Looks like I missed January for blog updates. I just received my first acting paycheck of the year from the Skittles commercial in which I was an extra in December. The commercial didn’t air during the Super Bowl, but that’s alright. It was also in Phoenix this year and no, I didn’t have tickets, but Chris Pratt and Chris Evans did. I had the opportunity to work six days at the NFL Experience in downtown Phoenix and it was a great deal of fun. The pay was good and I didn’t have to work shifts that were too long. However, that’s not the acting news you’re waiting for. I was also cast as a stand-in for the Pro Bowl rehearsal through Good Faith Casting, who brought me in for the Skittles commercial. I look forward to working with them again. I got to pretend I was one of the players drafted into the Pro Bowl and give mock interviews.
I bought the domain name for this blog, so it will now be http://www.annasahlstrom.com. My friend, Stephen, the amazing film god re-edited my demo reel for easier posting. I have known my reel was too long and with the wrong cuts the moment I received it. Additionally, if I am going to renew my Actors Access subscription after four years, I really need a competent reel. I need to re-instate my memberships and LA connections so I can get a lot more opportunities. I haven’t yet heard about Bogie and Bacall.
I’m going to strive to go to the Actors WorkHouse as often as I can so I can continually train. I have an audition for the production of Twelfth Night with Class 6 Theatre company on Monday night of next week, so I have to really practice my monologue. I will also be auditioning for a production company for their future commercials, feature films, and other projects. The Sunday before last I auditioned for Burning Suns Entertainment, headed up by the famous Bobby Shook, for their upcoming commercials. All these projects pay, but as for union contracts, I’m not sure there are too many of those upcoming in the Phoenix area.
I have made some changes to La Famille, with specific focus to the first 15 pages of the script I shared at the In The Works reading series. I understood that the history the script deals with needs a great deal of explanation as most people don’t know Acadian/Cajun history. I also short-changed that character and made her part much too short. I am going to get The Go-Girls campaign going. I need to put together my pitch to potential production partners, cast, crew, and directors. A fellow stand-in at the Pro Bowl shoot told me there was no reason I couldn’t go ahead and get the funding campaign started. He told me I need to quit waiting for someone else to get started. I need to establish the Cactus Flower Pictures mission statement and industry presence. To clarify: I am not trying to be like a major studio, just a small collaborative production company for my work and that of others if it gets to that level. This is not a replacement for submitting to acting projects.
I did a bit of fan page promotion on Facebook and I now have 107 likes, up from about 65 just two weeks ago. Also, the paperwork has gone through for Pick Me! with the distributor. More details on that as they come. I additionally have registered the copyright of the film with the US Copyright Office. I found out that you have to list the company producing the film if more people than yourself worked on it. I’m just learning these things.
Pray for my success.
My summer just got busier. I had a print ad audition on yesterday with the legendary casting director, Gay Gilbert, for whom I auditioned a year and a half ago for a student film. I’m crossing my fingers I book a part. My friend, Luca Patruno, is back here for summer vacation and we are going forward with filming, “Climbing Stairs,” and have a firm shooting schedule. I am very glad we are able to finally film the script. Additionally, I was cast in a student film called, “These Are the Breaks,” as the friend of the female lead. That should film at the end of July, or thereabouts. And there’s more: I was also cast as Tonton Julian in a landmark ASU Senior Thesis of Once On This Island. I always thought it would be cool to be in this excellent musical. What is unique about this production is that the director had audio-only auditions sent by e-mail. He decided to make casting choices on voice and ability rather than physical appearance or gender.
One really large project I am undertaking is producing The Go-Girls into a feature film in LA. I am just in the planning phases, but I have connected with people on Stage 32 and professional Facebook pages for advice and collaboration on making the film. I already have a lead actress and producer, which are both me! I downloaded a film budget form from online and filled it out. I think the tentative budget should be around $90,000. A few weeks ago, I attended a seminar through IFP Phoenix about crowdfunding campaigns. The whole thing was four hours long. Two of the guests spoke to us via Skype about their experiences with crowdfunding and also their production companies. The founder of Seed and Spark was one of them and she told us how her company works for supporting indie filmmakers through providing focused crowdfunding and distribution opportunities. I believe the case for most crowdfunding sites is that they are suitable for projects with budgets of $200,000 and under. I heard the average feature film campaign is for $50,000. I put together a tentative budget for La Famille and it will definitely be about $8 million. If either script could be produced for less, I would totally go for that. However, I wouldn’t do that at the expense of actors and crew being paid a living wage.
My friend, Lee, read La Famille and loved it! He was kind enough to make edits for me and even met with me to discuss them and gave me the marked copy of my script. I really appreciated it and having corrections made on a physical copy is the only way I can edit. Staring at the computer too long makes my eyes hurt. You can read the scripts for The Go-Girls and La Famille on my profile on Stage 32 at http://www.stage32.com/profile/21717/anna-sahlstrom
These are great undertakings, but it’s about time I got things rolling in my campaign for industry domination. There is nothing that I love more than acting and writing.
Today’s blog title comes from the musical Chicago. In one of the many little quizzes they have on Facebook, I received the result that the Broadway musical I should star in is Chicago. I love Bob Fosse’s choreography. I have been cast in Guys and Dolls with Don Bluth Front Row Theatre. I am very glad to be onstage again and I’ll be playing a Hot Box Girl. I’ll be doing a great deal of dancing. The show runs from March 6 through April 12, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7pm. You can purchase tickets at http://donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com/etickets/index.php?cPath=6
I also auditioned for a VO feature film this past Sunday produced by DB Rich Productions and it went really well. I would be excited to be part of the project and it pays.
I have heard from the people at 8 Sided Forum and they have posted my statement of purpose. Here is the link:
I now have to make a series of videos answering interview questions. I’m not well-versed with editing and filming so I have recruited my friend to help me out. It was recommended that I post the videos this week. I have to squeeze that in around rehearsals.
In the meantime, I am also working on my song repertoire and my vocal technique. I have been meaning to call my acting coach to go over my monologues. I have been working on a monologue from the character Jenny in Abstract Expression by Theresa Rebeck. It’s mostly run-on sentences and a bit of babbling. It’s a challenge going for both film and stage. I also have to finish La Famille. I have about 78 pages done so far.
Check out my new Plays and Screenplays page for my theatrical writing. I have an excerpt from The Go-Girls there.