Different Drummers Opens This Friday at Southcenter AMC


“What Would You Do For A Friend?”

by Anna Mroczkowski

One of my nearest and dearest, local actress and AFA co-founder Lisa Coronado has a really heart felt movie opening at AMC this weekend and it’s emotional. I’m a brain dead zombie right now but I love you Lisa Coronado and I am so very proud that you have always found beautiful ways to keep family first without letting your artist self dwindle.

If you’re ever blessed enough to sit down with someone who is extensively famous, rich or accomplished, 99.9999999% of all of them will tell you that at the end of the day what matters most is how we care for our family and loved ones. Lisa has always been a radiant branch on a family that lives this belief everyday and I’ve been blessed to know them since before I could wear lip gloss.


Coronado costars in the family film Different Drummers, a true story set in 1960’s Spokane, that centers around the unlikely friendship of two 11 year old boys: one with ADHD and the other with Muscular Dystrophy.  Coronado plays the mom to the boy with ADHD.  Anna recently chatted with Lisa about her experience filming Different Drummers and just how hard it is to get a film to this level.

AM: Can you tell me about how you got his role?

LC: Sure! I received an email from my agent to audition for a feature film that was going to be filming in Spokane.  I got the sides and instantly kinda connected with this lady.  She was feisty and funny and had this great relationship with her hyperactive son.  Let’s just say I could relate. I auditioned in Seattle, then about a week later was asked to go to a callback in Spokane and audition for the directors.  I knew that the script was based on a book so I went out and bought the book and read it in 2 days.  It gave me a lot of insight to the character.  The callback went great- and I was offered the part the next morning.  To say I was freaking out is an understatement.

AM: How was shooting in Spokane? Were you there for a long period of time?

LC: Spokane was great.  I was flown back and forth I think 5 times.  Each time I stayed anywhere from 2-4 days.  Filming took place in October/November and it was freezing!  And snowing.  It was all kind of a whirlwind at first.  But being somewhere foreign helped focus me on developing  the character.  I didn’t have a lot of distractions.  And the film is based on one of the directors, Lyle Hatcher.  So I had a wealth of information from him, playing his mother.

Different Drummers

AM:  Was it hard playing an actual person? Especially playing the director’s mom?

LC: Yes and no. Yes in that it was very specific.  It can be difficult not to get into your head about making it just right, instead of naturally discovering the character and letting them emerge.  It was different than any other character I’d ever played.  But also, that means I get more information and backstory about her than any others I’d played.


AM:  What was your favorite part or memory on set?

LC: Hmmm- there’s so many!  I loved the whole hair/makeup/wardrobe team!  I had so many different wardrobe changes.  And I loved working with Brayden Tucker, who played my son.  He was so spontaneous and fun and unpredictable.  He kept me on my toes!  And I really loved getting to know and work with everyone.  We became a family.  I’m still close with the writers/directors Lyle Hatcher and Don Caron and Lyle’s wife Maria.  It can be really hard to walk away from a project you’ve spent so much time on and never see the people again.  I feel very fortunate to still have those relationships in my life.

AM: I bet. So what happens now?  Is it opening nationwide at AMC? Or just locally?

LC: They got foreign distribution right away.  I think somewhere around 20 countries or so.  But domestic distribution has been tough.  They decided to try it out and release it at an AMC in Spokane first. The film exceeded everyone’s expectations.  I think it was the number 1 film for 4 weeks in a row.  AMC basically said that they could open at any theater they wanted to.  But because they are self distributing it right now, it’s a slow process.  So bringing it to Seattle is kind of a tester screening.  See how well it can do here and hopefully get a distributor’s attention.  As long as it is selling tickets- it will stay in the theaters.

AM: What’s next on your plate?  Any plans to move to Los Angeles?

LC: Ha!  No, no plans.  I kinda like it here, in Seattle.  LA would be great, if I was 22 and didn’t have a family here.  I would definitely go there if I had work, but to move without anything, I just couldn’t’ imagine putting my kids through that.  Plus, I really feel that WA state is sitting on the verge of something big.  There’s been such a movement to bring work here.  And we are getting attention thanks to some great filmmakers that are having huge successes, and that take that success and funnel it back into WA.

And really, if I get to keep making films like Different Drummers and all the others I’ve shot over the past two years, well then I consider myself very successful.  I get to do what I love with the people I love.  It doesn’t get much better than that! 

Different Drummers opens at AMC Southcenter 3/14 and AMC Alderlake Mall 3/21.  Tickets can be found on fandango.  See you at the movies!!


In the Pit With Alex Crick

The Lovemakers

The Lovemakers

by Samara Mroczkowski, age 10

photos by Alex Crick
A couple  weeks ago I went to the PUSA fest at the Showbox to shadow music photographer Alex Crick.  Also performing were Motopony and You Scream I Scream.  You Scream I Scream  had a drummer that is a girl which was really cool to see because I like the drums.  It was very loud and the performers were crazy.  They were standing on the drums and they looked like they where going to break the drums which might not seem that crazy to people that have been to concerts before but if you’ve never been or it was your first time at a concert, don’t you know what I mean about craziness?
pusa 2
When I was in the photo pit, it felt like the performers where going to squish me because I was so close to their feet.  I was worried they were going trip over one of the thousand wires they had up there and fall on me but lucky for me they didn’t fall and they had it all under control.
Watching the Presidents play was like a science experiment going wrong.  Everything was crazy. Their energy level was so high it was like they ate 100 energy bars and 2 liters of 5 hour energy.
Samara: Do you do anything for work besides music photography?
Alex: I’m a software tester.

Samara: What’s a software tester do?

Alex: You know how there are games on your phone?  I’m the guy that takes those games and tries to find out all the things that could go wrong with them first.

Samara: Wow. Cool! When did you start taking pictures?

Alex: In high school, so 1991.  I had a teacher who encouraged me to take photos for the school yearbook.  I got hooked and learned how to operate a dark room and how to take photos.  I got into photographing concerts because I liked going to shows and I thought it would be more fun if I took photos.  Here I am almost 20 years later still doing the same thing.  I must like it a lot.

Flaming Lips

Flaming Lips

Samara: What do you like about photography?

Alex: I can capture a moment. Within that moment you can read that situation in some sense. You can look at a photo, especially with people. There are so many different things you can tell from photos.  From the situation that they are in, to the expression on their face or their clothing, there is a lot to experience that is really interesting as opposed to landscape photography which happens to be more subjective.



Samara: Do you have a favorite photograph?

Alex: Yes.  My favorite photograph was coincidentally from a 1996 PUSA  show at the Moore Theatre.  It’s a photo from the front row.  There’s a woman crossing her eyes and a kid wearing a mask and a Dukakis shirt.  It’s probably my favorite photo I’ve ever taken.


Samara: What kind of photography is your favorite?

Alex: First music, then documentary.  Do you know what that is?

Samara: No.

Alex: It’s like reality TV, you pick a subject and you follow the subject or situation around and capture a series of moments and tell a story with photos. I’ve always thought of myself as  a documentary photographer for music.  I go to a show and try to capture the experience and take the viewer to the show in a 250th of a second slice of time. After that is landscape photography. I like going to new places and find new and interesting places to photograph.

Matt & Kim perform at Bumbershoot 2013

Matt & Kim perform at Bumbershoot 2013

Samara: Do you have any favorite photographers?

Alex: Glen E. Friedman, he captured some amazing amazing moments in music history. Alice Wheeler, she and Charles Peterson are kind of the two people who made seattle famous for music photography and her work is amazing.

Samara: Why do you think music photography is important?

Alex: People want to see their favorite bands on stage in a different light. Not everybody gets to go to the shows to see the bands they like and it’s nice to give people a moment in time to experience. Bands need photos for publicity and press releases and I feel like we fill that niche.

Tori Amos

Tori Amos

Samara: Is it easier or harder to take pictures of bands you like?

Alex: It has less to do with whether or not I like them as much as whether or not they are interesting on stage.  Some of my favorite artists will come out on stage and just look at their guitar the whole time and then there will be an artist like Pink who has multiple costume changes and dancers and it’s very theatrical and interesting to shoot but I wouldn’t listen to Pink.


Samara: If you could go back in time and give your self a piece of advice what would it be?

Alex: Do  more marketing and learn how to build websites.  A lot of time, if you’re very good at networking and marketing yourself, you can create more opportunities for your art.

Samara: What’s a little known fact about you?

Alex: I collect snow globes.  I have about 300.


This Friday at 7pm we launch Alex’s art show at LUCID in the U District showcasing over a decade of music photography.  
We will be joined by special guests: Lesli Wood, Jonathan Zwickel, Erik Walters, Gene Stout, Braden Blake & Marco Collins. Hosted by Tender Bijou. 
About contributing artist: Samara Mroczkowski
Samara is a 5th grade artist who attends Gatewood Elementary in West Seattle. Samara loves making any kind of art, cooking, music, photography and playing soccer and basketball.
I like taking pictures. I like finding ways to match colors together and capturing moments that I can look back at when I’m much older than I am now.  I like being an artist because I can use any colors or patterns I want to express how  I’m feeling with colors or how crazy I want my patterns to be.  And you know you can think the same way I do about expressing yourself with colors  and patterns or you can express yourself with loud and crazy music [crazy patterns] or quite and soft music [any color you want to use].  You can be free.
I think it’s important to support art and artists because if you purchase a t-shirt or a record or anything like that from an artist or one of their helpers then the artists get the opportunity to buy new turn tables to make their music better, canvases and paint brushes to make paintings better, or lenses to improve their photos.

Get Infected by Phoenix Run

PHRposter01 (

by Joe Fortunato

Phoenix Run is the web’s newest gritty incarnation of the zombie horror genre.  The series opens with Conner Marx’s character, the seemingly meek Marky, bound to a chair facing-off against an aggressive and imposing Harvey as played by Demone Gore.  As Harvey presses forward with his interrogation, Marky seems to be on the verge of breaking, but is still refuses to yield.  Harvey, though impressed, is demanding answers and says he will go to any length to get them… and you believe he will.

Conner Marx and Demone Gore on the set of Phoenix Run

Conner Marx and Demone Gore on the set of Phoenix Run

Phoenix Run’s premier ushers you into a world being torn apart by a Z-strain virus.  The show’s fittingly grungy intro and solid special effects showing, invite the viewer in to experience the tangible characters and shifting plot.  Over all, the episode was well-shot, well-scored, believably-written and solidly acted.  Conner Marx’s subtle, and at times coolly unsettling, performance reminded me of one of my favorite Zachary Quinto characters.  This played well across from Demone Gore who brought physical extortion to life in his portrayal of the violent ruffian, Harvey.

One of the first things that catches your attention in the episode is Marky’s kempt appearance and expensive looking attire amidst a zombie outbreak in full-swing.  This contrast highlights what appears to be an intriguing break with zombie franchise convention on a couple of fronts.  Traditionally, the rise of a zombie contagion serves as an immediate leveler of economic disparities, wiping out economy and economist alike and instantly recalibrating societal structure in favor of the physically dominant and the blue-collar capable.  Phoenix Run’s opening scene instead seems to hint at a widened gulf between the haves and have-nots in a world which has not yet succumbed to destruction but is still sliding inexorably in that direction.  This partial-birth apocalypse gives the glimmer of hope necessary in a good horror feature to bring characters despair and terror into sharp focus.  In addition, the lack of a Walking Dead degree of societal collapse also serves to broaden the rhetorical landscape, calling into question not only what we would do to save our lives, but what we would do, or allow, to protect our way of life.


The detritus of a once utopian New Chicago provides a fitting backdrop for this exploration, reflecting humanity’s physical and moral struggles as it grapples for survival. Like all great installments in the zombie franchise, Phoenix Run explores the fragility of society and the resilience (or lack thereof) of humanity.  The show blends the visceral with the cerebral by providing a catalyst to overlay the viewer’s internal moral conventions on a terrifying landscape where people are prey and survival may be hinge on how far a person is willing to go.

Phoenix Run’s premise is compelling, and the premier builds your curiosity and leaves you hungry for the next installment.  While Phoenix Run’s spin on the zombie genre is different, their use of the show as a rhetorical vehicle to probe societal issues is classic sci-fi, and it is definitely worth checking out.

Fresh off a “Spirit of Comic Con” Award at the Wizard World Film Festival in New Orleans, Phoenix Run will debut their PSA at LUCID this Friday night with special musical guest Ben Union.  Tickets are available here.

Phoenix Run_Lucid Lounge Flyer

About Joe Fortunato:

Joe grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the child of recalcitrant New Jersey transplants. Since 1999 Joe had worked predominantly with with wood and metal, designing and building furniture. In 2010 Joe discovered painting. He began working with oils in 2011 when he became (and remains) enamored of this medium. His current work focuses on movement, exploring both physical movement and the objects and moments that move us. Joe served in the Marine Corps and holds degrees from Washington State and Gonzaga Universities. He has a passion for motorcycles and all things mechanical. He is an active practitioner of cheekiness and tomfoolery. Joe currently resides in Seattle.

The Moxy of Bobbi Rich

Bobbi Rich, photo by Fiona Pepe

Bobbi Rich, photo by Fiona Pepe

by Anna Mroczkowski

Ever heard the phrase, “figure out what you love doing, and then do that for the rest of your life?”

Then there’s the (in theory) more responsible (and funnier) cousin phrase of “figure out what you love doing and do that  for the rest of your life on nights and weekends.”

And the guy on the tv box last night, when talking about the audacity of a certain individual’s lofty ambition, he responded with, “It’s only hubris if I fail.”

What am I talking about and why do you care?  I’m talking about DREAMS!  I’m talking about the people who are out here right now being  dreamers and doers but also eaters and bill payers and also causally touching on the irritating societal status quo that our dreams are only valid once attained.

“Welcome to Hollywood!  What’s your dream!?”

Today’s story is about one of these dreamers and doers. One of her dreams and how you can support it.

Bobbi Rich 2

Bobbi Rich is an intelligent brunette hailing from all over.  The eldest sister.  The gal pal buddy that also happens to be a raging knockout.  The friend you call if you just got your heart stomped on.  The  friend you call when you need babes for your music video. The friend you call when you want to know what’s good tonight.  The friend you call when you’re looking for a rubber chicken, a shrunken head, a woven mat made of grass, crystals and a cup of sugar but only have the time to go to one place.  The colony of turquoise jewelry on her hands Hangin Tuff! look like Southwest brass knuckles.  She sits dripping in leather fringe, radiating warmth and softens the most when talking about her collective of talented females, the Easy Bake Coven.   There is a slight smokiness to her voice that is a lovely contrast to her wacky arm flailing storytelling.  If we’re playing the fun game of who would your identifiable parents be?  Her family tree would have branches in Pee-wee Herman, Pauly Shore, Ava Gardner and she just kind of looks like a hotter Kate Jackson circa Charlie’s Angels but not square.  Now let me enthusiastically caution you not to get it twisted!  She knows, like anyone who actually throws parties, (not just attends them) like anyone who produces and creates (instead of just consumes) that it takes huge follow through, tenacity, creative problem solving and chutzpah to be any good at it.  And Bobbi is very good at what she does.  

La Luz on the set of Hangin Tuff!

La Luz on the set of Hangin Tuff!

Her latest and greatest mission is a music variety show called Hangin Tuff!

Set aboard a hot tub boat floating around Lake Union, Bobbi and her friends set out to make up-and-coming musicians accessible and the process of discovering these bands fresh, funny and creatively entertaining.

Remember when MTV actually played music and interviewed bands? Remember when you could switch on your TV and instantly be apart of dance party? Dancing in your living room with the styling cats onSoul Train or those freaks on The Grind? Remember GOOD MUSIC? Remember watching shows like Muppet’s Tonight and seeing Alice Cooper being silly with a bunch of puppets? Remember Grace Jones showing up in a box on Peewee’s Playhouse? Or what about when Kurt Cobain wore a giant banana gown to MTVHeadbangers Ball? Man those days were fun. WELL BE EXCITED, for we are here to bring it all back in our own unique way. We’re Hangin Tuff with the best up and coming new artists… in a hot tub boat…” – Bobbi Rich

On Thursday Feb 6th, Hangin Tuff! will premiere the first season at Central Cinema with live performances from Half-Breed and Don’t Talk To The Cops! 

Hangin Tuff!

We are encouraged to dream but less attention is paid to how we get to our dreams than identifying what our dreams are, at least in my opinion.  It’s implied that all you have to do is know what you want and the rest will take care of itself.  But “the rest taking care of itself” really means, if you want it bad enough you will find a way to figure it out. Perseverance may well be the only thing all fulfilled dreams have in common.

We’re just out here.  All of us.  We’re balancing (and I use the term balance in the loosest sense of the word) our basic needs with our dreams, our aspirations with our responsibilities.  It’s exhausting.  Life, not just artist life either. That’s why they say that phrase.  If you’re going to be tired anyway, be tired doing something you love and never quit.  That’s what I love about Bobbi.  She’s not afraid to be different and not afraid to see her ideas through.

In junior high school,  at a dance that some High School kids were also going to be at  (to up the intensity), there was going to be a dance contest.  A young Bobbi Rich, determined to win first prize, went digging through her costumes.  She had quite a few.  Her parents ran a liquor/convenience store that was across the street from a thrift shop.  On Wednesdays you could fill a trash bag with anything in the store for a dollar.   And fill them she did.  She would come home with bags and bags, and built up quite the collection of random treasures and hide them around her house much to her Dad’s irritation.

The spandex disco outfit she put together was nothing less than spectacular, but it was super tight.  Being elbow deep in the grunge and punk phase now, Bobbi, usually one of the guys clad in baggy Dickies and huge flannels, spent the better part of the dance in the girl’s bathroom working up the nerve just to take her coat off.  She eventually got up the nerve and when the contest started she gave it her all. Gave it so much her all that at the end of the song the entire gymnasium was absolutely silent.  Cricket-chirping pin-dropping silence.   Bobbi was handed the Spice Girls cassette awarded to first place and quickly exited with her coveted major award as a champion.

She’s still that same girl, only now, she wants you to join her party.

For advance tickets to the premiere go here.

And you can help support her indiegogo campaign for Hangin Tuff! by going here.

Pages from ht slides

Spotlight on: Dawndra Budd

Buried in the Back Yard by Dawndra Budd

“Buried in the Back Yard” by Dawndra Budd

by Anna Mroczkowski

photos by Dawndra Budd

Dawndra Budd is a Seattle-based photographer.  She loves the dark, strange and unusual as much as she loves capturing the firefly spirited lights behind the eyes of children and animals.  Her photos often are deeply narrative, especially with a whiskey (broken heart,  shotgun, horse head or stuffed rooster in tow) to help ease your version of the story out of the dense back-lit fog of Dawndra’s raw creativity.  She has a real knack for creating beautiful harmonies out of misfit components.   Her propensity to tango with complicated or paradoxical themes especially with her female characters is compelling and only getting more potent.A


"If I could make a self portrait that wasn't of myself, this is how I feel today- with the help of "snow" by Jessica Monson"

“If I could make a self-portrait that wasn’t of myself, this is how I feel today.”



Why do you take photographs?

I am constantly compelled to. I used to think of it as a diary of sorts. I love all kinds of photography, digital, iPone, film. It’s just fun!  I feel like it’s both an escape from reality and also a huge reality check. I would rather be taking photos than anything else.

When did you first get into photography?

skate 1

Not until I was in college at age 19. I took a class every quarter at Central, then switched over to Evergreen where there was an amazing photo program. I worked in the darkroom as a job and on my personal stuff. I taught a summer black and white class after I graduated, then worked in a darkroom in Aspen.
I did a lot of skateboarding photography and got published doing that more than anything I’ve done in the last few years. I never put the camera down after graduating, but I didn’t get really serious until the last 7 years.
I have taken 3 or 4 classes at PCNW on Capital hill, it’s a lovely school. Learning in photography is never-ending. I also love Creative Live, free online courses available for purchase if you miss it:)
I consider myself self-taught though in a way, because when digital came around, I had to slowly teach myself Photoshop and reshape myself into the digital world  before you tube and the amazing online availability for education there is today.
What is it about photography that you connect with as an artistic medium?

I like that I can document things in a real or a surreal way. I like that it can be used as an artistic outlet,  and also as a means to make people really happy. That is why I also enjoy family photos, and especially working with kids. They change so fast, so its really important to document.


Then there are projects like Homeless in Seattle where photography is used as a tool to show people beauty and truly help people. 

Pappa Joey. His dog got stolen in the middle of the night right before we met him. And he had a stroke. He loves West Seattle. Loves playing guitar and singing even with his left hand not working as well after his stroke. Despite his hard times, he said to Melissa and I ....."People dont want to hear you bitch. Always leave a kind word."

Pappa Joey. His dog got stolen in the middle of the night right before we met him. And he had a stroke. He loves West Seattle. Loves playing guitar and singing even with his left hand not working as well after his stroke. Despite his hard times, he said to Melissa and I …..”People dont want to hear you bitch. Always leave a kind word.”

What’s your secret to being such a cool lady?!
Ha ha! I guess I just like people, so I’m easy to get along with.  And I have learned that I am who I am, so I’m not afraid to put myself out there with my art.  Well, in most cases :) I like to have a good time. Try to fill every day with something cool. My dog is definitely cool.

Dawndra's dog Bruce

Dawndra’s dog Bruce is defintely cool

Last year you went through a difficult loss.  Did photography help you get through it?

Yes, loosing my cousin is extremely difficult still. I won’t know now.  I saw it quite a while later when I lost my mom. I could see it in my work.  I was in a class a few months after she passed away, (nobody in my class knew me or what had happened) and in a critique someone said, “I feel like these photos are all of your mother somehow. They are extremely sad.” I lost it.  One thing is for sure, it makes me more prolific somehow. I can’t just sit around and cry, I need an outlet.


Lisa Coronado is one of your muses, what are some reasons why you like working with her so much?
I met Lisa Coronado around 10 years ago and we got a long right away. She had an adorable pregnant belly. She is incredibly easy to get along with, and she and I work great together and have fun while were doing it. She is always down to get creative. She is a doll. I would love to publish a book of just HER someday.
Little Sparrow

Little Sparrow

How do you use editing tools to shape your art?
I love working in Photoshop. Lighting a few candles, and listening to music. I couldn’t be happier. I usually have the idea in my head before the shoot, but anything can change during it. A few months back, I had an actress in my chair for a head shot. I had just bought this little antique chair that was inspiring me. So I asked her if she wanted to go off the road for a few photos. She was super excited.
And this,
Lauryn Hochberg 1
became this.
Lauryn Hochberg 3
Lauryn Hochberg 2
Very off the cuff. ha ha. Thanks Lauryn Hochberg!
How would you describe your style of photography?
I guess I describe my style as dark and maybe surreal. I always make up a little story in my head about what is happening or has happened to my subject. I think most people have some beauty and some darkness, some toughness inside them, and I aim to find it.  I love that combination.
tough beauty
Do you have any favorite photographers?
Rex Hohlbein! Homeless in Seattle! His personal work (besides the very amazing homeless in Seattle) is beautiful!
I love the classics, Diane Arbus is amazing! She kills me! Looking at the books next to my now, Imogen Cunningham, WeeGee, Annie Leibovitz, Loretta Lux, Nowadays there are a trillion great artists! I am loving Alain Laboile lately, Jennifer Hudson, Brook Shaden, Joey L. I could go on and on!
What’s your dream job?
Follow a circus to photograph all of the animals and people as well as all of the little towns and things I see along the way. But in the 40s.

Who is your dream subject to shoot?

I just keep picturing Ryan Gosling. Go back to that question. Ha ha.

Any upcoming shows?

I’ll be hanging at Circa in West Seattle in February

We ask everyone:  Looking back at your younger self, what piece of advice would you give her?
To my younger self I would say, PICK UP THIS AWESOME CAMERA girl!

AFA has been fortunate enough to rope Dawndra into a few of our projects.  These are some highlights over the last couple years.  For more info on how to collaborate with Dawndra or book a session, or to view more photographs, head over to her website or  Facebook.