1st column: With Josh Mostel in The Amazing Ray; with Tom Sizemore and Cybil Lake in Central Park Dark; and with Judith Roberts in Rüya Koman's Reunion.
2nd column: With Bobby Cannavale, Tim Blake Nelson, & John Turturro in a feature film comedy premiering Spring 2017; with Marty Kove in Puppets; with Alan Hasnas & Samantha Scaffidi in Damien Leone's Terrifier; and with Academy Award-winning director Peter Werner on the set of CBS's Limitless.
3rd column: SAGAFTRA; as Academy Award-winning screenwriter Frances Marion in Matthew Greene's play Gregorian; Amy's Horse theatrical play podcast; on set of Laura Bray's Undocumented.
4th column: With Keith Chandler and director Joe Ronca in By The Dashboard Light; with Kevin Nagle in Hugh Scully's Confabulation; with Josh Lewis and Lauren Augarten in her SameSame webseries as her parents; poster for Natalie Roy's Far From The Tree.
What an auspicious & delicious way to start my acting gigs in 2016!
Being on set for three days as the FBI Interrogator on the quirky CBS series, Limitless, directed by the Academy Award-winning Peter Werner, living the words of Co-Executive Producer/Writer, Taylor Elmore, (who obviously has so much fun writing that even his stage directions are a blast to read!), and making a treasured new friend in Evgeniya Radilova, reminded me of how I've lived a lot of my career on TV so far, and how I see it continuing in the future.
More thanks than could ever be expressed (for so many things) to the generously spirited Jennifer Rudolph of The Actor's Green Room for suggesting me to Ross Meyerson and Kim Krakauer of Tucker/Meyerson Casting. And a big thank you to Kim Krakauer for giving me such awesome support during the casting session, too. The episode is called "Undercover" and it airs February 16, 2016.
On the teaching front, there are two new 4-week SitCom Courses, sponsored by The Actor's Green Room, that I'm really excited about. I love helping actors with Script Analysis tools, The Rules of Comedy, Cold Reading skills, and much more for their pilot season auditions and bookings. Click here to enroll. Check out the times and details here, along with information on Private Coaching here: YourSitComCoach.com
The trailer for Carlos Amaral Baptista's Written in Stone came out last week. Here's one of my scenes:
The Amy's Horse Live Theatre Podcast that all of us actors and the producer, Christopher Flockton, recorded in each of our own home studios was a blast. It's Episode 9, Ninety Degrees of Separation by David Guaspari. With Abigail Hawk as Sondra and Chris Kipiniak as Zandor, both recording from New York. Joined by Margaret Reed in New Jersey as Nina, and Tim Hopper in Chicago as Roy.
I can't wait to share the fruits of my directorial debut with everyone. It's looking really good in post-production. That's for my next blog post.........
A Sweet '16 to you and yours!
2015 was filled with many happy acting projects including a 3-theatre engagement, first at the 2015 Tony Award-winning Best Regional Theatre Cleveland Play House, then to Mark Cuddy's brilliantly run Geva Theatre Cente and his equally welcoming The Cape Playhouse, as global celebrity Masha, in the Tony Award-winning play #VanyaAndSoniaAndMashaAndSpike, cast by the inimitable Paul Fouquet, with 6 or so films rounding out the year.
A few of them include Josh Mostel's tough-talkin' wife in the comedy by Isaac Chehebar, "The Amazing Ray," cast by the incredibly warm-hearted Donna Grossman Bernstein; the lovelorn lead in the extra-talented Hugh Scully's "Confabulation" with Kevin Nagle and Frank Schiavone; and the devastated mother in the awesome spoof by Chris Carfizzi, with amazing makeup by Lenore Koppelman in #WhitePrivilegeFrankenstein.
The year's-end feature film was as the mother of the horrified daughter Samantha Scaffidi and Alan Hasnas as my husband in #DamienLeone's "Terrifier", with much gratitude owed to the hilariously talented actor & "LI Diva" award-winning star, Katie Maguire Edri, who also produced and cast me in #ChristopherEadicicco's "Waiting for the Sun."
Plus some voiceover gigs. And I started teaching my SitCom classes at The Actor's Green Room, thanks to the generously-spirited, bright light, that is Jen Rudolph.
Looking forward to continuing the filming of the oh-so-gifted Joe Ronca's feature film comedy, By The Dashboard Light, in 2016, as the erotic-Jeopardy aficionado mother of the lead character, perfectly portrayed by Keith Chandler and DP'd by the amazingly creative eyes of Derek Mindler.
And I'm so excited about the juicy series regular and recurring roles that I am booking on primetime TV series in 2016! Maybe as Liz Keen's mother on #TheBlacklist. Or a family member on #KevinJames' new multi-camera #SitCom coming to NYC. Or another of Denis Leary's old flames on "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll." ;)
Happy Holidays to everyone!!! And may 2016 be the year that all the rest of your dreams come true! Blessings, goodies, and love to you, your family, and friends!!!
The tears don't always come. The actual droplets, that is. But when they do, it's a fun, almost secret, sharing between me and the first couple of rows of audience members during the "fight" scene between Masha and her (adopted) sister Sonia (the wonderful Toni DiBuono) in their Snow White costumes. (Well, Masha is in HER Snow White costume, but Sonia has co-opted the concept by adding her version of Maggie Smith to the Evil Queen, which Masha is none to happy about since Masha got her non-famous sister invited to the party and had wanted her to be one of Snow White's DWARFS instead! "Everything seems wrong today!!!" Masha laments.) Anyway, at The Cleveland Playhouse (2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award Winner!) there was a vertical strip of lights on the far wall audience left, that I could stare into while Sonia is fretting to Vanya about not remembering Italian, that would help me to get the actual tears to flow out if I stared at them long enough while giving focus stage right to Sonia and Vanya. But here at Geva Theatre Center, the lights are singular and further away. So I love it when my hair is kind of in my face, or a speck of dust has lodged in my false eyelashes, tickling my eyes to help with the physical tears' eruption. When my mother died on Mother's Day, 13 days ago, those next few performances the water-flow was easier to achieve, since the sadness was skin-deep at that point. She's in a much better place, so my sisters and I have only love and a sense of freedom for her now. Bless your spirit, my dear mother. I feel it with me always....
But, one thing I learned while I was looping lines for a very famous, groundbreaking Academy Award winning film three years ago, (I can't divulge which one or they will take my first born ;),) was that while I was in the sound studio, watching this Academy Award winning actress's performances up on a huge screen in front of me, and recording her grunts and groans and fear of being left out in the Universe by herself, I actually experienced the feelings she must have been feeling, by BREATHING with her, in the same rhythm in which she had filmed those scenes. By the end of the 9 hours of recording some of her lines and a lot of her "expressions", I was emotionally spent from the extreme emotional rollercoaster her character experienced throughout the film.
I employ my breath in such a way in this #VanyaAndSoniaAndMashaAndSpike Act 2, scene 1 scene in order to get the rhythm of the tears to come when they should. There are many moments in the scene when I WANT to cry, but Bruce Jordan, rightly, directed me not to cry until Masha and Sonia explode in angst about the futility of their lives, which Vanya comes back with tea to his surprise. It's a very interesting acting challenge that I welcome wholeheartedly every performance.
It's very musical. The rhythm of it. And how the breath can help, and should help, one to achieve the necessary emotional connection we actors need in every scene. I love discovering this, along with the relaxation and focus needed, every performance.
What a gift this show has been for me. I am so very grateful on so very many levels for this experience. Thank you to Meg Pantera, my agent, and to Paul Fouguet, of Elissa Meyers Casting, for starting me on this highly rewarding journey.
Photo by Roger Mastroianni http://www.rogermastroianni.com
Will be a very interesting and fun week in #VASAMAS land, Geva Theatre Center style. A new Vanya, directly from the just-closed-yesterday Arena Stage production. So grateful to Eric Hissom for coming up on a moment's notice to join our #VanyaAndSoniaAndMashaAndSpike family. We welcome him to our troupe here in Rochester for the put-in tomorrow and reviews this week. John Scherer, recover well, m'dear "brother."
Tech rehearsals start May 1, 2015 at Geva Theatre Center, with me as Masha in Christopher Durang's #VanyaAndSoniaAndMashaAndSpike in the joint production of the Tony Award Winning Cleveland Play House and Geva Theatre Center and The Cape Playhouse. Previews begin May 1. We open at Geva on May 8th. Come see us! Tickets at http://www.gevatheatre.org
Don't ya just love it when you've got your camera recording at just the right time? My son Matthew was amazing at this Varsity game! Not only is he the only Sophomore on the team, but he pitched 6 innings of this particular 8-1 (almost) shutout. So happy for him that he gets to experience being so accomplished in a sport he loves, along with his prowess & expertise as a football kicker and QB.
Get to see my High School Sophomore son, Matt, play baseball! He rocks!!
April 22,2015 Student Matinee_Cleveland Play House The audience is the completion of the circle of any performance.
Without the audience, we actors only have a partial experience. We give, they receive, and then give back to us with their energy and, in the case of comedy, their laughter. It's a beautiful cyclical event, unique to each performance.
This morning, at 10:30am, at #TheClevelandPlayHouse we performed #VanyaAndSoniaAndMashaAndSpike to high school students, who we were afraid wouldn't get the play at all because it's about people in their 50's with references to times-gone-by that we were sure would go directly over their young heads. And some of them did - Masha and Nina's "No, I am not Norma Desmond!" section was a big snoozer, as were several other references we merrily articulated, but definitely sped by.
In Vanya's massive monologue at the end of the play, we actors were pulling for the fabulous John Scherer as he would approach a possible anachronism for these neophytes, wondering, "How will this out-dated reference go over? And this one? And this one?" (there are so many. ;)) And it either would or wouldn't be understood, but the energy was completely different than with our normal audiences, with whom we are able to dance and tilt and tease and set-up to play the music of the comedy with more completely because we are in age-related cahoots.
Today, the teacher in me felt like, "Let's lay these references out with a teachable fascination so that maybe, just maybe, one or two of them will want to go home and research some of these "new" insights, ideas, movie stars, films, etc. I can only hope. And I'm hoping that they'll remember more from the play than just Spike's hard-earned sculpture of a body (way to go, Gregory Isaac Stone!)
This young audience seemed to thoroughly love the whole play, though, from the screams that started even before the curtain call lights went on. Or, maybe they were just ecstatic about not having to be in school during that time.
I feel so very blessed to be able to "play" for a living and to be involved in one of the greatest gifts humans can give, by being on stage presenting #ChristopherDurang's Tony-Award winning, well-crafted words. #so grateful