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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in Actor (75)

Thursday
Oct302014

Call Redialed: Seth Rudetsky: Seth's Broadway Diary

"Call Me Adam" caught up with Broadway's Seth Rudetsky to talk about his new book Seth's Broadway Diary, published by Dress Circle Publishing. A one of a kind Broadway journal, Seth's Broadway Diary chronicles Seth's unique life on and around the Great White Way. Click here to purchase your copy!

For more on Seth be sure to visit http://www.sethtv.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter!

1. On October 22, you launched your 4th book, Seth's Broadway Diary, a one of a kind Broadway journal chronicling your unique life on and around the Great White Way. What made now the right time to release this book? My A.D.D. plus harrasment. For years I've been talking about getting my Playbill columns published. Basically since I started writing them in 2007. My A.D.D. prevented me from actually doing anything about it. Finally, my husband harrassed me and commandeered my old assistant Joey Monda to send out samples. Joey sent one to Dress Circle Publishing and I got a book deal!

2. What excites you most about this release? I love seeing all these really hilarious stories and interviews in one book instead of tracking them down online. I love the kind of book that you can open and read something fun. Even though this book is in chronological order, you can open it up to any page and get a great story about Sutton Foster, me missing a flight to rehearse with Betty Buckley or some amazing inside scoop about Donna McKechnie and the original cast of A CHORUS LINE.

Seth Rudetsky and Matthew Broderick at "Seth's Broadway Diary" Book Launch Party3. What was it like to go back through your life on and around Broadway to write this book? How did you narrow down what you wanted to include in the book? This is literally the columns I published. I only added sassy 2014 side comments (in a different font) when I went through it to edit. For instance, I wrote about seeing the show 13 and I added that the cast featured a then-unknown Ariana Grande!

4. While you were writing this book, did you come across any events that you wish you had done differently? I wish I didn't call James my boyfriend in every column. I mean, he was my boyfriend at the time, but every time I mentioned him I reiterated it in case I had new readers. A few months after I began writing the columns, I interviewed Nathan Lane and he told me he had HAD IT with me writing "my boyfriend James" every month. "WE GET IT ALREADY! IS JAMES YOUR FIRST BOYFRIEND!?!?!"

Kelli O'Hara and Seth Rudetsky at "Seth's Broadway Diary" Book Launch Party5. What advice would you give your younger self that you didn't know then, but do now? Stop eating cereal late at night. Cardio stops working after age 39.

6. What did you learn about yourself from writing this book? I've done a lot of things I've forgotten about!!! I was reading about an interview I did with Barbara Cook to promote her upcoming concert with Audra McDonald that benefitted the Obama reelection campaign. I wished I had seen the concert. Then I read the following column where I wrote about how great the concert was!

7. What do you hope readers come away with after reading this book? So many fun stories about Broadway they can tell their friends! "Did you know Chita Rivera kicked herself in the head every night at the end of "America" because she's so flexible?" "Did you know Betty Buckley's agent prevented her from getting the role of "Catherine" in PIPPIN because he wanted his other client (Jill Clayburgh) to get the gig?" "Did you know Andrea McArdle hid 64 easter eggs on the set of LES MIZ and they only found 58? And it wound up breaking the barricade?"

Jackie Hoffman, Seth Rudetsky, and Alysha Umphress at "Seth's Broadway Diary" Book Launch Party8. What was the most emotional event you came across while writing this book? What was the happiest event? The most emotional was reading about Loretta Sable Ayres audition for SOUTH PACIFIC and how she almost didn't go because she thought they'd be mean to her like the judges on AMERICAN IDOL. Her husband talked her into going...she got the part...and a Tony nomination!

The happiest is reading about all these amazing Broadway people I've worshipped that I got to hang out with. My inner 14-year-old's childhood dream!

9. Of the celebrities you write about in your book, did any of them have an issue with you telling any of these behind-the-scenes antics or was everyone okay with it? Bebe Neuwirth once said "Seth has an ability to make you reveal things you never thought you'd say in public." So...no!

Seth Rudetsky and Jennifer Ashley Tepper at "Seth's Broadway Diary" Book Launch Party10. What do you like about being an author that you don't get from doing your live interviews on Sirius XM or at Seth's Broadway Chatterbox? Sometimes people don't know how to build a story when they tell me and when I write it, I can give the details for maximum emphasis. Example...Rebecca Luker told me they didn't want to see her for MUSIC MAN. She asked her agent to get her an audition as a courtesy. The powers-that-be finally agreed but let it be known that she was not what they were looking for. Rebecca went to the audition knowing they didn't want to see her or cast her (so nervewracking!), but she got a callback, the role and a Tony nomination! When I asked Rebecca in person "How did you get MUSIC MAN?" she said "I auditioned." Wowza. I had to get her to tell the story in increments for the full effect!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? The flavor Red whatever that is.

12. How do you want to be remembered? For loving art/music/comedy and spreading that love around!

Seth Rudetsky at "Seth's Broadway Diary" Book Launch PartyMore on Seth:

Seth is the afternoon host on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s ON BROADWAY as well as the host of SETH SPEAKS on Sirius/XM Stars. As a pianist, Seth has played for more than a dozen Broadway shows including RAGTIME, LES MIZ and PHANTOM. He was the Artistic Producer/Music Director for the first five annual Actors Fund Fall Concerts including DREAMGIRLS with Audra MacDonald (recorded on Nonesuch Records) and HAIR with Jennifer Hudson (recorded on Ghostlight Records, Grammy Nomination). In 2007 he made his Broadway acting debut playing Sheldon (singing “Magic to Do” in a devastating unitard) in THE RITZ directed by Joe Mantello for The Roundabout Theater. Off-Broadway he wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed RHAPSODY IN SETH (directed by Peter Flynn) at the Actors Playhouse and has also appeared on TV on LAW AND ORDER C.I. and had a recurring role on ALL MY CHILDREN. As an author, he penned the non-fiction Q GUIDE TO BROADWAY, the novel BROADWAY NIGHTS and the recently published MY AWESOME/AWFUL POPULARITY PLAN (Random House). BROADWAY NIGHTS is available on Audible.com starring Kristin Chenoweth, Andrea Martin and Jonathan Groff and MY AWESOME/AWFUL POPULARITY PLAN stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ana Gasteyer and Megan Hiltly. Seth played himself on Kathy Griffin; My Life on the D-List, was the vocal coach on MTV’s LEGALLYLONDE reality show and starred opposite Sutton Foster in THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG for the Actors Fund. Recently, he co-wrote and starred in DISASTER! (which the NY TIMES called a "triumph"), and he currently writes a weekly column on Playbill.com and tours the country doing master classes and performing his one-man show "DECONSTRUCTING BROADWAY."

Tuesday
Oct142014

Call Answered: David A. Gill: Providence the Play

David A. Gill"Call Me Adam" chats with actor and playwright David A. Gill about his new show Providence playing at the Roy Arias Stage IV in NYC (300 West 43rd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue) through October 26. Providence is about a group of misfit travelers who find themselves in the wrong place at the right time. Through their confrontations, secrets are revealed, discoveries made, and destinations altered forever. Providence takes a compassionate yet wildly funny look at love, guilt, betrayal, nonsense, and finding your nature, and teaches us that Salvation isn't a place you can arrive by bus. Click here for tickets!

For more on Providence be sure to visit http://www.providencetheplay.com and follow the show on Facebook!

1. From October 9-26, your show, Providence will be playing at the Roy Arias Stage IV theatre in NYC. What excites you about this upcoming run? The whole theater experience excites me, but most of all the actors do! They have such a great creative energy, and I am so happy to be working with them.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I think the sense that we should never take people at face value, that there is almost always an underlying cause to their behavior, a story that’s hidden away, and that is guiding their actions.

Cast of "Providence" Geri-Nikole Love, Nick Adamson, Joel T Bauer, Todd Butera, and Carla Briscoe, Photo Credit: Pepe Pombo Photography3. What has been the best part about watching this cast bring your work to life even more? For me, it’s that they get it, that they are making all the connections I intended, and then some. They truly are a collection of smart, sensitive, instinctive, and unique talents, and they deserve to be seen – they are magical.

4. Out of all the bus stations in the world, why did you choose to set the show in Providence, RI? What is your connection to the city? I summered on Cape Cod every summer of my life till I was in my mid-Twenties, and traveling to and from, it became apparent that Providence is The Hub of that area. Wherever you’re going, you inevitably have to stop in Providence before heading back out towards your destination. The name is also pretty apt.

Nico Allen, Carla Briscoe, and Joel T Bauer in "Providence", Photo Credit: Pepe Pombo Photography5. Since Providence centers around a group of stranded travelers and them ultimately finding salvation, when in your life have you felt stranded and how have you found salvation? When have I not? I think the journey is spotted with periods of feeling stranded, at many different levels of emotional weight, but I think these are the times we learn most about ourselves, and our resilience as human beings. We are adaptive creatures, so when we learn to adapt we grow. So think of being "stranded" as a forced holding pattern for rumination, decision making, and ultimately moving on.

6. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting a show together? I do love the readings. I do a lot of workshop readings with different sized audiences, where I listen for what works and what doesn't work, and then go back to fine-tuning the piece. It helps to get the voices out of your own head, and into someone else’s voice, to see whether or not the language is true.

Nico Allen, Nick Adamson, and Geri-Nikole Love in "Providence", Photo Credit: Pepe Pombo Photography7. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? It would have to be my father who instilled a love of the written word, as well a passion for the theater and film, in me at a pretty early age (whenever I came home from college, he would have a stack of The New York Times Arts & Leisure sections set aside for me). My favorite films are the old ones from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s where the dialogue is so important – things people said, and the way they said them, were integral. Second, as an actor, I know and understand the stage instinctually – it’s always been the place I’ve felt most at home, so it was the natural evolution for me.

8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Anyone who knows me could answer this question for you. Angela Lansbury. It’s not a joke – look at her career in film, theater, television! There is a reason she is one of the most highly regarded actresses of hers or any other generation. I could go on and on…I do! See the play!

David A. Gill9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Trust your instincts.

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright? Oh Lord – a lot! They say you should always write from experience, and that is absolutely true, but while doing so, you tend to drudge up past issues and emotions you thought you’d buried away. Then you analyze them to death in order to find something worth sharing, and all that can be a rough ride. What I’ve learned through my writing is to finally deal with these issues, put them in a place of understanding (either comically or dramatically, but hopefully in a unique and interesting way), and eventually find closure.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To breathe under water. Is that a super power? I’ve always had a fondness for Aquaman.

12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Lime. Love me some lime.

13. How do you want to be remembered? Besides all the fantasy stuff about Tony Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes, I think I would like to be remembered as that playwright who made people laugh out loud, and then cry on a turn; who made people think more profoundly about their own lives, and who really understood the emotional fabric that life is made of. Oh, and a good person.

David A. GillMore on David:

David is the author of California (one act), and has just completed his second full length play, Experimenting with Katz, which is currently being submitted to various play festivals and theater groups. He is also the co-author of two television pilots with Tony Nation, both of which are being represented by Bohemia Group. As an actor he was last seen on the Gray Wig stage at Hofstra University as "Bobby" in Company, and before that as "Will Parker" in Oklahoma!, and has numerous other local and regional productions to his credit. He originated the title role in the Chicago production of Jeffrey (Transient Theater), as well as "Arthur" in Love, Valour, Compassion (Victory Gardens), and can be heard on the original cast recording of Fairy Tales by Eric Lane Barnes.

Thursday
Oct092014

Call Answered: Richard Tanner: small PARTS: Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Series

Richard Tanner"Call Me Adam" chats with actor and writer Richard Tanner about his one-man show small PARTS, which is enjoying an extended run in the Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Series from October 15-November 19 at The Lounge Theatre in Hollywood, CA (6201 Santa Monica Blvd, between Vine St and N. El Centro Ave).

small PARTS is part cautionary tale, part irreverent skewering of show business, using multimedia to chronicle the ins, outs, highs, lows, and mind boggling absurdities of Richard's 20+ year career as a working actor in over 75 feature films and primetime shows including NBC's smash hit The Golden Girls as "Young Stan," The West Wing, CBS' The Agency, and ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!

For more on Richard be sure to visit http://richardtanner.net!

1. After a successful run in the Hollywood Fringe Festival, your one-man show, small PARTS, is making a return for 6 performances only in their Encore Series. What excites you about having this extended run? THAT IT’S ONLY ONCE A WEEK, AND DOESN’T IMPINGE ON MY ALL-IMPORTANT WEEKEND-LEISURE TIME. LOL 

THE SERIOUS ANSWER, OF COURSE, IS THAT IT ALLOW ME TO SHARE MY STORY WITH MORE PEOPLE, RE-SHARE IT WITH THOSE WHO’VE INDICATED THEY WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN, AND CONTINUE TO PERFORM WHAT IS, FOR ME, AN EVER-EVOLVING PERFORMANCE.

2. What made you originally want to write a show about your 20-year career in Hollywood? NO ONE ELSE OFFERED TO. LOL IN TRUTH, I’D NEVER SEEN A ONE-MAN SHOW THAT ADDRESSED THE SAME THEME.  I’D SEEN LOT OF PIECES ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT PURSUING, OR LETTING GO OF ONE’S DREAM.  BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT LETTING GO OF ONE’S DREAM – AGAINST ALL URGES/ADVICE TO THE CONTRARY? (AND YES, IT’S A COMEDY. :)

Richard Tanner in "small PARTS"3. How does your show differ from other one-person shows about Hollywood careers? UNLIKE MANY THAT I’VE SEEN, IT’S NOT A COMPENDIUM OF "AND THEN I DID..." RATHER, IT’S MORE OF A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT THE STUFF NO ONE TELLS YOU WHEN YOU’RE STARTING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD. (I DID MENTION IT’S A COMEDY, RIGHT?)  ALSO – AND VERY IMPORTANT TO ME – IT’S NOT JUST A "TALKING HEAD" SHOW – IT RELIES HEAVILY ON MULTI-MEDIA; PROJECTIONS, SOUND, ANIMATION. THERE ARE EVEN SUBTITLES WHICH ACT AS A SECOND "CHARACTER." AND DID I MENTION AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION?

4. How do you feel the Fringe Festival helped nurture this show in a way that another festival might not? AS A FRINGE FESTIVAL VIRGIN (IT’S NICE TO STILL BE A VIRGIN AT SOMETHING), I CAN’T SPEAK TO OTHER FESTIVALS. I CAN SAY THAT FROM THE START, THE HOLLYWOOD FRINGE EMPHASIZED COMMUNITY – ENCOURAGING ALL PARTICIPANTS TO SEE THEIR COLLEAGUES SHOWS, INVITE THEM TO THEIRS, CROSS-PROMOTE SHOWS, SHARE TIPS, SOCIALIZE. AND DRINK. A LOT. LOL

Richard Tanner5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing small PARTS? TO NEVER, EVER MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES I DID. (SEE A PATTERN, HERE?  MAKE A JOKE, THEN GIVE A SERIOUS ANSWER.) FIRST AND FOREMOST, I HOPE THEY’RE ENTERTAINED. AND NEVER, EVER BORED. I ALSO HOPE THAT THEY’RE A BIT CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY WHY I HOPE ARE UNEXPECTED ELEMENTS – IN BOTH FORM AND CONTENT. THE MOST GRATIFYING RESPONSES I’VE HAD HAVE BEEN, "I DIDN’T WANT IT TO END,” AND, “I’M NOT AN ACTOR, BUT I COMPLETELY IDENTIFIED WITH YOU."

6. Out of all the TV shows you were featured on, one of my favorites was as "Young Stan" on The Golden Girls. Looking back, what did you enjoy about being on that show? What did you learn from The Girls? IT WAS THE FIRST PRIME-TIME, HIT SHOW ON WHICH I’D BEEN CAST, WHICH WAS A THRILL. IT WAS ALSO MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH A THREE-CAMERA, LIVE AUDIENCE SHOW, WHICH, FOR SOMEONE WITH A THEATER BACKROUND LIKE MYSELF, WASEXTREMELY SATISFYING.

AS FOR THE "GIRLS," BETTY WHITE WAS EXACTLY WHO SHE APPEARS TO BE (NOT ALWAYS THE CASE IN HOLLYWOOD), AND ESTELLE GETTY WENT ON TO DO A READING OF A PLAY I WROTE, MYSTERIES OF THE RAINFOREST.

Richard Tanner7. Out of the 75 feature films you've been in and TV shows you've been on, are you able to pick out a few favorites? What made them your favorite? I’M ASKED THIS QUESTION A LOT, AND WITH NO FALSE MODESTY, I CAN’T. (AND NOT BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL MY "CHILDREN," AND I LOVE THEM EQUALLY, AS I’VE HEARD SOME ACTORS SAY. LOL). IN TRUTH, MOST OF MY CAREER "CHOICES" HAVE BEEN WHETHER TO GET A PAYCHECK OR NOT. :)  I WILL SAY THAT I’VE WORKED WITH SOME DIRECTORS WHO IMPRESSED ME GREATLY WITH THEIR ABILITY TO STAY CALM UNDER PRESSURE, AND THEIR GENUINE UNDERSTANDING OF – AND KINDNESS TOWARDS – ACTORS. WEST WING WAS SATISFYING IN THAT REGARD, AND BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY QUALITY OF THE WRITING. (THE FACT THAT IS WAS HUGELY POPULAR DIDN’T HURT, EITHER.) AND THERE ARE SOME INDEPENDENT FILM PROJECTS WHICH REMAIN DEAR TO ME BECAUSE THEY ALLOWED ME TO STRETCH AS AN ACTOR.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY, DON’T PICK AT SCABS, AND ALWAYS WEAR CLEAN UNDERWEAR IN CASE YOU’RE HIT BY BUS. IF YOU COME SEE THE SHOW, YOU’LL GET TO HEAR—AND LAUGH AT -- PLENTY OF THE REALLY BAD ADVICE I’VE RECEIVED OVER THE YEARS! AND HERE’S A GREAT INSIGHT I RECEIVED: EVERY AUDITION IS A CHANCE TO DO WHAT WE, AS ACTORS, LOVE TO DO MOST IN THE WORLD – ACT. (PRETTY GOOD, HUH?)

9. What have you learned about yourself from being an actor? THAT IN ORDER TO SURVIVE – NOT JUST AS AN ACTOR, BUT IN THE WORLD – ONE MUST MAINTAIN A BALANCE. BETWEEN WORK AND PLAY. GENEROSITY AND SELF-INTEREST. SERIOUSNESS AND SILLINESS. SOLITITUDE AND COMPANY. SELF- CONFIDENCE AND OPENNESS TO CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. AND ESPECIALLY – AS AN ACTOR – THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN A THICK SKIN AND AN OPEN HEART (FREQUENTLY SIMULATENOUSLY). YOU TRY IT. :)

10. How do you want to be remembered? FOR GIVING SMART, FUNNY, MEMORABLE ANSWERS TO INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? TO CONTROL TIME IN ORDER TO HAVE ENOUGH OF IT TO DO EVERYTHING I’D LIKE TO DO. THAT, AND THE POWER TO GET IMMEDIATE SATISFACTION EVERY TIME I CALL THE PHONE COMPANY.

12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? RED. (THAT’S A FLAVOR, ISN’T IT?) 

Richard TannerMore on Richard:

Richard Tanner has Guest-Starred in dozens of primetime episodics, from THE GOLDEN GIRLS (in which he first came to the public’s attention as "Young Stan") to his recurring role on CBS’ THE AGENCY. Other notable appearances include THE WEST WING , JAG, MONK and STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE. Some less notable appearances include the direct-to-DVD films BUDZ HOUSE, STONERVILLE (opposite the late, great Leslie Nielsen) and C’MON MAN, opposite Chris Rock’s brother, Tony. Forthcoming features include SPANNERS, THE ADVOCATE, and ODD BRODSKY, in which he plays…Quentin Tarantino(!?)

A native New Yorker and Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Cornell, Richard toured the NYC cabaret circuit with his songwriting partner, Stephen Flaherty (RAGTIME, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, SEUSSICAL). Subsequently, he worked extensively with improv and sketch groups on both coasts. Thespianically (?), he appeared in the West Coast premiere of JOINED AT THE HEAD at the Pasadena Playhouse, was an original cast member/co-creator of the long running Off-Broadway hit, GRANDMA SYLVIA’S FUNERAL, and portrayed both Eddie Cantor and Dean Martin in the Los Angeles workshop of the original musical, SAMMY!, directed by Debbie Allen.

He is a member of L.A.’s oldest storytelling collective, The Story Salon, and regularly performs his original stories at such events as "Pinata" at the Bang Comedy Theatre, "Wordplay" at the Fake Theatre, and "Tasty Words" at Every Picture Tells a Story. He’s the founder of The Drama Club, a play-reading salon, and author of the play, MYSTERIES OF THE RAINFOREST, which was workshopped with late Estelle Getty, and subsequently under the sponsorship of Michael Patrick King (SEX IN THE CITY).

In his spare time (besides dropping names) he’s written for such publications as Esquire, The Village Voice, and The N.Y Daily News , and has completed the requisite number of unproduced screenplays, as per California Civil Code, section 38-41.

Friday
Oct032014

Call Answered: Anthony Inneo: All Her Faces: A Portrait of Dusty Springfield

Antony Inneo"Call Me Adam" chats with playwright, actor, and director Anthony Inneo about his new show All Her Faces: A Portrait of Dusty Springfield, an homage to Dusty’s talent and vocal versatility. It is a fast-paced rock concert that presents not only her famous hits but introduces many of her unknown songs. All Her Faces plays at Workshop Theatre Company's Main Stage (312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor, between 8th & 9th Avenue) in NYC from October 14-26. Click here for tickets!

For more on Anthony be sure to visit http://www.anthonyinneo.com!

1. From October 15-26, your show, All Her Faces: A Portrait of Dusty Springfield is being presented at Workshop Theater Company's Main Stage Theater in NYC. What are you looking forward to most about having this show, in it's current form, on it's feet? That it will work exactly as my blood, sweat 'n tears (to coin a phrase) and imagination predicted. The original version (to see if it had "legs") was 50 minutes with 16 songs and a very slim narrative; this version is 90 minutes with 32 songs which has been fleshed out, considerably, and is ready to be moved into a 299 seat Off-Broadway house.

2. What made you want to write a show celebrating Dusty Springfield's voice/music? Why did you want to write this show more as a concert as opposed to a bioptic piece? Short answer: I’m not interested in anyone’s dirty laundry; never was. I make that perfectly clear on the website and in press releases: I wasn’t interested in presenting her life. Anybody could write that today, especially with all the information available to us. I purposely decided to leave the troubled yet gifted singer to the voyeurs of Hollywood and create All Her Faces to celebrate a vocal instrument and its versatility which CANNOT be duplicated. The confidence Dusty exuded on vinyl was a facade that masked severe insecurities and addictions to drugs and bouts with self-mutilation and fear of losing her career if she was exposed as a Lesbian. Personally I think Lesbians should be very proud of Dusty and what she's done and the musical legacy she left all of us. Lesbians and Gays alike - particularly the young ones - should unite and come running to see this show, if only to found out how Dusty, by sheer talent and tenacity, raised the bar for people (like them and all of us) with an extraordinary talent way back in the 60’s and 70’s when it was not in vogue or fashionable.

Dusty Springfield3. Aside from All Her Faces: A Portrait of Dusty Springfield, being more of a concert piece, what made now the right time to present this show, considering the Off-Broadway show Forever Dusty just finished it's run in 2013? TIMING. I’m going to say this a lot, I guess. All Her Faces is not unlike any musical being presented on Broadway or Off. It is scripted and has a "book" with a plot that tells a story. To make that interesting, I placed it within the conceit of a rock concert. The other show was a prime example how the so-called "creatives" can fall into the trap of making all the mistakes a bio musical could make. Since 2005, I made it a point to know my competition; I knew every show and film that was being considered, written or performed about Dusty. So when the other show appeared at the New World Stages (which I saw three times), I had to put All Her Faces on hold and wait until the "dust" settled. Pun intended. Now is the perfect time to resurrect Dusty and show the world what she was really made of. I am constantly saying and will continue to say: All Her Faces is the only way you want to remember Dusty Springfield.

Anthony Inneo4. Since you are the writer and director of All Her Faces, how do you separate yourself from writer/director during the rehearsal process? Do you ever have trouble letting go of something as the writer, but as the director you know should be cut?

No. I’ve never had that problem. I’m one of the lucky ones, I guess. I know exactly what "hat" I’m wearing and when I’m wearing it. I’m constantly aware of what’s best for my babies and will adjust accordingly. Actually I’ve learned to rely totally on the creative process within ME - and it has served me well. I have just finished the final draft of a full-length dramedy that explores that very topic: "Orange Juice and Bagels." Of course, there are always tradeoffs that have to be made, but the project - no matter what it may be - will always (in my hands) come out the winner.

5. What excites you about having this cast help bring this show to life? They're new, they’re young, they’re talented, and by being present and working on the material, they’re helping me see beyond what I may have been thinking.

Dusty Springfield6. What do you relate to most about Dusty Springfield's music? How has it influenced your life? Her choice of material - the songs she chose to sing. Dusty didn’t compose; in fact I think she only penned one or two songs. During my research, I discovered that the songs she’d perform and record actually helped her tell her story - which BTW is how I found the "hook" that the lead singer guitarist, JESSE, uses her hit songs in the show to conjure her back to life.

7. What do you get from writing that you do not get from acting? As Writer - control over what’s being said, literally and figuratively, and being afforded the opportunity to add my personal take on a subject. As Actor - free to apply and express my most intimate FEELINGS through what the writer has written. When you think about it, both processes are the same and very liberating in their own way!

8. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? I wasn’t "inspired," not in the true sense of the word. Well maybe I was in a way. 40 years ago, as an actor I became acutely aware of how I was being treated and rejected for the most inane reasons that one can imagine. This topic, in and of itself, is one of the MAJOR injustices I’ve written about in my screenplay trilogy: Thank You, Thank You, Too, and You’re Welcome. Anyway, I needed to find a way to express the pain I was harboring before I’d go completely bonkers, so I took to writing. I was in therapy at the time and showed some of the stuff to my doctor. The following week I anxiously returned to my session hoping to hear him say I had the makings of a Miller or Albee…instead all he said was, "Don’t stop writing." I knew exactly what he meant, so I continued and developed an absolute love for the craft, learning more about my strengths and weakness and my particular writing "style."

Dusty Springfield9. What's the best advice you've ever received? On what? Life? Writing? Acting? Relationships? What to eat? How to dress? I’ll assume you mean advice on writing. I was doing an awards ceremony show (as an actor) and the writer was well-known in TV & film & theater. So on our lunch break, I asked his forgiveness for interrupting and told him I was seriously thinking about writing and if he had any advice. He slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) lifted his pad in the air with one hand, then (just as SLOWLY) lifted his pencil in the air with the other hand and brought them together as in a very romantic "kiss." Then he said don’t go to any writing classes, just write. Find your own style and maybe then take a class or two on structure. Needless to say, that’s exactly what I did.

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright/actor/director? That no matter what I’m doing in theater, being alive and creative is (as in life) a learning curve. And that as much as I think I’ve learned everything there is to learn - I know NOTHING compared to what lies ahead.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The power to heal.

12. If you could be any original Life Saver Flavor, which one would you be? I was never into Life Savers - except people who did it for a living. My favorite flavor, however, is Cherry. I can fall madly in love with a good homemade Cherry pie.

13. How do you want to be remembered? That I was kind - despite my faults.

Anthony InneoMore on Anthony:

Blessed with the best training, Anthony Inneo was a student of Sandy Meisner, Bob Modica, Uta Hagen, Mira Rostova, Lehman Engle, Terry Schreiber and Philip Burton (Richard’s father) for the classics.

He starred on Broadway as "Zach" in A Chorus Line, as well as London, Hawaii and on tour with Donna McKechnie. Off-Broadway roles range from "Polo" in A Hatful Of Rain, to "Lucky" in the original production of Dames At Sea. Anthony was prominently featured in roles on As The World TurnsAll My Children, Guiding LightOne Life To Live, and Law and Order - SVU. He also starred in a never-be-released independent film, Ingrid.

As Playwright, The Center Ring was successfully produced in LA and is being adapted into a musical and looking for a composer/lyricist. His Evaluating Woody was produced at the Mint Theatre - Jack Nicholson is on his "Bucket List" to play the lead.

Whether he’s producing, directing, performing or writing, Anthony’s bio is…"to be continued."

Friday
Sep262014

Call Answered Again: Alec Mapa: I Remember Mapa

Alec Mapa"Call Me Adam" once again chats with actor and comedian Alec Mapa. This time around we discuss the revival of his one-man show I Remember Mapa, which recounts Alec's experiences in film, television and performing in the original Broadway cast of M. Butterfly. It is the comic journey of a gay Filipino American actor struggling for work, love and acceptance that examines the role of Asian American actors in American culture. The piece also touches on his humorous and moving recollections of his mother.

I Remember Mapa plays on Saturday, October 11 at Baruch Performing Arts Center in NYC (55 Lexington Street, 25th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue). It is part of Baruch Performing Arts Center's LGBT month celebration. Click here for tickets!

For more on Alec be sure to visit http://www.alecmapa.com and follow him on Twitter

Alec Mapa performing1. On October 11, you are reviving your one-man show I Remember Mapa at Baruch Performing Arts Center as part of their LGBT month. You are performing this show on National Coming Out Day. Does doing the show on this specific day add any special meaning to the show? Absolutely. My show  is about finding a place where you belong in a world that appears to have absolutely no place for you. The decision to be completely authentic when everyone else is trying to fit in, is always an empowering one.

2. I Remember Mapa is about your experiences as a Filipino American actor in film, television, and on Broadway in the original cast of M. Butterfly. What excites you about reviving this show? Has it been updated since you last performed it? Obviously I've had to update it. Jokes about Courtney Love and Vh-1 aren't quite evergreen. But the story of my journey from misfit drama nerd to Broadway to Broadcast TV is essentially the same.

3. What makes Baruch College the perfect place to revive this show? What does it offer you that another venue might not? Colleges are such idealistic places. It's easier to do a show about believing in your dreams to a college audience instead of a bunch of bitter old drunks.

Alec Mapa on CBS' "Some of My Best Friends", starring Jason Bateman4. You were the very first openly gay Asian series regular on CBS' Some of My Best Friends starring Jason Bateman. What did it mean to you at the time to be the first openly gay Asian series regular on network television and what does it mean to you now? How does it feel to be a trailblazer? I didn't feel like a trailblazer at the time, I just needed a job really bad. The Broadway experience had been years behind me and I was so broke. I really needed something wonderful to happen so I wouldn't quit. In retrospect I realize it was kind of a bigger deal than I thought. Network TV didn't employ a lot of people who looked or sounded like me, so it was a big leap forward.

5. You have been a role model for many people who got to see you open doors for those who have come after you. Who do you feel opened the door for you? There weren't really any Gay Asian role models when I was growing up, so I just wanted to emulate the people who made me laugh. Carol Burnett, Gilda Radner, Paul Lynde, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, and Bette Midler always fascinated me by how much they stood out and how shameless they were. I wanted to be a funny lady. It all kind of worked out.

Alec Mapa and family6. If you were just starting your career out today, do you feel your experience would have been different? I think it  would be harder! The audience is now so divided over so many media platforms. It's the difference between trying to find an audience on three channels as opposed to three thousand.

7. I Remember Mapa also touches upon your relationship with your mom. What do you miss most about her? If you could have a conversation with her today, what are the most important things you would want to make sure she knew about your life today? I miss her optimism. My mother always believed in a better future and she always got one. She was my safe place. Moving ahead without her reassuring presence was the hardest thing I've ever done. I'd want her to know most of my dreams came true. I got married, had a kid. I'd want her to know my hair is greying in exactly the same way hers did.

Alec Mapa, Betty White, and Vanessa Williams on ABC's "Ugly Betty", Photo Credit: Dean Hendler/ABC8. Out of all the television shows you've been on either as a guest star, series regular, or recurring role, which ones were your favorite? What made them your favorite? Playing "Suzuki" on Ugly Betty was like winning a prize on a game show. The cast and crew were so much fun. I got to be mean, which is always fun to play. I got to fly to NYC first class twice a month and stay in a fancy hotel and work for two days at a time. While in the city I'd visit with friends and see shows. It was a pretty cushy gig. I'm a work to live sort of person. If a job sends me to a nice location with per diem, color me happy.

Alec Mapa, Photo Credit: ContactMusic.com9. What do you hope is next for Alec Mapa, both career and personally? I'm visualizing a series regular role on a hit TV show that runs long enough for me to fund my retirement and my son's college tuition. My kid is heading into his teens shortly, so I'm praying he's not a total douche when that happens. As I head into my 50's my therapist said everything resets and you become a very young old person. I'd like to think I may live out the rest of my days as a very young old person. Wise, curious and absolutely ridiculous.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I don't want to fly, because heights give me vertigo and I don't want super hearing because I'd probably get my feelings hurt. I always thought knowing every single language would be a cool super power. I'd also like to give anyone an orgasm just by shaking their hand. How much fun would THAT be?

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could be any original Life Saver, which flavor would you be? What are the ones that make sparks in your mouth? I'd want to be those.

12. How do you want to be remembered? Thin and in my twenties. I was so pretty.

Alec MapaMore on Alec:

Alec Mapa’s television career has gone from desperate to ugly with recurring roles on ABC’s Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty. On Wisteria Lane Alec is known as Gabriel Solis’ personal shopper "Vern." On "Ugly Betty" no gossip report would be complete without the latest from Alec as fashion reporter extraordinaire "Suzuki St. Pierre."

Audiences first discovered Alec on Broadway in the Tony Award winning production of M. Butterfly. He guest starred on over 40 television series, including Alias, Friends, Roseanne, Seinfeld, and NYPD Blue. Alec played network television’s very first gay Asian series regular role on the short-lived CBS sitcom Some Of My Best Friends. He then starred in four seasons of the UPN sitcom Half and Half. Film audiences howled at Alec as N’Cream in the wildly popular drag queen musical Connie and Carla. Other films include Playing By Heart, Marley and Me, and You Don’t Mess with The Zohan. Alec’s stand up comedy specials Wisecrack and No Fats, Femmes, or Asians continue to air on Logo and have gained him a huge cult following.

Alec has entertained live audiences with Rosie O’Donnell aboard her R Family Cruises and all over the world with Atlantis Cruises. Alec was awarded the prestigious Davidson Valentini GLAAD Award for promoting equal rights for the LGBT community. A tireless fundraiser, Alec has toured the country on behalf of The Human Rights Campaign and The Matthew Shepard foundation earning him the unofficial title of "America’s Gaysian Sweetheart."