Monday, April 4, 2016

My First Film

Wow is there a lot to update you all on!  My life has been moving so fast that I can hardly keep up with myself much less keep y'all up to date!  But I'm here because I do care about you and I want to at least try to keep you updated. ;)

First of all, if you read my previous post, you would know that I booked the role of lead actress in a TV series and I was flying out to Texas for 9 days of filming.  Okay, so let me clear some things up.  I did go to Texas, and I did film for 9 days.  BUT, in all reality I was really confused about what my role was, how the film (which I mentioned auditioning for in my last post in addition to the role I ended up booking) & TV show were connected (if they were), and whether my character was in the film or TV series.  I didn't clear this up until I got there and was told what exactly I was doing. Forget what I said in my last post and bear with me as I start over.

Strong Foundation Films, the wonderful Christian film company I was hired by, is working on a TV series.  The main characters in the TV Series is a Pastor Jo and his wife, Violet.  It gives you an inside look at their family life and shows them as they minister to people in their church, community, and in other countries.

In the making of the various episodes for this TV Series, namely, "The Unlikely Family", they wanted to include the story of a church member's daughter who, upon turning 18, runs away from home, gets involved in a reckless & sinful lifestyle. She almost gets sold in to sex trafficking, but is saved by the prayers of her mother and church family and by a mysterious taxi driver.  This is based on a true story.  As I said, they wanted to include this in "The Unlikely Family" but upon consideration realized it would be too much to put in one episode. Thus they decided to make a full length film about it.

The main character in the film, is still the Pastor Jo from the TV series. His wife, Violet, is also in it. But the major event that occurs in the film is the story I just told you. In this way, the film is a spin-off of the TV series.  I hope that makes sense.

So, to clear it all up, I went to Texas to film the role of Violet in the full length film NOT the TV series. My job was to be the super sweet, perfect example of a loving pastor's wife. ;)

The Richmond Airport
My plane took off at 5:30am on Friday, Feb. 26th, so it was an early start to a big day!  

My wonderful dad took me and helped me find the security checkpoint before he had to leave to go back home (and sleep ;).

The sunrise from the plane

 It was my first time flying and I really enjoyed it! :) I didn't have a window seat but I hoped I would get one after my layover in ATL.

Waiting to board in ATL

Those of you who are frequent flyers know that the Atlanta, GA airport is very large! This being my first time flying I was a little concerned about being able to find my next terminal with only an hour layover.  Thankfully, my incoming terminal was only 2 terminals away from the one I would leave from next! I was thanking Jesus for that one. ;)  

I was very happy to receive a window seat this time! :)  
I had plenty of space and theologically stimulating conversations with the agnostic man next to me for the 3 hours to San Antonio, TX. :)

I loved this blue lake I saw from the plane as we neared the airport. :) 

If you've ever wondered what TX looks like from a plane, you now know. :)

The producer, Ms. East, and her daughter, Chrissy, picked me up from the airport.  They were very kind. :) 

For the duration of my stay, I would be staying at the producer's house (along with some of the other crew members). When I arrived, I met some of the people I would be working with, got a tour of the house, and unpacked.  Then I took a good nap, helped with dinner, and after dinner it was time for the table read! :)

The table read is where all the actors/actresses come together and read through the script out loud.

It went well, although we had to use some volunteers in place of the actors/actresses couldn't make it.

I for one, wanted to meet the man who was the director, main actor, and my on-set husband.  He wasn't able to make it to the table read due to traffic but thankfully I got to meet him before the next day when we started filming.  He, Josiah, seemed very nice and told me he'd be my driver if I needed to go anywhere or get anything and was willing to help me with any questions or things I would need on or off set. 

After meeting Josiah I was feeling more confident about the next day, although I was still unsure quite what to expect! :)

 My hair and makeup artists were, Desera (left pic), Chrissy (right pic), and Tabitha.  Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture with Tabitha. She was fantastic along with the others, though! :)

Look! I'm married! :O 

(Don't worry dad, it wasn't for real ;)

My first scene! :D
 Aw! :')  My very first scene! I'm so glad my director, Josiah, got a picture for me!

Here are some super cool behind the scenes shots that were accumulated throughout the time I was there for filming.  No, they are not all from the same day of shooting! ;) You should feel extra special, though, that you're allowed to see these!

Family talk time
Family dinner :) 
Husband-wife heart-to-heart moment
Looking at the shot to make sure we would place ourselves correctly
Riverside talk
Walk in the park
Josiah & I with "our daughter", Chloe. :)
 One of the days we filmed in Mexico. I was particularly looking forward to this as I had never been out of the country before! :)
We got to do some ministering to the people while we were there and it was wonderful!

Taking a break on the water-cooler in between shots.

One of the natives kindly let me ride his horse because I was itching to ride. :) And isn't the little girl the cutest thing you've ever seen! :') So sweet! I wish I knew more Spanish because they would say things to me and I would just smile and be like, "I don't know what you're saying..."

Washing the feet of these adorable Mexican children
Conversing with the producer, Ms. East, about our next scenes.

Singing, "King Of Kings" in Spanish with our precious volunteer. :)

If you aren't melting I don't know what to say to you... 

Making food baggies for the Mexican families

Praying over the meal & people, and offering God's free gift of salvation. It was so wonderful to see multiple people accept Christ!

Out of Mexico now, we filmed on a horse ranch one day! 

My sweet stubborn horse, Moriah. ;) She didn't want to do much more than a slow walk unless we were heading towards the barn. :)

Up and ready to film!

Cantering :D

Visiting the graveside of a relative

Filming a birthday party

I'm not sure what to say about this so..yeah. It was my last day on set so I'm allowed to be weird, right? :P

And all had to end.

After many tears were shed (not just on my end ;), I flew back to ATL then to RIC, arriving back in VA around 11:15am on March 9th.  

The next day I was right back to work in the greenhouses at A Thyme To Plant and life hasn't slowed down since!

As much as I miss Texas and the friends I made there (who really...became family), I am thrilled to share that I have booked the lead role in their TV series and will be returning to film in TX on April 23rd! I'm looking forward to becoming "Violet" once again and am excited to see what the Lord has for me next!

~Alexis Noel

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Booked! :D

So...I pinky promise I didn't die and fall off the face of the earth.  And I honestly have been busy.  And I have at least 5 posts that need to go up. But not today. Sorry. Today I have news that has waited long enough.  It can't wait any longer. So enjoy this exciting bit of information on my life right now and trust that I have not forgotten you and I'll fill you in on the past eventually. ;)

On January 31st, 2016, I received a call from a number I didn't recognize.  Knowing that in this industry anyone might call you at anytime I picked up. 

"Hello," spoke the voice on the other end, "my name is Sun and I am a producer from San Antonio." 

"What?!", I thought, "A producer I've never even heard of called me out of the blue!? Wow."

Our conversation went from there and she told me how her daughter had found my profile on one of the social sites I'm on and they were interested in having me audition for the lead role in their upcoming film. I was delighted to discover they were a Christian film company dedicated to sharing the message of Christ through their work (  And so, I decided to audition. :D :D 
When Mrs. Sun sent me the sides, she explained that in addition to the lead role in the film she originally told me about, she wanted me to audition for a lead role in a TV Series they were working on.  I was even more enthusiastic about this new character and hoped if I got a role, it would be that one.  I ended up sending her my demo reel.  AMTC grads know what I'm talking about- the one that the wonderful Leo Marshall made by compiling my performance videos from SHINE. Yep. That one. :) 

The next day I received a call. THE call. 

With all glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I am pleased to announce that I have been booked as the lead actress in an upcoming TV Series! God does so much more than you could ever ask, think, or imagine. THIS FRIDAY I will be flying out to San Antonio for 9 days of filming. And since it's a TV Series I will be going back every month or 2 for another week of filming each time. Wow, right?! Believe it or not- there's more.....but it's classified for now. ;) Suffice it to say, God is good. ALL the time.

I always like to keep in mind this verse from 1 Corinthians 1:27 "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence." 

For it is not by works that I have done, but the work of Christ through me that has led me to this moment in my life. It is not my success but His.

Press on and never give up following wherever Christ leads you! ESPECIALLY when it's hard.

I look forward to sharing about my trip upon my return! Please keep me in your prayers!

All praise, honor, and glory be to Jesus!

-Alexis Noel

Friday, October 23, 2015

My AMTC Professional Photoshoot & NYC Trip

Where to begin!? I have had a crazy full year so far but I'll save that update for a later post.  :)  In this post I'd like to share with you how my first professional photoshoot and trip to NY went!
 When I graduated back in June of this year, my parents told me they were going to take me to see Les Misreables on Broadway as my graduation gift! :D Since my photoshoot was scheduled for Sunday, October 18th, in Queens, NY, they decided we'd go up the day before my photoshoot to do some sightseeing and go to the Broadway production of Les Mis. :)  I may or may not have had some of my clothes sitting out a week in advance.....I was excited to say the least. ;) 
Mama did some research for us and discovered the most cost-efficient way for us to get to NY was going to be by bus.  So around 12:40am on October 17th, our bus left from Richmond, Va heading straight for Manhattan, NY. 
Waiting for the bus
It was supposed to be a 6 hour drive but due to some mechanical problems it was a bit longer and we arrived around 7:15am. 
Getting closer!

Almost there! :)

Manhattan Skyline
  Let me tell you something: I have never been to NY.  And if my parents ever have it was a very long time ago.  Needless to say, as we took the subway to our hotel, we ended up being rather confused as to how the whole thing runs and we went 2 stops past where we needed to be.  Of course we didn't realize this until we were on the streets looking lost. ;)  After attempting to walk back to our hotel with our 1,000 lbs of luggage (more specifically, MY 1,000 lbs of luggage ;) we decided to hail a taxi. :)
We arrived at our hotel too early to check in to our room but thankfully the hotel was willing to hold all our baggage until we returned for the evening.  We ate a quick breakfast from the food mama had packed for us, then headed back to the subway. 
Destination: The Statue Of Liberty.
A NYC Subway Station. Confused yet?
After getting lost some more, we finally arrived at the drop off point for The Statue Of Liberty around 11:00am.  This actually ended up being one stop short of where we had hoped to be due to the subway not going all the way to the end on this particular day.  It was advised we take the free shuttle bus to where we needed to go.  Unfortunately, everyone else wanted to take the free shuttle bus too and we decided it would not be worth our time to go see the statue on this trip. :(  Instead, we walked a few blocks to the World Trade Center memorial. 
Some beautiful skyscrapers
That really neat looking building is going to be the worlds largest underground mall and the 4th biggest mall in the world once it's completed.
We weren’t interested in paying to go inside so instead we satisfied ourselves with pictures from the outside and a visit to their outside reflection pool memorial.  It was quite lovely and nice to finally be above ground viewing the city. ;) 
The first World Trade Center
Another World Trade Tower
The reflection pool memorial for the World Trade Centers
We needed to be back up by central park for the Broadway show by 1:30 and instead of taking the subway again, we decided to walk 4 miles (there about) to the Imperial Theater.  A brisk breeze was blowing off the Hudson as we walked and I was quite chilly.  It was bearable, yes, but cold none-the-less. :)
Enjoy some random pictures of the sights as we walked along. :)

I liked all the American flags on this building so I had to get a picture ;)

The United States Post Office
Dad leading the way
My wonderful parents and biggest supporters! <3
 After wading through the crowds, getting lost, and all that wonderful stuff, we arrived at the Imperial Theater.  Somehow, we managed to arrive at 1:36, which is pretty incredible considering we usually tend to run on “Wassenberg time" aka late. ;)
Mommy-daughter pic in front of the Imperial Theater
Pretty chandler in the theater
A most wonderful show never to be forgotten!
As you may or may not be able to tell from this picture, we had a great view from our seating in the orchestra section! :)
As for the show, it was very well done (though I haven't been to many other plays so my opinion might be a bit slanted ;)!  They went a bit over the top on the more vulgar parts of the script, but it was still well done.  Alfie Boe portrayed the main character, Jean Valjean, and he gave a wonderful performance! He was a powerful singer and good actor as well.  I would've loved to have met him!
It was a great experience (THANK YOU DAD & MOM :) and I'm glad I got to go!
Before the show had even started, I had felt a headache coming on.  I get a headache when I'm over-tired and I hadn't slept well on the bus that morning.  I'm not one to reach for pain reliever over just anything but by the end of the show my headache was so bad I was in tears. :/  Dad came to the rescue and found some Tylenol for me.  We walked to a nearby Starbucks to get some water and after a little bit, the Tylenol kicked in and my headache was gone. :D 
My generous Paw-paw offered to pay for whatever place I wanted to go to for dinner that night, so dad, mom, and I headed to E & E Grill House a few blocks away.
The grilled cheese and tomato soup were delicious!
Mom's caesar salad, Dad's French onion soup, and my farmhouse salad.
Key Lime Pie
 Somehow I totally forgot to get pictures of the main course but it was delicious anyway. ;)  I had a New York Strip with mashed potatoes.  Dad had some kind of honey glazed bacon burger thing that looked delicious. ;) And mom had a tuna steak with fried kale. It was all super yummy and we are so thankful to Pawpaw for this kind gift!  It was much appreciated and enjoyed! 
After we were done eating we took the subway back to our hotel (this time we got off at the right stop :P ). 
On the Subway
View from our hotel room window
The city is so pretty at night!
After settling in and getting things ready for the next day, we crashed.  In other words- fell asleep. ;)  I slept great (can I just buy a hotel bed for once?!)!
Morning view from our hotel room window
Dad's breakfast

Some of my breakfast

The breakfast area
I honestly have no idea if y'all think all my food pictures are weird but my siblings back home always ask me what I ate, if the food was good, etc. so the pictures are for them, really. ;) Apparently the food is what matters most to them. ;)
Moving on though....
TODAY WAS THE DAY OF MY PHOTOSHOOT!!! :D  I had been looking forward to this for over 7 months!
My photoshoot was at Attic Studios in Long Island City, NY; about 1 mile from our hotel (a huge thank you to my Paw-paw who provided us with the hotel room!).  Dad, mom, and I took the taxi to the studio and hauled all my luggage to the third floor.  I keep saying I brought 1,000 lbs of luggage....what I mean is, for this photoshoot I brought almost my entire wardrobe. This is what I had been told to do (not because I'm an extreme over-packer ;).  Oh, and I'd like to give a shout out to my poor dad who had to carry the most gigantically stuffed and heavy bag EVER on his back. He's the best body guard & bellhop in one that's ever walked this earth! :D
When we arrived around 9:30am, I checked in at the table and then headed over to my rack to unpack all my stuff. :)  Mom helped me with most of it before she and dad left. They enjoyed a church service and hearing the Brooklyn tabernacle choir until I was done.  They would've had to sit in the waiting area anyway since they could not follow me around everywhere. Thus it made sense for them to just go enjoy themselves for the next 8 hours while I was busy. :)
Let me explain the mess that is the above picture. ;)  On the left are all the clothing racks where we performers unloaded our stuff.  To the right along the wall is the hair and make-up stations.  The chairs in the front of the picture are where the performers would wait to get their hair & makeup done. :)

After I unloaded my clothes, shoes, and accessories, Mrs. She helped me select my "looks" (photoshoot package options ;). I decided on lifestyle modeling pictures and theatrical headshots.  Mrs. She was also my wardrobe consultant and selected my outfits for my two shoots.
After I selected my looks and my outfits with Mrs. She, I headed over to the waiting area for my hair and makeup to be done. :)
 On the left is my make-up artist, Mrs. Betsy, and on the right is my fabulous hairdresser. :)
I've never had my hair and makeup professionally done before but I was pleased with the results! :D
 Ms. Holly and I.  She was super sweet and bubbly and fun to be around! :)  She was my final make-up checker. ;) She also touched me up whenever I needed it (between shoots and such). If I remember correctly she was the "head" of the make-up artists. :) We had fun. :)
After my hair and makeup were done, I got my theatrical headshots done with my photographer, Ms. Glynis. I was glad to receive some tips from her as she took my pictures so I could work on improving my "looks". :)
After my theatrical headshots were done, I changed into my lifestyle modeling outfit, got my hair and makeup touched up, and waited for my next photographer, Mr. Bradley. :)  Up until this point, I've excluded the fact that there is waiting in between each step. ;)  But needless to say, I was sure to talk to those I was waiting with. :)  As I waited for Mr. Bradley, I spoke with the three people next to me.  I enjoyed keeping things light and finding out what passions the Lord had placed on their hearts in the entertainment industry. :)

 My lifestyle photographer, Mr. Joseph Bradley and I. :)
He is very sweet and a talented photographer! I appreciated the fact that he could joke around and keep things light which was great in making me more comfortable working with him. :)


This is a flower Mr. Bradley picked for me to use during my photoshoot.  :)
After I was done with Mr. Bradley I reported back to the "front desk" to let them know I was done all my looks.  I would not be able to leave until they uploaded all the pictures and made sure they had everything they needed. In the meantime I packed up, got pictures with all the delightful people who served me, primped and polished me, and took pictures of me, then I ate a snack.  It was about 4pm and I hadn't eaten since breakfast that morning at 8:30am. :)  I just had a light snack of some cheese and crackers and some apples. :)
Side story on cheese: As I was talking with Mr. Bradley and telling him about our farm and fresh dairy products I make, it turned out he's a bit of a health nut himself. :)  So, after packing up, as I was eating the cheese I made, he came over and I offered him some to see what he thought of it. He liked it and proceeded to take me around and offer it to the other professionals in the area. :) No one threw up, so I think I did okay.  :P ;)
After that, I chatted some more with the guys I had talked to while waiting earlier, met some of their siblings, and their mom. :) I love meeting new people and making new acquaintances! :)
Once mom and dad arrived around 5:40pm we headed back to the bus stop.  Our bus wasn't due to leave until 10:30pm but we had all our luggage with us.  Thankfully, a bellhop at the hotel across from the bus station was willing to hold our bags for us until 11pm. :D  He was a blessing!
Madison Square Garden
 Since the bellhop was willing to hold our bags for us, we were able to sightsee a bit more before we had to leave.
The Empire State Building
 I insisted on getting a picture with "The Statue Of Liberty" since we didn't get to see the real one. ;)
This was a gigantic library that I would've loved to look inside of.
Times Square of course! :D
 The only picture I got of all of us.
After we went in some of the stores on 5th Ave. and Times Square, we decided we should grab a bite to eat. It was only past 8pm, after all. :P
Yes, we went to Applebees in Times Square, NYC.  We're cool like that. ;)
After dinner we headed back to where the bus stop was to get our bags from the hotel. The bus arrived around 10:30pm and we loaded up for the ride back to Richmond. 
The bus is back! :'(
Ready for the trip home!
  This time the bus made two stops (Maryland and Washington D.C.) before it came to Richmond. 
It was around 5:00am when we got back into Richmond and close to 5:40am by the time we got home. :)
All in all, I made some wonderful memories my first time in NY! :D  I'd love to go back some day especially if that means another photoshoot! 
I won't receive my pictures from my photoshoot for a month or so, which means you'll have to wait to see them.  If you think that's hard, imagine how hard it is for me to wait for them. ;) Mr. Bradley showed me some when he was taking them and from what I saw....they're going to be pretty incredible (not to tease you or anything ;)!  I have a sample of one that I'm holding back from the public for now because I think you should all wait until we get the finished product. I know, I know, I'm terrible. ;)
Moving on from that, though, I hope you all have a wonderful evening and a blessed weekend!
~Alexis Noel