Category Archives: Native Actors

Sesame Street: Traditions with Zahn McClarnon and Native Instruments with Buffy Saint-Marie

Native actor Zahn McClarnon had fun sharing native traditions with Big Bird and the gang on Sesame Street! Nov 1, 2022 🎄♥️

Dark Winds Series as Navajo Police Chief Joe Leaphorn
“You remember Zahn McClarnon’s face. He infuses every part — resistant Cheyenne Reservation chief of police Mathias on Longmire, menacing mobster Hanzee Dent in Fargo, unpredictable Westworld host Akecheta — with a mixture of poise and intensity that electrifies the screen, rendering even his quietest parts unforgettable. Now, after 30 years in supporting roles, McClarnon steps up to lead in AMC neo-noir series Dark Winds and unleashes his vast skill set.” Vulture Magazine

 

Buffy Sainte-Marie also starred on Sesame Street. She played Buffy (a fictionalized version of herself) on Sesame Street from 1975 to 1981. She performed some of her own songs on the show, such as “Cripple Creek,” as well as songs written for the series (including “Country Song,” “Dog Song,” and the music to “Wynken, Blynken and Nod.”) 🎄♥️

“A new documentary [Carry It On] celebrating the unparalleled life of Buffy Sainte-Marie kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival Thursday, with her dynamic life of music and light keeping the audience enraptured by her story, personality, wisdom and joy.” M. Morrisseau, ICT (formerly: Indian Country Today) Sept. 9, 2022

 

 

“Healing Through Humor with Tatanka Means “

 

“Actor and comedian Tatanka Means reflects on healing with laughter in a Native way  amidst the COVID-19 pandemic”ICT AUG 11, 2020

“Tatanka Means is arguably one of the best-known Native actors and comedians in Indian Country, who in early 2020, had a jam-packed schedule filled with comedy gigs, acting jobs and speaking engagements. When COVID-19 hit, Means had all of his plane flights, and gigs canceled. But he pressed on. His standup routines have strong ties back to his Native heritage. In one popular standup, he discusses how Native people tease each other ruthlessly and always solve any awkwardness with the phrase “Aaaayyyyeeee”

 

[Means’ first screen role was in 2004 playing lead stunt double in the film Black Cloud, which was shot in the same gym where he had previously trained as a boxer.He has since had major roles in several films and TV series. In the miniseries Into the West (2005) he played Crazy Horse. In More Than Frybread (2012), he played Buddy Begay, a “hip-hop Navajo fry-bread rock star” who sells fry-bread from a truck on the reservation. A reviewer who described it as the “showiest part” in the film said, “Means .. overdoes it a little … but that’s part of Buddy’s personality.” Wikipedia]

 

 

“People are just going through hard times right now in different places. People are losing people. Communities are being hit hard but you know through comedy, through history, with Indian people, we always laugh when we’re having hard times. That’s why I say the humor brings us back up when we’re at funerals. You know, we’re laughing hard, sometimes telling stories those good old times, you know what I mean? And it’s just finding the humor right now in what’s happening in everyday life and how it’s changed. My daughter’s going back to school right now, but she’s not going back to school. Everything’s online. I mean, there’s no eating in restaurants. There’s pickup only there’s this humor all over the place.” Tatanka Means

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s New Film: “Carry It On”

“A new documentary celebrating the unparalleled life of Buffy Sainte-Marie kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival Thursday, with her dynamic life of music and light keeping the audience enraptured by her story, personality, wisdom and joy.” M. Morrisseau, ICT (formerly: Indian Country Today) Sept. 9, 2022

Excerpt: Buffy Sainte-Marie kicks off Toronto festival with ‘Carry It On’ Miles Morrisseau,  ICT, Sept. 9, 2022

“The film, ‘Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On,’ played its world premiere to a packed house at the Bell Lightbox Theatre on the opening day of the international film festival.

At the screening, the 81-year-old Cree legend told the audience she always wants to lift people up with her music, even after facing hard truths.

Legendary Cree musician Buffy Sainte-Marie, left, was greeted by iconic filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin after the premiere screening of a new documentary, “Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On.” They are shown with the film’s director, Madison Thomson, Ojibwe/Saulteaux and Russian/Ukrainian. (Photo by Miles Morrisseau/ICT)

‘Some of my songs, like ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ or ‘Now that The Buffalo is Gone,’ they are painful,” she said. ‘They’re painful for both what happened to us and the people who are descendants of the people who did these things in the world. And when I sing a song like that, I always follow it with something super positive. ‘ I really believe that music can really hurt you, but it can also really be healing and medicinal,’ she said. ‘And so I’m always very careful to follow one of those hard-hitting songs with something like ‘Starwalker’ or ‘Carry It On,’ or ‘You Got to Run.’

Anger wells up inside as she talks about being abused as a child, being blacklisted from American radio because of pressure from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and losing the publishing royalties to her song, “Universal Soldier” as a young artist… Yet the hurt is balanced by her inimitable spirit and undeniable success on her own terms.”

For More Information for Buffy Sainte-Marie Film “Carry It On”

NM Tribe Turns Casino into a Movie Studio!

“A small New Mexico tribe has opened a movie studio in a former casino that it hopes will lure big productions.”  R. Contreras, Indian Country Today

Cheyenne and Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre, talks about Tesuque Pueblo’s new film studio in Santa Fe, N.M.-Photo- AP: Russell Contreras.

 

Excerpt: Tribe transforms old casino into movie studio, Russell Contreras, ICT

The Tesuque Pueblo recently converted the building near Santa Fe into a movie studio campus called Camel Rock Studios with more than 25,000 square feet of filming space.

The tribe’s lands feature stunning desert and the iconic Camel Rock formation in the red-brown foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and tribal officials said outdoor filming can take place on 27 square miles of the reservation.

The tribe with about 800 members decided to open the studio after scenes from the Universal Pictures western movie ‘News of the World’ starring Tom Hanks were filmed last year in the Camel Rock Casino, which closed in 2018.

Universal’s use of the casino for filming helped convince tribal officials to transform the empty building into studio space, said Timothy Brown, president and CEO of the Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation…Cheyenne and Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre, a Santa Fe resident and an advisor to Camel Rock Studio, said the studio’s unique aspect is that its former makeup as a casino provides the site with pre-made infrastructure that can be used for filming different types of movie scenes…Older movies filmed on the Tesuque Pueblo include the 1955 western ‘The Man from Laramie’ starring James Stewart and the 1988 ‘Young Guns’ with Emilio Estevez and Kiefer Sutherland…Tribal officials plan to create internships and movie training programs for Tesuque Pueblo members and hope that the studio will foster a new storytelling movement, Eyer said.”

Indian Country Today: Resource Sites for the COVID-19:

Are you a Native student whose college or university has been closed or switched to online classes? Visit this spreadsheet for resources involving technology in Native communities. It is updated by San Juan College’s Native American Center.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic information.

Indian Health Service

National Congress of American Indians

National Indian Health Board

COVID-19: Native advisories and event updates

~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

“European diplomats and foreign policy experts say that a Joe Biden presidency would restore the United States’ strained alliances with Europe.” Business Insider

STAY STRONG– STAY HEALTHY– STAY SAFE!

2020: International Call For Native Actors!

“Open call locations in the U.S. and Canada on January 12, self-tape auditions are also accepted via email. As part of the Casting Society of America’s stated ‘ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in casting’ in the film and television industry, the organization has set an international open call for Native American, First Nations and Indigenous actors for Sunday January 12, 2020 on a scheduled appointment-only basis.” V. Schilling, ICT

Excerpt:International Open Call for Native American and Indigenous actors, Vincent Schilling, ICT

“For in-person scheduled auditions, participating locations will include Los Angeles, New York, Albuquerque, Portland, Chicago, Norman, Oklahoma and Montreal. If interested applicants are not able to make it to the location, self-tape auditions are also being encouraged for union and non-union actors.

According to the Casting Society of America (CSA) press announcement, ‘CSA members across the globe will open their offices to union and non-union Native American and Indigenous Actors. Artists who are professionally trained, as well as those actively pursuing professional careers as performers are welcome to attend. Artists will be given an opportunity to perform a prepared scene of their choice in front of a panel of CSA casting directors offering actors the opportunity to interact with casting directors who are looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of underrepresented and undiscovered talent in a professional casting environment.’

Russell Boast, the Casting Society of America president and DeLanna Studi, Chairperson of the SAG-AFTRA National Native Americans Committee both offered comments in the announcement regarding the casting call.

‘The Native American and Indigenous Actors Open Call follows the huge success of CSA’s Inclusion and Diversity open calls for Trans and Non-binary actors, Performers with Disabilities, Seniors and MENASA (Middle Eastern, North African & South Asian) actors,’ said Russell Boast in the release.

‘These open calls offer both an opportunity for these underrepresented actors to be seen and a chance for our Casting Director members globally to become familiar with their work. Our hope is that empowering Casting Directors by giving them the tools to cast authentically will create a ripple effect through the industry that will result in more opportunities for diverse actors and filmmakers both in front of and behind the camera.’

‘As Native people, we are often called the ‘Vanishing Race’ or the ‘Disappearing People.’ One of our biggest burdens and greatest opportunities is educating the Industry about who we really are: to break past these stereotypes and to move our communities forward.”

How to sign up and schedule an audition

Interested union and non-union actors are invited to any of the locations on an appointment-only basis. For more information and to sign up for one of the locations visit:

http://bit.ly/CSA_NativeAmericanOpenCall

How to submit a self-tape

To submit a self-tape send an email inquiry to:

inclusionanddiversity@castingsociety.com

In the self-tape:

Slate: (A piece of paper with the following info held up to the camera):

Your name, location, email address.

Read: A scene of your choice that best shows off your strengths. No longer than 2-3 pages.

About: If you would like to tell us a little about yourself please share a minute.

Label: Please label your self-tape FirstNameLastName_OpenCall

Email: Self-tape to inclusionanddiversity@castingsociety.com

Subject heading: Open Call Self-Tape

Category: Native Actors

Marvel Films and Native Superheroes

“It’s time for a Native Marvel movie: 10 existing Native Marvel heroes and 10 Native actors to play them.” V. Schilling, ICT

Loren Anthony as Puma.

Excerpt:Time For a Native Marvel Movie – Vincent Schilling, ICT

“I was born in 1967 and was a by-product of the ‘70s and ’80s and grew up loving Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, The X-Men, The New Mutants, Daredevil, Spiderman and so much more. These comic superhero creators are giants in the Marvel world. The one thing that has always been lacking has been diversity — especially Native American heroes — outside of a handful of fairly stereotypical Native American heroes, except maybe Danielle Moon Star and Forge. But Stan Lee and Chris Claremont, as well as other creators, were mindful that every nationality should be represented in the Marvel Universe…I think Marvel has an amazing opportunity to create something never before created, to further the recognition of diversity in mainstream films…I am hoping Marvel might consider this: A Marvel superhero movie with the majority as Native American superheroes…there are over 75 Indigenous heroes in the Marvel Universe that already exist. So let’s just say Marvel is listening, perhaps they might be a bit curious if this is doable. Ok, Marvel, in the odd chance you might be looking at this article, here you go.”

Adam Beach (Twitter) – Jason Strongbow (Marvel)

Super strength, speed, agility, stamina, near-invulnerability, super eyesight, increased senses, crossbow proficiency. Yes, we know Adam played Kill shot in Suicide Squad, but his sacrifice to forward the story was too short. Bring on more Adam Beach.

Wes Studi photo by Vincent Schilling, Centurion (Marvel)

As a prince of an “Amerindian Tribe” Centurious is a God. With a description as a soulless immortal with supernatural abilities, magic, strength, control over the elements, telekinesis, levitation and mind control, Wes Studi could blast into the Marvel Universe like Thanos. Studi could also play the Beyonder in the Secret Wars. My guess is that Secret Wars to be the next Marvel Universe saga.

Sivan Alyra Rose on Instagram, Echo / Ronin (Marvel)

Though Deaf, Echo has photographic reflexes – meaning she can immediately duplicate movements, thus her expertise in martial arts, acrobatics and dance. Sivan Alyra Rose was made to be Echo.

Loren Anthony (Instagram) Puma (Marvel)

Puma has genetically enhanced human abilities, with transformation powers to become a humanoid Puma, with increased senses, as well as a martial arts expert.

Michael Greyeyes (IMDb) Shaman / Talisman (Marvel)

Native medicine expertise as well as western medicine and surgical expertise, holder of medicine bag that holds all objects to summon into existence, can transform into an eagle, levitation.

 

More Exciting News: Joy Harjo Is Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Credit Shawn Miller:Library of Congress

“Joy Harjo, the Oklahoma-born writer, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, is the first Native American to hold the post.” By C. de Leon, The New York Times