Featuring “I’m F%$#ing Fine” from Jamie Anderson Film: For Gemma


Jamie Anderson is a writer, director, and filmmaker, living in Los Angeles, who is on the rise. Before diving into directing, she was an actress, so Jamie understands being in front of and behind the camera. She makes a “picture perfect cameo in her recent short; I’m F%$#ing Fine, a dark comedy about suburbia. In person, Jamie is kind, funny, and super inspiring. We connected on our southern roots, and she’s incredibly creative. In many ways, having grown up in Mississippi and Florida, Jamie’s work is inspired by the paradox of the south, as well as her life in Hollywood, both of which are a wealth of material that guarantees she’ll never run out of something to write about. Using her sharp humor, she has a talent for turning the painful into the absurd, always with depth and heart and leaving the audience for wanting more.

Jamie Anderson

After winning Best Director and official selections at eight prestigious film festivals across the globe for her short film Punching Bag, Jamie Anderson is hot on the festival circuit with her new film; I’m F%$#ing Fine. A darker comedy/satire pulling back the curtain on suburbia, I’m F%$#ing Fine stars Bree Turner (“Grimm,” “The Ugly Truth”) as a single mom on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Jamie Anderson has already won Best Dark Comedy at the Hollywood Comedy Film Festival for her dark comedy film I’m F%$#ing Fine and will be awarded the prestigious Vitruvian Award from the DaVinci International Film Fest June 22, 2019!

With several features in development, she was announced as one of the “Top 25 Writers to Watch in 2018” by The International Screenwriters’ Association. Most recently, Jamie directed the film; I Won’t Say I Love You, in the U.K.

So, who is Jamie Anderson and what inspired her to make this film? Anderson is passionate about directing, a great storyteller, and a brilliant woman. She also knows how to embed various topical themes (yet timeless) into her films in a very subtle manner to spark conversation and make you think. Jamie has several movies in development and what makes her stand out from the rest of the female filmmakers is that she is touching on subjects that are within the current climate.

Her latest film, I’m F%$#ing Fine, consists of taking a serious subject of suburban moms overusing prescription drugs to “numb” themselves in life, and giving it a comedic twist. The film stars talented actress Bree Turner (from “Grimm”), who starts to question the idea of “numbing out.” Bree also has a fantastic dance scene in the film. When Jamie was not directing, writing or editing, she took a moment to speak with Gemma Magazine.

Short film by Jamie Anderson

What inspires you to make the films that you do?
I would say it the real-life pain and everyday grit that people go through and then I make art out of it with comedy thrown in as well. It is always good to have comic relief. Ultimately though, I want to create thought-provoking films and have the audience feel an emotional connection to the film.

Tell me a bit about I’m F%$#ing Fine
I’m F%$#ing Fine is about a newly divorced, single mom named Maddie living in a town called Paradise (made up name). She’s basically on the verge of a nervous breakdown because everyone is so “perfectly fine.” However, everyone in town wants her to just “fit the mold” and, be alright. They drink and take “magic pills” to deal and numb out. Through comedy, Maddie starts to question this way of life for herself.

How was it working with your lead actress, Bree Turner?
Bree is fantastic, so talented, and very dedicated. She’s an incredibly gifted dancer, and her character dances in the film. Bree is also my best friend (20 years). We have been through so much together that making this film with her was heartwarming.

Do you genuinely love everything about the directing process?
I do. I get to tell stories that hopefully, the audience will resonate with. Also, and most importantly, I genuinely love to make others feel seen. Watching actors who receive recognition for their quality of work is truly satisfying. I also see the learning process as a gift. If I make mistakes, I always ask myself how I can improve. I love the editing process as well, even though it can be more tedious.

What is your intrinsic motivation when it comes to directing?

“I love directing in part because of the talented people I meet that become my team like producers Caroline Calvin, Cat Tyson, DP John Connor, my entire crew. And the actors, I love helping them shine.” In fact, her lead from her film
“Punching Bag,” Jamie Wollrab, was hired in the film “I Won’t Say I Love You,” that Anderson directed.”There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing an actor get the recognition they deserve — Jamie Wollrab went from being the punching bag to getting the girl in this latest film.”

What can we look for next?
I will begin shooting my next short, “Me Too Nice,” a comedic satire on the pendulum of the #metoo movement in Los Angeles. I feel we are putting all men into this one box. How is this going to affect our young men now or in the future? Has the pendulum swung too far,? We must honor both The Divine Masculine and The Divine Feminine. I love directing, and I’m a filmmaker— I’ll keep finding ways to make films that have something to say.

Gemma also got a chance to speak with Bree Turner, who plays Maddie in the film. I know that you were a successful dancer previously. At what age did you become interested in dance? Also, please describe your training process.

I started dancing when I was eight years old and never stopped. I took tap, ballet, and jazz, and I’m grateful to have found my passion at such a young age. My dance studio was my home away from home. The other dancers in the company were my closest friends. I trained and rehearsed three times a week until I was 18 years old. It was all I ever knew.

At what point did you decide to transition to acting solely and did it feel natural on set?

I auditioned for an L.A. dance agent at 18, once I finished High School. They took me on as a client, and I immediately started booking commercials as a background dancer. I had never been on a film set before, and I fell hard for her. Every detail of production — lights, camera, costumes, casting — was all an extension of what I had been doing my whole life. I was telling a story through dance. Now, for the first time, I could see a future where I could say the same story but in a new way. At 21, I joined The Acting Conservatory and committed to my acting training the same way I had committed to my dance training. It was the most organic next step.

You play Maddie in the film; I’m F%$#ing Fine from Jamie Anderson. Can you tell me a bit about your character?
Maddie is a woman in transition. She is looking over the edge of the metaphorical cliff and daring herself to jump. She made choices to put herself in prison, and she is finally ready and brave enough to break free.

Bree Turner, Jamie Anderson

What did you learn about yourself from Maddie?
Don’t Wait!

What was it like to be directed by Jamie Anderson?

Jamie is a natural director. She lives the story from beginning to end and comes to the party prepared and ready to work hard. Jamie collaborates with compassion and integrity with everyone she works with on set. She’s fearless in her vision but listens and adjusts with grace and ease. Being that she began her career as an actor, her willingness to go on the emotional journey of the character makes the process so very fun.

Did you always know that you wanted to be in the arts? Did you have a mentor?

I have been a creative soul since the day I was born. I see it in my daughter as well. I was fortunate to have parents that nurtured and supported these instincts in me. I hope and try to do the same for my children.


On behalf of Gemma, I would like to personally Jamie Anderson and Bree Turner for the interview. Anderson has so much to look forward to, as does Turner. To follow Jamie and Bree on their social platforms:

https://www.facebook.com/jamieanderson5

https://www.instagram.com/jamieandersonfilm/

http://www.imdb.me/jamieanderson

https://www.facebook.com/realbreeturner/

https://www.instagram.com/imfuckingfinefilm/

Advertisements

Fabulous “Fish Head” from Emerging Director Marcos Durian

Marcos Durian has a lot to be proud of. Marcos Durian is the Director of the short film Fish Head, which just debuted at Dances with Films at the TLC Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The film was well received and considered a celebration on many levels. It’s personal and more importantly, it’s Marcos Durian’s own story.

It’s a beautifully shot film with an important message. Fish Head can be described as a visual poem, an ode to growing up as seen through the eyes of Milo (played by talented actor Madison Rojas) as he navigates the growing pains of his youth. This coming of age story is based on actual events and portrays defining moments in the life of Milo, struggling with adversity in childhood, both with his identity and being bullied at school (for being Half Filipino). What keeps him on track? He’s guided by the strength, love, and support of Lorena, his immigrant single mother, who keeps her past private in order to protect her son.

Durian is a director on the rise. His background is in Cinematography and he served as his own Cinematographer on Fish Head, although he did have a camera/Steadicam operator for four out of the five days. “It was effortless for me to balance on this scale. I feel more in tune with the actors if I’m shooting. I absorb and feel their performance more when I’m looking through the eyepiece of the camera.” “I also spent a lot of time storyboarding, working on my shot list and blocking things out in the locations before we shot, so everything had a very natural and expedited flow to it,” said Durian.

The film is addictive to watch because the transitions are so smooth. “Fish Head” aims to be lyrical yet is deeply grounded in its characters while also dealing with universal themes. The results blend realism with a dream-like mood, where one moment flows into the next, weaving into a profoundly personal experience of the childhood events that shape us as we grow. Overall, Milo draws the audience in with his maturity and sense of individuality.

Between Film Festivals and press appearances, Marcos Durian took the time to chat with Gemma Magazine. Again, Fish Head is a beautiful film (aesthetically) with a strong message — which is a great combination. In person, Marcos is passionate, kind, and authentic with a strong presence.

Good Morning La La Land


What inspired you to make a film on bullying? I did hear the majority of this film is based on your childhood. Can you expand?

Well, I wrote the script in 2006. After showing it to studio heads, I was highly advised to change Milo’s ethnicity to Caucasian or African American. Overall, I did not want to do that. About 14 pages in, I ended up shelving it. I did try to work with that advice, but it just didn’t feel right. The rise of diversity in 2018 plus my dissatisfaction with my work (To date, Marcos has served primarily as a cinematographer on a large body of work, including indie films, commercials, and music videos) ignited a spark to make the film again. However, I decided to make it a short instead of a feature. I felt it would have a better effect. Now, here we are in 2019, and the two themes of this film — cultural diversity and bullying are very relevant topics today. I have wanted to tell my story for a long time. Also, “yes,” the events in this film relate to a lot of what I went through as a child.

You have described yourself as a very emotional filmmaker. What does that mean to you?

It means I’m in with the cast and crew 100 percent, also, not just as a filmmaker, but as a character too. I give everything I have when I’m on a project. “This story is very personal to me, so if tears come to my eyes, they are tears of joy,” said Durian. I also like to create a community feeling on set so that everyone feels comfortable to take risks. Overall, I’m a very collaborative director. They know what I expect, but I am open in terms of what the actors want to bring to their performance, and then there is a myriad of the two.

How does creating a community feeling benefit the filming process?
I highly enjoy speaking with the actors, hearing their backstory on the character, and getting to know them as a person. When directing, I give guidance, but I want them to make their own creative choice ultimately. I also like having an approachability with my cast. All of this creates trust and will result in a better filmmaking process.

Do you feel that various defining moments in one’s childhood define or shape their future?

Absolutely! Everything that Milo experiences are defining moments he carries with him today. “Everything that I went through as a child has shaped the person I am today,” said Durian. I feel these first events shape us, even if we do not know it at the time. (The defining moments are everlasting and open up specific corridors of the mind). Sometimes we do not have the tools yet to express what is happening, but we know it’s everlasting in memory.

What did you want to achieve when shooting? There is a “dreamy” tone to it.

I think it’s a combination of things that inform the dream-like mise-en-scene. First is the image then the sound design followed by the score. All three elements in unison. When I imagine how I want to translate what a dream-like state is I often start with a straightforward, singular idea and find inspiration from old master painters like Caravaggio, Da Vinci and Michelangelo who’s works are immediately striking and dream-like. I think it also helps that I liked many of these images and it’s how I remember them. The whispering sound of the trees that we hear throughout the film also lend a hand to a certain mood, which isn’t that easy, as leaves blowing in the wind can often sound like waves on the shore. Joy Ngiaw, our composer and I, had a few conversations about how to make a score resonate that dream-like state and I think she found a great way to translate that in a very melodic style.

How would you describe Milo?
Milo is the strong, silent type. He has a lot going on internally. Milo is one of those kids who gets it but doesn’t have the tools yet to fully understand or explain what he is going through. Overall, he’s a resilient kid within. It’s a matter of taking a step towards standing up for yourself. Also, since his dad is not around, he’s the “man” of the house in a sense and feels that pressure with his mom. They both want to protect each other.

Dances With Films Film Festival

Personally, do you feel films like Fish Head will raise awareness for bullying to stop?

I feel it will raise awareness. However, will bullying ever stop? I don’t know. Of course, schools do help, but in the end, it still happens. It’s almost like a cycle of life. Bullying is not okay, but I also feel it’s more important to learn and appreciate that it’s alright to be who you are and having the courage to stand up for yourself. If dialogue can be used instead of violence, then it can make a kid stronger and more equipped to deal with additional adversities in life.

Marcos Durian

Durian has a lot to look forward to. He’s already been named one of this year’s recipients of the Emerging Cinematographer’s Award, to be presented by the International Cinematographer’s Guild on Oct. 6 at the Television Academy (the organization behind the Emmys) in Burbank. It’s an impressive accomplishment.

Gemma will be watching and we are excited to see what’s next. It will definitely be beautiful, inspiring and so empowering. To follow Marcos, you can keep up with him on the following social platforms:

www.marcosdurian.com

https://www.instagram.com/marcosdurian/

https://www.instagram.com/fishheadthemovie/

Rodan + Fields Pre-Product Review

Recently, Rodan + Fields (www.rodanandfields.com) was kind enough to send samples of their “RENEW” Skincare line for anti-aging as well as a color palette of color/blemish correctors. Thank you, as Gemma Mag. is a product junkie! So far, so good! Here is Video Pre-Review. Gemma will go into detail a bit later about the entire finished result. Remember to start with a quality skincare routine. Rodan + Fields offers this for an anti-aging regime.

Skincare: Anti-Aging Routine: Clay Exfoliating Mask – a Creamy and hydrating exfoliating cleanser

Lips: Renewal Lip Serum – Keeps lips hydrated supple, and full

Face: Intensive Renewal Serum – conceals fine lines and wrinkles while rebalancing skin

COLOR Palette – Not a foundation but the color and blemish correctors. Can be applied with or without makeup. Choose from Almond, Sand, Ivory or Golden plus many more. Or even better, you can mix shades to create the perfect look for you.

Watch for our full review posted soon.

Leave Them Speechless – For Gemma

What if there was a fashion brand where there was a dress for every special occasion? Welcome to the world of Speechless Dresses: the innovative, playful, and vibrant brand for a younger sector. Warm weather and staying sun-kissed is the perfect mood for the Speechless dress this summer season. You can never go wrong in these playful and stylish dresses that come in so many festive styles. Since Gemma Magazine is always sourcing for trending brands, we were thrilled to cover “Speechless.”

Speechless Summer 2019 has shared a sneak peek into their latest trend forecast to help fashionistas stay super chic this season. These fabulous fashion finds are perfect for prom night, spring break getaways, and late summer nights spent at outdoor festivals across the country. Creating fashion-forward, contemporary styles for celebration, “Speechless” has everything a girl could want, and more in this collection and Gemma Magazine loves their vision.

Their eclectic details also the Speechless aesthetic. Here are a few examples:
• Bustiers, corsets, and fitted tops are all the rage! Dress the corset cut up or down for a playful day to nighttime look. The cinched waist travels straight from the runway to everyday ready-to-wear, as celebrities and influencers everywhere are deeming this curve-boosting cinch as a #MustHave into their wardrobes.
• Prairie looks are effortlessly cool with feminine, micro-ruffles and lattice trims in soft slubs and linens. Turn heads in bold, parchment floral prints or keep it low-key in soft vintage tones.
• The Necklines make a strong statement. Square necklines are flattering and elegant. They also give off a modern yet modest way to show a hint of skin without being too revealing. Off-the-shoulder, décolletage is always alluring for an iconic look.
• Dance the night away for Prom and summer soirees with dreamy ball gowns featuring hand-beaded bodices with rose gold crystals. Pearls and layers of tulle are added to create an illusion. Hi-low hemlines will never go out of style and offer a subtle glimpse of sexy, sky-high heels and highlight legs. Specific details such as pockets provide comfort, functionality, and a contemporary look.


• Colors will make a style statement this season. Vibrant neons and bold rainbow-hued accents are loud and proud, so don’t be shy when it comes to a variety of colors! Stick to sophisticated shades such as poppy red, tangerine, kelly green, and sapphire blue. While the bright colors come alive this spring, the staying power of natural beauty, where white, ivory, ecru, nude, and bare mixed with crochet and lace textures.
• The jumpsuit has arrived! These jumpsuits are versatile pieces that can be worn for a day in the sun or a night out dancing to your favorite DJ. Easy to pair with ankle boots, pumps or strappy sandals and pack for weekend spring getaways, every girl needs a hot jumpsuit to turn heads

About Speechless: We sketch, sew, and style just for you! Since 2001, Speechless has been designing trend-driven dresses for the free-spirited, fierce and flirty. Based in Los Angeles, we create dresses that fit your every social moment. We celebrate our passion for innovation by designing styles that make you feel confident. Speechless is committed to giving you a perfect look for every occasion, whether it’s a night out on the town, or your daily go-to #LeaveThemSpeechless now at @SpeechlessDresses.

Gemma magazine was thrilled to have a quick moment with the popular brand.

Tell me a bit about how “Speechless” came upon the fashion scene.

Speechless has been selling dresses to department stores since 2001. We recently launched our own direct to consumer website and our social media presence in 2018.

Who are the designers?

Mari Forge is our creative director. Valerie Coen is our social dress designer, and Bernice Dang is our casual dress designer. The style is cute, flirty, and youthful. What age range are the dresses for? 17-25

Tell me a bit about the “Festival Collection.”

The festival collection was designed for the free-spirited lives of fashion-focused girls. We took the hottest trends of the moment from sexy bustiers and flirty two-pieces to elegant necklines and statement jumpsuits to deliver the styles you crave for this festival season.

Which stores are the dresses found?

We sell to all major department stores and some specialty stores. Macy’s, Nordstrom, Dillards, Von Maur, Belk, Kohls, JCPenney, Windsor’s, Francesca’s, David’s Bridal, Prom Girl, SSI

Does Speechless plan to make a Contemporary or Ready-to-Wear line for older women? Right now, we are focused on young contemporary.

Speechless features a free-spirited fashion look that delivers a storyboard of trending styles. Speechless will always #LeaveThemSpeechless. You can start building your summer wardrobe now at www.Speechless.com and enjoy $20 off your purchase when you sign up for exclusive offers and updates online!

To keep up with Speechless Dresses:

www.speechless.com

https://www.facebook.com/SpeechlessDresses/

https://www.instagram.com/speechlessdresses/

The Artistry of Fashion Designer and Entreprenuer​ Monica Leigh

Monica Leigh’s creations are a lovely combination of pure artistry and technical craftsmanship. Leigh’s true inspiration originates from the desire to do things differently. She’s known to be inspired by natural beauty, a sublime light, and lustrous metals. Her collection tells a story, as it invokes the senses with creativity.

Monica Leigh wanted to change the philosophy of her clothing brand compared to the corporate world standards. Her vision is refreshing and modern. Monica focused on the craft of apparel and treating people with respect. She’s a strong and inspiring leader, guiding her team positively and upholding excellence, consistency, fairness, brand aesthetic, and brand equality. She loves bringing out the natural beauty in women and encouraging them to express their individuality. Monica’s overall vision is to create and promote the daily convergence of beauty, sophistication, detail, and edge.

Her approach is smart and we were thrilled that Monica took the time to chat with Gemma.

Sparkling Sunshine Bouncing off Beads in Mesh

Your work is so beautiful. Was your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Thank you, always wonderful to hear this! Yes, my family was and remain very supportive. I have five sisters, and Mom and Dad, a built-in party! They were probably concerned at the beginning of my career, knowing what a competitive field it is. Now they are super proud and happy for me, has remained steadfast in the game and pushing through to success.

I read that you continue to be inspired by natural beauty, a sublime light, and luxurious metals. How does this influence each collection?

I always look at and think about curves, spirals, and the twisting of these shapes naturally. Creatively, I see in my imagination how these shapes fall upon the body spiraling up and down. I love the sheen of metals, precious and profound. The combination of metallic shine with spiraling curves makes me immensely happy. The sublime light ties in beautiful aesthetic and appeal harkening upon natural elements.

How would you describe your collection?

Gold Leaf Twilight

I describe my collection as one of genuine luxury in design, color, fabrication, and fit. All of the artistic integrity, holding beauty. It is a very eclectic collection, sensual and resonant.

I know that you love quality fabrics and luxurious materials. Do you aspire to emphasize the natural beauty and femininity of a woman through this?

Absolutely! It is a very natural inclination. Additionally, I enjoy tailored luxury suiting for women; as the collection grows, wonderfully tailored and sensual fabrics are being included to show the depths of vibrancy and strength in women.

Silver Moonlight

Any hints on your next collection?

Cocktail dresses and Tailored high aesthetic jackets and beautifully fit pants that are sensual and chic! A new collection of gowns is in work as I write with interesting new detail and drum roll — color!

Who inspires you in fashion (muse or designer, or both)?

I love Haider Ackerman! Even though he does harder pieces, I love them! The spirit and the rock n roll! That makes me happy! Art, art, art…paintings especially inspire me always from every era!

What do you think of LA Fashion?
I enjoy that LA Fashion is diverse and open. LA Fashion does trend more casual; however, LA people are free and alive to expression, especially in apparel, embracing those that wear their unique style.

What materials/fabrics excite you?

Predominately silk used in so many luxurious ways! The combination of silk and cotton is something else I delve into. I love high-end, techno fabrics! I am amazed to see such creativity from textile designers that use elevated techniques to achieve a beautiful effect. For example, I have pleather (all synthetic) laser cut skirt that incorporates a mesh behind the cut-outs; simple phenomenal!

We are excited to see what Monica Leigh has to come with her future collections. Gemma will be watching and reporting. To follow Monica on social media:

https://www.instagram.com/monicaleighsvx/

www.monicaleigh.com

Monica Leigh

Staying Golden with Serena Laurel: Actress and Musician for Gemma Magazine

Serena Laurel is an award-winning actress, singer-songwriter, influencer, and model. She is best known for her lead role as “Lucy” in the feature film “Summertime Dropouts” (release date July 2019) directed by Jhene Chase with Quinton Aaron from the “Blindside,” international punk sensation Simple Plan produced by Winter State Entertainment. Serena was also awarded best actress by Film Fest LA Live in the category for her starring role in “Bird Song,” a Game of Thrones fantasy film. She has received four Best Actress awards for her role as “Georgia Dean” in the thriller “Nasty Habits” directed by Allisyn Arm (AP Bio) currently on the film festival circuit. Serena is a series regular as Jessica in the NC-16 TV Series. Serena co-stars in the Brat TV series “Total Eclipse” and is the star/creator of her own Youtube series “Record Rant.”

Serena Laurel_photo courtesy of EasiHairPro by Tyler Stewart

As if that were not enough, Serena is a musician. As a singer-songwriter; Serena provides a fresh and stylish blend of retro-acoustic pop. Her single “Gold” was released while working in the studio on her full EP. Serena headlines with her own set of original songs in California and has performed at venues like the Whisky Go Go, House of Blues, Roxy, The Hotel Cafe and appears at the State Social House residency monthly on Sunset Blvd. Serena is also working on a college degree in Music Composition.

Some of her brand influencer partnerships include Fender, Kollectin, Bare Minerals, Peace Tea, Speechless Dress, STS Blues, Easihair Pro, Kut from Kloth, Luxury Scent Box, and many more. She models for print, magazines, and walks at Fashion Week. She is a host for Red Carpet Report TV at the Radio Disney Music Awards.

Serena is genuinely kind and you want to see her succeed. Serena entered the spotlight at age six signing a contract with Ford modeling agency while her acting career started in local theaters in Jacksonville, Florida. She then moved to TV with a PSA for the nonprofit organization Hubbard House and a recurring role in BJ’s Teddy Bear Bible Story TV series. Later, she quickly became a recognizable face promoting girls fashions for Bealls department stores in print, billboards and TV commercials. Her hard work has paid off, and when she had a moment, Serena sat down with Gemma to talk about living her passion.

Did you always know that you wanted to be in acting? When did you start?
Yes, I always knew Around seven years old while studying rhythmic gymnastics my mom noticed I enjoyed performing more than competing. I would do a perfect routine with a gymnasium full of people watching and didn’t concern myself with perfection while in class without an audience. So no more gymnastics for me. I was signed to Ford models when I was very young and did a lot of commercial work in Orlando for Bealls Department stores while in elementary school.

You have an incredible amount of acting projects going on. How do you balance it all (in addition to being a singer as well)?
As a full-time college student, an actress, and a musician, balance is not necessarily the goal at this point. I’m thankful for the opportunities that are coming my way and am embracing them all with the help of a supportive family and a stress-relieving cat.

Photo: Rhonda Collins

You recently released your single, “Gold” How exciting was that? Do you write your music as well and are you currently working on the album?
I write all of my songs and have been recording them for many years. “Gold” was the first of many original songs that makes its way into the public’s ears. So yes, my first officially released song and very exciting. I’m obsessed with the cover artwork my mom created for the song. There will be many more songs shortly for my community. Stay tuned, yes an album is in the works.

How would you describe your music?
Sunday afternoon in a convertible with the top down cruising the PCH while watching the sunset.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/gold/1453411811?i=1453411815

What are some of the venues people can see you perform around LA?
I perform original songs solo and with backing bands at venues like the Whisky Go Go, House of Blues, Roxy, The Hotel Cafe, and the State Social House.

Would you say you are working on music or acting more?
Both equally. The movie “Summertime Dropouts” allowed me to incorporate both acting and music alike. In “Summertime Dropouts,” my character Lucy is the lead guitarist in a girl’s pop-punk band. The producer wanted to hire actors that are also real musicians so we could record the soundtrack and play like a real band to promote the film. It was the dream job to be able to both acting and music on set. One day on set during a meal break, the six leads started singing and writing songs together.
I’m looking forward to promoting this film soon.

How did you like playing Lucy in “Summertime Dropouts?” Would you say she is similar to you?
Lucy and I have a different style and taste in music. Playing her in the movie allowed me to dive into the history of the angsty side of music with both my listening and playing. After meeting Simple Plan and listening to their music, both Lucy and I can be considered fans.

How would you describe Lucy?
Lucy is the most chill go-with-the-flow person you will ever meet. She is equal parts weird and quirky while still maintaining a sense of inherent cool. We also share a love of music and ice cream.

Photo: Rhonda Collins (on set as Lucy)

How did you like playing Georgia Dean in “Nasty Habits”?
I connected with Georgia Dean because of a shared interest in songwriting and a desire to pursue a music career in Los Angeles. She was fun and sweet, with just enough edge to remain mysterious and exciting. She was so goal driven but didn’t want to wait or bother her mother with the financial issues, so she headed out on her own.

What does each form of creativity bring to you personally?
Music is therapy for me. Sometimes it shows me things that I didn’t know about myself until I finish the song. Acting is more cathartic and fun because I get to put a piece of myself in every character. I feel an obligation to portray the characters accurately, even if they are not based on real people.

I know you are a very popular influencer for some fantastic brands. Can you expand?

I like to genuinely believe in a brand’s products and mission statement. I think of it as sharing style and beauty secrets with my best friends. I would never want to let them down! I like wearing Speechless Dresses and representing their brand because the dresses are affordable, stylish and easy to wear. Their company is always giving back to the community. I just recently helped with a prom dress give-a-way for an underserved demographic at Girls Inc. of OC. I have also worked with Fender, Ipsy, EasiHair Pro, STS Blue, Peace Tea, Bare Minerals, Dermablend Pro just to name a few. I also have a tiny boutique on the Kollectin app. Shop or Flaunt at https://shop.kollectin.me/serenalaurel using code: Serena Laurel. It is important for me to bring the community items that I actually like to use and wear.

Tell us about your YouTube series, “Record Rant?”
Record Rant is a light-hearted and honest chat about music, and it’s an album review show. It is currently on a hiatus, BUT I am working on a second season. Because I self direct, produce, and edit Record Rant, it is hard to find the time to edit. I will keep adding episodes because I like researching and talking about music.

Photo: Rhonda Collins

Are you collaborating with any nonprofit organizations as well?

Yes. I am an artist ambassador for BreakingTheChainsFoundation.org, promoting healing using creative arts for patients recovering from eating disorders. I’m also an artist ambassador for Free2Luv.org, promoting kindness through diversity to help prevent bullying at every level in all demographics.

I would like to thank Serena Laurel for speaking with Gemma. She’s got a lot to look forward to. You can follow Serena on the enclosed social media platforms.


LINKS

SHOP:
https://shop.kollectin.me/serenalaurel
LISTEN TO GOLD:
https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/serenalaurel/gold
IMDb:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3481804/
TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/serenalaurelwow
INSTAGRAM:
https://www.instagram.com/serenalaurel/
RECORD RANT:
https://www.youtube.com/user/SerenaLaurelOfficial
WEB:
https://serenalaurel.com
FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/SerenaLaurelOfficial

The Allure of Diverse Designs: “Too Cute for Boring Jewelry”

Tenelle Bailey has an experienced eye when it comes to choosing jewelry collections that she takes on to represent. It’s important to make room for what the consumer will be attracted to and not just leave it up to your taste. Gemma was excited to collaborate with Tenelle on this project and discover the diverse collections that she has taken under her wing.
Tenelle is always in search of cool and unique jewelry. Therefore, Bailey sources on Instagram a lot for different independent brands, and these particular brands stood out to her. They are all handmade by awesome women from around the world, and each one has a story behind their jewelry design journeys which spoke to her as well.

Tenelle represents eight lines. For this particular feature, Gemma will highlight four. All of the designers offer something different in aesthetic, but all are beautiful and eclectic in their unique way. You can find all the collections on the following links: www.tcbjewelryshop.com/collections/jewelry-designer-collective

www.tcbjewelryshop.com

“Too Cute for Boring Jewelry (TCB Jewelry), was born through my passion for finding eye-catching jewelry & accessories. I wanted to create an online space where I would be to be able to collaborate with and promote cool new jewelry brands. One side of TCB Jewelry is retail based collections. The other side houses collections made by talented independent jewelry designers around the world. All of this allows me to bring my customers the best uniquely handmade jewelry and accessories to shop.” (Tenelle Bailey)

The following four designers we chose to feature.

~zena.dyete, by Ivana (based in Croatia)
Ivana is a Molecular Biologist from Zagreb, Croatia, where she still resides. She is a creator of “Art Jewelry,” and her designs are inspired by music in all elements. Ivana loves to create fluid designs, soft edges, smooth transitions, and lines within her pieces.

dyete by Ivana

zeta.dyete

~Magic Knot, by Aida (based in Bosnia)
Aida is a self-taught macramé jewelry designer born and based in Travnik, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. She is inspired by nature in every way and even uses natural thread to make her jewelry. Aida incorporates different aspects of nature into her work. Leaves, flowers, animals, and bugs are widespread in many of her jewelry pieces.

Magic Knot

Elnatan Jewelry

Elnatan Jewelry Design, by Lia (based in Israel)

Lia resides and creates in Jaffa, Tel Aviv. She is a mixture of classy, elegant and tomboy with an easygoing, open-minded, creative personality. Her jewelry has a very modern look, which is very contemporary. Lia finds inspiration from musical legends such as Michael Jackson and Madonna and describes her design aesthetic to be a “Digital hipster’s contemporary approach to classy jewelry.”

Elnatan Jewelry


Rock Paper Chic, by Kamilah based in Brooklyn, NY

Kamilah is a Brooklyn, NY native who is obsessed with bright colors and patterns within her style and for her jewelry designs. Her creative inspiration comes to her mostly from being outdoors, as that is often where she will notice certain color combinations or patterns in nature or a piece of architecture, or what someone is wearing.

Rock, Paper, Chic

It was a pleasure and empowering to collaborate with Tenelle Bailey on this project and hope to work together again. It’s so wonderful that she supports women globally and presents their creations. Check out her Tenelle’s link for all collections: www.tcbjewelryshop.com/collections/jewelry-designer-collective