Tag Archives: music

THE WORLD IS (ROUND) WIDE ENOUGH

 

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Honestly if I hadn’t seen Hamilton last night there possibly could have been an unconscious cloud-shaped vapor lingering over me the rest of my life. Honestly as a person-of-the-theatre or even just as a New York pedestrian I was starting to feel like something was gravely wrong – and it was – I was totally missing out.

 

Good news is that this little New York ant (me) is now one of the many masses who rounded onto West 46th street in order to SEE HAMILTON! When I was in line I really felt like part of a super-organism or something…

 

First thing you should know about this rendition of events is that I am a lottery cynic. Know that this arises from a history of lottery losses. The last time I was enlisted to buy lotto tickets, on behalf of a brother, I reported back that I’d self-checked them at the convenience store machine. Instead of ‘success!’ I’d regurgitated the “You Are Not A Winner” that had streamed through my consciousness 15 times. Needless to say I don’t like revisiting that sensation – yoga mantras are more highly recommended!

 

So as I was mulling over some new headshots and planning a night of reading plays and potential monologue finding/learning and maybe even some non-dairy ice cream devouring… I got a text from a, now proven loyal, friend named D’ariel Barnard

 

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Dear D’ariel had played the online Hamilton lottery a steady 6 weeks before finally arriving at the 2 tickets that got us in the door yesterday evening.

 

As I tracked the leader’s footsteps towards our seats I was in a bit of eerily silent shock due to the marching to Broadway on such short notice having not expected to be ‘in the room where it happens’. As soon as I breathed in the space, however, I began to realize what a pleasure this was going to be. The set is simple, yet intricate with its warm brick walls, strong wooden beams, connecting ropes and mysterious entranceways along its parameters. “Such a large, mobile cast must require this,” I thought before seeing any action.

 

I turned off my cell phone… YES to turning off cell phones in theatres people…

 

The action began and what struck me most, apart from the obvious talent on stage, was the revealing of these historical figures as flesh and blood before my very eyes. The strength of the relationships the Hamilton cast creates on stage is really astounding. Each human interaction stands on it’s own very specific terms. In that sense I began to see what might have been in the hearts and imaginings of the daunting faces that I might normally only glance at when forking over United States’ minted paper for some groceries at my local bodega…

 

What unexpectedly touched me most, I think, in this well-oiled musical has to be the vulnerability of the antagonist Aaron Burr (Sydney James Harcourt). In the intermission I found myself confessing that Alexander Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) was so easy to root for. I was with him every step of the way as he climbed the ladder and got Washington in his pocket. I rooted for his relationships to resolve themselves peacefully. I empathized with his conflicting emotions at every turn in his life. It is odd, however, that the character whose actions I couldn’t forgive (he antagonizes Alexander Hamilton the most) turned out to be the character I felt the most compassion for – Aaron Burr. Isn’t that odd?

 

I thought about why and I now know that it has to do with what Burr discovered through his grave mistakes. It’s interesting. Burr discovers something Hamilton inherently knew, something the other characters grappled with but overcame… that the world is wide enough. Any actor in an audition room shuffles through it, any young professional intern in a boardroom meeting seethes through it, any little New York ant waiting in the box office line knows it – it’s an oh so familiar competition with people placed in a similar position and often striving for a similar widget…

 

The play reminded me to strive for what Burr longed for in his ‘private moments made public’… to choose love more. I’m sure it’s hiding within those uniquely competitive relationships where I least expected it. It got me wondering along with Burr – what if he’d thrived on harnessing those competitive relationships?

 

Hamilton’s got me feeling small, or rather, unexpanded. New York theatre and acting teachers have harnessed my ability to live in curiosity about the people around me – to take in all of it and carve out windows for the shoes and souls of others. In my voice class today with Julia Lenardon I had a fellow actor’s hands supporting my back so I could experience the expansion of my ribs when I breathe. What if I thought of the world more like that – good and bad resistance & healthy competition – all of it is something to push against, or release into?

 

THE WORLD IS (ROUND) WIDE ENOUGH.

 

Maybe I can incorporate that?

 

At the very least I did touch the gold paint on the wall of the Richard Rodgers Theatre before I left the front row of House Left to ground myself in reality – I was there – with a fellow little New York ant (THANKS D’ARIEL)!

 

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THE DREAM IS THE WORK

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OPERA IS BIG.  Opera at the Metropolitan Opera (MET) in New York City is GRAND.  As an audience member I walked along its red carpet and slid into its red velvety seats tonight.  The seating had just the right spacing so that I didn’t have to peer over someone else’s head, rather I had the convenient opportunity to peer through the patrons in front of me instead.  My night started with Pablo Heras-Casado conducting a live orchestra carting my suspension of disbelief into the world of George Bizet’s “Carmen” production by Sir Richard Eyre.

 

Why has it taken me so long to wander into the MET for an operatic experience?  I pass it nearly every week to get to the New York Public Library’s Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center.  My opera-singer roommate has only been singing its praises for the past year and enlightening me with scores morning, day and night… and yet I waited and watched straight plays, musicals and experimental theatre instead.  I pleasantly found the elements of a great performance in “Carmen” with the addition of the performers’ extremely gifted vocal abilities impressively grounding and also lifting the performance!

 

Tonight’s production had Brandon Jovanovich passionately playing Don Jose, torn between his duty to his country as a soldier and his mother’s wishes for him to marry his sweet friend Micaela. A playful, fearless and fierce Carmen seducing Don Jose was brought to life by mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili. The lovely soprano Anna Hartig offered up a gracious take on Micaela and moved me to helpless utter tears within fifteen seconds of watching her softly fight for affection from Don Jose.  All three performers held strong, appropriate relationships with each other that were truly humbling to the story.

 

Now I’m left asking myself what I should take from my experience with the opera as an actor? As an artist? I was struck by the thorough attention to detail that a MET production employs.  Not only does sound travel in the space like its melting into you, but the costumes, the set, the delicate syndication of the large ensemble and chorus was impressive and invited me in.  The soft melodic children chorus members balanced the bolder, more experienced singers in the production and created the sense of watching a community unfold on stage.  There were no distractions to take my focus off of the play, which means that the coordination, collaboration, professional vocal, musical and behind-the-stage skills that were employed gave me the sense that years, and years of training (moula) and work goes into a MET production.  I was in awe (first time at the MET obviously).

 

As an actor I connected and was mostly interested in the characters.  The relation to another human being depicted on stage because of universals or truths that the performers discovered and shared with me.  The story was controversial in its time due to the morality issues with a ‘gypsy’ woman, Carmen, seducing a French soldier, Don Jose, away from the more appropriate marriage to a sweet peasant girl, Micaela.  Today this plot could still stir up some intense moral judgments/arguments given the opportunity although I’m sure it will never be as scandalous as it was when it opened in at the Opera Comique in Paris in 1875.

 

I tend to find the witnessing of moral dilemmas on stage as enlightening and it helps me to face fears and controversy in a safe space.  I have opportunity to think about difficulties, about even painful ideas and events and have dialogue about them.  In this particular story I was struck with comparing Micaela’s translation of Don Jose’s motherly love and approval (or lack thereof) as she followed him around to save his soul contrasted with Carmen’s freedom and ability to turn the audience on with a bold use of her body to seduce Don Jose.  I was consistently torn between my heartfelt sympathy for Micaela and my excitement for Carmen’s freedom.  I witnessed the performers shifting the focus on stage to where it needed to be at all times and it allowed me to take in the characters’ points of view quite clearly throughout the performance.

 

Happy to report that I am very inspired by the opera.  I admire the passion that these performers had and it challenged and excited me to work harder on my own craft.  It made me want to listen to Bizet more often too. It also made me think of a quote by the late Marian Seldes in her book The Bright Lights: A Theatre Life:

 

“The dream was the work.”

 

As an audience member it felt good to be the last ingredient for the MET’s creation of the dream of “Carmen” on stage tonight.

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EMILY KINNEY

Actor, Singer, Writer

To preview or purchase Emily’s CD “Blue Toothbrush” visit:

www.emilykinneymusic.com

To check out Emily’s blog visit:

http://unscripted.backstage.com/emily_kinney/

I truly felt like I was waiting for a pen pal. A mutual friend connects you up with a person you might have something in common with, and then you end up sharing your intimate thoughts over long distances… without ever meeting.

By the time I received Emily’s personally mailed CD, “Blue Toothbrush”, from New York City (and read her friendly little sticky note message to me), I’d already been directed to her biography.

Definitely an inspiring young woman… shortly after moving to New York Emily was cast in Off-Broadway plays and popular television shows such as The Good Wife and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Her Broadway debut was as Anna in the Tony Award Winning musical “Spring Awakening” before she appeared as ‘Emily’ on The Big C (Showtime). You can also see Emily playing ‘Beth Greene’ in the second season of The Walking Dead (AMC).

While living in New York City, in between acting gigs, Emily wrote poems and short stories based on her own experiences and self-discovery. While on The First National Tour of “August: Osage County”, she found time by herself in hotel rooms and turned her notebooks into melodies about love, hope and sex.

Sex is dealt with daringly without losing, what I sense is a fun, sweet and sensitive girl, behind catchy and quirky tracks. Best yet, as an artist and a female I related to her genuine sentiments, questions about life and relationships. Listening to Emily’s voice felt like getting coffee or working on a bottle of nice wine with a girlfriend as we indulged in the details of our latest news and relationships; yet ironically managing to have a delightful time while covering things like heartbreak.

Another pleasant surprise that I found while listening to Emily’s album and realizing her commitment to honesty… I became excited to discover more of Emily’s work as an actor too!

I also asked her a few questions:

 

  1. What made you start making songs?

 I’ve always written little poems since I was little and I’ve always been so into music.  I would spend hours all by myself in my room listening to music and singing.  I played around with writing songs a bit in high school/junior high, but I was very judge-mental of myself and I quickly threw away the practice.  I felt the songs I was making up were silly.   However, I never really threw out the practice of writing poems and short stories.  I met Conrad Korsch doing a show called “Spring Awakening”.  We became good friends and when I went on tour with another show called “August: Osage County”, I decided to buy a guitar and teach myself a little.  Then, I started writing songs.  I started singing them to Conrad over the phone and he told me that they were good and was just so encouraging.  I started writing songs all the time on that tour.  I would say Conrad’s encouragement and friendship was a huge inspiration to me to start writing songs and really take it seriously.  Also, I saw a creative drive in him that I recognized in myself and I just wanted to tap into that.

Some of my best friends are also musicians and actors.  I go to shows alot, and watching my friends sing and perform at places like Rockwood, Living Room, Mercury Lounge in NYC has always been so inspiring.  Their boldness inspires me!

 

  1. As an actor, singer and writer how do you feel these different modes of expression are all linked?

 There was a time when I decided I really, really wanted to be in the theatre as much as possible.  I was just obsessed with rehearsing and plays and doing a show every night.  I thought to myself that I was first actor, and I sort of threw away a bit of my drive to train as a musician, but music was really my first link to performing and telling stories… and now writing my own material, I have enjoyed having the creative control in expressing an emotion and telling a story of my own.  So now I guess I think of myself as simply a storyteller, and if it’s through a musical or tv show, or through a song that I write and then perform, doesn’t matter to me as much as the quality and honesty of the work, and then finding which mode suits telling the story best.  Not all poems should be songs.

 

  1. Why the commitment to honesty in your work?

 I just think the best jokes, and the best plays and the best songs are the ones where you think to yourself,  “Wow that’s soo funny because it’s true, or that character is just soo much like my mom, boyfriend, etc……”  I write and perform and sing not only to express myself, but to connect with other people and their experiences and I just think the only way to do that is to be as honest as possible in your work.  Plus, in real life you don’t always get to say how you feel, you don’t get always get to have that moment where you freak out or explore another side of yourself.  Finally, i get to do that a bit in my work.

 

  1. What do you respect in a creative collaboration?

 What is so great about collaborating is that everyone has different talents.  Working with Conrad was awesome because he is a trained musician with sooo much experience and he’s really good with recording and computers.  I’m really not the best with computers!  He would have ideas about instruments to use or the tempo of the song that I would have never heard or thought of, but when we added a musical line or changed the tempo that song became this new thing that was so perfect.  It’s so fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of and it’s so fun to have someone to share in the joy of making a song.  I also trust Conrad and his ear and his judgment.  I think trust is important.  He’s not going to lie to me if he doesn’t like a lyric or doesn’t think something sounds right.  In theatre, If I’m on stage working with a director i need to know that the director is going to be honest about what is coming across to the audience and not just say, “that was great!”

 

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JUNO WATT

Musician & Music Producer based out of West London, U.K. with Mi7 Records

Website: http://www.junowatt.com/

Mi7 Records: http://www.mi7records.com/

1. What inspired you to start making music?

I’ve always been obsessed with the world of sound and how we perceive it. I was first introduced to playing music in the form of Cello when I was 7. This progressed on to drums, synthesisers and twiddling with anything else I could get my hands on. I started coming up with my own stuff on my breaks at school where we had access to guitars and pianos. After coming up with a number of hooky riffs I followed in my peers footsteps and started a band. Realising that we were rubbish I jumped on the back of a prog rock band playing drums for some guys a few years above me. I got squeezed out eventually and replaced. I don’t think much happened to them. Producing came later when I was set loose on Cubase VST, a very basic piece of software that enabled me to produce basic beats. This is where I met the world of sequencing and have never looked back.

I guess a general love for music and sound got me into it.

2. What is the best part about what you do?

Every part is amazing. I guess variation keeps things exiting. It’s impossible to have two days the same when you’re making music every track I write is very individual.

Also working with like minded people and having flexibility is great. I get to be a geek playing with technology and a business head as the music industry acts as a pilot for loads of marketing techniques.

3. Who do you admire?

I think the question should be more what do I admire. Of course loved ones top the list but I have a great admiration for the world around us. I find life fascinating and have an admiration for nature. This doesn’t mean I’m a hippy, I just think a lot of human creations are a reinvention of something in nature.

4. You recently released a song, ‘No Chances’ with Mi7 Records in London, U.K.. What brought about this collaboration?

 It’s not really a collaboration. I wrote the tracks and produced them. Mi7 helped me with mixdowns and post production.

Mi7 are like minded renovators of the music industry and a close knit family.

Check out Juno Watt’s music Video for ‘No Chances’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8QFy2LO0MI

5. How do you generate themes for your music?

That’s not a question with a simple answer.

6. What kinds of work have you done with the band King Charles?

 King Charles is the lead singer. I’ve done remixes.

Check out King Charles: http://www.myspace.com/kingcharlesuk

7. What is it about remixes that compels you to make them so much?

Taking a story and writing it the way I want.

8. What do you respect most in a creative collaboration?

Being open and not letting ego get in the way of making something great.

9. Do you see yourself making music in countries other than the U.K.?

Yes

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CONRAD KORSCH

 

Multi-Instrumentalist, Vocalist, Songwriter

www.conradkorsch.com

 

1.What have been some of your most inspiring moments as a bassist and multi-instrumentalist for well-known artists, such as Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Andrea Bocelli and the others you’ve worked with?

In general, when first starting to work with such iconic artists as those you mentioned, it’s always amazing to hear their voices live in the room with me while I am playing my instrument supporting them, after hearing them on TV and the radio for so many years…kind of like a dream. Some specific inspiring moments that come to mind are when I performed with Rod at the “Concert For Diana” at Wembeley Stadium, when we met Prince Charles (3 different times, actually), and it’s always a thrill to perform on national and international TV shows.

 

2. Have any of these artists had a particularly large role in your career?

Rod has had the largest role in my career in comparison to other artists based simply on the fact that over the past 8 years I’ve worked about 50% of the year with him on average. The rest of my time is spent working in studios (including my own), broadway theatres and other live venues around New York City, as well as with other artists and some shorter tours. I give Rod the first priority though, which has prevented me from accepting many other tours, but I’m not complaining…

 

3. What influences led to you releasing your own debut album, “Live, Love, Leave”?

I’ve gotten more and more interested in songwriting over the past decade, with influences from Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Jeff Buckley, Damien Rice, and other great storytelling songwriters. I love playing the bass, but by nature it’s generally a “sideman” instrument, and as I began to write more and more lyrics and melodies and got more involved in composition and production (including playing other instruments: guitar, keyboards, percussion, writing string quartets, etc), making my own CD was a great creative outlet.

 

4. Can you tell me a little bit about why this album is so special to you?

It’s a collection of mostly melancholy and poetic songs, some of them from my own experiences, some of them just stories. I have many other songs in different styles…many more upbeat and commercial songs, but I made this CD with a specific mood in mind, not necessarily with any commercial goal but as an “art piece”.

 

5. Many of your songs are very poetic. What kinds of things influence your writing style?

The ballads of Tom Waits were a big influence…the way he uses characters and nature to tell simple human stories in such a charming way.

 

6. What are your roots and how do they influence your music?

I grew up in Philadelphia and studied piano from age 6 until the middle of high school, when I switched to bass. I grew up around 80’s music, but then dug deeper into Led Zeppelin, The Who, and other great classic rock music. When I went to Temple University for my Jazz degree I immersed myself in jazz and other styles branching from jazz (Brazilian, Fusion, etc), almost avoiding rock music except for an original band that I kept throughout college which had a funky hard rock style similar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. After moving to NYC I got into the singer-songwriter scene and studio work, so I began to branch out again into other styles, and they all influence each other. Since Rod’s career spans so many decades and styles, I’m able to tap into many of my influences from over the years…some of which came from him!

 

7. What do you admire most when working with other artists?

I admire how great artists can get up onstage night after night and really deliver the goods. Audiences can tell when you are just phoning it in, and it’s not easy to perform the same songs for sometimes decades and still deliver them with the same enthusiasm that you had when you first created them. There’s definitely an art to that, and it’s something I realize more now that I have been promoting my own CD.

 

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MONICA MUSTELIER

Actor, Coach, Writer, Producer

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2458351/

www.monicamustelier.net


1. What inspires you to be an actor?

Well, there’s a couple of things. I didn’t necessarily want to be an actor in the first place. I just kind of fell into it. I was originally singing in a band in Atlanta. I came home and a friend of mine just said that, “You should try this because I think you’ll be a natural at it”. I just found that it was easier to be an actor than it was to be a musician. That’s originally why I did it.

I think what inspires me to continue to be an actor is the creativity and the people. I love that authentic connection that you get when you are creating with somebody.

2. What is the best part about what you do?

Besides being on T.V.?

I think it’s the community part. It’s getting to create and really having fun with people in the process of it. When I teach, or when I coach… personally, it’s seeing their growth creatively, and just as a person too. I feel that acting is just a process of getting to know who you are. The more you know yourself, the better actor you are.

3. Who do you admire?

I admire people who really just go for it. I admire anyone who really sees their vision, or really taps into what they love to do and just totally goes for it. That’s the kind of person I just really love, and those are the kind of people I like to surround myself by, and create a community of that around me. I guess if I were to choose a person… I don’t know. I guess people who fall into that aspect of it. People who are just really good at what they do.

4. What films, books or other works have had a major influence on your own acting or writing?

I went to go see Lily Tomlin, almost 7 or 8 years ago, when she was touring with a 1 woman show called The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life In The Universe. Seeing her play, I think, like 15 different characters in an hour and a half! I was just like, “holy cow! That was really, really cool”. She was one of the major influences on my creativity.

Also, music as well. The first person that comes to mind is Michael Jackson. His Off The Wall album is so amazing.

5. Have you seen any films lately that you really liked?

I just saw Win Win with Paul Giomatti. It was a little Indie that he did. That was really great. It was just about… he was a lawyer, and through a series of events, there was this kid who comes to him who is this amazing wrestler. That was really good.

What else have I seen that I was absolutely inspired by?

There’s so many. I recently saw Waiting For Guffman. Have you seen it? It’s awesome. It’s shot, kind of, documentary style. It’s just such a ridiculous comedy about a community theatre troupe who produces this event for their centennial town. It’s pretty awesome.

I saw a movie with… Hilary Swank. The movie Conviction was really great too.

6. What motivates you as an actor?

The first thing I was going to say was money!

I don’t want to do anything else so I’m constantly thinking, “Okay, what can I do next?”. I was actually thinking about that this morning, “What can I do next?” I have a few ideas.

So… money and not wanting to get a day job really motivate me to be better.

7. You seem to enjoy comedy a lot, what do you find is really important to remember when you’re involved in a comedic work?

I think really committing to the ridiculousness of it and totally not being afraid to look really stupid, or to offend people. That’s important, says the woman who wrote something about Jehovah’s Witnesses! I think with comedy you have to fully commit to what you’re doing and do it 110%, or else it’s not really funny.

8. You mentioned you created something about Jehovah’s Witnesses? What was that?

It’s a short called God Squad. I did it a couple of years ago. My girlfriend and I wrote it. It’s basically a group of rogue Jehovah’s Witnesses that go door to door and have unusual tactics to get you to become a Jehovah’s Witness. We put it in the Vancouver Short Film Festival a couple of years ago. I won Best Actress for it.

9. How have your experiences as an actor informed the way you coach other actors?

That’s a great question… I steal from my teachers. I’ve been really blessed to have some amazing teachers in my life who have really pushed me both creatively and personally.

They taught me to be unapologetic about my work. I find that a lot of… my sense is that a lot of Canadian… it’s just a part of our culture- is that we’re so polite, right? A lot of actors here are very apologetic about their work. Very, kind of, afraid to take up space. That’s one of my biggest lessons that I’ve learned and I try to impart that on my students and kids, or people, that I coach. To just not be apologetic. You deserve to be big, you deserve to be seen, you deserve to be talented and be acknowledged for it.

10. What do you admire most when working with a fellow actor?

I admire most someone who is really easy to work with, actually.

I worked with Cuba Gooding Jr. and he was so down to earth. He was really, really cool and made me feel really comfortable. You know, and I think there was no diva-ness about him. At one point, we were supposed to be having an argument and he was like, “This is really hard because we’re getting along so well. I need to be mad at you”. I turned to him just before we were supposed to go on, or start our take, and said, “Well you didn’t deserve the Oscar”. It’s like having something… you know, being able to say that without getting kicked off set… knowing that that’s okay.

So… that’s what I admire is just a sense of ease and grace and… humility is good.

11.You are also a humanitarian. What social cause are you involved in?

Right now, there’s a group of us who put together an organization called Munay Wawa. It’s to help support the community of Chinchero in Peru. They have a lot of, kind of like, a lot of First Nations. Basically, like anywhere on the planet, their Indigenous people are going through exactly the same thing that’s happened here, and what is happening here in Canada.

We just got together a group of really amazing people and started raising funds to send the community of children to school. To educate them… not necessarily in the Western point of view, which is really important because it’s not necessarily the right way. What eventually we want to do is build a school that teaches a basic curriculum of Math and Spanish… your fundamentals and their culture as well. If they do choose to leave the community then they’ve got that support system where they can read and write in Spanish, or English as well. Also, they’ve got that foundation of their own culture as well, and their traditional language in Quechua.

Munay Wawa means ‘beautiful children’ in the Quechua language. Check it out!

http://www.munaywawa.org/

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NOAH PINK

Writer, Director & Producer

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3300218/

http://www.noahpink.com/film.html

 

1. What inspired you to become a writer? A director?

It began with photography for me when I was thirteen. I always had this desire to capture moments and make them last. I began making videos relatively late, in university. At that moment, what inspired me was Truffaut, Charlie Kauffman, The Mexican New Wave and like any young guy, Tarantino. I still thought it wasn’t possible, though, and it was my sister, Deborah, who really pushed me to go for it.

 

2. What is the best part about what you do?

I get to tell stories for a living.

 

3. Who do you admire?

People who persist in doing what they love, even though everyone around them is telling them they can’t. Xavier Dolan, for example.

 

4. What is your favorite film? What is the reason?

That’s a really tough question. In different stages of my life, I’ve had different favorite films. Growing up, it was ET, because it inspired me to dream and to believe. In my experience, that’s what every little boy wanted to do. NETWORK is always near the top of my list, as is BOOGIE NIGHTS, JULES ET JIM, PICKPOCKET, PULP FICTION, Y TU MAMA TABIEN, AWAY FROM HER, WALL-E and oh my, it continues…

 

5. Do you have a favorite book or play? What is the reason?

I’m a fan of Tennessee William’ work, which I discovered through Film (Streetcar Named Desire) for its raw emotion and incredible voice. Authorial voice is a big thing for me when it comes to writing, whether in books or in screenplays or stageplays. Joseph Boyden is a Canadian Author I really admire for his ability to capture voice so well. (Through Black Spruce is one of my favorite books). And Jonathan Swift is great, as is Dickens and Shakespeare… all people I look to for inspiration when writing. Contemporary playwrights: I like Tracey Letts and Zach Helm (though I believe he’s only done one play, but I really enjoyed it!).

 

6. What motivates you as a writer? As a director?

Seeing great contemporary films still coming out and reading great stories.

 

7. Can you tell me a little bit about what your inspirations were for the ‘Red Song’ music video you did for Hey Rosetta!?

It started with an idea I had for a present to my friend who was getting married. I thought I’d make them a really nice wedding video, pretending it was just the two of them off for a wildly fun day. Alas, that never worked out, but a year later when Hey Rosetta approached me, I thought the idea could be melded quite well, with a little more story involved, to the ‘Red Song’.

Noah Pink’s ‘Red Song’ Video won 2009 Best Canadian Music Video – CBC Radio 3 People’s Choice – check it out!

http://www.noahpink.com/film/hey_rosetta-red_song.shtml

 

 

8. How do you generate themes for your films?

Lots of thinking things through, usually. For ‘Red Song’, it percolated for a year.

 

9. What do you admire most when working with an actor?

Collaboration, and when actors can bring a performance out in a character that one cannot put into words.

 

10. What key advice would you give to a beginning actor?

Practice, study and don’t give up. Too many people do.

 

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