Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pat Hingle (1924-2009)

I wanted to say a few words about Pat Hingle, a great character actor who passed away from blood cancer earlier this month. Even though he was probably best known to modern audiences for his role as Commissioner Gordon in the Batman films, it should be noted that Mr. Hingle was a distinguished actor in every medium of our profession with close to 200 film and television appearances on his resume, who studied with Uta Hagen at the Herbert Berghof Studios and was later a strong disciple of the Actors Studio. How was it that he was never interviewed by James Lipton?

It was Elia Kazan, who gave Mr. Hingle his big screen break by casting him in the unbilled role of a bartender in On the Waterfront in 1954. Later he played Warren Beatty's browbeating father in Kazan's Splendor in the Grass. On stage, Kazan cast him as Goober in the original Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and earned a Tony nomination as Rubin Flood in the original production of William Inge's The Dark At The Top of the Stairs.

Of his work, Mr. Hingle has said the following:

There were the Gary Coopers and the Clark Gables, but they didn't really appeal to me. But I saw Walter Huston and Hume Cronyn in about 10 movies and I saw that it was possible to play a wide variety of roles where there [were] no connections between one or the other; they weren't put into a slot....I saw what was possible.

I can be a truck driver, a doctor, a lawyer, a hanging judge, whatever. And looking like I do has allowed me to make a good living in all kinds of media. It's a blessing and I'm aware of it.

The video below was shot a few months before Mr. Hingle's passing. Filmed in Wilmington, NC as part of the Wilmington in the Film Industry (WiFi) Gala, it's purpose was not only to honor the talent and crew in the Wilmington area but to honor and celebrate Mr. Hingle's extraordinary life and career.



It's always sad when a good actor leaves us and while Pat Hingle may not have been a household name to some, he was admired and revered by this actor and his talent shall be missed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

OVERCROWDED

OVERCROWDED has been completed. A viewing for cast and crew is expected within the next week.

Thom Brown III Joins the Cast of ARSENIC

Thom Brown III has joined the cast of ARSENIC in the role of Lt. Rooney. Tom Patella, who was originally cast in the role, had to depart due to scheduling conflicts.

I've had the pleasure of seeing Thom's work in the plays SAY YOUR PRAYERS, MUG and VICE GIRL CONFIDENTIAL (Larry Lesher also appeared in these productions) and am excited for the chance to work with him, even though we'll share only a brief moment at the end of the play.

Rehearsals continue to go well for the show. Blocking is finished, save for 3 or 4 pages. Back in rehearsal on Saturday. Next week is when we start reviewing and putting it all together...when the fun begins.

Also, the word is out on the show, as we have been listed on nytheatre.com and Theatremania.com.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

ARSENIC Moving Along Nicely

So far, things are moving along nicely with ARSENIC rehearsals. We are more than half way blocked, which is always the toughest part of the process, but it needs to be done.

I've helping to get the word out about the show, hoping to get it listed on many online sites, as well a local papers like the Queens Courier.

Anything to put butts in seats.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Press Release for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Press Release for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

January 28, 2009

Title of Show: ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Date of First Performance: February 26, 2009

Date of Last Performance: March 8, 2009

Venue Name: Bowne Street Community Church, which is 2 blocks from the Main St. Station of the 7 traiin, three blocks from the LIRR Main St. Station, and has parking on site.

Venue Address: 143-11 Roosevelt Ave in Flushing

Performance Schedule: February 26th - March 8th (Thursday - Sunday evening performances.)
Thursday, February 26th at 7:30PM
Friday, February 27th at 1:00PM and 7:30PM
Saturday, February 28th at 7:30PM
Sunday, March 1st at 6:00PM
Thursday, March 5th at 7:30PM
Friday, March 6th at 7:30PM
Saturday, March 7th at 7:30PM
Sunday, March 8th at 6:00PM


Ticket Price: $15 general admission; $10 for students and seniors

How to buy tickets: Call or order from Smarttix.com at 212.868.4444. Group sales call Nanette Asher at 718.357.3842

Producer or Producing Company: Queens Shakespeare, Inc

Author/Creator of the show: Joseph Kesselring

Synopsis: Queens Shakespeare Inc. presents Joseph Kesselring's classic comedy/thriller/farce revolving around Mortimer Brewster, a theater-hating drama critic who must deal with his crazy, homicidal family and local police in Brooklyn, NY, as he debates whether to go through with his recent promise to marry the woman he loves. His family includes two spinster aunts who have taken to murdering lonely old men by poisoning them with a glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and "just a pinch" of cyanide; a brother who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar of the Brewster home (which then serve as graves for the aunts' victims); and a murderous brother who has received plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic accomplice, Dr. Einstein to conceal his identity and now looks like horror-film actor Boris Karloff.

Directed by Lawrence Lesher
Production Stage Manager / Costume Design: Tara Mary Schmitt
Production Manager / Set / Lighting Design: Jonathan Emerson

The show features:

Nanette Asher, Timothy J. Cox, Jonathan Emerson, Matthew Harris, Brendon Hunt, Meg Mark, Danny Mittermeyer, Greg Mocker, Sean MacBride Murray, Tom Patella, Bill Rapp and Pauline Walsh

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

JACK CARSON Update

Received an email from director Darrell Goode regarding the film JACK CARSON, which I worked on back in August.

According to Darrell, the film is having some audio problems that he's trying to resolve and is hoping to have it taken care of within the next two weeks.

ARSENIC One

My first rehearsal for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE last evening was great. It was so much fun to jump right in. I must say that it was also a lot of fun to watch my colleagues at work.

As always, Larry Lesher is creating a wonderful environment for actors to work in, allowing us to play around, try different takes on the characters.

Danny Mittermeyer (an already sinister Jonathan) is fun to work with and we're already coming up with funny bits.

I'm already hitting the book to memorize lines. As I always say, you can't start having fun until you get that book out of your hands.

I'm back at rehearsals tomorrow night (Thursday and Saturday afternoon as well) to continue blocking the show.

I received the performance times for the run of the show:

Thursday, February 26th at 7:30PM
Friday, February 27th at 1:00PM and 7:30PM
Saturday, February 28th at 7:30PM
Sunday, March 1st at 6:00PM
Thursday, March 5th at 7:30PM
Friday, March 6th at 7:30PM
Saturday, March 7th at 7:30PM
Sunday, March 8th at 6:00PM

Monday, January 26, 2009

DOUBT Receives 5 Oscar Nominations

DOUBT has been honored by the Academy with 5 nominations.

1. Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Philip Seymour Hoffman
2. Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Meryl Streep
3. Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Amy Adams
4. Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Viola Davis
5. Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published - John Patrick Shanley

Meryl Streep, earning her 15th Oscar nomination, has already won Best Actress honors from the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards,Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards and won last evening's Screen Actors Guild Award.

Viola Davis has received honors from National Board of Review for the Female Breakthrough Performance of the Year as well as a Best Supporting Actress honor from the Black Reel Awards.

The Oscars will be presented on February 22nd.

TRAILER News

Heard from director Brian Huselton regarding the editing process for TRAILER. It's coming together nicely and hopefully copies of the finished film will be available for the cast soon.

FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS - Episode "A New Cup"

The episode premiered on HBO last night and will be airing again on these dates and times:

Mon. Jan. 26 9:00 PM HBO
Tue. Jan. 27 2:20 AM HBO
Fri. Jan. 30 12:00 AM HBO

This is an episode where you might catch a glimpse of me as a bar patron.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Film Updates

No updates on the following films as of yet...ARRANGEMENTS, JACK CARSON, GENUINE KILL.

I do hope that they're coming along nicely and that I'll be able to receive copies soon.

But, I've been disappointed by filmmakers before.

ARSENIC Rehearsals Start Tomorrow Night

I'm looking forward to my first rehearsal as Dr. Einstein tomorrow night.

Ideas are already forming about how to play the part, as well as a look for the man. I want Einstein to be a disheveled mess...unkempt, tattered even. This is not a man who takes pride in his appearance, nor has the time to do so, since he's always on the run with the evil Jonathan. I was thinking of giving him a little hunchback of sorts, but I'll play around with some approaches, see what works and what doesn't. I do know that I do not want to do a Peter Lorre impression. As wonderful as he was in the film and in general, Peter Lorre was such an iconic character...that just doing an impression of him wouldn't be much fun for me.

I had the pleasure of reading with Danny Mittermeyer, who's playing Jonathan, during his audition...and I think we clicked really well, so hopefully Danny and I can hit the ground running. with good stuff.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Final Cut of OVERCROWDED Expected This Week

I'm looking forward to seeing a final cut of this.

Director Dan Kowalski and his crew have worked very hard on this project...spending many hours in the editing room.

I wish all the filmmakers I've worked with had his dedication.

Cast List For ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Here's the final cast list for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Abby Brewster: Nanette Asher
Martha Brewster: Pauline Walsh
Mortimer Brewser: Greg Mocker
Jonathan Brewster: Danny Mittermeyer
Teddy Brewster: Sean MacBride Murray
Dr. Einstein: Timothy J Cox
Elaine Harper: Meg Mark
Officer O'Hara: Jonathan Emerson
Lieutenant Rooney: Tom Patella
Officer Brophy: Brendan Hunt
Officer Klein: Matt Harris
Rev. Dr. Harper/Mr. Gibbs/Mr. Witherspoon: Bill Rapp

Performance dates: February 26th - March 8th.
Thursday - Sunday evening performances.

Possible matinee performances on the first Thursday or Friday--we'll know soon.

The performances will take place at the at the Bowne Street Community Church, 143-11 Roosevelt Ave. in Flushing.

My rehearsals to begin this week.

Friday, January 16, 2009

MARY ANN COLLURA News

Just saw this on IMDB.com...there has been a title change to the biopic based on life of Police Officer MaryAnn Collura. Instead of TAKING IT AS IT COMES, the new title is 136.

At the moment, I'm not sure what 136 signifies. Perhaps it was Officer Collura's badge number?

No other news is available at the moment.

ARSENIC Readthrough and Rehearsals To Start on January 21st

Rehearsals for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE are set to begin on January 21st with a readthrough of the script with the entire cast and crew on hand.

As far as rehearsals are concerned, we are tentatively having rehearsals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in the evenings and on Saturdays, late morning/early afternoon.

Performance info coming soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

ARSENIC News

Got some more great news on ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.

In the production, I will be re-teaming with Pioneer Playhouse alums Meg Mark and Matthew Harris, who are playing Elaine (Mortimer Brewster's fiance) and Officer Klein, respectively.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be working with these great actors once again.

Pictures' From Joe Ibrahim's Film Shoot

Here are some pictures from director Joe Ibrahim's film shoot this past weekend. Thanks to his lovely wife Jamie for the great pics.



More Pictures



Monday, January 12, 2009

Chamber Theatre

I haven't heard from the folks at Chamber Theatre, so I guess it's not to be.

There is some good news though...Maggie Robbins, a Pioneer Playhouse alum for this past summer was invited to join the troupe, which I think is wonderful news.

I want to send Maggie my congrats and best wishes to her as she heads to Boston for rehearsals.

Cast As Dr. Einstein in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

I just received word that have been cast as Dr. Einstein in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.

I am thrilled to be playing this wild and crazy role and to work with my good friend, the great Larry Lesher once again.

More details to come soon.

Film Shoot This Past Weekend

Saturdays' film shoot with high school alum Joseph Ibrahim was a lot of fun. He had a fantastic crew and I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful character actress in Nancy Magrant, who played my girlfriend who feeds me a piece of chocolate...with a cockroach inside it.

Nancy, also a stage actress, recently finished a work on the play VENUS & MONA by Leslie Bramm, which ran for 8 performances at the Spoon Theatre...but hopefully will be given new life in future productions, especially since Nancy has dedicated 3 years of her life to the show.

Back to the short film...I must tell you...I never want to eat chocolate again. Throughout the course of the shoot, I went through, at least, 20 pieces of chocolate. I think I swallowed the first 3 pieces...after that, I would spit it out after each take.

All in all though, it was a fun day. Joe seemed very happy with the footage. Now, he has a lot more work to do, with the addition of the cockroach (animated, of course) and the always exhauting process of editing.

Joe is tentatively titling the film HEART-SHAPED BOX, but that may change.

Pictures from the shoot to come soon.

Auditioned for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE This Past Weekend

My good friend and frequent collaborator Larry Lesher is directing the classic comedy ARSENIC AND OLD LACE for the Queen Shakespeare, Inc., in Flushing and I eagerly auditioned this past weekend.

I felt the need to audition for this production...as a means of redeeming myself.
One of the first plays I did in NYC was ARSENIC and although I had a great time playing Teddy, a lunatic who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, the production was not a memorable one, save for the fact that the productions' leading man quit on opening night...via voice mail...and that we performed the show in a small, black box in the middle of the summer. Not fun. Since that time, I have always wanted to do the play again, because it is a comedy classic and now, with Larry at the helm...I know, if cast...it would be a great production.

I read for Teddy, the manic Dr. Einstein and the jovial Officer O'Hara. Lots of great character roles in the play...anyone of them would be fun to tackle.

The show will run from February 27th-March 1st & March 5th-8th.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Saturday's Shoot

Heard from director Joe Ibrahim about Saturday's shoot.

Here is the synopnsis:

Chris (who I'll be playing) rings the doorbell to his girlfriend, Valerie's apartment, carrying a heart shaped box. Valerie unwraps the heart shaped box and sees the wrappers once occupied by chocolate are now replaced by cockroaches but Chris and Valerie are so focused on one another that they don't notice the cockroaches. Valerie picks up a chocolate with a cockroach inside and motions to feed Chris, who waits to savor the chocolate with his eyes closed and mouth open. He then closes his mouth around the cockroach and swallows.

Note to self: Never by these heart shaped boxes of chocolate again.

This sounds like a lot of fun.

Shooting is set to start at around noon on Saturday.

PAPA JOHN'S

Todays' PAPA JOHN'S commercial shoot moved swiftly, as we worked non stop from 10AM to 5PM.

Again, I and about 70 others, played fans at a basketball game.

The commercial was produced by MacGuffin Films, Ltd.

PROOF - Darn Scheduling Conflicts

Today, director Jon Ciccarelli called to offer me the role of Hal in PROOF, but as life often goes, I had to turn it down because of work offers I received today that fall on the performance dates for PROOF.

Darn scheduling conflicts.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

PROOF Audition

Tonights' audition for the drama PROOF went pretty well, I thought. It was nice to see director Jon Ciccarelli, who directed me in a production of SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION 2 years ago, where I played Larkin.

As previously mentioned, I read for the role of Hal, a 28 year old, rock band playing math geek. He is currently working on a PhD and is not pleased with where his life and studies are going and has hopes of discovering something great.

It's a great role and a wonderful play, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I may not be an ideal choice physically. But you never know if you don't try. In my audition, I concentrated on injecting some humor into the scenes, because the guy is...well, a geek of sorts...very awkward (sounds autobiographical).

I guess I was suitably geeky as Jon chuckled a few times during my reading. If that's the direction he wants Hal to go in, it may work for me.

If not, no worries...I had fun reading for the role...there are always other shows.

PAPA JOHN'S Commercial Shoot Tomorrow

I have been cast as a spectator at a basketball game for a Papa John's commercial shooting tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"Sports Betting Professor"

The video testimonial shoot I did for "Sports Betting Professor.com" went real quick...out in 15 minutes.

RED WAGON News

Heard from director Sophie Tabet today and received some great news about THE RED WAGON. It has been selected for an NYU short film showcase in Mid-February.

More details to come soon.

Chamber Theatre Audition Today

Todays' Chamber Theatre audition was a long and exhausting process. I went through 3 rounds of auditions for a spot in the ensemble and now it's up to the powers that be to decide.

After presenting two prepared pieces, I read monlogues from some of the plays, which includes an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's THE TELL TALE HEART. I read the speeches a number of different ways, trying to adjust for the auditioner. I tend to have a natrual, relaxed quality to my work and the auditioner wanted bigger...which I can do. We'll see if it was big enough.

In the 3rd and final round, I did all of my pieces again, including the sides/monologues...but this time on camera, for the artistic board in Boston.

Overall, I would say about 50 actors showed up to audition and when I left...myself and about 6 others were in that final round, so the odds aren't bad, but it depends on what they're looking for.

Rehearsals start very soon in Boston...and then it would be 4 months on the road. The pay is pretty good at $500 a week...but there would be some sacrifices that I'd have to make.

We'll see what happens.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Working With A High School Alum on Short Film

Joe Ibrahim is a guy I went to high school with in Delaware (St. Mark's High School, Class of 1995) and is now studying at NYU's Center for Advanced Digital Applications) for Visual Effects / Animation in Film. Joe is approaching his last semester in school and is currently filming his thesis (a short visual effects piece) that he has asked me to play a part in. Anything to help an old friend, I say, so I accepted.

Joe is shooting this Saturday in Manhattan.

More details on the specifics of the project to come soon.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Chamber Theatre Auditions This Coming Tuesday

I plan on auditioning for Chamber Theatre Productions this coming Tuesday in Manhattan. I auditoned for them about 4 years ago and after making it through a callback audition, was not cast, so I thought I'd try again.

The company has been highly recommended to me many times by my good friend, actor/director Larry Lesher and currently by Meg Mark (Pioneer Playhouse 2007 Alum).

From Their Website:

For over 30 years, Chamber Theatre Productions has provided students and teachers of literature, drama and language arts with original adaptations of classic short stories. Touring rural areas as well as major cities across the country, CTP has performed its innovative works for thousands of middle and high school students, many of whom might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience live theatre. Up to four national companies tour the country throughout the school year, employing as many as 65 actors, directors and technicians. Our cast and crew of skilled professionals travel as self-contained units, equipped with all the scenic, costume and lighting elements necessary to create the magic of live theatre!

For more info on Chamber Theatre Productions, please visit http://www.chambertheatre.com/

Cast in Video Testimonial About "Sports Betting Professor."

On Tuesday, I will be shooting a 30 second testimonial about a product called "Sports Betting Professor," a sports betting system.

Further info can be found at SportsBettingProfessor.com.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Audition for PROOF Next Week

On January 7th, I will be reading for the role of Hal in PROOF, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play by David Auburn.

It focuses on Catherine, a young woman who has spent years caring for her father, Robert, a brilliant mathematician in his youth who was later unable to function without her help. His death has brought into her midst both her sister, Claire, who wants to take Catherine back to New York with her, and Hal, a former student of Catherine's father who hopes to find some hint of Robert's genius among his incoherent scribblings. The passion that Hal feels for math both moves and angers Catherine, who, in her exhaustion, is torn between missing her father and resenting the great sacrifices she made for him. For Catherine has inherited at least a part of her father's brilliance -- and perhaps some of his instability as well. As she and Hal become attracted to each other, they push at the edges of each other's knowledge, considering not only the unpredictability of genius but also the human instinct toward love and trust.

This is a fantastic play and a great role, although I'm not sure if I'm a good fit for Hal.

We'll just have to see.

Good News...and Bad News About TWELFTH NIGHT

Here's the good news...the folks at the Pearl Theatre liked me and wanted to cast me as an understudy for the role of Malvolio in their upcoming production of TWELFTH NIGHT.

Here's the bad news...I can't do it due to a scheduling conflict during the performances.

Darn.

Well, at least I was seen and they liked me.

Hopefully, I can work with the company sometime in the future.