Sunday, September 25, 2022

People of Note: Life Inside Out at the Quad

Life Inside Out
Life Inside Out

*When actress Maggie Baird, writer Lori Nasso and director Jill D’Agnenica put their heads together to make and produce a film about a middle aged woman named Laura who wants to realize her creative dreams in the midst of growing financial problems, little did they know they would experience the same risks, hard work and exhilaration via the making of their film, “Life Inside Out.”

This independent film made on a shoe string budget has all the appeal one looks for in a film. It is well made and it tells a story every day people can relate to. Even though it seems film distributors did not agree, thus forcing the filmmakers to take alternative routes to get the film into theaters. Presently it is being featured for a limited engagement until January 22nd at the Quad Cinema, located at 34 West 13th St., between 5th and 6th Aves., in NYC.

There was a Q&A held after the movie by interviewer Richard Skipper that gave audience members the opportunity to speak to the actors and filmmakers.

Many of us have heard the expression “Art Imitates Life,” and that adage can be applied to the making of this lovely Indy film, Life Inside Out, which became a family affair with Baird’s real life son and husband playing roles in the movie. Baird’s own son Finneas O’Connell plays her son, Shane in the movie as does her real life husband, Patrick O’Connell. Patrick plays the role of Skip, the music store owner who opens the door to a new life for Maggie’s character Laura, by referring her to an open mike club, where Laura realizes her dream and eventually helps her moody 15-year old son, Shane, do the same.

Maggie Baird in Life Inside Out.
Maggie Baird in Life Inside Out.

Written by Maggie Baird and Lori Nasso, the film reveals a typical family, with Laura the frustrated mother of three boys and loving partner to husband, Mike, (David Cowfill). Mike is barely able to make ends meet and needs Laura to help pull the weight. He loves Laura’s songwriting and singing talent and is supportive when she picks up her guitar again after years of putting it aside to raise a family. But he really needs Laura to supplement the family income. Unemployed, Laura does whatever she can to bring in money. She bakes and helps her sister with her photo book scrap making business, even though she hates it. Singing is the only thing that allows Laura to grab her moment in the sun.

Laura’s two sports loving sons take after their father, but 15 year old Shane, is cut from another cloth and takes after his mother. Misunderstood by his family and peers, Shane, is a moody teen in search of self, just as is middle aged mother is also in search of her own self. She gets the chance to rediscovery her talent after answering an open mike ad in the record store that leads her to a club run by Sam played by Goh Nakamura. It is there that Laura blossoms and hones her craft and it is here she and Shane share common interests, strengthening their bond.

Cast members include William Dennis Hunt, Roscoe Brandon, Orson Ossman, Joe Hart, Emma Bell, Yogi Lonich, Xenia, Alexandra Wilson, Emily Jordan, Kalilah Harris, John Bain and Frank Gangarossa, et al.

Maggie Baird's real life son, Finneas O'Connell stars with his mother in Life Inside Out
Maggie Baird’s real life son, Finneas O’Connell stars with his mother in Life Inside Out

Laura’s life does not change substantially but it becomes satisfying and along the way she sees positive things about herself and her family that turns her Life Inside Out.

I recommend this movie and implore movie goers to  implore movie goers to catch Life Inside Out before it leaves the theater. It will be at Cinema Quad until January 22nd. Also, non-New Yorkers who wish to see the movie can write Netflix and ask they include Life Inside Out in their cache of movies.

Deardra Shuler is a well published journalist who has profiled celebrities and written about people of note for many years. In addition to her column at, she is the host of her radio show “Topically Yours” on Interested parties can acquire info regarding Deardra through,, Facebook and Google. Contact her via:

Deardra Shuler;
Deardra Shuler has experience in theatre, music, concert promotion, television and publishing. She was affiliated with the Negro Ensemble Company and is a former manager of the children’s theatre,”TADA.” She has produced and promoted concerts in Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Music Hall. Ms. Shuler is the former Editor and Managing Editor of three New York City minority newspapers. Presently, she is the Entertainment Editor of The Black Star News. As a freelance writer she writes for several New York City newspapers; including the Examiner, Amsterdam News and Eurweb. Deardra had a column in Sweden and freelances for Afrocentricnews in California. She is the former PR chairman for the FESPACO film festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa, and is presently program manager for where she also hosts her own show "Topically Yours."




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