Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ivanov Audition

My audition for "Ivanov" took place a few hours ago and I felt that I read pretty well for director Pattie Lynn. It would be great to be a part of the production, as I have never appeared in a Chekhov work, aside from scene studies in high school and college.

We'll see what happens.

Ivanov Audition Today and The Misanthrope Reading Tonight

Today is my classical theatre day. I've read the sides for Lebedeyev in "Ivanov" a number if times, so I feel prepared for that, while the reading should just be nice and laid back.

Looking forward to both.

Friday, March 30, 2012

SAG-AFTRA Merger Passes

This afternoon, the SAG-AFTRA merger passed, which makes me happy. It's about time!

I applaud both Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon for their tireless efforts in making this a reality.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

SIMPLE MINDED...Now Titled SIMPLE MIND is Complete!

Here is the final version of SIMPLE MIND, from writer / director Phil Newsom.



Special thanks to Phil, Paul Nameck and Kristi McCarson for their stellar work on this project.

The Misanthrope Reading

I picked up a copy of "The Misanthrope" yesterday and immediately read the script in preparation for Saturday evenings' reading. The role if Acaste is a fun one...a pompous ass in every sense, so that will be fun to play around with.

Greg's Guardian Angel Readthrough Tonight

Tonight the cast of All Things Random's "Greg's Guardian Angel" is meeting for a read through of the script for director Dan Kowalski.

My shooting day is still set for Sunday, May 6th.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Synge Maher and Matt Harris Join The 39 Steps

The thrills continue as I have just learned that both Synge Maher and Matt Harris have been cast in "The 39 Steps" along with Chris Kateff and myself.

It's official: It's a "Run For Your Wife" reunion.

Like Chris, Synge will be reprising her roles from the Pioneer Playhouse production from last summer, while Matt and I will be stepping into the Clown roles, which will be a lot of fun to play, especially with Matt, who is tops when it comes to physical comedy.

More to come.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cast in The 39 Steps At Millbrook Playhouse

I just received a call from Teresa Pond, the artistic director of the Millbrook Playhouse, who invited me to accept the role as one of the clowns in "The 39 Steps", the mystery/farce, directed by my good friend and frequent collaborater Larry Lesher.

Of course, I accepted and am thrilled at the challenges that I know the production will provide.

I also wish to announce that I will be working once again with my good friend Chris Kateff, who will be playing the lead role of Richard Hannay in the production. Chris has a major advantage over me as he has played the role before, in an acclaimed production at the Pioneer Playhouse last season. It'll be great to be on stage with him again.

Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cast in Reading of Moliere's THE MISANTHROPE

Brian MacDonald and Pattie Lynn, from the UNCLE VANYA reading, have invited me to participate in an informal reading of Moliere's "The Misanthrope", as adapted by Richard Wilbur.

The reading will take place on the evening of March 31st and I will be reading the role of Acaste.

This will be my first Moliere since appearing as Chrysale in ''The Learned Ladies'' (also adapted by Mr. Wilbur) in my junior year at Marietta College.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pulp Movies Review of GUNDERSON'S

Gunderson’s
March 23, 2012
By Paul Pritchard

***
Directed By: Matt Porter
Written By: Max Azulay, Matt Porter, Phil Primason and Mallory Westfall
Country: USA
Released: 2011
Running Time: 14 munutes
Links: Dial Tone Pictures
Comedy, Reviews

Max (Max Azulay) is about to start his first week of teaching health at Argyle High School when he discovers he has a rare venereal disease. Gunderson’s, the disease, has only one symptom – a twitch.

Gunderson’s is a comedy that takes an absurd premise and then plays it completely straight. The result is remarkably funny, primarily because of the strength of the performances – especially those of Max Azulay in the lead role and Timothy J. Cox as the over-friendly and utterly inconsistent school principle. While the result is not laugh out loud funny, this is a very enjoyable short film that will leave you sporting a wide smile.

Gunderson’s is an isolated storyline from Matt Porter’s Argyle and is well worth checking out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Auditions for Chekov's IVANOV

I will be auditioning for director Pattie Lynn, who led the reading of UNCLE VANYA a few weeks back, for her upcoming production of Anton Chekov's IVANOV, produced by the new theatre company The Hunger and Thirst Theatre Collective, where Pattie serves as the artistic director.

IVANOV is their inaugural production and I am thrilled at being asked to audition. My audition will be next week and if cast, performances would be from October 5-October 20 at Access Theatre,

Like UNCLE VANYA, Pattie will be using the great adaptation of Paul Schmidt for the production.

Millbrook Auditions Yesterday

Yesterdays' audition went very, VERY well, I thought.

After I presented my monologue, I was asked to stick around a little longer to read sides. Prior to the audition, I had made it known that I had a scheduling conflict with the callback dates, so Artistic Director, Teresa K. Pond graciously allowed me to read sides, provided that the directors in the room were interested and to my delight, they were. I then read sides from 4 of the plays being presented this season and they were THE 39 STEPS, LEND ME A TENOR, DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE (By Sarah Ruhl) and I'LL BE BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT by Peter Colley. 3 of the directors were on hand, including Larry Lesher, who is directing THE 39 STEPS. I read all of the sides, the directors have me very helpful adjustments and then read a little more. It was a lot of fun. The director of DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE was not in attendance, but Teresa was nice enough to film my audition.

All in all...it was a lot of fun and I feel very good about my chances.

Now...it's the waiting game.

Congrats to my dear friends Chris Kateff, Synge Maher and Matt Harris, who also auditioned and received callbacks. Good luck to everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Simple Minded Update

I heard from director Phil Newsom regarding the status of "Simple Minded" and according to Phil, things are coming along nicely.

Phil expects the film to be completed sometime later this week.

The 39 Steps Audition Tomorrow

I'm excited for tomorrow's audition for Millbrook Playhouses' 2012 season, which includes the hilarious farce "The 39 Steps", which is to directed by my good friend Lawrence Lesher.

The more I read the play, the more excited and thrilled I become at the prospect of appearing in the production.

We'll see what happens.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

UNCLE VANYA Tomorrow

Tomorrow nights’ reading should be a lot of fun. I finished reading Paul Schmidt’s adaptation of the play this morning and I like it very much.

The reading will now be held at ART/NY at 520 8th Avenue, to accommodate one of the actors who works there.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

March 20th Audition for Millbrook Playhouse's Summer Season

Today, I received word that I have been invited to audition for the Millbrook Playhouse's summer season, which includes a production of THE 39 STEPS, which is to be directed by my good friend and frequent colleague Lawrence Lesher. The season also includes a production of the classic Ken Ludwig farce LEND ME A TENOR, so there's definitely plenty of opportunities for some fun work, if all goes well.

If cast, I'll find myself in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania.

My audition is on the afternoon of March 20th.

For information the Playhouse, please visit: http://www.millbrookplayhouse.org/

Monday, March 05, 2012

Another Rogue Cinema Review of THE MISOGYNIST

Film Reviews: The Misogynist (2011) - By Matthew Saliba
Posted on Saturday, March 03, 2012

As any artist can tell you, there is no pill more bitter to swallow than that of "writer's block." As a writer/filmmaker myself, I've been there far too many times to count. Perhaps I ought to take up murder as a means to clear the gutters whenever the ol' noggin gets a cloggin' as it seems to do wonders for the protagonist in "The Misogynist," a film by Chai Dingari.

The film centers on Harlan (a brooding Pascal Yen-Pfister), a photographer whose glory days are clearly behind him. He spends his days regaling his wife (Rhea Sandstrom) with vivid descriptions of his nightmares while paying visit to his agent/Father Confessor Frost (played by the ubiquitous Timothy J. Cox), the latter of which proves to be worthwhile as he's encouraged to seek out something fresh. So naturally, like any artist in a fix, he turns his camera on his own life, namely his wife. She doesn't particularly care for this and before too long, her face is knock, knock, knocking on Heaven's door - literally.

There's nothing particularly wrong with this film per se. From a technical standpoint the exterior cinematography is just breathtaking. There's a little montage at the beginning of the film that wouldn't look out of place in a Michael Bay film in terms of its glossy sheen. Performances are solid all around with Pascal Yen-Pfister doing his best Jean Sorel impression and Timothy J. Cox channeling his principal character from Matt Porter's "Gunderson's." Even the story itself is somewhat engaging, particularly the opening sequence in which Harlan talks about his nightmares.

But on the other hand, for everything that works about this film, there's something that makes you just scratch your head.

For starters, the interior cinematography is just awful. Lots of flat lighting and odd choices in camera angles (note the opening sequence in which Harlan and his wife are going back-and-forth with each other; these are supposed to be POV shots, but the eyelines don't match at all and the characters aren't really looking at each other). Rhea Sandstrom feels miscast as her role calls for a stronger presence to hold her own against the likes of heavyweights like Yen-Pfister but we don't really get that with her. And finally, the script itself. Let's start with the title. A title is everything, particularly in the unglamourous world of indie short cinema. So I have to give points to Dingari for coming up with an eye-catching title. Unfortunately, the film doesn't quite live up to its promising moniker. Granted, the ending could be seen as "misogynistic" but so can any murder in any given horror film. The film also feels torn as far as what it's trying to say. Is this an examination of the struggle of an artist? Is this a horror film masquerading as a quasi-French New Wave mediation on relationships? Perhaps this is a film that could've benefited with an extra 10-15 minutes in order to flesh out some of the subtext.

At any rate, you can view the film online at: http://vimeo.com/36390095

Rogue Cinema Review of THE MISOGYNIST

Film Reviews: The Misogynist (2011) - By Brian Morton
Posted on Saturday, March 03, 2012

When I first saw the title of this short, I imagined some kind of strange feminist film that I was going to have to endure. I really didn’t want to watch a movie that told me that, as a man, I was evil and wrong and bad….well, Chai Dingari might have titled the movie that, and the movie might be about a misogynist, but it’s not at all preachy or fatalistic. The Misogynist is a very strange tale that seems almost true….which makes it far scarier than most movie monsters.

The Misogynist is the story of a couple, she’s working hard to keep their life afloat, he’s an ‘artist’ who’s more interested in following his passion than making a living. And, we all know that those two things don’t go well together! Soon, she’s resentful of his lackadaisical attitude and he feels that his art is more important than the mere pursuit of monetary gain. As the conflicts become more heated, things go terribly wrong and…well, I don’t want to give it away, it ends in a way that I never saw coming!

This short is very interesting, it’s not really a horror movie, but it has horror elements, it’s not really a movie about women’s rights, but it does have an interesting message about the relationships we find ourselves in. It’s a short that’s well worth your time! I’m giving The Misogynist 4 out of 4 cigars, it’s a great short that has an ending that will have you both laughing and feeling creepy! Check it out for yourself over at http://vimeo.com/36390095.

The Independent Critic Review of THE MISOGYNIST

Harlan (Pascal Yen-Pfister) is a photographer has a creative block. Tired of shooting the same old scenes, Harlan is uninspired until he begins taking photographs of his wife (Rhea Sandstrom). While the early results are promising, the increasingly personal nature of his work begins to concern his agent (Timothy J. Cox) and this is where writer/director Chai Dingari's nearly 13-minute short film really starts to get interesting.

An intelligent and well acted film, especially with lead Yen-Pfister, The Misogynist is the kind of film that begs for each individual's own interpretation. As Harlan, Pascal Yen-Fister does a nice job of not strictly defining his character and simply allowing his actions to speak for themselves. As his perfectionism begins to cause chaos in his marriage and daily life, Harlan's actions take a decidedly darker turn. In addition to Yen-Pfister's solid performance, Rhea Sandstrom does a nice job as his wife along with Timothy J. Cox as his agent.

Dingari paces the film nicely, never tipping the card as to where the action is going and maximizing the film's impact. While the film doesn't completely satisfy, at times feeling like a smaller piece of a bigger project, Dingari's characters are intriguing and one can easily see Harlan being a captivating feature film character.

Filmed on a modest $1,000 production budget, The Misogynist does occasionally get held back by its inherent technical limitations including a couple scenes that are a tad too dark and a couple not quite smooth edits.

The Misogynist is a competently made indie short that reveals both a writer/director with promise and the obvious challenges that come with producing a film on a modest budget.

Fortunately, you can decide for yourself by watching the film on this very page!

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic