Still Laughing

Hello again, long time, no post. My bad. Let’s see how long it takes for me to play catch up!

The background screen for me at Stand Up Toledo 2013

The background screen for me at Stand Up Toledo 2013

Okay, so Stand Up Toledo 2013 happened and it was a blast! I had a great time backstage with the comedians and we had a fantastic crowd. Toledo.com came out to cover the show and took some really sweet photos (some of which are featured on my comedian page). I took a few photos myself, but mostly I hung out with the camera people and comedians backstage, snuck out to watch some of the show, and ran around with a home-made “CENSORED” sign, censoring comedians and guests alike (for my own amusement, if not for the amusement of others).

My homemade censored sign

My homemade “CENSORED” sign

But of course, the show, as in life, must go on. They will be doing a showing of the DVD in a few months and I now have a copy of the last one to watch (and cringe as I watch myself in it) to entertain me. Additionally, Valentine’s Day is coming up which would normally mean cutesy, flirty interactions and gifts with significant others or defiant, “I don’t need a man or a day for love” it-rocks-being-single attitudes, but not for this chick. Nope, the laughs must go on! Therefore, I am once again emceeing for the wonderful, enigmatic magician/hypnotist/comedian Michael Night! Alongside me will be the feature act, the wonderful Corey W. King, who was in the recent Stand Up Toledo with me as well as the previous one. I absolutely love working with both of these guys, so I consider myself a lucky girl to be working with them on V-Day 🙂

One of the posters for the show, the other is featured on my Comedian page

One of the posters for the show, the other is featured on my Comedian page

So the laughs will undoubtedly continue long into the month of February. Outside of comedy, I am receiving opportunities for work outside of my normal acting scope. I don’t want to go too much into it for privacy reasons, but I have an opportunity to audition for a full-time position as a children’s performer! There have been a few bumps in the road concerning this (mainly with sending information back and forth via snail mail), but I plan to do my best in spite of this and to give as good of a performance as I can, despite the shortened practice time due to the lack of luck with the postal service. There are also opportunities coming with my former school and their “Right to Read” week, as well as some fun with Already Indie (such as this video clip).

And that’s that! At least for now, more updates to come as always (hopefully sooner next time around). As always, thanks for reading and feel free to share this blog with your friends!

The comedians of Stand Up Toledo 2013 (photo courtesy of Toledo.com)

The comedians of Stand Up Toledo 2013 (photo courtesy of Toledo.com)

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”  ― Herman MelvilleMoby-Dick

 

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A New Year

I’ve never been one to make New Year resolutions. Not because I don’t think there is any merit to doing so, but because I don’t believe there needs to be a specific day in which to make a change in your life. I feel that if you want to make a change or break a bad habit you should do it immediately instead of waiting for the first of the year. That being said, there are some “resolutions” that I have been making in my life over the past month and ones that I need to start working on more. So, in the spirit of the new year, I’m going to write some of these out. Don’t worry, I’ll interweave some photos as well so you don’t get bored.

1. Stand Up Toledo

In case you haven’t heard, I was one of five comedians voted to come back for a second time to perform at Stand Up Toledo! Stand Up Toledo is a showcase of 10 local comedians at the Maumee Indoor Theatre. I was one of the comedians back in 2012 and I had a great time! This year, I am hoping to improve and do even better than last year. Ideally, I would like to be able to perform all new material, but I think that there will be a couple repeats only because I have improved on a couple of the jokes that I have been telling for a while. If you buy your tickets from me, they are only $15, otherwise they are $20 at the door, which opens at 7pm on January 20th. If you’re in the area, this is definitely a show you won’t want to miss! Along the same vein, I want to try to get as much stage time as possible and start doing comedy outside of the Toledo/BG area.

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A painting I did as a Christmas present to my parents

2. Acting

I want to start acting way more than I am now. After all, it is what I want to make a career out of, but I’ve discovered that just having representation isn’t enough, at least not for me. I appreciate the fact that I am being submitted for work, but thus far I haven’t been getting so much as an audition. So, rather than just giving up or waiting, I am taking a more active approach to my acting career. Thus far, I have submitted myself to multiple websites, casting calls, and have sent out countless emails to local casting calls, such as student films and local filmmakers. I want to get my face and resume out there as much as possible in hopes that the right person will see it and decide I’m worth a shot. Until I get cast, I plan on doing as much local theatre and film as I can and build up my résumé, as well as networking where ever I can.

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My roommate’s parrot, Play-Doh, enjoying the snow

3. Working out

Here it is, the cliché New Year’s resolution: Working out. We’ve all thought it or said it out loud at some point in our lives, “I should really work out more.” But hear me out, this has a bit more weight to it, pun not intended but hopefully appreciated. I have fibromyalgia, so working out has always been a point of hesitation for me. I’m not particularly out of shape by any means, work keeps me pretty active, but I want to start building up more of a resistance to the pain caused by fibromyalgia. Ordinarily, working out is a painful experience for me because of fibromyalgia, but the theory is that the more you work out, the more resistance you build against that pain. I don’t know if that has any truth to it or not, but I think it’s worth a try. It really doesn’t have any negative drawbacks to it, aside from being in a bit more pain then usual. Plus, losing weight wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world

Sam wearing his reindeer costume.

Sam wearing his reindeer costume.

Naturally, I have other things that I am working on improving, but those are the top ones at the moment. I hope you enjoyed reading, or at least enjoyed the photos and I’ll be posting again soon. In the meantime, have a great start to 2013!

 

He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool. – F.M. Knowles

 

Thoughts on a Birthday

It’s my birthday. I am officially 24 years old and have just had my first cavity filled (with a reaction to the anesthesia so I’m feeling a little loopy). I tend to have bad luck on my birthday, but I’ve decided to look to the positive in the few minutes I have left of it.

For starters, BGSU (my alma mater, Bowling Green State University) has featured me in a small insert in their magazine (better than nothing, right?) as one of their “Successful Alumni.” I’m actually fairly proud as I am the only one of my graduating class featured, at least in this edition.

Sure it’s small, but it means I did something, right?

In other news, I had an epic Twitter moment the other day! I’ve been watching SyFy‘s FaceOff, a reality show competition between special effects makeup artists (which as you all may know, I have a huge interest in, though my work is juvenile in comparison to these guys). If you haven’t seen it, go and watch episodes on their website because it is EPIC! One of my favorite contestants, Rod Maxwell, actually answered a Twitter question I had wondered for a while…

Not even a little ashamed at how awesome I think this is

And to make matters even MORE awesome, he wished me a happy birthday!!!

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See! Proof!!!

My birthday has also been a symbol of something else for me: The coming of my favorite holiday, Halloween! And of course, Already Indie is on it as we present our first ever Shocktober series! View the trailer first here —–> Shocktober Trailer!

So I’ve got a lot of things going for me. Most importantly though, I’d like to personally thank my friends and family for getting me this far. I seriously wouldn’t be where I am now without all of you. I am truly grateful, even on days when I’m mood swingy or seem like I just don’t care, let me assure you: I do. More than any of you will ever know (unless they invent a way to show it all in which case you will know then). I really need to get some sleep, work in the morning, and I may still be a little spacy. Good night!

An old photo of me, thanks for reading!

There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents, and only one for birthday presents, you know. – Lewis Carroll

 

Decisions, Decisions

 

Hello again,

Now that I’m settled into my new place, I can finally take the time needed to update this!

First off, no longer homeless! I have a great new roommate (Kate) and her lovely parrot, Play-Doh!

Playing with the parrot

Now on to the news. First off, I finally have some copies of my book to sell! Granted, I don’t have a lot, I was only able to get 8 of them, but I have two reserved and have already sold one. I’m hoping to take the remaining ones and use them to network some more and maybe get the book sold at some stores around here that sell local authors.

I am a firm believer in that it is never too early to start thinking about Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. For the past 3 years I have worked as a Screamster at Cedar Point, a job I have absolutely loved doing. However, I may be sitting out a year due to my “big girl jobs” of which I have two with an interview for the third this week. There is a chance that this may change during the season, but I had to make a decision and so I chose the more responsible route. Anyone that knows me well will know how difficult this decision was for me. However, I am hoping to go and see everyone on one of the weekends, but until then “Chick in a Box” will be staying in the box.

My Screamster character 🙂

However, in spite of all this, I am finally able to do a lot of the things I wasn’t able to do last season. For starters, I have entered into the Best in the Midwest Comedy Competition which is in October. We’ll be competing for a cash prize and though I’m not sure that I can win it, it will be my first stand-up competition which is pretty exciting. Secondly, there are a great deal of costume and makeup competitions in this area and with my experience in both of these fields, I want to see if I have a chance of winning any of them. I’m thinking about making some sort of steampunk costume, which is something I’ve always been interested in but haven’t had a chance to fully explore. Naturally, I will have more information on these as they get closer.

Finally, there is a new episode of Already Indie up! This one is part 2 of our 3 part series on how to make your own green screen. We have some big ideas for future episodes, so definitely stay tuned for that.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but there is a lot more coming! Thanks for reading!

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

 

Finally Beginning

Hello again!

So things are finally starting to happen for me! But before I get to that, there’s some news I need to catch up on.

We have released another episode of Already Indie this past Friday. This episode finishes up our 2 part series on the basics of guerilla filmmaking. In true guerilla style, we went to a local skatepark to get our AI shout-out (if you are interested in possibly sending us a shout-out, please contact us on our website Already Indie or follow us on Facebook and Twitter!). Unlike our previous episodes, I take a turn hosting the majority of the episode. I actually learned a couple of really neat facts during this episode and we found a really neat location to film.

Aside from Already Indie, I am looking to update the Author section of this site with some behind the scenes concept drawings, an explanation of the dedication, and the story of how I came to write it. I’m not sure if anyone would be interested or not, but at the same time I don’t want to forget it (not that I would, but one never knows). The creativity of kids was a big inspiration for it and the book is actually based upon how I felt children would react upon hearing the theatrical terms. And speaking of creative kids, here’s a finger puppet made by one of the kids I work with! It’s Domo! I didn’t even realize that kids her age knew who Domo was, so I was incredibly excited by this. Below that photo is a “fake tattoo” that the same kid painted on my arm as we were messing around with face paint. I taught them a quick workshop on stage and effects makeup and we let them play with their own designs.

Domo! No help on this either, this kid did it all by herself! So proud!

I should feel a little threatened, this girl is good. No doubt she’ll be better than me in a year or two 😉

Now onto my big news! I finally received an audition for a film in Pittsburgh! Unfortunately, we got the news an hour before it was supposed to take place, so I wasn’t able to make it. However, this means that my face has been seen and that I am being considered for roles, which is amazing! I can honestly say that I am grateful to even be considered, though I do wish I would have been able to make it. However, as luck would have it I did get invited to attend a movie première in a few weeks which will help me meet more people in the industry. I am truly honored to be invited and I hope that I will be able to make a good impression while I am there. Additionally, my business cards came in and they look great if I do say so myself! So I hope to pass a few of those out while I am there.

Alright, that does it for this episode (or entry, if you will) as I have to go catchilla sit for my friend. At least, that is what I have been referring to me babysitting for two cats and two chinchillas for a friend. Below is a photo of the chinchillas for your enjoyment!

Chinchillas!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou (1928-)

On my way

Time for another update!

This past few weeks have been rather busy for me, but in the best way possible. Currently, I am working two “real” jobs and have been getting more hours at both, which is great for me as rent will be coming up very soon. I’ve gotten to do a couple more gigs with Random Acts, playing Tina in “Tony and Tina’s Murder Mystery,” which thus far has been a very fun role to do. Tina is an interesting character for me, as she is an over exaggerated “bimbo” who occasionally has insightful moments, but they are often due to someone else having them first.

A dramatic picture of the bride and probably the most serious Tina would ever look

As you may have seen from my last post, I have been working with a fantastic group called Already Indie, who makes web videos on guerrilla filmmaking. Last week, we took a break from filming for the website and decided to try to apply to win a contest through Film Riot. We have two submissions, one from Already Indie and one from Cullen Park Productions, a sister company to Resurrection Films/Already Indie. For the contest, we were told to use 3-point lighting and follow some dialogue from a pre-prepared script. The first one we did was a horror-style clip (Warning! Though the dialogue and filming are clean, you may want to review it before letting your kids (if you have any that wish to see it) watch it, just to be on the safe side).

I felt that this one was pretty good, all things considered. There are several things that I would do differently if I had a chance to shoot it again, but overall it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed doing it. We also got a LOT of great feedback for this one, people seemed to really enjoy it and we are very hopeful that it will be considered, at the very least, for the contest. The next one we did for Cullen Park Productions was more of a comedic take on the script. We set it up as an infomercial and, due to the lack of available actors and because we thought it could be funny, “cloned” myself so that I played the two characters. The ending is also improv-ed, I was actually unaware that this would be included, so I had to laugh when I saw it show up on YouTube (again, watch before your kids do, you know what’s best for them!)

Sadly, this one did not receive as well as a reception as the other one did. While we did receive some really good feedback, we had an issue with a troll (for those not up to internet lingo, a troll is someone who is purposely rude on message boards, Facebook, etc. in hopes of a comedic effect, or in this one’s case, to be simply be a jerk) where he was posting inflammatory comments about Cullen Park Productions, Already Indie, Resurrection Films, and myself being one and the same. Originally, the troll was simply being annoying, but was later blocked by Cullen Park Productions after he began to insult me personally, saying that I was “too ugly” to be an actress and that I should get my “hook nose” fixed before I even bother trying again. I won’t lie, initially this stung a little as I have never thought of myself as someone who is particularly good-looking. My self-esteem in this area is rather weak, though I’ve come along way with self-perception than from when I was in high school. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he didn’t actually insult my acting. To me, this means that he felt he needed to attack some other part of me because he didn’t see an issue with my acting. I realize this may just be stretching it, but I did feel that this is almost a compliment in that regard. Granted, if he knew that this was how I felt no doubt he would find a way to contact me to tell me that this was not the case, but at least it made me feel better about the situation. Plus, coming from someone who didn’t have any videos or photos of himself, I’d say that his opinion is moot.

Next up, I will be filming with Already Indie again tomorrow for yet another episode! Additionally, the Stand Up Toledo DVD should be out soon, so I will finally be able to get some of my comedy clips up on here.

“If you were absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.” – Will Smith

Already Indie!

Hello dear readers!

Time for another update from yours truly and this time, I have stuff to report!

As far as the book goes, keep an eye out for a Kickstarter project that I am going to be putting up. More on that once I get that up and running, just a forewarning.

More importantly, I recently did some film work with a fantastic bunch of people for the web-series Already Indie!

Already Indie: Where you are a Film Maker! The web-series is designed to teach others about the basics of low-budget filmmaking. They go over things such as special effects makeup, making your own equipment, proper film techniques, etc. all for an affordable price. It’s incredibly informative and although I have done special effects makeup for a couple of years now, I still learned things that will definitely help me out in the future. In this clip, I am guest hosting the web show as well as doing the voiceover. I had a lot of fun, but looking over the clip a few times has told me that I still have a way to go about being in front of the camera. I am hoping to have more opportunities to act for these guys, but honestly, I am just happy to be a part of such a rewarding web-series. Even if I don’t act as much in future shows, they have already said that they would like me to help out with things such as writing and perhaps using one of my many skills to help them in future episodes. Tomorrow I head out with them again to work on some things and I am definitely looking forward to it!

One of the goals that they mentioned having was to showcase some of the local talent in this area and I couldn’t agree more. There is so much more talent around Northern Ohio than people realize. Growing up in a small town in the middle of Ohio has helped me to see why though. Despite their best efforts, schools don’t always have programs to aid students of different skills. For example, up until I was a freshman in high school, we didn’t have a drama club. Even when we got one, it was a struggle to keep it going, not for lack of interest, but for an initial lack of support from the school itself. Gradually, this changed over time as they began to see a need for it and now we have a wonderful program going that I can only hope will continue to grow. Unfortunately, in other schools this is not always the case. So much talent is wasted because the focus is put on one or two things (sports and academics, that was the school I grew up in). I am hoping that this web-series will not only create interest to do these sort of things, but also create an awareness that there is ALWAYS more talent around then what meets the eye. It just needs the chance to come out and for people to try to see if they can do it, rather than assuming that it’s all too expensive or that they will fail.

Aside from that, I’ve finally started hearing back about auditions and possible jobs in the film industry! It is only a matter of time before I start getting the opportunity to go out and start actively applying for acting positions and I couldn’t be more excited. Nor could it have come at a better time, especially with school loan payments being right around the corner. However, I am trying to keep a realistic mindset about things: I will get turned down. That is a given, but I will not always get turned down. So the goal is to stay positive, but to also realize that this is a rough industry and I’m not always going to be lucky. Despite all of this, this is what I want to do with my life, uncertainty and all. I would not have gone into this if I didn’t think I could succeed on some level or another. I won’t lie, I’m terrified about having to make payments and always being unsure of where I will find work, but I’m in way too far to turn around and crawl back out. I don’t want to do that either; I have never once doubted that this was what I was meant to be. Fear is merely a part of being alive and I’ve had enough of it in my life to know that I can not only handle it, but often times overcome it in ways I never thought possible. So here’s hoping for the best and should I fail, there’s always going to be other jobs to fall back on and I already know that I can fold myself into a box.

A photo of me during a scare-actor/haunted house kind of gig. The box is two feet deep, no joke!

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain