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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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!!!

IMG_0536

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-)

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

Short Update

Hello again,

Alas, Murder in the Cathedral has ended. Though the crowds for each show were somewhat small, the quality of them could not be beat! Honestly, despite the size, I preferred this crowd to many others that I performed in front of, so I definitely considered the show a success. Plus it is always fun to be in shows with friends. I do believe that I will miss the show, but I am ready to move on with other parts of my life and perhaps break away from the Bowling Green scene of things.

Rocking the Rosie the Riveter look while backstage for our final performance

I have already made some plans to do some more comedy now that I have more evenings free. For starters, I will be MCing BG’s Professional Comedy Night this coming Tuesday. Though I have done this a couple of times before, I am a little nervous as I feel somewhat out of practice. Work has made it difficult for me to get stage time, but I am confident that the nervousness will subside rather quickly. As they say, “this isn’t my first rodeo.” Additionally, the DVD for Stand Up Toledo is almost ready to be released! They have already released a few stills from the DVD as teasers (see photo below). The people in charge are hoping to do a public screening of the DVD some time soon, although I won’t lie: I don’t always like seeing myself on camera. Not so much performing, like something with a script, but watching myself perform my own material or just “be myself” always feels awkward. However, this is something I will have to get used to quickly as I begin to do more and more performances for the camera.

Stand Up Toledo DVD still

Another update is that I may have yet another outlet for selling my books! Horizon Youth Theatre has offered me an opportunity to work with them on promoting my book at some of their shows… now I just have to get a hold of some books to sell/promote. So watch for a Kickstarter update! I really want to get this off the ground as I feel that this book is important for any kid who is interested in technical/backstage theatre (and believe me, I have met a few that are!).

That’s all for now, just a short update on the direction in which things are headed for me. As I tell some of the kids I work with before they head out to school: Have a good day! Make good choices, do good things!

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Waiting…

At the point in my life, I find myself in a nearly constant state of waiting. I’m not a particularly impatient person, but I do find myself wishing that I could take a more active role in my life. Unfortunately, many things that I could be doing require me to have money that I simply do not have.

For example, it was recently pointed out to me that in order to promote my book more I need to have more copies to sell, hand out, use for book signings, etc. Unfortunately, the way my publisher works is that I have to pay for copies of my book to have them to sell/use for my own devices. Additionally, if I am going to get any sort of author discount I have to order a minimum amount of 25 books (which would be roughly $250, with my discount). All in all, this is a great deal, but when you factor in rent and living expenses, it’s a difficult number for a young actress who also has to worry about health and paying back school loans.

A peek inside my book, “Silly Billy’s Guide to the Theatre”

However, this fellow author whom I was speaking with brought up some very good points. I would be able to make the money back simply by selling the books, therefore not really losing anything. The difficult part is simply getting the money to start with. He suggested possibly taking out a loan or setting up something through Kickstarter. Since I had never heard of this program, I needed an explanation: Basically, Kickstarter is an online fundraising program designed to help artists, such as myself, begin projects. People can donate money on the site towards these projects, and are given rewards based upon how much they spend on your project. The best part? If you don’t reach your monetary goal by the date that you set, no one is charged anything. So someone could donate money towards the cause, but not have to pay if the project is scrapped for some reason. Cool, right? It’s definitely worth looking into, although I worry whether or not there would be anyone willing to donate money towards my cause, but you never know if you don’t try. Plus, I’ve already been asked to do a few book signings, so it wouldn’t necessarily be an exercise in futility.

Another route I’ve looked into is selling some of my artwork. Well, technically I have already been doing that (thank you, Redbubble!), but I’m speaking specifically about selling some of my oil paintings through Etsy.

One of my oil paintings, currently making my kitchen wall a bit more classy

Instagram made the coloring a bit brighter than it actually is, but you get the picture (lol, lame unintentional pun). For those of you that don’t know, Etsy is essentially a site designed to help artists sell their art online without having to worry about not getting the product or not getting paid for your art. Shipping would still be my responsibility, of course, but this not only gets my art out there, I don’t have to worry about giving it away to someone who will neither pay for nor appreciate it.

Another route I’d like to look into is doing comedy on a bigger scale. This is something I may not have to wait for, I just need to be more aggressive on finding work. However, I am making the choice to do this after…

The finished product! It took a lot of work, but I finally have the poster where I want it. It’s definitely one of the better posters I’ve created.

Murder in the Cathedral! We are drawing closer to tech week and the inevitable opening of the show. I am truly fortunate to be in yet another show with so many of my friends. I am also fortunate that the director has been very patient with me, I have unfortunately been fighting a cold for several weeks now. I’m hoping that this will have passed by opening night, though the doctors are, frankly, a little stumped at this cold’s insistence on staying in my system. Never the less, as the old saying goes, “the show must go on” (and it’s often forgotten counterpart, “or else we’ll have to give them their money back”). Speaking of the show, I have to get some things ready before rehearsal tonight, so I will end this entry here.

“All things come to him who waits – provided he knows what he is waiting for.”  – Woodrow T. Wilson