Monday, December 18, 2006

A little History on SIX DEGREES

The phrase "Six Degrees of Separation" began after Harvard social psychologist Stanley Milgram sent 300 letters to randomly selected people in Omaha, Nebraska in 1967 with the instruction to get the letter to a single "target" person in Boston using only personal contacts. For the 60 letters that found their targets, Milgram gound that the average number of steps a letter took was around six.

In 1983, 19-year-old David Hampton talked his way into the homes of well-off New Yorkers, including the Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, the President of New York's public TV station and Leonard Bernstein, by claiming to be the son of Sidney Poitier. (Actor/director Poitier has six daughters and no sons.) During his exploits, he promised people positions in an upcoming film production of his father's, accepted spending money from his hosts, and burgled items from their homes.

John Guare learned of Hampton's ruse through friend Osborne Elliott, who was also one of Hampton's victims. Published seven years later, Six Degrees of Separation explores issues of identity, privacy, race, homophobia and celebrity status. The fictionalized account of Hampton's imposture was well-recieved, packing theatres in New York and London as well as winning a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, an Obie Award (Best Play) and Hull-Warriner Award (Best Play).

Hampton filed a $100 million civil suit in 1992 against Guare, the Lincoln Center Theatre, producer Bernard Gersten, publisher Random House, and film rights owner MGM-Pathe Communications for compensatory and punitive damages. The courts did not rule in Hampton's favor, but did place a restraining order against Hampton for repeatedly threatening Guare.

Cast as Larkin in SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION

I have just been offered the role of Larkin in SIX DEGRRES OF SEPARATION, which I greatly accepted.

The first read thru and blocking rehearsals will take place in the first week in January.

Show dates are March 15th -17th & 22nd – 24th, with a matinee performance on March 21st

Performances will be at the Access Theater, 380 Broadway.

Here is a summary of the play:

In New York, the art dealers John Flanders ('Flan') Kittredge and Louisa ('Ouisa') Kittredge are ready to have a business dinner with their South African friend and client Geoffrey Miller, when a wounded young black man comes to their fancy apartment telling that he had been just robbed in Central Park and asking for help. He introduces himself as Paul, a friend of their son and daughter in Harvard and son of Sidney Poitier, and the couple invites him to stay with them. During they night, they find that Paul is not who he claims to be. When they investigate the life of Paul, they find the hidden truth. Their investigations are intriguing and lead them to re-evaluate their lives.

For more information on Well Urned Productions, which will be producing the show, please visit http://www.wellurnedproductions.com/home/index.php?location=home

RANDOM COCONUTS Meeting

The RC meeting yesterday afternoon was a very productive one. We discussed upcoming projects including the future production of Dan Conrad's comedy POCKETFUL OF MATCHES, which will be directed by Marc Seidenstein. No one will be pre-cast. Everyone will have to audition. Auditions TBA.

Another project in development is a sketch comedy show. Not so much SNL, but what Dan Conrad and Greg Vorob are hoping for is that each sketch comes off more like a little film. It's still in the development stages, so I will keep you up to date on changes as they come.

The group was also greeted by the very kind Edward Jupin, Chief Operating Officer of Team DeserSun Studios (www.teamdesertsun.com) who has a number of projects on the burner as well, so hopefully 2007 will be a busy year for all of us.

Thank you to Greg, Abi, Dan. Marc, Paul and the entire RC team for the chance to be a part of the group. I forsee great things for the group in '07.

SIX DEGREES

The SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION audition was yesterday and I thought it went well. I went in and read a few scenes for director Jon Ciccarelli, followed by a monologue. I always have a few ready to go, but mostly I stick to a 'Jimmy Tomorrow' speech from Eugene O'Neil's THE ICEMAN COMETH.

All I can do now is wait and see what happens.

The Gootube Conspiracy

I'd like to show my support for Kyle Pierson's newest project.

A couple of days ago Kyle posted a video on YouTube tha was part of an interesting experiment. It is an episodic serried entirely improvised and performed by the audience members. This might very well be a first for video.

You can read the backstory at www.gootubeconspiracy.com. Kyle just made a trailer/summary of the first season and would love for as many people as possible to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxS-Rztl8F4.

Please rate the video. The more ratings we get the bigger than chance we’ll be featured and the show will find a larger audience. If you have a YouTube account – please, please, please leave a comment. That is one of the main ways they rate videos in their popularity.

Enjoy and congrats to Kyle!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On Sunday

This Sunday, I will be reading for the role of LARKIN, a great supporting role in John Guare's SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION. I've always wanted to do this play and was quite up front with the director, saying Larkin is the only role I am right for (plus it's a nice role). Director Jon Ciccarelli was cool with that and is having me read sides for Larkin. Looking forward to it.

Later in the day, I have the RANDOM COCONUTS meeting to discuss future projects, including Dan Conrad's comedy POCKETFUL OF MATCHES (another play I'd love to do).

The Great Peter Boyle Dies at 71

Peter Boyle, the actor known for playing the curmudgeonly father in the long-running TV sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died. He was 71.

Boyle, a Philadelphia native, also gave brilliant performances in "Joe", "The Friends of Eddie Coyle", "Steelyeard Blues" and as Senator Joseph McCarthy in the television movie "Tail Gunner Joe".

In addition to these films, Boyle appeared in one of the funniest scenes in movie history: His (and co-star Gene Wilder) hilarious rendition of "Puttin on the Ritz" in the Mel Brooks classic "Young Frankenstein".

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

BEL CANTO

The reading will take place on January 9th @ 5:30 at The Drama Bookshop.

There will be excerpts read from two other pieces but since our play is so short, we will be reading the entire play.

Paul Romanello will reprise his role from the play as well, so it should be a lot of fun.

Here are all the details on the event:

"Playing with Canons"

Reading and Reception
Celebration of the new publication by the New York Theatre Experience.

Playing with Canons: Explosive New Works from Great Literature by America's Indie Playwrights. 18 plays by some of indie theatre’s most exciting playwrights in a single volume celebrating the enduring power and spirit of classic literature and drama. These remarkable plays reshape familiar material in challenging, innovative, and unexpected fashion, pushing these timeless works into the 21st century in resoundingly resonant high style.

RSVP for this Event NOW!

The Drama Book Shop
250 West 40th Street
New York, New York 10018
212 944-0595
events@dramabookshop.com
http://www.dramabookshop.com

Monday, December 11, 2006

Click Here for Quiznos vs. a Subway

The Quiznos commercial is online!

http://www.ifilm.com/video/2804211

I love it!

Video of the Year

LOGO announced their 2006 Videos of the Year today and “Out From Under” was named #4.

Congrats to Kyle Pierson and the entire crew.

It's always nice to have your work acknowledged.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Macy Quote

Here's a great quote from William H. Macy:

I've always felt everything you need is on the page. I used to load my wallet with fake IDs and know what was outside the door down the imaginary hallway. I would do a history for the character, but that's a whole lot of work, and one day I thought, 'I wonder what would happen if I didn't do that,' and the answer was, 'Nothing.' Nothing. It doesn't help you. For an actor, the real issue is the moment-to-moment.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

EVERYBODY'S LAUGHING Screening

Last evenings' screening of EVERYBODY'S LAUGHING was an exciting one. It was kind of cool seeing a film I was in on a big screen (a first).

I am very happy with how the film has come along. Other people did as well, as the film got some richly deserved laughs.

Director Romain Ronzeau is still tweaking a few things here and there but overall, I think he has something that he should be very proud of. I'm certainly proud to have been a part of it.

Romain is leaving for France on Thursday (I wish him well). I should be getting a DVD copy of the film in the coming weeks.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A VERY MEMORABLE ENGAGEMENT

Received an email from Kate Freer over the weekend. A VERY MEMORABLE ENGAGEMENT is coming together nicely and it should be finished after the start of the new year.

Tonight, I will be attending a presentation of Romain Ronzeau's film EVERYBODY'S LAUGHING. The presentation will take place at the New York Film Academy.

QUIZNOS Commercial Shoot A Success!

The commercial shoot for QUIZNOS went very well yesterday. The commercial is competing for national exposure, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It was a very professional shoot with a great crew (including Jonathan Stevens, director of THE OFFER) and fantastic actors.

I went in wearing a green turtleneck and slacks, threw on a pair of glasses and topped it off with an obnoxious pipe...and became a snotty art professor. Director James Monohan loved it.

The commercial was shot at The Circle In The Square Theater School. During our breaks, I had a chance to walk around, see old posters from productions starring Al Pacino, James Earl Jones and Maureen Stapleton. Very cool.

James expects the commercial to be cut together by Saturday.

I look forward to seeing how it comes out.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Cast in QUIZNOS Commercial That Shoots This Sunday

I have just been cast as an "art snob" in a QUIZNOS commercial that'll keep me busy all day Sunday.

An artist is unveiling his newest masterpiece to a bunch of snobs at a gallery and the masterpiece is the new QUIZNOS sub.

The copy is funny, so I'm really looking forward to it.

BEL CANTO

I just received an email from playwright Renee Flemings about reprising the role of Cleave for a staged reading of her play BEL CANTO.

The reading will take place at The Drama Bookshop in Manhattan on January 9th as part of the promotion for the anthology PLAYING WITH CANONS.

BEL CANTO was adapted from the Edgar Allen Poe story, "The Tell-Tale Heart". Renee wanted the feel of gangster films of the 30's and 40's. I had the rare opportunity of playing a mob heavy (I just thought of Lee J. Cobb in ON THE WATERFRONT) and it was a lot of fun.

It was directed by Tony Pennino and featured Matthew Cade, Matthew Thomas and Paul Romanello (THE EXCITING LIFE)

For more info on the PLAYING WITH CANONS anthology, please visit http://www.nyte.org/pwc.htm