Joan Darling award video

Joan Darling Award Video from Ashley Maria on Vimeo.

Woman of the Year

Tuesday evening, my directing and acting instructor from UNC-Chapel Hill, Joan Darling, won the Woman of the Year award from the Business & Professional Women Club of Raleigh - an amazing honor!

The Video

My mother is the president of the organization, so when she told me that Joan was going to receive the award, I quickly found students from her class and old friends of hers and asked if they could record themselves saying a few words about Joni. Everyone really came through, and I found myself editing 20 minutes of footage for a 4 minute film!

Old Friends

The most fun was hearing from my old colleagues. Matthew Scott Montgomery is in Los Angeles as well, and I have only seen him once. With this video, I discovered his Ovation nomination, and I quickly got tickets to his play. You should too! "Yellow" by Del Shores plays in Santa Monica through December 2010. Tell 'em Ashley sent ya!

Class with Joan

It was also really fun to remember class with Joan and what she taught me. I remember how blown away I was when I made myself truly visualize and understand everything I was saying in a scene. I realize now that this is a technique most directors use to get in the mind of their characters, but at the time, this was brand new to me!

One story that didn't make the final video cut was when I had to act as a prostitute in a scene in Joan's class. Before we said our lines, we had to come up with an action to do before our characters had the "morning after" conversation. I decided to put Chapstick on because I figured the woman's lips would be dry. Joni laughed and told me "good choice." I realized afterward that my choice was definitely "different." I hope one day to direct a prostitute character and make her put on Chapstick. I will then thank Joan in the credits!!

The Ceremony

The ceremony was in Raleigh, NC, and I wanted to so badly to fly out for it, but I could not!

I heard Joan was genuinely surprised -- she waved and blew kisses to everyone who appeared in the video. She's such a sweetie! And we are all her little Darlings 🙂

-AM

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