Month: September 2014

An Interview With Filmmaker Bidisha Chowdhury

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

 

 

http://www.beautifulcircleproductions.com/

 

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:)

 

An Interview With Digital Media Producer and photographer Willie Pena

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Willie Pena is a Digital Media Producer and photographer; here is a link to his website:

 

http://williepena.com/

Q: What made you interested in digital media?

A: I first became interested in digital media due to my earlier career as a DJ. I used to have to carry around hundreds of extremely HEAVY and breakable 12 inch records to play, along with bulky turntables and other gear. It was entirely impractical and a giant pain in the neck.

Then compact discs came out and changed everything…especially when it became possible to burn your own music CDs. I remember that back then, audio “purists” hated the compact disc…calling the sound unnatural. The same effect happened when mp3s came out, and now that movies are also being shot on digital media rather than film, I see the same exact reaction again.

But I have always had a different reaction — one of excitement. To me, digital media is game-changing technology because it takes asset creation and delivery out of the hands of big monopolies and puts them into the hands of everyday people. You no longer have to rely on printers and manufacturers to get your work out into the world…everything is easily created and distributed, and that has changed the world for the better in most cases.

Q: What kind of services do you offer?

A: I do pretty much everything related to digital media. I think bullet points would be easier so here goes:

  • Freelance writing for websites, blogs, marketers, ad agencies
  • Scripts for commercials and films
  • Storyboards
  • Content marketing and social media planning
  • Web marketing strategy
  • Video production and video editing
  • Directing
  • Photography and photo editing
  • Infographics
  • E-books and whitepapers
  • Graphic design and Illustration
  • Original music production and scoring
  • Red carpet coverage and interviewing
  • Film, book, product and music reviews
  • And yes, I can still DJ with the best of them!

Q: What kind of training do you have?

A: There are a lot of different disciplines involved in what I do as you can see from the list above. As far as the illustration and design stuff, I received early training from my dad, who was a commercial and fine artist most of his life. The video work is all self-taught.

As far as the content marketing side, apart from some basic writing and journalism classes in college, all my training has been on-the-job and through studying what experts do. You have to stay on top of the latest trends to be in this business, and I get daily digests from many sources to keep up with all the different technology and strategies out there to grow a brand and drive revenue.

Q: What is the oddest thing you have been asked to promote?

A: Probably weight-loss pills. I am amazed that companies still peddle this stuff…and that people actually buy it!

Another weird situation is regarding one of my side projects, a teen website and video program called Teens Wanna Know. I am constantly pitched adult things by publicists for this site, even though it is for kids, such as stories about the latest sex toys and celebrity porn, stuff like that. I’m like, I am sure some teens really WANT to know about this stuff…but a family-friendly site isn’t the best place for them to find out about it haha!

Q: What are some simple things people can do to increase their social media popularity?

A: You need to post a lot, simple as that. That is RULE NUMBER ONE! No posts equals no activity.

So an easy trick is to share/retweet cool things other people have written around the web…so you don’t have to come up with so much material yourself.

If I were a dentist, for example, I would share interesting things posted by Colgate and other familiar brands daily in addition to my own self-created content. This helps would help establish my social media channels as go-to places for everything regarding oral care, instead of just being places where I pitch my services.

And never cheat and buy followers on sites like Fiverr or Craigslist just to get your numbers up. It is very easy to spot people pumping up their numbers and this harms credibility.

Plus…if you cheat, you never really fix the problems that are causing your social media efforts to be duds.

Q: Do you only do red carpet events or do you take paparazzi pictures as well?

A: I do red carpet events mostly because stars expect to be photographed and videotaped there…they are happy about it.

I did “paparazzi” work for ONE DAY as a trainee before I quit. It was awful to go up to people and just shoot them without permission, I hated it — and so did the celebrities I shot.

Q: Why do you think celebrities feel compelled to say they don’t want their picture taken?

A: Because it gets to be too much. It really is an invasion of their space and privacy, even if they are in public.

Celebrities simply want to do their thing and eat lunch or buy groceries or whatever, and having a horde of stupid, aggressive low-lives getting in their face every 10 seconds gets old quick.

Believe me, from hanging out with paps in Los Angeles for a while, I can say that most of these people leave lots to be desired as far as ethics, integrity and even basic human decency…so that’s why celebs hate them. The good ones work red carpets and events, and the idiots rudely chase after people in the streets.

Q: What do you like about Los Angeles?

A: The whole city is a creative haven. Wherever you go you will find someone involved in a creative field, whether that be filmmaking, theater, music, painting, or even making YouTube videos. It is a city of artists, and very laid-back despite its size.

I grew up around New York City, and that place is pretty harsh. I don’t miss it at all. L.A. is sunny and inviting and inspiring.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: There is so much I would change, you’ve opened up a can of worms! Here are some bullet points haha:

  • I would reduce bureaucracy and throw out about 90 percent of our laws and regulations which are simply a burden and most people don’t even know what they are in the first place, instituting a “no victim, no crime” policy for most infractions.
  • Get a sensible plan in to reduce traffic congestion.
  • Improve conditions in inner-city neighborhoods through outreach, employment opportunities, education, and the reduction of dependence on the government for basic survival.
  • Reform the police department to improve their reputation and decrease their violence against citizens. I would make them “peace and safety officers,” rather than “law enforcement officers.” Plus I would have them in brighter cars and uniforms like in Europe instead of scary dark uniforms and cars that look like Killer Whales and intimidate people, rather than make them feel taken care of.
  • Reward businesses by reducing taxes and eliminating many of the barriers to doing business here, such as overregulation, licensing fees and requirements, etc.
  • Reduce the cost of healthcare and break the monopoly of the AMA by piloting reduced certification and education requirements for general healthcare practitioners within the city and encouraging smaller “mom & pop” medical offices to spring up to compete with major hospitals and corporations. Also, allow other practices besides allopathic medicine.
  • Reform our judicial system through reduced requirements to practice certain types of law, allowing more people to participate in our judicial process and lowering prices.
  • Reward citizenship, production, and contribution…and do not reward those who leech off of everyone else or who are here illegally.

How’s that for starters? : )

Q: What can I do to become an internet superstar?

A: Here is what I wish were true:

  1. Post a lot of good, entertaining, engaging, informative, and awesome content.
  2. Market the heck out of it however you can until it goes viral.

Here is how it actually works:

  1. Post something dumb, ridiculous, or horrible — such as videos involving cats, nudity, or people beating each other up in the streets.
  2. Sit back and watch the clicks come in.

Yep. As in everything else in life — the answer is not so simple, nor fair.

But given enough persistence, funds, and ingenuity, you CAN make it even if no one know who you are right now. I have seen it happen, and the main differentiator seems to be having the burning desire to make it happen no matter the cost or effort.

And you can always write to me at willie@williepena.com for some ideas…

 

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 Futurist Katie Aquino

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Katie Aquino or “Miss Metaverse” is a Futurist, here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.futuristmm.com

 

 

 

Q: What exactly is a futurist?

 

 

A: A futurist is a professional who studies trends, statistics, and other data to determine what the future might be like. Companies and entrepreneurs hire futurists as a consultant and/or keynote speaker to share insights about the future. In the business world, most of us think about each quarter or year and not the next 5, 10, or 20 years ahead of now, so a futurist helps inspire companies by thinking about the future.

 

Q: What qualifies you to be one?

 

 

A: While there are a few degrees out there in futures studies, futurism is something you’re born with. Futurists aren’t sitting at a 9-5 and then say f*ck it, I think I’ll quit and become a futurist. Futurism is an obsession with the future. When I discovered futurism, or futurology as some might call it, I was so relieved. I finally had found the others.

 

Q: You have said that you believe Mars will be colonized with in our lifetimes what are you basing this belief on?

 

A: Mars will definitely be colonized, hopefully in my lifetime. Elon Musk said on CNBC that he’s hopeful that the first visitors to Mars can be taken in 10-12 years. Elon also said that what really matters in the long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multiplantery, and that will define the future of human civilization.. that either we will be a multi-planet species or remain a single planet species until an eventual extinction event either planetary or manmade.

 

Q: What will voting and politics be like in the future?

 

A: Voting in the not too distant future will be like many of the “customized experiences” of the future. Politicians might share exactly why they deserve your vote, based off your own personal data such as accident history, medical records, or even shopping habits. Our voting system already still seems rather primitive, so we’ll surely see a change in the way we secure our ballots, likely using fingerprints (as the iPhone already features) and we may have a verified system which will prevent those little “random mistake” votes from sneaking in.

 

Q: What will wearable technology be like in the future?

 

A: Wearable tech is such a huge topic right now. We are JUST entering the age of wearables and in the next 10 years we’ll forget what life will be like without having everything connected to the web. We’re about to become totally connected with shirts that monitor our health in ways unlike ever before. We will be making video calls through our smart watches very soon. It’s all really exciting.. the future is finally here.

 

Q: Based on texting and internet communication, what will language be like in the future?

 

A: I believe that in the not too distant future we’ll communicate each other and with technology telepathically and clairvoyantly. meaning we’ll share thoughts instantly and be able to use technology as a true extension of ourselves. We’ll communicate clairvoyantly because we’ll communicate in ways that we’ll “see” what each other are thinking. We’re already experiencing this in the way that we use mojis to express our feelings, as well as with the use of meme and quote photos on social media. We’ll be multitasking so much in the future that we won’t have time to text and the concept of staring down at a phone will become … ancient and extinct.

 

Q:  How will we evolve physically in the future?

 

A: There are many scientists who come up with their own ideas of how we’ll evolve physically in the future. I believe we’ll evolve ourselves before any natural evolution could take place. There’s already two cyborgs living on Earth right now. Let’s leave that for our next discussion.

 

Q: What will be the biggest industry in the future?

 

A: The biggest industry in the future? That is extremely hard to say… when we say “the future” it could mean 20, 100, or 100,000 years! The future world of virtual reality.. *cough* aka THE METAVERSE is something to look forward to.

 

Q: How will dating and mating change in the future?

 

A: In the future, intimacy will begin in a virtual world and unlike today where we Tinder swipe onto the next potential date, we’ll date on a much deeper level. In the future, being intimate will mean an invite to come explore another person’s virtual universe and the experience of truly exploring the free mind of another person. We already experience this when we are invited as a friend on our date’s social media accounts. Social media is like exploring another person’s mind and in the future just times that by 1000… that will be the future of dating, intimacy, and virtual reality.

 

Q:  When will I be able to have a robot friend and how much of his personality will I be able to control.

 

A: Check out Intel’s 21st Century Robot project. Intel created Jimmy, a robot you can 3D print at home and build yourself using a kit! Since Jimmy is open-sourced, you can program him yourself. This is one of many robots that will be coming to the consumers market in the next year.

 

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 Andrew D. Ford

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Andrew D. Ford is an aspiring actor in Portland, OR; here is a link to his website:

http://andrewfordactor.wix.com/portland

 

 

Q: What made you interested in acting?

 

A: I first became interested in film acting specifically because of classic films Conan The Barbarian and Predator where Arnold’s Schwarzenegger’s on-screen presence and physic combined with perfect music score that convincingly created achient lands never seen before.

Q: What kind of training have you had?
A: I trained under long time successful actor Jesse Lee Vint (III) in “Organic” acting. He like Marlon Brando was a Oklahoma farm boy who quickly seperated himself from other actors in L.A. being accepted and graduating from The famous L.A. Actor’s Studio. Mr Vint doesn’t exactly teach methods, more than that I was taught to “Activate my soul”, with no pretending and animated “Face Actor” acting unless the scene called for that speciffically like the Disney channel and others often do.

Q: Who are some of your influences?
A: .Some of my influences where Actors like Robin Williams who are incredibly blessed in the voice over area -I’m a human “Liar Bird” mimmicker by nature but have a limited canvas (Appearance) like Robin Williams. After my audition at Cast Iron Studios (Grimm) I was asked to additional perform my Elmo (Muppet) impression….they loved it saying “Wow…that, that was ELMO…You know you should take over for that guy who used to do the voice of Elmo and got caught up in that Child scandal”.

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influences your acting?
A: I’ve been pursuing an acting career career full time for the past 2-years otherwise, I couldn’t catch potential oppurtunities online.

Q: What is your oddest onset story?
A: My oddest story is on the set of Grimm during the season 3-Finale at the wedding I thought up and told Danny Bruno how to make The Grimm’s glasses accidently fall off because of a wedding guest shoving past DET. Nick Burkhart. When we were called back into the room after they practised setting-up the scene physicalities Director Norberto Barbera says” Yah, hey thanks to who ever came up with that idea”… go figure…lol.

Q: What is Confessionals about?
A: The editor of Deep Dark Indie Feature brought me into Confessionals actually Confessionals is really one of those played-out group circle type short films where different people from all walks of life come together to understand one another. What sets Confessionals apart is the script of course but more than that the level of believibility of the actors so that you don’t get that cheap, B-rated, un even actor performance feeling.

Q: What role do you play?
A: I play Steven a Business man with his own company who is kind of a oppitimist who believes in hiring felons giving them a second chance in life; almost like a Christian boss. He comes to the group circle to gain insight into understanding a felons mind-set so that he doesn’t judge them wrongly and flat out just doesn’t feel paraniod….lol.

Q: To what method of acting do you ascribe?
A: I don’t get into methods because that means acting is a thing and not a person which is false. Even if a actor only has 3-lines the actor should say them as if he believes what he is saying so the audience will too. I myself mentaly prepare to BE “the charactor” as if I MY SELF were in the script, and in a dream, slowing execute my lines I pay attention to how I sound and feel…..and by listening to yourself judging if you sound and feel true.

Q: Why Portland and not NYC or LA?
A: I choose Portland because I was lucky enough to figure out that right across the bridge was what’s becoming known as “North Hollywood”. Oregon has as high tax incentives and grants combined as Hawaii (19%) but all possible environments; not merely tropical. In L.A. or NY or totally different markets where in general you need to “Max out”, “Break-out”, or produce your own film that gets noticed in your smaller markat city FIRST ,otherwise you will have nothing to compete with…. this happened to Celeb actor Vin Diesel twice.

Q: I worked as a background extra in Los Angeles and I found it t be very degrading. We were not allowed to talk to the principal actors and there were separate lines for food for the extras and the stars; are things any better in Portland?
A: Yes, I have BG experience working on Leverage and Grimm TV series as it was one of the tools I used to figure out how the Film industry works. BG work must be put into proper positive perspective because everyone must yield to the projects need and become apart of the team like anything else in life; do not under estimate your ability to network and get noticed I know local actors who do it FT with their SAG Cards and make a living… however, I’m not that fortunate..lol. Portland’s BG work is better than ever with Grimm, The Librarians, Portlandia running stronger than ever and with a possible Runestone TV series with some big names attached; not to mention major films like Wild randomly popping-up. Also, during our week long Portland Film Festival (Hash Tag #PDXFF14) we had several celebs Screening their films in attendance including Jason Momoa (Road To Paloma), Sean Penn (The Human Experiment), Glena Avila (Glena), Haley Joel Osment (Sex Ed), Toby Froud (Lessons Learned); In between several Actor Workshops I attended and they were some of the best films EVER and it could only have happened in this place in this time in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

 

 

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 ACT Like A Child Magazine Co-Founder Jennifer East

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Jennifer East is the co-founder and creative director of ACT Like A Child Magazine; here is a link to the website:

http://www.act-likeachild.com/

 

 

Q: What kind of professional background do you have?

 

A: My background includes 20+ years as a professional Graphic Designer, Photographer, and Art Director, working both in-house and freelance. I also have professional marketing and writing skills. While in Los Angeles, I designed two magazines, one being ACT Like A Child Magazine. My first L.A. magazine was a fully interactive, digital magazine app, and ACT Like A Child Magazine will be one also, as soon as we get the funding for it! I am also an adult actor, primarily commercial work. I love working on set!

 

Q: What inspired you to start Act Like A Child?

 

A: After traveling across the country to help launch my daughter’s acting/performing career, I soon realized that Hollywood is no child’s play. I found out first hand that it takes a lot of industry know-how, preparation, networking, determination and hard work to even make a “dent’ in Hollywood. After thinking a lot about it and discussing it with a friend of mine, Sueanne Steinacker, (a talent agent), who herself, was also going through the same things with her daughters, we decided to help others. Families who have found themselves in Los Angeles, working to make their own kid’s dreams come true. We decided to seek out industry professionals who would be willing to share their wealth of information. Our editor, Jasmine Fontes is a producer for a LA production company. With the right tools, tips, and advice, our readers can develop a plan for their child’s career. Things are done the right way and not relying on luck, or thinking that because their child is good-looking or has been in a school play, that the agencies, casting or directors will want them, Agencies and casting get literally thousands of submissions from good-looking, talented hopefuls. Our readers will learn how to stand out and feel informed and confident with the choices they have to make!

 

Q: What do you look for in a writer?

 

A: What we look for is quality, trustworthy inspiring people who have a great tale to tell regarding their own journey to help their child live their dreams. It is even better when that person is an industry professional who is working in the field and is able to share their wealth of information. We have professional actors, performers (singers and dancers), models, directors, acting coaches, casting directors, agents, and more, offering their personal experiences and advice in their articles. We love reader’s stories and comments and welcome them! We also love reader’s questions so we can help them with issues that they need real answers to, because chances are, there are hundreds in the same boat, needing those same answers.

 

Q: What are some common mistakes stage parents make?

 

A: Probably one of the biggest thing is “smothering” their kids. There is a fine line of being there to manage your child’s career (which is very important, keeping them safe and happy) and not going over-board with their training, micro-managing, pushing them to do things they aren’t ready for, or don’t want to do. This partnership has to be a fun, inspiring, uplifting, an adventure for both parent and child. It does require a lot of discipline and work, as long as the parents infuse positivity and encouragement with their children. Allow kids to be “kids”. They need downtime and playtime with friends. Life needs balance. Also, another mistake is trying to “coach” your own child. It just doesn’t work, unless you are a professional acting coach, and even then, the child will probably listen to another person better. Be there to encourage for your child and be a positive role model and please don’t try to live your life through them.

 

Q: What do you look for in a cover star?

 

A: Well, we have three levels of talent that we look for – with all three, we hope to help launch and promote their careers. For a young child to the “twenty-something” actor/performer that is new or fairly new to the industry, we offer the “Cover Star” section, complete with their headshot and short bio, they just need to submit through our website: www.act-likeachild.com and they will be prominently displayed in a special section of our magazine. The first six headshots submitted for each issue will be on the cover and the next six will be on the table of contents page! We also list them on our Facebook page and our website, in hopes that casting and directors will have a great place to see fresh talent. All kids/teens/twenty-somethings are welcome to submit! Based on the bios, we sometimes select kids to be interviewed for our “Special Feature”! …..We also offer interviews and inspiring stories from our “up and coming” kids/teens/twentysomethings for a “Special Feature” (2-page spread w/photos) for those who are working hard in their field, who have a bunch of booked work and have a great story/journey to tell….Lastly, for our “Cover Feature”: (Cover shot and a 2+ page spread w/photos) is reserved for the kids/teens/twentysomethings that are currently booked and working in their field, have IMDb credits and are currently in a project that our readers can follow, such as a recent or upcoming full-feature movie release (lead or supporting actor), principal in a national commercial, a singer/group with a new song or album release (on iTunes),  a television show (reoccurring, guest or principal), principal on stage, in a professional show (acting, singing, dancer), model in a current fashion/ad campaign or runway show, etc. Parents, publicists, managers, etc. are asked to submit photos along with their credits for our consideration for a Special Feature and the Cover Feature! It is that simple!

 

Q: What makes a child performer a natural?

 

A: You can just tell when a child is in their element and experiencing pure joy when they are on stage or in front of a camera. They create performances at home, using the kitchen chairs and blankets as props and Mom and Dad’s closet for costumes. They are constantly singing and dancing around the house and as soon as a good song comes on, they are there to perform it for you! They have that sparkle and come to life when they watch musicals and can perform the scenes with accuracy. They are well spoken, good listeners and great readers.

 

Q: What is your oddest work story?

 

A: I’ve been wracking my brain and I just can’t come up with anything! We have such amazingly talented writers and photographers who contribute their work to us and we feel truly blessed. We would love to go to the next level and get this magazine off the ground. We are currently on issue 12 and we really want to see it as a digital, interactive magazine app that would be a super fun, interesting and a ‘go-to’ resource for all kids/teens/twentysomethings (adults love it also) and their acting teachers and coaches! That talent managers and agents would have a quality resource to offer to their clients. Even directors and casting could feel confident in referring their talent to the magazine for advice and information.

 

Q: What are some of the challenges involved in starting a magazine?

 

A: Honesty, it is advertising, funding and getting the word out to prospective readers. I know why they say that starting a magazine from scratch is probably one of the hardest things to do – what were we thinking? haha! This project is totally a “work of passion” getting each issue out, as a grassroots effort, to boot. It is a dream of mine that some amazing person or organization, of influence, will see this magazine and love it! They, of course, would have the need to want to give back and help other young actor/performers get inspired and prepared for their career. Because they are as excited about this project, as we are, they would decide to help us financially to get to the next step with the interactive magazine app! If this is you, reading this now – please contact us! We would love to talk with you!

 

Q: What kind of training do you recommend for children?

 

A: For starters, get them into Improv classes. Through improv games, kids learn to act and re-act naturally, helping them to think quickly on their feet. This will help with auditions and interviews. I really feel that kids need to act like kids as long as they can. They are natural actors. As they get older, such as middle school age, then start acting classes. I feel any training in the arts is an asset. Professional dance training and singing classes teach children how to move and use their voice, which is awesome preparation and fun to participate in. Read, read, read as much as they can! Let them read, out loud, as much as possible, so they can hear their own voice and feel comfortable with conversation. Have them audition as much as possible – the more they are in front of the camera or on stage, the more natural and comfortable they are with the process. They will need to ‘ooze’ confidence with this process.

 

Q: When is it time to tell a child to give up and how do you go about doing it?

 

A: I would have a hard time telling a child to “give up”. Parents should feel so lucky if their child has a passion that gets them out of bed each day – especially teens. So many kids flounder because they haven’t found that “something special” that motivates them. Statistics show that most child performers won’t end up pursuing acting as adults, but there are still countless benefits they can gain as they make the journey. If the child is truly the originator, bitten by the ‘performing bug’, it is in their DNA and there really isn’t anything a parent can do to stop that. They act/perform because they have to. Nothing else will truly satisfy them and fill them up the way getting on stage or in front of a camera does. Offer them other choices, if you are worried. If they have choices, then they will learn what they really want to do. Until then, support them! Don’t stand in your child’s way of self-empowerment, happiness, self confidence, and success, to become the best ______________ (let your child/teen fill in this blank) they can be! Did you know that many successful people in casting, management, teaching, producing, directing and more, had their start as actors/performers? Well they did! Along the same lines, many successful professionals studied theater/dance in the hopes of the big acting/dancing/performing career. A performer learns valuable skills that will help them their entire lives such as, building self esteem and confidence, improved reading skills, learning how to speak in public, independence and responsibility, social interaction, listening skills, risk-taking, learning to think on your feet, poise, how to deal with rejection, and so much more! Being realistic with goals is always very important, but if there is a true dream, backed with determination, a real plan (developed by reading ACT Like A Child Magazine) and support from family, then stand back and hold on for the adventure of your life!

 

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 Haulix Owner Matt Brown

 

 

 

 

haul

Matt Brown owns the music promotion business Haulix; here is a link to his website:

http://www.haulix.com/

 

 

Q: What is Haulix?

 

Haulix is a web-based promo system used by record labels and publicists to push watermarked music out to the press.

 

Q: How does you site prevent leaks?

 

A: Every promo has its own settings that our customers configure before sending out email invitations.  They can limit the number of downloads, the number of streams and set live and expiration dates.  On top of that, we inject inaudible watermarks into each track right before they get sent to the listener via the web.  The watermarks are sort of a “finger print” that we can use to trace back to the original downloader.

 

Q: What is your one of a kind tracking system?

 

A: We track high level movements like promo views, downloads and streams.  Our watermarks take it further and finger print the actual MP3 files themselves.

 

Q: What qualifies someone as a member of the press on your site?

 

A: Our various customers import their own contact lists.  As long as they don’t violate our anti-spam policy, they are able to send invitations to anyone in the press they want.

 

Q: If you do track down someone who has leaked a song what can you legally do about it?

 

A: We are just the middle man.  When a track is submitted to us by a customer, we have no knowledge of where they found it.  We scan it and report the results back to them.  From there, it’s up to them to escalate how they see fit based on the situation.

 

Q: What is your own background in music?

 

A: I started playing Hall & Oates and Michael Jackson records back when I was a little kid.  From there I got into 80’s synth like New Order and Depeche Mode.  I was introduced to Death Metal in high school and that changed everything.  Today I still enjoy all of that and even EDM.

 

I also played the drums for most of my life.  I was in the symphonic and marching bands throughout my school years.  I played in a 90’s cover band and a metal band in my 20’s.

 

Q: What makes for a compelling music blog?

 

A: A compelling blog has extraordinary content that a reader can actually learn from.  We post a lot of industry interviews and educational pieces in hopes that our readers can learn and get value from what we preach.

 

Q: What is your strangest work story?

 

Q: In my web developer days, I used to showcase my metal reviewing website (MetalReview.com) in all of my job interviews.  They didn’t give a shit about a degree, but more so what you can actually do and your skills.  I remember being in a job interview with two ladies and they asked if I would bring the live site up and show it to them.  I forgot that we just published an interview with the band Impaled.  The lead singer was on the homepage giving a middle finger.

 

A: I remember apologizing to the manager and she laughed and said, “I have two high school daughters… that’s nothing.”   And I ended up getting the job.

 

Q:  Why do you think piracy has been so hard to prevent?

 

A: Technology.  With all of the wonderful things that evolving technology has allowed us to do, it in turn has made the sharing of data (music) much easier.  With Haulix, we encourage customers to send promos out to people who they actually have a working relationship with — team that up with our security and DMCA takedowns and they can greatly decrease the chances of an early leak.

 

Q: What makes a piece of music piracyworthy?

 

A: The music itself doesn’t matter.  There’s private niche sites and forums all over the internet that have dedicated members who share leaks with their respective community.  If someone with or without malicious intent has friends or followers who want to hear something they have, they are a candidate for leaking an album.

 

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 Business Development Manager and Comedian John Scimeca

mlk

 

 

John Scimeca is a business development manager at Air France who is also a stand-up comedian; here is a link to his Twitter page:

 

 

 

 

 

Q: How did you first come to work for Air France?

A:.I spent many years in my youth trying to find the right career path. I tried everything: While attending night school, I drove a truck. I also worked as a bartender, as a head hunter, in apparel manufacturing, retail, and even tried my hand as a circus acrobat. I kept searching for the right situation. One day noticed a position with Air France posted in the Sunday New York Times. (That was back when you could actually speak with someone in person about a job.)  I sent in my resume. Pretty soon I was called back and asked to come in for to be interviewed. As it turned out, I got stuck working a 14 hour shift the night before the interview and was exhausted, But I went home, showered, changed and drove into New York. From there I was sent to JFK airport for more interviews. In total, I had 6 interviews that day. It was an exhausting experience but I got the job and have been here ever since. Never give up trying.

Q: What were the reasons for the Air France and KLM cargo merger?

A: There are no secrets here. All of this information is available on the Internet. I just read on Goggle the following: The Air France – KLM merge made it the World’s largest Airline in terms of revenue.

 

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced with the merger?

A: Both Air France and KLM had good reputations prior to the merge, so it was not difficult getting the word out.
Q: What changes did you see in your career with Air France?

A: I started off as an Operations Manager. After the merge, I was promoted to Sales Manager. I am now responsible for USA Business Development of our Express Products Division called Equation.

Q: What is you funniest work story?

A: There is a funny story from when I was working for a trucking company. It is about a shipment of Ostriches which were being sent to California for a breeding farm. It seems that the wooden stalls that held the Ostriches were built out of low quality lumber and several of them broke apart when they were being loaded into the trucks. Soon we had dozens of really big birds running in the warehouse and several escaped onto the roadway. We spent the entire evening rounding up these birds. I remember hanging out of the side door of a cargo van that was speeding down a road in Brooklyn trying to lasso Ostriches running alongside.

Q: What made you interested in stand up comedy?

A: I have always felt comfortable speaking with small groups of people, but I didn’t think I could work a crowd. I thought of taking public speaking classes but never got around to it. One evening, I just happened into a comedy shop in Manhattan during open mic night. I had a few drinks in me and walked up on the stage. It was terrible and I bombed. (If anyone reading this was at that show, please allow me to buy you a drink). But like anything worth doing, I persevered, practiced and tried again. Things got better and I found my timing and style. It’s great to feel the vibe of the room, to catch people off guard and make them laugh. There is an electricity flowing when a performer and the audience connects. To me, Laughter is the World’s Greatest Cure.

Q: Who are some of your comedic influences?

A: I have to mention Robin Williams first and probably would have even if he was still alive. The man was a comedic genius and his loss really strikes home. I am influenced by Richard Pryor, John Belushi, Sarah Silverman, Bill Cosby, Bill Maher and George Carlin. I enjoy standup as well as Improv. I enjoy starting my set by introducing an absurd concept and then going off in a separate unrelated direction before reintroducing the first thought and piecing them together. Thankfully, I find my work in comedy has opened up new avenues for expression. I recently completed 2 original screenplays including one I am pitching for Gina (Gershon) as a tough New York Investigative Reporter.

Q: What trends in stand up comedy annoy you?

A: I do not like abusive comedy. Don’t get me wrong, anyone going to the bathroom during my set gets picked on. And hecklers deserve everything they get. But for me, it isn’t about picking on someone else. My job is to make everyone feel good. For the most part, messing with people isn’t funny, it’s cruel.

Q: Tell me an NSA joke.

 

 

A: I have strong suspicions that my wife is having an affair.

But I can’t afford a private investigator.

So I called the NSA and tried to get them to send me proof.

They weren’t very helpful.

Now I am starting to suspect them of being in on it…

 

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