Writer’s Corner is a place to get to know outstanding writers, talk about the craft of writing, career advice, share horror stories and find out more about compelling films, television shows, plays, etc. There’s so much great content out there being made by female creators, we should all be keeping an eye on these women.
Today we are featuring Annie Wood.
Annie Wood is a Hollywood native, lifelong actress & writer. The web-series she created, wrote and stars in, Karma’s a B*tch, was Best of the Web on Virgin America and can now be seen in her new series, Instant Karma. Wood was chosen to take part in the NBC DIVERSITY SHOWCASE with her comedic scene, That’s How They Get You. Annie’s also a visual artist, a produced playwright, the third female solo host for a national dating game show in the history of television (“BZZZ!”) and an enthusiasm enthusiast. As an author, her three books, Dandy Day, Just a Theory: a quantum love adventure and her first YA novel, Just a Girl in the Whirl, just procured a publishing deal with Speaking Volumes and will be released this year.
Her full-length play, Complicated Heroes was the winner of Fritz Blitz California playwright contest and was performed at the Lyceum theatre in San Diego. Several of Annie’s short plays have been produced around the country.
Most impressively, Annie can juggle kiwis for about five seconds. The fruit, not a person from New Zealand. Although, that would be more impressive so please read the above sentence backwards.
Annie, I know you’re an actress, a writer and an artist, tells us a little bit about how you started in the business and how you became the prolific artist you are?
Ever since I can remember I was 100% sure of what I wanted. I felt driven to create. Create art, stories, humor, anything. I remember watching TV as a toddler, like 3, 4 years old, and having the feeling that where I was meant to be was “inside” the TV. A family friend, Becky, remembers me being 3 years old and telling her, “I’m going to be in the TV!” I was obsessed with acting when I was younger, but I still always wrote stories and made art at home.
I hear your novels are being published, can you talk about them? What are they about? How did you find your publisher? When can we read them?
Yes! I’m so excited because two of the three I had self-published in the past. Which I think is awesome, that we are all able to do that, but I didn’t really think I’d ever be able to release them again with a traditional publisher. I was looking for a publisher for my new YA novel, “Girl in the Whirl” but they wanted all three! “Dandy Day” and “Just a Theory: a quantum love adventure” are both rom coms. All three novels were based on original screenplays that I wrote. I found my publisher the old school way, queried like the dickens! This was my 100th query.
Dandy Day will be out this year, the other two in 2019. Available where books are sold.
People can stay in the loop and read excerpts by subscribing to once (sometimes twice) a month newsletter at anniewood.com. Also, they’ll get a free ebook, “Where Would You Be Without You?” when they sign up. Just go to my site and click on FREE BOOK.
Does writing change your approach to acting? How about the other way around?
Since I’ve always been both, it’s hard to say. But I will say that I feel a great respect for writers, as an actor, and for actors, as a writer. It takes a village to create the ultimate stories we all end up knowing and loving.
What has been your biggest career challenge so far? How did you overcome it?
When I was in my 20s I was the host, and co-producer, of a nationally syndicated dating game show, BZZZ! When it got cancelled, the producer and people around me didn’t tell me. We still had to shoot a few more episodes and they didn’t want my performance affected by the news. It broke my heart to know that I was being lied to by the people I thought were my friends because they didn’t trust my professionalism enough to know that I would carry on. I was young, but I was still a pro. It felt like they didn’t really know me. Also, before the show was cancelled I was offered work I couldn’t take (because I was working on the show) as soon as it was cancelled, those opportunities went away. There’s other stuff too, but really I mostly focus on the good times and what I love about the biz, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to still love it as much as I do. And I do.
I heard you’ve had art shows in the US and abroad. Can you talk about your work? What inspired you to create art in so many different ways?
I just got back from my solo art show in Venice, Italy, “Beautiful Imperfections.” It was a dream come true of a dream I didn’t even know I had! 🙂 I had a pop-up show in Hollywood for my birthday in February and that felt special as well. I’ve also been lucky enough to be part of several group shows and I sell my work in my Etsy shop.
I’ve been into street photography for a long time and since photo software became so damn cool (I LOVE technology!) I’ve been playing around with digital collage and digital art. But as far as the paintings and the mixed media work, something clicked in me after my mom died in June of 2015. We were crazy close and losing her, instead of breaking me (which I always thought it would) I felt lit up from the inside to create more joy and color in the world. Whenever I was on the phone with my mom and we’d say goodbye she would always tell me, “Be happy. Enjoy your life.” Something about playing with paints and colors and images makes me feel like a child fully enjoying my life.
My mom didn’t live to see my art, but she is in every single piece I create.
What’s the worst piece entertainment business advice you’ve ever heard?
To have “something to fall back on.” I would always answer, “But, I’m not going to fall back!” I think your commitment and belief in yourself needs to be so strong that you don’t waste a second of your time and energy into the “other.” Otherwise, the “other” – becomes your life.
What are you working on now?
My web series, “Karma’s a Bitch” (best of the web on Virgin America inflight entertainment) and my new series, “Instant Karma” are available HERE. We just shot three more episodes of “Instant Karma” with an awesome cast. Those episodes are in post now!
Oh, and one of the episodes that’s up now, “The Cat Call” was shot in Rimini, Italy and directed by my talented hubs, Peter Arpesella (peterarpesella.com)
Where can we support your work?
Thanks for that question! Signing up for my newsletter is the best way to stay in the loop (plus you get that free book I mentioned.) anniewood.com
Also, I’m teaching a class, “Zen and the Art of Creating” on skillshare! Also FREE! Sign up and comment, that’s always nice.