Thursday, August 31, 2006

Almost Lunch Time

Doing these festival shows can be so strange and insane. Don't get me wrong. I'm completely and utterly a fan...but I am also incredibly grateful that I just spent the past year doing four week workshops on two to three hour plays for one perfomance.

That's sort of how doing a show at one of these grand-scale theatre festivals feels like, but it's even more extreme. The production is bigger, more people get involved, there is excitement and press...and then it all ends after six short shows. That's not even the insane part though. The insane part is that you have only two to three weeks to rehearse.

"Lunch" is going well. There are a few frustrations I have at the moment...but no one is really to blame for them. I play a character that fronts a band...and right now I have no band. I have a piano that really takes away all the flavor from Shawn Northrips wonderful little punk/rock score, and I won't actually get my band until opening day due to the fact that they are all in DC. That scares the shit out of me. Oh well, I guess it will be exciting. It will be a new experience for the audience...AND for me. (I've been promised a little rehearsal time before the curtain is actually raised)

There are so many things to love about this experience though. First of all, it's original work. Second of all, It's good original work. Third of all, there are good people attatched to this project. And by good people, I mean good people. From the director, to the composer/writer, to the incredibly warm-hearted cast, there is such a naturally GOOD energy surrounding this group of people. I sound like some crazy hippie shouting out "your ora is amazing!" But I mean it. I really enjoy being around my cast. Everyone is extremely supportive and I have never felt more instantly comfortable with any other group of actors.

I just read my name in a playbill article for the second time. Yeah, there was no epic story of my life...but it's crazy to think that I've already been able to achieve that in the 4 short months I've been here. I am proud of what I've accomplished here but I do run into a lot of skeptics. I look at these wonderful little shows as a creative, constructive, and respectable way to get my foot into the door. Of course I don't consider them the height of my career...but I am incredibly proud to be apart of them. I know that a lot of my college-aged friends (of the few that I actually have) think I'm crazy and think I've stupidly turned down massive opportunities like CCM and CMU. And I know that alot of the older actors that I have recently worked with can't even begin to understand why a 19 year old would want to be doing anything BUT drinking beer in his dorm room...but I think I am going after big opportunities. And I also feel like I'm taking more time with things than some of my college friends. I figure I'm young, so why not try to utilize that? Why do we all have to follow the same basic structure of life (highschool, college, grad school)? How boring is that?

Ah well, I guess I'll have to live with the fact that people aren't exactly going to "get" me for a while. At least not when they first meet me. (Why the hell isn't this kid in school? Jesus is he 15...16?) No, but I can play 15! AND I look the part. Haha.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The most wonderful time of the year...

We've finally made it. September is right around the corner and you can already feel it's presence. The brutality of the summer heat and humidity is finally going to end. The hot, sticky heat of summer on the east coast is not something I have ever been a fan of. Although, living on the east coast does have one drastic benefit weather wise...FALL.

I love everything about fall. I like getting back into things. I even enjoyed the idea of going back to school when I was a kid simply because it meant things were finally going to start moving forward. I love the weather during fall. To me, there is nothing nicer than a brisk cold. You can bundle up and actually throw on a few layers, but it isn't so cold yet that you think you're going to die if you step outside. Most importantly, I love the colors of fall...and there is no better place to be than New England to witness those colors. Living in california, all the seasons become a blur. It's beautiful year round and rains a lot during the spring. Trust me it's not as nice as it sounds. I think a change in the weather keeps people gives you a clearer sense of time. It makes you feel like there's something new to look forward to...even if there isn't.

I woke up this morning and I could smell it. It was raining lightly outside and my window was open. I took in a deep breath and I knew that fall had arrived. We'll be easing into it for a bit...but it's here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What ever happened to "Spice up ya life" ?

I may sound like an old lady...but I am a bit concerned at who exactly our pop idols are today. Better technology has somehow given more room for untalented pop stars. I've never been a huge fan of pop music and I consider myself to be a bit of an "indie boy", but I do make sure that I know everything that's going on in pop culture. Why? Well...quite simply...there are reasons things become popular, and it's important to recognize and understand what people are drawn to when working in this industry...

But how do you even begin to understand someone like Paris Hilton and her new album? Honestly, I think she may be the closest thing to Milli Vanilli in years! There has to be at least 4 girls singing over her even on her most "intimate" track, and there is literally a chorus of voices singing over her on the rest. If Brittany Spears needed 13 girls to sing over her on "Toxic", imagine how many extra little voices are needed for someone like Paris Hilton. At least Paris has the money to hire such an incredible production team...but her only draw is her sex and social status. And yet she's one of the top ten downloaded albums on iTunes.

Oh well, I guess there will always be Paris Hiltons (or Hilary Duffs) out there...but what about our other idols right now? For instance, the strippers-gone-girl-group, The Pussy Cat Dolls. 13-year-old girls are buying this album. As my best friend Beth put it; while she used to hum a love ballad like Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” her little sister now goes around singing about "riding it dirty." When Beth and I were kids, the Spice Girls were huge. Has anyone seen the pussycat dolls perform? Intense doesn't even begin to describe it. Watching a 13 year old mimicking those moves beyond disturbing.

But then again...I guess my mom was just as disturbed when she watched my older sister roll across the kitchen floor pretending to be Madonna singing "Like a Virgin." But Madonna was a revolutionary...she couldn't help who her audience was. And her muic was broad. For every "Like a Virgin," there was a "Like a Prayer."

I don't think the Pussy Cat Dolls really fit into the catagory of revolutionists. However, I do think that the producers of the Pussy Cat Dolls know exactly who their target audience is...the TRL watching 13-16 year old girl. Maybe that's what makes their image throw me off so much. It's like 6 Brittany Spears at once. But less catholic school girl...more...stripper.

Oh well, "Buttons" is pretty damn catchy. (But you didn't hear that from me)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Top 100 Teen Idols

Oh Vh1. How is it that even though every show that has ever aired on that channel follows the same exact formula every's still so mindlessly entertaining and gripping? When they start a top 100 know you're in for a 4-5 hour long haul...and yet, watch. I sat and watched 4 hours of the top 100 teen idol count down on VH1 this afternoon...and I couldn't get enough of it. I even paused the damn thing while I was making myself some food (thanks to the recent wonders of DVR.) The whole thing just fascinates me. I don't get how it's possible that complete strangers, failed comedians, and D list actors commenting on celebrities can be so entertaining. But it is. And this program was especially interesting for me.

I'm going into this field right now as a very young (and even younger-looking) actor. I will be playing "teen" until I'm 30 if my current baby face doesn't disappear magically within the next few years. I was really impressed by the careers of some of these young stars and starlets. Some of them completely wasted away into oblivion after even 5 or 6 successful movies...some just slowly walked away because it wasn't right for them...some are working in TV off and on and are still in and out of acting...and a few (I stress "few") have remained steadfast and strong. I'm not quite sure what it is...but you do see it when they show who's made it in the end and who hasn't. There are a few exceptions...For instance, I never thought Alicia Silverstone, in all her Clueless glory, would ever fade into a C list least she's still hanging in there, but I thought she was destined for Hollywood glory. Most of the ones who have made it though, make a lot of sense. There is either such a strong attractive quality behind their persona that Hollywood could never let them fade away...or the person actually has talent. Very rarely do you find both. Leonardo DiCaprio has both, and I praise everything he has done with his career...what a dream! But then, who would have thought Jessica Biel would ever persevere after 7th Heaven? And now that she has...I'm actually starting to like her! I mean, she's working with Edward Norton. I admire her hard work and risky choices. I think it shows a drive.

I also admire people who simply stepped away from the cameras for different reasons. Remember the stud from Sixteen Candles? He left the acting world at the height of his game to go after his true passion...Carpentry. And so many of these stars leave the business to become moms, go to college, or they leave because they never really wanted it in the first place. I admire that more than anything else. I think that no matter what happens to you in this outrageous world of acting, you should always make sure that you are happy. You need to have a life that isn't a life you are portraying.

I felt like I learned a lot from that fascinating little VH1 special. Who knew? I never thought I'd recover after "I love the 80s."

Friday, August 18, 2006

Rockstar for a Month

So...Kurt Cobain may not be the right image...but I was very excited to learn today that I will be playing the role of "Mophead" in "Lunch" at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Mophead is the school's punk rocker. He is the lead singer in a ska/punk band that performs at lunch. The character is fun, full of energy, charasmatic, and easy to love. I am so excited to dive into this character at full force.

Since the director was originally split between me playing the rocker or the sweet and sensitive boy...I am so happy that I get a chance to play the rocker. Maybe it was the hair...but, for whatever reason, someone is taking the risk on my bambi looks and giving me a moment to prove that I can kick some serious character ass. I have always considered myself a character actor. I have loved playing the romantic leads, the passionate young men, the twinkling teens...and I find so much thrill exploring them all...but nothing satisfies me more than setting up a truly unique, dynamic, odd, and comedic character....such as Mophead. I love comedy. Which is something people don't see when they first meet me. One of my favorite roles was LaVerole in The Relapse at LAMDA. It was a restoration comedy so everything was larger-than-life. I got to play a very fast, very funny, and very flambouyant french servant. The role was a blast. A serious delight.

I have a lot of personalities in mind to explore for this character. I can't wait to get started.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


First off...huge congrats to Mr. Michael Hidalgo. I'll let him reveal all of the juicy details of what that sentence hints at on I couldn't be more proud. Trust me...any success that comes to that man is well deserved.

The most powerful and wonderful thing in the world is to see a good friend succeed in some way or another. Whether it's finally landing that dream job, finding the love of your life, finally letting go, accepting yourself...I've watched so many of my friends completely blossom this past week and it's been overwhelming. I swear there must be something in the air! There is a lot of positive energy around me right now. I'm basking in it all with a broad smile on my face.

I have some news myself. I was recently cast as a lead in The New York Musical Theatre festival's "Lunch." The play is written by Shawn Northrip and is Directed by Shirly Serotsky. It is a comic, punk/rock musical about 8th grade love. I'll post more information about the show soon, but it's sure to be a blast. Visit for more information.