In Concert

Tracy Walsh

Tracy Walsh

Chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo! The Wallflowers and Train are about to play at Ravinia, an outdoor venue. Yup not only one grand band is playing, but two!

Over the years I have seen large numbers of people play lots of The Wallflower’s and Train’s songs at bars. Plus teenyboppers blasting their tunes and bopping their heads, and probably even grandmas and grandpas, while riding on their scooters or in their cars. The Alternative Rock band, The Wallflowers, and the Rock group, Train, each have won Grammys, and have had immense success on the charts, proving they are truly stars.

People young enough to be in diapers, as well as individuals old enough to be in them (“butt” depends), made up the huge crowds’ age range. It was a big surprise to me yet pleasantly strange. However Ravinia’s policy of no food or booze in the pavilion was a first for me, when it comes to a concert-going experience change.

The Wallflowers started off quite tranquil. It is a good thing I did not take a dose of Nightquil. But soon enough they were a thrill!

The Wallflower’s, Jakob Dylan, is The Bob Dylan’s chilln.’ And he seemed like an extraordinarily appreciative and gracious person, thanking the audience very often. The highlight of The Wallflower’s performance was when Jakob had Train’s lead singer, Pat Monahan, join him onstage to sing “The Letter,” and they did an awesome rendition!

When Train came out playing “Calling All Angels” for a second night in a row at Ravinia, rose to the occasion. Pat Monahan went out into the audience, gave away a generous amount of photos, auto-graphed t-shirts and drumsticks, creating so much way cool band and audience interaction. He also got the crowd singing and even brought, Julie Schwartz, who Monahan stated texted him over 400 times, asking to sing onstage with him, and he did so, causing another highly exciting crowd reaction.

The largest portion of The Wallflower’s concert included them performing “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache,” their most popular tunes. Train’s performance did too, playing such massive hits like “Drops of Jupiter “ and “Soul Sister,“ with the addition of mighty “danceable” songs from their new album The Bulletproof Picasso, much of will probably be heard for many moons. The Wallflowers and Train are definitely, greatly talented artists—they are not the least bit a bunch of fly-by buffoons.

In reference to (www.guitarsite.com), the lead singer and guitarist of The Trews revealed where the groups’ name came from in one of his interviews. He said the mom of the bands’ bassist suggested we call ourselves trews. Scottish trousers are known as trews, and the thought of the men wearing them makes for numerous woo-hoos! The front man adds “Given our Scottish heritage the name would be a fitting one to choose.”

The first photo I saw of the Hard rock/Alternative rock band, The Trews, made me wonder if I may have a few loose screws. Was I seeing double views? Are there two sets of male twins in The Trews?

Before you get a Double Mint Gum commercial stuck in your noggin, I should unveil I soon discovered there are not any twins in The Trews. The born and raised Canadian artists, Colin MacDonald (lead singer and guitarist), his brother, John-Angus MacDonald (guitarist), and their cousin, Sean Dalton (drums) along with their childhood bud, Jack Syperek (bassist), have all been playing together since ten plus years ago. The Trews’ hometown is Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and their present cribs are in Toronto. Also, The Trews have won a lot of prestigious awards, some include two #1 singles and 13 Top Ten from Canadian radio.

trews-1

Yes, The Trews are not just some Joe Schmos. Bruce Springsteen asked The Trews to play on stage with him while he performed (kudos!) In addition, Robert Plant, The Rolling Stones, the new Guns n’ Roses, Kid Rock, KISS and others invited them to open for their shows.

The Trews graced the stage on Tuesday evening at Chicago’s Double Door, where The Rolling Stones have played before. Promoting their new album, The Trews, is the main reason for their current tour. And for the record, I did not witness anybody bored out of their gourde.

There was a very close to even amount of men and women, as far as The Trews’ fans go. A fraction of the hot ladies wore super tight jeans, but thankfully I did not see any camel toe. (Although, that is not the nastiest of things, and does not make one a straight-up ho.)

Most of The Trews’ tunes they played had hooks that wheeled me, and the rest of the audience in and really feelin’ it. The Trews were the s***! They also had me and the crowd singing, dancing and head banging—I loved every bit!

And let me tell ya, The Trews left us wanting more, more, more! Indeed, their show was absolutely not a bore. You have to see The Trews on tour.

www.facebook.com/thetrewsmusic

www.guitarsite.com

www.thetrewsmusic.com

www.twitter.com/thetrews

www.youtube.com/thetrews

*All photos by Tracy Walsh Fun Photography – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

After an ever-so pleasurable serving of Beer Nuts, I was good and ready to see Here Come The Mummies come onstage at The House of Blues. There are plenty of dirty remarks I can come up with regarding the combo of two band names: Here Come the Mummies with Beer Nuts in the same sentence, or if I were to think of them separately. But, I will refrain and struggle greatly to keep it clean.

This article is to be only about the band Here Come the Mummies, and I can say their name also makes me think of my favorite four-letter-word that starts with a “F.” No, it is not that one! It is “Funk!” Since Here Come The Mummies are a Funk and R&B band.

Mums the word, concerning the real names of the members of Here Come the Mummies. Yet I am able to reveal they are suspected to be winners of Grammies! According to the great vine (Wikepedia), Here Come The Mummies may not say their real names, in hopes of trying to avoid problems, that could arise with other contracts they are legally-binded by.

Thee clever cryptic crew go by the names: Mummy Cassanova (guitar and lead vocals), Eddie Mummy (drums and vocals), K.W. Tut (bass and vocals), Java (percussion and vocals), Spaz (keyboards), The Flu (baritone sax ), Ra (tenor sax),  Teste Verde (trumpet), Hose (sax), The Pole (bass), Ramses (bass), Midnight (baritone sax), Bucking Blanco (trumpet).

Former member, Teste Verdes profile states “More so than Jenna Jameson, this brother can blow…and he was discovered under a mound of camel pubes long ago!” Whoa!

When I arrived for the show at the mega, magnificently magical House of Blues in the Windy City, I was told by die hard Here Come the Mummies’ fans, Peggy Ward and Karen Skarbek, the band’s lyrics are of an adult nature. And if you have a dirty mind, you will like them. I was even more excited then to see Here Come the Mummies after having heard that! Plus, it was a good sign of good things to come, since the band packed the joint.

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I was so surprised when I saw Here Come the Mummies’ fans, I kept scratching my noggin - Just because they were all over the spectrum. I happily saw gays, straights, 21-year-olds and up. Additionally there were men and women in their sixties, who I caught singing along to lyrics such as:  “My silver tongue will lubricate her thoughts” and “Can I get some booty?”

The Interaction Here Come the Mummies have with their audience is slightly provocative and puissant playful. Some of the bandaged and face-painted tribe stuck out their tongues in a sexual manner, as well as showed off their masterful hip-thrusting and dry humping skills. Also one of the mummies stuck his big buttocks out often at concert attendees.

Yes, Yes, Yes! There were loads of sexual innuendoes during the show. For instance, a mummie pulled out a dildo, a size fit for ladies and gentlemen who are labeled “As Loose as a goose.” The show also consisted of the following being put onstage: someone in a Gorilla suit with a relatively large concocted strap-on-like whichmagiger that sported special, remarkable abilities.

Furthermore, I could not find any problems when it came to how Here Come the Mummies played their instruments. They can really play, however the vocals could have been a bit better. Yet because these guys were funky to the max, shakin’ what their mama’s gave em,’ wildly and spellbindingly from the start of their performance to the very end, they made up for it. So did the shock factor and belly laughs, from hearing some of their songs’ lyrics!

Deservingly, Here Come the Mummies’ song “Dirty Minds” has been played on popular TV shows, and they have been regulars on the Bob and Tom show. They did the official sound track for the movie “Fired Up,” too.

In addition, Here Come the Mummies has 8 albums, and a few of them are titled: Terrifying Funk From Beyond The Grave, Carnal Carnival along with Bed Bath and Behind. Here Come the Mummies’ most recent album is Cryptic. Oh and their record label is called sphinxter, which is a muscle inside an individual’s butthole.

To wrap things up, the men in bandages are a funkin’ fun bunch, who also wave their Freak Flag highly and proudly. Since seeing Here Come the Mummies perform, I strongly doubt any of their shows would ever be boring, and am sure they could easily make some individuals feel horny. I saw a slew of horn dog-ish behavior not only from Here Come the Mummies, but also from many of their fans during the show, some of which were totally comical! For a good time, go see Here Come the Mummies!

For more information on Here Come the Mummies, please visit: https://herecomethemummies.com 

 

*Photos by Tracy Walsh Fun Photography

I wanted to throw tomatoes at the weatherman, after having heard it was going to only be in the 50-something degrees on a Chicagoland’s summer’s eve, for Ravinia’s Saturday performer, Melissa Etheridge. I pouted and pictured my mom and I continuing to go would make us feel as though we were locked in an ice-cold fridge. And I would have wished I invited my mom, and some friends over to my home to play a game of Bridge.

But then I got knocked upside the head, and on the way to see thee Melissa Etheridge at the gorgeous outdoor venue Ravinia, I was getting more and more excited about seeing her. I had never seen her perform before, and she is a Grammy, Academy and other Award’s winner!

Besides, some of Melissa Etheridge’s friend’s were to play (Jessie Payo, Paula Cole and Joan Osborne), so how in the heck could I have been previously torn?

The first act was Jessie Payo, who served lyrics such as “I smell like whiskey,” that would be neat drinking music for a few nights a week or so. She sang pretty loudly, and her vocals didn’t always sound the best though. Plus the voice of Jessie Payo is not as smooth as mayo.

Paula Cole also performed and has the clap (not the S.T.D. one) down pat—she clapped her hands together during most of her time onstage, and the majority of the audience looked really into that.

Plus, Paula Cole very obviously expressed during her stage time she is an especially emotional soul. The Theme song for the smash hit TV show “Dawson’s Creek,” was written and played by Paula Cole. Yet, she said on the Ravinia stage, that the song was just supposed to be for her grandpa —not a TV show.

Paula revealed, too, that she loves Dolly Parton, and she did a rendition of the Country Superstar’s “Jolene,” with an ending that included her masterfully b-boxing! Subsequently, she got seated peeps to rise to their feet, standing tall and clapping.

Joan Osborne sang some pleasurable new bluesy tunes, and cover songs, but her not doing more of ones from her recently Grammy-nominated album was a tad lame. However, she did sing “One of Us,” to which my bus rides have never been the same!

All of the talent deservingly received a standing ovation, which brings me to thee Melissa Etheridge’s performance being an incredibly lengthy and admirable duration.

But first, if you do not know already, you may be wondering why Melissa Etheridge has recently made News’s headlines galore? According to Perez Hilton, “Melissa Etheridge once again pinky promises she never meant to light a fiery feud by calling Angelina Jolie’s mastectomy “fearful” even if she and Brad Pitt aren’t bestiez anymore (www.perezhilton.com 2013.”)

Melissa Etheridge has also been in the media more lately because of her almost brand-spanking new and happy marriage. When on Ravinia’s spectacular stage, Melissa Etheridge said “I am proud to be an American today” and later spoke of the importance of what we put into our body, and how we should have faith in our body, all while appearing ever-so passionate about helping people by spreading her knowledge.

The best part of Melissa Etheridge’s show was when she played her Cancer Anthem “I will Run for Life.” It looked like everyone in the crowd got extra revved up, singing along, dancing, shouting praise, waving their arms in the air, some shedding tears, and my mom and I receiving goose bumps, and smiling from ear to ear, via experiencing such enormously impactful moments with each other, as well as with thee Melissa Etheridge and other concert-goers deeply feeling life.

The audience acted in the manner, described above, during most of Melissa’s show since she was exceptionally heart-warming, inspiring, good-humored, animated, plus an extraordinary force and talent in every other way onstage. There was not one dull moment throughout Melissa’s performance, she put the audience through some hoops, played most of her biggest songs, and was a humongous ball of energy for over 2 and a half hours, despite her 50-something age!

Also, Melissa said during her show she already knew how to play guitar, so she decided to teach herself how to play the piano at the age of six. And her mom came into her room one day when she was practicing, and said “Melissa, now you’re just making stuff up,” and she did so while living in the sticks, a small town named Leavenworth, Kansas. (Is Leavenworth worth leaving?)

On an ending note, I darn well know for certain now I would be extremely upset to miss a Melissa Etheridge show. Whether, cold and rainy, or even a snowstorm, if thee Melissa Etheridge is to play, it is a sure go!

Melissa Etheridge’s Latest Album is: 4th Street Feeling

Joan Osborne’s: Bring It On Home

Paula Cole’s: Raven

Jessie Payo’s: (Single—no album yet, “Heaven Help Me.”)

For more information on shows at Ravinia, please visit Ravinia.com

you dont say

Hearing some people say “Yo momma's so ugly, her mom had to tie a steak around her neck to get the dog to play with her. And, “Yo momma's so ugly, she made an onion cry. Yo momma's so ugly, even Rice Krispy’s won't talk to her,” make me hungry for such a captivatingly creative mind like theirs (www.comedy-zone.net.) I would also dig to have the greatly enthralling imagination of Robert Alaniz! He has made six feature-length films (“Timesaver,” “Barrymore’s Dream,” “Bitterblue,” “The Vision,” “D.I.N.K.S.” (Double Income No Kids”)and “You Don’t Say!”

Another reason I crave to trade brains with Robert Alaniz is because, the man has won a “Best Comedy Film” award for “D.I.N.K.S.” And he won “Best Feature Film” for his “Barrymore’s Dream,” both from The Route 66 Film Festival in Springfield Illinois. Plus, Robert Alaniz and his organization “Sole productions” have been featured in some nationwide magazines, and on FOX NEWS, ABC Morning News with Linda Yu and Sylvia Perez, and WGN Radio with Andrea Darlas.

BUZZ:  I would love to write a screenplay, but I know I don’t have a good enough imagination to do it.

ROBERT: “Imagination, well that’s important, but I think you also have to be very disciplined. I’ve heard a lot of people say I started writing a script, but didn’t finish it. ”

BUZZ: What were you like in high school?

ROBERT: “I was an artist in high school, winning awards for my artwork, which is what I thought I'd be doing when I got older. Until I found out there wasn't any money in it. I then got involved with theater and acted in many plays in high school and college. I loved it so much, I began writing and directing my own plays. It was when I was in college when I discovered filmmaking. I then switched from theater to film and never looked back. In my 20's, I got an internship at WGN-TV where I worked for a few years where I learned a lot about the TV industry. Hope this is what you wanted.”

BUZZ: Yes, thank you, Robert.

BUZZ: How did “You Don’t Say!” manifest?

ROBERT: “Well, here’s something interesting. When I finished my first film ‘D.I.N.K.S,’

BUZZ: (Accidently interrupted poor Robert!) Oh, yeah, ‘D.I.N.K.S’ won an award!

ROBERT: “Actually, it won two awards.”

BUZZ: (Embarrassed--want to curl up in fetal position and suck thumb!) “Oh, I’m sorry!”

ROBERT: (Gently and Kindly) “That’s alright…that’s alright. You know when you win awards you have to make sure you put them in there (chuckles). I also have to get used to saying I’m an Award-winning filmmaker, too. I know that sounds a little vein, but that’s the truth.”

robert alanizBUZZ: Yes, you’re just stating the truth, and are supposed to tell people you’ve won awards. I’m sorry; please get back to what you were saying about “D.I.N.K.S.”

ROBERT: “‘D.I.N.K.S’ was my first comedy. I was always afraid of comedy because I didn’t think I was a funny person. And, I was always told comedy is the hardest thing to write. And, it wasn’t hard to write, so then I thought, uh oh! If it’s not hard to write, it’s not funny. But, ‘D.I.N.K.S.’ went over really well—people loved it—it got a lot of laughs. So after ‘D.I.N.K.S,’ I wanted to write another comedy.”

“I had three scripts in mind, and one was about a woman who finds a magical necklace that makes her say what she really feels. I started writing [the] scripts as an experiment because sooner or later one of the three was going to be more interesting to me. So I was writing, and I was watching all these TV broadcasts of people getting attacked by organizations, because they said something they shouldn’t have said. Like, Meg Ryan was on ‘Oprah,’ and she said something that was unacceptable. I don’t know what she said, but as soon as that happened, “Oprah” got hit with a gazillion letters, and this organization came out of nowhere and attacked Meg Ryan.”

“Once I saw that, I said I gotta find more [such stories.] So I started searching the internet, and I found all these crazy things where these groups were attacking people for saying things--for saying something simple, that may have not meant anything. And the more I saw that, the more interested I got in the story ‘You Don’t Say!’ So, that’s the one [script] we did.” The one about a woman who finds a magical necklace that makes her say what she really feels.

BUZZ: While working on “You Don’t Say,” what was the thing that tickled your funny bone the most?

ROBERT: “Getting it done (LAUGHS.) I never thought that was gonna happen!” (Chuckles, chuckles, laughs, laughs!)

BUZZ: What’s the hardest part about being a filmmaker?

ROBERT: “When you’re making an Independent film, like I do, on such a small budget, it’s trying to get everybody to take it serious, and to realize that you’re trying to make a Hollywood-type movie—a movie of that magnitude. I’m this guy from Frankfort [Illinois] who makes movies. And a lot of people make movies now, you know on YouTube…and you want to shoot for Hollywood, you want someone to go ‘Wow, how much did this cost?’ ‘Who is this guy?’ You want that kind of attention—somebody at the right place, and the right time to maybe further your career, or give you more money to give you bigger and better projects. And, that’s kind of where I’m at now.”

“‘You Don’t Say!’ is my sixth film, and I’ve premiered all my films, and they all had good runs. I’ve done local runs, but with ‘D.I.N.K.S,’ I was contacted by a distributing company in L.A. Because they saw the trailer online, and they loved the idea. And I sat down with several distributers, and everybody loved it. But nobody picked it up--they all said the problem is you don’t have someone everybody knows. So the first goal for ‘You Don’t Say,!’ was to get someone everybody knows. And everybody knows ‘The Soup Nazi.’ People wanna see what else ‘The Soup Nazi,’ [Larry Thomas, from ‘Seinfeld’] does.”

BUZZ: So what do you want awesome readers of Buzz Magazine to know about “You Don’t Say?”

ROBERT: “My first reaction to this movie was I had a big smile on my face when the credits were running. And, a lot of it has to do with Alan O’Day’s great song he wrote for the movie. And in the seventies, he wrote ‘Undercover Angel’…he was a big songwriter in the 70s and 80s, and they still use his music today, like in the movie ‘Super 8.’  But getting back to what I was saying, I really thought the movie was fun, because his song is very fun and it’s very uplifting, and the movie—it’s a feel good movie. You see ‘You Don’t Say!’ and you’re gonna laugh and feel good.”

BUZZ: (Smiling while having “Brian Fart,” as to what to ask next. Need brain transplant fast! ) Okay, well I guess that’s about it. Thank you so much for doing this interview, terrifically talented, Robert Alaniz!

THE END

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“You Don’t Say” Guest Star, Larry Thomas a.k.a. The Soup Nazi, will be signing autographs with other actors from the film at the premiere on April 6th.

For tickets for the April 6th Chicago premiere of “You Don’t Say!” at The Patio Theatre, or additional information on the film, and all who worked on it, please visit: www.idontsaythemovie.com https://www.facebook.,com/pages/You-Dont-Say-A-Robert-Alaniz-Film/292368020819913 www.facebook.com/robert.alaniz.98

“You Don’t Say!” was produced by David Branigan, Robert Alaniz and Max Nayden. Other actors in the film include: Toni Pieper, Rebecca O’Connell, Mikhailia Scoville, Andy Clifton, Caitlin Costello, Alison Barnes, Isabella DeCeault, Jayson Bernard, Brandon Galatz, Hayley Camire, Brian Hoolihan, Jeanette DiGiovine, Shavar D. Clark, Matthew Montalvo, and Melodye Lorrayne. Larry Thomas Guest Stars!

Sources: www.comedy-zone.net as well as people’s mouths.

Many of us have sky-high dreams and fantasies of landing Acting jobs, and being huge stars in reality.  Learn more of what actors on the rise think, regarding a lot of things. Plus, read what it’s like to have acted with “Seinfeld’s” ‘The Soup Nazi,’ Larry Thomas, in “You Don’t Say!” a new comedy.

“You Don’t Say!” was written/directed and co-produced by award-winning filmmaker, Robert Alaniz, of Sole productions, with music from Alan O’Day.

Julia Chereson and Robert Alaniz (photo by Sarajane Crowley)

JULIA CHERESON (Roberta “Bobbi” Evans)

BUZZ:  I love asking people what they were like in high school because I’m just nosey like that! So, were you a “Stoner?”

JULIA: (LAUGHS) “I was a dweeb—I was a total nerd.”

BUZZ: But in a good way, being a “Dweeb” or “Nerd” can be a good thing. “Smart cookies” are yummy!

JULIA: “I was not the girl who got asked to dances—I was the girl who was asked to help with their homework, so they could get a good enough grade to be able to go to dances. So, I was very ‘Nerdy.’  I had a great group of friends, and that can get you through not being popular. And, we were smart and happy. And, I behaved, pretty much by the book. Hopefully, still making my parents proud. They’re pretty excited about the premiere [of ‘You Don’t Say!’]”

BUZZ: They must be, especially because you got a leading role in your first film—congrats, Julia!

JULIA: “Thank you. I wasn’t really sure I was going to get the role. When Robert called, I stepped out on the porch. I was at home visiting my parents in Ohio, and we don’t get good reception because we live in the country. Well, my parents don’t. And, I was like I can’t lose this call because of bad reception! And Robert told me I got the role, and we talked for a couple of minutes. And I went inside, and I asked ‘Mom, where’s that bottle of wine you picked up today?’ So, we opened up a bottle of her favorite wine, and we all toasted and celebrated—it was so exciting! And, how could it be any better than to be with my family when I got that news.”

BUZZ:  Besides, being excited and grateful for your family, how else did you feel about the film, since it was your first one?

JULIA:  “I kind of went in just ready to absorb everything I could. Also, to give my best performance possible.”

BUZZ:  How old are you?

JULIA: “I’m twenty-five.”

BUZZ: Oh, that’s great—you have the world by the balls, then!

JULIA:  “I say ‘I’m too old, I’m too old to act,’ and my boyfriend reassures me. And, then I see older actors [whose careers’ are just starting, and that makes me feel better too]. I’m always like comparing, and I know I shouldn’t do that. It’s like the little ‘Nerd’ in me asking ‘Am I too old, Am I too young, Am I…’ That’s the thing about going into auditioning for roles that you might quite not fit. They might not know you’re what they want until you go in and show them. So, that’s something I try to keep in mind. So, it’s just like ‘Go for it—no matter what—go for it!’ who’s gonna stop you other than you. And, I’m confident in my abilities—it’s a matter of finding the right thing for you, and the right thing for that project.”

BUZZ:  How inspiring—I feel like I could fly to the moon, now!  But before I do, I have another question for you:  “What was the funniest thing that happened on set?”

JULIA: “Oh, we had a lot of fun. There were these two actors, who play Martin and Bruce in the film, and if they found a third, they could be the ‘Three stooges.’ There’s a scene where one of them had a little body odor, and the other reacts to it. And, the faces they make are just hilarious! I had a lot of giggle retakes during that. So, they’re my favorite duo.”

BUZZ: What’s one of the things you love about “You Don’t Say?”

JULIA: “I love the fact that there’s a strong female character at the center of the story.”

Gary Gow (photo by Sarajane Crowley)

GARY GOW (Jerry Brownwell)

BUZZ: What were you like in high school?

GARY: “Actually, the first three years, I was painfully shy. And, I discovered acting, thanks to my Freshmen English teacher. And unbenounced to me, he was doing the fall play that year and didn’t know who he was going to have play the child in the play. And I walked in [to the room] and he said ‘Kid, I’m gonna make you a star.’ And I said ‘What do you mean?’ And he said ‘You wanna be in ma play?’ And I was in all of the high school plays after that.”

“Yeah, but in high school I was pretty shy. And, it was actually the acting that got attention for me, or even respect. I played the role of male leading role in Oklahoma in my junior year, and it was a real popular play and popular role. So I had this newborn-like popularity, and I was elected Student Body President for the following year. It was all through the play, because no one knew me otherwise.”

“And about ten years ago, I met Robert--he was auditioning for his first film. And I got the lead role in the film ‘Timeserver.’ That kind of led me down another road, where I got an agent and did some commercials and TV.”

BUZZ: Yeah, such a great actor, like yourself, I bet is swamped with Showbiz  work.

GARY:  “I teach locally, and that keeps me pretty busy. So, I haven’t really tried” [to get anymore acting jobs yet.]

BUZZ:  What can you say about your new film ‘You Don’t Say?’

GARY: “The movie makes you think it’s the things that you don’t say, that really matter the most. Yeah, it makes you look at things differently. This film has a lot to offer, too--there are a lot of different stories going on. It pokes fun at things that are ridiculous in society, you know. And, I think it really has something to say.”

BUZZ: What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say “Larry Thomas?”

GARY:  “Fun, nice guy. I got a chance to speak with him on set between scenes, and boy he’ll just sit and talk with ya and share stories. And, he’s a very,  gracious gentleman. Yeah, he’s been a lot of fun. And that’s not always the case when you get to meet someone who’s been on a higher level as an actor. Sometimes, they’ll disappoint you. So, I was very happy to see he is very grounded and down-to-earth, amazing.”

BUZZ: What do you like to do in your spare time besides acting?

GARY: “ In my summers, I like to spend it with my wife and dog. He helped me shovel snow today (CHUCKLES). It was like two shovels and throw the ball (CHUCKLES).”

BUZZ: Yup, dogs can really keep you on your toes!

GARY: “Our’s is a Rescue dog. The previous owner didn’t treat him very well. He ran over his tail. So, his tail doesn’t work. It doesn’t seem to be stressful for him, so we didn’t have it cut off or anything. So he can’t wag, so when we come home, he smiles.”

BUZZ: I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOUR DOG THAT HE HAS SUCH KIND PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND YOUR WIFE.

GARY: “And, we’re happy for us—he’s a good boy, and you know what dogs can add to your life.”

DANI WILKIN (Teresa Temptin)

BUZZ: You have a degree form Columbia College inchi-town.

DANI: “Yes, my degree was in Fine Arts with a Minor in Acting”

BUZZ: It costs a bunch of dough to go there, right?

DANI: “Yeah, I’m still paying for it now, that’s for sure. And just when I was thinking Columbia wasn’t that worthwhile, I did a short film and met some people. It was a student film that we all didn’t even see the ending of. We all still talk and do films together. It’s all so strange that little film, that I didn’t see the product of, made it all worthwhile.”

BUZZ: What kind of roles do you want to play the most?

DANI: “Something that challenges me to the point of having a breakdown. I would love to do something that would make me research day in and day out, that would make me work so hard, they put me through a breakdown, to make me someone I’m completely not.”

BUZZ: Wow!

DANI:  “ ’You Don’t Say’ has given me probably the one of the most far away roles I have ever played. I have played a couple of parts in movies, but in ‘You Don’t Say,’ it was really one of the ones that made me go: This person is nothing like me. She’s the ditz, she’s the slut, she’s supposed to be sleeping with the boss. All things I pride myself against. Not like I don’t like [that] type of person. I’m just not [that] type of person. I’m not slutty or dressing inappropriately at work, and those sorts of things. But, I think it makes you rationalize why someone would do something like that.”

BUZZ:  Besides, it can make you have empathy for all sorts of folks.

DANI: “Exactly. I played an ex-heroin addict in “Arthouse Junkies,” And, when I was preparing for that role, I watched a lot of different films about drugs. And, I still watch those shows, about anyone with an addiction. I watch those shows constantly because you do empathize with them—you almost feel a part of you was that person.” [You can identify with their struggling.]

BUZZ: Are you a Method Actor?

DANI: “I think in ‘Arthouse Junkies’ I was method. In fact, It took me a couple of weeks to really shake her from me. Because, she was so strong—silently strong. With ‘You Don’t Say,’ I didn’t do Method Acting because she drove me nuts so badly (LAUGHS). [I’d say to myself,] ‘I’m so excited, she’s so sassy. I love her,’ and then like an hour later, I would say something silly or ditzy, and I would be like, ‘Okay, I really don’t want to be her anymore (LAUGHS)! ’ “

“I would show up on set in my pajamas, without my hair done, and I would spend an hour or two hours getting hair and make-up done. I had worn the tightest clothes, I had hair extensions in, I had tons of make-up done--I was so uncomfortable.”

BUZZ: Knowing sex sells, how do you feel about actresses doing nudity?

DANI: “There’s just certain things where you go, they just wanted to slip a boob in there. You need to really question, [as an actor, “Is showing your breasts, buttocks, vagina and/or penis] really necessary? Is this really going to change the film? Is it relevant to the story?” I would rather sell strength, and sell ambition over that--I’m working towards it.”

Dave Branigan executive producer and actor (photo by Sarajane Crowley)

DAVID BRANIGAN (Eugene Evans)

BUZZ:  I read in your bio you‘ve done a lot of theatre work.

DAVID: “I didn’t necessarily act in all the plays, I’ve done sound for plays as well. I’ve been primarily doing Gaelic Park plays, and doing some producing of plays.”

BUZZ: What turned you on to acting?

DAVID: “About 6 or 7 years ago, I auditioned for a play called ‘Gaelic Park Players.’ And got a small role. In 2003, there was an audition call for a movie filming in the area [Chicago]. Robert Alaniz was filming his first movie ‘Timeserver.’ So, I went there, and got a bit part as a lawyer. You see me for about 40 seconds in the beginning of the movie. Which is good because it had been cut out at first.”

BUZZ: Do you have any other showbiz projects in the works?

DAVID: “I’m trying to get my retirement for June of last year from teaching. And, I’m trying to get something going, playing guitar and singing. I do a one man 50s and 60s act [all oldies].”

BUZZ: Do you have any chillins’?

DAVID: “No, it’s just my wife and I. And, we have a dog (Smiles big, and has no teeth missing)!”

BUZZ: I also have a baby dog.

DAVID: “So, the dog’s the kid (LAUGHS)?”

BUZZ:              Yes, and my Angel (Smiles big, and with no teeth missing yet—thank goodness)!

BUZZ: Why in detail do you think it’s said theater is so much harder to act in than films?

DAVID: “It’s actually a lot harder to do theater than to do movies because you screw up onstage, and then all the other people around you are screwed up as well. If you screw something up in a movie they just take another cut. “

BUZZ: I could be wrong, but I think I heard theater actors are more respected than any other actors. Plus, I’ve definitely heard there are a lot of film actors and television actors that wish to do theater.

DAVID:  “Yes, there are a lot of movie actors who want to do theatre, and some of them succeed, some of them don’t.”

BUZZ: That just shows how difficult acting in plays is!

DAVID: “Yeah, you really have to memorize everything. You have to memorize your lines. You have to memorize your blocking, you have to memorize your movements, your interactions with other people and emotions.”

BUZZ:  Do you think there are many differences between Community plays and Professional ones?”

DAVID: “My wife and I go to a lot of Broadway plays, and in just the acting and performance part of things, there’s really not that much of a difference.”

BUZZ:  What is the best thing you think you have ever said?

DAVID: “Saying ‘I love you’ to my wife every morning.”

LAURA ANN PARRY (Madelyne Evans)

BUZZ: I read that you are an attorney, and have two kids who are into acting?

LAURA: “Yes, I am [and] uh, ha.”

BUZZ: Did your kids want to pursue acting because of mom and dad?

LAURA: “No, actually, my 14-year-old wanted to pursue acting, and she was taking Acting classes, and she turned to me at dinner one day. And was saying something about her acting class, and then said to me ‘Never mind--you don’t understand.’ And I thought, wait a minute, so I took an Acting class. She inspired me! I initially took the Acting class to bond with her. I followed her, and then the little one followed too, because she thought it was a lot of fun.”

BUZZ: Did anything strange happen on the set of “You Don’t Say?”

LAURA: “The first day of filming, a light fell on me, right before the first take (LAUGHS)! One of the Set lights.”

BUZZ: Oh, no! Did it hit you in the head?

LAURA: “Yes, it hit me in the head, but not with the hot part. I was lucky, but yeah, quite an interesting experience for my first day on set (LAUGHS).

BUZZ:  So, since “You Don’t Say” is your first film, were you intimidated at all?

LAURA: “I wasn’t intimidated—I was eager and somewhat anxious. I didn’t quite know what was expected of me. Until, I threw it out there and just did my thing.”

BUZZ: Maybe, you were hesitant to ask any questions?

LAURA: “Right, because everybody is going about their business, setting up the lights…doing the sound. You know, checking things. And I finally figured out, if they want anything, a little more or a little less, they’ll tell me.”

BUZZ: Do Chicago actors walk with their nose in the air, and a stuck out dairy air?

LAURA:  “The Chicago acting scene is a lot different than you might find in other cities. We let each other know when auditions are coming up. Even when you walk into an audition, and you see the person that beat you in the last role, you’re still friends.”

BUZZ:  Yeah, I believe everything you just said. I have had nothing but incredibly good experiences with Chicago actors.

LAURA: “Trademark attorneys are like that, too! They’re very helpful to each other. I’m a bit of a geek.”

BUZZ: That brings me to the question: “How were you in high school?”

LAURA: “Okay, guess.”

BUZZ:  A cheerleader?

LAURA: “Yes! That’s how I live my life. I know that sounds really ridiculous, but I am a huge cheerleader for other people!”

BUZZ: So, what kind of work do you want to do next?

LAURA: “I want to do more films. I like to do stage—I like to do both! I play a very light comedic role in this film, but I just did staged combat, and was a scorned wife trying to create problems for someone else. The play was by Austin Pendleton, who’s a Steppenwolf Theater Ensemble member—he wrote the play.”

BUZZ: He is a tremendously talented man—congratulations on landing that role, too.

LAURA: “Thank you.”

Steve Parks (photo by Sarajane Parks)STEVE PARKS (Mr. Adeemus)

BUZZ: You must be “tickled pink” about the premiere of “You Don’t Say!”

STEVE: “Yeah, the premiere is in Chicago on April 6th.  I’m gonna be in charge of crowd control. I used to be a Corporate trainer. I was the kind that whenever they would go to a new city, and open a new Lowe’s theater, I was there even though I lived in the Chicago suburbs. I thought with a big crowd like this [for the premiere of “You Don’t Say!”], you need someone with experience. When I was with Lowes, that was when they were opening up ‘Spiderman’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ so I had to deal with those midnight crowds in costume.”

“For D.I.N.K.S (Another Robert Alaniz film), I was sitting at the table to meet people, and I was really shy. Another movie I did was ‘Coin Toss,’ and I played twins, definitely an actor’s dream. One of course, was an evil twin. [And at that premiere], afterwards, people just started coming up and talking to me. And that was so much more comfortable to just hang out in the lobby of the theater and talk to people that way, like normal people because the table isn’t in between you.”

BUZZ: What do you want folks to know about “You Don’t Say?”

STEVE: “I think it’s just as good as a lot of other things I’ve seen in big budget films. Robert had a lot really invested in it, and it’s very well done. And I really love the soundtrack by Alan O’Day.”

CATHERINE HOOD (Donna)

BUZZ: Why did you get into acting?

CATHERINE: “My father put me into dance classes—I used to travel with a company I was dancing for. From there, I think I was in fifth grade, and I was reading a book. And the teacher asked me ‘Have you ever thought about acting?’ And I was like ‘No, what do you mean?’ And my friend said ‘You know, Catherine, you did sound good reading that book.’ So, that just made me think about acting, and I tried out for a high school play. I did a lot of high school plays, and I got a scholarship to go to AMDA in California.”

BUZZ: What other Showbiz work have you done?

CATHERINE: “Last year, I did six or seven films, and today I just got cast in one. And I’m doing a play, ‘Fit to Kill,’ in Park Forest, And I’ll be playing a sexy, devious, evil woman who’s trying to get revenge on a couple.”

BUZZ: You would take a gorgeous mug shot! You have the mug of a model. Have you modeled before?

CATHERINE: “I have modeled, at the moment, I am one of the faces for Devry University. So, you might see me on billboards or buses nationwide, and on the internet.

BUZZ: Is there anything else you would like to add?

CATHERINE: “Just that I’m an actress, publicist and writer. As far as being a publicist goes, I did an internship at WGN for Dean Richards [and am the publicist for ‘You Don’t Say.’ And I write for Examinor.com—I write articles with, Margie Korshak, reviewing Broadway plays.”

It certainly was a fun day interviewing the above actors of “You Don’t Say!” Also, the bound-to- be, laugh-out-loud comedy, should not have any movie attendees going astray--for the entire film of “You Don’t Say,” I bet they’ll all happily stay.

For tickets for the April 6th Chicago premiere of “You Don’t Say,” or additional information on the film and all who worked on it, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/You-Dont-Say-A-Robert-Alaniz-Film/292368020819913www.facebook.com/robert.alaniz.98

“You Don’t Say” was produced by David Branigan, Robert Alaniz, William Wagoner and MaxandIrit Nayden. Other actors in the film include: Toni Pieper, Rebecca O’Connell, Mikhailia Scoville, Andy Clifton, Caitlin Costello, Alison Barnes, Isabella DeCeault, Jayson Bernard, Brandon Galatz, Hayley Camire, Brian Hoolihan, Jeanette DiGiovine, Shavar D. Clark, Matthew Montalvo and Melodye Lorrayne.

Many people bust out laughing when they hear someone who has the balls to say something that is "Politically incorrect," unfiltered and/or honest. Just think of all the bleep and giggles you frequently received from watching "OMG!" worthy types of TV shows, such as "All in the Family," "Rosanne" and "Seinfeld."

Speaking of bluntness and "Seinfeld," Larry Thomas Guest stars in the new comedic film, "You Don't Say." The movie was written/directed and partially produced by the two-time, award-winning filmmaker, Robert Alaniz. It deals with the issues of saying whatever the hell you feel like saying, and has people calling it "hysterical, a feel good movie, and truly a movie with a voice." And despite a potentially lethal Chicago snowstorm, I happily interviewed multi-award-winning, and Emmy award nominated, Larry Thomas, about "You Don't Say?"

 

larrythomas

 

Larry Thomas (Mr.Menendez) in "You Don't Say?"

BUZZ: I'm so glad you didn't croak on the plane from L.A?

LARRY: "You know I had to change flights, because of a little technical glitch, that was sort of my thing. But you never wanna be morbid enough to check the flight that you didn't take. You know, wouldn't that be awful—to just go, I wonder if that plane crashed?"

BUZZ: (LAUGHING)

LARRY: "I can't bring myself to that."

BUZZ: I almost always like to ask people what they were like in high school. Were you popular, a hoodlum, stoner, goody-two-shoes, jock, cheerleader, geek...?

LARRY: "You know what? That is such an interesting question for me, because I started out not being popular. We moved so much, that I never went to an elementary school or junior high school, for like the whole time. So, I never got to know people for that long. My high school was the 1st time I went to a school for 3 years. I wasn't ever anything, basically because I went to work every day before lunch. (Those days they gave high school credit for working.) But, I did find out that near the end of 12th grade that a lot of people knew me. I wouldn't say I was popular, popular, but just people knew who I was, and nobody bothered me, or had anything against me."

BUZZ: Were you similar to a "Richie Rich" as far as money went while you were growing up?

LARRY: "I grew up with a Single mom, and myself and my sister. But she could just through the years, barely afford to get us through life. But she did, and wonderfully, and worked hard. But when it came time to be a teenager and wanting to do something, I had needed my own money. In 11th or 10th grade, I got a job washing dishes in a restaurant after school. And in the evenings, I would unload a Catering truck."

BUZZ: That's some very tough work. I bet you had muscles like Hercules.

LARRY: No [muscles like Hercules]. I like to work—I like being busy. When I'm in between times of working, I just hope something will come up. I really enjoy working.

BUZZ: What made you get into acting?

LARRY: Well what made me get into acting, was trying to get a date with a girl who was a Theater major, when I was a Journalism major. And I took a theater class, thinking it might make it easier. But since I had never acted in my life before, and was 20 or 21, I was kind of forced to do something [take an Acting class]. But I was so thrilled by the aspect of just standing there, having the attention and focus on me, that I decided I wanted to do it. But talent as an actor, I just had to learn it, and I spent a lot of years on it, but I'm glad I did it."

BUZZ: Yeah, I can see why—you've been in many popular films, commercials and TV shows, which brings me to ask: What was it like being in "Seinfeld?"

LARRY: "Well, that was a very cool thing to do. It couldn't have been better. And 'Seinfeld' as a machine couldn't be better to me as the years go on, because it just keeps getting more and more popular. And takes the place of a lot of work, I might have to do to keep my name alive, my fame alive. Like that would be my job, and 'Seinfeld' does that for me. [People saying] 'I know who you are' is important, you know?"

BUZZ: Do you ever bump into anyone who also worked on "Seinfeld?"

LARRY: "It's funny because I will frequently run into Wayne Knight, who played Newman, in super markets because we both live in the same area. And some of the people who were Guest stars, like I, we keep in touch."

BUZZ: Could you please give their names?

LARRY: "Reni Santoni as, 'Poppie,' Liz Sheridan, who played, 'Helen Seinfeld,' and Brian George as, 'Babu Bhatt.' We keep in touch. We all kind of belong to this cool little club of having been a Guest character on 'Seinfeld.' "

BUZZ: So, you don't still talk to any of the main cast from "Seinfeld?"

LARRY: "No. But it's funny because last year, I did a Superbowl commercial with Jerry, and it was the 1st time I had seen him since the finale of 'Seinfeld,' like 14 years earlier. And he was just such a nice guy, and said 'Larry, thanks for coming down.' He was really cool because he joked around about life in general. Where I joked around about where being 'The Soup Nazi' has taken me. At one point we were shooting a scene, and he asked me a trivia question about the episode I was on." [He asked who the lady who grabbed the bag of soup was, I told him she was an extra, and he replied she was great—her timing was perfect.]

BUZZ: Were you afraid some people would take offense to the name of your character being "The Soup Nazi?"

LARRY: "No, it didn't occur to me at the time. I'm Jewish, and all Jewish people are brought up in their home, going 'That guy's a Nazi,' 'That guy's a Nazi!" It's been a joke to us, I mean all my life. So it didn't occur to me that it would be anything other than a joke. I mean, we don't like to watch footage of what happened in a Concentration camp, but when someone jokes that they're a Nazi because they're strict, it doesn't go any further than that."

BUZZ: (Eyes popped out of head, hair standing straight up, and jaw dropped wide open, very wide open!) Wow! That's just another thing that shows people, who are Jewish, have such an incredibly great and admirable sense of humor!

LARRY: "Yeah, I guess that is a trait. It has been said one of the surviving factors of Jewish people is their good sense of humor."

BUZZ: What do people who are your fans say about you, and what do the ones who aren't say?

LARRY: "For every 20 people that email me, and go I really like your book, [as well as the work you did in particular films and TV shows.] And I love the photos of you online that you sell, I'll get 1 person that'll be like Loser, can't you find anything else to do?"

BUZZ: That's so cruel!

LARRY: "Yeah, but I have to say I am the luckiest guy in the world. It just seems like 98 percent of the public loved what I did [on 'Seinfeld'], and are thankful that I did it. It can't get any better than that."

BUZZ: You have a son, Benjamin.

LARRY: "Soon to be 20. I love this era of getting together with him."

BUZZ: How does he feel about you acting for a living?

LARRY: "Many things. First of all, he would never ever want to be an actor. Both parents were actors, and he's been asked by Casting people 'So, what about you? Do you want to be an actor?' And he says 'That is the last thing I ever want to do,' but he says it with a smile on his face. That's how adamant he is about it. But he loves the fact that he's slightly famous, because I'm slightly famous. And he loves the perks. Someone will say 'I hear your dad's The Soup Nazi,' and that just gives him these cool perks. (He may meet some people he wants to know.) But he also knows exactly where it lies in the great scheme of things, it gets me work, but I still have to do the work."

BUZZ: When your son was little, and asked you for some soup, did you say "No soup for you?"

LARRY: (LAUGHS) "You know we've never played that game? He was only 2 when I did the episode. (Pauses) I do remember hearing a little tiny voice coming from the other room saying 'No soup for you!' though."

BUZZ: (LAUGHING and stomach growling for the best soup.)

BUZZ: When it comes to your new film "You Don't Say," please do say what you want to about it.

LARRY: "I really have high hopes for it—it'll be good. I'm really looking forward to the premieres. And I so enjoyed, not only working with Robert, but all the other actors. And Robert communicates extremely well with his actors, and is very open to ideas. He doesn't mind hearing the actor's say on things."

BUZZ: You don't say?

For more info on Larry Thomas, "You Don't Say?" and tickets for the Chicago Premiere on April 6th, 2013, please visit: www.facebook.com , http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0859130/ , and www.youdontsaythemovie.com

Monday, 10 December 2012 17:17

Zandra Rivera Mainstreamed!

zandraRightfully, proud-to-be Latina, Zandra Rivera, has made quite a name
for herself in the Entertainment industry. The writer, director,
producer and actor has a new film "Making Sex" that audiences are sure
to enjoy thoroughly. I was fortunate enough to interview Zandra, and I
like her following answers immensely.
 
What were you like in grammar school, high school and college?

 "Well, my parents moved around a lot, due to the fact that education was
fundamentally the most important value my parents instilled within us.
 They had 6 children and the moment they made a financial gain it was
time to move to a more affluent area that would provide the type of
education that instilled a firm foundation.  I attended 4 grammar
schools and 3 high schools and surprisingly enough only one
University.  I definitely learned to adapt rather quickly, I can
easily asses a situation and have learned to become a bridge to unite
various, seemingly, opposing forces."
 
 Are there any hair and fashion trends that you were a victim to and
say to yourself now "What was I thinking?"

"Ok, admittedly there is one thing, not that I regret, but that I
kind of cringe in embarrassment at how I actually thought I was
fashionably way cool; I was a HUGE fan of the Puerto Rican boy band
'Menudo' and so my girlfriends and I would dress a lot like their
stylized videos and actually go out in public dressed, like, well
outrageously silly!!!  Despite the fashion fopaux, I look back on it
and literally laugh wholeheartedly at myself!"
 
Could you also please reveal what your
personality was like in school, and how it has changed since those
days?
 

"I was always a little nervous and shy when walking into a new
school, a little insecure, you could say.  Now, I actually thrive
talking to new people, getting to know them, their culture or
exploring what makes people tick.  I'm not nervous anymore, I'm
comfortable in my own skin and realize that everyone has something to
say, some new perspective they bring to the table that may differ from
yours.  This means only that, it is merely a different view based on
their personal experiences and they make choices based on this simple
fact.  Some of these choices may affect you in a negative way in your
interaction with such a situation or rather individual but ONLY if you
allow it to.  That's the key, you have a choice to be whoever you
choose to be, always."
 
 Did you know from the ripe old age of 6 or so you wanted to get into
showbiz, and how did you eventually get into it?

“Actually, yes!  I knew at the age of 4 and a half!!!!  I was born in Manhattan, NY, soon
after we moved to Long Island, NY and there I became friends with a
neighbor girl across the way who interestingly enough was a regular on
Sesame Street!!!  From that moment on I was hooked!!!!"
 
If you weren't in showbiz what kind of job would you like to have?
 

 "I can't picture doing absolutely anything else in the world, but I will
say that I think I was some sort of scientist for sure, like a
microbiologist, archeologist, astronomer or marine biologist, in a
past life.  I've always excelled in the math and sciences department
and physics was my absolute favorite and still is.  Most people don't
know that I am the BIGGEST geek!  I study something that peaks my
curiosity every single day and if I'm not learning something new,
expanding my mind, I feel off kilter and get a little grumpy.  When I
was a sophomore I was actually the top of my honors biology class, and
I won top student for Geometry."
 
Your IMBD profile shows that you have been an actress in the following
productions: Get Pony Boy, Player in Training, Regretful Decision,
Boricua and Shelflike. I see you not only were an actress in Get Pony
Boy, but were also a producer. Which hat do you prefer to wear,
actress or producer and why?

 
"Great question, thank you.  It depends on the production, really.  If
it's something I wrote, rest assured I'll be directing and producing
for sure.  Although, I saw what Roberto Benigni did with "Life is
Beautiful" and that is definitely a goal to strive for, acting
directing and producing but at the moment I know my limitations and my
goals.  The acting bug will never go away, I'm passionate about it,
just like the directing.  The producing is more my business hat, if
that makes any sense"
 
Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?

“Sure, everything I've learned about the entertainment business has
been from experience, tenacity and the simple phrase ‘just do it,’
literally. I had a theater director simply come up to me one day at an
event and tell me ‘You should be an actor, I am a theater director,
if you are interested I would like to work with you,’ and the rest is
history. I had no formal training, I went straight to doing theater
and one thing led to another. Within one year I had 3 plays in my
pocket and began to produce my first original co-written play in
Spanish, where I wore the hats of producer, set and costume designer
and was Cinderella.  I began production of that originally co-written
piece with 18 actors ranging from the ages of 11 to 63 in a 1,300 seat
theater, and signed on with a talent agent. Six months into my second
year I became union, my first radio commercial was for Western Union
and my first Television commercial was an international AOL
commercial. I currently sit on the board for the SAG/AFTRA Chicago.
I've helped with castings for non-union Latino talent for David
O'Connor, the top casting agency of the Midwest and Erica Daniels at
the Steppenwolf Theater Chicago. I worked for Second City as an actor
for a commercial for "Fellowes"
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHjoffTFbk0.) I had an amazing time
writing and producing when I was an ensemble member of Teatro Luna, we
performed our show during the Latino Showcase at the Goodman Theater.
I've directed a documentary entitled, "N.O. immigrates" which takes
an introspective look at the untold story of the undocumented Latino
Immigrants and the issues surrounding the subject in the United
States. I opened up this year with "About Nick and Sam" a short I
directed, wrote and produced working with the fabulous Director of
Photography, Cesar Rios and the L.A. Actress Marisol Doblado and Miami
actor Leandro. Now we are in production for "Making Sex" using
strictly Chicago based actors. For the past 3 years I've researched and
studied the business of Hollywood and thusly with all the years of
experience I've acquired from my advertising and marketing firm
"Hispanica" where I acquired big corporate clients such as Corona USA,
Heineken USA, Miller Brewing Co. and many more as well as acting,
directing, producing and writing I've created MainStream Media Ent. A
production multi-media company focused on producing content for the
"American Latino." please visit www.mainstreammediaent.com.
 

Is “Making Sex” the first film in which you are a director?
If so, what's it like? Do you act and produce in "Making Sex," as
well?
 

"Making Sex" (still a working title) is actually my 2nd short
film as Director/Producer/Writer and "N.O. Immigrates" is my first
full feature documentary again as Director/Producer/Writer.  So, no, I
will not be acting in this film."
 

What's everything you would like readers to know about your movie "Making Sex?"

"Making Sex, is an exploration into the human psyche via the analysis
and the juxtaposition of the external world and the internal
conditions we live.  The theory that the state of the world is in
disarray due to the unbalanced nature between our feminine and
masculine aspects while living in the current Patriarchal Society is
placed in a very non-conventional way.  Two Film Directors have teamed
together bringing very different screenplays and elements in a
symbiotic and organic way.  Candy Minx, Canadian Director, explores
the dichotomy of transgender and androgyny in women.  Zandra Rivera,
American Director, explores battle of the sexes and what it truly
means to balance your own masculine and feminine natures as opposed to
the internal battles we are faced with on a daily basis. All human
beings are made of both masculine and feminine, what has happened due
to our society being Patriarchal, male dominant, is absolute
unbalance.  Due to this, we as humans, are not as in touch with our
feminine side, heterosexual men, primarily.  This makes for fear of
the feminine power or energy and sometimes even a loathing of the
feminine occurs because we are so disconnected from this very
fundamental human aspect.  So when the feminine nature asserts her
power we sometimes call it bitch or many other words to describe
courage and the feminine anima or will, simply because we do not
understand it or we have forgotten. A lot like when Mother Nature
asserts her absolute strength over us, we are rendered powerless.
Something important to note when viewing the film is that these
characters are mythos; they represent humanities masculinity and
femininity confronted by a patriarchal society.  Not two humans
playing out drama but it is more of a bird’s eye view of all of us.  We
are unbalanced and not our true self.  This has a tendency to lead to
destruction as our history clearly has demonstrated."
 
 

I know you're friends with Candy Minx (Actress and Director of
Jigsaw) what can you say about the project ("Making Sex") you are kind
of working together on
?

"It's interesting that we chose to explore
these two contrasting topics and bring them together in post in a
dynamic and organic way.  I know I have my script, she has hers and we
will bring the two aspects of the human psyche together during
editing, aside from that we don't know.  I love working in an
experimental format such as this, it's like painting without a plan,
simply to let it all flow in that moment, I'm so excited because I've
never worked in this format nor with another director in film"
 
When do you expect your film "Making Sex" to be available for the
masses to see?

"Spring 2013, it is currently in production.”
 
Lastly, what words of wisdom do you have for struggling actors,
directors and producers?

"First, I want to say that if it is your
passion, meaning you live, breath, think it, every moment then go for
it.  If you have a backup plan this is not for you, it is the type of
industry that you need razor sharp focus, intention and passionate
commitment come what may.  Guess what started my career!  I asked
another actor how he did it, he said, "Just Do It!" literally is all
he said, I took it to heart and haven't stopped since then!!!!"
 
"I thank you, Tracy, for the opportunity to have shared my experience
with you and your readers, I wish you all much success!”
 
For more info about sweet Zandra Rivera, please visit the following site:
www.MainStreamMediaEnt.comZandra

*photo credit Art Miller

candyIn an ideal society every person, who has not been wrongly convicted of a heinous crime, would be treated with the utmost of respect. And given enough attention, understanding, empathy, compassion plus fairness, while a part from each other and also when face-to-face. People would be free of prejudice, judgment, discrimination and disgrace. Sadly and disturbingly, we know all too well this is not the case amongst our human race.

Chicago resident Candy Minx (actor, writer and director) delves into such issues by creating bold and clever vignettes for the film “Making Sex” that finally gives Drag Kings, instead of Drag Queens, a face.

 

1. What were you like in grammar school, high school and college?

CANDY:” All my report cards said the same thing, "Candy would be a good student if she stopped looking out the window and applied herself." I've been a dreamer my whole life. I'm an army brat and we moved a lot so I was shy early on. Once my family settled in the Pacific Northwest I started getting mad social skills as I got older and into high school and art school. I had a correlation between being in drama class and building sets, acting in plays and working hard in art class that gave me currency socially. I decorated the school dance. I drew art on friend’s coats. I organized plays and people. I wasn't good at school but I was socially sophisticated. I can talk to a tombstone.”


2. Are there any hair and fashion trends that you were a victim to and say to yourself "What was I thinking?"

CANDY: “I love clothes. I don't regret anything I've ever worn. I was a punk and a Goth with a misspent youth at nightclubs in New York and Toronto where dressing lively, sexy and outrageous got you past a line up and onto the dance floor. I'm sure my parents may have regrets about how I dressed over the years though, heh heh.”




 

3. Could you also please tell enormously nosy people, like me, what your personality was like in school and how it has changed since those days?

CANDY: “I said hi to everybody and talked to everybody once I got to high school. I was a "people person" and still am. High school was when I became aware of the joys of hanging out in coffee shops with friends and shooting the shit. It's a pastime I dearly love and still live.”


4. Did you know from the ripe old age of 6 or so you wanted to get into showbiz, and how did you eventually get into it?

CANDY:” Yes. I was shy and quiet as a kid but I was very obsessed with tv, books, comics, movies and dancing. My sister and I would show off and dance when our parents had parties. Somehow performing and being funny and silly seemed easier than speaking in regular conversation or working at academics.”


5. If you weren't in showbiz, what kind of job would you like to have?

CANDY: “Indiana Jones.”


6. Candy, your IMBD profile says you are an actor and director, so the question " Which hat do you prefer to wear: actress, or director and why?" just came off the top of my head.

CANDY: “I prefer directing. I spent many years doing improv in Toronto and those workshops and performances with a troupe (ZU ZU's Petals) gave me a lot of inspiration for building characters. I love improvising, writing characters and dialogue and then bringing them to life in film. I love working on a film set and the collaborative experience with actors and crew. Note-to-self: update my IMDB profile.”


7. Including "MAKING SEX," How many films have you directed?  What else can you reveal about your career to inquiring minds—who truly do want to know?

CANDY: “I've directed several short films. They have been screened in art galleries, bars, and outdoor settings. I am interested in having film and art cross over into non-traditional but community-based venues as well as screenings in commercial theaters. I've always been obsessed with strange people, people on the wild side or living counter-culture to mainstream. My goal is to insert these kinds of fringe, oddball, misfit, flaneur characters into a feature film. You can see one of my short films on YouTube here :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3cRCzvPS4w

 

 

 

 

8. What's everything you would like readers to know about your movie “MAKING SEX?”

CANDY: “I don't believe we are written in stone. I believe these characters are reflective of this idea that we are mutable, exploring, questioning, thinking animals. I believe these characters are wrestling against what it means to live with cultural taboos and normalness force-fed onto us...how we can be free to find out whom we are...and that it can be an ever-evolving type of self-questioning. Self-awareness can manifest in many ways. If society force feeds gender onto our personal narratives, what happens when we become the storytellers?”

 

9. What other future artistic works do you have up your sleeve?

CANDY: "I have 3 documentaries kicking around, some in editing and some ready to be shopped around. One of them is titled MIRL and I've been working on it for 4 years, travelled 7,000 miles, interviewed over 30 people and have about 14 hours of tape. I have an EPK I can share with you here too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NfnBrZ2evA&;feature=youtu.be

 

10. When do you expect your film "MAKING SEX" (that not only includes your ultra-intriguing vignettes but also those of Zandra Rivera) to be available for the masses to see?

CANDY: “Spring 2013, the film is still in pre-production.”

 

11. Lastly, what words of wisdom do you have for struggling actors, directors and producers?

CANDY: “Be open-minded and kind to others whenever possible. Our imagination is tweaked when we put ourselves compassionately into other people's positions. Learn from friends, from strangers, from school and workshops. Ask lots of questions. Don't be afraid to look foolish. Take workshops with people you admire. I have three people that really influenced me and I was lucky to be in workshops with them. Robin Wood, Guy Maddin and Lisa Steel. All three of these artists/teachers had a natural relationship with film. They encouraged me to see that the camera is like a part of our body. It can be an extension of our body and brain, organic and alive. I also made very strong lifetime friends when I was in college. I learned more from my friends than some of the classes! You need to be driven, you need to experiment, argue and explore weird ideas. Don't be afraid to film weird ideas. It’s okay to break rules and it's okay to follow rules. Have fun! And, “Thanks so much for this opportunity to share with you and your readers!”

 

For more information on the exceptionally likable and true artist, Candy Minx, please follow the links below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NfnBrZ2evA&;feature=youtu.be  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3cRCzvPS4w   http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com

 

*photo credit - Stagg

Saturday, 10 November 2012 18:00

Does King Tuff Have the Right Stuff?

king-tuff2
I was very disappointed to not have seen King Tuff perform onstage in the buff. I really wanted to see hottie King Tuff up there, butt naked, while singing the lyrics "My ding-a-ling...I want you to play with my ding-a-ling! So the question arises as to whether King Tuff and his band's show totally blowed because they were all clothed.
 
When I saw King Tuff and his band mates play (with their musical instruments, of course) at Chicago's hip and flatteringly lit nightclub, The Subterranean, I fancied all of their duds enough. But what I liked even more was their sound and watching King Tuff dance along while he sang and stroked his guitar "Jazijoo?"
 
King Tuff and each of his band members were easy on the eyes and had a unique sparkle, "like a diamond in the ruff." King Tuff and his and his band's good looks and music, very well may have the Queen of England consider investing in a much needed push-up bra.
 
Getting back to King Tuff's music, his fast rhythm section and turbo speed fingering of his guitar, and playing what is known as power pop rock,  almost instantly made most of the crowd thrash and head bang. Also mind jarring, is that The Head banger's Ball lasted throughout at least 95 percent of King Tuff's hour long show!
 
king-tuff-1King Tuff's songs are also so easy to get your mind and body fully into due to his clever, straight-to-the point and generally relatable tunes. Deservingly, the one and only Rolling Stone Magazine gave King Tuff's album "Moving On" a rave review. His newest album entitled "King Tuff" and additional albums of his have received thumbs up critiques, too.  
 
Another interesting thing about King Tuff is how he and his band members met, they did so on the Fourth of July at The Malcom X Academy in Detroit. King Tuff was looking like his usual self as he walked down the halls of the Malcom X Academy." Magic Jack pulled up on a motorcycle, riding it left handed with his bass guitar hanging from his right arm" and sporting the barefoot look mighty fine. Kenny showed in a van that looked as though it was on it's last leg. "Drums were stacked in the back on the top of a shredding sofa, complete with a coffee table and a thermos full of God knows what!" "Captain Cox is a prodigy engineer" who was spotted trying to repair a mixing console "with a flash light between his teeth and soldering a gun in his hand (www.kingtuffworld.com.")
 
King Tuff and his band's performance at The Subterranean proved to me they don't have to be in their Birthday suits to be largely, pleasingly stimulating.  King Tuff and his band mates put on fun shows and create immensely impressive albums. Yes, yes, yes, King Tuff and his band truly have the right stuff.
 
For tour dates, albums and other King Tuff Merchandise, please go to: www.kingtuffworld.com
and/or King Tuff on Facebook.
 
Photos by Tracy Walsh Fun Photography
 
Sources:
 
 
 
 
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