Screening Success!

screenshotmotelmidwayLast night was a blast!  (as evidenced by the fact that I got home at 6:00 this morning)  After a few rehearsals and three solid days of shooting, it was great to finally see the short on the big screen!  Most of the crew that worked on Midway Motel were from Arseniy’s class, so even though I knew them as DP, camera op, grip, and so on, I was able to see their work as writers and directors.  And apparently, my director Arseniy, is a rockstar in his class at NYFA.  So many people came up to me saying how excited they were to see the film because his work is the best in the class.  And I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty damn impressive.

I was sitting in the third row with the other two actresses from the film.  As predicted, when they got to ours, I was excited and scared, but mostly excited.  I knew no one was there to criticize my acting, only to support their fellow filmmakers, so there was no pressure there. It was absolutely thrilling to be able to watch myself on this larger than life screen.  I’m sure it gets old for people who work in film regularly, but I couldn’t stop grinning, thinking “that’s me!  That’s me!  Oh, look, that’s me again!  See those tears?  Yup, they’re mine!”  Since most of my work is the theatre, I rarely get to watch what it is I’m doing; I could definitely get used to this.

There’s an incredible monologue in the film, which was one of the reasons I wanted the part so badly.  My character is explaining to a girl why he’s afraid of water; he and his friend were at a beach, and he ended up helplessly watching his best friend drown.  It’s one of those monologues that are dreamy for actors, at least for me.  It’s not forced, it’s not overly dramatic, but reciting the words and believing in this memory make the tears come down your cheek every time.  Getting to just sit back and watch the story unfold, surrounded by other people as excited about film as I am was truly memorable!

And then the after party.  And then the after-after-party.  And then somehow it’s 5 in the morning and we’re all getting a slice of pizza before heading home.  And I’m pretty sure I agreed to go to a strip club on Friday for the director’s birthday, but the details are a little fuzzy.


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My first screening

littleredOk, so what does this image have to do with your first screening, you might ask.  Well, as Little Red describes her first encounter with the wolf in Into the Woods, I’m excited and scared!

I was invited to an in-class screening for a music video I did, but I wasn’t able to make it (which I’m kicking myself for because the director still hasn’t sent me the promised dvd).  And actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I did go to another screening of another music video I did.  But it was in a bar that the featured band was playing in, and there were only about ten of us there, so it wasn’t anything to write home about (do people still use that expression?).

Tonight is the final screening/graduation at The New York Film Academy, NYFA, for the class which my director was in.  Last month, the DP for that film, Andre, had his own graduation and screening which I went to, partially to support him, and partially to see what the event was like so I’d know what to expect tonight.  Because it’s a graduation and screening in one, you get a good mix of actors coming to watch themselves, and family members of the student filmmakers ready to see their kids get their diplomas.  Andre’s father had just flown in from Russia for the event.

They have a huge room that has been turned into a theatre, complete with a giant screen and booze light refreshments in the back.  I had a great time watching all of his classmates short films, but now I’m a little nervous,  When I was there before, I wasn’t watching myself.  It was more like attending a short film festival.  But tonight, I’ll get to see my face up there, much larger than life.  I’m pretty proud of the work I did in the film, but I haven’t seen any of the footage to know how it looks and sounds, and I’ve never seen myself that big.  Should be interesting.

Off to grandmother’s house…

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Ya’el Tap Auditions

tapdanceAfter my usual church gig this morning at Bayside United Methodist Church, it was off to auditions for Ya’el Tap Dance Company, which I had to leave early in order to make rehearsal for Essential Voices USA.  Last February I auditioned for the group, which I wrote about here.  I’ve been having a blast with these girls, but like all things performance companies in a city of freelancers, people come and go, so it was time to get some new members.

What a difference experience being on the other side of the table.  I was terrified during my audition, trying my best to not let it show, as everyone was tapping circles around me.  This time I was able to just sit back and watch, or jump in and dance when I wanted to, since I already knew the routines.  I think there were about thirty people auditioning and Julie is looking to add three or four more to the group.  I couldn’t stay and watch every dance in their small groups, so I couldn’t make any kind of prediction as to who will be in the company at this time tomorrow.  There were three guys there, so we’ll probably add at least one more.  If it were up to me, I’d stay the only guy –I love the attention–but I don’t think Julie, our founder, wants the group to look like Kevin and The Ladies of Ya’el (though I do think that has a nice ring to it).

It’s always a great learning experience to watch auditions and this one was no different.  You can definitely get a good amount of information about a person just by their presence in the room, before they even start to dance.  You notice any nervous habits, their confidence level, how friendly and social they are with their competition, and whether or not they’re even enjoying the experience.  And I know that comes into play, especially when you have more talented people that you can take.  At that point, you step back and look at the big picture, taking into account everything you know, or think you know, from observing.

I’m generally quiet in group auditions, as I’m just focusing on what I need to do, but I’m willing to bet that the people who get in, are the ones who were team players, and enjoying the people around them.  While I might be focused on doing well, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I run the risk of appearing shy or antisocial.  But if it were me, I’d cast the people who were having a great time with everyone in the room; life’s too short not to have fun.

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