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 Melville, Moby-Dick

 

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 rĂ©sumĂ©, 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 clichĂ© 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

 

Steampunk’d Encore Edition: Doctor Faustus

Back by popular demand, my steampunk series returns to feature Lionface Production‘s Dr. Faustus!

The poster for this amazing show! Features Zach Navarre as Doctor Faustus and Kat Moran as Mephistopheles

That’s right, for Lionface Production’s second show of the season, Christina Hoekstra directed a steampunk version of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. For those unfamiliar with this work, the story revolves around Dr. Faustus, an intelligent doctor who has become bored with the every day sciences and decides to try his hand at necromancy. He is guided by a Good and Bad Angel, each pulling him one way or another. He summons Mephistopheles and Lucifer, who agree to give him 24 years on earth with Mephistopheles as his personal servant. Faustus ultimately wastes this power doing nothing worthwhile and is ultimately damned to hell. In this version, the magic and power that Faustus receives is portrayed through steampunk. Emphasis was put on the various timepieces and clockwork in the show, symbolizing Faustus’s time running out. In this production, I played one of the scholars and the part of Robin the Clown, one of the comedic relief characters in the show.

Our set was simple, yet very cool. We performed the show in a church, the same as when Lionface did Murder in the Cathedral, and the it ended up really working out in our favor. The set was designed and built by the very talented Meghan Johannes, who was able to pull it off on an incredibly small budget and still make it look super professional.

One of the coolest set pieces were these blocks that Johannes made. I wish I would have gotten a better photo of them, because they were seriously boss. You can’t tell by this photo, but behind each block is a hole lined with what looks like a cog, so that props can actually be stored inside the blocks. Each block also had handles, wooden gears painted gold and/or copper, and the copper wiring seen in this photo. One of the blocks was raffled off, but unfortunately I didn’t win one.

Another unique piece was Mephistopheles’ cane (also raffled off, also didn’t win, sad face) which featured a time piece as the hilt. Again, I wish I had a better photo, it was much cooler in person. It was tailored to be the length of the average cane and was able to be swung around without worrying about any pieces falling off (including the copper wiring you see towards the middle).

What could make a steampunk play even cooler than it already is? Throw in an awesome sword fight! To see a video of this check out my Facebook page. I wish I could say that was me doing the sword fight, but alas, it was another awesome ginger. And yes, those are in fact real swords being used, so it took a lot of stage combat choreography and practice to be able to pull it off without causing injury to one another. By the end of it, these two had the fight down so well that when one would make a mistake, the other would immediately adjust to make it safe again without having to stop the fight. Talent, plain and simple.

Myself as Robin and my cohort, Griffin Coldiron, as Dick

One of my most favorite part of the shows was working with this guy, Griffin. One of the best things that can happen in a show is to get paired up with an actor that you can really work off of and that definitely happened for me in this show. So a special shout out to Dick, thanks for rocking out the show with me! “Oh brave, an ape!”

And that’s it for my steampunk series! I may still post steampunk-esque photos now and then, especially since I’ve been getting more into jewelry making as of late, but this particular chapter of Halloween/Faustus steampunk is closed (at least until next year’s Halloween). In coming entries, I’ll be doing some updates on Stand Up Toledo 13, Already Indie, and the other happenings in my life. I hope you enjoyed reading!

“Bene disserer est fines logices. (The end of logic is to dispute well.)” – Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

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Steampunk’d: The Chest Piece

Hello again and welcome to the last installment of my steampunk Halloween costume series! In previous episodes/entries, I showed you how I made a prosthetic eye piece and several different accessories for the costume and now I will show you how I made a pretty sweet chest piece.

I started with a thick layer of liquid latex in the shape of a sloppy triangle. I left the end of it curved for when I would add the clock piece. If you plan on doing this, you want to do it on a surface that the latex can be peeled off from, so a smooth surface that won’t have any chipped paint pieces or anything like that. I ended up using an old lid to a shoebox, which worked very well, especially if you want an easy cleanup and for your project to be portable while you are making it . After this layer dried, I added another one right on top of it so that the base would be thick and not fall apart when I added pieces to it.

I added a third layer of liquid latex and began to add pieces. As you can see, some of the pieces got another layer of latex over parts of them to make it looks as though pieces of flesh were growing over them. It also gives the impression that there are more gears inside the body, behind the ones that you can see.

Interestingly enough, as the liquid latex dried, the colors from the gears actually caused the latex to change colors. So, naturally, I added another layer over it and some more gears to see if that would cover it up. The liquid latex continued to react to the gears even as I added more latex, so I ended up leaving it the way it was. In the long run, it actually worked in my as it looked as though the gears were having a reaction to my body and therefore leaking pus. Disgusting, yet very effective in what I was going for.

Paint time! Using the same red and black acrylic paint that I used on the eye piece, I painted the latex around the gears and added some red on the gears to make them look as though they are covered in blood. After the paint dried, I used a knife to cut away some of the latex so that you could see more of the gears and I cleaned up the paint on the gears so that they would still reflect off the light. Then, I used paint again to clean up the latex pieces that I had cut away from the prosthetic.

This is actually the piece once I took it after wearing it. I attached the piece to my chest with spirit gum and then added the watch piece separately. It was actually a watch piece that I had gotten from Wal-Mart and added copper paint to it in order to keep with my gold and copper color scheme. I also repainted over some of the gears to make them stand out, as the ones from Hobby Lobby were a bit darker and less shiny then the ones I had purchased at Costume Holiday House. Once I had the pieces applied, I made strips of latex about an inch wide and about 3-4 inches long on the shoebox lid. Once I had two layers dried, I peeled them off and added them to the top and bottom of my piece to give the effect that the skin was cut apart and hanging over. It also helped to make the wound look deeper and more three-dimensional. I made a few more inch by inch pieces of latex to fill in the spots that weren’t covered on the far side of the watch piece. After all of that, I used makeup to color the latex to my skin color and to make it look a bit more bloody and natural. I topped it off with some liquid fake blood, which gave it a glossy look and made the clock look as though blood was dripped on to it as well.

Here’s what the piece looked like when it was applied. This also shows why I added the extra layers last, so that I could attach them to the skin as well as the wound and make everything look seamless. I had no trouble keeping the pieces on once the spirit gum had dried and actually had this piece on for most of the day. Now, I’d also like to point out that the watch piece is a working one and actually lit up with a blue light when you pressed a button (which was located near the number 2 and could be pressed despite the latex). Initially, I had considered using a bigger watch piece and trying to make it seem as though my heart was a clock, but I felt that this looked more realistic than that would have, so I adjusted accordingly. All in all, I was very happy about the way that this piece turned out and it will actually be featured again very soon in Lionface Production’s Dr. Faustus on the character of Mephistopheles. Pictures to come!

Photo courtesy of Laura Fairman Photography

Now we have come to the end of my series and now you know the story behind the creation of my steampunk costume. I may be doing an encore post as well in regards to Dr. Faustus, given that it is being done in a steampunk fashion, so stay tuned for that. In other news, I was voted one of the top five comedians from last years Stand Up Toledo, which means that I will be in it again this year! More information on that as it gets closer as well as some updates on Already Indie and life as an actress. Thanks for reading!

“We can control the future, my boy, just as we wind up the mechanism in a clock. Say to yourself: I will win that race–I will come first–and you wind up the future like clockwork. The world has no choice but to obey! Can the hands of that old clock in the corner decide to stop? Can the spring in your watch decide to wind itself up and run backward? No! They have no choice. And nor has the future, once you have wound it up.” – Philip Pullman, Clockwork

 

Comedy and Horror

Hello again!

I apologize for the lateness of this post, it is long overdue. I’ve been busy with work and looking for a new waitressing job, as well as doing some filming with Already Indie for our Shocktober series and creating my steampunk costume for Halloween. So I guess the best way to go about this would be to tell you my plans for the rest of the month.

Tonight, I will be MCing for Michael Night, a comedian/magician/hypnotist that has been seen on television and has an incredible act. I am incredibly lucky to have this opportunity and I am hoping to be able to do well. The show is also featuring comedians Kennedy O’Reilly and Jake Dickey, two very funny local comedians whom I have worked with before. Tomorrow, I will be competing in the Best in the Midwest comedy competition! It’s my first comedy competition, so I’m pretty excited about it. The grand prize is $500, although, to be frank, I don’t hold any illusions that I will even place let alone win. Not because I am a bad comedian, but because the majority of other comedians are really good and have more experience in the field then I do. However, I didn’t decide to do the competition for the money, I chose to do it for the experience and the opportunity to hang out with some amazing comedians.

I also designed the poster. Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.

As I said before, I’ve been doing some filming with Already Indie and we are working on doing some things in the area to help promote the show. For example, tomorrow we are taking part in a costume drive, sponsored by STAR 105 and the Andrew Z in the Morning crew. The purpose is for people to donate old costumes and clothes for underprivileged kids who can’t afford to buy costumes this year for Halloween. Already Indie, as well as Lionface Productions, will be providing face painting for the event. Next week, Already Indie will be attending one of the largest Halloween parties to hit Toledo, Ohio, hosted by Angelina from the Jersey Shore and CNN’s Carlos Diaz. We ended up winning tickets from Phototwine, a great new app for the iPhone that everyone should check out. It’s going to be a great networking opportunity for us and a lot of fun to boot.

I’m hoping to start a series on here regarding my steampunk Halloween costume that I am still in the process of finishing. I’ve been making prosthetics for it that I hope are going to work out really well. But for now, I leave you with a teaser photo! Hope to talk to you all again soon.

Getting ready for Halloween!

Clothes make a statement.  Costumes tell a story.  – Mason Cooley

 

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

 

Makeup and More

Hello again!

The last few weeks have been a blur of busyness for me, but in the best way. I’ll attempt to recap the best I can, so bear with me.

I’ve continued my work with Already Indie and I am absolutely LOVING it! Working with the cast and crew has been so enjoyable for me and I am proud to say that I will be becoming an official member of this group. After the two previous clips I have posted here, we have gone on to do another Monday Challenge for Film Riot and we have come out with another episode featuring me and my charming compadre, Herschel Powers. For this episode, we paid tribute to a classic television show, The Twilight Zone. We filmed until very early in the morning, but got a lot accomplished, including some filming for an episode a few weeks from now.

During our shenanigans behind scenes, we decided to experiment with some theatrical makeup (done by yours truly) for the episode coming out a couple of weeks from now. Of course, I couldn’t resist working in some latex to make a truly gruesome and realistic chest wound.

Me looking angry and guerilla-esque?

A close up of the chest wound

This was all in preparation for our next episode (or the one after) where we will cover guerilla filmmaking and its history and it’s use today. I’m looking forward to continuing my work with Already Indie and I hope that you will check us out on Youtube and subscribe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of doing theatrical makeup, it seems as though I have had the opportunity to do a lot of it lately, something that I assure you was not at all awful for me. One of these instances was for a friend of mine, Comedian Kool Keith. As a part of project that he is doing with The SOSEG, Keith hired me on as a makeup artist to turn him from a black man to a white man. An Italian singer named Tony Bonaducci, to be precise. It was a challenge that I was more than willing to undertake and would like to think I succeeded in.

The before picture

The after picture

And finally, Tony Bonaducci! I hope I got the spelling right, Keith!

I would like to consider the whole endeavor a complete success and I hope they were able to shoot the footage they needed! Next up on my list of theatrical makeup jobs was for Horizon Youth Theatre, a local children’s theatre in the area. They were performing William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a Mardi Gras theme. Everyone did splendidly, but sadly I am unable to post the photos of the makeup due to privacy issues (and my utmost respect for the kids and their parental units). However, I did get the opportunity to entertain them with some backstage makeup gore!

This fun wound was brought to you by Ben Nye stage makeup, tissue, and latex!

For more photos of my escapades in makeup, check out the Makeup Artist section of my site, where I will be posting some more pictures of Keith’s transformation and other gory photos such as this one!

Needless to say, life is going really well for me lately and I am truly grateful for all those taking the journey with me. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have truly come a long way from where I used to be. I am far from perfect and though I may show a confident face, I’m terribly insecure about the kind of person I am. However, if you could meet the person I was in high school and compare it to the person I am now, I’d say it’s a night and day difference. Here’s hoping that I can continue changing and perhaps one day change someone’s world.

“It’s not just children who need heroes.” ― Tamora Pierce