Ever since I started performing commercial voice-overs for Radio Disney at age eight, I knew I wanted to be involved with the entertainment industry. I began taking professional film acting classes as often as possible, learning the basics of production alongside acting’s invaluable lessons about human emotionality. However, as I got older, I discovered that I preferred taking greater creative control over the stories I tell. I started directing and filming my own short films.
Therefore, coming to film school was the obvious next step. During my time at UT, I have gotten involved with Texas Student Television, the nation’s only student-run FCC-licensed network. Each week of freshman year, I wrote and acted on the live broadcast of sketch comedy show Longhorn LateNight. I am also a docent for Landmarks, UT’s public art collection. Art museums and art history have provided great inspiration for my creative work, so I am extremely thankful for a way to share this passion with a wider audience. In addition to my own writing and directing work, I have also gotten a chance to continue acting. Most notably, I was asked by UT Lecturer Mike Akel to act and improvise in his upcoming comedy feature film, currently titled Butcher vs. Delta. Fellow FASP scholar Jill Young and I play tiny home saleswomen!
In summer of 2017, I got to intern for FilmNation at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France through the American Pavilion's Film and Business Program. Not only did I have the opportunity to go to premieres of some of this year’s most-anticipated films, but I also learned a lot about international film sales and distribution. After returning home from Europe, I became a Development Intern for Lost Arts Entertainment, an ITV development pod and production company. Here, I helped cast and create pitches for potential new shows for networks such as HGTV, Food Network, Complex, Discovery, and Information Discovery. Between these two internships, I discovered a growing interest in executive producing.
To synthesize my interests in writing, producing, and directing, fellow scholar Jill Young and I started up our own production company, titled Young/Old Productions. We have made a couple of short films and web series, but our major project is a narrative feature film, titled "Dear Leo." "Dear Leo" follows the story of Annie Duncan as she graduates from high school and starts her freshman year of college, as told through the perspective of letters with her middle-school cousin Leo. We have gotten to collaborate with multiple scholars on this project - Yessmeen Moharram is our producer, Will Clark's band has a featured spot, and Connor Frew, a scholar alumni, is doing our promotional art! The film is currently in post-production, and we hope to enter it in the festival circuit throughout 2019.
In fall 2018, I used enrichment funding to intern with FilmNation once again at the Toronto International Film Festival. Afterwards, I spent my semester studying Filmmaking as an Exchange Student at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England for the semester. Alongside classes in Photography and Documentary Creation, I also interned with Mister Smith Entertainment and Pathé UK's London offices, allowing me to build a distinctive understanding of British film amidst an international context.
This past summer, I had a preview of years to come by interning full-time in Los Angeles. I spent half my time working with Annapurna Pictures' Film Department, and the other half of my time with Black Bear Pictures' Film & TV Department. Fall 2019 was my final semester in Austin before I moved to Los Angeles for the UTLA program in Spring 2020, and will remain permanently. After graduation, I plan to work as an entertainment assistant as I build towards a full-time writing/directing career.
Other Academic Interests
Minor in art history
Landmarks Public Art Docent (August 2016-present);
Longhorn LateNight – Writer & Actor (August 2016-August 2017)
Roadside Attractions Intern (Spring 2020)
William Morris Endeavor TV Scripted Intern (Spring 2020)
Annapurna Film Department Intern (Summer 2019);
Black Bear Pictures Film & TV Intern (Summer 2019);
Evolving Strategies Communications Intern (April 2019-present);
Pathé UK Intern (Fall 2018);
Mister Smith Entertainment Licensing, Distribution, and Marketing Intern (Fall 2018);
International Sales and Marketing Intern for FilmNation at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 2018);
Development Intern for Lost Arts Entertainment, an ITV development pod and production company (June-September 2017);
International Sales and Marketing Intern for Film Nation through American Pavilion’s Film & Business Program at the Cannes Film Festival (May 2017)
Creative Work at UT
"Inconvenient" short film - Director/Writer/Producer (Fall 2019-Spring 2020)
"Cicadas" short film - Director/Writer/Producer (Fall 2019-Spring 2020)
"Homesickening" thesis film - Director/Writer (Spring 2019)
"Dear Leo" feature film - Director/Writer (January 2018-present);
"The Soap Girls" 3 episode webseries - Director/Writer/Actor (January-April 2018);
"The Tiny Life of Butcher Duke" feature film - Actor (January-February 2018);
"Pitches! The Webseries" 6 episode webseries - Improviser/Writer/Producer (November 2017-May 2018);
"Spin Cycle" short film - Director/Writer (October-December 2017);
"Body" short film - Actor (September 2017);
"N U M B E R S" short film - Director/Writer (April 2017)
Young/Old Productions, a feature film production company co-owned with fellow FASP scholar Jill Young, www.youngoldproductions.com
University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom - Filmmaking
What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
Initially, I was a bit hesitant to go to UT; after spending most of my life in Texas, I thought I needed a change of place. However, once I came to Finalist Weekend, I felt an overwhelming sense that UT was where I needed to be. What truly sold me was the fellow scholars. I had so many insightful, intelligent, and genuinely lovely conversations with current scholars – they were all so cool and interesting! The program brings together scholars from so many majors and backgrounds into one collection of passionate people wholeheartedly pursuing their interests and education; I found this to be incredibly inspiring, and I knew I wanted to be a part of this awesome program.