AFI Fest, Hostiles, and the “LA Party”

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Ah, LA parties. If you want to see a bunch of people packed into a small space with little to no food, all sort of talking to each other but mostly looking around the room to see if there’s anyone more exciting nearby, get yourself to any industry related party in Los Angeles.

And “industry related” really just means there are actors there, I think.

Tonight I went to one such party. AFI Fest is happening now, and I want to do a huge shoutout because, at least for now, it’s my second favorite film festival in LA. The American Film Institute appreciates and celebrates the art of film in an important way, and their festival reflects that. If you get a chance, get your tickets now. (They have a Robert Altman career retrospective this year. What else do you need?)

Tonight my girl Kristine and I went to a screening of Scott Cooper’s new film Hostiles. It’s an epic western starring Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, and a generally incredible cast, and I definitely recommend seeing it. It isn’t a perfect film by any means, but I like to judge art based on how it moves you and what it makes you look at inside yourself or out in the world. I was definitely moved, and I think the types of conversations this movie sparks are important to have. Continue reading

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Back in the City of Angels

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I’m home. I’m HOME! I’m so happy to be back, I can’t even begin to tell you. My heart is here in LA…. and now the rest of me is, too.

I watched La La Land (finally!) on the plane ride here. My husband and I watched it together, and we were equally teary by the end. I’m not a particularly critical person- I like to like things for what they are, not tear them apart for what I want them to be, generally- but I above and beyond loved that film. Obsessed. Amazed.

 

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That lighting is the reason we all moved here. Magic.

 

 

A love letter to the city I love? An offering of hope and joy to the “ones who dream”? A story of artistic soul mates without a cheesy romanticized ending, where they learn some crap like “love matters more than everything you ever wanted”?  Continue reading

Places I Love- Detroit: The Heidelberg Project 

Today I’m starting a new series on this blog called “Places I Love.” I’m obsessed with exploring my city and finding awesome little gems, great restaurants, cool museums or shops, all types of sweet, must-share, well known or not-so-known experiences. Since I’m based out of Los Angeles, I will definitely start highlighting my favorite spots there. However, we also split our time with Detroit, and I’m really growing to love that city as well. To that end, I’ll be sharing some of the places that really excite me there, too!

You can take the girl out of the Midwest, but you can’t keep her from falling for a guy who still lives there and is so great she has a long distance relationship with him and even marries him and then has to go back there all the time.

That’s the saying, right?

To kick it off, I want to tell you guys about the Heidelberg Project, a crazy and amazing art installation/ community/ program in downtown Detroit. Not the super gentrified, condos popping up, high-end restaurants, shiny and new part of downtown Detroit, but near and yet somehow very far from there.

“The HP” was founded in 1986 by the Detroit artist Tyree Guyton. He returned to Heidelberg, the street where he grew up, and found it in shambles and decay. Guyton had already lost three brothers to the streets, so, encouraged by his grandfather, he picked up a paintbrush and decided to use art as his weapon.  Continue reading

When You Feel You’re “Missing Out” on the Bigger Things

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I dropped out of college after about two and a half years. I say “about” because I sort of just stopped showing up somewhere during my fifth semester. I wasn’t being lazy or giving up- quite the contrary. I was working several jobs to make ends meet, so when I started booking paid acting and modeling work, I didn’t have time to fit in everything. I figured I didn’t need a theatre degree for my career as an actor if I was working as an actor, so I let the need to finish school go.

(Side note- I am not advocating the idea that one should take dropping out of school lightly. However, I also don’t think anyone should finish college and get up their eyeballs in debt if it doesn’t make sense for their lives. Another blog post for another day.)

Since I left school before most people I knew at the time who were pursuing the acting life, I suddenly had this feeling that I was a little bit “ahead.” Not as a person, or an actor, definitely not in experience or financially, but just as far as time was concerned. It was like I had two “free years”, where all acting credits and experience were “bonus”, where I could slack off or not, and it didn’t matter. Continue reading

Volunteer Trip to Ecuador!

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I have amazing news- an upcoming project I’m incredibly excited about!!

I’ve been cast with a group of actors and artists going to Ecuador this summer. We will be living there for 30 days, participating in a series of workshops, lectures, and incredible experiences.

The BEST part is that we get a chance to give back and make a real difference. Our group will work within disenfranchised communities and with indigenous people, empowering the local youth with theatrical education. We will help them find their voices through the magic of acting and playwriting, giving them the tools to tell their stories.

This will all culminate with the creation and performance of our own original pieces inspired by our experiences in Ecuador. Our casts will preview these works in Quito before performing them in a festival in NYC the following week. Continue reading