Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Flight of the Twenty Something: Autobiographical Intent Only

When I was five, I wanted to be an artist.  This dream lasted until I was abruptly confronted with the fact that my drawing skills were limited to well, pretty much, stick-figures and dotted lines.

When I was seven, I saw potential for myself in the realm of rockstardom.  I was fully committed by Halloween of that year.  I took to the sidewalks with my ravishing red feather boa and matching satin dress, which my mother sewed for me (that makes it couture right?), and came home with bags full of free loot.  It was all very diva like, and I felt I could easily acquiesce into this lifestyle.  However, I quickly lost interest sometime around early spring when my role as Little Miss Muffet included singing;  And someone recorded it.   

When I was eleven, I was convinced my future was secure in the world of lawyerism.  I practiced on my parents practically every time I opened my mouth.  I took my sentence of "grounding" as constructive criticism.  My biggest hindrance was that I was not quite the social butterfly I am today, meaning, I didn't speak in public unless spoken to first, and even then it was a toss up.  This aspiration was reignited circa 2001 (which puts us at 15/16) when Legally Blond was all the rage.  I mean seriously, if Elle Woods could do it, clearly Hollywood was telling me I was on the right path.

When I was seventeen, my parents told me I had a business mind, so I majored in business; that is until the university told me in more than one harsh letter, "try again," with an exclamation point.  I was pretty good at talking, I'd been doing it just about my whole life, so I went into communication.  I liked movies and I was pretty social, so I concentrated in film & media studies and society & rhetoric; double to make up for lost time. Obviously.

When I was 21, I was over-experienced and un(der)employed.  So I did what any recent college grad does in the case of a bottomless recession.  I moved home - bribed with the promise of insurance, free rent, and a gym membership - and went to work in the family business, education.

When I had enough of letting my potential take a nap, I applied for grad school.  Armed with a deadline of finishing no later than 25 and a new master plan (which was more like an outline really), I headed back into the world of high priced academia.

Which brings us up-to-date, 25, a week away from graduation, Master's program (mostly) in the bag. And what next?  A world of possibilities!                                            Any suggestions?  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who is Amanda Dreschler?

PhotobucketAmanda Dreschler.  Why would you know who that is?  Well, you probably wouldn't..yet.  One day I firmly believe that you'll hear that name and utter something that sounds a lot like "Oh yeah her, she was in that one movie, right? I liked her." And eventually becoming the subject of statements like "Did you see that movie?  It starred Amanda Dreschler.  She was great."  Until that time, I'll be content if someone that has never heard that name reads this post and takes something away from it that makes them smile, about her.

 If you haven't taken the hint, Amanda is an actress.  She's not unlike Twilight's Ashley Greene or a bevy of now well-known, twenty-something actors that were very recently struggling to make it in their craft.  Unlike some, however, Amanda is a trained actor.  She has a B.F.A. in theater and studied for several years at the world famous Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood.  Aside from working in front of a camera, she has done theater and opera over the years, is well-versed in dance, and has worked crew on several projects.


But all of this you can probably read on her IMDB page..

What about Amanda the person?

Amanda is funny.

She is really funny.


Besides that, she's very down to earth and easy to get along with.  The first time I met her, I have to admit, I was slightly intimidated; I mean she's gorgeous!  But it's not her looks that have endeared her to me, it's her personality and drive; she's humble.  Amanda loves what she does and that's something that makes a world of difference when you're working on an independent feature where the benefits are really what you make them to be.  She is a pleasure to be around (even when she's risking her own safety with her unnatural clumsiness).

Check out Amanda's "What's Up?" interview at for examples!       

*Images taken by Jonathan Owens of Chameleon Red Photography, an amazing talent in his own right.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do..

I have a friend who recently broke up with his girlfriend.  He's pretty bummed actually, and I feel bad because I was a proponent of him ending it.  Ultimately, he's known for a while that things weren't working out and he was unhappy in the relationship.  So why the extreme bummed out-ness?

Photobucket Well, duh.  Being alone is sometimes worse than being in a bad relationship, together.  It's odd how that works out.  The idea of being single seems pleasant, just as the idea of being in a relationship seems ideal from the outside - but the truth is, we want our cake and we want to devour it, all without caloric intake.  We are innately creatures that suffer from lack of boundaries.  When we have something, we aren't satisfied (at least the vast majority of the time), we want more, or different, or exactly what we have but can't and adamantly won't admit it.

So to my friend who may* or may not be reading this while he stumbles through his work day that is providing him only more agitation instead of the cheery distraction my text messages are, BUCK UP!  Someone else will inevitably come along and put a patch on your fractured heart.  People that care about you are all around and sometimes it takes moments like these for you to look up and see that fact.  You're not alone unless you want to take advantage of this opportunity and put in more face time with the friends.  Call someone up for a movie & coffee date (male or female), go thrift store shopping for nick-knacks that you can never justify needing, or throw a potluck dinner party where everyone brings something to eat and something to serve as entertainment. can look forward to my list of: "Things to do after a break-up!"     

*he most likely is, since I sent him a text message instructing him to do so..

Person of the Moment: Albert Escobedo

PhotobucketI've known Albert Escobedo since before I knew Albert Escobedo.  So I will start with, my dear friend Albert Escobedo is a talented comedian and I am in fact biased to this opinion*.

*Side Note: my opinion may or may not be valid from this point on, but keep reading..

As you may be aware, there are a lot of talented, funny people out there.  Albert may not be the funniest of them all (he may be, but I'm not comfortable extending into fact-land like that), but he is talented with his tongue.  No ladies (and gentlemen), please remove your minds from the side of the road, I am not referring to anything sexually explicit.  He has a talent for witty repertoire.  Besides adding a slice of comedy to every conversation, Albert can wax philosophical with the best of them (the universal "them," of course).  He is open to new experiences and soaks them up, very much like a sponge (perhaps a slightly dirty one at that).  Which is how Albert ended up where he is now.  After soaking up all there is in his Northwest Indiana hometown, this veterinary technician (didn't see that one coming, huh?) exerted himself a little farther than average, and found himself in South Korea.

PhotobucketNearly two years ago, Albert uprooted himself from his super tight family and challenged himself to live outside the box in small town Korea where he began teaching English, and even more surprising, to young children.  But Albert didn't let this change of location deter him from his real dream of entertaining the masses (or anyone really, which is probably more realistic).  Featured recently in  the popular NEH magazine, this "wiseguy" has found his niche organizing American-style comedy shows in Seoul, where he's been living for the past year.

Far from home, Albert often incorporates jokes or commentary that tie him back to his Chicago-land roots and Mexican heritage, bringing a piece of home with him every time he takes the stage. 

Scheduled originally to return to the U.S. in just two weeks, Albert, who is always up for a change-in-plans, was offered an exciting new job opportunity.  New job, new place to live, new adventure.  One guess what he chose.  South Korea is lucky to have this charming fellow for another year.

You can check out Albert's new blog, Life is Funny and spend some time exploring his perspective.

Albert Escobedo- Virtual Ilsanity from Rip City to Seoul on Vimeo.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Discovery Band of the Month: The Heavy Florist

PhotobucketAtlanta-based alternative / indie pop / pop punk* (or some combination of those) band, The Heavy Florist, is this month's (and the very first) discovery band [of the month].

The first time I heard them, was on a cell phone.  Yes, an mp3 streamed from a semi-smart phone introduced me to this up and coming act before I ever laid eyes on them.  Officially only having met 1/3 of the infamous trio at this point. 

The second time I heard them, was through the floor boards of drummer Marvin Reese's house, while they held band practice in the basement.  Now boasting introductions to 2 out of 3 (and armed with tasty leftovers), I enjoyed a muted version of the musical stylings this group has to offer. 

PhotobucketThe third time I heard them, was live and in living color at the East Atlanta venue, 529.  Before the show, I met the final piece of the tripod that makes up The Heavy Florist, and enjoyed some riveting pre-show entertainment over pizza with the boys.

PhotobucketThe guys behind the music are just as incredible and the actual music itself; the cohesive unit translates well on stage, bringing the crowd a mind blowing musical experience that was well worth more than the $5 it cost to get in.  The highlight of the show may have been the switcheroo between lead singer/songwriter and guitarist, Chris Tsambis, and brilliant (according to him) bassist, Steven K. Greer.  These two multi-talented rockstars exchanged roles briefly during the show, giving Steve a chance to show off his singing chops with two tracks that he wrote himself, my favorite of which "She Says" sounded particularly great this evening.

PhotobucketPhotobucketThe band also uniquely includes a fourth ::surprise:: element, their own commentator, Bret wood.  Bret introduces the band and several songs during the set.  This added bonus seemed like a crowd favorite, bringing some comedy to the already talent-filled evening.

The Heavy Florist is currently in (and out) of the studio recording their debut album.  But luckily for you, Reverbnation is giving you the chance to check out some of their stunning tunes.  You can also follow their rise on Facebook, become a fan and get all the latest news and updates on this phenomenally polished group of musicians brought together to offer all of our senses a musical treat.   

*self-described genre (source: Reverbnation) 

**All photo's courtesy of the very talented  Jessica 'Imoto' Harney, Owner of Captain Crazy Productions, Inc. (and The Heavy Florist's biggest fan)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2,000 Miles to Graceland

I believe it was Stephen King who said that if you want to be a writer, you should write 2,000 words each day. But what do you write about?

Should you sit in front of the screen and ponder the meaning of life, waxing philosophical about moments of your existence that clearly point to a higher level of consciousness? What about over-analyzing the romantic happenings of your already naturally confusing and heavy-on-the-busy-side lifestyle? Should you regale readers with the details of your every waking moment - First, I woke up; Second, I twitched to the left half an inch; third, I thought about rolling over but ultimately decided my right shoulder was more comfortable - ?

Am I writing for myself or for an audience? If it's the latter, who is my audience and what would they like to read about? How can I tweak my style to accommodate to their personal taste, but in mass?

See the problem with being a writer, in my opinion, is that sometimes you write for yourself and that's all dandy and such, but if you're like me and you'd like to make a career doing what you love - writing - then you are also writing for everyone else, at the same time. This presents certain problems for writers that suffer from tunnel vision - the inability to write outside of their comfort zone. The inability to adapt to your audience is a hindrance for many people. Yes, your style is of course awesome (I'm sure), but is it awesome enough that you can connect with your reader. Is it accessible to others? Accessible. That's a word the universal "they" throw around a lot. Can people read your piece and relate. Can they connect with your thoughts and in return exchange them for an emotional response?

That's why I write. I strongly believe that writing is cathartic and can be a form of release for emotions unexpressed, but if that's all I was looking for - let's be honest, I could just talk to myself. I want to write pieces that bring me closer to someone that I've never met. That allows me to share something about me with someone that is nothing like me. To be a voice in chaos of things you've never thought about, not because you wouldn't think of them, but because they haven't yet crossed your mind; a point of view undiscovered by your consciousness.

That wasn't 2,000 words, but it's a start. My name is Lindsay and I am a writer.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Suitcase Full of Anxiety

I can't speak for anyone else in the population, but I assume [read: hope] I am not alone when I say that packing gives me extreme anxiety.  In fact, sometimes it causes me so much stress that I literally am forced to lay down.  I understand that it sounds extreme, but let's deconstruct the idea of packing, shall we.

When you are going on a trip, often times there is only a tentative or "loose" schedule of events.  This means that you are essentially packing for both this planned trip and all of the alternatives, at the same time.  Men may have less of a problem with this idea, but if you are a female and anything like me, this means options are needed.

My mother is not like me.  If she is going away for a week, she pulls out a suitcase (or maybe only a large backpack), places approximately 3-4 bottoms, 5-6 tops, 1 pair of shoes and enough under garments and toiletries to get her through; she probably takes longer and deliberates more on choosing what goes in her carry-on than on anything that will clothe her.

Me, on the other hand, I am O.C.D. about packing.

I have to wash every item, or as close to that as possible, before packing can commence.  I like all of my options (and there are a LOT) to be hung up or folded in the appropriate place so that I can than go through and pick and choose and scrutinize before deciding on the contents of my bag.  The problem with this is that I am also extremely busy and laundry has a tendency to pile up.  That means that before I even pick out a suitcase (and there are options there, too), I probably have around 5 loads of laundry that need washing, drying, hanging, folding, and ironing if I'm not inspired enough to move quickly*.  After this is all completed, I have to coordinate outfit options.  Unlike my mother's wardrobe, not everything I own can be paired with everything in it.

Some things that complicate packing unnecessarily include, but are not limited to:
  1. A tendency to over pack
  2. An active imagination of what the trip might entail
  3. Accessorizing (shoes, bags, jewelry, etc.)**
  4. Confidence issues that all of a sudden I am acutely aware of
However, it helps when I have shopping bags of new clothes to help my efforts.*** 

I pack, and repack, and contemplate for several hours (give or take depending on the amount of time I will be gone) before zipping up my bag and struggling to lift it off the bed and onto the floor, where it sits until I decide to redo part of the process; adding or eliminating something that probably less than 20 minutes before I was certain I did/did not need.  And than I call someone else in my household to haul the bag downstairs.  Occasionally, I make more decisions once it is out of my sight.  Carry-on bags for me, however, present no problem; grab my iPod touch (and charger), whatever book I'm reading (been procrastinating on reading) and the latest issue of Glamour or Cosmopolitan and I'm set - Let's be honest, if I'm a) in the passenger's seat or b) flying, than I'm sleeping most of the way regardless..I don't even pretend anymore that anything productive will be accomplished in this transitional period.

This Friday, I will be last minute packing for Atlanta (where I will be spending the next week hanging out with the Altered crew)..wish me luck!

*I also prefer a neat and tidy room, not often, but for this purpose -- it helps alleviate stress during this painful process.

**In the winter the weather presents an additional and time consuming problem, adding hats, scarfs, gloves, etc.

***Which I do.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Who is Stan Harrington?

PhotobucketWhile filming Altered, I had the incredible opportunity to hang out with more than a few amazing talents, those on both sides of the camera.  One of those exceptional people was Stan Harrington.  This name probably doesn't immediately jump out at you, as I expect, but he is worth recognizing for at the very least his attitude toward hard work, which is a quality that has too often fallen under the radar.  Harrington (or Stelios Georgiadis as his parents intended) is the manager of the world famous Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood (yes, California).  This building has seen the likes of acting greats such as Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, Holland Taylor, Gary Ross, Eric Stoltz and Mark Ruffalo (list taken straight from the website, but pretty much says it all, AMAZING!).  Stan fell into this position after becoming an indispensable member of the staff and literally moved in.

I'm currently in the process of writing an article based on my recent interview with this engaging character, so in the interest of hopefully finding an outlet to publish it I don't want to expose too much. I can say that the focus will be his passionate support of SAGIndie and his continued efforts to make movies sans a budget.  Although I won't try to decode the meaning, I can assure you that his quote "I love Showtime!" will be included - if only out of curiosity for what it really means.  Stan Harrington is definitely someone that should be in your peripheral as he moves onto center stage in the coming years, showcasing his brilliant persistence in an industry that (in my opinion) is lacking this historically important aspect.     

S-E-X: A Working Title

The first time I read about sex I couldn't have been more than 12.  As part of a program my school had with the Detroit Public Library, the librarians (or a representative) showed up every two weeks with a set of pre-selected books until everyone in the class had theoretically read them all (barring lost/misplaced books and lazy readers)*.  I can't be sure what the criteria was in the selection process, but it seems likely that they were on the bestseller list.  The book that ironically I enjoyed the most was Rats Saw God written by Rob Thomas**.

At 12, I won't speculate as to what my classmates were thinking about, but sex was definitely on the list of "things that had not yet entered my subconscious."  Although the characters are adamant about procuring condoms, the content seems a bit above what we were covering in health class where I think we were still watching videos on "why not to kiss boys" (which by the way I wasn't).

PhotobucketFlash forward to today, parents are up-in-arms about series like Gossip Girl and Twilight (both of which I've read in their completeness) permeating the shelves of elementary school libraries and exposing their children to the raw truth of adolescents.  But the truth is, kids today are much more likely to be effected by this kind of information than they were when I was in middle school over a decade ago.  Statistically, teens are engaging in sex, and sexually-related activities, at alarmingly early ages; "Spin-the-Bottle" is no longer a parent's worse nightmare and "7-Minutes in Heaven" has taken on a whole new meaning.  Realistically, even if you take away books that contain sexual content, sex is still all around us: advertisements, clothing, television shows.  "Sex sells" is a reality that we as a society created and it doesn't look like its going anywhere, anytime soon.

This being said, I avidly support parents that take an active role in monitoring the materials that their children consume.  I saw a group of teenagers out the other day wearing shorts that practically showed off their goodies (more disturbing was that I'm pretty sure they were to young to know the reference "goodies").  I'm a firm believer that if we start treating children like children instead of burgeoning adults, that they may start thinking that are actually children instead of at 12 being convinced they are adults and deserve the same respect.

Sex is great, but not when your still young enough that someone has to explain to you why.    

*I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for never returning this book to DPL, I am still in possession of it (located securely in a box somewhere in my basement) if you'd like it back.  Feel free to contact me via Twitter

**This is the same Rob Thomas who later became the creative genius behind one of my favorite television series of all time, Veronica Mars

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Misunderstanding of Fireworks

I must admit that I've never understood the appeal of fireworks.  I can see why they were conflated with the idea of freedom historically, but they have since become controlled expressions of this once unpremeditated show of organized chaos.  They are no longer confined to simply the 4th of July, America's Independence Day, but instead keep me up on most warm nights as the neighborhood kids feel the need to show off their personal independence on a daily basis (I also blame Indiana's "loose" laws on the sale of fireworks to minors for the disruption in my beauty rest).

Seriously, bright light, lots of noise..if I wanted to incorporate those things into my everyday routine I would have chosen a more urban environment to call home [no offense city dwellers, that was once me].  

On the plus side, it did  provide PETA with the opportunity to send me a text letting me know that fireworks, although fun, often frighten animals - in case the sight of Fat Kitty hiding behind the bathroom door didn't alert me to that fact already.

**Check Out Doobious.Org for an otherwise lovely photograph capturing fireworks that at least look pretty.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Behind the Scenes of Altered: Recap


Production on Altered wrapped last week in Gary, IN where we shot our final scenes of this leg of filming.  All of our actors have returned to wence they came, Rob Pralgo to Atlanta, Amanda Dreschler and Stan Harrington to Los Angeles.  The Atlanta-based crew made it safely home this past Saturday morning after a 12 hour plus car ride.  Director Kely McClung remains in the GI editing portions of the film, starting to put the puzzle together and figure out what he has.  Plans to return south later this week are in the works to start pre-production on Round 2 of filming scheduled for the next few weeks down in Atlanta.  Production Assistants Cole Daniel and myself, make the trek at the end of next week to continue our epic journey.


**Side Note: I had an epic recap post set to go last week, and disappeared.  Thanks Blogger!  This one doesn't begin to describe the great set of actors and dedicated crew that Altered has been blessed with, but it will have to do for now.

Stay tuned for more Altered updates, coming to you next week!  And as always, Facebook and Twitter will be bringing you the latest tidbits as we move forward with production.  Thanks for all of your support!    

Monday, July 4, 2011

Transformers 3: Epic or Epic Failure?

I sat down to take in the latest (final?) installment of the Transformers franchise last Friday and the first thought I had as I slipped into those mildly stained, red-ish theater seats was this:

What is this movie supposed to be about?

It occurred to me only after I (and by I, I mean someone else) coughed up the $12.50 to see the 3-D version of Michael Bay's latest Blockbuster, that I had no idea what the premise of the movie was.  Other than the Super Bowl commercial that gave away the first 30-seconds or so of the film, the only ads I'd seen simply showed things blowing up.  Despite being an energetic fan* of the first two films, I had my reserves about the third after the press release came out confirming the exit of lead actress Megan Fox.  I may not be her biggest fan, but I'm not to proud to admit that there was a certain chemistry between her and Shia that added to my viewing pleasure.

I won't bore you with a recap of the plot, but my two biggest complaints with it centered mainly on the lack of Fox's character.

1)  The absence of Michaela (Megan Fox) was skirted under the rug as "she dumped me" which was mentioned twice in the early part of the movie with no further explanation.  It seems odd that after Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen where the big plot finish involved the two lead characters finally proclaiming their love to each other that a) she would just dump him, and b) he would so easily jump into this obviously serious relationship with Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).  Which brings me to point dos.

2)  I believe the whole I'm-not-going-to-say-I-Love-You-first-and-instead-wait-until-we-save-the-world plot line was exhausted in the last installment.  I feel like I just watched all of the same events take place with a different leading lady, and a slightly different - but not really - threat to humanity.      

The rest of the film kind of blended together in my mind as an epic disappointment.**  

*I went to see the last film 4 times in theaters (including opening day), that's 4 times folks!

**The highlight of the film for me was the 6 seconds of screen time the abandoned Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana that the Altered movie filmed at received.      

The Altered Spotlight Shines (One Last Time) for Ace Harney

We have now arrived at our final Altered spotlight poster child.  I didn't save the best for last, but I did save Ace Harney for last, and he is the Best Boy.  Ace has worn many hats over the last 3 weeks (give or take, heavy on the give) of filming, and I mean literally, many hats.


**Side Note: Ace is only not the best because he's part of a team, a crew, and each member is equally amazing and talented.  Ace knows the value of teamwork and the importance of being part of something bigger than himself.  He is always willing to share the credit for great accomplishments.

Follow Ace on Twitter or check out his brain child Doobious.Org for the latest in news, art, and entertainment.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Altered Spotlight Shines on Cole Daniel

Production Assistant (or "intern" depending on who you're talking to) Cole Daniel.  Hold for applause.

Still Holding.

**Side Note:  Cole is great.  He came into production looking to maximize his experience and he's done an excellent job.  Cole really put forward a lot of effort and even though the crew might give him a hard time, most of us really like and appreciate him.  Much to his credit, he has already landed a spot on a new project, working as part of the art department, filming in Chicago the remainder of the summer.  Good luck!

The Altered Spotlight Shines on Chris Sailor

Today we honor sound tech extraordinaire, Chris Sailor, with the Altered spotlight dance.  Chris has been experiencing some technical difficulties of his own, suffering from a bout of sinus infection that's lasted most of the duration of filming.  We all know how much it sucks to be sick during regular, low-stress days..but imagine working 18 hour days on 4 hours of sleep and a steady diet of fast food and donuts.  Yes, ouch. 


Chris, who you might remember from Behind the Scenes of Altered: Take II, is a willing participant in team building activities like being an extra, and driving my car (which seemingly turned into a group project, everyone has taken a turn).

**Side Note: Production Assistant, Cole Daniel, donned a similiar (if not the same) costume choice last night, playing CSI agent #2


On top of his active film making duties on Altered, Chris holds the title of graduate student (very impressive) but what makes him stand out even slightly more is that when he came aboard this project he knew absolutely no one.  I met him to exact same day and he was already bonded to the crew, it's hard to tell that any of them haven't been friends since the fifth grade. The definitely click well.

Chris does sound.  This means that when everyone gets off for a skeleton crew shoot..he doesn't.  He's great.