As an artist, especially in Los Angeles the film/tv entertainment industry, you end up putting a lot of effort in to things that may or may not have tangible results.
You upkeep your fitness and appearance, you train 6 classes/week, you write specs and take lunches, meetings and auditions to remind everyone in this confusing city that you are here, a fountain of cutting-edge creativity and can be trusted to deliver. And then you wait.
Without notice, you spontaneously book and actually put material on film for someone else’s project. Then you wait some more. It’s taken four years for one of my low-budget films to be distributed publicly. I am in no less than 9 projects in post production as we speak. It’s been three years of pitching one of my tv concepts. I’ve only ever worked one day in a restaurant, but sometimes it still feels like I’m a professional waiter.
Sure, the process is what moves artists, but waiting is hard.
We love the creation, the connection, the humanness of it all. But sometimes I just want to see something I made actually happen! Like anyone, artists feel accomplished by seeing tangible results and this industry tests our patience, resolve and faith in that area every day.
So there I am, Twitter chatting with a musical artist I’ve admired for almost a decade.
I still can’t believe I can speak with him personally, I admire his production and originality so. I find myself suggesting that I create a music video for one of the great Tech Itch‘s songs. He’s such a real and deeply generous man, he says go ahead; use his music and put something together. Then he sends me three whole albums of new material – some of it unreleased. What an incentive and what an honor!
Of course, I don’t want to make a big production fiasco over it. I want to make something now and see results. So last Monday, my crew friends on the tv show RAKE construct a new target board for me (what men!). Tuesday, I take my GoPro, Cannon 7D and Panasonic HD to the local park and set up a three camera knife throwing demonstration. By Friday, I edited it down in FCPX – it may not be the prettiest location, it may not be the actual music video I still intend on producing, but it is a damn fine piece with some really cool elements created with lots of peer support, no stress and finished in under one week. Ahhhh …
It’s so good to see something I shot complete. I hope you enjoy all of our work in Cupid’s Dagger, knife throwing demo by Tonya Kay:
It’s not the first time this has happened, actually. A reviewer simply doesn’t like the project I’m in, but LOVES ME. And this reviewer actually said it: ”they should have had her play (lead) Amy”.
Now I’m not saying Amy wasn’t awesome and I’m not saying I disagree with the reviewer of Creep Van horror film, either. Truth be told, it sucks to hear a project I was in get a bad review for whatever reason.
But I do know how to listen to praise directed at me. And shoot, sometimes I need to hear it bad. We all, not just performing artists, need frequent appreciation of our shared gifts in order to keep giving. And yes, actors might need it the most.
Of course I wanna hear that someone thought my 5 min cameo was his “favorite scene in the movie”. And of course, I am spotting a trend – Universe, are you listening? – audiences want to see me in starring roles. And I do, too.
My Creep Van cameo (you’ll have to watch the full film to see my death!)
The great Marti Matulis is credited with these classic photos of my Fred Astaire burlesque tribute with piñata to “Heartbreaker” by Led Zeppelin and my Lalas debut of my Cupid’s Dagger knife throwing burlesque act to “Heartache Tonight” by the Eagles.
Photo Credits: Styling by Kelly Maglia Couture- Graphics by Stephen Newell
Tonya Kay gave Frankie Tease’s Rockit Broadcast a phone interview and talks about her upbringing as a professional dancer, touring with “Stomp”, performing burlesque now in Hollywood and on the road, and how she’s balancing performing what she wants and being a professional dancer, female stunt woman and fighting Zoe Bell in “Raze” (out now), burlesque performer, professional choreographer, professional burlesque host, and film actress. Hear what she had to say.
Guest: Tonya Kay (downloadable mp3)
Host: Frankie Tease
Audio Producer: Frankie Tease / Las Vegas / Frankie Tease Magazine
Platinum Stages invited me to model a new product they have launched, Pole Armour. Pole Armour is a grip sleeve that a dancer easily slides on over the pole and provides extra grip so that one can actually work out with pants and shirts on (as you can see in the awesome photos below!). I found Pole Armour to provide less grip on unclothed areas than the regular metal surface, but far more grip on clothed areas of the body. Pole Armour increases the diameter of the pole only slightly and is very easy to use. All photography by Platinum Stages, graphic design by Stephen Newell.