Tag: eliza gale journalist

An Interview With Historical Romance Author Faye Hall

 

avatar_thumb - Copy

Faye Hall is an Australian historical romance author; here is a link to her website:

 
http://www.faye-hall.com

 

 

Q: What motivated you to start writing?

 

A: I’ve always loved telling stories even as a child.  One day my mum suggested I write them down and so it began.

 

Q:  Why historical erotica?

 

A: I love history, but more so I love the passion of our ancestors that struggled through to make life what it is today.  Also we have this misconception that those in the past were very ‘hush hush’ about sex and I’d like to show a different side.

 

Q:  What was the Bountiful Burdekin?

 

A: It’s where I grew up.  It’s called the Bountiful Burdekin because there are quite a few townships all situated around the Burdekin river, one of the largest water systems in the world.  When the towns were first settled they were the hub of the north and many founding family still live here.  I wanted to show that history but in a more passionate way.

 

Q:  What made you chose it as a setting?

 

A:  As I said before I grew up there and I love the history of the town.  I also think it’s something away from the mainstream settings for most romances.

 

Q:  What is Shrouded Passions about?

 

A: It tells the story of two lovers torn apart when Lotte, the heroine, is shot and killed.  Devon, the hero, falls apart after her death and begs for just one more chance to be with her.  Lotte returns to him, having been saved from death by the tavern girls, but she is in disguise as she needs to stay hidden until she can prove who tried to kill her.

 

Q:  What makes the hero Devon Munroy a character worth reading about?

 

A:  I adore him as a character.  He’s so passionate and devoted to Lotte.  After her death he becomes the dark brooding hero that needs to punish himself for all the wrongs he’d done.

 

Q: What motivates the heroine, Lottie Higgins?

 

A: Lotte wants revenge.  She wants it to be known who shot her.  She also tired of hiding her identity and wants nothing more then to return to Devon and tell him she’s alive.

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how do you draw from it in your writing?

 

A: Day job – I am a mother and a step mother.  We have a combined family of 9 children, 7 of which are currently still at home.  I do school runs.  I pack lunches.  I pay bills and run the household while my husband does shift work.  Not sure if I draw on my home life to help with my writing as such but I do find my writing an escape from the day to day chores.

 

Q:  What do you think is the most effective way to promote an Ebook?

 

A: I’m still to figure that out but I have enjoyed guest blogging and interviews.

 

Q:  What do you think Americans misunderstand about Australia?

 

A:  I always reckon Australian’s are seen a bit like ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with pet kangaroos and corked hats.  That’s also why I set my books in Australia, to show how rich and passionate our country’s history really is.

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/Singer Frank L. Humphrey III

Frankie

Frank L. Humphrey III is an actor and singer; here is a link to his website:

http://frankthe3rd.com/

 

Q:  What made you interested in becoming a performer?

 

A:  What made me interested in becoming a performer was when I first sang in my home church St. Matthew Baptist Church of Jacksonville in Florida. At the age of 7 I sang, I Shall Wear a Crown and after I finished singing the selection the congregation began to clap and holler out like we were at a Football game or something. I knew then, that God gave me something special and it would behoove me that I use it before I loose it.

Q:  How did you come to perform for Michelle Obama?

A:  I came to perform for Michelle Obama through an organization that I became an ambassador for by the name of The Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation in Orlando, Florida after I won the male division of their competition. After winning the competition, I was asked to sing in the World Primer Gala in Orlando, Florida at the Loews Portifino Hotel and Resort. Unknown to me,  Patricia Mica the wife of Congressman John Mica attended the event  to hear me debut as a young classical singer and after hearing my performance told first lady Michelle Obama about me and the next I knew I was in Washington D.C. performing at the  First Lady’s Luncheon and  co-headlining the show with Gloria Estefan. Mind you, this was all going on in my senior year of high school!

Q: What kind of training have you had?

A:  I’ve been trained in Classical Piano, Drums, Conducting, Dance(Jazz). I’m also a Classically trained singer studying at The Manhattan School of Music and trained actor studying at The Alan Gordon Studio.

Q: You went to a performing arts school; what is your opinion of Fame?

A:  I went to a performing arts high school by the name of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida for my high school tenure. My opinion on Fame (the show/movie)  is this; It was a television show that was very dramatized for an effect, but the overall lesson of hard work and perseverance while striving for your goal is one that all people should look at as something to aspire to. But I’d also like to comment on the condition of fame. I believe that fame is something that is garnered when one has worked incredibly hard and people around you notice the hard work and tenacity you dedicate to your discipline of study. Fame equals thousands of hours of hard work, tenacity, discipline, humbleness, and an overall strong foundation.

Q: What is the overall theme of your album?

A:  The overall theme of my album is about my New York City experiences.  These include the nightlife scene, relationships, and embracing my pathway to success. I’d like to leave it up for interpretation, my music will tell it all.

Q: Do you think someone can be taught to sing or is it a natural talent?

 

A:  I think one must have the natural ability to sing and further expand on that natural talent with a voice teacher or mentor to bring the best out of the individual.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: My musical influences are Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Toni Braxton, Dirty Loops, Prince, Sandi Patty, Lecresia Campbell and Michael Jackson.

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

A:  To promote my album I have hired a publicist (Kayo Anderson of Kayo Anderson Media) to take my brand to the next level and give more awareness to who I am. I’ve also secured the producer who worked on my first single “Late Night Memory” to produce my six song EP!

Q: What was your most nerve wracking on stage experience?

A:  The most nerve wracking experience I had on stage was during a performance of opera scenes of an Italian opera entitled La Rondine by Puccini. I forgot a couple of words and I made up my own Italian that I don’t even think existed!!!!!  It was the most hilarious thing, but I still gave it my all.

 

Q: What Broadway role could you nail and why?

A:  The Broadway role I could nail is the role of Pippin because we have a similar backstory. We both have tried many different things, and were put through many trials, but I knew deep down inside I wouldn’t be fulfilled if I weren’t doing something that made me happy. So, I trusted God with the entertainment business, and it hasn’t failed me!

 

Q: What is your opinion of Contests such as The Voice?

A:  My opinion of shows such as The Voice is that it’s great and clean entertainment, but it’s a quick way to stardom and everyone knows if it’s quick it’s not worth it!

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 Mondia

headshotsbyrobert.com
headshotsbyrobert.com

Andrew Mondia is an actor who appears in the film Another Hand; here is a link to his website:

http://www.andrewmondia.com/

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

A:  I always enjoyed performing since I was born.  Singing and dancing were first than the acting came when I was in grade 5.   Love the fun when it comes to being part of a production and when my grandfather died when I was 14 decided to make it a career choice.

 

Q:  What is Another Hand about?

A: I don’t remember much but it was to do with a life support machine being accidentally turned off.

 

Q: What role do you play?

A: I played one of the patients.

Q:  What kind of training do you have?

A: I took various classes in acting, singing and some dancing classes but did a 1 of a 2 year acting school program.   Some of my work is also based on personal development work I have done working on myself on a spiritual level.  I did take a break from acting training as result but slowly getting back into it again.   I only took courses like a couple of stand-up comedy courses to help with how to do stand-up comedy when I lived in London.   Sometimes taking a break from acting classes can help especially if you work in your head a lot and if acting has become your only focus.

Q:  What has been your greatest professional triumph?

A: One of my greatest triumphs is being a part of the Opening Ceremonies for London 2012 and working with Danny Boyle.  I was part of the big number called Pandemonium ie Industrial Revolution.

Q:  If you could play any famous character from literature, who would it be and why?

A: Oh tough choice as I love many great characters…  Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from by Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  The character goes from the good and evil within us.   On some level if we wanted to we could get real evil and let the ego take control but most people choose not to.   Exploring another side to us that resides deep within and what would happen.  What if you let your evil self out and how would that play out in life?

Q:   What is your strangest on set story?

A: Well not as an actor that I can think of but I worked as I Production Assistant on location for DaVinci’s Inquest TV Show which was filmed in Vancouver.    In a bad part of the city they had cleaned this alley way for filming night shoot.  I had to watch to make sure no one did anything in alley ie go to bathroom.

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and why is acting better?

A: Currently I am teaching English in China while working on my working visa for US.

Acting is my passion and love playing the different roles that comes my way.  You get to have fun being creative and breathing life into the roles.  Dressing up sometimes in costumes picked out whether period pieces, modern or something way out of this world.  I bring entertainment to the people and if it makes them laugh even better!

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

A: One aspect is that studios actually give TV shows a chance to build an audience for the season instead of cancelling shows even before they have aired.  At least air the shows that are already have been given 13 episodes and then decide once all episodes aired.

Q:  How do you prepare for an audition?

A: I do my best to have fun with the role I am given.   If it is a role with lines now I aim to memorize as I find I work best when they are.  I can play more with the character.   Sometimes I can practice till I do it to death but really no such thing.   Some take more work than others.  I auditioned for a role in the movie Eurotrip back in 2003 and had a call-back.  It was the best audition I did but role was younger than me but part was up my alley.   I had memorized sides given and really got into part so much that I didn’t even realize I changed some lines which made it even funnier.  It’s usually unheard of but later that day I came across someone from the casting office and she gave me a positive comment on my audition.  I have not forgotten it and as result have set the bar of how I want my auditions to be.

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 Child of the Seventies Creator Michael Vaccaro

child2

Michael Vaccaro is the writer and star of the web-series Child of the 70’s; here is a link to his website:

http://www.theofficialchildofthe70s.com

Q: What is Child of the 70’s about?

A: Child of the ’70s follows “Carlo Perdente,” a total loser, whose life completely falls apart as he’s about to turn 40. He loses his survival job, his NYC rent-controlled apartment, and his hot boyfriend. His acting career is going nowhere, and his obnoxious and overbearing Italian family are forcing him to abandon his dreams of stardom and get “serious.” A chance encounter with his favorite 1970s TV star, “KiKi Lawrence,” changes everything for him.

Q: What inspired you to write it?

A: I’ve always had the idea in my head, pretty much. But when I realized that people were creating their own content on the web, I realized I could do that, too. I didn’t have to sit around anymore and try to get a meeting with a network in order to pitch an idea. When that hit me, it all took off. I began writing furiously, and it all sort-of poured out of me.
I was kind of sickened by how gay people were portrayed on TV. We were either “Jack,” the over-the-top, ridiculous fool, or “Will,” bland, sex-less and non-threatening. I wanted to write and portray a gay character who was funny and interesting and charming and edgy and flawed and real.

Q: Upon whom is your character based?

A: Me, of course! 🙂 But also, he’s a little bit “Rhoda Morgenstern.”

Q: You worked for Lainie Kazan as an assistant. What is your most memorable work story from that time?

A: Oh, brother…I could tell you stories! Ha! But, I’ll save all that.
Lainie Kazan is an amazing woman. She is literally the person who walks in and completely lights up the room. She is fun and gregarious and intelligent and tough. She had great stories about her life and career. She should absolutely write a book. I really enjoyed my time with her. But, it was also non-stop! From the second she woke up ’til the moment she went to bed, it was overwhelming. My head would literally spin. I couldn’t keep up.

Q: How has the gay culture changed since the seventies?

A: This is a difficult question. Clearly, we’ve come quite a long way, baby, and I’m very happy about the strides we’ve made, and the rights we’ve achieved, but in my view, we’ve been watered down, diluted. We’ve been homogenized, and I feel that we’ve lost what makes us special. We are not like everybody else. We are different. And I’m interested in celebrating those things that make us unique. We are also certainly less political. We’ve become complacent. Our values have changed. I sometimes miss the fight, I miss the anger, I despise the apathy. I treasure the thought that I came up, and out, in quite a difficult, yet magical time. Of course, there will be many people who will be angry at me for this response.

Q: There have been several recent hit films sent in the seventies including Inherent Vice and American Hustle, how realistic do you think these films were?

A: I haven’t seen Inherent Vice, but I thought American Hustle was sooooooooooooooooooooo ’70s, that it made me want to puke! Not everybody who lived in that decade had a perm and bell-bottoms and beaded curtains and bean-bag chairs! Not everyone painted their apartments mustard and orange. It was ridiculous. Insanely unrealistic and over-the-top. Unless the art director and the wardrobe department were trying to portray some kind of 1970s nightmare, then they totally succeeded.

Q: What was great about the seventies?

A: Best decade for movies, ever! Filmmakers and actors took risks, nothing was safe, nothing was taboo. They don’t make movies stars like that anymore. Great TV. Norman Lear changed everything. Fantastic music, amazing performers. A decade when you still had to be able to sing in order to be a singer! Fascinating politics. The destruction of the USA began the second Ronald Reagan took office. And also, it was fun! People danced and did drugs that weren’t made in somebody’s garage. And the sex! I had fantastic sex in many bathrooms of many clubs and bars! We weren’t afraid then. We weren’t weighed down by this pall of death and sadness that eventually took over.

Q: What are some things you don’t miss about that decade?

A: Living in The Bronx. Let me qualify that… I have very fond memories of that place, but I also have nightmares sometimes where I have to move back there!

Q: Do you think being openly gay helped or hurt you as an actor?

A: Both. It hurt in that I was always out, and that wasn’t as chic as it is now, so I lost out on a lot of opportunities. But it made me a better person, and that’s more important.

Q: If you could go to lunch with Walter Findlay or Dwayne Schneider who would you pick (why)?

A: Definitely Walter Findlay! First of all, he lives in upstate NY, and he could come down to the city for lunch. Dwayne lives in Indianapolis. Second, Walter and I could have a great discussion about his fascinating wife. Dwayne would just want to talk about chicks!

 

 

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 Rosemary Agonito Author Of The Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood

raa

 

 

Rosemary Agonito is the author of The Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood, which argue that women may be better off if they do not have children; here is a link to her website:

 

http://rosemaryagonito.com/

 

Q: What inspired you to write The Last Taboo?

 

A: I began to notice the incredible impact children have on women’s lives after my two children entered the picture (one biological, one an international adoption). Over the years, I’ve been exposed to countless women from all walks of life in my college teaching and training work as a gender issues specialist– executive women, professional women, rank and file working women, poor women, displaced homemakers, women trying to re-enter the workplace in middle age, older women. The motherhood theme was always there, an integral part of these women’s stories, often in a negative sense. And for those women who, for whatever reason, did not have children, there was the stigma, the guilt, the sense that something must be wrong with them.

 

My work in Women’s Studies and my writings also provided many questions. My first book, History of Ideas on Woman, traced what the so-called great thinkers had said about women from ancient times. Mostly, it wasn’t a pretty picture. Women’s inferiority and subordination, their “different,” lesser nature, seemed more and more like it related to women’s role as mother in the eyes of these men.

 

I grew up in an immigrant Italian home and the idea that children would not be a part of a woman’s life was unthinkable. So over many years and much experience, I became fascinated by motherhood and the motherhood “requirement.” I came at last to see the woman = mother thing as flatly wrong and completely a function of intense cultural and religious conditioning of girls. Given this profound conditioning from the time a little girl gets her first doll, it’s a stretch to say that motherhood is a choice for most women. So I wrote The Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood.

 

Q: Why do you think any woman would be pro life?

 

A: Actually, I was pro life in my youth. I really believed that the fetus is a baby, a real human being. So killing it was murder. That’s what pro life people believe and if you believe that, you try to save the baby.

 

But I came to see two things early on. (1) A zygote, two cells, is not equivalent to a human being, any more than an acorn is a tree. The zygote will, at some point, become a human being if the conditions are right, just as the acorn will become a tree – but a whole lot of development has to occur for that zygote to become a human being. (2) Women matter in this whole process and that’s what so-called pro life people don’t acknowledge. It’s a woman who bears the burden of nine months and its physical repercussions. It’s a woman whose life will be dramatically impacted by a child. She will spend the next two decades caring for that child, often alone. She will not be able to do much of anything in her life without factoring in that child at every point. A woman is an actual living human being; that zygote is a potential human being. Sadly, pro life does not mean pro woman’s life.

 

Now, why a woman would be pro life is more baffling. She should understand the second point. Unfortunately we’ve not been very good historically at identifying with other women or supporting each other. We tend to identify with the men in our lives and too often we are less supportive of each other. Which is why the call for sisterhood has been so important in the women’s movement.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do for the book?

 

A: I was seeing all this negative motherhood stuff in women’s lives that conflicted with all those glorious motherhood myths in our culture and media. I wanted to get at the truth about motherhood. What did mothers really experience? How did children really affect their lives? So I dug deep into the data – research and surveys on motherhood going back for decades. I was surprised at the mountain of data out there. I tried not to rely on a single study or a single survey on any point, but I looked at the data over time – multiple studies, multiple surveys. This meant finding out what women themselves had to say.

 

I also collected, over time, the stories of women I met or read about. These stories form an integral part of the book along with the data. The book is as much about the real lives of women as it is about what the data show.

 

Q: What changes have you seen in the women’s rights movement over the years?

 

A: Lots. I remember the days when we marched in the streets and politicians paid attention – at least more than they do now. We had consciousness raising sessions that showed women they were not alone in their feelings and fears. We met often and plotted strategies. There were multiple support organizations for every walk of women’s lives. For example, I belonged to a women business owners’ support group when I ran my consulting business. There was an active Women’s Commission appointed by the mayor here in Syracuse and a sex equity panel that advised the NY State education commissioner on sex equity in the classroom. It was a vibrant time full of activity on behalf of women. Most of that is gone. TV even changed briefly. We protested women being portrayed as sex objects and actually made a difference, for a very brief time, in TV programing. Strong women began to appear. That didn’t last. Today women are showing cleavage all over TV and media – it’s seems to be a requirement that women be sex objects, even women who do the news! Now little girls and teen girls are sexualized. This is deadly. As long as women are seen as physical beings (sex objects) and their function is biological (motherhood/breeding), how will women ever be seen as fully human, which entails rationality above all?

 

I remember when the movement briefly started to talk about the oppressive features of motherhood and the pro-family folks came down hard on that. MS. magazine started putting cooing babies on its cover in response. I can’t get MS. to review The Last Taboo. Maybe they fear a backlash since the book is assumed to be an attack on mothers. It’s not.

 

I know there is a young women’s movement today. But where is the fire? Where’s the presence in daily life? At the height of the women’s movement in the 70s and 80s, it was everywhere, making waves, raising hackles. I was glad to see a bit of the old fire in the campus sexual assault protests and that’s good. I hope for more from our young people.

 

Q: Who benefits economically from making woman feel guilty about not wanting children?

 

A: Our economy depends on consumption and you need lots of people to consume goods. It’s as simple as that, I think. We’ve seen countries provide incentives to women when the birth rate drops dramatically. Of course, that’s short term thinking. Long term, overpopulation is a disaster economically and in every way since overpopulation lies at the heart of the destruction of the environment and the human species itself.

 

And probably men have an economic interest. The more women at home raising kids, the fewer women in the workplace competing with them.

 

Q: What are some of the benefits to women of not having children?

 

A: Freedom is the primary benefit. Children, much as we may love them, constrain women who still pretty much bear the whole burden of raising those kids. Without children a woman is freer to realize her full potential. As I say in The Last Taboo, each human life is complex and capable of being lived on many levels. The more constrained a life is, the less able it is to fully develop. Work is critically important in every human life since, ideally, work entails the realization of each person’s talents and skills. Raising children involves developing those children, servicing their needs. It’s all consuming and it can easily inhibit a woman’s ability to develop herself. Childfree women don’t have to cope with those constraints.

 

There are lots of other benefits of a childfree life. There’s the ability to fulfill herself. The myth is that children fulfill women, but in fact, children require SELF-sacrifice. Mom is not defined by her SELF but by her relationship to a child. A childfree woman has an easier chance at creating herself. Another benefit is financial – children are money pits.

 

Women without children also have a better shot at happiness. Research is very clear that childfree women and couples are happier than women and couples with children. Childfree women also have the satisfaction of knowing they are not contributing to overpopulation which is rapidly dooming the environment and human species.

 

Q: What are some of the psychological effects on children whose parents didn’t want them?

 

A: How awful for a child to be unwanted! I devote a chapter of The Last Taboo, “Godzilla Mom,” to the impact on children. These children suffer from low self-esteem, a sense of unworthiness, a feeling of not belonging. They are unloved, insecure, and emotionally deprived. These are scars that will follow them throughout their lives and will most likely impact any children they have.

 

And beyond the psychological effects, there’s the very real physical abuse and neglect that afflicts so many unwanted children. The CDC estimates that 20% of American children suffer direct physical abuse or neglect.

 

Q: Why do you think the conservatives have been successful in infiltrating the religious right; wasn’t Christ a socialist?

 

A: This is a big, important question. I wrote a book that tackles this question, Hypocrisy, Inc.: How the Religious Right Fabricates Christian Values and Undermines Democracy. There are lots of reasons why the religious right and conservatives joined forces in the 1970s – a shared belief in traditional values and an aversion toward the growing disrespect for authority and toward countercultural social movements, including anti-war protests, the women’s movement, civil rights for blacks, promiscuity and free love, increasing drug use, moral decay, and more.

 

Anyone who seriously reads the Gospels (which the religious right accepts as literal truth) knows that what Jesus preached and modeled bears no relationship to the “family values” mantra of the religious right. Jesus was a radical in his lifestyle and his teaching. He left his family, on more than one occasion refusing to acknowledge his mother and father, became homeless by choice, lived a celibate life, never married, had no children, preached the virtue of poverty and rejection of worldly goods, practiced no trade and had no income, survived off the charity of strangers, hung with people considered disreputable – sinners and outcasts – and engaged in behavior considered scandalous in his day, often shocking even his own followers. While the religious right obsesses over abortion and homosexuality, Jesus never speaks of either in the Gospels, though both were practiced in his day. And yes, Jesus’ followers lived a communal lifestyle, holding belongings in common, sharing in all things, and above all, giving to the poor.

 

As for women, Jesus is truly radical. He never preaches motherhood as woman’s role, even publically rejecting the chance to praise his own mother as mother. He doesn’t accept the concept of nuclear family, but insists over and over that the community is the family and that all are equal brothers and sisters. He rejects patriarchy, telling his followers to call no man “father” since there is only one Father and he is in heaven. Women are again and again treated as equals, never consigned to the home, included in theological discussions, encouraged to learn and be active, urged to do all the things men do (teach, preach, travel and convert) – all unacceptable at the time. . . . Don’t get me started.

 

Q: If this earth is a living organism are humans parasites?

 

A: If we didn’t start out that way, we have certainly become parasites. We take from the earth and give little back. Our misuse and destruction of earth’s resources, our failure to replenish earth’s stores, our failure to use only what we need, has caused us to destroy whole species of plants and animals. We have long since passed sustainability. Put simply, human consumption is no longer balanced by earth’s capacity to produce our needs and take in our wastes. Sustainability requires a balance between human demands on the environment (food, shelter, etc.) and the area needed to meet those demands and absorb human wastes. Not since the 1980s has humanity’s use of natural resources matched actual global supply.

 

Overpopulation sits at the heart of this problem and climate change. We add one billion people to the earth roughly every 12 years. Yet another reason to say no to motherhood.

 

Q: How did Sarah Palin happen?

 

A: John McCain’s poor judgment? Fox views? Oopps, “news.” Life is a comedy? Sadly, too many people see the world in black and white, without nuance or shades of gray. Simplistic approaches to complex problems have their appeal. Also, Palin is a clear example of the power of the religious right. Her unabashed evangelical views won the hearts of evangelicals, who became her most ardent supporters.

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/Writer Kristen Doscher

 

kd

 

Kristen Doscher is an aspiring actress and writer who has authored two produced plays. She will be at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; here is a link to her website:

http://www.kristendoscher.com/

 

 

 

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

 

A: I can remember all the way back to my Kindergarten variety show. I was given the song “How Much is that Doggy in the Window” to sing in front of the entire school with my little toy dog. Then in 3rd and 4th grade, I think that is when the “performance bug” really kicked it. It was definitely not acting from the beginning, I just remember knowing that I had to be a performer of some sorts. So I had this dream in my head of being a “pop star.” I wanted to be on stage in Madison Square Garden dancing and singing in front of thousands of people. That to me was the ultimate dream, having all these people coming to watch little old me. All throughout elementary and middle school I was starting all girl singing groups and hoping to be the next 3LW. Slowly I realized that the dream of being on stage and really committing to this as a life goal and not just a hobby was mine and mine alone. I knew I had to go out there and pursue it. I remember one day I was sitting in my room and wondering how I could make this dream a reality and it was then that I sort of realized that there are other outlets for performers and that I wanted to try them all. So I did my research and signed up for my very first acting classes in New York City. My Dad pulled me out of school early once a week and rode the train in with me. When I got home every night, the only “homework” I was interested in doing was for the scenes we were assigned and it was a done deal from there on out.

 

Q: You wrote, produced and performed in two plays in New York, what were they and what where they about?

 

A: The first play that I had ever written premiered in The Strawberry One Act Festival and went all the way through to the finals with several nominations. The plot line is very true to the title ‘A Love Story’, as it explored the essence of love when it is fresh and new and love when it falters.

The second was a play called MOB which premiered in The Thespis Theatre Festival. MOB is the story of a young Italian American couple who breaks the break by sticking up diners (Pulp Fiction Style) all across NY State. Using different alias’ they stage fake proposals and enlist the help of a flash mob to ensure a substantial amount of hostages. But when these two unintelligent bandits turn against each other in a battle of love, money, and some pretty hip dance moves…who will win and who will make it out empty handed?

 

Q:  What inspired you to write them?

 

A: When I graduated from school and realized that from that point forward I wouldn’t always get to have a say in what roles I played, I kind of panicked. It was then that I realized how easily I could market myself the way I wanted to. I could write and create a whole world of my choosing and act along side actors of my choosing, in venues of my choosing. I think you catch my drift! The whole thought of it was very exciting and still is. I also think each play that I have written really spoke to where I was at that point in my life. When I wrote A Love Story I was in a relationship that I was terrified of loosing and the shear thought of it created a spark, an energy inside me and writing was the best way for me to express it. MOB on the other hand was my way of exploring characters with a heightened sense of reality. I really wanted to play on stage, like a kid with no boundaries, and that’s where MOB was born.

 

Q:  How did you go about getting them produced?

 

A: Getting them produced was surprisingly easy which isn’t always the case. If you are a new writer and you want to see your work up on stage in front of an audience, the easiest route to take is festivals. They provide you with a lot of the necessities and really help the process be as smooth as possible. I won’t sugar coat it though, as it can be difficult with the amount of people you have to deal with on a daily basis to get your show up and running. I also recommend using a crowd funding platform such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Especially if you plan to produce the show fully on your own in a venue of your choosing which is hopefully the next step for me and the cast of MOB. Taking it one step further.

 

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

 

A: Well this question is a bit of a doozy. It sounds a bit off the charts, but my day job tends to fluctuate and I always seem to make it work some how. There is the occasional paycheck from acting gigs here and there which is always nice and encouraging. Right now, I am working for a friend who owns a dog walking business. It really is pretty sweet. And it doesn’t feel like work which is nice! It allows me to pursue acting and make a schedule that works for me which is something every actor needs.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: I graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts which is a two year acting conservatory geared primarily towards theater training (which I loved!!). The Academy gives you a taste of a little bit of everything, which is nice in some aspects. Every time a new semester rolled around you were given a whole new set of teachers and a whole new perspective on acting, movement, voice and speech etc! This was great because it kind of allowed you to choose which methods worked for you.

After graduating, I dabbled in a few classes and tried out other conservatories until I stumbled upon Matthew Corozine Studio Theatre. I can finally say that I found a space and a coach that created the safest environment for me to truly play as an artist! MCS is based around Sanford Meisner’s technique of living and behaving, truthfully and fully in imaginary circumstances. The technique really taught me how to get off of myself and to create this world around my scene partner. I attribute a lot to Matt, my coach. I’ll be sticking with him for a while!

 

Q:  What do you hope to achieve at Sundance this year?

 

A: Well, there are a ton of things that I would hope to achieve but I really want to go in head first with out a plan. I sometimes feel like that is when the best and most unexpected things occur. I will say that a main focus of mine is meeting as many people as I can and building my roster of contacts. When I look back to my experience at the festival last year, the greatest thing I took away was the terrific and talented people I met. Most of them I am still in contact with and will be spending time with this year! If I come back home with a pocket full of business cards, then I would have done my job right!

 

Q: What made you want to transition from theater to film?

 

A: I’ve always wanted to act in films. Growing up, theater was never something I wanted to do. Once I went away to school and began my training, everything changed and I felt this electricity every time I was on stage. I remember thinking “wow, you cannot beat this feeling” and I fell in love with the theater.  I am glad that I got the training that I did and I will always go back to the theater to continue to grow as an artist and discover new things about myself. I only use the word transition because after graduating, theater has been the bulk of my work as an actress. I want to feed my on screen career and see if it grows. I feel I owe that to my 8 year old self.

 

Q: How do you approach creating a character?

 

A: I wouldn’t say that there is one set way that I approach a character. I think there are many different factors that go into it. First, I think it depends on the type of character I am playing. I like to look for the similarities and the differences between myself and the character and then start from there. I used to try and forget “me” all together and try to become this whole other person, but over the last few years I’ve grown to realize that the character is me. I am embodying another life and taking on their struggles and triumphs as my own. Second, I think it depends on the director that you are working with. Some directors are very organic. They just want you in front of the camera or in the rehearsal space, on your feet, doing your thing. And if they love it, GREAT! And if they don’t, then they will tweak it. And I think that works marvelously for some actors because it gives them complete freedom to play. Some directors like to work as an ensemble, discovering the characters as a unit. Why they all came together, etc. What makes them who they are. What brought them to this certain point in their life. How they move in their bodies. On the last play that I wrote I worked with this terrific director, Joanna Tomasz. She was the hands on type which is the kind of director that I love to work with. Like I said, some like the organic route but I like to be pushed and pulled in different directions. I like to see my character from other peoples point of view, whether I agree or not. It’s more fun that way! Joanna introduced myself and the other actors to the Labon Technique, which is based on the belief that by observing and analyzing a characters movements, whether they are conscious or unconscious, you can uncover their inner self. It is essentially a tool to help you build the characters personality through the movement of your body. I am a firm believer in physical work when creating a character!

 

Q: What would you like to change about the film industry?

 

A: I’m almost afraid to mention it but I think there is a bit of sensitivity with feminism and woman in the work place lately. I think it is a beautiful thing that so many people feel so passionately about it because it is something that is very important and needs to be voiced. I attended an event for New York Women in Film and Television last month, where Maggie Gyllenhaal gave a marvelous and to the point speech which covered her hopes and fears when it came to this sensitive topic. She ended it by saying that change only occurs as a result of revolution. We need the beautiful, young, and naive girls of this new generation to challenge our views and fight against the current. I thought that this was an awesome way of saying “let people have their own opinions” because in the end people are going to think the way they want to and behave the way they want to and the universe is going to unfold as it may as a result of that. I think women in the industry should continue fighting for their beliefs and if they feel there is an unfair advantage or an unfair amount of opportunities for women then they should absolutely continue this crusade. I can only hope that in the next year we see more of a change and more of an understanding when it comes to this topic. I do firmly believe that art needs a women’s heart and vulnerability to thrive!

 

 

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