Thursday, October 13, 2016

Don't Give Up!

[Warning: Inspirational Speech Ahead]

I just added my 21st speaking role to my resume. WOW. All this in the last 4 years! And SEVEN of those credits were from this year alone (with another short film or two already lined up in the next few weeks!). I'm so grateful for the many doors God has opened! I'm blessed to be doing what I love! There are ups and downs, and long dry spells, and many rejections and disappointments, but I can have peace, joy, and contentment because I know I'm where God wants me to be, and He will open all the right doors. There is so much to be grateful for.

And you know what? In 2012, right before I landed my leading roles in The Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club and Touched by Grace, I was almost ready to give up. I hadn't acted at all in the 3 years since I graduated from college, and I wasn't getting cast in any of the films I had auditioned for, so I was seriously doubting myself. I thought maybe I was wrong -- maybe this wasn't what God wanted me to do, and maybe I just wasn't good enough. Then BAM. I went straight from background extra to being cast as the leading actress in two films that are now being seen on TV all over the world. I've heard from so many people around the globe that have seen those films and been touched by their messages.

Not only have I been a part of many wonderful films that have the potential to change lives, but I also have an enormous film family that I hold dear to my heart. I've made so many friends, traveled to new places, and had some incredible experiences in the last several years as I've worked in the film industry. Memories I wouldn't trade for anything. And this year, I received my first two "Best Acting" awards!

I'm so glad I didn't give up.

(To view my resume, demo reel, film trailers, and more, visit my website:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Spielberg's "Lincoln"

Four years ago today, I was a background actor on the set of Steven Spielberg's film, "Lincoln" (starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Fields). It was actually my second day of being on set. The first day we filmed theater scenes all day, and my small group did such a good job reacting to the news that Lincoln had been shot, they actually filmed the front of us in one section of the theater, then moved us to another second and filmed the back of us. However, out of a full day of filming, none of the audience reaction shots made it into the film. That is often how it goes. BUT, Steven Spielberg did touch my shoulder in passing that day, and referred to a group of us ladies as "sugar plum fairies" (probably because of our hoopskirts, haha!). For a story about how I almost literally died at Spielberg's feet, read to the end of the post... 

This second day, I reported to set at 5am after a very sleepless night, changed in a huge tent with outside temperatures probably around freezing, spent two hours getting through wardrobe, hair, and makeup, and then spent 11 hours in holding, not getting on set until the last hour of the shooting day. That is a great illustration of the saying that filmmakers and actors like to joke about - "Hurry up and wait!" 

Apparently, I wasn't supposed to be in holding all day. The Assistant Director saw me first thing in the morning and it turns out he wanted to bring me on set in the first or second wave, which would have put me in the line of people shaking hands with Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) at the reception scene at the White House. But since Production Assistants were sent to pull extras from holding the rest of the day, I ended up being in the LAST wave, and when the Assistant Director saw me again, he made the comment about wanting to have gotten me on set the first part of the day. Oh well! I was where I was supposed to be, and available at any time, so it wasn't my fault. It's too bad, though.

I *thought* it worked out to my favor, because I was featured in the scene that you can see in the picture below, which was the last thing they shot that day. It was for b-roll purposes (no main actors in the scene), but it also featured the wife and daughter of the Governor of Virginia (at the time), so I hoped it would make it in the film. But was cut. However, it DID make it into the brochure about the awards the film was nominated for, so I have this beautiful screenshot at least! Oh, and during one of the breaks while we were filming this portion, I sat on the floor, and Daniel Day-Lewis came and sat on the sofa a few yards away, silently contemplating in his role as Lincoln, so I got to see the famous method actor up close.

Here's another picture of my dress. Thankfully it was a strangely WARM December day since we were kept in holding outside all day. I actually got sunburnt on the back of my neck (who thinks about getting sunburnt in December?).

One more funny story from the first day of filming! Remember that I said I almost died at Spielberg's feet? Well, during the theater scenes on the first day, I was descending a long flight of marble stairs (Spielberg was standing near the bottom), and the heel of my shoe caught on my hoopskirt, and I would have catapulted quite violently down the stairs if I had not already had a hand on the railing and was able to catch myself. It was a very close call. I probably would have broken my neck or bashed my head open. At a minimum, I'm sure I would have landed in the hospital, so I'm very thankful God spared me from any injury (and embarrassment). 

In closing, I'll just say that it is very unfortunate to be laced up very tightly in a corset on these big sets where the catering is AMAZING, because you hardly have room to eat anything. I was not the only woman to end up feeling nauseous because of how tight the corsets were. I only ate a little (and so sad to miss out on all the delicious deserts), but I still felt sick. I love the styles of this era, but I'm glad I don't have to wear a corset every day! 

Well, I hope you enjoyed my stories from the set of Lincoln! It was a neat experience to be on a big Hollywood set with Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Did anyone watch the movie when it came out? 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Demo Reel Tips

Your demo reel is VERY important if you want to impress casting directors and get work!  Casting personnel see hundreds and thousands of demo reels, and you want yours to stand out for being GOOD, not for being yet another poorly put together reel that makes them roll their eyes and wish that actors would actually do their homework and put their reel together correctly.

To start with, here's a Quick Tip video from casting director Erica Arvold, with 3 tips on how to make your demo reel stand out:

To follow up, here's an article by casting director Marci Liroff with 4 tips for the best demo reels:

I have learned some great information from these resources and will be tweaking/updating my own reel soon to make it better.  We should always be learning and growing and honing our craft!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

More Résumé Tips!

This is the most detailed and comprehensive article I've seen on how to write an acting résumé!  If you have any questions, look no further!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Casting Call - New Film from Dave Christiano - UPDATED


This film has not yet been named, but it's the latest film from the Christiano brothers (Time Changer, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry, A Matter of Faith, etc.).

Here is the casting notice from Dave Christiano:

I am beginning to cast the adult roles for my girls cross country film to shoot this fall. These actors need to be from or near the Nashville area. There is no travel or hotel allowance. This movie is presently shooting Non-SAG, BUT, it may shoot SAG so please if you are SAG, don't shy away from auditioning. 

I need 7 Caucasian males - ages 30 to 55. These roles are for 3 fathers of teenage girls and 4 Coaches. 

I need one Caucasian female age range 40-55 to be a mother for a teenage girl. 

Also, I still looking for 1 teenage boy age 17 to play a role. 

My name is Dave Christiano and my email is:

Website is This is our 16th film. 

Please, no out of town people because these roles will shoot over a period of time this fall. You really need to be local. This is a Christ-centered dramatic film planned for selected theaters in August 2016. Thank you and God bless.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Casting Call - "I'm Not Ashamed"

Casting is open for I'm Not Ashamed​, the Rachel Scott story!  Rachel was the first student to die in the Columbine School shooting.  Be a part of this important movie and apply for one of the many lead and supporting roles.  There are several featured extra roles as well.

See the character breakdown and fill out an application at

The film is shooting in the Nashville area starting in mid-June, and there is special consideration for local applicants.

**Please note: I'm not affiliated with this film in any way. Just sharing the casting notice.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Christian Worldview Film Festival 2015

March 10, 2015 dawned clear and sunny.  Hundreds of people gathered for the Filmmakers Guild preceding the Christian Worldview Film Festival in San Antonio, Texas.  Teachers included John Fornof, George Escobar, Andrew Garcia, Rebekah Cook, Mimi Sagadin, Rich Swingle, John-Clay Burnett, Brett Varvel, Joel Jost, Jurgen Beck, Nathan Ashton, and many more.

Each day started with a time of worship, followed by a general session.

Break-out workshops followed, and provided instruction in specific areas of interest.  There was something for everyone.  Topics included producing, directing, acting, editing, cinematography, sound design, marketing, distribution, and more.

One brilliant part of the festival's design were the networking lunches.  You could pre-order your daily lunches from the caterer, and tables were even designated for particular areas of filmmaking (i.e. directing, acting, documentaries, etc.) to enable attendees to more easily find the right people to talk to for their networking purposes.

On the third day of the Guild, the Festival began and hundreds more people started filling the church where the event was held.  Films screened simultaneously throughout the weekend, providing viewers with multiple options for each block.

"Wanted" screened three times, and was very well attended and well received each time.  It was fun to watch it with an audience and listen to their laughter and their applause.  There were even audible gasps of surprise on occasion.  We were approached by people all weekend, telling us how much they loved the film.

The week reached its grand finale on Saturday evening with the Awards Ceremony.  The Jost family got the show started with some of their delightful music, and then it was time to start handing out awards!

I tried not to hold my breath while we waited for the Short Film category.  Finally, the time came.  I hadn't let myself believe that we would actually win, but at the same time, I knew it would be close.  The feedback we had received throughout the weekend had confirmed our belief that Roses and Wanted would be very tight in the running.  Little did we know how close.

First, six finalists were announced and their titles displayed on the big screen.  Next, the Runner Up was announced, which was neither Wanted nor Roses (but congratulations to my friend Caleb Hermann for winning Runner Up with "Book Ends"!).  Now my heart was really starting to pound.  Anticipation grew as the box containing the award was carried across stage and handed to Phillip Telfer, the presenter.  The box was opened, and a note was taken out.  My brain hardly processed as Mr. Telfer explained that when the judge's results were all tallied, two films rose to the top and received the same number of votes.  So instead of flipping a coin, they decided to present two awards for Best Short Film.  You could feel the excitement buzzing in the room as murmurs rippled throughout the huge auditorium.

A second award box was retrieved and brought to the podium.  After clarifying that he was not reading them in any particular order, Mr. Telfer announced that the first Best Short Film Award went to...WANTED!!!  Still hardly processing what was happening, I quickly stood to my feet and made my way out to the aisle.  I joined a few more of our team as we walked toward the stage amidst loud, triumphant music, sweeping spotlights, and the applause and cheers of the crowd.

When all had grown quiet, the second winner was announced...  ROSES!!!  We were beside ourselves with joy as we welcomed our friends on stage!

As much as we would have enjoyed winning, we didn't want Roses to lose, so it was perfect that we could BOTH win in an historic tie!  Many of the same crew members worked on both films, and we already felt like a team, so it was very fitting.

We were all still in shock as we made our way backstage and headed towards the lobby to have our pictures taken.  "Did that really just happen?"  "Somebody pinch me!"

The night ended on a great note as the other film I acted in - "Polycarp: Destroyer of Gods" - won Best Original Score, Best Feature Film, and Audience Choice!

It was a wonderful week full of helpful teaching, great networking, and encouraging fellowship!  The Christian Worldview Film Festival has truly become like a big family reunion to me, and is one of the highlights of my year.  I urge everyone interested in filmmaking to attend.