Super Break-Up

Hi all,

You might remember that pre-quel short that I said I was going to film.  I announced it on Twitter and all over Facebook.  Well, here comes Super Break-Up: the story of how Amelia, Goddess of Discord’s, first boyfriend broke up with her over her powers because no man wants to die if they tick off their woman.  Amelia can instantaneously destroy anything she wants and has complete control over time.  I don’t know when The Go-Girls feature will become a reality, so this is what you get until then.  I actually filmed this in February.  David L. Peters was my director/cinematographer and the majorly awesome Mark Needle was the 1st AD, Grip, Boom Handler, and Editor.  And he also bought the pizza.  (I thank the pizza delivery person in the credits.)  Richard Arzola so graciously composed the music for Imdb credit.  Veteran actress Athena Massey kindly let us borrow her gorgeous house in Calabasas for filming. The short was part of the Show Your Shortz event at Flappers Comedy Club and Mark’s retrospective screening of his projects past and present.  You can check out his work at My Extraordinary Productions.

So here is the full short available on YouTube and Vimeo:

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.

The Supportive Industry

Hi all,

Right now I’m looking for the rest of the main production team.  So, here’s the ad: https://www.stage32.com/jobs/21717/Director-Financier-Line-Producer-Producer   I know that a great deal of people, especially here want money up front and won’t start at the ground floor.  Somehow anyone who makes a film is supposed to magically have money up front.  I had two useless phone calls with two industry experts who told me to get business collateral before I even begin funding.  But they had no advice on how to get it except for crowdfunding development funds.  I’ll wait for the official film budget to be finished before I set the amount for crowdfunding.  My trouble is that I have a tough time getting people on-board to give me money or anything.  I will give my best try to get the word out before I launch the funding campaign.  Maybe fliers in comic book shops or other marketing jaunts.  I’ll just have to review my crowdfunding notes and use my resources from Film Independent.

I had a great time volunteering at the LA Film Festival!  I mostly spent my time at the information booth helping attendees find what they needed.  We got vouchers for movie tickets after each shift.  I got to see Like Cotton Twines from Ghana, Opening Night starring Topher Grace, and the documentaries of Denial and Life, Animated.  They were all very excellent.  The film festival is a qualifier for the Academy Awards.  Many of the films sell out in advance so I didn’t get to see everything I had wanted to see.  I was going to be in a play but it didn’t work out; and that’s about all I’m allowed to say.  I did, however, get to see my friend, Sokrates, in a play at the Hollywood Fringe Festival called The Wheel of Invention, a dark satire of theme parks like Disneyland.

One thing about being in LA is that a number of people are not willing to reach beyond themselves to be helpful.  I have seen postings from successful actors saying to not contact their Agent/Manager about representation as you should do that work yourself.  And certain hiring people saying that they won’t accept auditions from non-union people, or even people with SAG-Eligibility, or talking about a casting that’s agent submission only and expecting people to not ask about being considered.  We are all hungry for work and deserve more respect and openness.  Making things limited and impossible doesn’t make companies and hiring individuals look better; it just makes them look closed-minded and discriminatory.  Most of us actors are really talented and dedicated people, not little flies to be swatted off.  And hiring individuals or really successful actors need to remember that success or power doesn’t make you superior.  I went to two EPAs and had no chance of being seen because the Equity actors get to go first and no one wanted to (or was permitted) to squeeze anyone else in.  This isn’t New York so I was surprised.  I got really hurt and angry after waiting six hours one day and a few the next with the lady making the announcement that non-union people wouldn’t get seen for a long time.  She then told me that being number 13 on the non-union list meant I was never getting seen.  I wasn’t available the second day of auditions.  She also told me that the company has resident artists so it would be very difficult for me to get in in the first place.  I saw so many people younger than me who were already union, including one really entitled and snotty brat who went to both auditions.  I know not all hiring entities or successful actors behave this way.  But the entertainment industry needs more community, not divisions, entitlement, or more closed doors.  We are all important and have a great deal to offer.  So, please support your fellow artists and creators and be nice and make opportunities for others.  Maybe donate an hour or two of your precious professional time to help someone create a funding promo, or maybe make some footage or a SAG-AFTRA New Media project to help your friends get SAG Eligibility.  Helping others is no assault to your dignity or street cred.

California Dreaming

Hi all,

Here’s what I’ve been doing.  I was cast in a paying industrial PSA about three weekends ago during my five-week temp assignment.  I saw the posting on the Actors’ Network Facebook page and I sent in my headshot and was cast.  I was really glad about that.  I hope to be able to utilize Facebook and Twitter to get auditions, especially from those casting directors, as many people say you can.  I still haven’t determined who out of the many casting directors I should target.  Another one of my acting career projects right now is getting representation.  I am following the Representation Race program from Dallas Travers because I want to do this effectively.  Check out all her programs and free in-person workshops at http://www.dallastravers.com/   She is one of the best acting business coaches in the industry with advice and practical steps that will make you feel empowered.  I’ll be attending her free acting business seminar on June 7.

I also checked out some TV/Film acting teachers but I haven’t found my fit yet.  I really enjoyed Jeff Hardwick’s commercial class because it was comprehensive yet low-key.  I’m certain taking the class helped me to book that small commercial.  He has another four-week class starting up on June 2.  Information is at his website at http://www.jeffhardwickcasting.com.

I went to the Post-Cannes Soiree hosted by Infolist.  It was at the swanky and pretty Sofitel in Beverly Hills.  I met a good number of interesting people and we all exchanged business cards, but I didn’t get cast in a pilot like last time!  (The pilot is still happening but film dates haven’t been set yet.  I’m really excited about when it happens.)  I did meet a pop culture journalist who thinks his team might be interested in interviewing me about The Go-Girls.  About my little movie: my executive producer and I are finalizing our funding plans and asking the important questions about investors and funding.  I am part of the Nancy Fulton Meetup film funding group and she has many videos and seminars about producing films.  I just watched the one about accepting money from investors under the Regulation D criteria.  I also went to a crowdfunding seminar a few weeks ago and they charge $2600 for training and support for crowdfunders with a discount of $1,000 for those signing up the day of.  That’s an easy amount for someone who makes that or more every day they work, but not little starving artists.  I’ve been really researching the crowdfunding and going to seminars for two years, so I’ve got this.

One thing I have realized is that I have a great deal of talent and that I have to conquer my audition nerves, trust what’s inside of me, and go to auditions feeling like the goddess I am.  I’ll be once again going to EPAs because theatre feeds my soul and Equity theatres pay enough.  (Mostly, though some only pay the non-Union a stipend and the Union people a weekly salary.)

Well, that’s enough info for now.  How are you guys doing in your artistic pursuit?  What have you been doing to keep yourselves going in your work and financially supporting yourselves?

Boxing Day

Hi all,

It’s been two months since my last blog post.  I just didn’t get back to the blog.  Tomorrow I drive off to LA! (or today according to the blog calendar).   I have some potential places that I will be looking at and I hope I get one of the good ones.  You can be assured that I have a day job in the works; I just need to resubmit some things.

I revived my role of the Young Woman in Spirit, the short play that I did back in 2013 at the Herberger Festival of the Arts.  The performance was on December 13 at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts.  It was freezing cold outside and I had to wear a sweater with my sleeveless dress to not get hypothermia!  I was really happy to play the role again and be onstage one last time before leaving.

I attended the Filmstock Film Festival Actor’s Showcase, but wasn’t able to make the film showings.  I had considered being part of it again and everyone thought I was, but I couldn’t think of what piece to perform.  I had my mind stuck on moving anyway.

The pilot might turn out to be a film based on prospective marketability.  That’s some fancy business speak, but the project is still on.  I can’t tell you the finer details yet until it happens.  The Go-Girls has a poster and we will finally launch that crowdfunding campaign, plus some equity crowdfunding and hitting up more investors and producing partners.  The company will be officially set up and we will get started.  I will be hitting up some actors, maybe personally and not through agents.  I will have to see what works best.  Using a casting director is ideal as that is what a producer should do.  Here is the poster for your viewing pleasure:  go girlsposter1

Break Through

Hi all,

Happy almost Halloween!  I will be wearing my new Rogue costume that I made with the help of my friend, Sara.  Check out her professional cosplay page at https://www.facebook.com/SaraMoniCosplay/  I have always loved Rogue from the comics with her unfortunate ability of not being able to touch people, her being Southern, her fun attitude, and for being Gambit’s other half.  I never thought I’d get to dress up as her.  I learned a great deal about sewing, especially how to sew spandex and boot covers.  I have way more to learn though, as I can’t handle zippers yet.

On the acting front, as you have probably seen if you follow my fan page, I am set to be part of a pilot that will be pitched to major networks.  I met the creator/producer, Mike Austin, at a networking party and he said I would be a great fit.  That is all I can say about it for now.  I have to let the official people release the official information.  Who would have thought you could get cast in something just by going to an event?

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to do two more commercials as part of the Burning Suns Entertainment Adobe campaign.  These involved fashion and funny business with donuts.  I was really glad to be part of so many of the ads.  Here is the link again to watch all the ads already completed: https://www.facebook.com/BurningSuns/

In Go-Girls news, I have an official executive producer and a potential director (which I probably already mentioned) and I am going forth with the crowdfunding campaign.  While my executive producer approaches potential investors, I will be putting together the IndieGoGo campaign and I need to get the written pitch and pitch videos done soon.  I met with a graphic designer on Monday to create a poster specifically for the pre-production period and crowdfunding campaign.

If you’d like to know more about the original presentation of The Go-Girls as a staged reading, here below this post is the blog post I did for the Fertile Ground blog back in 2010.  Sadly, there are no pictures or a recording of the staged reading itself.

I submitted Business Casual to the Phoenix Film Festival for a total of four festivals.  I am debating whether or not I should submit to another festival.  Those submission fees add up.  The short has already been accepted into the Arizona Community Short Film Festival, which happens at 6:30pm on November 24 at Filmbar.  Event information (but not yet for tickets) is available at the event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/895794797170380/

Start the Revolution

Hi all,

I have taken so long to get back to the blog.  I hope you like the new format.  I’m deeply glad that this is actually now a functional website.  I have got to get the crowdfunding campaign going for The Go-Girls and my friend, Lee Forgang, who is now officially my executive producer, is working on getting investors.  I will be pursuing them as well.  I was considering whether to use IndieGoGo or Seed and Spark, which also has a distribution platform.  It’s hard to know what exactly to do since I haven’t done this thing before.  I also have a possible director who wants to make sure we have funding before he signs on to the project.  No other actors attached yet other than myself because I want to hire an actual casting director and make sure I have the money first.

I checked out every book about producing Indie film I could from the library.  I was especially happy to get my hands on the book, From Reel to Deal, by the renowned indie-film production guru, Dov Simens.  He goes into detail about what you can do with each budget tier from how much crew you can hire to insurance and deals with investors and distribution agents.  It’s a really helpful book, but it is from 2003, so the information has changed a bit.  I also found the excellent book, The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking, by the Polish Brothers, who produced the films, Twin Falls Idaho, Northfolk, and The Astronaut Farmer, among many others.  The book is from 2005 and has the narrative of how they started in film and the lessons they learned along the way.  I have a great deal of work to do from setting up a business name and account to the funding itself.  I also have the official move to LA in December.  There aren’t enough opportunities here for me to grow in my career, get real credits, be union, and make a living.

My friend set up a jewelry fundraiser for preliminary funds for The Go-Girls, but no one came.  We read through the script out loud together and that was a lot of fun.  We might schedule one again.

I had an audition for Arizona Studios last weekend and it went great!  They provide pre and post-production services, including casting, animation, 3-D graphics, and special effects.  I heard back from the company producing the musical and one-acts a few weeks ago and they would like to work with me, they just needed to decide if they were going to have callbacks or direct offers.  That was the paying one.  The Sondheim revue that I auditioned for that same weekend, gave me a quick no.  That company doesn’t pay anyway.  We need more paying companies.  You’re more likely to get paid in Portland for theatre and that’s saying something.  At least Phoenix has a good deal of commercial projects.  Of course not as many as it should, but it’s something.  A few weeks back, I was in another of my buddy, Bobby Shook’s, commercials for Adobe.  I was a bridesmaid this time and I got to eat cake.  Here is a picture of me on set with my pal, Diana Brest.   11951190_506377026180999_1072380336937814454_n

I also submitted Business Casual to Filmstock Film Festival, a small Arizona festival, and the LA Lift-Off Festival, which has connected festivals across the US and abroad.  I got to submit to Filmstock for free and with a discount for the Lift-Off Festival.

Lightning Round

Hi all,

I give this blog this title in honor of monsoon season.  There was rain and lightning last night and that should be continuing this evening.

Phoenix Comicon was last weekend and I only attended for two of the days.  My parents were here and I had an audition for Southwest Shakespeare Company on Sunday.  I went as Dazzler and Tessa/Sage from the X-Men.  Recently, the Arizona Avengers released member profiles for people who cosplay lesser-known characters.  I was really excited to be included.  I don’t know how much I’ll be able to cosplay because of lack of time and budget.  There was a really funny panel in which people dressed up as characters from Axis Powers: Hetalia and had the nations answer questions.  I asked Canada how Quebec was doing.

I attended an interesting panel about the work and career of Hayao Miyazaki.  The latest Studio Ghibli film, When Marnie Was Here, opens today, June 5, in Phoenix and other select markets.  It’s already playing in New York and LA.  The film is being distributed by G Kids and they would love to have everyone see the film opening weekend.  I love the Studio Ghibli films and my favorite one is Howl’s Moving Castle.  Check out tickets and screenings at http://gkids.pgtb.me/PVJnlG

One big part for me of Phoenix Comicon was attending the premiere of the top-ten films in the Phoenix Comicon Film Challenge, including the one I was in, Special Space Units.  The short film is now available on YouTube.  It was written, edited, directed, and filmed by Douglas Proce.  His company is Connected Films.  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO9nRWB-zyc  And no, I don’t still have that malady you see in the film.  My friend, Tyler Woida, also had a top-ten film and it was amazing!  He brilliantly used stop-motion animation and light effects.  He has a channel for his production company on YouTube and will probably be posting his film there soon.  www.youtube.com/user/HynMayProductions

I am finally putting together some definitive plans to produce, The Go-Girls.  My friend, Lee, and I met to talk about business plans and he actually has the Movie Magic program and generously made me shooting, actor scene, and location lists.  One of my film colleagues is willing to help me out with crowdfunding and distribution plans.  I got side-tracked these past two weeks.  Of course, they say you need a really good marketing video for crowdfunding.  I’ll be taking my inspiration from film colleague J.P. Frydrych’s Kickstarter campaign video for his short film, The Terminizer.  His company is Jump Ship Productions.  Here is the link to the Kickstarter page:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jp-frydrych/the-terminizer

All these YouTube posts reminded me to share something: the commercial that I was in for the Adobe Creative Cloud through Burning Suns Films.  It’s officially called “Pitch The Monkey.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erUAWH7Ze6M  Check out the other commercials on their Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/BurningSuns  These guys are amazing and extremely professional.

And in the really great news section: I meet with a filmmaker tomorrow to discuss playing the lead role in his SAG-AFTRA film short.  This makes me feel like a celebrity!  The film sounds really good and I really appreciate when people make union contract films and pay people.

No other casting or audition news other than that.

 

 

The Power of One

Hi all,

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.