Houston, we have lift off! Special Jury Award for WHEN I SING – BEST FREAKING FEATURE FILM…again! – for Low Budget Category…which is anything under $500,000…which is most Indie Films, so WHAT AN HONOR from Worldfest.   Not only that, but Worldfest, you have spoiled me and and all of the other filmmakers with such a warm welcome, and an experience not to be forgotten.VICTORIOUS

Worldfest shows the filmmaker a great time, gives you a roof over your head, feeds you, and chooses films solely based on the films, the whole films, and nothing but the films.

I was only able to see a few, because of my busy schedule, (puff, puff), but managed to see 3 OUTSTANDING films, and I highly recommend you check them out when they come your way.

  1. LUBA   There was not a weak moment in the film. From the clever, beautifully animated credits, to the superb acting, great dialogue even mixed with humor, to the very real, semi-tragic story of basically a single Mom, trying to raise her kid on a shoestring, with a dead weight father, dragging her down, yet she manages to triumph against all obstacles.  Director, Caley Wilson slays this film with wonderful angles on an acute budget. Brah-fukn-vo!


    With Director, Caley Wilson  (I don’t know why this photo is messed up on blog!)

  2. VUIL WASGOED   (Dirty Laundry)  -In Africans. A hysterical, goofy, smart, dark comedy adventure of two regular underachievers with a dream, still working at a laundry mat, who inadvertently get tangled up with some really bad guys, and although they’re clothes got pretty dirty, they manage to come out alive, and fulfill the dream of owning a coffee/laundry shop. The acting, dialogue, color, characters, all superb. Brah-fuckn-vo!


    With writer/star Bennie Fournie and Director Morne du Toit  (I don’t know why this photo is messed up on blog!)

  3. PASTORAL SONG OF THE SPRING In Mongolian. Take a very inexpensive vacation to the most spectacular scenery of Inner Mongolia, while in the warmth and comfort of your seat, and glide through a different world, yet the same, when it comes to the innocence of love.  Director, Xurenhua manages to capture the beauty, and the sense of being there, feeling the wind on your face, as you witness the porcelain perfection of the faces of the actors, while going on an adventure through time, routing for the good guys, feeling their pain and love. A sad, believable story.Xurenhua

What I did not get to see, and must, is the winner of Best International Film, The Little God, from India. As well as The Italian Gaze, by Sandro Del Rosario, and The Butterfly Trees, Documentary, by Kay Milam.

Where is the next stop for WHEN I SING?  Just waiting.  We’ve struck out on most of the big time fests, and that hurts in the pocket, and the heart, but we realize there are a gazillion great films, and they can only choose a few.  (That sounded politically correct.)

That being said, I am taking WHEN I SING on the road, targeting a few places, most likely starting in Boston, and The Jersey Shore.  We had an extremely successful screening in hometown Tucson, to a sold out crowd at The Loft, where…get this…the film made money, instead of spending it. What a concept! So, I’ve seen the light, and it’s green.

I think the biggest compliment I’ve received is from filmmaker, producer, Jon Scheide, who compared WHEN I SING to Angelica Houston.  “It has a beauty all of it’s own. Not the classic, but one completely different and just as stunning.”  How’s them apples?!

I’m very thankful for the film festivals who have accepted our special film, and of course a little bitter about the one’s who did not. It’s only human. You can pretend that it doesn’t bother you, but it does. It’s tough out there.  So many great films. (So I made up a poster, which I think is hilarious, and that’s all that matters.  Fuck em if they can’t take a joke!)  Audiences are cheering, laughing and crying…and that’s also all that matters! No one can hurt me when I sing, and when you see the film! Sign up for our mailing list, and watch the trailer at http://www.whenising.com.REJECTED





YEEEEEEEEHAH! How’s them apples? No one can hurt me when I sing…and when we win! Our very first festival! Gosh, it feels good. It’s just the beginning, but it’s like being a rookie American League pitcher up at bat for the first time, and hitting it out of the park. BOOM! (Yes, I emphasized American League, when the DH is not an option.)


Here’s the trailer!

So far I’ve worked 2 years, every waking minute on this film. (I am not exaggerating.) And then there’s the rest of the team.  I surely would have struck out without them. But imagine! Winning People’s Choice in the Los Angeles market?  Holy Shit! What an honor!

Click Here for your personal backstage pass video tour to our World Premiere of WHEN I SING in Los Angeles.

I’ll be honest, the film festival circuit is brutal. Why?  Because you drop a hundred here, fifty there…just to submit!  Then you don’t get in to most of them, because thousands of people are doing the same thing you are.  Being an artist is a tough road these days. Everyone wants to make money off of you, while you spend more…and time.  Time? What is it worth?  All of us artists know how much time we spend creating and promoting our work. Why? We have to. Passion and belief drives us.

I believe in this film 100%. I promise that 99% of artists will relate, 99% of underdogs will be cheering, 99% of women will be laughing and crying, and 80% of people will thoroughly enjoy it.  The rest of you..well…you can’t please everyone.

So now what do I do?  It’s nice that I’ve already been approached for distribution. But this is my baby, just like my albums. Who can I trust with…MY LIFE’S STORY?

Maybe it will be Coming to a theatre near you!  Then Netflix! Or AmazonHBO! Or Showtime!  (I say fuck a lot…so no Disney.) Did you know you have to spend like millions in promotion for a theatre release. I swear this could be a cult blockbuster! (See, I do believe in this film…or I’m delusional, and I’ll end up selling them in the back of my fucking car.)

Stay tuned.  But for now, FILM FESTIVALS everywhere, show WHEN I SING. I guarantee a sold out crowd, and lots of smiles.  Let’s do this!

Next stop, Worldfest.  Houston…we don’t have a problem! What an honor to be chosen for the 3rd oldest film festival in America! And we’ve already been informed that we’ve won one of the top awards…one of their coveted REMI AWARDS!  YEEEEEEHAH!


I’d like to congratulate all of the fellow nominees.

The IncantationBuckout RoadIn Echo ParkThe Evil Rises.

Also an honorable mention to my two favorite nominated shorts that blew me away!

The Obituary and This is Ed



KVOA, Roadrunners, and Marines, oh my!

I flipped on KVOA, local news at 5 a.m. on Thursday morning, restless from waiting for results to see if WHEN I SING  wins our first film festival for People’s Choice…when another contest arose. KVOA announced they were giving away 4 free tickets to a Roadrunners hockey game saluting the military, to the person who leaves the most “creative” reason why they should be the recipient, directly after showing a clip of the latest nasty snow storm in New England.  The contest took place on KVOA facebook page.

I was the first to comment the following:

“I just watched your footage this morning, of Massachusetts, where I’m from. I have to admit I was laughing out loud, as I sit here in the warmth of the old pueblo where I live now, and know that my brother is chipping ice off of his windshield, freezing his butt off. The least I can do for him is be close to ice – while watching The Roadrunners, and saluting the military at the same time. As we say it Mass – that would be WICKED AWESOME!”

Then I thought nothing of it, and finally fell asleep.


Last night at 10pm, I got a call from my Dad.  “Linda! They said your name of the News and read your comment, and….you won!”


We had a good laugh, and I shared the story with my brother, in fact, freezing his ass off in Massachusetts. (I refrained from using ass in my comment on KVOA. I was on my best behavior.)

For curiosity sake, I went to the comment section, to read my “competition”, and there was one comment that stuck out, from a Lisa Vavages.

“He enlisted into the United States Marine Corps, April 28 he turns 18, May 24 he graduates from Desert View High School, July 30 he leaves for boot camp…13 weeks away from home he’ll be transformed into a United States Marine. Who is he? He is my only son, with what few months we have remaining and all the hard work he’s put in,, he deserves to go see the Roadrunners!”

Awww.  I want her to go with her son, I thought. So I sent her a facebook message, and commented on the post as well, saying, please let me take you and your son to the game with us. And then I left her a private message…and then sent a friend request, to make sure she would get it.

She wrote back, and said her son and daughter would be delighted to join. I thought, “wahhhh, I thought she would go with her son.” So I asked her why she wasn’t going, and she said she was a single mom, and had another daughter, and couldn’t leave her alone at home.

Single moms are some of the biggest heroes on the planet, as far as I am concerned. So here’s my dilemma. I was feeling all warm and fuzzy, giving her two of the tickets, and now I wanted all three of them to go, but I still kinda wanted to go with my hubby, even though I am not really a huge hockey fan.  I’ve been to one Bruins game, and it was cool, but I prefer baseball and football. (I wonder if it’s cold in the rink? I hate the cold!) Maybe I should just give them all of the tickets.  But…ooh! What if I could get a 5th ticket somehow!?

I called KVOA to find out the section we were in, and then called The Roadrunners organization, and explained the story.  They were kind enough to GIVE me another ticket right next to the four I had won! How nice was that?

Lisa and her kids met up with us at the game, They are a lovely family,  and we had a blast. (And I was prepared with several layers of clothing.) Wishing her son Gage, a safe journey in bootcamp, and becoming a U.S. Marine.  Having him at The Roadrunners hockey game, saluting the military, surely was a good omen.  And we won the game in overtime!


(And our photo was shown on the Jumbotron!)



Holy Shit! WHEN I SING World Premiere is SOLD OUT!


We just pulled up from Tucson on horses to Hollywood, to our Director’s house, Robin Russin.  I had the WHEN I SING backdrop thingy delivered there, known as a “step and repeat”.  That’s the thing on a red carpet, where everyone poses in front of – to say “I was there!”  (Of course ours is not gigantic, on our indie budget.)

Well, there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that WE ARE SOLD OUT!  Robin got a phone call from a friend, while we were there. “Man! I went to the site, and there are no more tickets to When I Sing!”  WHAT?! Robin and I just looked at each other, eyeballs practically popping out.  The bad news is not everyone who wanted to go, can see the movie yet, or pose like this…


(Consider these the “before” photos.  I’ll be dressing up for the premiere!)

Thank you Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival for selecting my little life’s story to premiere in the city of angels. Hopefully I will find the perfect angel distributor, so the millions of people just dying to see WHEN I SING (Hey, I can dream!) will be able to see it soon enough.



Stay tuned for more stuff you probably don’t give a shit about.

Check out the movie trailer here!


Holy Shit! World Premiere of WHEN I SING. Part 2: Thank you Robin Russin

One week from today, my life’s story, WHEN I SING, made with my life’s savings, and a lot of help from my friends (sing that line like Ringo), will premiere at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Hoo Ha. (And my jaw is clinched at 5 am as I write).

How self-absorbed is it, when one make’s a movie about….themselves?! I swear, it’s a great story, not because it happened to me, but just because it happened. And I hope that under the constraints of my meager budget, that we were able to pull off conveying the story.  It wasn’t easy.  But, to start, it wouldn’t have been possible without…me.  I’m kidding – Robin Uriel Russin, my cousin by marriage.  In fact, we call it “An Odd Cousins Film”.

Odd?  Well, besides the fact that he’s a road scholar, who graduated from Harvard, and I’m a University of Miami drop-out, we were at odds during the filming, because being my life’s story, and having lived every minute, I felt compelled to direct the director.  Oops. So, if there is an award for tolerating me, Robin gets it.  (Well, and everyone else.)  I did direct a few scenes when Robin couldn’t be around on certain locations, and it was fun…I had a good teacher…Robin.

Initially, because of the extremely low-budget, I figured I’d be doing most everything…because I don’t have to pay myself. And I wore so many hats that I’m surprised I didn’t break my neck. I mean, I made fucking sandwiches and dragged wardrobe and props and set up the scenes to save money, in between acting.  And I assumed I would be directing, because I had no choice…

BUT then Robin asked me “Who’s Directing?”

Linda: “Uhhh, I guess I am.”

Robin: “I’ll take a semester off of teaching at UCR and direct, if you want”.

Are you shitting me?!  Wow.  You’d do that for me? Well, he did it.  (Robin helped me edit my book, Who the F**K is Linda Chorney, which WHEN I SING is based on, thus, he was quite familiar with my story…and believed it was a good one to tell!) Not only did he make huge, personal sacrifices to direct the movie, but when we ran out of money, he received a grant from UCR, (which paid for my co-editor, Robert Murphy).  Of all of the projects he has done, Robin chose WHEN I SING to go for a grant.  Incredible. He saved me from breaking my neck, while I busted his balls.  It was a perfect match! And although we are, indeed, odd cousins, we are more like brother and sister, who fight, but love and respect each other, greatly.  (Thanks for marrying him, Sarah!)


(Robin and I having yet another discussion about a scene – while co-star, Maxwell Scott, playing the roll of “Scott”, hung in there. “Here they go again…”)

And WHEN I SING is our child.  (That sound’s really weird).  So, I don’t know if Robin is clinching his jaw as much as I am, mine,  but I do know he’s ready to hand out cigars next Sunday. February 25th!  If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, come to the premiere! Meet Felix and Oscar on the red carpet, (guess which one I am?), and other stars of WHEN I SING, including Chris Mulkey and Marion Ramsey. See cast here!


(Robin directing Evan Grae Davis, our DP, of live performance with Chris Mulkey and me.)

A tremendous thank you to University of California, Riverside. No one can hurt me, when I have money to pay the bills!  (For those of you unfamiliar with lyrics from title track, WHEN I SING, the chorus says “no one can hurt me when I sing.”)  Get it!?

Stay tuned for Part III!



HOLY SHIT! WHEN I SING WORLD PREMIERE!! Part ONE – I’m stepping up, Neil Portnow.

Stepping up?  Check! Making a movie about my fucked up story?  Check! Self-Absorbed squared?  Check!  Hardest thing I have ever accomplished in my life?  Check! Getting it done with A LOT of help from my friends?  Check!  Now I just need a check!

I know. I know.  No one gives a shit if I just spent my life’s savings to tell my life’s story…apparently, that’s nothing unique in the film world.  Will it pay off? Why did I do this?  It’s insane to go to the lengths I have in order to get the truth out about what happened to me as a result of my historical/hysterical Grammy nomination.  In short, it’s the artist’s ridiculous quest for validation.  Check!


WHEN I SINGFor those of you unfamiliar, I was the first truly independent artist to be nominated for Best Americana Album, in 2012, for my double album, Emotional Jukebox, which my stalker turned husband, forced me to submit for Grammy consideration.  Let’s just say that the industry didn’t welcome this 50 year old, life time road warrior female musician.  Would I not have gotten as much flack if I had a dick? Chick Check! 

The timing of the release of WHEN I SING couldn’t be better!  I have to thank Neil Portnow for his words.  “Women need to step up to win awards” .  I stepped up a virtual Mount Everest to try and reach the top of my career, and when I got nominated, I thought I was there. I was so naive that I thought The Recording Academy would actually invite me to sing on the show, since I was the first indie to achieve this.  But instead, they changed the rules to prevent the unknown underdogs, while capitalizing on my nomination publicly, dangling a carrot for more hopefuls to join as a member.  Neil Portnow’s quote about me in the Associated Press:  “It shows everybody has a shot,” Portnow said. “That really is the truth.”

Linda Chorney quote:  “Meh.”

I’ve organized a petition, working along side members, and we hope The Recording Academy can step up to a democracy again.  Then maybe more women (and Indies) will be nominated and win awards.

But now back to me! Please, if you are in the Los Angeles area, come to the World Premiere of WHEN I SING, on Sunday, February 25th, at The Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival!

Get tickets here!!

Make sure you scroll down to WHEN I SING at 8:15 show!  We are finalists for PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD! Come early (7:15) and pose on the carpet with some of our cast, including Chris Mulkey, Marion Ramsey, Miles Anderson, Kiki Ebsen, Mari Nobre, Eli Panero…and the chick in the corner!

In PART TWO – I’ll boast about all of our incredible cast and crew!

**p.s. I hate the photo they used of me in AP article that went to 100 countries. The photographer was great…and had better shots.  (This issue is actually a scene in the movie!)






“I’d like to thank the members of the Academy”, is generally how one’s acceptance speech begins in all of these award shows. But which members of the academy, (who all pay their dues) are they thanking?  Is the awards process a democracy? How do they choose from the thousands of brilliant and not so brilliant songs, movies, plays and shows? Many members would like transparency in the steps involved of the decision process.  While others prefer to have us “pay no attention to what’s behind the curtain!”  (But pay!) Right now, just weeks before The Grammys, members of The Recording Academy are paying attention along with their dues, and have signed a respectful petition. 



Perhaps this doesn’t mean much to the public.  If I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone say “The Grammys are a joke”, I’d have enough money to pay my dues! But the reality is that we all pay our dues to belong to this organization, because we care about music, and it’s fun to be a part of it, but we most certainly want our votes to count. Do they?  Here is the petition:


Your undersigned fellow members of The Recording Academy have respectfully signed this petition, which offers discussion points and related proposed revisions  in hopes of improving the Awards process for all members. As The Recording Academy is at its core a representation of the democratic process, and presently, several categories honor recognizing the members’ majority votes to determine the five nominees, we propose the items outlined herein. We welcome an open discussion on these and other topics in order to strengthen and enhance the Recording Academy and its goals relating to the GRAMMY Awards.

NATIONAL NOMINATION REVIEW COMMITTEES                                                                    It is our understanding that in certain categories, The National Nomination Review Committees currently consider the top 15 entries through members’ majority vote, with the option of adding 2 Wild Card slots, (to recognize outstanding work not receiving majority votes), for a total of 17 entries. Then The National Nomination Review Committees vote to determine the 5 Nominees. As The Recording Academy has implemented this Wild Card component to the awards nomination process in order to recognize the very best entries under consideration, we believe the following additional proposed items, taken together or individually, will assist members in understanding and fully appreciating the review and nomination process:

(A) We propose recognition of the members’ majority vote in all categories (with the exception of “CRAFT” categories), and that if not recognized in all categories, at minimum, that the daytime award categories recognize members’ majority vote.

(B) Alternatively, we propose honoring the nominations of the top 4 members’ majority voted entries, and determine the 5th Nomination slot via The National Nomination Review Committees’ majority vote, from Entries 5-15 (the eleven remaining of the top 15), with the option of adding one Wild Card slot to the selection.

(C) We propose that a Certificate of Excellence be made available to recognize those Entrants who earned the top 15 in their category. This certificate could be purchased for the same price, and in the same manner that additional certificates are bought for those who participated in Grammy Nominated projects.

To promote support for all aspects of the awards process and increase member understanding of promotional restrictions in order to avoid related violations, we propose that the following areas be more clearly defined:

It is our understanding that entries earning the top votes have been disregarded/disqualified because they had “too many votes,” or were labelled as “over-soliciting,” or the artists and any participants seeking consideration in an entry, belong to certain social media groups. We request these guidelines/rules be clearly defined and provided to members, and that the guidelines be applied to all members including major labels, independent labels, and independent individuals.

(B) DEFINE BLOC VOTING. It is our understanding that The Recording Academy disqualifies some entries on the basis of “Bloc Voting.” We request these guidelines/rules be clearly defined and provided to members, and that the guidelines be applied to all members including major labels, independent labels, and independent individuals. We would also like to define what function the Deloitte accounting firm has in determining these bloc voting ballots.

The GRAMMY Awards is the premier event for music professionals, particularly Academy members. As such, due to the related demand, tickets often sell out in a matter of seconds. To ensure that Academy members are able to participate in the most important event of the year in the music community, we propose that Daytime Program tickets are made available for sale, as a separate event from the Evening Awards, at a more affordable price.

We are confident that the Trustees of The Recording Academy will review our proposed revisions to the awards process, and we thank you in advance for your consideration.

Respectfully submitted, the undersigned Academy members:



Is that asking too much?

And now for a little history.  I’ve only been a member for 6 years, and I was fortunate enough to have been nominated for Best Americana Album my first year!  How did I get nominated? Americana is a part of all Roots categories, which include genres like Folk and Blues.  All of those categories, in 2012, were a de·moc·ra·cy /dəˈmäkrəsē/. noun – Control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.  Miraculously, I, (someone self-produced, without a label, publicist, or manager) made history as the first recording artist to be honored with the top 5 votes in Americana, for Emotional Jukebox.  (my 6th album.)

The following year, Billboard’s Grammy issue used my name as an example of how The Recording Academy opens doors to all, and Neil Portnow, President of NARAS, said my nomination proved the organization had a level playing field!  Pretty cool, huh?  And then membership doubled.  Why? I suppose it was because other Independent Recording Artists thought they, too, might have a shot!

Slightly before the magazine article, I received a letter and phone calls from a Louis Meyers, head of the “Folk Alliance”; and co-founder of South by Southwest. (A famous music/film festival in Austin, Texas).  I had never met Mr. Meyers before, but he was kind enough to reach out to me.  He told me that he had supported my album, and was extremely unhappy about a huge change made within the organization, which affected his “folkees” as well.  He gave me his permission to use this letter in a book I wrote.  (Unfortunately, he passed away, recently. RIP.)

From: Louis Meyers <louis@folk.org>
Date: Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 8:36 PM
Subject: Grammy Rule #2
To: Linda Chorney <lindaxxxxchorney@gmail.com>

Hi Linda,

Still having fun?

Don’t know if you heard that they changed the rules on the Roots Category this year, but have not told anyone yet.  This year, the first round voters will not determine the final five in each category.  They will determine the top 20 and a committee will determine which records make it to the final five.

I had lunch with the XXXX NARAS Director and he told me like everyone knew.  He appeared quite surprised once he realized that they have never informed the Grammy members of this major change.  So, the voting process now has zero integrity and all the praise that Neil gave your efforts were complete BS.  He made sure that you and every other regular hard working artist will never have a chance to get to the final five again.

Thought you should know.

Best, Louis

As I included this letter in my book, (the truth), perhaps it was a coincidence, but the following year, all of a sudden, The Recording Academy comes out with this “GRAMMY GOLD” chart, making transparent, all categories that have committees, and those which do not.

But there were still quite a few that did not.  Why did they cave in Roots/Americana?  Well, let’s just say that the powers that be in Americana were not happy about my nomination.  I was not one of them, and no one profited off of my nomination.  It all started with a bullying campaign on facebook by a publicist, planting a seed that I somehow cheated to get my nomination. It’s in my TED talk. But enough about me.

The following year, an unknown, Al Walser, was nominated for Best Dance Recording.  And membership increased, yet again!  At the time this category belonged to EDM, and it was a de·moc·ra·cy.  This caused shitstorm number 2 amongst the EDM community. Lo and Behold, the following year, a committee was put in place to decide all nominees in that field.

The trend continued with RAP and even New Age!?  WTF?

So we have signed a petition.  Who is we?  Members who want the Recording Academy to succeed with true democracy, and are not intimidated by others poo poo’ing our quest.  Here are the top 5 reasons we hear for not signing.

  1. “It’s been done before, and nothing happens. They don’t give a shit, and they are going to do what they want. You are wasting your time.”  But we are supposedly “they”! We pay our dues to be “they”!
  2. “I have an album I’m submitting. I don’t want to make waves!” Or they even go as far as snitching on those of us trying to make a difference, thinking they might get brownie points, while reaching for a brass ring that has been rigged.  Nailed down to prevent them from grabbing.
  3. “I don’t want to get blacklisted or thrown out”.  Some of The brown nosers above, in reason number 2, go as far as attempting to intimidate members into not signing.
  4. “I like the committees just the way they are.”  And of course one does not have to agree with us.  That really is the only reason for not signing that I can respect.
  5. “This is a private matter.”  Yeah, that reminds me of folks who beat their kids.


Well, some of us feel beat, but not beaten.  For some, this is a last attempts to improve the voting process, or forever hold on to our money that we shell out every year to be members.  Even if they don’t change a damn thing, and more committees appear, at least members and potential future members can decide, based on knowing what their dues buy.

And I’m not saying the Recording Academy doesn’t do great things, and have its advantages!  I’ve met tons of great people, heard incredible music, made close friends, and the organization does amazing things for childrens’ education, and Music Cares.  Plus, oh yeah, I got friggin’ nominated for a Grammy!

I got my nod, I got my story, and not only did I write a book, I just made a freakin’ movie about it!  It’s called WHEN I SING.  (coming soon!) But as Louis Meyers put it,  “He made sure that you and every other regular hard working artist will never have a chance to get to the final five again.”  I’d like more artists to have a fair shot at the brass ring, instead of the same old people coming up to the podium saying, “I’d like to thank the members of The Academy.”

Don’t thank me, or thousands of us.  We didn’t vote for you, a committee did.






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Linda Chorney

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