Thursday, January 31, 2008


I like the music I grew up with fine enough.
But I wish I'd been born earlier.

James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Sinatra, Ella....


A friend was playing Bob Dylan on guitar last night.
Never got into his voice, but oh his music.
Where are the classics of our time?
Britney? Christina?
Is that what we'll be remembered for?


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Children and Hot Dogs

I've always wanted to write a play called Children and Dogs - the two things being the things one "should never" kill in a movie, and also the things a serious actor "should never" work with, lest they want to be upstaged.

I have to add something to this list.
I have to eat a jelly-filled donut while delivering a monologue about conducting an autopsy.
Funny, yes.
Easy, never.

Kidding Around

It's hard being a kid.
I was a very young actor in Milwaukee.
Growing up, I worked with a lot of adult actors who would remain based in Milwaukee.
Always having set my sights on bigger things, I relocated to LA when I was 18.
Subsequently, Milwaukee has not allowed me to grow up past 18.
That is to say that many of the adults that I worked with when I was young still see me as being young. (I'm 23, I know, but I live and work on my own. If I wasn't a professional as a child, I certainly am now.)
And so it frustrates me to go back to Milwaukee and seek approval (cuz we all do) from the people that I, often, aspired to be like, and have them treat me like just some kid.
I want (I have ALWAYS wanted) to be their equal, their colleague, but they can't stop being my teachers, my elders, my superiors.
Eventually, it's time to stop going back.
I'm not getting anywhere.

Frankly, neither are they.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hottie Scotty

Okay, yes, I'm waaaay behind on the boat on this one, but I just saw The Last King of Scotland last night. I know, I know, how five minutes ago.
But it has raised a few questions in my mind.
The first one being how did Forest Whitaker win the Oscar for Actor in a leading role? I realize that his is the eponymous character, but the story is not his story, and the struggle is not his struggle. In fact, he plays one note through out the entire film (granted that note is a bi-polar maniac); there just isn't any dynamism here.
Reviewing the other nominees from last year, I'm not sure who I would have picked in his place, though Ryan Gosling and Peter O'Toole raised more than just a few eyebrows.
The second question is why haven't I noticed this Hottie Scotty James McAvoy before?? (Again, I realize I must be waaaay behind the boat.) In reality, I have seen him before. I saw Bright Young Things and The Chronicles of Narnia, but the former I slept through and as for the latter...well, I don't know how much one can be attracted to a centaur before it begins to border on the creepy.
In any event, he was the star of the film, and while, perhaps not an Oscar-winning performance, it was certainly an Oscar-worthy performance. After this, I'm very much excited to see Atonement, even despite Ms. Knightley's chin-acting.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Charlie Wilson's Musical

In my effort to see as many Oscar nominated films as possible (sadly my annual Oscar party will not happen this year -- mostly because I'm out of town, but also as an act of solidarity with the writer's strike) I went and saw Charlie Wilson's War last night. The incomparable Phillip Seymour Hoffman is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

The film is perhaps a bit timely. That is to say, the story is very interesting in the current climate and situation we live in, but is not neccessarily an intresting story intrinsically.

But what fascinated me (and what usually fascinates me, as a playwright, about any film) is how theatrical it is in the writing - musical even. If only a war could successfully be translated into a musical (I happen to think it can't least not without losing some of the impact of what war is) I think this film could be a musical. The dialogue is poppy, there's a lot of hot, bubbly, chorus girls (lead by the very musically talented Amy Adams), and a few scenes could easily be put on a stage just as they are in the film.

Shrek the Musical better look out.

God Loves Antarctica

A facebook friend of mine just invited me to join a group protesting the hatemongering site Now, I'm not a huge fan of the world-wide social network facebook has come, and I don't like joining numerous groups, but that doesn't speak to my solidarity with this cause.

If you enjoy dark humour, I encourage you to visit the site (though, I fear supporting their agenda with hits to their website...). One of the funniest things, which is apparently new since I don't recall knowing this in any recent times, is that God Hates America. In fact, not only does he hate America, he also hates sweden, ireland, mexico, and canada. Each site begins with a plea for God's intended to leave these countries immediately (which makes one wonder what the Westboro Christian Church is still doing in Kansas...hmmm...).

Anyway, I wonder where exactly God's chosen are supposed to go. France, perhaps? No, not there, surely. Not with their reluctance to support our war against "the infidels." England? I guess not, what with the Anglican Church being the state religion and the legalization of gay marriages. Iraq and Afghanistan seem most sympathetic with their crusade-like actions, but...well, I guess one doesn't need to point out why they wouldn't exactly fit in there.

I hear Antarctica is lovely in the fall...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rock Star

My collaborator, Ryan Scott Oliver is a rock star.

His current piece - not written with me - has won basically every award short of the Tony.

And it's not even two years out.

He's just won the very prestigious Richard Rodgers Award and everyone should be very proud and very jealous.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Love what you do

I'm in rehearsals right now for RED HERRING at the Laguna Playhouse. It's a silly play. But I had one of those "I love my life" moments. I'm almost two years out of school and I've managed to survive (sometimes even quite comfortably) as an artist in Los Angeles. My plays are being performed across the country, music that I've written (but never even heard) is being sung in other cities, and I get to do the one things I've loved doing since I was five years old - act...for a living, no less!

Basically, I'm lucky. And it's good to take stock of what's good in your life, even when you're still in rehearsals.

World Premiere

Something worth checking out, if you're in the

Denver area. Very intense piece about a latino family in the 1970's. Not for the squeamish, but certainly for the passionate theatre-goer.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shared success

I've always felt that your friends' successes are your successes.
I've also always enjoyed the idea of being part of a generation of actors, artists, and other such movers and shakers.
Seth Numrich and I were History Boys together at the Ahmanson in LA.
I moved south to Laguna Beach, and he moved north to Seattle Rep to do The Cure at Troy.
This kid's incredible (as all the History Boys were) and worthy of keeping an eye on.
So here I am, doing my part, to encourage the success of my friends.
For my own sake, of course.

RIP Heath

I realize this is a bizarre first post.
But I'm a young actor and my generation just lost one of it's own.
Accidents happen, I know.
But I can't help but wonder if celebrity/fame/this business fucks people up.
We tend to want to believe that if you're a hard-working, respectful,
passionate person, you will be rewarded with success, happiness, and longevity.
If anything, it reminds me that life is unexpectedly wonderful and tragic all at the same time.
And precious.
Endlessly precious.