Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My First Film EVER!

Here it is...what you've all been waiting for. This is the first film I was chosen for in my professional acting career. I did this in March for a local Minneapolis band, " Now, Now Every Children". The guys who directed and produced the film are students from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). The song is called "Friends with My Sister".

Here is a link to their myspace page, check them out!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Birthday Bash Week

Birthday fiesta for The Professor

The Professor and The Captain enjoyed art and boarding in Chi-town.

The little man and I cooked a delicious meal. We ate by candlelight and had Total Eclipse Chocolate Cake for desert which we made from scratch...a healthy chocolate cake if there ever was one...tofu, cashews and dates are part of the ingredients.

After we were done, since our dishwasher is broken, this is what the kitchen looked like. Well, it actually still looks like that today...oh well, there is always tomorrow!

We're Forty...what does it all mean?!

"Father Time is not always a hard parent, and though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their heart and spirits young and full of vigour. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow's hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life."
~Charles Dickens

Mark Twain said, "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm." ~Henry David Thoreau

"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." ~Samuel Ullman

"I'm not 40, I'm 18 with 22 years of experience!" ~Author Unknown

A Guatemalan Proverb says, "Everyone is the age of their heart."

"The years teach much which the days never knew." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been." ~Mark Twain

"A man has more character in his face at forty than at twenty - he has suffered longer."
~Mae West

"Forty isn't old if your a tree." ~Anonymous

"She said she was approaching forty, and I couldn't help wondering from what direction."
~Bob Hope

"We don't understand life any better at forty than at twenty, but we know it and admit it."
~Jules Renard

"The body is at its best between the ages of thirty and thirty-five; the mind is at its best about the age of forty- nine."~Aristotle

"Everyone should fail once before reaching forty." ~Allen Neuharth

Quoted by Francis Bacon, Apothegm ~ "Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read."

"Grow old with me! The best is yet to be." ~Robert Browning

Monday, April 28, 2008

How we celebrated Earth Day.

There is an annual Earth Day celebration down by the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. This year my little man was looking forward to the ritual of writing a wish on a kite and flying it high in the air. It was a gorgeous day...sunny, warm, a light breeze in the air.

Such different weather just a week later here in MN.

Enjoy these pictures of a warmer, sunnier day.

Bamboo hut with windchimes hanging inside. The chimes were by a microphone and heard over speakers that were set throughout the island.

My sister Amy enjoying the day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

LeSueur is in Minnesota and home of the Jolly Green Giant

This is didn't know. I've lived in MN all my life but am naive when it comes to rural MN. Since I grew up in the city, I never knew that LeSueur is the GIANT of veggies. Jolly and Green to be exact. Mr. Green stands in the park as you go through town.

I shot a film there on Saturday. The weather wasn't the most desirable. Cold, overcast, about a high of 42 degrees.

On the bright side, it was good weather for the camera. Directors like it when it is not so bright, you get a better shot that way. So instead of taking the SYM scooter and freezing my butt off, I took the Yaris, listened to my iPod and enjoyed the scenery. Not much to look at on the way down. Rural MN from the highway is not all that scenic especially this time of year.

We were informed before we got there that the septic system was not in working order and that they would be constructing an outhouse for us. I was silently amazed that they would go through all that trouble basically for the 2 women on the set. The woman who played my daughter was a bit shocked by that piece of information, she had mentioned that she had NEVER been camping. Personally, it didn't phase me. I was bit curious to see what they would come up with.

I got to the farm where we were shooting about 1:00. Cool looking place, large barn with decorative silver steeples on top tucked behind a stucco farm house with long glass windows on a wrap-around porch. After the long ride, I did have to use the facilities. They pointed out the tarp at the top of the hill behind the barn. It was an A-class outhouse built in a few hours time. I couldn't believe all the trouble these young men went to.
For this movie I played a mom with one leg. I had to limp but did not have to wear a prosthetic leg - they would add it by computer later. The character, Mrs. Rook was fun to play because she was a bit odd and evil. She married a guy with no nose, she had one leg and her daughter used to have a twin that drowned. Mrs. Rook has two mean, wild dogs that she promises to set loose on the boyfriend if he ever gets her daughter pregnant. I didn't have many lines but I did get to take off "my leg" and beat my daughter and her boyfriend with it in a dream sequence.

I thoroughly enjoyed this crew. All the 5 guys were friends and 3 of them had gone to high school together. They all were artists, musicians and could talk about interesting things. I like colorful people, people with a story, people whose lives have been rockier than most. Those are the people that tend to come off as having more depth. I like getting to know these people, slowly peeling away the layers, each more intricate than the one before.

I did all kinds of things for this movie. I pushed the camera cart on the tracks up and down the hill for a shot. I called out lines when someone would forget one. I contributed ideas about certain shots. And when this old biker guy with a 3-wheeling outer space cycle dropped in to say hi in the middle of a shot (that I wasn't in but was giving lines for), I quickly turned on the charm, walked him over to his cycle, threw the script down towards the director and asked for a ride. The guys all laughed at that later on.

I am shooting another film on Sat. called "Garage Sale". I hope it is as much fun as this one was.

Friday, April 18, 2008


It has been an exhausting week. I am ready for a vacation and I don't have one coming for weeks, Memorial Day to be exact. There are benefits to being a teacher but there are also drawbacks. I do get the summer off, but if I want to take a long weekend when school is in session, it's just something that you can't do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Teenager sucks

I have a teenager. He is in angst and it not only affects him but it affects the whole family. He has been in a funk for about 3 days now. On and off this has been happening for the past few months but everyday he wakes, I hope that I will see a smile on his face and hear something out of his mouth other than "whatever".

He'll be 15 soon and I notice his body radically changing. I hear that in order to do all that physical developing, the part of your brain that does the rational thinking, shuts down. As a mother though, I can't help but this normal or has something horrible happened to him? Is he doing drugs, has he found new friends that are a bad influence? Some of the signs could point either way. He has taken to wearing these baseball caps sideways and has found a pair of sunglasses to wear with them. I think he looks ridiculous and wonder who he is trying to imitate. This is probably normal teenage behavior though, right? Pushing limits, trying to find your identity, trying to "fit in"?

School is not going well for him. He begins to try, continues to get low scores and then gets frustrated and gives up. He has been tracked in his current school into academically low Science, Language Arts and Math classes. The science and language arts class are filled with kids who are struggling. These particular classes are supposed to be geared to their level. Now that he has been in school for almost seven months it is apparent that these classes are a breeding ground for sluff-offs and kids who have already checked out. Surrounded by kids who don't care and have given up, my teenager has risen to the occasion - acting like his peers, he sluff-offs and has started to check out.

I truly believe that you become what you surround yourself with. I learned this concept of "adders" and "subtractors" in a leadership course I took. We need to surround ourselves with adders; adders are the people that enrich your life, encourage you to do your best and be the best you can be. They like you for who you are and encourage and help you to reach your goals and full potential. You feel comfortable in their presence, you trust them. "Subtractors" are the opposite of "adders". Subtractors crave positive attention, validation and give nothing back. They are constantly negative and will suck you dry if you let them. There are times in our lives we have been both and we have surrounded ourselves with both. The teenager is being a subtractor and surrounding himself with them.

There is also this concept of "multipliers" and "dividers" which I will save for another day as this blog has quickly become very long winded... although very theraputic.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Film Shoot from HELL

I started writing in my journal (wishing that I had brought my laptop) to pass the time as I waited for the air-head director to set up the shot.

We were suppose to start shooting this film at noon. This film shoot started weeks ago and was suppose to be done in a day. I since have returned to re-shoot this thing 3 times. Mind you this film will probably be 5 minutes long. It's not the sequel to anything and I have two words to say. Today, the other actor (who isn't really an actor but a friend of the film maker) didn't show. The film maker was an hour late. I waited at Dunn Bros. for her. It was a beautiful day outside. Trying to be Zen about the moment I paused to enjoy the setting. Alone, sipping chai, sun streaming through the window...ahhh...deep inhalation...and out.

When she arrived she didn't know what to do. She just sat there looking at me for suggestions. How the hell am I suppose to know what to do? All I know is that I left my living room in disarray, covered the painting roller smothered in Terracotta orange with saran wrap, scrambled an egg and drove down the freeway at 60 mph eating an egg and toast (not too hard as long as I don't have to change gears) so that I could be on time to this damn shoot. My 8 year old calls and is crying because his dad is busy writing a paper and won't help him scrapbook - geez...I have better things to do!

So, I suggest that maybe we could shoot the scene without him. I've driven here, I've wasted an hour of painting time and I'm not coming back to try this again. I'm doing this for free. She didn't even offer to pay for my chai (which any respectable inspiring film director should do). Couldn't we just set up the last scene where he comes to my apartment door and shoot me saying, "You're welcome" and cut him in later? Isn't that how they do it anyway, piece all the good scenes together? She doesn't think it will work but decides to end the script early without us actually meeting at the end. Did she ever think of re-writing it...duh?

The saving grace is that this location is a cool looking condo and while I wait for her to load the film and set up the lights, I'm sitting on a comfy couch admiring the large warehouse windows and the Eastern art placed selectively about. I could see The Professor and I ending up in a pad like this down the line. Low maintenance, close to the urban bike paths, and modern.

The two shots we took, after set up, took all of 15 minutes! I guess that is the difference between no-pay student films and the big time...Julia Roberts is never inconvenienced and is told to sleep, shop and relax while they set up. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ENTRANCE...the door to fame

I have been actively auditioning for films around the cities, mostly student films. So far I've been cast in five films. I have yet to see any finished products but as soon as I do (if they are any good) I'll post one for all to see.

I've been typed cast already as "the mom". At 41 I guess I'm a mom to anyone under 25 years old. My first shoot was a music video for "Now, Now Every Children" where I was "the mom" of a teenage boy who I am having difficulties with....hmmm...was I playing myself in that movie? Then I did a longer film called "Little Thread Knots" where I play "the mom" of a teenage daughter. I'll shoot another one in a week where I guessed it, "THE MOM" but this time I'm missing a leg and my husband is missing his nose (no, I'm not kidding). OH, I will be playing a bearded lady in a circus - that will look good on a resume!

In order for these films to work, the students scout out a variety of locations. I have been to St. Croix Falls, WI and Rice, MN for one film. I'll be traveling to LeSeur, WI for another one. I am going to try to document these journeys on film. Here are some pics from my adventures.

Old saws and truck in Rice, MN

Louie the dog from St. Croix Falls, WI

The bar in Rice, Minnesota

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Genies and ice cream and pinball...oh my!

The 8 year old had a good idea yesterday. He wanted to do something special with me so he said, "Let's go to Grand Old Creameries." What a GREAT idea! Who doesn't love ice cream? The place that has the best ice cream in town is Grand Ole' Creamery in St. Paul. We go there year round, not just in the summer time. They have a variety of yummy homemade flavors and they also make their own waffle cones...scrumpdillyicious!

I'm not too adventurous when I go there. I have three possible flavors that I choose from; Snickers, Pistachio and Maple Nut. These flavors I usually can't buy in the store.

Now, the 8 year old is more adventurous. He has tried more than three flavors in his short life. Yesterday he decided to have Lime Sorbet. In the past he has tried Bubble Gum, Birthday Cake, Cotton Candy, Peppermint Bon Bon, and a variety of others.

There is another reason he likes to go there. He loves the genie pin ball machine. I have to admit it is one of the coolest pin ball machines I've seen. If you live in the area, you will have to check it out for yourself. Pay close attention to the detail. It says cool things when you hit the ball into certain areas and it makes cool sounds. You can win a magic carpet ride or free the genie from the bottle. It reminds me of the fortune teller machine in the movie "Big" with Tom Hanks. Every boy probably has had some sort of fascination with a machine like this. It's just cool!

The 8 year old has a birthday in 3 months and he has now decided on the theme...ARABIA...complete with genies in the bottle, flying carpets and "Pin the Tail on the CAMEL"! This will be an event not to miss. Last year, I had to create a volcano cake...what kind of cake will he want for this... a pyramid, a genie in the bottle? Hmmm...

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Woman of Hwy 52...AGAIN

It's a sign, some kind of message. I saw the Hwy 52 woman again just the other day. She had her guitar out, staring into the wind and I think I saw a sign attached to the fence that secures the walkway about the highway. Again, I saw her for only a few seconds as I whizzed by at 55 mph and I could not read what the sign said. But even though I couldn't read the sign, to me, it was a sign that said, " Carrie, this is for YOU! Get your act together because you know what you need to do in life if you just pay attention!"

It dawned on me today that this woman who stands on the walking bridge over Hwy 52 with her guitar was the initiator of my first blog. I didn't know what to write about when I first started this but she was my muse. Seeing her again has given me reason to write once more. I have been away too long, feeling as if my life was uneventful, boring and down right DULL. What is there to write about? Who really cares and reads this thing anyway? Plus, now that I am teaching I don't have hours behind the computer with nothing to do. I am busier than I want to be most of the time. So much so that is hard to think.

Seeing her was a sign. This theme of "women" keeps coming up for me and I need to take heed. Community is another theme. Communication. These are the things I need to pay attention to and to build around. There is something waiting for me. The right path, the perfect place for me to blossom, to feel at home and at peace. I thank you Woman of Hwy 52 for bringing me back to my creative calling and for urging me on to my Life's Path.