Saturday, January 16, 2021

Tracy ‘Twinkie’ Byrd’s ‘The Counter: 1960’ Screens at Upcoming LA Festival

Tracy 'Twinkie' Byrd
Tracy ‘Twinkie’ Byrd

*The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center’s 26th Annual “Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves” Short Film Showcase will feature the cinematic debut of Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd on Saturday, April 27th at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA.

Twinkie is a Businesswoman who exudes power, purpose and passion.  She is a Hollywood Casting Director, Producer, and Owner of In The Twink Of an Eye Productions. Not only does she find talent, and guide it, she is an influencer with a passion to empower, encourage and uplift others.

In her purpose, Twinkie seeks to shift perception and awareness on specific topics. Twinkie has chosen to tell stories of African-American history with a twist. Her directorial debut is a Sci-Fi Period Piece – Historical Narrative – Musical Drama – “The Counter: 1960” It is the first in a slate of short films of its kind, with cinematic and narrative intent to send youth back in time to learn about their history.

Big Deal:  Screening for BHERC is a big deal because Twinkie attended a Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves Film Festival in the past, studied the films and after the Talk Back she approached the directors she wanted to work with and was hired to cast 2 films with TAMIKA MILLER – who was a new filmmaker at that time.  But this goes to show you how passionate she was for this business and how it led to fruitful work.

Casting:  Casting is YOUR ART!!  Her film screened in Houston to a Standing Ovation in Martha Vineyard and in attendance were Civil rights leaders, doctors, lawyers, and people who were at the Real Sit In who are now wheelchair bound, hugging and praising her work, “everybody who saw the poster, said that’s when they said I’m seeing your film!!”  As Twinkie was handing out postcards, and taking photos, Audiences were calling her the next Ava DuVernay.

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Touring:  Screening THE COUNTER: 1960 at High Schools across the country through an organization called WOKE, where racism is identified, discussions of race and diversity are analyzed and mostly Twinkie found that many of the younger audiences never heard of the Sit-ins.  She then realized that we have coasted through and not taught our children how to protect themselves from discrimination.  In Houston, upper echelon parents have placed their children in St. Agnes Catholic School where they encountered racism and the children were unprepared to deal with the confrontations.  They asked her “How do we peacefully protest?”  They didn’t know how – no critical thinking!  Even knowing the lyrics to Lift Every Voice & Sing should be taught at home and memorized.

Inspiration:  I had an amazing experience studying under Richard Lawson’s tutelage, where I learned to edit on my phone.  Historical references, push the culture forward, enjoy educating through entertainment – so if that’s what I have to do, that’s what I love, really love creating a conversation through my art between the generations.  Getting nuggets while you laugh.

Great Finds:  My Locations were a gift and finding the period piece signage was difficult but worth tears of joy once my positive thoughts willed them to me.  We could not find the “colored only” or “No Negros Allowed.” The prop house was very dusty and I am allergic to dust so I was wheezing but I kept thinking positive thoughts – show me the “Signage” then I found them in a drawer, underneath something – took photos of them and started crying…

Blessings:  Actors Buddy Lewis and Vanessa Bell Calloway came through for me at the last minute.  I wanted to ensure that my children had parents – because they are getting rid of our fathers and families in film and television now.  I feel it is very important for our images to have families – so this was vital to me.

Next project: I directed two episodes of a google web series called God Complx; and I directed a Drew Vision music video.  I sold my first project, and my first book Channeling Becky will be released this month.  Channeling Becky is about the casting director who could not cast the leading man in her own life.

The “Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves” Short Film Showcase on Saturday, April 27th 2019 starts at 7:00 PM at Raleigh Studios in the Chaplain Theatre at  5300 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, CA  90038.

Nine short films will be screened that are all written, directed and produced by emerging Black Female Independent Filmmakers.  Emmy Nominated Actress  Anna Maria Horsford will moderate a Q & A with filmmakers and stars in attendance. Tickets for the “Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves” Short Film Showcase are available nowFor adults its $25 and $10 for youth ages 8-18.  Please RSVP (310)284-3170.  Street parking is available and parking is also available on the lot for $10.

Visit the website www.BHERC.org and join us on Social Media:  https://twitter.com/bhercdotorg.   https://www.instagram.com/bhercdotorg

https://bpb.opendns.com/b/https/www.facebook.com/black.hollywood.9

 

LaRita Shelbyhttp://www.RitaShelby.com
LaRita "Jazzy Rita" Shelby is a broadcast media & marketing professional. She serves as Director of Digital Strategy and Sales at EURweb.com. Additionally she is an actress, singer/songwriter who has appeared on TV and in film.

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