Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My First Few Days in Danville

Lawrence Lesher, Aaron Rustabake and I arrived in Danville a little around 7pm on Sunday evening.

We enjoyed a good nights' rest in our new home for the next couple of months. Larry happens to have a trailer (as director of one of the plays). I'm not bitter about that :)

Many of the other members of the cast were on site upon our arrival and they (everyone) have been nothing but generous and kind thus far.

I enjoyed a leisurely walk around Danville and it reminds me of Marietta. Small, quaint...with very interesting people.

I already have great news to report: I have been cast in the title role in the first play of the season, BABE: THE SHEEP PIG.

We had our first read through earlier this morning and will have more rehearsal later today.

So far, I like it here very much. It's going to be hard work, but I've never been afraid of hard work.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Character Actor Spotlight: Tracey Walter



Tracey Walter has been in just about everything. He's been one of the busiest character players over the last three decades, with appearances in over 100 films.

Mr. Walter was bit by the acting bug in 1967, after seeing an Off-Broadway play.
He apprenticed in numerous summer stock companies before turning his attention to acting full time. Since that time, he has appeared in such films as Serpico, Annie Hall, Batman, City Slickers and The Silence of the Lambs. He is a favorite of director Jonathan Demme.

Here's a quote from Mr. Walter on how he approaches his work:

I do not look for films that have weird characters or offbeat characters. An actor brings to a part that he plays the qualities that they, the actor, have. You can't be something that you don't have within yourself.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

GooTube

So I met with Kyle Pierson last evening, for about 30 minutes, to record a few lines of dialogue for his latest episode of the Goo Tube Conspiracy, which will feature the death of my character, Leopold.

As I stated earlier, I'm not giving away what he's doing, but it should be fun to watch when it all comes together.

As always, thanks to Kyle for letting me a small part of GTC.

When the episode is complete, I will certainly post it here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stage Vs. Screen Acting



Movie acting is about covering the machinery. Stage acting is about exposing the machinery. In cinema, you should think the actor is playing himself, if he's that good. It looks very easy. It should. But it's not, I assure you. To disappear your complete self into a character is quite difficult. I've tried it 85 times, and I've succeeded two or three times.

Sir Michael Caine




The great difference between screen acting and theater acting is that screen acting is about reacting - 75% of the time, great screen actors are great reactors. When it comes to film, the director tells the audience what to look at. That doesn't happen on stage. When the dialog stops, people don't know where to look.

Director Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth)

The Goo Tube Conspiracy - Leopold's Demise



Kyle Pierson called me yesterday with an interesting idea regarding the demise of Leopold.

I don't want to give anything away, but the attached image may give you an idea of what he's going for.

Lev Gorn Photo Shoot

The Lev Gorn shoot yesterday went very well. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for new headshots.

Out of 218 pictures, I have narrowed my choices down to 6.

The shots are below. Let me know which one you like best.




Lev Gorn Photos


Monday, May 21, 2007

Next Week

This time next week, I will be in Danville, KY to the start my work with the Pioneer Players.

I don't know why, but I feel a little nervous; as if its the first day of high school or college all over again. Like college, I'm sure there are going to be periods of homesickness, but I'll deal.

Amanda and I, compliments of Larry Lesher, saw Broadway production of THE LION KING last evening. What a spectacle! I can see why it has been running for almost a decade. Thanks, as always, to Larry for the tickets.

It should be a very quiet week, with the exception of the Lev Gorn shoot tomorrow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pioneer Season of Plays

Here a little more information of the plays being presented at Pioneer.

BABE, THE SHEEP PIG

Babe, The Sheep-Pig is a tale of high adventure in the farmyard, of humble beginnings and courageous triumphs, as one little piglet rises to become the world famous ‘sheep-pig’.

When Babe is won by Farmer Hogget at the Village Fair, an extraordinary friendship begins - one that will change the whole farm. Through a variety of farmyard friends and his new ‘mother’ the old dog Fly, Babe quickly learns the herding instinct and delights all, politely winning over the most suspicious of sheep.

SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS


A 300 year old classic of Commedia del Arte theater; the genre that gave rise to Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, and the Marx brothers.

Can Truffaldino, the eponymous servant, stretch himself and the truth to serve two masters, or will it all threaten to fall apart?

Florindo flees Turin for killing Federigo Rasponi - the brother of his lover Beatrice - in a duel, and finds himself in Venice. Beatrice flies Turin disguised as Federigo to find Florindo, and also finds herself in Venice with a servant named Truffaldino. Florindo meets Truffaldino, who hires himself out to Florindo, too – figuring he can serve two masters as easily as he can serve one. (Confused yet?) But Beatrice stumbles into the marriage of Silvio and Clarice – who was engaged to her brother Federigo. Clarice’s father Pantalone decides to honor the original marriage contract he had with Federigo. Silvio’s father Doctor Lombardi becomes enraged. Truffaldino confuses everything. Will Florinido find Beatrice? Will Beatrice marry Clarice? Will Silvio kill Pantalone? Will Truffaldino get dinner?

THE ODD COUPLE (Female Version)

“Can two divorced women share an apartment without driving each other crazy?”

The Neil Simon classic - with a feminine touch.

The storyline is still somewhat the same: Florence breaks up unexpectedly with her husband. Depressed & distraught, she attempts to kill herself. Fortunately for her, her friend Olive steps in in time and saves her from doing the unthinkable.
Olive then convinces Florence to move in with her for a spell, at least until she finds her feet again. The problem is, Florence is a neurotic neat-freak and Olive is a slovenly slob.

Chaos ensues, as the two very different ladies try to adapt to each other while living together in the same apartment.

A JARFUL OF FIREFLIES

As part of the Raintree County 50th Anniversary Festival, audiences will be treated to Catherine Bush’s comedy about the making of the film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie Saint. The film was directed by Edward Dmytryk (The Caine Mutiny, Crossfire).

For you movie buffs, Raintree County was the last epic film made during MGM’s fabled "Golden Era of Cinematography." In 1956 it was the most expensive domestic motion picture ever made. Danville/ Boyle County was carefully selected, over 16 other states, as location for 40% of the movie’s exterior shots. Three hundred Kentucky residents were hired as extras and worked with Taylor, Clift and Saint as well as Agnes Moorehead and Lee Marvin.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Lev Gorn Photo

It's time for new headshots and Lev came highly recommended by colleague, Nikki Martin.

I'll be meeting him next Tuesday, the 22nd, for a photo session in Central Park.

To view samples of Lev's great work, please visit: http://www.gornphoto.com/

Congrats to Ray Arrucci

Congrats to Ray Arrucci (PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE) on his upcoming reading on
May 20th at 3:00 in Harlem .

It is a new musical based on the life of Madam C.J. Walker, America's first African American woman millionaire. Playing the title role is Tony Award winner Lilias White, (THE LIFE) and Tony Award Nominee Jo Lynn Burks, Musical Director of THE COLOR PURPLE, THE FULL MONTY, FAME and many others.

According to Ray, this show has a great chance of moving on to Broadway, so come see it at it’s formative stage. Also, the price is right - - - -Free!!

I will be unable to attend, as I will be in a headshot photo session with Lev Gorn.

Best of luck Ray!

Projects Outstanding

I have a lot of projects in the incomplete stages. There are some that I know will likely never be completed.

Who knows though?

I do know this...that my track record with some of these films schools (NYU especially) is pretty awful. I should say that their track record with me is pretty awful.

PROJECTS OUTSTANDING

NYU Shorts

SHE'S A BRICK (Incomplete after almost 2 years).
CASSIE AND DUANE (Incomplete after alnost 2 years).
A VERY MEMORABLE ENGAGEMENT (Have received no updates on the status).
TROUBLE (Got an email from director Dan Fishman last week saying that the film has been digitized and that he's going to work with some exposure correction
before he sends it to me.)

NYFA Shorts

HAND TIME CLOCK (The film is complete. Awaiting a copy from director Rachael Gordon).
EVERYBODY'S LAUGHING (Director Romain Ronzeau is re-editing the film).

Utopian Productions

ROGER STERN II: Tell Me What I Need to Know (Have received no updates on the status).
ROGER STERN III: Send My Regards (Have received no updates on the status).

There have also been no new updates on the Xbox game, Milan Metro Challenge. I'm cutting those guys some slack because of the technology being used to create the game.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

24/7 Fitness Campaign - Rough Edits

Heard from Peter Bossio agin regarding the rough cuts of the 24/7 Fitness campaign.

The cuts are online http://www.peterbossio.com/video/emt/emt.html

Keep in mind that these are still rough. The sound needs to be mixed; the logo sequence needs to be added and a few other touch ups are needed as well.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Arthur O'Connell Quote



Arthur O'Connell was one of the many character actors I admired during my studies as an actor. Aside from his film credits (Picnic, Anatomy of a Murder, The Great Race and The Poseidon Adventure) he was also a distinguished stage actor, getting his start with Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre, where he played Polonius in Hamlet and Banquo in Macbeth.

The following is a quote from Mr. O'Connell, who passed away in 1981, about the importance of the stage for an actor.

The stage is vital to an actor. On the stage, a performance is all yours. Nobody can edit or cut you out. Actors need the stage for the rejuvenation of their abilities and equipment.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Some Great Quotes

A great quote from actress CCH Pounder (The Shield)

Characters are like putting on a coat. You put the coat on while you work, you take the coat off after it's over.

Jamie Foxx had this to say:

You need that freshness. I know people who stay in character, and it's the worst thing in the world. You can't go out. They're still in their character and the character residue is too much. I like to go do it, flip it on like a light switch and then flip it off. Then, when we come back in the next morning I flip it back on. That's what keeps things fresh for me.

Stuart Margolin, Emmy Award winning actor of The Rockford Files added the following:

I'm a character actor, many times if a character actor does his job particularly well, you don't even notice him.

A Few More Weeks Till Pioneer

I have been keeping my schedule light as of late. With Pioneer coming up in just a few weeks, I don't want to committ to any new projects at this time. I want to keep my nights free to relax, watch a few movies, spend time with friends and as much time as possible with my girlfriend, Amanda.

I watched a fantastic movie this weekend...THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN with Anthony Hopkins. If you're a fan of his work (like me), I highly recommend seeing this film. I think it's one of his all time best performances. For information on the film, please visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412080/

Speaking of Sir Anthony, Amanda and I saw his newest film FRACTURE with Ryan Gosling a week or so ago. I liked the film, mostly for the performances of its two stars and the great David Strathairn (sadly underused in this film though).

On another note, I would like to congratulate Manny Liyes (Dr. Fine from SIX DEGREES) whose play ANALOG FRIEND has just been accepted into the NYFringe Festival this summer. I wish Manny the best of luck on what I know is going to be a fantastic production.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Robby Henson

One of the directors I will be working with this summer at Pioneer is writer/director Robby Henson.

This past week, I watched his film The Badge, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Patricia Arquette and was impressed.

I believe he's directing two of the plays this summer, but I'm not 100 percent sure as of yet. Either way, it should be nice working with him.

If you wish to read about Robby, please visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0378240/

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Veteran Actor Tom Poston Dies


Veteran actor Tom Poston, who I enjoyed immensely as the befuddled handyman George Utley on Newhart, has died following a brief illness. He was 85.

Aside from his great work on Newhart (which earned him three Emmy nominations) Poston’s career, which spanned more than 50 years, consisted of numerous Broadway and film assignments, although he was best known for his comedic appearances on TV programs like Mork & Mindy, The Bob Newhart Show, That 70's Show, ER, Cosby and Will & Grace.

He won an Emmy in 1959 for his work on The Steve Allen Show.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Two More Pics from THE MIRACLE WORKER

Thanks to Thomas Tyburski and John Crittenden for these.


A Day In The Life

Good friend and colleague Michael Criscuolo has highlighted me on his blog nytheatre mike.

Thanks, Michael for the highlight and the kind words.

It is most appreciated.


A Day In The Life: Timothy J. Cox

May 1st, 2007

Today, I’m inaugurating a new feature on the blog called A Day in the Life, in which I will be talking to various indie theater artists about what a typical day in their busy lives is like. As you know, artists in general can be notoriously good multi-taskers, so this ought to be good. Hopefully, A Day in the Life will shed some light on how indie theater artists go about achieving their goals (and managing their obligations) from day to day.

So, I’m kicking this thing off with a little piece about my friend and colleague, Timothy J. Cox. He is a self-professed journeyman character actor, much in the vein of his heroes Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Gene Hackman, and William H. Macy. Tim writes a blog of his own, in which he chronicles a seemingly never-ending parade of positive career developments. After you read his remarks below, you’ll see why. Tim is the kind of guy I call “a gamer”: in sports parlance, this means that he goes out and plays hard every night, and always works tirelessly towards getting better at his craft.

Tim recently found himself working on two projects that overlapped a bit: a revival of John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation, produced by Well Urned Productions, and a revival of William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker for Hudson Theatre Ensemble. Six Degrees ran at the Access Theater in Tribeca, while The Miracle Worker performed in Hoboken, NJ. I should mention that Tim works in Manhattan, and lives in Brooklyn. Are you exhausted yet? Me, too. But, I wanted to know how Tim managed it all (if you read his blog, he makes it sound so easy), and this is what he told me. Check it:

When you’re a character actor or a supporting actor, you like it when you’re working constantly, so you can imagine how excited I was when the chance do both Six Degrees of Separation and The Miracle Worker (two plays I have always wanted to do) at the same time presented themselves. In Six Degrees, I played Larkin, a bit of a stuffed shirt; an emotionally unavailable husband and father whose temper goes from 0-10 in a matter of seconds, while in The Miracle Worker, I had a great time playing the very kind and sweet friend of Annie Sullivan, Mr. Anagnos. These characters were so dramatically different from one another and that made it fun for me to play them.

With rehearsals and performances taking place in the evening, I spent my days working as an administrative assistant for a firm in midtown. An average day for me would be that I arrived into work an hour before my shift was scheduled to start. I used this time to check emails, hit casting boards like NYCastings, Backstage, Mandy.com and many others. I would submit my headshot and resume to things that interested me. I’m always on the hunt, I guess. I also used this time to update my blog with news on rehearsals, film projects, upcoming auditions and articles/quotes that interested me. As you know, I update it almost every day. It’s a nice thing for my family in Maryland to read. During all of this, I would also run lines in my head for whatever play I was rehearsing that night. It never hurts. By the time I finished that, my work day began and I focused on my job duties. My employers knew that I was an actor, so they were very supportive of all my artistic endeavors.

Six Degrees rehearsed 2-3 times a week at a church in Jersey City and Miracle Worker rehearsed at the Hudson School in Hoboken , only once a week for me since I was in one scene. The commute for both shows was not daunting at all. I jumped on a bus at the Port Authority and got where I needed to be in fifteen minutes usually. I always had time to eat, call my girlfriend to say hi and get the day’s drama out of my system before I focused on my work for rehearsal. We also rehearsed Six Degrees on a few Saturdays, yet all in all, I was still able to take on a few small film and commercial projects and have a social life with my girlfriend.

I prefer juggling a number of different projects at once.

It all depends if you have directors who are willing to work with you as far as scheduling goes.

This time around, I was very lucky.


Lucky, indeed. But, do you see what I mean? Tim makes it sound like a walk in the park. He’s a gamer to the core.

I would love to share more stories from other indie theater artists. Hopefully, by sharing each other’s success strategies, time management tricks, and cautionary tales, we can inspire each other to rise to the heights we each aspire to. If that sounds a little “up with people,” well, that’s just how I’m feeling today. So, let’s exchange ideas, thoughts, and tips. Tell me your story.