Sonora's Corner of the Web

Capacity for Change

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Patsy Rodenberg said, “Actors connect. We walk into a room and we spot each other right away.” I would broaden that to include all theater makers.

My personal theory is that we connect to people who have the same capacity for change.

People who have the same upper limit on how much good we can experience and the ability to raise that upper limit to grow. Or as one might say grow up. We meet these people in classes, workshops, parties, day jobs, interning, on set, in line at the stage door to get a playbill signed – everywhere.

The important thing is that we recognize our people when they’re in front of us and we say hello.

This is the undercurrent of collaboration.

It starts small, it grows steady, and it serves as a great example for how we make memorable theater, improv, films, and performance art.


Brooklyn College Aluma of the Year Award  2014-05-13 20.59.25

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2014-05-15 18.55.43Thank you to Isabelle Pierre for posting these group shots on Facebook!

Twinkle is in the NY L.A. International Film Festival!

Are you in NYC? Come out Saturday, May 10th to see our short film, Twinkle, directed by Rosalyn Coleman Williams! Roz is part of an amazing duo with Craig Williams guiding actors to self produce: Red Wall Productions. Twitter: @RedWallPro

It was a fantastic collaboration that I am so proud to be a part of. Join us!

Twinkle also own audience favorite at The Brooklyn Girl Festival!




Taking The Sting Out of Pilot Season

Who booked a new TV show?

Lots of actors did. It may not be their dream role, but they got it. And there weren’t enough roles to go around. Are you feeling the sting, too? It’s okay, we all are. Fancy people lost out. Unknowns lost out. It’s now time to bounce back.

We can take this opportunity to raise our game on self care before we regroup. I don’t mean numbing out, I mean actually feeling the sting and knowing it will pass, then taking care of our psyches so we don’t burn out. Yes, we can and should get massages, haircuts, or take a weekend trip, but -

Here are my favorite acts of self care, for fun and for free:


1. Take a long walk where the sky is bigger than the land and take it in. The gaping hole will match the hole in your heart and somehow fill it at the same time.

2. Leave the house and make conversation with one new acquaintance a day. Its like daytime bar hopping, minus the depression that follows a hangover. It may make you feel less alone in the world. Say hi to all dogs along the way;  they really like it.

3. Join a meet up group and meet entirely new people who did not audition for a single pilot. Conversely, attend free improv shows to laugh in pain and in sync with other performers and experience a shared experience other than the TV system.

4. Complete all incomplete chores that you can in one hour, then pat yourself on the back & bake a cake.rainbow-cake-4

5. Spend the afternoon with that book you meant to read last year in your favorite chair, or get a new one from the library.

6. Be of service to someone or a charity, then go write a 2 minute short film about how it changed you.

7. Take a social media break. Swap it out with meditating. Or something that refills the well.

8. Write funny limericks about the baffling nature of TV and our response to it, then call an artist friend & leave it on their voicemail. Make it a human connection, not just a clever, witty Facebook post.

9. Move furniture around, draw something that makes you laugh and hang it on the door.

10. Re-watch Bridesmaids. Recall your most obstinate moments in life and find the humor in it. Bridesmaids

11. Watch TED Talks, Pema Chodron videos, or listen to The Moth – whatever resonates and will bring you back to your true nature.

12. Make a list of the most frustrating obstacles and reverse them into new game plans. Or simply release whatever goals you have that those obstacles are blocking in order to clear a path to receive new inspiration in due course.

Receive * Release *Recover * Rebuild *  Relish

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Power of Women in Film: Portland!

I had a great time in Portland, Oregon at PowFest! 


All the films were directed by women and told stories through a woman’s P.O.V.

Back in L.A., I had just turned down a role in a pilot that starred all men – but 3 tiny female characters were written in to be their maid, their naked one night stand, & a worshiping fan.

When a show is missing real women, it is missing half its comedy.

Enter PowFest- a well-needed escape to Portland(ia), which is the love child of Austin and NYC’s meat-packing district. In addition to sharp, thought-provoking animation, narrative shorts & features, PowFest programmed short documentaries about 73 year old basketball players, teen wrestlers, & the sweet highs and lows of a girl with Turrets. [trailer]

Sometimes I don’t know how thirsty I am for films & panels of great substance & depth until I get an overdose. That’s why I love festivals.

This was enough of a jolt to go back to our pilot we developed last year and close my file on “pilot season.”20140317-163617.jpg

I officially got passed over for a series and have been unable to sell our own pilot to a traditional broadcast network. That said, I LOVE Amazon’s new series, Transparent, by Jill Soloway.

Maybe new media will continue to broaden their programming beyond men?

Maybe if we self produce and direct,

women can be portrayed as more than the fantasy of a woman or the nightmare if a woman.


What do you think? Want to see us make our own pilot on location in Detroit? Pregnant or Not, Here We Come!


 (<<My fav PDX coffee house,bookstore, and their very civilized train!)

Airport Douchery wins an Award!

Great news! Airport Douchery: Boarding & Hoarding won the 2013 Fall Golden Eagle Award! Special thanks to Betsy Walters & Jon Gann who referred me to the competition during D.C. Shorts!

Check it out here:


Pilot Update


A Single Camera Comedy By Sarah Knapp

Acme Reading 1


Acme Red Caroet Mini Cropped We presented our industry read for producers for our pilot Tuesday night at Acme and it was exhilarating! No news yet, just photos. Pictured above are Ashlie Atkinson, Jessica Blank, Keith Gerchak, & myself. The next photo is my horsing around backstage with the screenwriter, Sarah Knapp and photo-bombing her talking to Devon Michael Jones.

Below, pictured left to right: me, Keith Gerchak, Ashlie Atkinson, Jessica Blank, Claire Bocking, Devon Michael Jones, & writer Sarah Knapp.

I want to give a special shout out to Ajarae Coleman for reading the stage directions and glamming up the place with her vibrant energy and presence! 

I am so grateful for every person who showed up that night! And when we have good news, you’ll be the first to hear it.





Happy Holidays!


Please vote!


We were in the lead last week – there are two more weeks of voting and the competition is stiff! How cool would it to be to win an award and end the year with a bang?! And please feel free to share your shining moments of overcoming travel jerks in the comments!




I love to take November and December to wrap up, reflect, & renew

As I let go of this year’s projects that came to an end, it propels me towards next year’s potential and I find that exciting! My pilot and feature indie are still in development, while my last TV appearance happens Monday MomPostcard

  • My episode of Mom airs this week: Monday, November 18th on CBS at 9:30/8:30 Central
  • Our pilot, Pregnant or Not, Here We Come, is getting its reading for producers in December
  • Airport Douchery: is up for Audience Favorite Award in The Tiny Film Festival


I took a break from working on my feature to shoot Chuck Lorre’s new mulit-cam comedy, Mom, on the Warner Brothers lot last week! Allison Janney and Anna Farris were comedy gold, as was the amazing Octavia Spencer!


I think this picture really says it all:

In my trailer:

I can’t tell you anything about the show, except that it is very funny & I can’t wait to share it with you!



Shorties are Winners

I love short films and am so grateful to be a part of the D.C. Short Film Festival with Uprising by Heather Parra, directed by Roberta Monroe. Here are some pictures from the week from the premier, party, Women’s Art Museum, Navy Memorial, Capitol, & White House.
Thanks to Marla Verdugo for styling me!



At the grand party at The Navy Memorial with Kathleen Minogue, producer of Ending Up

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Post Q&A with Heather


Heather Parra, writer of Uprising, on the left. Laura Parra, producer & Roberta Munroe, director on the right.

20130922-011537.jpg  20130922-011624.jpg   20130922-011650.jpg  Roberta and Laura



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Festival Programmers’ Panel

20130922-011916.jpgCenter: Jon Gann, head of D.C. Short Film Festival.

National Museum of Women’s Art

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US Navy Memorial

White House

Are You Going to the D.C. Short Film Festival?


The D.C. Shorts Film Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month and I’m excited to be in attendance with The Uprising, by Heather Parra, directed by Roberta Munroe.

Are you going? Tweet at me – *I’ll be there from September 18th – 24th! Can’t fly? The D.C. Shorts Film Festival is simultaneously shown online! Get tickets for it here. I love short films and I love that this festival is available from any computer with a connection. I play a scientist and it’s a zombie thriller – just in time for Halloween!


The Uprising: Family comes first, especially in a zombie-infested world.

*September 19th at 9:30 pm, *September 22nd at 2pm (Both at E Street)

September 24th at 5pm, September 27th at 8pm (Both at Angelika)

Each showcase of shorts is 90 minutes; the running time for The Uprising is 7 minutes

Buy tickets

Roberta Heather Roberta Marie Munroe, director, & Heather Parra, writer

Roberta Heather AnneRoberta Marie Munroe, director, Heater Parra, writer, & Anne Doria, scripty

Uprising zombie