Washington Business Week

After my success with volunteering and helping out at GearUp Career Day, I was asked to volunteer as a judge for Business Week. I remember vaguely hearing about the program when I was in high school but I didn’t attend; now, it’s a requirement for all high school juniors in South Bend, Raymond, and Valley.

They mix up the students from the different schools and put them into groups. Each group undergoes a computer simulation of a business/company and they track the progress, changes and trends over 8 quarters. At the end of the week, they report their findings to a panel of judges, which are looking for a thorough understanding of the material, professionalism, and team participation.

The judges are also involved as “investors” in the tradeshow. Each team creates a product to market and sell. I really enjoyed this part; I was given fake money and roamed around the room while the students hit me with their best pitches. Some of my favorite products included a pillow that records your dreams, solar paneled windows that provide electricity for your house, and a tankless underwater breathing mask. I’d definitely be a judge again!

Willapa Players – Crimes of the Heart

The Willapa Players convinced me to do another play. I was a bit skeptical of my abilities at first (the role was really large!) but I’m really glad I stuck with it. I learned a lot about acting from the director, Heidi, and I think my skills are definitely improving.

We performed the play in the style of “modified reader’s theater”, meaning we had our scripts on stage the whole time but had our lines mainly memorized. Actions and props were limited, but still included and the set was sparse to convey a dreamy state “reality”.

Crime of the Heart is a Pulitzer Prize winner by Beth Henley. The play was also made into a movie. The story focuses on 3 sisters from the small town of Hazelhurst, Mississippi as they try to deal with family drama in a comedic and refreshing way.

Overall, the play was very successful and the crowds were very supportive and encouraging. They claimed that our sisterly dynamic was very natural and believable. Our director took a risk with this type of production in our small town and I was very pleased to see it be so successful.

COTH - Cast and Crew

This was the full cast of 6 and our amazing crew!

From left to right – Back row: Jason Nelson (Barnette Lloyd), Curt Harris (Lights and Sound), Heidi Stonebraker (Chick Boyle & Director!), Scott Cowell (Doc Porter), Me (Meg Magrath), Linda Anderson (Assistant Director)
Front row: Alex Ingram (Babe Botrelle), Gracie Manlow (Lenny Magrath), Sindy Theofelis (Stage Manager), Chloe Crane (Assistant to Stage Manager)

Crimes of the Heart - Poster

We received many compliments on the play poster. It was a great idea to have our picture on the front. 🙂

POWFEST 2014

POWFEST (Portland, Oregon Women’s Film Festival) was a significant event that I attended in March. It was a really neat festival and I highly recommend it to people for future attendance!

I entered both my animation, The Shoes and my master’s thesis Auntie Sue into the festival. Unfortunately, neither film was selected, but I was offered a complimentary all-access pass to the event in Portland. I have never heard of a festival that offers a completely free pass to an entrant whose film was not accepted; I’m still amazed and thankful for the opportunity to attend.

My boyfriend was able to purchase a pass to come along with me and together we really enjoyed the 4 days of screenings, events and free Luna bars. It was great to see films in a festival setting again and to listen to the directors speak about their film journeys. The kindness and generosity at the festival was immense and I was very inspired and encouraged.

To learn more about Powfest and the “Power of Women in Film”, feel free to check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Portland-Womens-Film-Festival-aka-POW-Fest/90277399535?ref=br_tf

POWFEST POSTER

 

Pacific County Entrepreneurs

For the last few months I’ve been working on a video project through the Pacific County Economic Development Council (EDC) based in Raymond, WA. I worked very closely with Cathy Russ, the previous EDC director, and her successor, Paul Philpot. I was very fortunate to get the gig; Cathy was one of the people my dad gave a business card to at the Pacific County Fair–networking at its finest!

This project was a great way for me to get involved in the community and to learn about local businesses in both the northern and southern parts of the county. The video also provides me with a solid work to put in a portfolio and will hopefully spark future projects to come into place. The project is making its way around Facebook and it will also be screened in the local schools. So far, the reception has been very encouraging.

GearUp Career Day

One of my good friends in town works with youth programming as a part of Americorps in our local school district. She asked me if I would participate, as a professional, in a career networking event for high school freshmen. I was honored and pleased to attend. There were nearly 30 tables of career professionals ranging from the arts to engineering to firefighting. Each student went to 8 different tables for 8 minute panel presentations. After the presentations were complete, they had the opportunity to roam freely to network and ask questions in the half an hour before lunch.

In my 8 minute ramble, I discussed my educational journey from high school on through college and grad school. I explained what I love about filmmaking and how it has shaped who I am today. Most of the students seemed engaged and entertained.

All of the staff involved were very encouraging and appreciative. I would definitely do an event like this again. It made feel great to inspire others with my journey.

GearUp Attire

Business casual for the day!

Willapa Players – Death By Design

Local theater director LaRayne Watts called me up one day, in desperation, asking me to take on a role in her play. At first, I was hesitant. I hadn’t acted in a play since I was 13, as a part of the Willapa Player’s Summer Youth Plays. As soon as I read the script, I knew I had to give the part a chance. I was to play Victoria Van Roth, an artistic bohemian; some felt that I was at least slightly type-cast.

The play Death By Design was promoted as “a comedy with murder.” I thought the play was hilarious and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to participate. The play ran 2 weekends for a total of 5 performances. We had great crowd turnouts at the performances and everyone seemed to truly enjoy the absurdity of the show.

It was a nice shift for me to push myself as an actor in a play rather than a director in a movie. At first, I was extremely nervous and intimidated by learning all my lines; I had 90 of them, which seemed like more than plenty! With this achievement under my belt, I am interested in pursuing more opportunities to act or to study the craft. As a director, the more I can learn about acting, the better! It can never hurt to improve communications between actors and directors on sets and in rehearsals and I feel that the basis of the communication stems from an understanding of what each party is going through.

This is the full cast at curtain call for our second weekend performance on Friday, November 15th, 2013.

The full cast at curtain call for our second weekend performance on Friday, November 15th, 2013

[From Left to Right: Gracie Manlow (Alice), Chris Winrich (Eric), Ashton Winrich (Jack), Linda Anderson (Sorel Bennett), Curt Harris (Edward Bennett), Me (Victoria Van Roth), Dave Lund (Walter Pearce)]

New Camera Equipment

Upon graduation, a harsh reality hit me: I no longer had access to professional studio equipment, including cameras, lighting, and sound gear. When I arrived home, much of my time was spent scouring the internet, researching camera equipment that I could invest in within my budget. After much debating, I decided upon the versatility of Sony’s FS-700. This is a professional video camera with a super 35mm sensor for shooting HD. It has 2 XLR inputs for microphones and a mount for interchangeable lenses. One of the great features of the camera is its ability to record up to 8 seconds of super slow-motion HD video at 240fps and up to 96ofps, SD. Needless to say, it’s been a lot of fun to experiment with.

I also purchased a nice, fluid-head tripod so that I can achieve steady tilts and pans. The camera itself isn’t the most ergonomic so I additionally invested in a Zacuto shoulder mount and monitor. These tools open up a multitude of possibilities and are essential for trying to get local projects off the ground.

I will try to get test footage up soon, but for now, you can check out these stills.

My shiny new camera at the beach in Ocean Shores, WA!

My shiny new camera at the beach in Ocean Shores, WA!

This is pulled from video footage of my friend Rutzer at the South Bend boat launch.

This is pulled from video footage of my friend Rutzer at the South Bend boat launch.

This was a super-slow motion video test. This was my first time shooting a gun!

This was a super-slow motion video test. It was my first time shooting a gun!