A few weeks ago I had the wonderful privilege to work with a bountiful pool of talent on a music video in New York City. The song is titled "Asesinos" by the band Mala Entrana. Now this was quite a unique experience for me. Shot in two weekends, this was a big step in stepping out of my comfort zone. Traveling down to the city to work with a large production of people where I knew no one was daunting enough, but to be painted up as a demon, and told to just let loose with anger? Talk about a natural high. This was an example of one of the many things I love about acting. To just truly be someone, or something, different. Having a different personality, a different view on life, even if its only for a few minutes at a time... Its exhilarating, and to be a demon is taking it to a new level. My mind was just an array of different stories running a mile a minute setting up my backstory for this... Demonic Ulisses.
As out of my comfort zone as it was to be meeting up with total strangers and just letting loose, it turned out to be rather easy due to the friendly nature and high level of professionalism that the cast, crew, and musicians on the video had.The video was produced by an amazing photographer, Alain Aguilar. Make up was done by Jonathan Pantaleon and Jenny Diaz. The director of photography was Ruben Rodas. They were accompanied by a large professional group of talented people, who all worked non-stop into the night on each day of the shoot without complaints. This video had a lot packed into each day too. I mean, demons, vampires, generals, flame swingers, punk goth chicks, gangsters and more. So the first day of shoot alone went from early morning to early morning the next day straight. And that make up that took many hours to apply to me? Not the easiest thing to get out at 2:30 in the morning with just sink water. Both weekends I caught a lot of looks from people on the subway, still being covered in paint and fake blood.
One of the greatest pleasures was sharing this rewarding, although exhausting, experience in costume with other amazingly talented actors. Though I met a lot of new people, a few names stuck out that I was delighted to work with, such as Jason Torres, Romina Schwedler, and Karim Mohamed Marie (pictured above respectively.) Learning about what their experiences have been, and seeing them progress in the same line of business as me is inspiring. From life acting in the city, to traveling all the way from Russia, it was insightful for me to see how other's do the same thing in completely different situations. Plus, so much fun to see them "lose control" on camera.
Mala Entrana themselves were great musicians, and although we didn't speak the same language, it was such a thrill to meet them. They loved making this video, and that excitement really carried the morale with all the others involved.
This was definitely an experience for the ol' scrapbook for me. And personally, a step in the right direction that I want my career to go in. It broadened my horizons, both in networking and music (the style of Mala Entrana not being a usual type I listen to, but I love the song.) And it allowed me to appreciate hard work and dedication from new people that are as passionate about what they do as I am. So I am looking forward to more jobs like this one, and possibly working with some of these people again in the future. So please do enjoy the official trailer for Mala Entrana's "Asesinos" and appreciate the darkness for a moment. Can't always be sunshine.
............. Although we can always have some fun. Check out some behind the scenes photo of us working/goofing off!
It was recently seen at the People's Choice Awards that Chris Evans might actually be Captain America. When Betty White was summoned onstage, Evans without hesitation helped walk her up the stairs, as anyone who knows a thing or two about Captain America knows he would do. You can see the scene yourself below in the included Youtube video from The People's Choice. After watching, I'm going to go on a little monologue rant (a good one) about why seeing Chris Evans do this means so much to me.
As a kid growing up, imagination has always been a tool I used to get me through the every day tumble of life. Its what evolved into my desire to act, to relive those amazing adventures my mind was able to create on the fly outside each day with the same gated in yard, three large trees and an old swing set. With just a little bit of pretend, that yard was a lair, those trees towers, and that swing set a flying dragon, soaring over the mountainside. Who wouldn't want to live that experience? With an imagination like that, I was attached to anything that fell into the same category. So how lucky was I that my father was a collector of comic books? Marvel, DC, Milestone, Image... I read them all, and consumed them as fuel for my imagination. And though I love many many different characters, I can still to this day instantly name my favorite of all time.
Have you guessed it? Captain America. The all American hero. The comic book symbol of our country. However, it was never his pledge and devotion to our country that I admired about him. It wasn't his super strength or acrobatic abilities (as cool as they were. And they were pretty friggin cool.) Nor was it his amazing shiny ricocheting shield... Although I'll admit I want that. A lot. No, the thing that I admired about Captain America, the thing I looked up to him about.... Was his good will spirit.
Captain America is the image of what people describe as the ultimate good guy. He looks out for people, he does what's right, most of all he would give his own life if it meant saving a random bystander. That last part is key, because the way the world has been lately, I feel that's rare. Every time I turn on the news, there's a report of homicides, manslaughter, school shootings, hostages, terrorist attacks, even kids killing kids. Now I know there are good stories out there and the news just plays up all the horrific ones, but we live in a day and age where those horrific stories are occurring, and they trump the ones about goodwill.
To this day I still admire the character of Captain America. His spirit and his intentions. My father raised me to be a good man, and to be one of character. And since he passed away, I've always been trying to attain that. I'm not perfect, but I see what the creators of the Captain were trying to do with his character, and I wish more people followed the same route. Even in the roughest times, Captain America still has his manners shine through! In the Marvel story line, CIVIL WAR, Captain America is hunted down by S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to make him register with the new Super Hero Act. Cap refuses, and after disabling the soldiers attacking him, leaps onto a moving aircraft and steals it. In the next scene its mentioned that he not only lands the aircraft safely, but then he treats the driver of the craft to hamburgers! Come on, that's just plain amazing.
Everyday I come across a new stranger who seems to go out of their way to be rude, to be inconsiderate, to be hurtful.... and I just don't understand why? On my journey to being an actor, I've been told that its a dog eat dog world, and you have to step on a few people to make it, and again I don't understand why. I go out of my way to be kinder to people. To bring a smile to them if I can. To listen to them if they are having a rough day, and my biggest thing I do, to make a fun of myself in order to make them laugh. It just boggles my mind when I see people not take a moment to think about what it is they are going to say or do, or not even apologize if they accidently come off as rude. We live in a world full of pain at the moment, why make it worse?
To bring it back to where I started, Chris Evan's doing this one act of kindness, while the world already knows him for being the Courageous and goodwill character, only adds to the effect. Sure, some might say he knew the camera was on him, and some say he did it out of the goodness of his heart. Either way, he did it. A small gesture, yes, but now a days we need small gestures like this. And when you have a large group of people, like his fandom, watching you do this... Well it inspires them. It makes them want to be generous like the great Captain America they look up to. It makes that fictional character who is an example of who we should want to be, and who we all CAN be, just that much more real. And I know this because seeing him do so keeps that role model of the man with the shield vivid in my mind.
So I just want to send out my personal thanks to Chris Evans, for reminding people how easy it is to inspire others. One little old lady at a time.
And I'll leave you with this photo of me truly showing off my geek side.
This blog serves as an update on the crazy journey I will endure as I follow my dream of acting as a career, because who knows? Maybe this will be my origin story.