Laura McFerrin has always had a passion for documenting life, just ask her family and friends, or have them show you the video. After graduating from Austin College, Laura started her own business, Benchmark Legal Media. Her enthusiasm for film making and this project is tremendous and she hopes it's the first of many projects to come. Laura and her partner of 10 years share their house with 3 dogs and 3 cats. Laura believes the key to a good relationship is making sure one partner is prone to cleaning and the other has a penchant for disinfection. According to Laura's partner, "She is funny about 30% of the time"
Dave Bellesen is an avid movie editor and musician. He received his degree in Radio Television and Film from the University of Texas at Austin, but his passion for editing started long before. He got his first camera when his father bought him a Super 8 MM when he was 11 years old and has worked on movie projects ever since. He is currently a filmmaking teacher in Austin, TX and manages Rebel Productions.
Katie Heldstab hails from Minneapolis, MN by way of Milwaukee, WI where she graduated from Marquette University. After 10 years in brewtown, Katie moved east to Pittsburgh to start a life with Christa. Katie had deep roots in Milwaukee ’s gay community, a connection that after a year hadn’t formed in Pittsburgh. So, when Laura approached Christa with her ideas for MarchOn, Katie was sucked in. Katie’s natural talents of being super bossy and nosey turned out to be just what Laura and the documentary needed. Through this project Katie has regained her connection to the gay community and been able to be a part of something historic. “Give me two chairs, a camera and five minutes…you’ll be crying.”
Denver Graves is able to hold a boom mic for hours at a time with unwavering masculinity. He is a graduate of MediaTech. He thinks Laura is funny 100% of the time... because she pays him. He is an audio guru.
Michael Anthony García was born in El Paso, Texas, but has lived all over the state through the years. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Austin College in Sherman, TX in 1996 and became an Adjunct Art Faculty member after graduation. His sculpture, installations and performance art has been seen throughout Texas and as well as in Brooklyn, NY. when he was a member of the Good/Bad Art Collective. Although he has worked in a variety of media, the bulk of his constructions are true to the traditions of Found-Object Sculpture and Performance Art. He now lives and teaches in Austin, TX and is currently constructing a studio and small gallery space in his East Austin home to show his work and the work of other artists. Michael Anthony continues to create new installations, performance and video works, while concurrently delving into the blogosphere on several projects that are in development.
Mark Eby has been working as a filmmaker for over ten years, collaborating with artists, musicians and performance communities, primarily in Los Angeles, the Asia/Pacific region, and Africa. He is a Fulbright Scholar, has received a NIPAD grant, and was the cinematographer on the award-winning national PBS documentary, American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawaii (2003). He founded Azbri Productions and has directed and produced the independent documentaries, Songs for the City of Angels (2005), The House of Ancestral Stories (2006), Tomorrow’s Doctors (2007), The Shield is My Brother (2009), The Man Who Cannot Die (2009), and Performing Trust (2009). His clients have included Comedy Central, the City of Santa Monica, Ten Sports in Dubai, and many non-profit organizations including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles, Saint Joseph Ballet, Center for Intercultural Performance, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and many Los Angeles performing artists and musicians. He volunteered to defeat Prop 8 in Los Angeles and after it’s passage was active in the public protests. He was grateful for the opportunity to be a cinematographer for the March On project in Washington D.C.
Christa Puskarich spent most of her years in and around Dallas, Texas. After meeting Laura at the YMCA during a life guarding class in 1996, she knew crazy adventures were on the horizon. In 2005, Christa moved north to Pittsburgh, PA and assumed the identity of Anita Cocktail, a rock’em sock’em roller derby girl. Shortly after the transformation, a lovely derby girl from Milwaukee visited the ‘Burg and the two fell in love. Now engaged, Christa’s best friend Laura and loving fiancé Katie convinced her that the next big adventure was working on the March On documentary. And, after 14 years of friendship, Christa thinks Laura is funny 99.9 percent of the time.
Nicole Cordeiro has always had a camera in her hand. Her mother said she had and eye for a great picture at a young age. She is currently in school studying graphic design, but when she is not in school, she spends her time taking pictures, learning new programs, and contributing Southwest miles to the film crew.
Brandi Fitzgerald is a native of sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Brandi moved away from home when she was 19, following love and opportunity around the country to Tennessee, North Carolina, and Southern California where for four years she built a successful career in corporate payroll. Then in 2007, she followed her love and dreams to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Brandi, a photographer by trade, actually calls herself a “craftepreneur,” a mix between crafter, artist, photographer and businesswoman. She owns and manages a gallery inside The Piazza at 2nd and Hancock Streets, she teaches classes on digital organization and basic photo editing, she does custom scrapbooks, refinishes and repurposes household furniture and housewares and in her free time still enjoys taking pictures and being crafty! She will travel around the world for a photshoot. She loves her family, travel, roller skating, board games and cheese. She’s found that with growth and exploration come setbacks and mistakes, but has also found that that’s what life is all about, and that living in the moment, learning from every experience is what makes life so wonderful. And it brought her to Philly, which she loves.
Brandi is a gay rights activist among many other things and was the lead organizer in the November 15, 2008 Prop 8 Protest in Philadelphia, drawing a crowd of approximately 6,000 people to stand together and shout out the need for equality around the country. Brandi has a long time partner, Jamie, to whom she credits her ability to navigate through life without fear of failure and her ability to see the truth in all things.
Fred Holmes believes that all human beings are created equal and that "all" should be treated fairly without prejudice for any reason. He has held these beliefs and protested against discrimination since the 1960's. Along the way he became a graphic designer, photographer and musician. He has raised four sons, two labradors, two cats and a great dane. The hardest thing he has ever done is write this bio. The easiest thing was to design the "March On" logo for his neighbor and friend Laura. "She told me what she wanted, I saw it in my mind, and then all I had to do was push pixels around on my computer screen until it matched what I had envisioned! Laura has been so driven to get this project out. I can't believe the time and energy she has already put into it! I'm glad that I have been able to contribute and help her bring her vision into reality."
Mary-Casey McGee has always had a desire to help others. She is a TCU graduate with a degree in Social Work. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work at UTA. Mary-Casey’s friends kindly refer to her as a “busy body.” If she isn’t working or going to school, she is volunteering or playing with her animals. And when she isn’t doing that, she is dancing! She lives by the sayings “love the unloved” and “I cannot be sure that anything I do will change things for the better, yet I can be sure that if I do not at least try, then I will fail to do what I think is right and will be contributing to keeping things the same. Therefore I will opt to do what is right, whether much or little comes of it.”
Kimberly Pollini is a dynamic vocalist and songwriter, who resides in Austin, TX. Kimberly Pollini started singing Gospel at the age of 5. She earned a B. A. in Music/Voice at Austin College in Sherman, TX where she toured as a soloist with the Acapella choir in England, France, and Scotland. She also attended the University of North Texas, in Denton, TX where she performed with the opera theatre, sang and recorded as a member of the UNT Jazz Singers and performed with the nationally recognized One O'Clock Lab Band. With this group, she performed at state and national conferences, jazz festivals, and at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas, TX with renowned jazz vocalist and lyricist, Jon Hendricks. Since college she has recorded with The Women's Chorus of Dallas and Turtle Creek Chorale, who combined to perform The World Premiere of Sing for the Cure at the Meyerson Symphony Center with Maya Angelou benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. While In Austin, she has performed and/or recorded with Memphis Train Revue, Mady Kay, Bruce Robison (including ACL Festival), and Alejandro Escovedo (SXSanJose & SXSW @ the Continental Club). Most frequently, she performs with her husband, a multi-faceted guitarist and vocalist, in a jazz duo, 18 Karat, and Groove Daddy. She is currently recording an original song she wrote for the March On soundtrack.
Russell Reed is a composer living in Austin TX who has received many notable honors and performances including a state sponsored performance and exhibition at the historic home of Alexander Scriabin in Moscow. In October of 2007 he premiered several of his new works for piano in recital in Monterrey, Mexico. In February 2009 his piece Princess Songs was premiered in New York City at the Poetry Project reading series, one of the oldest and most prestigious poetry venues in the United States. Recently, light the lovely candles, a piece for Soprano, Viola and Piano was nominated for a Austin Critics Table award for best original composition/score of the 2008-2009 concert season. For the past two years he has organized a highly popular concert of classical music by gay and lesbian composers presented in conjunction with pride festivities in Austin.
Skye Newkirk is a Junior Social Work student at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas. Skye served two semesters as Vice President of the TCU Gay-Straight Alliance from 2008-2009 and still works closely with the TCU Allies group. Skye also works as a Resident Assistant for Sherley Residence Hall on TCU’s campus and is the Vice President of Service and Social Events for the National Residence Hall Honorary. In the 2007-2008 school year, Skye received a grant to conduct undergraduate research on support for LGBT students within the college community. Skye has a passion for social justice, revolution, and equality.
Tanya Dodd-Hise was born in Dallas and grew up in North Texas, where she still lives today with her wife (Erikka), ten year old son (Noah) and eighteen year old son (Nicholas). She attended Texas Woman's University and received a Bachelor of Science in History, and has nearly completed the requirements for a Master of Arts in History/Government. She has owned her photography business since 2001, and has spent the past year or so building it from a part-time venture into a full-time one. During this time she has had many exciting opportunities to volunteer her photography services for charity work, as well as LGBT activism. She thinks that it is very rewarding to be able to work with so many wonderful men and women business owners within the gay/lesbian communities, as well as other local and national level activists. Tanya took photos at several LGBT events during 2009, including the Nationwide Kiss-In, as well as a protest in Dallas after Maine repealed same-sex marriage there. She and Erikka also travelled to Washington, D.C. in October to photograph the National Equality March for the March On Documentary, and have plans to travel to Maine in May 2010 as the official photographers at the Maine Civil Rights March.