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

 

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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

S C R E E N I N G S

2020 THIRDWING LTD. Online stream for Pride Month in support of Wild Project (NYC).

2018 LIGHTHOUSE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. Long Beach Island, NJ.

2018 ARTISTS & BEERS. Brooklyn, NY.  

2017 THE EAST VILLAGE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL. New York, NY.

2017 THE IRON MULE SHORT COMEDY SERIES. Brooklyn, NY.

DIRECTOR STATEMENT

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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, among other things. I began writing and performing stand-up in 2015, shortly after coming out as queer. It was a way for me to find my new voice. A fresh BFA acting grad living in Austin, I auditioned for lots of projects, and saw myself in none of the scripts. While working as a bar host, there's little to do when it's slow but daydream. One night at the host stand, I twisted my choker around my finger and spaced out as usual. From that feeling of unaware asphyxiation, the concept for a piece about a candid comedian onstage unable to self-express off-stage emerged. I wrote the project to star in, and for locations I hoped we'd gain easy 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...how our hearts can lead us...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