New Beginnings, Finding My Place and an Update

I found this in my mailbox the day after I realized I was going to have to jump. #grace

I found this in my mailbox the day after I realized I was going to have to jump. #grace

As a storyteller I find that I tell stories the way I experience life – through sporadic vulnerability, woven with levity. I like to call it situation-dramedy. Growing up I admired writers and filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams (circa Felicity) Cameron Crowe, John Hughes, Charles Shyer, Nancy Meyers and Edward Zwick for their mastery in weaving authentic stories in humorous and sobering ways. At the time, I could not articulate that. All I knew was that their films and television shows touched me deep in my heart, and I knew I wanted to tell stories that would compel us to search for Truth. But what God has been showing me on a more personal and urgent level just recently, is that if I am going to continue to compel viewers to search for Truth, I must, myself, be compelled in the same way. Arriving at that realization and then accepting it has been the scariest and most rewarding thing I have ever done.

I had never been a seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. And what I mean is, I would go hungry for a day before I showed up at the grocery store without a shopping list. Order. It’s the way I had always operated because I couldn’t stand the idea of not knowing what was coming next. From rent to relationships, I needed to know where I stood in the “big picture”. But this year, 2015, has been marked as the year I truly accepted my own Call to Adventure; the year God compelled me to step out in faith and pursue the gifts He has instilled in me with the same conviction I write into my characters.

The past few years had grown increasingly more difficult. I’d been stretched between two teaching jobs, trying to make ends meet and not ever even considering stepping out. The reason? Fear, plain and simple. I had no back-up plan, after all, and no time to create one. How would I pay my bills if I left my full time job and went to part-time? Ironically enough, I had stopped trusting the One who had given me my creative vision in the first place. Once I realigned myself with His plan and stopped trying to share control, things just started to fall into place. And now as I look back, I am amazed at the chapter that is currently being written in my story. It is transformative, truthful, convicting, relatable and inspiring – the very same qualities woven into any impactful narrative that has ever stuck with us. I want to tell those kinds of stories!

There are just too many mind-blowing moments that led up to my finally taking the leap and I think I might take time to highlight some of them in a later entry. But for now, I thought I would share with you the letter I sent out to my school family. Their support — from my administrators to my parents — has been overwhelming. I have been blessed beyond my imagination, and I look forward to being salt and light wherever I go.

Hello loved ones,

It has been my heart’s prayer, for the past couple of years especially, that God would take me deeper in Him, show me how to trust Him with every aspect of my life. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Trust has been my greatest challenge lately. In the fall I heard the song “Oceans” for the first time and I remember thinking how beautiful it was, how intentional. Since then I’ve sang it several times a month between chapel and weekend church service. I’ve often found myself in tears, aching and longing for the kind of intimacy with God that would take me deeper than I could ever go in my own strength, my own understanding, my own self. What I didn’t realize was that every time I sang that song, I was not only worshiping God; I was also calling out to Him with a fervent prayer from the depths of my Spirit. Well, over the course of this school year, I have felt the Lord — even heard Him — calling me to step out on faith and trust Him with my purpose. So now, even though it is the scariest thing I have ever done in my life…even though I LOVE my family here and the ministry I am blessed to be a part of… even though I LOVE these kiddos more than words can describe… I am going to step out on faith and watch what God does. Because when it comes down to it, it is always best to be in the middle of His will than in the comfort of my own.
I want to say THANK YOU to everyone for being so awesome. I can safely say that I have very specific, very special memories with each one of you that I have been collecting over the past eight years, and that makes me feel really good. I just hope that I have been half the blessing to all of you that you have been to me. It is a privilege to call you my family! May God bless you and keep you always.
Love,
Lauren Snowden

So, this is what I’m into right now. I was accepted into a 4-week accelerated production program through an aweome company called CreatorUp​, based on a short documentary I pitched about one of the awesome people in my life and her impact on her corner of Los Angeles. I am overwhelmed at how much my project has resonated with people. In fact, I was especially honored to be chosen for the blog post about the launch of the Accelerator Program. You can read the article
here.

Thank you so much for sticking with me through this transition. More posts, more often, to come!

#creativevision #creatorup #runnerslane #makingmoves #artnusproductions

Grandma’s House: Less Than Two Minutes of Your Time for an Awesome Cause! =)

Hey, everybody! I am proud to share an uplifting and inspiring tidbit with you and ask for your quick “click” vote! My aunt, Flora Johnson (pictured below in the sharp red blazer), has an amazing not-for-profit after-school tutoring program called Grandma’s House, and she is competing for a very important money grant. Grandma’s House, located in Tulare, CA, is striving to make a difference in the lives of children who need help but can’t afford to pay for tutoring, and they have made a tremendous impact in the community.

Her credentials are so extensive that I can’t begin to rattle them off for you but I will tell you that she retired from a fulfilling career as a secondary principal, only to continue educating in a way that would allow her to cater specifically to the needs of her town. I have seen this facility with my own two eyes and it is beyond outstanding! This grant will provide the capitol for her and her team to expand the facility and will enable them to service many more children. We can help by simply clicking this link and voting. Please click, vote and share via social media for as many days as you are able; you will be doing a huge service for a needy community of young people! On behalf of Grandma’s House, and on behalf of the children and families who will benefit, I say a huge THANK YOU!!!

Vote for Grandma’s House Here!

“thE rEAsOn” Comes to the LA WEBFEST April 4 & 5!

SCREENSHOT - Opening

2015 Official Selection

Hello, my faithful followers!

It has been a while since my last update — on thE rEAsOn or otherwise —  but I hope this exciting news makes up for it!

By now many of you have had the opportunity to experience thE rEAsOn and some of you have even shared it with others, greatly increasing the traffic to the episodes. Thank you for that! The latest update is that two weeks ago I received word that thE rEAsOn was accepted into the LA WEBFEST, and that it has been nominated for four awards, including:

“Outstanding Actress in a Drama” (Dinora Walcott)
“Outstanding Actor in a Drama” (Desean Kevin Terry)
“Outstanding Theme Song in a Drama” (Brad Bettis)
“Outstanding Directing in a Drama” (Lauren C. Snowden)

This festival will be LA-local, right here in Universal City, and it runs from Thursday, April 2 to Sunday, April 5. In addition to the two screenings for thE rEAsOn on Saturday and Sunday, I will also be featured on two panel discussions — one Saturday and one Sunday. Here is a rundown:

Saturday April 4:
12:00 – Featured on panel “How we made our webseries”
2:00 – “thE rEAsOn” screens
8:00 – Awards ceremony at 8:00

Sunday April 5
4:00 – Featured on panel “How we made our webseries… as minorities in control”
6:00 – “thE rEAsOn” screens

I am so proud of everyone involved in bringing thE rEAsOn to life, and I want to especially congratulate Dinora, Desean and Brad for their nominations!

It would be so wonderful to have you there to share in the fun if you are able to make it. But even if you aren’t able to be here physically, I wanted to thank you all for your support and for believing in this vision and in me. Please email me or comment below if you want more information on the festival, to let me know that you will be joining in the festivities, or just to say hello! I would love to hear from you =)

If you want further information on the other events happening at the festival, the website is lawebfest.com. I have no doubt that there will be many wonderful series to enjoy and a wealth of invaluable information being given. And please, spread the word!

May the Lord bless and keep you in His care, ALWAYS!

Always love.

“The Filmstress” aka Lauren C. Snowden

2015 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama.Nominee

Dinora Walcott

2015 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama.Nominee

Desean Kevin Terry

2015 Outstanding Theme Song Nominee

Brad Bettis

2015 Outstanding Directing in a Drama.Nomination

Lauren C. Snowden

“thE rEAsOn” Episode 4 “Back to the Past” is LIVE!! =)

Hello, everybody!

Just a quick line to let you know that the final installment of my pilot, thE rEAsOn is live and ready to be enjoyed. I would love to hear what you all think of the show and I pray that I will be bringing you the next installment in just a few short months! Thank you so much for all of your support; for accompanying me on this crazy journey and for trusting me with your time.

Merry belated Christmas to you all! I trust that your day was wonderful and pray that your New Year would bring with it lots of hope and promise. God bless and keep you ALWAYS!

Always love.

Lauren C. Snowden (The Filmstress)

When it rains, it pours: My Recent Interview and other Blessings =)

“…when things once start going right they often go on getting better and better.” – CS Lewis

Well, I’ve been trying something new in my life: actively trusting God. That is a moment-to-moment decision that I have to continue to make. This journey of trying to find a home for “thE rEAsOn” has been an interesting one. Every single person who has watched the show says how much they love it and how much we need more shows like this on the air which is absolutely wonderful, because that just proves that there is a very real audience out there who loves the project! Yet I’m still in need of that ONE person who will take a chance on me and this great project and everyone involved with it. BUT… I’m trusting God to work it out because, just like every other awesome thing that has happened surrounding my film work, none of it is in my control.

Speaking of… A few weeks back I returned from the New York Television Festival and had a sit-down with my Film Studies department chair at Moorpark College. I was telling her all about my experience in New York and she expressed immense excitement for me. I thought nothing else of it until about two weeks later, she emailed me that the Moorpark Student Voice (The college’s online news publication) had requested to conduct a featured interview with one of the Film professors who was currently working on any projects. As it turns out, to my knowledge, I’m the only instructor in my department who is actively working to make film projects. Well, the video interview was released on Tuesday and I would love to share it with you! I am not at all comfortable being in front of the camera but I have learned to embrace these opportunities as primers for what is to come. I have to believe that all of this is coming together for a very specific, very GOOD reason!

You can watch my interview with the Moorpark Student Voice here:

In addition to this interview, I have had an influx of interest and order for my metal artwork! I literally prayed last Thursday that somehow I would be allowed to use my artwork to raise funds to finance my projects until someone else — preferably a network executive or independent financier — comes along and offers to cover my overhead. Well, lo and behold, the very next day, the orders started coming in! And I am even working on my first commission for a pretty successful business as well! It was as direct an answer to prayer as I can remember receiving! So now, I’m back in business and actually teaming up with a fabricator to start cutting my materials because it’s more than I can comfortably manage on my own anymore. (Stay tuned for a separate blog update on my artistic welding progress! =)

So today, I’m especially thankful. I’m thankful for my God-given gifts and that He has endowed me with the tenacity to use those gifts to bring glory to Him. And I’m most thankful that He is showing me how to trust Him to take care of the details! Thanks for sticking with me; it means so very much!

Always love.

Lauren C. Snowden (The Filmstress)

If you have not yet fallen in love with thE rEAsOn, it’s not too late! The first 3 of 4 parts have been launched and are available to view now via YouTube! I will even make it extra accessible for you and embed them right here in this blog post =)

Episode 1 “31 Candles”

Episode 2 “Boom, Baby!”

Episode 3 “A Very Sucky Engagement”

It’s about that time! Episode 3 “A Very Sucky Engagement” is LIVE!!

Quinn flashes ring - very sucky engagement

Sometimes things just don’t go the way you plan…

And Maya O’Neil seems to be enduring one upset after another. First, her college sweetheart shows up at her birthday party after ten years, with his fiancée in tow. Then she’s nearly run over by a cyclist — albeit an extremely gorgeous cyclist — in the park, and he expects her to pay for the damage to his bike that resulted from him being hurled off the side of the bike path after she darted out in front of him. What else could possibly go wrong? Well, the episode title should whet your appetite just enough to make you want to find out for yourself!

Happy Friday to all of my faithful followers and to the newcomers! thE rEAsOn, Episode 3 “A Very Sucky Engagement” has launched and is available for you to view. I sure hope you have been enjoying the show thus far. This is part 3 of my 4-part pilot presentation. What happens after episode 4 remains to be seen. But you helping to spread the word is going to go a mighty long way in helping us to get the rest of the show filmed. So, please, continue to tune in and let’s see if we can’t dazzle you!

Blessings,

Lauren, AKA The Filmstress

Watch and SHARE Episode 3 “A Very Sucky Engagement” here:

In this episode: Dinora Walcott Alexander Nandini Bapat, Norman A Snowden, Michele Martin Gossett, Jeff Hohimer and Loren Lillian

“thE rEAsOn” Episode 2, “Boom, Baby!” is LIVE!!

Maya and Salina - Boom, Baby

HAPPY SUNDAY!!! Great news: The next installment of my TV pilot “thE rEAsOn” is up and ready to be enjoyed! Please, go check it out and PLEASE, continue to share it, tweet about it, Instagram it to everyone you know! Thank you so much for your support! And please, do let me know what you think about the show! You can comment here, you can tweet to me @LaurenSnowden; find me on Facebook and follow our show page The Reason Series, or drop me an email!

Click here to view Episode 2 “Boom, Baby!”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-4tG1kuqXAY

Insert from Memory Box - Boom, Baby