Chit Chatting with Makeup Artist Allison McGillicuddy

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I the pleasure of interviewing the talented professional makeup artist Ally McGillicuddy. She has done makeup for movies, TV shows, music videos, print, and much more. Read on and learn more about Allison, find out who she has worked with, and what it takes to be a makeup artist.  

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into makeup art.

A: My name is Ally McGillicuddy, I’m twenty-nine years old, and I live in Hollywood, California, but I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts. I love live music, comedy, art, and makeup, of course! I’ve always been fascinated with makeup, and trying to emulate characters from movies (like Rocky Horror Picture Show) or people in magazines (like Seventeen or Vogue).

R: You are amazing at what you do. Was this something that you have always wanted to?

A: No, I didn’t even realize it was a profession. I honestly wanted to be so many other things, from an actress,to a comedian, a director, a photographer, etc., and then finally a makeup artist.

 

R: Is there a certain “type” of person that would work best as a makeup artist? 

A: You definitely have to be patient, adaptable, you must be very detail-oriented, and you must be very aware of your client and surroundings. For example, if your client is shy, or is studying their lines, it’s best to not talk too much. However, if your client is talkative and bubbly, it would be strange if you didn’t talk to them at all.

 

R: Are there any classes in high school that someone should take if they want to become a makeup artist?

A: Art, hands down. You should take a basic art course. Color theory is very important. I started as a drawer and painter and I’ve found that has helped me tremendously with my craft. I also have such a love for all things art that it’s much easier for me to express an idea or find inspiration through visual references, and communicate it to someone (i.e. the client, or director).

 

R: What kind of college education do you need and what degree would be the most helpful for it?

A: You technically do not need a college degree–you could start apprenticing today. However, many people go to a makeup school to learn. I myself have a degree in Film Media and Art History from a university. When I came to L.A., I apprenticed under a makeup artist and I still, to this day, continue to take classes and assist well-known artists because I believe you can never be done learning. Always work on your craft!

 

R: Other than school, what can one do to prepare themselves for becoming a makeup artist?

A: Talk with artists, find yourself a mentor, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people you admire. Be respectful of their time, but if you have specific questions, most will answer you or give great advice. Practice, practice, practice. One of my mentors told me when I first started out that, after working on a thousand faces, I will finally become proficient. I’ve also heard that it takes about seven years to master a craft. If you see a makeup you like, try to recreate it, and make sure you always give credit to whomever you are paying homage to if you post it online.

 

R: Who are some of the people you have worked with? What are some of the projects you have worked on?

A:  I’m so lucky to have worked with many talented actors, singers, performers, directors, and photographers. It’s hard for me to pick out just a few, but if you want to see who I’ve worked with, my website has an ongoing client list. I work on many different types of projects from film, TV, music videos, print, and commercials. I just wrapped up a dark comedy assisting Jen Grabel, and right now I am prepping for another metal music video where I will be doing special effects makeup.

 

R: What has been the biggest issue you have ever had when you are doing someone’s makeup?

A: A big issue is miscommunication. I try to let my clients know to be vocal about something they like or dislike, because I don’t read minds and I would rather fix something than hear about it later. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, because every one has different ideas and opinions of what they want to look like. My biggest pet peeves are talking on the phone when in my chair, eating, or being late.

 

R: What are some of the best things about your job?

A: I love seeing the reaction people get when I am done. Either they are so happy with the way that they look, or if it’s a SPFX makeup, they are totally grossed out or think something is real. One time I did an injury makeup and I walked outside with the actor (on the street) and someone asked him if he was ok and needed an ambulance!

 

R: Are you allowed to tell about some of the upcoming projects that you are working on?

A: There are some projects I am not allowed to talk about until they are released (most make you sign an NDA). But there are some that I can; I work with Super Deluxe a lot, and they usually let me share behind-the-scenes photos to promote the videos.

 

R: What advice would you give a teenager who wanted to become a makeup artist?

A: Being a makeup artist is not just about doing makeup, which is why so many people quit. Ask yourself, do I want to do makeup on all types of people, all skin colors and textures, all ages? Would I get up at 3 am to be on set at 4 am and work a 12 hour day minimum (sometimes 14 + hours)? Am I willing to carry bags and bags of makeup in the desert or out in the rain? Will I make cold calls, network, and take low-paying jobs to get my foot in the door? Being a makeup artist seems glamorous, especially because of the YouTube MUA’s, but the reality is that there is so much more work that goes into it, so are you prepared?

 

R: What is your favorite memory so far?

A: My favorite memory so far is working on a film in Hawaii with my best friend. We both were doing makeup, hair, and SPFX for a Lifetime film and it was just so magical being in Oahu, staying by the beach, doing what we loved. It was very special and I will never forget it.

 

R: What is your official website? Are you on any social media?

A: My website is www.allydoesmakeup.com and my instagram is @allydoesmakeup. Sometimes I also snapchat BTS videos if I’m allowed @mcgillamuah

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add?

A: If anyone would like to book me, please email allydoesmakeup@icloud.com I am also looking to mentor, so if there is anyone who wants some help becoming a makeup artist in the L.A. area, feel free to email me too (serious inquires only, please)

 

R: Allison, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

 

Meet 25-year-old Award Winning Actress, Writer, and Director Castille Landon

“Diversify your interests, study anything and everything, and most importantly, never compare yourself to anyone else. There will always be someone more intelligent, more talented, more beautiful, more connected, etc., but that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for you at the table. You are enough; it’s a matter of working hard for yourself, striving to become the best version of yourself, and believing that you have something that is worthy of contributing.”

25-year-old actress, screenwriter, and film director Castille Landon is making history and paving the way for young women who are pursuing their dreams and careers. Born in Florida, she moved to Los Angeles when she was fifteen to pursue a career in acting. She graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in English, and is currently a student at Oxford, working on her creative writing major as the only screenwriter accepted into the class. “I think it helps as a filmmaker to be exposed to as many subjects as possible so as to create work that more broadly reflects humanity. I’d rather tell the stories of humans (especially women) throughout time, or be inspired by big ideas in science and medicine or great minds than become insular and just tell stories I relate to personally, or make films about filmmakers or writers,” said Landon, when asked why she decided to pursue a college education instead of only going straight to a career in the film industry.

She has appeared in numerous television shows and films such as Criminal Minds, Wind Walkers, Land of Leopold, and Among Ravens, and played a major supporting role in the comedy Sex Ed opposite Haley Joel Osment and Glen Powell. Now she writes, produces, and directs films such as Apple of My Eye, starring Burt Reynolds and Amy Smart, and I Believe in Unicorns, which premiered at SXSW and was screened in more than 40 film festivals worldwide. Her latest film, Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, was just released on Pay Per View on April 2, and will be available on DVD at Walmart on May 2.

The story follows a thirteen-year-old girl, tasked with the responsibility of caring for her disabled father, who is transported by a magical black stallion to the mystical world of Albion, where she discovers that she is the key to saving an entire race of people. It stars Oscar-nominee John Cleese (Monty Python), Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon A Time), and Debra Messing (Will and Grace). “The film was a blast to direct,” said Landon. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of actors. Everyone really nailed their characters, and [the cast] and I became very close during the whole shooting process.” The film earned a 93% audience approval rating when it was previewed at the Bentonville Film Festival, and received both the IFP Director’s Lab Selection award and Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Film at the Equus Film Festival in New York.

In her free time, Castille enjoys hot power yoga, horseback riding, and reading. She is also a very strong supporter of women in film, gender equality, inclusion of girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, and de-stigmatizing mental illness. This is what she had to say on the subject:

“Gender equality is something that needs to happen, and that I’m constantly shocked to see is not even close to our present conditions. As far as STEM fields, I think it’s important to empower girls through school and teach them that their contributions in those fields can be great. I personally really struggle with understanding detailed science and math, but I’m obsessed with learning about them in the general sense. I love learning about neurology, epigenetics, and cognitive and behavioral psychology— how the brain works, why we do what we do, etc. Perhaps my brain really doesn’t grasp on to the intricacies of it, but it could also be that if I had been encouraged to study those subjects as a younger person, I might have been able to train my brain to function in those fields. Too often, young girls are told that they are meant to be studying subjects in the humanities, that we’re the ‘emotional’ gender, and so we turn the logical, mathematical sides of our brains off. Do we really lack those talents, or are they muscles that we weren’t encouraged to strengthen and have atrophied without use? Geena Davis’s Institute is doing great work and putting forth the idea that young people need to see themselves reflected on screen, so we, as creatives, need to show women doing these things to inspire the younger generation to pursue them.

“All of that being said, de-stigmatizing mental illness and promoting mental wellness is one of my greatest passions in life. There’s a long history of mental illness in my family, particularly in the women, up the maternal line for several generations. I was raised to understand that and so it didn’t even occur to me that discussing one’s struggles in that area was taboo until fairly recently. It dawned on me that many people turned to suicide not only because they were struggling with mental illness, but because they felt too ashamed of their condition to speak up and get help. That’s unacceptable. No one would be ashamed to say they had asthma so they needed to take a break from exercise. Society doesn’t judge those who get cancer. Why do we not regard mental illness in the same manner? It’s really nonsensical to me. And furthermore, positive psychology should be taught alongside any other subject. We should promote positive thinking instead of perpetuating the culture of fear and anger that the media seems intent on spreading.”

You can learn more about Geena Davis’s Institute here: https://seejane.org/
Also, check out the trailer for Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, like the Facebook page, and go follow Castille on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date on her upcoming projects!
By Anna Tallarico

Cimorelli’s New Album Might Be The Best Yet

 

Written by:  Jill Sheets

Cimorelli’s newest album has just been released. Even thought Alive is not their first album, it is their first pop/Christian album. The Cimorelli sisters wrote every song on it. (When you think they cannot get any better, they do!) Personally, I think Alive is their best album so far. It’s catchy and upbeat; it shows off their strong vocals and meaningful lyrics. They have worship songs, but they also tackle hard issues like worthlessness and addiction. These inspirational and uplifting songs will get stuck in your head, especially when you need a certain message.  It is hard to pick my favorite song, as I love them all. Each song speaks to me in a different way, and I’m sure they will for you too.

 

Track Listing:

  1.    Your Name Is Forever
  2.    One More Night
  3.    Alive
  4.    Never Let Me Fall
  5.    The Love Of A Man
  6.    My God Is Here
  7.    Hope For It
  8.    Kick The Habit
  9.    Find Me
  10.    Love Song (Over Me)

I had been waiting a while for this CD, and it was worth the wait. I cannot wait to see what Cimorelli does next. If you are interested in learning more about this sister group you can go to the links below.

https://www.cimorellimusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Cimorelliband/

https://www.instagram.com/cimorelliband/

https://www.youtube.com/user/cimorellitheband

 

Meet Bunk’d Star Nathan Arenas

 

If you used to watch Disney Channel’s show Jessie, you might have heard of Bunk’d, a spinoff starring Karan Brar and Nathan Arenas, who plays Ravi’s spirited best friend Jorge. Nathan is a natural comedian–his energy and dedication to his role leaves a lasting impression on his audience. Besides acting, he enjoys drawing; playing piano, drums, and guitar; and performing magic tricks. Read on to learn more about him!

 

R: Tell us how you got into acting.

N: Well for me it started with music. Ever since I learned how to walk and talk (I learned both around the same time) I would ask my mom to film me either singing and dancing or playing my toy guitar to The Rolling Stones or The Strokes. Then my love for seeing myself on camera came along!

R: You play Jorge on Bunk’d. Can you tell us what the show is about and about your character? What is it like working with Karan Brar and the rest of the cast?

N: Bunk’d is a spinoff of Jessie, so basically the Ross kids (Emma, Ravi, and Zuri Ross) end up going to a summer camp in Maine called Camp Kikiwaka, where their parents had met when they were teenagers. There, the kids make friends with head counselor Lou, camp heartthrob Xander, studious Tiffany, and…Jorge. It’s a bit difficult to explain what Jorge is like. You’ll have to meet him yourself! He is well-known for his exaggerated fibs, being outgoing, and of course being, in his eyes, mature, which comes across as a bit weird. It’s really awesome working with the whole cast because I consider them family and they are also role models. They have definitely taught me a lot.

 

R: What is a normal filming day like for you?

N: A normal filming day for me would be going to school, rehearsal, and eventually filming for a bit, then having dinner and going back home.

 

R: What is your favorite part of acting?

N: My favorite part would be that you can express yourself in many ways, and also that you’re doing what you love by making people feel a certain way each time they watch you. Sometimes we have scenes that make people tear up or laugh, and that’s mainly what I like about acting.

 

R: Are there any charities that are close to your heart?

N: Anti-bullying, animal shelters, foster care, and children hospitals.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

N: I definitely want to start with photography. I also do amateur close-up and card magic, and I would definitely like to improve so that I can get more in the “magic” realm.

 

R: Are you on any social media? What are their addresses? Is there a place where your fans can send you mail?

N: I’m on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can send it to my PO Box:

Nathan Arenas, PMB #10910 Long Beach Blvd. STE #103 Lynwood, CA 90262

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?

N: Thank you for watching guys, I love all of you so much. Dream big!!

 

By Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Bobby Quillard

 

 

Chit Chatting with Singer Macy Kate

 

By Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing 19-year-old singer Macy Kate.  You may have first seen her on her YouTube channel or the reality show The X Factor. Read on and learn more about Macy, what it was like on The X Factor, her future goals, and about her song “Born to Be Me.”

 

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got into music.

M: When I was around thirteen years old, I started auditioning for reality shows like The X Factor and American Idol and that kind of gave me a really good foundation and prep for what the music industry was going to be like. After I had a little success with a reality show, I started a YouTube channel and began posting covers. Ever since I started YouTube, it’s never stopped.

 

R: You sang the theme song for The Swan Princess: Royally Undercover. Would you mind telling us about the song “Born to Be Me”?

M: The song “Born To Be Me” is a song about being yourself. You were born a certain way and there no reason at all to change who you are. I feel like a lot of teens feel pressured to fit in or to be accepted, but really, just being yourself is the most beautiful thing.

 

R: You also sang the theme song for The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today. Tell us about that theme song.

M: That one was so fun. Everyone that I worked with in the studio was amazing and I think it turned out great for the movie.

 

R: Tell us about some of your other music and where we can get it.

M: I haven’t released any new original music lately, but I do post covers every week on my YouTube channel which is super fun for me because I get to recreate songs by my favorite artists and make them my own. My YouTube channel is youtube.com/macykatemusic.

 

R: Not only do you sing, but your write your own music. What is your writing process? How do you come up with your ideas?

M: Well, I usually start off with the melodies and take it from there. I feel like the melodies really give the song life and it’s easier for me to write words once that top line is laid down. The lyrics mostly come from personal experiences, so I tend to write about things that actually happen to me.

 

R: I read that you where on the The X Factor. What was it like? What was your favorite part?

M: It was amazing! I loved every minute of it. It was definitely super nerve-wracking because that was my first time singing in front of a crowd like that, but as soon as I walked off that stage I told myself that singing was what I wanted to do and what I wanted to pursue. That show definitely gave me the confidence to keep going in music.

 

R: What is your favorite thing about performing on stage?

M: Definitely connecting with my fans. Even if I touched just one of those people with a lyric, performance, etc., it just makes me feel good. You can’t compare anything to connecting with someone. It’s truly amazing.


R: What are your top five favorite songs that you have sung?

M: I would say “Killing Me Softly” by Fugees, “Listen” by Beyoncé, “Issues” by Julia Michaels, “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars, and “One Moment In Time” by Whitney Houston.

 

R: Do you have any hidden talents? If so, tell us about them.

M: Honestly, I have no hidden talents!! Everything is already out there.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

M: Definitely Rihanna. I look up to her for everything. Style, attitude, music, everything. She’s amazing.

 

R: What are your future goals?

M: Definitely to have a hit record and create a fashion line. I have a huge passion for fashion and I want to create some really cool things.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them?

M: Always be yourself and never give up on your dream. Don’t let anyone get in the way of what you want to do. I have been turned down, knocked down, and said no to so many times. That doesn’t stop me from reaching my end goal. So always be you and never stop at what you want to do.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

M: Hmm. I’ve been asked what my shoe size is, but that’s not really weird.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official site and/or YouTube page?

M: I am on everything! Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. You can find me at @macykatemusic

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: Never give up on your dreams and always believe in yourself.

 

R: Macy, Thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

 

Picture credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Sarah Grey

Written by:  Jill Sheets

“Allison Taylor Creative”

Recently I had the honor of interviewing up and coming actress Sarah Grey.  This talented young actress is in the movie “Power Rangers,” which opens on March 24th. Continue to read on about her, what people may not know about her and her hidden talent.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting?

S: Well, I grew up on Vancouver Island B.C and initially wanted to be a singer! I didn’t really comprehend that acting could be a job when I was young, so it wasn’t on my radar. I fell into an acting class by a random series of events, and immediately fell in love with it. I have always had a strong curiosity for people. I think my love of performing and interest in people is the mix that got me hooked!

 

R:  Tell us about your TV movie “Story of a Girl” and about your character Caitlin Spinelli?

S: This film is based on Sara Zarr’s award winning novel “Story of a Girl”. It’s a powerful coming of age story, following the character “Deanna” who, at 16 is still dealing with the ramifications of a video with her and an older boy, that was leaked when she was only 13 years old. My character, Caitlin, is a popular cheerleader at school who takes pleasure in insulting Deanna, and receiving attention. Our director, Kyra Sedgwick, was absolutely lovely, as well as the rest of the cast. It was always good vibes on set! It made it challenging to play such a mean girl.

 

R: You are also in “Power Rangers” and “Last Night in Suburbia.”  Tell us the movies and your character.

S: “Last night in Suburbia” is an ensemble comedy about a group of friends spending their last fun night together, before they jet off to their various cities for College. All the while being followed around by a hilariously terrible undercover cop. I play “Hailey” who is dating “Spencer”.. another member of the friend group. They are kind of like the married couple of the group because they’ve been together since the beginning of highschool. They all get into a bunch of shenanigans but the movie can be quite touching and relatable at times. 

I also appear in “Power Rangers” which hits theatres this month (March 24th)! This film is based on the Power Rangers franchise that I think many of us have heard of/seen. I play the role of Amanda, another popular cheerleader type. ( I know it seems like a trend but I swear it’s just the two, laughs)

 

Picture source:  Allison Taylor Creative

R: What was it like being a Power Ranger? Did you have to do your own stunts? What was the hardest part when filming this movie?

S: It was fantastic being in Power Rangers. I was very excited because I would watch the T.V show with my sister when I was young (the odd time I actually woke up early on a school day). I didn’t have to worry about any major stunts. I think the hardest part was, again, having to be mean to the sweet Naomi Scott who plays the pink ranger. Playing a mean girl does not come naturally, which is a good thing I guess!

 

R: Our readers can also catch you on “Legends of Tomorrow.”  For those who have not seen then show yet, tell them a little bit about it and your character. 

S:”Legends of Tomorrow” is a DC Comic Series, that follows a team of time-travelling heroes and villains trying to prevent an apocalypse from happening. My character “Stargirl” shows up in season 2 with her “ Justice Society of America” squad. The two teams eventually start working together for the sake of good against evil. It is a blast to play a Superhero. The stunts were so much fun, and I can die happy now that I’ve flown- even if it was on wires. You can catch Stargirl in Episodes 1,2 and 12 of season 2.

 

R:  What are some of your future goals?

S: I’d love to travel for filming. Everything I’ve shot has been near or in Vancouver, which is nice and convenient, but I’d really like to see more of the world, and be earning an income while I’m at it! I’d also really like to be a lead on a T.V series. Writing for T.V is better than ever.

 

R: Do you have any hidden talents?

S: I can do the moonwalk.

 

R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

S: I have many favorite memories and inside jokes from filming “Last Night In Suburbia”. We would crack each other up constantly. Mackenzie Cardwell and I would improv rap songs on set. I’m still friends and keep in touch with many people from that cast.

 

R: Name five people you would like to work with.

S: Off the top of my head, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore,  Charlize Theron, Gary Oldman, and Kevin Spacey.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

S: I would have to go with my entire family. I can’t pick just one person! If it weren’t for them I don’t know if I’d be pursuing this career. They instilled in me the desire to follow my passion. I have an extremely inspiring, supportive family that has led by example.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

S: I have an extreme love of hot sauce that is teetering on the line between delicious and dangerous. In elementary school, I could do a series of back walk overs that made me look like a slinky, so that’s what everyone started calling me, including teachers. Friends and their families still call me slinky to this day.  I play guitar and sing. I went on stage and did an impression of Cher for my moms 50th Birthday. I played Sandy in Grease in my first and only theatre production at the age of 13.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager.  What advice would you give them in general?

S: Try to love yourself more and care less about what others think. Knowing who you are is overrated, people are constantly growing and changing anyway. Try new things, do more of what makes you happy, and believe in yourself! 

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

S: It must be this one because I don’t think I have one!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which one and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or youtube page?

S: Yes! 

Instagram @ sarah_grey8

Twitter      @sarah_grey8

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

S: Thank you for your support and love. I deeply appreciate it. 

 

R:  Sarah, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

S: Thanks for having me! Xo

Meet Singer Kaylee Rutland

 

Recently, I interviewed Belmont University senior Kaylee Rutland about her budding career in country music. Keep reading to find out what inspires her to write as well as her plans for the future.

 

R: Tell us a little about yourself.

K: I’m Kaylee Rutland, a singer, songwriter, and student living in Nashville, Tennessee. I am driven by my faith and am very close to my family. I’m currently a senior at Belmont University majoring in Music Business. I like to write and sing about positive messages with an encouraging vibe even if it’s about a tough subject.

 

R: Who are your biggest inspirations?

K: My biggest musical inspiration is Reba McEntire. Her vocals are incredible and her energy is contagious. She’s the queen of country in my books and I’ve always admired her talents, even when I was really young. I’m also inspired by my mom and my grandparents. They’ve been a huge part of my journey with endless encouragement and I can go to them about anything.

 

R: Do you have an album or EP out?

K: Over the last few months, I’ve been writing a lot of new material with the plan to release a more extensive body of work, whether that’s an album or EP, in the future. Both of my latest releases, “Pick Me Up” and “More Of That,” will be included on the full-length project. But for now, they are available as singles on iTunes.

 

R: What is your single “Pick Me Up” about?

K: “Pick Me Up” is about breaking through the everyday routine and enjoying the day that the week ends. It’s fun and upbeat and almost a weekend anthem. It serves as a reminder that whatever your week might have been like, it’s never a bad day to plan a good time!

 

R: What are some of your plans for the future?

K: The first plan is to graduate from Belmont University. I will also continue to make and share new music with y’all this year. Then, I plan to work as hard as I can to achieve my dreams, one of which is to play at the Grand Ole Opry one day.

 

R: What advice would you give to other young singers?

K: Perseverance — if it’s something you aspire to do and it’s the love of your life, you have to keep doing everything you can. Nothing can stop you. 

Check out Kaylee’s official website and her YouTube channel, and go follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

 

By Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Kaylee Rutland press photos

 

Interviewing Actress Lindsay Lamb

 

Meet Lindsay Lamb, a talented  actress who has done it all: horror, comedy, stage productions, even superhero films! You can see her in Emma’s Chance, Apple of My Eye, Range 15, and again in Blue Line, which is soon to be released this spring. Read on to learn more about her.

 

R: When did you first get into acting? How did you get to where you are today in the business?

L: I first starting acting out when my younger sister was born and I was desperate for attention. But professionally, I started acting when I was 10 years old in a theater production of Annie. I performed in Florida theatrically and commercially until I was 18, then decided to move to Boston, Massachusetts for reasons that I’m still unsure of. I didn’t know anyone and definitely didn’t know what I was doing, but I ended up interning at Boston Casting and working on countless sets. I learned very quickly that I had a lot more to learn! Then I moved to New York where I worked for 3 years and went to Pace University before transferring to the University of Southern California and majoring in theater. I have been in LA ever since. 

 

R: What kinds of movies have you done in the past? Do you have a favorite film you’ve done? What is your favorite genre to act in?

L: I’ve done a variety of films, everything from family films to horror films to superheroine films. I think my favorite film thus far has been Apple Of My Eye because of everything I learned and being able to work with my best friend and favorite director, Castille Landon. My favorite genre in general is psychological thrillers. I love a good murder mystery that keeps you guessing!

 

R: Tell us about Blue Line. 

L: Blue Line was the first film that I booked after graduating from USC. It was such a great experience and definitely another one of those wow-I-have-so-much-more-to-learn times in my life, which is always very humbling, to say the least. We filmed in Cromwell, Connecticut in the dead of winter and I played Bunny Abbott, a cheerleader who gets held hostage by the two leads. The entire town and entire crew were so incredibly wonderful and it was an experience that I am forever grateful for. I’m so excited to see the final product when it’s released this spring!

 

R: What do you like to do besides acting?

L: I’m actually outrageously boring; there’s a rumor going around that I do a lot of fun things, but I really just hang out with my dogs and experiment with different food combinations in my kitchen! I also love a good vanilla latte and going to the Sleep Number bed store with my fellow weirdo Alana to see if my sleep number position has changed.

 

R: What are your future plans?

L: Career wise, I really want to get into television, so I’ll just put that into the universe! Personally, I plan on continuing to travel. As of January 1 of last year, I had never been outside of the US and I decided that that needed to change. So far I’ve been to six countries and I want to try to double that this year. I definitely caught the travel bug and I’m not mad about it!

 

R: Are there any charities or causes close to your heart? Tell us about them.

L: I adopted both of my pups, so really any charity having to do with saving animals is close to my heart. But more specifically, Bark n’ Bitches, where my family adopted our pup Winnie, and Wylder’s Holistic Pet Center and Rescue where I adopted my little girl Jovi (and since I mentioned Jovi, I have to mention my little cub, Scotch. He was found on the streets in downtown LA but now sleeps in a tempedic bed so he’s not complaining!), and of course the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society.

 

R: What advice do you have for young aspiring actresses?

L: I think the most important thing that I’ve learned is to find your “people”— likeminded individuals who are on your team. I think it’s so important, especially in this crazy industry, to have a core group of people who you can depend on to be consistent. With that being said, always make sure you are that consistent person for someone else. It goes a long way!

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Ryan West

 

Interview with Mason Ashley

It’s been several dry months for me, musically wise.  I’m listening and absorbing, but there hasn’t been much interest in writing about any of it.  So, the second an email piques my interest, I’m all over it, quick, before I lose the motivation.  Fortunately, though, I love “Paper Planes” so much, I am as excited to share this with you now as I was three weeks ago when I first heard Mason.  Straight up great lyrics and lovely voice with no flash and no gimmicks because there isn’t any needed.  Seriously, it’s so refreshing.  And this interview hints at a sense of humor that made me smile; I am as eager to share her responses as I am to tell everyone about her music.  Read on. And then go listen. I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

 

Relate:  First memory of music:

Mason:  I grew up watching the VH1 Top 20 Video countdown every Saturday since I was really little. I used to dance around the living room and reenact music videos and sing along with every song my parents would play in the house. The first song I wrote was on a hotel notepad when I was seven years old about being late for school…. I was homeschooled at the time. 

 

R:  Name one song you wish you had written and why?

M:  “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan is a song I always wish I’d written. It is the greatest break up song of all time in my opinion. It totally encapsulates the feelings at the end of a relationship. Each verse takes you through the different emotions; the “who cares” somewhat sarcastic attitude, the feeling of giving up, and the hint of sadness in the last verse. It’s genius. 

 

R:  Favorite song of yours that you have written and what makes it special to you?

M:  I think my favorite song I’ve written is the title track of my new EP, “Strangers”. That song title was in my phone notes for about two years and I just never found lyrics that lived up to the title until last summer. The song just kind of poured out of me and it has some of my favorite and most personal lines in it. It’s about a very complicated relationship I was in last year that taught me a lot about myself and how I deal with different situations. “Strangers” is special to me because it is the song I had always wanted to write and it ended up exactly the way I wanted it to in production. It captures the feeling of getting to know someone, losing them, and realizing maybe you never really knew them at all… and in the end you end up exactly how you started: strangers. 

 

R:  I’ve read that you have traveled a lot. How has meeting new people and seeing different places helped you become a better songwriter and musician?

M:  I always get very inspired when I travel. Something about seeing parts of the world I’ve never seen before for the first time makes me want to capture that feeling in lyrics. Meeting new people is the same kind of inspiration for me.. it’s a reminder of how unique everyone is and how everyone has their own story. 

 

R:  Have you ever been afraid to share a song and did you get over that fear?  If so, how?  And if not, do you think you will always have songs that you keep to yourself?

M:  When I first started writing, I was terrified to share any of my songs. When I started performing my songs, I would hide all my feelings in metaphors in my lyrics to make sure nobody knew how I was feeling. I had been writing a few years when I finally realized that all the songs by other artists that I loved were songs that told a brutally honest story. From then on, I felt confident being honest in my writing…it’s much easier.  

 

R:  What goal do you have for yourself that is so big that it frightens you?

M:  My biggest, most terrifying goal is probably to have my song in a movie. It is a dream of mine and if it happened, I think I would freak out. 

 

R:  Best advice that you have ever been given?

M:  Growing up in church with my pastor being my grandfather, I always have great advice. One of my favorite pieces of advice is actually something my grandpa said about God and how He is in everything in our lives, even the rough times. “He’s the designer of the storm. He doesn’t just get you through it… He is in it.” Those words always calm me down and remind me that there is a plan for my life better than I could ever design for myself. 

 

R:  When you aren’t singing or writing music, what do you like to do?

M:   I’m in cosmetology school right now so when I’m not doing something music related I’m normally doing someone’s hair. I’m a coffee-addict so I’m also usually found in a coffee shop after or before school. And I’ve also started doing a lot of yoga lately. 

 

R:  Tell us about something that has made you laugh in the last twenty-four hours.

M:  Well… I was watching The Office earlier (for the billionth time) and laughing with every episode I watched. 

 

R:  Name one song on your iPod that your friends would be surprised you own.

M:  I normally have pop, rap, or indie music playing when my friends are with me so I think they’d be most surprised at the amount of Jackson 5 songs I have on my phone.. They are probably my guilty pleasure band. 

 

R:  Just for fun-choose one:  Beach or the mountains?

M:  Beach BY the mountains. 

 

R:  T-shirts and jeans or sweaters and skirts?

M:   T-shirts and jeans.

 

R:  Taylor Swift or Beyonce?

M:  T-swizzle.

 

R:  Pizza or Cheeseburgers and fries?

M:   Pizza! (Barbecue chicken pizza specifically)

 

R:  Chocolate or potato chips?

M:  Chocolate chips all the way.

 

For more information about Mason, please visit:  http://www.masonashley.com/

Written by Ellen Marie Hawkins

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Kelsey Scott

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing actress Kelsey Scott. She plays Sierra on the webisodes of  Passage, which is in its second season. Not only is she a talented actress, but she is also a writer. Read on and learn more about her, upcoming projects, and what the strangest question she has ever been asked is.

 

R: Tell our readers about yourself and how you got into acting.

K: I fell in love with performing very early, and spent the greater part of my childhood on the stages of my hometown, Atlanta, from theater troupes to community choir, even a performing arts high school. Although I’m the only person in my immediate family who chose a career in entertainment, my mother sang and played the piano, my sister sings and plays eight instruments, and my grandmother was a passionate writer. I was always surrounded by creative energy and my family was fully supportive of my aspirations.

 

R: You are in the TV series Fear the Walking Dead: Passage. Tell us about the show and your character, Sierra.

K: Passage is the second season of the Fear the Walking Dead webisodes. It follows two women in a post-apocalyptic world who begin as strangers and are forced to become allies in order to survive. The series begins with my character, Sierra, who’s a shrewd and resilient survivor. She’s still reeling from an immense, personal tragedy that she refuses to talk about. As she’s making her way through an abandoned military camp that was bombed after being overrun with Infected, she encounters Gabi. Timid, injured, and barely surviving on her own, Gabi is Sierra’s polar opposite. Sierra has no desire to be responsible for another person. But when Gabi tells her about a tunnel that can get them both out of San Diego and into Mexico, Sierra reluctantly agrees to help her. Over the course of the trek, they face all manners of danger – in the wasteland the world has become, and inside themselves.

 

R: Where can people watch this series?

K: The episodes air Sundays on AMC, during commercial breaks of The Walking Dead. You can also find them online on the AMC website and through the AMC app, where you can watch the first eight episodes as one, uninterrupted broadcast.

 

R: How did you find out about Fear the Walking Dead: Passage?

K: My agent sent me in for, what I thought, was a commercial audition. The script seemed uncharacteristically dramatic for a commercial, though. So I figured it was probably a PSA. Even when I went to the callback (a second audition) none of the actors had been given details about the project. It wasn’t until I booked the role and received a call from the wardrobe department of Fear the Walking Dead that the truth came to light! It was a beautiful surprise. I’d been itching to do a gritty, action role and this was a perfect fit.

 

R: Do you have any other projects that are coming out?

K: I’m excited about a psychological thriller I shot called The Dark Red. I play a psychiatrist whose patient insists that her unborn child was stolen by a cult. I’ll also be making a couple of guest appearances in a juicy web series about actor-life called The Process, and I have a recurring role on How To Get Away With Murder.

 

R: What is the best thing about acting and the hardest thing?

K: They’re one and the same. You have the opportunity to become someone completely different from yourself, to step outside of your own set of experiences and embody a different individual. Living someone else’s narrative is not easy. Authenticity requires craft and consistency and public vulnerability. For me, it’s a delicious brand of difficult. I love it.

 

R: You are also a screenwriter. Tell us about that and what are some of the films you have written?

K: I think I caught the writing bug from my mother and grandmother. My mother was an English professor for thirty years and taught me the power and beauty of words. My grandmother loved to write and showed me that I could use those words to design worlds. I received my formal screenwriting training at Florida State University’s College of Film. Two of my more popular films are Motives and its sequel Motives 2: Retribution. I continue to write films on both assignment and spec, as well as provide feedback to writers and producers on existing projects.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?  

K: I’d love for my next role to be as a series regular on an hour-long drama. It was exciting to work on so many episodes of How To Get Away With Murder and have the opportunity to dive into the character over several weeks. My ideal scenario would be working on a series and then on eclectic films, between seasons. As a writer, I also have some “favorite” scripts I’m eager to see on screen.


R: It is hard being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

K: Trust yourself. It takes time and it requires that you listen to that small voice in your head – especially when outside influences want to drown it out. But I’ve found that the right answers are more obvious than complicated. If you err on the side of doing what’s right and what’s right for you, finding answers to significant questions becomes a smoother journey.

 

R: What is your favorite project you have done and why?

K: I have two. The first is How To Get Away With Murder, for the reasons I mentioned above. I also loved working with Viola Davis. It’s important to put yourself in the company of people who challenge you to be better. Some people challenge you just by being themselves and doing what they normally do. It’s even better when, like Viola, they’re genuine people with open hearts. The second project is a play I did in Atlanta written by the indomitable Pearl Cleage, titled What I Learned in Paris. Because it was the premiere production, I was the first actor to present this character to the world. I’d never had that honor before on such a large scale and I understand the importance of being chosen by the playwright to breathe inaugural life into her creation. Additionally, the character is nothing like me. I relished the challenge of finding her and then really being her, performance after performance.

 

R: What is the best thing a fan has ever said or done for you?

K: I’m a big believer in the majesty of words, so I try to be very deliberate with mine. I’ve been most flattered when someone reveals that something I said impacted him or her in a meaningful and memorable way, especially when it drives them to push forward in ways even they might not have known they were capable of.


R: Tell us about some of the causes that are close to your heart like WriteGirl and Kids in the Spotlight?

K: Art is a superpower. It is emotional and cathartic, medicinal to the spirit and melodic to the heart. Any time I have the opportunity to encourage people, especially young people, to discover and explore their creative side, I’m first in line. WriteGirl matches professional women writers with teenage girls. The women volunteer their time to help these young ladies find their voices and express themselves. Through workshops, mentorships and events, WriteGirl promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills for a demographic that, in my opinion, is too often hushed. Kids in the Spotlight is a beautiful organization that enlists professional filmmakers to train foster care youth in writing, casting, and starring in their own short films. Each season concludes with an Academy Awards-like event in which the kids walk the red carpet, see their films on the big screen and connect with professionals in various aspects of the entertainment industry.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question that you have ever been asked?

K: Someone once said to me, “You were a child actor. Why aren’t you messed up?”

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

K: My website is www.KelseyScott.com and social media gurus can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @MsKelseyScott.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

K: Achievement in the entertainment industry often requires a cocktail of time, resilience, and consistency. The same can be said for just about any career path. But success is still possible. For anyone. Unfortunately, it’s become a cliché to tell people to believe in themselves and follow their dreams — that they can do anything they put their minds toward. So I’ll leave you with a more tangible grain of advice that my mother always told me: “Never take a ‘no’ from someone not empowered to give you a ‘yes’, in the first place.”

 

R: Kelsey, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

K: It has been my absolute pleasure.

 

Photo credits: AMC Stills: Ron Jaffe, Publicity Photo: Scott Price