I’m going to attempt to balance this post with a modicum of objectivity. I’m going to fail at this. It’s lucky for all of us that art is subjective, anyway. Except that it isn’t. Not quite. Moving on!
There’s a good reason why objectivity is hard. Rebecca De Ornelas is, quite simply, is one of the most amazing people I have ever met.
We’re married. Let’s get that out of the way for the few of you who don’t know it. But, while we’re at it, let’s get a few more things out of the way.
When I say Rebecca is amazing, I’m not speaking as her partner. I’m speaking as a person and as an artist who has followed her career for years.
Still, as someone who has shared a life with Rebecca over those same years, I have had the privilege of watching her arrive at “some next level shit”, recently, as an actor.
I’m not the sort of person who would be capable of deluding himself about something like this. Just like I’ll never be the sort of person who would collaborate with someone just because we’re married. Rebecca isn’t like that either. No one who worked with us on our first film together knew we were a couple until the shoot was almost over.
There’s a very specific reason why I’m excited to be working with Rebecca as the lead actor in The Videoblogs — the character already belongs to her.
In the beginning, the character, Margaret, was written for Rebecca. It’s one of the benefits to being part of a creative couple that you can create things together that work to each of your strengths. But I’ve also learned to grow as a writer and as a collaborative filmmaker in recent years by watching Rebecca work. She’s taught me a lot about the value of trusting a performer with the time and space he/she needs to create, and about how much value performance brings to things that may start on the page or on the screen but truly emerge from the humanity of the actor.
Last night, Rebecca and I started rehearsing her first “videoblog” scenes. I almost cried hearing “Margaret” bare her soul for the first time. This was after just three reads.
Quite simply, Rebecca is a great talent, as well as a wonderful person to work with. All of us on The Videoblogs team are excited to watch her bring Margaret to life.
Here’s a video of Rebecca answering some questions about the film and her character. Below is her bio.
We have just a few days left to get The Videoblogs funded on Seed and Spark. If you’re a fan of Rebecca, please consider contributing to the film before Friday.
A generous contributor is currently matching all contributions, up to $1,000. If you’re a fan of Rebecca consider picking up an advanced copy of the film to help us get it made
Rebecca keeps busy and she likes it that way.
Born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to a Puerto Rican math teacher mom and a Portuguese fruit vendor dad, Rebecca learned the values of hard work and determination early on in life. These lessons helped her nurture her talents at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. They also provided Rebecca with a foundation for her current further study with renowned acting teacher and coach, Alice Spivak, who enabled her to put aside some of her fancy training and loosen the hell up.
After a few years spent working to become a better actor (it never ends), Rebecca decided it wasn’t enough to just be “in things” – she wanted to make them too. Spurred by her tireless work ethic (see above Portuguese Dad reference) and by the wonderfully creative people she has surrounded herself with over time, Rebecca co-produced the ambitious neo-noir crime drama featurette, Sex and Justice. Made with the help of friends and family, Sex and Justice was predominantly shot on a set built in a potato chip warehouse in Rhode Island. Rebecca and Writer/Director Michael DiBiasio then self-distributed the film, holding screenings at the Historic Columbus Theater in Providence, RI and at Tribeca Cinemas in NYC. The film was well-liked and well-reviewed but an overly ambitious business plan left them out of money and they were forced to live off free potato chips- more lessons learned!
Armed with additional knowledge and perspective, Rebecca went on to co-produce and star in Multiverse, a dramatic sci-fi short, which is available now to view. Rebecca is also a member of Alice Spivak’s OnTheRoad Repertory Company, formed in collaboration with her advanced acting classes made up of working actors. OnTheRoad produces revivals and original plays in and around New York City. With OTR, she will be playing Amy in George Kelly’s The Show-Off.
Rebecca is a member of SAG-AFTRA.