It's been a pretty busy jump into fall here in Amanda-land!
Shooting continues for Evil Lurks - we've got just a few small shoots & reshoots to finish and we're off into post. From the tiny rough cut and outtakes I've seen, it's going to be a really cool final product. A few behind the scenes (BTS) shots below - can you tell we've been making good use of the green screen?
Meanwhile I snuck in a quick commercial shoot for a local edible cookie dough company. I played "Karen", the put together mom of a 6 year old child mechanic, who is skeptical about raw cookie dough. Coming out on various social media in December. As a lifelong fan of cookie dough, this was an especially fun shoot - not to mention the bonus of getting to sample the products ;)
Finally the Filmmakers in Action team's submission for the Chicago 48 Hr Film Fest, The Inheritance is now available to view on Youtube! This was my first time participating in a 48 hour film fest and while we didn't win any awards, it was a helluva learning experience. It's a pressure cooker situation where a film has to be written, shot, edited, and completed in 48 hours. Our only criteria was an assigned theme (Dark Comedy/Sports), a prop (a hat), a line of dialogue ("I'm looking for my friend"), and a character name (Trudy or Trevor Fenderson). The fact that we were able to pull it off at all was really impressive, and folks stepped in left and right to fill in roles on set in order to get the job done. Give it a watch below!
Bonus content: I've updated my reel! Check it out below - will definitely have to make some updates once Evil Lurks comes out!
Quick post to share my new Commercial VO demo. What makes a commercial VO demo you might ask? It's a sampling of my work related to products, marketing campaigns, or businesses, generally as a narrator or spokesperson.
A sample of brands I've lent my voice to:
Ajenda Scheduling Services
Tech Guys Who Get Marketing
Core Digital Marketing LLC
Thanks for listening ;)
Alright friends - it's finally ready! You can now listen to the FULL Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga original trilogy in audiobook format on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes - full narration all done by yours truly. So much thanks to author Jeanne Hardt for her trust and patience through this process of recording and editing to present her words and story as faithfully as possible. It's a long labor of love to record, edit, and produce a quality audiobook and an awesome challenge to try to embody all these different characters. I truly hope I've done Jeanne's work justice.
The series centers on Lily Larsen and those close to her, set towards the end of the Civil War in rural Cades Cove, Tennessee. Her adventures (and sometimes misadventures) take her travelling beyond the comfort of her home where her resolve and character is tested by looming scandal and her journey to discover her way in the world. This series is perfect for lovers of historical fiction, romance, family sagas, and drama.
If you or someone you know is a reviewer, industry pro, or agent who is interested in downloading a copy of any of the books, please email me and I can provide a free Audible download code. If you are so kind as to give any of these books a listen, reviews on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes are very greatly appreciated!
Links to download all 3 below, and also on my new Audiobook Narration page.
Excited to share a recent project with you! I recorded the narration for this "Meet the Founders" video for The Beachwaver Co.'s "Dream Big, Make Waves" campaign launch. Beachwaver is a hugely popular hair tools company that's grown to global distribution with three amazing boss women at the helm, with a focus on innovation, accessibility, sustainability, and empowerment. Honored to be a small part of their story.
Performance Announcement! 8/9-8/11 at Otherworld Theatre Company
Little known fact about me -- I LOVE Grey's Anatomy. It is my soap opera, and I can't help but tune in to the Shonda Rhimes goodness.
Well dreams do come true, because I get to play the eponymous Meredith Grey in a FemSlash parody of Grey's Anatomy in the upcoming Violet Surprise: A FemSlash Parody Festival
Tickets are pay-what-you-can for this new festival of original works parodying your favorite fandoms that explore their female relationships through a sapphic lens.
Catch me in:
“You’re My Person”
Written by Leanna Keyes
Directed by Nemo Serges
Starring Lynnette Li as the Cristina to my Meredith
Some quick updates in Amanda-land.
Earlier this week I had the honor of playing the legendary British pirate, Hannah Snell, acting as guide to the title character (the Mushu to her Mulan) of the new play Deborah: A Mostly True Tale of a Revolutionary Woman, by Elizabeth A.M. Keel and directed by my lovely friend Colin David. This was for a staged reading with Shattered Globe Theatre's Satellite Series for new play development. Not going to lie, I had way too much fun dusting off my best Cockney accent and sassing around and even doing a little singing for the occasion. We were lucky enough to be joined by the playwright herself, who provided some delightful anecdotes about how this play came to be what it is today.
Meanwhile, recording is underway for the delightful modern re-imagining of Little Women (as a podcast) and I can already tell the bench is deep on this one, with some very talented voice actors providing new life to these familiar characters.
This weekend, I'll be attending the premiere of My Name is Alex, a short film directed by Corey Gilbert and written by Jimmy Malone. I played an extra in a support group scene at the very end of the film, and am looking forward to seeing the finished product at the premiere at Chicago Filmmakers.
Of course, still continuing to film my role for the indie feature Evil Lurks - super excited for this one, folks. Excellent crew, super talented cast, and a cool suspenseful story. Can't wait to share it!
Finally - I've decided to amicably part ways with my current agent. Of course this means I am currently on the hunt for a new agency (or multiple agents) for on-camera, voiceover, and theatre! Making moves and hoping to start making some waves - also if you're reading this and think your agent would love me, or you are an agent who'd love to represent me, feel free to reach out ;)
Looking back, I just realized my last news update was in JANUARY. Has it really been that long? A lot of "life" has happened in that time, from adjusting to Cleveland for a while, injuring my back (getting my first MRI - followed by two months of physical therapy), moving to a new apartment, and mourning the loss of my mother-in-law who is very dearly missed. I made a choice to slow things down for a while in order to make sure I was taking care of myself and my family to the best of my ability. I'm glad I was able to take that time.
I'm finally feeling like I'm back on steady ground and so with that, comes..... PROJECTS! Here's a rundown of most everything I'm working on or recently finished:
Life sure takes some weird twists and turns, huh? I am currently in Cleveland until the end of February. Why, you ask? It's a bit of a long story, but the short version is I needed to be with my husband, who has a contract in Cleveland at present. Family always comes first, and we decided it was best to be together at this time. Thankfully we were able to make that work while putting a few things on hold. Namely, after getting cast as the lead in Talus Film's new short "The Promotion", I unfortunately had to drop out. I sincerely hope I get to work with that team in the future, and am incredibly appreciative of their understanding my current situation. I am also delaying my entry into On Camera 2 at Vagabond until their spring session in March. While I'm in Cleveland, I'll have plenty of time to focus on getting chapters of the audiobook I'm currently working on (Murmurs in the Mountains) uploaded for my author (Jeanne Hardt) to review. I look forward to completing this third installment of the Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga, and who knows - we could be on to the fourth before summer hits.
A last bit of news - I recently recorded a spokesperson VO for Surebonder, a company that sells hot glue guns and other fasteners and accessories. The accompanying video should be available on Youtube soon, and I'll be sure to add that to my Voiceover page when available.
I look forward to returning to Chicago soon! Onwards and upwards, friends.
Great news - the audiobook for Hushed into Silence is finally available for retail sales at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes!
Crafting these audiobooks is always a huge undertaking, and I learn so much every time. This book is a sequel to Whispers from the Cove, my first audiobook project which came out earlier this year.
You can download Whispers from the Cove from Audible here
And you can download Hushed into Silence from Audible here
Check out my Voiceover page for more ways to download these audiobooks.
Never one to take much of a break.... I have started production on volume 3 in the Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga; Murmurs in the Mountains. I've enlisted the help of a local independent sound technician to help ease my recording and editing woes - my hope is with his help I can produce these audiobooks much more efficiently. They say know your strengths, and I can say sound editing is definitely not one of mine - so I am so thankful I've been put in contact with a professional who knows their stuff!
Here's a synopsis of Murmurs in the Mountains:
Lily Larsen’s life has taken more turns than she ever thought possible. Humiliated and scorned, she wants nothing more than to be back in the cove with her son. However, her folks will never allow her to return home after shaming the Larsen name.
With the unexpected help of some dear friends, she moves to Asheville, North Carolina to work as a nanny. Though the family’s four children work their way into her heart, they can’t replace the emptiness left by the absence of her own child.
Violet and Gideon Myers are happy newlyweds. When Gideon continues to struggle with physical limitations, Violet is determined to show him that he’s capable of almost anything. But when sickness comes to the cove and threatens those he loves, Gideon must face his biggest fears of all.
Caleb and Rebecca Henry have finally settled into their marriage. They’ve found joy and contentment in each other and their family, but unexpected visitors change everything.
Hushed secrets become louder, until everyone can hear the murmurs in the mountains.
Hoping to have this title ready for retail sale in early 2019!
This has certainly turned into a busy fall! Something is in the air, because not only are people excited about fun fall activities like corn mazes, haunted houses, and halloween parties (all activities I am super excited about and am definitely doing 😉 ) - but it seems like everyone is busting out projects and new ideas as well. Maybe it's the looming Chicago winter that has people eager to create something new and fun.
Here are some updates in Amandaland:
Hushed into Silence - Audiobook
Friends. I am so close. Editing the last two chapters and this bad boy will be available super soon on Audible/Amazon/iTunes etc. Then very likely on to the next TWO books in the series! I've tracked down an affordable recording space to mitigate my at home recording issues (noisy neighbors....plane traffic...whiny puppy...it's a lot) so I hope to be able to get much more efficient with my production time.
I Married Black Premiere
So much fun! I walked my first 'red carpet' and even did a Q&A with the cast after the first screening. We had a great turnout, and though El (the director) wants to do some more work on some technical elements of the film editing, I'm really proud of the work we put into this film. I can't want to grab a great snippet for my reel! I'll say one thing - it's a very cool feeling to see myself on a full size movie screen with my name in the credits. Checkout these photos from the premiere:
Banshee short film
I'm excited to have a small part in this upcoming short film project, Banshee. This opportunity came as a bit of a surprise, as I wasn't initially cast - however the producer Dave and Director Cameron asked for my direct contact info as they really liked my work and wanted to consider me for future projects. I figured I made a solid contact and that'd be the end of it for now - but as things happen, the original actor that was cast had to drop out and I was available to take over the role of "Mrs. O'Sullivan" - so here we are! This shoots super soon and I hope to gather details on an anticipated release.
Here's our team:
Executive Producer: Michael Massari
Producer: Dave Neylon
Director: Cameron Greenebaum
Director of Photography: Max Rood
Writer: Michael Massari
"Banshee" is a drama/horror short film based on the Irish folklore of the wailing banshees that forewarned families about an impending death. We follow the O'Neill family as they, once again, come into contact with this familiar omen.
"The Perfect Mate" - Otherworld Theatre Paragon Play Festival
This unexpected theatre opportunity popped up thanks to my lovely friend, Laura Gouin! Laura was accepted as a director for the Paragon Play Festival at Otherworld Theatre and asked me to play "M" in her chosen piece, "The Perfect Mate". I'm always excited to work with friends I know and love, but also to finally get to collaborate in some way with Otherworld Theatre. If you aren't familiar, Otherworld is a theatre, performance, and event company dedicated to the world of sci-fi and fantasy. They do some really fun interesting work and I've been dying to find a way to get involved.
On Camera Level 1 at Vagabond School with Michael Mccracken
And the last major update of the moment - I've kicked off a 6 week On-Camera acting course with Michael Mccracken, founder of Vagabond School. After just one day I can already tell Michael really knows his stuff and I'm looking forward to adding some new tools to my bag of tricks so I can keep booking more film & commercial work.
The Rock Agency
I am now under exclusive representation with The Rock Agency! I am so excited to see where this partnership may take me... and yes, I've already updated my business cards with Rock Agency stickers 😉 My hope is that this will expand my reach and open doors to a lot more opportunities. Stay tuned!
In other life news, my husband and I recently took a whirlwind trip to NYC (my first time back in 14 years!) and had an amazing time. Our main reason for going was that he was in final callbacks for the role of Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - for either replacements for the NYC Broadway cast or for the new San Francisco production. Unfortunately he didn't get it this time, but they had nothing but great things to say to his agent, so fingers crossed we may hear something when they look to cast future replacements or even the planned Chicago production. While we were there we got to see The Play that Goes Wrong (absolutely hysterical) and the original Broadway cast of Anastasia (so well done). We also had the chance to meet up with some friends, walk through the San Gennaro Italian street festival, ride the Staten Island Ferry (while drinking Coney Island brews), walk the Brooklyn Bridge, wander around Central Park (with a drink at Tavern on the Green), eat all kinds of amazing food, and such much more. Now I'm itching to visit NYC again!
Meanwhile, continuing to line up auditions and see where it takes me. Onwards!
As always, be sure to check back on my Current Projects page to see more details on what I'm up to.
Come here for the latest on Amanda's projects, reviews, photos, and more!