Your upcoming film Redlight Kate - in a few words, what's it
going to be about?
struggles to find herself in a world of violence, sex, and drugs.
I'm sure I'm not the first to ask
this: Why strippers? And in relation to this, and since I know my site has
the occasional male visitor (and I hope you'll forgive this
dirty-old-man-question) how far do you plan to go in terms of nudity and
yes, my mom asked me the same thing. Well, the film is, in many ways, an
exaggeration of my own life. I chose stripper because it's an
exaggeration of my career as a dancer.
all the dirty old men out there, I donít want to say how far weíll
go because I donít want to sway viewers away from the film if I say we
have too much or not enough. I like that the film is mysterious in that
way. I think everyone will be satisfied though!
What were your actual sources of inspiration
when writing Redlight Kate? And what got you into writing to begin
fell into writing. I was talking with the lead singer of Maudlin
Strangers one day, and we came up with this crazy story that we decided
to turn into a song. It was random really since I had never written a
song before, but I thought, ďthis is just for fun.Ē The song - which
hasnít been released yet - turned out way better than I thought it
would. So we decided to become a songwriting team. This decision led to
us writing our next song, the song in the teaser, called ďSuffer, KateĒ. We only had a title to start with, and then we came up with a
I came up with my portion of the lyrics, I wrote about the feelings I
had in regards to a project I was involved with at the time. I consider
myself to be a very intelligent person, but the person in charge of the
project took advantage of me. When I parted ways with the project, I
felt very used, confused, and angry. I took those feelings and put them
into the song. After we completed the song, I was still feeling the
repercussions from the project, so I turned my feelings from the song
into a movie, Redlight Kate. This is my first script.
You have to talk about your character in Redlight
Kate for a bit, and what do you draw upon to bring her to life? And
how much of yourself can we find in Kate, actually?
found that the entertainment industry is full of people whose sole purpose
in life is to use others to get ahead. These people treat you like a piece
of meat. Itís tragic. Over time, you become desensitized to the issues
that you once thought were absolutely unjust, and you turn a blind eye in
hopes that things will change on their own. Iíve had some awful
experiences, but I move forward with my life and hope to learn from them.
This is Kateís world too. Many of the awful things people say to Kate in
the film are things that have been said to me. Most of the characters are
based on real people. Although I donít have a dark past, and Iím not a
stripper, I am Kate.
Melanie Robel, Frances Manzo
on the set of Girl Scout Cookies
can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and what made them perfect
for their roles?
feel very lucky that I haven't had to look far and wide for the people
that have been cast so far. Itís been a struggle to make this film,
but I feel that the universe has decided to help me out by putting people
in front of me who deserve to be a part of this movie. I met Melanie Robel
[Melanie Robel interview -
click here] and
Monique Dupree on the set of Girl Scout Cookies. I watched these two
actresses work hard, and I was more than impressed. It's no coincidence
that they're so successful. They have talent. It also helps that they're
As for Marty Dew, I've known him for 11 years now, and I
can say that this is one talented guy that everyone needs to see
(actually, everyone has probably seen him in movies and commercials, but
just didnít know it).
The other cast members heard about the project,
emailed me, and sent me taped auditions. Michael Emery, for example,
contacted me and then sent me an amazing audition where he didnít leave
any room for doubt. Every one of my cast members has talent pouring out of
every orifice, and I have no doubt that they will make this a successful
film. You'll be able to feel every emotion. This isnít a multi-million
dollar project where we can distract you with lots of special effects and
the like. Itís completely character driven. The actors are the ones who
will carry this film.
Your director Sean Williams - why him,
and what will he bring to the project?
are vicious when it comes to money and potentially successful projects,
and theyíll do anything for the sake of greed. So, it was really
important to me that whoever was going to direct this project be someone I
can completely trust with my vision. I've known Sean Williams for some
time now, and I've had the pleasure of being in a few of his projects.
Sean is a hard worker, extremely resourceful, and thereís a touch of
genius in him, which will be evident in this film. Heís serious and
understands the depth of this project, and thatís the most important
How do you as a
writer envision the look and feel of the film as such?
this film will be dark, gritty, seductive, and beautiful. We're going to
film this from a very personal point of view so that the viewers will feel
everything that's being given out on screen.
far as I know, Redlight Kate is still in its fundraising stages as
we speak - so what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?
it is. I've worked very hard to get this film funded with little success
thus far. Iíve had a lot of leads that seemed promising, but they ended
up being dead ends for numerous reasons. It's my first time working behind
the camera, and I readily admit that it's tougher than I thought it would
be. I ran a campaign a year ago, and we were able to raise $1100, which is
enough to pay for a couple of days on set, but we're aiming for 14 days.
So, I decided to run another campaign to see if we could do any better now
that we have a teaser. I've been actively pursuing all avenues from
seeking sponsorship from small businesses, corporations, friends, and the
like. It's tough, but I have faith that we'll get everything we need.
your campaign has succeeded - how do you plan to proceed, and any idea
when the film will be out, tentatively (even though I realize it's waaay
to early to ask)?
or not the campaign succeeds, we will begin filming in January or
February. If we donít raise the money we need, then Iíll run another
campaign while we film. Sean and I will make it work no matter what
because we believe in the success of the project.
would love to think that the film could be out by next fall. That's my
Let's go back to the beginnings of
your career - what got you into acting in the first place, and did you
receive any formal training on the subject?
always had a pretty big personality, always been a showman. I was in a lot
of the school plays when I was younger. Then, when I moved to LA I studied
with Brian Reise, Alan Feinstein, and Paul Tuerpe for the first few years.
I got accepted into The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, where I
studied for about 2 and a half years. No matter where you study though,
you gain the most knowledge from putting what you learn into practice. I
see a lot of kids that become good at taking class, but lose their cool
once they get on set. With that in mind, I started acting in student films
right off the bat when I got to LA. From there, I worked my way up into
a quite skilled dancer with quite a few appearances in music videos,
TV-shows and films, right? What can you tell us about that aspect of your
career, and how much has your dancing experience helped you in your acting
- and vice versa?
I'd like to think so! Dancing is definitely a passion of mine, and it's
what I've spent the most time doing. Probably more than anything else,
dancing gives me an edge that most people/actors don't have... I follow
directions easily and have no problem hitting my mark! Working on set or
in theater is like learning choreography. The director tells you,
"Okay, I want you to sit on the table when you say this line, then
pick up the coffee 2 lines later. After that, you'll stand up and walk out
of the door, but take your time doing it. Not too fast, not too slow. Then
give yourself 3 beats before you come back in to get your keys. When you
grab your keys, run out the door. Got it?" Acting has definitely
helped me become a better dancer/performer. Iíve done some Vaudeville
style dance shows, where my acting was just as important as my dancing.
For example, I got the lead role in The LXD: The Legion of
Extraordinary Dancers presents Matched, produced by
world-renowned director John Chu, because it required a lot of acting, and
I was qualified.
Can you still remember your first time
in front of a movie or TV camera, and what can you tell us about that
think my first time watching a movie was watching Nightmare on Elm Street
at home with my family. I was so captivated by it but not scared. In fact,
I remember dreaming that Freddy Krueger was reading bedtime stories to me.
I don't know what psychologists would say about that, but I think I've
always been drawn to dark films. I remember my first time in front of a
camera. It was a student film, and I didn't really know what I was doing,
but I acted like I did. I was so nervous. Thank God I wore black that day
otherwise everyone would've seen the massive sweat stains I had.
Some movies/TV-shows/music videos of yours
you'd like to talk about?
think I lived out my dream as a dancer when I was chosen to be in Womanizer by Britney Spears. I remember meeting a Britney
Spears dancer when I was 16, and I thought I had died and gone to
heaven. That dancer made a huge difference in my life. I knew that one
day, I would be a Britney Spears dancer and do the same thing for
so glad I was a part of the indie film Dirty Magazines. It's
incredibly hilarious, and the film sends out a great message too. I
think that was the first film where I WAS the character. By that I mean
that the director worked so extensively with me that I became the
character. I hadnít really done that before. I'm very proud of that
You have also quite a bit of
experience in stage acting (or so I'm told) - so what can you tell us
about your acting in theatre, and how does acting on stage compare to
performing on film?
I've done a lot. One of my first roles in the LA area was in the play Huckleberry
Finn, and guess who I played... Huck Finn! I changed my voice, the
way I walked, and even how I conveyed my emotions. I couldnít act like
a girl anymore. It definitely helped that I was a tomboy... still am! I
also got to play the lead in the Canadian play Halo. The part
was originally written for Ellen Page, so it was cool that I was chosen
to play a role that was meant for someone with her capabilities.
always been drawn to films more so than theater, but I enjoy theater
quite a bit. If you mess up a line, it could potentially cause a ripple
effect, and there goes the play! In film, if you mess up a line, you get
to start over. Not to say that film is easier, because it's not, it's
just different. In theater, you can change little things here and there
each night to make it different for yourself. A major difference between
theater and film is that you don't necessarily get to do your scenes in
order. In film, you have to be so incredibly in tune with your character
and your script that you can shoot a scene towards the end of the movie
then shoot a scene earlier in the script where you're in a totally
Last but definitely not least, you
are also a gifted singer/songwriter - you just have to talk about your
music for a bit?
To be honest, I was afraid to hear the sound of my own voice for years. I
never sang, but I desperately wanted to. I don't know why, but I just
couldn't bring myself to sing in front of anyone. Yet, when I moved to LA
I kept getting these offers to be in girl groups or sing in plays. I
turned down most offers, but there were a few that I decided to take in
order to help me get over that fear. I was in a girl group a couple of
years ago, and we were gaining a lot of popularity. During that time, I
also co-wrote and co-produced several songs for Maudlin Strangers. After I
left the group, I decided that I had wasted too much time being afraid,
and I decided that I didnít need to be anyone's backup. So, I took an
offer from producer Michael Binikos to work on a solo album, and we came
up with my first single MJ's Coursing."I wrote it and he
produced it. I'm incredibly proud of it.
Actors, writers, musicians, dancers,
filmmakers, whatever else who inspire you?
Jackson (of course), Robert Plant, Rob Zombie (musician and filmmaker),
Takashi Miike (Japanese director), Steven Boyd (one of the first dance
teachers who had faith in me), Anne Hathaway (she's come so far!), Anne
Rice, Bram Stoker, Meryl Streep, and of course my family who inspires me
every day...to name a few!
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Interview with the Vampire, Audition
(Japanese), Ichi the Killer (Japanese),
Martyrs (French), Whatever
Happened to Baby Jane?, Valley of the
Dolls, The Exorcist,
Legend of Ron Burgundy, and Wedding Crashers.
... and of course, films you really
formulaic (i.e. most Rom Com's within the past 5 years) and anything that
tries to be complicated without meaning for the sake of being artistic. I
think I've only ever turned off or walked out of 2 movies in my entire
life: Cosmopolis and The Informers. Not that they were bad movies, I just
got nothing out of them and found myself looking at the walls instead.
Other than that, I find enjoyment in almost any film, even if it's a
"bad" film because I know how hard it is to make a film. I truly
try to appreciate every aspect of a film.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo,
Thanks for the