Tag Archives: documentary

“Unapologetic” (or Being A Documentary Subject)

Sometimes, I feel like fate guides me to go places because I am really meant to be there for some other reason. And this is a story of fate directing me that I’m so proud of.

Not too long ago, I attend a SAG-AFTRA panel on diversity. Originally, there was no way I could attend that panel because I would have either still been in the hospital after surgery or just home from the hospital. And even without having surgery, that was during the time that my parents were in town so I was sure I’d be busy with them that evening. But I ended up having the evening free and was able to attend and I loved it!

Everyone on the panel was incredible and I got to meet many of them at the reception after the panel. And one of the panelists that I got to talk to more than others was Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez, who is a stunt performer. I knew after listening to her on the panel that I wanted to see about getting her on the Inside Acting Podcast, so I pitched her at the reception. After talking to her about the podcast I gave her my card. I only had my personal/acting/blogging card but since that has all my contact information on it I always seem to give it out. And when I did, Michelle noticed the name of this blog on the card.

She immediately told me about an amazing documentary that she’s producing called “Unapologetic”. And as soon as she sent me the synopsis, I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of this!

“Unapologetic”: Why apologize for a body frame that doesn’t fit in a very narrow measurement of subjective definitions of beauty? In this documentary we will explore the opinions, struggles, and accomplishments of numerous women that not only broke the mold, but also opened the door for other women to feel empowered in their own natural beauty.

I was so honored that Michelle and her producing partner, Sarah, asked me to be interviewed for this project! I would have loved to help out in any way but to be one of the subjects was so much more than I expected. Of course, I immediately said yes and this past weekend I was interviewed for “Unapologetic”.

When I arrived, Michelle was still doing her own interview so I got to listen to her story and get an idea of the questions that were going to be asked of me when I was in front of the camera.

When it was my turn, I got miked up and ready to go. Most of the questions were pretty easy for me to answer and are things that I talk about on here (body image, my eating disorder, my fitness journey, acting) but there were plenty of questions that made me stop and think really hard about how I wanted to answer it. In answering some of the questions, I learned a lot about myself and realized new things that I never thought about before. It was really an amazing self-discovery journey that happened in front of the camera.

I do think that I am pretty unapologetic for myself. I am who I am and I know that I’m not going to make everyone happy at all times. But all I can do is to make myself happy and make sure I’m not hurting others in that process. But another part of being unapologetic is to not be apologizing for yourself or saying sorry all the time. I’m totally guilty of saying “sorry” when I don’t need to and it’s a bad habit that I’ve been working on stopping. There are so many articles on why women say sorry so often, and I know that I totally fit into that stereotype.

I even apologized after my interview for the documentary was done. I was saying that I was sorry for rambling and talking too much. It’s so ironic that I finished being interviewed for a project called “Unapologetic” by apologizing! But I know that fixing this constant apologizing habit takes a lot of time and I haven’t been working on it as hard as I should be.

I was interviewed on the first day of interviews, so this film may not be coming out for a while. Of course I will keep you all posted on any updates I have on the film because I want you to be able to check it out! I only know 2 of the stories in it (mine and Michelle’s) and I really want to hear what everyone else had to say. It’s such a powerful topic and I know that I will learn so much from everyone else!

Thank you again to Michelle, Sarah, and the entire crew of “Unapologetic” for asking me to participate! I had the best time on set and you were all awesome! It’s still crazy to me that people want to hear my story because I feel like I’m not that unique. But maybe by speaking openly about my experience that is what is unique about me. I’m not scared to share the good, bad, and the ugly about my life and I hope that others will be able to relate and feel understood or not alone.

Now I’m just going to have to be patient to find out when this is done and ready to share with the world!

Planning My Next Project (or Meeting A Director)

Now that “Single Parent Date Night” is pretty much done (we are just submitting to film festivals now), I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to work on next. I’d love to find another project that I can star in again, but it’s not that easy. I thought about seeing if I can find another writer friend to help create a project for me, but again that isn’t easy and I didn’t know if that was the right step.

But a while ago, my friend Camber (who I met through our WIF mentoring group) mentioned an idea for a documentary that she was thinking about doing. I’ve helped to produce one documentary before, but that project was pretty easy. Our entire movie seemed to come together really well and since it was mainly interviews it was an easy shoot to do. But the documentary that Camber brought up to me will be much more involved and will require more planning.

I don’t want to get into too many details (mainly because they aren’t figured out yet), this documentary idea would be one about nature. It would involve travel both within the country and internationally and it would require a pretty decent budget. Also, since it wouldn’t be interview based, we would pretty much have to write a script for the documentary to help guide the project.

Neither of us have experience with creating a documentary like this and we knew that we would need some help pretty much from the beginning. I brought the idea to the director of “Single Parent Date Night” (who also directed the documentary I produced previously) to see if he wanted to be a part of this project too. I trust him so much as a director and would have loved to have him a part of this. But the subject isn’t one that interests him and that is something that is important to us. We don’t want someone directing a project just to do it, we want them to have a passion for it since we need their guidance on how to tell the story.

So I posted in a couple of different industry related groups that I’m a part of to see if there were any directors who specialized in documentaries and possibly had an interest in doing a documentary about nature. I kept the post a bit vague as we are still figuring out what our documentary will totally be about. I got a couple of responses, but there was one director who seemed to be very interested in discussing the project so Camber and I met with her this past week.

I feel so lucky that I’ve had some amazing people come into my life in regards to acting and other entertainment related stuff. The director we met with is very much on a similar wavelength as Camber and I are. And she had some great ideas for us on how to narrow down our ideas and to build a narrative for the film. She even gave us a list of films to watch so we could get some more ideas!

The best thing was that she said that even if we didn’t want her to be our director, she still wanted to help us make it! That is just so generous and I know that she will be a great asset to the film. I’m just so grateful that she responded to my post and was willing to meet with us even though we don’t have a full concept to present yet.

Camber and I have a lot of work to get done before we meet with this director again (or meet with any more directors). We know this documentary that we want to make may take more than a year to do, so we want to do everything right. And even though it isn’t acting, this project is a creative one and is helping me exercise the creative part of my mind. I hope that we can make this documentary a reality. Not just because I want to be able to do it. I really feel passionate that I want everyone to see what we are hoping to make and I feel like it can have a big impact on a lot of people.

A Screening At The Walt Disney Studios Lot (or “What The F@#- Is Cancer And Why Does Everyone Have It?”

Through WIF, I was invited to an amazing screening this past week. It was for the film “What The F@#- Is Cancer And Why Does Everyone Have It?”.


Immediately, I was interested in attending the event. I was even more excited when I found out that it was held on the Walt Disney Studios Lot (which I have never been on before).

When I got my ticket for the event, I found out that I got to bring a plus one with me. I asked my Evil Twin, Shey, to come with me. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago and Shey was one of the people who really helped me deal with my mom’s diagnosis and what it meant for me. I knew that this would be a movie that both of us would enjoy and have a deep connection to.

When we got to the lot, we were both so excited to be there. The lot has not changed a lot since Walt Disney was there and it was so cool walking around to see all the different buildings and the signs of what departments they were on our way to the theater.

When we got there, there was a giant poster of “Frozen” to greet us.


The theater was gorgeous and amazing. The seats were super comfortable and Shey and I got there early enough to get some great seats.


The quick summary of the film is when the filmmaker, Allison W. Gryphon, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she looked for a movie to help her understand what it all meant. She couldn’t find what she was looking for, so she asked around to her friends to help and they created this wonderful documentary.

I wish I could explain how amazing this movie was, but I know that my words won’t do it justice. I wish that I had seen this when my mom was diagnosed (I think it would have been great for her to see it when she was diagnosed as well). It was such an honest viewpoint of cancer (mainly breast cancer) and answered so many questions that are either not answered online or are way too scary to look up online.

I know for sure that if I hear of anyone else being diagnosed with breast cancer, I will send them a link to this movie immediately (it’s available on iTunes and you should all watch it).

After the screening, there was a Q&A with the Allison.


The Q&A ran a little long (it was over an hour), but it was all very informative. The fact that Allison was able to create the documentary while she was going through treatments for breast cancer is so inspiring. And it proves that anything can inspire you to create a movie.

After the Q&A, I went up to talk to Allison briefly. She was so kind and generous with her time and all I wanted to say was thank you. This really was such a great experience seeing the movie.

Then, it was time for Shey and I to head out. But before we went back into the parking garage, I really wanted to get a picture of the building on the lot that has all of the Seven Dwarfs on it. We saw a security guard near where we were walking and we asked him if it would be ok to take a picture. Not only was it ok, he walked us to where the best view was!


While Shey and I were taking photos and just being in awe of the fact that we were there, the security guard told us some amazing Disney history. He explained that the Seven Dwarfs are holding up the building because the building was made with the profits of “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs”. He also showed us where Walt Disney’s office was. Shey and I both assumed that that office wasn’t in use anymore and was preserved as a dedication to Walt Disney. Nope, they rent it out because it’s the best office that gets the most rent money.

We then said goodbye to the awesome security guard (whose name I never got), and then went back to my car.

I wish I could express how amazing seeing the movie was, but I’m really still taking it all in. It was one of those experiences that I know will stay with me for a long time. There are screenings still happening so if there is one near you, I highly recommend going.

And while I hope that nobody reading this has to go through a breast cancer diagnoses, if you do, watch the movie.

“Queen of Versailles” (or How Documentaries Influence My Life)

I love watching documentaries. I love documentaries about history, acting, curing diseases, almost any subject. I think my love of documentaries influenced me to help create “#140Characters”.

I watch most of my documentaries through Netflix (both instant and DVD) because I find watching them to be such a personal journey and I’d rather do that at home.

Recently, I watched “Queen of Versailles”.


It’s about the Siegel family who owned several time shares and were in the process of building the biggest house in America when the recession hit. After the recession, their business started to go under and they needed to start living more frugally. Or at least the husband tried to be more frugal. The wife seemed more interested in making sure she looked good (through clothing and plastic surgery). She didn’t seem that connected to their wealth, or lack thereof. She even made a comment in the documentary that should would have to watch the movie to understand their families finances.

There were some funny moments in the documentary. I loved when one of the nannies (yes, nannies) dressed up like Rudolph for the Christmas party and was dancing around while getting ready. Also, seeing the wife show her kids where she came from was nice.

But watching someone in such a bubble about their situation is scary.

The reason I wanted to see this documentary is because the director/producer was also behind another documentary that I love, “Thin”, which is about an eating disorder treatment center. It’s interesting how two documentaries I love are about subjects that I need help with.

I am nowhere nearly as bad as Mrs. Siegel with my spending (she once spent $1,000,000 in a year on clothes), but I should be more aware of my financial situation and how I can better it. And I know I suffer from an eating disorder, and maybe it’s time again to see if I can get some form of treatment.

I remember watching “Thin” and almost being jealous that they had a place that they could go to and get help. It seems much easier for anorexics and bulimics to get help as those are more common eating disorders. But maybe since some time has passed since the last time I was trying to get treated there are more options for me through my insurance.

It’s funny how watching someone with the same problem as you can really help you re-examine your life.

But this was just what I needed now to help me kickstart my journey again and get me out of this slump!

Sharing With The World (or The Screening Finally Happened)!

Tuesday evening was the screening for “140Characters: A Documentary About Twitter” which I helped to create and produce. I was so happy to be able to share the documentary with the world! We have been working on it for so long, but it was worth it!

We screened at the Autry Screening Room, and the first thing I saw was a couple of our awesome posters.


I was pretty busy working at the screening, so I didn’t get a ton of pictures. It seemed like everyone liked the film. There were moments where everyone was laughing, and during the more somber parts it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

After the film, we got a nice loud round of applause. Even though I have seem our film what seems like 100s of times looking things over, it’s so different seeing it on a big screen. As soon as the opening credits came up, tears came to my eyes I because I was just so happy!

After the screening, there was a Q&A with the production team as well as the subjects. Most of the questions were focused on our subjects which included Heather Spohr of The Spohrs Are Multiplying as well as Friends of Maddie and Dave Danhi of The Grilled Cheese Truck.

We did manage to get a group photo after (sorry it’s blurry, I forgot my regular camera).


After the Q&A, we gathered outside for some more photos.

Here I am with the wonderful Heather Spohr (who inspired me to start this blog).


And here I am with fellow bloggers J and Matt Logelin.


There was an outing to a bar after the screening, but because I had an early day at work the next morning, I couldn’t make it.

To my readers who made it to the screening, thank you! I wish I could have chatted more with everyone there, but it was a bit crazy. And if you couldn’t make it but want to see the documentary, we are selling copies of it on our website.

Even though it was fun being behind the camera this time, I can’t wait to be in front of it again soon!

#140Characters (or How To See The Documentary That I Produced)

I love twitter. Honestly love it. Right now, the push notifications for my twitter app on my iPhone isn’t working and I’m getting crazy frustrated about that.

Over a year ago, a few friends and I got together and discussed how much we loved twitter and how it’s done some amazing things for people. And we decided to make a documentary about the positive power of twitter.

We worked really hard on it. We got some amazing people to share their story and we filmed a little bit of all of their lives.

And now, we are ready to share this amazing project with the world!

I’m super excited to share with all of you the first screening of “#140Characters: A Documentary About Twitter”.

(Our fabulous movie poster)

You are all welcome to attend the screening. It will be on October 30th and free tickets are available here.

If you’d like to check out our trailer, you can see that here.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone. We want to share this movie with the world.

I’m so proud of this project. I’m normally not behind the camera, but I feel so strongly about this subject that I had to be part of it.

Check out the trailer, get your free tickets (only free until Oct. 20th), and I hope that I’ll see a bunch of you there on the 30th!