Mary K Flaa

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 the meantime, here are some candid shots from my pre-shoot prep and a couple from the set!


Erianne prepping my hair


And styling it on set


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


Gorgeous eye makeup by Mary Flaa! 


Erianne, me and Mary


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

A Commercial with Meaning

In January, I filmed a tv spot for Gundersen Health Systems. In the spot, I portray a patient nervously awaiting a biopsy. It was a great gig to get. I worked with a director from California. I got to go home and visit my family. I got paid well enough to splurge on my first trip to anywhere off the continent. But mostly, I was proud of this one because it was something I believe in. My mom's sister was a nurse at Gundersen Lutheran. She passed away two years ago after fighting cancer for two years. My dad's parents both went through cancer treatment at Gundersen. My sister works there as a CNA tech while getting her nursing prerequisites. I feel honored to have gotten to work on this spot, and happy that my family, most of whom live in the area, and especially my grandmothers, get to see it on tv.



Home again, home again

Last week, I shot a tv spot for Gundersen Health in my hometown (La Crosse, WI).  I was super surprised to show up on set and find Tom Kristjanson, Nathan Armstrong, and MUA Mary Flaa all there, as well as my friend Brian Kelly (there to do a different spot), and the lovely Jen Maren co-starring with me in the spot I was doing. It's always nice to see friendly faces on set! 

The shoot went very smoothly (I mean, come on, I spent the whole thing sitting/laying on a hospital bed and wearing yoga pants and a robe), and director Michele Atkins also DPed the spot (way to be a badass!). Carrying that huge camera around all day has got to be exhausting, but she made it look pretty easy. 

I got to take my sister to dinner the night before the shoot, have drinks with her and my friends afterwards at the hotel bar.  

My entree at Pogreba's...scallops the size of my fist! 

My entree at Pogreba's...scallops the size of my fist! 

And the next day, I got to visit my family, including a trip to the casino with Grama and my cousin CJ and aunt Debbie. 

Me, gram, and aunt Debbie

Me, gram, and aunt Debbie

My only complaint about the whole thing was this: 

Stupid hotel. 

Stupid hotel. 

I'm super excited for this one, since it will air where my family will actually see it. Keep your eye on Western Wisconsin television stations, and I'm sure you'll be seeing me soon!



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!