Wednesday, May 26, 2004

New at NYU

So last night was my first acting class at NYU, and we had a substitute! But our sub was quite good. Our actual teacher is a working actor and doing a play out of the city. He'll be back in two weeks. The class itself is an interesting mix of people -- a couple of directors, a few people in their twenties, a few more in their thirties. Some of the people are merely looking for a distraction from their humdrum office jobs. I guess I fall somewhere in that category, although I do have professional aspirations.

Tonight was my first class at TVI. It's a basic commercial technique class, taught by Judy Bowman, a casting director. We just had a question-and-answer session tonight, but I'm really psyched because of Judy's extensive knowledge of the Business. Note to self: I REALLY need to get my headshot done soon.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Eric at the Bitter End

I took Derek to see Eric Kufs (of Common Rotation) do a solo show at the Bitter End tonight. I had a great time! Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

iPods & Classes

Got a brand-spankin'-new iPod mini from Apple today, to replace my staticky old one. Damn my early adopting! Let's hope this one works out.

On the acting front, I just got back from my tour of TVI Actors Studio up on 46th. I was very impressed with the facilities and with the organization itself. TVI offers a great range of services to actors and actors-in-training. I'm signing up tomorrow!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Hobnobbing with the Buffy Cast for John Kerry

I just got back from a wonderful long weekend in L.A. I already miss it, and driving through the ghetto (from JFK Airport) and the muggy, overcast weather that greeted me made me miss California that much more.

My primary reason for the visit was a John Kerry fundraiser. Common Rotation performed, and the event was hosted by actors Danny Strong ("Jonathan" on Buffy) and Michael Bacall. Over $9,000 was raised!

Pictures from the trip can be found on my Flickr page.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Voiceover Work

Last night, I took part in a seminar on voiceover work. I, along with about 15 others, listened as Charles enthusiastically preached the Gospel of Voiceover for over three hours. We all got behind the mic two to three times for a cold read of commercial copy, and within minutes, Charles was able to make almost all of us sound like seasoned pros. And as I've guessed for quite some time, and as Charles picked up on immediately, my speaking voice (when miked up) is probably best suited for kids commercials and animated pieces. The seminar was fun and enlightening, and voiceover is something I may pursue further.

So, I just got a haircut in anticipation of my weekend jaunt to LA. (Wait... "jaunt"? Does anyone else use that word?) Anyway, Kim is coming over tomorrow night to crash at our place, because our flight from JFK is at 7 AM (ugh!)... I am so not pretty before noon, let alone at 5 AM, when our cab is coming to pick us up. I just got word from my Uncle Will that he and his family (and some of my cousins) are available to take us all out on Saturday for a day-long thing, probably Six Flags. That should be a lot of fun... I'm a rollercoaster junkie!

In other news, my glorious iPod mini fell victim to the unbelievably-piercing-static problem that's been reported in the last month. But it's under warranty, and I'm really impressed with their customer service so far. I set up a service request online Monday morning, and today I received a foam-insulated box, that included pre-cut pieces of packing tape (!), with pre-labeled, pre-paid shipping back to the mothership (i.e. Apple HQ). Pretty fancy.

This piece of news caught my eye. This is excerpted (without permission) from a brilliant article by Joyce Millman of the Boston Herald. I couldn't have put it better myself.

AN ERA OF ANOTHER SORT comes to an end on May 19 when the WB pulls the plug on Angel (Wednesdays at 9 p.m.) after five seasons. Unless Joss Whedon has a TV movie or a feature film left in these characters, the official Buffy the Vampire Slayer saga is over (though devotees will probably keep it alive for years on the Internet with unofficial fan fiction).

Angel was the unlikeliest of Buffy spinoffs. How do you build a show around a taciturn, formerly evil hunk who canít have sex because of an age-old Gypsy curse? But Whedon and Angel co-creator/executive producer David Greenwalt came up with a perfect hook: make Angel (David Boreanaz) a Dark Avenger protecting innocents from demonic mayhem, drench the story lines in themes of redemption and self-reinvention, and set it all in Los Angeles, the self-reinvention capital of the world. Like Buffy, Angel was a constantly evolving and adventurous series that tried on genres with dazzling bravado. It started as a pulpy comic-book noir, delved deep into sci-fi and fantasy, and this season became a vampire roadshow of Grumpy Old Men with the addition of Buffy refugee James Marsters as Angelís eternal rival, the pesky Spike. And it spun some of the most deliciously creepy scenarios this side of Stephen King ... be sure to catch the rerun of this seasonís "Smile Time" episode, in which a demonic spell turns Angel into "a wee little puppet man," to paraphrase a gleeful Spike, and thatís "puppet" as in "Muppet."

The show was blessed with versatile, gifted actors who made you suspend disbelief with every twist and turn of personality and plot the Angel writers threw at them. At the height of Buffy and Angel glory, the story goes, Whedon would have his two casts over to his house for regular Shakespeare readings, and what I would have given to witness some of those. Angel was even more shamefully neglected than Buffy when it came to awards and industry recognition. So let me just say this: there was no more moving hour of drama on TV this season than the episode "A Hole in the World," where emotionally wrecked demon hunter Wesley (Alexis Denisof) sat vigil as the love of his life, sweet science genius Fred (the wide-eyed, luminous Amy Acker), died an agonizing death by demonic possession. Yeah, I know ... you had to be there. And for the past five years, Iím glad I was.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Troll Hammer on Buffy

Olaf and his Troll Hammer, from the Season 5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode 'Triangle'I got the Troll Hammer! I got the Troll Hammer!

The Buffy collecting madness continues! Last week, 20th Century Fox auctioned off this wonderful piece of memorabilia. I won it, and it arrived today!

"This rare item is the hammer used by OLAF (Abraham Benrubi), in various episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, including the Season Five episode entitled Triangle and the Season Seven episode entitled Selfless. This screen-used prop is over two feet in length and is made of a semi-flexible, rubber-type material. This extremely rare item is a must-have for Buffy fans and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. Bid with confidence for your chance to own this significant piece of Buffy history."

The actual prop (Olaf Troll Hammer)