1.What attracted you to acting?
Acting has always been an interest of mine, but for some reason I never thought to do it until a few years ago. I was always involved with all my middle and high school productions, but usually in a crew or musician capacity. I hurt my shoulder in 2011 and while recovering from that I wasn’t able to do much in terms of activity other than watch TV and movies. Even walking for too long created an immense pain. It was crazy! One day at work, when I looked around at all the people and I thought to myself “this cubicle is what I have to look forward to the rest of my life?” and that’s when it all changed for me. I started looking for new hobbies I could start and while watching TV one day I thought “why the heck can’t I do that?” So, I got an acting coach and the rest is history. Thankfully, it was about that time that my shoulder began to show progress as well.
2. What do you find to be the best, most educational thing about acting?
The best part of acting, is that despite 12-14 hour filming days, I feel like I accomplished something of value. Something real. The educational part is opening your eyes to the world around you. As an actor, you’re taught to observe everything. Things you never really noticed before, are now screaming loudly at you to witness them. I also very much enjoy trying to find out what’s behind a character’s personality. What was the writer thinking of when they created this person? How did I perceive it differently?
3.Is Sacrament your first feature?
Sacrament is my first major role. I’ve done a few other films either as background parts or small parts with a few lines. I feel blessed to have been a part of such a class act of people on my first major role.
4. Can you tell us about your character/role in Sacrament?
Jennifer is such a butt. Haha! She has this serious sounding sarcastic attitude. Lee and Jennifer share similar traits in that respect, but Jennifer still knows how to have fun, unlike Lee! She finds herself surrounded by a group of friends that both challenge her patience and put up with her at the same time. It makes her feel accepted. She has a wall up and her defense mechanisms are sarcastic and crude comments. What you see is what you get, for sure.
5.How did this role come to you?
I happened to be poking around the ShortFilmTexas website when I saw the casting call for Sacrament. When I read Jennifer’s description, I knew I had to go for it. So, I drove up to Dallas from Houston and auditioned with one of my friends from my acting class. She auditioned for Sacrament as well as the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts (she ended up being accepted to there!). Not long after the audition I received an e-mail from Shawn saying I was selected! I must have left quite an impression by bringing a tampon and toilet paper to the audition.
6.Please share a memorable moment or favorite experience from your time on Sacrament.
Wow, the entire thing was pretty memorable for me. Between all the times we bunked at Shawn’s place, baring the incredible heat inside a warehouse during some of our shoots, and having some down time to hang out with each other, I would say it was a very awesome experience. The weekend where we were all in Waco for about 4 days straight was amazingly productive and awesome at the same time. However, if you’re going to make me pick one moment….I’d have to say it was when we had to re-shoot the morning scene when we all came out to the cars in the morning and saw the lovely decorating we did to Lee’s (Troy Ford) car. After that scene, Troy wanted to immediately wash it off but we could not find a place anywhere. Even the window washers at the gas stations were empty. Amanda and I had to go to the bathroom, Avery wanted something to drink and Troy was on a serious mission to wash the stinking car. Once Avery figured out what he wanted, and the guy before us in the 1-person bathroom blew it up…we each held our breath for as long as we could to get in and get out. Indie film making at its finest, and it is great! Eventually, we passed by a guy who was hosing down his work truck so we pulled up and asked if he could help us wash off our car as well. Pretty sure he didn’t speak English, and yes I took a video of the entire thing. Also, talking about homemade chips and bean dip with Cassandra. Also, Henry making fun of me in the car about my Chicago accent. Ok, stop making me pick one….
7.So, let’s be real and talk about a particularly difficult moment that you had on Sacrament.
The pressure was on in one of my last scenes in the film. I knew I only had one, maybe two chances to get it right. So, I had to throw caution to the wind and forget the rest.
8.What do you hope that people take away from watching this film?
Honestly, I hope people don’t walk away from the film thinking it’s a bash on religion. Most of the time, people only see what’s on the surface and don’t give it much thought. However, I hope that people know it’s much deeper than that. It’s about a form of extremism. I really think the topics this film addresses and the timing of it all is absolutely perfect for what’s happening in this country today. Equal marriage, freedom to practice your religion, freedom from having to follow someone else’s religious beliefs. All of these things are so prevalent today.
9. Are you currently working on any other projects that you would like to talk about?
Right now I have a couple little things here and there. I did get to tutor some other actors in speaking Russian and speaking English with a Russian accent recently for a film down here in Houston. That was fun!
10. Do you plan on continue acting?
Would you like to branch out into any other areas of filmmaking? Oh yes. Most definitely. I love CIA and Action flicks. My goal is to break into those genres someday. I also would love to try comedy.
11. What is one thing that you would like to accomplish this year? It can be absolutely anything.
\One thing to accomplish….get an agent! In all seriousness, I don’t know why I’ve been waiting to get out there and find one. I think part of me is just waiting to add a little more to my resume. I just need to get out there and do it.
I’m originally from the Chicago area and moved to Houston, TX after I graduated college to work for as an engineer for our nation’s Human Spaceflight Program. I’ve been down here for 6 years, nerding it up. My husband and I have 2 dogs. Dogs are awesome.