The photo above is so much more than getting to do a show to me. As we wrap up the run of ROUTES at Remy Bumppo Theatre in Chicago, I wanted to reflect on the journey here.
Getting to understudy this role, at this theatre, with a director and institution I truly respect and admire has been an unexpected gift, but one that comes from years of work to finally get to this point. I've been in Chicago for a little over 11 years, and during my time here I've been lucky enough to perform at a handful of storefront and suburban theaters, a company member of 2 now defunct theatre companies, an "almost junior board member" of another defunct theatre company, and part of countless readings and workshops at various theaters across the city. I've had some really lovely experiences and just as many less than pleasant ones that left me very jaded about the Chicago theatre scene. Chicago theatre can be so artistically rich, warm, and exciting. It can also be very cold, incredibly difficult to crack into at all levels, and exhausting with very little reward. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, I, like many artists, questioned if there was still a place for me in the theatre.
This show marks my first performances with an equity theatre in Chicago. Getting to be in the room with artists operating at this level was nothing short of exhilarating and has breathed life back into my love of doing theatre. What a joy to work with a company helmed by the incredible artistic director Marti Lyons, whose impact on Remy Bumppo is keenly felt. She's been nothing but warm, approachable, welcoming, and steadfast in her dedication to ensuring things are run professionally and to a high standard of safety, care, and artistic integrity. Reuniting with director Mikael Burke after appearing in his production of MEDEA back in our Butler University days was a special treat as well. His ability to lead actors in the creative process while creating cinematic unforgettable theatre while doing justice to this important story is really remarkable. I was never treated as "just an understudy" and felt so supported when I was called to perform not just once, but six times over the course of the production.
To get to be in the room with a collective of artists who are so deeply invested in their art, nerding out about every detail, picking apart and putting back together the character, story, and circumstances so that we might be able to show audiences something they haven't seen before - it was an honor. So thank you to Remy Bumppo and everyone involved in ROUTES for reminding me why I love theatre.
I am so excited to finally share my updated acting reel AND some bonus "sizzle" reels! It can take a great deal of time to retrieve footage from projects due to a variety of factors and over the last few months I was able to get enough new clips to do some serious updates to my reel content. Checkout my reels below for an updated peek at my on-camera work, and all now posted to the main page of the site!
I am utterly thrilled to announce my next project! I am understudying the role of Anka in Remy Bumppo's production of ROUTES (a US premiere!) by Rachel De-lahay and directed by Mikael Burke. Remy Bumppo is a theatre in Chicago that I have long respected and have been eager to work with. I am excited to see the direction the theatre takes under artistic director Marti Lyons' vision, and am thrilled that my return to the stage after the big "pandemic pause" will be at such a fantastic institution. While I can't be sure I'll have any guaranteed performances as an understudy, I am truly thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow as an actor with this ensemble. I'm also personally excited to work with director Mikael Burke again, after last appearing in his production of MEDEA back in our college days at Butler University. Mikael is a hell of a director with fresh perspectives that Chicago needs to see on its stages.
A brief synopsis of ROUTES:
Olufemi hopes to return home to his family. Bashir wants to remain in the only home he knows. Kola yearns to find home in a place that’s never felt like one. Rachel De-lahay’s shattering, urgent new play looks through the eyes of immigrants, refugees, and children in conflict with the law as they fight to get home through an impossibly complex system designed to keep them out.
The show performs at Theatre Wit, October 12 - November 20, 2022 - tickets are now on sale!
A few photos from our first rehearsal!
The short film Literal Revolution is finally released! I was originally cast in a version of this short back in 2020. Then the pandemic hit, things shifted, the script went through a full rewrite, and we finally got our shot to film this in 2021, right as everyone was getting vaccinated and filming was picking back up. I remember we shot it all in a day, everyone a bit nervous and shaking the edge off of just recently being released from mandated quarantines, and we just had fun with it. Literal Revolution was written by D.R. Johnson and directed by Joshua Pessetti. This was produced by Hollywood Casting and Film, now known as The Slate.
Another short film produced by Hollywood Casting and Film (The Slate), Lost in Love, has also been completed! I can't share the full film yet as it's in consideration for festival submissions, but I can share a short clip. Lost in Love was written by Leilani Downer and directed by Jennifer Gillenwater. It's a fun little romantic comedy we shot last summer, where my character takes "ghosting" to a whole new level.
I hope you enjoy the films/clips, and more to come soon!
The folks at Tin Roof have recently released some stills from the film (still in post production, aiming for a 2023 release). Enjoy a sneak peek at our camp slasher for grown ups!
Also, previously released Homecoming Massacre has released a new poster art variant which features my character in the reflection of the murderous clown's knife. The poster along with plenty of great merch and copies of the film can be purchased at White Hair Productions webstore.
Check it out - cheers!
A few photos from the premiere of EVIL LURKS! It was a fantastic event and so exciting to see the final product. Future showings/distribution/DVDs TBD!
The time is fast approaching for Evil Lurks to finally make its big screen debut! We will premiere this wild indie horror feature in St. Charles, IL on July 17! I was going to post about buying tickets....but we are SOLD OUT! Never fear, future screenings are being planned and stay tuned for updates as we unveil plans for a limited DVD/Blu-ray release and potential streaming distribution.
It's been a long road from our first days on set back in 2019, through the pandemic and post-production process until now. It's exciting to finally see the film we all worked so hard on get the big screen debut we've been waiting for and we hope audiences will resonate with the film. It's a beast, but it's OUR beast!
Check out the new official trailer here, which just debuted Friday July 1!
Last week I had the absolute pleasure of filming my role (KAT) in Tin Roof, a new camp slasher indie feature film from the brilliant minds of Rob Mello (writer/AD) and Rebecca Rinehart (director). We managed to fully shoot everything in a packed week, pulling talent in from across the country, traveling to multiple locations across central Indiana, and executing several impressive practical effects to make the kills look incredible (and with SFX veteran Joe Castro at the helm, they're going to look amaziiiing). It's hard to describe the experience, but I have rarely worked with a cast and crew that worked so well together - not only did we bust our butts to get the shots, but the chemistry between the cast members was magical as well as the camaraderie between cast and crew. The group of "friends" in the film I was in quickly became true friends throughout the process - and it took real vision on the part of Rob and Becca to see that we would all work and gel together so well - especially considering the casting process was fully remote, and the first time we actually met in person was on set.
I've included a few photos I'm allowed to share (can't spoil the plot or any of the kills!) below. Something very cool was making the front cover of the local paper while shooting in Bargersville, Indiana!
The hope is that we can premiere Tin Roof in Summer of 2023 - in the meantime, keep an eye on our IndieGoGo campaign for opportunities to get cool perks and help fund the film!
New season, new updates from the world of Amanda Winston!
Since putting my updated headshots into the world I've gotten a great response and have been keeping busy with auditions across VO, film, TV and theatre. I'm very excited to update my reel eventually with footage from my work over the past year as well, once everything is out of post-production.
I had a great deal of fun earlier this year shooting background for a major beer brand, provided brand campaign VO for iv360, and started some industrial work with a national health insurance provider (shooting more this week!).
We've finalized shooting dates in June for new camp slasher Tin Roof as the fundraising efforts continue - and there are many unique perks and ways to get involved over at our IndieGoGo . I play Kat in the main ensemble and it's going to be a hell of ride!
And I've been continuing my NYU TV & Film certificate course, finishing a couple drafts of a short film I'm excited to bring to life! Honing my skills as a screenwriter has been a thrilling challenge, and of course so far I'm sticking to my go-to genre: Horror (#ScreamQueenForLife).
It's a quick update for now as I hustle on! As always, ~Stay Weird~ ;)
It felt like it was time to freshen up those headshots and get a bit more specific with the kinds of characters I play. You'll see updated headshots across my website and social media accounts, and dropping them here as well. This time around I worked with Nancy Vela Photography in Chicago. And while Nancy is relatively new to the headshot photography game, she's been doing hair and makeup for photo and camera for years, and truly has a knack and ease for this kind of photography. It was great working with her and figuring out small tweaks we could make to help tell the story of the different types of characters I often play. And the fact that she can do killer hair and makeup as well as take awesome shots is a major bonus! So here they are - and maybe it was happy headshot vibes, but I just got a callback for this weekend, so I have a good feeling about these ;)
Come here for the latest on Amanda's projects, reviews, photos, and more!