Guest Post from Anastasia Von Strottenberg

(Some context: over the past two days, the MISC students have been participating in a workshop on basic camera, lighting, sound design, and interviewing skills. At the end of today’s session we split into groups of three: one member sat in the “hot seat” and was interviewed, one assumed the role of interviewer, and one manned the camera and served as producer. I thought my background in improv comedy would be useful for this assignment, so I elected to be interviewed and came up with this character. Enjoy. -- Dylan)

Good evening, darlings. My name is Anastasia Von Strottenberg. If you do not know who I am (although, really, who doesn’t?), I am an elite fashion designer – specifically, the creative genius behind Anastasia’s Fashions. What? You’ve never heard of my work? Oh, but of course you’ve seen it; my designs look rather distinctive. See, I work exclusively with saran wrap and tin foil. Skirts, dresses, hats, you name it and I’ve made it. (Oh, I know it’s revolutionary, you don’t have to tell me that.)

Please excuse how out-of- breath I’ve been as I introduced myself. I know you haven’t asked why this is, but let me tell you about it anyway. You see, it’s currently New York Fashion Week and my work is being showcased on the runway. There have been so many parties, interviews, and the like… it all blurs together. You know how it is, dear. But I just came from a very special engagement that you simply must know about. I was the third guest on this up-and- coming talk show called White Walls, filmed at Portland Community Media. (I did admire the simplicity of the name. When I asked about it, I learned that it comes from the white walls the show was filmed against.) The experience was absolutely fantastic, I must say.

First, I can’t praise Tim Rooney enough, the lead producer who coached the production team in making me look and sound my best. I believe his day job is as a trainer, videographer, and community media facilitator at PCM, and he was very skilled at all these things – but most importantly, he set up the two-point lighting system so light properly shined on my gorgeous face and laughed at all my jokes. (And who needs more than that?) In addition, the other featured guests were incredibly enlightening. A million-dollar- lottery winner who lost all his money to the IRS? A saxophone player with godlike abilities who tours deserts and gains cult followings? I don’t remember their names, but if you didn’t see the segments you’re missing out.

But the best part of the experience was the production team on staff for White Walls. Having known film production skills for only two days, they were absolute stars. Sure, a couple shots unintentionally drifted away from their subjects, but each interview was nearly flawless from sound check to final question. However, I must brag specially on the team that produced my own piece. For starters, Frankie Breedlove asked the most poignant questions and helped the story of my meteoric rise to fame and fortune surface. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to tell the story of the first piece I ever designed (a saran wrap dress for my little sister, made at age three), and I was able to do so today. And Lizzie Schmidt was the best camera operator/producer I have ever worked with. (Oh, I’m being told her name is actually Lindsey Smith. Either way, she was fabulous.)

So that’s how my morning and afternoon have been. There’s a mixer with other fashion designers coming up in a few minutes, so I had better go learn tips and tricks from my colleagues – but most importantly, share my own skills and success with them. It’s been a real treat, darling, please do call again.


Ta ta for now,