Casting Extras for Kick Lannigan TV show

ONE KICK fans: the TV show (GONE) is in production in the Pittsburgh area.  Lots of opportunities to work as extras. Including this one.  If you've read the book you'll know that this photograph is a really important prop. I love the idea that someone out there gets to be Bishop's mom.  I'm posting this on 5/11.  If you're reading it too many days after that, well... I'll try to remember to post casting opps as I see them.  

FOR THE TV SERIES "GONE"

We are looking to create a Family of 3 for a family still photograph from character "BISHOP"s childhood.

MOTHER- Can be Hispanic/Italian/Greek (roughly ages 30-50's) 

FATHER- Can be Hispanic/Italian/Greek (roughly ages 30-50's)

BOY- Can be Hispanic/Italian/Greek (roughly ages 6-12) 

We will create the family out of the options. If selected you would need to be available next week for the photo shoot. 

Please email [email protected] 
Please include your name, height, weight, age, number and current photo. Please write which you are submitting for in the subject line. 

We will contact you with further details! 

*we did email everyone from the casting call who we felt fit what we were looking for this specifically but if you feel like we missed you go ahead and send us something!* 

MUST BE IN THE PITTSBURGH AREA OR WITHIN COMMUTABLE DISTANCE.

TV show based on "One Kick" is in production

The television show based on my novel, "One Kick," is in production in Pittsburgh.  True story.  They are building sets.  Actors are in fight training. (That's when my husband said he knew it was real - when actors started working out.)  They are filming twelve episodes.  The show - called GONE - stars Chris Noth as Frank, Leven Rambin as Kick, and Danny Pino as Bishop.  You can learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_(TV_series).  You guys have been so patient waiting for the next Kick book.  I hope you enjoy the show!  I'll keep you posted about where and when to watch.   

What scares me?

Here are some of the ways I’ve murdered people.  I’ve burned people alive.  I’ve drowned them.  I’ve poisoned them with the venom of a blue ringed octopus.  I’ve filleted, hatcheted, sliced, diced, and shot people.  One time, I even blew up a priest.  

I write about bondage, pedophilia, child abduction, cults, drug dealers, torture, ghost cowboys, and politics. 

I am not easily scared. 

I can research the forensic details associated with the remains of a child buried alive in a warm humid environment, and dug up three weeks later, as opposed to a child buried in frozen ground and found after a few days.  I can read criminology interviews with mass killers.  I can watch an autopsy of a 19 year old suicide victim.

I am okay with clowns, corn mazes, chain saws, twins, and life-like dolls.  

You know what scares me?

Snakes.

They scare the shit out of me.  Snakes and butter.  The butter thing is a story for another day.

I know it’s silly.  I’m embarrassed. I want to be one of those cool chicks who walk around with a python casually draped over their shoulders, like, hey, this is my snake Edie Sedgwick…instead I am the idiot standing on the chair screaming.  

I do not like this about myself. 

I even had a snake tattooed on my arm as a way of claiming my fear.  That didn’t work by the way.  It was total bullshit. I am still afraid of snakes.  And now I have a tattoo that scares me.

 

Many people have offered to cure me of my fear, mostly by offering to wrap large snakes around my neck, which is like offering to cure someone’s fear of serial killers by raping them and burying them in a shallow grave.  

 

But because I had agreed to do this event tonight, I had promised to do something that scared me so I could stand up here and tell you all a story about it.  So I thought it might be worth exploring the possibility of having some kind of controlled snake encounter.

 

I emailed a friend who works at the zoo.

To my abject horror she wrote back and said that she could set me up.  Not through the zoo, but through a former zoo teen snake enthusiast named Cody, who now works for Pets on Broadway.

 

I had a lot of mixed emotions about that. 

 

But I got in touch with Cody and set up a time to come meet with him.  And the snakes.

Yesterday.  2 PM.  

 

I spent the morning researching snake phobia.  Sidebar: snake phobia articles are all accompanied by terrifying images of snakes.   

A few hours into my research, my page of notes consisted of one sentence.

CAN SNAKES SMELL FEAR?

At 1 pm, I took a Xanax.

At 2 pm, I pulled up in front of Pets on Broadway.

Before I got out of the car, I reapplied my lipstick.  So I’d look nice when I was admitted to the hospital after my panic attack. 

 

Cody is young.  Like twenty, maybe.  Or twenty-five.  Young enough that he’s kind of annoyingly competent and mature.  The day I met him he was wearing a hoodie, jeans, sneakers, glasses, and a digital watch.  He has a tattoo of a lizard on his arm, and he carries a Batman keychain. 

 

Cody loves snakes.  

But he’s used to dealing with people who suffer various stages of discomfort around snakes, and he’s as calm and patient as a psyche ward shrink.   

 

He walked me over to “meet” the snakes.  

 

There were maybe six aquariums, with a snake in each one.  Snakes like to live alone.  It’s one of their things.  One of the snakes, a ball python - lifted its head and stared at me. 

 

“Um, can snakes smell fear?” I asked Cody.

 

Cody didn’t think so, plus he said, they have really bad eyesight.  “He’s just exploring,” Cody said.  He wasn’t exploring.  He was staring.  Like full-on John Hinkley death stare.

 

Cody uses words like “adorable” when talking about snakes, as in, “Ball pythons are adorable.”  He also says stuff like, “I know one snake who…”

 

Does anyone ever really know a snake?

 

Snakes all have unique patterns, he says, “like zebras, and snowflakes.”  

 

“Do you want to touch it?” he asked.

He was talking about a white ball python in one of the middle aquariums.  He had a triangular shaped head - the snake, not Cody - Cody’s head it normally shaped —  and was maybe eight inches long.  He would grow up, Cody told me, to be 3 or 4 feet, and probably live 30 years.  

I did not want to touch it.  

“Can you pick it up?” I asked Cody.

“Sure,” he said.  Cody is a go-along-with-it kind of guy.  He opened the aquarium lid, dipped his hand in, and lifted out the snake.  

 

It didn’t have a name.  Cody says they don’t name any of the snakes because they’d  “get to attached to them”  but I will call this snake Frieda Kahlo. 

 

Frieda Kahlo wrapped herself around Cody’s hands.  She was always on the move, adjusting, — snaking — using Cody’s hands as tree branches.  

 

Snakes don’t like being held, Cody says, but some of them tolerate it. 

 

There was a sign on Frieda Kahlo’s tank that read FUN FACT:  THESE SNAKES CAN ONLY FIND PRAY IN COMPLETE DARKNESS.

 

That’s when the lights went out.

 

I swear to God.  The lights went out in the store.

 

“They’re just testing the electrical system,” Cody assured me.

 

The lights came back on.

 

He held out his handful of creepy crawly.  “Do you want to hold her?” he asked.  

 

I haven’t always been afraid of snakes.  When I was five and my cousin Jessica was six, we went hunting for rattle snakes in the desert outside my grandparents house in San Antonio. I had recently read Trixie Beldon #1, in which Trixie saves her younger brother from a snake bite by slicing the bite open and then sucking out the venom. I was eager to try it out.  I didn’t want my cousin Jessica to die.  I just wanted her to be bitten, so that I could practice.  I remember being disappointed when our snake hunt came up empty. 

 

My snake phobia manifested a few years later, in Key West.  It was 1979.   

 

I was home alone.  Cleaning.  I remember that because I was wearing a red bandana around my head, because i thought it made for a good vacuuming outfit.  I was seven.  My step-brother, Alan, was ten.  He been out riding his bike with a friend.  This was back when Alan and I both had the same shoulder-length blond hair. 

 

You’ll notice there aren't many parents in this story - again, it was 1979.  

 

The doorbell rang. 

 

My dad’s apartment was on the second floor of an old conch house in Old Town, across the street from a cemetery.  

 

I went downstairs and answered the door.  And there’s Alan, with this big shit eating grin, and he’s holding a black snake out in front of him, with both hands, and in my memory this snake is the size of a bicycle tire — like 4 feet long — it may only have been 2 or 3 feet —  but it was a big snake.  I backed up the stairs as quickly as I could.  Alan and his buddy hurried up after me, with the snake.  

 

Alan wanted to keep the snake.  He cited Finders Keepers.  Which is, of course, a landmark case, establishing precedence. 

 

The problem was Alan didn’t have anywhere to put the snake.  And at some point in the process of waving it in my face, and handing it to and from his friend, it got away.

 

In the apartment.  

 

I remember standing up on the couch as it slithered across the living room.  

Snakes are hard to catch.

They are good at hiding.  

 

When my dad and step-mother got home, Alan had to explain what happened.

He had lost a snake. In our house. 

 

That night, at dinner, I saw the snake slither out from under the couch and race toward the kitchen.

 

This is how it went.  For weeks.  The Summer of the Snake. We might go days without seeing him, and then, there he'd be sidling up against a baseboard.  When friends came over, I had to explain that they might see a giant black snake, and that we were pretty sure it wasn’t venomous.  More than one playdate ended with us all on chairs screaming.  

By the time Alan managed to catch the snake, it had been around so long that the powers that be decided he could keep it.  In an aquarium.  On the balcony.  Next to the hammock I spent a lot of time in reading Nancy Drew books.  

The snake ate live mice.  

Sometimes the mice stayed alive in there for days, all trembling ear and twitching noses.  Their pleading little eyes saying, HELP ME.

 

“Do you want to hold it?” 

 

Cody lowered Frieda Kahlo onto my fingers, and she wrapped herself around my hand.  She was all muscle, I could feel every part of her as she wound around my fingers and arm. 

 

My hand was shaking.  Snakes can’t smell fear, but they can sense stress. Frieda Kahlo wasn’t that into me.  I held her for about four minutes - not that I was counting.  Long enough for Cody to take some pictures on my phone.

 

Then Cody lowered her back into her home.  

 

Later he got out a blood python.  This was a horrible looking snake.  With grotesque vomit colored spots.

 

“Isn’t he beautiful?” Cody asked.

 

“I don’t want to hold him,” I said quickly.

 

Cody had him in his hands.  The blood python was longer and thicker than the ball python.  As thick as an engorged cock.  Cody held him as we talked, which is like trying to talk to someone holding a chainsaw.  It makes it hard to concentrate.

 

The python struck.  Right from Cody’s hands.  It lunged forward, fangs bared.  

 

I jumped three feet, let out a little shriek, and scrambled backward.

 

Cody quickly wrestled the snake back into his tank.  Cody wasn’t sure why the snake had struck like that.  He thought maybe he’d been startled by a shadow.  

 

My heart was in my throat.  

 

I managed to finish talking to Cody.  I said goodbye.  When I was leaving the store bathroom - after washing my hands so I wouldn’t die of snake born salmonella - I saw a lasso of something called bendable eco-terra for a lizard habitat - a kind of twistable vine material - it was hanging on an end cap.  

 

I yelped.

 

For a second, I thought it was a snake.

 

See. I am still not cured.  

 

But thanks to Cody, I have some cool pictures.  And a new blog post.

 

I hope you’re happy.

 

 

 

[End note: I wrote this essay for a show called Reluctant, produced by my pal, Courteny Hameister.  Her book of bittersweet and hilarious essays - OKAY, FINE, WHATEVER - is available for preorder.  It is snake-free, and honestly one of the best books I've read all year.] 

And another thing

I love you all. You know that, right?

Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda

So it looks like welovefine.com is no longer selling the ASK ME ABOUT MY FEMINIST AGENDA tee-shirts.  (Their shirts are always limited release.)  But happily, similar shirts are for sale on many, many other sights, including Redbubble.com, etsy.com and feministapparel.com.  If you're looking for the tee-shirt, just google "Ask me about my feminist agenda tee-shirt" and you will have lots of options.  

Tee-shirts for humans!

Welovefine has some pretty excellent Mockingbird tee-shirts for sale this week, including ASK ME ABOUT MY FEMINIST AGENDA, which is really a shirt that every human should have.  http://www.welovefine.com/search/Mockingbird.html

Dear Internet,

in

I quit Twitter and it was a big story.  But (with the exception of the first story, on Comics Beat) I did not read any of the coverage until yesterday.  It was Halloween, so I was looking for scares.  Wow.  That was interesting.  I want to take a minute here to correct some inaccuracies I saw reported again and again.

The ASK ME ABOUT MY FEMINIST AGENDA cover was not an alternate cover.  It was the primary cover.

Issue 8 did not come out last Wednesday.  It came out the week before.

I had not just posted the cover image.  That image has been floating around for months.  

I had not just announced that Mockingbird had been cancelled.  That’s been public knowledge for awhile.  

I did not get blowback for asking people to buy the comic to send a message to Marvel to make more comics books with women super heroes.  That tweet was over a week old, and met with a lot of support, at least to my knowledge. 

One of the remarkable things about reading the coverage was seeing how it twisted the information in the Comics Beat story, which - despite a hysterical headline - was fairly accurate.  I guess this is what happens when stories get reported without talking to anyone involved and rely on other stories for facts.  

Here are the facts, from my perspective.

I quit Twitter.  I deactivated my account Thursday, after receiving several misogynist and/or jerky comments the night before.  SEVERAL.  Not dozens.  Not a deluge.  One is too many.  I was tired of wasting energy dealing with the constant low-level misogyny and meanness that pollutes a certain kind of comic fandom. I posted some comments reflecting my frustration.  The next morning, when I logged on to deactivate, I saw that I had lost approx 1500 followers overnight.  I also saw that my notifications were filling up with new followers.  I saw that comments were flooding my feed.  I had no idea what was happening.  I had never seen that kind of activity on my account.  But I figured it wasn’t good.  I went through with the deactivation. I assumed I had been trolled in some kind of organized sense, but I didn’t know.  (Still don’t.)  Frankly, I didn’t care.  It was moot.  I was done.    

I felt…relieved.  Like I had backed out of a burning house. 

Then I started getting texts and emails from people expressing sympathy and outrage.  “Are you okay?” they all wanted to know.  “What’s happening on Twitter?”

“I’m fine,” I kept saying, baffled.  

I figured by the way the story was blowing up and by the DefCon 5 outrage that there was some really horrible stuff happening on Twitter, and that I was somehow at the center of it.  But as I said in my previous post about this, I didn’t see any of this.  I was gone.  

It is a strange thing to become a hashtag.  The #StandWithChelseaCain movement (or whatever) had nothing to do with me.  I couldn't see any of those missives of support.  I’m not on Twitter.  I was incredulous at how widespread it apparently was and how everyone in my entire life seemed to know about it.  I think it’s an important statement if it means “Let’s Be Less Jerky on Twitter and Stop Normalizing Sexist Blather.”  

Yesterday as I was sitting here still reeling from the bizarre coverage I had just read with its made-up facts, pictures culled from my Instagram account, and comment sections filled with New People Who Hate Me, I saw someone post a question on my Facebook feed. (I’m paraphrasing.) 

“Is the whole Chelsea Cain thing really about the feminist tee-shirt on the cover?” 

I wanted to respond.  But I didn’t know the answer.  What “whole Chelsea Cain thing” was he referring to?  Everyone I ever talked to loves that cover.  (Well, there was one guy who suggested it be changed to ASK ME ABOUT MY MISOGYNIST AGENDA.) But maybe people had lashed out against it once I had left Twitter?  See, I don’t know.  Then I saw that someone was typing a response.  I waited, hoping to gain some clarity. But the person who responded just referenced the coverage.  

I also saw, yesterday in the comments under a made-up story I read about myself, some people accusing me of making this whole thing up. 

ME?

HA!

I have not given a single interview about this.  I’m probably the worst person to ask about the “whole Chelsea Cain thing” because I’m so out of the loop.  

Clearly this story touched a cultural nerve.  It’s an important conversation to have.  But it also revealed, to me, how misinformation and hysteria can spread so swiftly and convincingly as the media chases after whatever is trending and tries to find something to say as click bait.  

I thought long and hard about posting this.  Because I really don’t want to feed this story any more oxygen.  But I also wanted some truth to be somewhere on the Internet.

140 characters, plus a few thousand more, on the Twitter hubbub

Uh, hi.  So some of you may have noticed that I recently deactivated my Twitter account.  (Apparently that’s a news story?)  I wanted to clarify what happened.  I write (wrote) an 8-issue comic series for Marvel, called MOCKINGBIRD.  During the life of that series, the tenor on my Twitter feed changed.  Comics readers are 99% the best people you’d ever want to meet.  The other 1% can be really mean.  Perhaps that statistic holds up across humans, in general, but in my experience, this is a different kind of mean.  It’s misogynist and dismissive and obsessive and it thrives off taking down other people.  I’ve blocked 8 people in my many years on Twitter; 7 were on Wednesday.  The first person I blocked, several months ago, had this to say:

“Thanks, @chelseacain for ruining my favorite character with your feminist crap.”

I engage with a lot of people on Twitter, even those with criticism.  But that tweet is not looking for a discussion.  It’s not brutal or sexually threatening.  It’s just a quick elbow to the gut.  

I got used to a certain level of take-down tweets after that.  Every time an issue came out.  I’d get lots of love and support.  And a handful of people who seem to thrive off making sure strangers feel hated. I guess it’s a way of being seen.  It’s not different than what most comic book writers deal with, especially female ones.  The tweets that bothered me were never the ones concerned with content; they were the ones that questioned my right to write comics at all, and were disgusted by the idea of a female hero having her own series. 

Wednesday, I had a bubble of these types of tweets.  Mockingbird had been cancelled, and they were really celebrating. Understand that this is not me looking for mentions.  These are tweets in my feed, people who tag me.  It is not trolling.  I was not being targeted.  It was just a lot of people being jerks, per usual, but in greater numbers.

My husband and our 11-year-old daughter were downstairs watching an episode of Buffy, and I was sitting up here in my home office, blocking some of these people, responding to some of them.  Strangers, yelling at me because I wrote a comic book that they didn’t like, and because I was a woman.  And I got a text from my 11-year-old daughter. “I love you,” she wrote.  

And I just thought, what am I doing?  Why am I up here engaging with mean strangers, who couldn’t care less about me, when the two people I love most in the world are downstairs?

I posted a comment about how I was done with Twitter.  And I went downstairs.

I exchanged a few more tweets with friends later Wednesday night.  

The next morning, yesterday, I woke up to find that my Twitter feed had exploded.  This was before a Comics Beat story ran later that morning, which REALLY got people interested.  Overnight, I had lost thousands of followers.  (I’d gone to bed with about 8500.)  I had gained a thousand new followers.  I had been tagged thousands of times.  Comments were coming in, fast and furious, every second.  I’d never seen anything like it.  I saw a few of them - a lot of support, a lot of people yelling at one another - a lot of people mad at me for being too quick on the block button or too critical of comic book readers or being too feminist.  A lot of them just seemed mad at women in general.    

I deactivated my account.  I got up.  I walked my dogs.  

I did not read the thousands of posts on my page, past the one page I could see without scrolling down.  So I do not know who sent them. Getting 5 or 6 tweets overnight is a big night for me.  Maybe 90% of those thousands of posts were from one person who sat up all night tweeting me over and over again.  Maybe it was bots.  I do not know why so many of my followers unfollowed me.  Maybe their feeds were being cluttered with all the posts.  Maybe they blocked me to protest the 8 people I’d blocked?  

I did know that it was no longer my Twitter account.  It had been hijacked.  These were no longer my Twitter friends.  

I think the larger cultural story is important.  People are trolled.  People are ruined.  And trolls get away with it, because they can take down anyone, if their ire is raised.  There is still a vocal segment of the comic book readership that is dominated by sexist jerks with Twitter accounts. Twitter is still a highly flawed platform that nurtures a culture of bullying.  

I loved Twitter.  I made friends.  I maintained friendships.  I was delighted when I got to exchange texts with my favorite podcaster or a TV actor or writer I love.  And I had a huge network of other comic book industry professionals who offered me daily support and invaluable advice.  I mentored teenagers and exchanged tweets with readers and tried to be funny sometimes.

But know that I did not leave Twitter because of rape threats or because someone had posted my address, or any of the truly vile tactics you hear about.  I left Twitter because of the ordinary daily abuse that I decided I didn’t want to live with anymore. The base level of casual crassness and sexism.  

Sure, by the time I deactivated my account on Thursday morning, the whole thing had imploded.  And I bet that some of the thousands of posts on my feed were really really vicious.  But I don’t know.  Because you know what?  I didn’t read them.  That’s the power we have, right?  If a stranger yells at you on the street?  You walk away. 

Let me be clear: I did not leave Twitter because I was trolled; I was trolled because I said I was going to leave Twitter.  

I left Twitter because, in the end, all the good stuff about Twitter didn’t make up for all the bad stuff. 

Thanks for reading.

c. 

 

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