Tuesday, December 29, 2015

An Update, a Recap and a Temporary Shutting-Down


First of all, a merry Christmas to each of you!

And now... a new year approacheth.

2015 is nearly over, that is, as you all know if you don't live under a rock under a rock under aNOTHER rock, and even then you've probably guessed that some calendar-turning or other is in the wind.



I thought long and hard (read: for about two and a half minutes whilst staring off into the space above my laptop) about how to end 2015 on this blog, and finally decided to just recap my year, as best I can.  It's no secret that I've been pretty absent from the blogging world, a fact I hope to remedy in 2016, and it probably won't come as a shock that this year's been pretty busy.

I'm not going to go into details about everything that happened this year.  Suffice it to say that a large portion of 2015... well, stank.  The first half of the year was pretty miserable for a lot of reasons, and included one of the most painful periods of my life I've ever had to go through.  But in it all, God was faithful.  That sounds very trite, but it really is true that He works all things together for good to those that love Him... I wouldn't have chosen to have had most of the things that happened earlier this year, but the Lord did have a purpose and hopefully I've become a stronger person because of it.

But let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I shall quit such an odious subject and focus on the Joy.  What was joyful this year? Well, many things! Let me count the ways.

In January... okay, well, in January nothing especially great happened except my baby bruvver turned ten and had a pirate party and the event pleased him exceedingly.  So that was good. :)


In February... umm... well, I'm kinda drawing a blank for February, as it was somewhat Rough, but I did read some good books.  I really enjoyed Katherine Reay's Lizzy and Jane (though I still prefer Dear Mr. Knightley) and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Bronte Plot!



In March I turned twenty and left my teens behind me forever!  It turned out to be a very happy day, despite the firmly pounded nail in the coffin of childhood, and I got to talk to my bestie, and all was right with the world.  And for the last nine months I've been greatly enjoying being able to tell all and sundry (though not Lady Catherine-- she's fictional and, if she weren't, dead) that I am not one and twenty.

In April... ummm.  April wasn't the best, but hey, it paved the way for May and in MAY...

...I got to see my PERSON again!  I went to visit Melody for two whole weeks and that was the best part of this year, hands down.  We traveled to the Pacific Coast with her family (who graciously allowed me to tag along on their vacation) and I got to climb an ACTUAL LIGHTHOUSE which I really and truly did despite my paralyzing fear of heights.  It was very thrilling and I will probably never do it again.  :P


And yes, my shirt says "I believe in Sherlock Holmes."  ;)


In June I came home from Melody's house, which was sad, and ended my career as a nanny, which was also sad.  But life moves on and you have to move with it, like a leaf traveling down a river, or else you get stuck in a sewer drain or some such unpleasantness. (If you're a leaf, I mean.)  And sometimes that means ending one thing and moving on to seek new horizons and blah-de-blah.  *insert inspirational quote here*

And Masked grew by leaps and bounds and much planning was done and I basically tore my hair out, and may I take this opportunity to mention that you should never ever ever produce a full-scale web series if you want to keep your sanity.  BUT I shall also take this opportunity to mention that it was a real blessing to be able to work with such lovely people as I did, and we had the bestest cast and crew ever, and that reminds me that I still haven't posted Chris' interview yet because when I was doing cast interviews we didn't want anyone to know he was the Scarlet Pimpernel, but that's all done now sooooo I should put his interview up, if y'all want to see it. 


In July two very large things happened.  The first was that Masked began filming, after a year and a half of development and three very intense months of planning and casting &c.  It was a great big hullabaloo and I hated it and I loved it at the same time, which was very confusing, because on the one hand it was stressful and difficult to get everything put together, and also sad that I didn't get to Be There to see the fun, and on the other hand it was exhilarating and gleeful because HERE WAS THIS STORY THAT WAS COMING TO LIFE BEFORE MY VERY EYES AND HOW COOL WAS THAT.


The second very large thing in July was that I scouted around for a new job and went to several interviews and got nowhere, and submitted countless applications and got nowhere, and began to be very discouraged and very sad (my dad was also out of work at the time, and had been for several months and it was just not a financially fun time in our household) and then BOOM, I got two jobs within a week of each other, and things began to change for the Huckabuck family, because did I mention I also found a Chinese silver slipper buckle inside of a squash.*

*Not really.

Anyway, I got a job as a part-time temporary clerical assistant for an electrical manufacturers' representative near the end of July, and just a few days later I also got a waitressing job at an Italian restaurant.  And so from July until October I balanced the two and it was hard but also interesting and I learned a lot and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, although I'm very glad that at least one part of it is over now, but I'll get to that.



In August I worked at the restaurant and worked at the office-- took the bus into the city for my office job in the mornings and walked to the restaurant for my waitress job in the evenings.  It was hectic.  And it taught me a new and greater appreciation for restaurant staff-- please be nice to them and always tip well because that is pretty much all they make, no joke.  Although, depending on the restaurant and the kindness of the cooks, sometimes they get free breadsticks, which is nothing to sneeze at. ;)  

I always tried very hard NOT to do this but sometimes people shovel food into their mouths AS you approach. :P

AND my dad got a job, which was wonderful, in an administrative/management position which is exactly his Thing, and working with people with special needs which is also his Thing, so that was pretty awesome all around.  And my mom got a job TOO, for the same organization (only in a caregiver role, not administration) so we began to be quite a busy working family and juggling one car was... interesting. (For years my dad worked from home, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom, so one car was Plenty, but then this summer happened. Haha.)

And I did enjoy both my jobs to varying degrees, but I also looked back longingly on the days when I could just waste time on Pinterest and sew random things.  Heh heh heh.


In September Masked aired (did I mention I spent most of August editing it? because I did) and, well, that was an epoch in my life. ;) In case you haven't watched it yet, you can go here. If you want to.  And in case you HAVE watched and are still not sure what happened/is happening with the show, go here



In October there was another big epoch in my life when my boss at the office where I was temping offered me a full-time position as an administrative assistant for the company.  And. I. Took it.  One of the best decisions I have ever made-- I LOVE my job and my coworkers and the work I do, which is basically Alex-Knightley-boring-stuff but I actually do think it's interesting. (If you're interested, in which case more power to ya, I manage the company contacts, file and put together all our correspondence, enter bills for payment, take care of bank deposits and run our company's Twitter. And... a lot of other little piddly things.  And I adore it.  Did I mention that.  :D)  I never in my wildest dreams imagined that someday I'd be working for an electrical manufacturer's rep and loving it, but... well, here I am.  So that was the big thing for October. Also I quit my waitressing job, which helped restore some of my sanity.  Haha.

Anyways, joining the adult workforce has been amazing, buuuuuut...

Sad truth. :(

In November Melody and I made many plans for her visit to me at CHRISTMASTIME, and that was swellissimus.  Masked drew to a close, the new Sherlock episode was confirmed for January 1st, 2016 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and did I mention MELODY COMING.


In December my best friend came to visit (I LOVE HER I LOVE HER I REALLY REALLY LOVE HER), it was epic (because I said the word epic) and also I bought myself a CAR.  Which I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around, but the fact stands and it is Magnificent.  It's used, and the same age as my brother, but it gets amazing gas mileage and I love it to death already.  And Melody and I went all around town in it. ;) I had to work a good bit of the time while she was here, which was a bit Meeshful, but we got to do quite a few fun things-- like attend a Civil War ball, and decorate gingerbread houses, and see Philadelphia in all its historical and Christmassy glory, and visit several of my grandparents, and Melody got to ride on a train for the first time ever in her life, and did I mention the ball? It was a High Point.  


Then she had to go home, but then it was Christmas (I feel the same way! ...Oh, you mean it's actually Christmas)  and so we could not have too many tears.  And now... now we're standing at the portal of the op'ning year, and all that, and I am looking forward to 2016 more than I did to any of the past few years.  Usually the idea of so much Time passing and people getting Older is quite a Frightening one, but after all the whirlwind that was this year... well, I'm quite ready for a new one.  Hopefully with more joys than sorrows. ;) 

But as the year unfolds, with new beginnings and all that, I think it time for this blog to undergo some changes. Which is why, beginning tomorrow night at 10 PM Eastern, Yet Another Period Drama Blog is temporarily closing its virtual doors.  It will be a Private blog with No Access Permitted until Monday (hopefully), at which point it will reopen with a brand-new look and possibly a brand-new post.  The archives will remain, but the site itself needs an overhaul, and since I have some new plans for What to Write in 2016, I thought a new-look-same-great-taste was in order.

You've been duly warned. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

"I have returned. To haunt you."


Hello, PEEPS! It is ME! I am not DEAD! Did you MISS ME?


I have only lost about twenty followers in the time I've been gone. Impressive. Thanks to all who stayed. One of my New Year's resolutions is to blog more... nothing drastic like once a week or anything renunculous (YOU'RE RENUNCULOUS) but hopefully more than I've been doing of late.

*hyenas laughing in the distance*

Aaaaaaanyways.  Today I am here to inform you that my person is having a contest and you should enter it.  That is, my Favorite and Best Melody is hosting a short-short story contest for Christmastide, and I thought it appropriate to aid in her ad campaign. (She may or may not be sitting beside me right now making me write this. Heh, heh, heh.)

"I am not MAKING you! I ASKED you," quoth she. "TELL THEM that I am not MAKING YOU."
*type type type*
There, are you satisfied?

Regency Delight Story Contest

Anyways again! So click the button above  to find out more details, and I'll see you all with a more update-ish update very soon.  

(Ohhhh but by the way Melody is here right now and we went to a CHRISTMAS CIVIL WAR BALL last night and had a grand time and she danced every dance and Mary none. :D)

And here we are in our dresses.   ("Here he is all dressed up in his Sunday best."  "HE LOOKS LIKE A GIRL!"  "Ha ha ha.  AN UGLY GIRL.")


The End.

*bonus points to you if you can identify all the dumb quotes in this post 
*The End Again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Masked: A New Literary Web Series

You've heard me nattering on about this for weeks, so I'll cut to the chase.

Pilot episode.
Today.
YouTube.
Handy embedded video here.




Please watch.
Enjoy.
Subscribe.
Share.
Thank you.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Scarlet Pimpernel Trivia Quiz Answers


Books and Movies

1. What color is Marguerite’s hair in the books?

Auburn, red-blonde, and golden are all acceptable answers. Because we get all of those from the fickle and ever-changing Baroness.  :P

2. What is the name of the actor who plays Chauvelin in the 1934 movie?

Raymond Massey.

3. Sir Percy’s catchphrase “sink me!” only appears once in the original book series... do you know which book?

Mam'zelle Guillotine!  You can read the excerpt here.  

4. What is the name of Lord Tony’s wife? (she has a whole book named after her, but Baroness Orczy couldn’t be bothered to call her by her actual name...)

Yvonne de Kernogan.  This was an obscure one, I know. Sorry 'bout that.

5. What is the name of the man who ends up "spiriting away" the dauphin at the end of the 1982 film?

The Baron de Batz.

6. What is the name of Sir Percy's yacht?

The Day Dream!

7. Who does Suzanne de Tournay end up marrying at the end of the first novel?

Sir Andrew Ffoullkes.

8. What distinctive article of clothing (other than his always-flawless cravat) is Sir Percy wearing in the scene where he attempts to rescue Armand and Louise in the 1982 film?

(Sorry, forgot to number this one!)  His CAPE.  Among the Leaguettes of The Day Dream, that scene is referred to as The Scene Where Percy Has a Cape.  Behold.



(I would like to point out, too, that I found this picture by searching "the scene where Percy has a cape" in Google Images.  Boo yeah.  We've infiltrated the system, girls.)

BONUS QUESTION

Who is older, Marguerite St. Just or her brother Armand St. Just?  (This question is harder than it seems. :P)

The reason this question is harder than it seems is that our beloved Baroness O was an inconsistent creature.  "Emmuska, you know, is not very constant," Mrs. Gibson would have said of her.  In The Scarlet Pimpernel, Armand is said to be older than Marguerite, and to have been her chaperone and protector when their parents died-- but in El Dorado, all of a sudden she's eight years his senior! Um what.


Quotes

1. "This little revolution of yours is monstrous intolerable." 
~1982 film

2. “Believe me, I have enjoyed life so much these past two years, I would not give up those pleasures even for that of seeing you and your friends have a bath or wear tidy buckles on your boots."
 ~The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel

3. “M’dear chap, I never would have dreamt of depriving you of your moment of triumph. Alas, a moment was all that I could spare.”
~1982 film

4. "Approval, sir, in my opinion, demands the attainment of perfection. And in that sense, you rather overrate the charms of your society. I'faith, for one thing, it does seem monstrous ill-dressed for any society, even a new one."
~1982 film

5. "Help you, my dear fellow? Of course, we'll all help you, if you want us. What are we here for but to help each other, as well as those poor wretches who are in trouble through no fault of their own?"
~Sir Percy Leads the Band

6. "Open up your sleeves, man. Let your ruffles take the air. Let them flow. Let them ripple."
~1934 film

And now for our winner! 

Let's all give it up for Caroline L., who scored the highest with 13 points! 

Other scores--

Livia Rachelle: 12
Lois Johnson: 12
Erudessa Aranduriel: 11
Molly: 10
Carissa Horton: 9
Awdur: 7
Melody: 6
Vellvin: 5
Sophie: 5
Naomi Bennet: 3

Thanks for playing, everyone!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Masked Cast Interview: Alexandra Rovirosa


Alexandra Rovirosa plays Margot James in Masked.   Margot's character is based on Marguerite Blakeney in the original story.

From her bio on our website--
Alexandra has been an obsessed fan of The Scarlet Pimpernel since she first saw the 1982 version of the film when she was sixteen. Ten years later, she has read all the books, seen most of the film adaptations, and has all the songs from the musical memorized. She is thrilled to be a part of this project and have the opportunity to play a modern version of one of her favorite literary heroines! Like Margot, she is an aspiring actress, her most recent role being Mary Bailey in Blue Springs City Theatre's production of It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical
In her spare time, she enjoys music, lots of chocolate, spending time with friends, and discussing and quoting her favorite movies and shows ad nauseum. Her idea of a perfect world is one where she is a natural redhead instead of just one out of a bottle, where she can give and get free hugs 24/7, and where everything in the world is covered in pink glitter. The first she can't help, the second one is hard to do without coming across as crazy at best and creepy at worst, but she's working on the third one!  You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

Ally and I met through blogging back in November of 2011 and it was she who introduced me to The Scarlet Pimpernel... well, the movie, anyway.  And the fandom. ;)  We've been working together on this project since last January, and it's definitely had some twists and turns (morphing into a toooootally different show from the one we started out with) but it's been a truly interesting adventure and I'm so thrilled she's playing the main character.  Ally understands Margot better than anyone else could (since she was instrumental in helping to develop her!) and I've been thrilled over and over again by seeing how well she interprets the character on screen.  To be honest, neither of us thought we'd make it this far (life's gotten in the way... um... many times), but it's amazing to see how much the project has grown and developed since its early days, and it's truly surreal to be here today counting down the hours to the premiere.  We made it!

So, without further ado...

How’d you get interested in acting?

I've wanted to act as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of it was in Sunday School at age 3, when we were going around telling what we wanted to be when we grew up. I announced that I wanted to be "a Hollywood star". My first opportunity came at age 9 in a church Christmas play, Peanut Butter Christmas, which at the time I believed would be my big break to Broadway. Little did I think it would be sixteen years before my next role...in another Christmas show, this time in community theatre. :)


What was your favorite part about brainstorming this series?

Seeing the characters develop from ideas to real people, and figuring out how a atory from 18th century England and France could translate to modern day America.


What was your favorite scene to shoot?

I think the scene with Tim (Daniel Olsen) and John (Jason Daniels) was a really fun scene, for SPOILER REASONS (seriously, Amy, way to go for tough questions to have to answer vaguely ;)).




What was the hardest scene to shoot?

Without a doubt, a scene with Becca Stabno, who plays Marcia St. Cyr. She was fantastic, but the scene was incredibly difficult. Hard to explain without spoiling, haha.


What do you like best about Margot's character? What do you find the most interesting?

Her intense love for her sister, sometimes a bit overprotective at times but always in the right place. I identify with it a lot. She's a very strong character despite the crap she's been through.



What’s been the biggest challenge for you with this role?

It's an emotional rollercoaster, which I'm not used to dealing with in a film setting. My true love is theatre, where you have the opportunity to go on that ride with the character and allow the emotions to flow naturally during the duration of the story. Film is like strapping you in at the top of the plunge and stopping upside down, then starting again in a totally different part of the ride.


How’d you find out about The Scarlet Pimpernel? Have you read any of the books or seen the films prior to this project? (:P)

Um. Hehe. Anyone who knows me well or remembers me from back when I had a blogging life knows my intense obsession with The Scarlet Pimpernel. It's one of my favorite books, films, musicals...yep. Recap for those who were not around in the days of my blogging life, I saw the 1982 film version starring Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour when I was sixteen (the best version, of course), and watched it twelve times in the next week. I went on to read all the books in the series (yes, there is a series, and yes, they're awesome, and yes, El Dorado is my favorite), bought the musical soundtrack and watched bootlegs on YouTube (conclusion: incredible music, crappy script) and became an expert in the field of Scarlet Pimpernel trivia (I think I can modestly say that considering the amount of trivia I shoveled into my brain). When Amy came to me with the idea of translating it to modern day, I jumped at the chance. I had no idea where life would take both of us in the next two years or what a challenge this project would be, but I'm excited to see how it all plays out now!

Alexandra as Mary Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life

If you could play any role in any movie, play, TV show, etc., ever, who would it be?

Fantine in Les Miserables. Dream role!!! It's such a great, meaty role, and of course I Dreamed a Dream is icing on the cake! Christine from Phantom of the Opera, Glinda from Wicked, and Maria in West Side Story are all close runner-ups. I've auditioned twice for Fantine and Maria so...third time's the charm, right? ;)


What do you hope people will take away from your performance in the show?

Ultimately, that I love this project and I love Marguerite...er, Margot. :) The predominate theme in Masked is the bond between two sisters, and it's something I'm passionate about. Getting to work with my own sister was a lot of fun, and brought us a lot closer together (plus she was freaking amazing...film's where she shines!). The story of the Scarlet Pimpernel comes down to the sacrifices we're willing to make for the people and causes we love, and I hope that shows in our story.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Masked Cast Interview: Michael Reiser


Michael Reiser plays Tony Dewhurst in Masked. (Tony's character is based on Lord Anthony Dewhurst. Like you couldn't have figured that out...)

From his bio on our website--

Michael Reiser considers the Scarlet Pimpernel to essentially be the Batman of the late 1700's, and is excited to see the story get merged into today's society. Michael is a recent grad of Missouri State University where he got his BFA in Acting. Michael was heavily involved with student films at MSU, co-founded the premiere improv troupe at MSU: Missouri State Improv, and participated in mainstage productions such as Our Town where he portrayed George Gibbs and Man/Daniel in Almost, Maine. He is excited to continue pursuing his acting career in Los Angeles, CA where he will be stationed at the beginning of 2016.
Michael is the second oldest in a family of 7, and has a soft spot for his puppies Lucy Lu and Molly Mae, both proud Boston Terriers. When Michael isn't on camera you can find him partaking in shenanigans with friends and cracking the worst pun you've ever heard. To get in touch and up to date with all his projects check out his website: www.michaelareiser.com.

Michael has the distinction of being the very first person to respond to our casting call back at the end of the winter (has it been that long??? wow), and as soon as the casting team saw his video audition, we were completely convinced that we'd found Tony.  He's been a great sport throughout all the ups and downs of filming this project, and has been exceptionally dedicated to focus and details.  It's been fun to work with him and I'm positive that you'll all enjoy his performance!  (By the way, if you're a fan of literary web series in general, you may have spotted Michael in Grimm Reflections, where he plays the Huntsman.)  

Also, he was homeschooled. Fun fact. :P  (I get way too excited when I find out people were/are homeschooled... sheesh, there are far too few of us in the world.)

So! Interview!

How’d you get interested in acting?  

My parents were involved with the arts and so I did my very first stage production at the age of 9. I guess it just stuck with me!


What was your favorite scene to shoot? 

My favorite scene to shoot was my date scene! It was my first time on set with the crew and I loved the script, so it was a blast!


What was the hardest scene to shoot? 

Definitely the scene where I am in my pajamas, haha. The most difficult was probably the scene when Angelo comes to Drew's house. It was the most dramatic scene I was a part of, and while I love doing it, living in those circumstances can be hard.


What do you like best about Tony's character? What do you find the most interesting? 

I love his demeanor and his commitment to his friends. He really loves them, and has a high sense of loyalty. The most interesting was how he dealt with hard situations and just how little finesse he had in those situations.



What’s been the biggest challenge for you with this role? 

The biggest challenge for me was working the balancing act he had when dealing with tough situations. Doing what I can  to keep those moments honest and real.


How’d you find out about The Scarlet Pimpernel? Have you read any of the books or seen the films prior to this project? 

I had heard of the musical adaptation before, but I never saw the movie until I heard about the auditions; and as of yet I still haven't read the book all the way through, haha.


If you could play any role in any movie, play, TV show, etc., ever, who would it be? 

Spiderman. It's a theory of mine that the reason they've done so many reboots because they haven't cast me as Spiderman yet, haha.




What do you hope people will take away from your performance in the show? 

Well, I hope they liked it! If I could make one person feel something or affect them in some way, that is what I love about acting.


What else have you appeared in, to date? If people would like to watch another of your performances, where should they go? 

I'm going into filming in October for a film, and I have a couple projects currently in post. They are welcome to go to my website to look at some of my other projects! www.michaelareiser.com

Friday, September 4, 2015

Masked Cast Interviews: Arthur Clifford (Paul Reynard)


Arthur Clifford plays Paul Reynard in Masked.  
(Paul's character is based on Citizen Armand Chauvelin.)

From his bio on our website--
Arthur found acting later in life, but at the age of 33 started to become involved with theater because of his son's involvement at The Culture House. Luckily, he was given an opportunity to audition for The King and I and was cast as the Kralahome. Once he got on stage and found out how fun entertaining people is, he changed from a sports-only person to someone who really loves and enjoys the arts. Some of his favorite roles have been Marcellus in The Music Man, Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof and Monsieur Thenardier in Les Miserables.  Arthur is married to Kerstin who is an amazing person and not only puts up with him, but actually loves him despite the fact that mentally he's still 14. His son is pursuing a BFA in Musical Theater at UCM in Warrensburg, MO. In his free time Arthur is a Jayhawk, Royals and Chiefs fan, and last year got to knock a bucket list item off by going to the World Series. Let's hope he can do it again this year!

Arthur was the very last principal actor to be cast in the show, and found our casting call through a friend's recommendation.  At the time of his casting, we were literally down to the wire before shooting was to begin, and a bit apprehensive about casting such an important character in such a last-minute fashion.  But his audition seriously impressed our casting team, so we went for it.  I actually ended up interviewing Arthur over the phone while I was on vacation with Melody (so professional, I know :P) and was incredibly pleased by how well he seemed to understand the character, so I offered him the role-- and he proceeded to blow us all away with his interpretation of Paul.  I'm thrilled to have him as part of this show and I think you're all going to be delighted by his portrayal of the guy everyone loves to hate.  (He's really a very nice person though.  Despite Paul being Very Decidedly Not.)  It was great to work with him and he did a fantastic job of juggling commitments to this show along with appearing in a large-scale production of Into the Woods at the same time.  (Now that's dedication!)

Okay, so, here's what I asked him and what he said.

How’d you get interested in acting?

Actually it was my son who got me into acting. He started going to The Culture House (which is a performing arts academy in Olathe) when he was 9. He had done a couple of musicals there and fell in love with theater. When I got the chance to get out on stage with my son, I jumped at the chance to see what it was all about. I never though I could be a person who could perform in front of people because I am naturally introverted, but I auditioned for The King and I and got a lead as the Kralahome. I was so nervous about the very first show, but as soon as the scene started I went into my character and transformed from myself to someone else. That feeling is why I fell in love with acting and why I still pursue it today.


What was your favorite scene to shoot?

I would have to say the last night of filming because I really enjoyed working with Alexandra Rovirosa. Getting to work with her has been a real treat because she is an amazingly talented actress but she's also goofy and fun to get to know in between takes. We had so much fun and at one point she burst into song and had us all cracking up.
 

What was the hardest scene to shoot?

It was the first scene I did. We filmed at my house and in the scene I was supposed to be talking to the character Margot on the phone. I have never done film work before and I knew my lines, but if you have never acted in front of a camera it can be more intimidating than a theater full of people. I started to freeze and my mind went blank on when I was supposed to come in on my lines and then I kept forgetting my lines. Luckily there was a wall off camera where I could tape up my script and remind me of my lines as I "acted" like I was listening to her. It was a life saver and as I got more comfortable with the camera the day went a lot better and we got through 3 scenes that day.


What do you like best about Paul's character? What do you find the most interesting?

I like Paul because he's a bad guy, it's always more fun when you get to be the bad guy, but Paul is also interesting because there are some different levels to him. He tends to blend in and smuggle drugs under the radar so he has to be an actor himself so that people don't suspect him of anything. He shows his dark side and his creepiness throughout the show, but he has to fool Margot to get what he wants. 




What’s been the biggest challenge for you with this role?

Getting used to film work. When you are on stage it's pretty easy to stay in character because you rehearse and play the character over and over. When you film it could get weeks in between shoots and sometimes it's difficult to remember what you did before and how you played the character. 


Have you read any of the Scarlet Pimpernel books or seen the films prior to this project?

I have never been exposed to The Scarlet Pimpernel, I watched some on youtube, but I have never watched the movies or read the books. Because this was a modern adaptation I wanted to create my character without influence of the books or movies.  


If you could play any role in any movie, play, TV show, etc., ever, who would it be?

I love comedies so I immediately thought of King Arthur in Spamalot, but after thinking about it if I could be anything in Star Wars that would be the ultimate for me. I am such a Star Wars geek and I can't wait for December 18th.


What do you hope people will take away from your performance in the show?

I hope that people will appreciate all of the hard work that has been put into this project. Everyone involved from Amy and Sydney to the crew and other actors has put their hearts and soul into this. I have only been involved for the past few months but this has been in the works for a long time and I am so proud to be apart of it.

Arthur as Monsieur Thenardier in Les Mis

What else have you appeared in, to date? If people would like to watch another of your performances, where should they go?

I have been in several theater shows with both The Culture House and Jewish Community Center. Some of my favorite roles has been Monsieur Thenardier in Les Mis, Marcellus in Music Man and I just got done being Milky White the Cow in Into the Woods. But If you want to watch my other performances you would have to come to my house and watch the DVDs of the theater shows. You bring the popcorn and I'll supply the entertainment!!! But hopefully we do another season of Masked and you can see more of me then.


Thanks for joining us here today, Arthur! Everyone, stay tuned for more interviews featuring other members of our cast!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Scarlet Pimpernel Trivia Quiz


Leave your answers in a comment, and on Monday I shall publish the correct answers, and whoever won will receive honor, fame and glory.  You know how quizzes work.

Scoring is as follows: 1 point for each correctly answered trivia question about the books and movies, 2 points for each correctly answered quote question (identifying which movie or book it comes from)-- 1 point for identifying whether the quote comes from a movie or a book, but not specifying which one.   The quotes are things Sir Percy said.  So you needn't worry about identifying the character. :P

Please DO NOT use IMDb or any other source to find answers to the questions, especially as regards the quotes... just answer off the top of your head to the best of your ability.

Books and Movies

1. What color is Marguerite’s hair in the books?

2. What is the name of the actor who plays Chauvelin in the 1934 movie?

3. Sir Percy’s catchphrase “sink me!” only appears once in the original book series... do you know which book?

4. What is the name of Lord Tony’s wife? (she has a whole book named after her, but Baroness Orczy couldn’t be bothered to call her by her actual name...)

5. What is the name of the man who ends up "spiriting away" the dauphin at the end of the 1982 film?

6. What is the name of Sir Percy's yacht?

7. Who does Suzanne de Tournay end up marrying at the end of the first novel?

What distinctive article of clothing (other than his always-flawless cravat) is Sir Percy wearing in the scene where he attempts to rescue Armand and Louise in the 1982 film?


BONUS QUESTION

8. Who is older, Marguerite St. Just or her brother Armand St. Just?  (This question is harder than it seems. :P)


Quotes

1. "This little revolution of yours is monstrous intolerable."

2. “Believe me, I have enjoyed life so much these past two years, I would not give up those pleasures even for that of seeing you and your friends have a bath or wear tidy buckles on your boots."

3. “M’dear chap, I never would have dreamt of depriving you of your moment of triumph. Alas, a moment was all that I could spare.”

4. "Approval, sir, in my opinion, demands the attainment of perfection. And in that sense, you rather overrate the charms of your society. I'faith, for one thing, it does seem monstrous ill-dressed for any society, even a new one.

5. "Help you, my dear fellow? Of course, we'll all help you, if you want us. What are we here for but to help each other, as well as those poor wretches who are in trouble through no fault of their own?"

6. "Open up your sleeves, man. Let your ruffles take the air. Let them flow. Let them ripple."



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Masked Cast Interviews: Isabella Rovirosa



Isabella Rovirosa plays Suzanne James in Masked.   (Suzanne's character, for the curious, is based partly on Armand St. Just and partly on Suzanne de Tournay in the original novel.)

From her bio on our website--
A high school student and drama queen extraordinaire, Isabella has had many varied roles in plays over the years.  Masked marks her screen debut, following appearances in such productions as Ms. Scrooge, Pajama Party and It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical, etc.  Isabella has been a devoted fan of The Scarlet Pimpernel since 2012 when she first saw the film starring Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour, and she is overjoyed to be a part of reinventing this classic story for a modern audience.

When she's not acting, singing or orchestrating shenanigans (a hobby at which she excels), Isabella enjoys fangirling over Doctor Who and Sherlock, dabbling in art, reading good books, dancing anywhere and everywhere, making her famous pancakes and doing flawless impressions of Miranda Sings and Martha Mahinsky.  She's a little bit bonkers... but then, all the best people are.  

Isabella (Belle, or Martha, or the child... or whatever I choose to call her as the fancy strikes me) is kindly joining me here today for an interview! I've known Belle since she was... um, a good bit younger than she is now... and I'm proud to call her my friend as well as my colleague in putting together this show!  She's extraordinarily talented, basically born to play the role of Suzanne, and I'm really thrilled to have her as part of this project.  (Also, she has the most utterly amazing hair I have ever had the privilege of seeing in real life.  Seriously what even.  Like Rapunzel or something.)

Now, without further ado, The Interview.


How’d you get interested in acting?

Well I originally fell in love with acting around three or four, but (besides being a little four-year-old diva at home ;)) my family and I performed for three years solid all over the U.S. Then I joined a drama group a year or two back and did plays with that group. Then I moved on to community theater, did plays there and others here and there, but mostly community theater. And of course Masked. :) And then on the side projects...

What was your favorite scene to shoot?

Honestly any scene where I can eat cake, pretzels, etc. I get so hungry while on set, I don't know what it is. :)

What do you like best about Suzanne's character? What do you find the most interesting?

Suzanne's character has definitely developed a lot since when I was first cast for her. She relates to me a lot I think, and I relate to her. I like the independent vibe she has and how she strives to make everything right and encourage people to follow their dreams. She's a very big believer in that.


What’s been the biggest challenge for you with this role?

Understanding the characters and trying to bring them to life on screen.

How’d you find out about The Scarlet Pimpernel? Have read any of the books or seen the films prior to this project? 

Well, the 1982 movie was a girls' night classic in our family, and I have read the first book.  Very good book, very much recommend.

If you could play any role in any movie, play, TV show, etc., ever, who would it be?

Probably the villain or misunderstood character, it would be so much fun building layers to those kind of characters. I would definitely love to be in a movie based off of a really good book for sure! But probably more of an adventure type book. :)

What do you hope people will take away from your performance in the show? 

I hope they can really relate to Suz and the other characters on the show, and be able to relate the story to the TSP story for sure! I also really hope they enjoy the modern aspects to it.

What was the hardest scene to shoot?

There were no extremely hard scenes to shoot that I was a part of, but we did have some difficult ones. There was one difficult one that comes to mind... but that would be giving away the story ;)

(note from Amy: I know what she's talking about and just wait until you see the footage. ;))


What are you most looking forward to in the future of the show?

Developing the characters into the characters we all see in our heads and watching them grow through the series. I'm also excited to see what happens in the later episodes and what the final product is, and of course hoping everyone enjoys it.

(I made her promise not to give away any spoilers... so yes, that last answer is purposefully vague!)

You can follow Isabella on Twitter, and check out her character Suzanne's Tumblr if you care to!

Six days till the pilot premieres!

The Scarlet Pimpernel Blog Party Tag


Really, what is a blog party without a tag, eh?  Please feel free to copy these questions onto your own blog, and leave a comment below with the link to your answers.  That way we can all see everyone's contribution! 

1. The obvious question... how'd you get introduced to the Scarlet Pimpernel?

2.  If you could meet any of the characters in real life, who would you choose and why? (you can use the obvious answer of Sir Percy if you really want to, but this is your chance to get creative. ;))

3.  What are your top 3 favorite quotes from the books or movies? (yes, just three)

4. Who is your favorite supporting character in the books? (Percy and Marguerite are ineligible)

5. Which film versions have you seen and which do you like best?

6. What's your top-absolute-favorite scene in the first book? (if you've read it-- if not, what's your favorite scene in whichever movie you prefer?)

7. If you could dream-cast a new adaptation of the book (a period piece, that is) who would you choose to play the roles of Sir Percy, Marguerite and Chauvelin?

8. Do you think the Scarlet Pimpernel does his rescue work purely for "the love of sport," as the narrative would tell us (and as he would often claim) or does he have more noble motives that he won't admit?  Explain your answer.  Show your work.

9.  Second to Chauvelin, who is the worst villain in the book series, and why?

10.  What's your favorite novel in the series (if you've read more than one)?  If not, which one are you most excited to read?

11.  If you could change one thing about your favorite version of the movie, what would it be?

12.  Lastly... how would you convince a skeptical friend to read/watch TSP?  What is it that you love about it?


Don't forget to leave a comment below with your answers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Scarlet Pimpernel Blog Party: An Introduction


Welcome to the party, fellow humans! The blog party, that is.  Online.  The internet kind.  Virtual, you know.  There aren't actually refreshments or anything like that.  Apologies.

This party, in case you weren't aware, is of purpose twofold.  The first is that any excuse to have a blog party is generally a good one. The second is that I and several friends (quite a lot of people, actually) have been working hard for the last year and a half on a new film adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which will premiere one week from today, and a blog party focused on TSP and all things related might be an excellent way to get people excited.  Because, y'know, shameless self-promotion and All That.

What is the Scarlet Pimpernel, exactly? If you're a newcomer to this blog or just a newcomer in general to that term I've been throwing around somewhat extravagantly, let's take just a moment to explain.  (If you already know who and what the Scarlet Pimpernel is, and are a fan, take this moment as an enjoyable refresher course.  If you already know and are NOT a fan... why are you reading this. :P  Well, perhaps I can convince you.  At any rate, please do stay and be comfortable.)

In 1903, a former Hungarian baroness (formerly a baroness, that is, not formerly Hungarian-- she stayed Hungarian all her life but had to leave her baronessy estate in Budapest because of peasant uprisings and the like) fallen on hard times wrote a play about a man who rescued French aristocrats from the guillotine during the Reign of Terror.  Emma Magdolna Rosalia Maria Jozefa Borbala Orczy (that is a MOUTHFUL right there-- she usually went by "Emmuska") had published a few short stories before her play about this dude calling himself the "Scarlet Pimpernel," but had achieved little success.  Overnight, however, the play became a hit, soon moved to London's famed West End, and in response to public demand, Baroness Orczy turned it into a novel.  The Scarlet Pimpernel, published in 1905, became an immediate success and spawned both an entire series of books about the mysterious title character and a genre of literature, film and other media known as-- you might have heard of them-- "superheroes."  (No, seriously. The idea of a masked crusader with a secret identity began with the Scarlet Pimpernel and carried over to Zorro and Batman and Superman and all those guys.  Look it up.)

What happened next? Well, several movie adaptations, for starters.  Of the two best-known, one was made in 1934 and is considered by old-movie buffs to be a true classic (starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon) and another was made in 1982, considered by most fans of TSP to be the best (hey, we're not biased) and stars Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour.

*insert le sigh*

(screencap by Ashley)

There have been a LOT of other movie and TV adaptations as well-- sixteen, if Wikipedia offers correct information-- along with several parodies, a Broadway musical and the aforementioned really extensive book series, and as of September 8th there will also be a modern-day web series adaptation. (I wish I could say that was my last plug.  But, um, it's not and won't be and I don't believe in lying to you. :))

If you're interested in reading the first novel in the series, The Scarlet Pimpernel, you probably need look no further than your local library. It's a classic and there are a ton of different editions.  You can also check out Blakeney Manor, the original Scarlet Pimpernel fan site, for e-texts of ALL the books!  Librivox.org also has several free audio recordings of Scarlet Pimpernel books-- I highly recommend those read by Karen Savage, as she "does all the voices" and reads all the French stuff quite Frenchily.  (I don't speak much French. Full disclosure. So I could be really wrong there.  But it sounds pretty authentic to my limited experience.)

For more discussion of the Scarlet Pimpernel in general, you might want to visit The Day Dream, a Scarlet Pimpernel fan blog.  Full disclosure again, I'm an author on that blog. :P It doesn't get a lot of buzz these days, as most of the authors have moved on to busier lives, but there are piles of archives to comb through if you're looking to learn more about this fandom.
ALSO. Do you know what else is cool?  Well, lots of things, but the one I was going to tell you about is the fact that there have been several people in real life who were directly inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel to do some very dangerous rescue work during WWII.  Raoul Wallenberg is perhaps the most famous (my friend Maribeth can tell you more about him than I can), but you might also care to look up Donald Caskie, Hugh O'Flaherty and Varian Fry.  I think there have been others as well, but that's a start.  The movie Pimpernel Smith, starring Leslie Howard (again...) tells the story, too, of a man who rescued inmates of German concentration camps (and was the film that inspired Raoul Wallenberg to do similar work in Hungary).  Cool beans.

Okay, thus ends this very ramble-y post, and thus beginneth the blog party.

(Oh, and here is a preview for the pilot for Masked which is airing in one week.  And no, I am not going to shut up about that.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"I thought... a picnic." (In Other Words, a Blog Party)


Yet Another Period Drama Blog
Original illustration by Adelaide Rovirosa, commissioned for Masked (2015)
Masked premieres in less than two weeks.  Which is why I've been so scarce around here of late. (Well, that and a few other things. More on that later.)

(If you haven't heard about Masked before this, it's a new literary web series based on The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.  You can check out our website here, visit our IMDb page here, follow us on Twitter and Tumblr, or like our Facebook page.  Oh, and we're also on Pinterest.  Was that a sufficient social media dump? :P)

In light of this exciting news (I feel like I should have inserted a few more exclamation points in that opening sentence....), I thought it might be fun to have a Scarlet Pimpernel themed blog party in preparation for the premiere.  The pilot episode of Masked will air on YouTube on September 8th, and beginning September 1st, I'll be hosting a myriad of fun stuff here on this blog!  Watch out for trivia quizzes, movie reviews, production stills from the upcoming modern-day adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel (cough cough... this is all about shameless product placement) and even some interviews with the cast of said modern adaptation!  And possibly a giveaway... one never knows...

If you're interested in participating, please grab the HTML code for the button below in the handy little box that's below THAT.  Paste it on your blog in a post or on the sidebar to spread the word, and then check back here on September 1st for the party launch! See you then!

Yet Another Period Drama Blog


(Oh, and just in case you haven't seen the trailer yet...)