Month: August 2012

An Interview With Artist Steven Brouse

Steven Brouse is an art teacher and artist for hire who lives in Lake Worth, FL. Here is a link to his website:

http://www.stevedrouseart.com

Q: What made you interested in becoming an art teacher?

A: I always wanted to share my talents with those that I found to appreciate it the most…children. When one tells me that I’ve inspired them to create something then I become more passionate of the teaching experience and believe that this is what I’m meant to do.

Q: What inspires your art work?

A: Energy inspires me. Other people creating around me. Simplicity in life such as a sunny day or boats on a beautiful blue see. Perhaps music is a big one as well. Musicians such as Moby, Beck, Air, Thievery Corporation, Mickey Hart and of course Pink Floyd has always been my favorite.

Q: Who are some of your influences?

A: Some of the artists that influence me are Pop Artists of the 80’s which include Keith Haring, Kenny Scharfe and Basquiat. Others are artists such as Picasso, Marc Chagall and Modigliani. Besides the ones I’ve mentioned would be Romero Britto and Roy Lichenstein.

Q: What has been your greatest professional accomplishment?

A: Besides working for The Center For Creative Education for 6 years I would have to say the many public arts projects that I’ve participated in. They’ve included huge murals and painted sculptures of Buffalo and even cars where I have painted decoratively every inch of the surface. These opportunities are so exciting it is beyond words. Posters for festivals and events have all come my way as well.

Q: What has been your greatest disappointment?

A: There’s been a few disappointments. They come and go. Worse ones are when there are potential clients that take your ideas and end up doing nothing with them. People who say they’re going to buy or commission and end up not. Those “highs” usually hurt pretty bad when they come crashing down

Q: What do you like about the art scene in America?

A: I guess that there are many venues to show your art. This happens all over the world tho. Maybe with freedom of speech it is easier to express yourself more so than in any other places. America’s great tho. There are so many cultures and influences from them. The energy never ends.

Q: What don’t you like about it?

A: There’s nothing really I don’t like about it.

Q: What is the strangest thing you have ever been asked to paint?

A: A glass window. It turned out pretty nice. I was a bit concerned about the type of paint I was using on it whether it would adhere or not but it did. The customer was happy and it’s still on the window to this day.

Q: Have you ever had an art student you thought was a lost cause; what did you do?
A: Never. I’ve always looked for the creative side in my students and have found it. The important thing is enabling the child or adult to channel his abilities or skills in other talents they may have. It’s important to become acquainted with the student..learn a little bit about his/her interests and build on their confidence so that they may expand and grow their talents to other mediums.

Q: Let’s say you had to take a long road trip with either Picasso, Dali or Lautrec; who would you pick and why?
A: I would say Picasso. His abilities as an artist far exceed others in my eyes. I can also relate to Cubism more so and I could learn from him Not only that but he was quite a character from the books I’ve read and other forms of media I have seen. I see myself smoking a cigar driving as a passenger in his convertible through beautiful hills in France. Kinda like him and Modigliani did in the movie “Modigliani”.

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 Marketing Consultant Constance M. Drew

Constance M. Drew is the owner of The NOLA Barefoot Marketer in New Orleans LA.
Here is a link to here website:

http://nolabarefootmarketer.com/coaching/

Q:. What does a digital marketing consultant do and how is it different from a traditional marketing consultant?

A: I would say that a really good digital marketing consultant is a hybrid of understanding both online and offline marketing. When I work with clients, we develop a marketing plan for their digital marketing which can include web site design & maintenance, email marketing and Social Media marketing. It is even better if they have a traditional marketing plan that we can use to dovetail the digital marketing into. The difference in working with me is that I have a MBA and have started and ran several brick and mortar businesses. So when I work with a client on marketing, I take the approach as a Marketer first, then as a digital consultant.

Q: What is the oddest business you have ever had to promote and how did you go about it?

A: I am not sure I would call it odd, but definitely off the beaten path I worked with an incredibly talented Henna Artist in New York City. She had three branches of her Henna business and we chose one for her to create a marketing protocol so that once we had a solid marketing plan, she could then apply that to the remaining two branches.

We chose her “Maternity Henna” which at the time was booming in New York. Expecting mothers would come to her to have her design Henna Art on their pregnant tummies for photograph shoots. We sat down and identified who her “ideal client” would be, where they hang out and other businesses that cater to this clientele. One avenue we implemented was working with photographers, health care clinics, ob/gyns and yoga centers. Akiyo created exquisite marketing post cards that she took to these identified places and offered “referral” bonuses to businesses that would recommend her. She was able to generate new leads through this one avenue that led to new clients.

Q: What do you like about working in New Orleans?

A: After living and working in lightening speed New York City, I like the slower pace in New Orleans. I find people here are friendly and for the most part easy to work with. The city itself offers its own unique ambiance of tradition meets modern world. The technology here is still advancing offering me more opportunity to work with clients on getting them up the latest use of technology for marketing their businesses.

Q: . What don’t you like about it?

A: There are times that I do miss “advanced” technology, as I do see several small businesses here that could leverage their marketing position through digital marketing. Daily, I come across business owners who are still using Gmail for their business email rather than setting up email accounts through their domain name. It is frustrating to know what I know and not be able to help more people advance their businesses.

Q: What is the biggest marketing mistake a business can make?

A: I would the say the absolute biggest mistake that a business owner can make is that of NOT having a marketing plan! A business thrives or dies according to the client/business inflow. Without a solid plan of how to get those clients in the door, your efforts on anything else are wasted. Oftentimes I find business owners will have an influx of clients and tell me they don’t need a marketing plan. I will hear from them a few months later when their client pool has dried up and then need help. I tell clients no matter how many clients you currently have, you need a consistent marketing strategy that will keep your present clients and bring in new clients.

Q: What has been your greatest professional triumph?

A: I would have to see that one of my first coaching clients in New Orleans has touched me the most. Sarah came to me a year after she started her pet sitting business. She had a large number of clients and staff. She is a very intelligent business woman who grew a business in record time, but not quite prepared for the “growing pains”. After working with Sarah for about six months, we re-vamped some of her business protocols, identified where she should be making more money, created a “Vision Plan” to help her focus and worked on her marketing plan for increasing her services and charging what she was worth. It was amazing to be part of her growth and to witness her stepping into her power as a business owner. I am happy to say that her business is booming and she is so much happier on a personal level since she has taken control of her business and being the incredible business woman I knew she was when I first met her.

Q: What was your biggest professional disappointment?

A: Back in 1995, I started a Wedding Consulting business in Maryland. I quickly saw a need for a bridal apparel shop, so I rented space in historic Savage Mill which was a cotton mill converted into a shopping mall. I opened and ran Bridal Path Apparel & Wedding Consulting for two years. We sponsored and provided events for local bridal shows, including the choreography and models for these shows. I was a sought after speaker in the community and featured in bridal magazines.

I had grown the business in six months to our two year projections. So by year two, we were booming! We had more clients and customers than we were prepared to handle. I learned that with growth comes new challenges and I was not prepared for the “success”. Even though I tried to get additional funding, I was not able to secure enough to keep the shop open. One of the saddest days of my life was the day I closed the doors and had to contact my present clients to arrange their final deliveries.

Q: What was the greatest internet marketing campaign ever?

A: Without a doubt, it has to be Facebook! Though it may have started out more as a personal social network, Facebook has more members and potential to connect with potential clients than any other marketing tool both online and offline. I find that many people, me included, tend to patronize the businesses that I have connections with on Facebook.

I am currently researching applications in which you can offer webinars directly through Facebook and also one where you can literally build a mini-website within your Facebook account! There is unlimited potential to put you in front of potential clients with a fraction of the cost and time involved in traditional marketing.

Q: How would you do to promote my blog?

A: You have built an impressive audience and following with over 1,000+ to get notifications of your new posts! I see unlimited potential here and with just a few digital strategies, could skyrocket your business! You are at a point that most new business owners dream of and ready to take the next step in growing your successful business.

One example that would greatly increase your visibility is that of adding Facebook links on your blog. By turning your 1,000+ current followers into Facebook friends, you would see your audience grow exponentially! Also, there is so much more you can with WordPress. You have several un-tapped resources at your fingertips. By identifying those resources and creating a solid marketing plan for implementation, you would definitely achieve the next level in growth of your business rapidly and successfully.

Q: What is more important for an aspiring artist, marketing strategy or talent? (and why)

A: If I have to choose between the two, I would say the marketing strategy. I have met so many extremely talented artists that do not know how to promote themselves. One thing I learned from clients is that the fine arts schools, whether it be acting, hairstylists, etc. may offer only one business course if any while they pursue their degree. No matter how talented one may be, if no one knows about you, then you will find yourself constantly doubting your own talents.

I work with artists who forego agents to come up with marketing plans that fits their needs. I find that helping artists to focus on marketing plans, helps them to feel more in control and less frantic about what needs to be done. As one actress told me, it is like having all these spinning plates in the air and knowing that they will not all come crashing down around her.

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 Background Actor Cesar Acosta

Cesar Acosta is a background actor and writer. Here is a link to his Youtube page:

Q: How did you first get into background acting?

A: It started a long time ago, around 2004. I actually managed to get a small part as an extra on Arrested Development as an immigrant worker. If you watch the episode, “Amigos,” My profile can be seen as Buster sits in a van surrounded by other immigrant workers.

Q: What do you like about being an extra?

A: It’s really great, because you meet a lot of great people, and it’s possible to make so many connections, and there’s always a lot of people to network with. It’s a great way to meet so many interesting people.

Q: What don’t you like about it?

A: There’s a lot of downtime between jobs. Perhaps that’s the most frustrating part of this. However, once you get a roll of jobs for the week, then you find yourself more than super busy. So, maybe it’s the two extremes that can be somewhat hard, but it’s still a great way to work. It’s fast paced, but in a good way.

Q: A lot of extra casting is based on stereotyping; do you feel the stereotypes are accurate?

A: I would say more that movies, and television shows try to diversify by showing the public at large. It’s a good way of showing that despite being on screen, it’s not so far from being reality.

Q: does being an extra help or hurt in your pursuit of an acting career?

A: I would think that any part one can get is important. In that way, it gives one plenty of face time. Also, the experience of being on the set with different people always helps. At the same time, it also depends what kind of extra roles you get, but all in all anything that can be added to your resume is a big help.

Q: What made you want to become an actor?

A: When I first saw Ghostbusters in 1984, and saw how Bill Murray delivered his lines, deadpan, and with that straight-man look on his face. That is when I decided that I would love to do that, too. Also, he got to work with that awesome equipment.

Q: What role could you have nailed?

A: Jason Lee’s role, opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt, in “Heartbreakers” Mostly because my personality is very much like that character. There I am, minding my own business, and I meet the girl of my dreams, but has she got attitude. So that gets tiring, very fast.
Q: What is your funniest work story?

A: I knew a fellow that walked into McD’s, where I used to work, and asked if there was anything healthy. I thought, Do You see the sign outside? It’s McD’s. What you’ve never seen SuperSize Me?

Q: What kind of day jobs have you had and how have they influenced your work?

A: I worked in a variety of customer service jobs, as well as security. This allowed me to gain a full spectrum of different types of personalities. You meet the silliest people too. I met a celebrity at LAX, and they wanted to cut in front of a fellow in a wheelchair.
Q: what is your book about?

A: My book is called, “Can I Stop Now?” It’s about two serial killers. One male, and one is female. The male is based on Bundy, and the female is based on Wuornos. The thing is, the female, at first thinks of herself as a champion of Justice, and later that becomes muddled as the story goes on. I haven’t started on the second one, but the outline is ready to go.

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 Author Laura Roberts


Laura Roberts is the author of several humorous erotic books including, the Vixen Files and Naked Montreal. Here is a link to her blog:
www. buttontapper.com

Q: What made you decide to write The Vixen Files?

A: The Vixen Files is a collection of writing from my sex column, “V for Vixen,” which ran in a Montreal weekly paper that was recently retired. I decided to release the material as an ebook so that it would always be available to friends and fans who enjoyed it in print. It also makes a great nonfictional introduction to my novel, Naked Montreal, which will be released this fall.

Q: What makes someone a sexpert?

A: “sexpert” is someone who claims some expertise in the sexual realm. Sometimes these people are doctors or nurses (like Dr. Ruth or Sue Johanson), sometimes they’re sex workers (like Violet Blue and Tristan Taormino), and sometimes they’re just regular people who have good advice to give (like Dan Savage). You don’t necessarily have to have a degree in sexual psychology in order to be a sexpert, but your advice should be backed up by credible sources.

Q: I don’t really like the term “sexpert,” because it seems to imply that there’s only one right way of looking at sex and sexual relationships, and if you’re not the “sexpert,” then you’re doing it wrong. I certainly think that the concept of sexual experts is a good one, in terms of being able to ask knowledgeable people for help with issues pertaining to their field, and I do believe that if people feel comfortable asking for help in bed, that can only be a good thing. But really, anyone who has open, honest answers to sexual questions can be a sexpert.

A: What separates good erotica from bad erotica?

Q: Good erotica gets you off, both mentally and physically. Bad erotica keeps pulling you out of the story with its bad grammar or clumsy comparisons. Good erotica is like any other well-written story: it has a plot, well developed characters (and not just characters with overdeveloped body parts!), a conflict of some kind, plus the action required to move the story to its climax. Those who have not mastered the basics of storytelling should certainly not attempt erotica, nor should anyone who believes it’s just about putting Tab A into Slot B.

Q: What is Rebels of the 512 about?

A: Rebels of the 512 is the tale of Suzie Jimenez, a high school history teacher who is suddenly dismissed from her job due to budget cuts passed by the governor of Texas, Nick Harry. Instead of getting mad, Suzie goes rogue and joins up with a band of ninjas to take back her job and stop the governor’s evil plan to take over the United States with the use of a mind-control device. Though it’s partly a satire on Texas state politics, it’s also a humorous adventure pitting ninjas against pirates, where the ninjas are on the side of truth, justice and the American way. Since ninjas are usually viewed as faceless assassins, I thought it would be fun to make them the heroes in my book, as the kind of freedom fighters I’ve always admired throughout American history.

Q: What are the advantages of self publishing an e-book?

A: One definite advantage of self-publishing is that you get to keep a lot more of the money you’re making than you would with a traditional publisher. It’s also fun to have all the control over the publication process, and meeting other self-published authors to help cross-promote each others’ work has also been a positive side for me. I’ve met some really good writers who are doing unique work that crosses and bends genres, which is an experience I definitely wouldn’t have had if I had published with a traditional publisher.

Q: What are some of the disadvantages of it?

A: The disadvantage of self-publishing is also the advantage: you only get out of it what you put into it, so if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to marketing and promotion of your book, you won’t make a lot of sales. To me, it’s all a learning experience, so I try not to be discouraged. I figure if you keep on writing and promoting your books, eventually you will reach your audience and the sales will follow.

Q: How realistic was Sex and the City?

A: Sex and the City was definitely not a realistic depiction of life as a sex columnist. For one thing, I’ve never been able to afford even a single pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, much less purchase my own condo. That’s not to say it’s a lifestyle of poverty, but it’s certainly not the lifestyle of the rich and famous that Carrie Bradshaw’s fictional existence depicts. Although the part about writing on your laptop in your underwear is pretty true.

Q: Why do you think erotica is so popular?

A: Erotica is popular because our culture is very uptight about sex. Now that you can instantly download erotic pictures, books and movies, it’s becoming more acceptable to do so (at least in the privacy of your own home), and I think that eventually people will become less judgmental about it. As for erotica vs. pornography, I would identify erotica as the “thinking person’s porn,” because more is left to the imagination. Erotica can definitely be explicit, but because it’s written instead of acted out, you have to use your mind to picture the characters and their interactions, and I think a lot of people get off more on reading erotic works than watching porn because there is that element of working your brain–which is, after all, your body’s largest erogenous zone.

Q: What is the strangest feedback you’ve ever gotten about your writing?

A: The strangest thing, to me, is that lots of people assume that everything I write about is true, or that it has all literally happened to me. Since I have written both fiction and nonfiction about sex, there’s a tendency for people to believe that *everything* is actually nonfiction, but I wouldn’t be much of a fiction writer if that were the case! Certainly I am inspired by real-life events, but I also take ideas from stories in the news, stories my friends have told me, other erotic writings and such. I guess it’s just the type of thing people like to read these days; they prefer to believe it’s all true or inspired by reality.

Q: What would you say to someone who says there is too much overkill in the media when it comes to sex?

A: I think the problem is not so much that we are oversaturated with sex, but that the media typically presents sex in a very limiting (and limited) way. We see lots of sexual relationships, but they are almost comical in their caricatures of both men and women. Sexual dysfunctions are still considered more something to be joked about than serious issues. Sexual scandals usually involve conservatives who try to appear morally superior to the rest of us. Lots of relationships, such as open relationships or gay or lesbian relationships, are either skipped over as if they don’t exist or presented in such a token way that it’s offensive. I think it’s really quite telling that sex is considered worse than violence by our society. So I would say that it’s not that we talk too much about sex in the media, but that we don’t go deep enough with our discussions or treat sex as a serious or legitimate topic of interest, worthy of our time and attention. Ironic, given the fact that none of us would be here without it, don’t you think?

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/Actor J.D. Glasscock

JD Glasscock is a local poet, writer and actor who appears in the short film Out For Buckner. Here is a link to his Facebook page:

 

 

facebook.com/jdglasscock1

 

Q: What is the Team For Spoken Word?

A: National competition in spoken word or slam poetry has been going on for thirty something years. They hold it once every year with usually teams from over 60 or so cities. It is teams of 4 with a fifth alternate. To make a team you had to be a winner of preliminary slam which put you into the finals of 12 to 15 poets in which the top 5 made the team. A competition usually consists of 3 rounds with 5 judges and your scores are cumulative. It has to be original work and you have a 3:10 time limit with penalties on your score for those that go over.

Q:  What is the difference between a poetry slam and a traditional poetry reading?

A: Poetry slams are much more performance oriented and usually have a higher skill level then most open mics as people know they are being judged.

 

Q:  A lot of your poetry is critical of Hollywood, yet you live in Los Angeles, what causes the love/hate relationship people have with Hollywood?

A: Hmm, some pieces are but Ii believe you only looked into the first few pages of one of my books and I believe those first few pieces fall into that category. Personally I am against nepotism and such in any forum I find it in. I believe people should be given opportunities based on skill and merit.

Q:  What is your most disturbing Hollywood story?

A: Don’t really have any. I believe sometimes the egos that insecure people in this industry throw out and force others to deal with are difficult. Many in this industry seemed to have skipped the child hood lessons of respect and courtesy and too much elitism goes on for my tastes. The opposite as well though. I worked with Clint Eastwood and he walked up to everyone regardless of position and said “Hi, my name is Clint, thanks for working for me.” A beautiful person.

Q:  What interested you about “Out for Buckner”?

A: It was a friend of mine’s project and I like to support people in their aspirations.

Q:  What kind of day jobs have you had and how have they influenced your writing?

A: I have been writing and performing for 22 yrs, most of that spent as a waiter/bartender to eek a living out while I pursued my music and writing. I moved to Los Angeles 3 yrs ago to finally pursue my aspirations as a screen writer/lyricist/actor and some day Director. I currently make a living in acting.

Q:  You have nine self published books. If I only have time t read one of them which one should I read and why?

A: All of them are of equal skill. I do not put out anything less. You can find them on lulu.com under my name,

Q:  Who are some of your creative influences?

A: I have many. Poetry — Yeats, Rimbaud, Poe Music — Doors, Marley, Ozzie, Eagles, Steve Miller Directing/Script Writing — Lynch, Tarentino, Guillium

Q:  Why have you decided not to submit your writing anywhere?

A: I am starting to now(Film scripts) But through my career I chose not to till I had access to major movers. Personally I felt it a waste to submit to small publishing houses/productions etc as most likely they would own my product and it would go nowhere and the product would be burned. I always had faith that I would get where I am going. In addition as far as film, I write High Concept, High Imagination, larger budget material.

Q:  What can we do about Hollywood racism, sexism and looksism?

A: I think the only viable solution is to make it in your own art with great success then show by example that a better business model is to hire based on merit, and skill, not nepotism.

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 Sabrina Machado

Sabrina Machado is an LA based actress and aspiring spokes model who appears in the play Simpatico at the Pan Andreas Theatre at 5125 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, CA 90038. Here is a link to her  IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1708928/

 

Q: What made you want to get into show business?

A: I started in show business through the back door, with no real intention of making it a career. I was a very shy young girl, and while at college, easily acing exams ,I decided to challenge myself by going on national tv and potentially making a big fool out of myself. I joined the cast of all the dating shows on major American and Spanish networks and thus got my first start in entertainment. I immediately became enamored with show business and continually booked appearances on different tv and film spots, such as music videos, tv series, films and commercials.

Q: What special qualities does a spokes model possess?

A:  spokes model must be a lover of life, a lover of all the things that the world has to offer, material or otherwise. She must exude confidence in self, and be able to express that to others. She is giddy, fun, authentic, and with great charisma. She will make your brand seem like a company of great values.

 

Q:  Have you ever done live theater before?

 A: I am currently in pre-production of my first live theatre run in Los Angeles. It is a very smart and witty play by Sam Shepard, entitled Simpatico. I play Cecilia, the lead female ingénue that gets swindled by the other main characters within a racehorse scam deal. Our run goes from August 17th through October 6th, 2012, at the Pan Andreas Theatre at 5125 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, CA 90038. $15 at the door.

Q:  Why is doing live theater important to an actors career?

A: Theatre transforms an actor completely. When you are performing the same dialogue over and over for several weeks, you being to understand acting from a whole different and deeper perspective. You finally really do become the character. There is no escaping it. The script is so ingrained within you, that you can finally be free and spill words how you do in real life. Also, industry professionals respect theatre actors more, because they know they work it takes to put on a play. It takes a true love for the craft.

 

 Q:  What makes you fameworthy?

 A: Number one, I love what I do. I cannot be happier than when I am acting. So, when you see me at work, performing, it is pure love and joy that I am emanating form the framework of the project.

I also believe I have a very unique background, coming from a very mystic suburban Brazilian family, and living my adult life in the dichotomy of the L.A. life. I am very worldly, and have a very innocent, yet intelligent constitution that makes my characters interesting yet mysterious and alluring.

 

Q:  Who are some of your acting influences?

  A: I love Al Pacino. I think I got that from my dad, who was a movie fanatic as I was growing up. De Niro, Jack Nicholson. The French young actresses like Audrey Tatou, Juliette Binoche. I would love to do French films at some point, and yes, definitely some mob flicks as well.

 Q:  what famous film role could you have nailed?

  A: I think I could have a been a great Belle from Beauty and the Beast, as well as Cinderella. I love the fairy tale stories. But I can also see myself as a great villainous attorney on a Law and Order type of show.

Q:  What is your strangest Hollywood story?

A: Strangest…. Hollywood to me is the strangest place in the world. I mean, anything goes here. Every single story in the book I am sure has happened here. I will say the strangest I have heard will probably be one that involved a billionaire producer and his thing for bestiality… But that’s old news anyway. They say Hollywood is the new Babylon, that might be stranger.

Q:  What do you like about Los Angeles?

  A: I love everything about L.A. except that because of the amount of activity going on, traffic is bad, streets are crowded and it is much dirties than other cities. But overall I am grateful for all the opportunities available here.

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

 

  A: I would make it cleaner! Cleaner air, wider streets, not so much traffic! More parking spots! And no meter maids!!!

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 Sara J. Pittock

 

Sara J. Pittock is a Portland based actress who appears in the upcoming films Shatterpoint and The Suffering.

Here is a link to her Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/sarapittock

 

Q: What made you want to become an actor?

A: I’ve been telling stories as long as I’ve been able to think, and I’ve tried every medium I could think of. Acting is such a powerful form of story telling, that really sticks with you, and it lasts long after you’re gone. Also, it’s awesome that I can get paid to pretend. I entered into professional acting because I had no-luck getting a dead-end cubicle job, and I needed an extra source of cash to pay my bills. I figured I had nothing to lose. Once I started out as a background extra I knew I was hooked. You have to have a special sort of crazy to enjoy working alongside super-stressed people and waiting for hours on set with nothing but anticipation to entertain you.

Q:  What was your most challenging role?

A: So far it’s definitely been Shelly from Be Meaner. It’s a lot harder than it looks to add depth to a character who isn’t as smart as she thinks. Shelly also has a street-wise New York accent, which had taken me months to get the hang of.

Q:  Why Portland as opposed to New York, Chicago or Hollywood?

A: I grew up in Oregon, have always loved the scenery and the people. Unlike L.A., people here don’t care as much about social climbing, and in Portland they take pride in their weirdness. Not to mention the scenery is hard to match. Sure, the film community still has a lot of room to grow, and there’s not as much regulation here as there should be. Still, it’s exciting to be part of an industry with so much room to grow. I see more and more films and television shows in production all the time, and I feel blessed to be part of it.

Q:  What is your strangest backstage story?

A:  In college I joined two street teams of mimes and traveled to Italy. Our host cook was Sicilian, and so every meal he made for us was super spicy. One day when we went out to one of Udine’s piazzas, I got heartburn so bad that I started to developing a migraine. A Romanian tagged along with us, and decided he would personally get me some antacids. He didn’t speak much English and I spoke less Italian, so he had to drag me through the streets of downtown Udine to a pharmacy. He also took me to a bar to order me a glass of water.

Q:  Why is it important to keep Portland weird?

A: Without our weirdness, Portland is pretty much a smaller Seattle and a tamer San Francisco. Not to mention, it’s earned us international attention through Portlandia.

Q: Why do you think so many people want to be actors?

A: I know when I was younger, I wanted to be an actress for all the wrong reasons. I only to act professionally so I could meet my tween crushes and walk the red carpet. Filmmaking is so much more than that though. And if you’re going to do indie filmmaking, there’s a lot less money and glamor involved.

Q:  What famous film role would you have nailed?

 

A: I would have made an awesome Batgirl.

Q:  You’ve appearing in several horror films; what kind of experiences do you draw from when you are playing in scary scenes?

A: There’s been a lot of moments in my life where I either made a bad choice, or came pretty close. I have my characters make those bad choices, often to the extreme. Your choices change who you are as a person, whether for good or bad. I also take people from history who have done unspeakable things, and delve into why they did the things they did.

Q:  Who are some of your acting Icons?

A: My list of acting role models gets longer all the time. Right now my inspirations are Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Ellen Page.

Q:  What method of acting would you recommend to an aspiring actor?

A: I haven’t studied any method in depth, but I would say make sure the character you’re playing has a bit of truth to them. They don’t have to be based on you or any one person, but make something about them real. That’s what makes your role a powerful one.

 

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