India Autry

Category: Acting

My Experience on Film Fest Q&A Panel, Pics & Film Clips

Loved being on the Q&A panel at the Virginia Film Fest for “But Not For Me” feature film!

I talked about what it was like to play a philosophical model in a commercial made by the advertising agency portrayed in the film. I played the part very intensely — I was near tears in the drama of the part. When cut was called, everyone on the crew burst out laughing. I was surprised at first, but that’s when I realized I had done my job! The seriousness with which I played the part made possible the comedic effect of an advertising agency taking itself too seriously. Click here to see the clip.

Here’s the full trailer of this progressive hip-hop romance – you dig? Great performance and music by Marcus Carl Franklin (who starred with Heath Ledger & Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There”). “But Not for Me” also features Roger Guenveur Smith (profilic actor in some many film from “Do the Right Thing” to “Dope”), and we won the audience choice award at the Brooklyn Film Festival.

My pics with Marcus and more of the cast and crew below:

From left to right: the moderator; producer, Jason Stefaniak; writer/director, Ryan Carmichael; actor Maria Vermeulen; me; actor, Solomon Hailemichael; actor, Marcus Carl Franklin

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New “Love-Locked” Film: Frame Grabs & Behind-the-Scenes Photos

I just filmed my second short film adapted from my feature script. This time, I directed as well as writing, producing & starring.

“Love-locked” is about an interracial couple whose relationship is tested by the politics of mass incarceration.

Check out the cast & crew on IMDB, including my co-star Jason Griffith, the iconic voice of Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokemon. Turns out he’s got a nice face and great dramatic acting chops too!

We got some amazing shots, thanks to my shot list and my amazing director of photography Matthew Canada.

Frame Grabs:

Behind-the-Scenes Photos:

Perfecting the bird’s eye view

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Our gaffer extraordinaire Daniel Lipski

Prepping for the first shot

Prepping for the first shot

It’s always the toughest!

Our DP Matthew Benjamin Canada having some fun.

Lights, camera... you know the rest.

Lights, camera… you know the rest.

The film is being edited before it hits the festival circuit. Stay tuned!

“Brutally Yours” Feature in Development

I’ve been deep in development of the feature film “Brutally Yours” since my return from Cannes.

The film includes the high-profile topic of mass incarceration.

Logline: An interracial couple struggles with alcoholism, childhood trauma and the racial inequalities of the criminal justice system.

I met with the co-writer of one of my favorite films, “The Place Beyond the Pines,” Darius Marder, who wrote the script with my favorite director of all time, Derek Cianfrance. Darius was amazing inspiration for re-drafting my script.

I’m in talks with amazing people to be a part of this film:
Christina Hendricks (“Drive,” “Lost River”)

Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks

Andrij Parekh – cinematography (“Blue Valentine,” “Half Nelson,” “Mississippi Grind”)

“Blue Valentine”

Erin Benach – costume designer (“Lost River,” “Half Nelson,” “Drive,” “Place Beyond the Pines,” “Blue Valentine”)

“Half Nelson”

RADiUS-TWC – acquisitions/sales (“Only God Forgives”)

I also met Reed Morano, a indie darling cinematographer and director (“Meadowland”) at Tribeca Film Fest in the spring. Also met at Tribeca: Ben Mendelsohn – “The Place Beyond the Pines” and “Lost River,” Alex Orlovsky, producer of “Blue Valentine,” “Half Nelson” & “The Place Beyond the Pines” and “True Detective” director Cary Fukunaga.

Cannes I Get a Witness?

I’ve just returned from having my film “Brutally Yours” at Cannes Film Festival with great connections for developing my feature film script. I had a meeting with the awesome Matthew Rhodes, president of motion pictures at Bold Films. Adieu!

Click to See the Poster for my Cannes Submitted Film

Brutally Yours Poster

Yes, I Cannes!

I’ve just submitted my first self-produced short film to Cannes Film Festival! I recently meet “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn and his wife, and Nicolas was super encouraging of my efforts. He told me to “take it all the way.”

Palme d'Or Winners Photocall- 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Right before Ryan Gosling plants an epic kiss on Refn after “Drive” wins at Cannes.

My short film is adapted from the feature film script I wrote, both called “Brutally Yours.” I was inspired to make the short after meeting “Whiplash” writer and director Damien Chazelle at the New York Film Festival in the fall. His “Whiplash” short was a festival hit that led to the making of the feature, and Damien told me to relentlessly pursue the making of my feature. I didn’t need to be told, but it was great to hear!Damien Chazelle, right, with Oscar winning Best Supporting Actor for "Whiplash" J.K. Simmons

Damien Chazelle, right, with Oscar winning Best Supporting Actor for “Whiplash” J.K. Simmons

The director of my short is a twice Cannes-selected director. Fredric King, the developer of “Blue Valentine” is the director of photography, and Darren Bluestone who starred in “Avenue Q” co-stars with me in the film. I wrote and produced the short myself, bringing together the crew and music for the credits by David Rogue. The credits give “special thanks” to Rosalyn Coleman Williams (Anna Boden and Ryan Flecks‘ “It’s a Funny Kind of Story”), another super supportive person who I discussed the material with before writing the short.

I will keep you posted on the development of “Brutally Yours,” short and feature.

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Diaries of an Actress: Catching You Up on the All the Goodness

A lot has happened since my autumn diary entry. I’ve spent the new year beginning to make my film idea a reality. The feature script I’m writing (starring yours truly, of course) is nearing completion! And more film ideas are waiting to come down the pike.

Last month, I booked and filmed a supporting role in a SAG film “But Not for Me” by Emmy-winning producer Jason Stefaniak. What else? Well, there was another supporting role in “Keep the Party Going.” Then there was shooting the teaser for a feature film in which I play the title character. I’m pictured with my co-star below.

Still from "Jasmine" (working title).

Still from “Jasmine” (working title).

 

I got a callback for a feature film in the vein of “Blue Valentine” and “Half Nelson,” two of my top three favorite movies! The process came down to me and one other actress in a chemistry read with two finalist actors. I got added to an IMDB list. An “Orange is the New Black” audition and praise from an actress recurring on the show (Vicky Jeudy as Janae Watson) on my work in our acting class.

Actress and producer Emily Grace honored me with a scholarship to her program to teach actors how to get press. And guess what! I got me some front-page press.

My first film ever, “First Baptist,” premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival. A co-star role on “Deadly Sins” to air on cable’s Discovery Investigation Channel. See the pic of the house where we filmed on Instagram. A birthday trip to San Francisco back in October.

Yeah, that's right. I hiked and lived in the woods for a night. In a dress.

Yeah, that’s right. I hiked and lived in the woods for a night. In a dress.

 

Last, but not least – a turn as Catwoman on Halloween (check it out on Instagram: @IndiaKiara).

xoxo,

Halle Hepburn (It’s a nickname I got on Twitter yesterday, and I quite like it!)

Alright, Alright, Alright! Did You See the Oscars, Baby?!

If you did, you know there were deep V’s, snazzy jackets & beautiful people galore. Host Ellen DeGeneres (don’t hate, she was great) – even managed to take the most fame-filled selfie in the the world (see below). And, to the world’s detriment, “Place Beyond the Pines” actor Ryan Gosling was snubbed, so he was this blog’s most missed person at the Oscars for the third year running. But the most important part of the Oscars was Matthew McConaughey‘s speech for his first Oscar, best actor for “Dallas Buyers Club.” It was moving, great words to live by an, I’m sure, not meant to be a controversial statement of any kind:

For a list of nominees and winners, click here.

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How Philip Seymour Hoffman Made Me “See More” Clearly – L.A. Guest Blog by Andrew Tarr

It’s been a funny couple weeks. Not funny ha ha, as they say, but funny like Ain’t It Funny How February Always Seems to Fuck Up January’s Wide-Eyed New Year’s Resolution Optimism… THAT kind of funny. February is rainy season here in LA. Like clockwork, the rain shows up February 1st or 2nd and doges in and out til sunny March.

This year, the rain showed up with the February 2nd punch in the gut that was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death. It always throws people for a loop when the world loses an artist who moves us. But this one seemed to hit people especially hard.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman

For a week and a half now, it’s been screwing with my head – and my sleep/wake cycle. At night I lie in bed pondering my mortality, and during the day I walk around so tired from the night before that people probably assume I’m prepping for a “Walking Dead” audition…people who don’t know me very well, anyway. The people who DO know me know that I never get auditions for projects that big.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my share of auditions. And booked a few things. But it’s mostly commercials, student films, webisodes, and a few cable TV one-off projects you’ve never heard of.

I’ve only ever auditioned for one of what you’d call a “Big” project: a medium-sized role in “Scent of a Woman” with Al Pacino (HOO-Hah!!)  I actually got pretty close on it. (Callbacks, phone calls to my agent telling me to keep my schedule open because they really liked me.) I actually hadn’t thought about that audition in years. But for the past ten days, it’s been keeping  me awake with What-Ifs, like a snoring girlfriend who has to work in the morning.

You see, the guy who got the part I was up for, was a then-unknown actor just like me, named Philip Seymour Hoffman. I don’t know if “Scent of a Woman” was technically his “big break” or if it was one of the other 3 or 4 movies he shot that year alone. The year was 1991 and I had been in LA for a little under a year, and my agent at the time was able to get me in on a part the size of PSH’s wonderfully snide spoiled prep school brat in the Pacino masterpiece. (If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. Pacino’s brilliant. And so is Chris O’Donnell, and as you’d imagine, PSH makes a fairly small role totally memorable. He’s been a genius from the beginning, and definitely more right for that part than I was. I’d have cast him over me, too.)

Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, in "Scent of a Woman"

Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, in “Scent of a Woman”

So now, literally a lifetime later, the guy who went from beating me out for a role, to inspiring me and pretty much every other actor of our generation, is gone. And I’ve been thrown for a loop by the loss of what feels like a combination idol, muse, and alternate-universe-ME, which I know is kinda silly, but when you’re lying awake at 3 a.m., you see your life through one of those Funhouse mirrors that make your nose and your failures look huge, and make your mouth and your time left on this earth seem minuscule.

But he’s gone now, and I’m still here. Am I delusional to believe I still might have a shot at an acting career a fraction as incredible as Philip Seymour Hoffman’s? Maybe, but that delusion keeps me crawling out of my bed in the morning, taking classes, getting new headshots, and until the day I get called in on my SECOND big movie or TV audition, writing and producing my own stuff: two features I need a few hundred thousand bucks to shoot (anyone feelin’ generous today?), a couple shows for a local cable channel, and a handful of kooky videos I’ve posted on YouTube, and of course FunnyOrDie – a website whose name feels – at least right now during Crappy February 2014 – like an elaborate practical joke crafted specifically for me.

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So has February sucked ALL the life out of my January dreams? No. And maybe some of this year’s rainy season has even given me some new perspective. A lot has changed since 1991, when Philip and I were amongst LA’s new crop. For one thing, Funny or Die didn’t exist.  Neither did YouTube. Or cheap HD cameras and editing software to use on projects you cast YOURSELF in. Or bloggers like the amazing India Autry, who has so gratiously shared her spotlight with me this week. Actress/self-promotion Guru Emily Grace teaches on how to get media attention and maybe even bypass the audition process entirely, jumping straight to people offering you the part.

So hey, all you fellow actors – lets all Netflix some old movies with Philip Seymour Hoffman, or whoever YOUR favorite actor is – get inspired, and make some noise on the web.  If nothing else, we’ll all have more stuff to read and watch in bed on the iPad when the insomnia strikes.

Andrew Tarr is an actor (really!), musician, writer, producer and animal lover who lives in Los Angeles, up the street from that new Starbucks. You can see what he looks like and whether you’d ever want sleep with him by watching his Funny or Die videos HERE.

 
Andrew Tarr, guest blogger

Andrew Tarr, guest blogger

Philip Seymour Hoffman, in Memoriam

July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014

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I struggled with whether to write a post…After all, what can I say that we don’t already know? But Mr. Hoffman’s passing devastated me, though I never met him. I think many of us feel the same. Of course we mourn for his family and friends and those who knew first-hand of his charm and loving spirit. But the rest of his mourn him too. He was an incredible actor. He had the ability to move us in ways that few have.

And I’m not one for “bringing flowers” only when someone dies. I’ve long said that he was one of my favorite actors and one of the most intense. His devious yet endearing performance in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” stole my gritty little heart, and I’ve been following him ever since. We’re fortunate that he memorialize so many wonderful performances that we can watch at any time.

I don’t want to get controversial, but I do want to use this platform to advocate an important point for me: I do think that people who don’t have an intimate knowledge of substance abuse should take care with their commentary about his struggle and the nature of his death. I’ll end with this: Philip Seymour Hoffman was a piercing actor and – forgive me, I said it when it was alive & I’ll say it now – a ‘sexy beast.’

“He had a rare ability to illuminate the varieties of human ugliness. No one ever did it so beautifully.” -A.O. Scott, New York Times

“Yeah, Bitch” – It’s the Golden Globes!

Here are my top three things about the 2014 Golden Globes: Aaron Paul’s “Yeah, bitch,” pretty women & the man of the hour.

1. Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad” revived the Jesse of yore, giving us one last “yeah, bitch!” as “Breaking Bad” won best TV drama. You could tell he felt it was a little uncouth for the event, but I’m glad writer and director Vince Gilligan and the other cast members encouraged him. I also think it’s awesome that, after Bryan Cranston won for best actor in a TV drama, he didn’t sit down, knowing that the show was going to win the next category.

2. So many pretty women and pretty dresses. I mean really, wasn’t it so good to see Julia Roberts, nominated for “August: Osage County,” looking beautiful, taking us right back to the 90s?.

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And there were multiple pregnancy dresses, Olivia Wilde’s (below left) being my favorite.

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3. Matthew McConaughey was the man of the hour. He did an awesome chicken dance onto stage when accepting the award for best actor in a drama from Jessica Chastain (who played along well) – a dance he later said he didn’t remember doing because he was so caught up in the moment.

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McConaughey’s heartwarming speech in his charming Texas accent revealed how difficult it was to make “Dallas Buyer’s Club.” And he was for sure the best dressed man on the red carpet, in his dark green velvet suit jacket. He and his wife, who has played such a big part in his career, look stunning together on the E! 360 cam. He also stood out at the Palm Spring Film Festival earlier this month, as seen below.

25th Annual Palm Springs  International Film Festival Awards Gala - Arrivals

Click here for a full list of Golden Globe nominees and winners

4 Things “American Hustle” Taught Me

American Hustle” is dominating the Golden Globes nominations and for good reason:

1. Amy Adams is the bomb. Besides the endless side boob and fab clothes, she’s got that mixture of toughness, intensity & vulnerability that shows on her face with such clarity. I consider that my particular brand of actressing as well, and she’s now my top idol!

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2. Christian Bale is the bomb. He’s at his best in this film – intense yet incredibly tender. Even Bradley Cooper says that it’s the best role Christian Bale has ever had by far. And at 43 pounds overweight, he’s still hot. (Okay, don’t judge me – just watch the movie.) I wonder if Amy Adams has ever actually seen Christian Bale at a normal weight… He was 63 pounds underweight for their movie “The Fighter” and now this!

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3. Dircetor David O. Russell is the bomb. Everything about this film was – for lack of a more believable word – perfect. I want to work with this director! He even co-wrote the screenplay which laid out a pristine dramatic plot laced with comedic treasures. Russell perfectly cast this film by bringing together the heavyweights from two of his other amazing films – Amy Adams and Christian Bale from “The Fighter” and Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper from “Silver Linings Playbook.” Which brings me to the final point.

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Look at him. Directing.

4. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams & Jeremy Renner are bombs. They are all explosive actors, and it’s incredible to watch them blow each other up. They are all powerhouses, and you’re kinda scared to see them go up against one another, but you can’t stop watching. They all hold their own against one another.

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B Coops never fails to bring the anger, turmoil & general crazy.

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Everything’s FALLing into Place…Yes, I Made that Pun.

Fall is off to a great start. Episodic season is in full swing, and I’m getting some attention from – gasp – episodics! Not to mention film, theatre, web & Clooney attention. That’s right, George Clooney. You know what? Let’s go ahead and start with that one…

Clooney

A director friend invited me to an advanced screening of the sure-to-be Oscar sensation “Gravity” on October 2nd. The stars,  Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, arrived for a charming Q&A session after the movie. Afterwards, I introduced myself to George: I left with his autograph, and he left with my card – that’s all I’m saying.

Here, George Clooney is pictured doing the dance I felt like doing in his presence.

Here, George Clooney is pictured doing the dance I felt like doing in his presence.

My attendance at the screening led to an interview by E! News online!

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TV

Now, you gossips, back to business! I had my callback audition, and I’m still in the running for the recurring role of Taylor Ross on the new TV show, “Adventures of the Velvet Prozak.” I’m on hold for the role of a paramedic on cable’s “Deadly Sins.”

I met Jandiz Estrada, casting associate for NBC, and shortly after that, I was called in to audition in the same office that casts NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” and “Chicago Fire.” I had a great audition for Kevin Kuffa at Lynn Kressel casting for a principal role in a TV show, got great feedback, and, on my way home, came across on-location shooting for “SVU.” I took it as a positive sign 😉

Film

It’s always nice when the works comes to you. A filmmaker called to offer me the role of the titular character in a feature film he’s writing. It’s a romantic New York talkie film – oh so Woody Allen!

Web

Next thing you know – Temple Horses producer Ryan Hoffman, who was featured on Funny or Die, called to offer me a principal role in a “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” parody, playing Agent Maria Hill.

Agent Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders

Agent Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders in Joss Whedon’s new ABC show “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Comedy Flo Entertainment loved my performance in its web series “My New Roommate” and has taken me under its wing for future productions. You can catch my featured role in their premiere season starting in late October.

Theatre

The writer and director of an AEA staged reading thought my audition for a real life Civil War heroine was great, so I’m looking forward to follow up for this intense role.

Notable Audition

I was selected to audition for a principal role in a Queen Latifah film.

Out on the town

I reminisced at Theatre80’s “Bayside! The Musical” on St. Mark’s Place and even won a “buddy band” – a hot pink slap bracelet – that says “Zack Attack!”

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Me after the show

3 Best & Worst of the Emmys

I hosted my first Emmy viewing party. I plan to have them each year until I get an invite to real thing! As a former beauty and style blogger, my party started at 6 p.m. with the red carpet, of course.

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Hanging with one of my friends after the party. There was no red carpet, but there were red lips a red couch!

Here are my most memorable moments and people from television’s big night:

1. “Breaking Bad

They saved the best for last when “Breaking Bad” won best drama series. It’s my favorite show right now, and it was great to see the amazing lead actor Bryan Cranston (who sadly didn’t win his category), so excited for the show’s win as it nears its series finale. It was also wonderful to see Jesse – I mean, cutie supporting actor Aaron Paul (another disappointing loss in his category) – celebrate the win, with his wife and mother as his guests for the night.

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Cranston, Paul

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Gunn is a lucky girl!

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Anna Gunn, second from left, won best supporting actress in a drama series, and her dress was my favorite! I loved the cool cut and texture of the black top and the elegant pale pink contrasted bottom.  I also liked Jewel’s delicate dress. There was a lot of feminity on the red carpet this year.

Jewel

Jewel

 

2. Kerry Washington

Washington carried on the trend of the elaborate, feminine dress. “Scandal” is one of my favorite shows, and I wanted Kerry to win best actress in a drama series, especially since she is only the second black woman in a lead role on primetime – the first since the legendary Diahann Carroll in the early 1970s. She lost, and the Emmys seemed to give her a nod (and attempt to appease the many fans of “Scandal”) by having Washington present earlier that night with Carroll, who lavished praise on to her.

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3. Kevin Spacey

Perhaps the funniest moment of the show was during the opening when Kevin Spacey turned to face the camera and began commenting on the scripted chaos on stage in his “House of Cards” character’s typical way.

No, this isn't a screen shot from Netflix original "House of Cards"

No, this isn’t a screen shot from Netflix original show

For a full list of winners, click here.

 

Summer Diaries of an Actress: My Acting Destiny

As my supporters have been pointing out, a lot of exciting things are happening for me. The Hollywood Reporter featured actor Michael Christoforo said it best: “Your journey is hitting a turbo boost.”

Besides being mistaken for Halle…

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Auditions, Bookings & Productions

I recently auditioned for a recurring role on a new LA episodic, “The Adventures of Velvet Prozak.”

I booked a role in a trailer for a pilot, “Taking E.N.Y.” being pitched to major cable networks by Ice-T, executive producer! I also booked a featured role in a comedic web series called “My New Roommate.” I’m excited for all the filming coming up next week.

I was invited to audition for the role of a posh socialite for a spec commercial and offered roles in comedic web series by the College Cooking Network, production coming up this fall.

I booked the part of sassy, opinionated Brenda in “Falling (A Love Story)” through one audition – no callback necessary. At the end of the audition, the director said, “I don’t usually say this, but you will be getting a call from us. You’re exactly what we envisioned for this role.” Sure enough, I got the booking confirmation.

Building a Top-Notch Team

I’m now working with internationally renowned acting teacher Anthony Abeson, who taught with Lee Strasberg! I auditioned and was accepted into his class, full of students booking top roles on primetime TV & film. His most famous student yet is Jennifer Aniston. Here’s to giving this gorgeous, brilliant actress a run for her money!

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Check out my new IMDB bio.

Out on the Town

I saw the socially important “Fruitvale Station” at the Angelika and cried my eyes out. Another night, I ran into hot boy band One Direction during a late-night outing in the Meatpacking District.

I attended Mike Blejer’s hilarious comedy podcast, “Malignant Brain Humor,” featuring comedic writers such as late-night show writer Myq Kaplan.

Dream Role

I would play an Arabian princess in a Cinderella-style rags to riches story with a sociopolitical bent. My prince charming? The Gos.

Early Summer Update: Booked a New Feature Film, New Headshot and More

The Work

I’m now going straight to offers on some projects. My work as a fiery subversive in a short film led to one casting director calling me to offer a strong supporting role in an upcoming feature film (fan film “Night of the Warriors”) playing a rough-and-tumble street girl, plus another director calling me for the emotionally intense lead role in a short film.

My new feature

My new feature

Casting directors are coming to me in other ways too. I was sought out to audition for a play. Also, I’ve been selected to audition for a starring role for an award-wining director at the Detroit International Film Festival and the California Film Festival.

Plus:

  • audition for a Gus Van Sant film
  • selected to audition for the NBC Diversity Showcase
  • new freelance agent!

Also, I did a comedic short with filmmaker Gene Geter, pictured here with one of my idols, Halle Berry!

Tools & Training

I have a new headshot and reel, both by “The Sopranos” star John Bianco:

Headshot

Headshot

I took Gwyn Gilliss’ commercial intensive and was the “best” in the course.

Industry Events

I attended a private screening of the feature film “Long Shot Louie,” a dark drama set in the world of male stripping – starring “The Sopranos'” John Bianco, Steve Stanulis from “The Invisible Life of Thomas Lynch” & “Carrie Diaries'” Jake Robinson.

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Jake Robinson, of "Long Shot Louie" - screen shot from "The Carrie Diaries"

Jake Robinson, of “Long Shot Louie” – screen shot from “The Carrie Diaries”

I also met Simon Lovell, advisor for the hit USA show “White Collar” at an industry event.

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Plus:

  • Music videos screening and concert by filmmaker, actor and musician Monroe Mann
  • Laughed the night away at NYC’s Gotham Comedy Club where LA-based comedian Colin Kane performed (pictured below)

Secret (Not-So-Secret) Dream Roles

Getting dressed up in ’80s attire and play one of Carrie’s Manhattan friends on the next season of CW’s “The Carrie Diaries!”

Playing a new recruit on “Chicago Fire” who puts out fires and fans the flames of Pete and Dawson’s break-up 😉

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“Koko’s New Cat”

Diaries of an Actress: Lifestyle Photos & Spring Update

My lifestyle photos show the roles I can play!

Can you see me as a Covergirl?

Business…

IndiaAutryupscale…and Pleasure. If I had a magic wand, I’d play girlfriend to “Golden Boy!”

What I’ve Been Up To:

I recently shot a comedic short film about the film biz, pictured at right, receiving a great review from director David Fu. I filmed a starring role in a TV pilot as Dr. Patterson, with praise from director Nora Klein for my comedic timing. I played the dramatic representative role of Catherine from David Auburn‘s Proof under the direction of the renowned Susan Pilar.

I sat second row while Matthew McConaughey and director/writer Jeff Nichols talked about their new movie, “Mud” in Soho. I later saw it in theaters, and it was very good – compelling performances from both McConaughey and Tye Sheridan.

I think he spotted me!

I think he spotted me!

The Top 10 Best of the Oscars

My Oscars predictions were right, if you count the distinctions I made between my favorites and the ones who were likely to win. Now, I’m bestowing awards based on Oscars night itself.

1. Best Host Ever: Seth MacFarlane

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I never doubted Seth MacFarlane’s integrity…and he didn’t disappoint, remaining his usual irreverent self as host of a fairly mainstream show – making him the best (and cutest) Oscars host in recent memory. He’s feeling the backlash of criticism, as he predicted during a skit in his show. Click here for 10 of his best jokes.

2. Most Trendy: anyone who wore an art deco or metallic dress

As I watched the gowns come down the red carpet, I noticed a clear trend. A plurality of the dresses were art deco or metallic dresses.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry

3. Biggest Disappointment: Channing Tatum‘s perfomance

When I heard Channing Tatum was performing, I was  hoping for something more like this.

Magic Mikesque.

Magic Mikesque.

Not this.

Though he and Charlize Theron did do a beautiful number.

Though he and Charlize Theron did do a beautiful number.

4. Most Misunderstood: Ben Affleck (“Argo” – Best Picture)

A little off-topic, but Ben does facial hair so well.

A little off-topic, but Ben does facial hair so well.

I was so excited to see director Ben Affleck get his just due. After he recovered from some other guy taking up a lot of his speaking time, his emotion was very compelling. When he started crying, he reminded me of his perhaps little-known character in “Forces of Nature,” which goes to show we bring our authentic selves to the screen.

Speaking of “Forces of Nature,” I immediately recognized his commentary about marriage as a paraphrase of a line used in the film about the triumph of true love and commitment.

I thought saying it to Jennifer Garner during his speech was quite romantic and much more real than the “I love my wife, couldn’t have done this without her” line that you hear over and over. I think it’s a shame that Ben had to explain his comment publicly. I mean, really, is it any mystery to any of us that relationships are work?

5. Best Cutaway to a Nominee: Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild“)

Too young to hold back that rightful and natural urge to root for ourselves.

Too young to hold back that rightful and natural urge to root for ourselves.

See video here.

6. Most Amazing Record Setter: Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln“)

My favorite actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, has officially become the greatest actor of all time – the first to win three best actor Oscars!

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7. Most Stunning: Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron

In the words of Mark Wahlberg, it’s a tie – “no B.S.” Jessica, always sophisticated, was beautiful in what she called “Old Hollywood Glamour” (my favorite kind of glamour), in a goldish nude sweetheart column dress and red lips.

Charlize showed off her beautiful face with a pixie (I’m always partial to those) and wore white, which is one of the most stand-out colors you can wear if your skintone is different enough to set it off.

Commentators compared Chastain to Jessica Rabbit, showing it doesn't take buxom to be sexy.

Commentators compared Chastain to Jessica Rabbit, showing it doesn’t take buxom to be sexy.

Charlize is beautiful and the column dress shows skin and accentuates curves in all the right places.

Charlize is beautiful and the column dress shows skin and accentuates curves in all the right places.

8. Best You-Weren’t-Supposed-to-Notice-That Moment: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Sally Field (“Lincoln”)

JGL clearly wasn’t happy when E’s Ryan Seacrest asked Sally Field the question asked way too many times, “Did you have to fight for this role?” Joseph who had Best Supporting Actress nominee Sally Field on his arm on the red carpet slightly rolled his eyes and looked away when the question was asked, and chimed in with “you killed it” when he felt Sally wasn’t getting enough credit for how well she performed the role. What a gentleman and protector. My hero!

Of course they don't take a picture when he's looking away.

Of course they don’t take a picture when he’s looking away.

9. Most Missed (For the Second Year Running): Ryan Gosling

The Gos.

The Gos.

For two  years in a row, Ryan Gosling hasn’t made an appearance at the Oscars – I noted his absence in last year’s Oscars review. Perhaps his upcoming movie “Beyond the Pines” will get him the nomination he deserves and get him onto the red carpet on Hollywood’s biggest night of the year, where he belongs.

10. The Undeniable Belle of the Ball (Even Though She Fell): Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook“)

jennifer-lawrence-wins-falls-on-stage

As you know, I thought Jessica Chastain should have won Best Actress for “Zero Dark Thirty,” but Jennifer Lawrence is an unstoppable force right now. She’s been deemed Oscars’ best dressed, in an elaborate and unique feminine baby pink gown. And she admirably recovered from a fall going up the steps to accept the award. In fact, it was a glamorous Cinderalla moment. And she’s 22, not quite the youngest winner of this coveted award.

Valentine’s Day Oscars Picks

Happy Valentine’s Day, my one year anniversary of blogging! I’m marking the occasion by doing a pre-Oscars write up.

Best Actor: DDL (Lincoln)

My favorite scene? The I-mean-business, you-best-be-getting-me-my-votes Lincoln scene.

My favorite scene? The I-mean-business, you-best-be-getting-me-my-votes scene.

My favorite actor, Daniel Day Lewis, will score again. He not only transformed his appearance, but even the way he moved and spoke was Abe all the way. Ah. Maze. Ing. He brought the exalted president down to earth and into our hearts; and, along with the rest of the exceptional cast, made an important American history lesson a grand, moving experience.

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

My favorite scene? The I-mean-business, you'd-best-be-getting-me-my-resources scene.

My favorite scene? The I-mean-business, you’d-best-be-getting-me-my-resources scene.

She’s one of my favorite actresses, period. Her delicate features, high voice and passionate spirit made her perfect for this suprisingly-strong woman role – the type of role I can see myself playing.

Now, I make this choice, abashedly, without having yet seen “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” However, I think I’m safe in assuming Oscar isn’t progressive enough to designate even a very talented and adorable child as best actress. The nomination is impressive, though. Not only would Quvenzhane Wallis be the youngest best actress, she would be only the second of African descent.

I have a bet going with a friend who has his money on Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Unfortunately, the odds are on his side.

Best Supporting Actor: Robert Deniro (Silver Linings Playbook)

silver-linings-playbook-robert-deniroNow, I know Christoph Waltz is predicted to win this for his role in the awesome “Django Unchained,” having already done so at the SAG awards. But I like Deniro for this honor, mainly because one of his scenes made me cry in under a minute of talking to his mentally dysfunctional son, played by Bradley Cooper.

Although, Waltz’s win will be nice recognition for Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” especially since star Jaime Foxx didn’t get a best actor nom.

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

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I dreamed a dream – ’nuff said.

Best Director: Ang Lee (Life of Pi)

However. Shame on you, Academy, for not nominating Ben.

argo-affleck-direct

For shame.

Fortunately, the Brits disagree. (See the related article at the end.)

But I’m guessing Oscar will give Ang Lee his props for making an “unfilmable” book filmable.

This movie had me calling my cat "Richard Parker" for the rest of the night.
This movie had me calling my cat “Richard Parker” for the rest of the night.

Best Picture: Argo (Ben Affleck‘s Argo)

SAG’s winner for Best Ensemble Cast usually is a predictor of best picture, and Ben deserves some credit for becoming a heck of a director.

Incidentally, nice jeans.

Incidentally, nice jeans…