Becoming Aya in My Heart Playing Aya in My Heart – Ya Albi was a pivotal role for me. Part of the joy of being an actor is exploring the depths of another being, creating a life and making it real…hoping to do service to the story and writing. It is a joy to do this even when it is difficult. Becoming Aya was difficult. Not only because she is so far removed from me, but also because it was personal and the subject matter important. Personal Ties to My Heart I am part Syrian. Since this war has started…

I am the proud daughter of an immigrant. I am the proud daughter of a veteran. I am a product of both love and war. Not only do I carry the hopes and dreams of both my parents, but most likely, just like you, I am an American Dream.  Perhaps, we don't share the same religious or political views. I'm very much ok with that and so grateful to live in a country that allows us all to freely voice our different opinions and beliefs.Today, however, I would like to "take the liberty" to speak to you on a universal...

Dear Universe,   I want an Oscar (SO MUCH) – the elusive golden statue that appears in most filmmakers’ dreams, a symbol that validates all the blood, sweat, and tears, and one of the highest honors a filmmaker can hope to achieve. Once, this goal seemed barely obtainable, but now “My Heart – Ya Albi” is one of the 160+ Oscar qualified live action short films contending for a spot on the “Short List” for a 2018 Oscar nomination.   My Heart - Ya Albi is an Oscar qualified live action short film I am so thankful that we have...

Working with the right composer is crucial to any film. Music helps to strengthen the flow and emotional pacing in a film in combination with the visual elements. We experience the world with all of our senses and when we are able to appeal to as many of these senses in one comprehensive experience, the audience feels it. It is Cinematic Magic. If you haven't had a chance to hear it, here is a peek: YA ALBI SOUNDTRACK       One of the composers we have had the great pleasure to work with is composer, Steffen Schmidt.   Steffen...

On set, you get to meet, bond, and work with the most incredible people. One of these people that I had the pleasure to work and become friends with is Trish Hooper. It is with great sadness that Trish Hooper passed away recently, but I am ever grateful for the brief time I had to know her.   How I Met Trish Hooper I met Trish at the Hill Country Film Festival this year (2017). I was there with my co-producer, Adam Duncan, representing our film “Ya Albi.” At the end of the screening, while doing a Q&A, a very…

Shakespeare on the Range   The inspiration for Shakespeare on the Range hit me in the form of a Facebook video. One typical morning, while I ate my breakfast and looked at the daily newsfeed for Facebook, I saw a short documentary about a group of prisoners putting on a Shakespearean play. I sat there, instantly mesmerized. Here was a group of people who I normally would consider “out of mind out of sight” members of society and they were right in front of me being completely free, open, and authentic. Despite some less than stellar acting performances, the joy on…

The initial story concept for “The Earth Below” was pitched to me as an adaptation of Madame Butterfly that takes place in a dystopian world where men no longer exist. I was excited by the project because of the opportunities it presented—it was a chance for me to write a female lead character and create a story in a science-fictional world. The challenge was tying it to an Asian-American theme.