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!



10 Things I learned from being a Zombie

A few weeks ago, I played a zombie in a short film called ‘Zombie Man‘ (by Solar Light Films). You might have read about my make-up test here.
It was a really fun and crazy shoot, but I also learned a few valuable lessons, which I am happy to share with my fellow ACTORS! (umm, Filmmakers might want to take notes too)

Forget about what you should do in a Zombie Apocalypse! Most of us already know – if you don’t, just google it.

The following is what I’ve learned from playing a ZOMBIE on a FILM SET in a NATURE PRESERVE for one day.

Pay close attention and take heed! You’ll thank me later.

1. Zombie clothes are supposed to be really dirty and torn! Don’t run to the wardrobe department with perceived wardrobe malfunctions. As a matter of fact, get into character by rolling around in the dirt and grass a bit! The dirtier your fingernails, the better! And ladies – forget the secret little touch-ups for hair and make-up in between shots. You are an ugly, undead creature, a zombie – accept it! No need for that hairspray either. Exhibit A:

A fellow zombie girl and I trying not to stick to anything while keeping cool in a tent on the set.

2. To save your face and not ruin chances for future acting gigs, make sure your makeup artist uses Vaseline on your eyebrows so they wouldn’t get pulled out when removing the latex after the shoot. Thank you, Yoni!

3. Blood is sticky! I don’t know how many times I pulled my bloody bullet-holed pant-leg away from my skin – the sticking power is actually quite amazing, even after 10 hours!
Mosquitos and other insects love sticky blood! Oh, and the corn syrup, spirit gum or liquid latex that are used as as an adhesive for the F/X makeup are also critter magnets… Bring bug spray!

4. Be patient… Being under layers of F/X makeup, prosthetics AND wearing custom contact lenses only feels weird for the first hour or so. You’ll get used to it. Or not. But as soon as you do, you’ll have other things to worry about:

5. Zombie makeup actually oozes in the hot sun. And you’re gonna get even itchier and stickier. If you’re the claustrophobic type, this might not be the gig for you! Same goes for the prissy diva types.

Don’t despair! There are some pros to balance out the cons:

6. You don’t have to worry too much about getting sunburned. See exhibit B:

No sun rays are gonna penetrate THAT layer!

7. Snakes are scared of Zombies. At least that’s what the filmmakers told us. I guess we scared the tarantulas away too. Yay!

8. No lines to memorize! Don’t try to form words out of your moans and sneak in some dialogue – you’re not gonna get upgraded or given any lines, period! You’re a friggin’ Zombie! Just practice your groans, moans and snorts. Get creative – drool, slobber, burp or even fart! Zombies can’t control those bodily functions, right? Don’t forget to work on that shambling walk. Or frenzied run. Depends on what kind of zombie you are.

9. Sometimes brains just isn’t enough. Guts are o.k., but Mexican food is best. Try to eat a balanced diet while on the set.

My zombie husband is looking kinda hungry after the sun set. He scares even me!
I wonder if that mosquito on the top of his head will turn into a zombie mosquito? ZOMBQUITO!!!

10. Other Zombies need love too! If you see your fellow zombie actor in distress, help him or her out! It really sucks trying to eat that little cookie with sticky, entrail-covered fingers. Give a zombie a hug, too. It helps on a long shoot.

Hopefully this will help you prepare for the onslaught of zombie flicks that are in preparation or already being filmed. Feel free to spread the word if you find my advice helpful in any way. See you on the set somewhere, some day!

A quick shout-out and ‘Thank you’ to my MUAs Yoni Baker, Eva Pfaff, Cayse Lahrman and Steve Wenger for making me look so gross, and also making sure I left the set without any permanent damage!