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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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

Random Acts!

Hello again!

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy for me and a lot of things have happened!

I have made the decision to stay where I am for the summer. I will be subletting for a friend and working to raise money so that I may eventually move to somewhere where there is more work. This decision was greatly affected by the opportunity I was given to join Random Acts, a traveling theatre troupe based in Ohio (for the time being). Not only is this a paid acting job (which is awesome), but it also gives me the opportunity to travel to potential living spaces while continuing to build up my résumé. This past Saturday was our first performance, which was in honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, entitled “A Titanic Mystery.”

I got to wear a replica of the Heart of the Ocean necklace from the film, “Titanic”

In this production (which I managed to learn in a week, memorization powers activate!), I played Madeline Astor, the character that Rose from “Titanic” was supposedly based on. The mystery part of this show focused on the whereabouts of the necklace throughout the production. The show was written by the director of Random Acts and a LOT of research was put into the show. The majority of the characters were all based upon people who were on the Titanic and we performed the show for a group of Titanic aficionados, who really knew their stuff! The show went splendidly despite a few technical difficulties and I am looking forward to our next production in a few weeks.

Onto Lionface news, we have unfortunately lost the space that we were to perform “Murder in the Cathedral” in. We were set to finish up paperwork and whatnot regarding the space when someone pointed out that there was already an event scheduled to be held there. So, for the time being, we are looking into different venues. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened to us, but we always seem to manage in one way or another and I have no doubt that we will find another space that will work just as well.

Aside from my work waitressing, I have been getting more hours doing another thing I love to do: working with kids!

A gift from one of the many kids I work with

Kids provide endless fascination for me in that they are so much smarter than people seem to think. A lot of times, adults will try to shelter children and claim that they are simply to young to understand anything. I strongly disagree with this sentiment, I have watched children K-6 come up with their own unique characters, write their own play, build their own set, design their own costumes, AND perform their show for their parents all over the course of a summer. When faced with a challenge, some kids rise to the occasion even more than the majority of adults do. Recently, I had the opportunity to teach another theatrical makeup workshop with a few kids from one of the schools I’ve worked at. I was amazed at how quickly they were able to pick it up and soon they were creating designs and applying them better than a lot of high school and/or college students. I think the difference lies in enthusiasm, oftentimes the older we get the less enthusiastic we are about trying our new things. I believe that as we get older, sometimes we are less likely to want to try new things in fear that we will fail at them. Kids don’t tend to have that sort of hesitation, sure they might get upset if they fail the first time, but they seem to be more likely to try them again until they get them right. This is all my opinion, of course, but I think the world would be a lot different if we would take some of these childlike mentalities and apply them to our own lives.

I’m sure I will have more to write later, but as there are still things that I need to finish, I’ll leave it at this. Thanks for reading!

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll

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

Lionface, AH! Lemonface, Ooh!

Happy Hunger games!

That’s right, I’m going to come right out and admit my intense nerdy love for The Hunger Games, but more on that later.

First, I’d like to talk a bit more on this fantastic organization that I am apart of: Lionface Productions! We are a non-profit theatre organization in Bowling Green, OH and are currently coming to the end of our second official season!

Plus we have sweet, sweet t-shirts!

That being said, our final show, Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot is now in rehearsals and thus far it has been incredibly fun! As opposed to setting the show back in the early, early days of the Catholic church, our director has decided to place it some time in the era of WWI, which was actually the time in wish Eliot wrote the show. I’m interested to see how this will affect the acting, especially when we get into rehearsals. Plus, this gives the women of Canterbury (of which I am one) a lot more strength and say in what is going on as opposed to the early days where women were seen and not heard. If you are interested in learning more about Lionface Productions, please check out their website: Lionface Productions

We are currently trying to raise money to put this show on, so if anyone has a few dollars that they would like to donate to this fantastic organization, please click her: Lionface Productions Fundraising

A little bit more of my painting is complete! Naturally, there’s still a lot to go, but I’m having fun with it.

Back to my nerdy excitement about The Hunger Games. I have to admit, I am a little disappointed that they are coming out with a movie only in that it means that I won’t get to play Katniss Everdeen, which is a phenomenal role. I am going to the midnight première with a few friends and I truly hope that the film lives up to the phenomenal book series. I am sure I will write more on this after I see it, but I wanted to share my excitement.

As for the headshots, I am still excitedly awaiting them as they are being touched up! However, I feel that I can reveal the group responsible for them: Glass City Stills!

Glass City Stills is run by the multi-talented actor/photographer, Cole Simon, who I had the absolute pleasure of working with. Though the company is out of Chicago, we were able to meet in the Columbus area, which was a great deal more convenient for me. A mutual friend ended up setting up this first contact and the rest is, well, that’s what’s going to be seen soon. I had a lot of fun working with him and I cannot wait to see how the photos turned out!

Keeping this post fairly short, I’m still not exactly a “blogger” by any means, so I’m trying to keep things simple. Feedback is always a plus as well! So until next time, may the odds be ever in your favor!

“You never forget the face of the person who was your last hope.” – Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games

New Facebook Page!

Due to a growing amount of networking connections, career changes, etc. I have opted to finally create my own Facebook page (as opposed to my profile/regular page). My main reason for doing this is privacy, but also so that people can follow what I’ve been doing as I begin work in the entertainment industry. Some might say that this is self-absorbed or whatever, however, I want to have people be able to view all the cool things I have gotten to do without having to read my occasional rants and crazy posts on my actual post. Make sense?

In other news, I have recently found out that I sold 50 copies of “Silly Billy’s Guide to the Theatre” in the first quarter! Considering the fact that I was only published for half of the quarter, I feel like this is pretty darn good. However, I do need to work on getting myself out there and promoting so that I will be able to sell more and hopefully convince people that there is a lot more to theatre then what meets the eye.

When you publish a book, one should always have the nerdy picture of themselves reading the published version.

In other news, I will be speaking to my former junior high for their annual “Career Day.” It feels really weird to be going there to talk about my career when it feels like I didn’t even graduate all that long ago. When asked what I should speak on, I was given the answer of whatever you want, so I will be talking about my career as an actress, author, comedian, and makeup artist.

Speaking of makeup art, I have finally updated the makeup section of this site to include photos from Lionface Production’s Winter One Acts 2012! There were three shows performed and though I did the makeup for all of them, I opted to only save photos of two of them (given the similarity and simplicity of the makeup for one of the shows). This time, I was able to incorporate some liquid latex and the result was pretty awesome.

A sneak peek at the nastiness that I have created! Muhahaha, mine is an evil laugh!

Other then that, I’ve been having rehearsals for Murder in the Cathedral (which is going fantastically!) and preparing for headshots on Monday (stay tuned for the exciting reveal of the photographer I’m going to and my new headshots!) I may or may not post again before then, but for now I feel that this is a good place to wrap up.

“Human kind cannot bear very much reality” – T.S. Eliot