Monday, January 31, 2011

Actors Equity Association

After serving as a member of AFTRA for three years and remaining in good standing with the union, I have learned that I am now eligible to join Actor’s Equity Association, the union for theatre artists.

Over the last couple of days, I have been giving this a lot of careful thought and consideration, for, to date, this is the biggest professional decision I have had to make and I have come to conclusion that after ten years of living and working in the theatre in New York, I feel that now is the time to go Equity. I’m 34 and I’m in this for the long haul, so I might as well make the investment. I’m confident that as I get older, the roles will get better. I also know that by joining AEA, there will be a heck of a lot more competition, but I welcome the challenges ahead and consider this move another investment in my career.

It’s $1,500 to join, but thankfully, I only have to pay $400 to join. After that, I have 2 years to pay off the balance.

I’m excited for this new phase of my career.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay as busy as I have been, but also know that it may be a tough road ahead.

Who knows what will happen?

Netflix Commercial Shoot

The NetFlix commercial shoot didn't happen this weekend and is likely not going to happen due to scheduling conflicts for everyone involved.

A shame, but there will be other projects.

Sold Out Sunday Performance of AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

We played to another sold out house for last evenings' performance of AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS. The show is pretty solid at this point in the game with everyone delivering.

Off until Wednesday night.

Only two performances left.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pictures from AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

Thanks to Nick Ronan for these great photos from rehearsal and the press shoot for AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS.















AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Is Back Tonight

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS is back tonight for it's 4th show. Only two shows left after tonight.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cinemaroll Review of JACK JIMMINY: THE STORY OF A PORNSTAR EXTRA

Film Review: Jack Jimminy: The Story of a Pornstar Extra

Published in Cinemarolling by Peter Sanderson, on January 28, 2011

The Silverstein Brothers’ documentary JACK JIMMINY: THE STORY OF A PORNSTAR EXTRA takes a look at the life of an extra who dreams of being much more.

The world of adult film is the setting for the Silverstein Brothers’ documentary Jack Jimminy: The Story Of A Pornstar Extra, written by and starring Nolan Silverstein as the title character who spends his days as background talent on numerous adult film sets, while carrying on that he is a much bigger star, mostly to appease his parents (Timothy J. Cox and Ethel Fisher) both of whom are legends in the business.

The 23 minute film, directed by Louis Silverstein is a well intentioned, but overall slowly paced film that meanders from scene to scene with no real insight into the adult film business or into Jack, who, it’s clear, is unhappy as a porn star extra and wishes that he could be taken seriously as an actor, but we never see efforts on his part to make those dreams a reality.

While director Louis Silverstein has a decent handle on the camera work end of things, it is the screenplay, penned by star Nolan Silverstein, where the film falters. Silverstein’s script doesn’t push the envelope or tell us anything about the adult film industry that we don’t already know from the late night HBO series with adult star Katie Morgan and the Showtime series Family Business.

The only scenes that pop with any energy and enthusiasm are the ones involving Cox and Fisher as the off the wall parents. Both actors bring considerable energy to their performances, especially Cox, but by the time they come on screen more than halfway through the film, your interest has already waned.

For information on Jack Jimminy: The Story Of A Pornstar Extra, please visit the films’ official website at http://www.jackjimminy.com/

Another Review for AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

Off Off Broadway Theatre Review: Avenue of The Americas is an Energetic and Engaging Satire!

by Peter Sanderson in Society, January 29, 2011

Martin Blank’s Avenue of the Americas is a scathing satire on instant fame and the price one has to pay for it.

Veteran playwright Martin Blank takes us into the world of advertising with his Paddy Chayefsky-stylized dark comedy one act Avenue of the Americas, currently running at The Tank Theatre in Manhattan until February 6th.

The 35 minute comedy / drama, skillfully directed by Katherine M. Carter, stars Laura Yost as 30 year old Katie White, who has been locked away for two decades in a mental institution, with the only thought keeping her going is the hope that one day she’ll live her dream of working for a big advertising firm. Unable to think, feel and speak anything other than her commercial catchphrases, Katie’s obsession with advertising is similar to that of Faye Dunaway’s character Diana Christensen, and her obsession to be number one in the television ratings, in Paddy Chayefsky’s brilliant film Network, which skewers television and instant celebrity. Christensen’s obsession with ratings is so severe that she can’t even relax and enjoy sex with lover William Holden. A similar scene takes place in Avenue of the Americas.

But first, Katie manages to escape the mental institution and make her way to Manhattan to pursue work for a major advertising firm run by Jay Green (Timothy J. Cox). She is introduced to Green by the suave, but sweet businessman Phil Scott (Chris Davis) who immediately becomes smitten with her. During a scene where they are intimate, Katie, likely unfamiliar with sex, simply screams out the names of household products and her trusty catchphrases when reaching climax. While the scene is quite funny, it is also quite sad, as we see how damaged and broken Katie’s life has become, to the point where she can’t even enjoy love making.

By the time this scene happens, Katie is making strides in the advertising world, but she quickly earns negative press from her critics, specifically, the Catholic church, who come down on her and Green after the airing of a controversial commercial about cat food (the commercial is hilariously performed in the production by actress Virginia Bartholomew, as a little girl whose cat has died). Green begins to have suspicions about Katie and decides to dig through her past. If Katie isn’t silenced, it may cost him big time.

Avenue of the Americas scores on many levels. While Blank’s script may draw comparisons to Chayefsky’s script to Network and to Jerry Kozinski’s novella (and film) Being There, Blank’s script does stand on it’s own, crackling with sharp wit, but also proving to be a scathing satire on instant fame and the price one has to pay for it. Here, all three leads pay a price: While Katie’s reached her goal in the advertising world, she’s so immersed in her dream world that she can’t even enjoy the real love and life around her; Jay pays a price for assuming that the past can never come back to bite you on the behind and Phil Scott pays big time for letting his guard down to try and love a woman who cannot think outside her box and conceive the thought and idea of love.

The rapid fire pacing set by director Katherine M. Carter sets the tone for the entire piece. Her scenes move energetically, with swift scene changes, snappy music and well used projections that take us from place to place.

On the acting side, Carter has assembled a game cast, led by Yost, exceptional as Katie, bringing a warmth and compassion to her role that made the character instantly likable. She is well matched by Timothy J. Cox, flawless as a man driven by success, who is then driven to desperation to cover up his past and by Chris Davis, who shines as the plays’ schnook, the most relatable of all the characters, a man who just wants to love, but cannot receive it from the woman he loves. Rounding out the cast in an array of impressive character turns are the aforementioned Bartholomew and Leo Goodman, both earning huge laughs for their contributions.

Avenue of the Americas is a production that would benefit greatly from a more substantial run, as it’s currently set for only 6 performances at The Tank, so I’d recommend visiting http://www.thetanknyc.org now for tickets, although it is my hope that Martin Blank’s play will be seen again.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BURIAL To Be Finished Next Week

I heard from BURIAL director Ruben Almeida about the status of the film and it's looking good. He's editing right now and he should be completed by next week. He also mentioned that some screen shots were lifted, so hopefully I will have those to share soon.

PulpMovies Review of THE WATCHERS

The Watchers

January 27, 2011
By Paul Pritchard

See You Soon

****

Directed By: Sy Cody White
Written By: Jeff Moffitt and Sy Cody White
Country: USA
Released: 2010
Running Time: 28 minutes
Links: Two Man Crew Productions
Mystery, Reviews, Thriller

“Have you ever felt like you were being followed; like everything you were doing was being watched?”

This simple question sets both the premise and the tone for Sy Cody White’s stunningly tense paranoid thriller. The Watchers centres on John Porter (Jeff Moffitt, who also co-wrote the film), a Wall Street accountant who just can’t shake the feeling that he is being followed.

Things have not been going well for Porter. A man whose craves organisation and neatness, his life has been thrown into disarray by his estrangement from his wife and daughter. He is clearly not over this and his, always unsuccessful, attempts to contact his wife become increasingly desperate as time progresses. Although he is seeing a psychiatrist, the mischievously named Dr. Orwell (Timothy J. Cox), Porter is unable or unwilling to recognise the extent to which his turmoil is affecting him. Rather than accepting the support of his work colleagues when offered, he becomes defensive, slowly being drowned by a job on which he is unable to concentrate.

On top of all this, Porter just can’t shake the feeling that he’s being watched.

Not surprisingly, when Porter talks to Orwell about this, the doctor assumes that the stress Porter is under is causing him to become delusional. It’s certainly a reasonable diagnosis, but what if the diagnosis is wrong? What if there really is a conspiracy of people silently stalking John Porter?

The Watchers works well as a thriller and both the script and White’s direction do an excellent job of ensuring that both possibilities remain plausible. Porter’s encounters are handled in a manner that is open enough to keep you uncertain as to whether we are watching a man burying himself in a paranoid delusion or if there really is something going on.

What makes the film such a gripping experience, however, is the superb central performance from Jeff Moffitt as a man on the edge. The character of John Porter really does come to life and remains both believable and unnerving throughout the film. Sy Cody White takes full advantage of the strength of this characterisation to constantly ramp up the tension. The result is a film that really does keep you on the edge of your seat and one with a final twist that is nothing short of superb.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Last Night

The show came back strong last evening with a solid performance for a nice sized Wednesday night audience, who seemed to enjoy themselves.

The show is off again until Sunday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Returns Tonight

Back with the show this evening. I just hope the snow that we're expected to receive holds off until after the show.

So far, the reviews for the show have been mostly positive. I'm not sure if we're going to receive any more, but if any do pop up, you'll see them here eventually.

The Happiest Medium Review of AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

This Review Brought To You By . . . Avenue Of The Americas

by Karen Tortora-Lee on January 25, 2011

A commercial, if it’s a good one, will do a few things: 1) Grab your interest 2) Make the product look good – or surround the product with other things that look good 3) Include an addictive catch phase 4) Tell a complete story that wouldn’t exist without the product 5) Finish up in under sixty seconds.

Avenue of the Americas, a play all about how advertising can affect society – specifically one very impressionable young woman – is a lot like a commercial. It’s interesting, looks good, is full of recognizable catch phrases, and finishes up in under sixty minutes. And, like a commercial, the initial message simply acts as window dressing for the real message hidden beneath.

Young Katie White (Laura Yost) didn’t have the best of childhoods – orphaned at a young age after a brutal accident took her parents, she grew up in a mental hospital with the TV as her best friend. Weaned on commercials and using catchphrases as conversations starters she convinces herself that she’s the head of her own advertising agency. Come to think of it – she’s not that much different than most kids whose overworked parents left them emotionally orphaned and doomed to be cared for by a babysitting television set. Who cares if this winds up churning out a generation of commercial-quoting kiddies? They’ll have whiter teeth, shinier hair, and be able to mop up that spill faster than the woman standing right next to them who also managed to spill something but is holding an inferior brand of paper towel. At least that’s what seems to be the underlying message of Avenue of the Americas.

In the character of Katie, playwright Martin Blank gives us a tabula rasa through which he shows us what our daily interactions might look like if we overtly parroted back all the subliminal messages we’re receiving (and even giving) throughout the day. Katie’s behavior is laughable but really – the larger point here is that advertising in and of itself is doing no less a job on all of us, we’re just making those brand-associated statements a little less obviously. Truth is, even as commercials are forced to become more wily in order to stay at the forefront of our media they’re having no less effect on our subliminal process.

The story of how Katie (in a Being There send up) manages to wrangle the top position at an advertising agency with absolutely zero experience save for what she’s observed and absorbed from years of television watching is engaging enough. She does this by using very little else but catchphrases and short phrases she appropriates from random people. This dovetails with the overall theme nicely. Again, in order to sell the product you need to create a story that wouldn’t exist without the thing you’re selling. And what Blank is selling here is the concept of a society that makes choices based on whatever is most hummable, repeatable, or distracting.

What makes Avenue of the Americas work is director Katherine M. Carter’s pacing. Each scene is served up in a palatable sixty second-ish dollop that gets you where you need to go without giving any thing extra. Each scene opens, makes its point, and bam! you’re on to the next one. In between these scenes sometimes actual representational commercials are offered up – fun, cute, quick – showing us exactly the type of commercials that would come from the mind of a gal who’s been locked away in a mental ward until the age of 30 who now gets to create ads for a living. In other words, they’re not all that different than commercials you’ve seen already this week.

Bringing the whole production together is the terrific design team who created a polished look and feel. Using very simple elements the lighting (Dan Jobbins) sound (Jillian Marie Walker) and projection (John Jalandoni) designers have the show humming along nicely, and give the piece a unique ambiance.

Like a commercial, on the surface, Avenue of the Americas will go down easily and not make much of an initial impact. But subliminally, it will sharpen your awareness to exactly how infused our society has become with soundbites, false ideals and jingles. Scratch the surface of Avenue of the Americas, and you’ll find a stronger message hidden in between the lines. And now, back to our show.

~~~

Avenue of the Americas
Written by Martin Blank
Directed by Katherine M. Carter

The Tank
354 W. 45th Street New York, NY

Performances:
Wed, 01/26/2011 – 7:30pm
Sun, 01/30/2011 – 7:30pm
Wed, 02/02/2011 – 7:30pm
Sun, 02/06/2011 – 7:30pm

Scallywag & Vagabond Review of AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

‘Avenue of the Americas’ Better Than Advertised
By Casey Jones • Jan 25th, 2011

Certain messages are timeless—they hold special meaning regardless of the when they’re heard. Sidney Lumet’s media frenzy Network was one such work. Avenue of the Americas may prove to be another.

Written by veteran playwright Martin Blank and directed by Katherine M. Carter, the two bring an energetic, frenetically paced comedy to the Tank, which goes a little something like this: a commercial-quoting insane woman escapes a New Jersey hospital, only to wander straight to New York, where she quickly becomes the toast of the advertising world. It’s an episode of Mad Men, by way of Lewis Carroll.

Katie’s commercial prowess is quickly set in a flurry of interactions straight out of Big or Being There: Someone with zero qualifications blunders their way straight to the top. It’s inspired. Peppered between plot scenes are samplings of Katie’s ‘genius’; namely ad spots that are so stunningly wrong that the audience (both in the theater and the “viewers at home”) is left completely gobsmacked—and curious to see what’s next.

Winding further into the lunacy of the advertising world, we learn more about Katie and how she came to reside in an asylum in the first place. Her story is a tragic one, and ultimately quite complete. The play’s bookend symmetry delivers chills and a stunning one-two punch.

Playing the vacant-eyed Katie is Laura Yost, who creates for us a warm, unsettling cipher of a woman. No-one can make heads or tails of her, so she captivates her co-workers and the audience. It’s her delivery and timing that breathe life into parroted ad copy, and make it pass as dialogue. She’s the reason Katie can pass for ‘normal’.

The rest of the cast play a rotating volley of roles. Virginia Bartholomew is ensnaring as she rotates from prostitute to business woman to precocious eight-year-old… With simple shifts in hair and wardrobe, she makes each one unique and genuine. Leo Goodman performs similar magic, playing a stable of men who quickly appear and disappear as needed.

(It must be said that the casting here seems at first merely clever– but a revelation into Katie’s past transcends the direction and casting of these roles into brilliance. If you want to understand why, you’ll have to go see it.)

Playing more consistent roles are Timothy J. Cox and Chris Davis; as men at the Ad firm Katie ultimately absorbs. Davis is an everyman here, understandably bewitched by the mystery woman who sweeps him off his feet. Timothy J. Cox, on the other hand, breathes fire into the success-obsessed ad man who find himself no longer in full control.

The show itself is minimalist in a number of ways that have nothing to do with casting. An ordinary desk and chair are used again and again to transport us from one locale to another. The stage design (and its use of graphics-on-backdrop) are remarkable in their elegance and simplicity. They do a great deal with very little; and the effect is both captivating and quite satisfying.

The frenetic pacing rushes us from one stage of Katie’s journey to the next. This too makes sense—if we stopped to think about our heroine’s meteoric rise, we might catch glimpse of the reasons this shouldn’t work, could never be possible.

It’s alright, though. In advertising– like theatre– everything doesn’t have to hold up under scrutiny. It just has to work long enough to grab you and convince you it’s true; which Avenue of the Americas does in spades.

You only have a handful of chances left to see this one-act, hour-long extravaganza. I suggest you get to it.

Remaining performances at the Tank are Wednesday the 26th, Sunday the 30th, Wednesday Feb. 2nd and Sunday the 6th, all of which are at 7:30pm. The Tank can be found at 354 w. 45th st, between 8th and 9th avenues. Tickets are available at the box office and athttp://www.thetanknyc.org.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Review for AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Is In

Theatre Review: Avenue of the Americas
Posted by Albert Denham

The advertising world got turned on its ear this past weekend when the New York premiere of Martin Blank’s Avenue of the Americas, produced by Cantwell/Newsom Productions, opened at The Tank Theatre on West 45th Street , where it will be enjoying a three week run.

Blank’s one act, which clocks in at around 35 minutes, takes a serio-comic, Durang-esque look at the advertising world through the eyes of Katie White (Laura Yost) a damaged young woman who has been locked up in a mental institution for a large portion of her life, due to a childhood tragedy, with only one avenue that she wishes to pursue: advertising. Katie is unable to think, feel and love. Instead, her mind is consumed by catch phrases and pitches, much like the way the character Chance the Gardener is consumed by all things television in the film and novella Being There. Doctors try to delve into Katie’s past, but their methods prove futile and after one such doctors’ not so kind attempt at extracting some straight answers, Katie manages to turn the tables, escape the mental institution and make her way to New York to pursue her dream of working for the Jay Green Agency, a major advertising firm in Manhattan, run by the boozy, but formidable and not to be under-estimated Jay Green (Timothy J. Cox). Katie is hired by Green and she attacks her new role with relish, managing to become a success in her new found field, but her ads, which speak basic truths (the truth has no place in the advertising world) wreak havoc with the public, as well as with Green who discovers that Katie is connected to someone from his past, which may bring about his ruin.

Equal parts comic and dramatic Avenue of the Americas, directed here with considerable skill by Katherine M. Carter, has a lot going on and going for it in its 35 minute run, with Carter managing to create a vivid dream world (how Katie sees the world perhaps) where everything is happy, but as the show progresses, we see that the world can be and often is a dark place as well. Carter’s production moves at a swift pace, with the help of some jazzy tunes, colorful projections that help move things along and an enjoyable leading turn from Laura Yost as Katie, who brings a gentle, child like quality to her characterization, but smartly avoids the trap of making Katie a little TOO cutesy

Where the problem lies is in Martin Blank’s script. While Blank does have a solid ear for crisp dialogue, with the right touches of humor and bite, his story seems to get away from him halfway through the proceedings. The first half of the play, which is obviously focused on Katie and even features some of her off the wall commercials, is hysterically funny, thanks largely to actress Virginia Bartholomew, who scored huge laughs in a variety of finely crafted character roles, including a hilarious bit as a child whose cat meets a not-so happy end. Trust me, it’s funny. I laughed heartily throughout the first half, as did the entire sold out crowd on Friday night, but in the second half the play shifted gears so dramatically, with the focus delving a little deeper into the downfall of Jay Green, that I thought I was watching a completely different play. I don’t object to focusing on Jay as a story choice, as I felt that actor Timothy J. Cox shined bright in the role, showing us at first a big man, all swagger and bravado, but when Katie is about to reveal certain truths about him, Cox’s shift to a desperate, pleading and ultimately, small man was actually quite moving. But even as good as Cox was in the role, I felt Blank’s story shift was too sudden and jarring, plus I felt that the script left many important questions affecting Jay’s motivations for his later actions unanswered.

As for the other members of the cast, Chris Davis had nice moments as perhaps the plays’ most humane character, Phil Scott, a rival businessman to Cox’s Green, who lets his businessman’s guard down and falls for Katie, but falls deeper when he realizes that he cannot compete with Katie’s goal of making it in the advertising world. Rounding out the cast is Leo Goodman, who proved less impressive, showing little variety in his plethora of character roles.

At the end of the day, I see Avenue of the Americas as a work in progress…a work with some solid parts and a lot of potential, but Martin Blank’s one act would benefit greatly from an expansion.

Avenue of the Americas runs at The Tank on West 45th Street until February 6th.

For information on the production, including how to purchase tickets, please visit www.thetanknyc.org or call 1-800-838-3006

Possible NetFlix Commercial Shoot Coming Up

In the last hour, I've been spitballing commercial ideas with director Sy Cody White (THE WATCHERS) for a NetFlix commercial contest and he thinks we may be on to something.

He's hoping to get something down on paper tonight and to get Jeff Moffitt's thoughts on the project as well, but stay tuned because if this happens, it's going to happen fast, as entries for the contest are due on Valentine's Day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kinds Note from Playwright Martin Blank

I received the following from AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS playwright, Martin Blank:

Dear Tim,

You are simply one of the best actors I have ever had the pleasure to work with. It's amazing to see what you do in each scene, as well as what you give the other actors onstage.

I hope we work together again.

Break a leg!

Martin


Thank you for your kind words, Martin.

Second Night of AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

Last nights' show was solid with a nice sized house...close to sold out. The audience reacted differently, as is often the case, then the opening night crowd, but everyone I spoke to seemed to enjoy themselves.

I had a chance to chat with playwright Martin Blank, who paid me many warm compliments about my work in the production, which I deeply appreciate.

Off until Wednesday night.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sold Out Opening Night for AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

Last nights' opening went very well!

We played to a sold out crowd, who reacted very strongly to the piece.

Back again tonight.

Friday, January 21, 2011

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Final Dress and Opening Tonight

Last nights' final dress rehearsal went fairly well. The energy was a little low, but I think that will be jacked up tonight when we have people in the house for opening night.

I still feel good about where Jay is heading as opening night draws close. I just need to remember to play the objectives and intentions and of course, have fun.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

CINEMUSINGS Interview

NO SMALL ROLES: INTERVIEW WITH ACTOR TIMOTHY J. COX1/20/11
Interview by Michael Dietz
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2010 was a banner year for 34 year old character / supporting actor Timothy J. Cox and it looks like 2011 may continue in that same vein. The actor, who has called New York City his home for almost a decade, continues to stay busy with numerous film and theatre projects. On the film side, he continues to receive critical acclaim for his performances in three independent short films from 2010. As a downtrodden literature professor who still has feelings for his ex-wife in the dramedy Socks and Cakes, Cox proved to be the highlight. He switched gears over to broad comedy and gave a hysterical performance as a bombastic real estate magnate in the office comedy Over Coffee and was appropriately mysterious as a skeptical shrink to a man who thinks he’s being followed in the suspense / thriller The Watchers.

Cox’s versatility in these three very different performances proves that he is a true character actor, an actor who can register in any role, large or small, dramatic or humorous.

I’m thrilled at the opportunity to chat with Timothy J. Cox

Thank you for participating, Mr. Cox.
My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Allow me to get right to it: Why a character actor? What is it about those kinds of roles that draws you to them?
Well, I’m short, stocky…not overly handsome…so where else would I fit? As far as the draw…well, it’s the size of the parts mostly…the fact that most of time, they are very small parts. It’s kind of a nice challenge for the actor…you come on, try to score your points and then you go. I equate it with being the 6th man on a basketball team or the clutch hitter in baseball.

Did you always know that you were going to go this character actor route?
I had great directors and teachers in college who encouraged me to head in that direction…cast me in a lot of supporting parts, lots of Dad roles…but in the back of my own mind, I always knew that if I was ever going to have any success in this business, it was going to be as character actor.

Now, the bulk of your “character acting” has been on the stage where you still go from time to time. Which do you prefer? The stage or film?
I love the stage more. Nothing beats that live reaction.

Where did you train to be an actor?
I went to a small, liberal arts college in Marietta, Ohio, which was great for me, as it was the first time I was ever on my own…coming from Wilmington, Delaware…so that was important and then the acting program at the school was perfect for me. I did the classics, which I fell in love with and still love. I was able to jump right onstage and act right away and I quickly learned that I didn’t know a damn thing about acting…so I fell on my face quite a bit, but I picked myself up. I fell a few more times and I picked myself up again. Overall, I learned a hell of a lot.

What was the greatest lesson you learned?
That acting requires a hell of a lot of discipline and commitment…and that you never, ever stop learning. Every rehearsal and performance, good or bad, is important and educational. You never stop being a student in this work. To me, all actors are and should be works in progress.

One of the many things I’ve noticed in several of your performances, as I have seen you on film as well as on stage, is that there is a certain everyman quality to all of your characters. All of them are everyday, living, breathing people that we see on the street all the time.
Well, I think that’s one of the advantages of being an “average Joe” type, that you can play those types of characters, those every day people we see on the street every day, who go to work, struggle and survive…and you see their pain, their joy…there’s always a sense of loss, of guilt…people just trying to make it through the day. Those are the types of characters that most appeal to me and what I try to do is bring a sense of truth to these peoples’ lives.

Speaking of truth, in Socks and Cakes, you brought plenty of truth and a kind of sad world-weariness to the role of Harry. Was he tough to play?
Every role has its complexities, that’s what makes it fun…but in that case…I don’t know, the role just kind of fit me like an old jacket. I knew that guy…a man who is kind of lost in the world, uncertain of where he’s going, but deep down has such compassion and warmth, but you rarely see it as Harry is a guy who doesn’t want to get too close to anyone or let anyone get too close to him. I just trusted the material, which I thought was very good, as well as Antonio (Padovan) and the cast, all of whom were great to work with.

And then you went in the opposite direction, playing it big and broad, with your work as tyrannical real estate boss Hamilton Rice in Sean Meehan’s comedy Over Coffee?
I had a ball with that part and with Sean, who was fun to work with. Yes, it was big and broad, but as someone who has worked in the real estate industry, I can tell you, people like Hamilton Rice exist.

And in The Watchers, you play a shrink to a man who thinks he’s being followed, but the audience isn’t certain if you can be trusted?
Sy Cody White and Jeff Moffitt wrote a great part and they gave me the ball and I just ran with it. It was an awesome experience.

All three films have been receiving great reviews and play all over the web?
Yes, it’s been very nice and encouraging. While the reviews have been nice, I’m more pleased at the fact that the films are being seen, as so many films are made every year and then nothing is done with them, so I’m thankful to have three that people seem to enjoy.

Who are your favorite actors?
Oh God! How much space do you have? There’s so many…Spencer Tracy and Albert Finney are up there on my list, as well as William H. Macy, Gene Hackman and Paul Giamatti. My all-time favorite though is Jack Lemmon.

Now there’s an everyman!
You said it.

I saw on your blog that you were inspired to become an actor by watching Mr. Lemmon’s work in Days of Wine and Roses?
That performance hooked me and showed me that acting can be more than just about entertaining. Entertaining is vital, but as an actor, you can also illuminate, inspire and enlighten and that is something that resonated with me very deeply. I met Mr. Lemmon and told him that his performance inspired me.

No kidding.
Yes, it was a year or so before he passed away. I saw him in a restaurant here in New York and after some prodding by a friend, I went up and told him what an inspiration he was to me. He was a true gent and even gave me a hug. An actor can get drunk off a thrill like that and I did that night.

That’s awesome! Who are your favorite actresses?
I’ll watch anything that Kathy Bates does. Same goes for Patricia Clarkson. They’re both fantastic! Meryl Streep, of course…seeing her on stage is a revelation and I’ve had the honor twice.

Who are your favorite directors?
Frank Capra, Mike Nichols, Billy Wilder, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman and the Coen Brothers. I wish I could back to the 40’s and be a part of Capra’s stock company of actors…like Ward Bond and Thomas Mitchell were. That would be paradise for me.

What are your favorite films?
The Godfather Films (even Part III), The Big Lebowski, The Sting, It's A Wonderful Life, and The Odd Couple.

I know that you update your website regularly with information on your latest and upcoming projects, but if you would, give us the skinny on what you have coming up?
Well, I am about to open in the black comedy play Avenue of the Americas by Martin Blank, which will be running at The Tank in Manhattan from January 21st to February 6th. Tickets are only $10 at www.thetanknyc.org or call 1-800-838-3006. On the film side, I am hoping to collaborate with the team that made The Watchers (Two Man Crew Productions, Sy Cody White and Jeff Moffitt) again on another film project, which is in the very early stages of planning and development. All I can say is that if the project becomes a reality, it’ll be an exciting one.

Thank you, Mr. Cox, for taking the time to speak with Cinema Crazed today.
Thank you so much for having me. It was a lot of fun.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Last Night

Yesterday was a long day, especially for director Katie Carter and stage manager Griffin Parker. They were at The Tank all day, setting up the lights, sounds, sets...getting everything reading preparation for the cue to cue and the run of the show that followed.

The show is in very good shape right now. All of the technical elements have and will continue to come together. On the acting side, I feel very good about where I'm going with good ol' Jay Green.

Tonight is our final dress rehearsal and audiences are invited to attend. Like I said, I feel very good about where the show is and look forward to putting it in front of an audience.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Tonight

Tonight, we attacked all of the scenes...dug deep...and ended up finding something new and fresh. I was admittedly apprehensive at first, as I thought things were going in a good direction for Jay, but I did find some cool things to work with, so thanks to director Katie Carter for making me re-think things.

Tomorrow is a big day, as we'll be teching and running in the space all day. By the end of tomorrow, everyone should be comfortable with all of the scene changes and transitions.

I'm feeling good about where we're heading with Thursdays' invited dress on its way, as well as Fridays' opening.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Opens On Friday

Friday is the big opening night for AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, but before that, the show still has a lot of work to do in preparation, including cue to cues, techs and a final dress preview performance on Thursday.

After a few days of rest and relaxation, I feel energized and ready for the next couple of days.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stumblethough of AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Yesterday

Yesterday was the first time we worked on the stage with set, costume and prop items, so naturally, it was a bit rough. Speaking for myself, I was just trying to get my bearings in the space, as it is much bigger than the small, intimate rehearsal studios that we have been practicing in over the past couple of weeks.

Playwright Martin Blank was on hand to witness our stumble through and he appreciated our efforts, but we still have some ways to go. From here though, the show will get stronger and stronger, as people get used to the space, plus the set changes, which the actors will be doing themselves.

The next few days are going to be busy ones, as we'll teching like crazy in preparation for Thursdays' final dress rehearsal, which will be open to be public and of course, for Fridays' opening night.

Back on Tuesday.

BURIAL Shoot A Real Pleasure!

Last evenings' BURIAL shoot was a real pleasure. We wrapped everything up in about four hours, with everything running pretty smoothly. Director Ruben Almeida ran a nice set and he acquired a very able crew to assist him. It was also great to work with actor Nicholas Galetta, who played Ronan in the film. A very calm and relaxed set, which is what you always want.

This is a project that's due in mid-February, so hopefully, I'll receive a copy around that time.

Thanks to Ruben for the chance to be a part of the project.

Friday, January 14, 2011

CinemaRoll.com Review of OVER COFFEE

Movie Review: Over Coffee (2010)

Published in Cinemarolling by PeterSanderson, on January 14, 2011

Sean Meehan’s warm and fuzzy comedy short soars because of its brisk pace, comic flourish and great performances from a strong ensemble.

Young filmmaker Sean Meehan proves that he is a director worth keeping an eye on with his very strong romantic / comedy short Over Coffee, which highlights the warm tale of office schnook Andrew, winningly played by Erick Potempa, who has a crush on the adorable Carla (a stunning Jocelyn DeBoer) who serves as secretary for assholic real estate giant Hamilton Rice (a fantastic Timothy J. Cox).

With Rice on his way to the office, Carla is inundated with numerous projects and preparations, but fails to remember the most important of her duties, the retrieval of the boss’ coffee (this is a very specific order). Rice is prone to insult and berate Carla (and anyone else who gets in his way) so it’s imperative that Carla complete this task.

Andrew, who has been wating for the perfect opportunity to try and impress Carla, steps in and decides to complete the task for Carla, but what at first looks like an easy task, turns into a near nightmare for our hero.

If you’re looking for something short and sweet to savour during your lunch break at the office, then Sean Meehan’s fun and breezy comedy short is for you.

Meehan’s film moves swiftly between the quirky, the heartfelt and even the farcial, bringing to mind Peter Bogdanovich’s 70’s comic gem What’s Up Doc?.

All in all, Meehan proves that you can work wonders with a 15 minute short and its the performances of the entire ensemble cast that drive the story from start to finish. Aside from the aforementioned Potempa, DeBoer and Cox, Michael Oberholtzer steps in and does fine work as the office horn dog, who tries unsuccessfully to acquire Carla’s attention.

This acclaimed comedy short has been making the rounds on the net and I give it my highest recommendation.

If you wish to watch the film yourself, because of the magic of the Internet, you can do so by clicking either of these links www.overcoffeemovie.com and http://www.vimeo.com/9335001

More AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Photos



Press Photo For AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

Here is the press photo for AVENYE OF THE AMERICAS.

Thanks to Nick Ronan for the great shot.

More pics to come.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Tonight

Tonight was a night to fix some problem spots, which are now fixed.

I'm looking forward to Saturdays' rehearsal, which is going to be a long day, but we'll be working at The Tank, so all of the actors will have a chance to become acquainted with the space. We're going to run the show for playwright Martin Blank as well, so I'm personally looking forward to his reaction to our progress.

ANTIGONISH...Now Named ME AND THE DEVIL

Here is the animated short ANTIGONISH, now titled ME AND THE DEVIL from writer/director Janna Hochberg.

Thanks to Janna for the chance to be a small (voice) part of the project.


Me and the Devil from Janna Hochberg on Vimeo.

Picture Show Pundits Review of THE WATCHERS

The Watchers (2010)

Entertainment Value: B
Artistic Merit: B-
Overall Grade: B-
Atmospheric Fun


Review by Científico [Brent Pantaleo]

The gospel of the horror film preaches one key concept above all: atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere. It's no coincidence then, that Sy Cody White's 2010 short The Watchers relies on the claustrophobic New York concrete jungle with its melting pot of diverse patrons to carry its main premise, one that feels comfortable inside a film which runs just under a half hour. The short taps into some conventional horror moments which are more eye-rolling than eye-popping (see much-maligned protagonist John Porter, in reaching his tipping point, spout off the classic line "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?"), but as a whole, carries itself quite nicely while presenting a unique idea through a fresh scope. The Watchers, shot on a minuscule budget, benefits heavily from deft camerawork paired with a swift, bare-bones plot that moves the short right along. The audience receives acute, impacting moments of exposition and character background that don't bog the film down. The result is a short soaked in heavy suspense, all good things for a horror/thriller.

John Porter (Jeff Moffitt) is a New York accountant maligned by his separation from his wife and daughter, as well as creepy encounters he continually has on the streets of the city with people he doesn't recognize. John confides in his psychologist, Dr. Orwell (Timothy J. Cox), that he believes these people are constantly following and watching him. John's suspicions reach a pinnacle when he finds a hooded teen leaving menacing notes in his apartment, sending him on a cat-and-mouse chase through his apartment building after the culprit. The more John discovers about these watchers, the more he realizes his reality isn't what it seems, leading up to one pivotal conversation which explains it all.

The mindful approach co-writers Sy Cody White and Jeff Moffitt (who also produced) take with The Watchers is apparent in what the film accomplishes inside its brief running time. As a feature-length film, The Watchers would labor horribly and ultimately grow stale well before the credits roll. What the audience receives in the short's sub-half hour, however, is something intriguing, entertaining, and ultimately easy to swallow. The 180 that this film's climax pulls on the audience (with a pinch of The Sixth Sense thrown in) is acceptable considering the austere method in which the story is revealed. We're to focus on what the film does well, not how detailed the plot is, and the film's set-up allows for that. It adds up to a refreshingly enjoyable experience as a suspenseful film meant to chill and thrill. The Watchers carries out its motive efficiently, allowing for a fun experience despite the film's simplicity. It's worth whatever thirty minutes you have to spare.

13 January 2011

The Independent Critic Review of SOCKS AND CAKES

Socks & Cakes
Written & Directed by: Antonio Padovan
Starring: Timothy J. Cox, Jeff Moffitt, Kirsty Meares, Ben Prayz, Alex Vincent
Running Time: 15 Mins.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Grade: B-
2.5 Stars

This low-budget indie dramedy short written and directed by Antonio Padovan is a flashback to films such as The Big Chill, Grand Canyon and any number of character-driven Woody Allen flicks. The film is centered around a group of adults, it's difficult to call them actual friends, who gather at a dinner party where the wine will flow and, eventually, so too will the difficult to face truths about love, friendship, sex and relationships.

At a mere 15 minutes, the dreadfully titled Socks & Cakes actually does feel too slight, a character-driven film where the characters really aren't given much room to breathe and we're encouraged to buy into their dramatic stories before we've actually come to care about them. That said, much of the film works due to the strength of its ensemble cast and Padovan's natural dialogue.

While the film is an ensemble piece, much attention is paid to Harry (Timothy J. Cox), an ego-driven literature professor who seems largely unable to grasp much of anything involving the people, places and things around him including why his ex-wife, Amanda (Kirsty Meares), has taken up with Richard (Jeff Moffitt). The trio is joined by David (Ben Prayz), a talkative real estate broker, and his latest love interest, Sophie (Alex Vincent).

As is true for pretty much every Woody Allen film ever made, secrets are revealed and love interests change course during the film's 15-minute run time. While Padovan packs a lot into the film's 15 minutes, the film itself is well paced with only Amanda's not so big "big reveal" feeling a tad rushed amongst the goings on. We quickly observe that Richard has eyes for Sophie, while Harry still has a thing for Amanda and, well, you get the distinct idea in the film's short course that this bittersweet dinner parties won't be going on much longer as everyone's life is in for a bit of a shake up.

D.P. Alessandro Penazzi lenses the film beautifully, lending the film a sort of pristine imagery that fits nicely the illusion this group of friends continues to try to maintain. Timothy J. Cox, in particular, excels as the rather snooty yet sincere professor who still longs for his wife. Jeff Moffitt and Alex Vincent also stand out with Vincent, in particular, displaying a nice blend of the film's dramatic touches within moments of light comedy.

For more information on Socks & Cakes, visit the film's website above.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Holman's Movie Review.com on OVER COFFEE

Over Coffee (A-)

Solidly likable scripts and acting don't all come from mainline Hollywood directors. And so we observe in the film Over Coffee, directed by Sean Meehan, starring Timothy J. Cox, Erik Potempa, Michael Oberholtzer, and Jocelyn DeBoer. It involves pressing time constraints, and you guessed it, coffee.

Seldom can clefts of overacting be detected in this cutely conceived short comedy that stirs together feelings of awkwardness in a concise, stress-reliever—to be appreciated by all who tackle the daily grind of office life.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Last Night

Last evenings' rehearsal was a stumble through of the entire play, which went a lot better than anyone in the cast ever thought. Producers and designers were on hand to watch. The stumble through did go well and the show gets better every time. On Thursday, certain scenes are going to be addressed, problem spots will be fixed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Your Movie Reviews.com Review of OVER COFFEE

Over Coffee

Sean Meehan's romantic / comedy scores...

Review by Peter Clerkin

Independent shorts are popping up all over the internet these days. I know, I've seen and covered a bunch over the past couple of months and I am thrilled to report that many of the shorts that I have seen are exceptionally well made.

Take writer / director Sean Meehan's winning romantic / comedy short OVER COFFEE, which takes us through the journey of office drone Andrew (Erik Potempa) who has been looking for ways to impress the boss' secretary Carla (Jocelyn DeBoer) but the right opportunity hasn't presented itself as of yet. The demanding boss, Hamilton Rice (Timothy J. Cox) is on his way to the office and Carla has yet to pick up his very special coffee order. That's when Andrew steps in, but the task to retrieve the boss' coffee order turns into a tense, difficult, but thrilling comic adventure.

Meehan's comedy scores from start to finish because of it's fast pace and appealing performances from leads Potempa and DeBoer, as well as from Cox, hysterical as the bombastic boss.

Check OVER COFFEE out on Vimeo. The film has been receiving a lot of play and acclaim from all over the Web.

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Movie details:
Directed by Sean Meehan
Year 2010
Starring Erik Potempa as Andrew, Jocelyn DeBoer as Carla, Michael Oberholtzer as David and Timothy J. Cox as Hamilton Rice

Greenhouse Scene from DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES

I have said in past postings that Jack Lemmon's performance in the 1962 film DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES had a strong influence on me and was one of the many performances that inspired me to pursue acting.

The scene below is one of the many in the film that changed the film audiences' perception of Lemmon as an actor, who at the time was known as a "comedy actor". In the film, Lemmon plays Joe Clay, an ad executive who likes to schmooze with clients over a drink or several and the film follows his descent into alcohol, which destroys his life personally and professionally.

In this scene, the famous "Greenhouse" scene, Lemmon goes all out as we see Joe, in a drunken haze, searching for a bottle that he has secretly placed in his father in laws's greenhouse. He can't find it.

BURIAL Shoot This Weekend

The BURIAL Shoot is this Saturday afternoon / late evening. Lines are coming along nicely...should have them solid by Fridays' rehearsal.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Back Tonight

A.O.A. returns tonight for review of what we did this past weekend. We may even get a stumble through of the whole show in, plus I think we'll be addressing the Fosse dance number.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

JACK JIMMINY Review

The Cinema-Crazed review for JACK JIMMINY: THE STORY OF A PORNSTAR EXTRA came out today...see below and it wasn't a good one.

It's never good when a response to a film you appear in is so scathing. It's a shame that the critic felt that way about the film...but, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Of course, the filmmakers are disappointed in the review.

As I stated in an email to actor / writer of the film, Nolan Silverstein..."You meet all types in this business, I guess".

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Today

We accomplished quite a bit with AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS today. We started the day off with press photos at The Tank, taken by Katie Carter's wonderful boyfriend, Nick Ronan. Thanks, Nick!

After that, the cast headed to Champion Studios to block the rest of the show...which we accomplished quickly. We reviewed scenes a number of times and as of now, I feel great about where the play is going and where my scenes as Jay Green are heading.

Back on Tuesday for more review and runs of the show.

Cinema-Crazed.com Review of JACK JIMMINY: THE STORY OF A PORNSTAR EXTRA

I was surprised to see this...as I didn't know that JACK JIMMINY was being submitted to the press.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

JACK JIMMINY: THE STORY OF A PORNSTAR EXTRA
*1/2
2010
Rated: Unrated
Genre: Comedy Documentary
Directed By: Louis Silverstein
Written By: Nolan Silverstein
Grip Reality, Inc.
Running Time: 23 Minutes
Review by: Michael Dietz
Review Date: 1/7/11

The Bad: Jack Jimminy, the son of legendary adult film stars Richard Jimminy and Moonflower has followed in their footsteps into the family business. Well, sort of. Oh, sure he appears on camera in adult films…sometimes…but it’s usually as an extra, although he tries to not just be any extra. He takes his work seriously, like a real actor. On the set of his latest film, StarWrecked: The Fisting Generation, Jack tries to pepper up his dialogue as one of the guards…feeling that his character needs more of a back story. Like I said, Jack takes his work seriously and wants to make his mark as a real actor. Only problem, this is the porn industry and no one cares about “acting” in the porn industry, especially his director who immediately cuts Jack and his back story ideas off at the knees. This is one of the many scenes that take place in the documentary Jack Jimminy: The Story Of A Pornstar Extra, written by and starring Nolan Silverstein and directed by Louis Silverstein.

The film follows Jack in his home, on the sets of some of his latest projects and through his trials and tribulations of being an extra. It also details his elaborate ruse, to appease his parents, that he is indeed a big star in the industry. This ruse includes the creation of fake DVD covers, posters and porn awards that Jack has supposedly received. The awards are shaped like large penises, naturally.

This is a film that may sound good…very funny even…on paper and the film or the idea at least does have a lot of potential, as the adult film industry is always ripe for satire. Take, for example, the hilarious independent comedy The Auteur from 2008 from director James Westby, an intelligently written and performed piece about the world’s greatest living porn director. In that film, Westby managed to push the envelope, be as raunchy as can be, but at the same time, imbued the film with a certain sweetness that certainly made the film memorable and unique. That film scored because of its tight script and in the case of Jack Jimminy: The Story Of A Pornstar Extra, the script is one of the reasons why the film fails. The Silverstein Brothers’ film is too slow moving to generate momentum and laughs, even though it is apparent that the filmmakers went all out for this film with props, posters and toys (yes, those kind), but they should have spent a little more time on crafting a sharper screenplay. As it stands, the script meanders from bit to bit with no real focus on characters or character development.

What also didn’t help matters was that lead actor Nolan Silverstein brought zero personality to the title role, often looking tired and bored. Sadly, the film isn’t much of a showcase for any one in the cast, save supporting players Maurice Johnson, as a sex addict named Frank that Jack meets at a therapy session and Timothy J. Cox who tried to liven things up in his scenes as Jack’s larger than life father Richard. While I appreciate both actors’ efforts to try and energize the proceedings, it isn’t enough for me to want to recommend Jack Jimminy: The Story Of A Pornstar Extra.

Summing Up: This film is a short that is intended to gain attention and raise capital for a feature-length that the Silverstein Brothers hope to make in the years to come. They have their work cut out for them, as what they have now lacks polish.

Cinema-Crazed.com Review of OVER COFFEE

OVER COFFEE
***
2010
Rated: Unrated
Genre: Short Comedy Romance
Directed By: Sean Meehan
Written By: Sean Meehan
ASI Production
Running Time: 15 Minutes
Review by: Michael Dietz
Review Date: 1/7/11

The Good: Guys, we’ve all been here before.

We’ve all been the nice guy in the office with the crush on the mean ol’ boss’ secretary.

Like Andrew, the hero in writer / director Sean Meehan’s comedy short Over Coffee, us nice guys have bided our time, waited for the perfect opportunity to step up and impress the woman of our dreams. Did it always happen? No. If it did happen, did it always turn out the way you’d hoped? Definitely not.

It never does in real life. But this is the movies and in Meehan’s fun short, Andrew (Erik Potempa) does get that opportunity to impress the woman of his dreams, Carla (Jocelyn DeBoer), secretary to mean ol’ Hamilton Rice (Timothy J. Cox) of Rice Reality, Inc. Rice is on his way to the office and Carla has forgotten to pick up his very specific cup of coffee.

Time is everything and Carla doesn’t have much of it, so Andrew steps in to help, but what is usually a very easy task turns into a nightmare for Andrew as he races against time to retrieve the coffee and make it back to the office in time for the arrival of Rice. There are traces of Mike Judge’s quirky humor in Meehan’s short, especially in Michael Oberholtzer’s performance as the office hard on, but all in all, Over Coffee has a certain charm all its own, especially from the performances of Potempa and DeBoer as the two leads, while Cox adds a jolt of energy in his hysterical turn as the boss of bosses, Hamilton Rice.

Summing Up: A nice effort by writer / director Meehan, thanks mostly to his appealing cast.

Friday, January 07, 2011

EZine Review of OVER COFFEE

Movie Review: Over Coffee (2010)

By Alex Deckard

December 29, 2010

A simple offer and task, to help and impress an office crush, turns into a comedic race against time in writer/director Sean Meehan's fast paced and charming romantic comedy Over Coffee, an ASI (A Studio In) Production. Meehan's film tells the tale of Andrew (Eric Potermpa) who works for bombastic real estate developer Hamilton Rice (Timothy J. Cox) at Rice Realty, Inc. Andrew spends his days dreaming of ways to impress Rice's beautiful secretary Carla (Jocelyn DeBoer) who he has had strong feelings for for quite some time, but the right opportunity to make his move hasn't presented itself as of yet. Andrew is biding his time, avoiding the advice of office horndog David (Michael Oberholtzer).

Today is like any other day at Rice Realty: chaotic. Not for Andrew and David, who shoot the breeze and enjoy a little peace and quiet in the moments prior to the head honcho's arrival. David decides to regale Andrew with tales of his latest sexual conquest and introduces him to the world of "sexting". Carla, on the other hand, is scrambling to organize Rice's phone messages, by color Post-Its, but fails to remember her boss' tallest order, his precious (and very specific) cup of coffee. In the midst of this organization of notes and messages, Carla forgets this very important coffee order and with Rice on his way to the office, she has run out of time to get it. This is the opportunity that Andrew has been waiting for. He steps up and decides to take one for the team, so off he goes to retrieve the order. It's a cup of coffee; how hard could it be? Not to give anythng specific away, but Andrew goes through hell to acquire this cup of coffee, but still manages to get it and make it back to the office in time to present it to Rice, who is busy bellowing at Carla and anyone else who steps in his path. Does Andrew finally muster the courage to tell Carla how he feels? I think you can deduce what happens between Andrew and Carla by the films' end.

In his 15 minute short, Sean Meehan manages to present a funny, sweet and well crafted romantic comedy that is fun for all audiences. A lot of the credit goes to the sparkling cast, especially Potempa and DeBoer, who lead the way with winning performances as the two leads and Cox, who anchors the production, having what seems to be a grand old time playing the Napoleonic-like Hamilton Rice.

Meehan's film is available for viewing all over the net. (Isn't the internet a beautiful thing?) so if you're looking for a treat during your lunch hour, then Over Coffee is for you.

EZine Review of THE WATCHERS

Movie Review: The Watchers (2010)

By Alex Deckard

December 28, 2010

"Have you ever felt like you were being followed?"

This is the question that immediately sets the tone for director Sy Cody White's exciting and visually stunning thriller short, The Watchers, from Two Man Crew Productions and Hocus Pocus Features.

With the utterance of this chilling line from lead actor Jeff Moffitt (who also co-wrote and co-produced the film), White immediately draws the viewer in to the story of average Wall Street accountant John Porter and his efforts to flee a series of haunting scenarios involving a number of nameless strangers who follow Porter, turning up everywhere in his life, driving him to the brink of insanity.

Shot on a shoe string budget in and around New York City and New Jersey this past summer, director White's film debut, which clocks in at 28 minutes, crackles with non stop thrills and excitement, thanks largely to White's stylish and fluid direction all the way through the picture, smartly avoiding cliches and ridiculous subplots, instead keeping the focus on the action. As the film progresses, we are immersed in Porter's struggles and search for the truth, but just when you think you have all the answers, there comes a surprise.

Next to comedy, the suspense / thriller genre may be the toughest nut to crack in the writing department, with most thrillers in Hollywood depending too heavily on cheap effects and violence to sell their product. Avoiding these traps, White and Moffitt have crafted a smart and highly entertaining yarn that will keep the viewer guessing and wanting more.

My vote: More films like The Watchers and less films like Devil.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS - Two

We blocked a couple of scenes last evening and it was fun to get the scenes on their feet. We have a long way to go, but a lot of great ideas came out of the blocking session.

Back again tomorrow for a photo call at 9AM and then rehearsal to continue and finish the blocking.

EZine Review of SOCKS AND CAKES

Movie Review: Socks and Cakes (2010)

December 22, 2010

By Alex Deckard

Writer and director Antonio Padovan's comedy / drama short Socks and Cakes, about five people who gather together for a dinner party and reveal hidden truths about themselves, is a perceptive, intelligent short that boasts snappy dialogue, crisp camera work and fine ensemble acting.

Jeff Moffitt and Kirsty Meares star as husband and wife Richard and Amanda, who are hosting a dinner party in their loft apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Both are successful architects and put on the appearance of a happy marriage, but as we discover, there's trouble in paradise. One of the guests on hand for the party is Amanda's ex-husband, rumpled literature professor Harry (Timothy J. Cox) who's in a bit of a rut himself at the moment, as he tries to come to peace with where his life is presently (Also, he still has strong feelings for Amanda). The final two guests to arrive are David (Ben Prayz), a real estate salesman who seems to go through life with the flash of an obnoxious grin and his young, sexy girlfriend Sophie (Alex Vincent), who we find out, despite her youth, to be the most centered and grounded person at the entire party.

Everyone at this party is connected: Richard and Amanda are married; Harry and Amanda were married; David and Amanda were intimate at one time (perhaps the reason why Harry detests David) and now Richard would like to get intimate with Sophie. Quite a party!

Antonio Padovan's script provides plenty of witty perceptions on sex, religion and life, but beneath the wit and cynicism, in most of the characters, especially Harry and Amanda, we see their insecurities, their fears and doubts about how they have lived their lives and what lies in store for them.

Padovan and Alessandro Penazzi, his director of photography, shot the film in long, continuous takes, creating a flow to all of the scenes that is quite musical. It allows the actors to play, invest in their characters wholly. The camera catches everything beautifully, especially those subtle moments when they are at their most vulnerable, like in the spectacularly shot dinner sequence.

The entire ensemble impresses: As Harry, Timothy J. Cox creates a funny and sad portrait of a man who still loves his wife, but can't let go. As Richard, Jeff Moffitt shows us a man clearly out for himself, but who is quite clueless to the fact that his marriage is over, while Ben Prayz as David gleefully gloats of his conquests, professionally and personally, all the way through with a smile on his face. As the young Sophie, Alex Vincent proves to be a delight, bringing intelligence, maturity and warmth to her role, while Kirsty Meares soars as Amanda in an all out performance that tugs at the heartstrings.

Even if the film is only fifteen minutes, Socks and Cakes is proof that you can still tell an interesting story in a short amount of time.

Alex Deckard is a playwright, poet, critic and short story writer, born and raised in Cincinnati. His plays have been produced all over the United States, as well as in Ireland, Scotland and The Phillipines.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Audition for THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO At The Hudson Theatre Ensemble on January 23rd

Today, I was delighted to receive an email from Florence Pape of The Hudson Theatre Ensemble in Hoboken, NJ, inviting me to audition for their spring production, a revival of the Tony Award winning play THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO by Alfred Uhry.

The dramedy is set in the upper class German-Jewish community living in Atlanta, Georgia in December 1939.Hitler has recently conquered Poland, Gone with the Wind is about to premiere, and Adolph Freitag (owner of the Dixie Bedding Company) and his sister Boo and nieces Lala and Sunny - a Jewish family so highly assimilated they have a Christmas tree in the front parlor - are looking forward to Ballyhoo, a lavish cotillion sponsored by their restrictive country club. Adolph's employee Joe Farkas is an attractive eligible bachelor and an Eastern European Jew, familiar with
prejudice but unable to fathom its existence within his own religious community. His presence prompts college student Sunny to examine intra-ethnic bias, her Jewish identity (or lack thereof), and the beliefs with which she's been raised.


The audition will be on Sunday, January 23rd.

If cast, this will be my 3rd production with the company, after appearing in THE MIRACLE WORKER and SNOW WHITE.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS - Blocking

Tonight is the night for blocking. I think Katie wants to block the entire show tonight, which is quite doable. Aside from a Bob Fosse dance number (you read that right) the blocking should be pretty straightforward.

BURIAL Is Still On For January 15th

The film short BURIAL is set to rehearse on January 14th and shoot on the evening of the 15th.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Version of Spike TV (FATAL ATTRACTION) Spec

Here is another version of the Spike TV (Fatal Attraction) spec commercial from director Dan Kowalski.

Audition For Short Film SICKY

Tomorrow night, I will be reading for the role of kind parish priest in the short drama, Sicky, which tells the story of Sarah, a little girl whose mother is battling cancer. Sarah doesn't understand why Mom sleeps all day, why Grandma has been staying at the house to 'help out', or why Dad does things Mom used to do and seems sad all the time. Sarah doesn't know the word 'cancer', but she does know 'sick', and she knows that is what is wrong with her mother. Powerless to help her and with no one to talk to, she invents an imaginary friend, a sick boy named Sicky. As the seriousness of her mother's condition becomes more apparent to Sarah, her relationship with Sicky gradually grows darker until she learns to face reality and come to terms with her mother's illness.

I had a chance to read the entire script and it’s quite good. The role of Father Peter appears in just a few scenes and is warm, friendly and caring.

For more information on the film, please visit http://www.sickyfilm.com

PEPSI Spec Audition

On Saturday afternoon, I will be reading for the role of a casting director in a Pepsi spec commercial. I'll see the sides at the audition.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS - One

The first rehearsal for AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS last evening was an enjoyable one! I’m very excited about this production and working with the impressive cast.

The evening started off with a reading of the play for playwright Martin Blank and producers Kristin Cantwell and Phil Newsom, as well as press goddess Lanie Zipoy, who I had a chance to chat with and thank for her hard work on this show, as well as 12TH NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Also in attendance was Jillian Marie Walker, who will be producing sound for the production. Jill also worked on MIDSUMMER last year and her work was spectacular and deservedly praised. Great to have her on board.

After the reading, the cast took the opportunity to ask Martin questions about their characters. When those questioned were answered, the crew departed and director Katie Carter had the cast jump right in with some improvisational games that I think will prove quite helpful as we develop scenes and our individual characters. The one thing that Katie stressed, in reference to our characters, is that we are grounded in our intentions and objectives and that we play the stakes as if it were life and death.

The rehearsal schedule is all set. The next couple of weeks will be booked up, three rehearsals a week, plenty of time to whip this show, which is going to run about 40 minutes, into shape.

Back on Thursday for blocking.

Lastly, I would like to share the websites of the very talented Leo Goodman and Virginia Bartholomew, who will be playing a variety of roles in the production:

www.leogoodman.com/

www.virginiabartholomew.com/

Monday, January 03, 2011

Oscar-nominated Character Actor Pete Postlethwaite Dies

From The Associated Press

LONDON – He could have stayed in teaching. That's what his parents wanted: it was the safe, secure route for a young man with working-class roots and a face few would describe as handsome.

But Pete Postlethwaite wanted more. He wanted to pursue his passion for acting and, at 24, he left teaching to train at the Bristol Old Vic theater. His parents remained skeptical, but when he was introduced to Queen Elizabeth II after a stellar 1980s performance with the Royal Shakespeare Company, even his mother was convinced he would make his mark.

It was an incredible ascent for Postlethwaite, a distinguished character actor with a remarkably craggy, timeworn face whose death at age 64 was confirmed Monday by Andrew Richardson, a longtime friend and journalist who documented the actor's fight against cancer. Richardson said the Oscar-nominated actor died Sunday.

Postlethwaite had little going for him when he started in an industry where good looks — think Robert Redford or George Clooney — are valued. He had few connections, a name that was hard to pronounce, and could distinguish himself only by his talent.

It was a subtle talent, hard to define, marked by an ability to completely inhabit a role, to convey a deep sense of burden with a glance or a shrug. There were no pyrotechnics, nothing was overstated. But he had a powerful presence and authenticity on screen and on stage.

It was this that prompted director Steven Spielberg — who used Postlethwaite twice — to call him "probably the best actor in the world."

Postlethwaite was part of a small coterie of British actors who came up together through the theater and found a measure of success in Hollywood. The group included Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson, longtime friends who starred with him in "In the Name of the Father," a 1993 classic that earned Postlethwaite a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his role as Day-Lewis' father.

That part drew heavily on Postlethwaite's ability to give a victim's troubles wider meaning. His character is wrongly imprisoned after his son implicates him in a deadly IRA bombing he did not commit. Postlethwaite's quiet sense of hurt and injustice helps carry the film, regarded as one of the finest to deal with the long conflict in Northern Ireland.

He branched out into movies and television work in the 1980s, most often taking roles as an occasionally menacing working-class figure.

He was instantly recognizable for his piercing eyes and prominent cheekbones, which gave him a lean, rugged look. One critic said his cheekbones came "boiling out of his head like swollen knuckles." He appeared in a wide variety of film and TV roles, with many British fans remembering his work in period dramas as well as his later Hollywood films

He had recently been seen in the critically acclaimed film "Inception" and had worked with Spielberg on "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" and "Amistad" in performances that sparked Spielberg's extravagant compliment . He also drew high praise for his starring role in "Brassed Off" in 1996.

Over the years, some British actors who moved into the Oscar stratosphere were seduced by the glamour and moved to Hollywood. But Postlethwaite stayed away, living in recent years with his wife and two children in a farmhouse in rural England, where his comings and goings drew little more than a friendly smile from neighbors who took his presence for granted.

Postlethwaite did not become a household name in much of the world — he is said to have resisted an agent's efforts to come up with a stage name that would be easier to pronounce and remember — but he was honored by Queen Elizabeth II when he received an OBE award in 2004.

Friends and colleagues described him as down-to-earth in a profession filled with overblown egos.

"Anyone who worked with him felt great affection for him," actor David Schneider told BBC News. "He was very un-actory. Sort of like a national treasure. There is so much affection for him; he was a wonderful actor and a wonderful bloke." He said Postlethwaite's skill and range would be appreciated more in hindsight.

Two years before his death, the actor realized a lifelong goal by playing King Lear at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, where he had been part of the company during his formative years.

Postlethwaite was a political activist known for his opposition to the war in Iraq and his calls to fight global warming. He used a wind turbine at his home to generate electricity.

His extended battle against cancer was documented in the local newspapers where he lived in rural Shropshire, 170 miles northwest of London. He had recently thanked the staff at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for their care.

"They have been wonderful and I am grateful to them," he told the Shropshire Star newspaper. "I cannot thank them enough for everything that they have done for me."

He is survived by his wife, Jacqui, his son Will and daughter, Lily.

JACK JIMMINY: THE STORY OF A PORNSTAR EXTRA

It looks like JACK JIMMINY: THE STORY OF A PORNSTAR EXTRA is completed and hitting the film festival circuit.

Here is the trailer for the film

Jack Jimminy: The Story Of A Pornstar Extra - Trailer#1 - "Official Trailer" - GripReality inc (c) 2010-2011 from Louis Silverstein on Vimeo.

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Starts Tomorrow Night

AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS starts rehearsals tomorrow night at Champion Studios on West 39th Street.

With the show opening in just a couple of weeks, coming in prepared is very important, so I'm happy that I am off book. I'm sure my colleagues will be on their game as well.

I'm looking forward to having a good time with the cast and my MIDSUMMER colleagues Katie Carter and Griffin Parker. I think this is a show that audiences are really going to enjoy.

I must give credit to our press goddess Lanie Zipoy, who has gone to bat for us and gotten us listed all over the net. Thank you, Lanie!