To Boldly Go

For those not in the know, we open Star Trek: The Improvised Generation tonight at Impro Studio Theatre tonight.  We run for the month of September and I am crazy excited.  I love TNG, ever since it first aired.  For me it’s as close to my heart as Star Wars and that’s really saying something.

As a young man I wanted to be Han Solo as an adult and father, I want to be Captain Picard.  I often try to work and lead like him.  His compassionate, adventurous and strong demeanor brings out the best from those under his command.

Join us as we traverse the Improv Universe.  I play Jack Deadman, Commander of the USS McGinley.  After the show please stay for our LATheatresports show!  It’s free with purchase of a ST:TIG ticket!

Star Trek Facebooks

LATheatresports every Friday night!

Improvisation is something that I can say I’m known for. By that I mean, I do it, often and without excuse. That doesn’t mean I always hit the mark. God knows I don’t always hit the mark. To be more specific, I bet several people who have attened shows have seen me not hit the mark. But that’s jazz, as they say. Failure is to be embraced in improv. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. It’s an imperfect art form for imperfect beings. Yes I just quoted The Borg Queen.

But that’s not why you’re here!  You came to find out where I improvise!

Two very fun shows this weekend!

At our Impro Lab space! Friday night at 8pm, The World Famous LATheatresDeanHaglandpromoports!  With very special guest Dean Haglund!  One of The Lone Gunman from X-Files joins us to lay down some improv superiority!

 

 

 

 

Then on Saturday night at 8pm, we open ‘Improvised Sci-Fi Adventure!’ With: Josh Zuckerman, Madi Goff, Cassidy Claire Risien, Nicholas Daly Clark, Jen Reiter Barker, Mike D’Alonzo, Rob Ullett, Ted Cannon and yours truly as Captain Falcon! Join the motley crew of ‘The Talon’ as they race across the universe to keep out of the reach of the evil Monarch and survive with only their wits and cunning!  For tickets contact LATheatresports@gmail.com or @LATheatresport for 241 specials!  Tickets for Saturday night can be got right here through ME! Email me or find me on facebook!

 

 

Did you register for SDCC?

Say 'Hi!' just don't shake his hand.

Say ‘Hi!’ just don’t shake his hand.


Ron did. And, I did. Cause we’re professionals. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you’re not registered as a creative professional for the San Diego Comic-Con. (No judgements.) Yesterday at 10am ‘professional registration’ opened. Professional registration is “offered to professionals who take an active role in the creation, design, writing, editing, or production of comics, animation, films, books, video games, or toys. Job titles might include writer, artist, penciller, inker, colorist, letterer, animator, designer, sculptor, editor, publisher, producer, actor, etc. This category includes retired career professionals from comics and related popular arts field. The creative professional badge is also extended to those responsible for the content of websites that promote the historic or ongoing contribution of comics to art or society.”
For me. The Pro-reg is the only reason I go to SDCC. Let’s be honest. The problem with the event is not the people. It’s the guests. SDCC has allowed greed to bloat the show. Like a Cthulhu spreading it’s tentacles in all directions,they have become blind to the problems of the event. It’s not possible to really see everything you want to see. Everything in that place is Sophie’s Choice. “Do we go to the hall now or go to the Anthony Daniels signing?” “Dude, go say hello to that actor! He was in BSG/BSG’84/TNG/Emergency.” “Hold my place in line I need to pee/eat/coffee/vap/free beer loop.” If you want to meet old school actors btw, hit The Hollywood Show, great fun.

What about collectables? Holy fuck the collectables! If you want specific collectables and items you’re not going to see much, IMHO. You get in line, to get the thing, that you can only get if you got in line to get the ticket that you got stamped after you waited in line. (The Fuck! Fuck you!) Or you waited while people pushed and shoved to get that mini-poster that 150,000 other people just grabbed. Go to

Artists Alley? The cost your small local artist or comic start-up puts up to be there is so cost prohibitive they have to charge you the person who payed $200 in tickets and $300 in hotels fees to spend even more money to make the booth work! But they dare not give up the booths exposer, which I bet is not at all what they want it to be. I bet they feel they have the spot, so they can’t let it go. (I get it.)

SDCC is an umbrella event for what should be other smaller events. See above. It’s the super bowl of pop culture. Everyone, both big small and miniscule, takes out all their wares and uses the free media, to put the word out about what they think will work. That’s why it’s a mad house. To much pop, not enough culture. (Oof.) Try the LA Comic book and Sci-fi Show? You don’t need a hotel and your hard earned cash stays local.

As for the big rooms. To be clear, you’re pissed off that you didn’t get into the BIG FUCKING ROOM WITH 30,000 other like minded geeks, you secretly judge? So what! Your special little someone/trailer will be online on Monday. Did I have a visceral experience with Loki and his bad ass appearance? Yes, in 1080p on my laptop. I could see extensive angles of the event. With great sound even. But, no, I was not in the room, I was downstairs in the other building learning about the Star Blazers 2199 Blu-ray release. (Feb., 14th. I’m gonna make out with it.)

Timing and knowledge is everything. I signed up as a pro in 2001 when I first went to the con with my R2 unit. She and I registered. Then work offered her a pass and she lost her pro status and never re-registered for a badge. (We should have.) But low, these past 12 years, teen culture has been mainlining this hotness. The ‘kids’ are into it. This to shall pass. But for now, go on Thursday and Friday leave Saturday. Don’t bring the fucking kids. Go Han Solo, but take your wookie if he’s low maintenance. Split a room with someone who smokes and drinks or they know a lot of media people. Media people always have the good drugs and the per diem booze.

Thanksgiving. Gratesfulgiving. You feel me.

I’m in Arizona for a ‘Family Reunion” to celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday and Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, everyone in my family caught a ’24hr’ stomach bug that layed everyone out, for well, 24hrs. It’s now Thanksgiving eve, and I’m sitting in a hotel room with my 6.5 year old who can’t keep anything down, has the chills and is miserable. While watching TV and jumping back and forth to intermittent moments of ‘Spinal Tap,’ and her shows, I explained how much I liked ‘Spinal Tap’ because it was improvised. During her runs to the toilet, I asked her what she liked. Leaning over the bowl she replied, “Cookies…..ice cream…..and ice cream cookie sandwiches.” We cracked up. It reminded me how thankful I am for my life, my family and all the people who are in my life all due to this silly artform that I adore. I’m humble and grateful for the people who touch my life. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

William Inge: Unhinged

This weekend we close our run of William Inge: Unhinged.  I have to say that after three weeks, I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters quite yet.  The man who wrote such plays as Picnic, Bus Stop, Come Back, Little Sheba, has some great stories left to tell.  Well, that’s how I feel about improvising with his library of work at least.  We take the work he produced and try to tell a story that he may have written, which may have been found in the back drawn of his desk after his death.  Long forgot all these years.  The setting is the midwest, heartland america circa 1950’s.  Is a ripe place for stories.  Stories filled with emotion and surprising violence that shows it’s emotionally unstable face by the end of each play.

Mr. Inge’s work is pure genius and wonderful to play, his characters are rich and real.  As the actor, I feel that putting on one of his characters easy to grasp.  They are not as simple as they seem on the surface.  They’re in a changing world, filled with desire and desperation.  Some characters are being left behind in a changing world , while others are lost and long for what has past.  Adults are trying to change, while the youth are trying to navigate the new world.  Some find happiness, even if only a glimpse.  But Inge gives them immortality through these plays and allows the actors to play simple folks, with simple wants and needs, with deep emotions.  That makes them really fun to play.

I play closing night at Impro Theater’s Performance Lab, Saturday, 8pm.  Info below.   Hope you can make it!

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Old Version of Young Me

This makes me laugh.  I feel like I was about 12 years old when I shot this Raisin Bran Crunch spot.  One of the really cool things about the spot, that I learned on set was that Janusz Kaminski was cinematographer.  Amazing.  Plus the director was Baker Smith.  Double amazing.  If I’m not mistaken this was a finalist for the Cleo Award, in 1999, and for the record I may be mistaken. I remember my Mom called me one day to tell me she heard Good Morning America talking about the commercial, she called up the New York office of GMA and was able to get that episode on tape.  Mom’s rock.  And, yes, tape.  As in VHS.  I still have it.

Busy, Sick and Longing

I have so much going on right now, and all I can do is sit home with my kid.  A fever and a bad cough.  Oh, well, so it goes.  However, this weekend I will be shooting a short film called ‘Ori & Addison’ written by James Ferguson.  Very excited about it.  James is a dear friend and old writing partner who has a skill for the written word.  He’ll be in town this weekend, and I can’t wait to catch up and put something original down on the digital celluloid.

Also, as you can see below I will be performing with the Impro Theater’s School Performance LAB.  Very proud of this group of actors.  Every one of them is talented, genuine and funny as hell.  My ‘Inge Unhinged‘ show dates are 10/4, 10/5, 10/12, 10/18, 10/25, 10/26. A completely improvised play, in the style of William Inge.  A wonderful playwright who focuses on the Midwestern United States and the lives of the people there between the years of 1930-1950.  He is famous for being the Tennessee Williams of the Midwest and was famous for the plays; Come Back Little Sheba, Picnic, and Bus Stop.

This past weekend I was in San Francisco and played in Mannerhouse Manor at The San Francisco Improv Festival.  Mannerhouse Manor is a fully improvised Edwardian comedy in the style of Downton Abbey or Upstairs, Downstairs.  I just have to say, what a great crowd!  After the show we were all showered with glowing praise for our work.  I have to say as an improvisor you don’t always walk off the stage and think; “That was a great show.” This Thursday night in San Francisco “That was a great show!”  I’m very proud of this ensemble and all the talent and skill each of them bring to the table each night.  I highly recommend seeing our show this coming season at ComedySportzLA.  I’ll update you when updates become available.

The only negative thing that happened this weekend was the loss of my smartphone.  All I can say is San Francisco is the most polite place to lose a phone.

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OH, yea!

Tonight!  I play the Crazy Uncle Joe Show at the world famous Groundlings.  Should you have a first date tonight on 9-11 and need to lighten the mood.  Or, you need something to get you out of your house because you can’t stop playing The Last of Us, like me.  This is a great excuse!  Plus, it’ll be fun and awesome!  I hope to see you there!  Tickets can be purchased online at the links above!

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Helicopter Parents and the End of Football

On Saturday my family was invited to a kids birthday party. Our good friends said to bring a bathing suite and stay after the event. (More on this later.) It was a birthday for a six year old girl and the theme was a tea party. It was a lovely afternoon with tables covered in pink linens and tea cakes on three tiered serving trays. I should mention, I have two girls. One six years old and one an infant. You would think this would lead to a wonderful calm day. WRONG! First of all, girls are LOUD! A squelching loud. Their voices can reach a decibel most uncomfortable to the married males ear. And, they all want to run around pulling each other in different directions at what they feel is the most fun thing to do at that moment! Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with the run around and play thing. By all means, go run, do, get tired. However, hostess mom wanted the girls kept on the lower level of the house and yard to make everything a bit easier. Great plan.

Now the part that was weird. Every Mom…Ok maybe not every mom, but most of them, just walked around the house and ‘hovered’ over their little balls of energy! They traveled like a pod of whales herding their young towards whatever event was happening next. What took me aback was how they sounded like little league Dads coaching from the stands. Coaching up what they felt the child should be doing, to have FUN! “Stand up! Pick up the wings. Dance! Listen! That’s yours! Not like that! Do it right!” Uhg. What happened to discovery? How do kids learn how to deal with failure? By instruction? I don’t get it. What does this have to do with football you ask? Well, later after the hellio-Moms lifted off. We stayed for a swim with another family who attended the after party. Wonderful family. Son and daughter 8 and 5 I think. During the wine drinking portion of the event, this very chill mom talked about how she would not want her son playing football or gymnastics. “Cause kids get hurt.” WHAT?! REALLY!? You can get hurt in a shower!

Even though Dad said the young buck ran a go-route at the park and the kid caught the ball in stride. She felt he would get hurt. And I get it. Even as we watched Derek Wolfe get carted off the field on a streacher all I could think about where the hover moms. You can get hurt or make a mistake doing almost anything. You will get hurt in life. You will fail in life! Learning to deal with these things is an important part of life, especially while one is young. Here in LA blowing an audition or failing at an audition, doesn’t really mean anything other then you don’t get the job. It’s how you approach the next one that’s really important. People have bad reads. All that happens is…you beat yourself up in the car on the ride back to your day job, then that it! You have to get over it and move on. Believe me I have made QUITE a few mistakes in these 40 odd years. (I’m sure grammer and spelling are the most recent.) But I think we are doing ourselves a disservice with this desire to make our kids safe. Safe from harm but also safe from mistakes and failures. I’m not saying put them in harms way. But maybe we should take a better look at the activities we are allowing our kids to attempt and give them room to fail. Or get hurt. So they can be a better rounded person for it.

Note: My child is going to Horse Camp today. I hope, I didn’t just write a blog check my butt will have to pony up later.