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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in New York City (108)

Monday
May182015

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with singer/actress Maxine Linehan

"Call Me Adam" sat down with singer/actress Maxine Linehan to talk about her newest album Beautiful Songs, an album of love songs that blend the musical genres of Pop, Theatre, American Songbook, and World Music. We also discussed motherhood, acting, and so much more!

For more on Maxine be sure to visit http://www.maxinelinehan.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

"Call Me Adam's" interview with Maxine Linehan:

Want to see Maxine live? Catch her at one of her many upcoming appearances:

May 19 - 7pm: The Amazing Library Variety Show, presented by The Irish American Writers & Artists Association at the Cell Theatre to benefit Urban Libraries Unite. For reservations call 917-957-3077 or e-mail mwbutler17@gmail.com

June 13 - 9:30pm: Edith Piaf All-Star Celebration at 54 Below: Click here for tickets!

July 8 - 7pm: 54 Sings Irving Berlin at 54 Below: Click here for tickets!

July 9 - 7pm: What Would Petula Do? Wayne YMCA Concert Series in Wayne, NJ: Click here for tickets! (on sale June 1)

October 17 - 9:30pm: Maxine's 54 Below SOLO DEBUT with Beautiful Songs: Music for the Soul and the Senses: Click here for tickets!

Maxine LinehanMore on Maxine:

Maxine Linehan has performed at venues as diverse as Ars Nova, Birdland, and The Town Hall. She was acclaimed in her one woman drama, Bronte, starred in the National Tour of the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific, directed by Bartlett Sherr, and has recorded three CDs, including the brilliantly reviewed CD Beautiful Songs.

Beautiful Songs is created and directed for Maxine Linehan by Scott Siegel, the creater/writer/director/host of Broadway by the Year at The Town Hall, who has written, directed and produced for Michael Feinstein, and created shows for Carole J. Bufford.

Monday
May042015

Call Answered: The Light of the Moon Facetime Interview with Carlo Velayo and Jessica M. Thompson

Jess Thompson and Carlo Velayo"Call Me Adam" went to the offices of Stedfast Productions for a video interview with film producer Carlo Velayo and writer/director Jessica M. Thompson about their debut film The Light of the Moon, about a woman who is sexually assaulted after a night out with her friends in NYC, and how this assault impacts the relationships in her life. Filming starts in the fall! Stay tuned to "Call Me Adam" to hear when this film will be released.

For more on The Light of the Moon be sure to visit http://www.stedfastproductions.com/lotm and http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/LOTM. Also, follow The Light of the Moon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

"Call Me Adam's" video interview with Carlo and Jess about The Light of the Moon: 

Jess ThompsonMore on Jess:

Jess studied acting at three major drama schools in Australia between the ages of 12 and 21. She attended film school, majoring in Writing/Directing, at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she met Carlo Velayo. They quickly formed a formidable filmmaking duo and have made several short films together, including the award-winning films Hike and Percepio. Jess won the Kodak Award for New Directors for her first short film, Hike.

After graduating and globe trotting for a year, Jess became a Junior Editor at Mike Reed’s, the first post-production house in Australia. Here she quickly progressed the ranks to become a full time Editor, working on various television series, films, music videos clips and commercials.

In 2011, Jess traveled across North America for nine months and filmed a documentary series, The Land of Milk and Honey. She finished the trip in NYC and co-founded Stedfast Productions. Stedfast is a collective of visual storytellers who use imagery to entertain, inspire hope, provoke thought, and explore the human story.

During her time in NYC, Jess wrote, directed, and edited the short film, Across the Pond, which was selected as a finalist at Tropfest NY and the Bath Film Festival. She has worked as an Editor with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, Liz Garbus, as an Additional Editor on the Sundance-winning film Watchers of the Sky, and as an Associate Producer on both the Indie Thriller 419 and on Academy Award-nominated, Sandy McLeod’s Seeds of Time. Jess just recently finished editing Cheryl Furjanic’s award-winning documentary, Back on Board: Greg Louganis and she looks forward to making her feature directorial debut with The Light of the Moon with her best friend, Carlo, by her side.

Carlo VelayoMore on Carlo:

Carlo Velayo attended film school and completed a double degree in International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. This is where he met Jess Thompson, with whom he has been making films with since 2003. In 2006, while Carlo was completing his year of exchange in Manila, the Philippines, their short film Hike was shortlisted for Tropfest Sydney. Seven years later, their short film Across the Pond was a finalist in Tropfest New York.

Carlo is a Producer at Stedfast Productions – a small production company he started with Jess Thompson in New York City. He is an Associate Producer on Cheryl Furjanic’s award-winning Back on Board: Greg Louganis and was a Researcher on Academy Award-nominated, Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s forthcoming documentary, Food Evolution. Carlo started out in VFX and post-production on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and George Miller’s Happy Feet 2 respectively.

Although Carlo holds a Masters in Anthropology, he is as skilled operating a Super 8 camera, recording sound, editing, or keeping a shoot day on schedule and on budget, as he is at writing a scholarly paper. He is keen to produce his first narrative feature, The Light of the Moon with his best friend, Jess, by his side.

Thursday
Apr232015

Call Redialed: Jay William Thomas: Easy Laughter

Jay William Thomas"Call Me Adam" catches up with actor Jay William Thomas. This time around we talk about Robert Shearman's Easy Laughter which is presented by Dirt [contained] Theatre Company from April 30-May 10 at The Alchemical Theatre Laboratory in NYC (104 West 14th Street). Click here for tickets!

For more on Jay be sure to visit http://www.jwilliamthomas.com and follow him on Facebook!

1. What made you want to be part of Easy Laughter? I was drawn to the dark humor and subtle absurdity of what was written on the page. As we have fleshed out these characters in rehearsal the humor shines through with a bitter knife ready on the other side to cut that laughter short.

2. What do you identify most with about your character? My character is very intellectual and calculated. I identify with his measured approach to all situations.

3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Easy Laughter? I hope audiences come out of the play with questions about the world they just witnessed. The extremes of this play are extreme, but everything is rooted in the real fear of the State. It makes for interesting conversation.

4. What has been the best part about rehearsing and getting ready for the run of this play? Everyone in the cast is hilarious. They bring such incredible energy and subtlety to their characters. It’s a pleasure to listen and laugh at every rehearsal.

5. What do you like about working with Dirt [contained] Theatre Company? Dirt [contained] has found a way to bridge the gap between the artistic and business models that every company strives for. They are smart and they are passionate. They don’t settle and they have awesome taste.

Cast of "Easy Laughter", Michael Broadhurst, Nick DeMatteo, Jay William Thomas, Tana Sirois, and Maria Swisher6. Easy Laughter is a dark and twisted comedy that explores an alternate reality full of not-so-natural selection, xenophobia, fundamentalism, extreme gender roles and censorship, while expertly revealing a subtler horror story surrounding the lies that families tell each other and the lengths they will go to protect themselves through laughter. Was there ever time in your life when you told a lie to protect the ones you love? Yes. I think we all want to protect our loved ones. This play really asks if we do things for love or for duty, the duty determined by the world we live in...in that world are we allowed to question our actions when those actions don’t agree with us?

7. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Why you of course, Adam, ha ha…or perhaps about the time my grandfather took me hiking in the Appalachian mountains.

8. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? It would be called "BubbleGuts" and would be a cross between Pepto-Bismol and pop rocks for your stomach.

9. Favorite way to spend your day off? Laying in bed with someone you love.

10. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

Jay William ThomasMore on Jay:

A Map To Somewhere Else, DeathBed Ripple Effect Artist Directed By Brent Buell; EinsteinVariations Theatre Group Directed by Randolph Curtis Rand - Off-Off Broadway: Something Wicked Everyday Inferno Theatre; Zombie Frat House Bash EndTimes Productions; I Do Wonder Synapse Theatre Ensemble; Leaving Normal Avalon Studios. Jay is a company member of Ripple Effects Artists and holds a BFA from Western Kentucky University.

Wednesday
Apr222015

Call Redialed: NEW interview with People You Know creators John Dylan LaTorre and Baltimore Russell

"Call Me Adam" catches up with John Dylan DeLaTorre and Baltimore Russell, the creators of the new drama series People You Know, which airs at www.peopleyouknowtheseries.com and every Friday night at 8:30pm on HERE TV! 

"Call Me Adam" went live to the set of People You Know inside "Lucas'" apartment (played by John Dylan DeLaTorre) to talk with John and Baltimore about the creation of the series, their Kickstarter Campaign to make the second half of Season One, and about all the drama happening so far!

From left to right: Chris Costa, Blaine Pennington, and John Dylan DeLaTorreFrom left to right: Baltimore Russell and Lee Harrison MitchellSeason 1: Part 1 is out now. With only six episodes made, People You Know is in the midst of their Kickstarter Campaign to film the 2nd half of season one. Season One: Part Two has until May 8 to raise $75,000. Let's help John and Baltimore continue to achieve their dream and let us, the viewers, enjoy more drama filled episodes to make this season end with a bang!

What's in it for you if you donate to their Kickstarter Campaign? Everything from social media shoutouts to a 15-minute Skype chat session with the cast to video greetings from Steve Hayes and/or Pandora Boxx to being an featured actor in some big scenes to a day on the set! So, there is something for everyone! No matter how much you can give, every $1 helps. Click here to contribute!

For more on People You Know be sure to visit http://www.peopleyouknowtheseries.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, and YouTube!

If you missed my very first interview with John and Baltimore, click here to read it!

Part 1: Call Me Adam Interview with John Dylan DeLaTorre and Baltimore Russell: Making of People You Know and Kickstarter Campaign:

Part 2: Call Me Adam, John Dylan DeLaTorre, and Baltimore Russell talk about the drama happening so far in Season One of People You Know:

Thursday
Apr092015

Call Answered: Oscar Speace: Janka Interview

"Call Me Adam" chats with playwright Oscar Speace about his new play Janka, based upon a 60-page handwritten letter his mother wrote about the fate of her family in Nazi concentration camps during WWII. Janka plays at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue) in New York City through May 2. Click here for tickets!

1. Your new play Janka, is based on a 60-page handwritten letter by your mother, regarding the fate of her family in Nazi concentration camps. What made you want to take this letter and turn it into a play? What made now the right time to present Janka? Since I can remember I've always had an interest in history and especially my mother's Holocaust story. She rarely talked about it and when I told her I wanted to know what happened (I was in high school) she said she wrote a book once and no one was interested in her story. She told me the book was lost. I was crestfallen. She wrote a book and it was lost. After she died I wrote an outline for a screenplay that would be based on historical research blended with the few tidbits from the few "stories" Janka had talked about. It wasn't very much. I sent the outline to Aunt Betty (Janka's sister). Later we spoke on the phone and she told me she had my mother's book. She would send it to me. I immediately realized that this was the book she had told me about when I was in high school. I would finally know my mother's story. When it arrived I immediately discovered it was written in Hungarian, I would have to find a translator. This I did and spent the next nine months of Saturday morning sitting with the translator and helping her by typing into a laptop as she did the translation. It was very emotional for both of us. We quickly realized that this was a well thought out, beautifully written account of what happened to her family in the last year of the war. It was a sixty page letter written to Uncle Morris Festinger who lived in Cleveland, Ohio. He had immigrated during World War I in 1915.

This is the 70th anniversary of Janka's liberation from the slave labor camp (a subcamp of Dachau)...We have been touring JANKA since 2002. We have done over 105 performances, all as a staged reading. It seemed like the next step to bring it to New York and to do a full-blown production. A "World Premiere."

Janice Noga as JANKA, Photo Credit: Raymond Reilly2. Growing up, you never knew of your mother's time spent in Nazi concentration camps until you found this 60-page letter after your mom's death. With finding this letter after your mom's death, what went through your mind when you found this letter, especially knowing you would not have the chance to ask her any questions? We knew that Mom was a Holocaust survivor, but like many survivors, she rarely spoke of it...and when she did it was very perfunctory. "I was in Auschwitz. I lost 63 members of my family. I was a slave laborer in Germany. They tied Gizi to a tree." Nothing was connected or explained. It wasn't very coherent. Hard to understand.

Finding the letter was a miracle. The process of translating it another miracle. Opening the envelope, pulling out the writing book, opening it and then discovering it's written in Hungarian, I couldn't understand a word until it's translated. I smack myself in the forehead. Of course it's written in Hungarian - her native tongue. Through a writing mentor, Academy Award winning screenwriter Pamela Wallace, I met with her neighbor Nora Szabo DeWitt, who was born in Hungary. We met on Saturdays, many Saturdays in 1998. In my mind, I wondered if this letter would tell the story of what happened. Simply, would it be good source material? Reading the first sentence, "Dear Uncle Morris, Our happiness was boundless, since our liberation, this is our first happy moment. After all, we are not so orphaned in this world; we also have somebody to whom we belong." I knew immediately this evocative material would enable me to tell her story.

Nora and I cried for an hour...when I came home for lunch and shared this with my wife Janice, who is playing the role at the June Havoc Theatre, another hour of crying continued.

Janice Noga as JANKA, Photo Credit: Raymond Reilly3. What emotional challenges did you face and what did you find most interesting to write about during the writing of Janka? It's hard to discuss the creative process. The letter begins by discussing the political atmosphere in Transylvania starting in 1940. I decided not to start here but to start with the German SS marching into Sighet and moving the Jews into the ghetto.

Also, when Janice first met Janka before we were married, they had breakfast together in her home in Moorestown, NJ. I slept late that morning and missed what they talked about. I rarely sleep late and Janice rarely gets up early but this particular morning the opposite happened and Janice found herself face to face with Janka, who would become her mother-in-law. Janka spoke more about the Holocaust to Janice than she had ever spoken to my brother and me. I missed this. She opened up to a complete stranger. It dawned on me that the play could turn on the idea that it's easier to tell your story to a complete stranger than it is to your own flesh and blood.

In the play Janka asks the audience for advice. "Maybe you can help. I will tell you the story. And after you hear it you tell me if I should tell him. Do we have a deal? It's a deal!" This brings the audience right into the story.

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Janka? A better understanding of what happened in the Holocaust. What happened to the Jews of Transylvania and Sighet. We've had a number of survivors and children of survivors thank us for telling Janka's story. It has helped them speak about their experiences to their children and grandchildren.

Janice Noga as JANKA, Photo Credit: Raymond Reilly5. What made you want Roust Theatre Company to produce Janka? There's a connection. Tracy Hostmyer, Janice and I are graduates from Fresno State. Our professor and mentor Jeanette Bryon taught in London when Tracy lived in London. We followed Tracy's career...and helped her by sending money so she could pursue her acting career. Tracy came to see the play very early on in 2002 in Los Angeles. It's come a long way since then. When she started Roust we contributed at the beginning.

Last summer we put a committee together to bring JANKA to New York. The Janka Project is also a nonprofit under the auspices of the Fresno Arts Council. Tracy called to tell us she would be in Fresno visiting her parents. We invited her to a meeting and after listening to the committee and explaining how Roust could produce the play, if her partner Director James Phillip Gates agreed, we proceeded to raise the money to bring JANKA to New York.

6. Janka is being directed by James Philip Gates and starring Janice Noga. Why did you choose James to direct this piece? What was it about Janice that made you go, she's going to play my mom? James is Tracy's partner. Can I say it was a package deal? We had a number of bi-coastal telephone calls with James. He's charming. We liked his ideas. He wanted me to get the directing credit. I told him I'm the playwright...you're the director. You'll be doing the work, you should get the credit. He agreed to direct. We heard he was thorough and tough, but also kind and compassionate. We both felt we would have a good experience with JANKA in New York.

Janice flew to New York in January and February to rehearse with James for five days each visit. Janice came two weeks before we opened last night to rehearse. It's a difficult play with a demanding director and limited time. We all have day jobs and the budget is small. But it's all come together beautifully.

7. What do you think your mom would think of you turning this part of her life into a play? She would definitely be proud of us and our accomplishment. I think she would be a little embarrassed because of the attention but deep inside she would be smiling.

Janice Noga as JANKA, Photo Credit: Raymond Reilly8. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? I wrote a couple of children's plays that were performed in schools in Central California. It was fun and enjoyable but not real serious work.

After the letter was translated I wrote a documentary script and planned to do a documentary. We raised money and shot a demo on film. Tracy played Janka in this short film while Janice did the voice work. Raising money was very difficult. It was suggested that I write a one woman play based on the letter. It was a natural for her to do it since she knew Janka. It never occurred to me that my wife would be playing my mother. Now it sounds very Shakespearean. At first, it was Janice playing a role in this play...We started in Savannah, Georgia at Atlantic Armstrong University. We've done 105 performances around the world including Sighet, Romania, Janka's hometown. It also enabled us to raise money for what now has become the Janka Project. We operate as a non-profit under the auspices of the Fresno Arts Council.

9. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright? It takes a lot of discipline and it's very difficult when you have a fulltime job. During all this time...I am a producer/director at ValleyPBS, a promotion director at ABC30 for five years, and a real estate videographer for five years...Time management is an understatement!

10. What's the best advice you've ever received? Keep your head down, swing smooth and release the club...Wait a minute, that's golf...Three things that everybody should follow.

1) Have a good attitude

2) Show up on time

3) Some talent helps

BONUS QUESTION:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Push a button and there'd be world peace!

Oscar SpeaceMore on Oscar:

Playwright Oscar Speace has produced a wide range of TV and radio programming for PBS and ABC-TV, having earned two Emmy certificates for his work at ABC30 in California's Central Valley. He earned an Emmy nomination for CONQUEST OF MY BROTHER about U.S. broken treaties with Native American Indians. His documentary JANKA: ONE MINUTE OF PERFECT HAPPINESS won a Telly Award. As well, he wrote and produced THE MAKING OF THE PARSLEY GARDEN on ABC-TV.