New Beginnings, Finding My Place and an Update

I found this in my mailbox the day after I realized I was going to have to jump. #grace

I found this in my mailbox the day after I realized I was going to have to jump. #grace

As a storyteller I find that I tell stories the way I experience life – through sporadic vulnerability, woven with levity. I like to call it situation-dramedy. Growing up I admired writers and filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams (circa Felicity) Cameron Crowe, John Hughes, Charles Shyer, Nancy Meyers and Edward Zwick for their mastery in weaving authentic stories in humorous and sobering ways. At the time, I could not articulate that. All I knew was that their films and television shows touched me deep in my heart, and I knew I wanted to tell stories that would compel us to search for Truth. But what God has been showing me on a more personal and urgent level just recently, is that if I am going to continue to compel viewers to search for Truth, I must, myself, be compelled in the same way. Arriving at that realization and then accepting it has been the scariest and most rewarding thing I have ever done.

I had never been a seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. And what I mean is, I would go hungry for a day before I showed up at the grocery store without a shopping list. Order. It’s the way I had always operated because I couldn’t stand the idea of not knowing what was coming next. From rent to relationships, I needed to know where I stood in the “big picture”. But this year, 2015, has been marked as the year I truly accepted my own Call to Adventure; the year God compelled me to step out in faith and pursue the gifts He has instilled in me with the same conviction I write into my characters.

The past few years had grown increasingly more difficult. I’d been stretched between two teaching jobs, trying to make ends meet and not ever even considering stepping out. The reason? Fear, plain and simple. I had no back-up plan, after all, and no time to create one. How would I pay my bills if I left my full time job and went to part-time? Ironically enough, I had stopped trusting the One who had given me my creative vision in the first place. Once I realigned myself with His plan and stopped trying to share control, things just started to fall into place. And now as I look back, I am amazed at the chapter that is currently being written in my story. It is transformative, truthful, convicting, relatable and inspiring – the very same qualities woven into any impactful narrative that has ever stuck with us. I want to tell those kinds of stories!

There are just too many mind-blowing moments that led up to my finally taking the leap and I think I might take time to highlight some of them in a later entry. But for now, I thought I would share with you the letter I sent out to my school family. Their support — from my administrators to my parents — has been overwhelming. I have been blessed beyond my imagination, and I look forward to being salt and light wherever I go.

Hello loved ones,

It has been my heart’s prayer, for the past couple of years especially, that God would take me deeper in Him, show me how to trust Him with every aspect of my life. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Trust has been my greatest challenge lately. In the fall I heard the song “Oceans” for the first time and I remember thinking how beautiful it was, how intentional. Since then I’ve sang it several times a month between chapel and weekend church service. I’ve often found myself in tears, aching and longing for the kind of intimacy with God that would take me deeper than I could ever go in my own strength, my own understanding, my own self. What I didn’t realize was that every time I sang that song, I was not only worshiping God; I was also calling out to Him with a fervent prayer from the depths of my Spirit. Well, over the course of this school year, I have felt the Lord — even heard Him — calling me to step out on faith and trust Him with my purpose. So now, even though it is the scariest thing I have ever done in my life…even though I LOVE my family here and the ministry I am blessed to be a part of… even though I LOVE these kiddos more than words can describe… I am going to step out on faith and watch what God does. Because when it comes down to it, it is always best to be in the middle of His will than in the comfort of my own.
I want to say THANK YOU to everyone for being so awesome. I can safely say that I have very specific, very special memories with each one of you that I have been collecting over the past eight years, and that makes me feel really good. I just hope that I have been half the blessing to all of you that you have been to me. It is a privilege to call you my family! May God bless you and keep you always.
Love,
Lauren Snowden

So, this is what I’m into right now. I was accepted into a 4-week accelerated production program through an aweome company called CreatorUp​, based on a short documentary I pitched about one of the awesome people in my life and her impact on her corner of Los Angeles. I am overwhelmed at how much my project has resonated with people. In fact, I was especially honored to be chosen for the blog post about the launch of the Accelerator Program. You can read the article
here.

Thank you so much for sticking with me through this transition. More posts, more often, to come!

#creativevision #creatorup #runnerslane #makingmoves #artnusproductions

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“thE rEAsOn” Episode 4 “Back to the Past” is LIVE!! =)

Hello, everybody!

Just a quick line to let you know that the final installment of my pilot, thE rEAsOn is live and ready to be enjoyed. I would love to hear what you all think of the show and I pray that I will be bringing you the next installment in just a few short months! Thank you so much for all of your support; for accompanying me on this crazy journey and for trusting me with your time.

Merry belated Christmas to you all! I trust that your day was wonderful and pray that your New Year would bring with it lots of hope and promise. God bless and keep you ALWAYS!

Always love.

Lauren C. Snowden (The Filmstress)

When it rains, it pours: My Recent Interview and other Blessings =)

“…when things once start going right they often go on getting better and better.” – CS Lewis

Well, I’ve been trying something new in my life: actively trusting God. That is a moment-to-moment decision that I have to continue to make. This journey of trying to find a home for “thE rEAsOn” has been an interesting one. Every single person who has watched the show says how much they love it and how much we need more shows like this on the air which is absolutely wonderful, because that just proves that there is a very real audience out there who loves the project! Yet I’m still in need of that ONE person who will take a chance on me and this great project and everyone involved with it. BUT… I’m trusting God to work it out because, just like every other awesome thing that has happened surrounding my film work, none of it is in my control.

Speaking of… A few weeks back I returned from the New York Television Festival and had a sit-down with my Film Studies department chair at Moorpark College. I was telling her all about my experience in New York and she expressed immense excitement for me. I thought nothing else of it until about two weeks later, she emailed me that the Moorpark Student Voice (The college’s online news publication) had requested to conduct a featured interview with one of the Film professors who was currently working on any projects. As it turns out, to my knowledge, I’m the only instructor in my department who is actively working to make film projects. Well, the video interview was released on Tuesday and I would love to share it with you! I am not at all comfortable being in front of the camera but I have learned to embrace these opportunities as primers for what is to come. I have to believe that all of this is coming together for a very specific, very GOOD reason!

You can watch my interview with the Moorpark Student Voice here:

In addition to this interview, I have had an influx of interest and order for my metal artwork! I literally prayed last Thursday that somehow I would be allowed to use my artwork to raise funds to finance my projects until someone else — preferably a network executive or independent financier — comes along and offers to cover my overhead. Well, lo and behold, the very next day, the orders started coming in! And I am even working on my first commission for a pretty successful business as well! It was as direct an answer to prayer as I can remember receiving! So now, I’m back in business and actually teaming up with a fabricator to start cutting my materials because it’s more than I can comfortably manage on my own anymore. (Stay tuned for a separate blog update on my artistic welding progress! =)

So today, I’m especially thankful. I’m thankful for my God-given gifts and that He has endowed me with the tenacity to use those gifts to bring glory to Him. And I’m most thankful that He is showing me how to trust Him to take care of the details! Thanks for sticking with me; it means so very much!

Always love.

Lauren C. Snowden (The Filmstress)

If you have not yet fallen in love with thE rEAsOn, it’s not too late! The first 3 of 4 parts have been launched and are available to view now via YouTube! I will even make it extra accessible for you and embed them right here in this blog post =)

Episode 1 “31 Candles”

Episode 2 “Boom, Baby!”

Episode 3 “A Very Sucky Engagement”

It’s about that time! Episode 3 “A Very Sucky Engagement” is LIVE!!

Quinn flashes ring - very sucky engagement

Sometimes things just don’t go the way you plan…

And Maya O’Neil seems to be enduring one upset after another. First, her college sweetheart shows up at her birthday party after ten years, with his fiancée in tow. Then she’s nearly run over by a cyclist — albeit an extremely gorgeous cyclist — in the park, and he expects her to pay for the damage to his bike that resulted from him being hurled off the side of the bike path after she darted out in front of him. What else could possibly go wrong? Well, the episode title should whet your appetite just enough to make you want to find out for yourself!

Happy Friday to all of my faithful followers and to the newcomers! thE rEAsOn, Episode 3 “A Very Sucky Engagement” has launched and is available for you to view. I sure hope you have been enjoying the show thus far. This is part 3 of my 4-part pilot presentation. What happens after episode 4 remains to be seen. But you helping to spread the word is going to go a mighty long way in helping us to get the rest of the show filmed. So, please, continue to tune in and let’s see if we can’t dazzle you!

Blessings,

Lauren, AKA The Filmstress

Watch and SHARE Episode 3 “A Very Sucky Engagement” here:

In this episode: Dinora Walcott Alexander Nandini Bapat, Norman A Snowden, Michele Martin Gossett, Jeff Hohimer and Loren Lillian

“thE rEAsOn” Four-part Miniseries Premiers on YouTube

SCREENSHOT - Opening

Hello to all my faithfuls!

I pray this email finds you well. I have been updating you on the progress of thE rEAsOn over the past few months and now it is time for me to show you what all the fuss is about! And here is a little insider information that I’m only giving to my subscribers: I have cut my TV pilot into four mini episodes and will be leaking one part every week and a half from now until the New Year, with some special featurettes sprinkled in for flavor. It is my hope that you and everyone else who watches the show will love it so much that you can’t wait to tell your friends, family and even strangers! I want to cultivate a great following for this gem of a story so that I can continue with the telling and have an audience to tell it to! I truly hope you enjoy it and maybe even see a little bit of yourself from some stage of your life. For me, it’s the stage I’m currently in, which makes this entire experience extremely ironic!

So! Without further delay, I give you part one of thE rEAsOn – Episode:”31 Candles” . Please, like it, share it and subscribe. But most of all, ENJOY IT! =)

Click here to watch: http://youtu.be/LQBLDsIiodw

Always love.

Lauren C. Snowden, AKA The Filmstress

Jason Shawn Alexander: a {sic} force to be reckoned with

“Larger In Life” (Left), “Momentum” (Right)                                                        (Photographs courtesy of 101/exhibit.com)

Saturday, October 13, 2012. As I sauntered, fashionably early, into the 101/exhibit Los Angeles’ wide-open gallery space, I eyed at least two dozen people anxiously awaiting the arrival of the {sic} exhibit’s creator, narrative painter and graphic illustrator, Jason Shawn Alexander. Within a span of about twenty minutes the crowd had at least tripled, and the space proceeded to fill and remained at capacity for the duration of Opening Night. Aside from the fact that he and I became fast friends through his angel of a wife (a bosom friend and bloody-talented, creative colleague of mine, Dinora Walcott Alexander) my heart was filled to overflowing to witness such a gifted artisan receiving such adoration for his most recent body of work.  Jason has always been more than open about pouring out his artistic soul and sharing his vision with me, always able to appease my inquisitiveness effortlessly. He’s strong in his convictions — an open book, painting and drawing honestly; embracing  every stroke of brush or pen he commits to canvas (or wood) or paper, as it were. As I made my journey through the gallery, studying with ardor many pieces I had seen countless times before, I experienced new agony, new melancholy, new passion exuding from the subjects laid bare along those white walls. Then, in a highly effective intent to contrast, in the smaller room were panels and pages from raw and gritty comic tales about a certain Dark Knight and the proverbial thorn in his side, and other horrid creatures, so vividly depicted in nothing more than varying shades and degrees of black ink that I swear I remember them in color. Speechless. A feeling indescribable, except for in one’s own soul as it tries to dissect the steady stream of emotions that erupts upon viewing each piece separately and then the entire body of work together. A sight to see. I hope you will. The show runs until November 26.

For more information, please visit http://101exhibit.com/splash