Screen shot of Caleb Patrick McCoy and Nicole Kovacs in Swamp Murders
As some of you may or may not know, I was blessed enough to be cast in DiscoveryID's new series, "Swamp Murders". Investigation Discovery is a channel that features stories of real life crimes and takes us through the history of them with reenactments and true accounts of the people involved. My dad calls it the "murder channel", haha.
I was in an episode titled "Gospel Girl" and played the victim of a brutal murder. The episode follows my character, Edith McLeroy West, from the age of 15 to 23, as she transforms from a sweet Alabama church girl to a rebellious biker chick.
The real Edith McLeroy West
This was more than just a script and an acting gig to me, though. I was telling the true story of a young girl who is no longer here to tell it herself. This was such a dynamic and challenging role for me since there were so many aspects of the character to cover, and of course, working through the murder scene was as traumatic as I could handle. I suppose that's a good thing, as it certainly helps one understand the gravity of the situation.
One of my biggest concerns was to do Edith justice. I wasn't really playing a character; I was the vessel used to tell Edith's story. The thought that this beautiful young woman wasn't here to tell it breaks my heart, and add to it the thought that her family may be watching the episode... I can't even begin to imagine what they must feel. I am so honored to be the one chosen for this.
Screen shot of Nicole Kovacs as Edith McLeroy West
Please tune in to the DiscoveryID channel to see our episode on Tuesday, June 18th at 10pm EST. Keep an eye out for local Atlanta talent, such as Caleb Patrick McKoy (as Archie West), Kathleen Seconder (as Carol McLeroy), Kent Ingleheart (as J.W. McLeroy), Nate Seman (as Greg McLeroy), Joshua Mikel (as Mike Burnett), John Kap (as James Hines) and Tyler McDaniel (as Ricky Brown). Also, I must say, director Scott Thigpen and the whole crew at Crazy Legs Productions really could not have been a more enjoyable group to work with.
As always, THANK YOU to all of my friends, family and fans for your support. I know I say it all the time, but it really does mean the world.
**THIS EPISODE IS NOW AVAILABLE ON iTunes! Search TV Shows > Swamp Murders > Gospel Girl
Champagne toast at wrap! Photo credit: Vanessa Champagne (How appropriate!)
Only two and a half months ago, I went up to a cabin in North Georgia for a little writer's retreat weekend and came back to Atlanta with a sweet little gem of a screenplay. My very first screenplay... ever. "Friends Like Mine" was born from the inspiration of a friend who had a strange experience, then morphed into a story from the other person's point of view. Not only did it turn out to be endearing and heartwarming, without even realizing what I'd put on paper and how it could be interpreted by people of varying backgrounds, the script turned out to be touching to every person who read it, and for completely different reasons. Reasons I hadn't even thought about in advance. I just wrote from
my heart and it's amazing to see how each person has been affected by it in a deeply personal way.
"Friends Like Mine" is the story of Lewis, a quirky, endearing shut-in who strives for perfection, but learns what so many struggle to come to terms with-- there's more beauty in the imperfections.
Photo credit: Vanessa Champagne
The wondrously gifted Vince Pisani brings Lewis to life in an honest, heartfelt performance, along side the talented Jamie Miles and Heidi Rew, who shine in their supporting roles. In our crew, we had the best director of photography that I could ask for, Dan Koterba, and Ben Wolf, who was a champ at recording all of our audio. Dominick Racano was not only the co-writer and executive producer, but he also assisted me in direction. I couldn't have done any of this without him, his wisdom and generosity. Principal photography wrapped up this past Monday, May 27th, and now we're on to the editing process with Eric Hollinshead. I can't wait to see everything we filmed this past weekend get pieced together.
Peruse a handful of my favorite photos posted here, then go "like" the Scattered Films Facebook page to see all of the photos we took behind the scenes. We plan to submit this to several film festivals across the US and internationally. We'll keep everyone updated of the progress and hope to see you at one of them! THANK YOU to our friends, family and fans for all of your support!
I've been wanting to get some new photos done lately.. something that shows the all-American girl-next-door side of me, with an air of sexiness. I think that it's so much more beautiful to have photos of fun and freedom, as opposed to the suggestive poses and skimpy outfits we often think of as sexy. So, with Tom Petty's "American Girl" on repeat in my head, I enlisted the wonderful Dominick Racano to come with me on an adventure to the North Georgia countryside and get some shots right before the setting of the sun.
Check them out and be sure to "like" me on IMDb: Nicole Kovacs
"Well she was an American girl / Raised on promises / She couldn't help thinking' / That there was a little more to life somewhere else / After all it was a great big world / With lots of places to run to / And if she had to die trying' /
She had one little promise she was gonna keep" - Tom Petty
This is what happens when I spot a junkyard while driving home through North Georgia in the early morning.
Children of the New Life Orphange in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
For the third year in a row, some dear friends of mine are making the trek to a Cambodian orphanage that stole their hearts. Buckhead Church's Global X program teamed up with New Life Orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, sending missionaries several times per year to help the orphanage better the lives of its children. Missionaries play with the children, teach them English and spread the word of God. Moreover, the missionaries provide love and support to these kids who have so little. Many of these missionaries also sponsor children from the orphanage, providing them with their daily food, school fees, uniforms, etc. They have formed special relationships with these kids, make time to Skype and send artwork and letters back and forth to stay in touch.
These powerful trips are not paid for by the church; rather, the missionaries, themselves, are in charge of raising the funds to make this meaningful journey. Through the help of their friends, family and God's will, they have been blessed enough to raise the money every year. It's getting more difficult each year, asking the same people time after time to donate to the cause. So now we are reaching out, asking for donations from you... but giving you a few laughs in return.
On November 1st, Jerry Farber's Side Door hosted the first fundraising event with an amazing lineup of generous comedians who all came out to support the cause. Josh Harris, Jed Fearon, Joe Jones, Richard Conklin and Bobby Manheim with Dr. Irving M.D. were all so kind to donate their time, jokes and monkey business to help. See below for photos from the event and click the links to learn more about everyone who contributed!
Now you have another chance to come out and laugh with us while doing good for others! Really, is there any better combination? Come out this Saturday night to The Professional Actors Studio for their event, Improv for a Purpose. The improv show will feature Atlanta's own Playing in Traffic improv troupe, joined by the talented Erin O'Connor and Dominick Racano (both of which are going on the Cambodia trip and need your help!), and is sure to leave your cheeks hurting with laughter. For only $10 per person, this can't be beat. Please consider spending your Saturday night laughing with us while simultaneously helping these sweet orphans live up to their full potential.
Dominick Racano with his sponsored child
IMPROV FOR A PURPOSE
Where? The Professional Actors Studio
2849 Piedmont Rd
Atlanta, GA 30305
When? Saturday, November 10th
Doors @ 7, Show @ 7:30
Minimum Donation: $10
Out of town or can't make it?? For Online Donations:
• Click on this link ----> http://goglobalx.org/,
• Select "give" in the top right-hand corner.
• Input your info.
• Select "Cambodia- Phnom Penh" as the country,
• Select " Cambodia- Phnom Penh Orphanage Trip 2 - 11/29/12-
12/09/12" as the trip.
• Then type in "Erin O'Connor" or "Dominick Racano".
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR DONATIONS AND TIME!
For a couple years now, I've been quite a regular at Eddie's Attic. Not only do I love live music, but I love the vibe that I always get in Eddie's Attic. This is one of those unique venues that caters to the acoustic singer-songwriters, newbies and professionals alike. It consistently offers listeners the chance to hear new, quality music from people all over the world who travel to Atlanta to perform at this highly regarded location.
One very special thing that Eddie's Attic is known for is their weekly Singer-Songwriter Open Mic Night, which is held nearly every Monday night. Each week, the musicians get to compete for a winning position which gives them a golden ticket to the bi-annual Open Mic Shoot-out, resulting in cash prizes and a solo show at Eddie's. You can find about 12-20 musicians performing on any given open mic night. Tonight was no different.
My girlfriends and I decided we needed a chill girls night, complete with music and liquid fun. I've attended at least a half dozen times and knew that this would be the perfect evening for us. Everyone who performed had talent, but I must say, a handful shined just a little brighter for me... so I feel the need to brag on them.
Christopher Bell. I knew the moment he stepped up onto the stage that he was going to be a little different. He had on black-rimmed glasses and was carrying a cello. AMEN to something different and making a classic instrument so fresh and interesting! His words were poignant and his sound was quirky and it blended together in such a refreshing way that I have to say, "thank you!"
Katie. I didn't catch her last name, but Katie, if you're reading this, give me a shout so I can give you proper credit! Great song choices. Great writing. Super cute voice. I love to see multiple sides of a musician. With Katie, at the ripe age of nineteen, we saw a tender side in her first song about knowing you've found the one you're meant to be with, but also having the wisdom to understand that you found that person at the wrong time in your life. Then, she had us all cracking up during a song that went a little like, "TGIF is such an understatement when you used to date someone in the workplace." It's nice to see someone so young with such an ability to work the crowd.
Abe Parker. Oh, Abe. You have some new fans. Abe won the evening's prize and rightfully so. He stepped up onto the stage like anyone else, but the moment the first note left his lips during his mic check, my friend and I simultaneously let out a "mm"... because it was simply perfect. I wish I'd written down more about the first song he sang, other than the title, "Duh", but I did make a few notes on his second song that had us all wiping goofy grins off our faces. It was called "Little Sister" and he wrote it for his little sister before she went off to school. How adorable (and totally not in the cheesy way). "I'm always your big brother and you're always my sunshine...". Not only were the songs he performed superb, but he did it with such an easiness about him and with a voice that one can't help but be captivated by. Keep an eye on this guy, folks. You'll be hearing his name soon enough.
Look some of these guys up and if you're ever in Atlanta, try to swing by Eddie's for the open mic night. I guarantee there will be someone who catches your ear and brings a smile to your face. It'll be the best $6 you ever spent. And hey, maybe you'll run into me there as well. :)
Saw this online just now and I had to post. Love it. Haha but seriously, folks, what some people think passes for a headshot these days is despicable. Come see me, we'll get you straightened out.
I recently embarked on my first trip to New Orleans and, true to form, had my camera attached to me almost the whole time. I awoke before the sun 2 days in a row (Really, who does that in New Orleans? Aren't we supposed to be sleeping off our hangovers at that hour?) to go out and photograph the city before it opened its sleepy eyes. What's amazing is how different of an experience I had from morning to night in the Big Easy.
The mornings were so quiet, with the sun's warm light rising to illuminate the streets, the old men having their morning coffee on their front porch step, the residents walking their dogs, and of course, the people whose faces were painted with regret, stumbling back to their hotels in their clothes from the night before. I loved talking to the senior residents and hearing their stories of old New Orleans and the history behind the doors of their character-filled homes. One of my most exciting finds in the wee hours of the morning was the warehouse where all the Mardi Gras statues and floats are stored. I later learned that they offer tours of it, but I was lucky enough to be driving by while the doors were wide open and the only inhabitants were the stoic faces of Uncle Sam, Elvis Presley, the Statue of Liberty and Humpty Dumpty, among others. I quietly walked across the creeky wood planks and stood alone with all the characters of Mardi Gras past, photographing their eerie existence as the morning light crept in. As soon as I found my way out of the warehouse, the doors closed behind me and the day begun.
My days in the city were filled with more wonderful seafood that I had space to fit (DO try the shrimp and grits with fried green tomatoes at Le Bayou... I'll be dreaming of it for weeks to come), and be sure to find time to check out the artists' work hanging on the wrought iron fences surrounding a park in the French Quarter. I even bought a piece of artwork that I'm totally in love with.
The nights brought a completely different world. The streets were overflowing with tourists, all out to soak in the lively atmosphere that New Orleans is famous for, with beads flying off balconies, street performers dazzling the crowd and drinks such as hurricanes and voodoo juice in hand.
There's a certain feeling of freedom that New Orleans has to offer; I can't quite describe it, but you know when you're there. Now, I can't wait to go back and get another taste of The Big Easy. I can only imagine what beautiful things and interesting people I'll come across next time. In the meantime, check out some photos from my trip:
Last night, I had the privilege of attending the world premiere of the Afterlight Pictures feature film,"Carl", written and directed by Greg Daniel. "Carl" has been described as "a psychological horror/thriller depicting a backwoods family with a dark secret" and it delivered all of that, plus more.
I was immediately impressed with the creative eye of the cinematographers; the attention to detail in each camera shot set the mood for the film. I think that, when we hear that a movie is an independent film, we all lower our expectations a bit, but I have good news! You can keep your expectations right where they would be as if you were walking into the local Regal Cinemas to see the season's hottest horror flick. "Carl" delivers.
The performances by each and every one of the actors was top notch. I've recently become acquainted with the film's star, Matt Cornwell, and was simultaneously impressed and disturbed by his performance as Carl. He captured the audience and left us feeling both sorry for him and against him. Carl's mother, played by the gifted Peg Thon, thoroughly disgusted me in all the ways she was meant to. The films other stars, Robert Pralgo and Cheri Christian, playing the married couple who take a vacation that changes their lives forever, gave the audience something to hope for, pushing us to the edge of our seats to see what their fate would be. I was especially bowled over by Cheri's performance and what a meaty role she not only played, but conquered. Kudos to Cheri for her versatility.
It was so fun to be in the room with the director, cast and crew as they saw their film on the big screen for the first time. The screening was followed by a brief Q&A in the theatre and a signing in the lobby. There was so much buzz in the lobby of the theatre as everyone was discussing their own interpretation of the film and gushing on how well done "Carl" was. Always a good sign.
Deco23 detailing his mural on Escape Routes
My brother, Brian Melvin (AKA: Deco23), has been diligently working on his art since early childhood and I'm so excited to see him getting some recognition and big opportunities now! Brian is most known for his graffiti art that can be found all over Detroit. He creates colorful, imaginative little characters that are both cute and frightening all at the same time, and posts his work most often to street signs around Detroit, basically giving them to those who take the time to remove the pieces and keep them for their own.
Brian was recently asked to be a part of the new Ford-sponsored NBC reality show, Escape Routes, assisting 2 of the cast members in their Atlanta urban challenge to create an interactive mural that beats out the competition. Before meeting the artists, all 6 of the teams had the chance to see one piece by each person, selecting their artist based on his or her work. Since Brett and Ross of the White Team had earned the most points in previous challenges, they had the first pick. Seeing his creativity and how well-versed Brian is in large scale pieces, the guys ran to his painting, making him the first artist selected. The idea is that he would have to create a work of art that incorporates a Ford Escape, as well as Brett and Ross. What better to do than have the White Team saving Atlanta by throwing a laser beam at a fire-breathing dragon wreaking havoc on the city? His idea was in place and on the morning of the competition, we were ready bright and early, spray paint cans in hand, to make it come to life. The team and artist were allowed to take a handful of people off the street to assist in the creation of the mural, so I had the opportunity to help out (good brother-sister bonding time). We were timed with only 4 hours to complete the project, start to finish. Deco23 traced out the buildings first, and the team went to work, coloring them all in with spray paint. This was my first time working with spray paint and I now have a newfound respect for all graffiti artists-- it's a lot harder than it looks and my forearms are KILLING me from pressing down the top of the paint can! Brian directed us all to help with fill-ins while he traced out other portions of the mural, as well as took care of all the detailing and multiple on-camera interviews during the small time window. At the 4 hour mark, the show's host, Rossi Moreale, stood up on a platform and yelled out for us to drop our paint and step away from the murals. I can't begin to tell you how much fun it was to hang out with the team, spend a day painting on set, and most importantly, get to help my brother accomplish this task.
Brett and Ross show off the final product
What's really cool about Escape Routes is that the audience can get involved, both in person, during challenges, and online! First of all, our episode will air on NBC Saturday, April 14th at 8pm... so clear your schedule or set your DVRs because you DO NOT want to miss this show! Secondly, check out the show's webpage at www.escaperoutes.com and sign up to be part of the White Team so you can follow Brett and Ross in their journey from west coast to east. Next, become a fan of Brian Melvin (Deco23) on Facebook HERE. And last but not least, be sure to check out some more photos from our day of painting on set HERE._
I would simply like to share my love for life with you-- be it inspirational music, photography, written word, joyous works by local artists, theatre and independent films, travel, community outreach projects, silly musings and adventures, or little things I've learned along the way. All categories are open for discussion! If there's something you'd like to hear more about, just ask!