This September I had the honor of shooting my first original screenplay with an incredible team in Southern New Hampshire. After months of producing, crowd funding and assembling the team it was such a joy to reach the acting stage. We will be releasing the film on Halloween on Amazon so stay tuned for links to purchase the film!! Here are some images from shooting and the poster will be out soon!!
Singing one of my favorite contemporary musical theatre songs, With You, from Ghost the Musical. Thanks to the Cranky Cabaret for letting me be a part of this amazing night!
Here is the first video from last week's Cranky Cabaret. The ever hilarious Pork Rinds, a parody on the over-sung soprano favorite, Vanilla Ice Cream. Complete with chugging and trashy goodness. Stay tuned for something completely different in the next couple days!
This week I will be singing at the Cranky Cabaret! Its a super fun show full of songs with topics of distress, anger, sadness, annoyance and general crankiness! Videos will be up in the weeks following the performance. I'll be singing two songs that are a couple of my favorites, but I won't spoil the surprise ahead of time!
Pay to play, it's a very controversial topic these days in the acting world. There are those who think of it as taking their career into their own hands, while others believe it is unfair and only allows those with money to access them. It's true that you can end up spending thousands on seminars and classes with casting directors with very little obvious yield wondering, what am I doing wrong? Am I a terrible actor? Is my look wrong? Am I not playing to my type? Do I want to be "pigeonholed" into a type?
Type aside, that's a topic for another day, what I loved about this particular pay to play opportunity is that you get to do the exact same scene on the same day for ten different agents and get written feedback from each one. They also give comments on your headshot and resume, and I know that actors tend to agonize over whether their resume is formatted properly, lines, no lines, how many credits should I have, etc.
The casting directors are split into two rooms and you are called in the order you checked in, so depending on whether you like to go right away and leave or if you like to see in the room and go over your materials a few times may influence where in the line to enter you want to attempt to place yourself. You work with a reader, and present a scene you have prepared from a recent film or tv script for a room of five agents. Then you go the next room and do the scene again for the other five. After this, you return to the holding room to await your feedback sheets. Once those are given to you, you are free to leave.
For my own personal evaluation, I know I did better in the second room because I had the first go around to really get into the scene. If I were to do this again I might ask a friend to come with me to do a practice run in the hall before going in the second room. As much as practicing on my own is good for lines and intent, it's not the same as reading off another person. I also noticed a drastic difference in the coaching session I had in my class on this scene versus the agent audition simply because the reader I worked with at my studio was much more giving and receptive than the reader at the audition. I'm absolutely glad I coached the scene, but if you are practicing with a scene partner, just don't expect that same quality of a reader in the room as it can be hit or miss.
Getting the feedback sheets back, you can see what the agents wrote in regards to your type, headshot, resume, age range, scene selection, and appearance. I know I don't come off as particularly edgy or rough, so I tend to pick material to fit that and go along with my type, which in terms of feedback I have heard is classic, best friend, and quirky leading lady. The scene I chose was Andy and Nate's break up scene from Devil Wears Prada. Number one, because I think it matches my type, and number two, because the material really interested me. (Always try to pick material that interests you if you are free to choose your own sides, because if it doesn't interest you, it's not likely to interest the person watching.) Back to the feedback portion of the experience, what I found amazing is that doing the same scene for ten different people resulted in drastically different options ranging from great scene choice, great emotional connection to not sure I like this scene for you. Other fun comments were for example I love the shoes (I also love those shoes) and not sure I like the color of that top for you (which is unfortunate because that is the same top I'm wearing in my commercial headshot.) Also, this comment is ironic because I picked that shirt at the recommendation of people who liked it specifically for my skin tone, so who really knows.
And that's just it! You never know what someone might think of your materials because so many people have so many different opinions about things. One person may not like your outfit and another person thinks it is perfect. One thing I did really agree with is a few agents comments that the scene was a little one note. You only get two pages of dialogue to bring in and while I do feel that I found the loss and regret of the character, I may have been missing notes of strength or anger, or possibly relief. Definitely try to show off a well rounded story in those two short pages you get. But no matter what, the most important thing to remember is that some people are going to like certain things better than others, and you just need to put forward what you feel is your best work and your best you. Don't agonize over the rest!
For more info on Pay to Play and the debate regarding it, check out these two interviews on InsideActing.net http://insideacting.net/episode-232-billy-damota-update-part-1/ and http://insideacting.net/episode-235-going-pro-workshop-david-h-lawrence-xvii/
Murder, romance, shadows! Its film noir!
I just wrapped up filming a short film through New York Film Academy entitled, Mad Honeys, by the wonderful Sukriti Chaudhari. It was a great script and I'm so honored to have been able to play a lead role in this production. This was a whirlwind filming schedule, complete with the always exciting location cancellation. I was amazed at how the group pulled together and got everything done. People creating art together always amaze me with their perseverance.
I also got my first experience recording ADR. Which was both intriguing and incredibly difficult.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with ADR, this stands for Automatic Dialog Replacement, which essentially means that the dialog shot on set is unsalvageable and the vocal track needs to be replaced for clarity.
This was about 100 times harder than I expected it to be, as I had to record ADR for 70 percent of the film. I realized that my battle was not to recreate my acting moments, but to make my voice and expression match what I had already done. As this was my first lead role in a film, I was very inexperienced in the realm of watching myself on playback and being able to maintain the emotion of the moment while concentrating on making my mouth mimic the pattern on the screen. I also found it slightly difficult to turn off the part of my brain that was making evaluations of my own performance as I was going along as that was counterproductive to my efforts. I also found hearing my previous performance at the same time I was trying to record audio a lot more confusing since I would think I was matching my tone, but I was really just hearing my past performance over my current speech patterns.
I'm sure that with experience this is the type of thing that gets easier, but I'm certainly going to look into ways to make this process run more smoothly for myself while maintaining the level of performance I would like to keep whether on set or in post. Another thing I've learned is always double the amount of time you expect something to take if you are a novice at it.
This shoot was an amazing learning experience and I am so looking forward to working more in film. I have a lot of projects I'm working on for the upcoming year and I am so excited to apply everything I've been learning from practical on set experience as well as tips from the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. If you haven't listened to that I highly recommend it for anyone looking to get involved in film.
Thanks for reading and keep checking back for more updates and experiences!
It's been a while since I last updated. Its been a busy few months for me. In May I was in a workshop reading of a musical called Martin Eden, which was a really great experience. I absolutely loved creating a character from scratch and working on a script that was currently being developed. I also recently did a catalog shoot for Volare NY and I am really looking forward to seeing the results.
I took a trip out to LA in July and I absolutely loved it, though it was more for vacation reasons than career reasons. I found the landscape beautiful and so different from the New York Cityscape.
Most recently, I started taking acting classes with Ken Schatz, who is an amazing coach and I highly recommend him for any actor looking for a teacher in New York. Last week I tried out a little sketch comedy with a new group, The Wholesome Hecklers and I had a great time! I'm definitely on the lookout for more sketch opportunity. I met the creator of the group in a class with Clint Alexander at Actors Connection, which I always find helpful to see myself reading fresh sides on camera.
My upcoming plans are to develop more of my own work, hopefully, including an original short film within the next year. Check back soon to see the results of my Volare shoot!
I am so excited to be a part of Steel Birds at EstroGenius Festival working on their costume design. The show opened this week and the cast is truly amazing. I love dressing this cast up in pre WWII styles and setting my ladies hair in beautiful vintage curls. Get your tickets before they are sold out! The show has two more weeks on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays at 8PM!
Find out more here:
I had a great time meeting people at the Backstage Holiday Networking Event! Sadly I wasn't able to stay to meet Santa :(
Hi guys! So I've been enjoying the last few months here in NYC and I've been doing a lot of extra work. I also am very excited to announce that I will be singing in the Bound For Broadway showcase next Thursday the 17th at 9pm at the West End Lounge! If you want any more details or info on how to reserve tickets, leave a comment here on my website or if you are fb friends with me PM me there! Tickets are $15 with at $15 food/drink minimum. I get to sing two songs and there will be a bunch of other very talented people performing there as well. I'm super excited to have my first live performance here in NYC!!
I just spent the month of September making oversized outfits and brushing the fur of 5 foot plus chipmunks. I had an exciting month working at Geppetto Studios on the costumes for the Alvin and the Chipmunks Tour! Check out their facebook for some pictures of their incredible work. https://www.facebook.com/Geppetto-Studios-Inc-149300245123449/timeline/
It was amazing to be surrounded by such wonderful artists. Now on to something new!
I just finished a very challenging course at Stella Adler on the works of Anton Chekhov. It was great to work with so many incredibly talented people and realize where my own strengths and weaknesses are. I'm currently recovering from a tonsillectomy and I'm eager to get back to auditioning and training. The inability to speak just doesn't suit me. Though, I did download an app that translates text to speech and hooked it up to a set of speakers because I got tired of not being able to communicate with everyone, as much as I enjoy a good game of charades.
I also did a Spiked Seltzer commercial recently and if you are over 21 and haven't tried that stuff its really incredible, and no they did not pay me to post this, its actually just that good.
I'm ready to get back in the game in the next few weeks and I don't think I want to look at another Popsicle for quite some time.
Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy a Spiked Seltzer responsibly soon :)
Hey Everyone! I just moved to NYC, and I am very excited to be spending all my time auditioning and going to dance classes. I'm very excited to start this new chapter in my life, but I will be back in NH in early summer to play Cinderella and the Giant in Seacoast Repertory Theatre's production of Into the Woods! Thanks to everyone who came to see Guys and Dolls and I hope you can join us again for Into the Woods!
I am very excited to announce that I will be playing Sarah Brown in Seacoast Repertory Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls! I will be performing alongside some of my favorite actors on the Seacoast. Show runs February 6-March 8! I'm planning a March move to NYC as well so many exciting things are coming up for me! I hope to see everyone at Guys and Dolls!!
Hey everyone! I am going to be in Marblehead Little Theatre's production of Les Miserables in the ensemble! Shows are June 27-July 6, more information at the company's website mltlive.com. This is a great cast and I am really happy to be a part of it! Come check it out!
I am proud to announce that this year I have been nominated for two Spotlight Awards. One for Best Actress in a Play for Six Characters in Search of an Author and the other for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Annie. Thanks to my directors and costars who made it possible to be the best that I could be!
Hello friends! I am proud to announce that I am a part of a brand new theater company Cue Zero Theatre Company, based out of Southern New Hampshire. Check us out on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/CZTheatre and check out our indie gogo page at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cue-zero-theatre-company-project-zero!
Hey Everyone! Look for me in Seven Stages Shakespeare's Upcoming reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream where I will be reading the role of Hippolyta! The reading will be May 4th at 6:30PM at Portsmouth Gas Light Co.'s Third Floor Night Club. Come check out some great actors and have some fantastic food in beautiful Portsmouth, NH!
I am very excited to announce that I will be going to London this summer! I have been accepted to Guildhall School of Music and Drama's Shakespeare and Contemporary Theatre Intensive. I have always dreamed of studying theatre in London and very proud to have it be at the school where so many of the actors I admire have studied as well.