Friday, April 26, 2013

My Assassin Photo Shoot

So maybe you've been thinking, "Teresa's too sweet and nice to play a contract killer in Early Retirement!"

Well, check out these pics from a recent photo shoot with the brilliant Diana Toshiko of Toshikophoto --

You're afraid now, aren't you? Watch out!

Huge thanks to Diana Toshiko for a delicious morning of being badass --

Makeup by Briana was incredible --

Celebrated afterward by taking my badass look to Menchie's. Fro-yo never looked so dangerous --

Get a signed 8x10 of one of these badass assassin photos (plus a signed 8x10 of Justin Bruening and other goodies) by donating $75 or more to the Early Retirement Kickstarter!

Channeling my inner killer for these photos was a blast - help fund our project so I can do it on camera!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Even My Hair Supports Charity

I have many, many philanthropic passions. Currently, I'm devoting many wonderful hours to WriteGirl and Break the Cycle, but I also love attending fundraisers, contributing to friends' Kickstarter campaigns, and volunteering whenever possible.

And I love growing my hair out to donate to Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths! I'm blessed with thick, shiny locks that grow like grass, so it's one of the easiest charitable contributions I can make.

I headed to my favorite guy Christopher at Salon 3 to make my latest donation. This is my "Before" picture --

The minimum donation is 10 inches from end to end of the braided ponytail. I had plenty to give --

The first cut!

The final snip --

Two beautiful braids to donate --

And my fantastic haircut! Perfect for playing a kick-ass assassin in Early Retirement.

Huge kudos to Christopher at Salon 3 for always taking such good care of my hair. Like Salon 3 on Facebook!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday Literary Sunday

After ten straight years of not attending due to ten weekend conflicts, I finally made it to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!

It's like Comic-Con for book nerds - readings, signings, and treating writers like celebrities. Literary heaven.

I spent the morning volunteering at the WriteGirl booth, recruiting new volunteers and spreading the word about their amazing work!

Our booth neighbors Get Lit kept us entertained with spoken word poetry performances. All you poets out there should pick up one of their trendy t-shirts --

Around lunchtime, it was time for the WriteGirl reading at the Hoy Cultural Stage. Our girls gathered --

And I was asked at the last minute to jump in as emcee, a role I gratefully accepted. (That's me on the very right.) The teens were amazing, as usual!

After the reading, Elizabeth Espinosa from CNN Latino - who profiled WriteGirl on her show - shared some career advice with the girls --

I only had a few hours left after the reading, so rather than try to catch one of the panel events, I spent the rest of the afternoon browsing the wonderful booths. Plenty of books for sale --

I chatted with the guys at the Oni Press booth about The Sixth Gun pilot adaptation at NBC --

And discovered the next book I want to read, a romance the guy at the Penguin booth described as "the perfect novel." Well then...

I also talked to small press publishers, writing organizations, and picked as many free books as I could find.

There was plenty of randomness among the booths, too. Like the Batmobile --

Though I was happy to see some familiar faces from the Comic-Con circuit, like steampunk-y artist Steamcrow --

I finished my day with a visit to the row of food trucks feeding the event. Picked the BellyBombz truck - Korean wings and sliders --

Opted for wings with "Bomb Dust," their signature dry rub --

Ate while enjoying some Afro Latin Jazz on the USC stage --

All in all, a spectacular day of books, books, and more books. Can't wait for next year's festival!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ask Me Anything! No, Really!

Doing my very first Reddit AMA this morning!

I didn't know what AMA's were until last week. (I barely knew what Reddit was.) AMA stands for Ask Me Anything, and it's like doing an interview via an old school threaded message board environment. And as someone who remembers the days when online interaction was all via message boards, I find the AMAs pretty endearing.

Browse the top actor/entertainer AMAs on Reddit and you'll see a ton of A-list stars have done AMAs, including Nick Offerman, Stephen Colbert, and David Copperfield. There's just something fantastic about big stars answering random questions in tiny text boxes.

A favorite moment from Louis CK's recent Reddit AMA --

How else can you get a gem from someone like that? Love it...

Check out my Reddit AMA now!

"Hi, I'm Teresa Huang, MIT graduate turned film and television actor. Ask me anything!"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crawling Past the Finish Line

I finished my latest pilot script.

And there was much rejoicing...

That feeble "yay" is about as much excitement as I can muster for this one. It took way too long to write and my voice is hoarse from fighting with my inner critic.

It's tough to know when it's time to stop working on a script. Writers are never satisfied - it's that perfectionist streak that drives our work. Sometimes we need an intervening force tell us to move on.

Well, I got mine in the form of my wonderful agents, so I'm moving on. Phew!

Next up, reading scripts for staffing season and writing a spec for the writing programs.

And of course, pimping the Kickstarter campaign for Early Retirement - have you contributed yet?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Morning Notes Writing

Novelist Roxana Robinson wrote a great piece for The New Yorker called "On Writing in the Morning," in which she thoughtfully describes the steps of her morning creative routine --
"I avoid conversation, as my husband knows. I am not yet in the world, and there is a certain risk involved in talking: the night spins a fine membrane, like the film inside an eggshell. It seals you off from the world, but it’s fragile, easily pierced."
I know what she means. I often have story ideas when I wake up in the morning, straight from my powerful dreams or inspired by wispy threads leftover from my dream state.

I used to jot my ideas onto notepads on my bedside table, but I recently discovered a new method that has allowed my morning creativity to flower unlike ever before --

I use the Notes app on my iPhone.

It sounds ridiculous, but it totally works for me and I love it!

I've always written my fiction longhand in journals because the lag time between my thoughts and my writing hand forces me to slow down my rapid fire idea stream and settle into a creative groove.

I've realized that typing on my Notes app does that for me too. Tapping at those tiny touchscreen buttons forces me to concentrate and flow with my natural creative pace. Plus, I can start working through ideas while they're still fresh before I even get out of bed.

I've beaten out whole feature film outlines and pilot script summaries on my Notes app in the last month. I've been more prolific with new ideas than ever! Once an idea feels complete, I email myself the text and paste it right into Final Draft to take it to the next step.

Staying in bed and getting good writing done - can there be more of a win win?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Early Retirement Kickstarter Launches!

Let the begging begin...

After countless hours of discussing, editing, and tweaking, the Kickstarter campaign for Early Retirement, my second collaboration with my very good friend Christopher Tillman, is now live and ready to accept your generous donations.

Why should you give? Here are a few reasons --
  • This role is a game changer for me.

    I am grateful as hell for every doctor/nurse/reporter role I've had the privilege of playing on TV, but playing the female assassin lead of this short film will be my most challenging role to date. Not just because of the physical demands, but because I have to be fierce, powerful, and commanding and hold my own against a veteran screen actor.

    As someone who usually blends into the backdrop of a scene, this is my opportunity to cowboy up and shine. And I'm terrified. You want to see the result, don't you?

  • You want to see this movie.

    Christopher is a crazy-talented writer. You can view online the last three short films he's written and had produced - Misusing Irony, The Distance Between, and his Funny or Die debut Bud Selig Must Die, starring Jon Heder and Tony Hale.

    The Early Retirement script is bound to produce another award-winner. It's slick and sassy with a perfect balance of action and romance. The finished film is going to be an enjoyable ride - though we can only get there if you contribute today!

  • It's my birthday next month!

    This Kickstarter campaign is slated to end on May 10 - my birthday! Contributing to this campaign would be the best birthday gift ever.

    My close friends know that I usually ask for donations to my favorite charities at my birthday parties. One year I collected toys for the Asian Pacific Women's Center. Another year, it was white socks for the Hand to Hand Homeless Feeding Project.

    And while I still believe wholeheartedly in charitable giving, this year I'm allowing myself to receive. Helping this dream become a reality would mean the world to me. Please give!

    (Plus you get rewards like DVDs or signed posters for contributing, so really it's a win win...)

So please take a look at the Early Retirement Kickstarter page and consider contributing today! You can also follow Early Retirement on Twitter or Like the Early Retirement Facebook page.

Every dollar counts and every gesture of support is appreciated. Become a backer today and come along with me on this journey!

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

#30DayHomies Returns

I hate exercise.

My body loves it. In fact, it's built for it - especially dance-based aerobics like Zumba. I learn choreography quickly, I'm coordinated, and I can shake my hips with style. (It's the whole shoulda-been-a-dancer thing.)

I know running is an excellent workout, but I get bored quickly, whether I'm outside or on a treadmill with a TV in front of me. I've tried spinning a few times, but I'm not a fan of self-inflicted torture.

So as I embark again on Kristen Bell’s #30DayHomies fitness challenge, I'm going to stick to my Zumba. Every day for an hour for 30 days.

Track my progress by following me on Twitter or Instagram.

Why am I diving back in? Like I said, my body loves exercise. My blood pressure lowers, my sleep is more restful, and I think more creatively when I'm more active. No more denying it - exercise needs to be a part of my life.

Plus I'm preparing for my upcoming role in Early Retirement, in which I play a female assassin. No couch potatoes ever survived a knife fight. My main goal is to build stamina and muscle so I don't want to fall down after every action take.

Come along with me, won't you? Commit to 30 consecutive days of exercise and we can huff and puff and commiserate with each other together. It won't be fun all the time, but it will be good for us.