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~ ;)
Photos! Of my Face!
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 ;)
Looks like I'm overdue for an update! I've been keeping busy with auditions, projects, travel and making the most of the summer.
I shot a few new projects:
In other news - I consider myself a life long learner - and so back in February I signed up for the NYU Tisch Film & TV industry essentials certificate course. I'm working my way through at my own pace, but am excited to see how this knowledge will further amplify and influence my career - particularly my hopes of bringing my first screenplay to life.
Very recently I returned from a two week trip to Costa Rica! What does that have to do with acting? Not much, other than I am a firm believer that the best actors are ones who live their lives fully and experience the world beyond "the industry". So when I had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica (never been) and chaperone a group of future veterinary students (love animals! Was an RA in college!) I thought - why not? And it was plenty of work, but also incredible. We soaked up Costa Rican culture, worked with all kinds of wildlife, spent a 2 night stay essentially in the jungle (ever woken up at 5am to the sound of howler monkeys in the trees right out your window?), toured a coffee farm, and my favorite of all - we visited the Costa Rican Sloth Sanctuary. We met the incredible Dr. Becky Cliffe, the world's foremost expert on sloth science and biology, and founder of the Sloth Conservation Foundation, who took the time to speak to our group about the vital work they're doing in understanding sloths and conserving their natural habitats. I have been mildly obsessed with sloths for several years and following the Sloth Sanctuary with the hopes of going some day - and it did not disappoint! I'm looking forward to more travel in the next several months to San Juan, Puerto Rico and to several locations in Japan (life and Covid-19 permitting) - though these trips will be purely for fun :)
Live fully, stay weird, take care of each other, and I hope your summer included a few smiles :)
Literal Scarlett Pineapples...
What on earth do I mean by Literal Scarlett Pineapples? Well news comes in threes, so I'm referencing three recent projects in various stages I'm now a part of!
Literal Revolution - written by Dylan Johnson, is a short film produced by Hollywood Casting and Film here in Chicago. This short has undergone quite the journey. Originally a concept by writer Nick Bain and cast just as the pandemic was starting to worsen in early 2020. The original concept required some crowd scenes and was indefinitely delayed. HC&F made the decision to go a different direction with the concept, bringing in their resident screenwriter Dylan Johnson and utilizing the originally selected cast. Come to April 2021, and we were able to shoot this delightful script. Looking forward to seeing the final cut in the near future!
Scarlett - I stumbled upon a somewhat short notice casting for the role of "Emma" in Scarlett, an indie feature film by local filmmaker Sam Vainisi and produced by Serrawyn Pictures. It was serendipitously brought to my attention by the director of Tin Roof, Rebecca Rinehart (who also happens to have a role in Scarlett). This suspense/thriller is the sister film to Violet, Sam's first directorial feature film venture - and I was thrilled to find out I've been cast and will be shooting in Mid May! Sam's working is detailed, edgy, and puts you on the edge of your seat.
Pineapples - rounding out recent project news, I had the pleasure of shooting a small role in the short film Pineapples with Great Fire Productions in mid-April. If you haven't heard of Great Fire in Chicago yet, you likely will soon. This young production company is quickly producing a number of exciting projects, from music videos, to branding videos, to narrative shorts and more. It's a very supportive group and was fortunate enough to have worked with one of the founders, Cameron Greenebaum, on past projects.
I know myself and many in the industry are thrilled that work is picking back up - and best of all, I'm fully vaccinated as are more and more folks on set - back to safe sets means back to working safely. Stay safe out there friends!
That #ScreamQueen life
I've often joked about my desire to be the next big #ScreamQueen of B horror films. Let's be real though....I would be DELIGHTED to be known as a Scream Queen of the horror genre. Watching and making horror films is so much fun; whether it's the thrill of being scared, laughing at the absurdity, or geeking about the awesome (or sometimes terrible) effects, performances, and characters.
So I'm very excited to announce that I've been cast in another indie horror feature film, Tin Roof! Tin Roof is written and produced by Rob Mello, best known for his roles in Happy Death Day & Happy Death Day 2 U among a long list of credits. It is directed by Rebecca Rinehart, who directed, co-wrote (with Rob!), and produced the upcoming film The Embalmers, and has starred in plenty of indie horror herself including Frightvision, Boobs Blood and Mayhem: Volume 1, and Bloody Hooker Massacre - among many others. Tin Roof follows the story of Five adults as they attempt to save a beloved summer camp threatened to be closed permanently due to recent unfortunate events. We'll undergo principal photography in September and I am so thrilled to be part of the main cast of this killer project as "Kat"!
In related horror news, the forthcoming Evil Lurks has graced its first billboard on the 210 highway near LA, and will be coming to a billboard near Chicago soon. Definitely fun to cross the "be on a billboard" item off my bucket list! We've also picked up another official festival selection for the trailer with the March 2021 DMOFF (Directly Monthly Online Film Festival). We'll find out if the trailer won any awards from DMOFF soon.
In addition, the short horror film Love Me Tinder in which I play a small part has started making its rounds in the festival circuit, and snagged its first official selection in the 2021 MLC Awards. I have to say, writer/director/producer Sean Patrick Leonard did an excellent job with this short and in particular the lead Mickey O'Sullivan pulls off a darkly brilliant performance. Hoping for more official selections (and wins??) coming our way :)
My next bit of news has nothing to do with horror but I am excited/nervous to share that the guest appearance as a player/character on the Star Wars RPG podcast, NRPR: New Republic Radio, has finally dropped! The episode is being released in multiple parts, and part 1 is available now as "S1A7 – A Bridge to Tomorrow, Part 1" on Apple Podcasts and Podbean. If you like Star Wars and RPGs, this podcast is a whole lot of fun and explores an imagined Star Wars universe in an anthology of encounters set during the events after Return of the Jedi. While I've played my share of Dungeons and Dragons with friends, I've never felt particularly "skilled" at it, and playing "live" with the Star Wars RPG system for the first time was definitely a step outside of my usual performance endeavors - but all in all I had a great time and I think it turned out pretty well! So if Star Wars RPG is your thing, please give it a listen and subscribe/rate at Apple Podcasts or Podbean.
Apple Podcasts Direct Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/nrpr-new-republic-radio/id1502724299#episodeGuid=newrepradio.podbean.com%2Ff39cf7db-df3a-3259-831b-877f648122b8
Podbean Direct Link: https://newrepradio.podbean.com/e/s1a6-%e2%80%93-a-bridge-to-tomorrow-part-1/
After a quiet and restful holiday and new year... and gritting my teeth through freezing cold Chicago weather and the tumultuous political and cultural landscape we're all navigating... I am pleased to share that Evil Lurks, though still in post, has started earning awards for its trailer! We won best trailer in the Hollywood Blood Film Festival and the Rome International Movie awards, and made it to the Semi-Finals for Best Trailer in the Vegas Movie Awards. Once the film is complete (coming soon in 2021), it'll be open season in regards to film festivals so hopefully more awards to come (fingers crossed!). In the meantime, Homecoming Massacre has been making the festival rounds throughout 2020, and ended the season with 12 official selections and 4 wins (including an audience favorite award!), as well as its debut screening at the Highlands Film Fest.
Does it seem like I enjoy doing horror movies? Because I definitely do :) #screamqueen
Posters & trailers below!
The pandemic has caused a lot in the entertainment industry to shift, speed up, and slow way down in different areas. I'm thrilled to say I feel like I've hit warp speed - I am now represented by Gray Talent Group! I am forever thankful and humbled by my time with Dream Team Talent and am so encouraged by Vilma & the agency's tenacity, care for the talent, and the opportunities they're bringing to Chicago and beyond.
Gray Talent Group has proven to be one of the top and most well-respected agencies in Chicago and are making their mark in LA and NY as well. My husband Jonah, also an actor, has been represented by Gray for several years, and as more casting offices are looking for talent that are real couples or people quarantined together, the time seemed right to get our representation "all in one house". I can't wait to dive into whatever opportunities may be on the horizon. Onwards!
Gray Talent Group, Inc.
727 S. Dearborn St. Suite 312, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-663-1659 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today (11/16) is the day! The Gaia Miracles audio drama podcast has officially launched and is available on all major podcasting platforms. If you're a fan of audio drama and mysteries/detective stories I think you'll really enjoy this series.
This story follows an investigator as he searches for answers to the "miracles" the world has experienced as it reckons with environmental destruction and its aftereffects.
New full episodes on Mondays, with mini-episodes on Fridays. I appear in mini-episode #4 on December 11th.
Tune in using the links below & make sure to subscribe and unravel the mysteries with us!
Evil Lurks - Trailer Out Now!
Quick update to announce that the trailer for EVIL LURKS is now live! We've had an awesome response so far and we're hoping to premiere the full film in Spring of 2021. Check it the trailer below!
Make sure to also visit evillurksmovie.com to get on the mailing list and learn more about this indie slasher/suspense thriller.
Sci-fi, Horror, and In-Between
The work continues despite the industry slow-down and the difficulties of Covid-19. Stay safe out there, wear a mask, and make a plan to vote! And maybe squeeze in some good horror films, because it's spooky season and we're all staying inside anyway :)
Here's a few updates on what I've been up to:
Ellipses final cut release
The short film "Ellipses", produced by Hollywood Casting and Film has made it's full-length debut! This was the short about art and relationships I got to shoot on my birthday earlier this year.
Ellipses Short Film
NRPR Guest Appearance
The Alexis Project
I can't resist anything sci-fi, so when local filmmaker Jeremy Applebaum asked if I was interested in starring in his sci-fi proof of concept piece "The Alexis Project" for a film competition, I agreed immediately. It's essentially a trailer for a movie that is yet to be written, but centers on the creation of an android by dubious means, who becomes desperate to become truly human. This piece was written and directed by Jeremy, with DP Jakub Wasowski, gaffer Dru Montague, sound Hardy Willis, makeup by Alana Areyzaga. and co-starring Erika Marks and Martin Davis. The piece should be done and available to watch soon, but in the meantime here's a couple behind the scenes photos.
"Literal Revolution" Cast Announcement
Crystal Lake Lager / Spoof Commercial
What started out as voiceover for a fake radio ad for "Crystal Lake Lager", a fictional beer of choice in the upcoming indie feature "Love Me Tinder" by Sean Patrick Leonard -- has morphed into a full length 80's horror inspired beer commercial. We spent a cold and rainy Sunday in the woods doing our best "meet cute" of classic hockey-mask wearing murderer and oblivious sexy lost girl, bonding over delicious Crystal Lake Lager....before the inevitable murdering happens. We were cracking ourselves up despite the cold and hopefully we'll end up with a spoof commercial to get a laugh out of classic horror fans. Excellent DP/camera work by Jeremy Applebaum, superb direction by Chris Shern, and assistance from Aaron Hawkins -- and of course co-starring "Love Me Tinder" creator/producer, Sean Patrick Leonard as our masked murderer. Here's a few behind the scenes shots from our shoot.
Renamed: Homecoming Massacre
What was once Birthday Massacre, became Night of the Wicked Clown, and is now Homecoming Massacre in its final form. Along the way it's garnered several more awards and selections in film festivals in the US and abroad. I've finally had a chance to see the film and it was such a crazy experience to see the finished product of something I acted in nearly 8 years ago when I was pretty new to acting on camera. If you love horror and slashers, make sure to check out the website to sign up for the mailing list and catch the next screening.
"A Series about a Series"
Last but not least, I'm excited to announce I've been cast as Alexa Breese in the upcoming web series "A Series about a Series". You guessed it, it's a web series about making a web series. The script is very clever and I'm excited to join this project. This project is just beginning pre-production, so more to come
This is what happens when I write updates late at night...oops!
Let Us Go - short film
I forgot to shout out an awesome short called "Let us Go" that I got to co-star in, produced and directed by the incredible Mal Burns! Written by Luke Silliman, sound and editing by Christopher Ott, DP Jay Nicholls, and co-starring Makala Scheel and Isabella Long. This short is in post but here are a couple raw stills from the shoot!
Evil Lurks - Trailer coming soon!
And of course last but not least, the "Evil Lurks" film official trailer is planned for release on October 30th - make sure to sign up for the mailing list at evillurksmovie.com to get the latest news and updates on the film and first look at the trailer and other content.
Come here for the latest on Amanda's projects, reviews, photos, and more!