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Stephanie Lemelin

November 9, 2009

New website... and blog!

Monday, November 9, 2009  •  New weebsite... and blog!  •  No comments

I am so excited that the lovely ladies of Sunfish Design are busy at work re-imagining this website. What you see now is still under construction... including this"blog" section where I will be able to post my own updates and thoughts-- fun, fun! So in that spirit... here are my first couple entries... with much more to come ;)

“In free countries, every man is entitled to express his opinions and every other man is entitled not to listen.”
~ G. Norman Collie

So... why the website?  For starters, I have learned so much from reading other people's stories, and if any of mine can help some other like-minded individual out there... why not share? Our lives are so busy, and the web offers an accessible way of keeping up to date with the goings-on of our industry and an awareness of the avenues that are open for creative collaboration. Since my career is ever-evolving, my hope is to use this site as a way to reflect upon my journey, and to connect with others who have similar paths. So, if you're looking for information on me and my career... here it is, straight from the horse's mouth! And if you aren't, um... why are you reading this?

“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.”
~ Hannah Arendt 

Apparently, when my mom once asked me at 4 years old what I would like to be when I grow up, I replied, matter-of-factly, "Either an actress, or a writer, or the Easter Bunny." 2 out of 3's not bad, right?

I've always been a storyteller. Growing up, I was happiest either acting on stage in front of a crowd or furiously writing mini novels alone in my room. Today, I've written both children's books and screenplays, and I pinch myself at times because I actually get paid to act in TV shows and films. Somehow I am also now producing movies. And while it's my work, it's also my life... I married my best friend, and he shares similar career interests. The personal and professional is quite blurred, and thankfully, we're okay with that. Even in my "off-time"-- I am happiest either curled up with my doggies at home reading an amazing book or watching one of my favorite shows, or else out and about enjoying  popcorn at the movies, clapping in the audience of a theatrical musical production, or dancing in the aisles at a live concert. No matter where we are or what we are doing, my husband and I are always excited to get swept away in the telling or sharing of a great story! It's often difficult to define where work ends and life begins, so we just try to be present and inspired for all of it.

“The essence of childhood, of course, is play, which my friends and I did endlessly
on streets that we reluctantly shared with traffic.”

~ Bill Cosby

I love the quote above because I think so much of our work feels like playing. The true work we do is dealing with all of the traffic that comes with this business-- so that we feel safe enough to play and enjoy ourselves, and to not get discouraged, or hurt, by any of the other random drivers with whom we share the road.

“The events of childhood do not pass, but repeat themselves like seasons of the year.”
~ Eleanor Farjeon

My childhood definitely helped grow the storyteller's seed inside me from the start.  Because of my father's job as an NHL goalie, I moved several times, and every time I entered a new school-- I was challenged by the many new people to meet, and things to learn-- from names and faces, to accents and social expressions, to local heroes and sports affiliations. I marveled at how other kids, who had never moved, believed their team was the best team, their way of speaking was the right way... and I was fascinated at how different everyone seemed on the surface, but how similar we all were in the end. I was already making connections that would help me in my chosen career one day.

More than that, my family was very close, and remained a strong constant for me alongside so many changes. Also, seeing my dad go to practice every day so that he could be conditioned and strong for the professional challenges he faced (both on and off the ice!) had an incredibly strong influence on my work ethic. I also saw him do countless charity events and community benefits and saw how moved people were by the time and energy he dedicated to not only his fans but also people in need. I carry these lessons with me daily, ingrained in me from an early age.

Growing up, I did lots of community theater. At the end of junior high, my mom finally broke down and brought me to an agent after years of my begging. I remain fortunate to have formed a life-long bond with the woman that signed me in Boston, Lynda St. James of the Cameo Agency, and for the next couple years worked on numerous local commercials and industrial films in New England. Then it was off to college where I pursued my other love, writing, and a Communications degree at the University of Pennsylvania. I took as many classes in the business and production side of entertainment as I could, and used my summers off to intern back at Cameo. During my junior year, I studied abroad in Australia, and interned as a production assistant and in the editing bay for two TV shows. To anyone who is thinking of getting involved in this business, in whatever field, I would say that these experiences helped me tremendously. If you want to be a writer, take an acting class. If you want to be an actor, assist an editor.  There is no shortage to what you can learn about your field by seeing it from a different angle. And of course, if you want to be good at whatever you do... TRAVEL! Live life, get out there and try new things, especially ones that scare you. Talk to people, watch movies, read books, immerse yourself in culture. I am telling you, despite how scared it made my parents...  when I finally graduated college in 2001, I felt confident and ready to take on the formidable and majestic town of Los Angeles... and I'm not sure I could have survived otherwise. Because man, was it a lot harder than I was expecting!

"Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice.
Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work"

~ William Arthur Ward

I don't believe you can just teach someone randomly off the streets to act or sing or write... unless of course the seed already exists naturally within. It's the same with sports... you have to be naturally athletic if you are gonna make it in the big leagues. I believe that countless people are born with some sort of innate talent. And with proper nurturing and/or training, coaching and/or hard work, true life experiences-- both positive and negative, and a determination that is all your own-- certain seeds inevitably will grow more successfully than others over time. The key point is "over time".... we are all at such different stages, and to compare one person's story to another's (especially in this field) is truly to compare apples to oranges. We can only learn from and be inspired from one another's stories. But then, we must to go out and DO things to really form our own. Plus, there's the capricious nature of "good luck" to take into account. With so many flowers in a field, how can you control which one gets picked? Much of the time, it has nothing to do with you, but rather-- timing, or someone's personal preference. So, it's important to be in a place where you get enough sunlight and water to survive, and hopefully soon flourish,  and if you are feeling droopy-- to try and get out of your head and look to your left. Perhaps volunteer your time, energy, and talents with someone who not only appreciates it but very well may need it. Being artistic and creative is a gift that keeps on giving. So use your god-given talents for more than just personal gain. Because in the end, we are all connected and can gain from sharing each other's stories, and lending a helping hand.  On that note, this website then will also be a platform for me to share some amazing volunteer opportunities and stories about charitable organizations as they touch me along the way!

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
~ Ursula K. LeGuin

No one can sustain a career in this business on freebies and connections alone. You have to at least some talent and you definitely have to be willing to put in the work. As individuals, my husband and I have been working tirelessly to make things happen in our careers, and our workload only doubled when we got married and started a production company. We feel both blessed and inspired by the many people we've met and worked with along the way who've shown the same amount of passion and perspiration. We've also been let down and frustrated by people who've over-promised and under-delivered on just as many occasions. In the end, we have truly learned so much, each step along the way... and every lesson counts.

Life (synonymous with work for us) continues to be a roller coaster, with plenty of nauseating falls and thrilling highs. Our goal remains, however-- no matter what happens-- to enjoy the ride along the way. We still get a kick out of yelling "Look Ma, no hands!" as often as humanely possible.... And we're happy our moms love us despite all the risks we seem to take... Thank you, Mom ;)

Now it's 2009 when I write this and I've had eight straight years of ups and downs in this business. I've done 9 television pilots for major networks, some of which got picked up and aired, others which have only been seen at parties thrown by my parents. I've guest-starred on shows and met countless inspiring and interesting actors along the way. I've had small parts in big studio films and big parts in small indie films. And man, have I AUDITIONED.  I'm now venturing into voice-over work, and my hope is to parlay my love of acting into some animated characters as well.  Of course, I will be updating on this blog whatever roles I book from here on out-- so thanks again, for caring and your support.



September, 2009

Oxy-Morons

Spent the month of September back in Boston, shooting an indie drama about the horrors of Oxycontin... see here for a great article about the film, courtesy of the Boston Phoenix. This was my 3rd time shooting back in Massachusetts (in Dec. 08 did a guest star spot in a TNT pilot called "Bunker Hill" opposite Donnie Wahlberg; also filmed the mystery movie "The Last Harbor" there in November)-- and as per usual-- I absolutely loved working in "Hollywood East!" Really hope we get the funding soon for our movie, "Lyons Den" which is scripted for a Boston shoot.

 
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  Stephanie Lemelin News & Updates    
     

Stephanie Lemelin

   
MARCH 2009:  

Stephanie books another pilot! This one is called "Canned" and is from ABC Studios. "Canned" is about a group of investment banker friends -- played by Tim Peper, Amanda Bynes, Nelson Franklin, and Baron Vaughn -- who are fired in a corporate shake-up. Stephanie plays Tim Peper's girlfriend and co-worker who not only survives the layoffs but gets promoted. (More news on cast and taping dates to come!).

 
 
 
 
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
December 2008:  

While in Boston shooting Hatteras Hotel, Stephanie lands a guest-starring (possible recurring, if show is picked up for series) role on a TNT pilot taping there, opposite Donnie Wahlberg. "Bunker Hill" written by Walon Green and directed by Jon Avnet, also stars Bridget Moynahan and Brian Dennehy.

Click here to read New Kid Donnie Wahlberg begins filming ‘Bunker Hill,’ a TNT cop drama pilot, at the Union Oyster House yesterday.

 
 
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
November / December 2008:  

Fun with family and friends ensues as Stephanie goes back to her hometown of Boston to shoot the indie film, Hatteras Hotel, a thriller/crime drama shooting on Cape Ann. She plays Alison Stone, a head-turner who is murdered while staying at the hotel. However, as the police start to investigate, they soon discover that several people had reason to kill... Other actors cast in the project include: Samaire Armstrong, Wade Williams, Ryan Sypek, Austin Highsmith, and Tracey Needham.

–Emerson Inn by the Sea general manager Molly Andrew Williamson has confirmed the inn will play a major role in the mystery drama "Hatteras Hotel" -- as the Hatteras Hotel. -Mary Muckenhoupt / Gloucester Daily Times

 
   
 
   
   

Stephanie Lemelin

Stephanie Lemelin

   
november 2008:  

Two exciting DVD releases happen in the same week!

To celebrate the double-DVD release of Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five, Dreamworks and Paramount hosted a grand event at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Stars such as Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, and Dustin Hoffman joined Stephanie for the red carpet event to promote the film.

Also, Bloodwars, the vampire dramedy that Stephanie produced and acted in a couple years ago with her husband, A.J. Draven, comes out in Blockbusters everywhere and online.

Click here to read Bloodwars review

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
September 2008:  

ABC extends Stephanie’s contract for Good Behavior until the end of the year, along with several other cast mates.  Word is the networks plans to retool some of the story and cast before deciding whether to pick this series up as a midseason replacement. Fingers are crossed!

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
august 2008:  

Dreams really do come true! Stephanie is cast in her first ever animated feature film, KUNG FU PANDA: Secrets of the Furious Five, as the voice of a snow leopard named Mei-Ling, in a flashback story about how Crane became part of the Furious Five. The film, directed by Raman Hui, will be released as a companion DVD with the original film in November.

Here's a review:
"As Secrets of the Furious Five begins, Master Shifu tells Po that today he must face one of his greatest challenges — which turns out to be a couple of dozen little kid rabbits, Shifu's Introduction to Kung Fu class. Shifu then departs, locking Po in with the the kids, who, being kids, have a bazillion questions. Po decides to entertain — as well as educate — the kids by telling stories about their idols, the Furious Five, from the time before they were fearsome warriors. They learn that the lessons of patience, courage, confidence, control, and compassion made the Five who they are today.The flashback sequences are quite fun, done in a 2-D animation style similar to the opening dream sequence from the original film. Mantis learns the benefits of slowing down and thinking. Crane, a lowly janitor at a fighting academy, gains confidence to try out for the school after a cute girl student encourages him. Tigress was ultimately saved from a sad fate after being trained by Shifu. Monkey learns a thing or two after encountering Master Oogway. But the best battle cry goes to the young, born-without-fangs Viper with her "I don't have to bite to fight!" victory cry, defending her overprotective father. This 25-minute feature is charming and cute. Kids will love it!

The special features on this disc will also keep your kids occupied for hours, either learning to draw the characters, dancing the Panda Dance, discovering the secrets behind the Animals of Kung Fu, mastering basic kung fu stances and moves, experiencing the history of the Chinese Zodiac, discovering What Fighting Style Are You?, and learning three-card-monte, errr… "Dumpling Shuffle". Secrets of the Furious Five comes bundled with Kung Fu Panda. It is not available separately."

 
 
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
may 2008:  

ABC casts Stephanie as Tawny West in her 7th consecutive television pilot-- this one's called Good Behavior.

DESCRIPTION: (from ABC's press release) Like any other middle-aged Las Vegas mom, Jackie West (Catherine O'Hara) just wants the best for her teen and adult kids. But lately, things have taken a downward turn. Having her husband go to prison for running a chop shop was bad. Watching her kids turn to criminal acts was worse. But when a family friend gets killed trying to escape the police, Jackie puts her foot down. Rather than gamble with crime, this Sin City mom decides to bankroll a sure thing: the straight life. Of course, getting her kids on board won't be easy. Van (Patrick J. Adams) has ripped off so many rides he can jack a car in his sleep. Tawny (Stephanie Lemelin) is gorgeous enough to get herself in trouble, and clever enough to escape—sometimes. And sharp young Roxy (Mae Whitman) just skipped six weeks of school by blackmailing the principal. Only Van's twin brother Haden (Patrick J. Adams) seems to value the law, and that's probably because he's a lawyer. But even he is not above being tempted to fall into bad old habits. And although Jackie's too old to squeeze into a cocktail waitress miniskirt, she's still determined to keep her family on the right track—even if it means bending the rules. Veronica Mars writer-creator Rob Thomas once again rewrites the rules of television genres with an edgy, soapy drama—one in which a different kind of family trying to live an honest life keeps getting pulled into the same old risky mischief. But, as Jackie West believes, even the Las Vegas strip can be a straight and narrow path—if you play your cards right.

 
   
Stephanie Lemelin  
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
april 2008:  

Stephanie is cast opposite David Spade in the CBS Sitcom, Rules of Engagement, as a waitress/wanna be rockstar who pressures Russell in following through on his promise of a recording contract after a one night stand. The episode, entitled "Buyer's Remorse" will air on May 12.

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin
Stephanie Lemelin

   
february - march 2008:  

Stephanie travels to the Philippines to film 2 movies with her husband's production company, In-Motion Pictures. The first, Disarmed, an action movie with a political edge, stars AJ Draven and Stephen Bauer. The story for the film was created by Stephanie, AJ and their business partner, Tom Shell, who also directed.


The second movie, a psychological thriller entitled Project Fear, stars Stephanie and Patrick Bergin, and tells the story of 6 friends who unknowingly get caught up in a scary mind game on a deserted island. The experience was challenging and life-changing-- and all caught on film! Check back for details soon.

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
September 2008:  

Stephanie signs on to play the role of "June", a 1950's prostitute involved in a CIA scandal, in the web series Operation Midnight, written by Ramesh Thadani.

 

See more info at: www.myspace.com/strangesciencefilms

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
november 2007:  

Free Arts for Abused Children, an amazing charity that is very close to Stephanie's heart, celebrates it's 30th Anniversary this year and will be holding its biggest fundraiser, the "Art Heals" event, on Nov. 29th in Malibu. Learn more about this wonderful organization and how to get involved by visiting the following website

 

Click here to visit

 

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
october 2007:  

Check out October's issue of US Weekly "Hot Hollywood" to see the latest advertisement of Stephanie and Juan Valdez.

 

Click here to see the Ad

 

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
September 2007:  

Raising Flagg has been released. Please check the website for the theatre playing near you!

www.raisingflagg.com

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
august 2007:  

Stephanie begins shooting the new ABC comedy series: CAVEMEN, which will premiere this fall! Tuesday nights at 8pm, on ABC!

 
   
     
   

Stephanie Lemelin

   
june 2007:

The Thirst, the vampire film that Stephanie produced with her fiance, AJ DRAVEN (who stars in the film!) premieres in the San Francisco independent horror film festival Another Hole in the Head.

Click here for more info on AJ's future projects!

 
   

Stephanie Lemelin

 
may 2007:

Live radio Interview on Boston's hit radio station KISS 108 FM with Matty in the Morning!

 
Stephanie Lemelin
   
 

Stephanie Lemelin

march 2007:

Stephanie books her 6th consecutive television pilot, CAVEMEN, a single-camera situation comedy for ABC. She plays a  fun-lovin', free-spirited character named Thorne who is the childhood best friend of Kate, a prim and proper Southern gal who just happens to be engaged to a Caveman
-- Joel. The show is described as such:

Based on a series of popular Geico Insurance TV commercials, this new fish-out-of-water sitcom looks at contemporary life in a southern suburb through the eyes of three cavemen: cynical Nick, laid-back Jamie and middle-man Joel.
 
 
 
 
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