An Interview WIth Director Antonio James


Antonio James is the director of Trey the Movie and the reality show The Real Dancers Of North Hollywood; here is a link to his IMDB page:




Q: What made you interested in filmmaking?


A: While working at the Veteran Affairs, I was presented with the opportunity to create a music video for my uncle’s music group. From then on I was hooked. I love being able to turn the ideas of one’s dreams into reality.


Q: What is Trey the Movie about?


A: A loveable guy struggles to cope with dangerous inner demons, which are fighting hard to come out. However, emotionally, he’s able to keep it together until he meets Ashley, a woman scorned, who sends him crashing over the edge of insanity and unleashes a killer that cannot be stopped!


Q: What inspired you to make it?


A: A bet over a 6 pack of beer that I couldn’t make a $400,000 movie for only $1000. Not only did I make the movie for just $750, it then went on to generate over $150 THOUSAND dollars, won multiple film festivals, featured on Fox news, screened locally and distributed on Amazon. And even though we had no crew or professional actors, the production quality (excluding acting) didn’t look $750 but $500,000.


Q: What are the elements of a successful horror movie?


A: In my opinion, the most important element of a great horror movie is the psyche of the bad guy. Every horror movie’s antagonist suffers from some mental disorder and his behavior should be according to his state of mind. Knowing your character’s psyche allows the audience to understandably relate to why their favorite psychopathic killer rips people apart and makes the viewing experience of blood splatter and guts that much more enjoyable.


Q: What is The Real Dancers Of North Hollywood about?


A: RDNH is about the inside story of celebrity dance choreographers. It shows the struggles, successes, and sacrifice of their underrated world through reenactment of real past events. Call it a “Tell all Book” for TV!


Q: What did you like about Shane Sparks’ writing?


A: What I got from Shane the most is that he writes from the heart. He has strong convictions and a deep recollection of memorable experiences about a world many of us look past.


Q: What kind of day jobs have you had in the past and how do they influence your work as a director?


A: US Air Force, Veteran’s Affairs. As stated above, I love to manage teams and what better team to manage or be apart of then working with American veterans and becoming an Airman in the United States Air Force.


Q: How did you achieve making directing your full time job?


A: By staying passionate about what I do. I view directing as a hobby not work. Why? Because a hobby is something you’re so passionate about that you will use your own money to fund your activity. During my downtime this passion enables me to create spectacular, high quality directing reels at lower costs, which helps when securing jobs.

When it’s not your passion, you’re doing it only for money, which is work. And no one likes to go to work.


Q: What is your oddest onset story?


A: When a background extra decided to become a lead actress at her own discretion. On the set of Trey, we had enough time to film one more shot and in the middle of the shot she got up out of her seat and begin interacting with the lead actors. Yes, I was infuriated, but in post, it ended up being a big part of selling the scene. So it was a fortunate accident.


Q: What film in history would you most like a chance to remake?


A: Dragonball: Evolution (2009). My Producers would be John Davis and Adam Schroeder from Chronicle (2012) and my Cinematographer would be Bill Pope from Matrix Revelation (2003).





Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Actor Lauran de Winter





Lauran de Winter is an actor who appears in the Television series The Chosen Ones; here is a link to his website:





Q: What made you interested in acting?


A: I had just quit my cycling career at a young age, and I was looking for a new challenge and passion. Some friends of mine advised me to start acting so I gave it a try. I liked it for personal reasons, I could get to know myself better and explore my feelings and emotions and I guess fully grow up as a person. I love fully going for something, the acting industry has such an exciting variety to offer that it is something I can fully throw myself into for a lifetime. I believe we all like to express ourselves and for me acting is the most truthful, exciting, fun and challenging way to express myself. Acting is what I love and I love to inspire people. Myself I get the most inspired from watching a good movie with a good message, and I want to give this gift to other people as well.


Q: What is The Chosen Ones about?


A: The Chosen Ones is a TV-series about a group of people in the government that are cloning humans for evil reasons.



Q: What role do you play?


A: I play the agent in the TV-series who is sent to find out what sort of experimenting is going on. I find the answers and I am the one to find out the government is cloning people. I go on a journey to protect the humans from this.


Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your creative work?


A: I am a full time professional actor.


Q: What are some things you have done to promote yourself?


A: I have a website where people can keep up to date with what I’m doing at I am on Facebook with a fanpage under lauranndewinter. I’m on twitter as well, @laurandewinter. This way I keep my fans informed of what I’m doing.


Q: What is the most unusual thing anyone has ever told you about acting?


A: Acting is pretending. Of course we all know the role is not our real lives as actors, and we really want to bring the character, YOU as the actor have to fully embrace the circumstances and personality of the role.


Q: What’s the biggest difference between The USA and Netherlands?


A: Well, the USA is the big brother of the World to me. In Holland we take over a lot of things from the US. I would say in Holland everything is more equally divided and generally the people are very happy. In the US there is more opportunity if you want to succeed. I need that environment, you can’t do it all by yourself. Everybody needs a team, and your team needs to see possibilities equally to the way you see them. I find that mentality in the US like no other country in the world. Holland is a beautiful place to visit, and to live. So is the US. For acting the US is the place to be. I don’t exclude the possibility to act in a Dutch movie or TV-SHOW. I would enjoy it and it’s a great way to give back.


Q: What director would you most like to work with?


A: Steven Spielberg. He has such a variety in his movies, and always comes up with winning movies. As a person he seems humble to me, and someone all of us can learn from.


Q: To what method of acting do you ascribe?


A: I study Meisner and Strasberg.


Q: .If you could change one thing about Hollywood what would it be?


A: Not too much. There are a lot of people that like this or that to be different. If you believe in what you do, you can succeed in whatever it is you do. I always look at myself as to where I can improve, but I’m too busy focusing on my career to worry about how I’d like things to be different. You choose who you want to be, who you want to work with and what you want to do if you want it bad enough. The acting industry has no limitations, at least I don’t see them.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Couples Therapist Duane Harvey



Duane Harvey is a licensed marriage and family therapist who is certified in Imago and works in Santa Monica, CA; here is a link to his Psychology Today page:,MFT_Santa+Monica_California_48433


Q: What exactly is Imago?


A: Imago is Latin for image. In neo-platonic philosophy it referred to imago dei, the image of God we carry within us. In Imago Therapy it refers to the image of the type of partner we are looking for, based on our early experiences with caretakers. Our imago contains both positive and negative traits and we are secretly seeking both, while only conscious of the desiring the positive traits. The negative traits are necessary for the re-activation of those early wounding experiences. It has been shown neurologically that deep emotional memory can be reconsolidated and altered by re-activation followed by corrective experiences with the type of person who originally wounded us.


Q: What does getting certified in Imago entail?


A: Basic certification requires a license to practice psychotherapy, attending a Getting The Love You Want workshop, then a year of coursework and supervision with a clinical instructor, which includes video presentation of work with couples. The certifying board is called Imago Relationship International.


Q: What sort if things do you discuss in your Tantric Couples Conversation group?


A: We discuss how to talk about things. We learn to mirror each others words, to slow down. We gaze silently into the eyes of our partner for three minutes while synchronizing our breath. Love is an addiction. Addictions require surges of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Eye gazing can supply us with an endless supply of this drug. Eye gazing is how we fell in love. We discuss what it felt like to fall in love and re-experience the feelings as we talk about it. We discuss what it is like to breath together.

We discuss touching.

We discuss the sexually charged energetic map of the body and explore different ways of touching each center.

We discuss the ways we appreciate we our partner.

We discuss high eroticism as form of healing.

Some of the discussions are private, between partners, but some are shared.


Q: What are the benefits of doing this kind of therapy in a group?


A: Couples discover very quickly that the problems they thought were uniquely theirs are shared by most couples, and that resolving these problems are a lot easier than they thought. Couples don’t even have to share or actively participate in a group to benefit. The romantic dyad is probably the most isolated of all our social units. Breaking down the fourth wall dissolves shame and provides new solutions fast.




Q: What is your professional opinion of sexual surrogates?


A: There is no such thing as a surrogate. It is always the real thing. Sexual surrogates will tell you they are really relationship surrogates. On the other hand, every relationship is a surrogate for an original relationship. Practically speaking, I have found surrogates to be of great value for clients who have difficulty finding relational experience through common social channels.


Q: What are some of the most common problems you see in couple’s therapy?


A: All couples experience ruptures of connection. The most common problem I see is the couples inability to repair due to the emotional style in which they react to the rupture. For instance, Susan feels ignored by John at a party, but instead of describing her vulnerability she criticizes him for paying attention to others. This causes him to feel inadequate, so he withdraws, which makes her feel even more deeply abandoned and angry. The story is not important. What is important is the rigid pattern they have been locked into and the stereotypical way it escalates. Their higher functioning thought processes have been highjacked by the lightning fast primitive brain we share with all mammals. They are unable to exercise conscious free will, but think they are.


Q: What theories in psychology do you think are passé?


A: The most obsolete theory in psychology is unfortunately the most prevalent and pervasive. Simply put, it is the notion of individual self-reliance and independence, most succinctly expressed in the slogan that one must love oneself before can love someone else and the corollary that one must do their individual work before they can be a successful couple. Not only is this idea wholly inaccurate, it is destructive and goes largely unchallenged as a collective assumption. Connection has be pathologized into codependence.


Q: How does one go about picking out a good therapist?


A: Most people assume that every therapist is competent working with couples or at the very least is relationship oriented. This is far from the truth. Our graduate training programs, even the so-called integrated and spiritual ones, are heavily biased toward the ninetieth century notion of individualism. Working with couples is not for the faint of heart and most therapists are not comfortable with it, and will recommend individual therapy. It is a well established statistic that individual therapy is very good at helping people break up, not come together. If you are in a relationship, or want to be in a relationship, make sure the therapist you select specializes in relationship.


Q: Are there any relationship problems that you see wealthy couples have that other people do not?


A: We all have the same basic attachment needs and problems. But wealthy couples have greater access to complexity, with more outsiders circling the perimeter. They also tend to have more exits, which leaks energy out of the couple bubble. Bonding requires a deep interdependency that can be inhibited by the illusion of independence that wealth can sometimes promote.


Q: How do you feel about reality shows such as Couples Therapy and Celebrity Rehab?


A: The show Couples Therapy makes me sad.


An effective couples therapist is not distracted by the stories couples tell, but focuses on the process and patterns between.

An effective couples therapist carefully regulates negativity, unravels criticism to expose the emotional need it is trying to express.

An effective couples therapist does not challenge one partner without also challenging the other, and keeps the conversation corralled between the partners, deflecting attempts to draw the therapist in as a referee.

An effective couples therapist makes use of every moment of interaction to uncover and steer attachment needs toward target responses.


It is sad to think that anyone might mistake Jenn Berman’s brand of bedlam for real couples therapy.


I have never seen Celebrity Rehab.




Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Actress Jessica Lindsey Gilbert


Jessica Lindsey Gilbert is an actress who appears in the film Spoken; here is a link to her website:


Q: What made you interested in acting?


A: I became interested in acting when I was about 8 years old, I remember watching the Movie E.T, and thinking I want to be an actress. The reason why is because, I thought the movie E.T. had such an amazing message. I thought here is this boy without a father and he is having trouble with his life and he really needed someone. I was without a father as well, and I related. He not only got a friend, when he needed it, he got a super friend that could feel what he felt. That friend was connected to him. I connected to the movie a lot and it helped me . So I thought I would like to grow up and be an actress, so I can tell beautiful stories through film. That was the first time I remember, realizing I was interested in Acting.


Q: What is Spoken about?


A: A group of friends that try to find balance in their rocky relationships as they deal with love, loss, betrayal and trust. This was a very unique film for me, because it was shot like a traditional film, however it had very little dialogue. Most of the films dialogue was expressed through spoken word. Spoken was a collection of poetry and spoken word that the director Stacy Lightner created over the years. Each piece was written at different stages of her life . Many of the themes expressed were issues that Stacy had dealt with personally.


Q: What role do you play?


A: I play the role of Valerie. Valerie is the young women that Micah is in love with. Valerie is a young struggling Artist, and so is Micah. Micah is in love with Valerie but chooses to not live with her, because he does not want to be a burden on her while they are still struggling. So Micah lives with a women he does not respect or Love, because she pays his bills. Valerie is in Love with Micah and wants to be with him, but does not want to be involved in his drama so she sadly has to let him go, until he leaves his current situation and changes. Even though Valerie  is heart broken by this.


Q: What kind of training have you had?


A: I have studied Method Acting techniques attributed by Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, Robert Lewis and Stella Adler.

Also Meisner technique which is closely related to Method I believe.

I have also studied what is called Stanislavski’s system, which is Constantin  Stanislavski’s system of acting.

I have also done Practical Aesthetics by David Mamet.

and these are the places I have or remember taking classes, Acting Corps BootCamp 1,2 with Sydney Walsh Acting Corps North Hollywood. Actors workshop improvisation in Hollywood with Anthony Meindl, at Anthony Meindl Studios. I have also done Scene study with great actor and director Isa Totah. I studied with Doug Warhit at Castaway studios as well, and love his book. Before Coming to Hollywood, I Studied at The Tacoma School of the Arts. I studied  theater classical and Modern. On camera Technique acting and scene study with Kelly Doran For 3 years. I am currently working with a Coach I love, Robert Amico.


Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your pursuit of acting?


A: All I do right now is acting, Currently I do not have a second Job, I love doing Just Acting.  It feels great pursuing my passion.


Q: What is your strangest on set story?


A: One Time I was doing a Music Video , and they put Make up on me. I had a allergic reaction to the makeup, and my whole Face swelled up. I looked like a giant Tomato.


Q: What famous role could you have nailed?


A: I think I would have been a great Actress for the Movie the Graduate, if I was around. I love that Movie, I would have loved to have been in it.


Q: Who are some of your acting influences?


A: Katherine Hepburn

Meryl Streep

Ingrid Bergman

Grace Kelly

Bette Davis

Audrey Hepburn

Dianne Keaton

Joan Fountain

Faye Dunaway

Susan Hayworth

Elizabeth Taylor

Marilyn Monroe

Sophia Loren

Jodie Foster

shirley Maclaine

Julia Roberts

Diane Lane

Angelina Jolie

Jennifer Lawrence

Nicole Kidman

Charlize Theron

Halle berry

Kate winslet

Cate Blanchett



Q: What would you change about the film industry?


A: When People are really Famous, I would hope paparazzi wouldn’t take unwanted photos of their Children, other than that I love the industry and Love Acting.


Q: What do you think is more important, looks or talent?


A: Talent.



Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Writer Renee Y. Brown

renee y. brown

Renee Y. Brown is a writer of Writer of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction who publishes her work on , here is a link to her LinkedIn page:






Q: What made you want to be a writer?


A: It wasn’t a deliberate decision, like I said “I want to be a writer,” like someone would say “I want to be lawyer” or “I want to be a teacher” or whatever. It’s more like it’s impossible for me to not be a writer. Before I could read or write my mom read books to me or I saw movies and TV shows that sparked my imagination and I would make up my own stories and characters and act them out, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. As soon as I could write I started to write stories. So it wasn’t a decision. I was born this way.

Q: What is the overall theme of Beauty and the Beast?


A: That poem, published September 3 at, was actually a re-written version of a poem I wrote in 1976. I was born and grew up in Los Angeles. The pressure to be physically attractive is an intrinsic and palpable part of the social culture there, then and now. In 1976 I was 18 and attended junior college. I was slightly overweight and had acne so I felt like the most hideous creature on earth. I’d never dated a guy or had one touch me. I was sitting in the cafeteria one afternoon and saw the most gorgeous guy, downright beautiful. He had pitch-black hair and sparkling ocean-blue eyes and perfect features. After 38 years I still remember. I came to the cafeteria at the same time every day because he was always there with his friends. He never saw me. I wrote ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with him as the beauty and me as the beast. Funny, but this is the first time I’ve ever told that story to anyone. When I went into the army a few years later I found out I wasn’t as ugly as L.A. thought I was. Today the poem is no longer personal but I re-wrote it in my current style and made it the opening poem of a sequence of three published by under the overall title ‘The Beast of Beauty.’ The sequence is a journey, from the woman in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ seeing herself as ugly and unworthy while dreaming of the unattainable prince, to the second poem, ‘Mirror, Mirror,’ which is about how fairy tales warp girls into judging themselves only by their appearance and to associate physical unattractiveness with evil and outward beauty with good. The last poem is ‘A Kiss from the Prince,’ which is about spiritual and metaphysical transformation into true beauty. In 1976 I was the woman in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Today I am the woman in ‘A Kiss From the Prince.’ I have gray hair and wrinkles and I’m invisible to the world so outwardly I’m right back where I was in 1976, but now, my face doesn’t matter. It’s irrelevant. My face is not who I am. My words are who I am. I know the true prince and I know I am loved.

Q: Who are some of your influences?


A: Influences for poetry are Erica Jong, Adrienne Rich, and Marge Piercy. For fiction, I used to read science fiction and fantasy in the 80’s and 90’s, so I was influenced by the great women authors of the genre: Ursula K. Le Guin, Andre Norton and Joan Vinge. I don’t have any authors I follow anymore, there’s just too much stuff published these days and it doesn’t come close to the quality of the great authors I mentioned. My own fiction is so particular (maybe even peculiar) and quirky and unique that it doesn’t even fit into any genre niche. Maybe ‘quantum-metaphysical-romance-science fiction-fantasy-erotica,’ or something.

Q: What is is AWESOME. It is my BFF. It’s an online magazine that has everything: news and commentary from all political perspectives; personal essays and memoirs; reviews; travel articles; fiction and poetry; even cartoons. I like the open format that allows writers from both ends of the political spectrum and all points in between a forum to express their views. There is a lot of reader feedback so it is a very interactive publication. Their sub-heading is “A subversive retort to biased media, promoting free speech & the right to question.” And they do all this with humor that is razor sharp, irreverent and always brilliant. Subversify is a cooperative owned by Mitchell Warren, Karla Fetrow and Grainne Rhuad. Mitchell is CEO and Karla and Grainne are editors, writers and general curators of the site. Grainne is my editor and she works with me in a cooperative way that lets me be me and that’s something I appreciate. She’s a webpage genius and designs the pages for my poetry which is no easy task when I use odd formatting or have lines that are longer than the page is wide. Somehow she makes it all work and adds the perfect images to go with my pieces. Although I’ve never met her face-to-face I consider her a friend. Karla writes insightful and intriguing articles on subjects not covered by the mainstream media. Mitchell is an all-around cool dude with a great sense of humor. When I first submitted to Subversify in 2010 he advocated for my story ‘The Second Amendment Solution’ and it was published and I’ve been with them ever since.

Q: What made you select it as your platform?


A: I honestly can’t remember how I found Subversify. It was in 2010 and I had written the short story ‘The Second Amendment Solution’ and I was probably looking for places to submit it and stumbled upon Subversify. However I got there, I don’t believe in random coincidence. I believe in synchronicity and that things happen for a reason so I and Subversify were meant to be. I submitted the story and they liked it and published it and the story received good feedback from readers. Mitchell encouraged me to submit more, and as I sometimes joke about myself, ‘don’t invite me for a free meal unless you’re serious because I will take you up on it,’ so I kept submitting stuff and they kept publishing it. Certainly having Grainne as my editor keeps me coming back because it’s such a pleasure to work with her. Of course I like the publication itself, I like that it stands for free speech and is open to all points of view. And of course I like them because they like my work! It’s sort of my literary home now, for shorter works anyway, like ‘The Earth Show’ I have novellas and novels that I will probably self-publish. But for poetry and short stories Subversify is my go-to place. I love those guys!

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?


A: I don’t have a job at all. I am a disabled veteran on VA disability. When I was able to work I was a newspaper reporter. I loved the actual work and if I ever did anything meaningful in writing beyond personal meaning it was as a reporter. But I hated the corporate structure and working with editors who didn’t care about the quality of their work. I also saw the end coming in the mid-2000’s because 21st technology made newspapers archaic. I have no nostalgia for the dead newspaper industry. For decades I saved copies of newspapers with my stories in them. Last year I finally threw them all out, every single one.

Q: You were a photo journalist in the military; what were some of your most memorable assignments?


A: I had no memorable assignments in the army as a photographer. I’m a woman. I spent four years mostly in a darkroom developing film and printing photos taken by men. The good assignments where you actually shot photos that got published with your byline, those jobs went to men. I became an army journalist only after I got out of the active duty (full-time) army and went into the army reserves. My reserve unit sent me to the military’s journalism school in 1985. I did nothing memorable in the reserves either. That doesn’t mean I’m not affected by having been in the military. I’m on VA disability now. Enough said.

Q: What trends in poetry annoy you?


A: Snobbery in literary poetry annoys me. Literary writers and university professors would not consider my poetry ‘real’ poetry because I often use rhyme and right now rhyming is anathema in poetry. It’s considered to be at the level of pop song lyrics which of course they also look down upon. I don’t give a damn what the snobs think. I’m not writing to please literary critics. I’m writing first of all to please and satisfy myself. I’m also writing for the reading pleasure of people who are turned off by the snobbery and obscure metaphorical language of literary poetry. My poems don’t need to be ‘interpreted.’ The reader knows exactly what I’m saying and what I mean when they read the poem. I respect the intelligence of my readers and I hope they simply enjoy reading my stuff. Reading shouldn’t be ‘work,’ it should be fun.

Q: What is your process for writing a poem?


A: Process? What process? Just kidding. It varies according to the poem. Like I said earlier, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was inspired by direct personal experience. Some are commentaries on subjects I feel strongly about, like the obsession with physical beauty in our culture. Sometimes an idea just pops into my mind. And sometimes I sit down with the intention to write a poem and either it happens or it doesn’t happen. I can give examples of each. Obviously ‘Mirror, Mirror’ is a commentary poem. ‘Fairly Tales’ is a narrative poem in three parts that takes three major fairy tales, ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ ‘Cinderella,’ and ‘Snow White,’ retold by other women within each tale through totally different interpretations. I like taking traditional subjects like fairy tales and deconstructing then reconstructing them in my own way. In that sense those are also commentary poems expressing my point of view. A very personal poem was ‘I Had Sisters Once’ That one was difficult to write because I was expressing some very deep emotions and beliefs. As a side note to the reason why I love Subversify as my poetry platform, a reader, ‘Rich in PA,’ left this comment about that poem: “wow … how painful to read and now know … we all make choices, sometimes for no reason at all, that I think haunt every breath and every moment as a silent echo that blurs our memory. Powerful work here … the reason I visit Subversify often …” That’s better than money to me and shows what I mean about respecting my reader’s intelligence and hoping that they get something valuable out of their reading experience. Another narrative poem, ‘Michael,’ was based on a character from one of my novels but as I wrote it the character morphed into the Archangel Michael and the narrative into social commentary and eventually ended up as a love poem. That was just following the inspiration of the creative process in the moment. Then I have groups of poems, like ‘The Beast of Beauty,’ that are on the same subject. ‘Here and Hereafter’ are poems about death and the afterlife. Some are personal (‘King of White Roses’), some are my own ponderings on the subject (‘If,’ ‘The End of the Line’). ‘Today’s The Day’ are poems on romantic love. I wrote ‘Today’ just for fun because it’s about an older woman seducing a younger man using principals of quantum physics to prove her point. ‘The Gospel of Jon’ is from my personal experience of first love. ‘In Translation’ is dialog taken from another novel in which an American woman explains to her British boyfriend the subtle differences in the same language that can lead to misunderstandings but ultimately to the same conclusion—love. Despite all the poetry my main focus is writing fiction. Poems just sort of pop up now and then. So basically I guess the answer I gave at the beginning of this question applies, ‘what process?’ Like life, poetry happens.

Q: If you could take a road trip with Sylvia Plath or T.S. Elliot who would you pick and why?


A: That’s a difficult question because there are pros and cons with both. Since you’re talking about a road trip and not dinner or just having coffee I’d probably rather be cooped up in a car for a long time with T.S. Eliot. After all, I put a quote from him on my Linked-In page header: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” I believe in that. I believe consciousness is infinite and eternal. The things valued in this world—money, possessions, status, power, fame, looks—are all temporary and will end or turn to dust. Only those who will risk thinking, imagining, and doing that which is far beyond the limitations of this world will find out, without having to die first, that how far one can go is limitless.



Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Actress and Producer Deborah Funes






Deborah Funes is an actress who appears in the upcoming film The Mob and the producer of the film Touch MY Heart here is a link to the website:


Q: What is The Mob about? 

A: I can’t talk to much about that film project at this time. The only think that I can say is that “The Mob” is about Italian mafia from 1940’s and 1950’s.

Q: What role do you play?

A: I will play an Italian woman.

Q: What kind of experiences did you draw from when preparing for the role?

A: I speak a little Italian so will not be difficult to memorize my lines in that language. At the same time will be an opportunity to practice.

Q: What are some of your favorite feminist revenge movies?

A: I love feminist revenge type of movies as I am a feminist…(smiles). One of my favorites was “Fatal Attraction” with some of my favorite actors Michel Douglas and Glenn Close. I saw that movie a long time ago and was very strong…Maybe I should watch it again.

An other feminist revenge movie that I liked was “Enough” , with Jennifer Lopez.  But my favorite women’s revenge movie is “The War of The Roses”. Even if is an old movie from the 80’s I think was hilarious. Again with Michael Douglas…he is a great actor!.


Q: What kind of training have you had?


A: My acting training started at the age of six when I was lead actress at the plays in the school. We used to have an amazing stage and I had to perform in front of hundreds of people (parents, teachers and nuns).

Later in life I had done TV commercials, pilots for american TV series and sketch for Latin TV shows.

All those experiences were training me in front of the camera. From 2004 I toke acting class with many professors.  Some of then were successful actors that now are retired. I like to train to challenge myself.


Q:  What kind of day jobs have you had and how do they influence your acting?

A: I don’t have a day job. I work 24/7 managing my career: I am my own PR, my own Booking Agent, Art Director for photo shoots, calendars,web sites, souvenirs, I am my own Social Media Manager and  Marketing Director.

To be able to do all this activities correctly I studied at the University, I graduated, and train. I also give guidance to other talents who want to be in charge of the own careers and succeed.

On my little extra time I work in vacations rentals.

This activities keep me busy and of course influence my career big time.


Q: What is your oddest on set story?

A: The most weird thing that happened to me on set was during my first feature film: A naked old man appeared in a Hunting House to scare a group of students. We didn’t see that coming so honestly we been all scared for real to the point that one of the girls was vomiting after we shoot that scene. Latter that night I was in need of a ride to my hotel and that actor offered me to take me in his truck. Favor that I rejected because I was still in shock.


Q: What do you miss about Argentina?

A: I miss my friends and family more than anything else. I miss the bread and bakery that is extremely fresh as they manufacture all in front of your eyes. I miss the vegetables that are mostly organic so they have natural color, shape and are more tasteful.  I miss the coffee places. Starbucks didn’t exist when I was living there so the coffee places that I am missing are the ones where people drink real coffee from Argentina adding some liquor and eating amazing cakes. In special in winter time those coffee places are the best where people get together to have long conversations by the fire. I miss the way that they design the cities…people in Argentina walk a lot…I can’ live in a city or area where I can not walk. I need to bread the air, I need to feel the sun in my face and feel the energy of the city. That’s why my main cities in the US are Miami Beach and Manhattan.

Q: What do you like about Miami?

A: The green and the water. When I was a child I wanted to be a swam to be able to be between the green and the water. When I was a teenager I saw the people living between the green and the water in Miami Vice TV series. I used to draw myself in an hammock between two palms…now I am here and I love it!  I also like the variety of cultures in Miami Beach. This is a city where you can make friends from all over the world.

Social and entertainment are very important to me, so this is the place to be.


Q: What is next for you?


A:  I am producing my first feature film “Touch MY Heart”. I am writing the story, and preparing the funding campaign by Indiegogo now as we are on very early stage of development.

“Touch My Heart” is an inspiring feature film based in a real story part of my life and is about an actress who experienced

the worst nightmare when the doctors find a big tumor with metastasis. Tumor that was growing for many years of emotional struggles with family, ex boyfriends, the loss of her grandparents and the lack of true love in her life. Facing Brest Cancer, she decide shrink the tumor before the scheduled visit with the oncologist.  She began to research natural remedies, healing herbs and special diets. She has to confront her deepest feelingsand painful past experiences to conquer sadness and distress.


I am really focus in to produce this film…believe me or not this story happened for real on the last6 month. Now that I am a cancer survivor, that I am healthier than never before, that my courage and faith are stronger, plus all the knowledge that I got to be able to myself, I am happy and I feel so much power in my life. I want to help others with this movie. Not only to heal cancer but to prevent it. People from all over the world are contacting me to ask questions about Natural Healing of Cancer. It is an honor to be able to help. I want to spread the world with my experience. This movie will give hope to many people as it is a very contagious story that will touch the life of many people, in special people who have or had  cancer, or people who had loss someone with cancer. COLLABORATE WITH THIS GREAT FILM PROJECT AND CAUSE AT: more information about “Touch My Heart” film project please feel free to follow at:

And follow me and my acting career at:


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Writer Catherine MacDonald

Romancing the Vines



Catherine MacDonald is the author of Romancing the Vines; here is a link to her website:





Q: What is Romancing the Vines about?

A: Francesca Bernard is a vintner in the Sonoma Valley who just can’t seem to perfect her wine, her finances, and her love life. She finds herself torn between the man she lives with and the man she loves. A letter arrives from a long-lost cousin encouraging her to travel to Italy to uncover the secret to her wine and her heart. Tension is tight around the vineyard, so she leaps at the chance. Once in Italy, her cousin notices Francesca’s torment and convinces her to visit the local seer, who is known to help lost souls. The old woman propels her back through time on a heart-pounding quest where she visits three lives where her survival was in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge they have endured for centuries holds the answers to their present survival.


Q: What personal experiences inspired you to write it?


A: At one time I thought I wanted to run a vineyard, so I researched and visited vineyards and I found that running an RV dealership is easier. I’ve traveled to Italy, France, and of course, the Sonoma Valley many times. The story grew out of my travels and my love for wine. I’ve also experienced visions from past lives, which prompted me to include them in this story.


Q: What makes Francesca Bernard a unique character?


A: Francesca is stubborn and not a very good business woman. She refuses to listen to her heart. She refuses to acknowledge her own wine-making abilities, and she has a door open to the occult. But on the other hand she is a naughty girl and resorts to things she shouldn’t do in order to raise some money for the vineyard.


Q: Who are some of your literary influences?


A: Literary: Hmm. I’ve read everything May Sarton ever wrote, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Ayn Rand, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and F.Scott Fitzgerald. I enjoyed these authors because of the complexities of their work. I’ve tromped around through Key West and Hemingway’s old haunts and been to his place in Idaho. A current writer I’ve enjoyed is Deborah Harkness who wrote the All Souls Trilogy because I love historical fiction complemented with the occult.


Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your creative work?


A: I own and operate an RV dealership with my husband. We have thirty-two employees and so far we’ve sold 487 units this year. Daily, I meet amazing people with fascinating stories. (I also was a teacher for 25 years.) I was given a plaque on my desk that reads: Careful…or you’ll be in my novel.


Q: What kind of research did you do for The Divorce Ranch?


A: I read extensively about the time period and visited what are the remains of several ranches in the area. This was how Nevada struggled through The Great Depression. We legalized gambling and made divorce a six week process; hence, people traveled from all over the country and Europe to receive “the cure” and throw their rings off the Bridge of Sighs and into the Truckee River. One of my characters was designed after my great-aunt who was a secretary on a Hollywood studio lot in the 1930s. She used to tell me some stories!


Q: What do you think the main difference is between what men and women want to read about?


A: I’ve found men are more action driven. My husband reads a great deal, but he likes books where things are blown up or someone is shot on the first page. I am interested in the human experience and like character-driven plots. I’m not a huge romance reader, but I used to be vice president of the romance writers in my area and I discovered many women who liked to escape read those fantasy books.


Q: Do you think people find physically attractive characters more sympathetic than those who are not?


A: I think people find unattractive characters more sympathetic because they have a harder time than the “beautiful” people in life. Doors open slower. You have to depend on your strengths and talents, and not your image in the mirror. Beauty fades like a blooming rose.


Q: What is the most unusual thing you have done to promote your book?


A: Nothing unusual. The typical book signings, radio talks, and TV appearances. In my youth I was wild and crazy, but now that I’m matured I am a mellow girl.


Q: If you were to write fan fiction about any character in literary history, who would you pick and why?


A: I’ve always been a fan of Scarlett O”Hara from Gone with the Wind. Given the time period and the shackles placed on women, she was strong and determined and did what was necessary. Of course, she was in love with the weak Ashley and doesn’t realize who she truly loves until it’s too late. I can’t image wearing those corsets and all those clothes in the hot, sticky south.




Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

Am Interview with writer Lee Fishman

Lee Fishman



Lee Fishman is the author of the book Mediums Guild, a career counselor and is on the board of her local ACLU; here is a link to her website:


Q: What is Mediums Guild about?

A: Margo, a financially strapped single mother of two, works by day selling real estate. At night she earns extra money reading tarot cards and telling fortunes.  After a reading at a Halloween party, Greg tells Margo how his sister and a male friend disappeared without a trace. When he asks Margo for help, she recruits intuitive friends in hopes of finding clues to the couple’s whereabouts. Too bad they come up short – until Margo has a dream that leads investigators to a location where the couple is found…dead.  Local media swoop in on Margo, eager to know more of her psychic abilities and her connection with the baffling murder. As others learn of her emerging talent, a shadowy syndicate tries to convince Margo to use her abilities for their financial gain, leading her on a dangerous journey full of twists, turns and surprises.

Q: What inspired you to write it?

A: Years ago, I followed the story of a local couple’s disappearance. In my imagination l always wondered what might happen if a psychic got involved in the investigation. To be honest, I’ve been fascinated by all things intuitive since the year my kid sister and I found an old Ouija board in a closet and a cousin gave me a deck of tarot cards as a gift. As a teen, I became intrigued with telling fortunes, going on to learn the meanings of the cards and finding value in the stories they told. They almost take on a life of their own.  Later, as an adult I traveled to Lilydale, NY where I worked to explore other facets of intuitive ability.

Q: What makes someone a convincing psychic?

A: That’s a very good question. I’ve met many psychics and mediums. I find the ones I trust to be the most modest. They don’t make outrageous claims about themselves; in fact, they use their talents to help others, often with little thought for monetary gain. They accept their intuitive gifts as just that, believing that we all share this type of ability. The difference is that some people work to explore and deepen their skills just as you might, with music or art or  athletic ability.

Q: Who are some of your literary influences?

A: I confess to being a total book worm and am rarely without a stack of books “to read”. Right now I’m looking forward to reading David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks. Of course, Kate Atkinson is always a favorite; I especially love her Jackson Brody mysteries.  And I’ve just started reading George Saunders whose stories are mind-blowing.



Q: What is Edge of a Dream about?

A: Edge of a Dream tells of a young refugee couple. They escape from war-torn Sarajevo,  finding  asylum in America but while Rija, the young wife, sticks to the straight and narrow, seeking acceptance through hard work and education, her husband, Josef drifts off, lured to a world that promises easy money but, in reality, leads instead to crime and violence.

Q: What experiences did you draw from when writing it?

A: I once worked with recently arrived asylum seekers and new Americans. My job was to help them to become more successful in job searching, in a language that wasn’t their own. I was often impressed and humbled by their drive, persistence and determination.

Q: What does your work as a career counselor entail?

A: Right now I’m working with unemployed young mothers, helping them improve their resumes, practice  interviewing skills and become more comfortable in the world of work.

Q: What are some common challenges you face at work?

A: Well the weak job market is certainly a big barrier, obviously. Many of the applicants are motivated but they need more and higher level training than they now have access to.

Q: How did you become involved with the ACLU?

A: When I worked at the public library, I partnered with the ACLU to host an annual Banned Books Reading. We recruited local personalities to do readings from their favorite banned book. We usually had a great turn-out and it was lots of fun.

Q: What was the most interesting local case you have seen at the ACLU?

A: The recent ACLU case that I am so thankful for is the one that involved winning the battle to overturn an unnecessarily restrictive Pennsylvania Voter ID Law. The ACLU and other groups not only won the first round, but went on to win the appeal as well. It was a huge case that took many thousands of hours of work by ACLU staff and attorneys.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Aspiring Musician Marques Robinson


Marques Robinson is an aspiring musician who has just released his first album entitled Remains of Us here is a link to his website:


Q: when did you begin writing music?


A: I actually began seriously writing music around last Christmas, but it has really been an evolving process. Ever since I figured out how to play any instrument I have tried to write music with it. It has taken some time to get good at it but it is still evolving and changing and I continue to get new ideas and new ways of writing.


Q: What kind of training do you have?


A: I was in the High School Marching Band for 3 of my 4 years in high school. During that time I learned a little bit about arrangement and I also received private lessons on the French horn which taught me discipline and determination. Other than that my only training has been through myself, have it be me just listening to different songs and analyzing them to actually trying to figure out how to play a part of a song and elaborate upon that idea. Thats when I just started to come up with my own ideas and embellish on them and eventually turn them into songs themselves.




Q: Who are some of your influences?


A: Most of my early influences have been bands like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck; I really could not get enough of that time period, and sometimes I still can’t. Here recently I have tried to expose myself to some newer bands and gain a newer perspective on music and I have really come to love bands like Coheed and Cambria, Incubus, Fair to Midland; these of course are just a few but I am really enjoying all the influences together. I think thats when you get something special.



Q: What is the overall theme of Remains of Us?


A: The overall theme to me is dark and mysterious; it is me as an artist testing boundaries and setting new goals for myself to see how far I can take the music and still have it communicate something to whoever listens to it.



Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your music?


A: As of right now I am working on learning how to program websites and applications, the work is quite interesting and is pretty involved. As far as how it influences my music; it gives me an opportunity to be in my own head and think of ideas I can try.



Q: What is your oddest performance story?


A: I haven’t had the chance to perform as much as I would like, but while I was performing in my home town theater in the middle of my song ‘Eclipse’ one of the speakers goes out and my dad had to run up on the stage and hold the chord to at least make the horrible sound that was coming out stop. I am very thankful that he did that, the show was going so well and it was quite unexpected but after that the show continued without a hitch.



Q: What trends in music annoy you?


A: I can’t think of any trends in music that annoy me particularly. I rather enjoy seeing where people can go with there own expressions.



Q: What are some of the things you have done to promote your music?


A: I have recently hired a PR company who is currently connecting me through my social media sites and helping spread the word of my music.



Q: What makes the Texas music scene unique?

A: I really think that it is a diversity in the kinds of music being created and all the different people creating the music, that to me is special and I am excited to be a part of it.



Q: If you could have a private guitar lesson from Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix who would you pick and why?


A: That is probably the hardest question that could have been asked! Just because I grew up listening to both so intensely. But I would have to say Jimmy Page, I have a deep passion and respect for his works and would absolutely love to hear him talk about it to me and possible show me some of the things he does and how he thinks on music.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Filmmaker Bidisha Chowdhury




Bidisha Chowdhury owns BeautifulCircle Productions and is the director of the upcoming  film Adaline; here is a link to the company’s website:


Q: What made you interested in filmmaking?


A: When I was young, I lived in Kolkata, India. I was always mesmerized by films but there weren’t any kids’ movies playing at the theatres like we have today. The films were all geared towards adults so instead I used to read tons of story books even hiding from my parents to do so. When I read books as a child I used to imagine stories in film format in my mind to amuse myself.


From all the books I read I had a lot of ideas for stories but there was no creative outlet for them. Decades later after moving to the US I started writing my stories in script format. Then when I finally found an opportunity I started getting involved with the film making process through working on numerous short films.


Starting from 2006, I worked on several sets doing different jobs and this is where I got my start. Then I decided to make my own short films and I wrote and directed two of my own 30 minute shorts in 2010 and one short in 2012. Still at that stage, never ever thinking that one day I could ever make my own full length feature film.



Q: What is Adaline about?


A: It’s about a young struggling artist Daniela who inherits an old house from a distant aunt who she never knew existed. Daniela moves into her Aunt’s house in San Andreas and she eventually meets some of the locals. Life seems perfect.


While staying in her house, Daniela has a series of bizarre dreams. She also finds a 100 year old diary of a young woman, Adaline, who used to live in the same house with her father and two sisters during the early 1900’s. Adaline also left some cryptic prophecies hidden away in the attic.


Later Daniela finds out more about Adaline in that she had special powers and could supposedly see into the future. Her premonitions used to come true and the local people called her the village witch of San Andreas. Did Adaline see something really terrifying in Daniela’s future? Is that the reason why she is trying to reach Daniela through the dreams, diary and written prophecies?



Q: What inspired you to write it?


A: Story and believable characters are important to me.  I’ve read many stories since I was a child and I’ve always liked stories based on a different time period. After doing a lot of research and thinking, I based my story on three sisters, their relationships with each other and how they all died at a young age. I used that as a starting point for the rest of my story where I extended it further by making the youngest of the three sisters have psychic abilities where she could see into the future. I used this as the core theme where this psychic sister from 100 years ago foresaw an impending doom for a modern day girl who recently moved into the very same house where the three sisters used to live.


My inspiration for believable characters comes from certain interesting people I’ve met along the way. For example, when I was growing up in India there was an older lady who was our neighbor. She was nice but very curious about other people’s business. So I wanted to incorporate personality trait into Becky’s character where I made Becky into a small town nosey lady.


A while back I met a younger guy who was very nice and sweet. He was slightly mentally challenged and talked in a very unique way. Then years later I met another guy who used to work in a shop I often went to. His mannerism, his body language and his clothes caught my eye. The color combination of his clothes didn’t match and the style of clothing was not contemporary but he didn’t realize it. So when I was writing the script I combined these two people into one and that’s how my Marvin’s character got started.


Q: Why do you think dreams are such a popular theme in literature and film?


A: From the oldest literary styles to contemporary literature and films, dreams have always fascinated writers, readers and the audience. I guess it’s because our life is two-fold where sleep has its own magical world where dreams have no boundaries.


In this film Daniela is haunted by dreams. However, those dreams do actually add to the plot in the story. The tormented, sad soul of Adaline is still present in the house that Daniela recently moved into but Daniela is not able to see or feel Adaline’s presence. Only the audience is able to see Adaline’s spirit. So the dreams in this movie are really a communication channel where Adaline, from her spirit world, is trying to reach out to Daniela in her current day mortal world to try to warn Daniela about an impending doom.


Q: What makes Daniela a compelling heroine?


A: Without giving away who the antagonist is there are actually several hero’s/heroine’s in this movie but the safest one I can talk about is Adaline, the girl from 100 years ago. Adaline was a young woman, who lived with her two sisters and drunk father.


Adaline had to endure the torment of her father and the local people from her village who all thought she was a witch simply because she had visions of the future. She was physically abused by her father and during all this time she had visions of terrible things happening to a girl 100 years in the future (Daniela). Adaline took all the torment dealt out to her from everyone and still tried to help Daniela by leaving her messages throughout her house and by other means.


Q: What is your creative process?

A: During the script writing process I visualize in my mind as to how each scene should play out in detail including the intensity level of the acting as well as the naturalness and flow in the acting and many more variables. So I try to guide my actors to execute on my vision but I also allow them to have the freedom to improvise to see if we can capture something special.

Above all, the actors need to come across very naturally and free flowing and not get stressed over memorizing every word in the script as I don’t want them to look mechanical.


Q: What inspired you to start your own production company?


A: The company was set up to produce films which have a strong story because basically we are story tellers. BeautifulCircle Productions has a powerful team comprising many talented individuals that complement one another. Film production is always team work.

We want our films to appeal to audiences of all ages and demographic as our central philosophy is simply to have a great story.


Q: What kind of day jobs have you had and how do they affect your filmmaking?


A: I manage rental properties where I can manage my own time and so I can accommodate my filmmaking efforts.



Q: What are some lessons you learned when making your first short film?

A: An important lesson I learnt is to have the “right” team with you. The right team does not necessarily mean that everyone needs to be super experienced in their field. Of course for the technical positions you need to have a lot of experience and know what you’re doing but sometimes some very experienced people come with a lot of baggage such as having the wrong attitude or they may be inflexible or just plain hard to work with.


You specifically asked me about my “short” film experience. As a form, the short narrative film is audacious. It does not bow down to a feature because of the brevity in short films. Its succinctness is its power. During the making of my three short films I learnt how to utilize my limited resources and make something cool out of almost nothing.


Making short films helped me save time and money when making Adaline. It provided me with the experience and confidence to make bigger movies with greater efficiency. Making short films was good practice for my feature film. I learned a lot doing them.



Q: What is your opinion of Mallika Sherawat statements about women in film in India?


A: Indian women have always faced many challenges in the film industry and the cultural differences between the east and west creates constraints on what is acceptable for that time. As time passes things do change. The first Indian films had men playing the female acting roles starting as far back as 1913. That eventually changed with women playing the lead female roles. The first female Indian director was Fatma Begun who directed her first film in 1926. Can you imagine the extreme challenges these women must have faced. My total respect goes out to them.


So whatever challenges women in film face today the trailblazers of the past have broken down many barriers but there are still more changes that will undoubtedly happen. Because of India’s culture (which one must respect), the majority of Indians are currently not used to seeing their lead actresses cross certain boundaries of romance and passion. This is the reason the majority of Indian filmmakers are staying within these boundaries. That may change in the future, we’ll just have to wait and see.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)