Friday, October 31, 2014

Some Pretty Festive Home Decorations

Festive and Fabulous | Shop the Lakeside Collection for Fall Entertaining Ideas

These pumpkin canisters are only $13.94 for 4

I love these Rooster theme bowls too! Only $12.95 for the set

Beauty Can Be Natural! No Need For Chemically Charged Beauty Products With Good Earth + A GIVEAWAY

This is not the first time I am talking about Good Earth Beauty. In fact, Good Earth Beauty is a company I order from a couple of times a year now. They sell my absolute favorite bug spray.

This time around I was sent Pumpkin Chai Shampoo and Lavender, Vanilla Lip Scrub which I can tell you will be another favorite.

The Pumpkin Chai Shampoo smelled so good we didn't even get a photo before we used it so this photo shows it after at least five shampoos.  It is probably the thickest shampoo I have ever used and a little goes a long way. It smells amazing but if you are sensitive to smell it could be overpowering for you. Personally I love it! The whole bathroom smells like it when I am done showering and I can't stop smelling my hair.

The Lavender Vanilla Lip Scrub is like nothing I have ever tried. This exfoliater for your pucker is a sugar scrub that not only smells and tastes amazing but also moisturizes your lips!

You take some on your finger and rub it into your lips. The harder part is not licking it off but if you's completely fine. It is after all natural made up of only sugar, organic sunflower oil, organic coconut oil, organic almond oil, organic shea butter, organic jojoba oil and flavor so lick away but as you know licking doesn't really help your lips especially in this weather. It was 35 degrees this morning when I woke up.

Isn't it pretty?!

Good Earth Beauty also has body scrubs, lip balms, soaps and more so check them out.

Also, enter for your chance to win the same products that I recieved by filling out the form below.

Disclaimer: I received complimentary products for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received. All the opinions are my own.

Brightly Lit!

This is what it looks like when the sun comes over the mountain and hit just one small sections of homes. Took this while driving the kids to school. It was so foggy but this area was so brightly lit, it could not be ignored.

Photo Friday

Unsolicited Love - Halloween Costume 2007

This is a blog post from one of my blogs back in 2007


God has been shining down on my in the past few days. Today while lying on my son’s floor watching Spykids 2 with him. He came over to where I was lying put his head on my hip wrap his arms around my waist and said, “I love you mom!”

I truly had to stop myself from tearing. This was the first time he said it without me saying it first.
I had to wait 4 years, 5 months, 10 days but it was worth it.

Handsome you made me so happy. I can’t even tell you how hearing those words made me feel. As you grow up into the awesome man I know you will be try to remember how important and powerful those words can be when they truly come from the heart.

If you feel it, say it. I think those words can’t ever be said enough as long as they are true.  I tell you, Daddy and your sister I love you at least 5 times a day. You never know when it will be the last time you say it to someone you love.

My parents must have felt it but I don’t remember ever hearing it. I probably say it a lot, well mostly because when I feel it I want to say it but also because I want you to hear me and be able to pull it into memory whenever you need it.

Always know how in love I am with you and how happy I am that I was chosen to be your Mommy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Free Kids Halloween Book From Amazon #FREEBOOKS #freekidsbooks


It's Cookie Monster's first day at a terrifying new school and she's not feeling good about leaving her old lovely life. Little does she know that this isn't any normal school, not at all. In this school her teacher is a witch, the librarian is a skeleton and what is wrong with the Principal and his evil laugh? After being punished with slime, bullies, custard pies and being chased by hippos Cookie Monster needs to find a way to get this Horror School closed down. With the help of her friends she comes up with a plan, but with Halloween approaching the ghosts are out to stop her and she's going to have to summon all her bravery to defeat the maniac Principal Brown.


Stavroula's mother remarries and she gets a new stepfather. Everything is going great until they all move in together. What's that noise in the hall?

A Tasty Halloween Treat! Satisfy your monster cravings this Halloween with a perfect bite-sized monster tail -er - I mean tale.

You can't always judge a monster by its cover/fur/fangs/ scales/wings/horns...well, you get my point.


OXRUN STATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT. Nobody can really explain it. You just have to understand that bizarre things happen there. They just do. Weird things. The kind of things you don't even want to dream about in your worst nightmares. Trick-or-treat is crazy enough, with ghosts and goblins and witches and warlocks and all manner of other horrors roaming the streets. But in Oxrun Station, the masks aren't always made of rubber. In his new hometown, British teenager Sam Jones discovers that a legendary backwoods bogeyman has risen from the grave to seek revenge against those who put him there . . . The fabric of the cosmos is unravelling and dark and dangerous things are leaking across the borders . . . For five unsuspecting teenagers, their lives will never be the same again as they discover the hidden terrors lurking beneath the surface of their quiet town and experience the most horrifying Halloween of them all . . . This year in Oxrun Station, THE TRICK IS TO STAY ALIVE!


A modern-day horror short story. The cold winter wind scouring the prairie has a way of uncovering many secrets...even those long-dead and buried.

Haunted Warehouse Sale - ORDER NOW FOR NEXT YEAR AND SAVE BIG - Get Up To 70% OFF #deals #sales

| Now up to 70% Off

Halloween Solar Garden Statue is 50% OFF

Color-Changing Halloween Lanterns are so adorable at only $3.95 - They are so cool. Their eyes light up.

Set of 6 Skeleton Hand Treat Bags - 6 for only $2.95

Halloween Trick Or Treaters

I so need that bat metal hanging lantern!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Amazing World of Zhus - A Video By Goddess #TheAmazingZhus

The Amazing Zhus allow kids to astound their friends with fantastical feats of magic and thrilling stunts! This new collection from Cepia, LLC, the master toymakers behind ZhuZhu Pets® and The Happy's™, make magic and performance fun by letting boys and girls learn to act out magic tricks or simply enjoy the delight of astonishing friends and family with stunts.

My kids still love their Zhu Zhu pets. We have posts herehere and here about our love of them. Now we love the Zhu Zhu brand even more thanks to Cepia's latest creating to the group.

The amazing Zhus is by far one of the coolest toys my kids have played with so far. 

Here is Goddess explaining some of what they do:

Take Echo With You Everywhere App #EchoInsiders

Goddess getting an eye exam - the doc is so sweet he even took a photo of Echo's eyes after the photo of the back of her eye so she could see it

We love our Echo. The kids do take him everywhere. You can take him too by downloading the Earth to Echo app.

To use, follow these simple steps:

1. Download the free app from the App store on any iOS system -
2. Point your device's camera at any Earth to Echo key art 
3. Make sure you are in a well-lit room and enjoy Echo zooming around 
4. Take a picture with Echo wherever you go on your adventure!

If you love the movie, love Echo or just like to enter giveaways...enter my Earth To Echo Blu-ray Combo Giveaway.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Mother's Quest Is To Do Her Best

If you are not a Mother you don't understand how hard life can be sometimes. No matter what you are going through you have to keep going. There is no time to stop because there are others who count on you to make their day. Whether it is to make their meals or just to be the smile they see when they wake or that reassuring face they see before bed, you know they NEED and count on you so YOU MOVE.

Maybe to some my day doesn't seem busy, or meaningful. Maybe to some my day seems full of nonsense that doesn't contribute to humanity or to the financial pool of life in a way that they believe it should, but to those I say; I don't judge you! Stop judging me!

Every day moms/dads/caretakers (whatever, I know there are a ton of folks doing this too) wake, smile, start their day with getting others ready to start their day and think about those others all through the day while attending to the things they need to get done.  

Here's a look into my typical day:

  • Get up
  • Say good morning to my son who is either waking or already awake
  • Check my daughter and make sure she is covered because it is only 4:45 and neither kid NEEDS to be up.
  • Look at the news for the weather of the day while drinking a half cup of coffee.
  • Say good-bye to my husband
  • Start breakfast for my son
  • Turn on my computer and check email and see if there are blog comments that need to be moderated.
  • Go to Facebook and see what is going on with friends.
  • Turn on Hootsuite and set up a bunch of stuff to run during the day while I am out
  • Start the process of waking my daughter which can take 20 mins to 2 hours
  • Post something to my blog
  • Get out her clothes and make her lunch
  • Wash, get dressed and brush my hair
  • Go back to my daughter and see if she is getting up (usually not)
  • Make sure my bag and the kids backpacks are packed
  • Dress my daughter who at this point usually has only 35 minutes before we walk out the door
  • Make my daughter breakfast
  • Brush my teeth and remind the kids to brush theirs (my son has always already done it)
  • Depending on temp (start car)
  • Brush my daughter's hair 
  • Head to car
  • Drive the kids to school (my son goes in but my daughter waits until the last minute)
  • Head to the gym for an hour
  • Get on the phone with a friend
  • Get back home and jump in shower
  • Get dressed for work
  • Throw clothes in the wash
  • Eat
  • Check email
  • Throw clothes in the dryer
  • Write something for my blog
  • Run out the door for work
  • Do my 3 hours as a lunch/recess aid
  • Wait 1/2 hour for the kids to get out of school
  • Arrive home and get snacks
  • Homework which can take 1 to 2 hours
  • Make dinner
  • Check email
  • Read with my daughter
  • Clean dishes
  • Write something for my blog
  • Give up my computer for the kids to do a math website while I put clothes away
  • Enter giveaways, advertise giveaways, post to Hootsuite
  • Edit some photos
  • Put kids to bed
  • Check email
  • Watch something on Netflix or read
  • Go to bed and say a prayer for strength, peace, and good wishes for others. Sometimes have a good cry
  • Fall asleep wake up when you hear the door open
  • Say hello to my husband 
  • Go back to sleep until the alarm or kid wakes me before doing it all over again
Now if you are in a great mindset where life is going well, this would just be tiring, overwhelming, monotonous even but throw in some heartbreak, drama, medical issues, life stress (like bills and money), day to day crap and you have a stressed out mom BUT...a mom who will still smile in the morning at their children's tired faces and ask what they want for breakfast just to do it all over again. 

Moms bend but don't break. I hope to always be that mom. Kudos to all the moms who smile regardless of what is going on in their life! Your rock GIRL!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Some Pretty Blue Finds + A My Goddess

This weekend I headed out with Goddess for our weekly get the hell away from Football Sunday drive. 7+ hours of uninterrupted football doesn't sounds fun to us and well, the boys would prefer us gone. 

We go wherever the road leads us and while we mostly did grocery shopping we did spot a place we have passed but never went in. Thankfully yesterday, we finally walked inside. Both of us loved it! We didn't know where to look first because there was just so many places for the eye to go.

We loved all the colors but especially all that red, white and blue

I can't get enough of these mixed media pics. Always loved them!

We loved the soft robin egg blue candle lantern and Goddess really loved the Day of the Dead glasses. They are so pink!

Hello Americana...let us not forget all the stars and stripes! We wish we could have taken pictures all day.

That basket full of handmade ornaments definitely caught our eye as well as the vintage looking sign.

I seriously want this necklace

AND...when there are hats around; TRY THEM ON!

It was a bit cold outside but she will always pose!

Blast From The Past - My Ballerina - Originally written 2008

My Ballerina

Originally Posted August 24, 2008

Be still my heart. This morning I took my daughter to a free introductory ballet class for little 2-4 year old preschoolers. We went last year but she and her brother got bored when the instructors took too long to get things moving. We were the only people to show up and they kept hoping others would come in. We left and when I saw they were doing it again this year, I left my son home.
She was excited and we dressed in her pink tutu, leotard. She was excited and so was I when we walked in 5 minutes before class and saw 5 little ones already sitting on the floor with an instructor.
She was asked if she wanted to come sit with them; to which she said yes without even looking at me. I took my place against the wall with the other smiling parents. I felt bad that we had dressed up because no one else had. Not bad for my daughter, just bad for the other girls because the instructors made a big deal about her outfit. Thankfully the girls are so young I doubt any of them took it personally.

When the class started she took directions well and proceed to really enjoy herself while I (the only parent with a camera, of course), snapped quiet pictures (no flash to disturb) and some video.
She wants to go back tomorrow, but I told class isn’t for a few weeks and that if she liked it we would see.

I really hope we can afford to send her because she did exactly what I would have wished. She walked right in, took direction, smiled, laughed and sparkled all day. She even dance counted a few times 6, 7, 8.

Since losing my mom when I was 12 this was exactly the memory I was hoping to be able to make with my own daughter. I took ballet when I was her age and I hope we can manage it for her.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just Watched Hollows Grove You Never Get Out! Made Me JUMP Twice

Y o u   N e v e r   G e t   O u t

Written and Directed 
Craig Efros

Mykelti Williamson
Lance Henriksen
Matt Doherty
Sunkrish Bala
Bresha Webb
Val Morrison
Matt Carey


In HOLLOWS GROVE, a young filmmaker, Harold Maxwell, is doing a behind-the-scenes documentary on his ghost hunting reality show friends, the Spirit and Paranormal Investigation Team, (S.P.I.T.), as they prepare for their next assignment. Harold and the S.P.I.T crew head out to film an old, abandoned and supposedly haunted orphanage, Hollows Grove. Soon after arriving at the orphanage the team begins to realize that what they thought would be a routine investigation is turning in to a nightmare from which they cannot escape.

Tag Line:  You Never Get Out

The 411 by Maria:

We love horror movies but especially this new genre of takes on reality ghost shows where investigators head into various locations and give you a history of what happened there as well as their investigation. I am not going to lie; I am a big fan of these types of shows.

In Hollows Grove a bunch a paranormal investigation team explore an abandoned, haunted orphanage.  It takes a while before the "real" ghosts show up (midway through the movie). Before that the team are setting up their shots and scaring each other. 

I definitely jump twice but shook about 5 times and I think that was because of the audio. There was a lot of whispering or low talking and suddenly there would be the loudest sound. 

The effects of the "ghost children" were fair but part of me wishes there was more interaction. 

The coolest scene shows about 5 or 6 children walking toward the investigators but only one of them can see it. 

Bravo Craig. I loved it!

Craig Efros on Hollows Grove

I have been a fan of horror films for as long as I can remember.  My love for this genre began at a young age. Forbidden by my parents to watch scary movies they would sometimes play at night, I would creep out of my bedroom, hide behind their couch and catch thrilling sneak peeks of the gruesome films that played on their small tube TV.

Horror turned into an addiction for me, and I was enamored by the directors, actors and make-up artists who worked on these films. I got a subscription to Fangoria Magazine and would spend hours reading the articles and staring at the ghoulish pictures. I loved the films of the 80’s that provided a bit of camp, humor and scares all rolled into one lasting impression. These images would be etched into my brain like nightmares brought to life.

As time progressed, I was drawn into films that gave me chills while haunting the deeper parts of the imagination, films like: David Cronenberg’s “The Brood”, ”The Changeling” with George C. Scott, and Guillermo Del Toro’s” The Devil’s Backbone.”  It was not the shock value, but the uneasiness left by viewing these movies that would stay with me for days on end.

Horror evolved into the “found footage” genre of the late 90’s through to the present.  Films like: “The Blair Witch Project”,” Rec”, and “Paranormal Activity”, really made found footage a true landscape which engulfed the audience in terror in a much more intimate setting. That intimacy was what drew me to these movies.

The camp and humor I liked from the 80’s, along with the chills from the later films I grew to love, and the use of found footage, was a unique combination and gave me the impetus to make “Hollows Grove.”

What Inspired “Hollows Grove”

When I was younger, I watched the ”Miracle Worker” with Anne Bancroft.  There were scenes that stood out to me. For example, there was the time when Anne Bancroft’s character, Annie Sullivan, recounted when Annie and her brother were placed in the Tewksbury Almshouse. The flashbacks of the Almshouse, shot grainy and blurry, would sometimes overlap Annie’s face while her description of the horrors that happened to her and her brother, stayed with me. I would envision their plight, culminating in the sad death of her brother. Since then, the thought of being left as a child in the care of people who were apathetic or who surrounded troubled youth with other derelicts in unsafe conditions, has given me feelings of dread.  I imagined what the ghosts of these children would be like; those that were tortured or not cared for by others.  In life these children would be unable to defend themselves or speak up…but in death, in death they could finally take out their long gestating rage, even if it is misplaced.

I always find myself a skeptic when watching “Reality Ghost Shows.”  It is not because I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts, but because I see these “ghost hunters” reacting almost comically to what they can’t see by using: quick cuts, slow replays and faint sounds to get the audience to believe, that what they are seeing is real. This is modern day “smoke and mirrors” done with camera tricks and editing. Many times it feels as though the Hunters themselves don’t really believe in what they’re doing. This has always interested me and I wanted to know what the “behind the scenes” were like. Was it all a put on? If so, did they feel any remorse for lying? What would happen to these Paranormal Detectives if they really discovered the Ghosts they always claim to be seeking? 

These thoughts are what inspired me to write “Hollows Grove” and delve deeper into these questions.

The Cast

It was important to find a cast that could deliver the subtleties of on screen “Reality Show” actors, while at the same time portraying behind the scenes co-workers; with some having been longtime friends. This was made more challenging in that many of these scenes had extremely long takes.

We knew we needed someone special for Bill. Our Casting Director, Jami Rudofsky, had gone through lists of names and people. When we thought about Lance Henriksen (Near Dark, Aliens), it was a perfect fit. For me, it was a dream come true to work with such a strong, talented and seasoned Horror Icon. I had watched Lance’s films as a kid and I was always mesmerized by his deep voice and that magnetic stare.  We were privileged to have those attributes in ”Hollows Grove.”

For the bookends of the film, I wanted someone who could convey the part of the FBI Agent with sincerity. The sincerity itself lends camp to the opening and closing, while still establishing how the footage was found. That sincerity was delivered by Mykelti Wiliamson (“Heat,” “Forrest Gump”.)

The first time I talked to Matt Doherty (“So I Married an Axe Murderer,” “The Mighty Ducks”) on the phone, we connected immediately. Matt has been doing film and theater his whole life and it shows. Matt was able to get into the role of the fearless leader Tim without restraint, and Matt’s insight into the rationale for the characters and relationships helped build believable situations. 

Sunkrish Bala (“The Walking Dead”) as Roger, brought a lightness and energy to the set and could play both ends of the emotional spectrum well. He balanced comedic delivery with frenzied reactions to the evils that emerged.  Sunkrish was always a pleasure to have around and was willing to do anything that the role demanded.

Bresha Webb, (“Grey’s Anatomy”, “ER”) was perfect as Julie.  She needed to be one of the guys, but also show the ability to assert herself; while still keeping her grace, which she accomplished wholeheartedly. Bresha understood what was needed of the character and became totally involved, even when the result was, “possession.”

I have known Val Morrision for a long time. I knew that he was natural and comfortable at acting and had looks to match. He just needed a stage and a character to show it, and as Chad he shines.

Matt Carey, (“Sound Of My Voice,” Old School”) played his part well as Harold, an affable character on the sidelines, who is along for the ride, but  blatantly shows his emotion behind the camera.

The Location

We shot “Hollows Grove” at the infamous Linda Vista Hospital near Downtown Los Angeles.  Linda Vista was built in 1904, and was closed as a working Hospital in 1991.

Initially, when Sid, the DP saw my script, the first location that came to his mind was Linda Vista. I guess it was fate.

I had worked on many shows, but had never actually shot there. Linda Vista has been used for many films and TV shows including actual Ghost Reality Shows.

The moment I saw the hallways for Linda Vista, I knew that was it. The rounded ceilings with period lights, the large width and the depth of the hallways, gave me goose bumps. This was to be our production home.

Linda Vista has a long history of hauntings.  The crew itself was wary of the building and many would not venture off alone into its darker areas. We were told that the building was not occupied by anyone other than our crew.  Some of the crew seemed to experience strange occurrences.  A crewmember said that while standing alone in a stairwell, a piece of wood fell from out of nowhere, missing his head by inches. Another crewmember said that he had ventured off to an upper floor where a man appeared from out of nowhere,  a man he had never seen before or after, asked him why he was up there and then disappeared. 

The Look of the Film

It was important to get a crew that understood the concept and the amount of hard work that would go into each scene. I had worked with Sid Sidell (“Lie to Me”, “Legends”) before, and I knew he was talented and grasped what the script was aiming for. Since we had very long takes where anything from animals and special f/x would happen in tandem, I needed someone who would know how to catch the action, and that was Sid. Early on in the process I discussed with Sid the idea that the main documentary camera should have a wide angle.  Referencing what we both loved about the way the hallways in “The Shining” were shot, Sid agreed. Viewing the hallways in wide angle, always gives more tension to the scenes, causing the audience to fear that anything could be lying outside of the periphery.

Comics have always influenced me. Those particularly, by EC Comics both Horror and Sci-Fi, and the stark contrast that some of the panels provided by artists such as: Al Feldstein, Wally Wood, and Harvey Kurtzman, played heavily into our use of lighting. We had to orchestrate many of the lights in the building to go on and off, and give the appearance that the building itself was wearing down. It was Chris Strong, (“Zodiac,” Seven,”) our Gaffer, who could make the lights play as we wanted and give the ghosts light and dark through which to play.

Lastly, for the film, I wanted to bring the audience into Harold’s camera viewpoint. In the beginning scenes of the film, Harold and his camera are documentary outsiders, and the audience is peering at a distance.  As Harold gets more comfortable with the crew, he and his camera move in closer to the action.  Eventually, given the chance to take over the position of show cameraman, Harold moves even closer to the action, until he becomes part of it.

The Sound

Sound was the key element of “Hollows Grove” as it is in most Horror Films. It was imperative to ”Hollows Grove” because there is no actual musical score to the film. During filming, I stressed how “Hollows Grove” itself was alive, and the way we would convey this, was through the sound. The “Hollows Grove” soundtrack is composed of groans, rattling and effects that the Orphanage itself provides. I made sure the actors knew when and what they were listening to, as there were a lot of sound references in the script. Sam Bauer, our editor, was instrumental in helping lay out the initial sound design. Sam understood what I was aiming for from the beginning and many of Sam’s temporary sound effects made it into the final mix.

The Visual Effects

We were lucky enough to get Mechnology to sign on to do our visual effects which were overseen by Stephen Lebed. I’m a fan of practical effects, and I was hoping to use as little visual effects as possible, and we were able to accomplish that to a large degree. Where needed, Stephen and his team helped take what we had and enhance the visuals tenfold. Their work was so great, that much of what they did is effective, but actually, unseen.

The Music

Like the score itself we had almost no music. It was important for me to try and be as real with the constraints of the documentary as possible; therefore most of the music fits into spaces where they could actually be in a real situation.

The main song that was important was the children’s song. Sam Bauer, our editor and talented musician accompanied by Gillian Efros (my sister) a graduate of UCLA ethnomusicology and a Jazz singer, worked together to create the ominous children’s song at the end of the film. It serves to tell a story and create an ominous and foreboding mood.

We were also lucky to have the music of Awaken the Empire, which was formed in 2009 by Damien Lawson. With somber yet forceful rock music they finish the film in a powerful manner with their song “Savior”.

The Filmmakers

Craig Efros (Director/Writer)

Craig has always been a student of Television, Film, Theater and horror, first as a young kid hiding in the shadows sneaking peaks at horror films his parents were watching, then to making his own short films as a child, through to studying film in college.   After majoring in Film Studies at U.C.S.B., Craig started working in Post Production. For over a decade, Craig worked in production on various film and television shows while planning his own projects and writing scripts.

Craig started making short films at a young age. A recent short film of his was exhibited at festivals. As a child, Craig was so enthralled by directors, make-up artists and creature creations, he had a subscription to Fangoria Magazine. This fascination with film and horror has led to his directorial debut: "Hollows Grove."

Mel Efros (Producer)

Mel started his career after receiving an M.A, in Theater Arts and Cinema from U.C.L.A.  Mel has worked in film productions all over the World.  He began as an Assistant Director on Summer of 42, Diamonds are Forever, The Mechanic, and White Lightning. As a Producer, Mel's T.V. credits include: Lois and Clark, Gilmore GirlsWanted, and most recently, Franklin and Bash.  Some of his feature producing credits include:  Star Trek VIt Takes Two and Switchback.  Mel has always wanted to work on a project where he was totally involved in the entire creative process. Hollows Grove has given him this opportunity.

Sidney Sidell (DP)

Sidney has been a Cinematographer for the past 18 years and has worked in the Camera Department for over 33 years.  Presently he is working in Television.  He has also worked extensively on Motion Pictures and Commercials. To date, Sidney has photographed hundreds of Commercials, several Movies as well as numerous Television Pilots and Series. 

Throughout his career, Sidney has had the fortune to work alongside some of the most talented filmmakers in the world and as a Cinematographer, he has taken those experiences and coupled them with his own artistic and professional sensibilities to tell stories and create images that are acknowledged by his peers

The Cast

Mykelti Williamson (F.B.I. Agent Jones)

Perhaps best remembered for his touching performance as "Bubba" opposite Tom Hanks in the Academy Award-winning Forrest Gump, Mykelti Williamson is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, who has been steadily honing his craft since he first began acting professionally at the age of 18.

This past fall Williamson starred as Lt. Philip Gerard, the hardnosed detective determined to recapture escaped convict Dr. Richard Kimble (Tim Daly) in CBS' update of the classic 1960's action series The Fugitive.

The son of an Air Force Staff Sergeant (father) and certified public accountant (mother), Williamson was born in St. Louis, MO, and began performing on the stage at the age of 9. Like many youngsters, he was enamored with the concept of television, and thought that the images he was seeing on the small screen were reality. It wasn't until his mother put him in a church play that he realized that what the people on the small screen were doing was performing. He was instantly hooked. At the age of 15, Williamson and his family settled in Los Angeles. A superb athlete, he excelled at both football and basketball, but the acting bug led him to quit sports and dance with the cheerleading squad, much to the chagrin of his coaches.

Following graduation, Williamson began acting professionally, making appearances on television shows such as Starsky and Hutch, Hill Street Blues and China Beach, among others. He made his film debut in the Walter Hill-directed feature Streets of Fire, opposite Diane Lane, Michael Paré and Willem Dafoe.

He would subsequently appear in the feature The First Power with Lou Diamond Phillips, Miracle Mile with Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham, Number One with a Bullet, Wildcats and Free Willy.

Following his critically acclaimed performance in Forrest Gump, Williamson starred in Forest Whitaker's Waiting to Exhale; partnered with Al Pacino in Michael Mann's Heat; Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, and starred alongside Nicolas Cage in Con Air.

Williamson was also seen in Mike Nichols' political drama Primary Colors (a cameo appearance which he did as a personal favor to Nichols and John Travolta) and Three Kings, opposite George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube.

In 1996 Williamson returned to television when he starred opposite Delroy Lindo and Blair Underwood in the critically acclaimed HBO telefilm Soul of the Game and received rave reviews for his stirring portrayal of legendary Negro League baseball legend Josh Gibson. Williamson also starred in Buffalo Soldiers for TNT and 12 Angry Men for Showtime, as well as starring in the cable network's series The Hoop Life.

On stage Williamson starred with Samuel L. Jackson, D.B. Sweeney, Ellis Williams, Matt McGrath and Richard Reilly in Clark Gregg's ("What Lies Beneath") 1995's ensemble drama "Distant Fires", which earned the cast a prestigious L.A. Theatre Award.

An avid sports fan and devoted family man, Williamson enjoys restoring classic cars and rodeoing in his free time. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two of his three daughters.

Named by his grandfather for 'Spirit' or 'Silent Friend' in the language of Blackfeet Indians, Mykelti Williamson has quietly built a reputation in Hollywood as one of the most consistently proven actors in the business, delivering stirring and honest performances that always capture audiences.

Lance Henriksen (Bill)

Lance has starred in a wide variety of films and television projects, which exemplify the diversity of his talent. He has worked with some of the most prominent directors in the motion picture industry, including Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Sidney Lumet, Jim Jarmush, Kathryn Bigelow, John Woo, Paul W. S. Anderson and Sam Raimi.

Henriksen has a number of films soon to be released, including the leading role in the first live action film by Japanese National Treasure Mamuro Oshii: Garm Wars: The Last Druid. He also will appear in Kids vs Monsters starring opposite Malcolm McDowell, Armand Assante and Francesca Eastwood. Other titles to look forward to: the Max Landis film Me Him Her with Geena Davis, Haley Joel Osment and Scott Bakula and Daylight’s End with Johnny Strong.

Born in New York, Henriksen studied at the Actors Studio and began his career Off Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's Three Plays of the Sea. One of his first film appearances was for director Sidney Lumet in Dog Day Afternoon, followed by Lumet's Network and Prince of the City. Henriksen then appeared in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind with Richard Dreyfuss and Francois Truffaut, Damien: Omen II and director Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff, in which Henriksen portrayed Mercury astronaut Lieutenant Commander Walter Schirra, Jr.

James Cameron cast Henriksen in his first directorial effort, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning, followed by The Terminator, and he next featured him as android 'Bishop' in the sci-fi classic, Aliens. Director Sam Raimi, who cast the actor in The Quick and the Dead opposite Russell Crowe, Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman, says, "Lance is a brilliant performer who goes way beyond acting. He becomes his character completely, leaving no trace of his former self and making something of every moment on screen."

Henriksen's additional feature credits include Kathryn Bigelow's cult vampire film Near Dark, Jagged Edge, Pumpkinhead, The Horror Show, Survival Quest, director Walter Hill's Johnny Handsome, The Pit and the Pendulum, writer/director Bruce Robinson's Jennifer Eight, Alien 3, director Richard Rush's Color of Night, Powder, writer/director Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, Disney's animated feature Tarzan and director John Woo's first American film, Hard Target, for which Henriksen received a Saturn Award as Best Supporting Actor. He was also seen in Twentieth Century Fox's release, AVP: Alien Versus Predator, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and produced by John Davis.

Henriksen starred in Dreamworks and TNT's 12-hour miniseries Into the West, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. He also starred for three seasons on Millennium, Fox-TV's critically acclaimed series created by Chris Carter (The X-Files). Henriksen's performance as 'Frank Black,' a retired FBI agent who has the ability to get inside the minds of killers, garnered three consecutive Golden Globe nominations for "Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama Series" and a People's Choice Award nomination for "Favorite New TV Male Star." He was also nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in the TNT original film The Day Lincoln Was Shot.

In addition to his abilities as an actor, Henriksen is an accomplished painter and potter. His talent as a ceramist has enabled him to create some of the most unusual ceramic artwork available on the art market today. Henriksen resides in Southern California.

Matt Doherty (Tim Royce)

Matt has worked in film, television, and on stage for over twenty years. He began doing commercials as a kid out of Chicago and got his big break as Averman in The Mighty Ducks franchise.  He left the business for a while to attend Northwestern University where he studied Creative Writing and Theatre. He went on to work on such shows as Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Bones, and most recently Franklin and Bash. Other credits include So I Married an Axe Murderer, Ghost World, Argo, CSI Miami, ER, Felicity, and, Boston Public.  In addition to being an accomplished actor, Matt also writes and records folk music in the Americana tradition as well as writes for the stage and screen. He has had his plays performed in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. He’s also a lifetime member of The Actor's Studio. Currently, Matt is putting the polish on several original pieces for film and television.  

Sunkrish Bala (Roger Rafkin)

Sunkrish Bala was born in India and raised in California; he was most recently seen as Dr. Caleb Subramanian on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Earlier this year, Sunkrish recurred as Andy on the third season of Showtime’s hit Shameless.

A graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Bala started working on his television career while still attending college. He quickly garnered memorable guest starring roles on hit shows such as Awkward, Grey’s Anatomy, Body of Proof, NCIS: LA, Bones, Lie to Me, Mistresses, and Will & Grace.  Sunkrish gained notoriety in the role of Bobby – the cantankerous bodega owner - in MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, directed by Doug Liman. Previously, for two seasons, Bala starred in the ABC primetime comedy, Notes from the Underbelly, about a group of friends who are experiencing the adventures of parenthood for the first time.

When Sunkrish isn’t surviving the zombie apocalypse, he lives in Los Angeles.

Bresha Webb (Julie Mercade)

Bresha made a name for herself over the last few years through the vibrant characters she’s brought to life on screen. Since 2010, she has been making audiences laugh on the TVOne series “Love That Girl!” starring as sassy and fabulous “Imunique.” The show follows her character’s daily life, hilarious living situation, and her career at Del Jones Realty.  Most recently, Bresha took her talent to the ABC hit series “Grey’s Anatomy” appearing alongside Sarah Drew and Chandra Wilson, playing the role of a mother whose child has severe immunodeficiency syndrome also known as the “Bubble Disease."  

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Bresha always knew she wanted to be an actress. From eight to eighteen years old, she attended the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts, where she was immersed in theater, dance, music, and a challenging academic curriculum. She excelled in theater and dance, starring in Fences and Le Blancs, while also securing the NAACP ACT-SO Award while in high school. Bresha knew her calling was to be in Los Angeles where she could really hone and perfect her craft. She attended the California Institute of the Arts, where she gained admittance after just one audition. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a week after graduation, started booking jobs. Bresha, landed roles on Lifetime’s State of Mind, FOX’s KVille, and ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights, to name a few.

Her guest star roles were a great introduction into the television world, and got her feet wet with a variety of projects and different genres. In 2008, she landed the role of “Penny” in The American Mall for MTV, a romantic musical comedy set at a mall and focused on the relationship between two young musicians. The movie was created by the team behind Disney’s High School Musical. It was Bresha’s first time singing and dancing on television. 2008-09 was Bresha’s break out year, as she landed the role of Dr. Laverne St. John on the hit television series ER.

For two seasons, she worked opposite Angela Bassett and Mekhi Phifer in a dramatic role where she portrayed a strong willed, forthright, witty and uptight doctor. Additional credits include: HBO’s Hung, ABC’s Private Practice, Showtime’s Weeds, FX’s Dirt, and TNT’s Raising the Bar. In the comedy world, Bresha made a splash appearing on the FOX sketch comedy show In the Flow with Affion Crockett, produced by Jamie Foxx. Although the show was not on the air long, it gave Bresha the chance to showcase her talent outside of the dramatic roles she had previously portrayed.

Today, comedy remains one of her hobbies and passions, as she performs stand-up across the country. She also completed the Kevin Hart pilot, Keeping it Together for ABC and a six episode arc on Grey’s Anatomy. When not working, Bresha has a big place in her heart for philanthropy and gives back to her community.

She has volunteered with the Black AIDS Institute, working to generate HIV awareness for the African American community. She also supports Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization that provides interview suits, confidence boosts, and career development to low-income women in over 75 cities worldwide. Bresha currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her Chihuahua-mini pincher mix rescue dog Little Foot, who has become a celebrity herself, making appearances regularly on Love That Girl!

Val Marijan Morrison (Chad Groan)

Val came to the U.S. with his family as refugees from war torn Eastern Europe. He started as a young actor in various theater productions and after High School, Val moved to New York City where he performed in numerous Off Broadway productions, while also working as a Runway Model.

In 2001, Val was cast as Oliver Preston on Days of Our Lives, which prompted his move to Los Angeles. In L.A., Val has leant his talent to multiple films, television shows and voice-overs for Video Games. Currently, he lives with his fiancé in Los Angeles.