Archive for Month: April 2016

Sugar Rushes and Jump Starts

Five weeks ago Brittany, Karen and I signed a contract with each other where we promised not to eat any sugar or junk food until May 20th. But our contract allows us to have one cheat meal, so yesterday we decided to go to our favorite place in town: Cold Stone Creamery — they simply have the best ice cream in the world, so this was a quite the occasion!

And oh man, we were in for the sugar rush of the century! Who needs drugs or alcohol when you have Cold Stone?! Karen came up with a few very explicit ways of describing the high (that I won’t repeat here, haha) It’s just truly fascinating how sugar works if you’ve deprived your body from it for five full weeks. It’s almost frightening actually — how most people have developed such a high tolerance for it — because it’s powerful stuff.

I ordered the smallest cup, but it was so sweet I almost felt nauseous. Karen and Brittany can testify that I’m usually capable of devouring what looks like gallon of creamy deliciousness… so I think it’ll be a while until I even want to expose my taste buds to such sweetness again, ugh!

This picture is from last year, when my sugar tolerance was significantly higher, haha

Anyway, as soon as the sugar entered our blood stream, my dear Charlie (aka my car) passed out. He refused to start, but we didn’t worry — partially because of the sugar euphoria — but mostly because we do, after all, live in Sioux Falls. (Thank God for Midwestern niceness) Less than a minute later, a group of people walked up to us and gave us a jump-start. We barely even had time to understand what happened before we were back on the road again.

Yes, I gave one of them a hug as a “thanks for the help,” because, you know, I’m a hugger. But according to Karen I paid them with my body…

Then we almost got lost, or… Well, I somehow managed to take the wrong turn a block from Campus. Yes, believe me, my two blonde friends gave me a hard time for that as well…as if they hadn’t already mocked me enough about the hug. Oh dear. I forgive them <3

As soon as I got to the parking lot at Augie, Charlie lost consciousness again… and my glasses broke.

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Dejavu to this day in January — minus the frost bite, of course.

 

But it was, overall, a sweet evening.

(Get it? Sweet? As in sugar? Because of the ice cream? You know? Okay, you got it.)

Bless you all,
Maria

Flashback Friday and Reflections

Today it’s been precisely a year since I laced up my spikes for the last time as a college athlete. In September I wrote a post explaining why I made the decision to quit track and field all together, CLICK HERE to read it.

I have to admit that the thought of letting go of the one thing I’d always been good at was scary, and even if continuing down the same path was out of the question, I was terrified I would regret it later.

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Homemade NIKE ad from 2013 haha

But now, a year later I’m so proud and happy I made the choice to let go and start following my real dreams instead. Sometimes I even ask myself why I didn’t make the decision earlier, but then I have to remind myself that track was my ticket into college here in the US, and that my time as a competitive track athlete has taught me many things I can use in my filmmaking and life in general.

I also believe that where one door closes, God opens another.

Since I “retired” from track I’ve directed and produced a feature documentary, a 20-minute documentary, a video for TV, 15 video stories, won a Jury Award for Social Impact at our first film festival, and had the opportunity to bring attention to a big social issue in South Dakota by showing “Over the Bridge” at multiple events and by talking about it in the media.

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I think that sometimes you have to let go of something to let God show you what you really want and where to go.

Have a blessed Friday all,
Maria

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We took realism to a new level in acting class today

Hello all,

I just got back from acting class where we performed a scene from the play “Mama Drama.” We did NOT pick this scene on our own, but the realism of it all is pretty striking. Just hang on: I played a runner who’s about to adopt a baby from a pregnant teenager. As you all know, I’m (sort of) a runner and I’ve always said I want to adopt a baby, but the best part is that my co-star, Alli, who played the pregnant girl is actually pregnant in real life. It doesn’t get more realistic than that, so I think we should get an A, regardless of how we did… haha.

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Since last update I’ve spent most of my time working on the final assignments for the semester. Last year I finished up all my papers three weeks before they were due so that I could just relax and enjoy finals week, and since that was pretty wonderful, I might want to do that this year as well.

Except for all the school stuff, Sarah and I are in the midst of applying to film festivals all across the country, (some in Canada too btw) and then we’ll have a new screening here in town this coming weekend. If you find yourself in Sioux Falls, come to the West Mall theater “Over the Bridge” on May 1st!

I still find it hard to believe that our little documentary is still going places. When we started the production in January we didn’t exactly expect any of this, but it’s absolutely great!

Also, for those of you who didn’t read my last post: WE REACHED OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL thanks to all the amazing souls who donated to our project. THANK YOU ALL!!!

I got a text from a filmmaker in Missouri and he said that after watching the documentary he has now started buying pizza to the homeless in St. Louis! Several people here on campus have even come to ask me how they can volunteer, so I think of that as success!
Maria

Just a Quick Update

Good afternoon!

Compared to last week’s crazy busy schedule with early morning interviews and film festival stuff, this week has been pretty uneventful. I’ve still been relatively busy, but with other things than film work. For a while I felt like school was just a nice distraction from all the hours I spent working on the documentary, but now things have balanced out a little and I’m reminded that I’m a student first, then a filmmaker, for now.

Friday was pretty dramatic, and not in a good way. Brittany was in a car accident (her car smashed hit by a reckless driver, but she’s okay, thank God!) and when I was going to give her a ride later that night, I suddenly noticed I had a flat tire — again! Things got more complicated when it turned out that the guy from road assistance had ruined one of the lug nut-things on my car (whatever that means…?), so the tire guy was unable to fix it until we got a new one. After several less pleasant phone calls we drove to a different shop and they fixed it for free. I’ve been told that’s the bright side with being a blonde Norwegian with an accent — people underestimate your intelligence and go out of their way to help you — I’m not sure how I feel about that…

Anyway, this whole process took hours, so our movie plans went down the drain and we ended up eating burgers at Wendy’s instead.

After the burgers I met up with the theatre folks to watch the musical movie “Passing Strange” Which was the perfect way to wind down after the stressful day.

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Yesterday Karen, Brittany and I roadtripped to Mitchell in the hot weather with no air conditioning in the car (but that’s a topic for another time, haha) Then I went for a run before we all went to eat Mexican.

Also, we reached our kickstarter goal!!! I’m so grateful to everyone who believed enough in this project to want to support it and help us spread the message across the country. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I will begin the application process for film festivals tonight.

So that’s what’s new since last time.

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Cheese

Have a blessed Sunday,
Maria

Film Festival Debut and Jury Award for Social Impact

As some of you know, we had the pleasure of showing “Over the Bridge” at the Sioux Empire Film Festival last night, and I don’t even know where to start telling you about it.

First of all, just to be invited was an honor. I’ve never been to a film festival with a “Filmmaker’s pass” around my neck, so that was a fun new experience.

After a successful premiere last month we’ve received a lot of positive feedback, so I felt pretty confident that our film wasn’t disastrously terrible, at least. But stepping inside an actual theater, and showing it to an audience with an above-average interest in film… that was slightly more intimidating than I anticipated.

But it went above all expectation! People cried and applauded loudly by the end of it, and things went according to plan — until we were asked to come up on stage for an interview afterwards. Because, you see, in order to get onto that stage we had to walk through a door and up some stairs… the only problem was that we walked a little too many stairs… and in all of a sudden we found ourselves on one of the theatre balconies looking down at the audience. “Hello there, we’re just gonna stand here and look awkward for two seconds.” Luckily, the audience seemed to think it was hilarious and we found our way onto the stage shortly after.

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Photo: Naras Prameswari

After the Q&A we received the Jury Award for Social Impact! I had never in my wildest dreams imagined we would actually win an award for this film, wow. And the fact that it was “Social Impact” was fantastic, because that means we reached our goal! We wanted to bring attention to a social issue and give a voice to the homeless. I’m just so humbled, grateful and proud I don’t know what more to say.

Click for video:

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However, our big goal is to bring this film to a larger audience across the country, and right now we’re just $500 short of doing just that. If you would like to help us get there, HERE‘s the link to our fundraiser. And i want send a big thanks to everyone who has donated to far!

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Photo: Naras Prameswari

Now I’ll head to lunch to get some advice and guidance from director, Andrew Kightlinger, who will release the movie Tator Tot & Patton later this year!

Bless you all,
Maria

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