Sunday, February 9, 2014

New Website!

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new year: 2014.  And with that, I give you my new personal website!

It's been a labor of love and any of you out there with thoughts about it, do let me know.  Life is fluid, and so is my image.  I'm interested in putting my best foot forward.

On a different note, here are some of the most amazing shows/films I've been watching:

Holy moly, this is probably the best adaptation of comic format to screen format (of any size--sorry DC Universe).  Arrow has successfully maneuvered its way around nearly every obstacle that makes adaptations of masked hero stories so corny.  The acting is exceptional, the writing smart and playful, and Stephen Amell's lead performance is wholly inhabited, haunted, and nuanced.  The weaving of the multiple story lines is a thing of beauty and I haven't gotten tired of "the island's" mysteries being teased out way into the second season.  Can we still have flashbacks to the island next season, or even in perpetuity?  Doubt it.  But for now, it's all good.

My sister and I have soft spots for police procedurals so big they could be called soft zones.  The great thing about this one is the assured pace, McConaughey and Harrelson's incredible character work, and the examination of American poverty.  The show's structure plays with time, and both M and H give dual performances, one in the past and one fifteen years later, with the years in between as legible in their eyes as in their hair and makeup (which is pretty great, too).  There's not really an emphasis (yet) on the central murder as much as one on the growth of the detective's relationship over the course of time and how deeply the case's influence ripples through the rest of their lives.

I have got to give it up to this show.  Yes gory, yes campy, yes operatic, but also unparalleled weaving of socio-historical horrors within the flashy, season-specific horrors.  AHS:COVEN is about witches but also about race and female agency. AHS:ASYLUM was about a scary mental hospital and serial murder, but also about abuse of power, religious hypocrisy, race, and social oppression.  The first season was about ghosts but also the deterioration of a marriage and school shooting, etc.  The list goes on, it's a show with a very progressive conscience masquerading as pure entertainment.  And who else has the guts to cast so many actors who've been shut out of the mainstream glam?  The commitment to diverse casting on AHS is really unmatched with the exception of GLEE, also same producing team.  What America looks like really gets to be seen here.  Also, Jessica Lange is a goddamn genius.

I wrote little bits on twitter about the following films I had the privilege to see at AFI Fest:


These may or may not be in theaters near you anytime soon, but they were some of the best that world cinema has to offer.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

LA Film Festival 2013: 7 DAY GIG

June was a huge month.  Kate's film 7 DAY GIG premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival as part of Project: Involve's shorts program to great acclaim, she won a cash award from the Barbara Boyle Scholarship, and she and I finally broke down and bought an air conditioner.  It was insanely hot for the past week (Ridiculous L.A. Heatwave '13) and our little apartment couldn't take it anymore.

I also got my new headshots up and running and they're working wonders for my call-in rate.  I always dread getting new pictures but I went with Joanna Brooks Photography and they were affordable and the end product is fantastic.  I love her style.  She's also tuned in to artists and performance craft and knows how to get something great out of you: your different looks, your presence in front of the camera, your vibe...I cannot recommend her highly enough.

7 DAY GIG was a tremendous experience for me because I was able to work on 5 different levels to get it made and assist Kate in executing her vision.  I was her assistant, her confidant, a PA, an administrator, a set dresser, and I got to have one of the plum roles of my career: "UPS Man." (Technically, I was "Delivery Man" due to copyright issues.)  I feel very lucky to have been able to give so much of myself to this film, and I'm really proud of the work everyone did on it, top to bottom.

I've also been going out a lot for the spanish-language market commercially.  I am finding my way, given that sometimes you get the copy in advance and sometimes you have to translate on the spot when you arrive at the audition and sometimes there's no copy at all and you have to improv in spanish.  Thanks to David Sajadi I have begun an excellent Spanish course based on his recommendation, and I feel like it's working wonders for my abilities.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Reps!

I am very happy to announce that I have signed with Avalon Artists Group as my Commercial agency! I will be working with Stephany Burns, the head of the commercial division, and she's wonderful.  It has taken me some time to get used to L.A. and build up a head of steam, but the time has arrived for Spartacus to take his place in the arena and accept the mantle of Gladiator.*

I am Spartacus!  Champion!  Bringer of Rain!
I met with founder and head agent Craig Holzberg at a workshop at The Actors Group in Burbank, and I was deeply moved by what he had to say about his commitment to his clients, Avalon's business ethos, and his simpatico with creative people.  He referred me to Stephany, I went in for a meeting, and here we are.  It's like a dream.  Like the man said, "Get them to sign on the line which is dotted."  Done and done.

So now it's on to new headshots, a commercial technique class, wardrobe investment, getting deeper into my Spanish skillset. . .

Yo soy Espartacus! Campeon! Portador de la lluvia!
The nice thing about commercial work is that you are rewarded for being a well-rounded person and how many other things you can do.  The list of all human skills is itemized on the internet actor directories to help Casting know if you know have experience they can work into a spot, but the list is so insane.

Can you ride a horse?
Can you juggle more than three balls?
Can you skydive?
Can you Tango?
Are you also a registered nurse?
Can you sail?

You never know what is going to be asked of you, and that's what makes commercials so magical and exciting.
If it please the court: Exhibit A.
I am going to work on being proficient in as many of these as I can, safely, to better my odds.

Some I won't, because even Espartacus has limits to what he will do for the roar of the crowd.**

On to the next horizon!


* My sister and her boyfriend got me hooked on Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and with the help of some moral gymnastics, I was able to really enjoy it.  There is nothing like watching a whole season of that to get you pumped for meeting a new agent.

** "Rodeo: Bull Riding"?  Oh HELL no.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A New Year

It's not good when you fall behind on posting on your own blog.  Here is what happened today:

The sun rose on Day 3 of the L.A. Superflu-infected Paco Tolson.
I made myself a seltzer and aloe juice drink and took some advil.
I made a list of things to work on including emailing colleagues and friends I'd lost touch with since the holidays.
I did most of it, including meditating, so there's that.
I did some editing on my comedy reel, too, most prominently featuring the Doritos Crash The Superbowl commercial I shot at the end of December.
Theraflu, tea, coffee, water, airborne...

For late lunch I made trader joe's vegetable dumplings which Kate and I call "little babies".

Last year's immensity cannot yet be handled gracefully on these pages, so for now we'll just plow ahead.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update 2012

Some seriously awesome new-year stuff to report!

In reverse order:

On Thursday of this week I will be performing in a workshop at CalArts with Rodrigo Garcia, famed director of the Glenn Close vehicle Albert Nobbs.  He is doing a guest artist lecture for the Film Directing Program that includes scene study work with myself (and others) on material he's written. It's an amazing opportunity to work one-on-one with a director I really admire.  I thought Albert Nobbs was an exceptionally smart film filled with fully dimensional performances from everyone in it.  (Glenn Close and Janet McTeer, of course, in contention for Oscars.)

That's not Janet McTeer.

Last week I took an incredibly informative Master Class with commercial casting director Chris Game.  I am still figuring out how to maximize my performance within a frame on film, and I was able to get some exciting tips from him that have already changed my approach for the better.  He was fast, smart, energetic, and gave it to us straight, which I appreciated.  It's always good to hear what life is like on the other side of the table in auditions; he pulled the curtain back on that mystique a lot.

This dovetailed nicely with another commercial workshop I took with Stuart Stone at Actors Key in Burbank.  Super nice, very informative and right on with the re-direct.

After the holidays I met with CalArts film director Will Orellana who cast me as the lead in his (untitled) thesis film.  Will is someone who's work I've been watching develop for three years and I'm excited by his vision.  Getting to work with Kate's peers has been invaluable.  Shooting begins in Mid-February, but a lot of background research on my part has begun already.

Before that I created a personal YouTube Channel where I can consolidate clips of my work that have been floating the internet.  You can check it out at the link above; it includes Jon Hoche's Rehearsal Journals for the Vampire Cowboys shows we did together, some class projects Kate did with me for Film School as well as drafts of my acting reel.

Also on the YouTube Channel is the commercial I did with director Harold Hyde for internet voiceover sensation Randall and his new Honey Badger App for the iPhone.  "Randall" is the genius comic entrepreneur who's made serious dividends from his viral video and the tag line, "Honey Badger don't give a shit."  An absolute blast to shoot and the app itself is a lot of fun, too.

The biggest news for last:

In January, right at the top of the new year, I shot my first national commercial!

That's actually all I can say about it until it airs, but it's been one of the best, most agonizing secrets to keep.  I can now join SAG and start setting the world on fire like a pro.  I will be a made man.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Acting Reel 2

New clips came in!  Here's some of what I've been up to last year in the West.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Acting Reel

Here is some footage from film and TV work I did back in New York.  Clips from my tenure in L.A. will be added as soon as I get my hands on it!