What a way to end the year, working on FIVE new projects back to back! It’s been a wild ride with some of the most diverse storytelling I’ve ever done in such a short period of time, and man, am I proud of this lineup.
Here are a few first glimpses of these projects as they start to roll out:
OPERATION: TOY DROP, a short documentary about the 82nd Airborne’s combined airborne operation and charity event, written and directed by Benjamin Kanes. I was fortunate enough to head down to Fort Bragg with Ben’s company, Vision Pictures, (along with his partner, John Welsh) to capture some incredibly moving stories of life as a paratrooper.
THE SEANCE, a short 1920’s black and white horror film written and directed by Leigh Scott. I play Madame Helena, a spooky psychic with an accent that’s impossible to place. I channel spirits on behalf of the ladies who seek my skills in communicating with the dead, but someone seems to have an ulterior motive…
CORNELIA, a dramedy web series about a Latino family’s experience with gentrification in the neighborhood they’ve loved for decades, Bushwick, Brooklyn, directed by Eric Lommel & Adam Lowder, written by Rose Gutierrez. I play Tori Cruz, the conniving wife of the main character’s old high school flame (yep, I'm kind of a bitch! Fun!). This is a heartfelt and relevant look at the way we navigate cultural differences and changing times, plus the cast is sooooo goooood.
ENTANGLEMENT, a short narrative drama directed by Jeremiah Kipp, written by Joe Fiorillo. Two strangers in New York City meet in person for the first time and may just change each other’s lives in a poetic meditation on relationships and infidelity. I play Jenny, the female lead, who has an affair with a mysterious stranger. This is my second collaboration with Jeremiah and Joe (after last year’s “The Minions”), and my third time on screen with the inimitable Lukas Hassel, an actor who I love, trust implicitly, and am forever grateful for. It’s always refreshing to work with a DP who knows how to make women shine on camera-- I had been looking forward to working with Dominick Sivilli for a long time, and it was worth the wait.
INTERFERENCE, a short drama about a couple who happens upon a traffic stop between a police officer and an African-American civilian that leaves one man dead, written by…. me. I finished writing the script for what I hope will be my directorial debut. Taking on a controversial topic like this made me incredibly nervous (and still does)--it's important to me to get this story right.
The first professional coverage of “Interference” included the best screenwriting note I’ve ever gotten: “Tackling a topical social issue, this script about racism shows the fear and complications that arise from murky circumstances where prejudices hold more weight than truths. Without preaching or reducing people to stereotypes, the story reflects a nuanced and critical understanding of the ways a situation can spiral out of control despite the best of intentions.”
All in all, it’s been a wild ride these past few months. The fun thing about shorts is that you get thrown into a world packed with the “greatest hits” moments of a story. It's fast and intense, and there's less risk involved for the filmmakers, so as an actor I get a lot more leeway in the types of roles I play and the way I play them. Not a bad way to round out a beautiful year!