actress

Film Courage Performance, General Anguish, and a “True Calling”

We had a ridiculously good time at Film Courage’s night of readings and monologues as a “Tribute to the Sunset Strip.” I was the only one who actually performed a monologue (I wrote in homage to Dio and Lemmy). Everyone else read from a favorite book about rock n roll, or read a passage from a personal diary. Nice to connect with fellow metalheads and music lovers who all also happen to be actors.

I got a chance to workshop a character that I’m working on that may or may not be part of a TV series I’m developing. More on this later as it becomes declassified! See video of my performance here (it was REALLY fun!):

It’s been tough to keep your head up these days with all of the shocking news day after day. The only way to survive it is to push through it and stay busy. Stay WOKE, but stay busy. As an artist, I wrestle day to day with how I can help without being trite and obvious with my work. A documentary, a narrative feature, a powerful dramatic short, or a comedy bringing light and humor to the dire situation we may be in. In these circumstances I always come back to music.

I feel like I have multiple “true callings.” If I ever feel lost, I move into another medium, and my blood starts pumping again. In high school, the first college I requested a pamphlet from was Berkeley College of Music. It wasn’t a firm “no” from the parents, but it didn’t seem possible, so I played it safe and went to UNCW for Communication Studies. Great experience, but I always wonder where I would be today if I had followed through with my lifelong passion. After several A&R people handed me business cards early on, I’m confident that I would have made it as a singer, but I changed direction in the middle of the pursuit towards acting. Acting has been an uphill battle since the beginning. Not actually acting itself (it’s a thrill), but being successful at it has been the biggest struggle of my life. It’s gotten to a place where the chase is too draining in every aspect, so I find myself somewhat reluctantly surging towards another path, which also feels quite right. I may not get what I want in the end, but all I really want is to perform on a regular basis and not die of starvation doing it (anymore). So the path remains clear: I’m focusing on directing for the rest of the journey. It’s very odd, but I know in my heart that I have a better chance directing than acting, as it’s far more hands on and proactive. I will work as hard as I can, stock away survival money, and play music to appease my heart and soul. If acting wants me back in (as it always finds a way to pull you back in), I will follow. But not at the expense of my creative spirit, and fridge.

Certain events this year involving acting opportunities have driven me farther away from a desire to aggressively seek out acting work at this level. I’m happy to create my own, but I’m stepping away from the “chase” to feed the artist in me, and the stomach. It’s a big decision to make, and as soon as I made the decision to step away from chasing acting work (not acting itself, mind you- I will never say no to a solid part), of course, I got the call to come back to set for a short stint. It was semi-fulfilling, but in the end, far too much trouble for the small payoff it truly was. I’m happy to pay my bills as an actor for the first time in a few years, but it’s certainly not enough.

[The monologue I did for Film Courage for FREE was ultimately 1000x more satisfying, so I have to keep that in mind and keep doing that kind of stuff].

I shall go forth seeking out more fulfilling work, and in turn, my other callings shout loud and clear. Every time I see a film. Every time I hear a great song. I’m there.

x

Satu

Satu-Runa-jc

Satu Runa, photo by Joao Carlos

 

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2014 Projections for The Final Fangirl: A New Hope

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The cast of Cabaret (TheTribe Productions) at the Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco, CA

I’ve spent most of the year in San Francisco performing in Cabaret, the musical, with the amazing TheTribe Productions.  While I feel anxious to get back into the industry game, it was REALLY nice actually working as an actress for most of the month!

It’s a funny feeling actually getting acting work that lasts longer than a few days.  I adore the theater for this reason, it makes you feel complete as a thespian: fully immersing yourself in a world that is not your own.  For the past four months I have been living in early 1930s Berlin, on stage in a cabaret, as a “Kit Kat” girl.  It was one of my better acting experiences since moving to LA and hopping on the “business of acting” bandwagon, a swift departure from my New York days as a working and student actress.  It was lovely escaping from the business and actually enjoying my craft for a change.  And in a city that totally RIVALS my beloved New York!

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That’s me at the bottom right, as “Rosie” the Jewish Kit Kat Girl

January is a strange month.  While the rest of the city is hitting the pavement for pilot season, I am, most often, in a play, shooting an independent film, or producing and directing something myself.  I know I’m an unusual “type” that agents have a strange time pinpointing, but I’ve decided to spend less time on my marketing and more time on actually ACTING.  It’s important to remember why pursued acting in the first place.  I actually caught myself looking at potential law degree programs today, as I am sick of living poorly just for the chance of getting a decent audition.  I want to make money because I want to live well.  I know my mother would rejoice if I merely entertained the thought of becoming a lawyer.

What’s interesting is that no matter what job I take, I can surely climb to the top and be the best at it.  I have no doubt.  Of course, I chose a career in which you have very little say in how far you climb.  I’ve strived for so long, and it’s time to live well.  I was made for gigantic projects.  I was born to be a producer, director, writer, singer, and actress.  I am super happy performing music as a solo artist, doing acoustic sessions and writing sad songs for small audiences.  I am happy performing musical theater in a completely packed 99-seat house.  It certainly felt like home working at the tiny Bindlestiff Studio for those precious weeks.  I live for back-breaking dance rehearsals and the cosmetic aroma of a theater’s dressing room.  Take me there…

So what is NEXT?  Queen Gorya is next.  Promoting her at WonderCon, Monsterpalooza, San Diego Comic Con, Days of the Dead, and New York Comic Con is next.  I must finish the outrageous TV pilot that we started, with our glorious Kickstarter campaign funds that took EVERY cell in my system to obtain!  Though I am constantly asking myself this question:  What was I born to do for this world? Who am I in service of?  After my experience on set last year for Queen Gorya as executive producer, star, and director, I never felt more at home.  It was a calm set, one of the most sweet experiences I’ve had on a film set, in fact.   I owe it to myself to maintain a silky smooth adventure on my film sets.  I know that I am capable of a lot, and I know that’s why my mother’s heart breaks every time she talks to me and I am in dismay because there are no auditions lined up.   My journey is the LONG and difficult one.

DO IT YOURSELF:  I have been inspired to create a burlesque show (under a stage name that I have yet to announce!).  I also plan on performing a solo acoustic set at the House of Blues this spring.  I am spending a lot of time finishing up a sci-fi feature film script and a brand new adventure TV pilot that I will be pitching.  I’m formulating a business plan for my production company, Final Fangirl Productions, that involves two feature films (sci-fi and thriller) and two TV series in development.

Sometimes I feel as though I don’t have enough years in my life to complete the work I have set out for myself.  I aim to create my ideal future as an actress: picking up script after script of projects people want me to perform in.  Another reason why I would love to have an agent…to help me break down those doors.  If I could act and sing all of the time, I would… I would do it till my soul bled.

xo,
Satu (your frustrated, hard-working, jane-of-all-trades that only wants to be an actress/pop star)

Beeeee Yourself

Words I hear over and over again.  But it hits harder every day.  Every now and then a new artist comes along that rocks my socks and inspires me to be true to who I am, as cliche as this phrase can be, it’s vitally important to the success of an artist. 
Watching the music video “Oblivion” created by Canadian solo-artist, Grimes, makes me want to abandon all societies notions of who they think I am.  I used to be free…before drama school, before hitting the business side of the industry.  I was always a musician, since I could talk and play music.  I also wanted to be an actress at a young age, but I never knew that meant having to scrape whatever identity or “ego” I had placed on myself for protection from the world.   I’m learning now that it’s better to keep it on, as it’s my individual experiences that have created the uniqueness of my self.  It is my shell that I have made from the sands time has given me.
I am rebuilding that shell and can remove it at will in order to play a role that requires it, but I realize now that it is entirely more valuable to keep this pretty shell I have made, and see the world through it, adding another mask on top of it.   Like a tinted lens.  Adding one color after another.

Being Type-Cast as Something Cool

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Asia Argento

Everyone always complains about being “type-cast” as an actor or actress, and I was even worried about that at a certain point.  Now I’m embracing it, because I’m being type-cast as something really cool.
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I have many idols, including Angelina Jolie, Asia Argento, Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, and Rachel Weisz, to name a few.  All of these women are incredibly sexy, powerful, strong, and massively talented.  I would be liar if I said that I didn’t spend most of my adolescent life and early acting years molding my career and image after these women.  Why not?  They kick ass!  Lately it’s become clear to me who in the industry likes me, casts me, and how they see me.   In the beginning, I thought I was going to be type-cast as an Indian woman.  I’m up for playing anything, but it would be a waste if that was the only way Hollywood would ever see me.  I totally got it all wrong!   I’m getting called in and cast for a lot of strong, sexy, lesbian roles.  This is the precursor to strong, sexy, leading women in action films, so I am more than okay with this type-casting phenomenon.  I enjoy playing a lesbian.  I think it’s a gift for an actor to get a part that is so heavily labeled by society, especially if it’s not a label they identify with.  There is something very freeing about portraying someone with such a strong sense of self, it’s at once commanding and liberating.  With every character goes a lot of research, construction and creativity.  Oddly enough, whenever I play a lesbian, I become a woman that is more comfortable and confident with her self as a whole.  Someone who is unafraid of the world and what they think.  A big f*** you to anyone that stands in her way, shouting loudly, “This is who I am, and f*** you if you don’t like it.”  I have played these roles so much that I am starting to own that part of me, and I like it.  All women should never feel so oppressed that they can’t be slightly masculine or speak up for themselves when necessary.  Abandon all gender typing, and be what you want to be.

Bring it on, Hollywood!   You know where to find me 🙂

WATCH:
The Coalition on NETFLIX
The Coalition on iTunes

The Coalition wins BEST FEATURE FILM!

The Coalition wins BEST FEATURE FILM and the BEST INDIE HUSTLER AWARD at the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival Atlanta, GA 2012!

This is huge news for the Baltimore Ravens defensive player of the year, Terrell Suggs (producer/co-writer with director Monica Mingo) and the Team Sizzle cast and crew!  Thanks for making me look good everyone 🙂
The Coalition premiered at the American Black Film Festival this June to a sold out theater.  It was named “Most Awe Inspiring Movie…I can see [it] turning into a regular TV series.”  –[Myrdith Leon Mccormack of HUFFINGTON POST]!
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Let Your Lovelight Shine

as All Hallow’s Eve approaches…one prepares for a haunting season
Gearing up to see Georgia’s The Black Crowes on Halloween here in New York City…a dream I’ve had for a while now!  It’s going to be a rockin’ good time, with celebrations to be made.
photo by Ed Verosky

Ghoulscout

Curing Eve, a short film about Zoe Martin (Satu Makeda), a certified herbalist who might have cured her sister’s (played by Lisa Rosenberg) cancer, is wrapping production this weekend with a climactic chase scene.  Curing Eve, written and directed by Rosemary Sanchez, is filming on location in the Pokonos, Pennsylvania.  It’s been an amazing ride, and I can’t wait to top it off with a wicked chase scene in the forest.
as Zoe Martin, certified herbalist

as Zoe Martin, certified herbalist, (Curing Eve)

On Thursday, October 28, 2010 the second half of an article written by Jackie Apodaca featuring yours truly with be distributed by Backstage Magazine.  Link to be posted tomorrow.  Finally get to see what readers think about my name change!  Just out of curiosity.  This is it baby, my name.

And finally…my new web series is about to give birth.  Pre-production under way, and production set to begin November 6th with a stellar cast full of goofballs assuredly making this sketch comedy a hit.  I can’t wait to post the first skit, entitled “Peter Gabriel Contest Winners.”  You’re going to love this.

As always, party safely and enjoy yourself this Happy Halloween!!  I know I will.

Stay Bootiful!

Satu Makeda  (aka Vampira…or Lydia from Beetlejuice…last minute choices to be made!)