My high school drama experience immensely shaped me as both an artist and a human being. I had two amazing teachers who encouraged me to grow and they gave me wonderful creative opportunities.
Starting today for the next two and a half weeks, I'll be the Production Coordinator on the indie feature film, "Landing UP." I'm super-excited to learn and grow from this experience.
On Monday night, John Olson and I had a read-thru of the first draft of our short film, "Kitsch" (tentatively titled). Sitting around in a group of talented people, reading and hearing the story out loud, was an incredible experience.
And then we hit a conundrum.
Our script ran about 45-60 minutes. Definitely not the length of a short film!
So we had to decide...do we cut this to make it a short, like originally desired, or do we expand it to make a feature?
After much discussion, John and I realized that we still had so much backstory and character elements that it would actually be super-easy to find extra material to add in. We also acknowledged that the story was calling to be a feature.
So, we're writing a feature!
I'm absolutely excited but also a bit nervous. Funding and development of a short film -- I can definitely do that.
But a feature?
New territory here! Can we get funding, how do we even think about distribution, festivals, etc?
But honestly, it feels right, and I think I'm finally at a confidence level where I can take this on without more than growing pains as a result.
Now, it's off to expanding, writing, and rewriting, rewriting, rewriting. And obviously the production span has extended from several months to a year or more.
But, I'm immensely proud of it and I think we have a great story. The best part of the evening was when one of the actresses said that it resonated deeply with her, reminding her of her family relationships. Wow.
We've really got something! Here we go!
Here it is -- my directorial (and screenwriting) debut! Enjoy! :)
I turned another year older this past Saturday, and for the first time I feel like I am becomingly really comfortable in my own skin.
2015 has been the year of self-discovery, of listening to myself and getting more grounded.
I don't feel older in the sense of aging...I just feel more mature.
Who knows where these findings will lead, for myself and my career?
I'm on a journey...let's see what happens next.
“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre
With my recent adventure into directing, I began to muse if that was something I wanted to start pursuing. I borrowed an excellent book from my HCP cohort Matt, the filmmaker's eye by Gustavo Mercado, and delved into reading about shot types, Hitchcock's Rule of Thirds, and other such compositional treasures. I wondered what it would be like to be a director -- it seemed pretty cool.
But then there was this eerie thing that started happening to me. I felt really down, and started eating a lot of comfort foods (ice cream galore!). I felt unmotivated to be productive, and I felt guilty.
Then the other day, I had a spark of desire to pick out one of the many Shakespeare plays from my bookshelf. Hamlet. I spun through the pages, finally resting on a monologue:
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul but to his own conceit....
The infamous Hecuba speech! The one where Hamlet marvels at the ability of this actor to be so moved by passion for an imaginary person, while he himself is so stuck when he has a real injustice to suffer for.
It's this beautiful simultaneous respect and jealousy of the actor.
I read it aloud, getting more and more empassioned myself, loving it.
And it was then that I realized:
Acting is definitely, without a doubt, for me.
Directing may be fun to do once in a while, and who knows one day down the road I might indeed gravitate to it as I grow and change as a person...
...but right now, my heart and passion definitely still resides with acting.
After that reaffirmation, my soul lifted, my mood improved, and my motivation returned.
I love acting. I love everything about it, and even if this journey can be tough at times, it's worth it.
This finding makes me think of another character's words from another infamous story:
"If I ever go looking for my own heart's desire again, I won't look any further from my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."
--Dorothy, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
To mine and everyone's own backyards,
Last Wednesday's shoot of "Coffee Shop Conversations" at OK Cafe was a success! I am so incredibly happy with how it went! Both cast and crew were on point, and the night was smooth and fun! Today I head into the editing room with Brandon Pro and Matthew Van Vorst to start putting this film together! :) Here are a few fun photos from the shoot to tide you over until its release:
My husband used to work in advertising, doing graphic design for a company.
"Advertising is designed to make you feel bad about yourself."
He gives Cosmopolitan magazine as an example, with phrases on the cover such as "Have the best sex of your life!" -- well, suddenly one questions..."AM I having the best sex of my life? I don't know now, maybe they know something I don't"...and then one buys a copy.
So, this might surprise some people in the industry, but I'm unsubscribing to ALL the "helpful" actor newsletters and emails that have been inundating my Gmail Promotions inbox.
I signed on to so many of these services over the years, for some good reasons -- to learn more about the business side, get tips and feedback, maybe even get some inspiration.
But now it's just too much:
"How to Make an Agent Need You"
"Are you driving your day or just along for the ride?"
"Make money on TV"
"She Booked a Series Regular with No Television Credits"
"Actors Should Be Blogging" (hahaha)
"[INSERT AGENCY], [INSERT CASTING DIRECTOR], and [INSERT TYPE OF MOVIE]!"
That's just from the last 24 hours.
They're making my head explode.
Look, I know these things. I'm working every day to achieve all these goals -- but man, the constant reminders, primarily just to get me to start using X service or go to Y class...maybe this is working for some actors -- I used to think so for me -- but now, I'm over it.
It's hard to focus when I'm getting essentially attacked in my inbox on all the things I "Should" be doing or taking. It makes me anxious that I'm not doing enough and down when I simply don't have the money to afford these "career-changing solutions."
"Advertising is designed to make you feel bad about yourself."
So I starting clicking "Unsubscribe."
Maybe I'll lose out on some random tip or class that will suddenly get me the goals I've always wanted.
Maybe by erasing this form of negativity on my mind, I just might feel a bit happier, stop worrying so much, and start trusting myself. Maybe I'm doing pretty well already, have learned enough, and can start taking over the ride from here.
Thoughts and ideas about the things that move me most. Passions, desires, favorites.