Captain Marvel Review

Captain Marvel (2019) poster
CR: Marvel Studios

(Source: IMDB.com)

 

On St. Patrick’s day, instead of getting drunk off of Guinness and Jameson, I decided to watch ‘Captain Marvel’. This was the better choice and I want to present my review for you here. Normally I would post this review on my YouTube channel, but due to technical difficulties I wasn’t able to record, but I still want my thoughts about the film to be on documented in case I get back online.

 

To begin: if I were to sum up this entire film into one sentence it would be “Let Carol be great.” The story begins after she wakes up from a recurring dream she has and is trying to figure out why. As the story progresses we find that her life as Carol Danvers was one of trying to be strong and get ahead, but always pushed down by her peers and her family as being weak. The same trend continued when she was later blocked of her memory and trained to be a Kree warrior.

 

Without giving too much away of the plot I want to share what I really liked about this film. First, out of the entire MCU, this was the first film where I really liked Nick Fury’s character. Don’t get it twisted, I have always liked Samuel L. Jackson, but the character Nick Fury was always a little bit lacking for me and I think more time was taken to flesh him out as a character in this film. Carol is a solid hero and I think Brie Larson plays her well. This is going to sound a little crazy, but I truly appreciate that they cast an actor to play her who doesn’t have a lower vocal register.

 

Maybe it’s just me feeling bitter since I have a super high voice that makes me sound like I’m perpetually 8-years-old.

 

For some reason, many lady superheroes are cast with lower voices to show maturity, strength, and sexiness; but that’s lame. Just because her voice is higher doesn’t mean she’s not strong, or mature, or sexy, or won’t whoop your ass.

 

Going back to Nick Fury for a second…I felt so seen when they featured his bond with Goose the Cat (Flerkken). I, too, am a total softie when it comes to cats, so I get it. This film already earned high points for me when Goose had her own poster for the film. After the movie was over, all I could think about is wanting an orange Tabby girl of my own. In my mind, this film was a success.

 

I loved Maria Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch and her daughter (and future Captain Marvel) Monica Rambeau, played by Akira Akbar. I loved that Maria was not only a pilot, and a strong woman in her own right. However, there is a strong criticism about how they meshed much of Monica’s storyline into Carol’s which is not cool. I admit I’m not as familiar with the storyline so if you want to read a really good explanation of why this is not good, please check out this Medium post by Court Danee.

 

This is also a perfect segue into what made me unhappy about the film. I know this was an introduction to one of the strongest characters in the MCU, but it was a little dry at most parts. There were jokes, that I know were supposed to be jokes, but they really didn’t land all that well. Also, with the film taking place in 1995, it seemed like the directors were trying to shove in as much 90’s nostalgia that they could. Nothing wrong with the ’90s, and in ’95 I was 12-years-old, but it just felt forced. This film is about the hero Carol Danvers, not whether she listened to Garbage or not (I love Garbage, so no slander from my part), though I do appreciate the recognition of the inequities women still faced during that decade. The CGI was a little rough (the same could be said about any MCU film) and at parts quite cartoonish for something that is trying to pass as live action. There were also parts in the story that I felt was missing and made the plot a little choppy. I’m sure those scenes were probably filmed which would have given a better explanation to the overall plot but somehow ended up on the editing room floor.

 

I still enjoy this film and would recommend it to others. Bravo for a first run ‘Captain Marvel’!

 

Business Trip

(Source: Facebook)

I had to fly back home over the weekend for an impromptu business trip. The purpose of this trip was to collect work assignments and credentials from my job with the insider and an audition.

I want to talk more about the audition.

I traveled to Poughkeepsie, NY for an open call audition. It’s for a new HBO series starring Mark Ruffalo. They needed a few actors for small speaking parts. I fit the specs they were looking for, so I registered and flew out to attend. There were over 3,000 people waiting to be seen. The beauty of this open call is that if there wasn’t a speaking part available, then there is still background work; but I’m aiming for nothing less than a speaking part this year.

When it was my time to audition, the people coordinating the event moved me into one of the lines to meet with a casting director. The man I met with looked over my headshot and résumé for some time. He asked me questions, we did some improv, he looked over the casting sheet, took some time to think where to place me, and then he said he will pitch me for a callback.

Now here is where it gets interesting.

The man is not a casting director at all. He is a talent manager who is great friends with the head casting director and helped out with this massive open call. Even better than that, when he was looking over my résumé, he then gave me his contact information to send over the materials to him and see if maybe we could discuss further about possible representation.

Cool!

Now I know with talent managers it tends to be a tricky situation. They are not talent agents (there is a difference between an agent and a manager). There is not a guarantee that they can get me work. Also I’m sure his purpose besides helping the casting director, was to also head hunt new talent as well.

I have a good feeling about it though. I’ll explain why:

I overheard his conversation with the person standing in front of me. He was pleasant to them, but very honest. He didn’t think their résumé was strong enough for a callback even though they had talent and drive. He recommended to them to get more productions under their belt first and from there, try again. He didn’t tear them down. He didn’t try to peddle off services to them. He simply gave them the advice they needed to succeed.

Another thing about the situation that made it feel right was that I just told myself on the train ride to Poughkeepsie, that if I want more opportunities like this to shoot for bigger roles…I’m going to need representation. Lo and behold I end up in the line with the talent manager.

I’m satisfied with the way things went for this trip. My sincerest hope would be for me to land both the part and have a manager. But if I had to choose between the two I would probably pick the manager simply because they can help place me in front of the people I need to see, in order to get more chances at a speaking role.

Fingers Crossed! 🤞🏽

HOME

(Taken last night when I walked into the house.)

I made it! It feels so good to be home too. Yes, things are finally calming down with school, but I still felt scattered and out of sorts. Landing on American soil not only rejuvenated my spirit, but calmed some of the anxiety I was feeling.

A couple of good things came out of my move to Ireland. 1) I’m down 20 lbs with 40 more to go. As long as I continue to work out while I’m home I should be able to shave off another 15 while I’m here. 2) I have a deeper appreciation for what I had back home. Things look less bleak and I’m ready to work my butt off as well.

I hope to post more now that I have a bit more time to work on my own projects. In the meantime, I’m going to rest.

Workshops

(Source: Facebook)

I use this meme because it’s a process of appointments to get approval to work here. Especially with so many educational offerings from other theatre schools that my school does not offer in the slightest. Like:

•Casting and Auditions

•Stage Combat (primarily Rapier and Dagger work)

•Showreel Preparation

The Casting and Audition course is particularly interesting to me because that last audition I had back in December, I bombed completely. While my professors talk about auditions, they are not really touching on how difficult the process actually is. In fact many working actors in the thick of the industry say that auditioning is a skill of its own. Once you get a booking, doing the job is super easy.

The next beast to tame is the showreel. As I mentioned on a previous post, the hardest part of booking work has been a lack of a reel to present to potential casting agencies. Mainly due to not being cast in low budget or student films who are not paying me, but will compensate me with reel footage, but in order to be considered for a part, I must have a reel first…..

(Source: Twitter. Same, cute little dog, same.)

The workshop that is offering this is also teaching advanced techniques in working in film along with production of reel footage for me to use.

Of course, to cap it all off, there is another Stage Combat workshop that I want to take. Clearly I can’t get enough of this art, especially since I would be training in a brand new weapons category.

Two of the three courses are being paid for from my previous modeling jobs. The third I will need to find a job to pay for that course. Wish me luck!

I’ve Landed

(Source: Pinterest.)

Ok, ok. One more post before going off the grid for a bit.

Currently I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in City Centre Dublin. My flight landed in Dublin Airport at the buttcrack-of-dawn this morning. The airplane seating was a little tight. I know good and well that paying economy prices usually means less than favorable seating with domestic flights; however, I was quite surprised that my international flight was the same way. Previously I have flown to England and Japan with a little wiggle room, so I expecting the same with this flight. There were still in-flight films provided and it gave me a chance to rewatch ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ It took up most of my flight time which was great.

Once I arrived, I called my mom to let her know that I arrived safely. After that, I had to get approved for student status at the immigration booth. Super easy process.

The real panic came when one of my bags did not arrive in baggage claim. Of course it’s the one bag with all of my underwear and my coat in it (SMH). I started to get nervous. I went to baggage claim only to find a long line with other passengers from my same flight. The employees knew something was up and asked the people doing the unloading of the bags if they possibly placed bags from our flight in the wrong receiving bin. That was exactly what happened and we managed to recover our bags. (Thank goodness!)

Once I exited the terminal, it was chilly. A huge difference from the 100 degree hellscape I just left from. Not really a complaint, but more of a shock to the system. From Summer to Winter in a blink of the eye.

I took the shuttle bus from the airport to the area where I’m staying and got a little confused as to which direction I’m supposed to be heading. An older gentleman saw that I looked lost and asked me where I’m going. Once I told him it was easy for him to figure out. He also asked me where I was coming from, I said the United States and the first thing that came out of his mouth was “You didn’t vote for HIM did you?” I chuckled at the fact that no one, myself included, will refer to my country’s awful leader by name. I replied “Absolutely Not!” to which he replied “Good for you!” A great first few hours in Dublin so far. 😂

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m taking less time on social media, but I will definitely be back to report on the upcoming ‘Hamlet’ production with Ruth Negga.

For now, I’m just killing time until I can check in to my accommodation and take a much needed nap.

Men’s Makeup is Not Easy

(Source: fyeahbackstagebadger.tumblr.com)

There was an informercial playing on one of the TVs at work today and what I saw was absolutely tragic. The male lead had horribly blotchy makeup on. His forehead was partially made up. Only a portion of his cheek area was covered, the top of his nose, and a little on his chin. That’s it. Worse yet, the foundation was super yellow and the untouched parts of his face were super red. I’ve made a dramatic reenactment picture of what it looks like below:

(The yellow parts are the foundation and the red parts are the natural skin that was uncovered.)

I know that men’s stage and film makeup should be simple, but it’s really not. Like everyone else it boils down to good skin care, quality cosmetics, and proper skill. All three things must be in place for seamless application. For example:

(Source: Popsugar.com)

Daniel Kaluuya’s makeup artist, Amber Amos, blends his face to perfection for red carpet events. The big thing she makes sure of is that she has a smooth canvas to work on. While she uses high level brands on her client’s face, the breakdown is fairly easy to use for less expensive products as well.

1) The guy MUST have a washed face. Applying makeup to dirty skin is a no no for anyone, but lazy guys especially should heed this advice.

2) Moisturize. A good moisturizer is key, not only for smooth application, but for smooth skin in the long term. Otherwise their skin is dry and foundation has a bad habit of building up in the dry spots. They should be using eye cream too, but I may be asking too much.

3) A good primer is a necessity for a smooth canvas. It helps to fill in large pores and fine lines that would otherwise be enhanced by the foundation. Nivea Men’s After Shave is inexpensive and effective.

4) Ms. Amos uses Fenty Beauty on her client, but any prestige brand of foundation also works. I used to apply Bare Minerals Matte foundation on male customers when I worked there back in the day. Use it with the Soft Focus brush for light application.

5) Foundation alone would make anyone look ghastly, which is why bronzer is also helpful to add a little color to the face without using a blush (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Apply it on the areas that the sun would normally kiss: forehead, top of nose, tops of cheeks, chin. Kind of like reverse contouring.

6) Finish off with a translucent setting powder and setting spray to hold the look for the rest of the day.

If you’re interested in watching a really good application of men’s makeup, follow Bob Herzog on Facebook. He is a news anchor out of Ohio and does his daily makeup videos for his fans. You can also find more videos on YouTube, though I will advise that they may be more complex with their steps.

I Own Property in Scotland!

(Source: @matthewalexanderkellerwilliams IG.)

My history buff friend, Sean, shared a link on Groupon to purchase a share of land to restore a very old castle in Scotland. I figured, why not? It was less than $20 and it goes towards restoring a piece of history.

Here’s the fun part:

1) I have a deed to the small patch of land I now own.

2) I also have the title of Lady of Chaol Ghleann which I found out is legal (you may now call me Lady Shamma Casson 😊)

3) I’m allowed to wear the Dunans Rising Tartan which looks something like this:

(The Scottish Register of Tartans.)

A little backstory on my relationship with plaid:

my great-grandmother and grandmother had an unnatural obsession with plaid. Clothes, accessories, furniture, even my great-grandmother’s car was upholstered in it. So the love of plaid was killed out of me.

However the Dunans Rising Tartan has such pretty coloring…I’ll give it a pass. I plan on purchasing either a scarf or a wrap in the future.

I’m also using the property ownership as a manifestation affirmation. Hopefully I manifest something more tangible to live in like a tiny castle. A girl can dream.

TrapStock

(Source: Patientce Foster and The Cream Agency Instagram.)

This Sunday, I’m attending a new music festival event that I am not working (what a shocker!) I’m going to listen to trap music and relax in my lawn chair with a book.

(Source: Facebook.)

I’ve been working pretty much every day this summer without reprieve. My gears are grinding down to a halt and I’m in need of some semblance of self-care.

(Taken at the end of June.)

I’m also trying to support this lovely lady featured above. For those who don’t know, her name is Patientce (this is the correct spelling for her name) and this is her first major music festival that she’s putting on in her hometown…which also happens to be my hometown. She is also the industry insider that I have auditioned for before.

Now before you think this is my way of jumping in favor of her, the answer is no. Yes, she works with high powered people, but meeting her was truly enough for me. Besides I’m not going to be here in Delaware for much longer so working with her is now an impossibility. At this point I’m supporting building something good in this city that is not gentrified. I’ll post pictures on Instagram so be sure to follow me: @shammacasson.

Another Opportunity

(Source: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, NBC.)

The Universe works in very mysterious ways. Not only was I offered an opportunity to audition for a film, now a videographer friend of mine wants to work on a project with me.

This time, it’s a horror scene that I would film with another person. No pay, BUT he’s giving me the footage for my reel!

I mentioned in a previous post about productions that can’t pay their actors, but have the audacity to not hire them without a reel, and the only compensation they offer is more reel footage. It made no sense. My friend, who offered me this project, is doing this the CORRECT way by making beneficial for both of us.

I will give credit where credit is due. He watched my Instagram stories where I talk and film all of the time and that was a form of a reel for him. Don’t be mistaken though, I would never be able to pull those stories together into a professional reel to send to casting directors. However, the industry is changing and more casting decisions are being made based upon how strong your social media following is.

I’m excited about this opportunity, and a little suspicious about why everything I’ve wanted to do since January, is only now forming a month before I’m supposed to leave.

(Source: Facebook.)

How It Always Works Out

(Source: Yuri!!! On Ice, Mitsurou Kubo.)

This morning I received an invite to audition for a role on an indie film that would be shooting next month. The timing comes right after I complain about my career going stagnant, which now renders that post null and void.

There’s no guarantee that I will get the part, however, the fact that the director reached out to me is important.

So what is the film?

It’s about a young woman who has major relationship failures with except for a meaningful relationship with another woman in her early twenties. I was offered to play one of the supporting roles in this film. The best part is, it’s a paying role too.

YES. This is the dream. To play a speaking part in a film or television show and actually getting compensated for it.

The only issue is that the schedule may roll into when I’m supposed to leave the country. Who knows what will happen, but it’s an opportunity I feel I couldn’t turn down. Prayers and fingers crossed for the best possible outcome.