Salon Radio

Salon Radio header image 1

Salon Radio presents: The Joyful Vampire Tour of America presents “Bite Me”; actor and dancer Tara Rai

July 21st, 2019

Salon Radio Release 21 July 2019


Salon Radio Special: The Joyful Vampire Tour of America presents "Bite Me"

In conversation with Naomi McDougall Jones and Sarah Wharton

Bite Me is a subversive romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her that is currently pioneering a new distribution model with a 51-screening, 40 city, three month Joyful Vampire Tour of America. Find Bite Me somewhere in the USA on their 51-screening tour now through August 1st, stream it online on Seed&Spark, Amazon, GooglePlay, or iTunes, or purchase a DVD or BluRay on their website. But definitely watch it. 

Find out more about everything at

~ and ~

 Salon Solo {Radio}presents dancer and actor Tara Rai

This episode is hosted by IWAS founder Heidi Russell with Laura Arten presenting our guests. Salon Radio is rounded out with our Women in The Arts world bulletin highlighting news about women in all The Arts, from this week’s editor Heidi Russell, and our Salon Bulletin highlighting Salonistas work around the world.


This podcast was recorded at our production partner Funkadelic Studios.




Guest Profiles


Tara Rai is an 18 year old British actress from London who began her creative journey at the age of 2 when she started taking ballet classes. She always wanted to be dancer growing up, her favourite style of dance being tap. She was cast as a tap dancer in the broadway revival of 42nd St the musical in the UK. Her love of performing lead her to start studying musical theatre at a prestigious high school for performing arts in London.
She graduated at 15 and moved to New York at 16 to study acting at the New York Film Academy. She then continued to train at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she did theatre and film training as well as dance. This year she was accepted into NYU where she will begin studying her degree in liberal arts as well as continuing her acting training.
Her acting reel is on vimeo at



The Joyful Vampire Tour of America presents "Bite Me"

What does an IRS agent have in common with a vampire? They are both bloodsuckers, and they both come together for a “taxing” relationship in the subversive romantic comedy “Bite Me,” which is changing how independent films are distributed with The Joyful Vampire Tour of America, a 51-screening, 40-city, 3-month, RV-fueled, old-school carnival-coming-to-town extravaganza that is circumnavigating the US from May 6-August 1, 2019.

Following Bite Me’s 2019 Cinequest World Premiere and Best Feature Film Win at VTXIFF and, after researching the murky and uninspiring state of current independent film distribution, the Bite Me team decided to go rogue and, eschewing traditional gatekeepers, bring their film directly to the audiences most excited to see it.

Bite Me is a subversive romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her and almost every screening on the tour is paired with a special event – most often Joyful Vampire Balls, although there is at least one Joyful Vampire Yoga Class – that gives audiences a chance to meet the filmmakers, have fun with their community, and celebrate whatever makes them most joyful.

Bite Me is simultaneously available to watch on the indie subscription-on-demand service, Seed & Spark, as well as for rental/purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play, so whether folks are able to join for a screening/event on the tour or just want to watch it from their couch, they can participate in the conversation!

Because the tour itself – led by Bite Me’s writer and star Naomi McDougall Jones – will be so much fun, documentary filmmaker Kiwi Callahan is coming for the RV-ride too and is making The Joyful Vampire Tour of America: The Docu-Series, an episode of which is being released on YouTube every Saturday for the duration of the tour.

Find out more about everything at


Naomi McDougall Jones is an award-winning writer, actress, producer, and women in film activist based in New York City. Her second feature film, BITE ME, with producers Jack Lechner (The Fog of War, Blue Valentine) and Sarah Wharton (That’s Not Us), which she wrote and also starred in opposite Christian Coulson (Harry Potter, Love is Strange, The Hours), Annie Golden (Orange is the New Black), and Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story) premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival, followed by a 3 month, 51 screening, 40 city Joyful Vampire Tour of America that took the country by storm. Naomi’s first feature film, which she also wrote, produced, and starred in, was the 12-time award-winning Imagine I’m Beautiful. The film received a theatrical release and is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and GooglePlay (  A pilot she wrote, The Dark Pieces, is now in development for television in Canada after having been named on The 2016 WriteHer List as one of the top 16 unproduced pilots by a female screenwriter. Naomi is an advocate and thought leader for bringing gender parity to cinema. She gave a virally sensational TEDTalk, What it’s Like to Be a Woman in Hollywood, which has now been viewed over 1 million times and can be seen on She is the Founder and Chief Impact Officer of The 51 Fund, a private equity fund dedicated to financing films by female filmmakers. Naomi is currently writing a book, The Wrong Kind of Woman: Dismantling the Gods of Hollywood, which will be published by Beacon Press in February 2020 and is available for pre-order on Amazon now. More at


Sarah Wharton is an award-winning producer, writer and actor based in New York City. Her feature That’s Not Us played at over 35 festivals around the world and was released as a Netflix exclusive through Strand Releasing and the follow-up The Ring Thing, a documentary-narrative hybrid about same-sex marriage, is now also available to watch on most digital platforms. She has produced work in Oslo, London, New Orleans and served as Associate Producer for the Harare International Festival of The Arts in Zimbabwe. Most recently, she produced Bite Me, a romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her, and "The Joyful Vampire Tour of America" - a 40 city screening tour of Bite Me across the United States.


Artist Statement...

"As a storyteller, I am driven by the belief that more and more audiences are tired of re-makes and prequels and sequels that have been formulaically assembled under the assumption that a great film is a mathematical equation. I believe there are those who crave what I crave as an audience member: to be genuinely surprised; to have my own prejudices exploded; to leave the theater altered from who I was when I went in.

I believe that my generation has not given up on goofy, joyful, freewheeling optimism even in the face of technology, internet self-invention and post-9/11 world terror.  I believe that we are, rather, starving more than ever for stories that will lift our minds to look beyond ourselves; to engage with and improve upon the world around us.

I believe furthermore that we are on the frontier of an unexplored expanse of the female perspective in filmmaking. I am not satisfied that one or two or four women are being given a seat at the table to tell their stories. That happening is good, but it is not good enough. 

We do not yet even know what it will look like to actually have a substantial choir of female voices of non-white-cis-male voices, sharing with richness and diversity the multitudinous facets of the human perspective. I believe that as we are able to share our perspective, to have an artistic dialogue with one another, to save ourselves from the dismissiveness of the “chick flick,” that the very fabric of our society will change for the better, as we are all presented with a broader perspective.

And I am exhilarated, because, as the traditional distribution models break down, we filmmakers are more keenly positioned than ever to get our work directly into audiences’ hungry hands, bypassing the gatekeepers who have, for so long, dictated the “tastes” of the viewer.

As women, as historically underrepresented voices of all kinds, and as indie filmmakers, I believe we must come together as strong individual voices and as a community to offer audiences a stronger alternative to the monochrome fare of the mainstream."  ~ Naomi


Play this podcast on Podbean App