Big thanks to Carmen Lamar Daehler, Junior School Director of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, for inviting me to chat with the Teen Conservatory & Teen Studio students for their Virtual Industry Hour.
It was an absolute pleasure & joy.
From participating in 2019 & watching the films of this year’s powerful lineup, I can honestly say that this festival truly lives up to its motto: Inspire. Embrace. Empower.
Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival 2020
August 4 – 31st
Streaming Now: https://www.ladff.com
Wrapped up a 6-week screenwriting class with teacher James Hirsch & fellow Neighborhood Playhouse alum.
Keep the creative juices flowin’.
Despite these quarantine days, Ex Pat Podcast was able to record remotely to put together one of its latest minisodes in which I play the main character’s Filipino mother:
A comedy about an interracial and international romance between a Filipina American gal and an Irish guy and the culture clash that happens as a result.
Many thanks to Rachanee Lumayno & the team for bringing this quirky tale together.
These amazing peeps are paving the way. Endless gratitude. This vital conversation is a burning bright light during these dark times.
Yellow Rose is the first Filipino-American film theatrically distributed by a major Hollywood studio about an undocumented teen pursuing a dream to become a country music singer.
With support from the San Diego Filipino Cinema, director Diane Paragas led an empowering talk virtually to Filipino creatives around the world.
She shared her story as a filmmaker, the importance of representation & telling our stories, and in keeping the theatrical experience alive. Diane isn’t only changing film history, but also spreading seeds of hope and inspiration with her work, her time, and her exceptional being.
I look forward to the day when movie theaters open up again and Yellow Rose graces the big screen. I have a good feeling it’s gonna be a special one…
Meet Rosa Reyes.
Zoom movie in development.
Created by Gabriel Torres.
We continued our Women in Film Peer Mentoring meet-ups with our first virtual gathering. I am discovering an embrace with technology. A place where walls slowly come down and the skeptic voices in my head suddenly quiet.
Our mentor, Lain Ewing, brought on a filmmaker who embodied an enthusiasm so infectious it jolted me out of my own hesitation to say yes fully to things I desire for myself. Thanks to director/writer, Kristina Thomas, I feel more certain of my own path as a filmmaker & actor –as a person who simply wants to create, to honor the things that have given me hope, inspiration, and creative spirit.
Here is a woman sharing her story, sharing her power, creating a circle of strength and encouragement. I dig that. I wish for more of that.
Kristina’s words reminded me of three things: One, your desires and dreams will continue as long as you let them. But to realize your dreams, you must take Action. Two, don’t take yourself too seriously. Lastly, honor what you have accomplished.
Let’s keep the light on for ourselves and keep it burning for others. Because the journey is so much more joyful when we trust to let others in, to listen, to let our walls fall away, allowing a world unknown to us reveal itself.
Sofia Coppola à la Zoom
Strange Zoom-Land. Listening to Sofia Coppola talk about filmmaking and life as she drinks wine & I sip tea in my living room. The new norm.
100-150ish people zoomin’ in from their homes around the world. Zoom which tests your patience when the internet goes awry with lost connection, but also can be weirdly intimate and awkward and sometimes downright hilarious.
Never anticipated I’d ever meet one of my favorite filmmakers in my pajamas.
Frankly, I can’t recall anything memorable that was said. I zoomed 6+ hours that day after having never used zoom at all a few weeks prior and Sofia seemed quite fatigued herself yet she talked with a humble grace.
It was the cast of characters during the zoom call that had me laughing. They all seemed pretty stoked to be in Sofia’s presence, especially when the lucky few had the chance to ask her a question. I was in awe by seeing how some were so nervous even if separated by a screen. I often wonder how deeply we can discover intimacy & connection in this virtual world. I guess as much as we allow it. Adjust we shall, as it is ever-changing. While there will always be turmoil and sadness around us, it’s nice to know there are some things to smile about. And hopefully, get nervously excited about too.
Good music. Good directing. Glad to be a part of this project.
There is power in saying Yes, in trusting the unexpected. Through my journey as an actor, I remind myself that the smallest of victories can make meaningful connections. If you so choose to keep showing up & being present. I am glad I didn’t miss this one.
Big thanks to director Ryan Colegrove for bringing me on board & Mckail Seely’s beautiful music.
Going back to my theatre roots. Rediscovering my love for acting, the process, and new revelations on what I must work on, what needs more attention, and a clarity that is paving the way for the new year to come. / Salvare 2020
Lucid Body Technique w/ Kennedy Brown.
Back in training.
A comedy sketch by Albert Wang / Morey Morey Morey humorously touches on the NBA-China controversy. Developed under Asian Planet which aims to create ‘smart, edgy English-language content that redefines what it means to be Asian — both amongst ourselves and to broader audiences’.
Voice over blunders.
Ex Pat Podcast: a 70-year old Filipino mother, two Cork natives, a Jewish fortune teller, a couple waitresses, a hostess, a flight attendant, and a nurse.
9 different characters, 1 actor.
Can’t wait to see how being a part of Women in Film’s Peer Mentoring Circle Program unfolds. Since moving to LA, Women in Film has offered a plethora of insightful events from topics on women-led financing to director/producer Q&A’s. It has been a great foundation for myself as a filmmaker and actor in learning about the entertainment business and giving me more agency in how to navigate these changing tides.
Thank you, WIF.
This type of work is Home.
Being in a space where I feel seen. The room breathed openness and dedication.
Shedding spiritual baggage. Making connections. Noticing places of physical tension and mental walls I’ve built. Making time to work through it, to release, let go, and see what comes out.
An ocean of remembering.
A confidence buried deep, but Alive and moving.
A curiosity to keep uncovering the unknown parts of me and this world.
Kennedy Brown – my utmost gratitude to you. For the safe space you created, for the inspiring conversation afterwards, and your teaching that will stay with me for a long time.
And thank you, to my artist friend Vincent for sharing this event with me. I would’ve missed this wonderful opportunity if it wasn’t for him. Let’s keep on the community of sharing.
Within this fast-evolving digital age, it’s a gift to be able to pause and reflect on all the work I’ve been cultivating. Seeing where I want to go. Being grateful in what I have & working through the struggles that lay before me.
Thank you, Voyage LA for giving me a space to share my story:
Inspire. Embrace. Empower.
Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival 2019
Excited to be hosting some of the Q&A content at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival that is fast approaching this August 22-24th.
Thanks to Sonja Mereu & the festival team for giving me this opportunity.
It’ll be a pleasure to be showcasing my first lead role in a short film I did a couple years ago with director Alanna Murray; Made to Order. The casting director, Jenny McCabe whom I attended high school with found my info on the web through the acting school I was currently in at the time. Funny stuff.
This was my first proper short film after years of focusing on theatre training. This experience would serve as an important foundation not only as an actor, but as a filmmaker. Thanks to Alanna and her crew, they pieced together a gem of a film. A quiet coming-of-age story with a throwback to VHS tapes and all things 90s.
Made to Order, written & directed by Alanna Murray
Saturday, August 24th @7:15p w/ Q&A to follow
Purchase tickets here: https://www.ladff.com/2019festival
I recently did a small gig in Hollywood, an extra for a music video for the Colombian singer/songwriter, Dary Ramirez. Thanks to a Facebook posting on Creative Women of L.A. – Jobs & Collaborations, I was able to be a part of this little experience. Dary, herself, reached out to me and I greatly appreciated her energy onset that felt genuine and devoid of ego. An intimate crew in her personal living space for her song, No Regreso. I was amazed to find many womxn of color on her team taking charge of the production. From the fireball Unit Production Manager, Fernanda and the females who brought a warmth and togetherness I appreciated. As I soaked in the set as the hours went by and slowly opened myself up, I met some great people.
While I was able to acquire an LA agent on my own after months of preparation and research, auditions seem scarce nowadays. Reality is that there is more time waiting in-between. As an athlete does not wait last minute for the olympic event or game to finally start training, I’ve gained a new perspective on strategizing my acting career. In keeping my mind active with setting realistic goals that can help both in fulfilling my spirit and also be a gain in a business viewpoint. Moving aside ego has been a working effort. This includes my frustrations with social media. From this, I’ve learned in keeping my channel open. Not only saying Yes to new things, but staying true to what my gut tells me.
And it tells me to not wait for opportunities, but to seek for them. To create them myself when there is none to be found. And to make myself seen and see the worth in that. To notice the intention I am putting out there and finding ways to be a part of the community I wish to be in. These are a few things I’m learning as I navigate through these muddy waters. While the future may not be too clear, my intention has become more visible:
Community. Empowerment. Peace.
Apollo’s Butterfly goes live on Kickstarter today!
30 days to raise $30,000. We are partnered with From the Heart Productions who will provide fiscal sponsorship for our feature film. As an associate producer on this project, my wish is to create a supportive and collaborative environment on & off set. To fight for diversity in media, especially for womxn and people of color. To create honest and positive stories onscreen.
With your support and donations, I have faith that this film will evolve into something truly beautiful.
Follow our journey at @apollosbutterflymovie
We have an amazing team behind the feature film, Apollo’s Butterfly.
The story was inspired by the writer/director, Zachary Zollinger, after losing someone close to him to suicide.
In the film, the main character (Apollo) experiences that same tragedy and embarks on a road-trip back to his hometown, both to fulfill his ex-lover’s dream and deal with the loss. Along the way, he meets several people, all connected by their own darkness: depression, addiction, grief, personal demons. Through this unexpected journey, there is much light and humor to be found against all the heaviness. Finding new ways to heal, to see, to be free.
The support from family & friends has been inspiring. We hope to make this film a reality as we launch our crowdfunding campaign next week on August 13th.
We are fighting for diversity in our film. For womxn. As a producer/filmmaker with Filipino roots, I want to see more Asians onscreen. We are here and we are fighting to be seen.
With this little film, we hope to pave the way for a new kind of Hollywood. For a more hopeful future.
Met with our core team of Apollo’s Butterfly, a road-trip film I’m excited to bring to life. The story resonates on a personal level for all of us. Let the crowdfunding begin….
We launch our Kickstarter on August 13.
Follow our journey @apollosbutterflymovie
Apollo’s Butterfly: A feature-film that touches on suicide, mental health, substance abuse, and the difficult journey of overcoming the loss of a loved one.
It’s a wrap for Tia Jian Yi.
To Kris and his stellar squad.
HERO, written by Kristofer Salaah & directed by Nate Lyles.
Made to Order, directed by Alanna Murray
Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival
Aug 22-24, 2019
A beautiful, new project I’m working on…..
After the suicide of Apollo’s girlfriend, Darci, the world around him begins to fall apart. With problems arising at work, at home, and within… Apollo is left with a number of problems to solve before he’ll allow himself to move on and heal—one of which is making Darci’s long-time dream finally come true.
Apollo’s Butterfly: A Video Teaser.
Learn more about the film here: https://zomovisuals.tv/apollosbutterfly
Best kind of shenanigans. Comedy skit created by Sam & Marc:
Searching for actors now: Casting Call – Apollo’s Butterfly
“A music producer recovering from his girlfriend’s recent suicide, embarks on a road-trip home in search of a fresh start in his journey of overcoming loss.”
– Apollo’s Butterfly
Follow us on @apollosbutterflymovie
Live audio recorded of an event with Women In Film talking about women-led financing.
Great things are coming…
Scibbles, notes, & reflections from a 4-day intimate workshop.
In training with teacher Yorgos Karamalegos in Pasadena, California.
‘A search of authenticity and presence in acting with the point of entry being the human body.’
Day One: to not act for anyone. don’t worry about telling the audience. swimming in your own freedom. to let go of control and be so focussed at the same time. courage.
Day Two: invite them into your space. speaking your Truth. to not force. Honest Work. research.
Day Three: state of nothingness. clarity.
Day Four: seeing what’s in front of you. Surrender.
While my recent move to Los Angeles has been a capricious one filled with ups and downs, it keeps me grounded to be in a space like this one.
I came upon this incredible group of Filipina artists in tv & film in Los Angeles at the Pilipino Workers Center. Never in my life have I felt the Filipino artistic community as much as I did in that room. It was refreshing to know that the industry is changing.
To see women taking charge of their own career, creating honest stories that are not only bringing the Filipino culture to light, but breathing life into their own personal voices and reminding me once again that with hard work and joy within what you do – you can create some powerful stuff.
Funny how only a few months ago, I kept wondering where all the Filipino artists were at. Lo and behold, they are Everywhere. We are everywhere. If you seek, you shall find…
Thank you to all the women. To the moderator, Roni Canieso, who did a beautiful job in asking insightful questions, making the conversation flow, and creating an inviting and warm space. And for Dave Wilwayco who shared this event with me.
Yorgos Karamalegos will be teaching a workshop in Los Angeles, California.
See full details here: Physical Lab: A search for authenticity and presence in acting
This short film I directed, Tales of a Shadowboxer, won Best TV Pilot at Independent Shorts Award in Los Angeles, California.
It was also selected as a semi-finalist for Los Angeles CineFest.
Made in collaboration with producer/writer Sharif McFadden.
Cast: Maleek Jackson, Kyra Knox, Iyana Campbell, Tai Birch, Luis Meija, Antwione Saunders
Thanks to Steven Cordeiro, the crew, & the indomitable actors.