Shhhh...Betty Isn't Very Smart

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Two weeks ago, I spent a day shooting a dance hall scene for the upcoming WWII feature film titled The Adventures of Ben Keller and Christoph Schulz, about two German POWs who get into hijinks in Minnesota. I play the role of Betty, a friend of the main female character, who meets Ben and Christoph and is completely oblivious to the fact that they are poorly disguising their German-ness (German-ity?)

It was only a slight change from the usual…I get cast in lots of period pieces, and frequently I’m playing a German. See: Jarnsaxa Rising (where I played Himmler’s mistress), the play Hauptmann (Anna Hauptmann), short film The Pardon List (Eva Braun), and doing entertainment for the Saint Paul Saints German Night, where I played a dirndl-wearing fraulein and interacted with the crowds.

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It was a fun day of shooting with a great group of people, including my close friend Adri Mehra, who plays Christoph in the film, and the other two main actors in the scene, Colleen Thul and Trevor Simmons.

From Left: Colleen, Trevor, Adri, me

From Left: Colleen, Trevor, Adri, me

Thanks to Benjamin Drietz and director Bryan Steenerson for the opportunity to work on such a fun project! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

We had a band!

We had a band!

And swing dancers!

And swing dancers!

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Why isn’t the payphone working?

Why isn’t the payphone working?

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April Come She Will

I’m sure, if you, like me, live in Minnesota, you’re probably frozen solid about now.  

That’s not ice on the windows...it’s scratches from Jack Frost trying to claw his way through the glass... 

That’s not ice on the windows...it’s scratches from Jack Frost trying to claw his way through the glass... 

But, because you live in Minnesota, you won’t let on. You’ll just go about your business, driving on the ice-skating rink that is 35W...going out in negative windchills without a hat or gloves...popping Vitamin D tablets like they’re TicTacs...RUNNING. OUTSIDE. FOR FUN. 

Okay, I don’t do that last one. I’m not crazy. Otherwise, I just named everything I did today. 

Minnesota is so flat, we have to build our own mountains out of the massive amounts of snow that fall from our cold, gray skies

Minnesota is so flat, we have to build our own mountains out of the massive amounts of snow that fall from our cold, gray skies

But Spring is coming! The sales displays at Target and Michaels say so!! With pastel eggs and bunnies, and FLOWERS, and little chicks (whose fluffy cuteness would never survive the 5 inches of fluffy white crap that fell on us yesterday) and bunnies, and all the other things that signify the end of winter’s icy grasp. 

Spring will be here before you know it (shhhh...just let me soothingly reassure myself that I’m not trapped in some ungodly frigid version of Russian Doll, reliving the same snow emergency over and over again), and April brings the premiere of Christopher Mihm’s next feature film, Queen of Snakes, at the Heights Theater in Columbia Heights on April 24th!

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The official poster was just released, and the artwork is *AMAZING.*   It looks just about like any film on MST3K. 

HISSSSSSSSS!!!! 🐍

HISSSSSSSSS!!!! 🐍

I am definitely planning on buying a poster when they are available!

And remember:  you can still watch all of Christopher Mihm‘s films for free on Amazon Prime, including the other one that I’m in, The Giant Spider. 

I mean, what else are you gonna do until you can safely leave your house again?

Is This Heaven

No, it’s Iowa!

WIND FARMS!

WIND FARMS!

Your intrepid actor-adventurer here, reporting in from the Quad Cities (that’s Iowa, for you not from…Iowa), where I am here on assignment. Tomorrow brings an on-camera shoot for a hospital, and I have done my due diligence in looking into the local scene.

This must be the place…

This must be the place…

After getting into town early, I checked out the art museum, the sculpture garden, the Iowa state capital building, and Raygun (a well-known local store known for their irreverent t-shirts and other gift-y things), all within two hours. It helps that nothing is very far from anything else!

The capital building is made of gold…shhhh!

The capital building is made of gold…shhhh!

I wouldn’t mess with her…

I wouldn’t mess with her…

A person made of letters

A person made of letters

Sculpture that ran away from the sculpture park

Sculpture that ran away from the sculpture park

Egg-shaped art sculpture

Egg-shaped art sculpture

I also got dinner (or I guess it was more accurately an extremely late lunch), checked into my hotel, had a bath, gave myself a pedicure, and watched an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Highly recommend!), and worked on some cross stitch all in the past few hours. It’s easy to get a lot done when there aren’t any distractions.

Any who…where was I?

Oh, yeah. It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I promise to be better at that next year. And SO MUCH has been going on!

Since my last post: I went to Iceland. I went to Atlanta. I did voiceover work for Hershey, Great Clips, Traditional Medicinals, Yoplait, some random other stuff, and just this past week I did another spot for the Pillsbury 49th Bake-Off!

Somewhere in Iceland! Volcanic rocks and stuff!

Somewhere in Iceland! Volcanic rocks and stuff!

Whale shark at the aquarium in Atlanta

Whale shark at the aquarium in Atlanta

I also finished my work on the fictional podcast I’ve been working on for almost two years, Au: Earth Under Gold which should be released sometime next year.

Is he still there?

Is he still there?

I shot a short film with my friends at Urban Mountain Media for the 100 Hour Film Race (spoiler alert: we got disqualified because of computer issues keeping the team from meeting the deadline, but the film will still get finished eventually).

The new year approaches! What will it hold? Who knows! But I hope it’s at least as awesome as this year has been!

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Accurate pictorial representation of how I feel after this fall

One more day...one day more!

Last week we finally got one of my two days on set for Christopher Mihm's next film "Queen of Snakes" in the can. I'm so excited to be a part of his most recent homage to 1950s monster movies. Only one more shoot day left, and then the whole movie will be wrapped! 

Christopher Mihm, Stephanie Mihm and myself on set (Photo by Mitch Gonzalez)

Christopher Mihm, Stephanie Mihm and myself on set (Photo by Mitch Gonzalez)

This is Christopher's second addition to the Mihmiverse this year, with "Guns of the Apocalypse," a sci-fi western, already in post-production. 

Want more while you're waiting for "Queen of Snakes" to be released next year and "Guns of the Apocalypse" to come out in September? Check out all of the other Mihmiverse movies on Amazon Prime

And Your Bird Can Sing

It's been a long road to get here, a road littered with classes, and workshops, and conferences...rehearsals, and research, and seven days last fall of having NO VOICE WHATSOEVER, and doctors' appointments, and scopes down my throat, and now it's actually happening! On June 11th, I will perform my first solo cabaret set ever at the Troubadour Wine Bar in Minneapolis. Adri Mehra and I will each perform an hour long set with the theme "Songs We Can't Sing at Karaoke." 

Adri and I have been singing karaoke together for the past four years, and as avid karaoke-goers, we have tried, in vain, to find certain beloved songs listed within the giant books our karaoke hosts bring with them. Many to no avail. 

Now, the time has come for us to unleash these songs unto the world. To let loose. 

Join us! 

Cab Cabaret presents: Songs We Can't Sing at Karaoke

Troubadour Wine Bar, Minneapolis, MN

Monday, June 11th, at 7:30pm

FREE!

 

April is the Cruelest Month...

April has been pretty quiet. And brutal, here in Minneapolis. I wanted to dig up some stats, so you all could see how bad it's been, but suffice it to say, we had 17.5 inches of snow on my yard two weeks ago...starting Friday, I stayed in my house and didn't leave, because we were experiencing true blizzard conditions, which is more rare than I thought, and record snowfall. I ordered Chinese food, and holed up for a weekend of productivity and binge-watching whatever my roommates put on the TV. 

Therefore, I have not had anything to report. I have been laying low, auditioning occasionally, switching support jobs, cleaning out the house...really NOT MUCH HAS BEEN HAPPENING. When there are two feet of snow built up on the yard/street/everything, you see how industrious you and everyone around you feel. 

Today, it's in the 60s, the sun is out, and everything is starting to get better. Spring is definitely here. Finally. The allergies that I never had before in my life agree. 

Today I went in to do ADR for a project with Good Astronaut that I shot back in December. Hoping to see that finished soon! And next week, I'll be returning to the Mihmiverse with my first shoot date with Christopher Mihm on one of two films that he's shooting this spring, Queen of Snakes. That also got pushed forward because of the snow. 

I finally think winter is over. Fingers crossed, guys. Cuz it's almost May, and no one needs snow in May.

Feels like the first time

Sometimes, I look back at things I've done in the past, and I can connect the dots. I can see that doing that reading for so-and-so led to getting cast in this project over here, and then that thing, and then this other. I can see how something seemingly insignificant, saying yes to a particular opportunity that didn't seem especially mind-blowing, has taken me down a particular path and changed my life greatly. 

Right now, the past week at VO Atlanta...all these facts, all these new pieces of information, all of these events, and all of these wonderful people I met...are just pinpoints of light on an inky black sky. They are just stars waiting for the constellation to be drawn in. And it's going to take a while before I can look back to see what the picture is. 

Whatever it is, I have a feeling it's going to be beautiful. 

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Au: Earth Under Gold Kickstarter Launched

The Kickstarter has finally launched! This one's been a long time coming...Audio narration drama AU: Earth Under Gold is a Sci-Fi audio series created in collaboration by Matthew Edward Gustavsen and Paul Michael Christian. The nine episode story arc is currently in production and was recorded here in Minneapolis at Minnehaha Recording Company.  Vidsko Productions plans to have the series released in late 2018. In the meantime, donate to the Kickstarter here (20 days left!) and listen to the demo on Soundcloud to get a taste of what the series will be like.  

Cast and production team, from left: Joel Thingvall, Douglas Sidney, Tony Williamette, Billie Jo Konze, Chad David, and Paul Christian. (Some cast not present for this photo)

Cast and production team, from left: Joel Thingvall, Douglas Sidney, Tony Williamette, Billie Jo Konze, Chad David, and Paul Christian. (Some cast not present for this photo)

Silver Medal Film!

Last night at the awards program for the 100 Hour Film Race, our film "Sign Here, Please" took home second place! (If we were Olympic skiers, we'd all be sporting silver medals)

Great work, everyone! It was so much fun working on this film with Urban Mountain Media. If you want to see the other fun stuff they do, check out their Instagram (@urban_mountain) or Facebook page.

And now that the judging is finally over, I can share the film! Watch and enjoy!

All these things that I've done

Helloooo!

Once again, I got so busy with all the exciting things I've been doing that I forgot to update…. What’s been happening? Here’s the quick rundown of everything since January 1st: 

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In January, I did a VO for Traditional Medicinals…as soon as it’s released, I'll post it. I can't wait to share it, because it's really delightful. 

 

 

 

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The same day, I shot a short film called Old Media Studies, written and directed by Stephan Clark. I play a New Media Studies professor with a pretty, ahem, exciting wardrobe. 

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A few weeks ago, I voiced a really inspiring piece for Cambia Health. I’m not sure if I’ll get to share this one or not, but it was a great experience. I love reading copy that has that edge of wonder to it. 

 

 

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Last weekend, I shot a training video with Best Buy, and learned a lot about what it takes to install washers and dryers. 

 

 

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I’m currently taking an online VO class with the fabulous Tina Zaremba…can’t recommend her enough! Click here to check her out!

And I registered to attend VO Atlanta for the first time!  I’m so excited to attend this conference, meet other VO artists and industry people, fill my head with knowledge until it explodes, and get inspired!!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Other fun and exciting things:

1. A client told me my voice was “magical.” How does one even begin to accept that compliment? By stuttering, that’s how. 

2. I can’t prove it, but it actually happened: Ben Folds told me I was a good singer. I’ll accept that compliment as well, but once again, not without stuttering. 

3. I did a self-tape audition with my cat (they asked for him to audition as well, I didn’t just include him of my own accord). 

4. BONUS! I have wanted to see The Killers for years...and they were as AMAZING as I'd hoped

“Sign Here, Please” is in the Finals!

In December, I shot a film with Urban Mountain Media for the 100 Hour Film Race, and the film is one of fifteen finalists from around the world!

It was so great to work with Harrison, Justin and Tim and the rest of them again! I last did a short film with them years ago.  Guy Meets Girl was about a writer who gets help from a female friend as he is struggling to write a meet-cute script. 

In this one, I became Clarence’s nemesis, as a snarky courier, drug lord, and Russian spy.  

BAMF

BAMF

Harry and Tim setting up the shot

Harry and Tim setting up the shot

What’s in the box? 

What’s in the box? 

I feel pretty, oh so pretty...

Just got some shots from my photo shoot with Mark Riddle, and they look AWESOME! 

Sassy waitress

 

If only I could do a photo shoot like this every week... Thanks to everyone involved who helped make me look so great in these photos! It was like...an army. 

Gossiping about others in the restaurant?

Credits: 

Photographer: Mark Riddle 
MUA: Mary K Flaa
Hair: Erianne Malchow
Wardrobe Assist: Abby Schoonover
Wardrobe: Jane Williams, Madeline G Moon

My date in the bar scene: Rod Kasai
And all shot on-set at the gorgeous Commodore Bar and Restaurant where I still need to return to get a cocktail...

In Which Adri and I Do Not Sing Karaoke

My friend Adri and I have been singing karaoke together for about the past three years.  We have our favorite songs, and we have our karaoke group, and we have our favorite places.  But we also both sing professionally, he with his band Cabs, and I in the occasional musical theatre production or singing telegram.

Recently, a few people in the theater community have been singing cabaret nights at the Troubadour Wine Bar in Minneapolis.  I attended one for my friend Bethany a while back, and chatted with Adrian (different human being altogether) who runs the programming, and ended up booking an evening! (What?!)

For our theme, we've chosen "Songs We Can't Sing at Karaoke"...meaning songs we can never find in anyone's book, or songs we know we just can't get away with there. 

So...my first cabaret night (where I'm not just singing a song or two) will be Monday, October 23rd. Show starts at 8pm, free to the public. Come on down! But make sure to get there early to get a beverage and claim your seat, cuz the place is tiny!

See you on the 23rd for Cab Cabaret at the Troubadour! 

A Photo Shoot a Year in the Making

I met producer Mark Riddle almost two years ago, on a super fun 1970s commercial shoot for Medica. Since then, we have also worked together on the big radio/tv campaign I did for HealthPartners. In addition to being a freelance broadcast producer, he is also a photographer, so when he asked me if I'd be interested in working with him on an editorial shoot for his portfolio, of course I agreed.  

We started talking about this about a year ago, but both being busy people our schedules didn't mesh until everything finally came together last week. I saw the raw images yesterday and got to help narrow down the final images, and I am so excited! They look absolutely amazing!

 

And credits for the shoot: 

Photographer: Mark Riddle  

Makeup Artist: Mary K. Flaa

Hair stylist: Erianne Malchow  

Wardrobe Assistant: Abby Schoonover

Photo Assistants: Matt Porter, Scott McClure

Wardrobe Stylists: Jane Williams, Madeline Moon

Actor/Extra: Rod Kasai

Photos coming soon...in the meantime, here are some candid shots from my pre-shoot prep and a couple from the set!

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Erianne prepping my hair

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And styling it on set

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Our gorgeous location, The Commodore Bar and Restaurant in St. Paul

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Gorgeous eye makeup by Mary Flaa! 

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Erianne, me and Mary

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Post-shoot selfie! God, that makeup looks good!

Basilica Block Party...Just a Little Bit Late

I never claimed to be good at this blogging thing. 

MOM JEANS

My harrowing tale of love, loss, and the parrot that got away

Last month I shot a promo spot for the Basilica Block Party, a really fun little video spoofing Unsolved Mysteries-style tv shows. I worked with a (rather ill-tempered) parrot, and got to wear really unflattering mom jeans. Everyone from Periscope was really fun to work with, and I got to see Brandi Carlile and The Shins, so I guess it was worth it to wear the mom jeans and work with a diva bird. 

I Get to Say Spiderman on National Television

Ever wonder who does those really fast voiceover tags at the end of commercials? Well, I have a national spot airing for General Mills cereals, and I get to mention Spiderman...but no one will ever know it's me!  (Except that I just told you it's me...so...damn)

Not sure how long this link will last, but if you want to see my spot for GM/Spiderman Homecoming, check it out here! 

 

Let me talk!

I just got back my new narrative Voiceover demo! I'm so excited! 

If you'd like, you can listen to it here on Soundcloud

It was not quite a year ago that I got my commercial demo produced, and a narrative demo was next on the list. Mike Stalcar produced both of them...I just love working with him!

Also, a friend of mine and I are discussing a podcast we might want to produce in the near future. Keep an eye out for that as well!

In the meantime, if you need a female voice for a narrative or commercial project, you know where to find me!