Category Archives: Entertainment

Happily Ever After!

Recently, I went to Disney World.One of my favorite moments from my trip was watching the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Fireworks at Disney are always amazing, but I wasn’t prepared for my heart to be so moved by this show. As I watched, it made me feel like a kid all over again. I loved this show so much because it brought a flood a memories back to me.

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The show is called Happily Ever After. It was truly something I will forever remember.

I loved the opening song so much that I bought it on I Tunes. Here is the video of the two singers recording the song.

If you go to Disney World while this show is running, you must see it. It is so worth the crowd. It found a special spot in my heart. If you like Disney music, you need to go on over to I Tunes and buy this song.

 

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How to Act and Get Paid?

Recently, A few people have asked me about getting paid as an actor or filmmaker. Please know that I am an indy filmmaker, who has only done a  handful of films. You can find my profile on IMDB Profile.  I can only speak from My own experience. which mostly is extra work or featured extra roles. I’m not the star of a set generally.

When I have worked on a film set, I’ve been asked to sign a release of photograph saying it’s ok to use  my image, I have filled out a  voucher showing me the rate which has been a flat rate for so many hours, or  hourly rate.  I have provided my Driver’s licence and Social Security card for identification. I’ve signed a non disclosure agreement as well. Once I was done filming,

I was compensated a couple different ways.

  1. From an agent. If you have an agent, sometimes your payment will go straight through their office. Then they will cut you a check after they take 10-20% which is fair. Generally when I had an agent, if I got work on my own, I would compensate my agent still just as a courtesy.
  2. Straight from the accounting office. I’ve worked on several films where you sign an agreement and then when you finish your two days of work, you get paid right from accounting personnel.
  3. Through a secondary company. Most films will pay through a voucher system. You get a voucher and then you could receive money within a couple of weeks after your last day of shooting. Now I have waited an unreasonable amount of time before on a project. Just be aware with vouchers, it works out most of the time eventually. Just know you most likely will not get paid the week you work. I learned this the hard way.

Just always take care of yourself. When I am on set,

  1. I always get a point of contact before I leave regarding payment.
  2. I always double check that I have a copy of my vouchers in order.
  3. I always call the company after a week of completing the film and continue to do so every week until the can verify that they have received my vouchers and they are mailing my check.
  4. In the US, know the number the film office in the state you are working in. This is just in case you need to contact them for not getting paid. Films depend on money they get from the state they film in, to cover some of the expenses of the process. If they shouldn’t get paid that money unless they are paying you.

Making money doing film work is fun, just know that getting payment isn’t always timely, and you may have to get legal help sometimes.

 

Improv 101 Lesson 2: Listening

If you missed lesson 1 of my improv 101 you can click below.

Lesson 1

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Lesson 2: Listening

When you are on stage, listening is vital because your scene partner is giving you all sorts of good information, and if you are hearing them, your scenes will be great. Using all your senses on stage is important. Watching every twitch of a scene partners eye to a smirk on their face. What they are offering you is a gift. If we learn to listen and watch them, we take the focus of of us. We don’t worry about what we are going to do or say. Our job as an improviser is clear. No pressure. Here are some examples that might occur that would hinder your scene.

Not Listening Example. 

Player 1 “Harriet, here are the Wilson files. ”

Player 2 “I love these flowers”

Player 2 totally disregarded what player one was giving them. Player 1 said the object was files. Player two said the object was flowers. This will cause confusion on the stage.

Not Listening Example 2

Player 1 ” Honey the babies are coming, and I need to go to the hospital”

Player 2 ” I wished we could have a baby.

Player 1 ” I’m pregnant right now.”

Player 2 ” We should get pregnant.”

Player 2 is obviously not listening to what Player 1 said.

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Correct Listening response 1.

Player 1 “Harriet, here are the Wilson files. ”

Player 2 “Mrs Parker, I will put these court files back in the cabinet, and we will keep them just in case the come back with more false claims against Barbecue Grill.”

Player 2 just made it clear that these files were court documents, and the Wilson family had caused some trouble at the Barbecue Grill. Not only did she listen to her scene partner, she added information. Because Player 2 had Listened to what her scene partner was saying, they began creating a beautiful scene together.

Correct Listening response 2

Player 1 ” Honey the babies are coming, and I need to go to the hospital”

Player 2 ” The bag, the bag. I need to Breathe. hee hee, i mean you need ot breathe”

Player 2 has listened affirmed player 1 and pushed this scene forward by becoming panicked.

 

Incorrect Listening response 2

Player 2  enter the scene. Player 1 is already on stage slamming cabinets and stomping around the stage. Player 1 has a scrunched up face. Player 2  enter the scene.

Incorrect response by Player 2 directed toward player 1.

Player 2: I am glad that we decided to spend my birthday here at the zoo today, and I love these animals.

Player 1 has already established that he is inside in a room with a kitchen, and Player one is not looking at animals. Player 2 is not listening to Player 1. Player 2 is saying no by not taking what Player 1 has already established. It confuses the audience, and leads Player 1 to have to make a choice.

 

 Player 1 may not choose to drop anything and say.

“WE are not at the zoo, we are at home, it’s not your birthday and I’m mad.”

If Player 2 comes back with

“Yes we are at the zoo”

This just creates an argument. It creates a lot of negation.

This is how the scene could be less confusing. 

How could Player 1 respond correctly

Player 1 could say to  Player 2

“You are not authorized to be behind the lion cages, where we store medicine and food”

This could fix the confusion, and get yes and started up again.

Correct Listening Example 

But to eliminate all confusion, it could go something like this.

Player 2  enter the scene. Player 1 is already on stage slamming cabinets and stomping around the stage. Player 1 has a scrunched up face. Player 2  enter the scene.

Player 2  Samantha, If you are looking for your Frosted Flakes, I ate them and they were sooooo good.

Player 1: You. I’m telling mom.

By listening now we have a relationship and a scene that can push forward and build into something great.

Improvising is about building great scenes that develop relationship through yes and and listening.

Improv 101 Lesson 1: Yes and…

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I have often mentioned improv on my blog here, but It has been awhile since I have went over the basics of improv. So I’ve decided over the next few weeks that I would write a short blog about some basics that  I would cover in my workshop normally. The first one is by far may be the most important for any beginning improviser, and it’s always good as a seasoned performer to revisit exercise that keep this in your tool belt.

YES AND

When you say no in your scene, it will only lead to nothing. Saying yes will keep your scene moving.

An example of saying no would go like this. 

Player 1:  “Bob, It is our duty as fire fighters to put out this fire on 8th Street. ”

Player 2:   “I’m a police officer. I have never been a fire fighter. ”

An example of saying yes would go like this

Player 1: “Bob, It is our duty as fire fighters to put out this fire on 8th Street. ”

Player 2: ” Yes Pete, I’ve got the truck ready, and I will drive.”

By saying yes and adding direction, this gives us more information and something to work with.

Say yes and

Not only say yes, but give something else to your scene partner by saying yes and

Ex. If your scene partner says 

Player 1: “We are going to the store.”

Player 2:  “Yes we are going to the store.”

Even though you yes to what your scene partner said, you didn’t add anything to help push the scene forward. By doing this, you put all the pressure on them to come up with everything in the scene.

An example of a correct response =

Player 1: Terry, we are going to the store.

Player 2: “Yes Mary,  we are going to the store, and since it is our 25th wedding anniversary, I am going to buy you a new Tiffany Diamond Ring.

This would lead to a fuller scene. It has affirmed and added more information. Now the two players are building a scene together, rather than, one of them doing it alone.

Playing scenes with Yes and is truly the easiest way to build a scene. You might think that it would keep conflict away, but it truly works and make interesting scenes. Starting out keep it simple. Say Yes And.

 

Redbox Must Rent!

I am excited to announce that the movie I’ve talked about before on the blog, The Atoning is going to be going to Redbox. I  am over the moon as this is the very first movie  I worked on to be on Redbox. It’s no easy task to get an Indy film on Redbox these days, but when you have an awesome director like Michael Williams, incredible producers like Michael Williams, Daniel Wood, Michael LaCour, Joni Seitz, Sabrita Gordon, and David Roberson and an amazing cast and crew it happens. As Halloween approaches, if you need to get ready now is your time to watch this suspense thriller.

For your convenience, it will be on other platforms as well. Take a look at the graphic below. Thanks for reading my blog, and thanks in advance for supporting the Atoning.

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Lost In Constellation

Here is a new post and a snippit of a new song from my a cool band. Lost in Constellation. Follow them on you tube, Facebook, Instagram, and twitter.

 

Be Alive!

 

I’ve been working a lot lately, and I really do love my job.

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I love the people I work with, and I love watching people learn about the

past,

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, presentimg_1606

and future of space travel.

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I love meeting people from all over the world, and I love hearing stories of people that worked on getting man to the moon.

As much as I do love my job, I haven’t been doing a lot of creative work. I haven’t been feeding my inner artist. I haven’t been writing, improvising, and I really miss it.

Today, I headed out to the library, and I bought some used plays,

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and I’m going to try to find some new monologues to begin to work on. I have dusted off my most recent screenplay and I’m going to get back to working on it. I’m trying to remind myself on a daily basis to feed the artist that lives inside of me. I don’t want to loose the skills that I’ve developed over the last twelve years.

Also, I am happier when I create.

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As an artist, when you create, you feel more alive. So, I hope that soon, I will be back on stage, behind a camera, or in front of the camera giving the performance of my life. I hope that I can keep the creative candle burning. I hope I can always remember that whether I am working at my day job, or creating art that I effect people. I hope that I approach life not just barely existing, but alive.

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Fail Big

 

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The picture above is me with second city’s traveling improv team birthing two players. I went for the fence that night. It is something I will never forget. I was so afraid to mess up, but the guy under me and for the life of me I don’t even know his name. I owe so much to him for my success in improv.

 

I remember in improv rehearsal when  I heard the statement Fail Big for the first time. I was glad it was explained to me soon after I heard it. It was foreign to me because I had grown up playing sports my whole life, and I often heard about winning. Losing was looked on as a bad thing in that environment. I was above average in playing sports, but my determination made up for my lack of talent. However, I hated losing, until one day I was in an environment where failing was no longer negative.

What does Fail Big mean?

It means to push the limit as far as you can till it breaks. It means that you are able to have freedom in whatever you do because if you do fail you learn something. You have pushed the limits and boundaries and landed in a place that is not familiar to you. It’s uncomfortable, but in that moment of discomfort comes the beauty of your true nature.

So don’t be afraid Fail Big! Do Great Things!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Left Part of My Heart in West Point, Mississippi.

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Back in August of last year, I had the fortunate privilege to work on the feature film The Atoning with director Michael Williams of Shendopen Films.

Michael is an amazing writer, director and filmmaker.12249818_10101964167464716_8719927112880774132_n

He made my job somewhat simple because he communicated the vision of the film so well, and he had a hands on approach to making sure that the set design, wardrobe, and props were  exactly what he wanted. I had worked in the art department for several films, but this was my first as a production designer. I learned so much, and met so many new friends.
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The production team was amazing as well. We just melted together. I would work with that crew a million times over.

This film was shot in West Point, Mississippi. I fell in love with the people of this town. They were so supportive of their local filmmaker, and so welcoming to those of us who were just visiting. I’ve never seen a community rally around, donate, volunteer, or support a filmmaker in this way. It was amazing to witness.

The Atoning will be screening right here in Huntsville on April 14th, 2017. You can get the info and tickets at this website.

Purchase Tickets

Some people leave their hearts in San Francisco, I left part of my heart in West Point, Mississippi.

 

Who Inspires You?

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I have been inspired  by so many people in my life.

  1. My Family
  2. My Fifth Grade Teacher
  3. My Coaches when playing sports
  4. Athletes
  5. Artist

The list goes on. It seems just when I need inspiration, or a fresh perspective, someone comes along in my life to give me just what I need. Recently, I’ve been inspired by several people in social media. I’ve been inspired by their dedication to do things in a different way. Trail Blazers to a new era.

I’ve been following these guys on social media recently, and I am definitely inspired by each of them for different reasons. Although, everyone will not agree with every thing they promote, do, say, and some might be offend by the language ( I am warning you of that), but if you glean anything from these guys. I promise you will be inspired. So here is the list.

Louis

He has a blast wherever he goes. He’s quirky, and fun. I am reminded by watching his channel that fun is  important.  Thus, his channel is appropriately titled FunForLuis

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Casey Neistat is a creative filmmaker that has pushed film into a whole new dimension, and he uses the drone like no one I have seen. His edits are amazing, and his carefree state of mind is refreshing.

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Gary Vaynerchuk 

He is an author of several books, and an entrepreneurial extraordinaire. His willingness to share his content online for free to help other people achieve success is mind blowing.  His positive message, and his honest straight forward advice keeps me coming back day after day listening to advice on how to market myself in a changing world.

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I will making some definite changes on my social media, personal mission statement and my life to design what I believe will help me be successful in all that I aspire.Thanks guys for inspiring me to do great things.

Kaitlin Chappell

It is well.

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