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Author: Anastasia Blackwell

Anastasia Blackwell is an award-winning actress, author, and screenwriting. Her work includes published novels, "The House on Black Lake", and "The Chamber of Curiosities", and accolades for stage, television and film.


Monday night was the third meeting of WAM JAMS!, a Writers, Artists and Musicians jamming group I formed to collaborate and create new forms of art.  Since its inception in January, the group has grown to nearly 150 members and has brought together some very talented people.  Our first meeting was primarly social and networking., and it was at this meeting I met Jack, an incredibly talented artist and musician, who has seen become a valued Assistant.  Following the success of a public jam at Project One, a lovely art gallery in the lower Protrero area of San Francisco, that we decided we wanted to create a revolutionary performance ,combining music, dance, visual art, and the spoken word.

At this point in time we provide a monthly venue for all kinds of artists to get up on stage, create u-tubes, network, socialize, rehearse and learn from others more experienced.  We are extremely supportive to all and are fortunate to have a wonderful core group of performers who are beginning to create alliances and develop work with other members to help each other promote their work.

The artists of the world must rise up and take their power - that is one of the primary issues of my book - and I strive to live that truth and help others find their own unique voice.



Frazer Bradshaw - Director of Photographer for The House on Black Lake Trailer

Frazer Bradshaw,  Director of Photography for the book trailer was a delight from the beginning of pre-production and I look forward to working with him in final editing.  He is a consummate professional with a artist's eye and an even temperament.  An accomplished and versatile artist as well as cinematographer, he has worked with some of the biggest names in the business and has also developed a highly accomplished indie track record.

His own film, Everything Strange and New, was featured in the Sundance Film Festival and is now being shown in film festivals internationally.  Also, he filmed, Lost in the Fog, a beautiful  about a very special San Francisco race horse that is currently being shown in film festivals and theaters across the country www.lostinthefogthe

Frazer's work is now in the hands of editor, Jesse Spencer , and we will be working on shaping the piece, with an eye for the unusual and unexpected.  I'm confident that in Frazer's hands we will soon have a beautiful introduction into the provocative world of Black Lake.



Golden Gate Park - Film Site For The House on Black Lake Trailer

The day we shot the outdoor celebration scenes, the magic glen, lake and island scenes at Golden Gate Park was absolutely glorious.  I've never experienced such a beautiful day at the park.  It was very warm and no breeze, unlike the other times I've visited the park when it's blistery and freezing.  The rowboat scenes with me playing Alexandra and Tosh Yanez as Andre were very romantic (once Tosh got the hang of rowing).

When we moved to Stanyon Park off Sloat, it was easy to move into a more mysterious and foreboding frame of mind as I (as Alexandra) met the challenge of facing off Ramey Sandeley (Wade Gotsal) and Andre Labat (Tosh Yanez).  When we wrapped that day I was covered with bruises from the intense scenes.  But, very satisfied.

Due to the hard work and total commitment of the actors, Frazer Bradshaw, Isaac Ebersole and the entire crew, I felt we  had accomplished what we set out to do - create a great trailer for the book.



Historic Chateau Tivoli Chosen As Site For Book Trailer

The first day of our shoot was staged at Chateau Tivoli in San Francisco's Alamo Square area.  Built in 1892 it is one of the most charming of the "painted ladies" of the historic district.  Many famous artists of the past have stayed in the nine bedroom mansion including, Mark Twain, Isadora Duncan and Luiza Tetrazinni - who have rooms named after them.

The house is stunning in its accumulation of artifacts both delicate and fierce.  I was delighted when scouting for appropriate locations to find that the house held the stuff and mounted animal heads, heavy chandeliers, dark hardwood floors, and many other of the elements I described in the book.  The house provided all that was needed to convey the mysterious, lush, and claustrophobic elements of the Sandeley's mansion and the house on the lake.  Thanks to house manager Nico, for allowing us to use much of the establishment to help us achieve the monumental task of over 20 scene changes in one day.

I stayed in the Luiza Tetrazinni suite, used for the trailer's introduction and brash bedroom controntation between Alexandra and Ramey and actors Tosh Yanez stayed in the Mark Twain (used for the very lush and sensual scene with Andre and Alexandra) and Wade Gotwals in the Isadora Duncan.  If there are spirits residing in this old dwelling they are very loving and supportive, as our shoot went smoothly and we accomplished all we set out to do.

The Chateau is a bed and breadfast that can be rented out for special  occasions.  I'd love to go back and spend a week-end of relaxation.



New Trailer for The House on Black Lake

The last few weeks has been intense as I scrambled to bring together all necessary elements to produce a great film trailer for the House on Black Lake.  Collaborating with brilliant cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw and his incredible producer/director Isaac Ebersole, I created a film script and chose the Chateau Tivoli mansion, Golden Gate Park and Sloat park to recreate the look of the French Canadian contemporary gothic feel of the book.

I was fortunate to bring together an incredible cast to play the characters from the novel.  Wade Gotwals, plays to perfection the rogueish Ramey Sandeley, Morla G. brings to life the broken beauty of Ruth Sandeley, Tosh Yanez sensually captivates as Andre Labat, and little Benny Duskin is a most adorable Sammy.  I play the part of Alexandra Brighten, the world weary woman who must reclaim her power if she is to survive.

The film is now in the hands of editor, Jesse Spencer.  The book trailer promises to be a glorious achievement, due to the efforts of these talents and many more kind and helpful individuals who participated to bring this story to life.  I will be blogging daily to give more details of the production and the individuals involved.

Thanks to each and every one of you who were involved in this project - I love you all!!!







When Alexandra and Sammy arrive at the Sandeley’s house on Black lake, they are bombarded my moths from the carriage lights straddling the front doors to the luxurious mansion.  At the end of their journey, when they  escape from the house at daybreak, the carriage lights are switched off and the bodies of the moths who beat themselves to death seeking light, lie dead, in heaps on the floor. 



The metamorphosis has begun.








THE POWER OF ADVERSITY by Anastasia Blackwell

Strength of Purpose Turns Adversity into Success.



The Battle Between Darkness and Light

Man in MaskThe struggle between the forces of good and evil are rich in story telling and folklore throughout the world. Parables, fables and fairy tales depict characters struggling to gain control over a repressive environment. Much of art and literature, past and present,could be interpreted as the expression of the soul's struggle to free itself from hostile forces. In the face of tyranny, self expression will find its way into any creative medium available, and it is often clothed in symbolism.

Witches, cruel stepmothers, wolves, evil kings and queens and other beasts, all conspire to bring down the innocent. Often the protagonist must undergo a series of trials or transformations in order to achieve self actualization. Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, finds deliverance in the magic shoes she has won the right to wear through a series of trials. When she returns home, she is no longer the innocent girl - she now contains a strong sense of self. Cinderella also attains her freedom through a series of trials that lead her to fit into the glass slipper.

The movie Star Wars fully fleshes out how evil is formed, and the extreme need of the dark side to suck the light from the vibrant to absorb power. Darth Vader, in the trilogy of Star Wars, represents this force. Vader experienced unbearable loss, shame and guilt when, in a fit of rage, he caused the eventual death of his wife. The burned and charred remains of his once passionate and loving nature are covered by a hard black mask and his body put together with artificial limbs covered in black. The only emotions now felt by Darth Vidor are the toxic remains of his self exhumed body. He feeds off the fear of others, and has an insatiable need to control  everything in his Universe. Through projective imagination he is capable of creating a vast army of supporters in harnessing the dark energy forces of the Universe.

Luke Skywalker conversely represents the light. He is the son of Darth Vader, but has been raised by another, so he is not contaminated. He has been taught to view Darth Vader as the enemy, as he represents the death of Democracy in the Universe. Luke Skywalker spends most of his formative years learning how to use his inner strengths to gain power over The Dark Ones. His education is taken in secrecy - and inside a safe haven he learns the Secrets of the Masters. By mastering his internal powers, he draws in the energy of the universe. In this final battle, Vader and his Master are destroyed and the union of Brother and Sister preserved- Democracy and Freedom for the Universe

Homer, in the Iliad and the Odyssey, spends seven years facing horrendous trials, growing and developing as a man, before he finally finds his way home. With every trial, it appears that Homer is a dead man, but he perseveres because the powers of passion and resolve are greater than the forces that seek to contain and destroy.

Stories of the struggle for personal freedom and self expression have been with us since the dawn of mankind. Both ancient and modern, they share the painful burden of the oppressed and the steps that must be taken for transformation to occur. The exposure to truth is the first step towards personal freedom. The journey begins with a commitment to oneself to begin the task of transformation.

The characters of Black Lake, are all moving along this continuum.  One will fall into a pool of darkness, one will be sacrificed, and one will find redemption.  All will be affected as each evolves - and so it is with all of humanity.



When Alexandra  arrrives at Black Lake she feels her life has been shattered.  She sees no way out, no hope for the future.  But sometimes the most dreadful things that happen in a life are exactly what one needs to turn off the known path and move in another direction. 

istock_000005033340largesunset"Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like a toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears het a precious jewel in his forehead.
And this our life, exempt from public haunt, find tongues in trees,
Sermons in stones, Books in the running brooks
And good in Everything."
William Shakespeare

THE CALL OF THE WILD by Anastasia Blackwell

Ramey Sandely, has lived his life controlling his environment.  He brands his animals with his own tools, runs worldwide entrepreneurial pursuits and lives his life by his own rules.  But he has a lesson to learn and will take an unexpected journey with Alexandra, although that was not his intention when he made plans for her visit.

Men have forgotten this.

But you must not.

Your are responsible, forever, for what you tame.