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November 2018

Listen Up

We Were Sharks

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Like certain shark breeds and their inability to remain still even while sleeping, Canadian pop/punk rockers We Were Sharks are constantly swimming, touring relentlessly in support of their infectious music. Their latest album, “Lost Touch,” was released earlier this year on Victory Records to both critical and fan praise.

We recently sat down with guitarist Jason Mooney to discuss the comfort of life on the road, how “Lost Touch” is directly influencing what they write next, and why they always try to make themselves as accessible to fans as possible.

TrunkSpace: Some bands hit the road out of necessity, but we get the sense that you guys still love it as much today as you did when you first got together. Do you find you’re still experiencing “firsts” out there on the highways and byways as you tour? Does it still feel fresh?
Mooney: That’s a really great question! Touring is definitely a necessity, but we definitely still love it. We still have firsts! Even if that means stopping into a different WaWa/Sheetz for the first time. For me, personally, I actually love coming back to the towns and venues that we’ve played before. There is this strange feeling of comfort and appreciation for this lifestyle that I get when I can navigate my way around a place that is so far from home.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people use writing music as a form of personal therapy – a way to work out whatever demons they have. Does performing have therapeutic benefits as well? Can you get in front of a crowd and come off the stage a different person than as you went on?
Mooney: I find performing to be absolutely therapeutic. I hit the strings a little harder, shout into the crowd a little louder, but that just describes aggression. There’s also the moments while performing when I look across the stage and share a laugh with one of the guys in the band. I can definitely say that there have been times where it feels like a “bad day,” then I look forward to the show because chances are I’ll get it all out within 30 minutes and come off feeling a little lighter and in a better headspace.

TrunkSpace: Is there a song that you dig playing live that maybe you weren’t as happy with on the record? Can a tune have a different personality on the stage than it does in the studio?
Mooney: I love all of the songs but there definitely are songs that take on a different personality when played live. For me, one song in particular is “Never Looked Better.” It’s a track that I love listening to, but I didn’t think it was going to make it into the live catalog. We began playing it live and it has had an awesome reaction. We’ve had show-goers tell us that it’s their favorite song, or they come up before the set and tell us that they hope we play it.

Instead of writing set lists, maybe we should just take requests live.

TrunkSpace: Your latest album, “Lost Touch” was released earlier this year, your first on Victory Records. Did having a label change give the experience, both in the studio and post release, that fresh car scent?
Mooney: It was definitely a different experience. What made it all the more different was having a team working on making sure that we have a successful release, as well as a team making sure the songs were the best they can be.

TrunkSpace: Do albums become a bit like chapters of your life? Does it become, “These were my ‘Lost Touch’ years and those were my ‘Not a Chance’ years”?
Mooney: I think that they show chapters of our experience of being songwriters. The experience we had writing and recording “Lost Touch” and seeing what works live has definitely influenced us in what we need to do next.

TrunkSpace: What do you get writing and performing within a band, and this band in particular, that you can’t access from a solo mindset? What are the benefits for you personally in having a group of people fighting the fight alongside of you?
Mooney: From a solo mindset, my voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard. So, solo for me is impossible. (Laughter)

But it’s the feeling of sharing your passion and drive with like-minded individuals. Nothing comes easy and being able to work together with a group to overcome challenges and then share those wins together — that’s what I have always loved about being in a band.

TrunkSpace: You guys have no doubt experienced a lot together over the years. After everything you’ve been through… and the point of view changes that come with age… do you see the band differently now than you did when it first came together? Does it serve a different purpose in 2018 than it did at the outset?
Mooney: I don’t think the point of view has ever changed. We accomplish goals and set new ones. Being in a band is a lot like pushing a boulder up a hill. When it comes down to the fundamentals, I think from the beginning it’s always been about writing music that we enjoy that can create a great live experience for those who come and see us.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your musical career thus far – the moment that you will carry with you through the rest of your life?
Mooney: There are dozens of highlights and we are always creating amazing new memories. I think the release day of “Lost Touch” is something that my memory always returns to. We worked so unbelievably hard to create a full album that we are so proud of, and on that day, it was made available for everyone to hear.

TrunkSpace: What are your thoughts on the status of the music industry as a whole in 2018? Are you optimistic for the future in terms of the torch being carried by the next generation of kids coming up in the musical ranks?
Mooney: I do feel optimistic. Popular music genres, styles and musical tastes will always change. Technology will always evolve. Music is the one thing that will always bring people together and no matter where a person is, or the state of the world, music will continue to be made, and someone will always want to share it. I never think that a torch is passed down, or passed along. I think we all carry the torch together, and every year, there’s new determined artists who want to join in carrying that torch.

TrunkSpace: Fan feedback can often be the fuel that powers the creative brain because its evidence that the art is hitting its mark. What’s the most powerful fan feedback or interaction you have received that has made it all worth the journey?
Mooney: Someone at a show in Long Island, NY once told me how much they appreciated how we interact with everyone when we’re off stage.

As an artist, we try to meet and thank as many show-goers as possible. We do our best to take time and speak to as many people as we can at shows. When someone comes to the merch table, we focus on the experience. Even for the band member who grabs a beer at the bar, you may have an opportunity to talk to someone hanging out nearby. We’re all human, I believe we all try to be good people. Meeting someone and taking the time to talk to them can do wonders. You never know what life experiences a person has gone through or the steps they took prior to getting to your show. We always have the opportunity to be the shining light in somebody’s day.

Lost Touch” is available now on Victory Records.

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The Featured Presentation

Sydney Viengluang

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PHOTOGRAPHY: JSquared/HAIR: Jaycee Mnirajd/MAKE-UP: Aly Barr/STYLING: Sky JT Naval

As part of the ensemble cast of “Z Nation,” Sydney Viengluang has helped to bring life to some unbelievable storytelling, but it’s her own family’s journey from refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines that is even more incredible than those on-screen zombies that she faces. While the actress is enjoying her science fiction ride in a post-apocalyptic world, she looks forward to telling more of her own story and has been thinking of ways to build a cinematic narrative around the displacement of Loatians following the Vietnam War.

We recently sat down with Viengluang to discuss her most surreal “Z Nation” moment, getting to interact with the fandom, and why she hopes to show that “other” is not something that should be feared.

TrunkSpace: “Z Nation” seems like the kind of show where you’re not only working hard, but you’re having a good time while doing it. What has your personal experience been like getting to work on the series for the past three years? How has it changed your life?
Viengluang: Definitely. It’s such a fun show to be on. I look forward to flying up to beautiful eastern Washington to shoot for the summer every year. It’s just been a great experience to work with an easy-going cast and crew that don’t take themselves too seriously. My life hasn’t really changed much from day to day, but it’s really nice to have a growing fan base. Getting to interact with fans on social media is always exciting, especially knowing that I’m inspiring some of them.

TrunkSpace: There is always some crazy, over-the-top (generally zombie-related) moment that occurs in our favorite episodes of “Z Nation.” What has been one of your more surreal, “pinch me, I’m dreaming” experiences while playing Dr. Sun Mei?
Viengluang: I think my very first episode in Season 3 was my “pinch me” moment. I distinctly remember waiting on set to be called in for the big scene where my whole crew dies, and I had a moment where I said to myself, “It’s happening. I’m here getting paid to be an actor. I can’t believe it.” I had done other TV roles, but it was a major recurring guest character and on an already established popular show. It was surreal.

TrunkSpace: When zombies are involved, there’s got to always be that little voice in your head second-guessing if you’ll be on the receiving end of a bite each week. Do you breathe a sigh of relief after you receive each script, happy to see that the Doctor survived another episode?
Viengluang: (Laughter) Yes, exactly. I think the fans out there have a saying, “Never trust the Z Nation writers” or something to that effect. Nobody is immune to getting killed off. I guess that makes it a bit exciting and nerve wracking for the viewers.

TrunkSpace: As we mentioned, you’re now in your third season of “Z Nation.” What has the experience been like for you to get to play a character over an extended period of time?
Viengluang: It’s been great to evolve with Sun Mei and see how she’s evolved herself over the years. The great thing about Sun Mei this year is she gets to do more of the scientific stuff with the Talkers and I think I get to show her softer side. It’s been quite a journey for her and I’m glad I don’t get to just play a normal doctor in a hospital or lab all the time throughout all three seasons.

TrunkSpace: “Z Nation” has some very passionate fans. Were you surprised by how supportive people were of the show after you started working on it? How soon was it after your character premiered that you could feel the reach of the fandom?
Viengluang: Oh yes! The fans are what make the show. I didn’t realize how passionate and hardcore zombie/horror fans were until I was starting to get fans reaching out on social media from the very beginning of the promos being released for Season 3. They were already making memes and videos after my first episode. They’re some of the most loyal and nice fans out there.

TrunkSpace: From what we understand, you first got involved in the film industry on the business/finance side. Do you think having that knowledge of how things work behind the scenes has helped you better navigate your career in front of the camera?
Viengluang: Definitely. As an actor, you have to be the CEO of your own “company,” so business acumen has helped me throughout my career.

TrunkSpace: You work in an industry where incredible stories are told day after day, but you have an incredible story of your own. Just reading about what your family had to overcome, and how they did it, it’s really amazing. Have you thought about turning your own journey into a film or series?
Viengluang: Yes, very much. I have a few ideas that have been brewing in my head for a while now. I definitely want to shine a light on the Secret War and the displacement of Laotians after the Vietnam War era. There are so many stories to tell that have yet to be told from our perspective.

PHOTOGRAPHY: JSquared/HAIR: Jaycee Mnirajd/MAKE-UP: Aly Barr/STYLING: Sky JT Naval

TrunkSpace: You spent the first two years of your life in refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines before your family relocated to Kansas. When you see what’s happening now – the political and social divide that is continuing to form over how people are coming to this country – how does that make you feel given your own family’s experiences?
Viengluang: It hurts my heart, honestly. It’s hard not to turn on the news and read about these horrific things done to refugee families, all because they wanted a better life for themselves. It hits close to home and I try my best to do some good by giving a face and name to the term “refugee” and “immigrant.” I hope that just by living by example I can show people out there that being “other” is not something to fear. I think the world would be a much better place if we all try to show a bit more compassion to those that don’t look like us.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far and why?
Viengluang: I think playing Sun Mei for three seasons and to grow and evolve with her has been a highlight. To be able to reach fans and people across the nation and world is one of the reasons I do what I do. Playing Sun Mei has given me the privilege to use my platform for topics outside of industry related issues that I’m passionate about.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question! If you could jump ahead a decade and get a glimpse of what your career looks like 10 years from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Viengluang: I don’t think so. I think the exciting part about life is creating goals and getting to experience them manifest and unfold. It would take the fun out of it if I knew exactly how everything would turn out.

Z Nation” airs Fridays on Syfy.

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The Featured Presentation

Lindsey Gort

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Television can be a cruel place these days. While shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” have prepared audiences for the “no one is safe!” approach to character consumption, we still can’t help but be disappointed when our favorite performers meet their fictional demise. That was very much the case when Lindsey Gort’s Amy Rohrbach took a surprise exit from “Titans,” leaving many fans of the DC Universe series to speculate if it was all just some twisting ruse.

Unfortunately, it looks like Amy, a character with such great potential, is permanently on the slab.

We recently sat down with Gort to discuss why she doesn’t take no for an answer, how the worst day on set beats the best day in the hospitality industry, and the artist whose lyrics she once considered tattooing on her body.

TrunkSpace: You and your husband recently opened a restaurant in Los Angeles. Between that and “Titans” debuting all at the same time, it must be a bit of a “when it rains, it pours” situation?
Gort: Yes. There’s never been a dull moment in our house. (Laughter) We’ve been working on this restaurant for a couple years and we’ve opened up two other ones before that. We still haven’t taken a honeymoon because of this. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: There must be parallels between filmmaking and opening a restaurant because as much as you can plan for things, something always happens that sends you for a loop.
Gort: Yeah. For our restaurant, for instance, it was scheduled to open in July and then it got pushed and it got pushed and it got pushed. It seems as you solve one problem, another one pops up. For example, we had a problem with purchasing the kitchen equipment. The company we had a deal agreed with went bust and so the deal was scrapped at the last minute. Luckily we found Nella Online pretty soon after and they sorted us out. But then, straight after we had an issue with insurance that delayed things again! It’s sort of the same thing with television pilots. You just can’t ever put all of your eggs in one basket. You never know what’s going to happen, what the schedule will dictate. You kind of just keep moving forward.

TrunkSpace: As an actress, is part of protecting yourself in that process not getting too attached to a character or project in the early going, just in case it doesn’t move forward?
Gort: Yeah. It’s definitely a learning experience because I was lucky that my first real job on a television show was on “The Carrie Diaries” and it was my first time testing and I sort of was naïve at thinking, “Well, everything works out.” (Laughter) It’s sort of a joke that when something doesn’t move forward, I still don’t take that as a no. I think it’s just a maybe. “You just never know!”

But I’ve worked now enough on pilots that were 100 percent going forward and then suddenly, they don’t go forward. And you never know how things will come out in editing or for shows that are on the air. I always find that the best part is just showing up to set. I’ve worked in every department of hospitality before this, so I’ve been a bartender and a waitress and a hostess and a reservation agent, and my worst day on set is better than my best day working in hospitality. If I look at it like that, there’s no loss, no matter what.

TrunkSpace: For the audience, the end product is always what we remember, but for those involved, it’s like you said… it’s the experience and the time on set that you take with you for the rest of your life.
Gort: Yeah, and there’s so much for “Titans.” For instance, I don’t even know how much I’m supposed to say, but my character had a different storyline when we first started and then certain things happened with the way they decided to move forward with the series. I don’t want to give anything away, but my character had to sort of be chopped down into something else, which I think is why people still don’t believe that she’s dead because it just seems so sudden. For me, watching it was much different than what I experienced shooting it.

Pilots are always so fun because, like with “Titans,” even though it was a go, it’s still the first time people are seeing characters and seeing this vision come to life. To be a part of that is fun and everyone’s excited. It’s like Christmas morning everyday because everyone’s just like, “Oh my god, it’s so cool! Look at this! Look at this new set!” It’s like summer camp. It’s like hanging out with friends and creating something, but you really do have to just let it go after that because you just never know what happens once you leave.

From Gort’s Instagram: @lindseygort

TrunkSpace: Is there a different kind of energy in the early going when you’re working on something that you know has an established audience?
Gort: I think so. I think that there is such a fantastical element to it that isn’t necessarily found in a multi-cam or a procedural. There’s something very childlike about doing a superhero show because it’s what little kids dream they are. You have a lot more make believe and fun, and the drama’s heightened. For that, it’s really fun, but it is also a responsibility to the people who loved the comic books and have very strong feelings about these characters and who they are and what they represent to them in their own life.

At least for my character, I knew that they were creating her much different than what the comic books were. My Amy was going to be a former Marine and she had tattoos and piercings. I was excited for that because I don’t normally get to play that kind of character, which is more of who I am as a person, so I was excited about that. But yeah, I do think there was a heightened element of excitement for doing a superhero show.

TrunkSpace: What must have been a bit freeing for you is, while Amy is an established character in the DC Universe, she isn’t as iconic as those some of your co-stars were portraying, so there’s a bit less pressure involved in having to deliver on fan expectations.
Gort: Yeah, my first experience was playing an iconic character, Samantha Jones. There’s not more pressure on anybody than to be that person. (Laughter) I really do enjoy playing, recreating, famous characters. I don’t know why, but I do like doing that.

I wanted to sort of do some kind of homage to the comic books in some way if I was able to, but at the same time, I was excited to create a totally different backstory – they felt the freedom to do that, to give her a military background and make her a little bit tougher than just a “girl detective.” She was going to be a very strong female in the police force, and that isn’t necessarily always seen.

Gort with Tom Ellis in “Lucifer”

TrunkSpace: You mentioned that Amy got to rock some tattoos. What was that experience like, getting to look down and see a big forearm tat that wasn’t there before? Did it take some getting used to?
Gort: When I was 18, I moved to New York to be in a punk rock band. I had a bunch of tattoos. My ears are actually still gauged. I had always wanted tattoos and I would draw them on myself. I look back now and if I had gotten the tattoos I wanted, I would never have found a husband. (Laughter) They were horrible tattoos, like so emo. The band AFI? I wanted quotes from them.

And I’m sorry if you have quotes from that band. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: Scribbling them off right now!
Gort: (Laughter) “I’m making an appointment at LaserAway.”

But that is sort of more true to who I am. When I moved to LA, I thought I wanted to be an actor, but I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I’m primarily a singer and I went to an acting class and I had long, black hair and I wore all black. The teacher was like, “You’ll never be the most alternative person in a room, so if you want a shot at acting, you’re going to have to be blonde and try to be a leading lady. Take out your piercings.”

At first I was like, “Fuck her, she doesn’t know anything!” Then, I tried it and it worked and now it’s sort of a running joke that I mostly play strippers and prostitutes, or highly-sexualized women, which is not who I wear on my sleeve. And Geoff Johns actually… when they offered me the role of Amy, he had seen my work from playing a stripper on “Lucifer,” so to see me playing that and think, “Oh yeah, she could play this other character,” was awesome. I was really excited.

New episodes of “Titans” debut every Friday on the DC Universe streaming service.

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Deep Focus

Jenna Laurenzo

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Photo By: Mitch Tobias

In our ongoing column Deep Focus, TrunkSpace is going behind the camera to talk with the directors, writers and producers who infuse our world with that perennial pop culture goodness that we can’t get enough of.

This time out we’re chatting with Jenna Laurenzo, writer, director and star of the new comedy “Lez Bomb,” about the catch-22 of getting a movie made, why the film was so personal, and the reason declaring yourself a vegetarian at a family gathering can be so stressful.

TrunkSpace: You first started writing the film eight years ago. That’s a long journey to see your vision become a reality. Was there ever a point where you thought it wasn’t going to happen?
Laurenzo: Well, yeah. I had about six years trying to attach a star and a director. And you don’t have money and then it’s like, well what comes first –  the cast or the director or the money? Or the money bringing the cast and the director? It’s this catch-22 to fill this kind of puzzle, and I just figured I had to do both if it was ever going to happen. But see, that whole time everybody kept telling me how it was going to happen and sometimes it’s hard to not see those pieces of advice as if they are facts. I think only after a while do you realize that nobody has the answer. You have to figure it out. There’s no set path.

TrunkSpace: No two films are made the same exact way.
Laurenzo: Yeah. And you’re a novice or looking for advice every which way, and then you just have to learn which advice to take and which advice to let go. You just have to do it, there’s really no other way to figure it out except to figure it out.

TrunkSpace: In writing the script, you drew heavily on your own coming out experience. This being your first feature, and because your own story is woven into the narrative, do you feel exposed in that you’re putting yourself out there in multiple ways?
Laurenzo: Oh my gosh, absolutely! (Laughter) I had this moment where I was like, “What have I done?” I really just thought it was important for me to make this. It was so important – I had to do it. I felt like I needed the story and I felt there’s somebody out there that also needed it. That kept my passion very much alive throughout the process.

But then the moment, the day, we released the trailer… that day I texted my friend who has made a bunch of projects and has been in the public eye, and I was like, “What have I done? Is this how you feel?” It just dawned on me that all of a sudden that I don’t… I can’t articulate it. I felt very exposed and vulnerable.

TrunkSpace: It makes total sense. You wore so many hats in bringing the film to life. As far as judgment goes, the audience will be looking at all of these different elements of your creative self. Once the opening is over though, you’ll probably be able to enjoy it all more.
Laurenzo: Yeah. I was having this talk with my friend last week. And we were just talking about life lessons and putting everything in perspective. I was talking about how I was on this ship once and almost died. And she was like, “Look, nothing will be as bad as that.” I was like, “That’s a good way to think about it.”

TrunkSpace: Sometimes success is scary, especially for artists.
Laurenzo: Yeah. And I think that in general, my strength as a writer comes from the fact that I’m a very sensitive and vulnerable person. So yes, that’s my strength as a writer, but that’s also what makes me a sensitive soul in life. (Laughter) I think sometimes our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses. It just sort of depends on which side of the pendulum we’re on.

TrunkSpace: Because so much of Lauren’s story is your own, was it important for you to portray her on camera?
Laurenzo: I ultimately was planning on finding an actress to play that role. It just never happened without the financing or a director attachment. And that’s how I ultimately made the decision to play that role. Now, in looking back, I’m glad that decision was made. I felt like it was invaluable. It was an invaluable lesson on a lot of different fronts, but I had thought very longingly about playing the role, or the girlfriend.

TrunkSpace: Knowing what you know now, would it have been odd to see somebody else take on Lauren?
Laurenzo: Yeah. I think in looking back I’m glad I ultimately played that role because the story journey and the arc of that character’s emotions is very much grounded in my personal journey. I am glad that I was able to bring that to the role.

It was definitely an interesting process, falling back into those emotions that I had gone through years earlier. I even felt my body taking on these habitual tensions that I had gotten over. And all of a sudden I was like, “Oh yeah, I remember when my shoulders used to be tense this way. Oh, isn’t that interesting?” I thought it was an interesting journey as an actor, and spiritually, as I felt like I learned a lot about myself as a person and storyteller.

TrunkSpace: Do you think part of that return to old habits like the tension was because you shot the film at your childhood home?
Laurenzo: I think there is something wonderful about the fact that we shot in the house because it was just so colored with nuance in a way that I think is sometimes challenging to fake, particularly since the actors were playing a lot of real people from my real life. And I wrote this script around the locations I had access to, which made the execution a lot easier.

TrunkSpace: Which is a smart way to do it because then you make your job easier when you get further into the process.
Laurenzo: Yeah. When grandma rounds the corner, I knew what corner I was talking about. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: As far as your director’s vision, did you achieve your creative goals with the film?
Laurenzo: I kept thinking about who the audience was that I was trying to communicate with and make the film for them. I had a mentor of mine who kept asking me how I wanted to push the LGBTQ narrative forward. The tradition of those films… how did I want to push them forward? And it was important for me that the film was funny, that this film had a happy ending and that the aspect of coming out that was being explored was felt in acceptance versus the external pressures. I felt oftentimes the assumption is the external pressures is what make that journey ultimately the most challenging, and it’s self-acceptance that is sometimes overlooked. But the self-acceptance is ultimately what’s relatable to those who have not had to come out.

I really wanted to tell this story in a way that people who have not necessarily had to go through this journey can relate to while also serving as a dysfunctional family comedy that would expand beyond the built-in audience that I had in mind. And that families could potentially enjoy it together and maybe it would spark a dialogue if there was one that was needed. If not, just a lot of laughter. And in looking back and looking at the dreams we had, and the conversations, and Q and A’s, I feel happy because I think that I executed that.

TrunkSpace: Well, placing the story at Thanksgiving was a perfect way to make it relatable because everyone can connect to coming home to a big family function and the stresses that go along with that.
Laurenzo: Absolutely. And there’s just something so relatable, in my opinion, about coming home with any news to the family because you always wonder how the family is going to receive the news. I remember thinking about that when I wanted to switch my major. Or when I wanted to talk about my major or – and I joke about this in the movies – when I came home and was like, “I’m a vegetarian.” That was this whole thing. So sexuality… just coming home with any news is always eventful!

Lez Bomb” opens in select theaters and on digital HD tomorrow.

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The Featured Presentation

Adam Carbone

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This week we’re taking an extended look at the inspirational indie “Randy’s Canvas,” a moving tale about a young man with autism who is on a journey of love and self-acceptance. Starring Adam Carbone, Kevin G. Schmidt, Scout Taylor-Compton, Massi Furlan, Michael Emery, Richard Riehle and Marycarmen Lopez, the film is available now on digital HD.

Next up we’re chatting with star Adam Carbone to discuss fighting for the role, proving through his performance that he was the right choice, and why he’s hoping “Randy’s Canvas” will serve as a multi-layered calling card.

TrunkSpace: You began working on “Randy’s Canvas years ago.” Why was it important for you to be a part of this film and get the story out into the world?
Carbone: I think it is very important because, at least to me, it gives more of a mass understanding of autism in general. Even myself, before I started the movie, I didn’t really know too much about it. I knew friends who had it, but I just never understood it. Once I started researching for the film and studying with kids from the Autism Project, I really started to grasp what it was and really understood what it’s like to have autism, or to be anywhere on the spectrum. It’s very different. It’s not just a broad stroke, which is what I thought before. It’s individuality with autism sprinkled on top, and at all different levels and with all different capabilities. I think it’s important for the world to know that these kids, or anybody with autism, can still function and have a normal life. I think that’s the main point of the movie for me, to educate people.

TrunkSpace: Did you gain a better understanding of how Randy saw the world by sitting down with the kids from the Autism Project?
Carbone: Yeah, I did. Actually, a lot of them are still my friends and I do other films with them and stuff now, too. It was really cool, because they all have their own quirky personalities, and they’re all good at something. It’s just really cool to see the differences in them, and really realize that they’re just people who just happen to have autism at different levels of it. That was the eye opener for me, because I just didn’t know too much.

TrunkSpace: Randy is a big character to tackle because of the size and scope of the role. Did you feel pressure carrying the title character of the film?
Carbone: Yeah, definitely, because to me, when I first read the script, it was a lot of dialogue and I always consider myself to have a bad memory. I was like, “Oh, this is gonna be so hard!” (Laughter) But, it actually wasn’t. I kind of got right into it and I just became Randy. I literally just blocked everything outside of my mind, and I just got into it. One of the things that Sean (Michael Beyer), the director, taught me was just to listen to the other people’s lines. “Just listen to them and you’ll react accordingly.”

But still, it was little bit overwhelming because it’s the anchor of this film, and it’s all about Randy. It was very important to me to be accurate with the autism, and not to let the people at the Autism Project down, or anybody with autism, or anybody that wants to learn about autism. But, something deep down inside me knew I had it, and it was almost to prove people wrong, because I’m kind of a newcomer when it comes to drama acting. A lot of people didn’t believe in me. They were like, “Oh…” They were kind of questioning the director. To me, it was like, “Oh, that’s a challenge!”

TrunkSpace: You had a relationship with Sean prior to working on the film together. Did that make it easier for you… more comfortable… to just jump in and hit the ground running?
Carbone: I think that was the key to it. Sean just knew that I was right for the role. I think we both knew that, because I’m kind of quirky and strange like Randy is, in person, as well. Yeah, it definitely helped knowing Sean before. We had a working relationship for years.

Carbone with Richard Riehle in “Randy’s Canvas”

TrunkSpace: You mentioned that a lot of people didn’t believe in your ability to carry the role of Randy, but Sean did and he really fought for you. Was that a confidence boost?
Carbone: Yes, it was, because I felt like the whole world was against me being Randy, and then Sean was like, “Just trust me on this one. He’s got it.” That definitely helped. So that’s deep down when I knew that everything was fine, especially after we did my first scenes. I think the first scene we shot was when I freaked out at the gallery. Just in that scene alone, that was when I even felt it, because I was like, “Wow. Okay, I get who Randy is now. I get how he ticks and how he works.” It was another person and I was almost like a vessel for him – it wasn’t even me. It was like autopilot.

TrunkSpace: You served as producer on the film as well. Is it your hope that “Randy’s Canvas” will serve as a calling card of what you’re capable of, not only as an actor, but behind the scenes as well?
Carbone: Yes, absolutely. I think that would definitely help me in my career, because I definitely want to do more. I come from a comedy world – I do a lot of standup comedy and comedy sketches – so to me, just to prove even to myself, “Look what you did. Look what you can do.” It kind of gives me hope for the future stuff, especially producing. I wear many hats. I produce, I direct, I act, I write, I edit – all that stuff. So it’s exciting just to show the world, “Look, hire me.” (Laughter)

Randy’s Canvas” is available now on digital HD.

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The Featured Presentation

Robert Longstreet

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There is a lot to get lost in when sitting down to binge the Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House,” a family drama/horror hybrid based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel and reimagined by filmmaker Mike Flanagan. The element of the nail-biter that most enamored us didn’t come from the scares or the story itself, but instead, the performance of actor Robert Longstreet, who took a supporting character in handyman Mr. Dudley and turned him into a memorable piece of an already-stellar ensemble. His mesmerizing monologue in the episode “Eulogy” was not only a highlight of the series, but one of the finest pieces of dramatic acting that we have seen in quite some time.

We recently sat down with Longstreet to discuss how he nailed the monologue in only four takes, why he’s happy to be peaking in his 50s, and the reason he can no longer leave the house without showering.

TrunkSpace: This must be a bit of a wild ride for you, from when you booked the gig as Mr. Dudley to now. What has the experience as a whole been like?
Longstreet: It started out so crazy. I got this audition and had that monologue for two days and memorized it for the audition, and then I got a call in the car driving home that they had booked me a plane ticket. I was on a flight at 5:30 the next morning and then standing in front of the mansion with Henry (Thomas) the day after that, so it was just a whirlwind.

TrunkSpace: So the monologue was what landed you the part?
Longstreet: Yeah, it was between me and a couple of people, and Anne McCarthy (the casting director) sent the takes to Mike (Flanagan), and he chose me, which was incredible.

TrunkSpace: There’s been so much love on social media for that monologue. For us, it was easily one of the most moving aspects of the season…
Longstreet: Oh, thank you so much. Yeah, I’m so proud of it. It’s overwhelming because I’ve heard from people that I haven’t heard from in years who have seen it, and I’ve definitely gotten some offers, but I’m being picky and chasing good writing. It’s just been unreal. And I’m not on any social media at all. In fact, Mike was so generous – he read me some Tweets on set last week. He said, “Do a Twitter search. There’s love for you all over the place.” And I said, I don’t even know what a Twitter search is, Mike.” (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: Well, that’s probably not a terrible thing because whenever there’s love on socials, there’s always a corner of the Web filled with negativity just for the sake of negativity.
Longstreet: I’m sure, and that’s the Devil’s bargain of that – if you believe the good stuff, you have to believe the bad, too. If I agree with a bad review or someone says something shitty about me, it crushes me.

TrunkSpace: With this project and your work in it, we have seen nothing but good things being said.
Longstreet: Oh, I’m so glad. Thank God. Yeah, I would just dissolve. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: You mentioned that you’re chasing good writing. With this project in particular, beyond your monologue alone, it seemed like a real actor’s project. Every actor had their moment, their own monologue, and it just felt like this was a piece that was written for actors as opposed to – and especially in the horror genre – the acting being an afterthought.
Longstreet: Right. Exactly, and those are the things that you just don’t care about. If you go to a movie and you watch 50 million people get shot and you’re not invested in any one of them, it just becomes a bore. But Mike is a real actor’s director and in a way that is kind of shocking. He’s trying to build an ensemble and a family, and he brings people back, and he says, “I’m going to give you something completely and utterly different the next time.” And you can trust him because he really does it!

And the way that he directs actors is with such gentle care. He sets it up so easy and talks to you so calmly and sweetly and is usually joking most of the time with you to try to relax you. He’s really cognizant of what actors need, and he just gives you only active direction. He doesn’t confuse you. It’s very brief, but really succinct. He just knows exactly what he wants and exactly how to make an actor comfortable to get it.

TrunkSpace: With that in mind, and going back to your monologue, was that always intended to be shot without cutaways? Was it always supposed to be JUST you?
Longstreet: Yes! I think there was a safety built into it in case it didn’t work, but that was four pages long, and we did four takes, and the fourth take is the one that’s in the show. He (Mike) came up to me after I had botched three of them… every time I got to the daughter, it was so painful, my mind would just blank out… and so he came up to me, and he said, “We’ve got it. We have got this thing, and I can cut to Henry and cut to his reactions and do it, but if you get through it once all the way, it’ll be art.” And I was like, “Well, hell, yes, let’s do that immediately.” Then we did it! He completely took the pressure off of me and said, “Let’s just do it again for shits and giggles.”

TrunkSpace: Another powerful moment that you delivered on was in the very last episode when you’re carrying your daughter out of the house. There’s just something about your body language that is… it’s such a gut punch.
Longstreet: Oh, it’s just brutal. It’s the weight of the world, and her dead weight is just sinking me down beneath the floor boards. That’s someone who’s lost everything. I feel so bad for the Dudleys. I really do. They’re just in hell.

TrunkSpace: For the viewer there was this sense of there being something ominous about the Dudleys right up to that point where you delivered the monologue in the basement. Was that always the intention?
Longstreet: That’d be a really great question for Mike. I think so. I think it was, to have them be a mystery. They’re kind of caught up in this whole thing, too, and they don’t have a lot of options. I mean, they live right there on the property! They’re old enough where I don’t see them being able to change careers or do anything different. They’re not nefarious, but they have to be very careful to dole out their information as well as they think that the current occupants of the house can handle it, or we’d be out.

Longstreet in “The Haunting of Hill House.”

TrunkSpace: Right. If you came on too strong, you’d be out on your butts and then you would lose that connection to your first born.
Longstreet: Definitely, and I actually think there’s a loving part of them that they’re the caretakers of the house and also trying to be the caretakers of the occupants of the house because they know how bad it is. They’re playing tricks with the magic of it. They know if they get out before dark, they’re away from all the evil. We try to encourage people to pray. We try to encourage people to do little, subtle things to try to get a little more light into that house. We just have to be very careful, or we’d be out, and we’re the police of that place.

TrunkSpace: What’s so interesting is that while most of the characters had their story arcs wrap up, in a lot of ways, the Dudleys ending was really just the beginning.
Longstreet: Well, I’d better get my old ass there just in time, too. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: Don’t drive any vehicles too fast!
Longstreet: No! God, I’m being very careful until I can make it up there myself.

TrunkSpace: Has this series been a game changer for you? Has it altered the way you’re viewing your career moving forward?
Longstreet: Oh, it definitely has. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve made like 70-something movies. Probably in the first three days, as many people saw this show as had ever seen my entire career of movies. (Laughter) So it’s a game changer that way… and becoming friends with Mike. He’s someone that I genuinely love and trust now, so that’s actually the biggest game changer. And he put me in “Doctor Sleep” immediately. He said, “We’re going to work on a million things together,” and everybody says that, and I was like, “Yeah, right, right.” And then in four months, I was working with him again, so I will never doubt that man again.

TrunkSpace: We’ve seen people call you an overnight success, but with more than 70 movies under your belt, there’s nothing overnight about that. Is that a little strange to hear, knowing how hard and how long you’ve been working?
Longstreet: Yes, but I think it’s always that way for people. I’m starting to take off in my 50s, which is so… I guess that’s better than peaking in high school, but it feels so strange. It definitely feels like it’s kicked into gear.

I would say like it’s a Sisyphean journey, but I’m Sisyphus who finally learned how to keep the rock at the top of the hill.

TrunkSpace: Peaking in your 50s has its benefits. So much of the early, adolescent self-consciousness is gone, which probably helps in this business.
Longstreet: Yes, and thank God. I didn’t start working until I had bags under my eyes. I had no character before. I looked like a doll, I think, and nobody knew what to do with me.

TrunkSpace: So was acting always the plan? Was there a plan B?
Longstreet: No. I mean, I loved music, and I wrote a lot of songs, and I did that, but if I ever got discouraged with acting, I would go back to working with the mentally handicapped. I was a medical counselor, and I loved that because it was nothing about me. The emphasis was all off me, and I could get refreshed that way through other people and then get back at it. I’ve stopped for periods of time and I tried to live in Wilmington, North Carolina, and be a normal guy for five years, but I’ve never been more depressed in my life.

TrunkSpace: Creatives tend to have a gypsy soul.
Longstreet: Yes, and you can put as many blankets as you want over it, but that gypsy soul will burrow right out again.

It was something that… I dared to dream, and the negative critic that we all have in our heads told me it would probably never happen, but I couldn’t stop. I was just too in love with it.

TrunkSpace: And thank God you didn’t stop. Your story is very inspirational. It’s a powerful message for people not to give up on their dreams.
Longstreet: I hope so. I would love it if someone could look at it and feel the same way, because I literally… 10 years ago, I felt as lost as ever probably. But I started doing it myself. I started finding scripts and executive producing things and giving myself really good roles in independent film, and that’s really hard. I don’t think I ever want to produce again, but if I hadn’t have done that, if I hadn’t made my own venue, I never would have even gotten to now.

TrunkSpace: Is success scary? Can it all become overwhelming at times?
Longstreet: Yeah, it is. That’s why I stay out of it so much. I try not to read anything and just live my own small life and hopefully am not cognizant of all that, because I think anyone can get sucked up and wrapped up in that.

I had a couple people point at me in the Atlanta airport, and I was like, “Ooh, that’s going to be a new thing.” (Laughter) I feel like a paranoid person anyway, so maybe it’s probably equal. Maybe it’s just sort of like leveled out now. (Laughter) But yeah, it’s a little shocking. Now you can’t walk out of your house after not showering for two days and go anywhere. You’ve got to be a little more careful.

Season 1 of “The Haunting of Hill House” is available now on Netflix.

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Deep Focus

Sean Michael Beyer

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This week we’re taking an extended look at the inspirational indie “Randy’s Canvas,” a moving tale about a young man with autism who is on a journey of love and self-acceptance. Starring Adam Carbone, Kevin G. Schmidt, Scout Taylor-Compton, Massi Furlan, Michael Emery, Richard Riehle and Marycarmen Lopez, the film is available now on digital HD.

First up we’re chatting with director and producer Sean Michael Beyer to discuss on-set task management, fighting for his star, and why the Hollywood norm is conformity.

TrunkSpace: You wore many hats to bring “Randy’s Canvas” to life. How do you compartmentalize those various jobs and focus on set?
Sean Michael Beyer: A lot of medication, I think, was probably the best way to go about it.

When on set, for me, even though I’m a producer as well, I’m really hyper focused on directing at that point. During pre-production, development, and obviously in the writing and all that, then it’s a little bit different, but I really have to focus primarily on the directing part of it. I’m an actor’s director. I came from acting and theater, so that’s sort of my approach to the process. Performances are important, and obviously those have paid off given the accolades we’ve gotten, so that’s a good thing.

TrunkSpace: Does being an actor’s director give you a different point of view than other filmmakers during the casting stage of production because you’re so familiar with performance?
Sean Michael Beyer: I think so. I’ve always understood the Hollywood need for star power – that you need the recognizable actor to make your film. I don’t like that, but I know that it exists and I have to respect it, working in the industry. But I want to find the best actor for the role. That, to me, is what I find important.

I had a lot of resistance casting Adam (Carbone) as Randy because some didn’t feel that he was the right choice. I just knew that he would do this justice and he obviously did, but I did have a lot of resistance and was told, “You’re making a mistake.” I just knew he was going to bring what it took. He did such hard work and research… I was very, very proud of all the time and effort that he put into it and it paid off.

TrunkSpace: With all of the various distribution platforms available now, has the need for star power become less important to getting a movie made?
Sean Michael Beyer: To some degree. I think you have to sort of prove yourself before the people will listen. The caveat always is, are they going to put money into promoting the project? Is the distributor going to get behind it? And Vision Films has been very, very supportive of us. We’re a small movie and I’m very pleased with what they’ve done for this film, but you have to look at it from the standpoint of… Ang Lee was perfectly quoted once. “Either you need the 20 million dollar star or a complete unknown.”

TrunkSpace: And in finding the complete unknown, you’re then creating the 20 million dollar star.
Sean Michael Beyer: Right. Exactly. It’s always the catch 22. You need the big star, but then you need the big budget. We certainly didn’t make this movie for 20 million dollars. Not even close! But there is that issue. Look at “Napoleon Dynamite,” for example. That’s going back a few years, but Jon Heder was nobody. He got paid like a thousand dollars to do that film, but Fox Searchlight got behind that movie and it went gangbusters. It was a very unique film and that certainly helps, but if you can get the support behind your cast, then you can cast that unknown. The audiences want to support that. Hilary Swank is a great example. She had done television and then with “Boys Don’t Cry,” all of a sudden, she’s an Oscar winner.

Carbone in “Randy’s Canvas”

TrunkSpace: How important is a film like this and independent films in general to future filmmakers? It just seems right now, more than ever, everything that we’re seeing in theaters is a remake, reimagining, or based on an existing brand?
Sean Michael Beyer: It’s frustrating, as a filmmaker. The Hollywood norm is conformity. I call it the MBA attitude of, “Well, if this formula works, then if we duplicate that formula, but we change a couple of words, then it should work too.” And it doesn’t always work. Sometimes it does, but I think the independent films that stand out, that get noticed, are finding audiences. Audiences don’t always want explosions and Transformers. Those are fun movies. I call them popcorn flicks like a lot of people do. They are fun, I enjoy them, but I also enjoy a good, well acted film. When you don’t have a lot of money to make a movie… and we didn’t have a lot of money to make “Randy’s Canvas”… we relied on good acting, good storytelling.

And shooting in Rhode Island was just amazing, despite the humidity.

TrunkSpace: Being both the director and the producer, is there ever any internal friction between the creative you and the business you and sort of trying to find a balance between what the director wants and what you know you can give him?
Sean Michael Beyer: There’s always that. There’s always the… I don’t want to deal with paperwork. I want to call action and cut. That’s what I want to do. I’ve always said to people that I’ve worked with, “Just give me my allowance and let me be creative and you’ll be happy.” If you start having me looking through contracts and stuff, it’s gonna get messy.

You always have to think about your budget. You have to think about your schedule. You have your location issues or lack thereof. Okay, is this scene going to be able to be shot the way that I envision it, with our limited resources?” The business side of me does kick in when I do that. And even when I write a script, from a blank page on the screen, from the beginning, I think, “Okay, what budget is this movie going to be?” I have to write with that in mind. I don’t completely limit myself, but you have to be a responsible filmmaker. There’s a lot of directors that just throw caution to the wind and I wish I could do that, but I have to be realistic.

Randy’s Canvas” is available now on digital HD.

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The Featured Presentation

Booboo Stewart

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Photo by Bob D’Amico/Disney Channel – © 2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

This week we’re taking an extended look at the new movie, “#Roxy,” a modern romcom-reimagining of “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring Jake Short, Booboo Stewart, Sarah Fisher and Danny Trejo. The adaptation with a cyber age twist arrives on digital HD today.

Next up we’re chatting with Booboo Stewart to discuss finding comfort in the heartthrob, being drawn to the immortal Eric Draven, and what his ultimate creative passion is.

TrunkSpace: You’re playing the class heartthrob, Christian Newville, in “#Roxy.” Is that a role you’re comfortable with – the object of affection – or is that outside of your comfort zone? We would imagine that it is something you experienced personally in your own life, particularly after “The Twilight Saga” was released into the world?
Stewart: Through the years I’ve learned to be comfortable playing roles like that. Yes, “Twilight” played a big part of it.

TrunkSpace: Christian is also a high school student. You’re currently in your mid-20s. Is that a gift for an actor, getting to be able to play outside of your own demo? Does it allow for more opportunities when it comes to available roles?
Stewart: Sure, it’s great to still be able to play a teenager.

TrunkSpace: “#Roxy” is a classic story with a very modern spin. Did you go back and look at any of the previous takes on the story or was your focus on “#Roxy” and what this particular script had to offer?
Stewart: I did both – watched the original along with the Steve Martin version. Of course, the script was the main influence.

TrunkSpace: Digital communication plays a big role in the plot of the film. What is your own personal relationship with social media? You have a digital presence, but is it more a necessary evil than a passion?
Stewart: Yes, I thought it was sweet and funny. It was a great new look at the classic and a good standalone film.

TrunkSpace: The thing that interests us most about the world of independent cinema right now is that it seems like the only place where original stories are being told in the medium. Big studio films are all massive franchises and superhero installments and that leaves very little room for new POVs. As an actor, is that part of the draw in working on a film like “#Roxy,” that while a reimagining of a classic, it’s still original?
Stewart: I love doing both studio and independent films. They both have a lot to offer.

TrunkSpace: As much as we love the indie world, we also love superheroes. We grew up on them and getting to see them in a live action setting remains a great way to spend a few hours. You got to play Warpath of the X-Men back in 2014, and you recently voiced the villain Jack O’ Lantern in the “Spider-Man” animated series. Are there any other heroes or villains you’d like to bring to the big or small screens?
Stewart: Yes… THE CROW!!!

TrunkSpace: You’ve been working professionally from a very early age. Have your professional goals changed over the course of the years or do you feel like you’ve always been on the same path?
Stewart: I just love creating. The older I get, the more I see and want to experience. But ultimately, films are my passion.

Stewart with Jake Short in “#Roxy”

TrunkSpace: “Descendants 3” is due next year. Does the popularity of that project continue to surprise you, and while we know you can’t say much, what’s on tap for your character Jay in the upcoming installment?
Stewart: I was a little surprised. It always catches you a little off guard how popular something can be.

Yes, I can’t say much, but…

TrunkSpace: Art as a whole seems to be a very important aspect of your life. Outside of getting to express yourself through the various platforms that you channel your creativity, what does art do for you personally and emotionally that keeps you putting your thoughts and feelings out into the world?
Stewart: I’m now getting back into music. It’s a great way to express myself…That Band Honey.

#Roxy” is available today on digital HD.

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Trunk Stubs

Tulsa Pop Culture Expo

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Event: Tulsa Pop Culture Expo

Rated: Good for ALL ages, especially the kiddos.

Event Date: November 2nd to 4th, 2018

The Reason We Went: The Midwest used to be a barren desert for comic conventions, let alone pop culture cons, but that has been changing recently. The demand for pop culture fandom is very strong in the Midwest, and that need was not being met, until… the Tulsa Pop Culture Expo came along! While Tulsa does host a Wizard World comic con on occasion and an anime con, this is the first show to represent all things pop culture under one roof and they work very hard to make this an all-ages family event that everyone can enjoy.

What We Thought: This was our first visit to this convention, so we weren’t sure what to expect. Would people turn out? They definitely did! On Saturday, cars were parked in the grass, on curbs – basically, anywhere there was available space. Like a kid’s first trip to Disneyland, we lit up when we saw a giant metal robot staring down at an oversized drivable banana. We knew we were in for a fun time right out of the gates.

Even though two celebrity guests had to cancel last minute, Tulsa Pop stepped up and immediately booked Brandon Routh, Superman to some, and Katie Cassidy, one of the lead actresses from the hit CW show “Arrow.”

There are a variety of trade show displays and booths on the con floor ranged from comic book artists to pop culture soaps to action figures. Having this diversity at a con is refreshing because each booth was so different. You’re not walking an aisle looking at 20 booths of T-shirts.

Show Highlight: The kid section of this event was something to behold. Young, aspiring wizards could get sorted into their Hogwarts House and decorate a wand, as well as receive an acceptance letter to the wizarding school. They also had loads of retro arcade video games and cutting-edge VR games available at all times, for everyone to enjoy. There was even a children’s cosplay contest that boasted a Deathstroke and Harley Quinn that could rival any of the adult costumes.

Closing Thoughts: Word on the con floors is that this event was even bigger and better than last year and that they are already planning 2019’s Tulsa Pop Culture Con. After the pleasant experience we had at this convention, which had more of a sense of community rather than a bunch of clamoring fan boys, we will definitely be back, perhaps with a booth of our own!

And that’s why we’re giving it…

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The Featured Presentation

Sarah Fisher

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This week we’re taking an extended look at the new movie, “#Roxy,” a modern romcom-reimagining of “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring Jake Short, Booboo Stewart, Sarah Fisher and Danny Trejo. The adaptation with a cyber age twist arrives on digital HD today.

Next up we’re chatting with Sarah Fisher to discuss the immediate connection she felt to her character Roxy, her real-world relationship to social media, and why she is going to continue to scare herself throughout the course of her career.

TrunkSpace: “#Roxy” is a classic story with a very modern spin. Did you go back and look at any of the previous takes on the story or was your focus on “#Roxy” and what this particular script had to offer?
Fisher: I did watch the Steve Martin film, “Roxanne,” and was so excited to be telling a more modern-day version of such a great love story!

TrunkSpace: With that said, what did you take away from your first read of the “#Roxy” script? Was it something that you instantly identified with and could see yourself being a part of?
Fisher: I connected with the script right away! I also felt connected to Roxy – she has this fun quirk in her that I discovered while doing my audition and immediately wanted to be a part in telling her story!

TrunkSpace: In terms of your career as a whole, where does Roxy fit in? Did you see something in her that would allow you to showcase a side of yourself as a performer that you have yet to experience with previous projects?
Fisher: I am very proud of this movie. I think when you have such a great cast and crew who all care about the project, that is when you create “movie magic.” With every role I play, I get to rediscover parts of myself. Roxy was a lot of fun because I see a lot of myself in her.

TrunkSpace: Digital communication plays a big role in the plot of the film. What is your own personal relationship with social media? You have a digital presence, but is it more a necessary evil than a passion?
Fisher: My relationship with social media is definitely a little bit of both! The most important thing about social media for me is that it gives me an opportunity to talk with my followers and get to know them. I feel very lucky to have so much love and support and I never want to take that for granted! So, I like to be as active as I can be in that regard. There’s a part of me that finds it very fun in terms of creativity! There is also a part of me that sees how toxic it can be – I find myself obsessing over it sometimes or getting anxious if a picture doesn’t do well, but I think it’s important to remind yourself that the amount of comments, followers or likes you have does not determine your self-worth. YOU do!

TrunkSpace: For the audience, the most enjoyable part of a movie is the movie itself, but for those involved in the project, we would imagine it is the experience. For you, what will you take away from the production that will stay with you?
Fisher: How lucky I am to be so in love with what I do. I am so fortunate to have a job where I wake up EXCITED to go to work!

TrunkSpace: You are also a singer/songwriter. Do you view your acting career and musical career as two separate avenues or do they converge to form one larger highway that leads to your creative end goals?
Fisher: I am so completely obsessed with both the acting and the music world. So far in my career it has been a very interesting combo of BOTH, being two very separate paths and then randomly the paths connect for a second. I think in the long run they will eventually come together.

TrunkSpace: While we’re at it, what are your creative end goals? What bucket list items do you want to check off your list throughout the course of your career?
Fisher: I believe things happen for a reason, so yes, I have a million goals in terms of roles I’m dying to play, and yes, I would like to be more involved in the production and music side than I currently am in my career, but I believe that will come when it’s meant to. My biggest end goal is that I always continue to learn. I believe you will never be your best at something, but you can be great, so continue to do what you love, to scare yourself and to take risks that help you grow, because then you know no matter what happens in your career, you’re doing something right.

Fisher in “#Roxy”

TrunkSpace: What has been the biggest highlight of your career thus far, the “pinch me” moment that still makes you pinch yourself?
Fisher: I was the lead actress and associate producer for a feature film called “Kiss and Cry” that is currently on Netflix, worldwide. Every day on set felt like magic and I am blown away by the outpouring of love and support and the reaction we have gotten worldwide.

TrunkSpace: You spent more than 75 episodes playing Becky Baker on the series “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” What was it like getting to spend that much time with one character and would you welcome an opportunity like that again, to work on a series for an extended number of years?
Fisher: Degrassi will always be home to me, and everyone involved in that remarkable show will always be family to me. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been a part of such a powerful movement for young people. I loved spending so much time with one character and really getting to know her and love her and root for her and get mad at her. It was truly an unforgettable experience. I would ABSOLUTELY welcome an opportunity to dive into another character and fall in love with another world.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Fisher: I would not! I am not always great at it, but I like to live in the NOW as much as I possibly can. All I know is if I work hard and continue to scare myself the right thing will happen, and part of the fun of it all is the surprise of what that right thing will be!

#Roxy” is available today on digital HD.

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