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.
Due to popular demand (and two sold out screenings for the Sept 23rd premiere), we've added a 3rd screening of "I Married Black" at the Studio Cinema Grill on 87th St (Chicago), Sept 30th at 6pm.
Tickets can be purchased at this link.
We're rolling out the red carpet for the premiere and it's shaping up to be quite the end of summer event - can't wait to share this film with everyone!
Official screening details have been released for the Chicago premiere of I Married Black - for the newly initiated, that's the indie film I just wrapped, playing the character of Jill - a well-meaning support group organizer trying to guide our lead protagonist to a better understanding of black culture....you'll have to check out the film to see how successful I actually am!
Chicago Premiere of I Married Black
Sunday, Sept 23rd at 6:00pm
Studio Movie Grill
210 West 87th Street
Chicago, IL 60620
Tickets available online ($12.00)
Hang around after to meet the cast!
Hard to believe, but we've wrapped filming for I Married Black, my film project this summer. It's been a really fun ride working with this dedicated and talented cast and crew, helmed by the unmatchable Elliot "El" Porter. The script is super fun and I had a blast jumping into the role of "Jill" they well-meaning leader of the IMB support group. Our leads totally crushed their scenes as well, and we were all pleasantly surprised on the final day of filming when the role of Officer O'Malley was filled by none other than Ryan Chiaverini, co-host of Windy City Live! He did a great job "serving and protecting" as a Chicago cop on our set and I can't wait to see the final product. We'll have an official screening in Chicago on September 23rd, and the film will be submitted to festivals including Sundance.
Check out some on set photos below!
How is it mid July already?
Summer is in full swing and there's plenty to get excited about beyond the street fests and beach days.
First and foremost.....new headshots and a totally revamped website! While the site structure is essentially the same, I wanted to update the visuals and theme to be a bit cleaner and more consistent, and flow better on mobile. I also moved the Reviews section under Media to help declutter the navigation a bit. Take a look around! Check out my new headshots by PopioStumpf photography below and on my Headshots page.
I recently wrapped up my stint as backstage manager for the Congresses for Future Medical, Science, and Technology Leaders. The event went super smoothly this year and I loved working with the pros over at Royster Productions again. I don't do backstage work super often, but if I'm going to do it this is truly an amazing opportunity I'm honored to return to year after year. It's incredibly inspiring to watch these speakers, who range from genius teens and young adults who invented things like advanced robotic life-like prosthetics for kids to Nobel Prize laureates in Physics and Medicine, to inspiring individuals who help these high-achieving high schoolers unlock their potential, drive, compassion, and creativity in amazing ways. Definite highlights this year were Richard Browning, "the real Iron Man" demonstrating what was essentially a jetpack, the live-streamed robotic surgery of a hysterectomy (fun fact, the lead surgeon and the doctor on site at the Congress were both women of color, the operating room was 80% female, and student delegates at the congress were between 60-65% female.... the future is female!!), and getting to hear from Dr. Sylvia Earle speak about her journey and the vitality of our oceans. I didn't know who she was at first, and now that I do, I am in awe of her achievements and she is truly a living legend (and a great speaker). Look her up, she's worth a quick Google!
Meanwhile, if you're a follower of my husband's career, be sure to check out Avenue Q at the Mercury Theater in Chicago, running through September (but shhh it's extending to Nov 4). Jonah plays Trekkie Monster and it's...hysterical. After that he'll return to the Goodman Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol as Mr. Fezziwig. So proud of his accomplishments and booking some amazing work in his first year as a member of Actor's Equity.
Onwards & upwards!
The last month or so have been super interesting in Amanda land! It's been an exercise in adjusting my expectations and examining my goals as an actor. As you may know, the majority of my acting training and experience lies in the theatre world. I've generally considered myself a theatre actor first and felt that was the path I would find the most success. What I've been finding lately is that the theatre community of Chicago can be a real tough nut to crack - it's a beautiful, vibrant, and diverse community of actors that I love and continue to support through patronizing the groundbreaking work that happens all over this city -- I recently had my mind BLOWN by a ridiculously excellent production of Round Heads and Pointed Heads by Bertolt Brecht - who even does Brecht anymore, and well? It was killer. Major props to Red Tape Theatre. (PS if you get a chance, check out Jesus Christ Superstar at they Lyric Opera of Chicago, opening April 27th - my husband Jonah is part of the singing ensemble and understudy for Caiaphas, and it's going to be out of this world - this is the US premiere of the 2017 Olivier Award winning production from London and will be doing a US national tour later this year)
But recently I just haven't been able to make a whole lot click for myself in the the theatre world - I've been auditioning and putting myself out there, getting a few callbacks here and there, but nothing really working out lately. And that's okay! These things come and go in waves, and rejection is part of the game. I'm not "quitting theatre". But what I HAVE noticed is that I seem to be booking more voiceover, and slowly but surely more on-camera gigs than ever. It's a super different audition/submission/preparation process, but for the moment that seems to be where my art wants to take me. So I'm forging ahead with gusto! One door closes, you open a window (or something like that). I'll still continue to audition for theatre projects that interest me but I'm really excited about further diving into the VO and on-camera side of acting.
One of the big things I'm jazzed about right now (aside from bookings for the summer and my new demo reel) is my plan to chop off a bunch of hair and get new headshots and a comp card that I can shop around to agents. Once I get those shots back, get ready to see a bunch of new photos around the site!
So what's on the books right now? Here's a quick breakdown:
Oh yeah, and I'm joining the beach volleyball recreational league again this summer ;)
We'll see where all this takes me, but it's exciting territory to discover for sure. Sometimes you have to circumvent traditional paths to success and forge your own trail. Onwards!
With many many thanks to Kevin Andrew Rivera for cutting together my reel, and my lovely friend Mikala Francini for making the introduction - I finally have a professionally produced actor reel! Please check out the finished product below - as time goes on and I obtain more footage, we'll continue to grow and update the final set. Enjoy!
UPDATE: If you are new to Audible, you can now sign up for a free trial AND get the the Whispers from the Cove audiobook for free by signing up at this link: https://www.audible.com/t2/title?asin=B07B3GFRYP
I also have a limited number of free book codes available for reviewers, industry pros, agents, friends, and family members who are already members of Audible. Feel free to reach out via email to inquire about a free code!
I am so excited to reveal that the audiobook for Whispers from the Cove is finally available at Amazon and Audible! (You can always sign up for a free 30 day trial of Audible on Amazon's website)
This has been a major undertaking to record, starting all the way back in October of 2017.
11+ hours of audio later..... not to mention some rapid-fire self-education on sound editing, making goofy mistakes requiring rerecords of several chapters (always save your raw audio & back it up in .wav), and the typical trials of recording at home where I can only do so much to dampen the sound of noisy neighbors, airplanes overhead, and street noise... we've got ourselves a full length professional audiobook!
I'm really proud of this and if you choose to download and give it a listen I hope you enjoy it. Jeanne is a wonderful writer and I found the book so engaging and heartfelt. There are two more books in the series, and if all goes well, who knows, maybe I'll end up narrating those too!
I'd best categorize this book as historical fiction drama/romance and it takes place at the end of the civil war in rural Tennessee.
Many thanks to my husband for being patient while I recorded in our apartment!!
Fall is quickly getting colder and the days getting shorter (yuck) but I still have to find ways to get out of my apartment! Recording the audiobook for Whispers from the Cove has kept me pretty busy, but I have picked up two quick little projects.
The first happens Friday 11/3, with Circulations: Honoring Cultural Stewardship, an event for Chicago Parks to celebrate the Re:Center Process that Fury is a part of through Art Happenings at Indian Boundary Park. This is from 6-8pm. We'll presenting the Pyramus and Thisby play within a play from A Midsummer Night's Dream, where I'll be playing Peter Quince aka the prologue.
The next event is This by Caridad Svich, Directed by Iris Sowlat, presented at Climate Change Theatre Action: A Curated Conversation, hosted by the Pride Arts Center. I'll be appearing as the character "D" This is a multi-disciplinary international event with artists from across the world takes place November 14-16, 2017, 6:30pm at The Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago
Performances are pay what you can, and will have general admission and re-seating all evening.
Featuring virtual reality, dance, puppetry, live performances, and a call to activism.
Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented biennially in support of the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP meetings). I met our director Iris through work with Fury Theatre and am excited to work with her as a director after seeing some of her incredible work.
I've cooled off on auditions for the time-being as I focus on other parts of my life, but will get back to pounding the pavement soon! In the meantime, I'll be working on my audio projects and working with Fury Theatre.
Come here for the latest on Amanda's projects, reviews, photos, and more!