Musing #1

Theatre, film, music, art, fiction, comedy, performance

Can you honestly say there is no longer a place for these things in today’s society? I believe that they are important now more than ever. The soul cannot survive on simple facts and what’s physical alone. And yet, support for these things are often pushed aside.

Don’t be that boring conformist, go out and experience the color of the world and leave the confines of your phone and technology at home. It isn’t very hard to find if you take the time to look.

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*Photo of Needle Hall, finally repaired and ready for summer theatre

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

 

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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

 

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

 

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

Moving On

As I reflect on the last few months and my time in this town and my apartment dwindle away, I realize that I don’t have a lot of time left here. The simple fact of the matter is, I have to move on in order to continue my life and career. It’s a bittersweet realization in that there are people who I will sorely miss when I go, such as my Lionface and college friends, all the friends I’ve met through doing comedy, and work colleagues turned friends. Yet there are people and situations surrounding me that I would rather forget. I’m a believer in the idea that life is too short to be around people who make you feel like shit. Hence the bittersweet feeling, there are pros and cons to moving on.

Which brings me to my next point: Where am I going? The answer: Not entirely sure. So I’m listing some pros and cons for the top three locations that have been recommended to me for various reasons. Note: I’m not including monetary investments in the pros/cons because that’s sort of a given. Of course I’m going to have to think about money issues, but I don’t want to have to repeat myself on that particular note.

Don’t worry, we’ll get through this together. I have interspersed happy puppy pictures to keep this from getting too heavy.

Location 1: Los Angeles

Pros:

  • This is where my company would like for me to go. They believe that there is a lot more work for me there and that, due to my age and young appearance, I will be cast more readily then someone who goes there without representation or looks a great deal older than their age. Plus, they have enough connections in the area that they assured me that I would have an easier time finding side work to help pay the bills while I am auditioning and performing elsewhere.
  • Health-wise, this would probably be a good move for me. I’ve always had issues with my health that has kind of been attributed to Ohio’s constant changing of weather and cold winter. Therefore, living somewhere with a more steady weather pattern might not be a bad idea.

Cons:

  • I have almost no contacts in LA. Oddly enough, being and actor and a comedian, I have yet to actually meet someone who has lived in or will be living in LA. Yes, I am supposed to be starting off fresh, but having one or two contacts that can show me around would be EXTREMELY beneficial. Plus, I have no doubt that it gets lonely in a new place and I have enough anxiety issues as it is to not have at least one person that I can talk to in the area.
  • Let’s be real, I am a very fair-skinned ginger. There is no tan for me, I go straight to burn in a matter of minutes. When I burn badly enough, I can get incredibly sick, which would naturally prevent me from working. Not to mention the fact that an actor’s appearance is a huge selling point in the industry. If I walk into an audition with a face that matches my hair, that might not leave a very good impression. A minor con, perhaps, but still something to think about.

ZOMG! He’s so happy!!!!

Location 2: Chicago

Pros:

  • I have a lot of connections in Chicago! This could help me find a job to do on the side while attending auditions and whatnot. Plus, I would have people to be able to show me around the city and possibly help me with networking. This would also be beneficial health wise for me so that if I am having any problems or am in an accident there is someone in the area I could call to help me out.
  • It is a great deal closer to home for me, which is a big deal for me. I come from a very close family and while they drive me nuts on occasion, it has always been good for me to be only a few hours away as opposed to a few states away. My biggest concern would be not being able to get home in time if there was a big emergency. Naturally, I have to go where the work is, but if I went to Chicago, this would be less of a concern since I would be able to make it back if I absolutely needed to versus if I would have to take an airplane or a train or something.

Cons:

  • While they are currently in the process of trying to set up an office in Chicago, the company that I am associated with does not currently have any representatives in Chicago. Since they are the focal point of my career, this is a problem. I would most likely have to leave Chicago quite often to attend auditions or work, which can not only be pricy, it would also be extremely stressful.
  • From the various connections I have in Chicago, I have learned that finding side work is not very easy. Within the past couple of years, Chicago has become a hotspot for aspiring actors, so the competition is fierce. While I am confident in the skills I have, I do need to take this into consideration, especially as far as side work is concerned. If there are hundreds of aspiring actors in one place, no doubt they are looking for side work as well in order to be able to stay in the city as long as possible.

A wild happy dog appears! SO HAPPY!!!

Location 3: New York

Pros:

  • Once again, this is a place in which I have a few connections. Perhaps not as many as I would in Chicago, but I do have friends in this area. And as I stated before, this is kind of a big deal to me.
  • The company I work for does have an office in New York, so I would not have to travel out-of-town as much in order to attend auditions for find work. Mind you, I probably still would have to on occasion, but there is a greater chance of me finding work without having to go outside of the city.

Cons:

  • As with Chicago, New York is full of aspiring actors and not only that, but aspiring business men and women as well. To say the least, New York is pretty packed. Not to mention the fact that for a single, young female living on her own, it does have the possibility of being dangerous. I am not an idiot by any means and I do know ways of protecting myself, but I’m also not foolish enough to think that this isn’t something to worry about.
  • Once again, finding side work presents itself as an issue for me to consider. In New York, I am not only competing against actors but performers in general. I would be elsewhere as well, but from what I’ve heard New York is more difficult to find work in. Many people attempt to get a job there first before every moving into the area to begin with. So if I were to even consider going to New York (or honestly anywhere) I would want to make sure that I at least had a job waiting for me when I get there.

If you made it to this point than kudos to you! Glad to see my ramblings have not thrown you off immensely, I hope that happy puppy pictures helped. Since you did make it this far, I would like to ask your opinion on this matter. Additionally, if you know anything about the living and/or job situation in either of these three cities, I would love to discuss it with you and perhaps clear up any misconceptions I might have. I await your comments!

Thanks for reading!

“And who knows, maybe starting a new journey won’t be so hard or perhaps it has already begun.” – KH1

Boom! Headshot!

Hello again!

I finally have a chance to sit down and update this blog on the happenings in my life as of late. Firstly, for those of you that read my earlier post, I went to see The Hunger Games this past Thursday and it was honestly better than I expected and my expectations were fairly high. I was incredibly pleased that they kept to the book, omitting things that were unnecessary for a film version and including the things that were necessary without adding too much. I particularly enjoyed how the Hunger Games promo in the film (a short added scene that basically portrayed the Capital putting a positive spin on the games) seemed to be an homage of the Nazi propaganda films back in WWII. While all of the actors gave a phenomenal performance, I was particularly fond of characters Haymitch and Cinna, played by Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz, respectively. Though both characters were somewhat underplayed in the film, the short bits with them brought a smile to my face every time. It is a complete and utter shame that others have not taken too kindly to the casting of Cinna due to racial preferences. I recently read an article that claimed that many people were upset with Cinna being played by a black actor. Though everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I think it is idiotic to judge an actor, or anyone for that matter, by the color of their skin. Kravitz gave a phenomenal performance and if people cannot see that, then they are clearly not looking hard enough or have warped views on what makes a good actor (which, being an actor myself, I can say has little to nothing to do with the color of one’s skin).

On a happier note, my headshots came in! Huzzah!

My favorite of the bunch! For a couple of my other favorites, check out the actress tab and there’s a link to them or find my page on Facebook to see the rest.

My hair is so red in this and I love it! Personally, don’t think that I photograph well, but Cole Simon (see previous post) is a genius and made it so that I don’t look terrifying and/or freakishly pale. With these, I can finally start being submitted for work! My casting manager informed me that I should hopefully start hearing back about shoots/auditions/etc. in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to get started.

Other than that, Murder in the Cathedral is going very well and my job waitressing has as well. I don’t get to perform as much stand-up as I would like and there seems to be some silly rumors flying about because of it, but for me that doesn’t seem to be out of the ordinary. If people can’t find a story that suits them, they will make one up. As long as the people who matter to me aren’t affected by it, I don’t see any reason to get upset. Regardless, I am working on a poster design for a fellow comedian (clearly he has not heard the rumors! Le gasp!) and I hope to have it done within the week. I also need to update the Murder in the Cathedral poster since we have a space for the show that is much nicer than we anticipated (not to mention in a different location then to that which I have on the poster currently.)

It’s about 12:30 a.m. so I best be signing off for the night. The temperature has dropped considerably and as my health has been questionable lately I’d rather not get sick from a lack of sleep as well. Until next time!

“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.”  – Alice Roosevelt Longworth