Thursday, May 28, 2015

Reunion rapture with friends on HBO's "The Leftovers"

The biblical rapture has come, and guess who didn't make the cut?  These f*%#ers!  Shocking, I know.

The creators (no pun intended) of Lost and Friday Night Lights have brought Austin, Texas another major TV series, this one on HBO.  The Leftovers is a show about what happens when 2% of the population mysteriously disappears in what is presumed to be the great Biblical event, and what happens to the rest of us schlubs.

I'm pleased to be acting in episodes 202 and 203, directed by Mimi Leder.  The show stars Justin Theroux (Parks & Rec, Six Feet Under, yadda yadda), Liv Tyler ('nuff said), and many more excellent actors, plus the always awesome Austin A-crews.

Filmed in the quaint Austin 'burb of Lockhart (site of my first General Mills cereal commercial!), I was thrilled to catch up with fellow acting mates David Blackwell and Ben Taylor.  Great guys, and a joy to work with (both are wonderful in their scenes).

Many thanks to Liz and Jorge at The Atherton Group, and to Emmy-winning Beth Sepko for the read.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Texas Justice on ABC's "American Crime"

I was feeling very Robert Duvall-y in Episode 103 of ABC's American Crime, as the "old bull" cop to Brady Alland's "young bull" cop, as we work the beat, keeping our friend Ziko Farajzada ("Marco" on the show) on the straight and narrow.

As always, was a pleasure to work with friendly, professional, and capable Austin, Texas crew. Muchas gracias to casting director Beth Sepko for the read, and my homies James and Claudia at TAG for rustling up the biz!  Special thanks to Director Gloria Muzio; she created a very comfortable environment for the actors.

Best of luck to Brady, Ziko, and muchacho Edgar, all of whom are committed to the acting biz, and have lots of great credits already.  No doubt we'll see them in the big time soon!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Going out in a blaze of glory on NBC's Revolution

Tune in to the Season 2 Finale of NBC's popular sci-fi show Revolution, currently being filmed here in Austin, Texas, to see General Curtis Wayne blasted to kingdom come.  Shout out to Beth Sepko and my great agents (James, Liz, Claudia) at TAG for the booking.  Had a blast reuniting with Katherine Willis, and meeting some wonderful new friends, like Mark Chavarria and David Lyons.

If this was the show's swan song, at least we both went out with a BANG!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bright House Loft House and a Day in the Sun

Enjoyed a day in a way cool loft house over in Elgin, Texas with the team at Fueld Films, shooting a commercial for Time-Warner subsidiary Bright House cable services.  Also got to reunite with one of the Gore Girls, Meredith Johns, whom I hadn't seen since we worked together on Mark Vittek's black comedy Meat, and Andi, the 1st AD that I first met back in the red-clay-dog-days of Prison Break  (Season 3).

We jammed to the sounds of the director on the piano and guitar, talked football with Brook, the 2nd AD, and chowed down on some authentic Elgin BBQ.  I got compared by one of the client producers to "a young Pete Rose" and Henry Rollins.  You decide.

Between takes, I was queitly directing global teams for a Fortune 50 company from my cell phone, with no one the wiser.  I felt like a super-spy.  Acting meets consulting; high-tech and high touch converge in Elgin.

With BBQ sauce.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Furious and the Fast

Enjoyed shooting the new Dallas TV series (episode 7: "The Furious and the Fast"), airing on TNT.  Tremendous crew, as always in Dallas.  Happy to see many familiar and smiling faces in Big D.  Very nice cadre of stars, both old and new.  And I was gratified to meet and work with Patrick Duffy, who first entered my consciousness as The Man from Atlantis, one of the coolest sci-fi TV shows ever!

One really fun aspect was shooting the Texas Motor Speedway, where I got to be part of a gen-u-wiiiine NASCAR pit crew, boyItelluwhut!!  Those guys operate like a friggin' SWAT team! Greased. Freaking. Lighting.  Boom!

My thanks to director Rodney Chalmers, Producer Cynthia Cidre, and to Beth Sepko for the read.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Black Irish Curtis

Filming a small part in Paul Mignot's next project, with Michael Stahl-David. Enjoyed this dude in The Black Donnellys. Spent the day with Confederate Airforce bad-asses in Seguin. Nice change from the consulting world. :-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Baby Face Danielle: Supahstah!!

Just learned that my oldest daughter's first TV commercial (shot at the ripe old age of 18 months), and featuring her mommy Mary Bucek, is on the web here, courtesy of the Sherry Matthews Agency. ALERT:  It's for a breastfeeding campaign, so beware of boobies.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Best of Texas Movies

Don Graham's book about Texas Movies
Here's a fun article from Texas Monthly on making movies in Texas that I just stumbled across.  A "panel of experts" (WTF that means, I'm not sure) decides the Top Ten Movies ever Made in Texas.  I'm not big on "top 10" lists about pop culture, but the article is interesting more for the details you learn about the particular films, and of course, the predispositions about the people naming them, which may serve some of you aspiring filmmakers well, especially those in our Texas Film Scene community.

While the article is from June 2011, the content is evergreen, and I think you'll get a kick out of it.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Acting class starting

This Saturday, I am launching the "beta" version of my on-camera "Auditioning" acting class.   This initial class is by invitation only, so if you would like to attend, email me, and I'll let you know if there are any spots left. 

The class will focus strictly upon auditioning, which I believe to be a little bit of a black art, no matter what anybody tells you.  Many folks who read this blog are veteran actors, some are newbs, and some are not actors at all.  A few of each have signed up for the initial class, so you'll be in good company.

We'll cover some of the following items. The rest we'll cover during the full-length course:
  • The kind of auditions you should be focusing on for your "type."
  • 7 things you should ALWAYS do during an audition.
  • Differences between auditions and on-set performances.
  • 3 things you should NEVER do during an audition.
  • Owning the room.
  • How to handle improvised, no-line, and 1-, 2-, or 3-line auditions.
  • Group auditions vs. solo auditions vs. "firing line" auditions.
  • Role reversal tips.
  • Taking direction and making adjustments.
  • Making use of the full frame.
  • Sit, stand, or lie down?  How to handle stage directions.
  • Hot choices and when to make them.
  • What to wear, and what to NEVER wear!
  • Off-book or on-book?  Should you memorize your lines?
  • Live auditions vs. taped auditions.
  • Regional casting directors' likes and dislikes.
  • How to make story-accurate choices.
  • Bait & Switch- what to do when you are asked to read for a DIFFERENT part.
  • Using your voice to best advantage.
  • Cold Readings – Sides are given to each actor in the audition class and they have between five and fifteen minutes to prepare for the audition.
  • Warm Readings – sides are e-mailed to the actors several days in advance and they bring in their prepared auditions.
  • Text Analysis – Method that teaches how to efficiently break down a scene to create certainty while auditioning.
  • Improvised auditions.
  • How to use your nerves to your advantage.
  • Transitioning your auditioning skills into a real world audition. Many actors perform fabulously when going over sides on their own, in acting class or with a coach only to have a less than par audition in a real world situation.
  • How to kick off your audition with "guns blazing."
  • Keeping records of your auditions.
  • Keys for product commercials.
  • Reading for "non-actor / real people" roles.
  • other fun stuff.
In the course of each audition class, actors will work, and see their work on-screen.

Happy auditioning, everyone!  

P.S. - A shout-out to our friend Karl Anderson, who booked a role on the new TV series Chase.  Way to go, Karl!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pitching a TV show to Oprah

I'm in Dallas this weekend, for the in-person pitch to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). As always, there were important lessons to be learned.

Things like this are always a long shot, but my friend Kai Dupe and I met many wonderful people, and enjoyed the experience quite a bit. Props to Mary for clueing us in to the whole event!

Today was one of the four American Idol-type "cattle call" events. You can also submit online. I did both.

The online video pitch, which you can find below, allows you to vote easily, with no registration, and as often as you like. I suggest 500-600 times per day, please. :-) I'm shooting for 10,000 votes. Most importantly, though, I'd love to hear your comments and feedback, as I may pitch this to other networks or self-produce, so I'm anxious to hear what you guys think. By the way, much love to Marissa, Roze, James, and L.A. Houston for their great comments. If you're not a member of Texas Film Scene yet, try joining up, and connecting with others like you, who are doing it for themselves.

One lesson in this experience has been that you don't get the call if you don't show up. One guy in Kai's group got a call back, so it DOES happen, and we were close. Another lesson is the importance of being "good in a room," that is, knowing HOW to pitch; in other words, sales. So, 20 years later, that communications degree doesn't look like such a bad call, after all! Finally, you have to remember: you're not actually pitching Oprah. Sorry. You are actually pitching a young (like, 25 year old) junior casting associate. So if your pitch falls flat, take heart. Oprah might love your pitch, when she eventually gets to hear it. But to do that, you may have to make your OWN way for a while, until O comes knocking on your door, saying, "Hey, I'm a big fan of your show!"

Please VOTE if you like the video, and let me know your feedback. Thanks! Here's the URL.