Saturday, December 21, 2013

Interview - Sledgehammer Actress Sandy Brooke

Sandy Brooke Headshot

Interview With Sledgehammer Actress Sandy Brooke
By Tony Masiello

How did you get into acting?
Acting to me seemed like a logical progression from Modeling. My Mom was a Model and she started me at 10, modeling in Fashion Shows mostly. 

In my early 20's I was a hippie living in a commune on a distant island in Hawaii. Trying to escape the craziness of the world. Didn't take me too long to realize no one was going to discover me there. Went back to the Honolulu with the intentions of going back to the Mainland but Hawaii is very addictive. Two years later I finally went back to LA. Or HellA as I call it now.

And I got parts by auditioning like every one else. Didn't have an agent right away so I just auditioned for small B movies.  I thought I was building a resume of work, but in my youthful naivety I wasn't aware that the powers that be would never cast you in a A movie once you were in B's. Or that's sure what I found any how.  It was great for me any how, because I was always more interested in the behind the scenes stuff any how and those crews were more willing to let me ask a bunch of questions and I learned a lot.

Sandy & Tim Aguilar on the set of Sledgehammer 1983

How did you get cast in Sledgehammer?
I did a bunch of B movies at that time, so I'm afraid they all just have kind of morphed into each other.

Any recollections about the shoot?
The thinks I remember about Sledgehammer mostly were the two lead guys always comparing their mussels in the mirror. Really made me laugh.

Can you tell us anything about the Director David Prior?
I do remember David Prior being a very kind Director. And a sweet guy. I still to this day admire him how he just keeps making movies. He has made over 50 and that's impressive. Thanks to Facebook we have been communicating again and I'm glad to call him a friend.

Can you tell us about your death scene?

I had to ask David how I got killed I didn't remember. You would think the title would have given me a clue. I just remember in my B career being shoot, electrocuted, drowned and beat up. Glamorous huh?

Behind The Scenes of Sledgehammer 1983

Did you get paid for your part?
I got paid but sure couldn't tell you how much. I don't remember ever seeing the completed move. I would like to if any one wants to send it to me.

Where you aware that Sledgehammer is the SOV horror movie widely distributed? What are your thoughts on that?
I did not know Sledgehammer was the first video horror movie widely distributed. How come I've never scene it then.

Can you tell us about working on the SOV Miami Vendetta?
Miami Vendetta was by a Director Ivan Rogers. He is another indi guy that continues to make movie after movie. I admire these guys persistence.  I was shoot in that one and that was fun. Being electrocuted and drowned was no fun.

I decided I was against Capital Punishment after that one.

Miami Vendetta VHS 1987

Why did you stop acting?
Late 20's I started my own Special Event Video biz. Brooke Video. Before I knew it my Co was doing 300 events a year and there was no time or interest in acting.

What has Sandy Brooke been up to the last 30 years?
In my early 50's both of my parents went to Heaven within 4 months of each other. My mom was my best friend and for 2 years I went around in a daze. Till I finally decided there was nothing to keep me in LA. Bought a Retreat in beautiful Grass Valley in Northern California where both of my brothers lived. Took me a year to wrap up my biz in LA and was running Bear River Retreat from LA. After a year of driving every month to Grass Valley I finally got to get in my car and leave the movers and drive north for the final time. My little peace of heaven was 14 acres with a 3100 sq foot log home.  No one could hear my scream when I pulled up to my little piece of heaven and screamed "Thank you God. I so love it here" at the top of my lungs. And it was my life for 8 years.

Spent the first year decorating the log home and building a Yurt on my property for me to live. That part was fun. I think it's funny how God gives you what you thought you wanted just to show you that you didn't. I no longer had any personal life. My life was the retreat. I worked 24/7. Almost could never leave because some one was checking out or in and there was always something to clean or repair. I was shocked how incredible distractive renters could be. I thought most people were like me and would leave a place better than they found it. It was a real eye opener. But I loved the property so much I just kept going until the Real estate bubble burst. I also invested with my brothers in a few spec homes. Made good money on the first one and then lost on every other one. My Mortgage went from $3,400. to $6,700. over night. And that would have been tough in the good times, but those days were over and so was my ownership in a Vacation rental. 

So glad I had a vocation to go back to. Or I would be saying "Would you like fries with that". I'm blessed I get to do something I love. But in the short 8 years I was out of video, holly crap,the whole biz changed. No one shoots with video cams any more, don't use tape, play became pause and pause became play and video became a dirty word.  So I spent a year teaching my self all the new stuff. I feel blessed to get to do what I love on a much smaller scale. I have a life. I do a lot of volunteer work for "The Nevada County Tapestry" a christian woman's networking group. In only a short 2 years we have raised $25,000. for non-profits in our community and I am proud of that.

I may never be rich but I have a rich life. And I'm loving it. And hopefully when I go home I can say I left many little baby films that people will treasure.

Sandy Brooke 2013