film

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

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.

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

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. 

Bamboo Toilet Paper and a Trip Up North

Last week was a whirlwind of auditions (four on-camera, four VO, two theater), and rehearsals for Unsung, and the fundraiser for Candid Theater (I am on the board, plus I MC'd the event and performed at it as well), so I'm finally getting around to posting about my shoots. I started my week (last week) coming back from two shoots... One in Minneapolis, and one in Ely, Minnesota.  

On Saturday, I got to channel Joan from Mad Men on a shoot for a Kickstarter for Bim Bam Boo bamboo toilet paper, in a costume complete with Moschino vintage heels. It was a really fun shoot, very Poo-pourri in style. 

 Keeping the lipstick intact while staying hydrated. V. important!

Keeping the lipstick intact while staying hydrated. V. important!

 Vintage heels that fit me perfectly? It must be a dream!

Vintage heels that fit me perfectly? It must be a dream!

 The whole team on the Bim Bam Boo shoot! How cool is this 360 photo courtesy of Kari Jo Skogquist?!??

The whole team on the Bim Bam Boo shoot! How cool is this 360 photo courtesy of Kari Jo Skogquist?!??

After that, I drove up north to Ely, Minnesota to play a nurse on the short film "Nobody's son." I can't post any photos from set, so here are a few pics from the trip up there...I spent about twice as much time driving as I did on set, so it's probably just as well that I show you glorious Northern Minnesota. 

 Lake Superior

Lake Superior

 Me. Lift Bridge. Cold. Wind. 

Me. Lift Bridge. Cold. Wind. 

 Not many options. 

Not many options. 

"The Pardon List"

Last week I shot a short film...just a small role, playing Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress (and wife for 40 hours). Reunited in the afterlife, after Eva has spent 30 years waiting for him in purgatory, Hitler has a moment in front of the parole board...but will he ruin his chance to escape hell?

Originally, the script had called for me to punch Hitler...then it was a slap...and then they finally settled on having me hit him with a riding crop. It's really hard to say what the tone of the finished project will be, honestly, but I'm curious!

Back to Class!

The Actors Workout is still on hiatus while Raye is off galavanting in London doing Nice Fish (which only runs through Feb 11, so if you are in London, get tickets now!!), so meanwhile, I've decided it's time to face my fears of watching myself on camera and take another class. 

I started Michele Hutchison's on-camera class last Sunday, and I'm super excited that it's going to inspire me to create more of my own work and start writing for myself more. Can't wait to see what the next few weeks bring! 

Now, excuse me while I go work on my lines for the scene I've got to prepare for next week...and the scene I'm prepping for Raye's first day back...

Invisibly Busy

As actors, so often, much of the work we do goes unseen. The training, the preparation for roles, keeping in shape, auditioning, taking classes, etc. 

Even the actual work we do may never see the light of day. Films go unfinished. Training videos get a limited audience. Plays can only be seen by those who attend, and are never seen again. 

Read More

MN State Lottery Spot Now Airing

The MN State Lottery spot I shot two weeks ago just started airing this week! I haven't seen it yet (I don't have live TV at home), but my friends have been telling me it's great. One of them mentioned something about human/loon eroticism(?) It's highly possible, knowing how crazy my facial expressions can get.

 Mark, Tom Kristjanson (back), me, and director Jason Ho (Photo by Bo Hakala)

Mark, Tom Kristjanson (back), me, and director Jason Ho (Photo by Bo Hakala)


Mainly, the shoot involved me drinking a LOT of soda. By the end of the day, my wardrobe was covered in slushie, and I was a little bit sticky and a lot bit shaking from the sheer amount of corn syrup I had ingested, but it was all worth it. 

Shooting the spot was a BLAST! Director Jason Ho and the crew from Committee Films, especially DP Bo Hakala, were awesome to work with...they both have really great upbeat energy. I knew two of the guys on crew (Tom Kristjanson, with whom I worked on the Uptown Girl Movie, was pretty much my personal cup attendant for the day), the makeup artist Mary K. Flaa (worked with her two other times), and actress Jane Froiland was also on set with me. I hadn't worked with Sarah, my wardrobe person, before, but she and I got along swimmingly as well. Nice to have friendly faces around! I'm so grateful to everyone for making it such a fun experience, and grateful as well to Toni at A&E Casting and my agents at Talent Poole for helping me get there.

I've heard the spot will be posted online eventually, and I will share it here when that happens.  In the meantime, check out Jason's and Bo's reels - they've got some pretty sweet footage on there! And also, check out In An Instant on ABC, which was also produced by Committee Films for ABC TV. A lot of my friends appear in episodes of the show!



Theatrical Fortnight

I meant to post this Sunday night, but got sidetracked. Going to have to be more mindful in the future...

Part of keeping myself on track this year is going to be setting goals, and another part is going to be me writing about what I do each week.  Sometimes it's hard to see progress or feel like I'm working on "my craft" when I really am (for example: those dead spaces where I'm not in a show, but keep busy with auditions, class scenes, writing, reading plays, and other actor-related things).  And other times, I lose sight of the art I love and spend weeks doing nothing to work toward any goals whatsoever, and then wind up feeling really lost and purposeless. 
A major goal is to not get stuck in the latter one this year.  Having goals is important.  And achieving big goals requires lots of little tiny steps toward them, not big, giant leaps. 

Baby steps.

My goals for 2015:

1. Do 10 scenes for class.  Not including remounts.  Last year I only did 3 all year (plus remounts), and so I hope to do much better this year.

2. Record my voiceover demo.

3. Get new headshots.

4. Write at least weekly in my blog, and publish 5 articles before the end of the year.

5. Find and rehearse 5 new monologues for audition season.

6. See approximately 80% new work, 20% previously produced shows.

That's what I've got so far.  I might add more goals as the year goes on. 

So, the past 14 days of my life as an actor have been filled with a ton of theater-related things. There is no particular order of importance placed on these things, though perhaps there should be. Some of them are definitely more meaningful, more purposeful, and more in-line with my goals than others. I'm going to star the ones that are important baby steps toward my bigger goals.

  • I put up two scenes from Magnolia in class, and then remounted them the following Monday.***
  • At my job at the U of M Medical School, I played the mother of a sick infant; I worked on communications and presentation skills for case presentations; and I helped first years practice their exam skills with me as their patient.
  • I checked out a giant stack of plays from the library and have read quite a few of them (The Flick, Halcyon Days, Shooting Star, In a Forest Dark and Deep). I'm currently reading Trust, by Steven Dietz.***
  • I went to see three shows, all new works: Theatre Novi Most's Rehearsing Failure and The Red Eye to Havre Grace at the Walker's Out There series were both devised pieces, and Loudmouth Collective's production of A Bright New Boise.***
  • I re-watched Breakfast at Tiffany's (in the interest of making my roommate watch it for the first time ever), watched Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master, and saw A Most Violent Year.
  • I binge-watched Galavant.
  • I did a private play reading with some other actors for a company I'd love to work with.
  • I had a lovely dinner with my director from Candid Theatre's production of Hauptmann.
  • I was asked to do four separate paid gigs which I was unable to accept because of conflicts with other commitments.
  • I auditioned for one play and was called back. Auditions are still a bit sparse at the moment.
  • I attended birthday festivities for three different theater friends and the Bar Mitzvah of another theater friend's son; My friend Rachel taught me two chords on the ukelele, and I tried out some new songs at karaoke, so I feel musically accomplished; and I went dancing at Transmission for David Bowie night. 

I think that's a pretty good start to my year!  Now on to my second month...

Small steps I want to take this week toward each of my big goals:

1. Email possible scene partners about a few more class scenes.  I have possibly in the works two scenes.  I'm meeting with one classmate on Thursday to discuss, and the other one hasn't gotten back to me yet.

2. Transcribe 3 commercials that I've recorded that I could use for my demo.

3. I have to pay my taxes for last year before I can get new headshots, but I will work out at least three days this week.  Gotta get more in shape for my shots!

4. I will write on a topic of importance to me, some sort of rough draft. And I will update this blog by this Sunday as well.

5. I will cut a monologue or two from one of the plays I read recently.

6. I am seeing one play this week, and it's Caryl Churchill's newest play, Love and Information...so I think I'm doing good on my percentage so far. 

Also:

Taxes.  I need to get my tax stuff for last year together.  This is not working toward any big goals, but it needs to get done, so this week I would like to get all my mileage entered in my spreadsheet.

I am meeting with a filmmaker I know to discuss a project we want to work on together.

I'm sure that's plenty...I still have work and rehearsal for Commedia Day with Shadow Horse Theater, which is February 25th.  I'm sure all of this will keep me quite busy!

Until next Sunday...

 

And We're Off!

Well, there has been no real time for reflection.  Not really.  What with that family holiday stuff, working solid since I've been back in town.  Who needs to reflect?  Okay, I probably still should, but I haven't had time to figure out numbers and such or finish my record-keeping for last year, so maybe let's just do a little bit right now. 

Auditions:

I do keep track of my auditions. In theory.  In practice, I have no clue.  I'm really really bad at keeping my spreadsheet updated.  Back when I started keeping track and trying to get myself to go to many many auditions just to get over my fear of them, I believe during my first year of having that goal I went to 55 auditions, and I thought that was a lot.  Since then I've gotten a little more selective about my auditions, but I still think that 60 is about average. I might find out differently after I do my tally. I already know that my callback rate has gone WAY up over the past few years, so that's always a positive.

Performances:

I was in only two actual full length shows (Crazyface by Clive Barker with Shadow Horse Theatre and Hauptmann by John Logan with Candid Theater).  Crazyface took about three months out of my year, though, and the other about two months.  I did one music video and World Commedia Day as well (which was a full two hour show, but improvised, so that should count for something, right?), and I did Chameleon Theatre Circle's season preview day, performing a piece from their upcoming production of Durang's "Betty's Summer Vacation."

Class Scenes:

Ugh, this might be harder.  I know I did a scene from Butterflies are Free, one from Other Desert Cities, and then one from the movie Housesitter.  I think that's it.  There were a few others discussed and then shelved for various reasons.  That's not the best record. Okay, that's a terrible record, actually. I will do better this year!!

With that in mind...

My next blog post is going to be about the roles that I'm working on for class right now and the challenges inherent in each.  I've got three scenes on the books, so there's plenty I need to be doing to prepare for them. Research is one of those things I'm apparently terrible at getting myself interested in doing (though it wasn't always that way...hm, I wonder what THAT'S about), so writing about my roles here and the research into each will be a fun exercise. 

The Giant Spider Playing This Week at the Riverview Theater!

Did you miss The Giant Spider at one of its other screenings?  There's a fun event this week at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis, and you can catch the film there! 

Check it out below!

We will be holding the first official Uncle John's Burger Dog launch party at 7:00 PM on Thursday, March 13th at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis, MN!

This event is open to the public and all attendees will be treated to Uncle John's Burger Dogs served by the "Burger Dog girls" and a free screening of the award-winning Mihmiverse film which served as the inspiration for the Uncle John's Burger Dog, "The Giant Spider!" We will also be selling frozen packages of Uncle John's Burger Dogs at the event!

Advance tickets are now available! Tickets are $7 each and include admission to the event and one (1) food ticket to receive a single Uncle John's Burger Dog (bun and condiments included)!

AND, as a special deal only available through the Uncle John's Burger Dog website, for an additional $3, you can pre-order an extra food ticket which can be redeemed for a second Uncle John's Burger Dog at the event!

For more information or to puchase advance tickets, visit unclejohnsburgerdog.com!