Tuesday, September 18, 2007

About Me...

** Edited July 4, 2010 **

Greetings! I am Abby, a blogger!

I'm also a former pageant contestant, graduate of Bowling Green State University, vocalist, actress, second Face of FOX Toledo and Universal Studios Tour Guide. No, I’m really not this big of a narcissist to dedicate a post to my bio; rather, this was created as a link for my sidebar.
[Photos above thanks to Timothy R. Russell.]

Recent News
My life is finally all in one place! We sold our house in Toledo; Loren, our pets and I are now settled in the fantastic city of Pasadena!

LA Story
In 2008 I packed up my car and drove cross country to Los Angeles to utilize my Theatre degree. For two years I traversed the mean city on my own while my beau, Loren, battled an abysmal market trying to sell our house in Toledo. Living with various roommates was like all the worst parts of college and none of the fun!

I was extremely lucky to land the best day job in Hollywood as soon as I got here, as opposed to being a waitress! I am a proud tour guide at Universal Studios Hollywood, "the biggest and busiest movie studio in the world." I went through a once-a-year, three round audition/interview process and extensive training for the coveted position! I guide tourist from across the globe through the actual sets where years of movie magic have been and continue to be made! I'm constantly driving down Wisteria Lane and past the Psycho House and Bates Motel; I see the DeLorean from Back to the Future and Bruce, the mechanical shark from Jaws all the time!

I hope to one day work on those sets as an actor the guides speak of...! Being an actor is like being a small business owner. I am constantly working to market myself and improve my craft by attending casting director seminars, acting classes, updating and sending my headshots and resume out and of course, submitting for roles and going on auditions. I also support myself with extra work, now called, "background artist." I have worked on many popular TV shows, from Big Love to the Big Bang Theory and a few films, including Iron Man 2, Inception and Valentines Day. It is not as glamorous as it sounds but has helped me learn where all the studios are and how things run on a set. My main reason for doing dreaded extra work is to join SAG, the actors union; one way to do this is by working background three times on "SAG vouchers." They're hard to come by but I have two! One was for being a last minute fill-in on 24 and the second for being a body double. I was the legs sticking out of an MRI machine on House.

Here are some fun pictures from background work. 60s style for Mad Men and all gothed-out for Flash Forward:

Although it was sneakily cast as extra work and dramaticaly underpaid, I was featured with seven others in campaign that stood in Hollywood's three ArcLight Cinemas!

As soon as I got to LA I landed roles in two musicals that were part of the inaugural Mini-Musical Festival (April in New York and Close Call: A Day in the Life of the County Cornier). I have also done an internal marketing video for ABC/ESPN/Disney channel, a commercial for the movie Meet Dave and received IMDB credit for an online promotional video, Izzy Legit. Over the past two years I have learned a great deal, about the business and myself; Los Angeles is an extremely difficult place to live on your own, but I am grateful for the support of my friends in the Buckeye state.

Now that I'm a California girl, my would-be-platform is the NOH8 Campaign!

Actor Headshots by Chris Carlisle

My Pageant Experience

I held five local titles in the Miss America system, winning various Interview, Talent and Swimsuit awards and earning nearly $13,000 in scholarships. I was Miss Lake Festival 2001, Miss Lorain County 2002, Miss Miami Valley 2003, Miss Northwestern Ohio 2004 and Miss Maumee Valley 2005. At Miss Ohio I was awarded a Rosalie McAtee Interview Award and was a Top 10 Semifinalist.

Now that I have “aged out” of the MAO I enjoy giving back as a volunteer and continuing to blog about pageant happenings. I have also competed twice for the title Miss Ohio USA and was crowned the Great American Dream Queen in a competition on WLIO-Lima, hosted by former Miss Americas.

It seem like yesterday…

During my time at BGSU I acted in many stage productions and student films, and most influentially, I was a member of the Forensics (speech) team and PKD Forensics Honorary. I was a three-time National Forensics Champion, winning Rhetorical Criticism in 2005 at the Pi Kappa Delta Honorary National Tournament and Dramatic Duo Interpretation in 2004 and 2006 at the Collegiate Forensics Association National Tournament. I am a founding member and Co-chair of BGSUs Pi Kappa Delta Alumni Chapter and enjoy coaching and judging when I am back in Ohio.

As a BGSU student I worked tirelessly with my pageant platform, the Springboard! program. For seven semesters I served as a one-on-one mentor with first year students in a program designed to acclimate them to the college experience to ensure their future success.

Only a few months after graduating with my Theatre degree I was selected the second “Face of FOX Toledo,” a year-long promotional position. As an on-air personality and station representative I appeared in several TV commercials every day, hosted live telethons and parades, emceed charitable events and made various community appearances.

While in Toledo I also taught youth acting classes at Starbound and was a weekly guest personality on 92.5 KISS FM’s Andrew Z in the Morning show.

In my spare time

In Ohio I enjoyed bird watching and nature photography, interior decorating and playing poker. In LA, I love all the hiking trails in the Hollywood Hills and Angeles National forst, but no, I don't go to the beach much as I should...

I am an experienced public speaker, emcee and vocalist; CONTACT ME FOR AN APPEARANCE TODAY at abbybollenbacher@yahoo.com.

1 comment:

  1. Love you Abby and proud of you. Ronn Rucker in Cincinnati.


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