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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in Off-Broadway (297)

Sunday
Aug242014

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW INTERVIEW: Facetime with Ben Rimalower and Aaron Mark: Bad with Money at The Duplex

"Call Me Adam" gives an exclusive preview interview as he reconnects with Ben and Aaron! 

After an extended sold-out run at the Duplex in NYC and around the world with Patti Issues, actor and playwright Ben Rimalower is back at The Duplex in NYC (61 Christopher Street at 7th Avenue) with an all new one-man show called Bad with Money, directed by Aaron Mark, chronicling Ben's struggle with his finances. Click here for tickets! 

For more on Bad with Money be sure to visit http://www.badwithmoney.net and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter! 

PREVIEW INTERVIEW with Ben Rimalower and Director Aaron Mark:

Wednesday
Aug202014

Call Answered: David Perlman: Fiddler on the Roof: Goodspeed Opera House

David Perlman"Call Me Adam" chats with actor and photographer David Perlman about starring in Goodspeed's production of Fiddler on the Roof as "Motel," the tailor. Fiddler on the Roof runs through September 12 at Goodspeed Opera House (6 Main Street, East Haddam, CT 06423). Click here for tickets!

For more on David visit http://www.david-perlman.com and http://www.davidperlmanphotography.com

1. You are currently making your Goodspeed debut in their production of Fiddler on the Roof. What originally made you want to be part of this production? Has the reality of your debut lived up to what you had hoped it would be? This audition came from my agents, but knowing me I probably hounded them about it when I saw that Goodspeed was doing Fiddler. It’s a show that I love, a role that I think suits me, and a theater with a great reputation. My experience here has been incredible so far.

David Perlman and Barrie Kreinik in "Fiddler on the Roof" at Goodspeed, Photo Credit: Diane Sobolewski2. You are playing "Motel," the tailor. What do you identify most with about him? The thing I most identify with about "Motel" is his courage. Not to say that I am some sort of courageous hero or anything, but (like most of us I’m sure), I’ve had some moments where I’m overtaken with fear about doing something important that could really change my life. I admire that "Motel" acts through his fear in what turns out to be a landmark moment for him.

David Perlman as "Motel" in "Fiddler on the Roof" at Goodspeed, Photo Credit: Diane Sobolewski3. You are playing one of the most well known roles in one of the biggest shows in theatrical history. How do you feel you've made the role of "Motel" your own? What has been the most fun about playing "Motel"? Wow, I’ve never really thought of it like that. Rob Ruggiero, our director, was really committed to creating a very truthful and honest telling of this story, avoiding some of the usual shtick that is traditionally in Fiddler. I quickly picked up on the fact that he didn’t want to concentrate on making "Motel" "funny," and it’s been incredibly rewarding to be able to play the scenes rather than play a character. I get to experience some of the best and most exciting days of "Motel’s" life: the day he stands his ground and gets permission to marry "Tzeitel," his wedding day, and the day he finally gets his sewing machine. It’s a pretty thrilling role to play!

I also feel so lucky to be acting opposite Barrie Kreinik ("Tzeitel") and Adam Heller ("Tevye"). They are amazing actors, always present and alive, and they make this show exciting and fresh, every single time.

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Fiddler at Goodspeed? I hope people are able to get invested in this beautiful story. I hope they laugh and cry and are able to have an enjoying and meaningful evening.

David Perlman's headshot of actress Catherine LeFrere5. In addition to being an actor, you are also a photographer. What do you get from photography that you do not get from being an actor? I do mostly headshots, which I love! Like acting, photography has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I actually went to college for Film & TV Production at NYU, and we studied photography for most of freshman year. My favorite thing to photograph, always, was people. During college, I decided to try out being a professional actor, but I retained this secret desire to be a headshot photographer. About two and a half years ago, I chose to pick up the camera again.

6. Bringing your two worlds together, you've worked with (in Once Upon a Time in NJ) and taken the headshots of my friend Catherine LeFrere. What was the best part about working with her as an actress and having her as a client? Catherine is awesome for many reasons, as anyone who knows her will tell you. What I love about working with her is that she really throws herself into whatever she’s doing, whether it’s playing a crazy dance teacher (as she did in Once Upon a Time in NJ) or getting her picture taken.  She is completely passionate and shows up focused, prepared, and ready to work and play.

7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer/photographer? I saw a production of Guys and Dolls at the local high school when I was 7 years old. I became infatuated with the girl who played "Adelaide;" I remember meeting her in the hallway and being starstruck. I wouldn’t stop singing the songs around my house, and that’s when my parents signed me up to do You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the local JCC.  From then on, I was hooked. So I guess my inspiration was whoever played "Adelaide" in Guys and Dolls at NVRHS Demarest when I was 7.

Cast of "Fiddler on the Roof" at Goodspeed, Photo Credit: Diane Sobolewski8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with Bernadette Peters!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Recently, I’ve been reminding myself of Jack Plotnick’s advice before I go onstage each time: to release and destroy the need to get the scene right or to be funny or be emotional. Just release and destroy the need to try to control the scene. It’s very freeing.

10. What have you learned about yourself from being an actor and a photographer? Whenever I get frustrated or doubtful, I am usually trying to figure out if I’m doing it right. I’ve learned that there is no way to get it right. It’s not my job to judge my work; my job is to do the work.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to stay in shape? I lift weights, and I’ve also gotten really into CrossFit.

12. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I’d want to fly!

14. If you could be an original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? This is by far the hardest question you have asked. I think I’d want to be Strawberry, but that probably already exists.

15. How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as someone who made a difference and added compassion, love, and peace to any situation.

David PerlmanMore on David:

Broadway: Baby It’s You!. Off-Broadway: "Rotelli" in Yank! (York Theatre), "Melman" in Madagascar Live! (Radio City Music Hall), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM), "Murray" in Iron Curtain (Prospect Theatre Company). National/European Tours: "Woof" in Hair, "Joe" in Schoolhouse Rock Live!. Regional favorites: "Motel" in Fiddler on the Roof (PCLO), "Seymour" in Little Shop of Horrors (Penobscot Theatre), "Abe" in Altar Boyz (Riverside Theatre, Arvada Center), "Artie" in Sunset Boulevard (PCLO, Ogunquit Playhouse). TV: 30 Rock, Law and Order. David is also a photographer.

Tuesday
Aug192014

Call Answered Again: Catherine LeFrere: 54 Below debut: Confessions of a Young Character Actress

Photo Credit: James Daniels"Call Me Adam" once again chats with actress and singer Catherine LeFrere. This time around we discuss making her concert debut at 54 Below in Confessions of a Young Character Actress, directed by Will Nunziata and music direction by Brian Nash.

Confessions of a Young Character Actress will be presented at 54 Below on September 5 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

For more on Catherine be sure to visit http://catherinelefrere.com and follow her on TwitterYouTube, and Instagram!

1. On September 5 at 9:30pm, you are making your 54 Below debut. What made now the right time to make your 54 Below debut? I actually just got back into town a few weeks ago after being in North Carolina doing Boeing Boeing for the past two months. Will and I had been in communication for a while about this concert and when he called Jennifer Ashley Tepper at 54 Below to pitch the idea, she offered us this date in September! A little sooner than expected but I truly believe everything happens for a reason and considering I'm in between jobs right now, I think it's the perfect transition from my busy summer stock season into the fall!

Catherine LeFrere in "Boeing Boeing", Photo courtesy of The Flat Rock Playhouse2. What excites you about performing at 54 Below? What makes 54 Below the perfect venue to perform in? The space is gorgeous! It's a perfect and intimate space that is just right for the style of this show. The sound is great, the food and drinks are great, and I just love the atmosphere they've created there. The stage is small but large enough to have a small band and you don't feel like you are on top of the audience, yet they are close enough where you feel like you can really connect with them. It really is, in my opinion, the premiere concert/cabaret space in the city. So many of the artists I admire have performed there and I'm so honored and blessed to be doing my first concert ever at 54 Below! It's exactly what I dreamed the atmosphere of my solo concert to be (even years ago!). 

Catherine LeFrere as "Dorothy Brock" in The Gateway Playhouse's production of "42nd Street"3. Your show is entitled, Confessions of a Young Character Actress and you will be singing fresh arrangements of songs written by some of the greatest composers in music history. How did you come up with the title and concept for the show? For the concept of the show, Will knows that I didn't want the show to be overly biographical or chronological, as some solo concerts are. There's nothing wrong with that format, it's just not what I saw for my show. When Will and I started talking I had just come off of probably being one of the youngest (if not the youngest) actresses to play "Dorothy Brock," in 42nd Street, outside of a high school, college, or community theater production. And we were sort of laughing about it and why, at the age of 28, I seem to be hitting my stride, even though I'm still technically too young for my "type"- whatever that means. And we were talking about how I feel like in the past year or so I started walking into the room (audition, rehearsal etc) with a greater sense of who I am and loving what I bring to the table. I don't necessarily think I'm better than I was a few years ago - although I'm certainly more experienced - but I definitely feel more comfortable in my own skin as a performer and I think it's reading to others. It's definitely been hard to be an actor in my 20's with a voice and look like I have, but I think I'm definitely being given opportunities to redefine what it means to be a character actress. It bugs me when people think that "character actress" means "overweight and ugly." I don't think that's it at all...I think it has nothing to do with how you look. Sure how you look informs your sense of self, but it's truly the desire to tell stories of characters who aren't necessarily exactly like you (whether that means a dialect, a hump, or a particular gesture), with the capabilities of doing so, that makes you a character actor.

Director Will Nunziata4. Your show is being directed by Will Nunziata, who has directed numerous concerts at 54 Below including those of Tony Award winners Lillias White and Cady Huffman. What is it about Will's vision as a director that lined up with what you were looking for in a director? Will and I actually met about a year ago doing a really intense fitness boot camp at our gym. Immediately we connected on a personal and professional level. He has seen me in two shows since then (Carner and Gregor's UNLOCKED Off-Broadway last summer and 42nd Street just a few months ago at The Gateway in Bellport, NY) and we've been talking about working together for while. I saw him and his brother give a concert this past winter at 54 Below and I fell in love with Will's sense of style and love of classic tunes. He totally understands that fine line between being universally entertaining and overly cliche, which is what I'm going for. And, as it was my first time to 54 Below, I also fell in love with the space!

Musical Director Brian Nash, Photo Credit: Preston Burford 5. The talented Brian Nash is your musical director. What are you looking forward to most about working with Brian? I owe this connection to my director, Will Nunziata. Brian understands my love for old fashioned, big band swing and I think some of the arrangements we are coming up with are going to be fabulous.

6. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing your 54 Below debut? Will and I are really trying to put together a piece that honors the solo concert/cabaret art form while staying true to my style of self deprecating humor and musical sensibilities. Most people my age are not going to be singing the songs that I am going to sing, which I think is part of the fun and uniqueness of the evening. I want people to remember that these songs exist and are exquisite...and also that young people can sing them!

Catherine LeFrere7. Since your show is called Confessions of a Young Character Actress, who were some of your influences that lead to you being a character actress? I don't really feel like I chose being a character actress...it's just who I am. I always wanted to be an actor and I think at some point you just discover (and I've really just discovered this in the last few years, even though I've been like this for years) that this is who you are...this is what I bring to the table as a performer.

I've been a fan of Katie Finneran's for years. I think she is so crazy talented and unique. I think people would place Meryl Streep in the leading lady category but I see her more as a character actress. Does her voice ever sound the same? Her gestures? I've heard she has her makeup artist reshape her eyebrows for every role. She's just so brilliant. Not a female, but I recently saw Chris Sieber in Matilda and he's definitely one of my favorite character actors. He can do it all…from the little "Prince" in Shrek, to "Billy Flynn" in Chicago, to "Miss Trunchbull" in Matilda…just, wow, what a range! I'd probably laugh at his interpretation of the phone book.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

8. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Cherry. Definitely cherry.

9. How do you want to be remembered? I want to be the girl that redefines what it means to be a character actress. That it's not about what you look like, but what is in your soul. Do you want to tell stories playing many different characters of various ages and voices? Do you not fit in to any one box? That's what being a character actress is about. I want them to say, "damn she was sexy!" But most importantly I want them to say, "damn she was FUNNY!"

Catherine LeFrere, Photo Credit: James DanielsMore on Catherine:

Born in the wrong era, Catherine LeFrere was a character actress by the time she was 3 years old. With her knock-out looks and old-school sensibilities, Catherine redefines what it is to be a working character actress on the stage and small screen.

Catherine was recently seen at The Gateway Playhouse playing "Dorothy Brock" in 42nd Street, directed by three-time Tony Award nominee Randy Skinner. Other favorite credits include the off-Broadway musical Unlock’d, the New York Stage & Film Festival’s production of For Worse (directed by Mark Linn-Baker), and the television show Running Wilde (opposite Will Arnett). Catherine is a proud graduate of Northwestern University

Monday
Aug182014

Call Answered: Laura Abbott: I Am Not I: 2014 International Fringe Festival

Laura Abbott"Call Me Adam" chats with playwright and director Laura Abbott about her show I Am Not I which is currently running in the 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival at Teatro SEA at the Clemente through August 22 (107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey). Click here for tickets!

I Am Not I is about Jane Jiménez, daughter of a Mexican-American father and Jewish mother, who is about to have her quinceañera. But how can she "transition into womanhood" when she doesn't feel like a woman? How will her parents and girlfriend react when they find out she's not who they think she is?

For more on I Am Not I be sure to visit http://iamnotitheplay.com and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Your play, I Am Not I will be making it NYC debut in the NYC Fringe Festival from August 8-22. What made you want to write this show? Dan Bacalzo asked me the same thing recently for a GLAAD interview. I told him: The person I am closest to in this world came out as transgender in 2008 (I am purposefully vague in describing our exact relationship out of respect for his privacy.) My very conservative, Catholic, Italian-American family did not exactly react well to this news. He confided in me first because of our closeness—but also because, I think, I identify as bisexual. I wish I could say I embraced him in rainbow-colored solidarity, no questions asked…but found myself in denial initially. I love this person with all of my heart, and always have, but it was an adjustment. Getting used to the pronouns. Change in appearance. The inability to speak of the past or look at old family photos. My conservative family members had an enormous journey ahead of them to fully understand, but even my queer, liberal self had some learning to do. But we all learned. And this play was a cathartic, therapeutic way of turning that journey into art. I think the "T" in "LGBT" is the least understood in our community, and I hoped that—by synthesizing our story into this play—I could help audiences begin to learn as well.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing I Am Not I? I hope that they come away with the desire to reach out to their loved ones they may not see eye-to-eye with. This play is really about four people attempting to speak the same language and failing until it’s almost too late. Whatever keeps an audience member divided from people in their life, I hope this play inspires them to reflect on the common humanity they share with everyone. I hope that they go home and start a conversation, make a phone call, send a Facebook message, etc. to that person they just can’t agree with or understand, but still want to love and include in their life. At the end of the play, Lisa urges Rey to: "Think about what’s important." I hope that audience members are reminded of what’s important in their relationships and figure out if it’s simply pettiness or anger or pride that is keeping them from forgiving or loving.

Morgan Lavenstein and Robyn Unger rehearsing Laura Abbott's "I Am Not I"3. What excites you about having I Am Not I in the NYC Fringe Festival? How do you feel this festival will nurture the show as opposed to another festival? Fringe is a juried festival, which means that people read and evaluated this script before selecting us to participate. The Fringe team sees potential in the work—all of the shows are here because someone felt they deserved a stage in New York. That means so much to me. By the same token, a lot of the shows are from fledgling artists just beginning their careers (and our team is no exception.) Being a part of Fringe means that you are here because of your potential—not because you’re a big name, not because you’ve got a ton of time and money to waste, not because of nepotism. This industry can be so insular, and Fringe is a festival that warmly embraces emerging talent and allows their voices to be heard amid all of the noise in this city. They’re celebrating their 18th anniversary—they are an enormous part of the NYC cultural landscape. To simultaneously be so huge and support unknown talent is a dichotomy that applies to very few theatre festivals. We are able to get media attention here, advertising and production support, a gorgeous venue to perform in, and we are part of a large (but intentionally chosen) community of like-minded artists. Beyond Edinburgh, I can’t think of any other festival that does what FringeNYC does. It’s an incredible honor and privilege to participate.   

Laura Abbott's "I Am Not I"4. In addition to writing the show, you are co-directing the show with Jordan Reiff. What made you want to take on the role of co-director and what have you enjoyed most about working with Jordan? Story time. When I originally applied to be part of the Fringe festival, I submitted the application with director Chrysta Naron. She directed the 2013 reading of I Am Not I, and is one of the most perceptive, intelligent, talented directors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Unfortunately for us New Yorkers, she moved to Texas (where she’s originally from) in May. We talked about possibly bringing the show to Texas, or waiting until she was able to visit the city to produce a full production. Then we got the news that the show was accepted into Fringe. She continues to support the team from afar, but we couldn’t logistically have her direct—and I was uncomfortable trusting this piece to anyone else. It’s such a personal play, and I’m wildly protective of it…so I decided to direct it myself. However, I’m really not a director. It was a strange stroke of fate that I happened to randomly bump into Jordan (a college theatre friend) on the street one night in Hell’s Kitchen. Jordan and I were both on a playwriting track in school, but he has decided to focus his efforts on directing these days. Knowing how incredibly smart he is, and having a lot of respect for him, I asked if he’d like to come on board. I really couldn’t do this without him. I love having Jordan in the rehearsal room to bounce ideas off of. As a playwright himself, he knows the right questions to ask. As a director, he’s got such a clear vision (where mine can sometimes get a bit muddled).

Morgan Lavenstein and Robyn Unger rehearsing Laura Abbott's "I Am Not I"5. What are you looking forward to most about having this cast bring your show to life? Just that—I’m looking forward to seeing them bring it to life. I’ve done readings of this play before, but never a fully realized production. So seeing the cast up onstage during our tech rehearsal in the gorgeous Teatro SEA space was utterly surreal. I’ve never seen the dance element of the show, either, but Kendra Slack has choreographed some stunning moments for this Fringe production, which dancer Claire Cuny beautifully executes. Seeing the dancing and lighting design, hearing the live music, watching the actors live these moments—watching the whole thing get woven together—has been so exciting and I cannot wait to share this with Fringe audiences.

6. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? Jonathan Marc Sherman. I was in Women and Wallace my freshman year of high school. Finding out that Sherman wrote that play when he was 18 absolutely blew my mind. It made me fully realize that there should be nothing stopping me from writing. Actually, a script I started at age 16, Trapped, was a Top 20 finalist in Sondheim’s nationwide Young Playwrights competition. The same contest that Women and Wallace won in the late 1980s. And, when I received my certificate, I discovered Jonathan Marc Sherman’s signature on it—he was one of the judges that chose my play.

7. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? There’s a world full of talented artists out there—the mind boggles at the potential answers to this question. I guess, if I had to choose the actors I’d most like to see inhabit one of my plays, I’d say: Shuler Hensley or Tracee Chimo. Their talent takes my breath away.

Laura Abbott8. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Take the full swing." I’m not really a baseball (or sports) person, but I think it’s great advice that can apply to pretty much any aspect of life.

9. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright? That I am an intensely passionate person. However, being very non-confrontational, all of my impassioned speeches and fiery verbal battles happen on the page instead of in reality.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to fly. That way I could have avoided taking the L train to Brooklyn for I Am Not I rehearsals. It’s literally the worst.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could be an original flavor lifesaver, which flavor would you be? Probably pineapple: unexpected, different, but still able to hold its own against more generic flavors. 

12. How do you want to be remembered? With honesty. I think we rob the dead of their humanity when we act like they were saints in life. I’m a shy, socially awkward, introverted person—my personality isn’t big enough to leave an imprint. But my greatest hope is that, someday, I’ll write a play that does leave its mark on time.

Laura AbbottMore on Laura:

Laura Abbott is a Vermont native and graduate of Ithaca College. She was the first Digital Marketing Apprentice in Roundabout Theatre Company's history, and served as a contributing writer for the organization's official blog and educational Upstage Playgoers Guide during the 2012-13 season. Her one-minute plays Falling and Wish I Were Human were featured in Playsmiths' annual Flash Fest in June 2014. A one-act she wrote while in high school, Trapped, is published through Playscripts, Inc. A rough draft of Trapped was a Top 20 finalist in Stephen Sondheim’s nationwide Young Playwrights competition.

As a performer, she has been seen onstage at the Kitchen Theatre Company, St. Michael’s Playhouse, as well as acting under the direction of the incomparable Bob Moss. She portrayed "Jo Widmere" in an excerpt from Lil Surfer Girl, an award-winning MFA student screenplay, at the 2014 Columbia University Film Festival. 

Wednesday
Aug132014

Call Answered: Ralph Harris: MANish BOY 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival

Ralph Harris"Call Me Adam" chats with actor, writer, and stand-up comedian Ralph Harris about his one-man show MANish BOY that is playing in the 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival through August 24 at The Players Theatre in NYC (115 MacDougal Street). We also discuss working with Eddie Murphy, best advice, Life Savers, and Super Powers.

MANish BOY tells the story of an unexpected journey that ensues when Ralph Harris returns to his childhood home to take a DNA test revealing fears of becoming a father while reigniting good and bad memories only to discover where we're from makes us who we are. Click here for tickets!

For more on Ralph be sure to visit http://ralphharris.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube!

1. Your one-man show MANish BOY will be playing in the 2014 NYC Fringe Festival fromAugust 9-24. What excites you about having this show in the Fringe Festival? The idea of doing a show anywhere in NYC excites me, but the opportunity to do theatre in a town where theatre and great acting is appreciated everywhere you turn is a magnificent thought. Just speaking those words musters up the nerves in my stomach, to know that this run with the Fringe legitimizes my entry into this great tradition and experience.

2. How do you feel the Fringe Festival will help nourish the show in a way another festival might not? I've done other festivals that are targeted to a demographic; not that there's anything wrong with that! However, the fact that the FringeNYC has the word International in the name of this event speaks volumes to where this opportunity could lead. It's sure to open doors that I never considered when I decided to write MANish BOY.

Ralph Harris in "MANish BOY"3. What made you want to write MANish BOY? What made now the right time to do it? Having been a stand-up comedian for over 20 years, I had a tendency to feel that I could never get totally comfortable going deep with my story telling, to the audiences of a comedy club. I longed for an opportunity to connect with people who didn't shy aware from truth, just so they could have a laugh and a few drinks and go home. I wanted to make people feel something, after they left. After mulling over a VHS tape of Whoopi (Goldberg's) HBO One Woman Show taped in 1985 (which eventually broke from repeated use), the thing that stayed in the back of my mind is what she revealed, which was - a way to present another aspect of a comedy performance. So, in 2003, I started writing MANish BOY, and after several visits to a therapist through the creative process, I later came to realize in 2008, that it was time to tell the story!

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing MANish BOY? Because the show deals with issues of growing up in a single family home, I hope that they can connect with something they may or may not've experienced directly, but will have a fresher attitude towards the differences that shape people. As well, the issue of becoming a first time father, after learning of a child nearly seventeen years later. The benefits of "The Village" that become the virtual parents of us all. That watchful eye of concern who made sure you knew right from wrong, and stayed on the right path.

Ralph Harris performing Stand-Up Comedy5. In addition to being an actor and writer, you are a stand-up comedian. Since your comedy is character driven, how do you feel performing your one man show is similar to stand-up comedy and different? It's similar, because I can still be funny through my story telling. However, theatre is a different reaction because it's as if the audience is connecting to what's not being said, where with stand-up, you almost have to hit them over the head, because of all the other distractions that go on in the room at a comedy venue.

6. What was the best part about getting to perform in the blockbuster hit film Dreamgirls with your comedy idol Eddie Murphy? What did you learn from working with him? Eddie is the consummate professional, as well as so many of the other stars in the film. But, as far as my man Eddie, here is a guy who isn't known for his dancing, who took on a roll that could've gotten him chewed up by critics, but he was out there on that stage working his ass off, all while going thru a big divorce. The focus that he brought to work everyday was infectious. I was actually sad to leave after the two weeks it took to shoot my scenes. I've always wished for the opportunity to tell my comedy idols a very personal thanks, for giving me so many wonderful examples of an alternative outlet for my passion to perform. Occasionally I still get the opportunity to spend time around Eddie, because we both are big fans of professional boxing. Unfortunately, he roots for the other guy all the time! LOL

7. What do you get from your film/television work that you do not get from your stage work? What I feel about the experience of film and television, is it's priceless. I mean the work is around forever! Especially with the advanced technology we have today, this interview will be available in some library forever, and people will be able to share the experience of my thoughts at this very moment, that's monumental.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? Long ago when I toured, and opened for George Benson, I learned the very important fundamentals of Show and Business. How necessary it was to try to give the audience more than what they might expect. I realized with stars - it had to be bigger, the performance had to be virtual fireworks. Because that's what professionalism is, it walks thru the door and takes command from that moment on, until it decides to leave. But most importantly, I must never forget the business! Because, we've all been witness to too many examples of those who didn't have the knowledge or the right amount of experience to handle the business. At the end of the day, this entertainment business will bless you beyond anything you can imagine, but there will be nothing there at the end, if you don't know the business.

9. What have you learned about yourself from being a comedian, actor, and writer? I don't tend to share this, but...I've learned thru the course of my career that my personal fears tend to get conquered more thru my acting, stand-up and writing. Because, I can play the character that I've always admired. Be the jackass or the hero through my art. But, the Ralph that walks around on a daly basis, prefers to be virtually invisible.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? My superpower would be to fly. Because, at this stage in the business I've made friends in places I'd only imagined existed. And I'd love to see them every single day if I could, but we all know that airfare is nuts these days!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could be any Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? I'd be butterscotch, because even when all things in my life seem to go wrong, a butterscotch Life Saver, always makes me forget (if only for a moment) that nothing in the world is wrong.

12. How do you want to be remembered? As a person and artist, who wanted to do my fair share of humanitarian outreach, to affect positive change in other peoples' lives, as well, as an artist who deserved to have his name mentioned along with the names who audiences around the world deemed "Great at What They Did."

Ralph HarrisMore on Ralph:

Ralph Harris is one of today’s hottest comedic and acting talents and has appeared in film and TV, including the role as "Host" of the culinary competition My Momma Throws Down on the TVOne network. Making his feature film debut in Dreamgirls, Ralph kicks off the movie as the "Detroit MC" who helps Jamie Foxx hook up with the "Dreamettes," giving him the opportunity to work with so many talented actors, but most specifically the chance to work with his comedy idol, Eddie Murphy. Ralph continued his film career, immediately landing his second feature role in the film Evan Almighty, starring Steve Carell & Wanda Sykes. Ralph’s jump to the big screen comes after years of successful television work, including appearances on Seinfeld, The Parent ‘Hood, Nick Freno, Living Single, In Living Color and featured spots on The Tonight Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Ralph is probably best known for his starring role in the ABC-TV sitcom On Our Own, which aired during the immensely popular TGIF block on Friday nights and which currently airs in syndication on TVOne. You can also catch Ralph on TV in airings of his two previously recorded Cable TV specials –Comedy Central Presents & the HBO Half-Hour Comedy Special, as well as the newly released, Clean Guys of Comedy. The Philadelphia native continues to tour the country and perform to sold-out audiences as a stand-up comedian, his first career. His comedy is character driven and is influenced by many of the greats, including Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy & the late Jonathan Winters.