Archive for the acting Category

Movie Review: Humpday

Posted in acting, Making Movies, Movie reviews, screenwriting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2009 by Tom McIntire

I approached the content of Seattle writer/director Lynn Shelton‘s Humpday with some trepidation – in America pretty much the worst thing you can say (or even imply) about a straight man is that he may have some sexual interest in another man. You can see this in evidence in everything from homophobic stand-up comedy to sports trash-talking to films about straight men posing as gays to gain some special right or privilege (or the girl). What I did not want to see was yet another gay-bashing disguised as comedy. I was delighted to find the subject treated in an honest, sensitive and thoughtful manner in the knowing and funny film Humpday.

Dealing with issues of identity and choices beyond sex and sexuality, Humpday chronicles the reunion of college buddies Ben and Andrew. One has taken a more conventional path including marriage, a house and talk of having children. The other has followed the path of the Beat generation artists and poets, traveling around the world with no particular goal in mind but the trip itself. Their assumptions about one another are challenged as are their doubts about themselves and the choices they have made.

Shelton’s script is beautifully crafted and realized. Knowing a bit about the film from reviews and word-of-mouth, I wondered through the first half hour or so how she was going to pull this off. Natural, believable characters unfold as their relationships bend and twist and evolve, revealing surprising truths about love and friendship and sex. Strong performances from the cast, including Shelton’s own luminous supporting role as free-spirited Monica, demonstrate the director’s skillful,  subtle touch. Alycia Delmore‘s turn as Anna, the patient wife struggling to understand her husband and herself and what it means to be married, brings a focus and clarity that is clever and satisfying. Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard ultimately carry  the day though, delivering what feels like a single seamless performance in their critical scenes together. Their chemistry is just right, as is this enjoyable AND intelligent film.

Humpday is available on Netflix.

Trailer

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Aug 4 Fundraiser Screening Plus Live Music at Central Cinema – tix at brownpapertickets.com

Posted in acting, Greenspoke, Making Movies, reelheart, screenwriting, Seattle events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by Tom McIntire

Smiling Z Studios

Two award-winning  short films, snacks, live music from The Daguerreotypes and a no-host bar – come see Tom McIntire’s award-winning political satire “two julias”, plus be a part of the first super secret preview screening of his latest, the sci-fi thriller “Greenspoke”.

two julias: Much to the delight of his kinky girlfriend, a counter-terrorism agent abuses his authority by spying on single women just for fun. A young woman looking for love online and a lecherous married salesman get entangled in their games. A darkly comedic political satire. Break a heart in seven languages! Winner honorable mention and director’s pick 2008 ReelHeART International Film Festival and recently nominated for Best USA Film under 25 Minutes at International Film Festival Ireland.

Greenspoke: A beautiful Japanese translator and a world-weary vehicle emissions technician awaken profoundly changed by the work of a brilliant scientist who believes he has found the solution to climate change. Winner of the Accolade Award of Merit: Short Film and nominated for Best International Film under 50 Munutes at International Film Festival Ireland.

The Daguerreotypes: Their quirky music is featured in both films – come hear this great band live!

Net proceeds benefit Smiling Z Studios, the nonprofit film studio dedicated to providing paid cast and crew positions in quality Seattle film productions

NOTE: No one under 21 years old will be admitted.

Feel free to share this info with your friends, including the discount code for your poor friends. Enter the discount code “blog” and get in at the cast and crew price of $12. Make your rich friends pay at the higher levels listed on brownpapertickets – purchases at the $25 and $50 levels include a portion that is tax-deductible, plus some thank you gifts.

I hope you can make it!

two julias and Greenspoke have both been nominated for awards

two julias and Greenspoke have both been nominated for awards

Greenspoke won an Award of Merit for Short Film

Greenspoke won an Award of Merit for Short Film

two julias won an honorable mention and a director's pick

two julias won an honorable mention and a director's pick

Actresses and Actors – You Need a Web Presence

Posted in acting, Making Movies, Movie reviews, Theatre Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2009 by Tom McIntire

I was writing a review of The Mistakes Madeline Made and was scrambling around looking for links to the actors in case people wanted more info about the talented cast members. Most had something but a few had nothing that came up in Google other than some old reviews. This is a problem if you are in a business where getting your image and information about your work out there is crucial.

Here’s an example of a site for Mary Bliss Mather, who kicks creative butt on a regular basis. While I’m not crazy about the design (Mary Bliss – let’s talk) it gets the message out:
http://www.geocities.com/maryblissmather/

You don’t need to even spend money on a site if you use  Facebook, Biznik.com or LinkedIn. DON’T use your personal facebook account. You’ve got your regular facebook profile to find dates, share photos of you passed out on the sidewalk, whine about having to donate plasma so you can make rent this month (like we all don’t do that) or tell us all what you had for breakfast. Create a new page (use the pages feature in facebook rather than creating a new profile) and keep it current.

If you blog on a regular basis, and link to it from your other sites and pages, you can significantly improve the search results for your pages when someone is searching for your name or your company name. Regular means at least once a week. You don’t have to write a huge essay, just keep people posted with your thoughts on acting, fun things happening around town, shows you like, etc. It’s a way of connecting with people you might not otherwise interact with – what networking is all about for a performer. You can set up a free blog on wordpress.com.

So the next time you wow me with a performance, I want to see your smiling face and resume up on the Web – got it?

The Mistakes Madeline Made is a Must-See – now through March 16

Posted in acting, Theatre Reviews with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2009 by Tom McIntire

Because of my experiences with their previous productions, I went in with high expectations for the latest Washington Ensemble Theatre production, The Mistakes Madeline Made. I was not disappointed. Written by Elizabeth Meriwether, with inspired direction by Michael Place, Madeline is heartbreakingly funny and brutally clear-eyed in its depiction of grief, survivor’s guilt and redemption.

A talented cast brings the piece to life on a deceptively simple set designed by Tommer Peterson and lit by Andrew D. Smith. Ray Tagavilla’s Wilson is extraordinary – bringing the energy of Jim Carrey with a charmingly balanced and measured  sensitivity. Elise Hunt’s fierce performance as Edna is winning and touching and heartfelt, perfectly played against with the gifted Mary Bliss Mather‘s  cold surface tension that belies the repressed boiling passions and resentments. With the truthful discomfort that both versions of the television series The Office churn up in me, Mary Bliss gives us the sense that she almost believes all the drivel about duty and doing a good job for the family that spews out of her mouth. Almost. Taylor Maxwell brings fine dramatic support as Buddy and Noah Benezra delivers strong comic energy in his multiple roles.

Tickets are available thought brownpapertickets.com.  Go buy some.

Extras Sometimes Really Are Actors

Posted in acting with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2008 by Tom McIntire

I made a rule a while back to stop doing extra work – it was boring, it wasn’t acting, it wasn’t directing, it wasn’t writing and sometimes the other extras were, well, scary crazy. I’ve been unemployed for a while now and a paid extra opportunity came up with Denise Gibbs of ForegroundBackground. Denise is well known in Seattle as a professional who takes care of her peeps and her clients, plus she is providing extras for Greenspoke, so I thought, why not give it another try?

The shoot was at El Gaucho, a nice restaurant in Belltown. They had a green room set up for the extras to camp out (and stay out of the way) and there was even food. I thought they were shooting a comedy special there – it seemed weird that they were paying us to be extras. Turns out we were just shooting the opening and closing segments of a stand-up comedian’s (Ron White) comedy special that would be shot later that evening in front of a sold out crowd. Duh – that makes way more sense.

While we were waiting in the green room, I learned that most of the other extras were struggling actors. Lots of musical theatre people looking to get a free meal and $50. There also was the Anna Nicole Smith-lookalike, a nice young stunt man, the beautiful young singer/costume designer and a few people I hadn’t quite figured out by the time they called us in.

We gathered around the bar as the director planned out his shots and arranged us so it all looked spontaneous. Accomplished actor Phillip Mitchell (soon to be seen in Greenspoke) was selected to stand in for Ron White – I think he enjoyed his center stage time. The director seemed to know what he wanted and was flexible enough to allow the comedians (Ron and his sidekick Alex) room to do what they do best. Once it got started both scenes were done pretty quickly. They asked us to fake laugh as the scenes opened and were surprised at how well we could do that. They actually liked the fake laughing better than the real thing, which I thought was funny. Made the fake laughing even easier.

When we finished, Ron White made the unfortunate statement that he was surprised at how well we did with the fake laughter because we were not actors. Ouch. I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it (he was pretty nice) but there was a brief moment of awkward silence. There is that line we are trying to cross, between people describing our passion as a hobby to being taken seriously for the creative work we do.

All in all, a good experience.