I can't believe how quickly the year flew by. Two new jobs on top of freelance work, new video, print and art work, new people, and new adventures - like my end-of-year trip to Israel. It's incredible how all of my interests, passions, and work, have played perfectly into the plans for my future. Maybe you've noticed it, too, how things you've studied or created over the years all tie together...
2016 began with a few great interviews on talk show Messier Mantra, hosted by my Filmmaker/Acting Coach friend Mike Messier. Sometimes we need to have things pointed-out to us because they're so obvious we can't see them, almost like we're psychologically far-sighted. It felt really good to sit across from someone who highlighted all the amazing work I'd done to that point, showing me how skilled I am, and all that I can do. I highly recommend listing all of your accomplishments - big or small (I got a queen size bed!) - to see how much you've truly accomplished, grown and progressed. I was also a special guest on the podcast 'Experimentally ILL Radio' with Mike O'Toole, and we talked about personal projects in film, TV - and pilgrims. I could talk about pilgrims all day...
In February, I ran for Trustee of the Medfield Memorial Public Library - and was elected to the Board of Trustees in a town-wide election! Soon thereafter I left the BLAA and focused on community efforts closer to home.
As I began work on the Board of Trustees, I also began work as a Graphic Designer at both newspaper Hometown Publications, and at integrated marketing company Blue Soho. Yes - everything really happened all at once!
At the newspaper, I started making the ads used in all six newspapers, and was quickly promoted to Production Designer, laying out whole newspapers - ads, editorial and all.
Haha, and here's a funny interview video they cut for me over at Medfield TV.
Also pretty cool - my friend Scott Matalon, Owner of Stingray Tattoo in Cambridge, MA - created a painting of me, along with a soapstone sculpture, and held a 'Stingray Tattoo Artist Show' in the shop!
That painting of me with red hair and an apple was based on a 2008 self-portrait I photographed and shared all over Myspace. Ha! Those were the days...
On top of all that, I was asked to guest lecture at Massachusetts College of Art & Design and share the 'journey of a successful alumna'! Max Grinnell, Urbanologist and Historian, welcomed me to his class where I talked about perception, art, and creating.
Around this time, Mike Messier released a trailer for his upcoming documentary 'Disregard The Vampire: A Mike Messier Documentary.' Back in early 2014, I played character 'Valentine the Vampire' in this once-narrative film, now transformed into a documentary on the plight and perseverance of the indie filmmaker. The trailer alone has already made it into several international festivals, and I can't wait to hear what will happen with the completed documentary!
Well, Mike's perseverance rubbed off on me, and I decided to launch into a project over two years in the making - a project I call 'Fauxmercials.' I gathered a number of fake commercials I'd written over the last few years, and launched into pre-production - casting, locations, crew call, shot listing, call sheets - the real production meat. In September, I directed these shoots, one in Rhode Island, one in my hometown in Medfield, MA, and am moving into post-production - the editing process...
We even managed to squeeze out some footage to use as an introduction to a new director's reel! It will be both ridiculous and fantastic, what with the new footage and my face gracing the screen, haha ;)
When I began work as a Trustee, I also helped out the Friends of the Medfield Public Library (FOL), creating their Facebook page. Noticing a lack of social media presence across pretty much all libraries...ever, I also created a 100-page (okay, 96-page) social media guide to help the library, FOL, and Trustees, move forward. In fact, the guide was catalogued and put to good use - I'll host a spring seminar in the near year!
You can see a sample of the guide on my new 'Print & Publication' sample page, and the guide will soon be available for purchase through Blurb.com to help others with their social media use for community organizations.
Oh, and let's not forget my giant-huge-amazing re-branding! A new website and social media, plus matching branding assets like a resume and business cards. And what about this awesome name 'The Girl Mirage,' right? It's so...me, and my work - and my initials, too, so that's kind of convenient.
I initially spent three months working on a WordPress site, but 'came home' to Squarespace where I re-created my current site over the course of three additional months. Over three pages of custom CSS later, we're here - the mirage...
Earlier this year I created a website for Paracelsus Films, a Boston-based film production company, and throughout the year I worked on a website and social media for Mike Messier Movie Maker. I also created a website, branding, and social media sites for local business Randy's Garage, and Randy even put the logo on merchandise! Pretty cool ;) I also created some nice branding for The Traveler Kit & Co., a start-up specializing in travel kits. And now, just one week before the year's end, I've completed a great website for writer Farren Washington.
Just as last year, this Halloween I met up with John Hartman of Reel Groovy Films to shoot some great footage for 'The Shackling,' the film he began last fall. Long story short, I agreed to be burned at the stake - for art - and brought along musician and actor Maya Simone as another witch.
Yes, the theme was 'the witches of Salem,' and I was definitely on board. We also filed some of John's fake commercials, and the screenshots are pretty intense, what with that sexy VHS quality. By the end of our shoot, he professed he had enough footage for an entirely new film, so we'll see what happens, haha.
And just a few weeks ago I was a showcasing artist at The Medfield Holiday Stroll! I was setup in Medfield Public Library, and my Hometown Publications friends came to support ;)
At the end of 2015, I had said the year felt like a "'transitional' year, and that new things will really start to happen in 2016." Looking back on that now, I think I was right, and that 2015 was first in a 'three-year-plan.' Well, for me, anyway. 2015 felt like a year of rest and planning for the future, followed by this transitional year, the year in which I started the processes for my future. So 2017 better yield something pretty amazing because I like this three-year-plan idea that I sort of fell into, haha.
There are many things I wanted to accomplish and haven't completed, but I also spent two months working on a project that I hadn't planned, and it should yield some results this coming March ;) A multitude of health issues hit mid-year, and I'm finally finding solutions as the new year dawns. I can only imagine how much more I would have achieved if I wasn't so run-down with health issues - and considering how much I've done, that's insane. That's like, the work of three people, haha.
Well, I'll see you in another life,
- The Girl Mirage