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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Is it be patient or YOLO? I'm so confused.

But it's only been a year..............

Hello, everyone. Just an update of sorts to all of you supportive and patient people. By the way--thank you for the patience and support. Bridget and I started this project a little over a year ago, and I can honestly say that I cannot believe it is still not finished. Some say that good things come to those who wait. Well--what happened to YOLO? Fine--I do believe that we need to wait for good things, and that everything does happen in time--sometimes I just get a little frustrated with the process. So--good news and bad--You can decide which is which.

Kristy is no longer with us. After 4+ months of no progress--we all decided that it would be best to part ways. I will admit--it's been a trying time, and I am embarrassed that a trailer was never posted or that the Iowa DVD is still not completed. Unfortunately--I had no control over this. All I can say is that we are moving forward from here. Sadly, this project is hanging by a thread. Don't get me wrong--I really believe that it will eventually get finished--it's just that the momentum  has definitely slowed down, but--we will see.

The worst news is this: We missed the deadline for the Ellen Show. Since no trailer was ever made or uploaded--we were unable to send in the necessary clips needed to secure our spot. This too is embarrassing. I've pretty much decided that I will no longer post expected dates or possible outcomes--mostly because every single one of them has fallen through. I'm not gonna lie--as far as the film goes--I feel like a complete failure. I have no one to blame but myself. So many of you sent me money, and read the blog, and cheered at the potential, yet I have delivered nothing. The mistakes that I have made along the way cannot be undone, but I remain optimistic that I will complete this project--someday--somehow.

So, once I do know more--we can resubmit to the Ellen Show. I'm hopeful that enough of you will still be willing to write in to get me on. I had over 1,000 letters last time, but was unable to get a 3 minute clip put together. If I get the same support as before--you can bet that I will get the clip in--even if I have to drive to the studios and put on a frickin puppet show--they will see something, and I WILL get to be on the show.

I will keep everyone posted about the IOWA dvd and the Ellen show and the film.

The good news is that Bridget has decided to edit the film. A lot of great things have happened for her in the last year, and I could not be happier. I'm so grateful that after the right amount of time had passed-- she decided it was indeed the only way to get this thing done. I've believed in her all along, and will continue to do so. The goal now for everyone is: patience.I have no idea when this movie will be finished, but I know that Bridget is both willing and capable--so there ya go. I'm happy that it is back in her hands, and that she cares enough to see it get made. I guess the lesson here is that good things do come to those who wait.

After all--it's only been a year.............

Until next time, TJ

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Update and what to expect in the next 6 months

I'm not sure what the etiquette is about when you can no longer say Happy New Year, and frankly, I don't care--so--Happy New Year to the readers, fans, and even the foes of Tiny Superstars. Bridget told me today that no one reads our blog anymore. I do not believe that is true, and I am here to prove her wrong. Ok--I'll fill you all in on what is happening. Ready? Here we go:

First and foremost I want to wish two of the tiny superstars a happy birthday. Kristy's special day was Jan 1st and Bridget's was on Jan 12th. They are now 24 and 25 years old which means two things: 1.) I am old as hell and 2.) Bridget can now legally rent a car. So--Happy Birthday, kittens. I hope your day was wonderful.

Ok, so things are moving along nicely--well--sort of. Bridget and Kristy have yet to meet, but besides that--e'erthing is on track. The release date we are now shooting for is July 1st which of course is my birthday. I'm 99.9% sure that we will make that goal. Some things that you can expect before the release date:

1. The IOWA DVD. I will be sending copies of my Iowa show to some of our backers AND to the many people who are about to buy it. Link will be up by Thursday. DVD will be $10 with free shipping. This DVD will also include an Iowa show soundtrack AND my new chapbook (TJ Takes on the World of Food) ALL proceeds will go to Tiny Superstars and will help us with distribution costs, film festival entry fees, and maybe something gangsta' for me. We will see.

2. The Tiny Superstars dinner which is for our very special backers who donated $150 or more and checked the box marked SPECIAL REWARD. The dinner will be super fun. I'll be cooking the meal--Bridget will make the dessert and look pretty, and Kristy will probably bring her own food, because she is one of "those" people. LOL!! We are all looking forward to celebrating with Emily, Steven, Juan, Summer, Erin, Mary, and Justin. I'm sure Sarah, Dustin, and Jess will also be joining us, and I'll probably bring my better half. We will post pictures from this dinner. Cheers in advance.

3. A video of Bridget doing karaoke. We promised this so very long ago, and I plan on seeing it through.

4. A premiere/special preview of the film. This will be a really fun event, because all of our hard work will have paid off, and we will be able to celebrate. More info on that will come soon. The backers who donated $75 or more will receive free entrance and VIP treatment at this event, and everyone else will have an opportunity to buy tickets to this catered soiree.

5. A date for the Ellen Show. We are working really hard to get Ellen the footage she needs to help us promote this film. Since several hundred of you wrote into the show, Ellen has agreed to have me on to discuss the film as well as my story. We do not have a date for this yet, but it will happen. You will see me on Ellen before the end of the year. I promise.

6. Photos: Carrie will be taking a few snaps of all of us for promotion and such. I'm not interested in climbing another mountain for a photoshoot. Hopefully that won't be a requirement this time.

7. Blog posts from B Naj and Kristy along with some clips and such. In order for Bridget to write a post though--we have to make sure she knows peeps are reading so leave a comment if you can.

So there ya go. That's a lot of stuff for you all to expect.

Kristy is working diligently of the ten million piece puzzle that will become a film, Bridget is slammed with a new full time job AND an internship, and I'm still teaching and doing the funny. Please check out for more on what's up with me or follow me on twitter @tjishilarious

Thanks for reading everyone. We really do appreciate the support, and you all know how I like proving Bridget wrong. I'm still enjoying this journey, and am looking forward to next week when B and K will finally have a face to face conversation about The Artist Formally Known as Trina. Be back soon. I'll leave you with a recent snap of me and my banjolele for your viewing pleasure.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lonely Tea Time

Hello Tiny Superstar friends!

I HAD a present for you, but it's misbehaving so I'll wait on sharing the clip with you another day so that I can bring you a post, as an update must be better than nothing.

As of now, I have that clip thrown together, as well as 3 edits of the Iowa Show for a DVD (day 1, day 2, and an amalgamation of both days) which I believe TJ is planning on selling in addition to sending out to our lovely backers. So, for those of you who won't get one by being a backer, and who either missed the show or want to remember it always, stay tuned for more on that later. (huzzah for rewards!)

I will be taking the next week to really buckle down and assess how to put all the footage together for maximum story awesome, once my editing program and my computer cooperate with the footage and release what I've edited for your viewing pleasure.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, and while it's kind of scary to have such a big project to put together, it's also super exciting. There's a lot of themes and ideas expressed in the footage that I really want to reveal in a proper way. My biggest fear with what I have to edit is portraying an incomplete story - something that is one-sided and doesn't show the kind of understanding and acceptance that I think has played an integral part in TJ's story. Somebody doesn't become as awesome and well-rounded as TJ without going through a lot of crap, so there's a lot of less savory topics to cover that because I personally don't know the people in her life, I'm very concerned with portraying them incorrectly.

I've always believed people don't hurt others intentionally, and that everything we do is simply because we think it's best for ourselves, for our families, for our friends, and for society. Sometimes it really is for the best, and sometimes it's misguided. I don't really believe in good and bad. And as a filmmaker, especially one in America, that is a very hard thing to hold on to in a final product, because you often get accused of not having a point of view or that you have a weak story. To me, strength is found in a well-rounded subject that makes you really think about your own morals and definitions and whatnot. It doesn't have to change your mind, it just needs to make you think. I have some really strong viewpoints on a lot of things, but I absolutely love thinking about what leads people to viewpoints opposite my own, and I love encouraging other people to essentially put themselves in others' shoes as well.

One of the biggest challenges I faced in putting together the clip... I think I mentioned to you guys that I always try to listen for "sound bytes," and the key reason for that is to summarize or highlight something and bring it together, which, as you probably know, is how you throw a trailer together. The problem with sound bytes is that they're quick and dirty ways to hash information together. They are immediate points of view that have no context. They cause a lot of problems a lot of the time. So yeah. I did a lot of looking into other documentaries and the choices they made for promoting their movies, and reflecting on the two documentaries I've worked on in the past and how I threw clips for them together. There are some easy choices I could make with throwing this together, but I really want the trailer to accurately portray the themes of the movie - which are actually the only definites I have about it right now, other than it's about TJ. So... I hope I did okay, because I'm never fully satisfied with what I throw together.

Anyways, I'm currently sitting at home attempting to enjoy this lonely tea time I've put together because I started feeling dizzy and then ill a bit ago which makes me sad because I wanted to see TJ's show tonight and also get some more honey from the farmer's market across the street from the Improv because as you can see I am running low. I am hoping I am not getting my roommate's sick, because he has been miserable since yesterday. It does give me more time to figure out the mixdown problems I guess. One solution is just re-editing the trailer and re-importing all the footage, which would suck, but at least it would fix it. Theoretically.


- Kristy

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Auld Lang Syne

Here's more of me! Merry Christmas! Belated Happy Hannukah and Festivus and Winter Solstice! Early Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to Me!

Sorry everyone, I had a blog post written up a bit ago and stopped mid-sentence and started focusing on something else because that's what you do when you have ADD and don't take medication for it. I got super busy with work and being sick constantly and working on films of my own... and there's a lot of excuses I can tell you, but point is, I lost track of time and now we're at the end of the year. That's not to say that I forgot about Tiny Superstars and getting the film done. I have the Iowa footage left to get through and I'll be done - and then there's a few new things TJ gave me to get through as well that I'll need to watch. My goal is to have the initial footage watched by the end of the year, and if I use my time well, I'll be done with everything by then. But I'm going to set reasonable goals first.

Watching all the footage and seeing the journey of this film has been utterly fascinating. Everything I see just impresses me more as to TJ's character and the things she's gone through in her life. Her story is absolutely important, and the more I find out about her the more I feel this. I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to present the film and I can't wait to be completely done with watching the footage to start working on bringing it to you guys.

I'm super happy I got to meet with TJ the other day, I feel she got a lot out of it, and so did I. It made me feel a lot better for having missed our previous meetings and I think made her feel more confident about what I was doing on my end as well. I'm still excited to meet Bridget, when we get there.

 I feel really good about next year. I feel like 2012 has been an eternity and can hardly believe how much has happened in my life. It has been simultaneously awesome and awful. People say that the older you get, time starts to feel like a roll of toilet paper and gets shorter closer to the end. In 2011 I started to think that was true, but with how much my life has changed and all the things I've experienced in the past year I don't think that anymore. I'm turning 24 in a week and that terrifies and delights me. Getting older scares me, but having more experiences is worth it.

Also, in a few days I'll have thrown together a promo for the documentary to give to Ellen as well as put the Iowa footage on a DVD for our backers and TJ's personal use. Which will be sweet.

So I'll see you guys soon, and have a great week!

Friday, December 21, 2012

TJ's Tiny Superstars RECAP of 2012

Hey. Thanks for checking in. I really enjoyed Bridget's post and her recap of the year, so I have decided to do my own recap.  So--without further adieu--I give you a quick recap of Tiny Superstars 2012!

At the tail end of February I decided to go back to Iowa (my home state) and do a comedy show for my friends and family. Since I like to do things in an all or nothing manner (we will get to that later) I also decided to "retire" from teaching, launch a comedy career, and perhaps do a documentary about all of these adventures. My facebook post read--"My past is about to collide with my future. This would make a great documentary." Lots of people voiced interest, but well--when I saw Bridget Najour's comment--I knew right then and there she was going to be the one to do this project with me.

We met up at Nordstrom's Cafe on March 5th and both proceeded to order from the children's menu. After catching up and such (we hadn't really spoken in 6 years) we dove in and decided we'd like to work together on what would later become "The Artist Formally Known as Trina." 10 months later--here we are. I think we initially wanted to have the film done by the end of the year, but that just didn't happen. I really do believe that everything happens for a reason. I also think that initially we both wanted very different things, but it's all working out exactly as it should. Ok--moving on--

The year has been amazing and this project has been life changing. This year has also been very trying and this project--well--yeah--we will just stick with life changing.

Tiny Superstars 2012--------------

We decided to go with the flow.
We spent a ridiculous amount of time on our Kickstarter video, but finally got it posted on April 15th.
We exceeded our goal and raised over $5,000.
We opened a bank account for Tiny Superstars INC.
We laughed a lot.
We filmed a lot of stuff including: confessionals, interviews, me teaching, performing, and telling stories.
We had a sweet photoshoot.
B wanted to be in the background of my life, and capture it on film.
I insisted she become a part of my life, and that the rest would fall into place.
Distance is always better for professional reasons, and closeness is always better for personal reasons. We both did things well, and we both could've done things differently.
It was hard to differentiate between stubbornness and fear.
Same goes for encouragement and pressure.
We changed the vision of the film, and then we changed it again. It's still a little blurry, but that's part of the plan y'all.
We ate a lot of ice cream.
We lost Fluffy Najour
We loved each other and we fought
We went to Iowa
We supported each other and we fought.
We tried to figure out balance.
We believed in each other.
We gave up on a regular basis.
There was always too much stuff.
There was never enough stuff.
I decided to continue teaching.
B taught me about family.
B decided she did not want to be a filmmaker anymore. She had new goals for all of the right reasons.
We made it work.
We both continued to believe in this project and still do.
We blogged over 80 times and got over 10,000 hits.
I did my shows. They rocked.
I stopped being angry at the world, and mellowed out.
B busted out her first resume.
We got over 50 hours of footage.
We learned so much about life.
We were both courageous in many ways.
B became a part of my family, and Iowa loved her.
I wanted to be in film festivals.
B did not.
I conquered fears.
I decided we needed a hiatus. B concurred. I hated it. She......well...I do not know. LOL.
B decided she could not edit the film. I did not like that decision, but then I did because she had great reasons.
I believed in Bridget, but not myself.
B believed in me, but not herself.
We fought, and finally heard each other.
We found a new editor.
We all tried to meet up, but it never worked out.
I gave up.
B did not.
I decided I had to do two more things before the end of the year--interview B about this process (on camera) and talk to Kristy (the new editor) about what the film should actually be about. I think it's'll see. All I will say is this--it is NOT at all going to be what we thought.
Stella (my friend) and I interviewed B and I learned a lot. It was hard reliving some things. I wish I could go back and change some stuff, but alas--I cannot. Like I said before--everything happens for a reason.
We were asked what we learned from each other.
You'll have to wait to hear the answers.
I forgot to ask B the most important question of the interview.
Tonight I gave Kristy the footage from the interview, and we talked about the direction of the film. I'm excited and inspired. She will be brilliant.
We will all have a nice break and enjoy the holidays with our loved ones.

In 2013 you can expect the following from Tiny Superstars:
Amazing blog posts.
The completion of the film.
The Tiny Superstars dinner for our special backers
The premiere of the film.
Our soundtrack.
To see all of us on Ellen.
B Naj enjoying both of her jobs.
Me teaching, performing, and keepin it real.
More of Kristy
A lot of the same roller coaster ride we had this year.
Maybe another project
I'm not sure what else.

I just want to leave you all with a few things I've learned this year from this process. Well--maybe I'll hold off on that. Let me just say this. I thought so many things I was going to do in 2012 were going to be life changing, and that the film was going to document them all. I did have a life changing year because of so many things, but the most life changing thing of all was not filmed--it was the film. I adore you Bridget. Thanks for taking this journey with me and for seeing it through. It's been amazing. Thanks to all of you for your never ending support. See you all in 2013. Happy Holidays!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

2012: A year in review.

As I lay in bed this Saturday morning watching the most god-awful Christmas specials, I began to reflect of the last 12 months.  Every year seems to be passing more and more quickly, particularly with all the distractions of modern technology occupying every moment of our day.
Anyway! Point being, time flies and this year has perhaps been the fastest year of my life.  I feel like just yesterday was New Year's Eve.  I remember it in vivid detail, which is even more remarkable considering how much I had to drink that night. 2011 wasn't the most stellar year ever.  2010 either for that matter.  Every year the same declaration is made: "This year will be my year.."  First it was "Great in '08!" "Fine in '09." and by 2010, we were "Just hangin' in." So by last New Year's Eve, I was done with resolutions.  No declaration of weight loss, no promise to be more productive.   

Up until about two weeks ago I was convinced that 2013 would be kicking off with about the same optimism as the previous few years, particularly with my 25th birthday just weeks away.  Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly proud of the work that we have done on our film, but I still found myself schlepping into the same old job each day, feeling completely stuck.  However, after four and a half years, I am moving on.  This week will by my last at Miguel's Cocina.  As of Wednesday, I am the newest member of Alternative Strategies PR team where I will be working part time as an intern.  And though it won't pay the bills, I really couldn't be more excited about this opportunity! It's my first "big girl" job!  Additionally, I will be helping to open a tasting room at a new brewery here in San Diego.  2013 is looking like it may shape up to be a pretty decent year!

Those of you who have been reading since day 1 may recall that I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in 2012.  Allow me to refresh your memory:

- Get a tattoo
- Learn to drive a stick
- Run a 5k
- Make a movie.

While the first two remain incomplete...I still feel accomplished (plus the year isn't over yet!) I ran a 5k back in May...check! And as anyone reading the blog at this point knows, we began the makings of a movie.  Though it is still in progress, I am putting a check mark next to this one.  Like I said, I am so proud of the work we've done this far.  Even more so I am proud of TJ for accomplishing and overcoming all she did this year!  Working on this film has presented so many unexpected opportunities and has allowed me to meet so many amazing people.

To TJ, Myriam, Janice, Gary, Blaine, Stevie, Jackie and the rest of the Hubergs, Deweys and are an amazing family and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to meet you all!  Thank you for making me feel like one of your own!

Of course I also have to thank all my family and friends who have been there every step of the way. You keep me sane and I love you all.

To all of the people in California, Iowa and anywhere in between who have followed and supported this always, we wouldn't have been able to do this without you! 

2012 was just the beginning of TinySuperstars and I hope that you all continue to follow us into 2013.  Who knows what it will bring!

Happy Holidays from the TinySuperstars family to yours! And as always, thanks for reading!

Love, Bridget