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Attention: Actors, Actresses, Writers, Directors, DPs, Editors, Etc – What’s YOUR Story?

Attention: Actors, Actresses, Writers, Directors, DPs, Editors, Etc - What's YOUR Story?

I did this in February of last year (2012), and got a few response, so I figured, a year-and-a-half later, with the site’s audience now larger than it was back then, that I’d try it again.

I know that a significant chunk of S&A’s audience comprises of actors, actresses, directors, DPs, editors, etc, etc, etc. Some are able to earn a paycheck utilizing their artistic and/or technical skills; others – and I’d say the majority – are what we’ve labeled the proverbial *starving artists*, working diligently, relentlessly, struggling to climb this incredibly steep hill, trying to reach some pinnacle of success – whether personal or professional. And still others exist somewhere between the former and the latter.

Where do you fall? And, as the title of this post states, what’s YOUR story, and would you like to share it with the rest of the world?

Think of it as an extension of the successful S&A Filmmaker Diary series we launched almost 2 years ago, with Matthew Cherry as the guinea pig. I’m looking for your individual stories of struggle and/or success, regardless of what rung on the ladder you are currently on.

It takes a certain amount of courage to be able to be vulnerable and share one’s plight, but I suppose that’s exactly what I’m asking for; after all, not only is S&A just a source for news, its goal is also to become a community of cinema lovers where we can all share/debate/discuss/learn/teach/commiserate/etc.

Here’s your chance. You might learn something; you might teach someone something.

What’s YOUR story? You can either share in the comments section below, or email me ( if you prefer. You can submit your story in any format – written, or even documented on video – and I’ll post it here on the site. I probably won’t post ALL of them; but don’t let that deter you. Again, you can either share in the comments section below, or email me and I’ll share in a separate post.

It could be a story about a current situation you find yourself in; or it could cover several days, weeks, months, or years of your career. It could be that you just want to vent your frustrations; aspects of, or people in this business that piss you off; aspects of, or people in the industry that encourage you. It doesn’t have to be all negative, nor all positive. We’re complex people, and so I assume our stories are as well.

So, who’s first?

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Here's my truth, Monique—
As a creative designer with a keen interest in fashion, illustration, writing and communications, I've been graced with a career in graphic design and art direction, focusing on the fashion, beauty, publishing and entertainment industries. Merging all these skills have produced WINONA, INC., a weekly animated series concept for adults offering my take on the exciting and hard-edged world of fashion. This is my baby. The jewel in the crown. The pitch package is fully prepared and ready to go with the show summary, character bios and illustrations, suggested springboards and story lines, and social media app ideas. Everybody who sees it absolutely loves it but I just haven't been able to get it into the hands of a true greenlighter.

After mulling over the success of Issa Rae and THE MISADVENTURES OF AWKWARD BLACK GIRL, I've created an ongoing webcomic-type series to promote WINONA, INC. It posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If nothing else, I'm having a real blast with it! And it keeps me very, very busy.

Monique A Williams

I respect and appreciate everyone's bravery and candor. Anyone can hide behind a fake name and criticize someone's story, but the strong stand firm with their truth.

Mark and Darla



Female agent returns to the car, casually gets in and talks to the male agent.

He got on a bus, anyone else leave
the van.


Male agent glances the rear view mirror…

What the hell are they during…

turning her neck)
They are trying to flip the van.

Two young black male rock the van vigorously, van tilts sideway, two CIA agents jumps out wildly firing guns. Black males firing back, gun fight erupts ferociously, bullets spray left and right, people in the street scatter.

Agent turns to run, bullet hit him in the back; he trips over his feet, falls to the ground, arches his back in excruciating pain, exhales and dies.

Black male drops his gun, holds his stomach in agony, blood dripping plunges to the ground.

Female FBI agent motion to exits, male agent stops her.

Don’t blow your cover, let the local
police take care of this.

Fierce gun fight and chase continue around the corner between the other black male and agent.


I never thought I would write anything because I have never been a big reader even to this day unless it's about screenwriting, and although I would not label myself a simpleton, I am a simple chick. I’m awkward, I have no college education whatsoever, and my vocabulary is mediocre at best, but I try, and I enjoy writing, and regardless of the outcome, I don’t think I will ever stop.
I’m not trying to emulate Mark & Darla, but I begin writing back in 2007 as well. I was having some personal problems with my ex and decided to keep a journal, but the journal turned into a book about my life from around age seventeen until early thirties (I’m now almost 39). All while I was writing, I kept having these two stories in my head that refused to go away. Instead of book format, I wondered about film writing (had no idea the proper term was screenwriting). I still hadn’t done the research because I figured I would have to include direction in screenwriting as well, so I ignored the voices. In 2009, I finished my book, and said to myself, “Now what?” After I got my mind (half) right, I decided not to pursue the publishing of my book because no way in hell do I want people to know how far on the edge I was mentally and emotionally.
So eventually, I researched screenwriting and learned I did not have to include direction because readers frowned upon that. I just had to tell the story, and Dave Trottier’s “Screenwriters Bible” was highly recommended.
I’ve had three screenplay analysis, and they were all beneficial. However, the third did give me some hope. It was a Scriptapalooza read. I was only able to advance to the Quarterfinals in 2012, but the reading gave me so much hope.
I’m rewriting my second Screenplay “Torn” because now that I have a little bit of screenwriting knowledge, it is God awful. I have a third one I am laying the foundation for, but no title as of yet. However, it’s a Dramatic Thriller.
Scriptapalooza’s Reader Final General Notes for “Sometimes Love”.
“There are some typos and incorrect wording throughout the script. This can be remedied with a quick polish. In the end, “Sometimes Love” is a deeply felt story that is just about there. With a little more work, this could truly be an impressive calling card. Good work”.
This year I’ve entered three Screenplay competitions. Urbanworld, Hollywood Black Film Festival, and Scriptapalooza. My fingers remain crossed until the final verdict.
Side note, I like to think Screenwriting stumbled up on me.
Google Link to my First Ten Pages:
Logline: “SOMETIMES LOVE” A man with a checkered past realizes a family is what’s missing from his life. While taking steps to secure his future, he’s nearly killed in a vehicle accident and falls for the woman who saves his life, but her lies and past horror may destroy everything.

Mark and Darla

At the age of 46 in 2007 writing a screenplay was the last thing on my mind (never had any desires) unit a story pop into my head, daydreaming on my way home on the bus. Took me two years to come to the concluding that I had no choice but to write this screenplay. Bought David Trottier book ‘The Screenwriter’s Bible’ and began writing in May 2009, now I am writing my second screenplay.

I believe my screenplays have a future on the big screen

My only inspiration to keep on dreaming is J.K. Rowling, her first ‘Harry Potter’ book was turn down twelve time for publication, thirteen was the charm someone said YES and history was made.

Title: Darla’s Decision
Genre: Romantic Drama

Mark and Darla Owen a young married couple, living happily in Brooklyn until an omen threatening to turn what they cherish upside down.

It is what's best for me, selfish but true.

Here is a scene I call ‘Basketball Birthday Bash’


Mark prisms in the mirror and turns to Darla.

How do I look?

Darla friskily walks to Mark and hugs his body.

(kissing Mark)

What is my birthday surprise?

Not telling.

Maybe this will help.

Mark pulls Darla closer sensually.

Try a little harder.

I am already there.

(flirting her eyes)
Do you need an ice pack?

Car horn beeps impatient, Darla rushes to the window.

That might be our taxi – it is.

Darla leans forward toward the taxi driver.

(talking low)
Remember, don't say where
we are going.

(nodding his head)

Taxi drives off.


Taxi stops, Mark peeps out the window and smiles ear to ear at the neon sign bulletin.

Is this my surprise? The Knicks
and Celtics play tonight.

Darla takes out two tickets and kisses Mark.

Happy birthday, almost frontrow seats.


Game in process, Mark and Darla’s eyes follow the game; referee blows his whistle, players stop. Referee calls foul on a Knicks player. The crowd’s boos engulfs the arena.

I don't know the rules, why
was that a foul?

(speaking academically)
He held the ball a second too long without bouncing, passing
or shooting.

Back to the game, Celtics player shoots free throws, ball goes in twice. Knicks player retrieves the ball and runs down the court, shoots and misses. Celtic player rebound the ball, dashes down the court, and makes a point. Halftime bell chimes in.

(throwing his arms up)
SHIT! Celtics up by five…

Mark and Darla walk hand in hand enjoying the elegant atmosphere of Manhattan at night.
(speaking sympathetically )
Sorry the Knicks lost.

Can't win all the time – what’s
my next surprise?

Keep walking. We are almost there.

Darla and Mark stop in front of the New York Plaza Hotel.

Here we are.

WOW! New York Plaza Hotel…

We have reservations for tonight and tomorrow until five o'clock.

You are spoiling me.

All my pleasure.
Camera follows the pleasurable sounds of love making into the bedroom. Camera moves in on Mark and Darla rejoice in a back and forth motion.

Feel you coming, love that feeling.

Darla ferociously digs her nails into Mark’s flesh.

(aahing and oohing)
Oh god, feel so good.

Mark muzzles Darla lively moans with his hand.

Suck on my hand.

Mark and Darla grove to a fiery climax. Mark’s body goes limp satisfy.

That will make up for the Knicks loss

Mark and Darla grin with delight.


Ashley Out Loud

Ashley Out Loud – What's All the Noise About?

For many years I became very quiet and closed off about my passion to become a professional actor. I was ashamed to tell people about my true aspirations out of fear of being made of fun, seeing the condescending/disapproving looks and receiving harsh criticism. I also had a bad habit of putting everything else in front of my career just so I didn't have to pursue it. But as much as I try to fight it, I can't. The art of performing is something that has fascinated and driven me since before I can remember. I was tired of staying quiet, bottled up and being ashamed of my talent. As a result, I decided to create this persona "Ashley Out Loud" as an opportunity for me to get loud about who I am and what I love to do. Ashley Out Loud is a web series and website that will launch next month and feature my performances, industry info and acting tips. It is my hope to also inspire other actors/entertainers to also be bold and attack their professional goals as well.
Check out my trailer on youtube at itsashleyoutloud

Jadi Nicolas

As a very young child I witnessed my father work on his and his colleagues projects at UCLA BFA film program. Such projects highlighted in the L.A. Rebellion series. Didn't really get "bit-by-bug" until pursuing acting and then studying film at UC Santa Barbara.

I went on to various production assistant and a good internship at a major cable network in original programming/development. Due to restrictions, the term ended after 9 months, nor did the position turn into any full time opportunity.

Until 2009, I temped for one of the studios, and currently freelancing as a camera operator in ENG and special events.

Overall, I desire to make a difference in the executive ranks. I want to see more diversity in the position of greenlighting projects highlighting our diverse and true experiences.

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