Biographies

Victoria Charters

Lead-Actor/Director/Producer/Screenwriter

victoria

www.victoriacharters.com

Has recently stepped up to a new role, that of an independent filmmaker.

As an actor Victoria’s film highlights include Angels Die Slowly filmed in post Katrina New Orleans (2007), Death of a Saleswoman (Independent Feature Film Market), and Jimmy Zip (best feature Hollywood Film Festival and Sonoma Film Festivals 1999).

Australian born, Victoria's Aussie TV credits include Neighbours and Boys From the Bush, various independent films and masses of theatre.

Victoria moved to Los Angeles in 1994.From 1999-2001 Victoria covered numerous red carpet events, celebrity interviews and Hollywood Premieres as an on-camera-host/producer for fox.com, nirve TV and Load TV.

Favorite theatre roles Victoria has enjoyed include: Charlotte in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing at The Ensemble Theatre in Santa Barbara, Emily in Gordy Hoffman’s Hill’s Shortest, performed at the Met Theatre in Hollywood, Mona in the new musical by Clyde Derrick Angel’s Flight for Write Act Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles.
Victoria is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts '97 and studied with Michael Shurtleff for the summers of ’94 and ’95.
www.imdb.com/name/nm0153559/

Kenneth Johnson
Lead-Actor

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www.kennyjohnson.com

Starred for five years as Detective Curtis Lemonhead Lemansky on the critically acclaimed FX show The Shield. Kenny currently stars opposite Academy Award winner Holly Hunter, as her partner Ham Dewey on TNT’s Saving Grace.

Johnson was born in Connecticut and raised on a 40 acre farm in Vermont. He attended Connecticut State University where he played football and baseball. He started acting in plays locally in Vermont, most notably in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He made his feature debut in The Forbidden Dance, starring Laura Harring.

Most recently Johnson completed shooting the film Desolation Canyon opposite Stacy Keach. He is currently developing a film based on the life of boxer Jerry “The Bellflower Bomber” Quarry. He is also starring in the soon to be released film Ungodly, opposite Wes Bently. Johnson's other credits include Blade, opposite Wesley Snipes and Major League: Back to the Minors.
His additional television credits include regular roles on the Fox series Ryan Caufield: Year One and Pensacola: Wings of Gold. He had a recurring role in Cold Case and has also guest-starred in such hit drama series as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Smallville and Boomtown.
He also ranked 2nd in the world of arm wrestling.
Kenny studied with Michael Shurtleff for the summers of ’91 and ’92.
www.imdb.com/name/nm0425543/

Karla Shelton
Producer/UPM/1stAD

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Grew up in Southern California, and has been in love with the entertainment industry since she was a child, when her father would take her to see films at the M.P.A.A. where he worked.

She took a detour from film when she was signed to a contract modeling with Wilhelmina in New York and spent the next ten plus years modeling in New York, Italy, Germany, Australia and Spain. On landing in Spain for a short modeling gig, she was given the opportunity to produce as well as model and spent the next 5 years both in front of and behind the camera.


Upon returning from Spain, Karla landed a job at Sony Pictures and spent the next 5 years as a Post Production Coordinator in International Television. Here she got her first taste of producing more than just commercials.
After Sony, Karla hooked up with the American Film Institute and for the next 2 years worked with the A.F.I. Fellows as a Producer, Assistant Director and Production Manager on many of their short films, including award winners Obscura, Left at the Rio Grande, Marrying God and Auteur. Many of the films that Karla has been involved with have shown at prestige’s film festivals including Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2007, Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, Skena Festival in Kosovo, Crested Butte Reel Fest, Nosotros American Latino Film Festival and the Miami Short Film Festival.

uk.imdb.com/name/nm2092824

Ralph Madison
DP/Camera/Operator

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Known fondly as our “Commando DP”, Madison is well known for his freelance work as a DP/ Camera Operator/Editor in New Orleans. Madison currently freelances for the Associated Press, CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS. 2007 Madison was DP on the independent feature Angles Die Slowly. Other credits include Stedicam/Camera Operator for Deju Vu and the BBC’s Saving Jazz.

Madison was in the heart of New Orleans when Katrina struck in August 29, 2005 and is well known for his footage which is featured on Inside Hurricane Katrina Update, and Nature: Katrina’s Animal Rescue for the Emmy Award winning Nature series, both for the National Geographic Channel. Other breaking-news coverage includes Cease Fire, a COPS style reality show for WGNO-TV.

On the lighter side, Madison’s Television credits include The Daily Show, Comedy Central, Up All Night, MTV, The Greatest Ever, Cineflix Productions, Brad Paisley’s Muddi Gras, CMT, Second Chance, TLC and the comedy/reality-TV shows Trading Spouses, Trading Spouses II, My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Fiancé, Extreme Makeover.

Madison’s work has garnered awards, namely the Suncoast regional EMMY Award, and the Press Club of New Orleans 1st place for documentary A Grave Injustice and another Press Club of New Orleans 1st place for documentary 50 Golden Years.
www.imdb.com/name/nm2446890/

Sheila O’Donnell

Music/Composer

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www.sheilaodonnell.com

This Chicago born singer-songwriter learnt to sing when she was old enough to talk, taught by her father Sean, a folk musician from Donegal, Ireland.

O’Donnell’s passionate and clear voice blends world, folk-rock, Celtic and pop styles. After college, Sheila performed both traditional Irish and popular music all over the Chicago area at a numerous venues including The Apollo Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center, Abbey Pub, Gaelic Park and The Old Town School of Folk Music.

In 2000 at the Hothouse in Chicago, Sheila released her first CD of original songs entitled Waking Up. This record release came on the heels of her success on the MP3.com Internet music site where in July of 2000 three of Sheila's songs were in the top five on the mp3.com charts: Beautiful was #2 on the Soft Rock chart, Waking Up was #4 on the Folk Rock Chart and Water is Wide was #3 on the Celtic Chart. She has since had over 45,000 downloads worldwide of her original songs. Her most profound influences have been Judy Collins, Enya, Sarah McLaughlin, Loreena McKennitt and Sarah Brightman.

In October 2001 she moved out to Los Angeles continuing to perform throughout LA at venues including Genghis Cohen, The Viper Room, The Knitting Factory, The Mint, The Derby and The Joint, November of 2003 she was a featured act at the VH-1 Save the Music Foundation party in Beverly Hills. She is planning to release her next album, Clear in November 2007.

Richard Fammerée

Music/Composer

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www.myspace.com/richardfammeree

In the tradition of troubadours, Fammerée has played the varnish off numerous guitars in numerous countries. Venues include Amnesty International, Chicago Symphony Hall, Shakespeare & Co. (Paris), The World Festival of Sacred Music (initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama), National Public Radio, PBS, ARTÉ (France and Germany) and international publications. Who's Who in the World introduces Richard Fammerée as a poet, composer and performing artist. He is the producer and host of Poetry & Its Music International, WNUR (Northwestern University).

His first album Fammerée & Eurydice marries passion and spirituality echoing his book of poems Lessons of Water & Thirst. Fammerée has composed for various artists including poets Li-Young Lee and Elise Paschen, and singer-songwriters Ann West and Toni Childs. Producer David Tickle has produced three Fammerée projects.

His album Fammerée & cerulean: collaborations with the Goddess is a product of his wanderings (pilgrimages) and a testament to the many extraordinary female artists with whom he has written, performed and recorded, including Ann West, Toni Childs, Sheila O’Donnell, Rachel Webster, Elise Paschen, Alana Grier, Melissa Dittmann, Tatiana Blanco and Carrie Ingrisano.

Richard Fammerée is currently preparing for the production of a fresh series of records featuring his poetry and songs.
His music may be heard/purchased online via CDBaby at: http://cdbaby.com/all/fammeree and via iTunes.

Melissa Rose Ziemer

Additional Music

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www.melissaziemer.com

Has been entertaining audiences in the Windy City & beyond for the past decade, where she has built a name for herself as a pop/rock/country & folk singer/songwriter.

Beginning as a front-woman for bands, she was awarded the Best Female Fronted Band in Chicago right out of the gates with the group Soul Intention, moving on to perform on the city's big stages such as House of Blues, Taste of Chicago, Double Door, Navy Pier and The Park West with the pop/rock band Gertrude and country/rockers The Juleps.

Her first solo release, Not All Black & White, came in 2003, which she toured extensively behind throughout the Midwest and UK. During this time, Melissa was chosen to be included on the Emerging Women in Chicago Music music compilation by SweetPickle Music, she performed on WGN TV, gained a substantial amount of press in the UK, and her song Sweet Kisses was picked up for regular rotation on KUNI Iowa Public Radio and their annual compilation disc. In addition to working as a full-time musician she devotes her time to helping causes such as MS, Alzhiemer's Association, and The Artist's Way group meetings and in the summers she helps prepare the up & coming young rockers at the National “DAY JAMS” School of Rock Music clinic.

Her music may be heard/purchased online through CDBaby at: www.CDBaby.com/melissarose or through iTunes

 

Michael Shurtleff

Playwright
Casting Director

 

Michael

“When STREISAND, REDFORD, VEREEN, TOMLIN, MIDLER, and HOFFMAN got their first breaks Michael Shurtleff was there.”- from Audition by Michael Shurtleff
Michael Shurtleff (7/3/1920 – 1/28/2007) graduated from Yale University School of Drama. He started work in the theater as a casting director and P.A. for William Hammerstein in 1957, working on musicals for the New York City Center. Shurtleff served on Broadway as casting director on David Merrick Productions including Gypsy, Irma La Douce, A Taste of Honey, Becket, and Do Re Me, Carnival!, Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Oliver!, 1776, Jesus Christ, Superstar, Pippin, and Chicago. In 1963 Shurtleff became President of Casting Consultants NYC, responsible for casting Any Wednesday, and Anyone Can Whistle. He also cast the films All the Way Home, The Sound of Music (Best Picture 1965), The Sand Pebbles, and Jesus Christ – Superstar.
As a playwright, Shurtleff wrote Call Me by My Rightful Name (stage 1963, film 1973). In the 1960’s, Gene Hackman acted in two of Michael’s off-Broadway plays directed by Milton Katselas. One of them, Rashoman, Hackman describes as a pivotal role for him. Shurtleff also cast the critically acclaimed television series East Side/West Side starring George C. Scott and Cicely Tyson. He was responsible for the brilliant casting of Dustin Hoffman as the lead in the film The Graduate. The role was intended for a “Robert Redford type” and this unconventional casting paved the way for many talented actors who weren’t necessarily good looking by Hollywood’s standards.
It’s “absolutely indispensable to any aspiring, or even mildly ambitious, actor. There is NO book of which I am aware that gives an actor such first-rate, clear-cut, no-nonsense advice.” - Bob Fosse on Audition.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0795945/