This blog started out as a recap of 2016, and then I realized that if you care enough about me to click on this link then I should tell you things that you don’t already know. Social media is great and most of you see all the wonderful things that I’ve done throughout the year, but there are always stories that don’t get shared due to the lack of time allowed through those avenues. So, here are some fun, embarrassing and otherwise interesting things that you probably don’t know about my 2016.
Let’s start with VOLUMES OF BLOOD: Horror Stories (VOB2). I’ve known PJ Starks since 2008 and we’ve tried a few times over those years to work together. Alas, something always got in the way. That is until VOB2, when my schedule and his need for an actress finally resulted in a film opportunity. What you don’t know is that this one almost didn’t happen either. Early in the year PJ contacted me and said that he had a chance to get a “Named” actress to play the part that he had offered me. We won’t say who that was, but needless to say I was more than a little disappointed. I mean I have a name, okay it’s not as well-known as hers but still I have one. But as fate would have it, they weren’t able to work it out and I went on to play the role of Almeda in VOB2. And it was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed working with PJ and his crew. But the best part was working with Justin Seaman and Zane Hershberger. Turns out these two had a horror film out on the festival circuit called THE BARN and although they had it finished they wanted to re-shoot a scene and I was perfect for that part. We discussed my availability and we were very close to getting this all worked out when low and behold they found out that a “Named” actress that they had given up hope of getting was available and willing to do the part. Seeing a theme yet? I adore Justin and Zane and hold out hope that I will get another chance to work with them because they are wonderful filmmakers and they made the right choice. Hell, if I was in their shoes, I would have done the exact same thing. And now I have a new goal for 2017, be a “Name”.
Now let’s move on to OUT OF MY MIND (OOMM). This would be my second time directing and I’m not going to lie, I really wasn’t looking to direct again. I still felt very unsure of myself in that role. I didn’t have a script, I didn’t want to act/direct again and I really wanted to concentrate on my acting. The next thing I know I’m researching short stories and thinking about who I want on my crew. Funny how that happens. Once the dust settled and we had our team in place, we discovered that the Fourth of July weekend was the only time available for filming. Ugh! 95% of this short film takes place at night. And hey, don’t they shoot off fireworks all weekend? Yes, yes Cindy they do. Ask any sound guy and they will tell you that you’re insane to even think about filming that weekend. So what did I do? I shot that weekend. That resulted in very little actual sound being recorded on set. But because I’m really good at choosing crew, this turned out to be a good thing and Neil Kellen should be nominated and winning lots of sound design awards this next year. OOMM turned out great. It’s not exactly the film I wanted to make but it’s pretty damn close and that makes me very happy. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m determined to continue down this path. Much like RANDOM, I have another story haunting me and trying to get out. I won’t be able to resist much longer and the short story I’ve already written will expand soon. Keep your eyes open, because there is a feature trying to get out of me.
Finally, most of you know that I won an acting contest back in April, and that I traveled to Hollywood in October because of that win to meet with talent agencies and casting directors. The prize I was promised included at least 3 meetings with talent agencies, meetings with casting agents and an acting class while I was out there. But there is much more to this story! First, all the emails I had to send to find out when I was actually taking this trip. The dates changed numerous times and let’s just say I was suspicious. When I finally got the date scheduled, I started the emails again to find out about flights, hotels, and who I would be meeting with while in LA. I’m an extremely organized person and not knowing what I was doing was quite literally driving me insane. When I left on October 16th all I knew is what flights I would be on and what hotel I would be staying at. When I got on the plane I had one meeting with a talent agent scheduled, but I didn’t know when or where that meeting would take place. I got on the plane anyway and decided I would make the most of this trip one way of another. I flew all day on the 16th, rented a car and headed to my hotel. When I arrived late in the evening at what had to be the dirtiest hotel in California, I was told that my reservations had not been paid for and that they needed my credit card to take care of this problem. Those of you, who have ever seen me mad, have never seen the level of insanity that I entered at this point. After many emails and phone calls the room was finally taken care of by way of the agent’s sister’s credit card (yes, this still gives me a headache to think about). The following morning I woke up and went to what would be the one and only meeting that I actually had scheduled with a talent agency. When I arrived at her office, I rang the bell to be let into the complex; I then proceeded into the building, up a flight of stairs only to find that the door was locked on the 2nd floor. I went back down the stairs to find that the door I had just come through was now also locked. Laughing hysterically, I called the agent I was meeting with and asked that she please come and rescue me from being locked in her stairwell. When she opened the door all I could think to say was that I loved to make a great first impression by showing what an idiot I can be. She laughed and for the first time in 2 days I actually felt the tension leave my body. Later in the week I did get another email telling me that a meeting had been arranged with a casting director. I drove to Ventura Blvd. and had coffee with a lovely young lady who imparted so much wisdom about this industry that I felt a little overwhelmed. The rest of my time out in LA was filled with a trip to Disney and Universal, because dammit I deserved a little fun by this point. By the end of the week (actually I was standing in line to ride the Indiana Jones Adventure) I had received and email from PureTalent Management with an offer to represent me and I realized, you really only need one opportunity as long as you stay true to yourself and just go for it.
That’s it, the rest of story. I hope you enjoyed this look at what my life is really like. It’s not glamorous, it’s not special, but it’s certainly interesting. I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!