Interview with Novelist Felicia Nelson-Davis (My Pimped Out Marriage)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

The novel is about 2 people who were lovers and a couple since middle school! They vowed to graduate together and spend the rest of their lives together! But college happened, plans were in full force until they started discussing who’s career would be supported first! Hers or his? The things couples will do and how far they will go, when money and greed start to take a front seat to the relationship, has its pitfalls! The mistake was, James didn’t Dig deep enough to find out just what danger he was getting himself and his wife into, just to make partner early! It almost cost him her Love, trust, but mostly, her life.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?


3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Marital Sacrifice

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Shaft with Richard Roundtree

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

My favorite song is:
When You Need Me by Aaron Hall
( Was played at my wedding for our first dance!

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Not to be biased, but the novel I am working on now called: “The Kane’s Sweet Tooth! ( And we don’t mean food } ….It is going to be my favorite novel! First, because it’s written by me and promising to be a Best Seller! Second of all, It’s based on a true story and breaking generational curses!

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I did heavily researched for my Adult book line: Freaky Sensations! I actually joined a few swingers groups online, to find out how they flow and live! They had a lot of married couples willing to share their mates and honestly I had never seen such a thing of that magnitude before! Some were so open with the sharing of their wives and i thought it to be very disrespectful and a pitiful use of the word love! So even though I have 7 books in the Adult series, I decided to backtrack into my young adult book line and create this story for the younger generation!

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Ms. Maya Angelou! Wow! It was on my bucket list to meet her and just hug and thank her for being such a force in my life! We had so much in common! She was the reason I wanted to be a writer in the first place! Her spirit and mild tone of wisdom when she spoke, demanded attention, with a calmness! That was me and still is to this day! Also, something that happened to her in her childhood, touched my soul so deeply because the same thing happened to me! And I dealt with my event as she did for a long time! So of course, when she passed away I felt broken, but enlightened to keep pressing to come on up! As she would so often say! I am that Phenomenal Woman! To sit at the table and hold on to her smile and every word, would be a dream come true!

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My family and they’re well being! Being a positive role model to my kids and grandkids and great-grandson! Letting them know that giving to each other the truest of love and charity to others, can enhance their lives and open doors to many blessings God has in store for them! Teaching them that a disability or age doesn’t have to define who you are! Always try and give it your best effort no matter what it is! If you can’t find a craft, invent one and be the best at it! Never letting your choices in live cause you or anyone else…PAIN! Just LOVE!

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

To make it a short reason, will be hard for me, lol! But I am such a diverse author and i have 19 books! The fact that I have been able to write, create, and learn all that I have these last 6 years has truly been an awesome journey! As I began to separate the age levels and the story Titles, I pretty much knew the audiences and the venues I wanted to use to reach each age group, that I also had to submit them in different ways to appeal to the world and get my stories recognized! So besides creating my books into paperback, e-books, and audibles, I am always looking for new ways to introduce my work! The dream that I have for this story is a stage , and eventually television or movie theatres! This story pitch platform is allowing me to progress on this journey of a possible movie deal and i am so grateful it was created! The thought of hearing and seeing others read my story aloud is just like breathing life into my work, coming full circle!

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers ?

To my new writers especially, self-published! Your reasons for becoming a writer, be very clear to yourself! Make sure you know the difference between it being a hobby or a passion! If you want to do it for fun or you want to make a career out of it! When I figured out I wanted to seriously be an author, I was age 25! But my high profile marriage, and raising 4 children along with health issues, but my author dreams on hold! I never told anyone my dream, not even my family! But I use to love the Ebony and Jet magazines my mother kept on her coffee tables growing up and reading storybooks to my baby sister also, poetry and rhyming through books or music, seemed to soothe me and peeked my interests! Later on, I went on to be an English major! Just to sum it all up! Be passionate about your craft! If you are not rich and you want to pursue this just never be discouraged! If you’re not rich , you must decide if you believe in your talents enough to invest in its progression! It will and can be expensive depending on where you want to take your book or books! Make sure you are offering Titles that the people are craving for! I made up in my mind I wanted to be a voice for an entire family unit! Babies, kids,teens, and Adults! I wanted to write about issues that matter and that are going on today relatable things! And offer some solutions on how to maybe handle them! Realize that everybody won’t like what you write about, while others will be saying, ” What took you so long to show up? Either way! If you love writing, always research and whatever you do , keep writing! It gets better with time and practice!

Watch the Novel Reading: 

This story starts off sweet , and ends up grimey , and the message is all too real for a lot of couples , young or old! They graduate college, together, they get married, the Cashe’s, and then money and greed starts to take over the relationship! the husband wants to pimp out his wife to his boss in order to make partner, not knowing the frame of mind his boss is in , he plays for keeps ! Will the wife survive all of this ?? Get into his head , find out !

BUY on Amazon:

Performed by Carina Cojeen

Directing Actors. And Actors working with Directors. TIPS


Film Directing and being a Film Director

What Is A Film Director? How do you run an independent film casting call? How do you get the best out of the actors you’ve chosen to bring your film to life?

Whether you’re running your first independent film casting call or into your millionth day of shooting, you may find some useful ideas here. Below, we investigate some of the techniques you can use and pitfalls you may face in casting and directing actors. A good resource for actors as well as directors!

We’ll be posting more articles all the time, so make sure you come back and check every now and then.

What is a film director? More than anything, the person responsible for bringing together the technical aspects of capturing performances with the actors who will bring a story to life. One of the most important aspects of a director’s job is to have a rapport with the actors, and it’s not any easy thing.

INSECURITY is the evil heart of a bad performance.

You need the actor to feel SAFE and COMFORTABLE in the creative process. They need to be relaxed.

Ask the actors to do something, not be something.

The presence of a camera should never change people, it only changes the aspect or degree of a person’s response.

The main job is to prepare the ground for inspiration. You can’t decide to be inspired. If you try it, it only creates tension, taking you farther and farther away.

The DIRECTOR is the viewer and the ACTOR is the viewed.

Let the actors help out with blocking. It solves all kinds of problems.

Actor and Director must respect each others creative territory.

Adjusts your beliefs about a character if the actor sees something different.

– Not to give up until you get the performance
– To make sure it’s the best take before moving on
– Must have confidence that you understand the script
– Need clear, brief, playable direction
– They want to be pushed to grow and learn

LISTEN to the actors and hear what they have to say.

Actors need insight, in language that is experiential, not descriptive. Adjectives are generalizations. USE VERBS Actions speak louder than words.

Verbs describe what someone is doing. They describe experiences rather a conclusion about experience.

To believe
To fear
To accuse
To confront
To convince
To beg
To complain
To punish
To tease
To soothe

VERBS are also important to the basic understanding of a character

Acting should be a performance of the simple physical actions that tell the story.

Movies are made out of very simple ideas – A good actor will perform each small piece as completely and as efficiently as possible.

All good work requires self-revelation. The talent of acting is one in which the actors thoughts and feelings are instantly communicated to the audience. The instrument the actor is using is himself.


CONFIDENCE is an important element in an actor’s performance

-What stimulates them?
-What triggers their emotion?
-What annoys them?
-How’s their concentration?
-Do they have a technique?
-What method of acting do they use?

An actor’s personality always comes out in their performance.

Tell them to go as far as they feel. Never be negative.

MOVMENT OF THE ACTOR You can always tell if an actor is truly in character by looking at his or her feet.

Actors need to have a GOOD EAR

Sometimes they need to just speak and try not to hit the furniture.

They need to trust the script, and you have to guide them if they want to stray from it. Unless they have an absolutely brilliant idea that serves the story BETTER than the original script, they should stick with the words as written. It’s tempting for actors to add or subtract words. That’s seldom a good idea.

Most actors need to know the technology that is around them.
-Where is the camera?
How are they being framed – close up, mid-shot, long shot?


Acting is not pretending, is not faking something. It’s honesty. A director’s job is to recognize that and facillitate it.

For an artist there are two worlds the social realm, where we live and work day to day and the creative realm.

To enter the creative realm one must be free of the social realm, uncensored in the moment, away from concerns with result, following impulses, obeying only the deepest and most private truths.

An actor can’t lose trust in the process. As an actor, you need to:
1) Stay in the moment
2) Feel your feelings
3) Don’t move or speak unless you feel like it
4) Forgive yourself for your mistakes
5) Connect to the deepest and freshest meaning of the script
6) Turning themselves on and capturing their imagination
7) Connect with emotional honesty and get to the places they need to go

The best moments usually come from mistakes!

The scene is the event the words are the clues

Eye contact is very helpful to listening

Choices create behavior. The behavior dictates the way the lines are said

Discover what is person’s great need in life.
Michael Corlene To please his father
Andrew Dufrane To get out of prison
Every choice actors make about their character relates to their spine

How does my character see the world?


MEMORY (Personal Experience)
– Each individual is essentially unknown to all others
– Actors allowing their memory to occur physically 5 senses rather than intellectually


– Know the character
– Know their history and back story
– Know their habits and mannerisms, physical and spoken


– Energy and confidence to pull off a performance and scene

– What they observe through their senses

– Performances are usually more successful when actors play against whatever feeling they have

– Camera technique
– hitting marks
– not blinking
– ability to repeat successful performances and built on successes
– able to alter what’s not working
– Finding the subworld of behavior and feeling in the script
– Understanding the whole arc of the story to know how to play the scene

As a DIRECTOR you must stop JUDGING and begin to engage

Actors should remember that characters are real people. They don’t always tell the truth. They don’t always know the truth.

Certain questions an actor should ask about every character?
1) What is this person smart about?
2) What does this character find funny?
3) Where is his pain?
4) How does he play?
5) In what way is he an artist?
6) What does he most fear?
7) What profession has he chosen or does he aspire to?
8) What does he look up to?
9) Whom does he look up to?
10) What is the biggest thing that has ever happened to him?
11) How does this character differ at the end of the story from the beginning?


1) Actor’s ability
2) Whether he/she is right for the part
3) Whether you can work well together
4) Casting the relationship as well as the roles

1) Ideas of what the film is about, what it means to you personally
2) Spines and transformations of all the characters
3) For each particular scene, its facts, its images, the question is raises
4) What the scene is about, its emotional event and how the scene fits in the arc of the script
5) Candidates for each character’s objective
6) The beats of the scenes, how you might work each beat
7) The scene’s physical life and its domestic event
8) Research you have done and research you have left to do
9) Your plan of attack
10) Blocking diagram

No matter how small the role is, the actor should read the entire script several times. They need to be aware of the function the author intends for the character in terms of overall storyline.

REMEMBER: The actor is playing someone with a HISTORY, not a FUTURE

1) Extras
2) Non-professional performers
3) Trained Professionals
4) Stars

Know the skills and potentials of the actors you’re working with, and frame your suggestions according to their level of experience. What is a film director? Someone with the ability to help all actors grow. A good film director is someone who knows the power they have on set and uses it to guide a film to the best possible completion.


Matthew Toffolo loves actors to:
1) Arrive on set with their business planned and rehearsed and knowing their lines
2) Add extra ideas and business to the shoot, understanding what is possible and not
3) Do the same business on the same syllable of a speech in every take
4) Automatically ease themselves into the right position so that they fill the screen. Their two-shot is maintained or they come to a perfect three-shot
5) Understand the craft of screen acting and make additions and suggestions within the framework or what is possibly both technically and in the time available


Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information.

    * * * * *

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out:

Submit your Film, Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem anytime to the festival today:

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:

Deadline May 15th for Writing Festival – Books, Poems, Scripts –

A Black Comedy? The BIRDMAN Text Message Review

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Beautiful to watch and listen to with an amazing cast. It was the movie equivalent of the perfect outfit. Good looking, tailored to perfection and composed of the best quality fabric. 
– My friend AK on her reactions to seeing Birdman

Matthew Toffolo to WB: Did you like the Bird?

WB: I had a complicated response to it. I know it was a comedy but I found it sad and unsettling.

MT: That’s not a bad thing. I guess it’s categorized as a comedy, but I don’t think when people talk about the movie the first thing they are going to say it how funny it was! There are 10 others things they’ll say first before they say that it was funny.

WB: But it’s a satire and it was a bit broad for my taste. For example, I thought the critic was over the top.

MT: Perhaps because you are a successful actor yourself that it was too close to home.

WB: No. It did get under my skin though. The actors were great.

MT: There are definitely a lot of moving parts to this film. The drum only soundtrack. The constant stylized moving camera. The fantasy elements. The intense drama. The themes of who are you more: The person you pretend to be, OR, the person who really are inside of yourself. And of course the theme of attempting to connect with others so you can see yourself. Really yourself! As that’s perhaps the only way you can. And being shined on stages with 100s watching you, you’re trying to connect with many all at the same time.

Friend AM: The film made you feel many things all at the same time. It’s great.

MT: I guess there’s something different in it for everyone.

AM: It’s hard for me to imagine someone not liking this film. The director is great.

MT to AM and WB: Remember we saw his (Alejandro González Iñárritu) first film Amores Perros (aka – the Dog trilogy movie). I think Birdman is his film linear film.

AM: It is. Loved Amores Perros. Also loved 21 Grams. Think this is his best film. What a great director!

WB: He’s definitely that.

MT: Give any director in the world this script and it won’t come close to this movie. He’s got an unique point of view. Birdman is a great movie.

But, have you checked out the DP of this film Emmanuel Lubezki? The guy is brilliant. He’s the personal DP for Alfonso Cuarón (he won Oscar for Gravity last year), Terence Malick, and Inarritu. WOW! He’s also DP’d for the Coen Brothers, Mike Nichols, and Tim Burton. PLUS, Gen-X blast from the past – he was the Cinematographer on Reality Bites! What are career! Love to have a chat with him.

AM: He’s going to win back to back Cinematography Oscars because Birdman will win hands down.