A grateful look back at 2011

Ahh, 2011…it’s almost over already! What a year – great artistically, not so great financially. But how do you measure success? By focusing on the things to be happy about, the things you enjoyed, learned from, gained experience from and the new friends you made! A little recap:

2011 started and I hit the ground running with the staged reading of ‘Househusband‘, a play written by Anat Gov and directed by Candis Paule. It was a fun first for me and I got to play with my German accent with a bit of Russian mixed in. Working with Candis was fluid and easy and the cast was wonderful, too. The audience got a big kick out of it – what more can you ask for? Thanks to all who showed up and supported us!

Next, I was asked by fellow German/actor/filmmaker Christine Agresti if I’d be interested in playing a part in her short film ‘Where are the Fans?’. We met in a cafe and discussed the outline of the scenes, deciding that most of the dialog would be improv. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time and it was hard for both of us to NOT succumb to constant giggle fits while filming. It was delicious hilarity to work with Christine and this improv came surprisingly easy for me. I sometimes dread doing comedy, because comedic timing is a tough nut to crack and I think you either have it or you don’t. I don’t think I have mastered scripted comedy (yet), but I definitely feel good about improv now!

Then came the big one, ‘Vincent‘, a short film I’ve been collaborating with director, writer & producer Nicolas Simonin for over a year. I got involved with this film already back in 2010 and have helped with casting, location scouting, script editing, production assistance, acting and script supervising – phew! Post production is almost done and you can find several blog entries about this awesome, challenging, sometimes frustrating and difficult, yet rewarding and also exhilarating experience! You can start with Filming ‘Vincent’ – Day 1 if you’re so inclined. Nicolas and I worked so much together we’re practically joined at the hip. Thankfully, we have very understanding and supporting spouses. And guess what… we’re already working on our next project(s), yay!

In March and April I worked on the first of two zombie flicks I was involved with this year. Director Scott Wenger of Solar Light Films cast me as the zombie Ms. Julie in ‘Zombie Man’ and I happily volunteered for the first make-up tests. Besides acting in the film, I also had the chance to be a behind-the-scenes photographer and videographer. Again, I met lots of awesome new people; and playing a zombie gave me lots of fun material for my blog entry 10 Things I learned from being a zombie.

Afterwards I took a little time off and took my parents, who were visiting from Germany, on an epic road trip through the Southwest. It was time to get out, clear my head and see something different. Ahh, I wish I could hit the ‘repeat’ button on this one!

I also landed two awesome roles in two feature films, hello! One role will have me play an investigative journalist in the horror flick ‘Man Alone‘ (dir. Mark Allen of Forsaken Media Group), to be filmed in 2012. The other film ‘The Immortal Edward Lumley‘ (dir. William Wall of Metro City Films) is currently in production and I’m preparing my character, the ‘Stitch Witch’ as we speak. My part will be filmed as soon as the costume is finalized, sometime in the next few weeks. I’m so looking forward to both and it feels great knowing I already have something lined up for the next year!

Then there was another first – my online interview on Dr. Gore’s Funhouse website. Thank you Dr. Gore, you’ll always have a special place in my dark little heart!

Of course, sprinkled throughout the year are every actor’s Must Do’s: auditions. Some sucked, some were great and I landed a few commercial gigs here and there, but nothing to write home about. They DO help out with some sorely needed cash, though!

Then there was July…which is San Diego Comic Con month. Yup, I’m one of those people that go every day, all 5 days (including Preview Night) from the crack of dawn until they shut the doors. This year was especially sweet because I got to cheer on my acting BFF Mike Burnell and director William Wall at the panel for their short film ‘Android 413’ during the SDCC IFF. I’m already counting down to next year’s Con.

In August I took part in the 48 Hr Film Project competition with team ‘Latitude 32 Films’ and played the role of a psychiatrist. What a crazy weekend THAT was! Great teamwork, but unfortunately there were a few mishaps in the last few hours which prevented the film from being finished by the deadline. I’m sure lessons were learned all around…A big Thank you to our supporters who still came to the screening of The Vision!

My second zombie film of the year was ‘City 7‘, directed, produced and written by Peter & Christin Stoll and Ryan Berry. This time I played a zombie hunter called ‘Scout’ and I got to unleash my inner Ellen Ripley – oh, what a BLAST that one was, bruises and all! I wrote about feeling like a badass and shared some acting tips in ‘What to expect when chasing zombies‘. Again, I met some awesome people and made new friends. I hope to be working with them again for sure! The film is still in post-production, but getting close to the finish now and I can’t wait to see it! You can see a trailer here.

Last, but not least, in October I volunteered for San Diego’s first German Film Festival. I feel really honored having been part of it from its ‘birth’. We hope to make German Currents San Diego bigger each following year.

Dang! This turned out to be quite a long list after all and looking back, I realize I really have a LOT of things to be grateful for this year! Now I’m looking forward to 2012 and the new adventures it has to offer.

And with that, I wish you all a happy, healthy, joyful, successful, prosperous and fun New Year 2012 filled with much love and warmth!!!

xoxo,

Pia

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