Projects and Progress, During the First Half of 2016

So far this year, I’ve made a lot of progress towards various goals. I haven’t written about all of them, and some of them have only had passing mentions. But I wanted to write a brief rundown of some of my bigger accomplishments.

Two days ago, after five months of training, I attended my final acting class with Jeffrey Weissman (Back to the Future II & III, Pale Rider, etc) for a while, as I need to take a break over the summer while my kids aren’t in school. We developed a great working relationship based on mutual respect, and it was lovely to have him take an interest in my work outside of class, too. He bought a copy of my novel, Adrift, and sent me some wonderful comments after he read it:

“Adrift is an irreverent and ingenious tale.
Keep your eye on author Dominica Malcolm.
She’s fun, edgy, complex and ambitious, with a gift for storytelling (that will only grow in stature).
The main character is the pirate Jaclyn. The story combines a love story with satire on contemporary life and societal problems.
It hums with humorous asides and pop-cultural references. The period details are delicious. This book has an inspired approach to time travel, all topped off with piracy and murder. A very compelling book and a fine fast-paced narrative, thoroughly satisfying.”

Somehow, having such praise about my time-travel novel from an actor who was in the most well known time-travel movie series feels like I really made an impact.

I was invited to be the Blog and Workshop Manager for the Bay Area Film Mixer, and have interviewed a bunch of people for the blog so far, including Jeffrey Weissman, producer Ben Yennie, screenwriter/director Dave Moutray (who will be teaching the next workshop on June 25), and director Evan Weidenkeller, whose film Dreams We Share will be screened at the next Mixer on June 13. It’s been a wonderful experience so far, and I’m excited to keep working in that direction.

With the crew of Go Your Own Way
With the crew of Go Your Own Way

In April, I got to play the lead role in a short film in a three day shoot with director Michelle Munyer. I started drafting a blog post about that a while back, but I got too busy to finish it. It was a fantastic shoot, though, and I’ve heard wonderful things about how the film looks so far. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished production. It was my first time playing lead in a film, and I loved every moment of it. I got really lucky to work with so many fun people.

In one of my recent blog posts, I wrote about losing weight and working on my actor image. My weight loss continued, and since I started, I’ve lost 34lbs, down to 131lbs, and 6 inches from my waist, down to 28″. Though the weight loss has slowed over the last couple of weeks, I’ve maintained a healthy diet, and surpassed what my initial “I don’t think I can achieve this” goal was (which was 132lbs). I’m now looking at introducing some more fitness into my schedule so my health isn’t purely based on nutritional food and walking a lot. I’ve never been a fitness fanatic, but I’ve been eyeing a nearby kung fu training centre since I moved to the area nearly 2 years ago, and think I’m finally ready to try it out.

To make time for that, I decided it was time to take a break from my improv training with Marcus Sams, who I’ve been working with for the last 14 months, after July. I’ve developed valuable skills and confidence and can’t recommend him enough. My consistency working with him led to other opportunities, such as the Bay Area Film Mixer responsibilities, and I feel like I can now proudly call him a friend. I hope to be able to work with him more in the future. What it also means is that he now has openings in his Two Play class, so if you’ve thought about being part of an improv duo, you should check it out.

Jo Wu with Marked by Scorn: An Anthology Featuring Non-Traditional Relationships
Jo Wu with Marked by Scorn: An Anthology Featuring Non-Traditional Relationships

My crowdfunding campaign for my new book, Marked by Scorn: An Anthology Featuring Non-Traditional Relationships, ended, and I’ve already started sending out books to backers and contributors. The official release date isn’t until July 31, but the ebook is available for pre-order on Amazon if you missed out on the campaign. I plan on posting something more about that closer to the release. I may be done with the book in some ways, but there is still more promotion to do in order to sell enough to recover all the expenses of the publication. I met with one of my writers, Jo Wu, on Tuesday, to give her her copy and discuss potential public events to be held in San Francisco.

Tonight, I’ll be starting Leela‘s Improv IV – Top of Your Intelligence class with Joe Liss. I’ve seen him perform a bunch of times, and he’s always fun to watch. Plus he wrote for one of my favourite TV shows when I was in high school, 3rd Rock From the Sun, so I’m really looking forward to learning from him.

Speaking of Joe Liss, I had the fortunate opportunity to be selected to improvise a set with him and three of Leela’s other teachers, Diana Brown, Marcus Sams, and Jill Eickman a couple of weeks ago, and had an absolute blast. My confidence in working with more experienced improvisors has grown immensely since I last had the opportunity to play in the Student and Teacher jam over a year ago, and that was a lovely discovery. It’s something I’ve been talking about wanting to do, so it’s nice when the universe rewards me with what I’m asking for.

I’m still performing improv with YUM!, which I hope to continue for the foreseeable future. I love working with them, and our next show is on June 18th. Below, you can watch one of our recent shows.

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