Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This Week

I met with Nathaniel Paluga of T&B Motion Picture Company to discuss the film NOTHING MORE THAN EVERYTHING, which was shot 5 years ago. Nathaniel has over 20 hours of footage shot and we sifted through about half of it.

The film is a series of philosophical vignettes dealing with truth, faith, death. Nathaniel and I felt that for starters, the best thing to do would be to put a few of the vignettes on the Internet, see what people's reactions are to them.

It was kind of strange watching my work from five years ago. It feels like a lifetime ago. I would like to think that I'm better now than I was then, but who knows.

In other news, this evening marks the readthrough of THE MIRACLE WORKER with Hudson Theatre Ensemble. I'm very excited to jump into the role of Mr. Anagnos.

Back with SIX DEGREES tomorrow night.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Yesterday's Film Shoot

Harris Masood's comedy short "Why I Fired My Secretary?" (Originally titled "Last Week Was My Birthday")was an absolute delight from start to finish. With the exception of the shoot of the OUT FROM UNDER video, I don't think I've ever had more fun on a film set.

Harris hopes to begin editing immediately to get the film ready for release to festivals. I watched a number of the scenes and everyone involved has a lot to be proud of.

Special thanks to Harris and his fantastic crew and to the lovely Tara Piccolo, my co-star ("The Secretary").

Friday, January 26, 2007

The GooTube Conspiracy

Thanks to Kyle Pierson for posting the newest episode of THE GOOTUBE CONSPIRACY, titled THE SAFEHOUSE.

Here's the YouTube link to the episode:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6W2wx7G7O8

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Cast in THE MIRACLE WORKER

I have just been cast in the nice supporting role of Dr. Anagnos in the Hudson Theatre Ensemble's production of THE MIRACLE WORKER.

The first rehearsal is next Wednesday, January 31st.

More to report later.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This Week

A lot has been going on this week so far.

I finished filmed my scene for the upcoming episode of THE GOO TUBE CONSPIRACY just about an hour ago and it was great fun. Very quick too, which is always nice when it comes to film. The episode will appear on YouTube tomorrow morning as early as 6am. Thanks to Kyle Pierson for the chance to be a part of the show and to Janis Lozano for the use of her apartment during shooting.

Still awaiting news regarding THE MIRACLE WORKER. Hope to hear something tomorrow.

I'm all set as far as the Saturday shoot of LAST WEEK WAS MY BIRTHDAY. I'll be traveling to NJ early for a 9am call. I expect to be in Jersey for the entire day, but am looking forward to being a part of this fun project.

James David Jackson of the Impetuous Theatre Group (OFFICE SONATA, TWELFTH NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) called yesterday and asked me to particpate in a reading of OFFICE SONATA playwright Andy Chmelko's new play SHOOT which explores the world of professional wrestling. I will be reading the role of the Vince McMahon-like owner of Global Championship Wrestling (I used to be a wrestling nut as a kid...and for some time in college...this will be fun).

The reading will take place on February 13th. Location TBA.

The rehearsal and filming of TRIUMPHANT HEARTS is also coming up.

Tomorrow, it's another SIX DEGREES rehearsal.

It's nice to be busy.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cast as the Lead in the Comedy Short: "Last Week Was My Birthday"

This Saturday, I will be filming a comedy short titled "Last Week Was My Birthday", which will be shot in New Brunswick NJ.

The film is based on a very funny joke that Harris, the director, thought would be fun to film.

Here's the joke:


"Last Week Was My Birthday"

Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel very well waking up on that morning.
I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my wife would be pleasant
and say, "Happy Birthday!", and possibly have a small present for me.

As it turned out, she barely said good morning,let alone "Happy Birthday."

I thought...

Well, that's marriage for you, but the kids....

They will remember.

My kids came bounding down stairs to breakfast
and didn't say a word.

So when I left for the office,I felt pretty low and somewhat despondent.

As I walked into my office,my secretary Jane said, "Good Morning Boss,
and by the way Happy Birthday! "

It felt a little better that at least someone had remembered.

I worked until one o'clock,when Jane knocked on my door and said, "You know,
It's such a beautiful day outside,and it is your Birthday,what do you say we go out to lunch, just you and me."

I said, "Thanks, Jane,that's the greatest thing I've heard all day.
Let's go!"

We went to lunch.

But we didn't go where we normally would go.

She chose instead a quiet bistro with a private table.

We had two martinis each and I enjoyed the meal tremendously.

On the way back to the office,Jane said, "You know,It's such a beautiful day...
We don't need to go straight back to the office,Do We ?"

I responded,"I guess not. What do you have in mind?"

She said, "Let's drop by my apartment, it's justaround the
corner."

After arriving at her apartment,Jane turned to me and said,
"Boss, if you don't mind,I'm going to step into the bedroom
for just a moment.I'll be right back."

"Ok," I nervously replied.

She went into the bedroom and,
after a couple of minutes,she came out carrying a huge birthday cake .
Followed by my wife, my kids,and dozens of my friends and co-workers, all
singing "Happy Birthday.

And I just sat there...

On the couch...

Naked.


Guess which part I'm playing?

I find the joke very funny, so I expect to have a lot of fun with this one.

Will appear in THE GOO TUBE CONSPIRACY

Got a call today from Kyle Pierson about shooting a scene for the next episode of his runaway internet success, THE GOO TUBE CONSPIRACY. I will be playing a computer nerd named Leopold. The show is a mix of 24 and Alias...with a little humor thrown in.

I will be shooting the scene in Manhattan on Wednesday.

According to Kyle, he wants to edit it quickly and get it on the net by Thursday.

More to report later.

Friday, January 19, 2007

SIX DEGREES: One

The first rehearsal for SIX DEGREES was a delight. The cast is a fine group of professionals, who I am looking forward to getting to know in the coming months.

For the first hour, the cast and director Jon Ciccarelli discussed our respective characters; ideas we had on where they come from and where they want to go throughout the course of the play.

For me, Larkin is one of those emotionally empty chaps who doesn't think outside of his own little world; always grasping for high status and respectability. Everything seem to be a battle of wills and one upmanship with him. He keeps his relationship with Kitty and his son Ben at arm's length. As he says many times throughout the play, he doesn't want to know anything. Maybe he's clueless. Maybe he just doesn't care. Jon and I think it's a little of both. Any man who says he doesn't want to know too much about his kid tells me that he's not exactly Danny Thomas.

So many ideas. It'll be fun to play around with.

We ran though the second half of the play; blocked it very easily. It felt great to get scenes on their feet.

I'm off until next week, so I have some work to do on the script until then.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

THE MIRACLE WORKER Callbacks

The callbacks for THE MIRACLE WORKER were a lot of fun last evening. I got a chance to read with Holly Vannasse (Female Admirer/Countess from PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE) and shared some nice laughs as we awaited reading for director Laurie Brongo.

Laurie will make her decisions regarding the cast next week.

Tonight, my first SIX DEGREES rehearsal.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Callback and Audition

The callbacks for THE MIRACLE WORKER are this evening. Curious to see how that plays out.

The LifeLife.com audition was last evening and I thought it went well. It's always a pleasure to see James Monohan who looked pleased with how I read. We'll see what happens.

Also, my first rehearsal for SIX DEGREES is tomorrow.

Busy week.

Sadly, I will be unable to audition for MOBY DICK REHEARSED. Not enough hours in the day to do everything I want.

A shame.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Auditioned Last Evening for THE MIRACLE WORKER

I ventured to Hoboken, NJ last evening to audition for the Hudson Theatre Ensemble's upcoming production of William Gibson's award winning play about Helen Keller, THE MIRACLE WORKER.

The company was recommended to me by my office colleague Jim Link, who is good friends with Florence Pape, an actress within the company and the head of their publicity department.

As far as male roles go in the play, there's few a far between. I am too young for Captain Arthur Keller, Helen's father and too old for James Keller, Helen's insolent brother. That left me with the small, but very interesting role of Dr. Anagnos, Annie Sullivan's counselor at the Perkins Institution for the Blind. It is Anagnos who places Annie in the Kellers's home as a governess for Helen. He is loving and kindly with Annie, but he can also be stern when necessary. He has one short scene with Annie in the beginning of the play, but it's a lovely scene.

It would be one heck of a make up job though.

The director seemed impressed with what I brought to the scene. I will be attending a callback on Wednesday night, so we'll see what happens.

LifeLock.com Commercial Audition on Tuesday Night

Director James Monohan (QUIZNOS) is having me audition for a number of LifeLock.com commercials this Tuesday night.

Working with James again would be great and the $150 payday for one day's work wouldn't hurt either.

Cast in Thesis Project "TRIUMPHANT HEARTS"

Just cast in director Tyrone Williams' (Writers Ink Productions) thesis project (For the Gibbs School) "TRIUMPHANT HEARTS".

The film is a dramatic comedy about a Russian Jewish choreographer who's in love with a West Indian filmmaker. Their love for each other is challenged by the dancer's father and her jealous ex-boyfriend. I have a few nice scenes as a supportive professor.

The film will be shot on weekends all through February.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Word from Sir Alec...

Here is a quote from the prologue of Sir Alec Guinness' Blessings In Disguise



"An actor is an interpreter of other men's words, often a soul which wishes to reveal itself to the world but dare not, a craftsman, a bag of tricks, a vanity bag, a cool observer of mankind, a child, and at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerise a group of innocents."

Cast List for SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION

Well Urned Productions, in association with the C.A.G.E. Theatre Co. and Hudson Shakespeare Company is proud to announce the cast of “SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION” by John Guare.

This production is Directed by Jon Ciccarelli and Assistant Directed by Leticia Diaz.

The cast is as follows:

Michael Hagins - Paul
Susan Mirwis - Ouisa
Dan Burkarth - Flan
Timothy J. Cox - Larkin
Elizabeth Yokam - Kitty
Gerry Kirschbaum - Geoffrey
Alice McFarland - Tess
Roy Aialon - Trent
David King - Woody/Rick
Manny Liyes - Doctor Fine
Lauren Kelston - Elizabeth
Dan Zimmerman - Doug
TBD - Doorman/Hustler/Detective/Ben


They are still seeking the following characters:

Doorman/Hustler/Detective/Ben

For consideration, send your headshot and resume to: wellurnedproductions@gmail.com. Alternatively, you may mail a copy to:

Well Urned Productions
Attn: SIX
156 Butler Street, Second Floor
Paterson, NJ 07524

Upcoming Audition for Orson Welles' MOBY DICK REHEARSED

On Wednesday, January 17th, I will be auditioning for Twenty Feet Productions' MOBY DICK REHEARSED, as adapted by none other than Orson Welles.

I'm very excited for this audition because I have always been a huge admirer of Welles' work, especially his work with The Mercury Theatre, the theatre company he created and ran in the 1930's, prior to entering films and giving us his great CITIZEN KANE. He would adapt and stage everything from literary classics to Shakespeare in unique and original ways.

After browsing through the Twenty Feet Productions, they seem to be committed to the same goals as Welles' theatre.

Definitely looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

SIX DEGREES Performances

All performances are at the Access Theatre, located at 380 Broadway on the 4th Floor.

Thursday, March 15 at 8PM (Wine and Cheese night)
Friday, March 16 at 8PM
Saturday, March 17 at 2PM and 8PM (St. Patty's night)
Sunday, March 18 at 8PM
Thursday, March 22 at 1PM (College Show), 8PM (Regular Show)
Friday, March 23 at 8PM
Saturday, March 24 at 2PM and 8PM

All tickets are $20 online & $25 at the door.

There will be an Opening Night Reception with tickets selling for *$15 online. (It will still be $25 at the door). There will have free Wine & Cheese for our cast & guests.

PLEASE NOTE: This offer is only good until February 15th, 2007!

They offer group discounts for 10 or more people (EXCEPT Opening Night).

SIX DEGREES Update

Well Urned Productions is looking to add a couple of shows and plan on adjusting another.

They are adding Sunday, March 18th at 8PM. For Saturday, March 24 they will be adding a 2PM matinee.

Also, on the original schedule they have down Wednesday, March 21 at 1PM for a school attended show. The school cannot do that day so they are looking to do
this on Thursday, March 22nd. This would result in two shows on that
day, 1PM and 8PM.

My first rehearsal with the cast will be this Sunday.

BEL CANTO Presentation

The presentation of BEL CANTO at the Drama Book Shop was a delight last evening. It was wonderful to perform the show in its entirity to a packed house, including director Tony Pennino and Metropolitan Playhouse Artistic Director Alex Roe (who had excerpts from his play SALEM read).

It was a pleasure speaking with nytheatre.com's Martin Denton, his lovely mather Rochelle and fellow actor Michael Criscuolo, all on hand to moderate and support the event.

I purchased a copy of PLAYING WITH CANONS and had it autographed by Tony, Renee and Alex. You never know.

Monday, January 08, 2007

BEL CANTO Rehearsal Last Evening

Paul Romanello and I seemed to pick up right where we left off three years ago as mob heavies Trigger and Cleave in Renee's wonderful play. I'm having a wonderful time with the part again. I don't get to play heavies everyday (Cleave is a big time heavy). Cleave's one of those roles where you go all out, where's it okay to be a little over the top.

The great Gregory Simmons (he moderated the reading of Tony Pennino's play OF PRIVILIGE AND PROPERTY a few months back...great guy) was on hand to guide us through the rehearsal. Greg's enthusiasm for the material was quite obvious and it rubbed off on the cast as we breezed through it a few times. Both Greg and Renee seemed most pleased with our progress.

I expect the reading to go very well tomorrow night.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Xbox Game Update

Spoke with Ed Herbstman about the game. It's still in production. He's hoping for some news from the developers of the game very soon.

Stay tuned.

Great Article on Stanley Harrison

Here's an article about one of my favorite directors and teachers in the great Stanley Harrison.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Russian theatre and philosophy of life

Constantin Stanislavsky might not be a household name in Joplin but to all those interested in theatre it represents a man who earned international acclaim as an actor, director and coach.

Stanley Harrison reaches out to grab life on and off the stage.



Lecturer Stanley Harrison, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, has been training and teaching actors for more than 40 years. He came to Missouri Southern State University to suggest to anyone interested in drama how to be an Eastwood, Bergman, Nicholson or Quinn to name a few of the actors whose style was influenced by the innovative acting techniques of Russian Michael Chekhov, a student of Stanislavsky. Harrison also discussed the process of development known as the Stanislavsky Method and how Stanislavsky inspired others to live their lives with love, joy and beauty through a better understanding of self.

"Because of him [Harrison], I'm in theatre today," Dr. Jay Fields, professor of drama and Southern Theatre director, told his students. "I'm going to get you for that one," was a comment Fields jokingly directed towards his mentor.

Harrison decided that the Southern drama students were 5 removed from Stanislavsky. His teacher, the late professor Constance Welch studied with the great Russian actress Maria Ouspenskaya who studied under Stanislavsky.

Harrison tries to silence what he called "the story" that went along with drama students' interpretations. He asked them to bring out spontaneous feelings from their inner souls.

"Acting is about life of the human spirit," Harrison said in explaining the Stanislavsky's system that led to method acting employed by the studio of the late Lee Strasberg, Austrian-born American theatrical director and teacher who inspired the likes of Marlon Brando, James Dean and Paul Newman. This spirit is part of Chekhov's "higher I" designed by a magnificent God, Harrison said. In the rehearsal process each actor needs to get in touch with his or her unconscious mind and make it work properly.

How does one reach this higher self? "You don't have to sit under a tree and meditate for 20 years," Harrison instructed his listeners. "The trick is "to live in the now moment...to release the past and future and be alive right now." This means getting rid of the "what-ifs."

"Minds just love to get into the past and fool around," Harrison said. He alluded to an "ole pig that wallows in mud, an old Missouri boy expression Harrison, a St. Joe native, said he picked up. But, he said, in stripping the guilt of the past and fear of the future, Stanislavsky started his classes with "this class, just us in time and space".

Harrison conducts an exercise in which he tells students to march around thinking "I am....." before they demonstrate their chosen archetypes, particular experiences of the race present in the hidden conscious of individuals. Several students found that when they shed their conscious levels that they could better illustrate who they were trying to be. A child of nature, pirate, lost soul and mentor were some of the roles attempted.

Reminding everyone that the theatre was a spiritual religious experience started by the Greeks, Harrison explained how the Moscow Art Theatre was a temple to the Russians. But in or out of the theatre, Harrison said that people need to learn how to get in touch with the power from our Creator, use their free will to make themselves better people and to reach out to fellow citizens.

Understandably the Russians developed exercises in a sense of naiveté to fill their world with wonderment. "Beauty, an inner energy and not surface features, is enormously important with Russians," Harrison said. The followers of Stanislavsky stress the significance of creating an environment that makes life worthwhile for everyone.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Verdict on the QUIZNOS Commercial

The bad news is we did not win a prize from Quiznos.

But the good news is that the commercial landed director James Monohan a job directing five web commercials for an identity theft protection company and he intends to use me in a few of those. Stay tuned for more news on that!

Regarding Quiznos, there were a lot of entrees for the conest, so I imagine it was a tough call.

Oh well. I still had fun working on it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Great Alan Arkin Quote

Nobody lets you make mistakes anywhere anymore. It's a crucial learning experience, and knowing you could fall on your face and find out where you could go and where you can't go was really, really important.

POLYCARP - January 6th Shoot

I'm all set for the POLYCARP film shoot on Saturday with a call time of 8:30am. I'm looking forward to it. Should be interesting.

Here's some imformation on the production company Justice For All Productions and the film itself:

http://www.justiceforallproductions.com/home.php

SIX DEGREES Delayed

The start of rehearsals for SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION has been postponed as several people are still out due to holiday traveling. Jon wants to pick up next Tuesday for a first read but I can't attend because of the BEL CANTO reading. He tried to juggle some scheduling for this week but ultimately the rehearsals wouldn't have been very productive.

We have plenty of time, so this isn't a setback in any way.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The New Year...

...is off to a nice start. Rehearsals for SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION start this week in Jersey City. I also have the staged reading performance of BEL CANTO next week.

I will also be doing some extra work on the full length feature POLYCARP starring Charles Durning (An idol.) I'll be in a courtroom scene on January 6th and a rock concert scene on January 8th. Everything is going to be filmed in Hoboken.

No lines (that I know of) but it could be a nice way to make some contacts.