Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Club

As a little girl I was the star of many big movies.

That I wrote.

And directed.

That my dad recorded.

That I forced my friends to be in.

There was:

- Dolls In The Night (a gripping short film about dolls who come alive at night.)

- Cody Lover (based solely around my love for a boy named Cody.)

- And the critically acclaimed Runaway Orphans (an action-packed thriller about – you guessed it - orphans who run away.)

I even created an entire silent film based around Wynonna Judd’s self titled debut album. Unfortunately, this was never captured on film but performed in a ‘one-night-only’ concert for my mother.

I know what you’re thinking: Her lucky, lucky parents….

And they only got luckier!

I bet when I went away to college and announced I was going to double major in English Writing and Theatre Arts they felt like the luckiest parents in the world! Especially when I followed it up by telling them I was going to get a History minor – you know, something practical.

As shown in my two college majors, I have always battled between my love for writing and my love for performing. But lately, I feel like the two have finally met.

And they really like each other!!

This merger began as I was driving down the 101 and had an idea for a web series. Instead of putting it on the back burner and never thinking about it again – I told my friend Noah.

And guess what?

He liked it!

After months and months of Noah and I developing the characters and writing the first season – it’s finally done!

I am proud to introduce to you:

Book Club: A Web Series for Bibliophiles

After being rejected from their town’s elite book club, a pill popping young woman and a deeply closeted gay man start their own book club made up of local misfits and both fall in love with the local librarian. Equal parts love triangle, celebration of the underdog, and homage to great literature, the series follows the story of Marlo and Thad, two people who desperately want a place in the small literary world of Walhalla, Iowa. Book Club explores both literary lessons applicable to daily life as well as the humor found in simple, monthly interactions of people dying to relate.

I know it’s no Dolls In The Night but, hey – that kind of idea only comes around once in a girl’s life!

And this time I have more than just my basement, my boom box, and a few reluctant friends.

We have shooting space, a FANTASTIC cast, and an INCREDIBLE director (Katey Wheelhouse.) Not to mention a Sound Mixer, a Director of Photography, a Make-up Artist, a Composer, an Editor, multiple Production Assistants, a Script Supervisor, an Assistant Director, and tons of support from our friends!

There are times when Noah and I sit back and look at this project coming together before our eyes and think –

We can’t believe this is actually happening.

But it is.

Somehow – it is.

What started out as a conversation over a few glasses of wine has turned into a full-fledged production.

We have high hopes for this series. Dreams of getting picked up by a network, getting funding to film the entire series, and creating the new “must see” show on TV.

Sound ridiculously optimistic?


But isn’t that what it’s all about? Giving yourself seemingly unattainable goals and then working your ass off to attain them?

I mean, if a silent film can be created around a Wynonna Judd album – anything is possible.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Minnesota Not-So-Nice

A few nights ago my friend Katie and I were running late to a film screening.

Really late.

The kind of late that turned my little red Yaris into a full out, balls-to-the-wall, racing machine.

LA has never looked so blurry. Except maybe that New Years Eve when I had one too many Tequila shots.

When we finally made it to the theater we were informed that the screening had been postponed by forty minutes.

Of course it had.

So, naturally, Katie and I spent this time drinking dirty martinis.

As we are sidled up to the bar, sipping our drinks and talking, a man over-heard our conversation and asked if we were going to the screening.

We were.

Now, some important facts you need to know about this man:

- He was very nice.
- He had lived in Minnesota for 15 years prior to moving to Los Angeles.
- He was drinking a large Margarita.

After awhile, Katie and I paid for our drinks and were getting up to leave. The man had not yet paid and was not making any effort to flag down the bartender (who was standing a few feet away.)

As Katie and I got up (the screening was starting soon) he looked at us, shrugged, and started to leave too.

Without paying.


Before I knew what I was saying I blurted out:

But don’t you have to –

At which point Katie squeezed my arm like a Velociraptor.

I stopped mid-sentence and started walking briskly out of the restaurant, whispering to Katie about all the freaks we encounter in LA.

Where was his shame?

Where was his dignity?


Maybe he had lost it in the move back to Hollywood.

Now, perhaps I’m over-reacting, but I have to ask: What kind of guy goes to a bar, chats with women he doesn’t know, and then openly shirks on paying his tab??

Apparently he does.

I was actually feeling pretty down about this. I mean, I know this could happen anywhere – but it didn’t. It happened in Los Angeles. The place where people write mean notes on your car and wear sunglasses indoors.

Sometimes all the crazy is just too much.

And just when I thought I needed a vacation to Minnesota, something incredible happened.

Now, I know this is a big leap – but stay with me.

I can finally talk about the big project Noah and I were/are working on. It’s a web series we are really proud of called Book Club. The only problem was we didn’t have any of the skills to get it made (other than acting and writing.)

We first pitched it to a production company, who loved it, but wanted to buy the rights to it. We were so honored by this offer but didn’t feel comfortable selling it.

So we were back to square one.

And then something amazing happened.

I just picked up my phone.

I called the most talented people I knew (who were also my friends.) All of them worked in TV and film. All of them have ACTUAL JOBS on actual TV shows. And asked them to shoot our pilot episode. FOR FREE.

And guess what?

Without hesitating. Without blinking an eye. Every one of them said yes. Every phone call I made was met with a resounding, YES! I started to feel like maybe that was the new phone greeting and no one ever told me!

Within 24 hours Noah and I now have…

-A director
-A director of photography (and a camera)
-Director of lighting (and lights)
-Script Supervisor
-A First Assistant Director
-A Sound mixer
-An editor
-A composer

These people are giving up their precious time and helping to make this dream happen for Noah and I.

And that’s when I realized that even though this city if full of people who don’t pay for their drinks, it’s also full of people who do.

It’s filled to the brim with people who will drop everything and share their time and talent to help out a friend.

So thank you to all of my generous friends. I’m taking you all out for drinks.

And I’m even going to pay for them.

More on Book Club later! For those actors that read this, we are holding auditions Thursday and Friday (May 13 and 14!) Email me for a character breakdown!