Explore Corsicana January-March 2019 - Page 8

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT DREAMS DO COME TRUE Local couple brings new life to downtown By Sierrah Sowell The life of an actor is perceived as one of glamor, red carpets and ador- ing fans jumping at the chance to get an autograph. Some dream of their “big break” and all of the success that comes with it. Although the thought is grand, the journey is not one for the faint of heart. But, when done right, amazing things can occur. Local couple Markus Baldwin and Julie Mitchell have brought some of those ideals and magic to Corsi- cana, especially to downtown’s Main Street district with their Outside the Lines Creative Studio. Pursuing lives full of different stages, everything has lead up to their innovative studio. There they host improv nights, dance classes, live music, yoga, open mic events, team building and even a space for entertaining. “We have always loved the vibe that downtown has,” Julie said. “We dreamed of having a multi-purpose space where people had an outlet to create and do something that was new and fun.” Julie, being a Corsicana High School graduate herself, has always had a special place in her heart for her hometown. Though her path would lead to the West Coast, some 8 years would pass before she would return home again. After graduating from Texas Tech with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in acting and directing, Julie took a leap of faith and moved with her sister in 2000 to Los Angeles in order to broaden her acting horizons. “My parents initially were wor- ried,” she said. “Having my sister with me eased their minds and of course I looked forward to the op- portunity.” Little did she know Markus was also chasing his dreams that would lead him to L.A. too. “I graduated from Oklahoma State with an advertising degree but I knew where my real passion was,” Markus said. “That made me feel secure enough to truly make the move in ‘95 to California and just try acting. My family was in shock as they had thought I would continue on into journalism or marketing, but I had to follow my heart.” While both were optimistic, get- ting started was a challenge. With Julie working as a substitute teacher for L.A. Unified School District and Markus bartending, the term “scrap- ing by” was taking on a whole new meaning. But, while the side jobs were tir- ing, it was the small gigs that kept the two going. “I would sometimes get discour- aged and feel down on my luck,” Markus said. “If I was in a play or taking an acting course, anything really related to my craft, that made me feel like I was working towards my goal.” Julie felt the same way, as she also needed to feel that she was headed in the right direction. “I did theater at night after work,” she said. “I loved improv and sketch acting. This is what kept me, and my love for acting, afloat during stress- ful circumstances.” The two eventually met through a mutual friend and found they had a lot in common with acting and be- yond. This soon led to a romance sur- rounded by acting, films and projects the two worked on as a team. Julie began getting roles in com- mercials and making money from those scenes. Markus was also landing commercials and working on film ideas and projects. While the pay was steady, Julie was grateful, but not artistically fulfilled. “We really wanted to write and di- rect our own film,” Julie said. “So, we did just that with our first film, Dead Man’s Party. It was filmed over the course of two weekends at a friends’ home on the beach. What was sup- posed to be a horror film turned into a satirical comedy.” This was an all new concept to the duo and having no idea about pro- duction, having to learn everything as they went and getting hands-on with learning all new equipment. This film landed them a win at the Atlanta Horror Film Festival for best supernatural feature and inspired them to continue shooting films. At the same time, the two loved the thrill of improv and were think- ing of doing an even bigger project: having their own creative space. All J A N - M A R C H 2 0 1 9 |   C O R S I C A N A DA I LY S U N | E X P LO R E C O R S I C A N A