Filmmaking

#Handywomaning

First of all, thank you so much for the beyond-amazing response on my last post! It took a lot to share that story, which is why I didn’t do it earlier, but I’m so happy that at least some of you found it inspiring. More than a 1,200 of you stopped by the blog in the hours that followed, and I’m still sort of overwhelmed by all the hugs and nice comments I received the days after. Wow, I have a lot of amazing people in my life. Thank you.

In that regard, I figured it was time to post something less serious, so here’s a perfectly shallow post about what I’ve been up to since last time.

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I’ve been swimming (but mostly drowning) in my homework, so the relief of having finished several huge projects is now real.

Also, with the current situation in the US, I probably shouldn’t speak too loudly about building walls, but that’s what I’ve been doing — I’ve designed, built and painted two so-called “Hollywood flats” for my stagecraft class!

It was kinda awful because I had to do it while also catching up on a project I missed when I was traveling for three weeks. But thanks to a couple of very late nights and a lot of rushing, I finally got it done.

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I’ve never painted anything except a wall in Rannveig’s house, but I think it’s something I could learn to like …  without the pressure of a deadline, mind you … The lack of hours turned the whole thing into a very sloppy process, but it’s not fine art, so who cares if I went to bed with paint inside my ears.

I’ve also spent the weekend in Minnesota and had a much appreciated reunion with the editing room, but I’ll tell you more about that and my little film project next time.

Have a blessed evening,
Maria

Stage Directorial Debut Yay

Hello!

I’m just checking in to share that the theatre performances went really well this weekend! If you’ve read my two previous posts you may remember that I directed my first theatre show. Read more HERE and HERE.

My actors, Anita and Coleman, killed it three nights in a row, and I’m so grateful for their hard work. The snow and fog-effects also worked well, so I’m very relieved.

I picked the play “Precipice,” and it’s basically about a young couple who gets stuck on a cliff with a deadly blizzard heading towards them. They have two choices: To jump into the fog and hope they’ll land on the ledge they jumped off earlier that morning, or wait for the storm to hit. The fog gets thicker and thicker each minute and they’re running out of time, so needless to say, it’s not exactly a comedy, but I liked it because of the big questions it raises about faith and believing in what you can’t see.

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This is a picture from the dress rehearsal without the fog and snow, but you get the idea. With Coleman Peterson and Anita Raile.

Like you already know, I’ve never been a theatre fanatic, but over the past year I’ve really learned to like it. I picked up a theatre minor to improve my directing skills, because even if theatre acting is much bigger and bolder than film, it’s the same concept, and the communication between a director and a stage actor is the same as with a film actor = useful.

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This is what we look like after I tried to smoke an eyeliner. Photo: Alessandra Abel.

We started rehearsal six weeks ago, and I’m impressed these two put up with all my ideas and awkward self-composed words that suddenly became very present when I tried to express my creativeness in English, haha. I’ve realised that normal conversation and creative visions require a completely different set of English skills, haha. At least we’ve laughed a lot!

I’m so happy I stepped outside my comfort zone and joined the “theatre gang” almost two years ago. This has been a very valuable experience, and I’m excited to translate everything I’ve learned onto the screen.

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Ladies in black. Director Rachel Poland and Stage Manager Michal Barnes.

Bless you all,
Maria

Opening Night, Homeless Awareness Week and Blizzards

Good afternoon darlings,

First of all, thank you for the incredible response on my last post! The number of views reached an all-time high, in fact, it doubled the previous record. Wow, I’m still a little blown away actually. Thank you!

Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week
Over the Bridge was screened at a Sioux Falls Homeless memorial on Wednesday. I had my hands full with tech rehearsals and was unable to be there, but I’m happy I could still contribute. Also, this is a great time to get involved in volunteer work for the homeless. If you live in the area, The Bishop Dudley House is the perfect place to start.

Blizzards
As a sidenote, I want to share that the winter came to Augustana today —

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Trying to do a photoshoot during a blizzard was a bad idea, but Naras pulled it off. Photo: Naras Prameswari.

— I went running in shorts and a t-shirt just three days ago. Oh well, South Dakota…

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Trying to look like I’m not choking on the wind #Blizzard Photo: Naras Prameswari.

Opening Night
Other than trying to cope with the weather, I’ve spent most of this week preparing for the “7×7 plus 1” show. If this is your first time reading the blog, I want to assure you that I’m NOT talking about a math contest. I’m actually directing my first play ever, and it will be presented as a part of the “7×7 plus 1” show this weekend. Opening Night is just hours away now!

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This is my play! “Precipice” starring Anita Raile and Coleman Peterson.

Come to the Edit Mortensen Center Theatre at 7:30 PM tonight, Saturday and Sunday!

I’ve sacrificed my morning workouts for this, so that itself should be reason enough for you to come. But seriously, we’ve all worked really hard, and I’m excited to see all my theatre friends show their work!

Blessings,
Maria

Guest Speaking and Rehearsals

Thank God it’s Friday!

We’re currently in the midst of rehearsals for the play I’m directing here at the Augustana Theatre. Read more about it HERE. And as a result, I’ve had to adapt to the circadian rhythm of a theatre director — laaaate nights, and not-so-early mornings. I usually hit the gym at 06:00 AM, and if I go to Yoga-class I leave home at 5:00 AM, so I basically live in a different time zone now, but rehearsals are going well, and I can’t wait to see my actors take the stage on Friday.

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The set is still under construction, but we’re getting there.

Yesterday I was at the Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell to show Over the Bridge, and do a Q&A with the audience. I actually felt pretty honored just to be invited, and it was nice seeing a different campus, and a different crowd respond to the film.

To show a documentary with profane language — in the chapel of a Methodist college — was a tiiiny bit uncomfortable, but the reason I didn’t cut or bleep it out was because I wanted to give a realistic view of what Sarah and I saw and heard when we explored the homeless community in Sioux Falls. Luckily, the audience was cool about it, and the event went very well. Thanks to Arin Winger for making me feel so welcome, and to everyone who showed up and asked questions after!

This weekend is another busy one, so I better get to work. Talk to you soon.

God Bless,
Maria

Photo: Naras Prameswari
Photo: Naras Prameswari

Sweaty is the New Skinny

Good evening, dear readers!

Last time you heard from me I was out on the East Coast, but I’m back in Sioux Falls — with less free time than I thought was possible, haha. Like I mentioned earlier, I worked three weeks ahead on my homework before I left for LA, but I had to take all the midterm exams and do all the projects after I got back, so needless to say, I haven’t had much time to keep the blog alive. But you’re here, and that means you forgave me. So, welcome to you all!

I thought Over the Bridge was ready to be put to bed after LA, but I’ve been invited to show it at the Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell on Thursday, and then there will be two more screenings here in Sioux Falls before Christmas. I’ll tell you more about it later.

Another new thing is that I’m directing my first theatre show! This whole theatre thing has really grown on me — it wasn’t that long ago I thought it was a … rather… weird form of art, but after picking up a theatre minor to help me improve my directing skills, I’ve really learned to love it. It’s so much fun, and I’m very excited to present the play “Precipice” on the Augustana main stage next weekend. It’s a short play that will be shown together with seven other short plays, so it should be pretty cool. More about that later too.

Theatre does come in handy whenever Halloween is around the corner as well. Flashback to the past:


Even if it’s tons of fun, I’ve been craving an hour of free time. You know, just one hour where you can relax, scroll through facebook, watch an episode on Netflix or go grocery shopping (Wal-mart makes me relaxed, I know it’s weird), but with all the projects and exams it seemed like a long shot. I was, therefore, delighted to learn that daylight-saving was coming up, and I got a whole extra hour! You’ll never appreciate something like that until you’ve skipped three weeks of the semester and have to catch up on the 504 hours you lost while traveling, haha.

Since this is not a fashion blog, I’ll also take the freedom to share a a time-saving tip I discovered last week:

I’ve been wearing running shoes and leggings everyday lately, because you see, walking to class, walking to meetings and walking to the cafeteria is simply too slow. I won’t get there in time if I just walk, so I’ve been running. Not only do I get to my appointments a little faster, I also save that hour I’d normally be spending at the gym. Win, win.

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Paparazzi shot by: Naras Prameswari

And if you add the weight of your backpack, camera bag and theatre props in the plastic bag you get a full body workout!

We all know sweaty is the new skinny, right?

Blessings,
Maria

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