Tag: independent film

An Interview With Writer/Producer Robert A. Trezza

rob

 

Robert A. Trezza is the writer and producer of the film The Purging Hour; here is a link to the films website:

http://www.thepurginghour.com/

 

Q: What made you interested in film making?

 

A: To me there was always something quite fascinating that someone with a camera could impact people’s lives. Kinda like how Hitchcock kept people from showering for years or how Spielberg killed many summer vacations for those who once loved the beach.

 

Q: What attracted you to this story?

 

A: It was simple. Emmanuel Sandoval (the director) mentioned to me the idea of doing a horror film based on a home video he saw. After thinking back for a bit I remembered, just how eerie watching those old home movies could be and I thought it would be interesting to capture those moments of a family and all the chaos that happens with their move.

 

Q:  Why do you think people are so interested in paranormal stories?

 

A: Probably because in the back of their minds it could happen. Giant Lizards and Werewolves, although really cool and interesting, feel a lot more fictional. All of us have walked the earth and lost a loved one and their presence always still feels existent. So, I guess in the back of our minds, ghosts can and may really exist.

 

 

Q: How do you tell a real horror story from a fake horror story?

 

A: I guess going back to the last question it is what feels real. Any story or film that reads or plays out like a newspaper article can be quite frightening. Films that tend to play more on the psyche and provide less gore always felt real to me.

 

 

Q: Who are some of your film making influences and how can we see that influence in your work?

 

A: Probably as most horror fans, John Carpenter and Sean Cunningham. To this day I still love their less is more style. The first Friday the 13th kept us waiting until the end to actually show who was behind the mayhem. With Halloween, the use of POV to show the action was strong, especially in the opening scene.

 

 

Q: What is the most realistic horror film you have ever seen?

 

A: I would have to say Cannibal Holocaust. To this day there are a lot of people who still think it was a snuff film.

 

 

Q: Do you think there are any friendly spirits out there?

 

A: I’d like to think my Grandmother is still hovering around out there.

 

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and what is the worst thing about it?

 

A:  I work in property management in NY. The worst part about it is that it limits my time to do creative projects, but in the same vein, financially it allows me to do them…go figure.

 

Q:  What have you done to publicize your movie?

 

A:  We partnered with Dread Central and the flagship Ruthless Studios and a lot of the small horror sites have given us some love too. We built a decent social media following too- for an uber low budget film.

 

 

Q:  What is the scariest thing you have ever done?

 

A:  Procreate : )

 

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

 

Advertisements

An Interview With Dancin’ It’s On Producers Jennifer George and Christina Marie Austin

jc

 

 

Jennifer George and Christina Marie Austin are line producers on the film Dancin’ It’s On ; here is a link to the website:

 

www.dancinitson.com

 

Q:  What is Dancin’ It’s On about?

 

A: This coming of age dance film, in the spirit of “Dirty Dancing” and “High School Musical” – is about two young lovers from different worlds who find a common bond in their love of dance, and who ultimately work together to win a major dance competition.

 

Jennifer, a high school junior from Beverly Hills, falls in love with the handsome young Ken, who works at her father’s Panama City Florida beach-front hotel. While preparing for the competition, they must overcome scheming dance partners, a meddling father and their own doubts in order for their love – and their chances at winning – to prevail.

 

Q:  How did you become involved with the project?

 

A: Funny enough, about 4 years ago, we came across a craigslist ad for a low-budget dance movie seeking crew. We’ve seen hundreds of these types of ads before but we thought, why not? So we replied to the ad explaining who we are and what we do, and the next thing we know, we get a response from David Winters, himself! He sent us his bio and though we had both seen west side story and some of his other various works, we were just blown away to read about all of the amazing things he as achieved. We knew we had to get that job! The next few months were what we like to think of as an audition, where he would send us work and test our skills and it seems we passed because he flew out to Florida from Thailand to location scout with his 2 new Line Producers. The rest is history.

 

Q:  What does a line producer do?

 

A: Technically speaking, a line producer manages the budget, mostly and serves as the full-time on set producer. Often line producers work like unit production managers in that they are in charge of all things production. What generally separates line producers from the “Above-the-line” staff is that they usually stay out of all things creative like writing, directing, casting etc. Line producers usually hire the crew etc. In the case of independent films like Dancin’ – It’s On!, we were fortunate to be able to do all the jobs of normal line producers AND we were able to contribute creatively. David Winters really gave us a chance to be truly mentored by him and we served collectively as his second in command, and in doing so kept us close to him during all processes, both creative and productive. He really showed not only faith in us but also trust in our work as well as our judgment; he knew we understood his creative vision.

 

Q:  What were some of the challenges of providing production services for this film?

 

A: First of all…. THE WEATHER!!! Holy cow, that was a record-breaking year in North Florida and the weather was as unpredictable as lotto numbers. We were trying to shoot a summertime movie in the Winter and instead of the mild, cool but not too cold winters we had heard about in Panama City Beach, we were met with 50-60 mph wind gusts, record low temps in the 20’s (Fahrenheit), ice cold sideways rain, and of course some hail. You name it; the weather gods threw it at us. We were constantly rescheduling the film the weather alone made it near impossible to create a solid shooting schedule.

 

Q:  How is it different from other teen dance movies?

 

A:  THE MUSIC! We feel like most teen dance movies tend to be on the edgy side, and while we are huge fans of the genre, this one is far more clean-cut and wholesome. Dancin’ – It’s on! Is truly made with the whole family in mind. This is a film made by dancers for dancers.

 

Q:  What kind of professional background do you have?

 

Jennifer:  I was a dancer for about 18 years, and performed all over Florida including Disney, Universal, MGM.

 

Christina: My main background is in acting, mostly, but I did do some modeling early in my career. I was featured in catalogues and on the Home Shopping Network.

 

Q:  What made you interested in film production?

 

This may be one we have to answer individually….

 

Christina: 2 answers… I always wanted to be an actress and then once I got my first paid acting gig that was union work, I realized that I spent most of my day in a chair watching other people work and I hated that feeling so I looked around the set for the busiest person I could find, who turned out to be the Producer, and I knew that is what I wanted to be. Also, the first time I saw the T-1000 melt into metal, change shapes, become another person, etc. My mind was blown and I would never be the same.

 

Jennifer:  Being a stage performer for half of my life I love entertaining people, I get that natural high being on a stage and making people smile.  When I got to college it was very important to me to graduate, so I turned to studies, and focused on that.  After graduation I moved to LA and started as an actor, taking classes and going to auditions.  All the while, I really wanted to own my own business and have a bit more control of where I was going.  As an actor you can sometimes be blowing in the wind with no real direction, but behind the camera, there is A LOT of work that needs t be done, always.

 

Q: Why do you think dance films are so popular?

 

 

Christina: I think it has a lot to do with the music. High-energy music gets people excited and happy, when you combine that with exciting visuals of talented people really enjoying their dance, you have a recipe for entertainment.

 

Jennifer:  It’s a different form of expression.  For instance, when a character feels sad or angry, they express that emotion through dance instead of yelling for crying.

 

Q:  What is your strangest on set story?

 

A:  Jennifer: I was on set for a VERY LOW budget movie, and we had to blow up a truck. Long story short, after receiving all necessary clearances and driving 5 hours for the items needed, I found myself mixing tannorite (an explosive) with my bare hands and by the end of the day, we could not use the explosives.  Obviously I’m leaving out most of the details, but you get the point.

 

Christina: I was there for that story… definitely on the top of my list for strange stories.

 

Q: What is the secret to providing efficient production services?

 

A: Christina: Having enough money!!! Usually you don’t have enough money so the answer then becomes resourcefulness, positivity, creativity, and a die hard dedication to getting the job done…. Period.

 

Jennifer:  Money is definitely an important factor, but I feel that on any level of production, high or low budget, the same issues arise, so problem solving, and leadership I feel are extremely important.  As a producer, I want my crew to be motivated and excited about what is going on and work as hard as they can.   So it is important for me to be on my A game, and problem solve efficiently.

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 Carlotta Montanari

cm

Carlotta Montanari is an actress who appears in the film Being American; here is a link to her IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3652766/

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: It started as a game for me. It was my favorite game as a child, I would record me and my best friend with a VHS camera while doing recitals, poetry, and creating acting contests to show our families. However in the city where I’m from, Riccione, there are not that many theaters or acting schools. But it just so happened that a local friend who was acting in Rome at that time, saw me while I was filming a commercial by the beach and told me that a great teacher from Rome was having a acting seminar in Tuscany and everything started there. It was an incredible connection and I took to it immediately.  My journey started there, with her, Beatrice Bracco who will always have my gratitude for giving me my first wings.

Q: What kind of training have you had?

A:  I see actors like athletes. Training is important to keep your your skill set sharp. I’ve trained with many teachers both in Italy and here in Los Angeles. They all gave me so much, not just in acting, but real life lessons that I will take with me forever. Stanislavsky, Meisner, Strasberg are my base and inspiration as actor and an “aware” human being.

Q: What is the main difference between the film industry in America and the film industry in Italy?

A:  I think in Italy we have so much history in the art of making movies and I am deeply in love and have huge admiration for the art and craft of the old Italian movies and the filmmakers. I think today the difference is on two levels, production process and the quality of the performances. My work ethic is closer to the American way and I see Italy as America’s closest competition in making quality TV shows. Besides TV was my first home as TV host and writer.

Q: What is Being American about?

A:  Being American is about an American family that has to do an emergency airplane landing and by mistake lands in Iraq, the enemy territory during the war. The find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and they are facing the cruelty and the sad reality of the real human conflict.  It’s a story written and directed by Fatmir Doga that speaks about humanity.

Q: What role do you play?

 

A:  I play the role of Karen, Tom’s girlfriend who was played by Lorenzo Lamas.

Q: What makes Karen an interesting character?

A:  Karen was a simple character with not much pretense and she is very understanding. I guess her simplicity and honest love for Tom is the best way to describe her.
Q: What was the most challenging audition you ever went on?

A: The most challenging audition? Believe it or not the more challenging ones are the ones where the character is extremely similar to myself.  I am not sure why.  Maybe because I can be very shy at times and those are the moments where I feel more vulnerable. And when I have a complex character to work on I find myself better able to relate and get into the head of that character.

Q:  What kinds of day jobs have you had and how have they influenced your acting?

A: I have been working since I was in high school. I’m from a tourist area by the sea so that’s what most students do during the summer break: they go to work! So I did different odd jobs growing up such as bartender, waiter, lifeguard, swim and fitness instructor and horseback riding teacher for kids. On the side I was modeling, graduated and worked as graphic designer too.

I loved every job and each gave me something and a real sense of being practical and the reality of life. How did this influence acting? I believe acting is richer when you have experienced many different things including adversity as it brings a great complexity to the performance.

Q: What do you miss most about Italy?

 

A: I miss my Family, my friends, and I would say I also miss also the change of seasons. I love the California sunshine but I love winters too..they make me feel cozy and inspire me. I miss the Italian gelato, food also, I cook a lot and I cook principally Italian..but still I do miss it!!

 

Q: What famous film role could you have nailed and why?

 

A: The films that inspire me are written very well and are masterpieces! And when a film is so great, any artist will wish they could have played a role in that film!-

So, yes, in my heart I was an Erin Brockovich, and Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction, and Alice Harford in Eyes Wide Shut. Strong roles, complex personalities and the characters are very driven. Plus I am a dreamer and that’s what movies are about!

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 L.A. Neo Noir Film Festival Founder C.L. Westbrook

carey horoscope (2)

C.L. Westbrook Is the founder of the L.A. Neo Noir Film Festival and the author of  the book  L.A. Neo Noir Film and Script Festival; here is a link to the website:

http://www.lanneff.com/

  

Q:   What is the overall theme of  L.A. Neo Noir Erotic Film Festival E-Book: Volume 1 ?

A: Immortals love the death out of life.

Q:  What inspired you to compile the anthology?

A: Well I’ve never heard of an arsonist looking at a forest full of trees to say, ‘how about I burn down just one…’

Q:  What made you interested in erotic film history?

A: You’ll have to find that goddamn mosquito buzzing in your ear in the dark.  You’ll have to get your ass up and lay traps and merk that fuck bitch or you’ll know as you sleepit’s sucking all of your blood out.  Erotic film bothers me, irritates me, in that way that won’t let me sleep.  I have to do what’s in my mind it.  It’s 2:27am right now.  See?

I don’t want to fall asleep before it’s too late for the know what I’m gonna say.

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

A: I’m an apartment manager now.  I am also a roving security officer, who has mostly worked that last few years in a graveyard / mortuary.  Managing a historic landmark and working in a cemetery have all staggered me around the mindset of the old police chanting, ‘we are spirits in the material world’ …I only write ghost stories now.

Q:  What is your involvement with the film festival itself?

A: That’s my sun.  I gave birth to it.  I run it, along with my friends, who wish to remain anonymous…I just decided that for them as well.   Eliza, you are welcome to attend

free of charge.  I can get you in.  I know people 🙂

Q:  What makes Los Angeles a good setting for an erotic book?

A: Herein lies the most surreal most abominable disparity between Beverly Hills Billionaires and Skid Row’s economically traumatized therefore mentally traumatized

transients.  How perverse is this dichotomy? It breeds a depraved hunger to eat someone else’s vomit or force feed them yours…or both.

Q:  Why do you think Fifty Shades of Grey was so popular?

A: Hot successful business people dominate today’s landscape with a hidden secret craving to be dominated and conquered themselves…plus..you know White people…

Q: What was the oddest erotic film you have ever seen?

A: That’s the thing.  All of the oddest erotic films I have ever seen are celebrated in my book and in my upcoming festival August 8th.  There’s my hot friend Nora Fabi from Italy, whose work Coffee A Go Go talks about a mob boss’ s undying physical passion for his deceased bride to be.  Nora is one of 60 filmmakers and well over 100 screenwriters  featured in my festivals and in the pictorial ebook that you have to experience for yourself.  All other erotic films outside of our festival are just practice for viewing our films.

Q:  What is the difference between good erotica and bad erotica?

A: Bad erotica makes you want to go watch porn and play with yourself.  Good erotica makes you want to keep watching the characters’ wicked games.

Q:  Why do so many erotic films involve crime?

A:  Because sex is a crime and the greatest sex is always criminal.

Wrong.  Two wrongs don’t make a right, but if  you’re fucking your husband, his best friend, AND  you got sidepiece how is fucking me sending the ‘wrong message,’ baby girl? You’re no baby…and you sure as hell ain’t a little girl…this is a fictional character I’m working on…TO NEO NOIR!

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 Gary Palmer

garyp

Gary Palmer is an aspiring actor, here is a link to his LA Casting page:

http://www.lacasting.com/garypalmer1

 

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: When I was around 14 years old It was my dream to becoming an actor.

Q: What is I Hate My Neighbors about?

 

A: it takes place in the year 2030…Amerika…people rely on their computers more….everybody is high on something…no privacy I hate My Neighbor is as it implies…people get on each others nerves…like now…but worse in the future…under lying theme is barking chiwawa that disturbs neighbors keeps barking..is kidnapped…later returned…

Q: .What role do you play?

A: I play the role of Barry. He is like the technology Greek.

Q: What kind of training have you had?

A:  I got my training from my Elementary school teacher. Every day in third period it was always plays and puppet shows.

Q:  How did you find out about audience work?

A: I found out it was a job When I applied for lets make a deal through Explore Talent. I found out about  SRO through a friend on set.

Q: Who was the most interesting person you ever met doing audience work?

A: I met this guy that look like Stallone.

Q: What kind of gigs have you gotten through LA Casting?
A: I would say thug, party goer, there is a lot.

Q: What has been your most memorable celebrity encounter?

A: Rachel Nichole she was so awesome. I enjoy working with her.

Q: What famous film role could you have nailed?

A: I would have nailed the spy kid movie because I would be more funny.

Q: What makes you fameworthy?

 

A: My very good charming loving personality.

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 Nathan Austin

nate

Nathan Austin is an actor who appears in the film The Middle Ground; here is a link to his IMDB Page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4543922/

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

A: Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in acting or being someone or something else in an existing world outside of my own reality.

I was born in the 1980’s; some of my earliest memories are from being in my parent’s living room acting like the characters I would watch in cartoons.  He-Man, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Thundercats were all characters that I would play like I was for hours.  I have a sister who is two years younger than me. When she was born even My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, and Barbie became part of my imaginative world.  All of the cartoons that I watched during my childhood always seemed more exciting and enticing than the actual world I lived in.  When I started kindergarten, I remember that I could not wait for recess just so my friends and I could go outside and enter into the imaginative worlds that we loved.

Throughout my life I have never lost the initial love for portraying a character.  As I became older and was allowed to watch television shows and movies outside of cartoons, I became more and more intrigued with characters and storytelling and bringing ideas to life on screen for others to watch.

All of that being said; what interests me more than anything about acting is bringing a character to life that others want to watch.  I love giving others the gift of seeing a character that would otherwise be kept secret inside their own imagination.

Q:  What kind of training have you had?

A: Life.

My training did not follow the traditional “actor” training.

I grew up in a very strict religious home where there were a lot of expectations put upon a person at a very young age.  Not only did I come from a strict religious background, but I also grew up in a financially struggling family.  I was homeschooled, my mother made my clothes or I wore hand me downs, eating out was a rarity, and toys were bought only for birthdays and Christmas.  As I became older and wanted to know more about the world I lived in and what mysteries there were, I was reminded time and again not only by parents but by church leaders that a wandering mind is wrong.  Questions were wrong and learning different methods of expressing ones self was wrong.  In everything that I was told was wrong I felt that there had to be a reason, a reason why everyone around me warned against trying new and radical things.  There was a point in my life where I wanted to “experience” what I was told was wrong but also appease my parents and religious leaders.  I began living different lives.  I was a saint when I had to be and a sinner when I could be.  I was the most respectable and honest person when I needed to be and the most dishonest disrespectful person when I could be.  I was playing to whoever was the audience.  I feel that a lot of people do this at some point in their life, but for me I felt like it could be used for far more than just making the people around me happy.  I realized that I could change my personality and demeanor to convince people of anything.  This realization did not make me want to use that ability for anything other than performing.

I did not attend college after high school.  Instead, I formed my first punk band called 2Weaktonotice.  I had the privilege of recording two cd’s and playing numerous shows from the age of 20 to 25.  The band was the first setting that I was able to put my acting skills to practical use.  I was punk on and off stage until the band ended.  I dove into my role of portraying a punk rocker to the point of getting numerous piercings and a few tattoos.  To me if I was going to sell an image, then I was going to be that image.  Afterwards, it was time to find a new character.

Before college I studied the techniques taught by Konstantin Stanislavski, Lee Stasberg, Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Michael Chekhov, and Tadashi Suzuki.  This was through my own intrigue and research.

I did attend Murray State University in Kentucky at the age of 29 where I received a degree in theater; this is not where I consider that I received my training.

Acting is not the only artistic endeavor that I have pursued. As I said before I was in a band for several years, and I continue to play music now.  I also write and direct when the opportunity arises.  I have knowledge both on and off stage, in front and behind the camera.  Everything that I have done artistically has come from learning on my own in some fashion or another.  With music, I had friends that would show me a few things but for the most part, as with film and acting, when I had an interest in something, I sought out the knowledge of how to do it on my own.  I attribute that to being homeschooled.  I don’t remember exactly when but during my years homeschooling there came a point where my mother would give me my assignments, and I would basically teach myself.  In my mind it was simple, read the directions then do what they said.  It is basically the same way with anything.  What I have not been able to read instructions for in life, I have watched others do.  Paying attention to detail is one of the biggest things with art; the small things make up the big picture.

 

Q: What is The Middle Ground about?

A: The Middle Ground is a film about two brothers during the civil war era, Charles (the older brother) and Nathaniel (the younger brother), that grew up in Kentucky.  They had the same father but different mothers.  At about the age of 12 their mothers moving separated the brothers. Charles’s mother moved him South and Nathaniel’s mother moved him North.  They both joined the war, their designated sides.  They found each other on the battlefield.  Charles was injured when Nathaniel found him.  Instead of killing his own brother, Nathaniel chose to rescue him.  They became war deserters and returned to Kentucky where they had grown up.  Charles had a cousin named Lassalle that had stayed in Kentucky because she had inherited her family’s land.  Charles and Nathaniel hid out on Lassalle’s land where trouble found them.  I would say more about the film, but I much rather people watch it for themselves.

What I will say about The Middle Ground is that it was filmed entirely in the beautiful countryside of Kentucky.  All of the actors are from Kentucky, and the music is even by Kentucky musicians. It is a film that was made by the hard work and participation of none other than people who love art and believe in a beautiful idea that should be brought to life.

The Middle Ground is the end result of a group of people who put all of their time, money, and passion into completing a vision.

The Middle Ground is a work by unknown artists who were able to create a piece of art that can now be remembered for years to come.  It is about the history of a state that many know nothing about.  It is a piece of my life that will always be there for others to view.

Q:  What role do you play?

A: I played many roles in The Middle Ground.

As an actor I was Nathaniel, the younger of the two brothers, and I also played Michael, Nathaniel’s son who shows up at the end of the film.

Since this was my first independent film I also worked as a producer, crew, promoter, caterer, casting director, assistant director, gaffer, sound engineer, set designer, and any other job that you can think of that is associated with a film.

Q: What did you do to prepare for the role?

A: Since I grew up in Kentucky, and I was from a poor family most of my preparation had been done throughout my childhood and teenage years.  My character was the type that did not read too much into a situation but just went with things.  He made the best of his circumstances.  The director Dallas Lee Blanton did a very good job of using my own personal journey through life as the cornerstone of my character’s life.

I did add more of a southern accent to my speech for the role of Nathaniel, and I quit wearing shoes of any type during the whole filming of The Middle Ground.  There were days that we would be working for 16 hours and when I finally had a chance to sit down I would look at my feet and see nothing but crimson and black form the dirt and blood.

In the film, there is a journal that a doctor is keeping of old Charles’s stories while Charles is on his death bed.  I spent quite a bit of time writing actual stories from the perspective of both characters.  There is also a whole segment about the necklaces that Nathaniel and Charles have.  I came up with the idea one day while laying on the beach in Long Beach, California.  As soon as I thought of the brothers having necklaces in the film, I made one for myself and one for Dallas. I put mine on and did not take it off until The Middle Ground was finished being filmed.  I still have both of the necklaces.

Q:  What are the elements of a good war film?

A: This depends on what a filmmaker wants their audience to feel.  If it is sympathy, then the director has to create a reason why the viewer would be sympathetic to the winning or losing side.  If the director wants someone to feel excited about a war film there needs to be lots of action shots, explosions, blood, and constant high intense scenes.  If the director wants to persuade an audience to believe that a cause is worth fighting for, then the director has to give the audience a reason to back the cause.  Basically, a good war film is like anything else. It is in the presentation and who your target audience is. Not everyone is going to consider the same things as good.  That is the beauty of independent filmmaking; films can be made for a smaller target audience.  It’s like making films for your friends instead of having to please the entire world.

My own personal opinion of a good war film is one that makes me relate to the characters and makes me feel like I am there.

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

A: I am basically a freelance actor/entertainer/writer/musician/stand-up comedian.  I am fortunate enough to get principal roles in independent films and the occasional background work on bigger budget television shows and movies to not only pay my bills but also make my own films.  At this point in my career, I do not have an agent or manager, every gig that I get is from my own perseverance and hard work.

To be successful in the entertainment industry is no different than being successful in any other industry.  You have to work 24/7 or someone else will.

Q:  What is your oddest Los Angeles Story?

A: When my girlfriend, Angela Yonts, and I moved to California, we had no idea where we were going.  We both knew that we wanted to be close to Hollywood but that was about the extent of what we knew about California.  On July 1st 2013 we rented a Penske truck, loaded it up, and headed west.  That may not seem like a big thing but there is more.  First off when we went to the Penske rental place in Hanson, Kentucky, they did not have the size truck that we had reserved.  Instead, they only had the biggest truck that they rented out.  We also had to have a trailer hooked to the back of it to move Angela’s car.  It was not just Angela and myself that moved to California.  Angela’s mother also moved with us.  This may not seem like a big deal but her mother suffers from early onset dementia.  So we not only moved 2,000 miles from where we grew up, but we also had to move everything we owned and a mentally and physically disabled person.  The trip took us 4 days.  Every night we stayed in a hotel that did not have a parking space big enough for the truck and trailer.  Entering and exiting the truck was also a bit of a conundrum for Angela’s mother due to her disabilities.  Even though we were able to make it all the way across the country without any major mishaps we had yet to get to LA.  Our first night in downtown LA was less than amusing.  We arrived on July 4th.  The hotel that we had reservations with had told us that there would be room for the truck and trailer.  That was less that the case to say the least.  We were told by the hotel clerk to park in a parking lot across from the hotel.  Against our better judgment, we did as we were advised.  The next day when we went to the parking lot, there was a towing company there trying to tow the moving truck.  The lot attendant was furious that such a large truck and trailer was parked in the lot. We eventually got everything straightened out with the lot attendant.  We arranged for the truck to be left at a Penske rental lot for three days while we looked for a place to rent.  Luckily, I had a cousin that had grown up in California, and he suggested we look for a place in Long Beach.  That was the most helpful advice that anyone had given us since our arrival.  We were able to find a place and get moved in before we had to start paying extra for the truck rental.  The craziest part of the story is that while we spent our time in downtown LA we noticed a lot of people everywhere.  The later it got in the day, the more people, it seemed, occupied the streets.  I thought that this was due to the holiday season.  Not the case.  Once we got settled into our place in Long Beach, Angela and I were watching a documentary one night that showed the section of downtown LA that is considered Skid Row.  We had booked a hotel that was one block outside of the Skid Row radius.  Welcome to LA.

  

Q:  Who are some of your acting influences?

A: I have a big list of acting influences and I have different reasons for each of them.

Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lucille Ball, Bruce Lee, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Christian Bale, Bill Murray, Robin Williams, Heath Ledger, Carroll O’Connor, Kristen Wiig, Sarah Silverman, Pauley Shore, River Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sylvester Stallone, and Jackie Chan to name a few.

Brad Pitt: he is basically the first “hot” guy that I ever came to know through movies.  He was always what women wanted but for me he also was not afraid to put time into his character.  He has played roles that have made him dedicate time.  He is not afraid to transform himself for his role, both mentally and physically.  I love his performances in Fight Club, A River Runs Through It, Meet Joe Black, Troy, Kalifornia, and one role that I will never forget him in is The Dark Side of the Sun.

Edward Norton:  He is another actor that goes the distance to bring a character to life.  His work in Fight Club, American History X, and Primal Fear are unforgettable.

Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Leonardo DiCaprio:  I just love how they dedicated their time to a role and how they will spend time becoming the character.

Sarah Silverman, Kristen Wiig, Pauley Shore, Carroll O’Connor, and Lucille Ball: they knew what comedy was and they were not afraid to take the jokes to a new level.  Or a level that others were not comfortable with.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Arnold is honestly one of the biggest influences on my whole life.  Not just because of film but also because of bodybuilding.  He applied the discipline of bodybuilding to his acting career.  Arnold has been some of the most remembered action characters ever.

Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Jackie Chan: I can talk about them all at once because they basically taught me the same thing.  Use your props to the fullest.  There are things and objects that we co-exist with.  Objects are useful.  They can make a scene so much more enjoyable.

Bill Murray and Robin Williams:  They have/had a diversity that shines.  Funny or serious, they did it all.

Bruce Lee:  To me, Bruce Lee was not just an influence on me as an actor.  Bruce Lee had an affect on my entire life and who I am today.  Bruce Lee was such a great man; he had a passion, and he showed everyone that when a person dedicates his or her life to something it can be accomplished.  Bruce Lee was as much a motivator as anything.  He had a very positive outlook and a drive to accomplish.  He accomplished whatever he set his mind to.  I saved talking about him until last because according to old sayings that is where he should be.  I can never express the appreciation that I have for Bruce Lee and the knowledge that he has bestowed on my life and me.

Q:  What is the best advice anyone has ever given you about acting?

A: I have never had any good advice given to me about acting.

I have only found this path because of the people that I have watched and read about.  Acting is not a practical application as a life long endeavor where I am from.

The best advice is what I have given myself.  If I can think it then I can do it, no matter what happens be true to myself, and I will be able to accomplish anything.  Nothing and no one can control my destiny.  Only I can.

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