Time for new headshots!

 

My commercial agent Stephany at Avalon Artists Group wanted me to get some new headshots, and I figured it was about time what with all the hard work I’d been putting in at my local Bar Method studio.  😀  I’m super happy with the photos, and they were from this amazing multi-talented dude named Jeff E!  He’s not only a talented and very easy to work with photographer, but also an actor himself!  If you’re looking for some new photos, too, I’d recommend giving him a call.

 

cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot

cindy chu headshot

(This one’s one of my favorites, I feel like a model!)

cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot Cindy Chu Headshot

Ice, Ice, Baby!

I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks working on this amazing documentary about icebreaker ships and the Great Lakes.  It’s been incredible, and I have loved every moment!  I’ve also had time to upload a few new songs on YouTube.  Enjoy!  I will be posting photos to my Flickr in the near future.

Julien Dore’s Cet Air-La on ukulele by Cindy Chu

 

Project Ice Crew

Other Ventures

While this site is mostly used for posting about my acting career, I figured I can also tie in some notes about my film friends’ achievements/updates.

If you’ve seen my film Qing Lou Nu, then you’d know the name Bryan D. Hopkins.  Earlier this year he drove down to Louisiana to shoot a ton of coverage on the Gulf oil spill for a documentary he’s putting together.  Here’s a peep at the trailer he just released for Dirty Energy:

Dirty Energy featurette from Bryan D. Hopkins on Vimeo.

Dirty Energy featurette

A new buddy of mine that I met on the set of a GM commercial I was recently working on shared a short film he did with me, that I also feel needs to be passed on to more potential fans.  It’s hilarious, and it’s about Death.  Good work, Clark Birchmeier!

no harvest:the intern from clark birchmeier on Vimeo.

This short film is called “no harvest: the intern”. It is a dark-comedy about the Grim Reaper. It was produced by Rebel Cow Productions LLC, and was directed by Clark Birchmeier.

Another personal venture I haven’t mentioned yet is that I recently joined the band Origami Cat Plan, and we just played our first gig. Having had only 2 practices with the band, I didn’t perform my best, but I think it was still pretty impressive for the amount of time we had to prepare.

 

Cindy Chu as Princess Koneko of Origami Cat Plan

Cindy Chu as Princess Koneko of Origami Cat Plan

Origami Cat Plan at the Blind Pig 12/15/2010

Origami Cat Plan at the Blind Pig 12/15/2010

 

Origami Cat Plan Groovin at their first show with Cindy Chu

Origami Cat Plan Groovin at their first show with Cindy Chu

 

In my thirst for learning, and owning musical instruments, I even obtained a baby jimbay or djembe yesterday, at the encouragement of my best friend Ris Tena, who is a master of the hip hop and fashion worlds.  I’ll be able to add it to my tambourine/vocals skills for Origami Cat Plan!

Cindy Chu with her new jimbay or djembe (various spellings)

Cindy Chu with her new jimbay or djembe (various spellings)

And in other news, had a few more auditions recently, but I don’t really like saying what any of them are because like I mentioned in my previous post, the majority of the time you don’t hear anything back afterwards.  So I usually do the auditions, and then forget about them and if I DO hear anything, then of course I jump for joy like I won the lottery.  I will say, though, that I am extremely excited about Fox picking up a live-action adaptation of Joe Hill’s Locke & Key!   My current fantasies are to play a part in a live-action version of a graphic novel, and to do some more animated voiceovers!

 

Cover of Joe Hill's Locke & Key

Cover of Joe Hill's Locke & Key

A page from Joe Hill's Locke & Key

A page from Joe Hill's Locke & Key

If you’re curious about what I’ve been watching recently, wonder no more.  I just caught up on Dexter, amazing amazing show, and I have to give it to Julia Stiles for shocking me with her great portrayal of Lumen in Season 5.  I’ve also been re-watching Firefly, and am about halfway through.  I had seen bits and pieces of it before when I was younger, but never got to view the entire series.  Guess I was too busy with Buffy, The X-Files, and Charmed?  Joss Whedon is a genius, and I have a soft spot for Mal.

 

Captain "Mal" Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly

Captain "Mal" Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly

Julia Stiles as Lumen in Dexter S.5, with Dexter

Julia Stiles as Lumen in Dexter S.5, with Dexter

For films, I can’t wait to see Black Swan and TRON LEGACY this weekend!  The Michigan Theater starts screening Black Swan today.

 

Natalie Portman as the Black Swan

Natalie Portman as the Black Swan

Production Still from Tron Legacy with Olivia Wilde, Joseph Kosinski and Jeff Bridges

Production Still from Tron Legacy with Olivia Wilde, Joseph Kosinski and Jeff Bridges

And if you enjoy graphic novels, one of my all-time favorite and most beloved books is now available as a graphic novel: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.

 

A page from the new graphic novel version of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A page from the new graphic novel version of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Hopefully I’ll have some good news to share with you all when I post again!  And thanks to my awesome agent, Curt Howe of Charlie’s Talent Agency, aka CTA, who believes in me and keeps getting me auditions!  One of these days…(fingers crossed)

If I don’t update before Christmas, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with loved ones, and remember to appreciate all the goodness in your life.

~cindy

PSA: Curt Howe & Ripoff Report

I wanted to post something regarding Curt Howe and Charlie’s Talent Agency (CTA).  As with every industry, you sometimes make a few enemies, even when you haven’t done anything wrong.  I have known Curt for several years, and he represents me in the Midwest for SAG/AFTRA projects.  He signed me when all I had on my resume were a local theatre production and high school plays.  He gave me a chance, and got me in to all the local casting agencies, including Pound Mooney, Detroit Casting Company, and Carrie Ray Casting, just to name a few in Michigan.  It’s because of him that I had the opportunity to be in Red Dawn and Salvation Boulevard as a supporting cast member.   He believed in me and pushed and fought for me, and he’s gotten me into so many auditions, even in the last couple of months. He submits me for roles he believes I can play, and even when I don’t fit the breakdown, the casting agents sometimes see me for them.  As any professional actor knows, there may be a hundred no’s before you get a yes.  It’s part of the job.  Sometimes you don’t fit the look.  You could be an amazing actor but your talent agent and casting agent don’t make the final decisions on casting.  The sooner we all stop having delusions of grandeur and expecting to become stars overnight, the better for our local budding industry.  If we can’t all work together and make Michigan look GOOD and PROFESSIONAL, how many productions will want to give us a chance and use local casting?  Because pushing someone else down to drown so that you can get ahead doesn’t work.  Be thankful for every audition you get, and keep working on your craft, and one day you WILL get a yes.  But do NOT blame your not getting parts on your talent agent after he/she has worked to land you an audition in the first place.  The blame game and the hatred and the lies a certain individual has been propagating across the internet does our local industry no good.  We should be helping one another, because success can be contagious.  We need to show that we are just as professional and just as qualified and talented as actors from Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.  I don’t need to name names, but be warned, you are only succeeding in painting yourself out of the picture and blacklisting your own name.  In this industry, you never want to burn bridges nor bite the hand that feeds you.

My name is Cindy Chu, and I am a SAG actor.  I am proudly represented by Curt Howe of Charlie’s Talent Agency aka CTA.

Michigan Movie Magazine!

I recently did an interview with Michigan Movie Magazine, held at my agent, Curt Howe’s office in Ferndale.  Jordan Trovillion and I were both being featured in the local movie mag as up and coming young actresses.  Also in the same issue was an article about Sucker, in which Jordan played the female lead, Evelyn, and I was makeup and hair assistant.

Still from Big Screen Entertainment's upcoming Sucker

Still from Big Screen Entertainment's upcoming Sucker

Kimberley Kates in Sucker

Kimberley Kates in Sucker

Monty Bane with Jordan Trovillion in scene from Sucker

Monty Bane with Jordan Trovillion in scene from Sucker

The last photo is from an article on DreadCentral.com, a nice piece they wrote on Sucker.

Anyway, back to that interview!  The videos were posted awhile ago but I just came across them and wanted to share them with you!

Part One

Part Two

Also, some fellow web-savvy chicks in the EU contacted me recently to ask about my experience filming with Ciaran Hinds on Salvation Boulevard!  They were gracious enough to include a link to my site, and in case you’d like to check theirs out, click here!  Thank you Sylvie!  They do have a lovely photo of Mr. Hinds as Jim, his character in Salvation Boulevard.

As always, thank you for stopping by my blog and stay lovely!

~cindy

My Michigan PSA

I’m writing this post as a PSA to Michigan talent, or anyone interested in the acting industry in Michigan.  Any agency that asks you for money UPFRONT is a SCAM!!!!  Agents make their money off of commission, meaning they get you auditions, you book the work, you get paid, then you pay them their fee.  The only legitimate agency I know that charges you to join is Real Style, an extras casting agency.  Last I knew, they charged $15 as a one-time fee to put you into their database, but I know that they have done extras casting on many major films and they get you PAID work.  In fact, companies like JR Galactic are the ones you should stay away from.  I once did an extras gig on Trivial Pursuits (now changed to Answer This!), that I found through a message from I-Group, and was paid $50/day.  The extras that were cast from JR Galactic were only given $30/day…wonder where the rest of it was going?

If you are interested in finding an agency, these are the ONLY SAG/AFTRA-franchised agencies that I know of in Michigan:

1) Charlie’s Talent Agency (CTA)–I am exclusive with this agency for film/tv work.  They specialize in film/tv.

2) Productions Plus (Talent Shop is now joined with them)–PP is a huge agency and does commercial, industrial, and print work, as well as film/TV.  So if you’re interested in modeling, car shows, etc., this is a great way to get in and get started.

3) I-Group–I-Group casts models for fashion, print, etc. along with film/TV, so again, probably an easier one to get started with.

A good way to be prepared to join any of these agencies is to have A) headshots for film/TV work, and B) comp cards if you’re going into modeling.  Simply having a resume of extra/stand-in work isn’t really enough to get you noticed now.  Try getting involved with some student films, or local indie productions, and even local theatres for some stage acting experience.  I am a SAG member, but it took me  a long time to get where I am.  I have extensive stage acting experience, along with having participated in Grosse Pointe South’s show choir program for all 4 years of high school, not to mention being in choir and/or band most of the rest of my K-12 education.  Even after high school, I participated in some student/indie films, and local theatre productions, doing whatever I could to participate and gain experience.  If you have talent and you work hard at it, eventually it’ll pay off for you, too.

These are just my words of advice, everyone has a different path to follow.  Maybe my advice won’t work for you, but I think it’s a good basic guide on what to do.  Best of luck and break a leg!

Stay lovely,

Cindy

PS:  With all the films coming in to the state to film, a lot of scammers have been popping up, offering you the world for the small fee of, say, $500 or whatever they charge.  Remember that NONE of these companies are legitimate, and you can always call the SAG offices to find out if an agency is actually franchised or not, or look them up on the BBB, Better Business Bureau.  I was once at an indie animated audition, and a gentleman was there saying he’d helped organize the audition, and had formed a new agency and was looking for new talent.  He asked me what I’d been working on and there were so many red flags that popped up about him as soon as we started having a conversation about the industry.  1) He didn’t even know who the casting agents were that I was mentioning I’d had auditions with the past few months, and these are the local casting agents the Hollywood films have been using to find local talent.  2) He didn’t know the current projects that were shooting here, and anyone who follows the film industry at ALL, by reading local newspapers or looking online could find this out.  3) He has no film industry experience.   I won’t mention his agency name because I don’t want to smear him, but I’m sharing this story to warn you of the people that appear out of the woodwork when they smell money to be made and some easy prey.  You have to be careful and do your research so you don’t fall victim to these industry vultures.

Cindy Chu--Actress

Cindy Chu--Actress--Charlie's Talent Agency

Qing Lou Nu wins Best Short at the 3rd Annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival

The official winners were announced yesterday for the 3rd annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, and I am proud to tell you that Qing Lou Nu took home the Best Short award!  That’s a 2 for 2 weekend for us.  Congratulations to Bryan D. Hopkins, my wonderful director.

Here’s the list of winners excerpted from the PIFF blog:

Benjamin Barnett
Festival Director
Philadelphia Independent Film Festival
June 23 – 27, 2010

++++++++++++++++++
OFFICIAL WINNERS
++++++++++++++++++
3rd Annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival 2010

————————————–
Best Feature:
Kandahar Break (David Whitney ~ Director)
Honorable Mention – Feature
The Beginner (Benjamin Coccio)
Honorable Mention – Feature
Putt Putt Syndrome (Alan Cognata– Director)

Best – Short:
Qing Lou Nu ( Bryan Hopkins ~ Director)
Honorable Mention – Short
Furs ( Jill Knox-Gosse)

Best – Political
Who killed Chea Vichea? (Rich Garella ~ Producer / Bradley Cox ~ Director)
Honorable Mention – Political
Auf Wiedersehen: Till We Meet Again (Linda G. Mills ~ Director / Producer)

Best – Special Feature
Letters from the Desert: Eulogy to Slowness (Michela Occhipinti – Director / Producer)
Honorable Mention – Special Feature
Blue Wonder ( John Shenk / Akemi)

Best – Feature Length Music Documentary
Average Community (Fred Zara ~ Director and Christopher Zara ~ Writer /CoProducer)
Honorable Mention – Feature Length Music Documentary
Riot Acts – Flaunting Gender (Madsen Minax ~ Director)

Best Film – Foreign
Stockholm (United Arab Emirates) (Tiffany Yoon Director/Producer)
Honorable Mention – Foreign
Bruja (PANAMA) (Jason Yamas ~Producer)

Best – Animation
The Lift (Robert Kohr)
Honorable Mention – Animation
The Cow Who Wanted To Be A Hamburger (Bill Plympton)

Best – Music Video:
Nicolas Maranda – “646” (Nicolas Maranda ~Director)
Honorable Mention: Music Video
Ruse of Fools – “The Flood” (Mark Gonzalas – Composer)
Honorable Mention – Music Video
DJ Ease Back / Prince Lord – The Light (DJ Ease Back – ~Director)

Congratulations to everyone who screened at PIFF and to all the winners.  Thank you for letting us screen with you, and sorry we couldn’t be there in person as our screening at DWIFF was the same night.

The next official screening of Qing Lou Nu will be at GlassCityCon, the premier Toledo-area anime con, taking place at Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio.   The event, which is scheduled for July 17, 2010 from 11AM-12PM, will consist of a screening of Qing Lou Nu, followed by a Q&A conducted by me where I can answer any questions you may have about the film, or the acting industry.

Thank  you for stopping by my blog and stay fabulous!

~cindy

Qing Lou Nu wins BEST SHORT FILM award at DWIFF

Hello everyone.  I’m long overdue for an update!  Sorry it’s been awhile.  I have a lot of exciting news to share, though.

I’ll start off with discussing Salvation Boulevard.  They are currently in post-production.  My shooting date was actually in their second-to-last week.  I was mistaken when I thought my scene was with Pierce Brosnan.  I actually filmed with Ciaran Hinds, who was super nice to work with, along with the rest of the production.  I really enjoyed being directed by George Ratliff, and I recently watched his film Joshua.  It was very disturbing and dark, and I actually had nightmares as a result.  While I like watching scary movies at times, I often do have bad dreams after.  It wasn’t the typical blood and gore type scary movie, it was definitely more disturbing in a psychological way.  It’s about a boy who takes sibling rivalry to a new level and attempts to destroy his family in the process.  Definitely worth checking out.

Ciaran Hinds

Ciaran Hinds

On to Riddle.  Due to a scheduling conflict with Salvation Boulevard, I was unable to portray the role of Michelle.

Since I was Taft-Hartley’d on Red Dawn, after booking Riddle and Salvation Boulevard, I received a must-join letter from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and I’ve since joined!  I actually just attended my first SAG conservatory workshop, taught by my old friend Ben Ketai.

Cindy Chu

Cindy Chu with SAG card

Moving on, my short film Qing Lou Nu just screened this past weekend at the Detroit Windsor International Film Fest (DWIFF) and the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival (PIFF).  We even got a mention in Daniela Vitola‘s culturemob blog!  I am pleased to announce that we took the Best Short Film Award at DWIFF.  Congratulations to my director, Bryan D. Hopkins!  He is currently working on creating a documentary about the oil spill, and you can check out more information on that project and donate to the project through the link, Dirty Energy Movie.

If you missed the screening at DWIFF, you can also check it out July 17, 2010, at 11AM during the GlassCityCon in Perrysburg, Ohio, very close to Toledo.  I will be conducting a screening of the film, followed by a half-hour Q&A about the film and the acting industry.  This will be my first official appearance at an anime convention as a guest.  It is a 2-day event taking place at Owens Community College and is free and open to the public.  My event will be limited to guests 18+ with ID.

Besides the screenings this weekend, I also filmed for a SAG new media project directed by John Monnich.  This was shot in affiliation with DWIFF, and will be released online when it is finished.  I’m not sure what details I can release about it, so I won’t say much besides that it will be funny, and I played a pissed off office employee.

And as always, I love to promote my friends and their projects, and I have the perfect gift for you today.  Check out the new hip hop songs by Thrill Train here.  Downloads are at the top of the page.  They just added a few new tracks.  Did I mention the downloads are FREE?  Add them to your club mixes, workout mixes, whatever, they’re great for breaking a sweat to.  You can also be their fan on Facebook.  And you can be a fan of my acting on Facebook as well. Thrill Train on FB.  Cindy Chu–Actress on FB.

April 23, 2010 Update

Greetings!

Lots of exciting things going on right now.

Here’s a quick summary:

1) I finally buckled and joined IMDb Pro, so that I could post headshots with my account.  My agent felt it was time.  I think he’s right.  Curt Howe, you rock!  And now I have a “Vanity URL”: http://www.imdb.me/cindychu

2) I just received my deal memo for Salvation Boulevard!!! Salvation Boulevard is based on the book by Larry Beinhart.   I’ll be shooting in late May, and actually this leads me to point 3!

3) I was also cast as Michelle in Riddle, which is reportedly starring Val Kilmer, and as of this posting, my shoot date for this is the day before my shoot date for SB.  Riddle is shooting in Pittsburgh, PA.

Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer

4) Yoshiko on the Dunes premiered last night at the Michigan Theater as part of the U of M‘s senior thesis films event!  It was shot on a Canon 5d Mark II, and ended up looking sooooo beautiful.  Congratulations, Micah Vanderhoof!  I played the part of Naoki, Yoshiko’s friend, and also helped voice Death.

5) Sucker is wrapping up, we’re on our last week of shooting, and I am so happy that I was able to work on it on the production side.  It was such a great experience and I think it’s going to be a huge success!  I met a lot of amazing people, like Lloyd Kaufman, who was in for a day last week.  Check out Bloody Disgusting’s article on the film!  Follow Lloyd Kaufman on Twitter!  And huge kudos to Big Screen Entertainment and Big Screen Michigan for bringing their movie-making magic to our wonderful state.  And here’s my little shoutout to the DPs, aka the Directors of Photography on Sucker.  The Deka brothers have amazing vision, and in fact, Julien Deka said the translation for director in French is réalisateur, and his translation of that into English was one who makes dreams reality.  Nice!  It’s also been wonderful to meet and work with Kimberley Kates, a lovely vision who is also one of the producers of Sucker and a head honchette at Big Screen.  Big Screen Entertainment will be releasing their new horror flick Babysitter Wanted on Blu-Ray and DVD in the USA on May 25, 2010.  Amazon is taking pre-orders now, click on Blu-Ray or DVD in the prior sentence to pre-order yours now.  Watch the trailer for it here.  You can also watch it on PPV or VOD!

Lloyd Kaufman

Lloyd Kaufman

The Deka Brothers--Ben and Julien

The Deka Brothers--Ben and Julien

Kimberley Kates

Kimberley Kates

Babysitter Wanted

Babysitter Wanted

6) My interview with Roborobb is up at last!  Listen to it here!  I’m not the best interviewee…don’t judge me!  Thank you Rob for the interview, I think you covered a lot of bases.  😀   You can follow Rob on Twitter!

Roborobb

Roborobb

7) This weekend, besides working on Sucker, I’ll be doing an (probably my last) extra role on the feature film JINN, playing an insane asylum inhabitant…all kinds of crazy, that’s right!

And I think that’s it for updates!

One last plug for friends, my buddies J-Thrill and D-Train of Thrill Train fame, have their song featured in a student film, “Camp Chapel”, and you can check it out on Youtube here, or just view it below:

Thrill Train

Thrill Train

As always, stay fabulous my lovelies!  Until next time!

~cindy