Above is a photo of tourists admiring a baboon eating popcorn in Ngorongoro National park in Tanzania, East Africa.
The tourists look amazed but for us who grew up in Tanzania seeing monkeys was a normal thing. In fact they moved in packs and were a nusiance. A few times my kitchen was invaded by monkeys looking for food.
Well, I used to head down the road everyday to catch a bus to work. There was a pack of monkey baboons that used to hang out in trees and make a lot of noise. Their leader was a huge baboon with a big blue butt. So my dog Savimbi, used to escort me down the road and would bark at those noisy monkeys to try and scare them away. Most of the time it worked but blue butt would bark back at him from the tree. I guess blue butt finally got annoyed with Savimbi. Savimbi was under the tree barking at blue butt and blue butt jumped down on Savimbi and rode him a bit like a cowboy riding a horse, all the time Savimbi was crying in fear. Well Savimbi never bothered those monkeys again.
I met Ellen when we were extras on the set ofthe new film 21. We have stayed in touch and Ellen is great always updating us on auditons, casting calls, acting tips, etc. Ellen and her husband Rob, have devoted their lives to acting and its paying off. They have worked in numerous films and TV shows shot in the New England area and New York.
Congratulations Ellen on your win. I know one day you will be holding an Oscar
Former Marblehead resident and teacher, Ellen Becker-Gray, was selected to receive the Best Actress award for her role in the film, “A Writer’s Moon,” an entry in the Providence, R.I. “2007 48-Hour Film Project.” The awards ceremony was held at the historic Columbus Theatre as part of the closing events of the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
The 48-Hour Film Project is a national competition in which teams of filmmakers are assigned a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue, and have 48 hours to create a short film containing those elements — from writing and shooting to editing and adding music. Filmmakers competed to create the best short film during 48 hours.
This national project that started in 2001 attracted more than 1,200 films and 17,000 participants in 2006.
Becker-Gray grew up in Marblehead. A kindergarten teacher in the town’s public schools from 1985 to 2005, she took early retirement to focus on her career as a performer. She is a member of Actor’s Equity Association, Screen Actor’s Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
Becker-Gray is married to former Marblehead resident Rob Gray, who is also active in the industry. They met 27 years ago when they were involved in the Marblehead Little Theatre.
I worked for Tanzania's Daily News for 11 years leaving as a Senior Reporter. I love acting, films, short story writing and cooking. I blog in English and Swahili. I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and AFTRA.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.