By Esther Sanchez
The first time I met Gina Carey was last May at the Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs. It was at the ceremony for the Coachella Valley Music Awards, where she performed for an audience packed with all of the cool kids from the desert music scene, and I’m not tossing flatter when I say that she was absolutely fantastic. I was photographing the event and clearly recall beholding this striking beauty through my lens and thinking to myself, “This chick oozes pure class.” That night she took home the award for the “Best Adult Contemporary Artist.” Since then, the time I have spent with this astonishingly tenacious, multi-talented artist has only reinforced my initial instincts.
Over the past few years, Gina Carey has been making a name for herself across the desert for her outstanding performances at venues throughout the valley. Since recording her first of many albums in 1994, the Chicago born, So-Cal raised virtuoso, has earned an impressive list of legit titles including but not limited to vocalist, music producer, actress, author and playwright. She now has another title to add to her impressive list….that of filmmaker.
Carey: “I wrote the script 2 years ago. Originally, it was supposed to be a play and I have done plays in the past. My intention was to produce it on stage but, due to circumstances things didn’t fall into place. It just wasn’t time yet. I started attending The Rock church and told them about what I do and they were supportive. They allowed me to use the facilities, I began casting within the church and we were on our way towards a stage play.”
Carey continues: “Sometime into production we came upon a need for a change in casting that brought some complications. The cast and I had invested a lot by that time and although it was discouraging, I knew I had to make it work. At this point I had already put a lot of my own money in addition to the sweat, tears and time of the cast. Changes were inevitable and I had always wanted to make a film……”
The average Jane does not deliberately face and overcome obstacles by creating larger obstacles for themselves in front of their goal. Gina Carey is not your average Jane. You see folks… Ms. Carey has never been to film school. In fact, before she made the decision to reinvent her project into an independent film worthy of festival submission, she didn’t have any more knowledge in fields such as videography or film editing than the average internet user, much less experience. Yet, she has created this film that has already been recognized as an official selection for 4 film festivals and received multiple nominations and awards.
Carey: “I have always had a knack for technical stuff. I catch on very quick. I didn’t have the option of hiring a crew and a film-editor and all of those “essential” personnel that are typically needed for making a movie. I went to google and YouTube and figured out what kind of camera to buy and how to use it.”
Carey giggles: “There was a lot of trial and error. I had to learn about things like background noise that you don’t notice when you are focused on filming behind the camera….thinking you nailed it, going into editing and being like, ‘What is that I hear in the background? A generator?!’ And editing! I had to learn editing!”
I must say, I find Gina Carey an inspiring lady. As warm and bubbly as she is beautiful and stylish, Carey is a shining example of tenacity, ingenuity and the good old-fashioned spirit of putting yourself out there. At the risk of sounding cliché, she embodies the essence of, “girl power” and I hope some of it rubs off on me.
There will be a Red Carpet premier for Gina Carey’s film, The Unexpected on Feb, 22nd, 7:00 pm at Camelot Theater in Palm Springs with Q&A and VIP reception immediately following.