Tag Archives: movie

“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!

Another Grove Adventure (or Dinner And Not A Screening)

I rarely go to the Grove, so the fact that I went last week was unique enough. But the fact that I went back this week is totally crazy! But since it is the time that I get a lot of invitations to screenings, there is always a chance I’ll be back there. Most of the screenings I go to are at the Director’s Guild or other screening rooms, but from time to time the screenings are at regular movie theaters.

This week, I had been invited to a screening of “Sing” at the Grove. I RSVPed right away, but because it wasn’t a screening hosted by an organization that I’m a part of they said that they overbook and seating will be first come first served. I invited my friend Dani to come with me and since we both had that afternoon free we decided to meet up for dinner before the screening.

The screening was at 7:30 and we figured we should try to line up an hour or so early (that’s what I usually do), so we met for dinner at the Grove at 5. We ended up going to the Cheesecake Factory since it is next to the theater and were seated on the balcony. They have heating lamps out there so it wasn’t too cold, and I liked having the view of all the lights from our table.

We had a nice dinner and discussed lots of random stuff. Some of it was about our tickets for Pantages (it was at dinner that we realized our next show was on Oscar Sunday so we started to work on figuring out when to move our tickets to). And of course since she is my workout buddy we discussed Orangetheory. It’s always nice to be able to get together with a friend for dinner and I’m glad we had some time to hang out that wasn’t before a show or on the treadmills during class.

We enjoyed our dinner of salads and cheesecake (you can’t go to Cheesecake Factory without getting cheesecake!) and then headed to the theater next door to line up. The line wasn’t too full so I figured getting there when we did worked out pretty well. Dani has never joined me for a screening, so she was excited to go to one with me. And close to 7pm, the line started to move and we were getting excited to get inside.

But as we were almost at the front of the line, someone from the studio came over to say that the screening was at capacity and that there were no more seats. This is something I know can happen at screenings, but it’s never really happened to me. Turns out, the line that we saw when we got in line was only part of the line. They had been letting people inside the theater for almost an hour by the time we got there because some people were lining up 2 or 3 hours before the screening.

While I was sad that we didn’t get in, it wasn’t horrible. I do want to see “Sing”, but I’m sure I’ll have other opportunities to see it. I know I’m so lucky that I get to go to as many screenings as I do (movies are so expensive!) so I’m not going to be upset that I missed one of them. There were so many kids in line who didn’t get to see the movie and I feel so bad that they didn’t get in.

Since we no longer had a screening to go to, Dani and I decided to walk around the Grove a bit. The Christmas decorations were just as pretty as they were the week before, but it was so much more crowded there!

We decided to wander around Barnes and Noble where I found some new books I wanted to add to my library wish list plus some books that I want to buy as gifts for people next year. It was funny walking around a bookstore since I haven’t really done that in a while. And there were some sections in the bookstore where there were so many books in a row that I have read! I know I read a ton, but since they are usually on my Kindle I don’t think too much about the number of books I get through.

It was nice getting to window shop in a bunch of different stores and see the various holiday decorations that the stores have, but the crowds at the Grove were starting to get a bit overwhelming. It was tough to walk around without having to stop because there were too many people in front of us. So we decided it was time to leave there before the crowds got even worse.

Even though my plans that night were to get dinner and see a movie with a friend, it was just as nice to get dinner and window shop. Taking time to just walk around and check out what is happening isn’t something I do all the time, so it was a nice change of pace from what I’m used to.

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 Premiere Morning (or Seeing Myself On The Big Screen)

This past weekend, we had the premiere screening of “Single Parent Date Night”. This film has been a pretty quick process (which is nice) and we’ve been able to get things done very efficiently from pre-production to post-production. I’ve been seeing the film through each edited version, so I knew what to expect. And I had seen the final cut already (but just on my computer), but seeing it premiere for an audience is always different.

We ended up renting a theater in the valley to hold the screening. And since our film is only about 9 minutes long, Christopher (the writer and my co-star) decided to create a 3 film screening of different films he wrote. The entire thing was only 30 minutes, but it was nicer to have that than to just have everyone come to a theater for a 9 minute movie.

When I arrived, I couldn’t stop smiling. As soon as I walked to the theater where we were screening, I saw our movie listed above the door. Everything looked so real and official and this was the first time a movie I was in had this.

single-parent-date-night

The theater we were screening in was a regular movie theater, so there were a bunch of seats and the screen was a full-sized screen. It was a little overwhelming, but awesome at the same time. Most of the people who came to the screening were friends of our director, Bryan. But I had a couple of friends show up too and I was glad they were there! I knew they would be honest with me about the movie and even though I knew it was good, I was very critical about my performance.

Our film was the last one screening, so I tried to stay calm while the other 2 movies played. And before I knew it, it was time to show off “Single Parent Date Night” to the world!

movie

It is always very tough for me to watch my own performances. I feel like things weren’t done right, I said something funny, or with this film that I blinked too much and too long. I’m very nitpicky and it’s hard to get over that. So I tried to focus on the audience watching the show for the first time.

Fortunately, it seemed like everybody really liked it! A lot of my lines got laughs, people seemed to be very into the story, and we got a lot of applause when the final credits came up. And I did manage to watch a bit of it when I wasn’t feeling too nervous and was in shock with how crazy it was to see myself on the huge screen there!

on-the-big-screen

When the screening was over, we all went up to the front to thank everyone for coming. Some of the people there were people who supported our Kickstarter and I wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciated every dollar that was given. We were willing to do a Q&A too, but since most people there were also filmmakers and our film is pretty self-explanatory, there weren’t any questions.

After that was done, I went over to my friends to see what they thought and they all really loved it! They enjoyed my performance and thought the story was really cute too! I’m glad I had their support there because it is very nerve-racking to see a project that you have worked so hard at completing be done. All you want is for everyone to love it, and thankfully it seems like that was the reaction we got from the audience.

I know that a lot of people wanted to come to the premiere and couldn’t (either due to scheduling or distance), but we decided to put our film up online for everyone to see. So make sure you check out “Single Parent Date Night” to see what all our hard work created!

Working On A New Plan (or Self-Producing)

I’ve been super excited about a couple of projects related to acting that I’ve been working on. These projects are all things where I’m doing at least one thing behind the scenes for the project. There is one project where I had an idea and a friend is currently writing it so we can both star in it. And we are still in post-production for “Single Parent Date Night” and I’m still super excited about that as well. But one project that is closest to the next step has had a setback and I’m trying not to get overwhelmed.

There is a project that I’m working with a friend on that is a reenactment of a video we saw online. I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want to give it away, but it’s something that I think is going to be really interesting. I’m not necessarily going to be in this project (I might play someone in the background to fill the space), so this is the first project since the Twitter documentary that I’m involved in that I’m not also going to be an actor in as well.

I’ve been busy getting our actors on board and my friend who is helping me has been busy working on the script. We’ve had some issues with getting actors, but we’ve pretty much cast the entire thing and the script is ready to shoot now. But we’ve hit another issue with this project.

We are doing this project as a union project, and I wasn’t aware that no budget projects (literally we have a $20 budget) need to have liability and workers comp insurance on them. I’ve been busy making calls this week to find the pricing on that, and most of them in are the several thousand dollar range. For a project that was going to be shot for the cost of water bottles and snacks, spending over $1000 to insure things isn’t really going to be feasible.

So I’ve been working on a lot of options. Some of my friends have guided me to companies that may do reduced premiums on no budget shoots, so I’m contacting them to make sure they meet the minimum requirements we need to have. There is also an option to see if another production company who already has insurance will come on board and insure us. And the option that I don’t want to go with is to get rid of our actors and make the project non-union. I have no plans to make this non-union, so I have to figure out another way.

In the past, this setback may have stopped the entire project. I’ve actually said online while I was frustrated that this might be the end of this plan and I wanted to give up on it. But the reason I started this project was because I wanted to share the story with everyone and I can’t let that go. So I have to figure out another option to make this work and to do things on the terms that I have wanted to do them.

While this is the first time I’m self-producing a project like this, I’ve realized that the insurance issue has been a recent one so many people who have self-produced have discovered this setback as well. I was putting myself down for not self-producing sooner so I would have known about this, so knowing others have this issue make me feel a bit better and less like I’m unprepared. This is just how you have to do business and I’m glad that I have a supportive community around me that is helping with figure out the best option for me.

Hopefully, once we get this project done and I figure out more of the legalities of self-producing, my next project and any more after that will become easier for me. While I don’t consider myself a writer, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be self-producing more often and creating the content that I want to see out in the world. I do have some ideas that I want to work on, and once I get over the hurdle of self-producing my first project I think things will just start rolling for me.

My First Cinespia Experience (or Watching “Speed” In A Cemetery)

I’ve lived in LA for almost 15 years now, so I feel like I’ve done a lot of the things that people love to do in LA. I go to the Pantages, I go to the Bowl, I go to the beach, and I go to the mountains. I go to a lot of movie screenings (mainly thanks to my union) and I get to do a lot of fun adventures quite a bit! Most of the time when I see lists of the top things to do in LA, I’ve done all of them. But there was one thing that it seems like everyone does that I hadn’t done until this past weekend: Cinespia screenings.

Cinespia organizes some pretty amazing movie screenings, but I never had gone to one before. I believe they have screenings throughout the year, but their most popular ones are the summer ones at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. I’ve actually driven past the cemetery on screening nights and seen the huge crowds there lined up to get into the cemetery. It seemed a bit overwhelming but fun at the same time.

So when my friend Erin asked me if I wanted to join her and some friends to a screening of the movie “Speed” at Hollywood Forever cemetery this past weekend and I figured this was a perfect opportunity to check out what the screenings are all about. I got my ticket online and got some picnic stuff together for Saturday’s fun.

I got to the cemetery a little more than an hour before we could go inside. There was a big line in front where you wait before you have your tickets checked, and one of Erin’s friends had gotten there early and got us a good space. So I met up with everyone and we sat down and waiting for the gates to open so we could go inside.

Once we got inside, I really didn’t know what to expect. A couple of people went ahead to claim a good spot for us to put our blankets down at, but I walked a bit slower with some of the other stragglers. I wanted to check out the cemetery plus I was carrying a bunch of stuff and couldn’t go that quickly.

The cemetery was pretty cool, but so many of the headstones had headshots or photos on them and I thought that was a bit different. I don’t have a ton of experience being in cemeteries, but from the few I’ve been in I don’t remember so many photos of people on their graves. But it was still interesting to look at and some of the people buried there were buried a very long time ago.

Once we walked around the cemetery we got to where the screening was going to take place. We got a pretty good place to put our stuff down and once we got all the blankets out a couple of us went wandering around. The cemetery is pretty beautiful so I’m glad we got to explore a bit.

Hollywood Forever

We went looking around at the various graves to see who was buried there. There are quite a few famous people who are buried there, but the first “celebrity” marker that caught our eyes was the one for Toto.

Toto

We also saw Mickey Rooney and Hitchcock, but I didn’t get pictures of those. And as we were walking back toward where the screening was happening, we saw the photo setup they had for the movie. We were all hoping it would be some sort of bus, but it was a bus stop and I think we got a pretty amazing photo as a group.

Cinespia

At the end of the night (after the credits of the movie aired) they put a couple of the photos up on the big screen to show off and our photo was one of maybe 10 that they chose to do that with. I don’t know if that means we were one of the top 10 photos of the night, but we felt pretty special.

Once the photos were done, it was starting to get dark so we headed back to our blankets to get settled in before the movie started.

Movie Time

We also all brought some food with us to share, so we were eating while we waited for 9pm which is when the movie was supposed to start (I brought the feta dip I make for Thanksgiving).

Once the movie started, it was pretty exciting. We had an ok view of the movie (the people in the chairs in front of us blocked our view a bit) but I have seen “Speed” so many times that I was ok not having a perfect view.

Speed

The crowd was very energetic and it was so exciting to watch a movie this way. At the screenings I usually go to, people are quiet and trying to be respectful. This screening had people cheering and yelling at the screen and it was so much fun!

The only negative to me (besides having a partially blocked view) was my lack of preparation to be there. I brought a nice beach blanket with me and I thought that would be fine. But I wish I had brought something to lean against or one of the camping seats that are on the ground but have a back to them. I was getting a bit locked up in my hips and toward the end of the night I was starting to be in a decent amount of pain. But since I had never been to a screening like this before, I didn’t know what to expect and now I’m more prepared.

I’m so glad that Erin invited me to join her for this screening! It was such a fun night out and while I don’t know if I’ll make it to another screening this summer I’m totally going to do this again!

Figuring Out The Next Step (or I Need To Keep Acting)

As soon as I finished the shoot for “Single Parent Date Night”, I got the feeling that I had been missing out on acting for far too long. I’ve had auditions from time to time (I wish I had more but I understand that sometimes that’s out of my control) and I was in my improv class last year. And of course I have my meetings with my WIF mentoring group which is one of the most inspiring things for me.

But since my shoot, what I’ve been doing doesn’t feel like enough. I know I’m limited in some situations like I cannot force myself to get more auditions or don’t have the financial ability to do a short film like that one all the time, but that’s no excuse for me anymore. I need to keep going and I feel like I have no other choice.

I’m looking again into acting classes. I’m still torn if I should do the next level of improv classes, but I’m leaning more toward not doing it now. I’ve got a few more months to sign up for the next level before I have to start back at the beginning, so I can still change my mind if I want. But there are so many other types of acting classes outside of improv so I’m exploring those.

There are some acting classes that I’d love to take, but they are just too far beyond my price range. I can’t afford classes that cost more than my rent, and there are some like that out there that I know would be worth it if I had the money. And while the cheap ones are a good deal for me financially, I have to make sure that they are the right choice for my career as well.

I’ve got things narrowed down to a couple of classes that meet both the financial and career requirements that I have. I’m going to take a bit more time to look into all the options and I’m going to try to figure out what order I want to take them in. I will have to save money for each class I take, so it may take me a few years to get to all the classes that look interesting to me right now (and by then I’m sure there will be even more classes I want to take).

I’m also looking at doing more work on my own. They won’t be as professional as “Single Parent Date Night” all the time, but there are some beautiful projects I’ve seen that were shot on an iPhone. So I figured why couldn’t I do the same thing? I would need to keep the script and locations simple, but it is possible to work on my own stuff instead of always just waiting for someone to create one for me.

I took the first step to self-producing by becoming a SAG-AFTRA Signatory Producer. It was a very simple process online for me that allows me to produce union projects (which I have to do since I am union). Since I’m still not really a writer, I need to find friends who do write that I can collaborate with, but this is a start.

And I’ve already started working on another project. This one would actually not have me in it, but it’s an idea that I’ve been wanting to do for a little bit. I’m working with a writer friend and the script is done now. We are working on finding what actors want to be in it and once that is done we can submit all the paperwork to the union to get everything approved and ready to shoot.

Hopefully through the collaborations I’ve been a part of lately, I can find more people to work with and who can help me create my own work or will create work for me to be in. And yes, I still want to get more auditions so that I can book something that is on network tv so that I can feel like my career has taken a big step. For but now, I need to focus on what I can do where I am right now and hopefully that will be enough until whatever big thing I will book comes my way.

Making A Movie (or Pulling An All-Nighter)

We finally filmed “Single Parent Date Night”! We filmed the movie this past weekend and honestly it was one of the greatest acting experiences I’ve had so far!

I’m still in shock that we finally did this. It’s been a fun project to be a part of and I’m so happy that my friend Christopher wrote this script for him and I to star in! To think that this started as just a little scene for us to film for our reels and turned into a full short film is crazy! But I’m so glad that we were able to get a great team together for this and I can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s done!

Our filming adventure started at my house at about 7pm. Christopher, my friend Gedaly (who was so nice to volunteer to be background in our film), and I met up at my house where our hair/makeup person, Kate, would be meeting us. Kate was actually the one who did my hair and makeup for the past few headshot shoots I’ve done, so I was so happy she could do the film too! Since I was the only girl in the film, I definitely took the longest to get ready. But Kate got my makeup done and my hair in velcro rollers and then she got started on the guys.

Hair and Makeup

Once the guys were ready, we all headed over to the first location where we were shooting. We really lucked out with locations because those could have cost us a ton of money. But a friend of our director is an investor in a restaurant that hasn’t opened yet. And since they haven’t opened yet, we were able to use the space without paying because they weren’t going to lose any money having us there!

As soon as we walked into the restaurant, I wanted to cry from happiness. Like I said, this started as just a simple scene for Christopher and I and it became much bigger than that. But to walk into the restaurant to see the cameras and lights set up, it really hit me that we were making a movie and this was real!

Cameras

Once we got there, we got ready to start shooting pretty quickly. I had to get my hair finished first and our sound guy had to get our mics and battery packs set up. I had the sound guy and Kate working on me at the same time, and Christopher got what may be one of my favorite pictures from the shoot.

Crazy Prep

Of course, we kept taking lots of silly photos throughout the night. I got a pretty fun one of Christopher with the clapboard for the film.

Christopher

The shots we had to get inside the restaurant were some of the easiest ones for us. We didn’t have any lines and we just had to do a couple of moments that will be used in the beginning of the film.

At Restaurant

Once we were done with that setup, we moved outside to the valet area for the restaurant where we were going to shoot the first big scene between Christopher and I. The crew had to bring all the stuff from inside out to the parking lot, but they were so amazing that it was set up before we knew it!

Parking Lot Cameras

Even though I had worked on my lines the week leading up to the shoot, I was so terrified that I would forget what to say. Before each setup, Christopher and I ran through our lines a couple of times together and I’m happy to say that there were only a few times that we forgot what to say or messed up a line.

Filming In Parking Lot

We were done at the restaurant around midnight (so about 4 hours of shooting there) and then we were off to our next location. This time, we needed a house with a driveway and fortunately Christopher has a house with a great driveway to use! So we had another location that was free and we could be there without bothering anyone (Christopher’s wife and kids were visiting family that night so they weren’t home).

Before we continued on with the shoot, we had our “lunch” break and Kate touched up our makeup and Christopher and I worked on our lines some more. Then we headed out to the driveway for the next setup which was inside of a car.

Car Set Up

This was another big scene so I’m glad that Christopher and I worked on our lines before shooting the scene. We were able to store our script inside the car if we wanted to look at it between takes, but we ended up getting through all of the takes and camera setups so quickly that we didn’t really have too much time to look at it. Once we were done with the car scene, we were over halfway done with shooting the movie, so Christopher and I were pretty happy about that.

In The Car

Next was a scene outside of the car that had a mini-monologue for me to do. This was about 3am and I was starting to be pretty tired. I had tried my best to sleep as much as I could during the day on Saturday, but the late night was starting to catch up to me. I had a few moments where I had to think really hard about what my next line was, but I think that between all of the takes that we did there’s at least one really good line reading from me.

Our last setup was at the door of the house. We were actually filming 2 scenes there back to back, and as we were getting close to being done the sun was coming up quickly. I was shocked how early the sun was up (I guess that’s the risk you take filming in the summer instead of the winter) but we managed to get everything done before it was too bright outside!

And at 6am, we were done with shooting the entire film! I tried to get a good selfie from the end of the night, but I think you can tell how exhausted and crazy I feel from my look.

Wrapped

And of course, we had to get an exhausted picture of the 4 of us who were the ones who did the Kickstarter: Christopher who was the writer and star, Bryan who was the director, Jamie who was the producer, and me.

All Done

We got the entire thing filmed in about 11 hours, which is crazy because even though the script was only 9 pages that still working at a really fast pace. And we had to keep things quick because we were racing the sunrise. After we were done, I was totally ready to get home and to try to sleep. The exhaustion of the all-nighter caught up with me. But even though I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, I still was on such a high that we actually did it! This movie has been such an incredible experience the entire time and a little part of me is sad that we are done filming now!

Our film will be going to our editor this week and then all of the post-production work will be starting. I don’t know how long it will take to be finished, but you know that I will for sure tell you all where you can watch “Single Parent Date Night” and every update each step of the way.

Thank you again to every single one of you who either donated to our Kickstarter or shared our Kickstarter so others could donate. We really could not have made this film without you and I’m so grateful that I had this opportunity to act and live my dream life for a night.

Clapper

I Wish I Could Go To Comic Con (or Your Chance To See The Rock Opera)

A while back I wrote about the screening of “Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera” that I got to go to. I really loved the movie and I feel so lucky that I got to check it out! I love how talented my friends are and I hope that I get to do a project as fun as the rock opera is one day. It’s really inspiring to see my friends create projects and get to see the success they have with them. Maybe “Single Parent Date Night” will be like that? I still feel as much excitement for my friends’ projects as I do for my own.

After that screening, I started to work with my friend Erin (the creator and star of the rock opera) on another project. While the other project fell through a bit (it just wasn’t something either of us could do), Erin said that she would want to work with me again. I knew that we make a pretty great team together and I’m always looking for more day jobs to add to my day job collection. Plus, I was pretty excited about that because it is awesome to work with friends and even more awesome to work with incredibly talented friends!

So when Erin asked me if I could help with the Comic-Con event that she’s doing for the rock opera, I said yes without thinking about it! She’s going to be putting on such a cool event and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It’s going to be a sing-a-long concert plus screening. There is going to be a DJ there and lots of cool merchandise, food, and fun the entire night. It’s really going to be one of the best after parties at Comic-Con this year and I know that it will sell out in advance. I thought it was the coolest thing ever that I was asked to help out. I’ve actually never been to Comic-Con, so to get to go to an event there is a dream to me! I’ve been applying each year to get a press or performer pass, but I’ve never been successful at getting one. So any way I can get there is very exciting to me.

Then I looked at the dates of comic-con. That’s the weekend I will be back east for a family reunion so I can’t attend the rock opera party. I’m not skipping my family reunion (most of the family that will be there will be family I haven’t seen in 16 years) so there’s no way I can be there in person. While that’s a loss for me, I’m hoping that some of you will be able to attend (and maybe tell me how awesome it is)!

The event is going to be on July 23rd (doors open at 7pm and the screening starts at 9pm) at the 10th Ave Arts Center. You can buy your tickets at INDIETIX, but if order before July 5th and you enter the promo code SDCCROCKS15 at checkout you’ll get 15% off tickets!

Rock Opera Comic Con

I really hope all of you already planning on going to Comic-Con will get tickets for this party and get to experience not only a great party but such a fun movie! And if you don’t have a Comic-Con pass, this party doesn’t require one so you can come and experience a part of Comic-Con without needing to have a pass!

I’m already jealous of all of you who will get to go to the rock opera party. I know I’m missing an incredible event (it’s for a good reason but I’m still sad) but I hope that a bunch of you will be able to go! If you do, make sure you say hi to Erin for me!

“BLUE” (or Supporting A Friend’s Film)

This past weekend, I got to attend the premiere of my friend Robert’s film. This was something that I know he had been working really hard on, and I was so excited to see the finished product. So I had been counting down the days to the screening!

Robert worked with Marie and Chris (the epic party throwers) on this project, so a lot of people attending the screening were the same people who I see at lots of parties throughout the year. That made the event even more fun and I think everyone shared my excitement about it!

The film that Robert and Chris did is called “BLUE” and it is a very personal story for Robert. It shows people what it is like living with depression and how it can rule your life even if you are doing something fun or that you love. Depression in the film was represented by Blue, a puppet, and I think it was a really great way to show people what mental illness is like.

Blue

Technically, I was diagnosed with depression when I was younger, but the more I’ve learned about mental illness and depression I believe that I was actually misdiagnosed. I think my depression was a side effect of my panic/anxiety disorder. The panic attacks made me sad and I didn’t know how to make things better. That depression is very different from when people are diagnosed with depression, but I can still relate to the concept of the film.

While I don’t deal with my panic/anxiety on a daily basis, I do live in fear for when the next attack will be. Fortunately, they are getting better now so I’m not in as much fear as I was before. But I’m still wondering when the bubble will burst and I’ll have a horrible panic attack that causes me to not be able to do anything for a day or so. That feeling is similar to what some people with depression feels when they wonder when their next down time will hit them.

I loved this movie! It’s short, but the message is very effective and clear. I think it’s a great way to show others what mental illness can feel like and how we can feel crazy when we can’t just forget about it. And I think that everyone else who viewed it felt the same way because everyone was just so touched after the end credits were done.

And because my friends Robert and Chris are so amazing, they have posted the movie on YouTube for everyone to see and share.

(if you can’t see the video above, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk_D9x5BeRI)

I hope that you all take a few minutes to watch this movie and to share with everyone you know. Let your friends who have a mental illness know that you are trying to understand them. And let your friends without mental illness know that they should watch this so that they can try to understand their friends who battle this every day.

After the screening, Robert had arranged for a photographer (Adam, who did my last headshots!) to take photos of us with the puppet who was in the movie. I love photo booth set ups and this one was so much fun! And of course, taking photos with a puppet is a pretty awesome thing too.

Me and Blue

Adam also took some fun candid shots before and after the screening. Most of them haven’t been posted yet, but I love this one of a bunch of us in the backyard before the screening started.

Party

After the screening and photos, most of us hung out in the backyard just chatting like normal. But it wasn’t like normal because everyone was more open than I think we’ve ever been before. We were discussing some more serious things than we normally do and there was no shame in what anyone had to say. This movie really did bring us all closer together even though we were already pretty close to begin with. I think anything that helps to remove the shame from any mental illness is such a gift and I’m so glad that Robert and Chris did this so we could feel more open with each other.

If you deal with depression or mental illness, please know that you aren’t alone. There are so many of us out there who know exactly what you are going through and maybe not everyone is ready to share that with the world. By being willing to share, you might inspire others to share and be open too (I experienced that with this blog).

And if you are dealing with mental illness and want help, please get it. There is no shame in needing someone to talk to or medication to make things better in your life. You may find a way to live a fuller life by getting help, and that is something you don’t want to miss out on.