Enter spooky season

Hi everybody – how’s your summer? Still scorching … or sizzling out? It’s been a busy, up and down summer for me, so I figured it’s time to do another blog update.

Ok, first off – San Diego Comic-Con was a blast – and the Art Show was back too! It felt good to be back in person and I even sold an original painting, yay! Thank you to my supporters for showing up – you are my life blood. What made it even sweeter is the fact that I didn’t catch the Con-Crud or the Rona!

Two resident aliens (see what I did there?)

But then, just two days after Comic-Con ended, I found out about the sudden death of Micah Minor – a talented and promising filmmaker and friend. We worked and helped on each other’s projects several times over the years; and he was part of the crew for my short films The Appointment and Things We Dig. Unfortunately, his exit was not a big surprise to most of us who knew him, but it rattled and shocked us nonetheless. This one hit hard. I am so tired (and angry) of losing friends to mental illness.

RIP Micah – you are missed and I’ll never forget you and the good times we had on set!

The next day, I had to be on the set for the over the top comedy ‘Sinderella‘, directed by my good friend David Ruiz. I got to play the wicked stepmother and I managed to immerse myself into the role and bring out the bitch in me. I mean…how can that not be fun? And I was surrounded by a talented cast – it felt great being on the set again. I can’t wait to see the premiere later this year!

Did you finish all your chores?

Just when you thought you’d never hear me talk about Things We Dig again, there’s still life left in it! I’m happy to announce that my short horror comedy is nominated for FOUR awards at the 8th Annual San Diego Film Awards! And the nominees are: Elsa Mickelsen for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Ty Marie Frost for Best Makeup/Hair, and our youngest actor Morgan Marlow for Best Emerging Actor! Congratulations and crossing all my digits for you! You can attend the Awards Show on Friday (tomorrow starting at 6pm, sorry for the short notice) at the MOPA in Balboa Park OR watch it televised on KPBS at 10pm.

Coming up in September – not to be missed:

Secret Morgue 3.1: When Animals Attack!

If you’ve been to the previous editions (Secret Morgue: Aliens and Secret Morgue: Witches’ Night) by the Film Geeks SD, you know you’re in for a treat!

From their page: “Your ticket will get you 4 films, 1 meal (Lefty’s Pizza), introductions by scientists, art show, photo opps, popcorn (while supply lasts), Bonkers Ass Cinema author selling and signing books, and trivia prizes. Doors open at noon for check in and marathon will end at 10:00 PM.

Not only am I looking forward to watching (surprise …TBA) horror flicks, but also yummy food, catching up with friends; and I’ll have a painting or two up for sale in the Art Show! So, go get a ticket and see ya there!

Where/when: Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park! SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 AT 12 PM – 10 PM

In closing – I’m still going strong with my newsletter Pia Shares Her Dark Half and even picked up a new subscriber or two! Go check it out and hit that share or even subscribe button – thankee! I also spruced up my Buy me a Coffee page and started adding moar BTS stuff and free stickers for my supporters. You rock! Thanks again for all your love!

That’s it for today – it’s time for my favorite time of the year: Halloween season!!! Till spooky time – stay frosty!



Sharing is caring, mostly

Hey everybody – and just like that, it’s summer! How are you? Are you reading this while on vacation abroad or during your staycation? No vacation for me this summer, but crossing my fingers for the end of the year.

So, I did start my newsletter ‘Pia Shares Her Dark Half like I announced in my last post and so far it’s going great! What is it about? Basically, I’m trying to get you to let out your shadow side in a creative way. You know…to release all that tension and stress and pent-up anger that seems to have this whole planet in its grip these days. If you haven’t already, subscribe and check your email tomorrow, when my next edition comes out. If you don’t see it, check your spam folder!

Speaking of writing…I’ve also been working on some screenplays off and on, between the other gigs, to keep those muscles warm! Sometimes I wish I could clone myself.

I’m also in the midst of getting art and paperwork together for the San Diego Comic-Con Art Show. I can’t believe SDCC is in just under a month already. Yikes!

On the acting front, not too much news. I’ve been offered a small role by my director friend David Ruiz for his next dramedy “Sinderella“, which I happily accepted. By now, it’s become his tradition to cast me as his good luck charm for every new project. I don’t mind at all! Plus he’s fun to work with and well….we go waaay back.

I also did some background work, cause, well, I could use the money and I’d rather be on a film set than at my survival job in the grocery store any day, even if it is at Trader Joe’s, lol! I can’t really say much about the film, except that the crew and the production itself was super nice and professional. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a production treat their extras as well as they have, especially under very difficult film shoot circumstances, like extreme heat, smoke, dust and live animals. Kudos! The movie will be on the History Channel in December (as far as I know). Stay tuned!

Not ‘Dune’…(I wish, hehe)

Since I’ve ramped up my creative projects in a big way again, I created a ‘Buy me a Coffee‘ account (well, in my case, buy me a beer) which is similar to Patreon, but without the monthly commitment. I decided to do this in conjunction with my newsletter, which is free for everybody to (hopefully) enjoy and share. ‘Buy me a Beer’ is basically a tip jar and you can drop some change for me or set up a monthly contribution to support my artistic endeavors. Art materials are not cheap and I thank you in advance for the love!

That’s all for today – have a great summer and stay frosty!




August went by so fast! Lots of film and acting stuff happened!

Lemme start from the beginning!

On Friday the 13th, I released ‘The Test‘, my ‘pandemic baby’, a fun & punky crime short with a dash of very dark humor. Thanks for all the love and social media shares! It looks like you really liked it, which makes this a happy filmmaker!

Here’s a great review from the TG Geeks that just warmed my dark little heart:

Click here to read the whole article and review! Thank you so much Ben! And thanks for the 5 out of 5 shovels!

Of course, you can judge for yourself and just watch the short film right now!

I’m still amazed how quickly this short film came together, compared to the torturous four year process to get ‘Things We Dig‘ made! It was written, filmed and edited within 4 months while we still had our regular/thrival/essential worker jobs! Of course this one is so much shorter and simpler than Things We Dig. It felt like the universe gifted that one to me, starting with a light bulb moment that resulted in the script in no time! Then my film family came together, and before I knew it, we were in post production..and here we are!

Starring Deepti Kingra-Mickelsen and myself, written and directed by moi. Edited by ever patient mensch Peter Stoll and beautifully shot by Peter Kingra-Mickelsen on RED Helium Weapon with Lomo Foton Zoom and Rokinon 16mm Prime lenses!

Grab a friend, a snort of whiskey (or a non-booze bev for my abstaining frenz) and enjoy the 5-minute ride with a kickass soundtrack thanks to composer Eric Recourt and President Frankenstein.

Then there was this crazy last weekend, starting with Friday, when I got to play a pastor’s wife (Me! Hahahaha!…I really had to do some ACTING here, lol) in David Ruiz‘ next movie “The Other Pastor“.

I didn’t get to turn into a vampire (my horror peeps will get this reference), but it was a quickie shoot for me and so fun to re-connect with David, who made it his mission to cast me in all his film projects (for good luck, he said) ever since his first feature “Proctor” way back in 2004 (?) You still need to put the rest of your films on IMDb, David! As a matter of fact, he wrote his feature ‘Bad Guy One’ with me as one of the leads and filmed it as his second feature. I mostly remember rolling around in the dirt at night with sticky blood all over me! It’s a thriller about two female filmmakers who wind up being stalked by a rejected actor. Funny how life imitates art…sort of. Now I’m a filmmaker, but luckily, no crazy actor stalker (that I know of)! Anyways, I digress.

Then, Saturday I was part of team Kanari Storm for the 48HourFilmProject SanDiego. They sent me the script in the morning and in the afternoon I got to play my part in “Terrornovela“, directed by my filmmaker and actor friend Christine Gatlin. I can’t say much about it yet, as to not spoil anything, but I can say that our assigned genre was telenovela/soap opera and comedy. Need I say more? The cherry on top was that I got paired up with D. Candis Paule, who was a surprise actor addition to the team! Most film peeps in San Diego know her as the casting director in town and (thankfully) I have taken her actor workshops before. Naturally, I felt a bit extra pressure at first, but to my huge relief, it didn’t take long till we were knee deep into our characters and had a blast working together. We wound up wrapping at 4am-ish and I finally rolled into bed Sunday morning just as the birds started chirping outside. True vampire form right there!

Wanna see the short film? I haven’t seen it yet either and I can’t wait for its screening! Join me and Team Kanari Storm at Reading Cinemas in La Mesa on September 15th at 7pm! Make sure to check the 48HrFP page for details and screening dates/time of all the other teams as well.

One of the things I really enjoyed over that last weekend was that this time I “only” had to act! No wearing of several hats, no film production worries, no leading a cast and crew, no shotlist and continuity to worry about or losing a location! It was refreshing to only focus on one thing again. It made it even more enjoyable and freeing…Yay!

Ok, that’s enough for today, but I have one more nugget: Now that it has pretty much finished its film festival run, I will release my other short film ‘Things We Dig‘ out to the wild soon….very soon! Just in time for Halloween season!

That’ll be a separate post, so stay tuned!