist in the Flight Deck Film Festival. And Super Break-Up is a finalist in the Flight Deck Film Festival. Many film festivals have had to cancel their events this year with the goal of moving their selected films to their festival next year or have gone entirely online. The Nashville Film Festival is one that is happening entirely virtually this year.

Now here are my beautiful laurels.

Actress Mind Taffy

Hi all,

Let me start with some good news.  Go on over to my IMDb page to find out about my first foray into being a 1st AD: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5356965/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1  The feature is set to film in November.  I’ll definitely need to read up on my Tony Bill film set terminology.  In all seriousness, I’ve been on a number of sets and produced short films, so I have a solid idea of how to be a great 1st AD.

And now into the main topic of the blog post: the actress mind taffy I’ve had to contend with, namely varying opinions on pursuing Union work for little Non-Union me.  I’ve encountered the SAG old-garde who want to make sure that the Union is only filled with “qualified members” and that being Union is the only way to be called a professional.  There is also the attitude that there are so many qualified Union people, that Non-Union people shouldn’t take their jobs or even submit because they aren’t “professional” and will just waste the casting director’s time.  I thought we were all supposed to be on the same team.  Let’s remember that Unions are about fair pay and working conditions, not whether someone thinks you deserve it.  One wonderful acting teacher told me that the gigs are all “lottery tickets.”  And don’t forget all the people who Taft-Hartleyed themselves before the budget requirement on New Media.  Is someone going to take away their membership because they didn’t “earn it?”  I certainly wouldn’t!  Rise anyway you can, my colleagues!  Unions rise and fall based on contributions to the pension, and the more members the merrier.

There was a long e-mail chain post 15 years ago in the Oregon Actors Yahoo groups about what constitutes a professional.  Yes, anyone can call themself an actor, but no one gets to arbitrarily decide who gets to do that.  Anyone who has been doing it for 15 years like yours truly and has trained ridiculously with a Post-Graduate Certificate in acting from British drama school, deserves some respect you’d think.  (Writer/Producer also!)  I’m not just sitting here doing nothing.  But I’m grouped by default with that kid from Ohio who just one day decided to pursue acting.  And that really hurts.  One retired Oregon casting director many years ago gave me a long speech about buses of wannabes coming to LA every week and essentially not to think I’d ever make it or think I’m something special.  Well-meaning veterans say things to the younger crowd (or those who don’t age) in an effort to give them what they believe to be true, but it’s really discouragement and that just makes life harder.

I’ll go back to drinking tea now and petting my imaginary cats.

Hear My Voice on Spreaker and iHeart Radio

Hi everyone,

Long time, no blog post.  Here’s a quick update on a project that I’m currently part of.  There is way more news than that, but that’s in the next post.  I’m now the Announcer for the podcast, Inspire Change, with internationally-acclaimed psychologist, author, and producer, Gunter Swoboda.  You can catch the podcast right now on Spreaker.com and iHeart Radio, and very soon on iTunes.  It’s a podcast about positive masculinity.  And here are the links: https://www.spreaker.com/show/inspire-change and Inspire Change with Gunter on iHeart Radio

Christmas Palm Trees

Hi All,

I’m really making large gaps with these posts.  I hope your holiday season is starting out merry.  I’m singing in a Christmas concert with my church choir.  Here is the event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/582314988874089/ It’s this Saturday, December 15, at 2pm at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Venice, CA.  Then I’m off to visit home for three weeks just in time for my parents to move out of the family home.  It’s the only house I ever lived in and where all my memories are stored.  I’ll be seeing all my friends in the Portland area whom I don’t see very often.  It’s slightly cold in LA right now and it’s to the point I actually have to wear a sweater to bed.

La Famille episodes one and two are written but three and four need to be finished.  I only have to take each section for each woman in the original screenplay and add 25 to 30 pages and edit all of them.  Then it’s the push to get this thing produced and in the hands of the right people.  The Go-Girls feature is officially cancelled.  I couldn’t get any money or anyone reliable to help me, so I had to finally tell everyone it was over.  I will be filming a pre-quel short that needed to have the production date moved due to Thanksgiving and the wildfires.  After, I will submit it to shorts festivals and see what happens.

On Veterans’ Day, I booked a co-star in new re-creation series and I had one line.  I got the most money I have ever gotten for a day on set, making my year total earned for acting $600.  That may look like a small amount, but it’s the most money I’ve ever made (except for when I did Rejected No More.)  There have been theatre auditions with the last one looking promising, but in the end, I wasn’t cast.  But my Shakespeare was on fleek.  So, no theatre credits at the moment.  I got my first SAG-AFTRA voucher from background on a music video.  I need two more of those to be eligible.

I got behind on my mailings so I’m making up for that now.  I did get two commercial callbacks in a row in July and September.  I met for a solo coaching session with Chris Game about my not getting callbacks and he helped me fix it.  I’m hoping for many more commercial auditions and finally booking them.  And finally getting some SAG-AFTRA TV/Film work.  Getting back to class is tough for me because of my finances.  I have to be able to pay my rent, but I really need to be in class.

Summer Lovin’ Part 1

Hi all,

I’ve been up to so much.  First off, I now have a commercial agent!  I’m with Aqua Talent and I hope to be getting auditions soon and booking some commercials.  I really want to act and write and produce and create full-time.  And right now, I’m taking class with Chris Game in his How To Book Everything class at Acting Up Network.  (I swear it’s the only place I want to take class from now on.)  Basically, you learn how to book any type of TV or Film audition in the class and how to work with the camera and your choices for the maximum performance.

I had to run the crowdfund campaign by myself for The Go-Girls.  I had no money to hire anyone to run it.  I did everything I could with my mostly full-time work schedule and even hired a promotions company to send out press releases and create social media ads.  I posted on social media several times nearly every day.  It was expensive enough getting set up with a tax ID and business license expenses.  I only got $155, plus two contributions off the site.  We are about as far from $200,000 as possible.  We could go into production with a bit less than half.  When I posted a job for an Executive Producer, there were very few responses.  Other people have funded features in this budget range and they did it somehow.  I know how to produce no-budget and micro budget films.  I just wanted to be in something spectacular to show that I can be a leading lady and give other women a chance to shine.  I have an amazing cast who love this script and badly want to make this film.  My Development Executive is negotiating a possible investor deal and I’m on the lookout for possible investors.

I’m auditioning for a production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  I’ve always liked the musical and have always wanted to play Olive Ostrovsky.  And they will be having another round of auditions for the Independent Theatres of Los Angeles.  The previous round of auditions was booked up by the time I got to audition.

April Showers Bring…

Hi all,

As you’ve probably noticed, that one producer is no longer on the project.  Sometimes you encounter people who want to make it their show and don’t have your best interests at heart.  Well, onward the Go-Girls go!  I have cast all the other roles.  Special thanks to Film Independent for the use of their space for casting!  I have some really exciting and accomplished people acting in the project.  I am currently finalizing the funding plans and have filed federally and in CA to accept investors.  Please check out the website at www.gogirlsfilm.com.  If you’re not an accredited investor, you will be able to contribute to the funding campaign shortly once I figure out the best way to do that.

In acting news, I got a callback for a national brand commercial the week before last.  This is exciting because I currently don’t have an agent and it’s my first callback with an LA casting director.  I continue to submit to agents and connect with casting directors.  And I also recently completed the Soap Opera Intensive with Bob Lambert, Casting Associate for Days of Our Lives.  He will be teaching the class again on April 20.  Please visit www.actingupnetwork.com for details.  You will love his class as it takes you through auditions to preparing a final scene for a screen test.  He even loves my headshot!  Basically, you should go to the Acting Up Network site period because they are always having industry seminars and at least two ongoing scene study classes.  Jodie, the head of the company, is so awesome!  I am also attending an exclusive TV taping this week with the Film Funding Club, a group of people who produce films or would like to produce films (like me!).  Nancy Fulton is the head of the group and she has many seminars, events, and extremely useful articles.  You can find her contact information and more about her services at NoBetterFriend.com.

Oh, and I’m taking ballet classes again with Align Ballet Method.  You can learn ballet too in a really supportive environment (of course, you can’t automatically get the 14+ years experience I have!).  Go to AlignBalletMethod.com.

Basically, that’s what’s going on right now.  I’m singing in the church choir for the Holy Thursday mass, going to Good Friday service, and singing Easter Sunday!  Yes, I’m that Catholic.

Springing Into Action

Hi all,

It’s been two months since the last post and I’ve been so busy!  I will be casting the other roles before beginning the crowdfunding campaign and contacting investors.  I’m a Filmmaker Pro Member of Film Independent, which you can also be for $250 per year. On that note: the site for Film Independent is http://www.filmindependent.org, where you can find out about membership, events, film grants, and filmmaking labs in screenwriting, documentaries, producing, etc. You need to apply and be accepted for the labs. My membership also includes two free casting sessions. I’ve already used my producer session perk. So, my task in the next two days is to contact potential actors for the remaining roles (I’m Amelia, of course!).

I am still auditioning for all the Equity theatres I can and I hope to get cast somewhere soon. The next two ones are Independent Shakespeare Company and Theatricum Botanicum. I’ve started volunteering for ISC and completed my first session last night for a screening of the documentary, Still Dreaming, about a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Lillian Booth Retirement Home for Actors. I had a wonderful time and the film was engaging and charming.

Recently, I got to see my acting teacher, Kevin McCorkle, in White Guy on the Bus with The Road Theatre Company and everyone was brilliant! You have got to go see it. It deals with some pretty heavy topics, so be prepared. The show plays Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm through March 18. http://www.roadtheatre.org/white-guy-on-the-bus-at-the-road-on-magnolia/

Next up classwise, I am taking a 3-week soap opera workshop with veteran casting director, Bob Lambert, and I am so excited! I am also attending the free industry seminar hosted by Billy Damota and Dea Vise at Acting Up Network on March 10. March 10 is also my birthday and since my Grandpa joined my Grandma in Heaven, I’ve been celebrating by myself. Check out Acting Up Network for great classes and seminars: http://www.actingupnetwork.com. Jodie, the head of the company, is one of the best people to know in the industry.

And the last piece of news is that I have a commercial audition this Tuesday via Skype, which should be interesting since I’ve never done an audition through my computer before. I keep pushing forward with my marketing, classes, and connecting. I’ve also gotten back into ballet classes and I really want to take more than just a class per week. I need to back up my special skills section on my resume.

Make Friends With Your 5AM

Hi all,

I plan to do more than one post this month, and I have a few weeks to do it!  I’m back into substitute teaching, but Christmas break started this week, so I’m free to do actor business and visit home.  (I have to get up at 5am each day I get an assignment, hence the name of this blog post.)  When I get back from my vacation, I will have to once again learn to balance a day job and acting duties.  Fortunately, I am able to take a day when I need to for auditions and acting business.   I now have another producer signed on to make The Go-Girls happen and we need to get the funding plans in action, begin the casting process for the other roles, and finally organize and launch the crowdfunding campaign.  I can hardly keep straight all the things that I need to do.  And I now have a bunch of people that I have to keep in the loop.  I wasn’t sure if all the elements were going to come together for the film.  Maybe it will be an indie hit and I will become the toast of Hollywood, or at least it will open the door to lucrative Union opportunities and a competent agent.  I obtained an agent meeting but then the agent cancelled.

I had a general meeting with my Facebook friend, Billy DaMota, and it was so awesome!  I’m very glad to now have him as a mentor.  He pointed me in the right direction of how to pursue my career and to see industry people as colleagues.  It is actually alright to call casting director offices and agents to ask about meetings and submissions.  Even drop offs are fine in most cases.  You just need to be professional.  So, I will start the improved marketing campaign and make friends with the phone (which scares me) in the New Year.

I will still be going on EPAs and there is one tomorrow for the San Diego Old Globe theatre.  No news about the other theatres and Shakespeare Festivals yet.  I did receive a wonderful e-mail from one theatre I auditioned for in November saying that while they didn’t cast me, they still loved my enthusiasm and would keep my materials on record.  I sent them a Christmas card!

There is so much to do!