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PORTFOLIO FUSION ACTOR / DIRECTOR ISSUE | NOVEMBER 2010 ACTOR/FILM DIRECTOR | NOVEMBER 2010

MAGAZINE FOR: MODELS | ACTORS/DIRECTORS | PHOTOGRAPHERS | DESIGNERS | MAKE-UP ARTISTS | MUSICIANS | ARTISTS | CHEFS/ HOSPITALITY | EVENT PLANNERS/ENTREPRENEURS

IMPULSE BLACK STARRING CALIFORNIA ACTOR/PRODUCER

JORDON HODGES DIRECTOR

KELLY O’MOREN

LONDON ACTRESS

KSENIA TIEVA

NEW YORK ACTOR+FITNESS MODEL

CALIFORNIA STUNT ACTRESS

MAXIMILLAN TAPPER

LAUREN M.KIM CHICAGO ACTRESS

CALIFORNIA CELEBRITY

JENNIFER SALL

PHOTOGRAPHER MARK ROBERT HALPER

D.I.N.K.S. A COMEDY OF CHOICE CHICAGO FILM DIRECTOR

ROBERT ALANIZ


RUTH OMANYA ENTREPRENEUR | MODEL | ASPIRING ACTRESS WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/PAGES/RUTHOMANYA IMAGE BY TOM CAMACHO

EDITOR’S LETTER Dear Readers, I could have sworn I wrote a letter to you, but one of the actors must have thought it was a script for a movie and took it! On the other hand, I have many more interesting stories that the actors & directors shared on this month’s issue! So read on! As for me, I have to go find out who took my original letter to you! (Just Kidding, ha-hah!) Till next time…

Ruth Omanya.

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PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE FOR: MODELS | ACTORS/DIRECTORS | PHOTOGRAPHERS | DESIGNERS | MAKE-UP ARTISTS | MUSICIANS | ARTISTS | CHEFS/ HOSPITALITY | EVENT PLANNERS/ENTREPRENEURS

CONTENTS PUBLISHER IDEAL PERSPECTIVE INTERNATIONAL, INC. FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF RUTH OMANYA

EDITOR AT LARGE COREY O’DONNELL CONTACTS ADVERTISERS: advertise@portfoliofusionmagazine.com READERS : feedback@portfoliofusionmagazine.com WRITERS: write@portfoliofusionmagazine.com SUBSCRIPTION: subscribe@portfoliofusionmagazine.com CONTRIBUTE: submit@portfoliofusionmagazine.com GENERAL INQUIRIES: info@portfoliofusionmagazine.com

17|JENNIFER SALL

34|LAUREN MARY KIM

41|KELLY O’MOREN

44|KSENIA TIEVA

CONTRIBUTORS & IMAGE CREDITS ON THE FRONT COVER

MAXIMILLAN TAPPER Image by Angel Hernandez

MAXIMILLAN TAPPER | JENNIFER SALL| ROBERT ALANIZ | LAUREN MARY KIM | JORDON HODGES & KELLY O’MOREN | KSENIA TIEVA

INTERVIEWS BY RUTH OMANYA IMAGES: | MARK .ROBERT. HALPER | TOM CAMACHO | ANGEL HERNANDEZ| MIKE KORTOCI

ON THE BACK COVER Model and Aspiring Actress: Ruth Omanya, Editor in Chief, Portfolio Fusion Magazine

|ISOCKO | PICTURE BOY CREATIVE/TOM BALLA| SUE O’MALLEY | COURTESY SOLE-PRODUCTIONS | PICTURE GROVE | MICHAEL HELM | RICK HUSTEAD | START TREK COURTESY LAUREN M. KIM | LKBIG | AARON PRYOR | RYAN HODGES | COURTESY KELLY O’MOREN | COURTESY KSENIA TIEVA | LEE MUSSON | YAROMIR MLYNSKI | Copyright: ©2010 Portfolio Fusion Magazine and its respective copyright holders. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, distribution, reposts and modification prohibited unless express written permission is granted by Portfolio Fusion Magazine and its respective copyright holders.

Image by Chicago Photographer Yaromir Mlynski ACTOR/DIRECTOR ISSUE | NOVEMBER 2010 | WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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BEN STEIN

WOLFGANG PUCK

MARK SHEPPARD

IMAGES BY MARK . ROBERT . HALPER

SHEMAR MOORE

JAMES MARSTERS

R. LEE ERMEY

RANDY JACKSON 4

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MR. T


MICHELLE WILLIAMS

YEARDLY SMITH

PARK

IMAGES BY MARK . ROBERT . HALPER

CHIANA

STEPHANIE

GIGI EDGLEY

ADRIANA PALICKI

JOLENE BLALOCK ACTOR/DIRECTOR ISSUE | NOVEMBER 2010 | WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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TORI SPELLING

IMAGES BY MARK . ROBERT . HALPER WWW.STUDIOMARK.COM

Mo’Nique

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O

ne can only describe this young man's God-given ability to captivate an audience, or taking over a room by merely walking in, as possessing "IT". It is well known

IMAGE BY MIKE KORTOCI

in the entertainment industry that either you have "IT" or you don't, and Maximillan definitely has "IT."

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Being the focus of attention has been something that comes naturally to this native New Yorker. At 6’5"and a lean 225lbs of chiseled muscle, it would be hard not to notice this young man. But his outgoing personality, smile, and charm is what really pulls people in and keeps them entranced.

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NEW YORK ACTOR+FITNESS MODEL MAXIMILLAN TAPPER


IMAGE BY ANGEL HERNANDEZ

Starting out as a model gracing the pages of Harper's “Bizarre” alongside Victoria Secret's Stephanie Seymour, and being credited with the Picture of the Year in GQ Magazine in ‘04, Maximillan met early success. But inside he began to feel there was something missing. What was missing for him was the animation, the personality, and the story behind the characters he was portraying.

HE’S GOT THE

“IT” FACTOR MAXIMILLAN TAPPER

ACTOR/DIRECTOR ISSUE | NOVEMBER 2010 | WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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S

o he set his sights on a more complex form of expression in acting, and in a short time has had relative success, scoring roles in movies such as the blockbuster film "The Interpreter" and roles on the hit cable show “The Wire" on HBO . He can also be seen starring as Anton Rix in Sony's Internet web series “Who is Johnny-X?” and on your television screens in two national commercials for Nabisco and JC Penny. Most recently he has landed the role of Detective Price on ABC's “One Life To Live”. The sky's the limit for this young man. Just remember the name you will surely hear it again!

MAXIMILLAN TAPPER! 10

WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | NOVEMBER 2010 | ACTOR/DIRECTOR ISSUE


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY RUTH OMANYA RUTH: Who inspired you to get into modeling and acting? MAXIMILLAN: No one specifically inspired me to get into the business. Like many people I just developed a love for what I do. I have always been into music and entertainment so acting and modeling was just another form of expression I enjoyed. RUTH: Where did you grow up? MAXIMILLAN: I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, then moved to Rockland during my teenage years. RUTH: In three words describe yourself. MAXIMILLAN: Appreciative, progressive, & positive. RUTH: How old were you when you started modeling and acting? MAXIMILLAN: I was around 20 or early twenties when i started modeling. Acting came a bit later around 23/24. IMAGES BOTH PAGES COURTESY MAXIMILLAN TAPPER

RUTH: In three words describe the characters you play . MAXIMILLAN: Cops, athletes, big guy (LOL!). RUTH: Do you play any sports? MAXIMILLAN: Yes. I can play any sport, but basketball is my favorite. I also workout regularly. ACTOR/DIRECTOR ISSUE | NOVEMBER 2010 | WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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CHELSE PIERS NY, IMAGE COURTESY MAXIMILLAN TAPPER. 12

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IMAGE COURTESY MAXIMILLAN TAPPER. ACTOR/DIRECTOR ISSUE | NOVEMBER 2010 | WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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RUTH: Are you married? If so, is balancing marriage and your acting career challenging? MAXIMILLAN: Yes, I'm married and no, it hasn’t been a challenge yet. It depends on how many love scenes I have to do! RUTH: Being a fitness model and an actor who has been referred to as having the “IT” factor, have you experienced any obstacles in the industry? If so, how did you overcome them? MAXIMILLAN: Well, everybody has obstacles - it’s all in how you deal with them. My biggest obstacle in the acting and modeling industry is my size. In modeling, many agencies passed on working with me or only half-assed it because they didn’t think there was enough of a market for me. In acting it limits the amount of roles people can see you in. I am a persistent person and won’t take no for an answer, so i just keep coming back until they give me a chance. RUTH: How is life in New York as an actor and model? MAXIMILLAN: New York is the best! I love everything about it here. It’s a grind like anywhere else, just magnified 100 times. I moved to L.A. for a while, and though I thought it was great, there was no hustle factor. To make it in NY, you have to be a hustler - period. If you can’t take rejection it’s going to be hard for you, and if you can’t walk fast your going to get left behind. That’s NY! RUTH: Looking back at when you first started in the industry, how can you describe your growth as an actor?

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MAXIMILLAN: Well, I've definitely grown but it’s hard to explain. I definitely know what I want now. I had my hands and feet in so many different things when i was younger. My focus was just succeeding at any one of those ten things I like to do. I’m more focused now and more comfortable with my craft. I also know more answers to the questions I had back then. Knowledge is power! RUTH: What was the most memorable experience on stage or on the set and how did it strengthen you as an actor? MAXIMILLAN: Sounds crazy but my most memorable experience as an Actor hasn’t happened yet. I have a lot a good and bad experiences and i think the compilation of them all has helped to strengthen my me as an actor. RUTH: Have you ever considered moving to Hollywood? MAXIMILLAN: Yes, i moved out there in 2008 for about a year. It was painfully slow at that time. I really dug LA but it was checking for me. When i came back to NY a lot of good things happened. I would love to do Both. RUTH: What do you do to stay in shape? How do you maintain your lean body? MAXIMILLAN: I do a lot of weight lifting and cardio. I have a fast metabolism so it’s not too hard to stay lean. I love doing circuits of chest, shoulder, back, and abs 2 days a week and legs 1-2 days a week. That’s all I need! RUTH: How was your experience in “The Interpreter”? MAXIMILLIAN: It was great! That was my first official acting job ever!!

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RUTH: Describe your experience in your current role as Detective Price on “One Life to Live”. MAXIMILLIAN: It’s been a really great experience. I’ve had free reign to create the character I wanted. They never pushed me in a certain direction. The cast and crew are all very cool and supportive. It’s a good atmosphere. I’m loving it! RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 35 years from now as far as growth as an actor? MAXIMILLAN: I see myself taking care of my family doing something I really enjoy doing day in and out. That’s all I wish for. Hopefully I can get on a primetime sitcom and have some more feature films under my belt. I know I’ll be even better with my craft. There is nothing like experience! RUTH: If you had to make a wish to star/ or act with a famous actor, who would that actor be? MAXIMILLAN: Definitely Will Smith! RUTH: Other than your role as Detective Price on “One Life to Live”, what else is new for you? MAXIMILLAN: Well, for now I'm really just trying to focus on being the best Detective Price I can be. I have some other things boiling in the cauldron but it’s too premature to say. RUTH: Where can fans connect with you? MAXIMILLAN: Fans can connect with me at my official website: www.maxtapper.com or friend me on Facebook under Max Tapper or they can follow me on twitter @maxtapper


CHICAGO ACTRESS

JENNIFER SALL I watched the Miss America pageant every year and dreamed of how I would look on that stage. I wanted to be one of those girls. The problem was, nobody told me I could do any of those things. As a teenager, I was a boy crazy cheerleader but was the first in my family to graduate with an Honors degree from Kearsley High School. As a young adult, I attended the University of Michigan in Flint, and tried several different types of jobs starting with Dairy Queen, So-Fro Fabrics, and eventually an office job at General Motors. I moved on to work in banking, real estate, and accounting. At each new opportunity, I gained experience, implemented new ideas, and became a valued employee. But I still hadn’t fulfilled my dreams. I knew there was more for me.

IMAGE BY ISOCKO

A

ctress, Model, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Niece, Friend, Sunday School Teacher, Dental Assistant. These are just a few of the many hats I wear on a daily basis. I embrace every one of my roles and responsibilities, and I praise God that I have a purpose and meaning.

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan in a very normal middle-class Christian family. I always knew I wanted to leave Flint and go on to be someone bigger than the “General Motors family, stay-at-home wife, 2.3 kids, a dog and a white picket fence” mentality. As a young girl, I spent hours dressing up and pretending to model, or that I was acting on “The Young and The Restless”, or a reporter on the 11:00 news. My favorite thing to play, though, was Charlie’s Angels with my sister and my neighbors.

In 1992, I began working for a vendor in the automotive industry in their Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable department. In December of that year, I was invited to go to our Greenwood, Mississippi branch for a New Year’s Eve party. It was an opportunity to meet many of the people I talked to regularly, but had never met. The people I worked with wanted me to meet the Plant Manager down there; also, since he was young, single, and handsome! So I agreed to go to Mississippi for the week, and I had the worst vacation of my life! I swore off men for a very long time and called my parents and friends to tell them. I couldn’t wait to get on the airplane back to Michigan and get back to concentrating on work. As fate would have it, on my Southwest Airlines flight, on the other side of the plane, was a young, handsome gentleman. He started to flirt with me. I never got to hear his voice since it was horrible weather and the “fasten your seatbelt” light never went off. But when he left the plane in Chicago, he handed me his number and I gave him mine and I continued on my flight to Michigan.

ACTOR/DIRECTOR ISSUE | NOVEMBER 2010 | WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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HER STORY, BEHIND THE SCENES... Imagine my mother’s surprise when I met her at the gate telling her about the new guy I met! The next day, he called me. His name was Greg. Six months later, I moved to Chicago to be with him and in December of 1993, we were engaged. We were married in October 1995. Our first child, Jacob, was born in November 1996. Our second child, Jason, was born in August of 2001 and our third child, Gabriella, was born in July 2003. Needless to say, we started our life together and ran with it! In 1997, I had been laid off from my job at a Business List company and was looking for a part-time job. Greg’s cousin was a dentist and she was looking for an assistant, so I reluctantly agreed to “try” to work in other people’s mouths. At the time, I thought it was disgusting, but I was willing to try anything. I quickly learned it was really interesting and I stayed. Dentistry became a new skill that I was proud to know. 16

I am still a Dental Assistant today. After 13 years in the dental industry, I found myself thinking about what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was working for an amazing dentist (and I still do) who had taught me so much about dentistry that I considered attending Dental Hygiene school. However, I believe Dental Hygiene is boring, so I considered Dental School. The amount of time and money I would have to spend to finish would be virtually impossible as a mother of 3, so I had to evaluate that further. It was then that I realized that all my dreams of modeling and acting had been a far off memory for too long. I happened to bring it up in conversation one day while I was talking to my co-worker. Her daughter is a model and she gave me some great information about how to get started in the industry. She encouraged me to check it out and reminded me that there are women my age in the acting and modeling world every day.

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“Just look at the commercials and the ads” she said. It was that conversation that sparked my interest and opened a world I had stopped dreaming about long ago. Initially, my friend took a few pictures of me. I sent them out with cover letters to several agencies in Chicago. I received rejections from a few of them, and never heard from several of them, but it was one particular e-mail I received from Lily’s that got me excited. They urged me to have my photos done by Socko, so I did exactly as they asked. The experience was wonderful. Socko gave me some groundfloor modeling information that has proven to be true even now. Lily’s ultimately offered me a non-exclusive contract and I signed as quickly as I possibly could! I remember leaving their office that day feeling excited, accepted, pretty, and most of all, so incredibly blessed. I called my husband from my cell phone and cried in my car. I had made it through the first step and it felt great!


I

quickly signed up for Actor’s Access, Now Casting, Women In Film, The Midwest Independent Film Festival, and an Acting in Chicago Meetup Group. I began developing contacts and passing out business cards. I went to every event I possibly could. However, I was still working full-time for the dentist office and I live in the far western suburbs, so it was a scheduling nightmare to be everywhere. I had to make sure that auditions were scheduled in the evening or on weekends, which meant less family time. That was hard. My husband and I had many “discussions” about the responsibilities that weren’t being taken care of at home. There were nights I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. folding laundry, returning e-mail, or doing dishes. I continued to reassure Greg that it was all going to work. This was a great move and I could feel it in my gut. The laundry would wait for me – or we could teach the kids how to do it! I found myself praying many nights asking God if I was reassuring Greg of the right thing and if I could handle the rejection that comes along with this business, and if we could afford this. I always had a sense of peace after those prayers, so I knew this was meant to be.

“There’s more

than you could ever know behind the scenes

After 6 months of this crazy schedule, Greg and I made the decision to have me quit my job as a Dental Assistant to focus on my new career. With a lump in my throat, I went to my boss one day and showed him my headshot and comp card, and told him what I was pursuing. I also told him I was giving him my 2-week notice. He looked at me with shock and surprise and told me he didn’t want me to go. He asked if we could work out a part-time arrangement, and I agreed. I was still working 4 days a week in the afternoon, but that left my mornings open for auditions and castings. However, my evening schedule of meetups, networking events, family, and church was still very hectic. I started booking more jobs too, and that was taking a toll on my vacation days at work. So after another 6 months or so, I went to my boss again and offered to take a lesser role in the office one day a week doing a wide variety of duties from assisting to ordering to maintaining the equipment. He agreed. I thank God for a flexible, understanding employer every day.

IMAGES BOTH PAGES BY PICTURE BOY CREATIVE/TOM BALLA

-Francesca Batestelli

Through perseverance, strength, and faith I can sit here today and say I am so humbled to be a model and actress. I have learned some lessons. I have made friends, some of them for a lifetime. I have created avenues for other people. I have met other Christians. I have more time for my kids – on most days I can take them to school and be there to help them with their homework in the evening. I have more time for my husband. I am happy, fulfilled, and loved. I am living my dream and loving it! Currently, I am represented in Illinois by Lily’s Talent, Grossman & Jack Talent, DeSanti Talent, Planet Earth Agency, and The Emmrich Agency. I am represented in Wisconsin by Jennifer’s Talent and The Rock Agency. I am represented in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana by Heyman Talent. I have been featured in student films, industrials, television pilots, commercials, internet commercials, print ads, and pamphlets. Last year, I even had the opportunity to work as an extra on a large independent film that was filmed in Milwaukee. My oldest son was able to work on set with me, too. That was a great experience for both him and me!

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RUTH: Describe yourself in three words. JENNIFER: Humble, driven, & funloving (is that 4 words – hahaha!) RUTH: How do you juggle your careers as model & actress, a mother, a wife, etc.? Does it all overwhelm you or vice versa? JENNIFER: I often refer to my life as “spinning plates” like in the circus. It’s my role as wife, mom, actress, model, volunteer, daughter, sister, niece, etc. to keep spinning those “plates” to have a well-oiled machine at home. My husband is a huge help as well. We have to divide and conquer the schedules most days. My parents and sister are also a big help. It’s overwhelming at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. RUTH: Are you a model or an actor first?

ACTRESS JENNIFER SALL

JENNIFER: For a long time, I thought I was a model first. However, as time has gone by, I’ve realized that I really am an actress first. I find myself using my acting skills in so many situations, even print shoots! It’s how I find natural reactions while the camera is snapping. My favorite skill is improvisation. RUTH: In three words, describe the characters you play. JENNIFER: Professional, wife, mother.

RUTH: Who inspired you to get into acting? JENNIFER: There’s not just one person or specific actor who inspired me. I have always loved the idea of acting. I would watch soap operas and Charlie’s Angels and the evening news and pretend to be one of them. But didn’t know I could act until I found myself on the set of a Columbia College film where I met Christian Taylor, a wonderful actress. She told me I could act and that I should act. She and I are best friends now and we continue to support and encourage each other. RUTH: Who is your role model? JENNIFER: My role model has always been my grandmother. She was a tall, beautiful woman who was strong and independent, and she loved God with her whole heart. She never left the house without her slacks, high heels, and her blue hair done properly. She modeled for a clothing store to make money as a single mom in the 1930’s, as well as working for the automotive industry. I was sitting with her when she took her last breath in 1999. I still miss her dearly. 18

RUTH: What drives you? JENNIFER: My drive comes from so many sources. Primarily, my faith drives me and guides me. I also have a deeprooted will to succeed. I always have – in every industry I’ve worked in. Beyond that, what drives me is making my family proud, learning new things, meeting new people, being proud of what I do, and seeing myself grow. RUTH: How is life in Illinois as a model and actress? JENNIFER: I love Chicago! I live in the far western suburbs, so driving to the city can be challenging at times, but it doesn’t bother me. I leave early for every audition and casting, but I enjoy the time in traffic to listen to my favorite music or catch up on phone calls. I started my career in Chicago, and I can’t imagine myself in any other city. My opportunities have been amazing! I am very blessed to be an actress and model in Chicago!

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RUTH: Looking back at when you first started in the industry, how can you describe your growth as a model and actress? JENNIFER: My growth has been steady. In the beginning of my journey, auditions and castings were sporadic. My opportunities have increased immensely through the work of my agents, Actors Access, Craigslist, Columbia College, and Tribeca Flashpoint, as well as many networking events. The auditions and castings are more steady now. I attribute that to experience, relationships that I have developed, and pure blessings. RUTH: What was the most memorable experience in modeling or on the set, and how did it strengthen you as an actress? JENNIFER: Probably the most memorable experience I have had was working on a print shoot for a publishing company. When I got home, I received a phone call from my agent to inform me that the photographer had many compliments for my work that day. I was absolutely thrilled! It gave me more confidence on subsequent shoots. It was like someone gave me permission to put myself out there and take risks. It was one of the best lessons ever. RUTH: How do you keep yourself focused on your career? JENNIFER: Staying focused on my career is easy. I love what I do! Being on set fulfills me. I enjoy each part of my career and I love sharing it with my family and friends. This business can be very “feast or famine”, so I have learned to embrace each facet of it. The busy times are exciting and sometimes non-stop and the downtime is just as important. That’s when I catch up on laundry! RUTH: What advice can you give aspiring actresses out there? JENNIFER: I was given the advice when I began my career that it would take three years to earn a profit. Now that I’ve started my third year in this industry, I realize that it is true! Hard work and perseverance are the keys to success. Meet people. Develop relationships. Get to know your agents. You will reap what you sow!

INTERVIEW BY RUTH OMANYA


RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now as far as growth as an actress? JENNIFER: I hope to be financially supporting a good portion of my family’s needs. I aspire to be a SAG actress, but I also accept the fact that it will happen when the time is right. Maybe I’ll even have a leading role in a feature film by then!

JENNIFER SALL CHICAGO ACTRESS

RUTH: If you had to make a wish to star or act with a famous actor, who would that actor be? JENNIFER: My ultimate dream would be to work alongside George Clooney. Besides the fact that he is so handsome and dashing, he’s a brilliant actor. He would be fun to work with and I would learn a great deal being in his presence. He’s a jokester, and we’d probably get along really well. The question is, who would be the bigger jokester, him or me? RUTH: What projects are you currently working on?

IMAGES BOTH PAGES BY PICTURE BOY CREATIVE/TOM BALLA

JENNIFER: I just wrapped my scenes as “The Prosecutor” on a wonderful feature film titled “Promise Land” being filmed here in Chicago. I’m honored to be a part of it. Last week, I worked on “Ride Along” in a featured role as young Liam’s mother in a flashback scene. I was also cast in the lead role as the “Mom” in the theatre production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at the Sandwich Opera House. I have several bookings for print ads and industrial videos, and a few auditions that I’m really excited about. RUTH: Where can fans connect with you? JENNIFER: Fans can find me in the following links.

VISIT JENNIFER SALL @ http://resumes.actorsaccess.com/jennifersall www.nycasting.com/jennifersall www.facebook.com/jennifer.blankenshipsall

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A

t the age of six, Robert Alaniz had already begun to draw pictures and cartoon characters. By the time this native of Blue Island, Illinois reached Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, his name was already engraved on numerous plaques and awards honoring outstanding artwork. At that time, Alaniz wished to be a commercial artist; however, this aspiration faded when a teacher challenged him to participate in the school's production of Auntie Mame. Fortunately for today's independent film fans, one of the studentactors bowed out just weeks before opening night, thus creating an opportunity for Robert to recognize his true calling. Knowing nothing about drama, he met the challenge and became fascinated with the theater. When school closed for the 1972 summer break, Robert organized his own drama group, the Calumet Park Players, in the community where he lived. For the original plays he wrote, Robert casted friends, neighbors, and a few willing strangers. During his senior year, Robert acted in two school plays: Neil Simon's Plaza Suite and William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Over the next few years, Alaniz continued writing and directing his own plays and productions, which soon numbered about two dozen. As a student at Moraine Valley Community College, Robert acted in another production of Plaza Suite, this time playing a different role in the three -act trilogy. There, he took a Film Appreciation class, which inspired him to leap from theater to film. His first effort, Of One's Own Will (shot on Super 8 Sound film), earned him the top grade in his class. After college, Robert took a job at WGN-TV in Chicago. Meanwhile, his movie projects continued as his love for filmmaking grew stronger – as did his productions, in both substance and length. When asked once why he didn't make shorter films, he replied: "I can't think that small. The stories I tell take time." In 1982, after completing Barrymore's Dream, his ninth film, the cold, hard, financial truth of filmmaking dealt Robert a setback. The expenses and resources required to properly produce and promote new films became more and more unobtainable. It seemed his passion and love for making movies might be an impossible dream. So, as dreamers often do, he set aside his creative passion to focus on real life: marriage, business, home, etc.

That all changed in 2003, when a second chance at filmmaking came from local supporters in his hometown of Frankfort. This group believes it is never too late in life to follow your dreams. As a result, Timeserver, Robert's first film in over 20 years, premiered in Joliet at the historic Rialto Square Theater to a larger -than-expected audience of over 1,000. Recalling that night, Robert says: "It is a moment in my life, I will never forget. Though not the first time a filmmaker in this area premiered their movie in a theater, we pulled it off with a crew made up of a handful of volunteers, and funds that gave deeper meaning to the term low budget." Robert's second film in 2005, Barrymore's Dream, is an updated remake of a high school class project. What began as a short story, written by Alaniz as a class assignment in the '70s, morphed several times into what would be its final incarnation. "I learned a lot during the making of Timeserver," Robert says, "and I knew the time had come to take that knowledge to the next level." Barrymore's Dream premiered at the Marcus Theatres in Orland Park, November 11, 2005. It was the first Alaniz film to be available on DVD.

DIRECTOR ROBERT ALANIZ TO RELEASE

D.I.N.K.s A COMEDY OF CHOICE 22

, ON

MARCH 25TH, 2011.

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CHICAGO FILM DIRECTOR,

ROBERT ALANIZ

I

n September 2007, Barrymore’s Dream won in the BEST FEATURE FILM category at the Route 66 Film Festival in Springfield, IL. His most recent film project, Bitterblue, represented a real change of pace for Robert, who wanted to do something completely different.

IMAGE BY SUE O’MALLEY

"I had this story floating around in my head for many years about a boy who suddenly loses his parents. Because of this tragedy, he distances himself from everyone, leading those who know him to think something is psychologically wrong with him," explains Robert. "By hearing that assessment so often, he soon begins to believe he really is mentally disabled. Thankfully, through his friendship with an intellectual and curious girl, he eventually sees himself in a different light and comes to terms with the loss of his parents." Bitterblue, Sole Productions' first family film and a story with a very positive message, completed production in October 2006 and became his second film to be available on DVD. ACTOR/DIRECTOR ISSUE | NOVEMBER 2010 | WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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A

t the end of the Bitterblue production, Robert was pretty sure that his filmmaking days had come to an end. The Bitterblue production was extremely difficult and took a toll on

his health. But spite all this, Bitterblue had a wide audience appeal and was a local success, getting coverage from FOX NEWS in Chicago, who did a prime-time feature story on the film. This in turn, got attention from local investors interested in Robert’s next project, should there be one.

“Actually, I love sequels,” real challenge to come up was started in the original, out relying too much on the challenge to try and do evebetter.” So, in 2008, Robert the style of his favorite diCarpenter. Even by putting

D.I.N.K.s

“Double Income, No Kids”

his head for a follow-up story to people who saw the film conending that unintentionally left says Robert. “As a writer, it’s a with story that continues what but can stand on it’s own withfirst one. As a director, it’s a rything you did before, except decided to make his next film in rectors, Brian DePalma and John his name above the film’s title.

In 2009, when contemplating what his next film would be about, Robert drew from he and his wife’s own personal experiences as a married couple without children and came up with D.I.N.K.s (Double Income, No Kids). A comedy based on the discrimination that he and his wife have experienced over the years from couples with children. Completed in 2010, D.I.N.K.s is Robert Alaniz’s fifth film. Robert and his wife, Carol live in Frankfort, Illinois with their two cats, Peanut and Missy.

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IMAGES BOTH PAGES BY SUE O’MALLEY

He had an idea in Barrymore’s Dream, when stantly asked him about the it open for a sequel.


“As an aspiring actress who is just getting started in the acting business, I’m honored to have been a part of the making of D.I.N.K.s! I had a lot of fun playing a star struck protester getting an autograph, and a restaurant patron on another scene, making an appearance in two scenes! That was more than I expected in my first film and I’m thankful for the blessing. Through this experience I met wonderful people and fellow actors like Thomas Kosik and his daughter Angela Saavedra with whom I have stayed in touch with on Facebook! Thank you Sarajane Crowley, Jackie Cusimano & Robert Alaniz!”

BEHIND THE SCENES DURING D.I.N.K.s will have a Chicago Premiere at the Portage Theater on March 25, 2011 where the cast and crew will be attending!

THE MAKING OF D.I.N.K.s AC OM

D. I.N .K ED YO

FC

HO I

.s

CE

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INTERVIEW BY

RUTH: Do you play any roles on your films?

RUTH OMANYA

ROBERT: I’m in love with filmmaking. It is my passion. To coin a popular movie phrase, it “completes me.”

ROBERT: Not by choice. I was an actor in my early years of theater and there have been a couple of times when I had to play a role in one of my films just because I felt I fit the part better than those who auditioned or sometimes as a last minute substitution.

RUTH: Who, or what, mostly influenced your interests in becoming a film director?

RUTH: What challenges have you faced in the business, and how have they helped you grow as a film director?

ROBERT: My first job as a teenager was working as an usher in a movie theater. I suppose that experience was my greatest influence to get into making movies. I started out in theater during high school and college where I made my first student film. After that I was hooked.

ROBERT: My greatest challenge has always been the production budgets and making a film look like it was made for a lot more money than we had to work with. It has taught me to utilize what I have and solve creative problems without spending a lot of money. I am a money conscience Director.

RUTH: What do you like most about being a film director?

RUTH: In three words, describe yourself. ROBERT: Focused. Determined. Driven. RUTH: In three words, describe the kind of films you make. ROBERT: Intellectual. Entertaining. Surprising. 26

RUTH: How is life in Illinois as film director? ROBERT: It’s tough. Illinois is growing as a great location for Hollywood films but you don’t hear of too many directors getting their big breaks here.

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SOLE-PRODUCTIONS’PAST FILMS BY DIRECTOR

ROBERT ALANIZ RUTH: Looking back at when you first started in the industry, how would you describe your growth as an independent film director?

RUTH: How many films have you directed? Talk a little bit about each.

IMAGES COURTESY ROBERT ALANIZ

ROBERT: I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get a full-length feature film finished in a shorter amount of time. My first film Timeserver took almost a year and a half to complete whereas my latest film D.I.N.K.s was shot in around 30 days. That has been my biggest accomplishment over the years. That and the fact that every film I began production on, I finished.

ROBERT: My first film was called Of One’s Own Will. It was a student film I made in college, which gave me the filmmaking bug. We were studying the films of Swedish filmmaker, Ingmar Bergman, so it was very subliminal. Several films followed as I explored different genres. They were all selffinanced and shot on Super 8 Sound, which was the poor man’s film media back then. It led to a 20-year hiatus that then led me back to filmmaking when I was introduced to digital technology. I was writing the script for a sci-fi mindbender titled Timeserver (which is the story of a man who may or may not possess the ability to time-travel), when I was approached with the possibility of actually producing and directing the script. We made back the production budget which gave me the opportunity to make my next film, a psychological thriller called Barrymore’s Dream, which ended up winning the 2007 Best Feature Award at a film festival in Springfield, Illinois. That movie was actually a remake of one of the Super 8 films that I made in the 80’s. That led to Bitterblue, another script from the past that I felt could use an update. Wanting to try my hand at making a family film, I worked with a huge cast of almost all teens. After that, I decided to go back to the thriller genre and do a sequel to Barrymore’s Dream. I love sequels, good ones that is, and wanted to take on the challenge of expanding on an original idea and making it something unto itself. So THE VISION was next.

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RUTH: Have you ever considered moving to Hollywood? ROBERT: My wife and I are considering that, but with the economy the way it is and the cost of property in California, it would seem a wiser choice to explore maybe Las Vegas. Close to L.A. and easy to commute.

RI C

IS

RUTH: What inspired a comedy of choice D.I.N.K.S?

HA RD

A

ROBERT: The idea for D.I.N.K.s (Double Income, No Kids) came to me in Las Vegas, actually, where my wife and I had an irritating experience with parents letting their kids run amok in a fine dining restaurant and on the plane ride home. Being that we have no children, my wife and I have experienced this strange kind of discrimination from people who are parents, so I thought it would be an interesting subject for a comedy.

BR OO

D.I .N .K!

KS

RUTH: Describe your experience in the making of D.I.N.K.S.

D.I.N.K.s UNITE!

RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now as far as growth as a film director?

RUTH: If you had to make a wish to have a famous actor star in one of your movies in the future, who would that actor be? ROBERT: That would all depend on the type of film I was doing. If it were a comedy, I would love to work with Ben Stiller, Sarah Silverman or my idol, Albert Brooks. If it was a drama, probably Johnny Depp (who wouldn’t), Hilary Swank or Ben Foster. RUTH: When does D.I.N.K.S. get released? ROBERT: D.I.N.K.s will have a Chicago Premiere at the Portage Theater on March 25, 2011 where the cast and crew will be attending. RUTH: Where can fans connect with you? ROBERT: Fans can connect with me any time on our web site at www.sole-productions.net.

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A COMEDY OF CHOICE

ROBERT: I’m hoping to see myself directing films with a much bigger budget. I’m a writer at heart and I plan to continue writing scripts, whether they are produced or not. I would love to remake one or two of the films I’ve already done with a bigger budget and name actors. I can see that happening.

D.I.N.K.s

ROBERT: D.I.N.K.s was the best experience I have ever had making a film thanks to a cast consisting mostly of Chicago actors and a devoted production staff that shared the same determination I had in producing a quality film.


CALIFORNIA STUNT ACTRESS & DANCER

LAUREN MARY KIM

L

auren Mary Kim excels as an actor, dancer, and martial artist. Her first love was dance which she has been doing ever since she can remember. Since living in Los Angeles she has developed new passions for acting, martial arts, gymnastics, and modeling.

IMAGES BY MICHAEL HELM

Born and raised in Stockton, California her parents guided her into the world of entertainment, performing in dance recitals, plays, and competitions. After high school she moved to Sacramento, California to attend California State University, Sacramento. She had the opportunity to perform with several dance companies and the NBA Sacramento Kings as a Royal Court Dancer. The year after, she danced for the NBA Golden State Warriors. Lauren was ready to move to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams further. The first week living in Los Angeles she auditioned for the Los Angeles Laker Girls and booked her first job in the big city. As a professional dancer she has worked on Dodgeball, Nashville Star, Foxworthy's “Big Night Out”, ACMA Awards, FIFA world cup with Jamie King, and has danced for Raven Symone, Anastacia, Doug E. Fresh, Montell Jordan, Slick Rick, Biz Markie, and several Asian recording artists. After a couple of years pursuing the dance industry Lauren decided to try new avenues of the entertainment business. She started training in gymnastics and martial arts and pursued the stunt business. She has appeared in several movies as a stunt player including Rush Hour 3, Fast and the Furious 3, The Cursed, Black Dynamite, Star Trek, Transformers 2, and Crank 2, and television shows including Dollhouse, CSI NY, Numb3rs, Monk, Veronica Mars, Zeke and Luther, and Grey's Anatomy. Lauren is currently acting and has studying with Chris Holder at Ivana Chubback studios and has studied with Calvin Jung, Leslie Kahn, Terry Berland, James Levine, Zora Dehorter, Mark Teschner, Christy Dooley, Deke Anderson, and Gwen Hiller. Thus far in the theatrical business she has booked various roles on different TV shows and movies including Backlash, Reno 911, FOX’s Happy Hour, CSI Miami, Chuck, Ballistica, and Taken by Force. Lauren continues to work. To see her latest work, visit the Updates section on her website: www.laurenmarykim.com

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“My whole life I have been in the arts. As a little girl I danced, acted, and did acrobats. I can't imagine my life without performing and being creative. It is truly something that makes

LAUREN MARY KIM ON THE SET OF STAR TREK

me happy. Every year I evolve as a performer and learn new skills. I have the constant thirst for learning and exploring. So be true to yourself and the universe will work things out on its

WWW.LAURENMARYKIM.COM

IMAGE BY MICHAEL HELM | RICK HUSTEAD | START TREK COURTESY LAUREN M. KIM | LKBIG

own! It has for me!

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LAUREN MARY KIM STUNT ACTRESS & DANCER

DRIVEN...

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DRIVEN CALIFORNIA STUNT ACTRESS & DANCER

LAUREN MARY KIM

INTERVIEW BY RUTH OMANYA RUTH: Who inspired you to get into stunt/action acting? LAUREN: I never thought in a million years I would be doing what I am doing. About 8 years ago I decided to take a gymnastics class and met a couple of stunt people who encouraged me to pursue stunts. They trained me and introduced me to people in the business and it naturally evolved to a career. In that same class I met an actor who pushed me in the right direction as well. I loved everything about both arts that I knew this was something I wanted to do forever. I couldn’t imagine my life without expressing myself creatively. RUTH: Who is your role model? LAUREN: I respect people who have worked truly hard to get where they are. People with passion, persistence, and dedication for the arts. RUTH: In three words, describe yourself. LAUREN: Eclectic, passionate, ambitious. RUTH: In three words, describe the characters you play. LAUREN: Strong, independent, ambitious. RUTH: What drives you? LAUREN: Life. Life is so short. Experience as much as you can before it’s over. Experience the beauty, the drive, the love, the pain. I don’t want to live life in regret - I want to experience it with an open heart. RUTH: How is life in California as an actress, dancer, and martial artist? LAUREN: It is becoming more challenging as more productions are moving to other states and countries. But if it’s something you love so much, nothing will stop you from doing it.

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LAUREN MARY KIM STUNT ACTRESS & DANCER

RUTH: How were your experiences on Rush Hour 3, Fast and the Furious 3, The Cursed, Black Dynamite, Star Trek, Transformers 2, and Crank 2? How did they help you grow? LAUREN: I learned so much being on big sets. The director really sets the tone for the whole production. Set experience is so valuable. The more I work the more comfortable I become, like anything else. I have grown in so many ways, both in confidence and in creativity. RUTH: What advice can you give to aspiring actresses? LAUREN: Keep on training and hustling. In the end it will pay off. It will be an ongoing struggle, but learn to love every part of it. RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now as far as growth as an actress?

RUTH: If you had to make a wish to star or act with a famous actor, who would that actor be? LAUREN: Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall (I was named after her) RUTH: Where can fans connect with you?

RUTH: Looking back at when you first started in the industry, how would you describe your growth as an actress and a martial artist/stunt actress?

LAUREN: E-mail or twitter (Laurenmarykim). I’m probably the only person not on Facebook.

LAUREN: I have grown tremendously as a person. I have seen myself evolve and continue to evolve. I have found a peace within myself that has really allowed me to become more confident and open. I use to be really nervous and insecure and had a lot of doubts. This town and industry is tough and you have to have thick skin. Rejection is part of the game and it’s something that you have to accept and to not take personally. RUTH: What was your most memorable experience in acting or on the set, and how did it strengthen you as an actress? LAUREN: I was up for this big voice-over and motion capture job, and it was between me and another actress. I studied a Chinese British accent for several weeks. I know I did my personal best. I was happy with the auditions that I did. That was enough satisfaction for me. I ended up not getting the job, and of course I was bummed, but it gave me so much confidence in myself that I made it that far. I ended up booking the next couple of jobs I auditioned for after that. Things happen for a reason I suppose. RUTH: How do you keep yourself focused on your career? LAUREN: I don’t have a side job, so it’s a driving force to making a living at this. I figured I’m not here to be a waitress, so I put all my energy into what I love to do that I know the universe will award me for all my efforts. I train when I’m not working which also keeps me focused, whether its Tae Kwon Do, Wushu, gymnastics, Aerial class, yoga, etc. 34

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RUTH: What projects are you currently working on? LAUREN: Worked a couple commercials recently and on the weekends I usually do shows with my cirque company Zenarts, where I am one of the burlesque dancers and training to be one of the aerialists. I also do the live shows for Power Rangers and just got back from Cannes and London doing performances. Have a couple stunt acting roles coming up as well.

IMAGES BY RICK HUSTEAD

LAUREN: Honestly, I just want to continue to work and see myself evolve creatively. I don’t have a desire to be famous - I just love what I do that I don’t need the recognition.


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INTERNATIONAL

STUDENTS

COLLEGE MATCHMAKERS!


INTERVIEWS BY RUTH OMANYA

IMPULSE BLACK

RUTH: I understand you wrote and produced Impulse Black. What is the story behind Impulse Black?

STARRING CALIFORNIA ACTOR/PRODUCER

JORDON: That's a complicated question but a good one. I wanted to do a film to make my mark in Los Angeles. I had just got out here and I wanted to find talented people to work with and gain credibility. I needed to rebuild a crew like I had in Chicago and the Michigan area so we went to work. Kelly and me bounced ideas back and forth until he said he had an idea about a guy who has the urge to kill but struggles to find a way to resist it. Well, the urge to kill is quite general, but it gave us a foundation to build on. At first this was just supposed to be a ten minute short about this character. Soon after we typed page 1 in Final Draft we knew we were getting ourselves into something fore we knew it, Impulse Black was born. The story basically is about a guy (who I play) named 'Riley Cole' who has been injected with this government drug called 'Ira' since birth. Over time the drug separated the moral con-

ordon Hodges is 23 years old. He grew up in a small town called Middlebury, Indiana. He went to college for Fine Arts and Business for 2 years at Indiana University of South Bend. Jordon got into acting when it was the only class he could fit in his schedule and still maintain full-time student status. He auditioned for his first play at the school and landed a large role. After the production, he finished the semester making the Dean's List there after moved to Chicago. In Chicago he quickly found an agent. He also listed himself on over onehundred sets doing body doubles and extra work to learn how film making worked. Some of these roles included “The Dark Knight”. He landed his first role in the feature film “Fraternity House”, a college comedy shot in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s a movie that is now in every video store nationwide. He is one of the actors on the cover. Thereafter, Jordon Hodges shot more feature films as the lead character with the same producer. Last year, he directed his first feature in Detroit, MI called “ Deadly Karma”, a horror movie. In May of 2010, he left Chicago and moved to Hollywood where he landed representation right away with “ Talent House Los Angeles ”. From here, Jordon Hodges started auditioning and writing. Within his first few months in Hollywood, Jordon & his roommate Kelly O'Moren penned “IMPULSE BLACK”, a 45-minute short film to pitch for a feature. Jordon & Kelly produced and put up their own money for the project and worked hard to get the most talented crew and actors possible.

nection to life, and replaced it with a more strategic and cold outlook; it also gave him an urge to kill. One example we give in the film is that President Truman was an “Ira” patient, because no man could make the decision to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki unless he had the influence of this drug to allow him to make that decision for the good of mankind. “Ira” makes you think strategically and logically rather than with love and compassion. RUTH: As a young actor coming from Indiana, what influenced your interest in acting?

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IMAGE BY AARON PRYOR

much deeper and way more complex, and be-

J

JORDON HODGES


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JORDON: I have to admit I was not a kid

When I thought I was finally ready I left Chi-

about keeping himself in control so he does not

growing up wanting to be a actor or a film

cago to move back home for 3 months to stay

harm the one person in the world that he actu-

maker for that matter. I grew up in a small

with my Mom and did whatever I had to do

ally cares for. So back to the basic idea Kelly

town called Middlebury where there are a lot

to get the move ready. I worked the crappiest

had at the start, "a guy who just wants to kill

of Amish communities around. I grew up with

job in the small town right before LA just to

but tries to resist it". I guess we didn't build too

a sense of real hometown. I always loved mov-

get motivated knowing I would never go

far from the foundation.

ies of course like most Americans, and when I think of my childhood the movie I remember being played in our house the most was “The Shawshank Redemption”, was Dad’s favorite film. That movie is #1 on IMDb for the best critically acclaimed movie of all time. It's nearly a perfect movie and that greatness might have embedded into me somewhere deep. While I was in Indiana University of South Bend I needed a class for a Thursday morning slot with perfect times to make me a full-time student. (I

back to this again. When end of April finally came, I had everything lined up and who I was moving there with. It was one of the most wonderful and spiritual adventures driving out here in a crappy car, and I will never forget it as long as I live. It, to me, was epic to say the least. I finally got here and I felt like this was home within weeks, and I don't see myself ever moving anywhere else. I had never been to California before I moved here.

RUTH: What other roles do you play as an actor? JORDON: I have played many different ones, I do feel comfortable in all spectrums, from drama to comedy. I even play a sociopath in a movie I have coming out next year. The roles that scare me are the ones I find myself loving the most. Hopefully I will be fortunate enough in my life to be able to play many. I can only

It was everything I hoped it was plus more -

hope.

that thought alone makes me smile.

RUTH: How is life in California as a young

but whatever.) The only class available for that

RUTH: Describe the character you played in

actor, producer, and writer?

exact time slot, and to make me a full-time

Impulse Black.

JORDON: Tough but extremely fulfilling. I

JORDON: Riley Cole is a young man

wouldn't wanting to be doing it any other way.

was trying to do the whole class work load in two days (not the coolest stuff I've ever done

student, was Acting 101. It was kind of love at first sight, but I was nowhere ready when my teacher pressured me into auditioning for a play, which I had never auditioned before in my life. I ended up landing a solid role in the production, finished out the semester on the Dean's list and moved to Chicago for what I call the 'boot camp' stages. My girlfriend Natalie Stalter packed her bags with me and worked in a upscale salon in Chicago and is on her way out to LA also. (Yes, she does my hair.) A lot of things in a person's life push them towards a certain career, and I feel like this is mine. RUTH: Was making the decision to move to California a difficult one? JORDON: Wanting to move to California felt like destiny if you will. I always knew in my gut that I would have to go west if I was serious. I battled it for 2 years trying to find the right and opportune time to move. Coming from a small town or anywhere in the midwest that's a big move.

trapped in a world of secrecy. He is one of

There is a huge amount of competition here,

few subjects for "Operation Impulse Black", a

but you cannot look at it that way. I think you

Government Program which used the drug

just go with your gut and do what you feel is

"Ira" to remove any of the connections that a

right. This whole process is a art. There are

normal person would feel towards people as a

better ways to do it than others, but if you love

whole. He is someone who is fully aware of

it while doing it then no one can take that

the fact that he is not normal, yet the question

away.

remains "why?". His purpose in life has remained a secret, and he is forced to deal with

RUTH: Do you have any upcoming projects?

this urge in order to lead a normal life. He is

JORDON: Yes, actually I do! My directorial

someone who thinks strategically above any-

debut on a feature film 'Deadly Karma' will be

thing else, and his natural instincts are what

released on DVD, and we should get a solid

help him to keep his urge under control,

distribution deal. It's in the horror / thriller

along with seeing a therapist regularly and a

genre and I have a central role in it as a actor. I

steady intake of medication. One thing that is

play Sammy Harris, the sociopath I mentioned

unique about Riley, however, is the fact that

before, who is a very awkward kid in school

he has begun to feel an actual strong connec-

who gets picked on big time and cannot take it

tion to another human being... A woman

anymore. I also star in a Dark Comedy / Hor-

named Skyler (played by Marcy Rylan, from

ror genre movie called 'Scream King' where me

Young and the Restless, Guiding Light, and

and a buddy in the movie (Joel Paul Reisig)

Bring it On: All or Nothing). So not only

decide we want to make a movie. In the movie

does Riley have to worry about discovering

we realize we don't have any money for props,

who he truly is, but he also has to worry

blood, or make-up, so why not just kill the girls for real? Sounds crazy, and it is! I think it's

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got some pretty good humor also.


IMPULSE BLACK STARRING CALIFORNIA ACTOR/PRODUCER

JORDON HODGES

I had a smaller supporting role in a feature called 'Minor League: A Football Story' which is a comedy that should be out next year, and I am currently writing with Kelly on 'Impulse Black: The Riley Cole Chronicles', which is actually Impulse Black in a feature length style. We’re really excited about it. I have also been auditioning a lot here in Los Angeles, CA from being represented by the Talent House Los Angeles under the care of Tracy Curtis and Carmen Aiello. (Carmen has believed in me from day one and was a big inspiration for me moving out to LA. Now we work together - things happen for a reason.) RUTH: If you had to make a wish to act in a movie with a famous actor in the future, who would that actor be? JORDON: There are so many great talents out there but if I had to pick one it would be Matt Damon. The reason why I admire him is he is a guy who came out here, and instead of waiting for the phone to ring he thought he would write a script called 'Good Will Hunting'. His line of work over his career is so diverse and he has marketed himself extremely well. The main thing I really like about him is the scripts he chooses and the directors he works with. That's what really matters and he knows it. He is not afraid to take risks and comes out fighting, and it's wonderful to watch. I know that if I am in a movie with him it will be one bad-ass script with a sweet director, and as a actor I couldn't ask for anything better. Plus he seems like a super cool down to earth guy who does little projects like guest starring on shows or doing a plug on 'Entourage' etc. He just loves what he's doing and he's not too good for IMAGE BY RYAN HODGES

anything .Yep, it would definitely be Matt Damon! RUTH: Where do you see your career in the next five years? JORDON: As far as career goes I hope to be leading or supporting movie scripts I love and directors who I fully trust to carry us on the journey. As long as I am still doing this movie thing then I will love it, I will be happy and that's what it's all about is being happy. In personal life maybe I will be married. I would like to have children - I really love kids.

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RUTH: What or who influenced your interests in becoming a film director? KELLY: Well, I have always had an extreme interest and love for films, but it wasn't until recently when I discovered my passion for directing. Jordon came to me in July of this year about putting a film together and asked me what I thought about directing it. Honestly, I was extremely nervous at first. I have written before, but never for a film, and I've certainly never directed anything. However, through the process of writing the script and putting things together I began to truly believe in the vision I had for the film. I used some of my favorite films for inspiration and by the time we were ready to shoot I had all the confidence I needed. However, I receive most of my inspiration from my family. Both my mother and my brother have pushed me to do something in this career for many years, even when I was involved in something completely different. They have believed in me from day one and I am eternally grateful for all of their support. Even my father pushed me to do something in the entertainment industry and I will always strive to become someone he would be proud of. Many things have influenced me to do the best I can in this business, and I strongly believe that is why I decided to do such a large project for my first time directing. Now I just hope that what I have done with Impulse Black can help to inspire someone else who is in the same shoes I was in at the beginning of this. RUTH: Indulge me in the making of the success of Impulse Black. Can you share with readers about the movie? 40

KELLY: We didn't have that much time to put something this big together. We started writing the script at the end of July and began shooting the last week of August. Jordon and myself were both producing and writing the film, and with only four weeks to get everything ready it just didn't seem like we had enough time to get everything done. The two of us were hunting down locations, finding the budget, and writing/ revising the script for the film. But we also had to make hundreds of phone calls, send out hundreds of emails, set up interviews for crew, hold casting sessions, and to top it all off Jordon still had to concentrate on being the lead actor and I had to concentrate on directing. We had five days to shoot thirty pages, but we did all that was needed in order to get it all done. There were snags of course, but one thing I had to keep in mind was that this was our first project out here in Los Angeles so I wanted it to be huge. I knew we would run in to problems, but with the support and hard work of everyone else, we made it all work. We were fortunate to have an amazing crew and also to have the determination in our hearts to make a great film. The days were long, but extremely fulfilling, especially since we were able to shoot in some great locations throughout Los Angeles. The moments I remember the most are the ones where a take would be done and we would all just look at each other in amazement as if to say "wow, we are actually doing this!" There were a lot of great moments on set even when we weren't shooting, and all of us were just talking about random things and enjoying the moments. In the end I was extremely proud of what we accomplished with such a modest budget and such a short amount of time. I cannot wait to work with all of the actors and crew again, because they truly made the entire experience that much more enjoyable. RUTH: In three words, describe yourself. KELLY: Adventurous, Headstrong, Protective. RUTH: In three words, describe the kind of films you direct. KELLY: Suspense, Drama, Action. RUTH: Do you play any roles on your films? KELLY: I've always had a passion for acting. I did it all throughout high school and I dabbled in it a bit after I graduated, but in terms of film I have not yet acted. This was my first project so I really wanted to concentrate on the creation of the film and being behind the camera.

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I feel in order to be a better actor you need to have an understanding of the film-making process and be aware of how things go. I would love to eventually step in front of the camera and perform, but for now I love writing and directing. In the grand scheme of things I am still not sure what part of film-making I will end up being most passionate about. Regardless of where I end up putting the most effort, I will always find a way to keep myself involved in all aspects. RUTH: What major challenges have you faced in the business, and how have they helped you grow as a film director? KELLY: We definitely had our fair share of challenges for Impulse Black. For instance, on the first day of shooting there was a third party problem at the location and we ended up having to shut down production for a couple hours. By the end of the day we had to readjust the entire scene in order to make things work. It was amazing to me that just a couple hours could make such a difference on how a day goes, but what amazed me further is how well we adjusted to the situation and made it work out for the better. Other major challenges lied within gaining a budget for a film like this. It's hard enough trying to convince investors that a first time producer/director can do a lot with the money they put in to a film, but it's even harder trying to convince them to invest in a short film like this. The biggest challenge, however, was trying to get so much done with so little time. Things can come at you out of nowhere and when that happens you need to figure out what can be pushed aside in order to get the most important things done, which can lead to things just piling up. But at the end of it all I am extremely glad we ran in to so many snags and problems. I knew that doing something this big for my first project would be hard, but I also knew that I would learn so much from every problem we faced. I feel that I have learned more in just a few months than most have the opportunity to learn in years, and I am extremely grateful, not to mention incredibly lucky for that opportunity. One of the biggest things I have taken from this experience is that you have to remain true to your nature and not get caught up in the bliss of it all. I know I would not have done this without the support of friends and others in the business who were willing to give me a shot at making this film. RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now as far as growth as a film director? (continued on page 42).


K IMAGE COURTESY KELLY O’MOREN

elly O'Moren is 25 years old. He was born in Chicago, but raised in the small town of Three Oaks in southwest Michigan. During high school, Kelly saw his talents drifting more and more towards the fine arts. He was involved in drama, writing, and music, as well as training in boxing while he was in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating, Kelly decided to put the arts aside and join his father working in the Union in Chicago, but he still found himself spending a lot of his spare time working with music and writing.

DIRECTOR

KELLY O’MOREN

IMPULSE BLACK

After the passing of his father in 2005, he decided to start pursuing acting more. He took a part in a History Channel documentary titled "Nature’s Fury: The Storm of The Century". Kelly knew he had a potential career working in the Union. So he continued to work in Chicago and follow in his father’s footsteps while also pursuing acting and music. In 2007, a serious car accident would force him to leave the job and choose a new path. He then moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where he attended school studying writing and marketing. But he wanted bigger things for himself, so in May of 2010 Kelly moved to Los Angeles in order to fully dedicate his life to a career in the entertainment industry. Towards the end of July, Kelly, along with his roommate Jordon Hodges, wrote and produced a 45-minute short film titled “IMPULSE BLACK”. Though Kelly was new to the business and this being his first project, he felt confident with his vision for the film and stepped in as the Director. Right now Kelly and Jordon Hodges are beginning work on the full length feature version of “IMPULSE BLACK” and hope to move in to pre-production within the next few months!

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ROBERT MIANO IMAGE BY AARON PRYOR

KELLY O’MOREN

IMAGE BY RYAN HODGES

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KELLY: I definitely see myself beginning to branch out to different genres of film. I want to create things for every audience and learn how to reach people on multiple levels. I am a firm believer in making films that will deliver a message to the audience, causing them to think beyond the film, and I would like that to be the basis of my career. I know that there is never a point when someone can say "That is it - I have learned enough". I actually despise that way of thinking if I am to be completely honest. I know that in order to be a good director, writer, actor, or producer I will have to continually learn and try new things. In five years I see myself looking back at what I have learned and looking forward to doubling that information five years after that. I can only hope that I will continually discover new things about this art and show it in the films I make as I progress through my career, but I also hope that I can realize when it is time to be disciplined and reign myself in.

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Can I do that within five years? Well, I hope to at least have a good start on it. RUTH: If you had to make a wish to have a famous actor star in one of your movies in the future, who would that actor be? KELLY: There are several actors that I would love to have an opportunity to work with in the future, but if I had to chose one it would be Tom Hanks. I have always been a huge fan of his work and his diversity. He knows how to bring an audience in to his character and fall in love with the story, no matter what type of film it is. If Tom Hanks turns me down then I'll have to move on to Anthony Hopkins - ha ha. RUTH: Where can fans connect with you? KELLY: Fans can always connect with me through the Impulse Black fan page on Facebook, but if they feel like doing a little searching they can find my personal page on Facebook under Kelly O'Moren. Or just e-mail me and Jordon at impulseblackfilm@gmail.com. Jordon keeps people posted on his Twitter: Jordon Hodges.


WILL BRUNSON

IMAGE BY RYAN HODGES

IMPULSE BLACK

o

STARRING CALIFORNIA ACTOR/PRODUCER

MARCY RYLAN

JORDON HODGES

IMAGE BY AARON PRYOR

pposite him is Marcy Rylan who was “Lizzie Spaulding” for years on the show “Guiding Light” who also currently on “Young and the Restless” as “Abby Carlton”. Also joining the Cast is Will Brunson who just had his introductory role in a “Proper Violence” which screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Robert Miano is a lifetime member of the Actor's Studio and has over 150+ credits in film and television, including playing Sonny Red in 'Donnie Brasco' opposite Johnny Depp & Al Pacino. The project's Director of Photography is Chris Faulisi who just had his directorial debut on a feature that screened at Cannes this year. “IMPULSE BLACK”, will begin filming around Christmas time. The feature is currently being written and is expected to shoot sometime in 2011. Jordon & Kelly will both put over $100k of their own money to start the production. They are also currently looking for more people to sign on with financial help once the project is completed.

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LONDON ACTRESS

KSENIA TIEVA

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IMAGES COURTESY KSENIA TIEVA

K

senia Tieva (Lavrentieva) was born in 1986 in the former

communist state of Georgia to a renowned dissident Georgian Artist and one of Russia’s most revered actresses of that time. Her early life was spent on the shores of the Black Sea – before the inevitable separation of her parents prompted a move to Moscow and, through her mother, an unsettlingly candid immersion in the confused, though highly creative atmosphere that pervaded the Russian capital at the time...

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A few years later, and in coincidence with the fall of Communism, the newly re-composed Lavrentieva family moved to London in the early 1990’s. When asked about this period in her life, Ksenia only refers to it as a time “where we pretty much existed upon the fringes, moving regularly, and rarely staying in one place for more than a few months”. However, she does admit that while it was a time of constant upheaval, it perhaps also represents in many ways a time from which she now draws a great deal of inspiration.

IMAGES BY LEE MUSSON

More recently, Ksenia has enjoyed some success by following tentatively in maternal footsteps, with spells of studying Performing Arts and moving on to work in the TV and film industry. She has worked on both sides of the Atlantic and with the likes of such directorial luminaries as David Cronenberg. However, she feels that it is not in that particular medium that her creativity is fully represented. What drives her apparently runs far deeper and as a result her work as an artist provides a more direct and immediate means of self-expression.

LONDON ACTRESS

KSENIA TIEVA

ON THE SET OF COLD TURKEY Ksenia’s artistic inspirations have evolved through her studies in literature of modern astral projection/physics pioneers. For example, Robert Monroe and William Buhlman. The works have begun to surface through her influence of channeling and coupled with experimentation into altered awareness of our consciousness through out of the body explorations as well as holding Reiki, Lakshmi empowerment and Silver, Gold, and Violet flame healing system attunements. Ksenia Tieva is surely a well-rounded esoteric artist who will continue to move steadily and evidently toward the spiritual reconciliation that she, without doubt, deserves and craves.

INTERVIEW BYRUTH OMANYA

Pg. 46-47

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RUTH: Who inspired you to get into acting?

RUTH: In three words, describe the characters you play.

KESENIA: I was born into an artistically eccentric family of performers, a desire and hunger to entertain and live a life of duality of combined need, to fly in between dreams and walk along the sharp edge of a razor blade. It was destined to stream through my veins. Growing up along side a mother who was highly respected and admired in the acting world has always raised the bar for me. I knew that I would never be satisfied with living a life that is any less artistically fulfilling. I saw an inspiring, electric, addictive profession that I could not live without. Knowing this was my way to live many different life times in one no matter what the obstacles that were to be placed before me, as only through those adversities I was to learn, understand, and grow into a better actress and therefore a better person.

KSENIA: I always seem to get cast type as the Eastern European victim. Maybe it’s the Russian ‘heavy depth’ within or just the foreign name. I always found it easier to play pain and suffering - it always seemed to come naturally!! Hehe. It would certainly be great to break the mould as everything lives within, and it’s just awaiting it’s tern to come out and play.

KSENIA: My love and passion for life is what drives me. To be submerged in and penetrated by the depth of emotional experiences of this world is truly what makes me feel alive and hungry for more. Knowing there is always something new to live for. To re-create this in acting just touches the surface but is still that one step closer to the truth and through this it may just awaken and unlock that greater depth in others.

RUTH: How did your mom’s acting career impact or influence your own acting career?

RUTH: How is life in London compared to Moscow as an actress?

RUTH: Where did you grow up? KSENIA: Shortly after being born in Tbilisi Georgia, I was sent to grow up with my grandmother in Taganrog (The birthplace of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov), a seaport city in Rostov Oblast, Sea of Azov, Russia. RUTH: In three words, describe yourself. KSENIA: Eccentric, exuberant, unpredictable. RUTH: How old were you when you started acting? KSENIA: I’ve been acting all my life!! My whole existence seems to be an act, an evolving volcanic show, most of the time a circus performance. Every day I’m playing new parts, so much that I sometimes forget who I’m suppose to be……..or in simpler terms, I have always dabbled in and out of it as a child and had started acting professionally from the age of 17. 46

KSENIA: Most of the time my mother was away working. Sometimes she would take me along with her and I would sit and watch her live out her dream. There I realized that it was only in that single flashing moment, where her eyes would blaze with fire and that intimate passion would roll off her tongue that she truly was alive and present within her being. Feeling every aspect, every spec of her inner self, totally, fully in tune with all that there ever was, is, and ever will be. This became infectious to me - she had passed it on. I picked up on a lot of her nuances that she used in her acting and her life. It captivated me and made me wish to do the same. To pass on the experience and translate my emotions in order for others to awaken theirs. For them to be moved and inspired with those enigmatic sparks of magnetism as I was. Recreating the depths of those subconscious emotions, erupting them through our beings and exploding those built up complexes in whatever media it may be, releasing those hidden, silent senses, feeling them rise within us through the dramatism of Performing Arts. When I watch myself back I see her and a lot of people who know us both always tell me that we are like twins on and off camera.

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RUTH: What drives you?

KSENIA: I left Russia at the age of 6. But I could predict that London is truly ‘the land of opportunity’ and there is no comparison. If you are looking for something you are more likely to find it here. In Moscow people in the public eye don’t receive the same levels of attention as they do over here. RUTH: Looking back at when you first started in the industry, how would you describe your growth as an actress? KSENIA: It’s crazy looking back, as at everything in life, you can hardly recognize yourself. All I can visualize is a young, naïve fame-hungry girl, full of self-worth, not really understanding of what was truly required of her and how she needed to be to get to where she wanted. But that’s only natural, as that’s what we grow up for. That girl still lives here with just a few new modified improvements, with a more enhanced vision and a finer tuned mind. My growth as an actress came with my growth in life and the experiences it presented me with. My roles got stronger as my life became harder yet more fulfilling. As we walk through life it pushes us to grow wiser and deeper, so I put it down to its spellbinding joyride that added new levels of depth and understanding to my acting.


RUTH: What was your most memorable experience on stage or on the set, and how did it strengthen you as an actress? KSENIA: Playing Natasha in ‘Cold Turkey’ was my most memorable experience to date. It truly made me understand the title of being an ‘actress’. Natasha was a broken young drug abuser, who ran away from home and fell into the hands of a psycho. It was a very emotionallycharged role, which was very draining and demanding at times but equally, extremely satisfying and kept that adrenalin pumping at all times. RUTH: Have you ever considered moving to Hollywood? If so, do you think it will steer your acting career to more opportunities?

IMAGE COURTESY KSENIA TIEVA

KSENIA: The glitz and glamour of tinseltown Hollywood has always been a temptation. I once worked out there on a show for E-entertainment network. I believe that I stand just as much of a chance here in London as I would have being out LA as I have auditioned here for many feature films. A lot of big budget American and English movies get casted and made here, especially now so I know I’m in the right place, besides in Hollywood there may be even more competition as even the police are actors!! It’s all about getting your foot in the door and then your body will follow! If it’s meant to be, it really doesn’t matter where you are. All it takes is just that one person to notice you and take that chance, as for luck I think its more of a fate question. RUTH: How do you keep yourself focused on your career? KSENIA: I don’t keep myself focused on my career, as I’m the career and my career is me, you can’t focus on something that is already instilled, engrained and embodied within.

I eat, sleep, breathe and live it every second of my life. It’s all that ever was, ever is, and ever will be. It’s all that I know, all that I have, all that I want, need, and love. It’s me, just me. RUTH: What advice can you give to aspiring actresses out there? KSENIA: If it’s meant to be, it shall be yours, no matter how you twist and turn. It shall fall upon you in divine time. You are on this earth for a reason. If your passion and will is the drive for your reason and is strong enough to pursue your dream than it shall become your truth, your reality. If you are feeble in your approach and are just seduced by the glamorous appeal that Hollywood oozes then it shall never be yours. So be it, be its so, for it is done. RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now as far as growth as an actor? KSENIA: My life is an unpredictable rollercoaster. I can only imagine that I will grow deeper, see further, become stronger and wiser, and even look back on some of the statements that I have made here and simply smile. Life will provide me with all the knowledge that I need for each of its ever-changing chapters and so this will automatically translate into my acting. So I guess more creatively challenging parts and complex characterizations are on the menu. RUTH: If you had to make a wish to star or act with a famous actor, who would that actor be? KSENIA: I have two wishes: if I could act with a man, it would be Leonardo Dicaprio. I’m in love with his innocence, rawness, honesty, and depth as an actor. I see him. I have followed his charm and charisma as he grew up on screen. To me he speaks the truth and to work with someone like that would be the ultimate pleasure, as I will no longer be acting.

LONDON ACTRESS

KSENIA TIEVA If I had to choose a woman, it would be Ellen Page. The same principles go for her but to add to that, I love her fiery and feisty nature. She is bluntly, organically truthful and does not hide behind a mask. She has no fear and takes risks, holding depth beyond her age, and is totally unaffected by vanity and self-importance. RUTH: What projects are you currently working on? KSENIA: Art is my other lover. I’m currently working on setting up an exhibition in London to showcase my ‘Museum of the Universal Cosmic Mind’. It a project called ‘Cosmic Art Therapy’. I create 3D sculptures on large canvases using glamorized textiles, incrustational crystals and gems, smashed mirrors and acrylic mediums for the ultimate theatrical effect. I see this as a new wave of art as it’s not quite sculptures, nor is it canvas art. No doubt that it will find its place very soon. RUTH: Where can fans connect with you? KSENIA: www.kseniatieva.com

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Actor/Director Issue. Sharing Stories on movie making and life behind the scenes.

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