Chic Spotlight: Aymie Majerski
Cincy Chic: Your production career spans more than 10 years and includes credits to numerous stage, TV, commercial/corporate projects and films including The Greater Good and The Dead Horse. What has been your favorite production and why? Are you currently working on any other exciting projects?
Aymie Majerski: Fave project: I have so much passion for every project that we work on. IndieViz.com is my baby. It has been and will continue to be. It’s a filmmaking site for kids; a safe and educational “Youtube” for the under 18 crowd. Other current projects include: an animated series in packaging stages with L.A. affiliates, and “The Lounge,” “American Fighter,” a feel good reality show with UFC’s Rich Franklin. In addition, we’re currently in pre-production on a documentary based on the book Pioneer Spirit (an inspiring story of friendship and Kentucky basketball — narrated by Nick Clooney.)
Cincy Chic: If you could only produce one movie in your lifetime, what would it be about?
Majerski: Love and death; the two most important things in life. I have an awesome idea that I‘m developing based on a color-blind artist…it’s basically about love and death.
Cincy Chic: You began your career freelancing for local and national film, TV and commercial projects. What advice do you have for those interested in pursuing a career either in front of the camera or behind the scenes?
Majerski: In front of the camera: Take classes; never think that you’re good enough. Get professional headshots and get a reputable agent. Behind the camera: Be willing to work for free (at first), be willing to work for next to nothing (for a while), keep going and never give up. Never!
Cincy Chic: Your daughters have developed an interest in filmmaking, and you eventually developed a simple 10-step process of the filmmaking process, to help them understand it all — and so “Reel Kids” was born and taught at after-school enrichment programs. How else have they influenced your career?
Majerski: Both of my daughters — Aliy, 13, and Peyton, 10 —influence every aspect of my life. The best decisions that I have made (thus far) in the past 13 years have been because of them.
Cincy Chic: Eventually, you founded IndieVizuals. What is your favorite kid submission?
Majerski: Hard Days Work — A film by a kid (username Mikej6). He definitely had help making this film, but that is okay. Being a filmmaker is all having a great idea and finding the people and/or resources to execute it. IndieViz.com is all about teamwork, which is what it takes to make an idea happen.
Cincy Chic: You’ve taught young people acting classes, directed stage productions, and co-founded the Cincinnati Actors Studio in the Essex. Why do you think it’s important for children to be involved in the arts?
Majerski: It is so important for children (and adults for that matter) to take time to visit a world outside of the day to day. Being involved in the arts (performing and otherwise) helps build confidence and facilitates creativity, which is important for personal growth.
Cincy Chic: You have acted in several stage productions, studied drama therapy, and even started a touring company and a children’s theatre. Where do you think you picked up the acting bug? What was your most memorable role? Who was your on-stage inspiration?
Majerski: The acting bug? Well, I’m the oldest of four siblings so I was always the instigator of our family plays, radio shows, dance-a-thons and other performances. I guess it just came naturally. Most memorable role? I played Medea in Euripide’s play “Medea” my sophomore year in college. It was the most memorable role because it took over my life and I ended up in the hospital the day before opening night. The role was so emotionally exhausting that I guess I just collapsed. My favorite role(s) was Corrie in “Barefoot in the Park” and Lucy in “Quake” (produced by Left Bank Productions in NKY). I’ll be playing Elmire in their upcoming production of “Tartuffe”. Inspiration? I actually can’t remember her name (which I fully admit is pretty sad), but she was an amazing Romanian stage actress/ performer that came to one of my theory classes. She blew me away with not only her talent, but also her amazing love and enthusiasm for the art of performance.
Cincy Chic: You took a lot of personal and professional risk in co-founding Barking Fish. Where did the moniker come from? What advice do you have for others on the precipice of taking a professional risk?
Majerski: The name? My biz partner is a Pisces with a temper (he barks, he doesn’t bite — hence the “Barking Fish.”) Advice: Go for it! Be smart! Never take No as an answer! Believe in yourself! Also, hook up with an amazing attorney (mine is Jennifer Wolfe.)
Cincy Chic: You are the only female partner in a three-part-team consisting of two other male partners. How do you hold your own, in not only your own company, but in the male-dominated world of film production?
Majerski: Both of my male partners are awesome dudes who truly respect the female perspective. As for the industry, you have to hold your own, be strong, be smart and never let them see you sweat.
Cincy Chic: Your professional “home” is located in The Covington Arts District (CAD). What do you love about your home away from home? What other CAD merchant/artist/venue are you really digging at the moment?
Majerski: Covington is great! We have been welcomed and embraced by the community and the local business community. CAD is really blooming. One of my favs is Big Fat Brain. If you don’t know who they are, look it up! They’re also on Pike St. in Covington and doing amazingly creative work.
Cincy Chic: You wear many hats: film producer, actor, entrepreneur, teacher, networker, etc. Which hat do you find yourself putting on frequently and enjoy wearing the most?
Majerski: Networker. I’m a big believer in the “Who you know” theory. I’m also a big believer in the “It takes a village,” “Do onto others” and “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” In other words — every deal, role, job, opportunity begins with a relationship.
Cincy Chic: As a local producer, how does Cincinnati rank in terms of production quality and quantity? What advice do you have for local aspiring producers?
Majerski: I am constantly amazed and proud of much of the work that comes out of Cincinnati. Advice? Make as many connections as you can and cherish every opportunity. Even the “bad experiences” help you grow. And never forget: It’s a business! The minute that you forget that is the minute that you fail.
Cincy Chic: You’re a woman with a lot of connections and who has met a lot of celebrities. Of all the who’s who you’ve met, who’s the one you’ve completely been star struck over? Anyone you would love to meet eventually? Any reality-TV show or SOAP you’re addicted to? What’s your favorite celeb magazine?
Majerski: Everyone is just a human being. I’ve never been “star struck” but I can say that Ken Griffey Jr. was one of the most charming and down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. I don’t watch reality or soaps and I can’t say that I’ve ever read a celeb magazine.
Cincy Chic: In your opinion, what makes one a “celebrity?”
Majerski: Celebrity is a state of mind. All of my friends are celebrities. We’re kind of a big deal around here! Seriously, one of my L.A. friends said to me: ‘You know you’ve made it when people stop asking for your name at restaurants.’ That made me laugh, but I know what he’s saying. In our minds a celebrity is someone that we know even if we don’t know them. In my mind a celebrity is someone who we respect, admire and cherish, for all the years to come.
Chic: What is your favorite thing about Cincinnati?
Majerski: Cincy Chic! That and the people. It feels like home (and I’ve only lived here for seven years). I love that downtown is starting to thrive. I see it! I have so much respect and admiration for the many people that continue to work to make it happen.
First Photo: Amy Storer
Second Photo: Courtesy of Barking Fish