Talking to Angels

Last week, I had the honor of being the sole actor in a short film written by Jennifer DiMarco following an eight-world plot that I submitted. I asked her to challenge me with song and dance, as I’ve not done either onscreen before—and very few people have witnessed me sing or dance for reals.

But the script turned out to be so much more meaningful and challenging than I could have expected. Here’s why:

Eight years ago, I was hospitalized after two back-to-back concussions caused me to faint and lose motor control of my speech. As someone who speaks her mind every day, whose love language is words of affirmation, it was terrifying. But I kept much of that terror to myself, and instead outwardly turned my fear and frustration into humor.

Yet now, I find myself embarking upon careers that rely solely on communication. Since my injury, I have vowed to never take my voice for granted.

Dance and music have become prominent modalities of self-expression in my life. While many of you have witnessed my comedic (and surprisingly sober) lyrical interpretations at the bar, the beach and the sidewalk, so much goes on behind closed doors. I don’t just sing and dance when I’m happy. I sing and dance when I’m frustrated, scared, angry, and sad. I sing and dance when I have something to say and something to feel, but too often I do it in the shadows of my home.

No more.

“Talking to Angels” is my first film dancing debut with movement that is “haunting, sorrowful, strange and mesmerizing” (Jennifer’s words!). I thought it would be laborious to choreograph but the script and music so moved me, I ended up completing it within two hours. “Talking to Angels” is my first film singing debut with a “wordless, peaceful and haunting” (Jennifer’s words!) Gregorian chant that I wrote in the shower. Singing without words is not easy. Challenge accepted.

I play Cynthia Locklear, a soldier on a generation starship who hears voices in an alternate universe. Only she hears them. Only she speaks to them. “Talking to Angels” will be a contender at the Take 8 Film Festival in April. I’m so very nervous and so very excited, but also so very grateful for this script that is, itself, mesmerizing.

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