An imaginative comedian with severe anxiety pursues her co-worker.


Written, Directed, and Produced by Melanie Notinger

Starring Melanie Notinger and Sierra Tothero

DP Layton Blaylock

Edited by Stefan Allen

Production Design by Sarah Mullinnix

Music by Capyac


Lighthouse International Film Festival, 2018

Artists & Beers, 2018

The East Village Queer Film Festival, 2017

The Iron Mule Short Comedy Film Series, 2017


CHOKE ARTIST explores casual anxieties we carry on a daily basis; the thoughts that stop us from being brave, confident, and vulnerable. I've experienced middle-school-level social anxiety all my life. It's a product of living in my head. I began writing and performing stand-up in 2015, shortly after coming out as queer. It was a way for me to face the confusion and find my voice. A recent acting grad in Austin, I auditioned for a lot of projects, and I saw myself in none of the scripts. While working as a bar host, I caught myself frequently drifting off into vivid fantasies. Anything to escape the boredom. One night at the host stand, I twisted my choker around my finger and spaced out. From that feeling of unaware asphyxiation, the concept for CHOKE ARTIST emerged. I wrote the project to star in, and for locations I hoped we'd gain access. Guided by my obsessions with Shakespeare and the imagery in Alan Ball's AMERICAN BEAUTY screenplay, the film questions how our fantasy lives can directly affect our waking lives...if we let them. The CHOKE ARTIST half-hour comedy pilot is in revision.
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Poster Art by Grace Chomick

Still by Nicholas Kier