Once upon a time, I was a young, green actress with more time, more energy, and fewer projects. I am grateful to be busier than ever these days, but between having less spare time and many different assignments, it's harder than ever to give a timely and thorough update. I do, however, endeavor to keep my credits here current, and add new content on my Photos, Videos and Prop Shop sections of the site. Plus, you can follow me on Twitter and/or on Facebook for more up-to-the-minutes shout-outs.
· After about 8 ½ years in filmmaking, I finally have an acting reel!! You can view it here. (I also have a hand-modeling reel that you can view here.)
· After a year on the cable access show, Scenes From A Hat, I decided to go on hiatus, as I didn't think I was as strong of a performer as many of my teammates, and it took up a lot of time that could be spent on other projects. Coincidentally, the show itself happened to take a broadcast/release hiatus as well, so no one has really noticed yet. I do stay involved with the show from a more behind-the-scenes perspective.
· I finally got my wish, and am enjoying being part of the team of Standardized Patients working for the U of M Interprofessional Education and Resource Center! This is paid work with specialized training. It takes a lot of dedication and focus, and I've worked on dozens of scenarios over the past seven months. I?m learning a lot myself, and help to provide valuable experience to many of future caregivers.
· I was invited, once again, to be a cast member in the 2018 St. Paul North Star Chorus annual show, Putin On The Ritz, or Russian To A Conclusion. These shows are always a blast, although the abbreviated rehearsal schedule is getting harder as I get older!
· I've worked on about 15 films since last summer's update, and somewhere along the way, I passed the 100-mark! Things must have really ramped up, as I think my usual average is about 12 per year.
· The standardized law client work has officially begun, and I've participated in my first mediation sessions as the plaintiff in an age-discrimination case, complete with pages and pages of details & correspondence to keep straight. My favorite part though, as always, was getting to cry for people who didn't expect it.
· At the 3rd Annual St. Paul Chief's Cup, Police Explorers from around the metro were treated (courtesy of me) to a victim of domestic abuse (suspect caught in the act) complete with finger-shaped bruising on the neck, and a very upset outburst at the realization that the victim almost ended up dead. This event continues to be one of the highlights of the year for me.
I'm thrilled at how busy I've been keeping. I've been auditioning constantly. Sometimes, I've been called to do other work (besides the project the auditions were for) based on my performance. My future calendar is usually a short list, but it is ever growing. I'm looking forward to an upcoming festival shoot of a film called, Rekindle, continuing Standardized Patient work for the U of M, Augsburg and St. Catherine, reprising my role (at special request) as the birthing mother at this year's Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs Humanitarian Crisis Simulation in May, and many more auditions.
While I enjoy writing these narratives, doing so is what seems to hold me back from publishing and announcing “official” updates more often. Nevertheless, I will continue to make the attempt. I should point out that I do try my best to keep my body of work up to date, so at least you can see what I’ve worked on most recently, even if there isn’t a description or a story about it. I may be able to come up with a simple way to call those updates out? Remember, too, that you can follow me on Twitter and/or on Facebook for more up-to-the-minute shout-outs.
· Scenes From A Hat, amateur comedy improv cable TV show is going strong in its “third season,” and I’m still making regular appearances on the show.
· Relationship Status won Best Comedy Short Screenplay at the 2018 St. Paul Frozen Film Festival
· Relationship Status was an official selection at the Garden State Film Fest and the Hollywood Reels Film Fest
· Enigma Lake was an official selection at the St. Paul Frozen Film Festival
· New personal record for appearances in student films & directing exercises
· Branched out into roleplaying for law students
So, 2017 saw my longest stretch without specifically appearing in a film. Luckily, I had lots of other projects to keep me busy, such as various commercials and standardized patient roleplays, and I’m also very fortunate and blessed to be making up for it in spades in 2018 with several film appearances. Most notably, I've appeared in student films with MCTC, University of Northwestern St. Paul, University of Minnesota, and Century College.
In my previous update, we were just about to start shooting Scenes From A Hat, an amateur comedy improv television show featuring all Minnesota talent. I’m happy to report that we've been producing weekly episodes for almost a year now, and I have appeared in 21 of them as either a player or as the waitress during the game, “Two Restaurants.” We even did a special April Fools segment where we pranked our host with a hoe-down song with words by Yours Truly. I could tell you more about it, but instead, I've created a channel for it on my Videos page.
I've left out a lot of details about some of the things I've been working on in the interest of getting this finished and published, but there should be credits listed below for most projects, and I always try to keep that part of the website up to date.
NEWS FLASH: The film, Enigma Lake, which was produced by team Ninjakitty Airlines for the Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project, and in which I had a role, was runner-up for Audience Choice in Screening Group A, and made the Top Ten screening and awards show taking place on Wednesday, July 5th at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis!! The show begins at 7pm, with the Red Carpet rolling out at 6:30pm. Come out and join us for some great, fun films!!
It's gone from busy season to lull after the past few months. While I'm hungry for new projects, I'm hoping that there will be plenty of fulfillment and exposure with the new, upcoming cable series, Scenes from a Hat, which will be modeled after "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and produced/directed by Steve Murphy of Rusty Nuts Productions. We will be shooting multiple episodes on the third Saturday of each month at Town Square Television in Inver Grove Heights, and we may soon be looking for a larger studio audience, so stay tuned for more news on that.
This quarter has probably seen the most roleplaying by me for different clients over any short period. I took part in an Emergency Sheltering Training & Exercise with Central MN Responds, and played a deaf client who needed an ASL interpreter. People who hadn’t met me actually thought that I was deaf, so I guess I nailed that one. I also played someone with a previous foot injury who needed special accommodations. In a similar exercise, a Hospital Alternate Care Site Full Scale Exercise conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Reserve Corps, I was a patient being transferred to an alternate care site from a conventional hospital during an outbreak of a novel virus. I didn't have the virus, but was convinced that I did and was having an anxiety attack. It was really fun and interesting. On the law-enforcement side, I played a domestic abuse victim for the first ever St. Paul Chief's Explorer Competition. Besides also doing standardized patient roleplays with St. Kate's and Augsburg, I had a special opportunity working with Wisconsin-based Taproot to do training scenarios with college counselors.
On the film front, I was cast as a book author and activist for a film called Relationship Status. This required a special photo shoot in order to put my character's picture on the cover of her book that was referred to throughout the film. Additionally, I was cast as a social worker in a Film Collective project called, Legally Kidnapped. As the summer film race season approached, I was selected by Distant Calling Pictures for the 50-Fifty Reel Challenge, and by Ninjakitty Airlines for the Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project. Our 48HFP film, Enigma Lake, was first runner up for audience choice in its screening group, and will get an encore showing at the Top Ten screening & awards show. The 50-Fifty film I was in, A Verdant View, features some of Distant Calling Pictures' best talent, and is awaiting the judging phase of the competition.
I'm hoping that, during some of this downtime, I might possibly be able to put together a professional acting reel. If there's any of my work that you find particularly eye-catching and you think it should be a part of my reel, please feel free to let me know!
* * *
The Obligatory Blurb:
I've been gaining experience as a crew member, as you may have gathered from prior months' updates, and am open to working either or both in front of and/or behind the camera.
I tend to only update here on a periodic basis, so if you really want to stay up-to-date with my other upcoming bookings and activities, a good way to keep up with me on a more daily basis is via facebook or Twitter.
Fun Stuff to Watch:
I'm keeping the link to one of my recent shorts here for a while, as it's the closest thing I have to a reel, AND people really seem to keep enjoying it - please watch...Don't Answer the Phone
I'm going to keep this up for a bit longer...it's a little film scene project I worked on a few months ago with students from Metropolitan State University; please WATCH and enjoy: Scenes from Rushmore
Here's a special treat! It's a link to watch the entire feature, SKAZA, in which I played Professor Saneson - I hope you enjoy it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rc59RfvpEE
If I try to tell you about everything I've done since my last update, I'll never get it published. This web host has undergone some changes which are forcing me to update my site's look and style. So, while I'm concentrating on that, I'd like to keep my bio close to the top, and just give you a few brief highlights...
Upcoming Events & Projects:
I can't believe that the year is moving by so quickly! Since I've trimmed some of the fat from my acting activities (i.e., not actively seeking unpaid roles), it seems like there has not been much to report on; but as is often the case, just a little bit of digging reveals that I've been busier than I thought, and documenting it becomes another major undertaking. I hope to give you a great update that was worth the wait.
The warmer months started out with shooting for the first installment of a surrealist web series called, Static. In it, I play an otherworldly "smokerly" woman who is somewhat captive and communicates with the protagonist through a television broadcast. It was a fun stretch to play a very grotesque character, and I'm really looking forward to shooting more episodes.
I rarely do extras work any more, but under the right circumstances, I can sometimes be persuaded. The first such instance of this happening this year was for the locally produced feature length film, Twin Cities, directed by David Ash (355 Productions). I played "Rachel," one of about a dozen or so members of a depression support group that some of the main characters were participating in. There are two different meetings depicted with two very different looks for me. Hopefully viewers will get to see both. It was a fun day of shooting and hanging out with old and new Twin Cities acting friends.
I also did some significant extras work when Hollywood brought Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern to Minnesota for the shooting of the feature film, Wilson, directed by Craig Johnson (Fox Searchlight Pictures). We sign confidentiality agreements and are asked not to talk much about the project on public forums, so I can't tell everything now. While my first day of shooting was a rather uneventful one spent as background at a flea market (I did bring my tape measure to stand out, but you might not see it), I was brought back again to do some stunt driving (as well as a picnic scene where they used not only me but my blanket & picnic basket as well). Due to a series of fortunate coincidences, I was asked to do something special (and against my nature) during the traffic sequence that would definitely stand out in the film. I agreed and now have some bragging rights that I can't divulge yet. However, it got bigger, as typical stunt-driver garb is very nondescript dark clothes. After seeing the footage from that shooting day, they called me to come and do it again because, this time, they wanted to get some different camera angles and have me re-wardrobed as a woman who was "really put together" (cute dress and all!). This reshoot day happened to be on Woody Harrelson's birthday (which I didn't know at the time). Because they hadn't explained all of the nuances to me over the phone about the wardrobe specifications, and were having difficulty tracking down the appropriate contact on set that morning, I was serendipitously seated in a camp chair outside the wardrobe trailer where I waited for quite some time while others were ushered in and out getting outfits approved. As I sat there, a small car pulled up and parked just across from me. Woody Harrelson's personal assistant emerged out the driver's door and, eventually, Woody from the passenger side. Knowing better than to act or look like a star-stuck fool, since I'm not one, I sat there as if it were nothing out of the ordinary. Well, he looked around a little, looked over at me, nodded and said, "Good Morning," to me. I said, "Good Morning," back. While part of me wishes I'd known it was his birthday, the rest of me kind of thinks that acknowledging it could have ended up being a rookie move that I might have regretted. I guess we'll never know for sure. The film is due to be released next year, and I can hardly wait!
Something I haven't worked on in quite some time is a music video, but I had the chance to be in a fun one directed by Grant Spanier (highqlty) for recording artist, Lisa McGuire's new single, "Shooting Up." The name isn't as bad as it sounds - we got to sing some of the words, which included, "I'm shooting up like a weed." I hope it comes out soon so that everyone can see our "shocking" performance.
I'm always up for something new and different, but that doesn't come along so often when you've worked on the variety of projects that I have. The closest I came this summer was sort of a combination of things I've done previously, but in a format and for a client that's been unlike any other. I had the privilege of working with Michael Steinbeck of MILO Range Training Systems, along with several of my colleagues as well as several local law enforcement consultants, portraying a variety of bystanders, shooters and victims for a virtual reality style video training system. Each scenario we played out had different outcome possibilities based on reactions from the learner, so each outcome (e.g., suspect complies, suspect shot with taser, suspect shot with firearm, etc.) had to be acted out so that the developers could program the required exercises from beginning to end for each possibility. I'm told that it should be ready before Fall, and that we should be able to come in to see a demonstration of the final project - I'm really looking forward to that!
Summer film opportunities are usually slim and inserting a little stage work is always a fun change of pace. So, with every intention of performing in one way or another in this year's Minnesota Fringe Festival, I booked a rare spot at their "unified auditions." Without having a particular edge or niche amongst so many fine thespians, I took a slightly different approach toward how I would spend my coveted three minutes. I wanted to re-tape my audition so that I could post it here, but that didn't happen. Perhaps I could sweet-talk someone into giving me access to my little performance. At any rate, since I hate monologues, I read some classic Shakespeare while using visual and physical humor to demonstrate my unique style and boldness. This earned me one second audition, which didn't pan out, and an invitation to join the cast for the show, Hey Bangladesh, which I accepted.
Hey Bangladesh had a really nice preview in the Twin Cities Daily Planet, where it is described thusly: "[The show] centers on the fairly addlebrained yet happily fortuitous exploits of a fellow named Boltu, who, after accidentally head-butting a cow, comes up with the bright idea of launching his very own music show to go against the hit program 'Bangladesh Idol.' ?The adventure of Boltu and his friends will take you on a wild ride as you explore the rhythm and music of Bangladesh." With lots of great help from our director, Michael Bruckmueller of ComedySportz, we put on a hilarious show with amazing music, receiving a steady 4-star review status throughout the festival.
My work with specific film roles this year started in the height of summer when a newer short film competition inspired some of my film-making friends. Called, "Short & Sweet," the objective of the monthly contest was to make a 1-minute film for a chance to win $1000. With June's theme being, "Take Out," the team from Rusty Nuts Productions divided into sub teams and set out to submit three different installments that could stand on their own as one-minute films, and could also be strung together as a continuing story. As is often the case, more footage was shot in order to be edited into longer films that tell the stories better (doing so in one minute proved to be incredibly difficult). I co-starred in I Want To Believe, opposite Ryan J. Gilmer, who also wrote and directed the short. Playing an FBI agent was a fun experience, and I look forward to the completion of the longer work.
I'm overjoyed that, after an extended period on hold, production has finally begun on the nest Northern Iron Productions feature, Weightier Matters, directed by Doug Phillips. The show centers around the head judge of a fictional musical reality competition as he deals with his negative feelings toward a contestant whose popularity he errantly attributes to sympathy. My character, Lily, is the judge's wife, and an employee of the network that broadcasts the competition. The scenes shot so far have been what the director refers to as "flashback scenes" that set up the background stories of some of the characters. This was particularly opportune timing for the low-budget project, as some actual time will probably have passed before we get to filming the meat of the story, at which time I'll probably have updated my hair with a new cut & style, and perhaps even shed a few pounds. I'm really excited for our upcoming shoots, as this is probably one of the more entertaining projects I've worked on.
I recently auditioned for a Minnesota #ZFestFilmFest film called, The Golden Light, written by Cole Meyer and being directed by Justin Berrisford. For once, I finally nailed a part, and was told that I'd nailed the part, and actually got the part! I will be playing the role of Linda Larson, the mother of the protagonist. We anticipate shooting soon, as there is sure to be a great deal of special effects work to be added in prior to submission in the spring.
I'd all but given up on the prospect of fit modeling when, out of the blue, I was contacted by the agency that had sent me to three seemingly unsuccessful go-see measurement sessions. I was told that Target Corp. was requesting me for a fit session, which means I'd actually be working! A fit model meets specific body measurement requirements and tries on different items of clothing for the folks who are developing the fashions so that they can evaluate their fit as well as get wearer feedback on their feel and functionality. As a team, we even have influence on the design - for instance, one of the blouses I tried on will probably end up with shorter and/or looser sleeves, since the sample garment was a bit binding just above the elbows. Hopefully, this could be the start of some more consistent ongoing work.
Always a favorite for me is any chance I get to do role-playing for the Master of Physicians Assistant students at St. Catherine University, and I've had two different opportunities recently. In May, I had the privilege of doing a repeat performance of my somewhat-famous depressed & suicidal patient. It's a bit rough when they forget to place a box of tissues in the exam room, but somehow I managed to survive. In July, I was given the fun challenge of being the floating patient - since it was a long day of several exams with evaluations for older adults (late 60's and up), the mock patients were given breaks during the testing period, and I was there to fill in for whichever scenario each individual was portraying, so I had to learn all of them with very little prep time. The four main areas we covered were mobility, nutrition, memory/cognition and caregiver assistance. If I can make the right connections, I'm really hoping to be able to do similar work at other institutions in the future as well.
Besides my upcoming film roles, one project I'm looking forward to with great excitement is the U of M Global Health Humanitarian Crisis Simulation Exercise coming up this September. This is a project I took great pleasure in participating in last year. Many of the volunteers were students in previous exercises. Most come prepared to learn or invent a short back-story for use when the learners come around to interview "mock refugees," but a few of us are actual actors and role-players, whose purpose is to add that extra element of realism and bring about some emotional responses. Last year, as I simulated a pregnant NGO worker who miscarried during the course of the exercise due to unresolved sickness running rampant in the camp, it was fascinating to observe the difference in reactions between older, experienced relief workers and medical professionals who would spend time and show a great deal of empathy, and younger folks who were more or less fresh out of the classroom and appeared somewhat bewildered in a practical situation. I can hardly wait to get back down to camp to develop this year's character and see what kind of impact I can have on those who are exploring the possibility of relief work. I find it incredibly rewarding!
Updates on Past Projects:
The official video and website have finally been released from our South Dakota Tourism video vacation project, Along For The Ride: Stand Up (One Tree Forrest Films)! You can view it by clicking here, but you might want to have a tissue handy!
The short film, Grown Men On Swings, written and directed by Dan Stewart (BloodGutsLove Productions), for which I was a pre-production/casting assistant, has been officially selected to screen at the Twin Cities Film Fest this year.
The Jeffrey Williams ('Rado Entertainment) short film, For Dinner, on which I worked as Casting Director and 1st AD, was chosen as an official selection in the first annual St. Paul On the Line Film Festival. It screened on Friday, August 7th, as part of the Short Horror/Thriller Series, at the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium in St. Paul, MN. The film has also been accepted into the St. Paul Film Festival and the Cebu International Film Festival!
Look for these other updates to the website:
Happy New Year, a little belated! I kicked off 2015 pleasantly busy throughout January, and have used the bit of lull taking place in February to focus on the rather complex task of income tax reporting. It's quite tedious to provide information for the plethora of paid gigs, but it was interesting and exciting to note that I traveled (drove) over 6,400 miles in the name of my craft in 2014, which is well over twice as much as in 2013. Income appears to have followed a similar trend, so I think that's pretty good news, and something to strive toward exceeding this year.
After the last update that I posted in December, I had three more commercial gigs before the year was done. They were for Adidas, Thrivent Financial, and Indiana's Hoosier Lottery Bingo to Go game. My husband even appeared with me in the Bingo spot!
My first gig of the new year was a supporting role in Fancy Mustard's Z-fest film, Three's Company, directed by Connor McCarthy. The film will screen on the second night of screenings at the Riverview Theater on Thursday, March 5th. The event will kick off at 7pm, and our film will be the fourth one shown after intermission.
I got a refreshing change of pace when I was chosen to be a part of photographer Anna Eveslage's book project, Eating Alone. The book, which will be published later this spring, will feature folks form different walks of life under various circumstances, eating alone. I will appear as a bed-headed mother whose youngest child has just departed with her older brother for her first day of school.
I was eager to use some too-long dormant skills when I heard that the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was celebrating its 100th anniversary at the Mall of America with a Viennese Waltz flash mob. I was lucky enough to pair up with my primary former dance partner, Jeff Chinn. I enjoyed dancing and seeing old friends at the rehearsals as well as the two performances on Friday, February 13, in the Mall rotunda. Afterward, however, my body did not hesitate to remind me of the many reasons I had for stepping away from such a great hobby.
I'm expecting to do some role-playing coming up, and in a few weeks, I am scheduled to shoot a scene in St. Cloud for a short film called, Static, which may stretch out into a three-part series with my role becoming more involved. Besides that, there seems to be a steady flow of auditions, interviews and workshops, so I'm feeling pretty positive about the year to come.
By the way, I've added a new photo gallery for my hand modeling - check it out!
December is shaping up to be a pretty quiet month, so I'm doing something a little bit different this time around. I thought it might be nice to do sort of a "year in review" - I figured a "big picture" glimpse of my projects might be just the ticket.
2014 Film Projects
2014 Commercial Work
2014 Stage Work
2014 Role Playing
2014 Miscellaneous Projects
You may be wondering why I it's taken me so long to post an update this time around. As with anyone else, sometimes family and personal issues take precedent. It's been a stressful transition into fall with the recent illness and passing away of my father in-law. As a family, we did a lot of out-of-town travel during the month of September. Conrad Voels was dearly loved, and will be deeply missed.
On the day we held a Celebration of Life service to honor him, I started to get sick. That was the beginning of what has now developed into a nasty case of bronchitis that I've been fighting ever since. It has already benched me for two Reunion for Revenge performances, and shows no sign of letting up, despite a full course of antibiotics.
However, since it's long overdue, I felt it was time to try and muster the energy to bring everyone up-to-date before the backlog gets terribly out of control. And, I thought you deserved more than bullet points?
When last I posted, I was in the middle of a role-playing contract that I really couldn't talk much about. I still can't say much, but feel so privileged to be able to work with law enforcement & military when they need to train for hostile events. I would totally do it as a full time job if there were enough work.
I also mentioned that I was on board with the Mullet River Boys jug band as their replacement kazoo player. Since the lead guitar player had suffered a serious hand injury, several performances has to be postponed or cancelled while he recuperated, but I did get to play with the band at ArtSplash 2014, in Sioux City, Iowa. It was a fun family road trip where we got to stay overnight and, not only did I play the kazoo, but I also sang and played the cello. On top of that, Jack had fun surprising me with songs I didn't know that we were playing. Good thing harmonizing comes so naturally to me! There are a few pictures from the shows in the "On Stage" section of the "Photos" page, and more can be viewed here.
There was a stroke of good luck (for me) when a local film posted a casting call for an actress fitting my general description (apparently they had to replace the actress they'd originally cast. It was a posting I'd seen before, but somehow this time around I managed to ignore the word, "thin," and submitted myself. A few days after auditioning, I learned that I got the role, and am now playing the mother of the lead actress in a film called, "Pink Toenails," directed by Nick Barghini of Headcase Films. It's the first role I've ever changed my hair color for. So, if you want to see me brunette, be sure to catch the release sometime in early 2015.
I had a really fun opportunity to volunteer for a humanitarian crisis simulation as part of a class being offered by the University of Minnesota for people interested in working through humanitarian organizations. As usual, I can't say much about the overall exercise, but I can tell you a bit about my personal experience, since I was one of only two professional actresses on board (most volunteers have other backgrounds), along with my good friend and colleague, Annie Zimbel. We both specialize in making the most of the experience for the learners.
It's difficult to simulate a true humanitarian refugee crisis without thousands of people and acres of land, but part of what we're trying to bring to life is the emotional aspect. As individuals we selected roles to play and expanded on them. As a camp leader, I took on the role of an embedded non-government organization worker. In my camp of around 10,000 people, I'd worked very hard to get a well constructed, and it had been going great until the pump broke. This resulted in much of the camp being stricken with cholera, myself included. And, on top of that, I was pregnant. Our biggest concern, among many possibilities, was the repair of the well pump to bring clean water back into the camp.
From a practical standpoint, the students need to learn how to make an overall assessment of the situation and make some plans; from a realistic and interpersonal standpoint, they need to deal with the facts that they can't fix everything, things take time, there are many unexpected barriers, such as misinformation, local militia and government, and situations can change at any time. They need to deal with people who don't understand why they can't fulfill what seem like simple requests. After one day, we fast-forwarded in time 3 weeks, where half the people in my camp were killed and the rest were evacuated to a different camp, where most people didn't speak English. Along the way, my character's baby was stillborn because of Cholera and dehydration. Despite my total devastation, younger and more inexperienced students stood at a distance as I wept, and asked me statistical questions about the new camp, showing little or no empathy toward my situation. Logistically, they're trying to get a task done, but they need to know that a lot of the time, their hands are going to be tied, and they're going to be dealing with a lot of weary and frustrated people. I think that's why these simulations are so important, and why I'm so happy to volunteer where I can make an impact.
One other fun role-play I got to do was an active threat exercise at the Burnsville Mall. It was another 3Echo exercise, but on a much larger scale than the ones I've been involved with in the past. I was lucky (because I like this stuff) to become a last-minute moulage victim - meaning I got to get "bloodied up" to look injured so that responders could assess and treat me. I was on the team that was stationed near a simulated detonated explosive device. I couldn't hear, couldn't walk, and had second degree burns and blood all over. I also had family looking for me. Again, the reasons for these role-plays is not simply to get the necessary tasks accomplished, but to deal with the victim behaviors and the emotional & psychological consequences of trauma.
Even though I was sick, I was able to get through three awesome days of role-playing for St. Kate's again. I won't get into the details, since the scenarios are standardized and reused. But I will share that I got to spend one day "shocking" the students with a very intense and stressful overdose in the emergency department, another day actually assessing their performance when examining me (as an elderly patient) presenting with symptoms, and a third day coming in for a routine physical exam to test their ability to collect all of the relevant patient information and decide on appropriate lab tests. It was kind of a bummer having a cough and hoarseness that was not part of any of the scenarios, but I love working with these students!!
Now that all of that excitement is over, it's time for me to concentrate on getting well. This case of bronchitis has really been wearing me down, and I've even lost weight. I'm missing out on two performances of Reunion for Revenge, but am hoping to be back on the program for our upcoming shows at the Radisson Blu at Mall of America. You can check out dates and times here.
It's great to be a busy actress, but difficult to keep up with an online presence when you're so tired. It's really too bad, since I didn't have the stamina to document my participation in a fun show through its entire life cycle. Hopefully, most followers caught updates via Facebook and Twitter.
To elaborate on some of the bullet-pointed activities from June, as well as some that were not mentioned, in case anyone was wondering, I did NOT participate in the 48-Hour Film Project this year. There were communication and scheduling problems which prohibited me from doing so. But this year's experience has led me to an interesting conclusion. Because these problems stemmed from joining a team, and teams cannot truly commit to using an actor before being assigned their genres and required elements, I will no longer be joining any teams prior to kick-off. It's a bold and risky move, but I'm hoping that some of my fellow actors will follow suit. My hope is that I will be recruited by a team shortly after kick-off, when they have a good idea of what they want an need, and that I will be used to fill a meaningful role that's a great fit.
One of the auditions I attended in June was for the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival #MNFringe. The show was called First Draft Last Draft, which was a series of short comedy sketches that were originally written as short film scripts for a freshman screenwriting class. They liked me and cast me for this show. I was in four of the six sketches, with some pretty extreme costume changes made in very short order. My most notable role was "Grandma" in Act 4, "Grandma Dearest." We brought the show to life at the Music Box Theatre from August 2-7 and, although you can't see it anymore, you can read some of the mixed reviews that got better as we did more performances at the show's page on the festival's website.
I've done a couple of role-plays this season for the St. Kate's masters students. The first one was really my specialty. For the Mental Health students, I played a patient whose primary complaint was being overly tired, but who really required a mental health assessment for depression and potential for suicide. It is both fascinating and rewarding to bring this character to life and get serious help and treatment plans from these future professionals in a very realistic scenario. The other role was as a 63 year-old sole caregiver of an 87 year-old mother with Alzheimer's. The 63 year-old needed to have back surgery, and required a caregiver consult to deal with taking care of her mother while taking time out to manage her own health. This role required evaluation of the students' performance. It was very interesting to see how different individuals addressed the issues that were presented. I'm extremely grateful to the MPAS Program leaders for the specific requests they make for me to participate in their simulations.
I had a fun time shooting two commercials with Keech Media. One was for Rove Pest Control. This was my first shoot with a live animal, and it was a tarantula - on my shoulder! I think its handler was more nervous than I was. Sadly, it didn't really move much once it was positioned, so it will be hard to tell that it was real, but I guarantee that it was! The other was for Finishing Touch Car Care, promoting its touch-free dent removal service. We did multiple spots during the whole-day shoot, where I was a featured support group participant, as well as a wife at a marriage counseling session and also at a doctor appointment. It was a great group to work with and we all had a ton of fun.
The biggest and longest-running project I've worked on in quite a while has been with the acting company I joined, mentioned in my previous update. I am a charter member of the Minneapolis Actors and Artists Co-op. I've been rehearsing for the past two months with The To Die For Players for a brand new, original interactive musical murder mystery dinner theater experience called, "Reunion for Revenge." I play a very boisterous character named, Leticia Silverfish, a channel to the dead for her sister (and medium), Madame Ida Destenia. I could tell you quite a bit about the show, but it probably makes more sense to send you to the show's website, www.reunionforrevenge.com. The show's world premier was performed on Friday, August 8th at Neisen's in Shakopee, in front of a very appreciative audience. It's a super fun show! There will be more performance dates added very soon, so keep watching the website. The show is full of surprises, and I really hope that many will come and check it out.
I have a very interesting booking coming up at the end of the month - The Mullet River Boys band is down by a kazoo player due to a family emergency, and I have been recruited to take this band member's place at some of the band's upcoming engagements. I'm excited to start practicing for this one - it's gonna be fun!
Now that the Fringe Festival is over, and the murder mystery is well-rehearsed, costumed, and once-performed, much of the pressure is off, and I'm enjoying a contract job involving my favorite kind role-play, although I'm really unable to talk about it. Just know that I'm having a ton of fun, and am also looking forward to participating in a humanitarian crisis simulation in early September, as well as getting involved with the Hennepin County Medical Reserve Corps so that I can participate in other training simulations as well. Additionally, I'm looking forward to hearing from the U of M to start doing standardized patient role-plays with them.
Since it doesn't look as though any of my long-anticipated unscheduled film projects are happening any time soon, I will put updates about them to pasture in the archive section until something starts happening with them.
The first half of June has zipped by - I'm late with my update and am so busy that I really only have time for the highlights. Hopefully I can get to the full details soon. I have been blissfully occupied with several projects...
As always, looking forward to the following projects that do not as yet have a firm schedule:
I've been gaining experience as a crew member, as you've probably gathered, and am open to working either or both in front of and/or behind the camera.
I thought I might have to simplify this month and go with bullet points for a brisker read, but then I realized that maybe things had calmed down a bit, and I was working on projects that were related to each other and not so many of them. Hence, my usual procrastination has left me a victim once again.
I was very fortunate last month to be able to attend the Twin Cities Actor Expo, and was privileged to be able to volunteer at some of the sessions. Two of the sessions were meet & greet sessions with talent agencies, and both contacted me following the Expo regarding possible representation. Seems I have some work to do and some decisions to make, but all in all it was very exciting.
One of the agencies sent me on a print audition right away. This was a bit of a new thing for me. I got to try on some jeans and strut my stuff. It was kind of a long shot, and I didn't get it, but it was great to have the opportunity to dabble in something I haven't before, along with having an agency believe in me enough to send me out.
I took another unusual gamble and worked as a model for Lavish Lashes. It wasn't quite the high-profile event I was expecting. For a few weeks I was the owner of some extra long eyelashes. They've asked to have me back, so it's possible that I could pass along this opportunity for a paid gig to others who might be interested. You can contact me for more information.
I met with an LA producer about a film he'll be shooting next month in the Twin Cities so that I could help him audition some cast members. We held auditions at the Capri Theater while he was still in town and it went really well. We've almost got things nailed down for the shoot, and I may be helping on the crew as well. The film will be a short entitled, "For Dinner," and will be entered into some major film festivals.
I also had a successful meeting with a colleague who is starting a theater company that will be putting on a murder mystery this fall. I've accepted his invitation to be part of the company, and am really looking forward to the first meeting & reading this month, as well as for the production. I'll let you know more details as they develop, and as I'm allowed.
I went to an audition at St. Thomas for a full-length film - it was probably the funnest one I've been to, plus, I got the part! The character I auditioned for was a college English professor who comes in to class on the first day acting "mad," to demonstrate to her students the way the world perceives madness. I had an edge because I'm trained to do this for crisis intervention training. They really loved how I brought the character to life, and for some reason I had an easier time memorizing the "crazy" monologue than any other I've ever attempted. We shot three story days of SKAZA 314 in one evening. I've added some images to the Photos section (Production Stills & Behind the Scenes) from this super-fun shoot. I'll post additional information about its premiere when I hear back about it. Update: Showing on Thursday night, May 15, 2014 at 8pm at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium on University of St. Thomas Campus. There will also be an encore screening on Wednesday, May 21.
Since I've started becoming more active in the casting process, I jumped at an opportunity to help out at auditions with Capra Creations, who wanted to bring on a young (pre-teen) actress for their 48HFP team. It was a great experience, as I got to see a lot of talented girls, and either visit with parents I already knew, or make new connections. I even got to reminisce with someone I went to high school and was in dance line with.
And speaking of the 48-Hour Film Project, it's coming up - June 6-8. I've been involved as an actress in the previous three races, and, although it can be a hectic and stressful time, would love to be involved again this year. The only stipulation this year is that there is a reasonable afternoon wrap time, as my daughter's commencement exercises are taking place later that evening.
I'm involved in the following projects that do not as yet have a firm schedule:
I've been gaining experience as a crew member, as you've probably gathered, and am open to working either or both in front of and/or behind the camera.
Things have been kind of crazy lately - in a good way, so it seemed like it might work out best to do an update that covers more than a month to help me get back on track. It's actually one of those great situations where God delivers abundant blessings as a result of recognizing and following His will. It's been really amazing!
I had the privilege of working with a team of students from University of Northwestern, St. Paul, on their project for this year's Five16 Film Festival. I was cast in the role of Michael's Mother in their short film, Desperation. I've posted some photos from the shoot on the Photos page. Also, I recently spoke to one of the crew members, who thinks that there's a good chance that it will be screened during the showing at 7pm on April 14, 2014 at Maranatha Hall.
I've recently become more involved with the Association of Christians in Media, which led to an opportunity to help in the production of a short video for Blue Oaks Church's "Grow Deeper Project." Not only did I get to appear on camera, but I got to work behind the scenes for a couple of days doing shot logging and other miscellaneous tasks. It's a great group of people to work with, and I look forward to future projects with them!
I was given an exciting chance to expand my range with Crisis Company by assisting with a Hostage Negotiation Exercise in a neighboring county. I got to role-play as a paranoid schizophrenic inmate who escaped shackles during a transfer and took another inmate hostage after attacking one of the guards with a shank (improvised knife). I sat in a room by myself while a team of specialists would call me on a box phone and try to assess the situation as well as my mental state. I did this three separate times over three hours. As my character was feeling very upset and anxious about delusions, I spent a great deal of my time fearful and crying. This is how & when I determined that it's a great idea to take painkillers preemptively to avoid headaches when excessive sobbing is anticipated.
Besides the special assignment with Crisis Company, I role-played and shadowed at the VA here in the Cities, and also got to represent the company while doing my first full-week, out-of-town training in southern Minnesota. I got to learn and role-play some additional scenarios and had a great time with my fellow role-players. The highlight for me was some feedback I got from one of the participants: "Damn it, I forgot it was a role play." I LOVE THIS WORK!
Something I haven't done for a while is a commercial shoot, which is why I was so pleased to be cast in a commercial being produced by Owasso Pictures for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, which also happens to be the company I used to work for as a business analyst. We were shooting at the Radisson Blu, and I was dressed as a guest service representative. It was a bit of a challenge for all of us, as the set was not closed, and folks kept trying to check out of the hotel with us instead of actual reps in a different lobby. Hopefully there'll be a link to the commercial to share at some point.
I answered an ad having to do with a new venture where several videos would potentially be produced. This soon led to a meeting with an entrepreneur who was very excited about my industry connections. His pilot video would require a few very good older actors. After checking my connections and putting out feelers, I had selected his initial cast, and he was extremely pleased with the group I'd assembled for him. I can't talk more about the project, but I'm looking forward to more opportunities to supply actors for it, as well as making an appearance myself.
In an unusual twist of fate, I was browsing the "free" section of craigslist, when I happened upon an ad posted by an apprentice stylist at Spalon Montage who was looking for volunteers to receive a free wash and blowout. I not only took him up on the offer, I arranged to get together with one of my favorite photographers to capture the results afterward. The newest picture I've posted below is the result - so I'd like to credit Joshua David Creations for doing the hair. If you're interested in volunteering with him, I can provide you with his contact information.
I keep experiencing further proof that networking can be extremely crucial and beneficial in this business. Since I have been expanding into crew work, I offered to volunteer as a production assistant when I heard that Doug Phillips was going to be shooting a short film here in town earlier this month, and he agreed. Next thing I knew, he needed someone to apply aging makeup to one of his actors. I tend to over-prepare for anything new, so I spent a lot of time studying tutorials on the subject. Before I knew it, a supporting actress who hadn't confirmed needed to be replaced, and I was offered and accepted the role of the sheriff's dispatcher. So in one day I did acting work, makeup department work and PA work. And, by the way, he was very pleased with how the makeup turned out. On top of that, I was offered some additional work on the film. It was on-camera, but I can't really say much more than that, because I don't want to divulge a clever plot twist. So, all I can tell you is to be on the lookout for the Northern Iron Productions' short film, Snowbound, directed by Doug Phillips.
Samaritan Casting came through this month with an opportunity to work as a featured extra in the upcoming film, The End of the Tour, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel. We shot for a couple of long days at the Mall of America. If you end up seeing the film, the best place to spot me will probably be the scene that takes place in Sea Life Aquarium, although you might also be able to catch me walking hand-in-hand with Ben Coler crossing behind the stars in the parking ramp, in the theater hallway, inside the theater, near the marquee, at the food court and walking through the amusement park. There's a picture floating around Twitter from the shoot, and I'm in it: http://t.co/l8BIyRL5pT (I have a bigger version of it posted on Facebook, where my whole face is showing.)
I had a little adventure in extras casting this past month. A director from Minnesota, who is studying in southern California, is producing her master thesis film, and decided to shoot in her hometown. When I responded to her ad, I clued her in to the fact that not many folks would see it and respond, and offered my help to round up some folks. I got some of the necessary information that was left out of the posting and put out my own call on social media, with a good deal of success. The whole project team was very grateful for the quality Twin Cities talent I'd recruited to do background work for their film called, "Prey."
It's been far too long since I've taken part in an active shooter & post blast training exercise, so I couldn't have been more excited to hear that there was another opportunity to work with the 3Echo team this past month in Mendota Heights. I've volunteered with them enough now for them to be familiar with me and glad to see me again. This time, the chief actually pulled me to have me do some moulage on folks for the morning scenario. While I was experimenting with liquid latex, I discovered that peeling it off would look very much like flesh coming off. Thus, in the afternoon post-blast exercise, I was able to create simulated burn marks by applying latex, peeling it away from the center out, and sponging theatrical blood over the area. When people get grossed out by what they see, I know I've done something right. I've even had a film-maker friend tell me that he'd hire me to do special effects makeup one day when he directs a zombie apocalypse film. That would be cool!
For my most recent shoot, I was cast as Clara in the feature film being produced by David Condon of SuperOK Productions, called Anthony Lost & Found. Shooting just wrapped for this experimental-style film, so stay tuned for updates pertaining to its eventual release.
Good news! Besides being incredibly busy, I attended the 2014Twin Cities Actor Expo, and was able to visit with a few agencies and drop off materials with some others. My meeting with one of them was very encouraging, and I've already been contacted by another one about being represented. And not only that, I just received an inquiry by an agency I visited upon its startup last summer, because they wanted to check my availability in order to include me in a photo pull for a big client. The gig would be very lucrative if I were to be selected. I hope they like what they see. It's such an exciting step!
The video I was cast in for At-Scene LLC is available for viewing - click here!
I have already worked with several new colleagues this year, and I am very much hoping to work with a lot more new folks, and have a lot of room in my schedule to do just that. I also look forward to the following projects that I'm already attached to as an actress:
I've been gaining experience as a crew member, as you've probably gathered, and am open to working either or both in front of and/or behind the camera.
January tends to follow in the footsteps of December when it comes to film-making opportunities. Interestingly, I did more behind the scenes and behind the camera than I did in front of it this past month!
My first opportunity came with a casting call for a film called, Grown Men On Swings, which is being produced by Bloodgutslove Productions. I answered the call to be a production assistant during their auditions. It was interesting and rewarding to greet and direct the array of talent that came out, and I was glad that I could help things to run as smoothly as they did. I look forward to seeing the finished product!
My other opportunity was filling in as a production assistant on a project I'm already connected with - a short film being produced by Big Bang Productions for Z-Fest called, Watch Over Me. It was a long, treacherous drive and a bitterly cold day, but the sun came out by the lake we were shooting near and we had a good time with emotional dialog and zombie attacks. It ought to be a fun one to see!
I did have one audition opportunity with a team from University of Northwestern, St. Paul, who is producing a short film called, "Desperation," for the Five16 Film Festival. I got the role of the lead character's mother, and we'll be shooting in mid-February. The winning entries will screen at 7pm on April 14, 2014 at Maranatha Hall.
Now that we're into February, I've already had an audition for a student-produced web series called, "Beyond the Pale." The character is a spiteful, 900+ year-old Scottish kelpie being held prisoner in the basement of an insane asylum. I had a ton of fun researching and playing with the character. When it finally came time for me to read for the part, I was told I'd been the only one to bother doing it with a Scottish accent. At the time of this posting, more auditions for the project are being held, so I won't know anything more for a bit.
After the Desperation shoot, my next project will be modeling with Owasso Pictures. I just found out that what I thought would be a business-style photo shoot is actually a commercial, and it sounds like it might even be for the company I used to work for as a business analyst. They made a rather unorthodox request for photos of my wardrobe options. There was actually mutual benefit in fulfilling this request, as I've long wanted to have an image inventory of wardrobe choices, and now a great deal of that is complete and available for the asking.
I always feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to go on assignment with Crisis Company, and this month I'm scheduled for out-of-town crisis intervention training which will include a couple of new scenarios I've been studying and training on. This is some of the most rewarding work there is, as it is intended, ultimately, to keep law enforcement, first responders and suspects from coming to harm when non-tactical resolutions are possible.
So I've been mentioning for the last few months that I've been excited about an opportunity to work on an upcoming cable series called, Haunted Tactics. In the beginning, I was slightly conflicted about working on it due to the type and content of the show, but the feeling was soon overshadowed by the notion of status, responsibility and gainful employment. Over time, however, it became clear that God would not bless and prosper this choice and, consequently, I needed to walk away from it. I'm pleased that I was given a chance to contribute my talents to the project for a short time as well as learn some things about producing a show.
I am very much hoping to work with a lot of new folks this year, and have a lot of room in my schedule to do just that. I also look forward to the following projects that I'm already attached to as an actress:
I've been gaining experience as a crew member, too, and am open to working either or both in front of and/or behind the camera.
It seems like December is typically a low-activity month for many in this industry, and for me this past month was no exception. It was probably a good time for laying low, as I've had some pretty loud aches and pains that have required physical therapy. Hopefully, most of it will be resolved soon, and I'll be able to get back to more of my favorite activities.
And speaking of resolution, I received my copy of The Emmy Award Winning Series, Project NOT ME: Diabetes Prevention - The Complete Series Five Disc Set, which has inspired me to get back on track with tracking and losing weight. This means you should see that number dropping soon and often again. If you're interested in getting news from Project: NOT ME, you can "like" the NOT ME page on Facebook. (You can see the DVD cover photo in the "Random Photos" section.)
I had the privilege of, again, working with law enforcement during another 3Echo Training exercise. I have a lot of fun doing this volunteer work, especially playing such roles as gunshot wound victim, shrapnel victim, altered state of consciousness, etc. It can be a big job, but also extremely rewarding.
Momentum is beginning to build for the upcoming cable series, Haunted Tactics. I am terribly excited about being one of its producers, and can't wait until there's more activity.
My January calendar is wide open, and I'm hungry to perform again soon. I eagerly look forward, though, to working on several future projects where I'm already attached as an actress:
I've been gaining experience as a crew member, too, and am open to working either or both in front of and/or behind the camera.
Before we get into the serious stuff, here's a little film scene project I worked on a few months ago with students from Metropolitan State University: Scenes from Rushmore
Have you ever heard the saying, "If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans"? Well, that saying pretty much sums up what the past month has been like for me.
In my last update, I shared about how acting is costly and how not working a steady job is becoming more and more a detriment to the family's financial health and well-being. I also shared that it has become necessary to cease my acting and role-playing activities in order to make myself available for more conventional and steady employment. Let me tell you how that turned out...
One thing that happened immediately was that there was suddenly an above-average amount of opportunities to pass up - both paid and unpaid. It troubled me greatly to forego applying for these projects. The larger and more defining trend was my learning that, after ten years of absence from the traditional work force, I'm no longer qualified to do not only the things I did as a mid-level professional, but even the things I did early on as an office temp. Since my personal office software is not up to date, neither are my office skills. It seems that the only thing I'm qualified to do is what I've already been doing for the past 3 1/2 years, although lately I've been dabbling in crew work as well, and it seems to have been highly successful.
With all of that said, and things now sort of in limbo, there isn't much of an update to give. Fortunately, in futile anticipation of having a part time office position, I was at least able to do some role-playing with Crisis Company, as well as some shadowing in preparation for training on an additional role.
The upcoming cable series, Haunted Tactics, is starting out slow, but is soon to gain momentum. When it does, so will my position as one of its producers.
The rest of my calendar is open; however, I am attached, as an actress, to the following upcoming projects:
My situation is still quite stressful. It may have been a blessing in disguise that November was not very productive, as I spent most of it fighting strep throat and a nasty mystery virus that substantially raised my blood pressure. Now that I'm feeling a bit better, I can concentrate on the holidays and on stepping up my game. Here's hoping you have a blessed season as well!
I have not been looking forward to this month's update.
For the past 3 1/2 years I have been blissfully following my dream. Some talent have the rare privilege of being able to earn a living doing what they love. Unfortunately, this is not a privilege that has been extended to me. For a long time, I had hoped that my very open availability would make me more marketable. To some extent, it has allowed me to get in the door when it was more prohibitive for those with less flexible schedules.
I've been extremely fortunate to be able to supplement my family's income with various short-term gigs, such as crisis role-playing, medical role-playing, modeling and commercial work, but that work is very few and far between.
The bulk of what I do has been voluntary. I can't deny that it is extremely fun and fulfilling, and that I thoroughly enjoy entertaining my friends and onlookers with photos and updates from my latest on-screen endeavors. Sadly, it is a selfish indulgence that comes at an increasing price.
Working for free actually takes a lot of money out of pocket. You pay for fuel to get to networking events, auditions, rehearsals, shoots, classes, etc. You pay for wardrobe and accessories to be ready for any type of situation, and sometimes specific requirements. If you're a female, you probably also pay for professional makeup. There are also expenses such as training, professional headshots, printing, etc.
When you're not working a "regular" job and, at the same time, are emptying the coffers in the hopes of an eventual payoff, there comes a time when economics dictate that a serious change is necessary. The obvious first step is to stop working for free. However, the bigger problem is the need to replenish what has been spent and start contributing to the family's bottom line, which equates to finding full-time work. Much to my dismay, this necessitates ceasing most paid opportunities as well, since they generally take place during the typical working day. Even when opportunities are paid and take place during off hours, it's often difficult to justify gambling the fuel cost of getting to an audition against the likelihood of earning a role.
With all of that said, am I completely hanging it up? No. Will I be actively auditioning? Probably not. If you have a specific role you'd like me to play and you ask me nicely, will I do it? Possibly - more so if it's nearby or you can help with transportation/costs. Am I still committed to projects I've already agreed to? Absolutely. Will I continue to be on the lookout for things I'm able to do in the industry? You bet. Will I continue to update the website? YES! It takes all the will power I possess not to respond to most casting calls the way I'm accustomed to, but I don't think there's any amount of will power that can completely keep me away from doing what I love, and I still have projects in queue with responsibilities both in front of and behind the camera. Plus, I still have a secret goal of having at least one IMDb credit where my character's name is either included in or is the title of the project - that may trump some previously stated restrictions (*wink*).
And now, for the good stuff, sort of...
There was good news after the October shoot with At-Scene LLC, where I played the victim of a purse snatching in a promotional video for their iCrimeFighter and NetTranscript apps. There will be some follow-on work in the next couple of months when they'll be promoting their iBolo product, so my character will be required again in another video to identify the suspect.
I had been slated to work another emergency management exercise in mid-October, but it came out at the last minute that volunteering was restricted to those with associations to either the participating agencies or the location of the exercise - since I volunteered through notification to the agency, but didn't have any specific association, I was not authorized to participate.
Also on the schedule had been an appearance (as a zombie extra) in the film, Watch Over Me, being produced by Cole Meyer. However, after learning at the last minute that the shoot location was an hour away, it failed to meet affordability criteria. If you are attending Z-Fest and happen to see this film, watch for the Army BDU (camouflage) pants on the leading man, and the Samurai sword - these were provided by me, and hopefully that will be reflected in the film's credits.
To date, I am still on board as one of the producers of the upcoming new cable series, Haunted Tactics. I still cant's say much, but I've been reviewing the script and attending meetings and it's going to be a really cool project.
In my continued effort to get more production crew experience, I applied and was accepted to be a production assistant on a shoot for a talk show pilot called, "Twin Cities Weekend." Although I was technically new to the position, having been on about 80 sets in the past made it pretty second nature - I was able to anticipate a lot of needs and provide useful feedback.
As far as upcoming on-camera appearances are concerned, I'm being considered for a role in one of Zach Jansen& Evanoah Films' upcoming projects, shooting in the next couple of months - I'm going to keep you in suspense about the title, though. Also, I am still, as yet, attached as principle character, Lily, in the latest film to be announced by Northern Iron Productions, Weightier Matters, written and directed by Doug Phillips.
Normally, this update comes at the beginning of the month. But, in an unusual twist of fate, I became extremely busy with acting and role-playing projects toward the end of September and through the beginning of October - so much so that I'll be reporting more on what has already happened as opposed to what is coming up!
First off, Congratulations to, "Project NOT ME: Take Charge," on its Emmy win for Health/Environment/Science Program/Special
Produced by HODDER
Deneen Vojta, Executive Producer
Tom Beauregard, Executive Producer
Mark Coblitz, Executive Producer
Deb Sundal, Executive Producer
Regina Pitstick, Executive Producer
Kristi Norton, Executive Producer
I wouldn't normally want to mention this, and would prefer to let it fade away unnoticed, but the reality is, these things happen sometimes. I reported last month that I went to an audition for a Hollywood comedy/horror filmthat was allegedly going to be shooting near Brainerd in September in October. Everything about the audition seemed legitimate. Apparently, I made quite an impression on the auditor - so much so that his supervising producer wanted me to come to Minneapolis for a handshake and an in-person handoff of my hard-copy headshot and resume 15 minutes prior to a sold-out acting workshop he was conducting while in town. He also wanted to make sure that I was on the distribution list for notices about his future workshops. I finally started asking around, and found that others had had the same experience. Are they legitimate filmmakers? Yes. Did I ever hear back from them about the project? No. Are they actually making a film here this month? Not from what I or anyone else can tell. It's pretty sad when coaches have to resort to such tactics in order to drum up business.
I'm feeling a bit organizationally challenged, so my guide for this update is going to be my calendar. Essentially, that means you'll read about my busy season mostly in the order in which it happened, rather than categorized by similarity or in order of importance...
My first shoot in September was for Breaking Good - a new web series being produced by Ryan Strandjord. I was personally invited to be what I would call a "stunt extra." The scene involved a chase between the main character and his pursuer, where he'd run past me on a somewhat crowded downtown sidewalk and, barely missing me, would cause me to drop my bag of groceries. Well, first off, they didn't have props ready for me, so I happily rummaged around to assemble the perfect shopping bag, including boxes of crackers, apples and a package of toilet paper, among other things. Next, as we started shooting, it made more sense for the character to physically knock the bag from my hands, which I liked better anyway. Finally, and this is always my favorite, we didn't have the area blocked off, and we made it look so real that a bystander approached me and said, "Are you OK? I saw what happened - that was horrible!" That's just one of many reasons I love this work.
I answered an ad that was looking for a hand model with a heavier build. I grabbed my emery board and my camera, and before long I was cast for the part, even though I could only provide images of my left hand. I had a fun day on set shooting video for a company called, HealthFitness. My hands were filmed stretching a measuring tape, moving the weights on a scale, forming a hand-in huddle with break, giving a thumbs-up, pulling a chain to turn off a lamp, dispensing doses from an asthma inhaler, and even testing my blood glucose level for real with my own blood (I volunteered to do it that way instead of somehow faking it so that it would be less complicated, which provided for a real readout on the meter in real time).
One of my favorite activities to participate in is role-playing, and I got more role-play work with St. Catherine University's Master of Physicians Assistant Studies program in September and October, as a pre-op examinee and an elderly woman presenting with lightheadedness. I was also on assignment with Crisis Company for more crisis intervention training with several participants from local law enforcement & firefighters.
I've been told by many that I'd make a great script supervisor, and now I've had a chance to put myself to the test. I volunteered on a project called, "A Cautionary Tale for Mom and Dad." It was a long, full day, and the director told me that my being there to do the job really helped him to feel relaxed during the shoot. He also said he'd highly recommend me. The short film may hit some festivals, so keep your eyes peeled.
I went to premieres for two projects I worked on. First, the cable/web series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, produced and directed by DaJuan Savage of Savage Television, presented its first five episodes in an event that took place at the Landmark Lagoon Theater on the evening of Thursday, September 26th. Episodes are being released periodically, and can be viewed at imgointochuuch.com. Second the feature film I worked on last year, Menages, produced and directed by Edith Tonou, was an official selection at the 2013 Twin Cities Black Film Festival. It screened at the ICON Showplace Theater in St. Louis Park on Saturday, September 28, and we were told by festival organizers that our film was the only one of 11 locally produced films to have a sell-out show. It was a real thrill!.
After more rehearsals than usual, we finally performed in the St. Paul Northstar Barbershop Chorus' annual show on Saturday, October 5th at the Roseville Area Middle School. In one of my all-time favorite annual projects, I got to play Anita Sayle, Realtor (yeah, say it out loud a couple of times, you'll get it). I'm always thrilled when I get to be a part of this show. As always, it was a blast, and my photographer got some great shots.
In what seems like the first time in a long time I finally got another chance to act on camera for Zach Jansen & Evanoah Films' production of Together (For the Kids). The weather cooperated, but the traffic was noisy. Nevertheless, the footage looks good, and will be used by students to work on their film editing techniques. as well as compiled into a short film that will be entered in this season's Z-Fest.
Something new I got to work on was a video promotion project for a company called, At-Scene LLC. They produce iPhone and SmartPhone apps to aid in and simplify police investigations. In their video demonstration of their iCrimeFighter app and NetTranscript, I play the victim of a purse snatching. And what's really cool is that I get to return to appear in their promotion of their iBolo product, where I can attempt to identify my suspect from a lineup. It was great fun, as I always love hanging out with uniforms, plus I got a souvenir to bring home.
In an interesting and surprising development, I have been asked to be one of the producers of an exciting, new, Minnesota-produced cable TV show called, Haunted Tactics. I can't say too much about it, as it's a fresh new premise that is on the radar of some major networks. But I can say that we have some amazing talent lined up, and it's going to be a really top-notch production.
While I've been quite busy of late, most of the pressure is now off, and I only have a couple of projects booked for the rest of the month. One of those, which I mentioned in the previous update, is an appearance in the film, Watch Over Me, being produced by Cole Meyer. This film will also be a Z-Fest entry. Also on my schedule is one of my favorite volunteer activities - role-playing for an emergency management exercise for a neighboring county. I have some inquiries outstanding for other work this month, but I think that the big crunch is really over.
Ooh, I almost forgot - the Twin Cities Film Fest is coming up! I checked out the lineup, and found out that two of the films I worked on were selected for screening: Bahamian Son, produced by Silas Kindy and One Light Collective, screening on Saturday, October 19th at 6:45pm, and Fray, produced and directed by Rob Walstead, screening on Sunday, October 20th at 5:0pm. It's so exciting to see these films as official selections for this prestigious event!
My family and I had an amazing time last month after being selected to receive an all-expenses paid vacation trip to South Dakota. We were joined and followed by a documentary film crew from the Chicago area for the purpose of creating a 3-5 minute video segment promoting tourism in South Dakota. We visited many fascinating places, including Sioux Falls, a historic Prairie Village where we rode the world's last steam-powered carousel, the original Ingalls homestead in DeSmet, the World Famous Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, an 1880's town where we dressed in period clothing, famous Wall Drug, the Badlands, the SD Air & Space Museum, the Mammoth Site, the Black Hills, Crazy Horse Memorial, the 1880 Train in Hill City, the Needles Highway, Custer State Park Wildlife Loop, Rushmore Tramway Adventures in Keystone (alpine slide, zip-line and high-ropes adventure course, and Mount Rushmore at dusk for a moving flag-lowering ceremony. We're grateful for our new friends, Chad, Lisa, Jarred, Mike, Mark, Justin and Joel, and want to thank One Tree Forest Films, MMGY Global, and the State of South Dakota for an adventure of a lifetime. The film will be called, "Along for the Ride," it should be finished in October, and is expected to premiere on a new website in February of 2014.
At the end of the month, I had an opportunity to audition for a Hollywood comedy/horror film that should be shooting near Brainerd in September in October. They seemed to like me, but auditors tend to put on a feel-good front. We'll have to wait and see, although I might have a slight advantage in that I have access to my own housing in the shooting area.
I also got to take another turn with the College of Direct Support, playing a plastics engineer in another one of their training videos. Their focus is designing materials for those who work with special needs adults.
Finally, shooting has wrapped for season 1 of, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, produced and directed by DaJuan Savageof Savage Television. The first two episodes of the series will be premiering at the Landmark Lagoon Theater on the evening of Thursday, September 26th. Stay tuned for more details.
Also premiering this month at the Twin Cities Black Film Festival is the feature that I worked on last year, Menages, produced and directed by Edith Tonou. It will be showing at the ICON Theatres in St. Louis Park on Saturday, September 28th. Festivities will begin at 4pm.
Rehearsals will begin this month for the St. Paul Northstar Barbershop Chorus' annual show. This is one of my favorite, all-time, ongoing projects, so I'm thrilled that I will get to be a part of it this year. As always, it's sure to be a blast. The show takes place on Saturday, October 5th, with performances at 1:00pm and 4:30pm at Roseville Area Middle School.
I was asked to be a featured extra in a new web series called, Breaking Good, being directed by Ryan Strandjord. I'm also attached to two other films currently in pre-production: Watch Over Me, produced by Cole Meyer, and Together (for the Kids), written and produced by Zach Jansen. I may be able to update if I'm cast in any other upcoming projects, but another good way to keep up with me on a more daily basis is via facebook or Twitter.
With a lot of down time this past month, I had what I consider to be the privilege of participating as a role-player for the Anoka County Active Shooter training workshops. While I never volunteered to be the shooter (there were plenty of folks who wanted to do that), I had great fun as a hostage and a victim in several scenarios that train officers the best tactics for keeping others and themselves safe.
After some technical difficulties we're finally going to finish shooting my final season appearances in the upcoming cable series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, produced and directed by DaJuan Savage of Savage Television. My character, who is a social worker, will be appearing in court trying to arrange an alternate custody arrangement for a beautiful young girl in a really bad family situation. The series will be premiering at the Landmark Lagoon Theater on the evening of Thursday, September 26th. Stay tuned for more details.
The big news for this month is that my family and I have been selected as the recipient of an expenses-paid vacation trip to South Dakota. We will be followed by a documentary film crew from the Chicago area for the purpose of creating a 3-4 minute video segment promoting tourism in South Dakota. The producer is meeting with us during the first week in August on his way out on a location scout, and we expect to be traveling in just a couple of weeks! Having a family member in the military is one of the things they were looking for in their candidates, and we are so grateful to be chosen for this opportunity!
I'm very much looking forward to starting rehearsals for the St. Paul Northstar Barbershop Chorus' annual show. This is one of my favorite, all-time, ongoing projects, so I'm thrilled that I will get to be a part of it this year. As always, it's sure to be a blast. Please check back for more information in the coming months, as I'm pretty sure there is free admission to this show!
I have a couple of group auditions coming up for music video, and might have some others pending responses on inquiries I've made recently. I may be able to update if I'm cast in any upcoming projects, but another good way to keep up with me is via facebook or Twitter.
Personal Update: On Saturday, June 15, 2013, my beautiful mother went to be with the Lord. She had suffered a stroke in May and, unfortunately, was part of that 6% that responds negatively to the preventive tPA treatment administered within 3 hours - she developed two brain bleeds which, although surgically cleared, caused severe damage. She spent two weeks in surgical ICU and was kept comfortable while receiving hospice care during her final week. Our entire family is grateful for the prayers that have been offered for her and for us, and kind words we continue to receive from our family, friends and colleagues. While we miss her deeply, Mom is at peace, and we celebrate her life and her homegoing.
I've been eagerly looking forward to my future appearances in the upcoming cable series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, produced and directed by DaJuan Savage of Savage Television. The producer was hoping to shoot on June 1, but it had to be postponed due to my mother's situation and my illness (my voice was still hoarse and I felt miserable). Here's a teaser, though: my character, who is a social worker, will be appearing in court trying to arrange an alternate custody arrangement for a beautiful young girl in a really bad family situation. Stay tuned for more!
There is good news from the 2013 Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project, which took place May 31 through June 2. I was recruited by Flip Script Films, of whom I am a big fan. Because I was sick, it didn't work out for me to have a speaking role, but their submission, Bank Shot, has been nominated for Best Acting. Want to see the director's cut? You can view it by clicking here.
I'm very excited that the next Northern Iron Productions film is expected to be produced in the Twin Cities. So far, I am happily attached as principal character, Lily, in Doug Phillips' next project, Weightier Matters. You can read more about it on the official facebook page for the film.
I had another opportunity this past month to go on a road trip and do my very favorite type of work as a role-player for The Crisis Company. I'm told that there ought to be more such work this summer - I will be very grateful for any opportunities that come up.
Here's some happy news - while visiting with a representative (the president?) of the St. Paul Northstar Barbershop Chorus after my mom's funeral, I was invited to participate in this year's annual show. This is one of my favorite, all-time, ongoing projects, so I'm thrilled that I will get to be a part of it this year. As always, it's sure to be a blast. Please check back for more information in the coming months, as I'm pretty sure there is free admission to this show!
I've finally been given a link to one of the films I was involved in last summer. I've been eagerly awaiting it, and was not disappointed (even though I had no lines). It turned out extremely well. Viewer caution is advised due to violence and possibly language - but it you're up for it, please watch this film, produced by Daniel Garritsen: Family Values
I'm keeping my latest short here for a while, as it's the closest thing I have to a reel - please watch...Don't Answer the Phone
Don't forget - you can follow me on Twitter: @kvoels
Personal Note: During the last week of May, my beautiful mother suffered a stroke and, unfortunately, was part of that 6% that responds negatively to the preventive tPA treatment administered within 3 hours - she developed two brain bleeds which, although surgically cleared, caused severe damage. She has been in surgical ICU ever since, being assisted with her breathing and kept comfortable while trying to mend, and showing intermittent and varying levels of response, mostly on her right side. I developed a virus which has prevented me from visiting her for the past week, which has been very painful for me, and I also have an older sister who lives out of town and hasn't been able to arrange a visit due to her family & business situation. While we pray and hope for a miracle, and ask our friends and family to continue to pray as well, we are also struggling to come to grips with this new & uncertain reality.
While I've been eagerly looking forward to my future appearances in the upcoming cable series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, produced and directed by DaJuan Savage of Savage Television, a shoot that the producer was hoping to get through on June 1 had to be postponed due to my mother's situation and my illness (my voice was still hoarse and I felt miserable). Here's a teaser, though: my character, who is a social worker, will be appearing in court trying to arrange an alternate custody arrangement for a beautiful young girl in a really bad family situation. Stay tuned for more!
Although I was very optimistic about ending this drought by taking part in the 2013 Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project, which took place May 31 through June 2, my getting sick, along with the luck of the draw and the sudden-onset scrambling that is so typical during this annual competition, reduced my participation to playing a most-likely expendable, non-speaking bar patron. I'm hoping that, at some point during the upcoming year, I can speak to others about how to make this a more positive experience for actors, as I'm considering not participating in the future unless some significant change comes about (or I tap into some big secret that changes the game).
If my luck finally changes for the better, the next Northern Iron Productions film will be produced in the Twin Cities. So far, I am happily attached as principal character, Lily, in Doug Phillips' next project, Weightier Matters. You can read more about it on the official facebook page for the film.
Oh, yeah, since it came and went last month, I should mention that I got to do my very favorite type of work for a short time in May as a role-player for St. Catherine's Master of Physician's Assistant program, playing various difficult patients. I'm also hoping for more work this summer as a Crisis Intervention Training role-player.
I also had the chance last month to reunite with my former ballroom dance partner, Jeff Chinn, in a music videoproduced as a senior project for The Blake School, called, Shosty. I was fortunate enough to have my tag-along photographer there with me, but I won't be able to post photos until after he is back in town and his laptop gets repaired.
Another film I had a role in a few months ago, All Suspects, now has a facebook page...check it out here.
I'm keeping my latest short here for a while, as it's the closest thing I have to a reel - please watch...Don't Answer the Phone
Don't forget - you can follow me on Twitter: @kvoels
Since my latest short film is the closest thing I have to a reel, I'm keeping it here for a while - please watch...Don't Answer the Phone
Although I've signed with Athletic Models Agency, the work is not coming in. So, if that means I need to keep courting other agencies as well, that's what I'll have to do.
I'm eagerly looking forward to my future appearances in the upcoming cable series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, produced and directed by DaJuan Savage of Savage Television, but I haven't as yet heard when the next episodes are scheduled to be filmed.
Coming soon to a theater near you - the New Hope Cinema Grill on Monday, May 6th, to be exact: the FREE Twin Cities premiere of "Incidental" and "Not Quite Lyin' Eyes," from Northern Iron Productions, directed and produced by my dear friend, Doug Phillips. I had a small role in this film, while my son, Brady Voels, had a major role as the 12-year-old version of the leading man's son, Jimmy. There is plenty of free parking at this venue, and it is a fun, family-friendly establishment. Please click here for details about the event.
I'm hoping to end this drought by participating in the 2013 Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project, which is taking place May 31 through June 2. I've really had fun working with some great teams in the past, and hope that the tradition will be continued this year. As usual, you can check my Prop Shop page for various costumes, effects and unusual items I have at my disposal to bring along to set. So if you're registered to participate and need an actress who is versatile with a wide range of emotions, character types, looks, and miscellany, please don't hesitate to contact me. I will keep this site updated with my available/reserved/booked status as it pertains to the competition. And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about me or my stuff!
Oh, yeah, almost forgot - you can follow me on Twitter: @kvoels
First off, please watch this fun new film I was in...Don't Answer the Phone
Last month, I mentioned that I would be spending some of this excessive downtime to pursue agency representation. While it's been a slow, interesting and educational processed, I'm pleased to announce that Athletic Models Agency has agreed to represent me - it is a new startup, but the founder has 13 years of experience in the industry. I'm still waiting for answers on some of my other submissions. Any recommendations from peers would be greatly appreciated.
March proved to be an extremely lean month, although one of the highlights was the filming of one of my scenes for the upcoming cable TV series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, produced and directed by DaJuan Savage of Savage Television. It was a fun day, the shoot went well, and I learned that I have more appearances on subsequent episodes of the show.
Another highlight was finally attending the Twin Cities Actor Expo. They had some great workshops, and I got to reconnect with some casting directors that I haven't seen in a while.
I'm taking advantage of an opportunity this month to work with cinematography students at Metropolitan State University. I, along with other actors, will be helping to recreate scenes from various films for class participants to set up and shoot. I expect it to be a lot of fun, and I should be provided with some useful footage.
The latest on Project: NOT ME is that it is being implemented as a 20-week online program with a major (huge!) client, and it's going to change lives! According to my contacts, there may be more opportunities to work with this project, so I'm really excited about the possibilities.
As usual, if anyone has any projects where I might be a fit, please do not hesitate to contact me. It's really important for me to have a few projects going on to stay marketable and keep sane!
There will still be a bit of "construction" going on around the website as I try to resize and rearrange photos, but perhaps it won't be as much of a disruption as I first believed it was.
March is an extremely lean month for me, with the only events anticipated so far being the filming of one of my scenes for the upcoming cable TV series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, produced and directed by DaJuan Savage of Savage Television, and attending the Twin Cities Actor Expo.
With a few new headshots taken last month to choose from, I'm focusing some of the extra time on seeking representation, as I've gained quite a bit of experience, and have the flexibility to dedicate my schedule to commercial work.
As usual, if anyone has any tips for making a splash with an agency, or has any projects where I might be a fit, please do not hesitate to contact me. It's important for me to have a few projects going on to stay marketable (and keep from going crazy!).
Watch this new film I was in...Don't Answer the Phone
Mid-month update: I have an audition for a commercial and one for an indie film coming up. The agency search is showing some promise, and some really good networking has been taking place. Also, Project: NOT ME is being implemented as a 20-week online program with a major (huge!) client. It's going to change lives!
First order of business: DO NOT BE ALARMED! This free web host has a storage space limit, and I've exceeded mine. Therefore, I need to take down some of the photos and replace them with images that are more compressed. Unfortunately, this host has a lag between deletion of images and updating of storage statistics, so photos will probably be absent for 24-48 hours before being re-added. Actually, it may be longer - I might be doing something wrong as well.
And now, for some good news. I can no longer complain that I haven't had the privilege of participating in a Z-fest film, as I volunteered as an extra (among a cast and crew all half my age or less) in the Larkins Perez Dahlin Productions entry called, "Sleep."
Although my days of working as an extra are largely over, I took advantage of a paid opportunity to work as background talent AND as a stand-in during the Twin Cities filming of Indie film, "Kumiko: Legendary Treasure Hunter.".I got to hang out with old friends and meet some new ones. For the record, I need to say that working as a stand-in is an absolute pleasure when you're working with a crew that is courteous, professional and appreciative. These guys were top notch!
The only other thing on the schedule as of this update is an audition for a film that is about a Taiko drum team. I'm very excited for this opportunity because the playing style is very cool and something I've wanted to learn for a long time. It also requires a combination of skills that I'm very strong in. Additionally, they're expecting to do a live show and a video trailer. Hopefully, I can bring back some fun images and video from the extended audition.
Oh, yeah, our Directors' Workshop January Challenge film, "Don't Answer the Phone" turned out great. I wish I could share it with you, but it's not released out to the public yet. If you'd like to see it, and a bunch of other terrific short films, you can catch them all at a second-chance screening at the Trylon Micromedia on Thursday, February 21st at 7pm.
January is already off to a good start with one short film already wrapped and at least one more scheduled in the next couple of weeks. I enjoyed playing a psychiatrist (Dr. Frost) opposite Twin Cities film legend, Joel Thingvall, entitled, "Watching." Also in the works is a short film being produced for a January film challenge issued by the Directors' Workshop. Additionally, I've been offered a minor role in the upcoming feature, "In Winter," but details are still pending, which is delaying my decision about whether to sign on.
Although extras work has lost much of its appeal, I attended the extras casting call for a film being shot in the Twin Cities during January and February. "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter" is the story of a lonely Japanese woman who goes on a foolhardy journey in search of a mythical fortune. I'm excited at the prospect of paid work on a major production - and my cars could be paid extras as well!
I'm looking forward to an upcoming, invitation-only print casting call with the casting company that got me my first paid modeling job. Although the models don't need to be seen more than once every three years, my weight loss transformation warrants an early update of my photos.
Other than that, I'm anxiously awaiting news on when my remaining scene(s) for I'm Goin' to Chuuch will be shot, and I'm also in talks with a writer & producer about a new web series about angels. The team I was hoping to help with has backed out of submitting a Z-fest entry, so if a team is in need of an actress, I am most probably available!
December is looking even more quiet, as I've had to cut out virtually all volunteer acting projects due to personal budget constraints.
This month, I've auditioned for an exciting film project entitled, In Winter. I'm still waiting for word on whether or not I'll be a part of it. I understand it's being shot in or near Duluth, MN.
I'm looking forward to additional work on the upcoming cable TV series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, written, directed and produced by DaJuan Savage. We've shot my scenes from episode 6 and the end of episode 5, but still need to do my scene from earlier in episode 5 at a different location. Keeping continuity while shooting in reverse order with long breaks in between can be tricky, but I'd planned to wear my hair "up" for my opening scene anyway, so hopefully it will be fine.
I'm also in talks with a writer for a new web series about angels and relationships. It's an exciting sounding project and I can't wait to see what happens with it.
My body weight continues to decrease, and I'm very near the point of having lost 50 pounds since the start of Project NOT ME: Diabetes Prevention. Stay tuned as I continue to make progress!
November is looking like a pretty quiet month, sadly. Once again, it's halfway through the month when I'm giving my update. The biggest news, however, is that Menages is finally wrapped! I'm eager to see that good-looking footage on the big screen.
What's gone on so far this month is that I've appeared in an industrial (training video) for Toyota through Direct Course, and in a demonstration video for Microsoft produced for Internet viewing.
I'm still looking forward to working on the upcoming cable TV series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, written, directed and produced by DaJuan Savage. I have a recurring role as a social worker amongst a primarily African American cast whose talent absolutely blows me away. Each show has a positive message. I'm incredibly eager to begin shooting, but I think there's been some trouble procuring a location that will serve as my character's office.
Hopefully, there will be some more work for me on the web series, Telethon TV. I had a great time last month expanding into a "bigger" character in one of the sketches.
My bad! Two-thirds of the way through October and finally the updates!
Some drastic script changes have come about during shooting for the upcoming full-length feature film, Menages, and shooting has continued throughout the month of October because of it. My character, Regina, has an added scene near the beginning of the film with the most troublesome wardrobe and hair. We shot the scene once and it was not up to production quality, so it has to be re-shot in a different location, making that three times I have to create that look (no hair & makeup artist for that day). On top of that, an additional supporting actress was added, and the other existing supporting character and I have new scenes with her at the beginning, middle and end of the film, two of which are outdoors, and my character is pregnant in the scenes, which finally forced the issue of creating a fake baby belly (something I've been wanting to do for a long time). It was clearly a success, as evidenced by an actual pregnant woman I encountered while filming at the Ramsey County Courthouse, who asked me if I was having a boy based on how I was carrying it. She thought I was joking when I told her I was having a pillow. This item will now be listed in my Prop Shop.
The next big project that I'm really looking forward to working on is the upcoming cable TV series, I'm Goin' to Chuuch, written, directed and produced by DaJuan Savage. I have a recurring role as a social worker amongst a primarily African American cast whose talent absolutely blows me away. Each show has a positive message, and I'm incredibly eager to begin shooting.
Aside from this, I've been asked to reprise my role as a phone bank operator in four more episodes of the web series, Telethon TV. Hopefully there will be some more opportunities to be involved in some other sketches on the show as well.
Oh, yeah, one other thing. The 72-hour National Film Challenge is taking place over the weekend of October 19-22. I am on hold as an actress with the team assembled by Super Night Productions. No casting will be done prior to Friday evening - hopefully it's a good opportunity.
AND.....I'm still losing weight - keep your eye on it!
Shooting has begun for the upcoming full-length feature film, Menages. We have an aggressive schedule, but there are large breaks in between my scenes. I am playing the part of Regina, the most colorful and attention-desperate character in the film.
It's hard to believe we've passed the 1-year mark for Project NOT ME: Diabetes Prevention. The long-awaited reunion shoot is happening during the second weekend in September, where the full cast will meet together for the first time since the graduation ceremony in December of 2011. It ought to be amazing seeing how everyone has changed over the past nine months!
So far, it looks like a rather quiet month, with only two other projects on the horizon (so far). In one short film, I will be playing a creepy nurse, while in another feature-length film, I will be teaming up with my husband in its final scene, where he will be playing a cop and I will be playing a crime scene photographer.
Other than that, I am excited to be coaching my son, Brady, in his acting debut for the upcoming feature film, Not Quite Lyin' Eyes, directed by Doug Phillips. Brady will have a short part as the supporting actor's (character's) adolescent son.
More news may follow...
Rehearsals are going well for the upcoming full-length feature film, Menages. We have a busy schedule, with shooting taking place beginning in September.
Several of the cast from Project NOT ME: Diabetes Prevention met last month and we got to see episodes 1 and 2 of the show. It was great fun to see everyone again. We'll get to see the rest of the episodes this month, and a reunion shoot is in the works for the beginning of September.
Quite a while back, my sons and I were in a film called, "Looking Past You." We are very excited to finally be viewing the film this month, where I played the only crying woman at a funeral visitation, and the boys were doing what boys do - eating cookies and trying to stay as well-behaved as they could in uncomfortable dress clothes. A lot of work went into this film - it should be really good.
During the second weekend of this month, I get to team up with my son as he plays a Boy Scout going door-to-door and I play, what else, his mom. This is going to be a really fun shoot, and I hope to get some great still footage from Boreal-Wealds Photography.
I'm also very excited to have the opportunity to work with one of my favorite directors and favorite people, Doug Phillips. For his current project, he needs some "nurses" to get paid off NOT to apply for a particular job opening, so I get to put part of my wide selection of scrubs to work for a day. There are a lot of awesome folks in the cast, so it's going to be a fun shoot!
I recently auditioned for a "science fiction thriller" that is being filmed this month. I have an upcoming audition for a short film as, once again, the mother of a young son, and another for an adapted TV series for cable.
It's going to be a busy month!
Late in June, there was a call, almost completely out of the blue, by a casting executive for a very well-known reality show being aired live from LA over the next three months. She had been referred to me by my casting director from Project Not ME, and thought I would be perfect and just what they were looking for to fill their final spot this season. Surprisingly, I got the green light from my hubby, stayed up all night filling out the extensive "invitation only" online application, had an awesome Skype interview that was going to be quickly edited and presented to the top execs, and was told I'd probably get an answer by the next evening, and should be prepared to travel to LA on Monday and Tuesday of the next week for exams & interviews. Much to my chagrin, I was contacted a week later with news that they couldn't continue on with me. Easy come, easy go.
In May, I auditioned for the film, Menages. I just received notification that I've been cast in the film, apparently in one of the major roles. Word has it I must be willing to wear a swimsuit. Well, if seeing ME in a swimsuit doesn't bother them, then I guess I won't let it bother me.
The biggest thing going on for me right now is that I'm working with The Staffing Solutions Group during July and August in a role-playing position as a COB, or Civilian on the Battlefield for cultural sensitivity training exercises at Camp Ripley in central Minnesota, dressing in authentic Middle Eastern garb, speaking no English, and occasionally having fun with moulage (artificial injuries, fake blood, etc.). Due to its location and the on-call nature of the position, I will be bunking with the in-laws in Brainerd most of the time.
Finally, before I leave for up north, I'll be auditioning for a film about a mother's grief over the death of her son, and the unusual way she tries to cope. It's supposed to be set in the 1940's time-frame, and sounds like it would be a terrific project to work on.