I had the pleasure of attending opening night for New Directors New Films, presented by Film Society and MOMA. In my opinion, there couldn't have been a better choice for the opening night screening than Marielle Heller's "The Diary of a Teenage Girl". The screenplay, adapted from graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, presents a female perspective on the youthful exploration of one's sexuality. I immediately connected with "Minnie Goetz" and celebrated her playful, and later earnest, journey through her affair with her mother's beau. I am now ferociously inspired by filmmaker, Marielle Heller and the infectious Bel Powley, who plays teenage girl "Minnie". Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard also bring a remarkable sincerity and depth to the film.
The film is slated to release this summer by Sony Pictures Classic. See it!
"THE MORNING AFTER is a story we have all experienced, sometimes regretted, but not often confess. All taken place in the most uncensored city in the world: New York City."
Next week I will be playing the quirky role of CHERYL in the short film, THE MORNING AFTER!
I am delighted to be working with my friend Peru Flores on his first short film! Their INDIEGOGO campaign closed last week with a whopping $3590 raised. This film is sure to be a success!
"The Happiest People In New York" is an original web series I co-created with fellow gal about town, Roisin Donnelly. Besides writing, producing, directing (and everything else in between) this project, we also both starred in it as "Poppy" and "Bridget". After raising funds with the help of the fine people at Indiegogo, we shot all ten episodes this past November. As the cold winter envelopes New York City, we will be hunkering down to edit this hysterical masterpiece we are more than proud of. Coming to the mighty inter web early 2014! www.thehappiestpeopleinnewyork.com
1. "Night Porter", a short film I shot last summer with Bank Tangjaitrong, was screened in the oficial selection of The Massachusetts Independent Film Festival. Our team was honoured with several nominations:
Best Short Film - Bank Tangjaitrong
Best Director - Bank Tangjaitrong
Best Writing- Bank Tangjaitrong
Best Actor - David Lind
Best Actress - Rebecca Steele
Best Supporting Actor - Jimmy Welleby
Best Cinematography - Travis Bleen
Best Music - Mary Kouyoumdjian
So proud of my cast mate and good friend, David Lind, for taking home the award for "Best Actor in a Short".
We were also reviewed by Film Threat.
Have a look at the official trailer here!
2. I originated the role of "Kat" in Chaya Doswell's new play, "Everyone I Love Is Dead". I was incredibly grateful to work with such a talented cast who brought so much energy and depth to this wild dark comedy about seven strangers locked in a Brooklyn basement after a massive plague has wiped out near all the world's population.
"Everyone I Love Is Dead" played at The Gene Frankel Theatre July 29th-August 4th with two sold out shows! Keep your eyes peeled for more from this talented playwright and hopefully, one day soon, an Off Broadway run of "Everyone I Love Is Dead"!
Click here to see more photos of me as "Kat".
3. "Braced" went to Vancouver Fringe Festival! I just got back a week ago and when I recall my experience in bringing my show "home", I still get all choked up. It was a very fulfilling experience to be a part of the Vancouver Fringe after all these years of being an audience member. If anyone is thinking of doing a Fringe tour, don't leave Vancouver off your list! The community is so warm, welcoming and vibrant. Also, getting up every morning and running or biking along the city's gorgeous seawall isn't half bad either. Gosh, what a magnificent experience it was to share my story and work with all my friends and family who have been cheering me on since I've been on the East Coast (and for my whole life really).
I was so grateful for four very positive reviews!
To follow what's next for "Braced", like the show on Facebook!
I have been thinking a lot about what this first year out of school will be like. Actually, it's been a more pressing matter than that, as in how shall I structure these next couple of weeks? How do I create my own structure outside of the structure that has nurtured my growth these past two years? This thought process has boiled down to this ultimate question: What does it mean to be an artist? And how can I live everyday in my fullest capacity as an artist?
Today I went to rehearsal. Two years ago I wanted to move to New York to find other actors who were willing to make a mess. Actors who were prepared to tear down the walls around their heart and splash the contents of their souls around the room. These kind of actors were at my rehearsal today.
Today I shared a fragment of the past.
Today I expressed my humanity and listened to others express theirs.
Today I lay down in the grass and read about one of America's most revolutionary playwrights.
Today I danced with joy and with love.
Today I was inspired.
Today I was changed.
Today I am an artist.
Speaking of "home", I am beginning to feel more at home in New York. I relish any time I am stopped on the street and asked for directions, feeling more and more like a local every time (especially when I actually know I send them in the right direction). In the weeks before school, I spent a lot of time sitting in Williamsburg cafes soaking up the creative and artistic energy around me. This city never stops moving, building, evolving, communicating. I suppose every city is like that but I forgot that you can actually feel it here. I'd like to think that I can. At one point in Chekhov's Three Sisters, Andrei says something to the extent of that in Moscow you can be in a bar full of strangers but not feel like a stranger at all. This is what New York feels like to me...or rather Brooklyn...where things makes sense. It's a very personal concept, "home". Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros says "home is wherever I'm with you". What is home to you? Is it a dying human value?
When I returned to Vancouver this summer, I have never before experienced "home" so sensorially and viscerally. This photo montage was inspired by the film Beginners. A beautiful, beautiful film.
|This is what post-riot community love looks like|
|This is what climbing a mountain at the crack of dawn looks like|
|These are what little monkeys look like|
|This is what one of the best parts of summer looks like|
|A labour of love|
|Captain Billy and Lunasea|
|The corridor of flora that welcomed me into each new day this summer|
|This is what a west coast beach looks like|
|This is what a perfect day with a best friend looks like|
|How a perfect day with a best friend ended ;)|
|This is what the art gallery looks like|
|And this is what my commute to work looked like|
When we heard about Irene on it's way up the coast a week ago and the threat of evacuation or, in our case, containment, I thought it would be a perfect weekend to get all my reading done. On Friday evening, the house was stocked with food, wine and candles, if the power was cut. Imagine, I thought, spending two days reading by candlelight while a hurricane raged outside our windows! How exciting! As media loves to do, the possible effects of Irene in New York were sensationalized around the world. Friends and family expressed their concerns but I thought a lovely holiday weekend was ahead of me. By noon Saturday, I had cabin fever. Despite the fact that that there are many days that I don't leave my apartment until the evening, because I was told not to leave my apartment, I got restless. What's everyone else doing, feeling, thinking? There was an eerie feeling out. Nobody knew what to expect. On Friday evening, when I went to Whole Foods, it was busier than Christmas. It was as if people were preparing for a week blackout. The food aisle that was the most depleted...the chips. Nonetheless, I wanted to go and walk and around and explore Williamsburg on the day of Irene. I mean this is the kind of stuff memoirs were made of...right? Funnily enough I had the same response when the earthquake happened days before. I had the urge to run out onto the street and connect with the community. I didn't. I experienced a flashback of a primary school earthquake drill. Stand in a door frame Rebecca! People were out and about in Williamsburg that Saturday. Coffee shops were open and hipsters were still having brunch like any other weekend. It was sort of surreal. No one knew what to expect. It felt like a rain forest. The air was warm, still and thick. The calm before the storm.
|Hurricanes don't scare hipsters!|
Should we be boarding up our windows, we thought? Nah! Let's go for Hurricane Happy Hour instead! We walked to a local bar ten minutes away to meet up with friends for a couple dark and stormys. Though we had felt cooped up in our apartment, we felt just as anxious outside. It was like drinking at an airport. We had heard that Irene would hit around 9pm. It was 7:30pm. Boarding time was upon us. The rain had become pretty heavy on our walk back. We watched Mayor Bloomberg address the city, had a glass of wine and went to bed. I'm sure I'll wake up and move away from the window my bed is beside if it gets really bad... Bloomberg appeared equally exhausted. "Just, everyone, have a safe nife, uh, I mean night." We had just gotten fed up with waiting! Our hurricane party was just as equally anti-climatic as Irene herself. Come on Irene! I woke up at around 5:30am and looked out my window to see some heavy wind, shrugged my shoulders and fell back asleep. When I woke up later on that morning, it was all over, the sun was shining and children were playing in the street. That was it!?
Yes this is how people do it Williamsburg. Hurricane Happy Hour carried on into Sunday. The subways were still down...might as well go for brunch. We explored the streets of Williamsburg...nothing. A couple branches. Irene was ridiculed beyond belief and will never be welcomed back. Although there was warning of another surge Sunday afternoon, we didn't bat an eye. However, when the rain started up again while we were having mimosas on a patio in Greenpoint and half of my friend's salad blew off of his plate...we thought, "too soon?"
|The High Line|
|On the roof of The Standard Hotel. Why don't more people come here? Oh, the drinks are $20...|
|Brooklyn Bridge. My go-to spot to take visitors.|
|This brunch most definitely deserved this many photos. M. Wells is a diner in Queens owned by Montreal born restauranteurs. We heard they had caesars, but were we prepared for this...?|
|They make their own clamato here. You can see the layer of clams at the bottom of my drink. After the kind of Friday-night-on-the-town we had, it was surprising we weren't more squeamish by what was swimming in our brunch cocktails.|
|Day-old spaghetti sandwich with caesar salad topping and a garlic toast bun|
|Bone Marrow with escargot|
|Fish cobbler with béchamel, biscuits and gruyere|
|Tuna tartare with poached eggs|
|Fresh, made in house, sugar donut|
|Most amazing graffiti I have ever seen! 5 Pointz in Queens|
|After M. Wells, we needed something a little on the healthier side|
|All that was remaining on a rainy Sunday at the Brooklyn Flea Market|
|Only girls would watch the game with wine and cheese|
|Central Park is beautiful in any weather|
|During the final week of rehearsals for The Cherry Orchard, I rounded up a few people to make the trek to The Brooklyn Botanical Garden to embrace these stunning pink blossoms before they all dropped to the ground|
|No wonder this is a wedding hotspot. It is simply a slice of heaven!|
|This is Keller. He was clearly the star of the show. He spent a lot of time napping in this bag with his friend platypus.|
|Here we are on Scene Night!|
"The activities at the end of first year are for you to have an experience and learn something. Make a fool of yourself! We want to see you! We want you to reveal yourself."
"It isn't about showing or proving anything. It is about communication."
I just got home from the First Year Musical Theatre Cabaret. Let me tell you, they brought it. I was so elated throughout the whole show, especially because more than half of my group was on stage tonight. I felt like such a proud parent watching my babies do their thing. I am so much more excited to sing next Wednesday. They all looked like they had such a good time. For once and for all, I have to say I cannot deny my love for musical theatre. I have tried to squash it all these years. When really, deep down the Leo in me wants to be on stage singing her heart out. Singing is fun. Singing is fun. Singing is fun. You gotta love it.
One week until first year scene night! A week and a half until the singing and dancing presentation! After many moments of panic this weekend, I'm feeling so much better today after our technique teacher said this, "It isn't about showing or proving anything. It is about communication." Yes! Thank you. I realized then that if I don't live up to the harsh expectations I set myself...I'm not going to die. I know it's super dramatic but I am an actress after all. Acting is fun. Acting is fun. Acting is fun. Acting is fun. Yes it is. My scene partner and I sat in an eclectic french bistro in soho today breaking down the circumstances in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. We had green tea and listened to a live African drum band. This is my life? This is what I suffer over? Grow up Rebecca.
I love this quote from the Introduction in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton and Other Plays.
"Community theatres have a social function and it is to be that kind of an irritant in the shell of their community. Not to conform, not to wear the conservative business suit of their audience, but to let their hair grow long and even greasy, to make wild gestures, break glasses, fight, shout, and fall downsairs! When you see them acting like this- not respectfully, not quite decently, even! -then you will know that something is going to happen in that oufit, something disturbing, something irregular, something brave and honest."
|Played some pool last night after dinner. Pure Food And Wine was amazing, by the way. Raw mushroom tagliatelle and Pad Thai! So yummy,|
|Epistrophy. Rule bound notebook menus boast the cafe's simple Italian food.|
|More tagliatelle! This time with fresh pesto and potatoes.|
I am heading out to meet my cousin, whom I rarely get to see, for dinner. We are going to Pure Food and Wine. It is New York's most acclaimed raw food restaurant. I have been there once, but only had salad. Haha what else would you eat a raw food restaurant!? I crack myself up! I am looking at the menu now and drooling. It so much more than salad. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
|Nature in Williamsburg! The first of its kind...that I've seen anyway|