Celeste Mancinelli: Enlightenment and Sheep

Celeste Mancinelli‘s true account of a woman who took a 200 mile walk to find enlightenment
(and met some lovely sheep along the way)

Crying on the Camino: A one-person show written and performed by Celeste Mancinelli and directed by Richard Sabellico.

Special NYC Benefit Performance
Thursday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Theatre 555
555 West 42nd Street 
between Tenth and Eleventh avenues, NYC

Stage performer, Celeste Mancinelli, has an extremely funny and deeply moving story to tell.

After successful regional performances, actor/singer Celeste Mancinelli now brings her compelling mix of humor and poignancy Off-Broadway to 42ndStreet. This special one-night performance of “Crying on the Camino” willl be presented at the newly renovated Theater 555. This NYC debut performance will benefit the American Pilgrims on the Camino, a non-profit association for people interested in the Camino de Santiago,a network of ancient pilgrimage routes leading to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain.

Celeste’s show recounts her 200-mile walk on the Portuguese Route to Santiago de Compostela. Her desire to share this experience brought her to the legendary teacher/director Wynn Handman, who helped her develop the show at his NYC studio.

Now Celeste embarks on a new “Camino,” bringing this true account of her walk to the stage. “This piece is about minimalism and simplicity, self-reflection and honesty,” says Mancinelli, a veteran stage actress. “In sharing this piece my goal is to inspire others to take their own journey – to fully live their own Caminos”

Contact  crycamino@gmail.com  for donation info and reservations

Celeste Mancinelli has been performing professionally since the early 80’s. Her NYC credits include the hit show “Nunsense” at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater, Cynthia Heimel’s long-running play “A Girl’s Guide to Chaos” at the American Place Theater (originating the character of Lurene) and Larry Gelbart’s “1-2-3-4-5” at the Manhattan Theater Club. She has appeared as Mama in “My Big Fat Gay Italian Wedding” and its sequel (Funeral) at the St Luke’s Theatre. Celeste has worked in numerous Off-Broadway, cabaret, stock, regional and national touring productions throughout the United States. Her most recent appearance was as Edith Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in West Virginia.

Celeste has proudly enjoyed a second career as an ASHA certified Speech/Language Pathologist and earned the NJSHA Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award.  In that capacity, she developed a unique program at Spectra Academy in Montclair, New Jersey. This program targeted children/adolescents with Asperger’s/Autism/ADHD assisting them with the development of comedy scenes and scripts resulting in two full-scale stage and four film performances, all conceived by her students. This rewarding opportunity allowed her to mesh her two professional careers at the same time for the first time.

During the COVID outbreak Celeste began writing/developing and performing her original, one-woman show, “Crying on the Camino” based on her 200 mile hike through Spain.

Celeste is thrilled to share this experience with all of you.

Francesca Ravera as Una in “Blackbird”

The #MeToo Movement shines a light on behavior that begins with inapprpriare and goes to criminal in the “real world” but theatre – and David Harrower did it way-back in 2005. You are on stage and in the breakroom of an ordinary business for an extraordinary conversation. This “meeting” is complicated by the plethora of feelings that run the gamut of anger and confusion to curiosity and even passion. 

David Harrower’s drama puts the audience in the room for a meeting between a young woman and a middle-aged man. This meeting occurs 15 years after the woman was sexually abused by the man… when she was 12. 

As Una and Ray, Francesca Ravera & Lenny Grossman take us on a diffiuclt journey through raw emotions in BLACKBIRD. This production is directed by Kim T. Sharp with previews beginning September 14 at downtown’s New Ohio Theater, 154 Christopher Street, Suite 1E, New York City

As Una, originally from Italy, Francesca Ravera is a N.Y.C. based, award-winning actress. She has starred in Taxi Tales at Marylin Monroe Theater, Rules of Love,and A Thousand Clowns. Off-Broadway, she has played the lead in Two Rooms,by Lee Blessing at Access Theater, North of Providence, by Edward Allan Baker, and The Nina Variations,by Steven Dietz, at Chain Theatre. Francesca has acted with Danny Glover and Udo Kier in the feature film Ulysses: a Dark Odyssey.

She played the lead n Claire, a dramatic short film, for which she received ‘Best Actress’ awards from numerous festivals including Oniros Film Awards, Care Awards, Diamond Film Awards, Best Actor Awards festival, Milestone Worldwide Film Festival, Mindfield Film Festival Albuquerque and Five Continents International Film Festival. She starred in several short films, including Creature of the Nightdirected by Kaya Tone; Osiris, a Sci-Fi directed by Tamara Hansen and Windows to Nowhere, another film by Tamara Hansen. www.francescaravera.com

Director Kim T. Sharp directed two productions starring Francesca Ravera, at Urban Stages: Espresso by Lucia Frangione and The Way We Get By, by Neil LaBute. The latter, was also performed in Italy, in Turin, Genova and Milan. 

Tickets are $28. Student and senior tickets are $20.

https://ci.ovationtix.com/34708/production/1076055

Check The New Ohio Theatre website for the most current information on Covid restrictions. Currently, to attend a performance you must show proof of vaccination for admittance into the theatre. Masks are required for all audience members. However, performers will not be masked. The theatre is accessible from the #1 train to Christopher St. or A, B, C, D, E, F or M train to West 4th St. For info visit NewOhioTheatre.org.

Even her name means ART

She was supposed to be a doctor. But her parents named her wrong.

Her name – in Chinese – means “artistic view” seemed to predict how her life would turn.

After taking an acting class in college – where she was studying medicine – something clicked in her and she did a full stop on medicine and went head-first into a career in acting here in the United States.

This story is a familiar one but the next part is the twist. Most stories end with returning to their original profession and – years later – talking about that one play they did when they were young.

This was not the case for Yiqing Zhao.

In just over one pandemic-drenched year she turned her life around and is now a working actress here in New York with stage and film works that are catching the attention of industry and audience alike.

Television audiences will see her in the TV pilot, Divorce School, which has already garnered a few awards and awaiting even more joyous news. She appeared on film in Jessie X Snow’s daring film, Little Sky, which also carries numerous awards. She also appeared in Mother Tongue, a deeply moving film about a family coping with Alzheimer’s disease.

On stage, she garnered praise for appearances in Murder in San Jose and Oil, and The Mannequin Diary (directed by Trazanna Beverly, the first African-American Tony Winner)

All this culminates into YOU & I, a film which she wrote, directed, produced, and starred. The film won accolades from the Mindfield Film Festival and recently she won BEST ACTRESS from the Royal Wolf Film Awards.

Ms. Zhao has not totally let her “medical” training go. She has created a thriving life-coaching business where she helps artists be better business-people and sharing how they can better serve their careers. One might say she is stopping the stereotype of the starving artist.

More on Yiqing Zhao can be found at

www.yiqingzhao.com

https://coaching.yiqingzhao.com

linkedin.com/in/yiqing-zhao-329a11a6

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8131159/

Read about her and her award-winning film at https://indiepicturesblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/21/beside-myself-with-joy/

A STORY CALLED AKSHATA HONNAVAR

After winning multiple awards for her new film,

A STORY CALLED LIFE,

the offers came rushing in for visionary filmmaker, AKSHATA HONNAVAR. “I have been grateful to work with multiple amazing projects,” she commented on her recent success,

I will be script supervisor and continuity starting July 19 for nine episodes of Chase, a new TV series; then I work with Bhakti Center, developing and subsequently producing a series of Master Class Educational Programs, and finally I will be part of the TV pilot for a series called Budabless, but I don’t have production dates on that yet.”

Her life currently looks like the films she loved and grew up on, “In India, almost every film is a musical and perhaps reflects the way people live in this part of the world. I am not sure how or when the transition from being a huge film fan to wanting to be a filmmaker happened. But it did and my journey to New York Film Academy began.”

When asked if she encounters any obstacles — as a woman or as someone from another country — Akshata volunteered an answer as hopeful as any of her favorited films but resolute, “The important thing to go up is to have a network of good film makers from whom we can learn further. A film school teaching has its limitations and cannot be compared with what we learn on the ground.” But she is not naïve, “everybody wants to be with good natured people. Unless someone is amazingly talented we will try to avoid them. The work is too collaborative where we sit with many people together. Personal relations will definitely come in between. If you are good to be around the people for whom we may work will find this as a bonus.”

Open and honest her needs point to talent, “I think everyone has to pass the first test but the real challenges that we will face here is the lack of good film makers to work with. There are a few but then they are already surrounded with so many brilliant people that we will not be visible unless we have some network.”

She concluded with honesty, ” I am struggling with the networking part and that should not be taken lightly ever. Most of us think that we are best at our work and good hearted. That illusion breaks and builds all the time.”

Paulina’s Battle

Review by Amy Frateo

Under the direction of the Labyrinth Theatre and Rattlestick Theatre respectively, international actress, Paulina De La Parra created two searing music videos that can easily serve as a battle-cry for women’s empowerment and standing-up against racism.

Shame doesn’t live here anymore by Paulina De La Parra.

“I wrote this piece with an open heart and total vulnerability,” said the emerging Mexican actress and singer; “[my thanks to] the Labrynth theatre intensive 2021 team, I had a LOT of people mocking my intelligence and ability based on my accent; I carried shame because I didn’t have the “perfect American accent,” she concluded when discussing the genesis of this piece.

Shame – A clever zoom green screen effect starts us with a stark image of what it means to be silenced. But in no time, Ms. De La Parra barrages us in her perfect “spanglish” exclaiming her power, her rights, her abilities. Stealing a technique made famous in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, De La Parra exudes a sense of power and raw talent that made the brief monologue with an engaging Latin beat underneath into required watching for all young Latinx.

Her second piece, Si mañana no regreso / If tomorrow I don’t come back took a decidedly darker, more pessimistic tone.

“Si mañana no regreso” is a piece I wrote along with the music for the “Global Forms Festival” (Rattlestick Theatre) with this little poem I wanted to share the inner monologue that a lot of women unfortunately have in Mexico, fearing not coming back home safely.”

This piece – a stunning poem written my Ms. De lam Parra, talks of the high percentage of women and girls in Mexico raped and murdered. This hearkened back to another piece featuring Ms. De La Parra in which we meet the ghosts of abused women. Again, this heartbreaking piece is marinated in strength as, even in death, the lead character demands that her name be shouted and that her sisters fight on.

Messages of this power are most effective when communicated by those who have lived through it. Paulina De La Parra presents us with two well-acted, well-written, well-filmed examples.

Article Series: Face to Face with Face to Face

While summer 2021 will begin a partnership between Smith Scripts, U.K. and Face to Face Films, producer/director Anthony Laura concludes his spring season with a pair of new works from his own hand.

Korinne, a drama involving mental illness, written by Anthony Laura, featuring C Gabe Calleja, Vivien Cardone, Jose Duran, Madison C. Gray, Jacqueline Guzman, and Callie Medley, will air on YouTube, Saturday, June 26, at 2:00 p.m.

And closing the season will be another Anthony Laura work entitled Hayley, a one-person show, featuring Alexandra Rooney. This will air on Facebook on June 27, also at 2:00 p.m.

Visit Face to Face Films on YouTube to learn about Face to Face’s web-series, interviews, and other artistic endeavors.

Ai spoke with cast members from Hayley on this play, which actually is a prequel to another Anthony Laura play.

What was your first reaction upon reading the script?

ROONEY I loved the script and I was so excited to play Hayley again.  I thought it was a fun script and I liked the new characters. 

SALTER What was your first reaction upon reading the script?   I loved it! Anthony wrote a beautiful script about a young girl coming out of her shell and feeling heard for the first time in her life. And that’s something I think everyone can relate to. 

CALLEJA I was quite impressed with the vulnerability that these characters show, especially at such a you g age. It’s a sweet and relatable coming of age that feels modern and appropriate.

What has surprised you during the rehearsal process?

ROONEY I was surprised that we all got into our characters so quickly. 

SALTER What has surprised you during the rehearsal process?  I haven’t done much online theatre before this, and it surprised me how connected we all could still be, even through screens. Everyone is so present and connected to their circumstances that it feels like we are all in the same room. 

CALLEJA It is a very mature piece of writing for a preteen to tackle as the lead. And through it all, she manages to overcome all those obstacles and deliver a stirring and relatable performance. She never ceases to amaze!

What do you feel is unique about the telling of the story and how do you feel your character is different from what we usually see?

ROONEY The telling of the story is unique because we get to see Hayley interact with others but we also get to see what she is thinking at the same time.  My character is different than some kid characters because she interacts with a lot of older characters instead of kids her age. 

SALTER What do you feel is unique about the telling of the story and how do you feel your character is different from what we usually see?  Our story is unique because we have seen these characters before and now we get to take a deeper look into their past. My character, Elise Bell, is different from what we usually see because on the outside, she seems like the kind of person who might not care or relate to what Hayley is going through, but underneath she is the only one who can truly understand her.

CALLEJA: Following a young girl struggling with her mental health is very appropriate for the times we live in, but it is not shown enough. This story normalizes and humanizes counseling, homelessness, and mental health in ways that aren’t often done. My character is a young therapist who has a side to him that is not often shown in media. 

Can you describe your relationship working with Anthony and Face To Face?

ROONEY I love working with Anthony and the ensemble of Face to Face. The actors are all amazing and I learn so much working with them. Anthony is an awesome director because he helps me learn about my character and then he gives me freedom to develop her as we go. 

SALTER Can you describe your relationship working with Anthony and Face To Face? Anthony is such a great teacher and director. He has created a community for us all to feel inspired and supported in. The process is very collaborative and I feel welcomed by all the members of Face to Face. It is an honor to be working with so many talented individuals. 

Can you speak about what it’s like working on a show where a character has previously existed in another work?

ROONEY I played younger Hayley when she first existed in the 2019 version of The Girl With the Red Hair on stage. The older version of Hayley did exist before that in several other performances of the show so I did work with the actress that played the older Hayley so I could learn about the character from her.  We also worked together singing and dancing so we could match some things.  She knew the character already so she helped me learn about her.  

SALTER Can you speak about what it’s like working on a show where a character has previously existed in another work? It’s really fun to work on a project where the characters have been seen in another work before. We get to explore their lives and who they were at the beginning of their journeys. And we get to experience those very human journeys with the audience as they grow into the people we already know.

CALLEJA It’s really fun to expand this universe and be a part of an anthology! There’s a continuity that you rarely get in theater. Usually when you’re done with a show, that character dies with it. It’s a beautiful process that actors get used to, but now I have to start thinking about how my character evolves over time. Really interesting stuff. 

Live from NY: Zara Zeidman

“Performing is a necessary form of expression for me. This artform allows me to express my observations about human behavior, but more importantly it encourages me to be present, silly and vulnerable simultaneously,” says Zara Zeidman who plays Jacls girlfriend and catalyst for his nervous breakdown in Rollin Jewett’s THE BIG DREAM.
“Acting allows me to connect deeply with myself while connecting many people together; the cast, the crew and the audience come together to create a fleeting but intimate community,” she concluded.

Zara, another college student like her co-star, Matt Frenzel,  is now bursting on the New York theatre scene in a big way. Coming off an acclaimed performance in A Doll’s House, Zara now gets to explore her sillier side as Jack’s long-suffering girlfriend.

While she has mastered the comic elements of her role, she had some deep comments about returning to live theatre:

What are the challenges of doing an interactive play? And what are the challenges of doing one NOW?

The opportunity to connect with an audience post-lockdown is very thrilling, it is a reminder that the actor-audience relationship is precious and mutually beneficial. I look forward to the familiar feeling of anticipation that fills the room. I am hopeful that the experience will be positive for all who come and that people will feel comfortable enough to relax into the interactive experience. I want to encourage audience members to lean into it, remembering that the audience is always just as much a part of the experience as the performers. That relationship is going to feel new to all of us, but it is an opportunity to appreciate the experience with new eyes. 

What’s next for you? 

I am so grateful to be reopening and deepening my relationship with performance. I hope to continue acting in new works like “The Big Dream” whilst pursuing my BFA in Acting at Brooklyn College. This summer I will return to the Shakespeare acting workshop that I participated in my teens to Assistant Direct “Twelfth Night”. This program at the West Kortright Center is the perfect place for me to learn and grow while giving back to my community and encouraging young people to explore this artform.

International Artist Focus: Paris Martino

“I am a Dancer, Singer, Actress and Voice Over Artist from Toronto, Canada… and I started dancing at Martino Centre of Dance … my mothers dance studio.” This was Paris Martino’s opening salvo as she sat down for an interview.

She elaborated that at age three she couldn’t stop dancing until age seven … where she still kept dancing but now it was in musical theatre (thanks to a production of The Jungle Book in which she was cast).

She continued her studies in the United States at arts programs and intensives, including the Performing Arts Project and New York City Dance Alliance. She danced all the way to The Boston Conservatory at Berklee – studying with some of the industry’s most prominent figures, such as Broadway Alum Laura Marie Duncan, Broadway Conductor and Musical Director Eric Stern, and Broadway Alum and Director and choreographer Larry Sousa – earning a BFA in Musical Theatre.

Immediatrley she moved on to take on featured and princo=lem roles regionally including Heather Duke in Heathers the musical, Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Bebe in A Chorus Line. What was next … New York!

We spoke to the ambitious emerging professional about the pandemic and the challenges that await.

What did you do during the pandemic?

During the pandemic like many artists I tried my best to stay in shape vocally and physically by taking class and staying creative however the impossible happened! At the start of the pandemic was offered several roles with The Weathervane Theatre in New Hampshire for their 55th summer season. There I played Penelope Square in Polkadots: a Cool Kids Musical, Billie Bendix in Nice Work if You Can Get It and Heather Duke in Heathers the Musical. Shortly after my time at The Weathervane Theatre I made the big move to NYC. I knew the city was still recovering from COVID-19 however I Wanted to get a head start making connections and adjusting to city life. I also looked into other opportunities to stay creative and use my training. Having studied several Voice Acting technoques in College I knew I should give it a try. I was lucky enough to land a voice over vocalist spot with the brand Gillette Venus. I voiced a few of their ads for their new Pubic and Body razor for their various social media campaigns. I have also had the opportunity to be a dance adjudicator with the nationally renowned dance competition Legacy Dance Championships. I have since travelled all over the U.S. providing my expertise to many dancers nationwide by assisting them in their early dance careers. 

Work seems to be returning for you. What’s coming up?

I recently booked a role in a production of Footloose at The Rev Theatre in Upstate NY so I will be spending most of my summer performing in that production. Otherwise I will be continuing to choreograph, Adjudicate, audition and live the life of a young artist. 

How do you think the theatrical climate will change in NYC and beyond now that we are easing back to reality?

I believe that the theatrical climate will change immensely when we fully return to life without COVID-19 and I think it is for the better! There was an enormous call to change in 2020 that I believe Theatre Makers cannot ignore. The pandemic forced us to stop and think about our industry in a way that we only could with the time the pandemic gave us to be introspective. I believe there will be a real push moving forward to create a better, more equitable and diverse industry. One that values actors time, spirit and well-being. 

Companions in Purgatory

Review by Amy Frateo

Writer Sophie MacIntosh and director Cassidy Kepp have given us a play so simple yet so devastating. Zoom plays and playwrights are consistently looking for ways of enhancing and invigorating their zoom play. MacIntosh and Kepp have done just that – by tearing our hearts out. They have turned those little boxes into purgatory.

Wounded is innovative. Wounded is deeply moving. Wounded in brilliant. Wounded takes place in a void. Maybe it’s a group of zoom squares it might in a biblical middle-ground, it might be in some dark part of our minds or souls.

We meet a group of five women stranded in this place for the duration, sharing their stories and offering solace to each other. Their stories: how they were murdered at the hands of someone they may have known.

We arrive along with one woman who may have known her killer. Her four commiserators attempt to ease her slowly into her new reality.

Vacillating between caring for each other and uncontrollable rage, Wounded tells the stories of these five victims marinating in regret, guilt, and fury. Each supporting the other out of thinking it was their fault or that the man who did this was “not like that,” we come face to face with gory details and emotional agony with every line.

The ensemble of five gave us superior acting and extreme reality. The hints of make-up showing bruises to bullet wounds was just enough to make us feel their pain without the effects being the star as one might find in a filmed version of something like this.

Lily Brenner as Lauren, the newcomer, gave us a sense of terror with each new discovery, her sense of realism was stunning; Juliana Cerón, implying she was a victim of a hate crime brought the audience to a sense of rage by letting her own fury burn deeply over and over; Elena Cramer broke our hearts with a strong sense of delusion over her assailant (ironically a perfect compliment to Ms. Cramer as both made us want to kill these men ourselves); Paulina De La Parra, a standout, became some form of support to them and whose reaction shots brilliantly amplified all of their pain. Her accent and implied death (gunshot) allowed us to mediate on the world’s view of women; and Sofía Figueroa’s frailty and melancholy allowed the tone to pervade every second.

The only criticism is the pacing. Virtual performance is difficult to gauge in terms of pace and speed and there were times when the show lagged a bit. Maybe a bit of cutting to bring the piece to a solid hour would help that. However, the dialogue was so engrossing, one hardly notices.

Wounded – with a few slight edits – should be sent to schools and organizations; made required at universities; and broadcast wherever ignorance and misogyny prevail.

Y’know, everywhere.

International Artist Focus: Chantal Cassutt

“I am an actress and writer but first and foremost I consider myself a storyteller,” says Swiss-born film and TV actress, Chantal Cassutt. “I love playing characters that show surprising power and resilience that you would not expect based on appearances,” she continued. She enjoys playing villains and underdogs as they present the challenge of finding the humanity in “the imperfect.”

Getting to the point, she declared: “something that is personally very important to me is empowering women and I want the roles I play to reflect that in some way. I believe the stories we tell have personal impact on others and that is what I always strive for in my performances. I hope that my work can provide some sort of value to the viewer, no matter how small.”

Chantal is already exemplifying her point by appearing in several films as a take charge kind-of person.  She played a mysterious young woman commanding a quiet dinner in Thank You; one of the last women on earth in a dark piece called Alone, basically showing us what could have happened with Covid-19; offering up a bit of personified karma in an ode to the surreal and to silent films, Trapped; and even the Devil HERself in Call Me Devil.

DQR wanted to learn more about an enigmatic actress that plays enigmas.

What event in your life made you make the decision to be an actress?

It was definitely not one event alone but many small things that started piling up. Growing up I always loved novels, theatre, movies and TV shows. I had drama classes in elementary school and adored them, however, living in Switzerland it never occurred to me that working in entertainment could be an actual job. Switzerland is a country that while valuing the arts, doesn’t necessarily encourage creativity or creative jobs and so becoming a professional actress never even crossed my mind. As a teenager, I took dance and singing classes and so I knew I loved performing, but again, I never thought of these things as more than a hobby. Something changed when I moved from Switzerland to the UK to get my undergrad degree in Management and Marketing. During my studies I spent one year in London where I worked at a large beauty company as a marketing intern. For the first time in my life I was living in a diverse, cosmopolitan city that had everything to offer and so I jumped at the opportunity to take acting classes. Within a couple of weeks I was hooked. I would commute every weekend and sometimes after work to take as many classes as possible as they gave me such creative fulfillment that I couldn’t get from other things in my life. When my internship came to an end, the company offered me a full-time position to come back, something that is rare and was a huge honor. But instead of being over the moon like I should have been, alarm bells started ringing in my head. And that was when I knew deep down that my current path was not the right one for me. The following summer I attended an intensive four-week acting workshop in Los Angeles and I realized there was no going back. Acting was what I wanted to do with my life. Collaborating with people to create something of value. Entertaining people. Creating fully formed characters from words on a page. I flew back home, completed my degree, packed my bags and moved out to L.A. to go to acting school. Taking that plunge was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Was it a difficult transition in joining the entertainment community of the United States?

It is always difficult. Simply moving to a different country is tough because you encounter so many obstacles you never even thought about. Culture shock is a real thing and it is exacerbated when you are working in an industry like entertainment where it is all about the culture. Adapting to how things are done here was definitely a steep learning curve and I am still learning every day. Fortunately, I have met many incredible people who have helped and guided me along the way and it has made the transition a lot easier. 

What are some of the obstacles you faced?

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to the entertainment industry in the United States specifically, is the overwhelming amount of information. There are hundreds of acting studios in Los Angeles, thousands of coaches that give both craft and career guidance. Every person you meet that is involved in the industry in some way will shower you with advice. Every day a new advice article is released. Agents, managers and casting directors give daily advice on social media. It’s a lot. The majority of these people are of course well-intentioned but I found it to be incredibly overwhelming at first. As someone with a Type A personality, I had to learn that while it’s great to listen to people who have more experience, it’s also okay to not take every piece of advice and be selective about who and what I listen to. Ultimately, this industry is a lot about gut instincts and I had to learn to trust in mine. Another big challenge is one that I know all actors can relate to and that is the constant rejection. You put yourself out there, show people the most vulnerable side of you and never hear back. That was tough in the beginning for sure, however, it has since become something that I have started taking in stride and do my best not to dwell on. Being rejected is part of the job and it should have no effect on how you feel about yourself or your ability. I remind myself of that daily and am fortunate enough to have incredibly supportive friends around me who always uplift me.

What are you working on now and what’s next?  

One of the things I both love and hate about my job is that you never really know what’s next!  Things can change at the drop of a hat. However, I do have some things coming up that I am very excited for. I’m going to be shooting a short film in a month’s time called “On The Line” which is the story of a relationship that is falling apart. I’m also attached to another short film that I’m very excited about but cannot give any details on yet. A few weeks ago I also got the opportunity to be part of the recording of a fictionalized podcast called “Sentinel” and hopefully if the first season is successful we’ll be able to do a second season soon. On a writing level I am currently redrafting the script of my first feature film that I am hoping to produce in the coming year. I am also working on a short film and am outlining for a new feature.

I’ve also recently co-founded a production company and we are working on getting that up and running. We already have a few projects lined up in the coming months that I’m very excited for.