Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Down for the Holidays

So, the holiday season has already started difficult for us.
A few days before Thanksgiving, we lost our dear friend Nick Nettles. He was running on a treadmill, at the gym with his wife, when he had a sudden heart attack and died. He was 37, and seemingly extremely healthy. We were all quite shocked and devastated. Were? Are.
I am the worst nurturer and I feel horrible that I haven't been able to do more for his wife and mother, but they have AMAZING friends and I know they are helping them as best as they can.
Jeff's former bandmate has a four year old daughter that is now paralyzed because of a car accident.
Another friend of ours was held up at gunpoint as she was carrying her Thanksgiving groceries into her home. The gunman tied her up with jumper cables and duct tap, all the while apologizing to her and telling her his life story. After stealing everything but her beer and turkey, he leaves...She tries to get herself untied and the gunman returns. She screams at him to just leave and he apologizes again and asks him to help her load up HER car with HER stuff cause he can't carry it all. She helps him, handing over her car keys and he leaves.
I don't care what your situation is, no amount of apology can make doing something like that okay!
Another friend's wife just asked him for a divorce and he is very much upset about this, especially losing the step daughters he was just getting used to having in his life.

All of this ugliness has made us fairly sad and edgy. But Jeff and I know we have each other. We are trying hard to spend our cash as well as our time wisely this holiday. Family is so important. And friends are family too.

We've also been blessed with some successes with our careers. But it doesn't seem worth bragging about right now.

Right now, I just want everyone to know how much I love them and should they need me, I will MAKE time for them! In this life, time is rarely our own. But there are situations where you just need to say "I need to get my priorities straight and love is more important than a paycheck."

Tell everyone you love how much you love them...as often as they will tolerate hearing it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Squisher's Atonement

I have never committed vehicular homicide...until this past sunday.

I pulled into a parking spot at the apartment complex I was filming at in Novi. I was a little early, so I checked my facebook with my phone before getting out of the car.

Ten minutes later, I exit the vehicle only to see a pool of blood by my back tire. Behind that, a little turtle, no bigger than my hand.

"No no no!" I screamed.

I bent over and picked it up.

It screamed. I didn't know turtles could scream. But this one did. Its shell was cracked by its neck, and some organs were dangling out. I couldn't help him and I was devastated. I took him over to the grass and held his foot. I apologized profusely. I don't know why I had to park in that particular spot...there were spots everywhere. I chose that one! If I had parked elsewhere, I would have seen him and moved him to safety before this tragedy could occur.

I held his foot until I knew he was gone...I wanted to take his pain away. I wanted to save him...I could do nothing...I was helpless...and that is terrifying.

Then I had to go and film a comedy as if this turtle's life meant nothing.

I mean, for all I know, he could have grown up to be the Hitler of turtles and I saved that apartment complex pond from animal genocide the likes of which we never would have imagined...but I kinda doubt that.

Its hard to remain dead inside. But I have to in order to get through my shoot. I have to laugh. Then I have to drive home.

And now, everytime I get behind the wheel, I gasp as I remember that turtle and the way it screamed...it sounded like the Jurassic Park dinosaurs. Just very, very, tiny.

I can't bear having an innocent creature's death on my hands. But I didn't intend to kill him. Still, if I had hit a child, even without intending to hit it, I would probably go to jail.

This is why I wrote SQUISHER'S ATONEMENT. Because why do we feel animals are second class to humans? Why are their lives worth less than ours? I'm glad I am not going to jail, but I think my mind has put me in prison anyway.

I hear that scream as I drive. I gasp. I get all tingly around my shoulders and my ears start to ring...I feel like I might pass out. But I better not. Then I might kill some people if I pass out while driving.

I am sorry, turtle. You deserved better. I didn't mean to squish you. I hope you are slowly crawling through God's parking lot now without a worry in the world. I will see you in Heaven.

For me, Heaven will be me and all the animals I've ever loved, just cuddling and loving one another. Oh, my family will be there, too, I am sure...But nothing beats a good kiss from a puppy.

Turtles can't kiss. But I hope they can forgive...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to the dark ages

I went to a party this weekend. Alone, because Jeff was filming in Port Huron and I really felt like being "social." Also, there were cupcakes promised.

I was having fun, chatting and all...this is all out of my comfort zone, because I am NOT a social person...even less so without the husband present. But I thought I was doing well.

I took a peek at the folks in the back yard. I saw a friend's husband had climbed the tree out back. I shouted that he looked like a Ren Fest actor up in the tree.
I decided to join the festivities in the back and suddenly, Treeman decides to throw a stick at me. I look up just in time to lift my hands to protect my face, but not fast enough to remember I had a cup of wine in my hands. I was covered in wine and humiliated. And no one had anything to say about the situation. Not an "are you okay?" or a "sorry about that."

I had a flashback to when I was in elementary school and I was playing with a friend who lived on my street. She had a neighbor that hated me for some inexplicable reason. This friend wanted to play too. So, we were playing in the neighbor's yard, when I realized I had to go to the bathroom. I was told that I wasn't allowed in the house, so I ran half a block home to go to the bathroom.

When I walked back, the neighbor kid's older brother said to me, "I wouldn't go back there if I were you. They're going to tell you to 'get, scat."
I had no idea what that meant, so, I kept walking. I turned into the driveway and a bunch of kids, including MY friend, were sitting in the garage, chanting "Get! Scat!" and throwing things at me. Basketballs, gardening tools, whatever they could reach...some even reached me.

As I ran home in tears, the brother shouted "I tried to warn you!"

I was feeling like these people wanted me to "Get! Scat!" at this party, too. I felt tears welling inside me. This wouldn't have happened if Jeff were here. They would have thought I was too cool to throw things at then. Now I look like a tool covered in wine and no one cares...I walked behind the garage to regain my composure. I decided to go inside with the smaller crowd and chat with them instead. I calmed down and talked myself into staying. And I am glad I did. I got to play Rock Band for the first time and stayed out later than I have for "fun" in years.

But I still wonder why I almost left. Just because a mob in the backyard lacked manners, didn't mean I needed to "get! scat!". Someone at the party was going to want my companionship and conversation skills. I just wish I could have brought that little girl with tears in her eyes to join the party, too. She was a nice girl and a lot of people missed out on her friendship...I'm glad I know who she is...

Monday, August 23, 2010

my final bad review

Box 5:
Reviewing a show on the last night of its run is not our usual policy. But because of schedule conflicts and snafus, I was not able to catch Box 5 until the closing night of BoxFest. And to be honest, I'm glad I did!
In years past, Boxfest has produced at least one show - or maybe two - that knocked attendees' socks off and generated plenty of buzz. And while a few shows this year were certainly well staged and thoroughly enjoyable, none reached the level of excitement that Timeless: The Dancical earned a few years ago or The Opal Show did last year. Both had celebrated lives after BoxFest, and each subsequently earned a Wilde Award nomination for best original comedy.
Such a fate could also be in the future for Armchair Dating by Margaret Edwartowski, whose drama Snowbound earned the up-and-coming playwright a 2010 Wilde Award nomination for Best New Script. In this delightful comedy, an artist named Peter (Matt Forbes) and an actress named Liz (Julie Brock) are set up on a first date by Peter's best friend and longtime roommate, Chuck (Ryan Falcheck). The play opens after the date when Peter gets home - and Chuck wants to know how it went. Likewise, Liz's friend Anita (Megan Wright) wants to hear the gory details. So through flashbacks we learn what happened - and why a second date may not be likely. Or will it? Edwartowski's dialogue sparkles throughout, and her characters are totally believable and well conceived. In lesser hands, though, her concept of jumping back and forth through time to tell her story COULD have been confusing to follow, but director Andrea Scobie expertly moves it through time and place with careful precision. (At the end of the night, Scobie was honored - and deservedly so - as winner of the audience vote competition, which enables her to stage a late night show this season at Planet Ant Theatre.) Performances were fine all around, but Forbes and Falcheck were best at creating wholly unique characters.

The second and final one-act, Birthday Beer by Jacquelyn Priskorn, shows what can happen when longtime friends of the opposite sex move in together - supposedly just as friends. But one has feelings for the other, which bubble to the surface when Carla (Carla Angeloni) learns Dean (Patrick Hanley) has invited his ex-girlfriend (and now stripper) to dinner to celebrate his birthday. Personally, I didn't believe Dean's scene-ending conversion, but I suspect romantics and Lifetime TV viewers may see it otherwise. Partly, my reaction was the result of an under-developed script; it could have used some additional time to show us the deeper connection between the two friends. But I also didn't see any real character development on the part of the actors that proved to me their love for one another was real.

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/jacquiefloyd/blog?bID=538496476#ixzz0xRfwdftd

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

and another bad review for me!

I am not too bummed about this one seeing as how i think i wrote this play in 1998!

Block 5, the only hour featuring two plays instead of three, is home to the requisite dating stories. First is Armchair Dating (by Margaret Edwartowski; director Andrea Scobie), in which a man and a woman (Matt Forbes and Julie Brock) dissect and evaluate their first-date behavior after the fact with their respective friends (Ryan Falcheck and Megan Wright). The concept of shifting time from the date in progress to the postgame makes way for some outstanding comic bits and one-liners. However, despite the evident chemistry between soft-spoken Forbes and too-eager Brock, the scenario — and its frequently stereotypical friend-types — cries out to be pushed farther for bigger laughs. The two-person Birthday Beer (by Jacquelyn Priskorn; director Keara Woods) makes its premise immediately apparent to anyone who’s ever suffered unrequited love, as Carla (Carla Angeloni) falls all over herself to prepare a nice birthday for her friend and roommate, Dean (Patrick Hanley). The piece struggles with a script that lumbers obviously toward its obvious conclusion and stiff performances that might have loosened up with more rehearsal.

And a bad review for me

Current mood: frustrated

There's always one bad review..at least...but somehow I am not sure I put a lot of stock in this guy's statements about my script...

Box 3 - reviewed by John Quinn
As faithful readers, you already know about the festival of plays, directed by women, now in rotation at The Furniture Factory. What you don't know yet is how tough it is for a director to deliver a cogent point of view in the period of time that these short-short one acts allow. In many cases, the director's success depends more upon the structure of the material than on her creative talents.

So short are these scenes that the earlier the audience understands the action, the better the entertainment experience. Comedy is going to be easier to "sell" because a plot driven by situation need not have deeply drawn characters, location or motivation. The playwright can rely more on archetypes than originality.

This mix of drama and comedy is a satisfying stew, and each part brings a distinct flavor to the palate. In fact, BoxFest is so tasty I overstayed my welcome and saw more shows than I needed to review. It's as addictive as browsing viral videos on YouTube, but a lot classier. The fact that these 16 directors are so good when so new to this end of show business means theater in Detroit can only get better!
There are some morsels to savor.

There Will Come Soft Rains by Jacquelyn Priskorn is probably one of the tougher challenges a director could face. The drama opens eerily on a draped corpse and single mourner. We know nothing about either; even the location is uncertain. We can finally infer that our characters, Arlo (Kevin Barron) and Zoe (Cara Trautman), may be the sole survivors of an unidentified pandemic in some dystopic parallel universe. They're living in a funeral parlor with the body of Arlo's lover, Brian (Sean Paraventi), who might have been one of the first victims. Dialogues by nature are static, and this one is no exception. There Will Come Soft Rains is an emotionally charged piece. While director Kennikki Jones makes an admirable effort to draw us into Arlo and Zoe's emotional orbit, the playwright does not seem to have given her the time or material to properly develop the characters.

Wonder by Kelly Rossi is an audience favorite. The naughty comedy features Megan Amadon and Angie Ransdell as two friends in an airport, killing time before a flight indulging in random chatter. The "wondering" angle comes in as they speculate what it's like to have a penis. I will let you "wonder" from there. This is another static dialogue, and director Katie Galazka tries to liven up the action. Some of the blocking is unnecessary, since the audience is more interested in what we're hearing than what we're seeing. The writing is crisp and wicked, which added a little spice to the performance.

A larger, more elaborate "dramedy" is John Wencel's Flowers, directed by Kristen Wagner. The play is slightly longer, and the playwright has better outlined the characters. He has given the director a good handle on the plot. The setting is immediately understood: Beth Grayson (Linda Rabin Hammell) is a star whose twinkle is dimming. Stuck in the dressing room of a daily soap opera studio, her boredom is interrupted by the entrance of an adoring fan (Greg Prusiewicz). "Bobby," however, has secrets to share. Wagner brings an element of slapstick to the play that works very well – so well, in fact, the piece could have been more over the top without becoming campy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More reviews!

Current mood: accomplished
BoxFest Detroit 2010

BoxFest Detroit 2010 is the latest installment in an ever-growing enterprise to support and encourage women directors in the metro Detroit theater community. This year's festival is marked by the promotion of longtime collaborator Molly McMahon to artistic director, accompanied by Kelly Rossi's return as executive director. Both are omnipresent at the Furniture Factory performance space, swapping shifts at the box office with other festival directors. The participants' eagerness to help events run smoothly is evident — among the volunteers manning the concessions counter is Frannie Shepherd-Bates, artistic director of Magenta Giraffe Theatre, which is playing host to the festival. The prevailing sense is one of overlap between the people actively involved in the plays and the people making the machine run, as well as joy in what they've brought to fruition.

Over the years, the BoxFest Detroit franchise has grown from a single evening of short plays to a three-week festival with a complicated schedule of six individual programming blocks. It has become literally too much theater to see in a single day — I know, because I tried. Short plays are fascinating and fun to dissect because they can create strange, special worlds without having to sustain them; the seventeen of this year's festival are no exception, but the sheer number limits my capacity to describe each as fully as it deserves.

Block 1 opens with A Mugging (by Ian Bonner and Marty Shea; director Jackie Strez), a quick, few-frills scene of a random crime turned on its head. Artificially confined by the cramped, dark approximation of an alley, performers Torri Ashford and Nick Pobutsky seemed under-rehearsed for a confrontation that waffles between unexpected earnestness and hesitant comedy. Well-executed costumes and props contribute to the histronics of The Reckless Romantic (by Jacquelyn Priskorn; director Kathleen Leitz), in which happy-go-lucky bachelor Gary Castaneda couldn't care less about the accidental deaths of a string of fianceés, to the great distress of his butler (John Nowaczyk) and collateral-damage maid (Lesley Braden-Phillips). The overblown soap opera delivery is a great assist to the tongue-in-cheek comedy, especially when the plot twists start to unfold. Rounding out the block is The Other Side (by Kitty Dubin; director Debbie Lannen), the sweet, albeit predictable, story of a mother-daughter relationship across the spiritual divide. Barbara Bloom is humorously acerbic as the deceased mother, and Ashley Shamoon gamely plays the script's obvious progression of guilt and disbelief, but Joe Lannen's neutral character of the medium — although given little emotional heft of his own — single-handedly pulls off the concept, deftly navigating the difficult supernatural rules of who can or can't see and hear each other.

There is a David Ives–like playfulness in Block 2: the opener, Boys, Meet Girl (by Audra Lord; director Lyndsay Michalik), begins with a woman (Emily Tipton) explaining to a police officer (Andy Orscheln) that she is being stalked. The catty yet inert one-upsmanship of Orscheln and third cast member Lorenzo Toia is the highlight of this comedy. Next is the sweeter, straightforward Flowers (by Hillary Sea Bard; director Jess Preville), which features lesbian couple Lucy (Alysia Kolascz) and Aggie (Megan Johnson) on the verge of meeting — and simultaneously coming out to — Lucy's parents. The script dabbles in ancillary details and a few forced comedic tangents, but the ease and care of the core relationship is what ultimately sells the piece. Finally, there's the curious world of perfectly rational mistresses in You? (written and directed by Angie Ransdell). Even as the confident, logical Patrice (Richie Rollins) schools the sheepish Janet (Laura Kopytek) about the truth behind their shared paramour, their verbal sparring is juxtaposed with moments of physical closeness, a masterful touch.

Block 3 begins with the visually arresting There Will Come Soft Rains (by Jacquelyn Priskorn; director Kennikki Jones), in which Jones uses the playwright's deliberate lack of information to create a frightening, unclear, vaguely apocalyptic world. Themes of propaganda and homophobia waft through the scene in an eerie funeral home, where strangers Arlo (Kevin Barron) and Zoe (Cara Trautman) begin to question what they've been told and even more so what they know. This fear and uncertainty is raised again in the closing play, another named Flowers (by John Wencel; director Kristen Wagner), this time the story of a wry, aging starlet (Linda Rabin Hammell) who receives more than a simple bouquet from a delivery boy (Greg Prusiewicz). Although Prusiewicz does fine work, it's all he can do to hang on while Hammell knocks her funny yet despairing role out of the park. A welcome break between these mournful offerings comes in the form of Wonder (by Kelly Rossi; director Katie Galazka), a risqué airport conversation between Megan Amadon and Angie Ransdell. Certain expository details are never overtly explained, so the scene plays out like hypothetical musing within a vacuum, but both the subject matter and the performers' treatment of it make for plenty of outlandish humor.

Deceptive Block 4 begins with a shot of reality that quickly slides into gleeful absurdity. First, Bar Reading (by Hillary Sea Bard; director Sarah Lucas) is a boy-meets-girl false start, where poor Maxim Hunt is shot down every which way by superior Alysia Kolascz. The real-seeming give and take between the actors has a pleasant arc that plays into a fine bait and switch–style ending. Conversely, the extremely mundane opening of God Needs Jumper Cables (by Andy Olesko; director Angie Kane Ferrante) is quickly stripped away to reveal a meta commentary on the mind of the playwright, resulting in one of the most hilarious pieces of the festival. Olesko inserts himself into the action (voiced by Kevin Barron), as figments of his imagination Joe Kvoriak and Pat Hanley quickly come to terms with their imaginary lives and a supremely unimpressive God (Ron Morelli) makes an appearance, apparently just because He can. Immediately following is the also-outstanding premise of Upon the Heath (by David P. Wahr; director Frannie Shepherd-Bates), in which Shakespeare's tragic heroines Lady Macbeth (Lisa Melinn), Juliet (Jaye Stellini), Desdemona (Kirsten Knisely), and Ophelia (Janeé Smith) assemble on the titular heath and compare perspectives on love and relationships. The script is so full of in-jokes it begins to ramble; even so, I enjoyed the piece's attention to character, especially Melinn's riotous, unrelenting severity.

With six blocks and five time slots on Saturdays, what's a Rogue to do? The answer: catch up with Block 5 on another night, after which I'll review Armchair Dating (by Margaret Edwartowski; director Andrea Scobie) and Birthday Beer (by Jacquelyn Priskorn; director Keara Woods).

The disparate plays of Block 6 do have a grab-bag feel, but the varied tones and styles do not detract one from the other. In The Meek Shall Inherit (by Jacquelyn Priskorn; director K. Edmonds), senior home residents Connie Cowper, Sarah Wilder, and Debra "Rockey" Rockey meet for a card game and to gossip about the other residents, in particular late arriver Mary. Hints as to Mary's identity increase in frequency and transparency, but the expected payoff never quite arrives — an unfortunate distraction from the characters themselves, who are delightful in their own right. Next, the family drama Sun Trust (by Linda Lazar Curatolo; director LoriGoe Perez) elevates dysfunction to Tennessee Williams levels of vitriol and helplessness. The promising adult son (Patrick Hanley) needs a loan from his parents to buy a house, but the utterly irredeemable father (Wesley Whittaker) can't stop spewing hate onto his wife (Debra "Rockey" Rockey) and child long enough to pick up the pen, triggering two intertwined confrontations that sound a loud and resonant family death knell. The closing piece, get (t)his (by Nicole Young; director Sharon L. Brooks), concerns two black women (double-cast Alaina Fleming, Kennikki Jones, Sarah Wilder, and Kron Moore) out shopping for a man, a good man, a partner. When they stumble across a black man (Dez Walker) coupled with a white woman (Aysia Kolascz), their resulting fury and its consequences present a stylistic oddity, half tone poem and half Reservoir Dogs.

Accompanying these diverse plays is a neutral, dynamic set of rolling flats and boxes, arranged and dressed up according to the needs of each production. Transitions are accompanied by music and executed with incredible swiftness, a major credit to festival stage manager Maria Tejada and assistant stage manager Sara Vazquez. Lighting design by Neil Koivu is generic enough to suit each play, but still lends plenty of variability.

The dedication of the festival participants shows throughout the program, with artists like Kolascz, who appears in fully half of the blocks; Barron, with roles in three different plays; thrice-directed playwright Priskorn; and Ransdell, who writes and directs one play and performs in another. Rockey deserves attention for her sequential appearances in Block 6, with performances so varied I didn't recognize her from one to the next. However, this handful of mentions is not intended to discount the dozens and dozens of writers, directors, actors, designers, crew, and organizers that all had a hand in making BoxFest Detroit 2010 a success. Individually, the directors' works are sound and rewarding, but what makes them particularly celebratory is the veritable community that materializes for these few weeks and thrums with the excitement of shared, hard-earned accomplishment

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/jacquiefloyd/blog?bID=538234105#ixzz0wdVWKq6t

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Two of 4 plays reviewed!

It's women's time to shine at BoxFest - Part 1

By Donald V. Calamia

REVIEW: BoxFest Detroit 2010
at The Furniture Factory

Each summer, women directors from throughout Southeast Michigan come together to showcase their talents in an annual festival called BoxFest Detroit. The event has morphed over the years from a one-weekend and six-play affair in Ann Arbor called Pandora's Box Fest to this year's three-weekend extravaganza at The Furniture Factory on the fringe of Wayne State University's campus in Detroit that features 18 plays by Michigan playwrights. But one thing hasn't changed despite its various permutations: The participating women work hard at creating their best work - and for some, their efforts pay off as they move from relative obscurity to paid directorial gigs at one (or more) of the area's professional theaters. (A few have even gotten into grad school based in part on their work with BoxFest.)

This year's BoxFest Detroit 2010, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly McMahon and Executive Director Kelly Rossi (and their team of producers, designers and jacks of all trades), is the most ambitious yet. Spread out over a single weekend, theatergoers can check out a dozen-and-a-half short plays, the topics of which cover the spectrum of ideas and styles. (The plays are grouped into six "boxes" that rotate throughout each weekend.) As you would expect, some are slick and expertly produced, while others are rough around the edges - but that's what makes BoxFest such an exciting event to attend each year: That over time, we get the privilege of watching these talented women mature as directors.

What we also get to see - especially THIS year - are unfamiliar faces on the BoxFest stage. In the past, BoxFest seemed to attract a hardy, hard-working but mostly familiar contingent of thespians who came together mostly to help out their friends. This year, however, the BoxFest ladies have apparently reached outside their familiar territories and brought in many new faces - both behind the scenes as directors and on the stage. (In fact, at the two sessions I've been to this year, I've had several people come up to me, point to someone and ask, "Who's THAT?" And I hadn't a clue!) That too is an important part of the event's evolution, one I hope to see continue in the years ahead.

So with 18 plays this year, how did we tackle reviewing them? To be honest, that's still a work in progress. Last summer, fellow critic D. A. Blackburn and I spent several hours over the first weekend catching all 14 plays. This year, however, because of the increased number of shows, a heavy review schedule outside of BoxFest and limited critic availability (it's vacation time, you know!), I was able to attend only two "boxes" (and 6 plays) this weekend. (You'll find my short reviews of each below.) Next weekend, though, we plan to have one or two critics catch as many of the rest as they possibly can - and you'll find their thoughts here shortly afterward.

Box 1:

The first show of the first box is its weakest. A Mugging by Ian Bonner and Marty Shea is a cute look at what happens when a mugger unexpectedly meets his match. There's an interesting "turn-around" that happens in the script, but director Jackie Strez and actors Torri Ashford (Shana) and Nick Pobutsky (Mugger) fail to come out of the gate with strong personalities that adequately set up the surprise twist ending. Furthermore, as staged by Strez, the story should have been over only minutes after it started, since the blocking gave Shana an early opportunity or two to beat the stuffing out of the bad guy without risking her own safety. But, of course, that wasn't in the script.

The Reckless Romantic is an O. Henry-ish tale by Jacquelyn Priskorn with a surprise ending I didn't see coming. The son of a millionaire has only a month left in which to get married or he'll lose his inheritance. The problem, though, is that his last three fiances all died mysteriously - which makes potential fiance number four, his maid, wonder about her own chances of walking down the aisle! Given the short time frame in which BoxFest shows are rehearsed, director Kathleen Leitz played it mostly safe with her chuckle-filled production. A sub-plot about an umbrella could have been much more outlandish (and funnier) had more time been allotted to safely work out complicated physical comedy. But John Nowaczyk was spot on as Dobbins the butler (one of the best performances of the night), and Lesley Braden-Phillips as the shaken-up maid Mary was also fine. And you just KNEW that mild-mannered and somewhat flighty Paul as played by Gary Castaneda COULDN'T have killed all those women, right? Or DID he?

The final show of the block is its slickest - which isn't a surprise, given the experience of most of its participants. Kitty Dubin's The Other Side brings a young woman to the Amazing Fred, a rather unorthodox fellow who claims to be able to talk to the dead. Beth and her mother had harsh words on the night mom died, and now, a year later, she wants to apologize. It's a touching script thoughtfully brought to life by Debbie Lannen. Longtime veterans (but rarely seen on Metro Detroit's professional stages these days) Joe Lannen (Fred) and Barbara Bloom (Mom) are delightful in their roles, with Joe Lannen's very naturalistic style serving his character well. And the emotional pain Ashley Shamoon's Beth exhibits is thoroughly believable.

Box 6:

Another favorite comedy of the evening was The Meek Shall Inherit by Jacquelyn Priskorn. Set in a retirement home, three elderly ladies get together for their regular game of cards - but their fourth is late. So, of course, they talk about her (and her family) behind her back. But their tunes change when they discover WHY Mary is late! Director K. Edmonds has assembled a fine trio of women who roll or slowly shuffle into the game room and create wonderfully expressive characters. Given the situation, there's not much action in the scene, but the character-driven piece doesn't need much. So kudos to the wonderful Connie Cowper (Gwen), Sarah Wilder (Louise) and Debra "Rockey" Rockey for creating such colorful seasoned citizens!

The block takes a very serious turn with Sun Trust by Linda Lazar Curatolo. When the economy tanked years ago, a family uprooted from Michigan to Tennessee so that the husband could take a job at Saturn. Now, years later, the couple's son wants to buy a home, and so he asks his dad for a loan. That simple request opens a can of worms that threatens to tear the family apart. Although the pacing was a bit slow to build according to the emotional turmoil of the script, director LoriGoe Perez has staged a heart-wrenching tale that elicited many vocal responses from the audience - aimed primarily at actor Wesley Whittaker who creates one of the most despicable and easy-to-hate characters I've seen in ages, Jerry, the father of Cory (Patrick Hanley) and husband of Nancy (Debra "Rockey" Rockey). It's a superb performance, perfectly underplayed to maximize its power and effect.

The most unique play of the block is get (t)his by Nicole Young, a stylized and stylish piece about what black women want in and from a black man - and how they react when they find him with a white woman. It's a razor-sharp look at stereotypes, relationships, expectations, guns and shopping, with an ending that will likely elicit lively conversation in YOUR home as it did among my friends at a late-night dinner following the performance. Director Sharon L. Brooks kept the show moving, while Alaina Fleming (Woman 1) and Kennikki Jones (Woman 2) found all sorts of entertaining ways to keep their thoroughly self-centered characters from becoming unlikable.


At The Furniture Factory, 4126 3rd St., Detroit. Friday-Saturday through Aug. 21. Tickets: $10 per day or $30 festival pass. For information: www.boxfestdetroit.com. CLICK HERE for complete schedule information.

Click here to comment on this review

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Boxfest 2010

Boxfest will once again be at The Furniture Factory in Detroit. I have FOUR plays in Boxfest this year! Here is your chance to see them all!

Friday Aug 6th: 8pm THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT

Saturday Aug 7th: 4pm THERE WILL COME SOFT RAINS

Friday Aug 13: 9pm BIRTHDAY BEER



10pm awards ceremony

For more info, check out the website!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

From May 7th

Current mood:  animated
Its been pretty quiet around the myspace.  Its difficult to maintain a constant presence at a place that requires so much articulation when you can get away with just an LOL and a link to a video or an FML and get a ton of "whatsamatter" comments back at the facebook.

But A lot has been a foot.  I have been on my constant mission of saving those who cannot save themselves...as well as helping those who cannot cast themselves...course, still waiting for my turn, but whatev.

I have returned MANY lost dogs to their owners over the last few weeks.  I rescued a sweet baby bird I called Lloyd (cuz he looked like Christopher Lloyd to me). 

I found him in the middle of the sidewalk while walking the Brompton.  I assumed he was dead...he wouldn't be the first dead baby bird I had found on a sidewalk, but when I bent down to pick him up he peeped in desperation.  He was very strong and very healthy.  I searched desperately for a nest but all the trees nearby were saplings.  I could see every branch and none had a nest.  I picked him up and rushed him home.  There I fed him Mighty Dog and he really seemed to enjoy it.  His poops smelled like Beef Tenderloin. :)
I had some bird rehab training from my days working at the nature center, so I kinda knew what to do, but I knew I didn't have the time or resources to give him the care he needed. 
The stupid Humane Society wildlife division closed at 1pm and didn't open again until 10am the next day.  I had an on camera audition at 10:45 and a theatre audition at 3:10.  Best I could do was rush to the humane society the next morning and pray I got out in time to make my audition.  Until then, Lloyd remained my responsibility. (please ignore my annoying "peeps" I found it got him to open his mouth for food)

The next morning, I got to the humane society and the two teens working the counter told me all they would do is charge me $18 to surrender him and they would "humanely euthanize" him!  What the crap?!  No way!  This guy was a fighter.  I wasn't going to ignore that, so I brought him with me to my audition.  Meanwhile my mom was calling around looking for a place that WOULD take him.

After my audition, my mom found a place in Macomb Michigan.  So I drove Lloyd all the way from 13 and Telegraph to M59 and Garfield.  The lady was so kind and told me that their birds have a high success rate.  I was so relieved that the birdie had a fighting chance now.  He was so sweet and inspirational!

Then I ran off to my other audition at Maple and Drake roads...I really put the miles on my car, but it was worth it.

The next day, walking the dog, I found another lost dog at the park.  With the help of some basketball playing nerds, called the number on its tags and returned it to the owner.  Brompton also got groomed!

He is handsome once again.  Even though he is currently hiding under the bed from the thunderstorm.

I had another audition yesterday for a voice over that I totally should have gotten, but I haven't heard, so I guess I didn't.  But even the client told me I nailed it.  Who knows what anyone really wants, though...

Tomorrow I have a callback for a SAG sitcom.  I really want to do well.  There are (as far as I can tell) only 4 of us called back for the role.  2 leggy blondes and one leggy brunette...and me...short stumpy redhead.  Gotta try to memorize these 7 sides to make a good impression!!!!  So, tomorrow I am off to Grand Rapids for the day. 

Apparently its supposed to rain the whole time Jeff are on vacation in Allegan.  Guess our bikes will just sit and get rusty on the trailer hitch...But at least we'll be on vacation...

Wish me luck this weekend!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Looking for a W

Current mood:  melancholy
I started yesterday off in a losing way.  But I figured I would stay positive about it.  No worries.  The two pounds I gained over the weekend will go away just as easily as they did last week...and then some!  I mean, I am really starting to look good over here cause people are starting to take notice.

But then I didn't get the positive phone calls I was hoping for/expecting (ie.  you're hired!) and I got 3 rejection letters for my plays!  I haven't had a W in my column since I got those two back to back commercials.  (One of which I still haven't been paid for and the other you never see me in anyway!)

I am starting to lose faith in myself...again!  Why is it so easy to lose faith in yourself in this industry?

Well, when you see the same 4 people getting the work you've been scratching for for years, that helps. 

I KNOW its not because I am not talented.  That is the one thing I have complete faith in.  But I have come to the conclusion that, with the way I appear now...even 20-30lbs thinner...I am extremely difficult to cast.  I just look "off".  Not "weird".  "Weird" gets you work, baby.  I just don't look "marketable."

You either need to be "hot" or "weird" looking.  I am neither.  So, unless I make my own projects, my Ws are few and far between flukes.

I don't want my working to be a fluke.  So, who has a suggestion to make my appearance more marketable?  Tyra Banks, give me a makeover!  Cuz right now, I am almost too sad to get out of bed and jump rope!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010




Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Follow up blog

..So, yeah, I am ashamed to say the siren song of Facebook has called my lazy ass away from blogging like a good little writer...I think my confidence as a writer is a bit shaken...Although I do thank Mike Clark for inspiring me to write a 3 page 3 character script about 3 "characters planning a hit."  I did 3 4th grade girls planning a hit on a dumb boy. I do way too much children's theatre!

Today I got to do a show at Alissa C's school.  It was pretty cool to show them what I do :)
Then in the afternoon, performed at an old high school friend's school.  Even ended up performing her son's story!  Such luck!
In between, at lunch, a lady let me hold her puppy while she ordered her subway sandwich!

Sweet little puppy!

But here is my new favorite Brompton pic

And now, I guess I will cop out again and leave you with PLAYGROUND POLITICS:


ANNABETH: This is where it will go down.

ASHLEY:And the other side is where it goes up!

ALMYRIA:No stupid, we’re not talking about the teeter totter...Stupid!

ASHLEY: Oh. What else is going down then?

ANNABETH: Didn’t you read my note?

ASHLEY: Nuh-uh.

ALMYRIA: You didn’t read the note?! Then how did you know to meet here at recess?!

ASHLEY: I followed you from the coatroom.

ANNABETH: Did anybody else follow us?

ASHLEY: I don’t think so.

ALMYRIA: No stupid boys?


ANNABETH: Good. Because this is where Spencer is totally gonna get it.

ASHLEY: Get what?

ALMYRIA: Why is she here?

ASHLEY: I’m her best friend.

ALMYRIA: I thought I was your best friend, Annabeth!

ANNABETH: You’re both my best friends.  Ashley was my best friend in kindergarten and then I met Almyria in second grade. I have room in my life for two best friends.

ASHLEY: Awesome.

ALMYRIA: What about on the nights I have Hebrew school? Do you guys talk about me?

ANNABETH: No! But that doesn’t matter!  We’re here to talk about Spencer. Ashley, you’re to go to Spencer and tell him you have the cootie antidote and lead him here.  Almyria, you’ll be--

ALMYRIA: Why don’t you talk about me?

ANNABETH: You just don’t come up, okay?

ALMYRIA: But if I’m you’re best friend--

ASHLEY: She does have that stuffed pig...'Member the stuffed pig, Annabeth?  You named it Almyria and when we were playing Barbies that one time, Almyria the pig sat on the dream house and smooshed it!

ALMYRIA(quietly): What?

ASHLEY: And then Almyria the pig ate--

ANNABETH(through gritted teeth): Shut up, Ashley.

ALMYRIA: I’m the pig?

ANNABETH: YOU’RE not the pig...

ALMYRIA: How could you do this to me, Annabeth?

ANNABETH: I didn’t do anything, I swear!  Ashley’s just--

ASHLEY: Ooh, look, there’s Spencer! Want I should go get him so you can smash his face into the mud like you wanted?

ALMYRIA: Don’t bother! I won’t be here to help sit on him anymore! You deal with your own boy troubles from now on!

She storms off.

ANNABETH: Thanks a lot, Ashley!

She storms off in the opposite direction. Ashley takes out a cell phone and speaks into it walkie talkie mode.

ASHLEY: Spencer? It’s done.

She smiles a wicked smile of satisfaction and sits on the teeter totter.

ASHLEY: Wanna come over and play with me now?

Facebook, the lazy way to blog

.Yes, facebook has sucked me in.  The status update doesn't even require a complete sentence to be understood.  It's sad.  I've become a lazy writer...Facebook has probably killed my creativity...I feel bad for having not blogged in so long...
To catch those who don't use facebook up, here is an example of a few weeks of my status updates...again, I apologize...:

March 16, 11:21am

some people are afraid to go to the dentist...I am afraid to go to the eye doctor...

March 16, 2:43pm

Jacquie Floyd HATES insurance companies! humiliated at the eye dr bc I was arguing with an already combative receptionist that I DO have insurance only to find out they never DID include me on Jeff's insurance plan on the "important" end of the paperwork...only on the end of the paperwork in our posession. left humiliated and cryin...g WITHOUT my much needed lenses, while my husband and his perfect eyes remained in the exam room...

March 17 at 10:10am

Jacquie Floyd is cuter than a leprachaun cuddling a baby unicorn! Let's make some use of this abundance of adorableness, people! :)

March 17 at 1:51pm

lucky charms and a shamrock shake...that's as irish as i am gettin' 2day

March 17 at 5:02pm

Jacquie Floyd just jumped rope in the privacy of my garage cuz I don't like the neighbors judging me...

March 17 at 6:36pm

it's not that no one would ask me to the prom, it's just that no one would tell me where it was...

March 18 at 6:02pm

brompton and i were jumping rope in the garage when suddenly the garage door opened and scared the bejezus out of us! Daddy came home from work early!

Fri at 9:08am

Jacquie Floyd

Jacquie Floyd keeps forgetting she has TWO Tony & Tina shows at the Greektown casino tomorrow...I must be blocking it out...I barely have the energy to get through one...any advice on how to get through two?!

Fri at 10:29am

a squirrel was just sitting on my windowsill, peeking into my office, but Brompton wouldn't let me pick him up to see the critter eye to eye! It was soooo cool!

Fri at 1:40pm

brompton just pooped in a pile of leaves n when i bent down 2 scoop he kicked poopy leaves all over me!

Fri at 2:09pm

Jacquie Floyd just passed a dead kitten on our walk...please don't have outdoor cats! There are coyotes in troy! Poor little kitten...

Fri at 10:02pm

wow! Just booked two vacations today! One with Karey and one with Jeff...Living like a rock star...'s wife...

Sat at 11:56am

psyching this old body up for 2 three hour wedding shows...if i don't return, i love you
Sat at 6:29pm

1 show down 1 to go

Yesterday at 12:25am

everybody loves a weird nun.

Yesterday at 12:56am

Jacquie Floyd suddenly craves rice a roni, even tho i have eaten two dinners and two desserts this evening...

Yesterday at 9:50am

Jacquie Floyd loves when jeff comes back in to kiss me goodbye a second time...i will miss him this week!

Yesterday at 5:37pm

i agree with beth, butt shouldn't count as a swear! :) I talk about my butt way too much!

How many times have you used a swear word in your Status Updates? This app will scan the history of your Status Updates to determine how much of a potty-mouth you are!
My Swearings:Here are some of my swearings
1. (Jun 1, 2009 ):...amble, there is a special place in Hell for you...
2. (Jul 23, 2009 ):just had to give the Brompton a butt trim...no one's a winner in that
3. (Jan 17, 2010 ):...Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,...

Yesterday at 5:38pm

going on tour again..

Yesterday at 9:29pm

stupid useless computer!

Yesterday at 11:51pm

this could get interesting...

10 hours ago

one doesn't sleep so well when one is constantly dreaming of the alarm going off and one waking up...dream meet reality...guh...

About an hour ago

Jacquie Floyd was a little distracted by the asst. wrestling coach that looked like billy joel

So, yeah this is just FIVE days worth of status updates...Fascinating drivel, right?
That's facebook for you!  Again sorry :(

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Living a very surreal life!

So, I headed out the door this morning to shoot my Lafontaine commercial...as i pull out of the driveway, the radio tells me m59 is going to be closed.  so i reprogram the gps to take me down back streets.  I made sure the producer knew i might be a little later than 930am and then i enjoyed the lovely lakeside winding roads to highland.
got on set with my several suitcases.  Got into hair and makeup and then waited til about noon before the director decided i just needed to change my socks...isnt it always the way?  you bring your entire wardrobe and end up just wearing what you came in.
So at around noon i finally get mic'ed up.  even tho i had no lines...i put my feet up on a desk over and over again and my scene partner played with my toes...for like an hour or so...very weird...
sat chatting with my fellow actors for 2 more hours before they released me.
while trying to manuever my way out of the dealership lot, i finally got the call that i was cast in the Michigan Lottery commercial!  It shoots wed.  Luckily Jen is an angel and will drive up to muskegon from chicago to cover my wed for me.  But I have a fitting on tuesday that hopefully colin can still help me make it to.  Its a SAG commercial and my first union job...very excited.
The wardrobe lady called me a few times and was hoping i could make it before 630pm on tues.  My last show is over at 2pm in muskegon, i might just squeak in depending on traffic and weather, but if colin can do my afternoon show, i'll make it for sure.
I get home and unpack and repack, kiss my adorable and supportive and amazingly talented husband goodbye and head out to follow the BSers van to Grand Haven.  On my way down John R road, I see an elderly man walking at an angle (while I am trying to work details out with colin).  the man does a face plant right on the ground, so i immediately pull over and dial 911.  But I forget my bluetooth is hooked up and can't understand why i can't hear them while i try to help the old man up.  His face is covered in drool and he is asking me to take him to the mall.  Luckily my vehicle is packed with clothes and there isn't an inch of room for him.  Finally 911 calls me back so I can hear them.  They say the man has been missing and they have been looking for him.  An officer pulls up just as he tells me an officer will be right there.  I tell the officer what i saw and ask if its okay if i leave.  he says sure and i take off.
I follow mark and mike down the freeways for a few hours.  We pull over in brighton for gas.  There are no free pumps, but i eventually get one and miss a call from the wardrobe lady while i pump gas.
i end up having to call her back when i am in the gas station, shouting into the phone onto her voice mail things like, "My bra size is 36B!"  I am quite a vision i am sure.
We finally get to grand haven by quarter after 9.  Looooong drive....my limbs are asleep and it was very lonely...i had to put my ipod headphones on for the last leg of the drive.
my room is adjoining to the boys'. I am able to park right in front of my outside entrance door.  No deadbolt, but the chainlock still works.  For some reason, i have a sliding door on the other side of the room to the outside...but i am too tired now not to feel safe!

I am so excited that i got two commercials in a row...i haven't shot anything since my comcast chicago spot 2 years ago! 
Looking forward to wed and praying colin will be able to be my hero tues afternoon...
God is helping me earn my stripes this week!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Good News I Can't Enjoy

Current mood:  stressed
So, I was at Carrie Ray casting three days in a row this past week!  I hadn't even been there in over a year!  So, that was crazy in itself...
I got cast in a Lafontaine auto dealer commercial.  It shoots sunday.
I also leave on tour to the west side of the state...grand haven/holland/muskegon shows.
I had a callback for a Mich lotto commercial.  Its SAG.  It pays more in one day (even if i was just an extra) than I would make in 3 days on tour...But for some reason, the producers need to see some talent from LA before they make their final decision...for a non speaking MICHGThey are 90% sure they want to use me.  Which would require a fitting on tues and a shoot on wed.  But they won't give me an answer til monday when I will already be on tour.
I suggested to the boss I train someone to take over for me this week, because there is also a waterworks rehearsal I am missing on thurs and a show i will barely make it back for on friday.  Plus Brompton needs to be groomed and Jeff is too swamped to take care of that for me.  Brompton is in such bad shape he is losing whole toenails in our carpet!  I am a horrible mommy.
But BS boss refuses to have "weak shows" with a new person and would rather have "weak shows" with me having a nervous breakdown.
So, instead, I have to drive my gas guzzling jeep out to grand haven (and i have broken turn signals and need an oil change, too) and plan to cut and run on my two partners should this opportunity arrive.
Jen is kind enough to come up from chicago on wed for me, but tues is still going to be a point of contention for me...
I may have to bow out of the waterworks show on friday just because I am sooooo completely stressed about this week.
I should be happy that after all these years, I am not only getting auditions, but getting jobs!  I was even "second choice" for the Toyota audition I went for.  Things are looking up.  Except the BSers albatross is hanging around my neck and destroying my hope for the future.  Better go cry myself to sleep again...I have an early call for an awesome job tomorrow...wish i could enjoy it...

Monday, February 15, 2010


THANK YOU for pointing out that CELEBRITY FIT CLUB is full of crap!

Also, thank you to FRANK THE ENTERTAINER A BASEMENT AFFAIR for having "real looking" ladies on the show...they are all really skinny, but they don't look like they're straight out of a magazine or anything.

Dear Jacquie, stop using television to validate yourself!

HA!  Like that's gonna happen.  When I am home alone, I talk to the Brompton and the tv.  The Tv is the only thing that talks back...It makes a quiet home less spooky.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and Jeff and I spent it in the best way possible.  Shopping!
We bought a new area rug for the front entryway, new barstools for the basement (still didn't spend enough to get the free Tv and Wii from Gardner White...wah wah).  We even found ourselves intimidating our young salesguy a little.  I didn't mean to, but how many people really ARE intimidated by me anyway?  I just wanted to make sure we didn't get stiffed on the deals posted all over the store.  He thought we were "big time actors".  Ha!  Not yet.

Then we went to Target to get Jeff costume pieces for his break out role in SIDE EFFECTS.  I got a new hat.  I love hats now for some reason...

Then he took me to a fancy schmancy jewelry store that is going out of business.  80% off most everything!  It took some of my favorite pieces down to as low as  $35,000!!!!  Ye Gods!
We almost walked out with a diamond and citrine necklace, but I told him I would rather have a new computer.  So we left with nothing.  It was romantic and fun to dream, but in the end, Jeff and I are way to practical to buy stuff like that.  I would rather wear fake jewels and laugh at the mugger when he runs off with my CZs instead of a 4 karat necklace!  Just saying.

We got our valentine's liquor to make manhattan's and eat our Valentine's Qdoba.  Good stuff, but I've been sick all morning today...perhaps someone has been slipping me Alli pills...cause tasty bad for me food keeps making me sick now!

We watched our Valentine's A TEAM and Sunday night Fox shows...it was just a fun day. 

Today I have an audition that could cause a lot of problems for the BSers if I get it, but we would NEED to work it out, because this is SAG, baby! :)
I just want to audition cause I haven't been on a Carrie Ray audition in a loooooong time...maybe over a year!  Gotta get back on the horse, so to speak...

So, yeah...

Oh and I dreamed I was a writer for KIDS IN THE HALL and didn't even know it until I saw their dvd box set years later...Someone owes me some Canadian money!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear Celebrity Fit Club

Current mood: hungry
Screw you for making me feel fatter than I ever have in my life.
You have one girl on the show one inch shorter than me and 14lbs lighter than me. She was even told she has a normal BMI. But you're encouraging her to drop 20 more pounds!?
The other girl is one inch TALLER than me and only 2lbs heavier. She was in tears because you were telling her how overweight she was. And you know what? She looked a lot heavier than I am...Or am I just fooling myself? Now I am freaking paranoid!
Thanks celebrity fit club for even ruining birthday cake for me. They did a terrible gauntlet of military exercise and then were told they only burnt 500 calories, which was barely a sliver or the cake they had there.
I worked my quads out so hard after that, I cry when I sit down and get up off the toilet. And I am still fat.
You're all bastards and I am hungry

Monday, February 8, 2010

Story of My Life

So, I had an audition I felt pretty good about.  I was starting to consider myself the "Heather Locklear" of car companies after my successful run with Chrysler in October.

I read for Toyota, pretty confident I was doing a bang up job.  Knowing I was pretty strong in my improv skills...but I saw that Lise Lacasse was on the list too and it was over for me.  Sigh.

So, here I remain.  I got an email from TSPP telling me I was the director's SECOND choice...So, I will think positively and hope that the Chicago auto show goes well and maybe they will call for a second cast to finish off the auto show season.  Auto show money is stupid good.  And we got new carpet AND a new roof and I want a new laptop!

But my mom always reminded me of how throughout school...say they needed 3 representatives for the school spelling bee...I would be number 4.  If they needed 2 for the track meet, I would be 3.  Its the story of my life, being an also ran.

I try really hard to stay positive...and as often as you see me fail, you can SEE I am trying REALLY HARD.

But I am sick of being Mr. Cellophane.

I want my turn.  I do.  I always was positive about my career or I would have stopped auditioning long ago.  I was auditioning the DAY before my cancer surgery...hoping the good karma would pay off...nope.  I auditioned a week after my cancer surgery...nothing.

I have zero karma.  I am Ms Status Quo.  Nothing changes for the better or the worst.  I name this the "lifetime of the meh."

I really would like some guidance as to what my purpose is, other than bitching.  Cause I am getting tired of that...I want to have some awesome news for once. 

Any one out there with an over abundance of good karma?  Wanna shove a smidgen my way.

I want to be proud of myself.  I want to make my family proud.

But right now all I have going is "I have forseen my death.  It is at the bottom of a Brainstormers gig rig."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Perhaps I have been going about this wrong

Current mood:  hopeful
I get so frustrated and upset with myself because no one seems to notice me or the hard work I have been putting into my career since I was 8 years old.

I immediately jump to the conclusion because one idiot director told me years ago to "get a mirror, get a life" that I never win because I am fat and ugly.

But perhaps I have been going about this the wrong way. 

Perhaps the desire for awards, kudos and more auditions is just wrong. 

Perhaps I should just be happy that I get to do what I love at all.  Some people don't even get that much.

Perhaps I should be happy that there really has never been a review out there slamming me or my appearance.  That in itself should be a win.

Perhaps trophies and prestige ISN'T what its all about.

What I need to learn is to take the little pats on the back I get from friends and make them soul trophies.  Make that the only thing that matters.  Because otherwise I am just a little black rain cloud on the world and my own career.

Its hard.  Especially when everyone else seems to get the actual awards, kudos and auditions.  But, changing a mindset never was easy...

Back to THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, I guess....

The Four Agreements®

The Four Agreements
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Don't forget to go tomorrow night!

2/2 Mitten Movie Project

independent short films
Host: Type: Network:
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
7:30pm - 10:30pm
Main Art Theatre - Royal Oak


independent short films

Contact: Connie Mangilin
Curator, Mitten Movie Project


Detroit, MI – The February 2nd Mitten Movie Project pays tribute to the art of making 48-hour shorts. Disturbingly beautiful, “The Message,” shows Detroit in all of its post-apocalyptic glory and is a shining example of what is possible in just 48 short hours. Also screening is the impressive World War II short, “The Commandant,” film festival favorite and Director Robert Joseph Butler’s personal fave, “Solitude,” and the inspiring documentary about Detroit renaissance/revival, “The Farmer and the Philosopher.” The February Mitten Movie Project takes place on Tuesday, February 2nd at 7:30 p.m. at the Main Art Theatre (118 N. Main Street, Royal Oak 48067). For presale tickets and more information, go to facebook.com/mittenmovieproject

For Mike Zawacki, the director of “The Message,” this was his second time crewing on a 48-hour short. (Zawacki crewed on Paradise Valley Media’s “A Little Knowledge” -- the short that won the Detroit chapter of the 2009 48 Hour Film Project, and which qualified them for the international shootout.) Regarding the challenges of making a 48-hour short, Zawacki explained, “It's harder to fine-tune the script, . . . harder to do pre-production, to come up with locations, costumes, set dressings, and props. It's harder to shoot, and harder to rehearse with your actors.” But as Zawacki further explained, “Where it really bites you is in post-production. Until it's edited you can't start composing and/or laying in the music and you can't start sound designing (which is possibly the most time intensive part of post production!).”

To overcome those challenges, Zawacki said that “[f]irst and foremost you should try to crew up with quality people whom you've worked with before.” Then the next step is to “frontload pre-production and cast a very broad net in terms of actors, locations, props, and so on.” Another important aspect of completing a 48-hour short is “scheduling and having a predetermined work-flow.” A production needs a “clear map of what you're going to be doing when, from the minute you get your script elements to the minute you hand in your completed film. Not just call sheets and shooting schedules, but deciding how long you'll have to write, how long you'll have to edit, at what point does your editor hand over a cut to sound and music, how long to work on sound and music, what is your editor doing while sound and music are finishing their work, and so forth.”

Normally, 48-hour competitions have four requirements that filmmakers must adhere to: a genre, character, prop, and line of dialogue (there is sometimes an additional location requirement). But the International 48 Hour Film Project Shootout had only two requirements: a theme and city identifier. The theme that 54 teams from around the world wrestled with was END OF THE WORLD – one that was very familiar to Mike Zawacki and most of the crew of “The Message,” as many spent a year and a half making a post-apocalyptic sci-fi series and feature film in Detroit.

In other news, the winner of the January 2010 Mitten Movie Project Audience Choice Award was “Avabot,” the local sci-fi short directed by Jamie Surgener. Second and third place winners were “Death in Charge” and “Retreat,” respectively. “Death in Charge,” the short from California “directrix” Devi Snively, which features Death as a babysitter, and “Retreat,” a short by local director Robert Joseph Butler, will air on the Mitten Movie Show on Comcast 18/Wow 52 from February 3rd to February 28th on Wednesdays at 11 p.m. and Saturdays at midnight in Auburn Hills, Berkley, Clawson, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Oakland Township, Pleasant Ridge, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, and Troy to reach over 140,000 households.

The Mitten Movie Project would like to thank the 100 moviegoers that braved the cold and post-holiday craziness to come to the January 5th Mitten Movie Project. The MMP would also like to thank M1 Studios in Royal Oak (www.m-1studios.com) for its DVD authoring services, and its newest sponsor, Michigan Movie Magazine, for its monthly online coverage of the Mitten Movie Project (www.michiganmoviemagazine.biz).

The Mitten Movie Project is a monthly film festival dedicated to screening independent films the first Tuesday of every month at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak. Presale tickets are available for $8 by e-mailing mangilc@yahoo.com. Tickets at the door are $10 (cash only). A pre-screening reception starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Art lobby where moviegoers can mingle with the directors, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts. After the screening, a Q&A session will be conducted with the filmmakers in the theatre. An afterglow party will be held at Mr. B's (215 S. Main Street -- within walking distance of the theatre) to end the night’s activities. To submit a film for consideration in the festival, visit facebook.com/mittenmovieproject for guidelines. Submission is free. Screeners may be sent by DVD or online link.

[Program notes on next page]


Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak, MI - 7:30 p.m.
Pre-sale tickets $8 at myspace.com/mittenmovieproject, Door $10

FINAL LINEUP. Total running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes. In order of screening:

OVERCOME [trailer] - Team 10 Mile / Five Clover Films (00:50) (Michigan) (2009) Directed by Mike Madigan and Chris Lepley. Starring Vincent Rasnick, Dawn Bartley, Chris Lepley and Dave Durham. A story of trust and forgiveness as one couple tries to save their marriage. Completed for Project 21. www.fivecloverfilms.com

RUNWAYS & BUNKBEDS [trailer] – AxeFin Productions (03:07) (Michigan) (2010) Written and directed by Axel Harney. International male model, Luke Sebastian (Harney), lives a charmed life. But conflict arises when he thinks he is flying to Italy for Fashion Week. When he ends up with an atypical roommate, Fronk (Luke Richmond), and falls for a beautiful model named Molly (Monica Lee Percich), Luke is forced to look within and make decisions that might bring his charmed life to a halt. www.axefinproductions.com

FRESH START [documentary] - (06:03) (California) Directed by Brad “8.bliss” Erlandson. A quick and personal look into the life of a paraplegic ex-street musician.

THE RE-DEADENING [narrative] – Bombastic Entertainment (10:00) (Michigan) (2009) Directed by Brian Schoof. When a man finds his brother has returned from the grave to terrorize the living, he soon discovers slaying the undead isn't as easy as it seems. Starring Marc Pappas, Solid Schoof, and Brian Whisman. www.bombasticentertainment.com

TRY AGAIN [narrative] – Flim Flam Film (03:03) (Michigan) (2007) Directed by Denver Rochon. A married couple must decide whether or not to salvage their relationship after tragedy strikes their family. Starring Nick Moretti and Michelle Simasko.

DOCTOR REDDY [narrative] – Cheklich Enterprises (10:45) (Michigan) Written and directed by Diane Cheklich. Doctor Reddy is one strange dude. Witness his encounters with freaked out patients, go-go dancers, karaoke bars, and biker gangs. In other words, just another day in the life. www.cheklich.com

DANYELLE [narrative] – Five Clover Films (04:47) (Michigan) (2009) Written and directed by Mike Madigan. Starring Dawn Bartley. Danyelle’s thoughts on how to deal with a personal issue in her life evolve over the course of a day of work and personal reflection. Winner of “Best Cinematography” for MicroMinis at the 2009 Ferndale Film Festival. www.fivecloverfilms.com

PACKARD EMP [narrative] – Directed by Clark A. Eagling (11:41) (Michigan) A tiny crew of media majors attempt to capture a short film about a boy who doesn't know what freedom means and the girl that loves him.

THE GUEST ROOM [narrative] – Wolverine Films (10:05) (Michigan) (2009) Directed by Louis Kerman. May sees a mysterious little girl in the guest room of her home. Her husband, Dan, wants to move forward in their marriage. But ghosts from their past refuse to let them go -- until they’re both forced to confront their feelings over what happened.

SOLITUDE [narrative] – Nu-Wave Films (18:00) (Michigan) (2009) Directed by Robert Joseph Butler. Two abstract dramas intertwined in one short. The first involves a lonely woman, Marcia (Aphrodite Nikolovski), who is searching for a connection. Her isolation is elevated when she meets an offbeat slacker, Barry (Jacob Hodson). The second story explores the relationship between a beautiful woman, Andie (Sarah Benedict), and Barry. Both stories present a unique look at stardom, cinema, romance, broken dreams, and the film industry. www.nuwavefilms.com

THE FARMER AND THE PHILOSPHER [documentary] – DETROIT LIVES! (07:40) (Michigan) (2009) Presented by DETROIT LIVES!, this documentary takes a positive look at Detroit's forward progress told through the prism of two different figures (Toby Barlow and Mark Covington) that are changing the city for the better. Shot, edited and animated by Andrea Adelman. Produced by Philip Lauri. www.detroitlives.org

THE COMMANDANT [narrative] – Directed by Stephen Pell (12:38) (Michigan) (2009) Two Russian soldiers are trapped in Nazi occupied Poland with their wounded commanding officer during World War II.

THE MESSAGE [narrative] – Paradise Valley Media (09:40) (Michigan) (2009) A voice from the past unites a fragile trio of survivors coping with life after a catastrophic epidemic. Directed by Mike Zawacki. Written by Nancy Nall Derringer and Ron French. Starring Alora Catherine Smith, Rick Bobier, and Holly Smokovitz. www.paradisevalleymedia.com