Ellen Gerstein is an award winning director, producer, and actor. Ellen is a member of: Women In Film, The Alliance of Women Directors, LA Film Team, Film Independent, The Actors Studio and SAG-AFTRA. As an actor Ellen has worked with talented directors including Martin Scorsese, Mark Rydell, Mimi Leder, Rob Marshall and Danny DeVito to name a few. Ellen’s most recent project she wrote and plans to direct is a feature screenplay (romantic comedy), COOKIEFACE. Ellen adapted, produced, directed and acted in the international award winning short film COME AWAY WITH ME. The film is about an inter-racial love story. WAITING FOR RONALD, is an international award winning short film written, produced and directed by Ellen. It is about a high functioning man with developmental disabilities, with a blended cast of disabled and non-disabled actors. Ellen wrote a dramedy pilot JUST SOUTH OF NORMAL, it is a half hour dramedy series Ellen wrote, adapted from her short film Waiting for Ronald. SILENT LAUGHTER, is a short film Ellen wrote, co-produced, co-directed and starred in from the Women’s Directing Workshop at AFI. Ellen is a judge and moderator at The Actors Studio and is also a judge at Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase Program: Black Lives Matter, Roy W. Dean Film Makers Grant, Film Consortium San Diego and SD Film Awards to name a few.
My Goal of the Day: Is to move forward on one of my projects and to do something for someone who could use some help. I am an ex social worker and lending a helping hand whenever I can is very important to me.
My Thought of the Day: Onward with love! Don’t eat ice cream late at night…
My Action of the Day: Work on one of my projects…. Walk…Make my daughter, Frankie The Tooth, (my Pug/Chihuahua) feel like she is a princess! When I leave the house to explain to Frankie where I am going and when I will be back so she won’t worry. Help someone in some way and/an animal. Throw away lists of notes. Clean a cabinet or closet. Dinner with friends and if I can a movie. And TRY NOT to eat sugar!!!!!!!!! Late at night get into bed with Frankie and put music on and write.
What do you love most about Your City?
I love that L.A is a patchwork of wonderful different neighborhoods each with its own style. You can do so many different things from day to day. I live in an area where I can walk to anything or place that I need to or want to. I love seeing flowers when I walk. I enjoy the mix of ethnicities.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Veg Omelet at home or King’s Road and a nonfat latte or Power Green special at Liquid Juice Bar
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Reading the LA Times with my Pug Frankie the Tooth
10:00 AM – On my way to a meeting/audition or working on a script ….my pilot script, Just South of Normal or my rom/com feature CookieFace or my one woman show, My Psychotherapy Comeback Tour. on my iMac.
12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Kings Road Café Veggie Burger no bun with a double mixed green salad, or Hugo’s for a green casserole and ginger chicken and vegetable soup.
7:00 PM - If I’m at home I will be taking Frankie for a walk and gearing up to get productive. I do some of my best work writing at night. If I’m out chances are I am going to dinner and the theater with girlfriends or supporting my fellow actors on stage performance. I often have dinner parties at my house for good friends and new friends. I set a beautiful table and then order the food. I do believe my friends are quite happy that I don’t cook.
11:00 PM – Working on my projects in bad on my lap top and Frankie in bed with me. I get a burst of energy at about 11:pm but after I listen to the news. I have Steve Colbert in the background! Most of the morning and night I watch and listen to MSNBC…I am a news junkie! I don’t sleep much. At 1am I am organizing a closet of cabinet…About 2am I am doing floor exercises. Learning my one woman show. I also read very late and then about 3 or 3:30am or so I fall asleep. I also love writing late at night….it is the best time for private time. I write in bed late at night with my daughter…Frankie The Tooth, (my dog)
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Vanilla Chai decaf or coffee.
Coffee one cup a day. One cup a vanilla chai…. water
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Facebook and Instagram
Think dirty shop clean
What should everyone try at least once?
Visiting the elephants in Africa before they are all gone. Go to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. And adopt an elephant from there. Try something you want to do but are afraid to do. Learn about another culture. Make sure you visit an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time.
Eating something you never ate before. Travel to another country. Learning a dance that you love to watch other people do. Spending some time with an older person who has no one.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
On a farm with lots of horses and animals. Hiking. Walking the dog in new places…. In my bed with the news on and reading scripts. I am a news junky. I also LOVE to get lost in the movies! I love going to the movies. I love browsing antique stores. I also love music and can get lost at a concert and even just having music on….I like music on when I write. I also like visiting my friends in NYC…walking and browsing the streets and stores by myself.