Anastasia Blackwell was born and spent her formative years in the state of Oregon. She worked her way through college to earn a B.S. from U of O, and later studied for a M.A. in Theater Arts, After graduation, she performed an array of jobs. She was a finalist for Miss Portland and supported herself as a swimsuit and commercial model, while participating in the wildly creative Northwest music and theater scene. Her experience performing classical and experimental theater further solidified a belief in the transformative power of the arts.
Anastasia was recruited to San Francisco, where she became a professional actress and voice-over artist. Subsequently, she was hired by a CBS affiliate to work in marketing/commercial production, where she co-produced award-winning commercials and community affairs spots. She was later hired by a radio station to provide community affairs updates and on-air news reporting.
The stage lured her away from the world of business to collaborate with a group of San Francisco actors that forged a tight clan, similar to New York’s legendary Neighborhood Playhouse. The group was dedicated to the highest standards of truthfulness in theatrical performance, and members went on to form enduring theater companies.. Her dedication to the theater led to awards, including Dean Goodman awards for Outstanding Principal Performance in “Nuts” and Outstanding Supporting Performance in “Sight Unseen”.
However, a promise at a shrine and an experience in a haunted house on an island outside Montreal set Anastasia in a direction she could not have imagined. A novel began to take shape, and although she never sought to become an author, she soon began to instill her passion into writing the story of a woman‘s journey in the French Canadian underground. She devoted herself to research and studied with renowned masters of storytelling in literature and film. Contemporary Gothic Thriller, “The House on Black Lake”, www.houseonblacklake.com, was published by Creative Revolution Media in March, 2010. The screenplay was later adapted and is currently in development.
Two years before the novel was published, she conceived the idea of creating a cinematic trailer. At the time book trailers were in their infancy, and a cinematic version, to her knowledge, had never been produced. Drawing upon her experience in production, she brought together an accomplished indie team and used her skills as an actress, voice-over artist, director, and producer to create the video.
In late 2010 she was honored to be invited to join such prominent authors as Stephan King, John Grisham, and Nora Roberts in a fund raiser for The First Amendment Project. Bidders were given opportunity to have a character in a future novel have their name. Heavy bidding brought the story of a lonely freak in an ancient carnival to life, and novel/screenplay “The Chamber of Curiosities” was begun.
In 2013 Anastasia was listed as one of the most prominent Gothic writers of the early 21st century, by Andrew Smith, in the Edinburgh Critical Guides, “Gothic Literature”.
That same year, Anastasia founded WAM JAMS! – Writer’s, artists, and musicians collaborating to create new forms of art. The group’s inspiration led to live jamming events, and original music videos.
Her training as a trapeze artist was incorporated into a music video with aerial artists. It has been noted as first documented original music video based on scenes from a novel.
In 2018 Anastasia’s second novel, “The Chamber of Curiosities”, a Historical Fantasy set in an ancient carnival, was published.
That same year a film in which she co-starred, “Disillusioned” received commendation from The Amsterdam film festival, and won “Best Short Comedy” in the Nice Film Festival.
In early 2019 her new screenplay, “I AM HUMAN”, an Urban Noir Fantasy, was honored as a finalist in ScreenCraft’s Comedy Screenplay competition.
May, 2019 a feature film “Miriam Graves” in which she co-starred won “Best Thriller” and was nominated for “Best Picture” in the IFS Los Angeles Film Festival.
She is the founder of B. Renegade Productions. B. (Beautiful) Renegade is a multi-media company focused on the support, development, and production of diverse projects with powerful narratives, and innovative artistic collaboration.
Anastasia currently resides and works in Los Angeles. Besides supporting the arts, a few of her passions are flying trapeze, horseback riding, and adventure travel.