Feb 13 FREE Spoken Word Storytelling Workshop ALL Novice & Experienced Writers/Performers WELCOME

Love The Moth? Addicted to Story Core?
Come to our workshop on the Spoken word.

SPEAK EASY (working title), a New Spoken Word Storytelling group, is forming in St. Louis. Script Mechanics is proud to partner with SPEAK EASY founders Deborah Barylski, Nancy Lewis, and Sandra Olmsted to offer a FREE workshop on first-person, narrative storytelling. We’ll cover tips on performing a story, how to prepare stories for a spoken-word performance, and how to produce a performance.

Those who are interested in sharing a stories, getting tips on presentation, and/or being a performance producer are welcome to our
FREE Storytelling Workshop
at the
Buder Library
February 13 at 1-6pm

In order to demonstrate the process, we invite you to bring a first draft of a 500-word (or-less) story based on either of these prompts: “anniversary” or “release.” Please don’t revise your stories because polishing and shaping the stories is part of the workshop’s process. These prompts have multiple meanings and storytellers are encouraged to use the which ever meaning appeals to them.  Your story—which could be funny, ironic or poignant—should be a personal-narrative, real-life experience told in first person. Be as honest as possible!  The story for this exercise will be only about 1-2 minutes long when you read it aloud. Please bring 10 copies of the story.


Spoken word performances celebrate storytelling, an ancient art wired in our DNA. Just as storytelling sessions around the campfire of paleolithic to post-modern mankind have build community and help people share insight into the human condition, the Spoken Word Movement embraces the same values. SPEAK EASY will offer an opportunity for novice and professional storytellers to tell their stories in a welcoming and safe environment.

Deborah Barylski is an Emmy Award-winning casting director (for ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT); other credits include THE MIDDLE, JUST SHOOT ME, and HOME IMPROVEMENT.  She has worked with the spoken word movement in Los Angeles at “Rant ’n Rave,” “Spark Off Rose,” and “Secret Rose Theatre” as well as watching many other story telling venues.  She is also a teacher, theatre director and St. Louis native.
Nancy Lewis is a local actress and Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher in St. Louis.  She read about Oral Fixation, a story-telling venue in Dallas, Texas and was interested in bringing this type of venue to St. Louis.  Stories, storytelling, sharing our experiences can be empowering and life-changing.
Sandra Olmsted has shaped writers’ scripts through Script Mechanics screenwriting workshops and CinemaSpoke screenwriting contest with her keen sense of story. She is a television producer, an award winning filmmaker, and a PhD candidate at Saint Louis University.


Script Mechanics Screenwriting Workshop Sat Jan 9, 1-6 pm

Jan 9 Actors needed Writers Wanted Screenwriting Workshop & Table Read

Script Mechanics Screenwriting Workshop Sat Jan 9, 1-6 pm

Script Mechanics FREE Screenplay Workshop and Table Read — Actors Needed, Writers Wanted!

Jan 9, 1-6 pm

When:  Sat Jan 9, 1-6 pm

Where:  Buder Library 4401 Hampton Ave, 63109

What:  Screenplay Table Reading and Workshop

Please join us this month on Jan 9 for the reading of Keshia Thomas’ screenplay; logline: A young faerie and mermaid are stalked by a dangerous siren desperate to achieve freedom from the Faerie boundaries.  There roles for men and women, and we will need between 6 & 10 readers/actors.

Every voice is welcome, and we will have lots of varied parts to read and maybe some fun sound effects — just like the olden days!

Script Mechanics’ monthly screenwriting workshop and script reading this Saturday, and we also discuss the writing life and the art of screenwriting.

Actors — Practice your Audition skills by participating in the COLD READING at Script Mechanics’ table reads!

WRITERS — We are currently looking for scripts to read this fall and winter at Script Mechanics. If you have script that you would like coverage on, please contact Sandra Olmsted or Mary Schirmer.

Actors, writers, directors, producers, and film fans are all welcome to attend.

Meeting Announcement: Resolve to Make 2016 An Award Winning Year: How Awards Boost Your Credibility and Career!”

Ring in the New Year with MCAi-St.Louis,on Wednesday, January 13th, as we present “Resolve to Make 2016 An Award Winning Year: How Awards Boost Your Credibility and Career!”, 7.p.m.,Rm.105 in the Business Admin. Bldg. at Meramec Community College!!!
Have you ever entered a film festival, secretly hoping to hear your name called during the awards ceremony,only to keep watching the same recipients collect their prize?Do you wonder, what is their secret, and if you knew, would resolve to take the work to that level? Do you write screenplays that you feel are production worthy,yet haven’t been able to get it through a competition? Are you in the corporate audio/video realm and ask-are awards worth the hype, or are they just fancy statuettes that sit on a shelf?The answer is “yes”, they are worth it, and we’ll explain why! An aspiring actor? Avid viewer of award shows? This meeting is for you!
Our panel of professionals in film,media, audio, screenwriting, and acting will explain how and why awards make a difference, for the better, in their given areas. The presenters have either received numerous awards, given them, and a few have had the pleasure of both! The criteria and process of how certain pieces are chosen,why it’s not always the work itself that causes an elimination, and what ensues after an award is won will be discussed,as well as q&a.


Panelists include:
Adam Crosley, Producer, Reel Impact
Tom Barry, Producer, SSM Healthcare
Make one of your New Years resolutions to join MCAi-St. Louis on Wednesday,January 13th, 7.p.m. At Meramec Community College for “Resolve to Make 2016 an Award Winning Year:How Awards Can Boost Your Credibility and Career!”
What: MCAi St. Louis Topic Meeting “Resolve To Make 2016 an Award Winning Year: How Awards Can Boost Your Credibility and Career!”
When:  Wednesday, January 13th,2016
Time: 7:00 p.m. (Networking w/refreshments 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Meramec Community College
11333 Big Bend Rd. 
Kirkwood 63122
Building: Business  Administration. Room 105. 
There is parking right outside the building in the visitors parking lot off of Big Bend. 
COST: MCA-I members: FREE
Students: $5.00
General: $10.00 

Job Posting

Max & Louie Productions is interviewing Production Managers for “Grey Gardens,” Directed by Anna Pileggi with Musical Direction by Neal Richardson and Choreography by Robin Berger.
Max & Louie is looking for applicants who have prior multi-faceted experience in Arts Management with emphasis on managing and organizing staff. Job Responsibilities include creating timelines for work completion and scheduling meetings with different Production Departments (e.g. technical, costume, set, lighting, etc) The Production Manager is responsible for realizing the visions of the Producer and the Director.
Budgeting experience doesn’t hurt!
This is a paid position. Rehearsal start is June 14,2016.The show opens July 8, 2016 and runs through July 31,2016 with a possible extension until August 6,2016.
Please e-mail kapsite@sbcglobal.net for an interview.


The 47th Annual Media Festival

Did you think time had run out? Not quite!


Enter before the final deadline: Dec. 15, 2015 which is NEXT WEEK TUESDAY!

Click HERE for details on categories and a link to the festival site.

Join the ranks of other top quality media producers, writers, editors, animators, sound designers, and talent from around the world who have received Golden, Silver, and Bronze reels in this renowned Media Festival.

Why should you enter?

I’m sure it’s no surprise, but clients love it when the work you do for them is recognized for excellence. Get your bragging rights!

Dig out that great project you created in the past couple of years and enter it today. There are lots of categories to chose from, including Craft categories. Student entries compete for the G. Warren Scholarship: www.mca-i.org/gwarren-scholarship

Any questions? Just drop us an email at mediafestival@mca-i.org


Event sponsored, in part, by Production HUB, an online marketplace that connects businesses with professional content creators and vendors.

Production HUB


Saturday, December 12, 6-????, at the Taha’a Twisted Tiki
    We’re inviting the entire St. Louis film, video, and audio community to celebrate the season with MCAi, informally, at the area’s only island-themed tiki bar, Taha’a Twisted Tiki  (4199 Manchester), known for its 200 rums from around-the-world.  To warm us up even further, Taha’a Twisted Tiki has a vast assortment of specialty drinks, wine, beer and a selection of tasty, exotic appetizers.  So, let’s don our Hawaiian shirts, grab our grass skirts, and have a Holiday Happy Hour escape to the islands.

DATE: Saturday, December 12, 2015
TIME:  6:00 PM — ????
PLACE: Taha’a Twisted Tiki, 4199 Manchester (in the Grove)


Please check our website/Facebook often for details about our U pcoming meeting at Meramac Community College, Wednesday,January 13th 2016,”Resolve to Make 2016 an Award Winning Year:How Awards Can Boost Your Credibility and Career”,and other exciting MCAi-St.Louis news!”

NOTE:  The website is now searchable, reachable with the following URLs:  stlmca-i.com and stlmca-i.org.


MCA Meeting November 2015
Written by Mary J. Schirmer


The November MCA meeting, hosted by Patrick Barlow in the studios of Barlow Productions, featured a panel who discussed setting up your media company to avoid legal and tax problems.

Moderator:  Lou Stemmler — operates two LLCs:  Silver Streak Studios and Midwest Legal Video Services

Chad Carpenter – in October 2014, formed Middle West Movies LLC as a non-profit motion picture company

Tom Daiber — St. Louis District Office of Small Business Administration (SBA), loan guarantee program through Federal Government, free counseling for small businesses, and help with getting some of the 25 percent of government contracts set aside for small businesses.  Four programs:  SCORE (more below), Veterans Resource Center, Women’s Resource Center, and Small Business Technology Development Center.

David Houlle — operates S Corporation Sight and Sound Production Services, 37 years in business, Missouri’s largest rental house for grip, electrical, and lighting equipment including trucks and generators

Stephen Pidgeon — operates S Corporation Pulse Media Technology, formerly Pulse Productions. Software consulting, animation, virtual reality, content for upcoming technology.

Kathryn E. Van Voorhees — attorney in private practice through Van Voorhees Law, franchise and small business law, former insurance lawyer.  She attended as a representative of St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts.

Panelists emphasized the importance of setting up a legal entity to separate your personal assets from your business assets, to limit liability.  “Every time you fix a problem, you learn how to prevent a problem,” Van Voorhees said.

Consider your legal entity a business pre-nup, she said.  We all want to work with people we trust, but things happen, like illness, moves, and loss of interest.  Talking with an accountant to help set up the financial deal, and then talking with an attorney to formalize a contract, and then having the accountant and the attorney talk with each other will help business owners get what they need.

The SBA provides match-ups with retired business executives, who volunteer to help you write a business plan, market, and deal with media, through a program called SCORE.  “They help solve growing pain problems,” Van Voorhees said.

Many business owners form a limited liability corporation (LLC).  Missouri charges $50; Illinois $600.  An LLC allows you to separate your personal assets from your business assets and pay taxes through your personal tax forms with designations for business income and expenses.

To form your LLC, you need a business name, a manager, a registered agent (here’s a tip:  pick someone you know), and a statement of the purpose of the LLC.  Van Voorhees said you could search State and Federal websites for trademarks, or you might need to hire a trademark lawyer to research the name.

If you apply for a Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN), be sure you’re applying to the Federal Government and not to some copycat business that’s trying to capture some of your personal information.

If you have a lot of property and businesses (like Donald Trump), you want separate LLCs for them.  If one goes bankrupt, creditors can’t touch the others.  Stemmler suggested that you start with one.  If your business spins into a different direction, or another direction, you could form another LLC.

An S Corporation allows the business owner(s) the tax benefits of and LLC, while paying yourself a salary.  If you start with an LLC, you can become an S Corp later.

You want separate insurance policies on yourself and your business, too.  What if you get hurt on the job?  What if you accidentally erase a tape or destroy some equipment?  If you’re working for someone else, put in your contract that you’ll be covered by the employer’s Errors & Omissions policy.

Van Voorhees suggested that you notify your insurance agent “every single time” to be sure you’re covered.  Inquire in writing, and save the reply.

Non-profit organizations with official 501C3 status should be sure to meet qualifications and reporting requirements.

The SBA can guarantee loans for non-traditional businesses, Daiber said; however, you need to be clear about how you’re going to repay the loan.  Most lenders won’t fund you 100 percent.  You’ll put in 10-15 percent of your own money, counting equipment as part of the equity.

Build up your personal credit before you start the business so when you need a loan, you’ll have a good record.  Everything will cost more than you expect.

If you’re seeking investors, Pidgeon pointed out that venture capitalists will want “something in return.”  What strings will they attach?  You’re already working 100 hours a week for yourself, rather than 40 for someone else.

Keep a separate credit card and even a separate filing cabinet for your business, Houlle said.  Especially if your office is in your home, be careful about using that room only for business.

So if you have your own business providing services to other companies, keep clean paper trails.  Are you going to receive a 1099, if someone paid you?  Houlle said if you are “labor” and not “services,” you want them to pay you as an employee, not through a 1099.  A freelancer needs workmen’s comp.

Get a deal memo before you do any work, and include everything you can think of – hourly/daily rates, how many hours in your day, meals, overtime, mileage, hotels, coverage if you’re injured on the job, etc.  You sign, and they sign.  Be especially careful if their company is out of town, because it becomes difficult to collect your pay.

If they insist on paying you as an independent contractor, then figure out how much more you’ll need to add to your rate, to cover the expenses of taxes and insurance.  This is important if you don’t have a representative to negotiate for you.  If they take advantage of you, be smarter next time.

More information:

Steve Pidgeon recorded the meeting, with audio here:  Audio Online

Form and templates:  State websites, SBA, Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts

Networking:  MCA (of course), St. Louis Film Network on Facebook, Script Mechanics, Venture Café, Missouri Venture Forum, StartLouis


In-Sync in St. Louis