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March 18, 2023

Creatives have specialties

by Tony Gapastione

Tony Gapastione interviews Priscilla Lam. 

For my blog this month I wanted our fellow BraveMaker community to get to know (actor/producer/red carpet host) Priscilla Lam a bit better. I like how she’s exploring not only working in her lane, but expanding her lane and finding others who are good and running hard in their lane. (How many more times can I say lane?). Yes I can. Creatives have specialties (lanes). Do you agree? If so, what’s yours?

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I cast Priscilla as the barista (she says one of my favorite lines: “Boo, you better back up!”) in my film Last Chance Charlene because she had an amazing audition. I’m talking, stand-out, “wow, this person has something” kind of audition. Although I cast another actor in the role she auditioned for, I had to find a way to get her in the film. I took a one line role and developed it a bit more specifically for her and that started a ripple effect of connections with Priscilla. 

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Her can-do attitude and friendly personality had me wanting to find other ways to partner with her. She’s now BraveMaker’s red carpet host, has joined me in facilitating panel discussions with filmmakers (as seen below in our 2023 Black History Month), and you know anytime I can cast her in a film, I will. I’ve already got her in two this year. 

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I love that she is not only an actor but she’s a producer. Something I think more actors need to figure out, it’s how to make movies. Here’s my interview with her. 

Hey! I know we’ve had you on our podcast (episode 157) and BraveMaker live show but tell us about yourself, who you are and what you do. 

I am an actor and producer who is a native of the Bay Area. I have been keeping busy with acting classes, bookings, and creating my own opportunities.

So you’re a producer now? How’s it feel?

Yes, I feel at home. I love connecting people, bringing ideas to life, and promoting my art with passion and enthusiasm. All these items come naturally to me, and now I get to refine my gifts every production I am a part of. 

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What are you making? What inspired it and why do you think it needs to be made?

I formed a collective, 11th Hour Creatives, that gathers Bay Area storytellers to collaborate on a monthly basis to produce one short film. I believe God put it on my heart to make one short film a month for the year of 2023. With that, I knew that there were other creatives that would love to collaborate so I just started reaching out to people I had crossed paths with before. Creatives are jumping on board, so it has been super fun. This is important because it allows everyone involved to share knowledge, put the knowledge into practice, have fun doing it, and have something to show for it.

What has been the most difficult part of bringing your production to life? 

I think the most difficult part is dying to my pride. I want to appear flawless, top notch, and BEYONCE level. Lol but the reality is this is my first year and I have to give myself room to become good then become great. So, I encourage myself to enjoy the journey. Take in all that year one has to offer, the good, the bad, the embarrassing and the loving moments.

What will you do differently next time you produce something? 

The next time I produce something I will be sure to start selecting creatives that align with the specific type of work the film genre is calling for. For example, if it is a horror film to look for composers who specifically focus on horror genre composing. Creatives have specialties and just aligning their specialties with the appropriate project will be beneficial for everyone involved.

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Where can people find you and connect?

Please reach out to me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mspriscillalam/.

Or email mspriscillalam@gmail.com.

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Tony Gapastione

Tony Gapastione is a screenwriter/producer and director living in Redwood City, California. He founded and executive directs BraveMaker, a 501c3 nonprofit arts charity dedicated to educate, entertain and create community experiences around justice, diversity and inclusion. He and his wife Wendy have three daughters, one labradoodle and two guinea pigs...all of which end up in his movies in some way. His first feature film, "Last Chance Charlene" will be on VOD, February 2023. Connect with him on Instagram: @tonygapastione
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