Friday, October 31, 2014


Q (here as the Hulk) is an amazing instructor at the YMCA. He wanted us to dress up like our favorite superheroes for the day, so--this.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Texas Book Festival Highlights

Besides a giant shopping cart beneath a beautiful Texas sky? There were a ton of highlights--starting out with seeing so many friends with such inspiring successes among this tight, supportive community of Texas writers. Like the added benefit of welcoming fellow word-lovers from all over the US and world, for one. And the fact that we can still throw down summer days in late October. BOOM!

I began the day with the most gorgeous sitar concert at the Grandfather Gandhi panel with Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus. I closed my eyes to listen to the music and so unexpectedly found myself crying. It was beautiful.

From there, I hit the #WeNeedDiverseBookPanel because WE DO and had the honor of hearing from an entire panel of writers, including Jacqueline Woodson. I'm late to the party, but I just started reading her picture books, and I love her voice. It was great to hear it in person. (Watch out for her Brown Girl Dreaming--a National Book Award finalist.)

I caught a magic panel with dear friend Nikki Loftin--author of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy and Nightingale's Nest, got acquainted with Annie Brown and was exposed to the charming, fresh voice of Natalie Lloyd.

After getting a few books signed by Andrea Beaty, (if you haven't read Happy Birthday to Madame Chapeau or Rosie Revere, Engineer--start reading...), I visited with Nikki and the self-deprecating Brian Floca--Caldecott Winner for Locomotive--before forcing my sweaty self through the tents one more time before heading home.

I ended up buying three books, acquiring five more (Thank you Penguin!) and having just the best time. It's definitely one of those "I am so lucky to live in Austin" kind of days. And they're doing it all again tomorrow!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Author Aimee

I'm a woman with several identities, several names, several careers. In the beginning, it was a nice way to divide 'professional' work from 'personal passion projects'. In other words, the neighbors, the office, the clients--they know one Aimee. The actors, the directors, the producers and now, the publishing houses, the potential agents, the writers--they know another one.

My first writing coup was for Goldie Blox--it's an amazing toy/book/app movement born to get girls interested in engineering. Goldie Blox and the Dunk Tank is my contribution to the canon (that is not a request for purchase--no royalties are received).

Now there's more writing underway, and an entirely new creative community getting to know Actor Aimee as Author Aimee. Artist Aimee sounds too pretentious, but I'm not sure what to do about the name of this blog...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Geico, The Martin Agency Ripped Off an Austin Filmmaker. Hire a New Agency.


It started with a call from my dad. "Have you seen the new Geico spot?" "No." "They totally ripped off your friend's idea." "Really?" "Yeah, that 'Poor Decision Horror Movie Spoof'?" "Yeah? You mean "Hell, No"? "That one."

So I watched it, and my dad is right. The thought that people in horror movies make poor decisions is not a new one--the entire Scream franchise was built on it. But when filmmaker Joe Nicolosi skewered it--he took the concept from conversation to completion.

And Geico's Martin Agency just flat out stole it in this installment of their new "It's What You Do" campaign.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Get back up and ride

So I got knocked off my pony today. Over Labor Day weekend, I had a good audition. A really good audition. An "I nailed it!" audition. An audition that led me to come home and say, "Unless they want a blonde, I've got this."

In the future, perhaps, I should not trust that feeling.
 I was just so sure! And, apparently, just so wrong. I did not get the part. And I really wanted the part. So that's a bummer.

Rejection is the other part of the actor's life--the part we don't talk about a lot. It's kind of embarrassing. It shouldn't be. I've had acting coaches tell me you may face 10, 50, 100 rejections before you get a part, and you just have to climb back on and ride.

That's one of the things I admire most about actors. You pour your heart out. You hear--yeah, but. Yeah, but. Yeah, but. Yeah, but. And you climb back on, grab the mane in both hands, and ride into a technicolor sunset only you can see. You wake up, see a new day dawning and ride again. And you may ride for days and days and days before you see anyone. And it may be months before you find someone to ride along beside you. And you may never, ever find the lost city, the fountain of youth, the gold mine. But somewhere along the way, you realize it's the looking that's the bounty. It's the secret bits of the world you get to see every single time you ride, you search, you ride again.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stairway to Hell

Stairway to Heaven came on my Pandora feed today and holy crap. This was invariably the last song at our church camp dances, which is story-worthy right there. Unfortunately, I hear it and am instantly filled with the withering shame of standing in the dark, no one having asked me to dance, watching the couples, knowing this fucking song would be seven minutes long, which is an eternity in embarrassed junior high time.

It's ok. I made up for it in high school, when I was really, really happy to have seven minutes to surreptitiously make-out, but holy shit. What a vivid memory--shame upon shame as I find myself on the dance floor with a pitying counselor.

Fuck you very much, Pandora. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Research. Rewiring.

Motherhood Out Loud ended this Sunday, and it was a fantastic run. What will I remember? The fact that people I work out with have become friends, and those friends came in groups to see the show. I'll remember the cast who brought the material to life. I'll remember the monologues that capture so many aspects of the motherhood experience.

Today I'm in Houston, working. I've been doing a lot of research for a potential project, and it's led me to a book on brain plasticity, which basically tells me that you train your brain to make bad decisions instinctively by making them again and again. My bad decisions? Allowing my attention to be so fragmented and overwhelmed by the wealth of information on my computer that it's markedly difficult for me to focus for extended periods. It's got to stop. I've got to stop it.

The research has taken me into a scientific summary of lab-recorded psi evidence. More on that later.

The research has taken me into a doctor's essays on what happens at the moment of death. And the evidence she records is convincing. Our body is a chrysalis--our spirit a butterfly.

The research has reminded me of the power of self-awareness. The importance of listening to my inner voice.

The research has led me to believe that everything is interconnected and there is a God behind it. I need to believe that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The bright side?

Bad idea to write a blog entry when you know you're kinda down. But I think it's kinda great that I've been with my s.o. for years (YEARS, people, capital years), and I still miss him when he has to go out of town. I watched Easy A on tv (love that Emma Stone) and ate leftover lasagna and ALL the ice cream. So I think I'm totally doing a down night right. I'm trying to make myself do a little more work tonight too, but, so far, not feeling it.

So, for the bright, bright side? Two roles in two weeks! I'm currently in rehearsals for Motherhood Outloud--it will be the Austin premiere of the off-broadway hit. I get to do two really amazing monologues (they're all great, though, it's not like you can get a bad one), and I'm currently working on memorizing like 12 straight minutes of dialogue. This isn't film, people, and it's clearly a workout my brain needed!

The other? Film role! Yay! I was cast in The Sauce, and I am so effing excited!! I'll be playing the part of Nancy, potential swinger (you be the judge).

We'll be shooting early fall, so more on that one later.

For now, Motherhood Outloud opens Mother's Day weekend (yikes!) and runs Sundays through June at the City Theatre in Austin. Come see!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


There are officially four more days of SXSW Film--including today. Unfortunately, regular life has taken hold, and the re-entry to work, responsibilities, etc. will tie me up for the remainder. A good workout with friends eased this morning's re-entry somewhat, but man, it's hard to focus!

I cannot believe I now have 5 SXSW's under my belt. Each has been different--the excitement when you have a project out in the world v. the behind-the-scenes helping others who are in that same boat. The serendipitous meetings--every single year you have those. Every single year you have bad hours too, where you wonder why on earth you've thrown yourself into the maelstrom.

I told my very understanding other that I was kind of sorry SX ended on such a high note this year, because it made me more sad that it was over. He thought that was best. And once I start to re-acclimate to daily life, I think I'll agree with him. XO all. See you next year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

SXSW 2014: MC Recap

So my two 8 hour hosting days have come to a close (I'm so sad when that happens! It's like when you come home from camp and hate your life for the next few days because you miss your friends and the swimming pool.)

I don't know who I pleased, but SXSW gods smiled upon me today, and I had one of those days that will be a shiny bright spot in my universe for years to come. To prove it? Previous bright spots include the screening of Marwencol (see it if you haven't) and Four Lions. They include seeing myself for the first time on the big screen after a very kind introduction by the SXSW people. And they include the screening of Big Love last year--mainly because the director was so kind and his partner so kind and funny.

This was one of those days of great movies and kind people that remind me every year of why I purposefully upend my life, upend the dog's life, upend the man's life and battle parking and traffic and weather and time changes in hopes of transcendent moments. Got em.

Before I Disappear
I began the morning with director Shawn Christensen, his team and his costar, Fatima Ptacek. I have to say, I haven't seen Shawn's Oscar-winning short "Curfew", and on first blush, I didn't think I was going to like this film. (Sorry Shawn!) Turns out, I loved this film. It was nothing like I expected it would be based on the synopsis, and it was funny, smart, engaging, moving--it was everything I want to get from a film-watching experience. Being that the people involved in the film seemed exactly the same way, I had the double joy of watching something I loved and envisioning good things for a great group of people. If you get the chance, check it out. (And I think you'll get the chance.)

And honestly, Shawn Christensen. Directing, writing and acting, and, based on this film, gifted at all three. I can't wait to see what he does next. 

10,000 km (Long Distance)
Second up was 10,000 km (Long Distance), a really well-done film by a Spanish director, Carlos Marques-Marcet with two amazing performances by Natalia Tena (Game of Thrones) and David Verdguer. Moving, cleverly written and shot, and a welcome new take on an old tale--long-distance love.

Evolution of a Criminal
Last up, a documentary by a fellow Houstonian (I'll claim it--having lived there 10+ years of my life!) who courageously faced up to a disastrous decision he made as a 17-year-old (armed robbery) and used the medium to tell his story, his family's stories, his accomplices' stories and his victims' stories. A Spike Lee protegee, Darius Clark Monroe is a talented filmmaker who brought his mother up with him for the Q&A, and managed to go to NYU film school after finishing his prison sentence.

Great, great day.

Yesterday's Films!

Quick Monday Recap

Butterfly Girl
Documentary--great Austin footage, music and exceptional subject. The work of a really talented director, Cary Bell, and her team. Eager to see what comes next for her.

Arlo & Julie
Another Austin film! Steve Mims, a UT professor and the Director of Incendiary: The Willingham Case from a few years back. This was a completely different type of film--light and sweet and fun. Loved seeing some of our locals doing so well! Mallory Culbert--you were great to watch. And Sam. Sam Eidson. You stole it. I loved every minute you were on screen.

The Mend
One of the Narrative Competitors--enjoyed meeting John Magary, the director--really nice guy. Great performances from the cast--what a treat for all the principals to be there! And oh, Josh Lucas. You are easy on the eyes.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Animals at SXSW

So in a neat case of serendipity, a cousin I'd never met (Jen Farmer) is executive producer on Animals, a film competing in SX's narrative competition. She and I hooked up for breakfast at Kerbey Lane today, and the world premiere is tonight at the Ritz. Exciting! Two more screenings, so go on, check it out and vote. Animals Screenings: SXSW Schedule

Plus a win for the ladies: an interview with producer Mary Pat Bentel

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A&E for the win.

On my way to the Austin Convention Center to pick up my SXSW badge, I walked by a replica of the Bates Motel. Right next to Gus's Fried Chicken (which is super delicious if you haven't tried it). I had a policeman take my picture in front of it, and I promptly shared it, then called my brother to tell him about it.

In my defense, it's pretty great. Flashing neon sign, window boxes.

And then my brother and I had a long discussion on marketing. A&E won. They got me to talk and share. And that's ok.