Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Independent Critic Review of SIMPLE MIND

SIMPLE MIND B- (2.5 stars) STARRING Timothy J. Cox, Kristi McCarson WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Phil Newsom RUNNING TIME 7:23 Simple Mind is the story of Bob (Timothy J. Cox), whose relationship with his therapist (Kristi McCarson) reveals truths about himself he could never imagine. While the surprise of Simple Mind isn't particularly surprising, the film is worth a watch primarily for the benefit of watching the continued development of actor Timothy J. Cox. Cox's performance as Bob is filled with pieces of vulnerability, conceit, delusion and more than a little uncomfortable menace. The action takes place in both past and present as Bob works with his therapist in slowly building towards a revelation that leaves an impact even if you've already figured out where writer/director Phil Newsom's short film is going. One of the things one learns when regularly reviewing short is just how often actors, both widely known and relative unknowns, appear in them. Short films offer an opportunity to grow, experiment, try new genres and network with new people. Cox is a regular contributor of shorts for review to The Independent Critic, and it's hard not to be impressed with his willingness to try virtually every genre of film. Kristi McCarson embodies the therapist with an almost wide-eyed innocence, but it's clear from the way the scene unfolds between herself and Bob that she's building quite a dynamic of captivating tension. Paul Nameck's camera work does a nice job of focusing on Cox's ever-changing facial expressions and body language. Filmed on a modest $2,000 production budget, Simple Mind is now available for web-based viewing and can be seen in its entirety right here on The Independent Critic. Check it out and leave the filmmaker a comment on Youtube.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


The SPACE CATS reading just ended a few minutes ago and everyone had a good time with the material. I couldn't resist throwing a little Shatner into my reading of the Captain. In June, director Sean MacBride Murray wants to have rehearsals at least once a week before shooting takes place in the first weekend in July.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

SPACE CATS Reading Tomorrow

Tomorrow's reading with the cast of SPACE CATS should be a lot of fun. I read the script yesterday and it's a real hoot. After the reading, measurements for costumes will be taken, in addition to measurements for the prosthetic cat heads that we're going to be wearing.

PLATONOV Reading Last Night

Last evenings' reading took almost 4 hours. That's what happens when you're working with a 4 act play. Like previous readings with the group, it was a lot of fun. Thanks to Pattie Lynn for hosting. Overall, it has been nice to be involved in these readings. First of all, I think my involvement may have been a contributing factor to my invitation to audition and my eventual casting as Lebedyev in IVANOV. Also, it's just been nice to keep the batteries charged, which is important for an actor. Any way that an actor can keep active in the work is always helpful.

Friday, April 20, 2012


More Chekhov! Tonight's reading should be a lot of of fun. Always a pleasure to get together with a talented group of actors to sit and read a play.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Collectivitus' latest project SPACE CATS is about to go into production and I am thrilled to be a part of it. SPACE CATS will be an homage to all things 60's sci-fi, with me playing the Captain Kirk-like Captain Alley Cat of United Feline Federation’s Royal Navy.

Larry Lesher has joined the cast, so it will be fun to work with him again.

There is a readthrough on Sunday, the 22nd.

Dialect Coaching For THE 39 STEPS Last Night

Last evening, Synge Maher and Chris Kateff opened up their home to the cast to watch the 1935 film version of THE 39 STEPS, with the great Robert Donat, which was fun to watch.

Synge also arranged to have actor and dialect coach Zack Calhoon lead us through exercises to help us master Scottish dialects, which I deeply appreciated, as Matt Harris and I play many Scottish characters in the show and Scottish dialects are quite difficult to pull off, so we were thrilled to have Zack there to guide us and guide us he did.

Thanks to Zack to the help and to Synge and Chris for hosting.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cast in Reading of Chekhov's PLATONOV

Just cast in another Chekhov reading. This time it's going to be David Hare's adaptation of "Platonov" and it's set for April 20th at the home of director Pattie Lynn.

In 1997, David Hare adapted the little-known play, Ivanov, and revealed the young Anton Chekhov as a markedly different writer from the one English-speaking audiences were familiar with. Now he has produced a streamlined new version of Chekhov's freshman drama Platonov--an abandoned seven-hour manuscript in which Chekhov recasts Don Juan as a Russian schoolmaster.

I will be reading the roles of Porfiri/Marko.

More details to come.


Tonight is the informal reading of Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard". I was set to read Pishchik, but instead will be reading Gayev.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cast as Lebedyev in IVANOV

Great news! I have been cast as Lebedyev in IVANOV, to be directed by Pattie Lynn.

Rehearsals begin in early September, with performances set to take place during the first three weeks in October.

So excited to be a part of this production.

More details to come soon.

Monday, April 09, 2012

IVANOV Callback

I feel very good about my callback for "Ivanov", which took place about an hour ago. I read my scene, was given an adjustment and then re-read. Then I read the scene as Christopher Walken and boy did that go well. I made everyone in the room laugh, which is always a good thing to do.

I had a ball and hope to nab a role in the production.

We'll see what happens.

IVANOV Callback Tonight

I'm really excited for tonight's callback. Like "The 39 Steps", I really want this.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Kickstarter Campaign for LINDA LETHORN AND THE MUSIC BOX

Visit to make a donation and support LINDA LEHORN AND THE MUSIC BOX on Kickstarter.

A Message From the Co-Presidents of SAG-AFTRA

Dear Members,

It is with great pride that we welcome you to your new union, SAG-AFTRA. Your overwhelming vote to merge the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild has created the largest union in the entertainment and media industry. By uniting more than 160,000 entertainment and media professionals under a single roof, you have formed an organization with the power to shape our industry in new and better ways for all our members.

There will be some changes over the next year as we work to integrate operations, but it is our goal to make the transition as seamless as possible. One immediate change: You are now able to work under the contracts of both previous unions, even if you were a single-card member of SAG or AFTRA prior to our merger. If you were a dual cardholder, you can expect to save money on your combined base dues.

But this merger means more than just combining our membership to work under existing contracts. SAG-AFTRA was created to secure the best wages, working conditions and benefits for all members, and to organize new work and expand union protections across the industry. That mission will continue with renewed vigor and increased effectiveness.

We want to thank the excellent staff members of AFTRA and SAG who have worked with us and given us the support and expertise we needed to achieve this important goal. Without these professionals in offices around the country, we could never have reached this historic moment.

This is an exciting time and, as we embark on this new chapter, member involvement is more important than ever. We urge you to participate in helping to shape this new union, whether it is through serving on committees, running for elected office or simply offering your valuable feedback. Working together, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

In unity,

Roberta Reardon, Co-President

Ken Howard, Co- President

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


It's time for another Chekhov reading. This time it's THE CHERRY ORCHARD. It's about Madame Ranevskaya, a spoiled aging aristocratic lady, who returns from a trip to Paris to face the loss of her magnificent Cherry Orchard estate after a default on the mortgage. In denial, she continues living in the past, deluding herself and her family, while the beautiful cherry trees are being axed down by the re-possessor Lopakhin, her former serf, who has his own agenda.

I will be reading the role of Boris Borisovich Simeonov-Pishchik, a landowner, whose estate has hit hard times. He is constantly discussing new business ventures that may save him, or badgering people for loans. It's a great role, one I auditioned for in a production of the play in the fall of 2011, but alas, didn't get.

The informal reading will be hosted in the home of director Pattie Lynn on Friday, April 13th.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ivanov Callback on April 9th

I am happy to report that I have snagged a callback audition for"Ivanov" on the evening of April 9th at 8:30pm.

Really excited about this.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


I received this message from director Phil Newsom yesterday regarding the submission of SIMPLE MIND to the YouTube Film Festival.

I just want you guys to know that the YouTube festival that we tried to submit the film too didn't allow us to submit it in time. We tried to submit the film yesterday as well as today but it wouldn't work. You Tube has a filter and they thought we needed proof that we owned the music, in which we do. We even faxed over the music contracts to You Tube but they didn't get back to us in time to submit. The deadline was noon today.

Anyway, its a bummer, but that's okay. There are plenty of other film festivals that I will be looking to submit this too that are not as saturated as this one. I believe in the film and your work in it and I won't give up. I'll keep you guys up to date as to any festival that we get accepted too. In the meantime continue to share the video with anyone you want.

It is a shame, but Phil is right...there are other festivals.

THE MISANTHROPE Reading Last Night

I had a blast at THE MISANTHROPE reading last evening. Acaste is a great little character part that I'd relish playing in a full blown production. Thanks to Brian MacDonald and Pattie Lynn for inviting me to participate.