Scratch that Itch
I am Kelly O’Neal and I’ve moved from actor to actor/writer/producer. It was a lark, really. Cheap handicam + YouTube = The Gilda Sue Rosenstern Computer Internet Show!
Kelly O’Neal plays Gilda Sue Rosenstern (photo credit – Josh Lamkin).
The show’s production values were just a notch above non-existent, but Gilda Sue was funny, and I was proud of her. She had a lot to say, and she was far more interesting than any film or TV roles I was auditioning for at the time. Exploring her character in the web series format was the most gratifying thing I had done as a performer in years. It . . . or rather, she . . . scratched “the itch.”
Suddenly Gilda Sue was more than just a character, more than just an alter ego; she had become a full-fledged partner, and a bossy one at that. The next thing I knew, we had our own stage show and had ventured into stand-up comedy, but what Gilda Sue really wanted was her own movie. It didn’t matter to her that all of my experience to date had been exclusively in front of the camera. So why should it matter to me?
As it turns out, being “ready” is a fantasy, and one that we couldn’t afford. So we did the only thing we could do: we began. And things fell into place. Circumstances conformed. Stars aligned. People showed up. Smart people. Funny People. Talented, professional people. People with heart and faith and gear!
Cinematographer John Prew and editor Tom Roche were the first on board. Notable actors Robin Spriggs, Col. Bruce Hampton, Sharon Conley, Catherine Dyer, Jason MacDonald, Mark Ashworth, et al., followed soon after. And other heroes offered locations, props, technical expertise, etc. In short, yeses were the order of the day, and all the no’s of yesterday were driven into hiding.
Fast forward eight years, and we are now in post-production for Gilda Sue Rosenstern: The Motion Picture!—my first feature as writer and director. Apparently what works in acting also applies to filmmaking, and to everything else in life: Listen and respond, trust your heart, be here, be now, and most important of all—You. Are. Enough.
And yes, Gilda Sue. I know you want your own TV show now, but can we please just finish this movie first?
Featured on page 102 of the March/April 2016 Oz Magazine.