Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Study in Peach

image

Richard Frost is just wonderful. I can’t say enough good things about him. There are few photographers I get to talk ASoIaF with and get beautiful pictures all in one. Plus, it helps that I’ve never seen a less than absolutely beautiful picture come out of this man’s camera. Go visit his site and check out his other work here!

Plus, as someone once pointed out, what better combination is there than Frost & Snowe…

Advertisements

Disposable Incoming

So, as an actor, we get used to being blown off a lot. We are rarely told when we don’t get the job so much as just not getting a phone call telling us we’ve moved forward in the casting process.

There’s posed an interesting question as to when are we allowed to be upset by this? After how many call backs or audition redos is it okay to be slightly annoyed by the fact that we’re not getting a call.

We are often treated as disposable in this day and age where everyone wants to be an actor, where we manage to pull of this new genre of super realism without having to have someone be genuine or in the moment to simply stand in from of a camera and recite lines…

But this whole idea that anyone can act undercuts the truth of the artistry involved. Anyone can stand in front of a camera and just say lines, but not everyone can act.

That is what shows when you use a real actor.

I hesitate to use the word artist which is bandied about all too frequently in this world and shy more towards using the word craft to describe what we do. There is an art to it, a process, a journey, a result. We are storytellers and we know how to convey thoughts, ideas, feelings, and everything in between- but mostly we are taught to tell stories.

We are taught that everyone’s life is their own incredible journey and every moment in someone’s life can be brought to life and relived over and over again. We are taught to see their wants, needs, hopes and dreams at every turn- that there are no villains, but sometimes you find you’ve gotten so caught up in something you can’t see straight. Sometimes we are flat, hollow caricatures of people or sometimes we are rich tapestries that read like an open book, but, always, we are alive- living, breathing, screaming to be heard.

Anyone can read words on a piece of paper, but not everyone can take those words and create life with them.

That’s what we do as actors. Everyday, we attempt to play little gods and create life.

We do it because this wonderful thing that it is to be human requires storytellers. Its a basic human need that comes in as grand as epic fantasy movie trilogies and as simple as, “what happened at school today, honey?” “How was work today, darling?” We even create words for our animals to say.

Storytelling is part of something so coded in us that it needs to be honored.

Even when actors roamed the earth in traveling bands as outcasts to society, we still existed. We never gave up the calling.

So, is asking for a little respect too much? Are we fated to be treated as a dime a dozen as the stigmas against the lifestyle of actors turns to this idea of normalized glamour? The answer is that as actors, we are often asked to pretend to be other humans, but as humans ourselves we are often marginalized. I don’t think this is going to change anytime soon, but I do think that when you do choose to treat it as a craft and train constantly and grow your skills like a well kept garden that you become something to be recognized and cherished.

Acting is the art is experiencing what it is to be human, living and dying over and over again every day a thousand lives. We learn the human condition, we learn about ourselves and we learn about others. There are many things a true actor is, but none of them is disposable because no human is disposable.

If there is one thing the fine tuning of humanity has taught us, it is that everyone has a journey and a story to tell.

Wonder-ful Winter

Wonder-ful Winter

So much craziness has happened since the new year where it feels like i’m moving non-stop with work. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good, no- a great thing. I’m always happiest when I’m working incessantly and winter is by far the roughest time for me.

Just this weekend past, I has a chance to work with several wonderful old friends and some new ones. I feel like it’s a paradox because I’ve grown to look forward to wrapping the film I’ve been working on in order to go back from red to blonde, but it’s neat to see all these pictures of myself with hair that’s so different.

It’s funny how hair colour changes my entire personality. I’m a bit sharper tongued with red hair, easy going in blonde and a bit darker when brunette. Whether it’s perceived or imagined, I think how we view ourselves plays a large part of our personalities. It shapes how we view the world around us in little moments. It pushes me to reshape my every moment towards something wonderful and positive- which is especially important in winter months when the cold and the darkness is so ready to take our happiness from us. It’s a small step from letting the cold hold us back to letting it inspire us to move faster, work harder and burn brighter.

So, on a dark winter night, remember to burn incredibly bright.

and keep going.

Keep moving.

      It’s like walking in the woods in the middle of a blizzard. I’ve done this so many times, mostly as a child, and as ill advised as it sounds, I think back on those times where you feel like solid ice and think it’s so easy to lay down and go to sleep right now, but if I go down, I’m not getting up again- and I kinda want to get up again.

Being one of “Those People”… Those “Actor” People.

So, I just got request via my personal Facebook book page, aka the one I never use, from a girl I went to high school with asking if I could give her with a famous horror movie director’s number because she had remembered I shared a booth at a con with him six years ago and some kid she knows has a magazine he wants to interview him for…

Now, I paused for a moment, letting the silliness of this wash over me, “Sure I’ll get you Angelina Jolie’s personal cell line, too while I’m at it, just let me get off this three way with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Neil Gaiman- we’re moving our poker game to next Thursday instead.”

Actors must all hang out together down at the actor bus station and the actor fruit and smoothie bar on Sundays…

Then, I stopped for a moment and thought, wait- I really could get his number if I needed it. Through contacts I had in the horror industry which until that moment had always been friends with crazy stories who made terrible movies that inspired awe and gore… but they did know him and other people around him who had worked with him. I’d worked with him myself and he really was the nicest of men, I just hadn’t been self promoting enough to hand someone my business card and be like hey, call me if you need a zombie in your next movie!

Was I going to do this? No. I wasn’t about to go out of my way to make several phone calls for someone whose name i didn’t even know to get him a personal phone line for someone I’d met once in order to promote some magazine I hadn’t even heard of, even though a third party I hadn’t spoken to in years obviously thought I was the one to make it happen.

So, I did the next best thing, I googled the info and then grabbed the info he’d need to book this director through the proper channels off IMDB Pro. Two minutes, no calling in favors- still information I wouldn’t have access to without a general knowledge of my industry and then a third thing, I was looking down the list of everyone this agency represents and realizing I have a higher IMDB number than a lot of the variety of names there. Wondering if maybe I should be thinking about submitting there now.

There’s a funny surreal moment in your life when you realize that maybe we are all interconnected a little bit, that it’s not islands alone in the storm, but that we are some sort of crazy archipelago winding through each other as we go about our lives.

As actors, directors, writers, and general creative types we like the idea of thinking we’re connected, but we also are told early on that it’s always everyone out for themselves, dog eat dog and watch your back. Not being a very dog eat-y type person, I like tho think that you can disagree and still be a functional working actor. Yes, you are going to beat some other people out for roles, but thats because you do what you do very well and there was something about how you did it that somebody liked- it would be there whether you ate that other dog or not and if we lived focusing on others instead of building ourselves to the best that we can be, well then we are just missing chance after chance to be wonderful instead of not.

 

So, in conclusion, remember that if you are an actor, you may not always feel like it- but you always ARE part of a greater community of artists and we get to swirl around in the mess together, we tell our wonderful stories, make our acquaintances and friends and then every once in a while a cold wind breathes in from outside and makes you step back a second and realize- oh wait- i AM interconnected into something special- into a community here- into a world where we are all here to create

 

… because that’s what storytellers do. 

 

 

We make myths.

 

We make smiles.

 

We make tears.

 

We tell stories.

Image

and just sometimes… we eat brains

Brenna Gwyn Snowe Makes Movies!

If you can believe it:

Brenna Gwyn Snowe Makes Movies!

For those of you less than familiar with my on screen work in them movin’ pictures, I handily provide you with the above link to my newly updated IMDB page, which you should feel free to FB like, love & steal pictures from. Show your friends, tell your mom! To those of you whom I pester on a more regular basis, I will add some pretty pictures and rantings for you all to give a smile with in the soontime.

The Big Chill

So, back from Florida and it’s chilly out. A bit too chilly for my taste, but everyone claims it will warm up by the weekend. I, for one, am glad to have a kitten to cuddle up to, though the cuteness makes it entirely too hard to leave bed.

Filming for the official first film of 2014 is ninety percent done with only one more day shooting in NYC. I have dozens of smaller than feature projects on the horizon this month including a lot of online work coming up.

This is good. I like being busy.

…again, kitty and bed.

I seriously need to kick up my yoga so I can unwind and slip out without her noticing.

In other news, in case you haven’t heard, I nearly broke the IMDB top five thousand. I keep getting told this is a big deal- and it does make me happy to think that of all people who have ever been in and worked on movies I’m not way down at the bottom of the pile, but what would make me happier would be translating that into real work. Something I feel people dont get about the acting world when they’re not directly involved is that its not people hearing about you so that you’re famous, it’s people hearing about you so that you get offered work. I’ve turned down plenty of reality show offers including ones that paid very well, something of a myth itself, to not be portrayed …well, the way people are generally portrayed on those types of shows. The only one I’ve trusted to be included on his reality show is photographer, Scott Church and simply because I’ve known and adored him for years and there’s a healthy level of trust there as well as respect for his integrity.

All in all, people still seem to be excited to see me in things I’m generally sure they’ll miss me in, but larger bits keep coming out and making their way to the forefront. Until then, you just keep swimming and making your way from one project to the next. Truth is, I’m happy when I’m filming, when I’m wildly busy and the moments stuck in bed with my kitty updating my blog become immeasurably special to me then.

Unfortunately,  I have to crawl out of it today to go film some sketches and run four miles, but the best part of that is that reason I’m leaving bed is to do the only thing that makes me smile when I’m unconscious in it.

Have a good day, my lovelies

And remember, in these cold months, to just keep swimming