Tag Archives: acting

The Waiting Game: “Promises are Meant to Be Kept.”

Awhile back, an old friend popped into my head. You know, someone you haven’t seen or thought of in years, just magically enters your thoughts. Why this happens, we don’t know. Is it divine intervention? Is there some ‘behind-the scenes’ brain chemistry at work that just randomly brings up the person?

Whatever the case may be, it happened and I took it upon myself to find them on Facebook and reach out.

1102721_10151532596951230_1348320316_o.jpg

I say ‘old friend’, but not in the traditional sense. This was an internet friend, someone I had met through Youtube before it was even a thing. He was an actor, on the cusp of hitting it big time. We had talked off and on on Myspace and our connection was lost just by circumstance and the changing technology.

So, when I reached out, I was happy to get a reply. He did in fact remember me and our connection had a few bars again. I was thrilled. Over the moon. While I did consider him a friend, he really was admirable. I hoped to one day reach his calibur of talent and visibility in the entertainment world.

As we began talking again, I caught him up with all my projects. I went ahead and shared with him of a failed project, “Three Little Words.” It was a web series created after a group of friends had agreed to do a project with me. I had done theatre all throughout high school and all my friends were actors. But, without dragging the story along— people dropped out, thought the material was too serious, “got busy”— and it just went nowhere. It still pains me today, that friends who at the time were very involved in the acting world— thought they were above it all.

Before I gave up on the project, I had written a few monologues for the major characters for audition purposes. In the end, only one ‘actor’ performed for me. I say ‘actor’, because he really was a male model and after watching his performance, I realized the ability to act was something you either had or didn’t have

After hearing my story, my old friend said, “Well hey. Send me the monologue my way. I’ll do it!”

The thought of asking him to perform one of the monologues hadn’t crossed my mind at all. I was just sharing my woes. So, you can believe me when I tell you I nearly jumped out of my seat after hearing this from him.

Someone with TALENT was going to bring one of my characters to life. The rush of happiness that I felt can not be described. It was at this moment that I wondered— had he popped into my head to ultimately lead me to finding a competent actor?

So, I sent him over the monologue for the character of Todd Walker, the antagonist. I was pretty excited because villains are more fun to write than heroes and they’re more fun to play, too. And with that, we said goodbye. I figured he’d be prompt and get a video of himself performing it for me within a week.

Boy, was I wrong.

The-Waiting-Game.jpeg

Time slowly ticked by. A week, a month… I was getting anxious. I didn’t want to bother him. He was a hard working young man. He had a girlfriend. Life was busy. So, I waited some more.

When we reached the two month mark, I figured I’d go ahead and ask again. I caught him online and shot him a “hello.” We had a pleasant conversation just about how things were going. When it felt right,  I snuck in a “I can’t wait for the monologue” comment. He responded with: Yeah, I’m probably the worst with taking my sweet time!

I realize now there might have been some kind of problem then. He had apologized for not getting it done, but there was no confirmation I’d ever see the monologue performed. At the time I didn’t realize this and thanked him for chatting and The Waiting Game began again.

Another month went by. And it was now his birthday. I always try to say something personal to people on their birthdays instead of just the generic “Happy Birthday”, so I wrote him a short little birthday wish and sent a message.

He replied with a thank you and nothing more.

The Waiting Game started again.

Another two months go by.

By this time, the monologue had been in his possession for five months. I was frustrated, worried, and confused. He had offered to do it. We were friends. What was the hold up? I wrote to him again, being more direct, but still polite.

He responded a few hours later, but not how I was expecting.

You see, aside from acting, he was a published author. And way back when, he had offered to send me his book. And his response was that he had a surprise for me. He hinted at it being his book, so I thanked him. It was then he said the monologue would need to wait until after his exams were finished.

But you see. In looking at the situation now, this was a distraction. He didn’t want to do the monologue. So instead, he changes the situation around with him sharing something else I had asked for years ago.

It was another two months before his surprise arrived. It wasn’t just his book. It was that and a lot more. He asked me to not share anything of the contents, so I suppose I’ll still honor that. It goes without saying, he put a lot of effort into what he sent me. It was a really good distraction. He did acknowledge me “waiting so long” for his book and thanked me for “putting up with” him.

I was so touched by his kindness, this ‘surprise’, that I had the thought that perhaps, he was just too busy and that I didn’t really need him to perform the monologue anymore.

So, I wrote to him saying we could forget about the monologue.

He responded with “No, no— I’d still like to do it.”

But, he had just had surgery on his eyes and he couldn’t read! “They’ll be better in two weeks,” he said.

So, yet again, The Waiting Game starts for the umpteenth time… but I am sure he’ll honor my request. He ‘wants’ to do it, after all.

We talk a bunch as time slips by. Five months to be exact. I didn’t ask about it once, but it was often on my mind. His eyes were better and he had vacationed in Cuba.

A monologue takes a person five minutes to do.

So, I write him a longer message now. I talk about how I admire him, how he’s a real talent, and maybe, he’ll find enough time to perform this tiny little thing for me.

“Send it again” he says.

The next day, he sends me this:

12180070_10153062071736230_33462880_n

“One must print and highlight or one is not taking it seriously”

Oh my god, it’s actually happening. Holy shit. Adrenaline rush.

“I’ll send it tomorrow,” he writes.

Tomorrow comes. Tomorrow Goes.

He’s had the monologue for over a year now. It’s a new year. And I wish him a happy one and remind him once again– “Hope I get the monologue soon!”

He didn’t respond at all.

One more month goes by. He’s had the monologue since July of 2014. And it is now 2016. I ask him flat out, is the monologue this bad? What follows was one of the oddest conversations I’ve ever had.

He mentions Occams razor. (How do I solve this problem?) And he proceeds to tell me he’s joining the secret service. I am so incredibly confused and very frustrated by now.

“I don’t want to keep waiting”, I finally say, a year after the fact.

He reads the message but that’s that.

I decide to cut the cord. Hit the delete button.

But… The Waiting Game had begun again.

The show wasn’t over…

Tagged , , , ,

The Most Talented People I Have Ever Known

I assure you, acting talent is something you are born with. It can be improved upon, but it can not be learned without the initial talent itself.

 Actors are highly regarded in our society. Some of them deserve this admiration: Meryl Streep, Daniel Day Lewis… some actors truly catch your attention. And while it may be nice to meet these people  from Hollywood— even talk to them just for a minute, I want to talk to you about some actors I know personally. They may not be famous yet, but they will be. And I’ll get to say, “I knew them when…”

In no particular Order—

Brendan McCay:

814933-51

I met Brendan during play auditions during college in 2007. I was beyond nervous and he offered words of encouragement. I first saw Brendan act in 2009, where he played Jack, in The Importance of Being Earnest. It’s here where I learned the young man has a knack for being extremely expressive with his face, is excellent at comedic timing, and can do wonders with his voice. We got to work together in 2010 for a student directed one-act play.  A Cold Day in Hell, in which Brendan played Steven, a man who dies and is shocked to learn he’s gone to ‘the bad place.’ This experience was especially enjoyable, because I felt as though I was working with one of the greats. After college, Brendan took to working with an improv troupe. I’ve seen him perform three times and it’s always a barrel of laughs. The last time I saw him perform, some family came along. I was worried they would be hard to please, but in the end, they were raving at how he had talent and was ‘the best one up there.’

 Brendan now lives in L.A, living the dream. I know it’s only a matter of time before he ends up in a comedy pilot or on SNL.

Brendan as Jack in 'Earnest.'

Brendan as Jack in ‘Earnest.’

See a bit of Brendan’s talent in his acting reel:

JJ Hansen: 

247317_1911740307007_7634635_n

JJ and I went to high school together. He was a few years younger than me, so I didn’t get to see him perform until much later. I saw JJ in two separate shows where he essentially mimed — making the audience laugh without speaking. His talent will remind you of Charlie Chaplin or one of the three stooges. His talent is one you can’t exactly describe. But, his gift is the ability to make you laugh. Being funny isn’t an easy thing. Take away speech and it’s even harder. But JJ succeeds.

 A few years later, I saw JJ perform in a student- written work at his college. The story was a series of vignettes. But one stood out in my mind. Something I truly had never seen on stage before. JJ portrayed a Rooster in this scene. There’s this running joke that once actors get into a serious school, their first acting exercise is to pretend to be a an inanimate object or a strange animal. And here was JJ, as a rooster. While this might have been daunting for most people, JJ embraced the role. The audience was in stitches. It’s one of those things you wish you had on video because it was so great. Physical comedy came into play and JJ is a master at that.

 A few years ago, JJ landed a spot in a commercial, which you can see here:

 Matthew Cordon:

1537999_10202946374603385_1754934875_o

Have you heard of a triple threat? A triple threat is a term given to an actor who can act, sing and dance. Not every actor can do all three. But if you are a lucky one, you are basically set. Matthew is a triple threat and a joy to see perform. He was the brother to one of my friend’s in high school. I remember visiting said friend and Matthew was playing the piano and singing as well. I knew then, that this young man was one to watch.

 Matthew and I always joked that I never got to see him perform. I’d always hear stories from his brother, that he had just landed the lead in some musical downtown. It wasn’t until 2009, when I visited my old high school and got to see Matthew portray Dickon in The Secret Garden. It was here I finally got to see Matthew show off his talent. The young man is a gifted tenor, exquisite dancer, and can be dramatic in a way that feels sincere. I saw him perform once more in a professional production of Spring Awakening, playing the part of Mortitz. Here, Matthew’s vocal performance was in high gear, particularly during the number, “Don’t Do Sadness.”

 Matthew is one of those actors who would be brilliant for Broadway, and I wish him the best. I know he resides in Florida, currently.

See a bit of Matthew in Spring Awakening:

I mention these three, because they truly are masters of their craft. Each of them has unique talents.  And, for me, it’s a pleasure to have know them.  I wrote this entry, because, I found myself wishing I could  meet a handful of famous, great actors. And then I realized, Wait a minute. I already know some amazing ones!

So, keep their names in your mind.   Because — you might just see them in lights.

I take no credit for the videos or images in this post.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Are you an agent”?

YounowSnapshot_Francis_1

In the past few days, I’ve gotten some questions regarding the entire #francisondegrassi campaign.

First, let me start by saying, I’m not an agent. I have a background in acting and writing. So, I suppose I have qualities an agent would have.  In the case with Francis,  I simply  saw a person who had potential and merely brought a certain audition flyer their way.  But, I’m just an ordinary guy. My hope, when all is said and done, is that I might have at least one television show on the air.

Second, I wasn’t the genius to create the #francisondegrassi tag, either.  That was all Francis. In fact, it’s all him.  He’s the guy doing the work. He’s getting his name out there, brushing up on acting techniques, asking the right questions, maintaining his healthy lifestyle… all the while still hopping on the school bus in the morning.

You may have heard me say “I’m his manager” or “I’m his agent.” That’s simply a inside joke as it were.  However, I have no problem offering feedback to someone. But I am not in the position to get you “famous.” If you want an actual agent, you just have to look in the right places. Be weary of craigslist postings and things like that. Honestly, the best way to get an agent is by networking. The act of getting the agent isn’t through networking, but finding a CREDITABLE agent is.

Now. If you’re here wondering where all the NEWS is.  I know. I want the news too. But, I just remember this little saying:

No news, is good news.

EDIT: For those wanting updates. Francis did get a response. But he is not allowed to disclose the details of said response.  Season 13 begins in JULY. 

#francisondegrassi

Tagged , ,

#Francisondegrassi

407238_4339286554267_2075814815_nSo, this is a really, really interesting story. So, as a writer/actor, I had my hopes of working on DEGRASSI one day. Of course, I’m not Canadian, so my chances are extremely slim.

Not very many days ago, I was cruising the website YOUNOW, which is like Skype, but live and you can chat with several people at once. And, I saw this guy, FRANCIS SAUVE broadcasting. He was an engaging guy and seemed really popular with all the people watching. I noticed he was from Canada, too.

Now, in my experience, all actors have a THING about them. It’s something you can see and feel. And, I saw it in Francis. I talked to him a bit and low and behold, he had acting aspirations, and was planning to move to LA after high school. And so, I just told him, “Hey, you’d be great on Degrassi.”

Francis checked out the link I sent him about auditions and he seemed interested. He asked me to help him try to get on the show. Now, I’m not ‘in the business’ as it were, but hell, I thought, I’d help him anyway I could. So, I made sure Francis watched the pilot and knew who CRAIG MANNING is.

Francis had the idea to start a hashtag on twitter, #francisondegrassi. He hoped it would trend. Francis is popular on younow and he got people tweeting it. And I thought, just for kicks, we should try to get Stephen Stohn in on the deal. (The Degrassi Producer.) It was a long shot, but I believed in the kid and he just promoted the heck out of himself, and I’d help him out with the Degrassi facts and such.

And earlier today, while live on air, Francis suddenly got excited. “Oh my god. Wow. Holy….” He started breathing hard and we were all asking him what was going on. He showed us his phone, and the one and only Stephen Stohn had followed him and tweeted him, asking him if he had an audition tape!

The rest is Francis’ story to tell, but I am extremely excited for him. I can’t take the credit though. I just saw the talent he had, and shoved him in the direction he needed to go. His fans got him noticed and BOOM.

Of course, the writer in me is already imagining who Francis could portray on the show. The badboy? The popular kid? The possibilities are endless, really. I’m a true believer that Francis will be what Degrassi has been looking for since the original cast left. Degrassi needs another male that can really, really connect with the audience and be a front runner in the storytelling.

Will Degrassi have found the next Craig Manning?

Time will tell.

Tagged , , , , ,

Character Studies.

I’m always looking at people as characters. It’s a bad habit I can’t seem to break. I take some of their characteristics and create someone new.  My friends don’t know about this exactly, but it’s true. I think any writer would agree, most of their characters have a bit of real people in them.

Some people I find extremely fascinating. See my last entry for an example. Some people, just grab you. Especially as a writer. Sometimes, you don’t turn them into characters, but you see their potential to be actors or the like.

But, I want to talk about someone today. Someone that I think is truly unique, and someone who is what I would call a ‘character study.’

ONISION.

Image

That’s his username. His real name is Greg, and he’s a fairly famous Youtuber.  If you haven’t heard of him, and want to look him up, be a little cautious. His videos can be graphic and offensive. But, beneath this extreme content, is someone who shines as an actor.

You should see his videos where he plays THE JOKER from Batman. Yes, he is mimicking a performance of a late actor, but his portrayal is flawless.  And, this is not the only character he plays. He has many original characters that are fleshed out with traits and ideals.

What Onision also does is share his personal life. Some would say he shares too much. But, in these videos, you see raw emotion. And as a writer, I’m like, glued to my computer.  Greg’s life tends to be more dratamtic than most.

On one end, you have this amazing actor. On the other, you have this slightly nutty guy sharing his life.

Some say Onision is some secret scripted fiasco and that Greg really IS acting.

I’m not sure.

But, whatever the case may be… he fuels my mind with character ideas and at the very least, is ‘interesting.’

NOTE: Image from public Google Search.

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: