Monday, July 16, 2007


Angels is on a night shoot tonight – 6pm to 6am. Hope I make it!! Got an audition and changed my flight out of NOLA. It’s a great part – in a short film called Lunch Date :

THE STORY: Jan’s life is good. A husband, two children, nice house, good job. So why isn’t she happy? Where does this sense of unease, of restlessness come from? On a morning like every other morning, a phone call from the guy she used to think of as the love of her life may change everything. What might her life have been had she made different choices? She meets him for lunch, and the intimate encounter that follows forces Jan to really look at her life. Memory is sometimes much more about imagination than recollection and Jan realizes that idealizing the past can blind you to the present...

07.13.07 - we film Mathilda's tarot card scene

Pictured above:

Heidi Van Horne as Angel

Armando LeDuc as Dee

Victoria Charters as Mathilda

It has not escaped my attention that we are filming my tarot card scene on Friday 13th. Charlie Brown orchestrator of mayhem!
Since we have time today, Heidi and I hang out and rehearse in the am and then in the afternoon we go out to the quarter – I want to interview one of the fortune teller’s in Jackson Square and we trot off with my laptop in hand to see who we can find to talk to. So we sit down with a reader named Sharon Murphy and she permits is to interview her, which is very cool and we ask her questions about how she came to be a tarot card reader and what she does and what it is like to work out there in Jackson Square.
Call time for cast is 6pm. Jason picks us up. Heidi and I have the usual actor panic packing our props, costumes and make up and hoping not to forget anything!
For Mathilda, I bring my ancestors to the set with me. I have the tarot cards my aunt gave me when I was 16. My grandmother’s turquoise ring and my mother’s lapis ring.
We film in a tent out back of Caffea Coffee Shop. They’ve dressed it to look like a fortune tellers tent. Armando has to leave for work by 8pm so we get his shot off and then when it is time for my reverse Charlie reads Armando’s lines for him. Around the fourth take we get the one that everyone says – “we got it”! Whew! And we move on to Heidi and my scene in the tent. This is a really tricky scene – it is full of mechanics and lines that were a challenge to learn. It is ten pages long … Talking to Charlie about it later, he says we booked it and it runs only 4 or five minutes. So it plays out fast. Charlie was attempting some fancy camera moves, but couldn’t get the result he wanted - so we end up shooting it differently from as planned – Heidi and I have been rehearsing and researching since we got here, so were are solid, she’s great to work with – it doesn’t feel like we nailed it on any one take, but Charlie assures us that he has the footage he needs to cut the scene together. We are wrapped by 1.30am- not bad!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

7.11.07 research for Mathilda

I am ready to explore. It’s 2pm before I go off! I call a cab and set off for the heart of town, the French district.

I eat, and go to a tourist place to ask where I can find voodoo shops, get a map and start walking around, observing. The French Quarter is magnetic and like a set and has so much history it’s oozing out of the cracks in the walls. Some places smell pretty bad still, mould and musky. It’s just under 2 years since Hurricane Katrina came and blasted though this place.

I go to the Voodoo Museum and Madame Laveau’s House of Voodoo. Voodoo Museum has pictures (wild eyed folk) and artifacts (snakes in jars, dehydrated cats, an empty snake cage with signs dedicating it to their magical blonde python …) and an altar. I am allowed to take pictures. I do the ritual at the altar. I buy incense, candles and some potions for fast luck, love and success. Isn’t voodoo a way for people to ask for what they want or deal with their fears. Rituals are key.

I ask if I can take a copy of their print out which explains what voodoo is – suprisingly the lady is ok with that, I remember pulling it out of the protective sleeve, but when I look for it later it turns out I can’t find – I must have left it on the desk, or maybe I am not supposed to have it, and that is why it slips away. They are pretty much out of everything and I buy the last nag champa …

I learn that the Queen in voodoo has the highest power. In the part I am playing, I am a Queen. The script identifies me as the Queen of Swords.

I took a picture of a picture in the Museum of Voodoo.

This picture really struck me when I got home since there is a strange green light on the right and people here talk about that - because of the background and the effect of the light, I think it looks like a hand is coming out towards the viewer - sort of in a "stop" positon. Perhaps she didn't want to be photographed

Madame Laveau’s House of Voodoo has signs EVERYWHERE about not touching anything and not taking any pictures. They are very suspicious of the general public and the girl at the desk is positively pissed off. There are some cool daggers in there from Brazil, but I don’t buy one. I buy some candles, some sage and a postcard. Their tarot card reader comes out from out back and he has dreamy eyes. He is finding out his schedule and needs a break, he squats outside to smoke and read. It’s a job after all – like acting.

After shooting is done for the day Armando and Jessie take Heidi and I to get something to eat and then his friend Magic Mike shows up and gives us the ghost tour of New Orleans. It’s a very cool private tour and he tells us all the ghost stories. The last story is absolutely sick and horrific.

We learn that the king of France sent all the prisoners and thieves and prostitutes to New Orleans to build the city. “Gypsies, tramps and thievies …”.Of which I am one, I am feeling an ancesteral link to this city. There’s Chartres Street in the french quarter for example, which they pronounce Charters. A building on Charters street has a history of fire! It caught fire in 1700’s and because it was GOOD FRIDAY the owner and the priest could not ring the bell to alert the town, that a fire had started and 1200 people died in that fire. Later the same spot caught fire again – from a child playing with fire in the building behind the one on Charters street. As Magic Mike says as part of his tour “so, you see New Orleans is no stranger to disasters like Katrina” It is a city that takes that in it’s stride and picks right back up again, until the next time. The ghosty part of this story is that this building on Charters street is apparently built on American Indian burial ground, where they would keep two fires burning on poles for their dead.

Today I see New Orleans as a ghost town, of old souls and new. This city is imprinted on by a colorful past. The French quarter is like an old Hollywood set – after all it’s been used over and over for movies. When Katrina ripped through, some people died (numbers vary from over 1000 to less than 7000), some people disappeared and some people decided that they had had enough and left forever. Half the population have not returned and the people that stay live with the ghosts, the memorabilia and artifacts that have been left from all that has gone before.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Angels Die Slowly

Here we are in New Orleans working on a feature film -

"Angels Die Slowly"

written and directed by Charlie Brown.

The back story - In 2001 Charlie cast me a Leigh in his a short film "A Couple on the Side" - you can download it at:

One of my co-stars in "Couple" was Heidi Van Horne
she's a geniune @21st century pin-up girl/great actress and awesome fun to hang out with!
Re-united once again. Victoria, Charlie and Heidi.

Yesterday we shot at Caffea coffehouse.

Mid July in New Orleans and it is hot hot hot - especially when you have to turn the airconditioning off for rolling camera!!

Cool voodoo bathroom

This is my favorite shot that I took yesterday.

In the foreground:
The RHS picture on the fridge shows a broken down car and broken down houses in the background. Someone has spray painted "Merry Christmas" on the car and put a broken down raindeer on the roof.

In the background. Our set with Armando standing ready.

It's almost two years since Hurricane Katrina and the effects of that devastation are everywhere. New Orleans has lost half of it's population and the sign to rebuild is eveywhere.

It's good to be back

So after a 6 month - was it really that long??? hiatus I am back performing with my improv group "Caught in the Act". Shows are the first Saturday of every month - so we did a show 7/7/07 - nice on the numbers. Eight performers and a funfun show.