Tuesday, 24 April 2018

2018: Sharing some stills from recent work...

I recently went through the process of updating my demo reel. As usual, it took months of nagging to get any footage, a common problem facing many actors I hear.

I did manage to get some footage for a small fraction of the work I have done. Sadly, not all of it could be used in the reel, due to issues with the dialogue or the framing of the scenes. And so on, and so on.

So, instead, I managed - with the help of a more tech-savvy friend - to clip some stills from a few productions. I'm adding them to my blog here. Now I know how to do this, there'll be no stopping me!

From the short film, Black Donnellys, portraying Ms. Thomson

From the short film The Clean-Up, portraying Elizabeth, the much older girlfriend of the protagonist

From the web series. From Here To Breakfast, portraying Jessie, mother of Cheryl

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Looking back on 2017

Seems time did not permit for me to update my acting blog before now.

So, here, in the proverbial nutshell, is a review of highlights from my acting career in 2017.

Probably, the easiest way to do this is to start with my most recent acting work, and work backwards into early 2017.

In the last quarter of  2017, I portrayed a character named Jessie in an Internet series titled "From Here to Breakfast" which was shot at Versus CafĂ© in Toronto, on Adelaide St., East.

I also played the role of a 1990s newscaster in a short film directed by Angie Bird called "The Day Grunge Died". This involved both voice acting and and recording visual footage to go with my voice recording, done a day or two earlier. That isn't as easy as it sounds; synching yourself takes some work! It also meant I had to get my hair and makeup done in true 1990s style!

In September, I also appeared in the film "Rubbles of Love" directed by Nollywood director Isioro Tokunbo (TJ) Jaboro. Well-known Nollywood and Ghallywood stars appeared in this film, most notably Jackie Appiah in the role of Molly. I played Molly's mother-in-law from her first marriage… One of my friends found the following link to information on the film and so I'm including it here.


NB: This film has since been given the title of: Molly's Love Story.

As always, it's really challenging as an actor to get a hold of footage, meaning it's even more challenging to put together a decent show reel. I really want to get mine updated but have been holding off, in the hopes that some directors would be decent enough to let me have some footage.

It hasn't happened lately… That's why, a film I was in called Transmission in which I played a society matron named Dina Welles, won't be featured in my reel - the film is still in post-production but is supposed to be released this year - and also why I can't get any footage from my role as Mrs. Thompson in the short film "Black Donnellys".

And I haven't even bothered to try and get the footage where I played at new Interpol boss in a TV series called "Killing the Cure" or for my role as Candy Spelling in an episode of "Broke and Famous" which looked at the story of Candy's daughter Tori Spelling.

I also shot a number of commercials and/or industrials, as they are known, and those may be available on the Internet or on TV. Like many performers, I don't really have time to follow up on it all, although I do hear from people that they have seen me. One training video I was in, for Scotiabank, was seen by someone I occasionally go to movies with, and another actor told me that the commercial we shot for Telus was also up and running.

So, sorry there aren't more links in footage for you on this blog post but, as they say, that's showbiz!

Copyright Deborah C Sawyer

Monday, 2 January 2017

New Year 2017 - looking back at some highlights!

Time hasn't always permitted me to post on my blog. Too busy acting I guess!

And, from August 2016 on, it was very hectic. I booked a number of commercials, films, industrial productions, short films, and more.

This meant working at all hours; for one shoot, I had to get up at 2:30 a.m. and drive to a neighboring city for a 4 a.m. call time. For another, I was dancing on a roof - in the rain no less - late at night!

One gig involved sitting in a chair with dozens of still cameras snapping my facial expressions. I had to wear a hair net for this, so not my most glamorous shoot. But, as the end product is a virtual reality product, no-one will be any the wiser.

It's always difficult to get footage of my work - all actors struggle with this - but here are some links. If they work, you can see what I've been up to. (They may work if you cut and paste into your browser.)

1. There was the above-referenced music video...


2. And a commercial for a natural product....


With this link, scroll down to the foot of the landing page and click on the "Blunt Teacher" icon

Or on Facebook:


3. Plus a commercial for a private school...


Enjoy! And here's to the very best for everyone in 2017!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Made it to the Quarter-Finals!

This was a pleasant surprise in my in-box this evening (July 21). Made it to the 2016 Quarter Finals!

Stage 32 Happy Writers 2nd Annual Feature Screenplay Contest Quarter-Finalists Announced

By Stage 32 Staff - Julie

Friday, 15 July 2016

Seems I've been 'acting up!'

Whew! Didn't realize it had been so long since I posted on this blog. Time flies when you're acting!

Over the last 18 months, I've appeared in quite a few productions and, along with that activity, toured or visited a  diverse array of real estate in going to auditions or reporting to the set!

Reasonably well-lit hallway

Sometimes, these buildings are in isolated or remote spots. Or, located in former industrial properties where I end up wandering the spooky corridors, trying to find the exact room. Usually, I meet fellow actors on the same sort of quest. Or, someone who already found the right spot and is just leaving  their audition.

I've added a couple of examples - although these were fairly safe-looking places - to show what I mean. One was in Kitchener-Waterloo, the other in the far reaches of what locals call Scarberia (in reality, Scarborough, which is part of Toronto.)

Tenantless office building

Wild and lonesome places!

Of course, what is more interesting are the shoots I've taken part in. It's probably easiest to do this in reverse order. I played Dina Welles in the futuristic/sci-fi feature 'Transmission'... A female party-goer in 'Women Not Permitted'... the mother of a woman dying mysteriously in 'Fragile'... another mother in 'Poet Professor', which was also a feature film... and Elizabeth, the much older, age-inappropriate girlfriend of the protagonist in 'The Clean-Up'.

Elizabeth (The Clean-Up)

Mother and son at the art gallery (Poet Professor)

In industrial or commercial work, I have portrayed a photography customer in a recruitment video for LeMine Group... someone with mental health challenges for Epilepsy Toronto... a transfer patient in another recruitment video for Spectrum Health... and the wife of a football fanatic in 'Grounded', for the Lung Association, in which I appeared with Michael"Pinball" Clemons!

And, lastly, there's training: basic stage combat at Second City and PAL certification for firearms (both long guns and hand guns) with Rapier Wit!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The year in review... and what got away!

In keeping with the start of the new 2015 year, here's a quick look back at what went on in my acting career in 2014.

The feature film I appeared in, in May 2014, was released and started showing at festivals in the US. FriendsDon'tLetFriendsDateFriends is a rom-com, written and directed by Rhonda Parker, and in it, I play Shirley Regal the mother of the protagonist.

I saw the movie on the big screen at the Screening Room in Buffalo in November. I'm including a copy of the poster - if you're lucky, you can get one signed by the cast and crew, like mine. I think the producers sell them at showings...

One of the write-ups for FriendsDon'tLetFriendsDateFriends (The Public, November 19, 2014, p. 21) stated that "Filmmaker Parker provides tart dialogue for characters played by actors who don't look like they've rolled off a Hollywood assembly line". I thought this was a great compliment to all involved.

I also shot a few commercials and industrial videos over 2014, and was in a TV/web series called Mangoes.

As for "the ones that got away", I was selected for three parts in the last part of the year but, as you will read, didn't actually perform them.

The first was in a music video for the Billy Talent "Kingdom of Zod" release. I went for the audition on a Wednesday evening but, when I didn't get called for the wardrobe session on Friday, assumed I didn't get the part playing a politician's wife. Time passed, as they say, three days to be exact. And then, the day before the shoot, when I got home from meeting a friend for dinner, I found both an email and a voice-mail from the casting director. Turns out, they called the wrong actress, the director really wanted me. But by then (8:30 in the evening), the casting director thought it too late to "crush the other actress" as she put it. (As it happens, had I not been so polite about turning off my phone while having dinner, this story might have had a different ending.)

Haven't seen the video, so no idea who got the part or even if they left the politician and his wife in the final cut...

The second was a part in a TV pilot. I also thought I didn't get the role of a psychiatrist but, lo and behold! One fine Sunday, after I came in from clearing up leaves in the backyard, I found a voice-mail from the producer. Was I available? As it turns out, by the time I called back, they had had to cast another actress in the role. Ironically, this was the day after I watched the feature film in Buffalo and, had I known I'd be needed, I could easily have stayed in town to shoot the pilot.

The third part that got away was playing a ghost. Again, by the time I emailed back  - 2 hours after the invite was sent - they had cast someone else.

I take comfort in thinking that, in all likelihood, Meryl Streep doesn't have to deal with this anymore but, if she does, heaven help the rest of us!

Happy New Year!

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Friends Don't Let Friends Date Friends (feature film)

Our location for the day
In late May, I had one of my most enjoyable days on a set when I went to Medina, NY to appear in the rom-com "Friends Don't Let Friends Date Friends".

It was also the first time I had worked with a woman director - hello? is this really the 21st century - and, I'm proud to say, Rhonda Parker is one of the most efficient directors I have yet worked with.
The porch, where we shot some key scenes

Perhaps it's because she has herself worked on-camera that Rhonda is very precise at explaining what she wants?

Most of my scenes were shot in or outside a lovely Victorian house.

Rhonda shooting footage of Della, played by Amelia Favata

My character, Shirley Regal, is a single Mom who is raising her daughter Della, and spending her free time going to bars to pick up guys, fueled by alcohol. A lot of alcohol actually...
Rhonda and I at the end of the shoot

The role of Shirley is quite unlike any I have played so far. As well as submitting my head-shot and reel for Rhonda to view, I took a couple of selfies in proposed costumes. These led Rhonda to cast me in the part.
Shirley on a good day...
...and on a not-so-good night!

The film is scheduled to be finished by September - stay tuned for more information on where you might be able to see it!
The hosts media-savvy son...

...and his equally techno-savvy older brother!

To see a current trailer for the film, go to:
Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer