We're kicking off spring in Amanda-land with an updated commercial reel, featuring a lovely healthcare spot with BCBS. And not long after sharing that reel with my agents, lo and behold I booked a local commercial shoot earlier in April! Rarely do we get feedback outside of the occasional theatre or film/tv review, but I'll take this as solid feedback that the new reel is a winner!
Meanwhile, I'm also dropping my updated comedy reel with a bit from my work with the folks at Creative Juices 7th and their D&D PSA series. My character, Sunlight the Dryad, came back for a second Q&A episode that was possibly goofier than the first. And I'm continuing to help assistant direct segments as the web series grows.
Check them both out below!
Recently I participated in the revived play reading series with Red Theater here in Chicago, with a fantastic new work by Chase Wheaton-Werle, The Curious Circumstances of Louis Le Prince. They're doing some great things over at Red with new play development and I hope to work with them and see more of their productions in the very near future! New play readings are always exciting to me; the thrill of a new play still being born, and having some kernel of impact on it is exhilarating.
In other adventures, this summer I'll be back on the road for a few days in Lowell, MA for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders coordinating the backstage movement, and then joining their Future Docs Abroad program as a chaperone to Vietnam for two weeks! I learn so much from these events and love getting the opportunity to encourage these bright young minds in their careers and expand my own horizons in the process.
More potential projects and ideas are cooking and formulating, and when something solid bubbles to the surface, I'll be sure to announce it here. :)
Happy Spring and excited for sunshine and creativity!
Jan/Feb News! Bookings & Streaming
Things always seem to like to pop off at the start of the year!
Excited to share I have booked the role of Georgie (Understudy) for Griffin Theatre Company's production of Heisenberg by Simon Stephens! This production is being directed by Nate Cohen, and will perform at the Raven Theatre in Chicago. This two person play swirls around two strangers who seemingly can't seem to get out of each other's orbit, as they navigate loneliness, relationships, and the many masks we wear and ways we try to connect and get what we want. What happens when a whirlwind meets a monument, that seem inexplicably drawn to each other despite themselves? The show runs Feb 23 - March 26th, tickets available now! I currently don't have any scheduled performances, but will post an announcement across my social media should I get called to go on.
I head a great deal of fun recently spending a wild day acting in Avalanche Theatre's 24 Hour Play Festival. We had a sold out and raucous crowd, 5 totally new play premieres, and based on my unhinged expressions in the photos I'll include below.... it was a real good time. I appeared in The Legend of the Golden Egg: Part II , written by Owen Hickle-Edwards and directed by Martina Logan, co-starring Brooke-Erin Smith and Ryan Cody. Avalanche is doing some exciting new play development this season, which I definitely recommend checking out!
I am also looking forward to working with a repeat client for a new industrial video this month, and have appeared in and been assistant directing segments for the web-series from Creative Juices 7th: D&D PHB PSA's: TNG ..... translated - "Dungeons and Dragons, Players Handbook Public Service Announcements: The Next Generation". I appear in episode 3, and have assistant directed segments so far in episodes 3 & 5 - with more to come!
In "streaming" news, you can now watch two independent horror films that I star in on various streaming platforms!
Reflecting on Routes
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.
New Footage, New Reels
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!
Photo Drop - Evil Lurks Premiere
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!
Tiiiiiiin Roof - RUSTED!
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!
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