Another year is about to come to a close.
Lots of professional and personal highlights, some professional disappointments, but all in all, as always, the positives outweigh the negatives.
THE 39 STEPS was the highlight of the year from a professional standpoint for me. The most challenging and fulfilling experience that I have ever had as an actor. Larry Lesher and I had drinks last evening and we're still amazed that we climbed that mountain. We even discussed the possibility of doing NOISES OFF in the future, a show that has even more challenges than THE 39 STEPS. Might have to climb that mountain some day.
If you're a regular reader, then you already know my thoughts on IVANOV.
On the film side, SIMPLE MIND was the highlight. I'll always be in debt to Phil Newsom for thinking of me for the part of Bob, which I had a great time playing, although he confided to me that I got the part because before the project, I sent him an email with my headshot and resume, asking him to keep me in mind for future projects. The timing proved to be perfect. So a lesson: Always keep in contact with people; send an email, postcard, etc. You never know what it will lead to.
2013 is around the corner and I know that I have MARTY AND DOUG'S NEW RELIGION, PART II to keep me busy in the spring/summer. I may also be involved in another production with Gracye Productions' (THE ASPHALT CHRISTMAS) which would be a great thrill!
I'm also getting married in August, so on the personal side, I can say already that that will be the highlight of 2013.
As always, it's never boring, always a challenge....just the way I like it.
REVIEW: Over Coffee 
“Prove it. I need a dozen manila folders. Now! Go!”Borrowing from many office-based romantic comedies that came before it, Sean Meehan‘s short Over Coffee adds a bit of fun, quick paced action to the mix. Andrew (Erik Potempa) has been pining over Carla (Jocelyn DeBoer) for a while now, refusing to do more than awkwardly stand by her desk until the opportunity to prove his affection presents itself. Confronted with the choice to either go back to work and let her reap the consequences of her forgetful mind or rise to the occasion to become her gofer knight in venti coffee armor, he rolls the dice if for nothing else than to see her smile upon return.
And although the brief fifteen-minute runtime doesn’t afford too much time for more than this simple conceit, the menial task of paying a barista for Carla’s bully of a boss Hamilton Rice’s (Timothy J. Cox) caffeine fix must hit a couple snags to make it all worthwhile. So, add in a bitchy businesswoman devoid of human decency (Mallory Portnoy‘s Laura) and you’ve got yourself a race against the clock to retrieve a stolen coffee in the hopes Andrew’s dream girl still has her job when he gets back. It’s a mundane act for the cubicle-saddled sect that sprawls into an adventure to save a damsel in distress from the evil miser ready to crush all their hopes and dreams.
Meehan has injected some nice comedic elements with Andrew’s sex-obsessed, work friend David (Michael Oberholtzer) and Hamilton’s myriad hoops for Carla to jump through in order to make her life miserable and satisfy his power trip. They are a welcome distraction to counter our central would-be couple’s more straight-laced work habits and help us to forgive the plots many contrivances. For everything to fall into place we need Carla to be the worst secretary in the world—forgetting every task she was meant to accomplish that day—as well as the coffee shop’s cashier to be completely oblivious to a woman stealing Andrew’s order. But if you’re going to really fault a cute laugh of a film for its clumsy devices, you probably have no business taking the time to watch anyway.
Oberholtzer is one more wisecracking chauvinist films of this ilk provide, broadly playing his role as Portnoy does her self-important, villainous foe. Potempa is likeable as our hero, his stoicism adding to the plausibility of his shyness and desire to dote despite having work to do himself; DeBoer gorgeously fills the role of the ideal catch like she did in the indie film Stuck Like Chuck for which there are many similarities in tone and scope here; and Cox is having a ton of fun playing up his air of importance until a cute revelation turns his imposing figure on its head. A lot of the fun occurs when Andrew exits his cautionary bubble of etiquette to complete his task and the reward of a sweet exchange at its close proves nice guys can finish first.
Over Coffee 6/10 | ★ ★ ½
Watch it for yourself on YouTube: Over Coffee.