When did you realize you want to become a filmmaker?
Ever since I started performing as a child I wanted to make films. I think I realized it though when I was 21 and had just moved to L.A. from New Jersey after having spent most of my childhood performing in plays in New York. When I first came to L.A., I was acting and not long after started producing. I enjoy being part of every aspect of creating a film and that’s when that passion really took hold. I got into it young with virtually no experience, except doing it and that is a real learning curve. Experiencing it firsthand, however, gave me the opportunity to learn it in real time. Now that I have my own production company, I plan on creating a lot more films that I can also direct or write. I’m so excited about what is ahead!
What’s the most challenging part of making a film?
Financing, but don’t let that deter you! There are so many ways to make something happen even if you don’t have the funds to do it, you just have to get creative. Leaning on friends and favors is actually super important, in independent film especially for locations. The other part is making sure that I am creating a team of people that will work well together. I really take pride in taking my time making sure everyone is the right fit on a team. You create a family when you make a film and you want everyone on board with the same passion and heart to make something really special no matter the genre.
What do you like the most? Directing or acting?
I love them both! Each one is unique and provides a completely different experience. Having been a director and many times a producer, it’s much easier to walk on set and just be the actor. The director and producer are in charge of so much more. My first love though is acting and you never forget your first love!
Any other upcoming projects you would like to share with readers?
My company, WallyBird Productions has been a dream of mine for a long time and we are just getting started. We have two films that we produced that are dominating film festivals right now, “Make A Wish” directed by Dinh Thai, written by Ivan Tsang, starring and co-produced by Edward Hong and Josephine Chang and “SHIRi” directed by Micah Coate and written by and starring Grace Yee. Both films are official selections of the Oscar qualifying film fest Hollyshorts. It is so exciting for me to have two films I produced under my company banner that are in such a prestigious festival. “SHIRi” is also premiering at Raindance Film Fest in the UK and Austin Film Fest in Texas. “Make A Wish” is screening at FilmQuest, Screamfest in Los Angeles, Nightmares Film Fest and over 50 more festivals all over the world! WallyBird is also currently working with artist and celebrity guitarist JUNO and her company JUNO’S Guitar Bootcamp. We recently were a sponsor for her Black Lives Matter Scholarship to give 20 black students free guitar lessons over the last three months with JUNO and special guests. We are in the midst of creating a guitar series, music videos, and a documentary all focused on and around JUNO and her brand. We also have a new film we produced coming out titled “Dissonance” by Rafi Jacobs that will most likely be hitting the festivals in 2021/ 2022. Some other things we are currently in development on and some things are already filming. There are so many exciting things ahead and I’m looking forward to sharing them all with the world.
What smell brings back great memories?
I love the smell of jasmine, it makes me think of so many happy California days. Also, Chanel No. 5. It’s my mother’s perfume and I remember being a kid thinking I couldn’t wait to wear perfume like my mom.
What’s your best childhood memory?
I come from a big family, so we spent a lot of time together over the years. Christmas and fourth of July was always a time my parents had people over. We sing songs all together at Christmas time, now that my mom has 13 grandchildren and most are grown, they bring their friends and it’s just one big giant party. As a child my fondest memories are going to the beach all together and staying in a place nearby that we could walk to for the whole week. We made so many memories playing games and really enjoying each other’s company. Those were the days.
What is the most expensive item you have brought this year?
A soccer goal for the backyard for my son. He used to play basketball and has now switched to set his eyes on soccer. You can always find him in the backyard practicing. For my daughter, I bought her a beginner piano, because she really wants to learn how to play. She is extremely musically inclined and loves to sing. For myself, I bought an LED mask from DMH Aesthetics that is supposed to help with skin tightening and toning. It is awesome and I really notice a difference. Skin care is super important.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Probably Europe, I love the culture there and the way of life. Europeans seem to be more chill when it comes to life in general. I once had a five hour dinner while in Spain and I could really get used to that.
Has social media made your life better?
Yes definitely. I have days when I want to unplug, but I think that it has opened our eyes much more to the things going on all over the world and each other’s lives. That we may not have seen before which is super important.
What is your favorite birthday memory?
My family does big time birthdays and loves to celebrate. I would actually have to say that even though we were in quarantine, my favorite was this year because my family and friends made it ultra special. My family got a giant happy birthday sign put on my front lawn that I woke up to. Did a zoom call where they talked about their favorite moments with me and my friends did a social distance picnic in Lake Balboa. Even though it was different, it was truly special and I am so grateful.
How can everyone keep in contact with you on social media?