"Call Me Adam" chats with...
Entries in Actor (55)
"Call Me Adam" chats with actor Joey Oglesby about starring in NBC's Friday Night Lights and Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' mounting of James McLure's Lone Star through July 26 at Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre in NYC (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). Click here for tickets!
1. From July 5-July 26 you will be starring in Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' production of Lone Star, written by James McLure's about a pair of Texas "good ol’ boys" who go carousing on a Saturday night. What made you want to audition for this show? I was in a production of Lone Star in 2006 with Contemporary Theatre of Dallas and was offered an opportunity to do the show again. I also directed the show in college and played "Roy" (I play "Ray" in this one) in high school. So I have a great familiarity and affection for the play and jumped at the opportunity to do it here in New York.
2. What do you identify most with about your character? His non-judgmental and affable demeanor. Unlike his brother "Roy," "Ray" takes everyone at their best. In a lot of ways he is like a puppy dog, willing to please and be friends with anyone who accepts him and generally concerned for those he cares about. I sort of base him on my Great Dane Bruce: he is simple, easily distracted and sometimes his instincts lead him to make some bad decisions, but ultimately he doesn't have a malicious bone in his body.
3. What made you want to work with Contemporary Theatre of Dallas? This is my third time working with CTD: Lone Star previously and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Over that time I have become very close to the Loncars, who founded the theatre. They have been tremendous supporters of both me and many other artists in the Dallas area, both in Dallas and as they left to pursue their careers in other places. Sue is very loyal and when she asked me to be apart of her dream to take the show to New York, I gladly accepted.
4. What excites you about performing in NYC? I lived here in the early 2000s after college, so just returning to do a play is fantastic. But I love the simple things about it: riding the train to work, the busy streets after the performance, the education of the patrons. Theatre is more alive here than any other place in the world. So to be a small part of that is exhilarating after a hiatus from the stage while pursuing my film and tv career.
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Lone Star? First of all and most importantly, I hope they laugh. But more than that, I hope they are able to see the current relevancy of the script 30 plus years after it was written. Yes, this is a play about small-town Texas and big personalities and sometimes simple people. But at its heart, Lone Star is about a soldier coming home from Vietnam, struggling with PTSD, trying to find his way in a world that continued on without him. And those things are happening every day, everywhere in this country as we face the consequences of sending our soldiers to war. There is a huge cost (our current soldiers suicide epidemic being the most pressing) of this tremendous sacrifice and, between the laughs, this is Lone Star’s true meaning.
6. Texas has played a big part in both your personal and professional life. Not only were you born in Texas, but Lone Star takes place in Texas, and you played "Guy Raston" in Season 2 on NBC's Friday Night Lights, which also took place in Texas. Why do you think so much of your work has been with Texas based projects? I spent about half my childhood in the suburbs and half in tiny towns in Texas and Tennessee, so I I have a a lot of personal experience around rural, southern characters. I also have a blue collar look and there were times in my career where I really fought that casting and didn't want to always play lower class characters. But as I have gotten older, I have embraced it more and found that there is a lot of range with which you can play these characters. And it doesn't always have to be Texans, sometimes it's Oakland street thugs or a immigrant New Yorker. And working mostly on camera the last 7 years, you learn the camera doesn't lie so you better figure out who you are, how you come across, embrace it and get damn good at playing it.
7. Speaking of Friday Night Lights, what did you enjoy most about your time on that show? Everything. It was my first major film/TV experience and it couldn't have been a more perfect scenario. Coming from the stage where you aren't worried about camera angles or hitting marks, I was given absolute freedom with their filming style. The show shot on three steady cams with the camera operators moving around the scene throughout each take. And if possible they would try to edit the scene from the same take, using edits from each of the cameras to give a more accurate depiction of the arc of that particular take.
I think it is one of the reasons why the acting on the show was universally praised and appreciated for its authenticity. In the audition process, after going through the sides, most of the guest star actors were basically put through a lengthy improvised interview of the character. It was intense, but the director Jeffrey Reiner wanted to make sure we were able to keep up with the sometimes improvised nature of the show. Before the first day I shot, Reiner basically told me, "I don't care what you do, where you move, or what you say, just be the character you were in the audition room." So there was a lot of trust given to the actors, even the guest star ones like me, and I think it shows in the great performances throughout the show.
8. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was always dressing up and doing some sort of "Top Gun" or Weird Al lip synchs or Sunday school skits, etc, as a kid, and I was also an athlete, so it was pretty obvious I liked to be in front of an audience. From an early age, I loved Saturday Night Live and grew up watching Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, and the rest. But I had one cementing experience my senior year in my major studies high school program at Plano East High (outside of Dallas). One of my classmates wrote a play about the loss of her younger brother to a drinking and driving accident and I was cast to play him. And although it was only one performance and just a high school play, the spiritual experience of that night changed me forever. All of her family came to see the show and the beautiful and emotional, cathartic and magical experience I was apart of that night left me knowing how important this form of art is and how I desperately wanted to be a part of it as a career. And getting to be a part of Fruitvale Station last year, where I got to once again be a part of the telling of a story of a son gone too soon was inbcredibly fulfilling.
9. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Bryan Cranston. I have a couple friends who have worked with him closely on Breaking Bad and All the Way and couldn't speak higher of him as an actor and as a professional. And being someone who really didn't "break" till later in his career I would love to pick his brain on finding contentment in the daily grind most of us face.
10. What's the best advice you've ever received? My mom and Dad have always hammered into me the mantra: "Keep on keepin’ on."
My Dad has an incredible work ethic and no matter the many obstacles, he just gets up in the morning and keeps on working. And they both could not have been more supportive of me following my dreams. Being an actor is a marathon and you just got to hang in. I recently had a friend get a huge lead on a show after years of not much on the acting front. But she stayed in the game and ultimately ran into the right part and now is getting the just reward for her considerable talent and belief.
11. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That when push comes to shove, I can step up and perform when the pressure is on. As an actor you go through so much self-doubt, but when you get the job, you have to lean on your training and your inner confidence. And when the lights go down or they yell action and whether your across from an Oscar winner, in front of New York theatre critics, or a reading with your friends , you know that you have something to say as an artist and that you belong.
12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would fly. I am not a big fan of hurling through the air on compressed cylinders, but I suppose if I could do it naturally, I could spend a lot of time in different places in the world, learning about different types of people and cultures. Plus I would be able to dunk nasty, so I could play shooting guard along side Dirk and the Mavs. That would be badass.
13. What do you want to be remembered for? That I was a man of great compassion.
"Call Me Adam" catches up with actor Max Crumm about starring as "Matt/The Boy" in the hit Off-Broadway show The Fantasticks playing at Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center (210 West 50th Street). Click here for tickets!
A modern twist on Romeo and Juliet, THE FANTASTICKS (music by Harvey Schmidt, book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones) is the quintessential story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then quickly grow apart when they realize they want to experience the world. The score, includes the hit songs "Try To Remember," "Soon It’s Gonna Rain" and "They Were You."
For more on Max follow him on Twitter!
1. Starting July 8, you joined the cast of the hit Off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks as "Matt/The Boy." What made you want become part of this show? Although I had not seen (or done) the show until a couple of weeks ago, I knew that The Fantasticks was one of those shows that everyone has either seen or been in at LEAST once in their lives! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with this incredible company of people in this legendary production!
2. What do you identify most with about "Matt/The Boy" and the story of The Fantasticks? To me, "Matt" is an artistic man child who loves adventure. That is what I identify most with.
3. What excites you about singing some of theatre's most well known songs? These songs are beautiful! That alone is exciting enough but I enjoy putting my own twist on them as well! There is something extremely rewarding to be able to take on these songs in this particular production!
4. What do you think you will bring to the role of "Matt/The Boy" that others have not? Hmm..I hope to bring a fresh goofy/grounded take on "Matt." I feel very similar to him. Hopefully I can bring a lot of myself to the role.
5. What are you looking forward to about working with this cast? These actors are SO hilarious and true! I can not WAIT to hop in there and play with them!
6. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Ha! Ummm...flight?
7. I know you are a big puppet fan. If you could be an Muppet, which one would you be? I would be Janice.
8. What do you want to be remembered for? I hope to be remembered for being a magically talented goof! :)
Recent credits include "Scott" in DISASTER! and "Christian" in F#%KING UP EVERYTHING, both Off-Broadway. Max is best known for playing "Danny Zuko" in the most recent Broadway revival of GREASE, having won the reality television show "Grease! You're the One That I Want!" He also appeared in the hit film EASY A.
"Call Me Adam" chats with Thomas G. Waites, director, actor, and writer about directing Baruch Performing Arts Center and TGW Acting Studio's production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew from July 10-August 23 at Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street). Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to be a director, actor, writer? Franco Zefferelli directed a production of Romeo and Juliet and it changed my life. That is what prompted me to be an actor. From there I learned directing, then play writing....and teaching as well.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like? I would love to work with Seth McFarland. He is so talented and so seriously passionate about what he does, I think he would get me.
3. You are directing Baruch Performing Arts Center and TGW Acting Studio production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew from July 10-August 23. What made you want to direct this production? It is a personal goal of mine to direct all of Shakespeare before I leave this planet. This will be my fifth production of Shakespeare that I have directed. I have acted in many, but only directed five. I feel Shrew is a particular kind of love story; a story based in tremendous risk, chance, danger and difficulty due to the circumstances. This challenges me greatly.
4. What are you bringing to this production as a director that has not been done before? What I am bringing to this production is live music for one thing, two Juilliard graduate violinists are onstage the whole time, additionally there is some guitar and some trumpet too.
5. What did you like most about dissecting Shakespeare to come up with the way you wanted to direct this production? What I love about dissecting this Shakespeare or any of his plays is that each time I learn something new. This is almost thirty five years and still, in some cases the same material, yet I learn something different and new, it is so refreshing.
6. You have worked with some of Hollywood's biggest names, in stage productions. What was it like working with Al Pacino in American Buffalo and Kurt Russell in The Thing? What did you learn from working with each of them? Al Pacino is one of our country's greatest actors. Each night onstage was a lesson in acting to watch his work, his craft, and his cunning. He is like live electricity onstage but most importantly, how he prepares as an actor. Kurt is a major movie star, one of the biggest in the country. He has such confidence, such authority of presence. Kurt is also a terrific actor. He just plays the movie star game, probably better than anyone and he has been doing it since he was five.
7. Most recently, your short film, Pandora's Box earned you Best Director, Best Screenplay for s Short Film, Best Supporting Actress for Frances Fisher, and Joe Mantegna was nominated for Best Actor in the Atlantic City Film Festival. What do you get from making films that you don't get from your stage work? What did it mean to you to earn these accolades for the film? Directing Pandora's Box was a great thrill for me. It came to me so naturally, so easily, and yet I was so prepared for it. I finished way ahead of schedule. I also feel Joe Mantegna is a great actor and what a great guy. I would be honored to work with him again.
What I get from film is the fact that visually I get to experiment in ways I cannot do in the theatre and it felt great to be recognized. I remember Joe saying to me, "This is good for all of us." And it was. Is.
8. What have you learned about yourself from your career? I have learned that I have a lot to learn. To learn is to teach, to teach is to learn. It is as endless and boundless as the sea. And I am only at the beginning of the journey despite having begun in 1976.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I have ever received was from Al Pacino who said, "You are confused?" I said, "Yes, confused about this scene," "That is good. It is a good state of mind to be in."
Thomas began his acting career in the fall of 1976, with When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder at Center Stage in Baltimore. From there, he opened the premier Spoleto Festival in South Carolina in Simon Grey's Molly. His film career started with On the Yard with John Heard, leading to The Warriors (a 3-picture deal with Paramount), John Carpenter's The Thing, And Justice for All with Al Pacino and many more. On stage, Thomas was in the original cast of American Buffalo with Al Pacino at Circle in the Square Downtown.
He performed on Broadway in Richard III, Teaneck Tanzi with Debra Harry, Awake & Sing with Frances McDormand and Search & Destroy with Griffin Dunne. Thomas, along with Geraldine Page and Matthew Cowles, was a founding member of The Mirror Repertory Company.
Thomas' television work includes central characters on All My Children, One Life to Live, NYPD Blue and Law & Order (6 episodes). He also created the role of "Henry Stanton" for HBO’s hit series OZ.
Thomas recently received national acclaim for his short film Pandora’s Box, winning Best Director & Best Screenplay for a Short Film in the Atlantic City Film Festival. Internationally acclaimed actress Frances Fisher (Titanic, The Lincoln Lawyer, House of Sand & Fog) won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film & Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) was nominated for Best Actor.
Thomas’ Off-Broadway Directing credits include Six Goumba’s & a Wannabe, Golden Ladder with Amy Redford and The Seagull. Other Shakespeare plays directed by Thomas include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona and As You Like It, all with TGW Acting Studio members.
Thomas has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where he created the one-man show Dark Laughter, about the lives and deaths of Dylan Thomas, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Other writing credits include Prayer in a Bar, Blue Moon and Macaire - a play with original music compositions, which received its premiere in Cologne Germany last Christmas. Thomas teaches Acting at The Bernie West Theatre at Baruch College.
Thomas is a member of the band Old Kid, playing gigs around NYC and enjoys the challenge of composing music for his band and theatrical productions.
Best known for playing "Dr. Craig Wesley" on NBC's Days of Our Lives, "Call Me Adam" chats with actor and producer Kevin Spirtas about starring as Bob Harrison in NYMF's 2014 production of Samuel Bernstein's Mr. Confidential from July 21-27 at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre in NYC (480 West 42nd Street).
Before TMZ and Gawker, there was Bob Harrison’s Confidential Magazine. Its scandal and showbiz fizz went viral, fab 50s style, outselling T.V. Guide and Time Magazine. But scrape away the hype, whipped cream, and dirt, and what do you have? A mostly true story about heart, innocence, and family loyalty, set to a sexy, swinging, Big Broadway beat. But sshhh! Keep it confidential...Click here for tickets!
1. From July 21-27, you are going to be starring in Mr. Confidential in the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). What made you want to be part of this show? First of all — MR. CONFIDENTIAL is a good old fashioned style musical with great songs and musical numbers that help tell a great story. It’s style and presentation of telling a story is my favorite way to tell a story and is a good fit with my style of acting and performing. Not to mention, Bob Harrison, the creator of Confidential Magazine, was the true inventor and Father of tabloid magazines as we know them today...He is a fascinating character and I couldn’t pass up a role like Bob!
2. What excites you about being in a new musical and in the NYMF festival? Always having the opportunity of doing a new musical and creating/putting your stamp on something new is very exciting.
3. What do you identify most with about your character of "Bob"? Bob Harrison really just liked to have fun - even with his work! And he was really a good guy, though somewhat misunderstood. He was a serial creative, not unlike like myself, with incredible drive, and always had an a knack to reinvent himself and come back from his low points and failures...Like the lives of a cat! He always had another new and exciting idea to make, or create, or invent. My career has had some extraordinary highs as well as some equally extraordinary lows...But like Bob, I have a good sense of vision and perseverance and I just try to keep going with what I like to do and think might be a fun way to create and entertain.
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? Well the obvious thing would be for people to walk away knowing who Bob Harrison was-- I never knew about him or his family, or his legacy for that matter, until I dove into this show! But mainly I want audiences to be entertained!
5. Since Mr. Confidential centers around the scandal/showbiz fizz magazine Confidential Magazine, what is the most unusual thing you've ever read about yourself and where did you read it? Somewhere, somehow, someone got the idea about me starting out as a stunt man and breaking into the biz that way. (NOT TRUE) But of course— since it’s out there, and in print, it must mean that it is true!!!! LOL!
6. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Gene Kelley, in Singing In The Rain and The Pirate...Who else is there?
7. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Jim Carrey! I believe he is one our master talents on the planet. I’m serious!
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Usually (9 times out of 10)... whatever the character (I am playing) is going through or working through something in his life — I have that same aspect or lesson in my life to be learned or work through as well. As my character learns or heals = so do I...And on some level, perhaps the audience does too.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Time travel would be awesome, yes! (Is that a super power?) If not... Perhaps leaping tall buildings in a single bound would be fun!
11. Favorite way to stay in shape? Chocolate Chip Cookies.
12. Boxers or Briefs? I like Briefs – but I think Bob Harrison was probably a boxer kind of guy! Maybe even commando?...which I am not against either :)
13. How do you want to be remembered? Just that I was able to accomplish my personal best while I was here...and while doing so I was able to touch other’s hearts as they have touched mine. Or maybe that I had the best abs in the world...That would be a much better thing to be remembered for, yes?
B'way: The Boy From Oz, Meet Me In St. Louis, A Chorus Line. Regional: Hairspray, Company, Damn Yankees, and Into the Woods. Off B'way: Silence! The Musical, Loaded. TV/Film: NBC's Days of Our Lives (Dr. Craig Wesley), Friends, L.A. Heat,V.I.P., Fired Up, Silk Stalkings, Quantum Leap, Embrace the Darkness, Striking Resemblance, and Green Plaid Shirt. Featured opposite Sir Ian McKellen in Apt Pupil, and Ben Affleck in the director's cut of Daredevil. Broadway producer credits: Finian's Rainbow (Revival 2009), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (2012). World tours of his one-man musical shows: Night & Days,Jersey Men, and Let There Be Love.