It feels good to be home after an amazing, action-packed weekend at Hang Onto Your Shorts Film Festival (HOTYS). I have months and months of updates to share so grab a cup of tea and get cozy ;)
Before I get into all the details of the festival and other news, I'm super excited to announce that I'm in a new one-act play premiering at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre. It's a noir comedy called "Griffith Park," written and directed by John Esposito. The play runs Friday, May 4th and Saturday, May 5th as part of the Playwright's Showcase. This is going to be FUN! I'd love to see you there, so reserve your tickets by following this link: http://manhattanrep.com/series-1-playwrights-showcase/
So, back to the festival. HOTYS is a two-day fest near the oceanfront in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Two films that I had the pleasure of acting in screened at the festival: "33 Years," a sci-fi written and directed by Ryan Reid, and "The Question," a romantic drama written and directed by Larry Rosen.
For "33 Years" we were honored with several nominations: "Best First-Time Director" (Ryan Reid) and "Best Actress" (myself). I'm always so touched by the feedback that we get on this film. It's the first film that I acted in after making the decision a little less than three years ago to stop "dabbling" and fully pursue acting with every fiber of my being and it's led to some wonderful friendships & collaborations. It also opened me up to the idea of working on more science fiction and fantasy films. I had so much fun working in that genre.
For "The Question," we were honored with nominations for "Best Short Short," "Best Supporting Actress" (Bethany Nicole Taylor) and "Best Director" (Larry Rosen). Bethany went home with the award for Best Supporting Actress and we are SO happy for her!! She couldn't be at the festival to accept the award because she's currently performing in "Wicked Frozen," an absolutely stunning Off-Broadway musical running every Sunday through July at St. Luke's Theatre. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend checking it out. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be wildly entertained. I was also super happy to finally see "JOE," a short romantic comedy that screened at the festival which also stars Bethany (written by Shara Ashley Zeiger, directed by Kaye Tuckerman). Bethany's performance in "Joe" couldn't be any better - she truly shines in that role!!
This year I made a commitment to myself to be more proactive about the films I wanted to see at the festival. There are so many amazing films playing all that the same time so it's helpful to have a plan - and that plan involved running back and forth to different venues to make it happen - but I'm so happy I did!! Some highlights were "Subway Platform at the End of the World" (featuring Jack Mulcahy/Brothers McMullen), "Please Read," written and directed by Jennifer Marie (Casting Chloe), and "Death and Disco Fries" by one of my all-time favorite local directors, Dennis Cahlo (starring Chris Cullen, Dennis Cahlo). Festivals are amazing because no matter where you turn you're surrounded by incredibly talented people who are following their dreams. It was an honor to be in such profound company!
A few things that happened leading up to the festival: I was invited to be interviewed on the Hang Onto Your Shorts Podcast along with Kathrina Miccio and Darío Del Priore (St. Joseph). You can catch a replay of the podcast here (my portion kicks in around the 30-minute mark): https://www.facebook.com/mingchen/videos/10155845451247639/UzpfSTE0MjI1Mjg4Mjg6MTAyMTczODkzMDQ4MzA4OTY/
Directly following the HOTYS interview, I sat with the illustrious Ming Chen for an episode of his podcast #TheCoralSword. You might know Ming from the AMC reality series, Comic Book Men. It was so fun chatting with him & Chris Cullen about horror films, Lloyd Kaufman, and the meaning behind #SinisterFoxy. You can see our episode here (and if it feels right, please tweet it out and share the link on facebook): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/249008421
Just one week before these podcasts, #33Years also screened at Point Lookout Film Festival in Long Island, NY. It was a fun night, I met a ton of interesting people, and my director Ryan Reid was awarded "Best First-Time Director." How awesome!!
The week following Point Lookout, I got the chance to work with Ryan yet again on a music video for a Long Island rock band. We filmed near the waterfront and the footage looks so beautiful! My co-stars were Travis Schweiger (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Geoff Haverstock (Flag of War) and Miley Rose (Casting Chloe). I'll keep you posted on when the video gets released. Can't wait!! Until then, enjoy the screen grab below ;)
Next up, I have two trailers to share.
First, I'm featured briefly in the short film, "Casting Chloe" by Jennifer Marie (Please Read). It's a mockumentary about the casting process for a short film. Here's a glimpse! You can see the film in it's entirety at it's New York City premiere on Monday, May 7th. It's screening at the NYC Pop-Up Film Festival at John Sullivan’s (201 W. 35th Street and 7th Avenue) between 6-8pm.
I'm also excited to share the trailer for the mockumentary "The Making of Meat Hook in the Mountains," (yep, two mockumentaries!!). This was written by Ryan Reid (33 Years) and Sarah Teede (Wedding Season) and produced by Ryan, Sarah and Janelle Engle (Eclipse, Boy Code). The film follows the behind the scenes making of a really bad low-budget horror movie. I play "Sarah," the leading role in the fictional horror film who takes it really seriously.
As I write this post, it's not possible to embed the video to the trailer. But here's a link to our facebook page where you can watch. And if it feels good, please like our fanpage and give a thumbs up for the trailer. This film was a blast to make!!
I think that's all for now! My scheduled has been a little hectic but I'm determined to get these posts out on a weekly basis. Even if it's just two quick sentences to let you know what I'm doing. It means so much to me to have your support. Thank you for showing up for me!
If you enjoyed this post, please share on whichever social media platform you love the most. I'd also love to hear from you in the comments below. xo
(p.s. You might be aware that health and fitness are a HUGE part of my life. I've been thinking about sharing more about how I try to stay healthy while keeping such a full schedule. Would that interest you? I'm thinking recipes, tips on quick workouts, my obsession for essential oils, meditation . . . anything related to wellness. Either way, please share your thoughts in the comments below!)