Blog - Deborah ~Actor. Girl Next Door. Cookie Baker~
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27 Apr Spotlight Interview: Nicky Hawthorne, Screenwriter and all ’round badass

If you talk to anyone in the entertainment industry the start of their journey and where they end up is rarely the same. Heck, if you talk to anyone in any industry, their career has evolved as their needs and interests fluctuated. Nicky Hawthorne is an actress turned casting professional turned writer and writing is where she is settled… for now. Get ready for an interview filled with knowledge about the industry both in front of and behind the camera. If you are anything like me, I am sure that by the end, you will be waiting anxiously to learn more about the next step in Nicky’s career that is sure to be as impressive and entertaining as her past. Where did your journey start out? Started as an actor, was the lead in all the school plays so I thought I was untouchable. I went to Wesleyan and got a BFA...

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27 Apr Spotlight Interview: Makeup Artist Emily Oliver

You know when you meet someone and they tap into your creative mind and inspire you in your own goals and dreams? That is how I felt interviewing the incredible Emily Oliver. This entrepreneurial make up artist has created her own professional business from the ground up and is building her own creative empire day by day. I say empire because I know without a doubt that this woman is going to continue to grow and motivate others in the years to come. Prepare to be inspired and energized by the amazing Emily Oliver. How do you define success? At first success for me was walking into a room without an introduction. Now I feel the success is being totally happy with whatever state you’re in. I think that has been a big shift for me. You go from wanting to become a name to wanting a feeling of contentment. So success...

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27 Apr Little Jobs That Matter A Huge Amount In Filmmaking

There are no small jobs. In life or in filmmaking. In fact, some of the smallest jobs are often the most crucial. That is one of the key things I learned while producing my first feature this past January in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Let me start out by saying that our cast and crew were beyond measure. Our cast was a devoted, lovely group of talented actors, who proved their professionalism and love of this business every day on set. Our crew…I am beyond words. We had 11 interns who volunteered three weeks of their life to help make this movie possible, and their jobs, however large or small made all the difference. The interns assisted with everything from art direction to transportation to craft services and I learned the most from these eager beavers because I learned the value of these jobs. Everyone knows the importance of a director or producer...

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27 Apr Spotlight Interview: Girl Talk HQ’s Asha Dahya

Inspiration and strength comes from the most unlikely places. For Asha Dahya it came from a difficult divorce and the renewed sense of purpose and drive that came after that experience. A few years ago Asha founded Girl Talk HQ, an online media source dedicated to publishing content about challenging and empowering women around the world. Their motto is “We are the headquarters for inspiring, empowering, informative, entertaining and positive news stories for millennial women.” and I first met Asha at a Comic-Con panel about body image in Hollywood and personal empowerment. Since the first time I heard Asha speak about her journey, I knew that she would be a source of inspiration for our amazing Ms. In the Biz community. We managed to chat right before the holidays about her impressive hosting career about what inspired her to start Girl Talk HQ. I know that you have an extensive hosting...

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27 Apr Why “I Work Hard” Isn’t a Brand

Branding is a huge buzzword in Hollywood. Haven’t you heard? It is a must for any actor or actress but it can be a difficult thing to grasp. Your brand must be succinct, relatable and easily digestible but you also have to stand out from everyone else with the same brand in order to be selected as the person for the job. I have learned recently that it is a blessing and a curse to be a cute, 20 something brunette that everyone wants to take home to meet their mom. How do I stand out from the crowd with a brand that is so clichéd, so castable, yet so common in this industry? I was discussing this dilemma with a dear friend and I said as a joke, “I wish I could tattoo ‘I work really really hard’ on my forehead, but that isn’t a brand.” Or is it? The...

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27 Apr Pushing Boundaries with No Budget at the No Budget Film Festival 2015

Filmmakers are generally an inspiring bunch. They all, we all, have ideas beating around in our heads just waiting for a chance to escape. These ideas are inspiring and thought-provoking but they often stay lodged inside our brains because we don’t have the right location, or it isn’t the right time, or we don’t have the funds to bring our ideas to life. After attending the 6th annual No Budget Film Festival at Barnsdale Art Park on October 18th, I can officially say that these limitations exist only in our minds. I had the pleasure of watching 21 films that absolutely astounded me not only because they were made with no budget, but because they were a group of the most innovative shorts I have ever seen. This leads me to my first take away from the day: when working on a film with no budget, you must throw innovation at...

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27 Apr Spotlight Interview: Insane Jane’s Miracle Laurie

I was introduced to the world of Joss Whedon from a dear friend at UC Berkeley and through the vessel of “Buffy” and “Angel”. I still remember holing up in my dorm room one weekend as I inhaled two seasons of “Buffy,” only breaking to get food from the cafeteria downstairs. Of course, this was after the show was wrapped so I was actually reliving a show that had ended years before. This was probably my first forte into binge watching… thank you Joss Whedon.   “Dollhouse” was special because it was the first of his shows that I found and fell in love with, all by myself. Miracle Laurie and her memorable performance as Mellie was one of the reasons I connected to the show and it is a true honor to introduce the Ms in the Biz community to Miracle, and her new project “Insane Jane,” based on the...

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27 Apr Spotlight Interview: The Women Behind Australia’s L&L Film Productions – Part 3

In this final part of my discussion with Australian filmmakers: Lauren and Tish, we discuss being women in the film industry, dressing the part, and a brilliant blog they have created called “Almost Corporate” in which they tell stories about their triumphs and failures as women learning to straddle the film and corporate world. If you have missed the first two parts of this incredible interview, be sure to catch up on Part 1 andPart 2! Being a female in the entertainment industry is a hot button topic these days. How do you handle that? Lauren: Being just two females in a company can be daunting. Some of the projects that we have come across have been really shaped by the fact that we are women. For example, we are currently working on a project in which we focus on different medical conditions, and we have been focusing on maternity stories because...

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27 Apr Spotlight Interview: The Women Behind Australia’s L&L Film Productions – Part 2

Last month I started an interview series with the incredible women behind L&L Film Productions, a Brisbane based film company that prides itself “on [their]ability to capture the real, and beautiful, and tell its story.”  In Part 1 we discussed the founders’, Lauren and Tish, background and their current projects that are bringing a voice to untold stories. In Part 2, we discuss the business aspect of their company as well as their difficulties starting out. What was the most difficult part of starting a production company? Lauren: We had a really hard time finding a team that was as passionate about the work as we are. Because we don’t focus on dramas or feature films we are going against the grain a bit, and we found it difficult to attract people to our kind of work. We love working with organizations and small businesses to help them thrive and we didn’t...

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27 Apr Spotlight Interview: The Women Behind Australia’s L&L Film Productions – Part 1

When we are trapped in the bubble that is lala land (Hollywood), it is easy to forget about the incredible creatives around the world that are exploring similar topics and experiencing similar hardships as my friends and myself in LA. Luckily, I have had the wonderful opportunity to learn about the Australian entertainment industry and work with some brilliant women that are creating change “down-under.” When I was in Australia a few weeks ago, I sat down with the creators ofL&L Film Productions, a Brisbane based film company that prides itself “on [their]ability to capture the real, and beautiful, and tell its story.” I first met director and co-founder of L&L Film Productions, Lauren Panrucker a few years ago, and I have had the pleasure to work with her a few times since. She is one of those special directors who really understands actors while holding on to the integrity of...

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