Posts Tagged ‘shiloh strong’


This year, I had the pleasure of going to my first Comic Con in San Diego. This is not a review of Comic Con, just a summarization of my experience. This was a birthday trip for my friend, Cheryl. I went with two of my BFFs, Cheryl & Marianne, and out of the three of us, I’d have to say I had the best time. I had gone to Wondercon back in April so I felt that that experience really prepared me for Comic Con. I made it a point to make this trip work for me so I looked through all the programming and found all the events I wanted to attend.

In order to avoid any kind of meltdown, I was prepared to stand in lines and sit through panels I wasn’t interested in so that I catch the ones that were of interest to me.

Key events I wanted to see were:
1) The Dungeon Master screening at the SDCC International Film Festival
2) The Thundercats premiere
3) Photoshop CS5 Demo
4) Comic-Con Film School 102: Production
5) Comic-Con Film School 103: Working with Actors & a Crew
6) Cartoon Voices II panel
7) An Evening with Kevin Smith

I caught all of these except for the Kevin Smith program because I had to choose between Kevin Smith or Photoshop as they were happening concurrently. Really glad I chose Photoshop because I learned a LOT. Now I have to get the program and start using it.

Anyway, the thing that really made this event for me was seeing The Strong brothers & their short film again and meeting Danielle Fishel & Jason Marsden. If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have considered my first Comic Con experience to be so spectacular. Reason being that I grew up seeing their faces on my TV, especially with Boy Meets World. Considering I had a Boy Meets World marathon(twice), for my birthday this year, it makes it even more special to see them in person. My heart is truly content right now.

The best part of seeing Rider & Shiloh was that I was shocked that they recognized me. After the Dungeon Master screening, Shiloh came up to ME to say hi. How weird is that?? I guess I should give them more credit. I told him I didn’t even think he remembered me. I didn’t take a photo with them because they were wearing the same thing they wore at the Sonoma Film Festival where I first met them and I didn’t want to embarrass them by posting a pic with the same outfit. Hey, we all have our “Go to” outfits. :O) I gave Shiloh a hug and he thanked me for his support but really, I should be thanking him and Rider. Their passion for creativity really inspires my own creativity as well. Marianne gave me the idea of asking Rider to sign my copy of Whiskey Island, a literary publication from Cleveland State University that published a short story that he wrote. I actually just brought it for Marianne to read. I didn’t think of getting it signed because I don’t usually like to ask for autographs but I thought it was a great idea so I asked anyway.

I walked around the floor and watched artists do demonstrations of their imagination. This one artist said that whatever creativity you want to make, just do it. When you are fueled by your passion to create something you think is beautiful, chances are, there are going to be other people who will also find your art beautiful. That hit home for me. I’ve never been the type of person to toot my own horn, to give myself credit, or to reveal the products of my creativity. I’ve been lectured over and over again about this by fellow artists but have still been unable to accept it. A good example is when my friend failed to put me down as Assistant Director in the credits for a video we shot & I was completely okay with that. However, the artist in me came to her senses and added my credits to it. Another example was when I was an understudy for a short stageplay and at the 1st rehearsal, the director, who is a fellow artist I truly admired and respected, said “Ava! You’re a REALLY GOOD actress!!” I was in complete disbelief and it was difficult for me to take her compliment. Why, I don’t know.

So after this weekend of being around so much art, magic & technology, I’ve decided to take my imagination, blow it up, and spread my ashes wherever there is a place for them. Whether it be monologues, scripts, jewelry, drawings, puppets, acting, films, comedy, etc., I’ll take responsibility; I’ll give myself credit; I’ll love it, own it, & work it.

Okay, I went off on a tangent. Back to Comic Con. I also wanted to meet Danielle Fishel and knew she was going to be at the Dungeon Master screening so I took a photo with her. God, I wish Comic Con had come 2 weeks earlier when I was 5 lbs. lighter. It really shows for me and I hate that. Damn gravity, you’re killing me! Anyway, Danielle was a sweetheart, she loved my NKOTB sweater. She was with Lea Palmieri, who is the producer for “Cocktails with Patrick” on Cosmo Radio. Lea was a sweetheart too.

On Sunday, I was able to attend the Cartoon Voice II panel (thanks to a generous friend) and see Jason Marsden in action. I had always wanted to see that in person and it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience! They did an example of a cold read with Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs and it was so titillating to watch live. I can see why these actors fell in love with voice acting. It could have been my imagination but I thought Jason waved at me in the beginning of the panel but then I thought, “There’s no way. He doesn’t even know me. Is there a famous person sitting behind me? Who is it?” But when I went up to him after all the crazy autograph hungry fans dissipated, the first words he said to me were “Hey Ava!” On the inside, my eyes got 10 times as big, my heart dropped to the floor and my brain exploded. I couldn’t believe he knew my name. He’s so much cooler & down-to-earth than I expected and I truly appreciated it, but my mind still thought, “OMGWTF! *THUD*” Hahaha! But luckily, I’m celebrity-jaded so all I could muster out was a smile and an undercover enthused “Hey.” How’s that for acting? No one knew that the younger me on the inside was jumping up & down, running all around in fangirl status so I’d say……WINNING! I later found out from Twitter that he was indeed waving to me so now, I feel like an asshole for not waving back. Hope he at least saw me smile. I had so much I wanted to say to him, questions I wanted to ask him but I kept getting interrupted by other people who wanted to talk to him. Ah well, that’s just the way it is and I was used to that. At least my wish came true!

I also got to check out The Aquabats show at House of Blues because my friend Amy, who works for The HUB Channel hooked us up with tickets. They are a very entertaining band, I must say, complete with spandex costumes, masks, and theatre-like superhero shenanigans onstage. Other highlights included delicious meals at Extraordinary Desserts, Cafe Zucherro, and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. Oh, and of course, the famous San Diego carne asada fries!! Got them at Santana’s, which is now Fresh MXN Food. Yes, had a dose of that at midnight and LOVED it!! Getting hungry just thinking about it. I also went shopping at a couple of bead stores & bought supplies (because y’know, might as well do business if you’ve got the chance).

The lowlights of my trip were:

1) feet were killing me. I need a foot massage now.
2) Will didn’t come. Too bad because I was ready to let him pound me into the ground. (hey, I’m allowed to throw my mind in the gutter every once in awhile.)
3) umm…that was pretty much it so nevermind. :O)

Here are some pics. Enjoy!

Some kind of Transformer? Voltron? I dunno
comic con robot

Dungeon Master panel
Dungeon Master Panel

Met Danielle Fishel (she’s a sweetie, so beautiful!)
Me with Danielle Fishel

Rider Strong autograph (I don’t usually do autographs but this short story was rare)
Rider Strong autograph

Aquabats Show at House of Blues
The Aquabats Show

Thundercats panel (watching the premiere episode gave me goosebumps, it was so good!)
Thundercats Panel

With Captain America
Me with Captain America

Met Jason Marsden (he’s super down-to-earth, very nice guy!)
Me with Jason Marsden

Cake from Extraordinary Desserts
Cake from Extraordinary Desserts

Forno Ziti from Cafe Zucherro (it was the BEST I’ve ever had!)
Forno at Cafe Zucherro

San Diego’s Famous Carne Asada Fries (got it at Fresh MXN)
carne asada fries

Going Home
Us at Airport in SD

Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs Cartoon Voices Panel

Part 1

Part 2

Sonoma Film Festival 2011

Just got back from the Sonoma International Film Festival. It was worth every dollar today and I’m extremely glad I was able to go. I had to change around the schedule of 10 people just to be able to go but since we had moved it, an old friend of mine was able to make it so it worked out. I got an all day pass because since I wasn’t familiar with this festival, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get a ticket to just see the program I wanted to see. How devastating that’d be if I drove all the way up there only to be told it was sold out. I’ve only really had experience with the Asian American Film Festival just prior to this one and their short programs are always sold out. I was not willing to take any chances on missing The Dungeon Master.

My best friend came with me and we enjoyed an overabundance of Sonoma food. Together, we enjoyed quiche, spaghetti, ice cream, milkshakes, Bellinis, juice, steak, bread & butter, olives, soup, croque monsieur and salad. Yes, gluttonous sinners, aren’t we? We went thrift store shopping for rich people’s stuff but found nothing we really wanted to take home. (Maybe I just prefer the ghetto lyfe?)

Anyway, all in all, we saw about 20 short films today so we are pooped out on short films. My top favorites were The Dungeon Master(no bias intended), Sexting, Touch, Fishing with Supermodels, Run, Tapeworm, The Doctor, and The Reshoots. I wanted to mention that for Sexting, Julia Stiles did the longest monologue I’ve ever heard and I applaud her for that one. She was so great in it!

My favorite part of the day was dinner at The Girl & The Fig, and meeting The Strong brothers, Rider & Shiloh. Like I said before, I am so conditioned to be comfortable around celebrities now by NKOTB members like Donnie Wahlberg and countless other celebs, that I didn’t even get those heart palpitations that I used to get. It’s a little tragic but still a win-win. I know exactly when I can approach them & when I cannot, much unlike my Will Friedle dream. One thing I regret saying to them was, “It was so much better than I thought it would be!!” Ava, why the hell did you word it like that? As if you thought it would be crap? No. I thought it would be amazing & awesome, but I didn’t know it was going to kick ass and floor me. THAT’S what I actually meant.That’s what happens when I get excited about speaking my mind. My words just go all kinds of wrong. I hope they knew what I meant. When I was talking to Rider, I almost wanted to reveal to him how much I love his buddy, Will Friedle…but I didn’t. I didn’t want this kat to think I was trying to pass along a message or anything. It just would have been funny to bring it up but I didn’t want to act like a fool. Who knows what people really think of you after you’ve met them, right? Two sides to every face, yo.

Seriously though, I could have chopped it up with him all day, him AND his brother. They’re good folks. I’d just like to pick their brain for at least an hour, to learn more about the filmmaker world, the artist world, the creative world through their eyes. As for my take on The Dungeon Master, they killed it. You could tell they put a lot of thought into every aspect of the film. Dialogue was so real, premise left you wanting more, actors were on the ball, makeup & special effects were aligned with their vision, loved every single moment of it. I just wish I could see the rest of it because I felt like when the power goes out at the climax of the movie! I need resolution! I wanted to scream at the end of it, “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” Haha! They also won for Best Comedic Short film, big surprise. I’m so so proud of them, never even had a doubt that they would win something for it, it was so good.

During the Q & A, they mentioned their next project was going to be “Searching for Jake Ryan.” Without even knowing what it’s about, I already fell in love with it. What 80’s movies lover doesn’t know Jake Ryan? Granted that Sixteen Candles is a chick flick but I’m sure even guys have watched this movie. I strongly believe that even if it meant they watched it alone in their room, wearing nothing but underwear, eating popcorn with jalepenos & nacho cheese with bottomless cups of Coke, then denying they had ever even heard of the film upon mention. Rider told me I was their biggest supporter of The Dungeon Master. That threw me for a loop but I’m glad he knows I’m being supportive. I only support it if I believe in it. I hope they will be able to shoot their feature up in NorCal, at least parts of it anyway. If they decide to hold any auditions, I would definitely send all my friends their way and they’d even do it for free.

Hearing that they did this film on a zero budget and pulling favors from friends reminded me a lot of how my friends & I do things at Bindlestiff Studio. It inspired me to keep going. Just grow a crew and make art. That’s all there is to it. I fuckin LOVE this life. LOVE it with a passion. Glad I wore my lucky nail color today. :0)

Me with Rider Strong

Me with Rider & Shiloh Strong
Oh god, I need to lose some weight before I see NKOTB next month!

Food, Film & Fab

Well this weekend will be filled with food for me so diet is temporarily going out the window. Last night, I went to Station Cafe, and this weekend, I will be making pot stickers, lumpia, and chow fun with friends, going to The Boiling Crab, and also checkin’ out The Girl & The Fig in Sonoma. Food, food & more food! Oh geezus.

However, what I’m really excited about is going to the Sonoma International Film Festival where I’ll finally get to see The Dungeon Master, a short film made by Shiloh & Rider Strong! I love the geek-friendly premise of the film and I’m excited to see them in person. What I love most about the premise is that they delve into an area of adulthood that is often considered an embarrassment or immature. I read that Rider was quite the expert on Dungeons & Dragons in his youth. It must be so nostalgic for him to revisit & intensify a childhood game like this; coming full circle. I can’t wait to do the same with my own short film; with a different theme, of course. My obsessions are so ridiculous, they’ll have to get expressed one way or another. It might as well be in film, shown to the public! I’ll bet there are others out there with the same obsessions and it’s up to me to find them. Thanks for inspiring my journey, guys. This is going to be a fabulous weekend.