Colin Bemis [Interview]

Independent film is one of the many topics that we hold very dear to our hearts here at Trainwreck’d Society. It is by and large the best field to digitally explore in the world of art and entertainment, in this one fool’s opinion. And we have some words from a damn fine independent filmmaker today who has a debut project coming that is coming simple blow your fucking minds. His name is Colin Bemis. His film is Strawberry Flavored Plastic. And this film has already topped my list for one of the best films of 2018 thus far, and is not likely to move much further. Just a head’s up, we will be talking about the film this coming Sunday for our Matinee session. So be excited about that!

But before we get into that, how about we hear directly from the proverbial horse’s mouth, and share some amazing words from a new brilliant mind in cinema, the great Colin Bemis!

How did you find yourself in the world of filmmaking? How did you decide that this was what you wanted to do for a living?

I was lucky enough to develop my intense love of filmmaking at an absurdly tender age, so around five years old or so I was telling everybody that I was going to make films. My understanding and lucidity of what that actually meant naturally expanded as I got older, but it’s always been the one thing I’ve ever wanted to do. And so it was that that’s what I did.

I really enjoyed your film Strawberry Flavored Plastic a great deal. I thought it was truly original and obviously, warped as shit! So where did this idea come from? What inspired you to tell this tale?

Thank you so kindly for the sentiments! Really, we appreciate them immensely. The origins of the story revolved around a few main ideas that germinated into what the film eventually became. One of those ideas revolved around a real life person whom a friend of mine had worked with for many years, and the sort of lunacy and unhinged nature of this person (non-violent, might I add) whom I heard stories about sort of grabbed my attention. Coupling that with an innate desire to tell a layered, challenging and relevant tale, it all built itself into what SFP became. It’s also worth noting that I’m absolutely fascinated with the concept of nearly forcing an audience to align themselves with a questionable character; there are many positive and sympathetic facets to Noel’s character that run parallel to his darker and sociopathic side, and I really wanted to explore that and expand upon those notions.

I thought Aidan Bristow’s portrayal in this film was absolutely phenomenal. In your own mind, was Aidan’s take on the character you had written spot on with what you had already conceived in your mind? Or did he put a different spin on it?

There can never be enough said about Aidan’s contributions to the film or his standout performance. One of the most exciting elements of what we did with Noel’s character was, quite naturally, to have endlessly extensive discussions about every facet of who Noel was, where he came from, what created him and where he would go. That said, the character on the page grew, morphed and developed in enormous thanks to those discussions as well as the endless stream of ideas that Aidan brought to the table. He developed a lot of Noel’s backstory and infused not only life but the soul into Noel. Without Aidan, Noel simply wouldn’t exist.

What would you consider to be your dream project? If you were given free reign to make whatever you would like, or to jump into an sort of established series, what would you do?

Any film actually getting made is an enormous miracle to begin with, much less getting it out into the world and watching it find its audience! So I have to express my massive gratitude that SFP even came to be, with further thanks and love to our amazing cast, crew and sales reps (The Octoberists.) I’m lucky enough to have done a massive amount of writing in my leading up to my debut feature, so I’m happy to say that my dream project is going to be my sophomore feature. While I’ll always be open to reading scripts and the possibility of dabbling in established series and stories, my heart is primarily focused on bringing to life a handful of features that are already ready to go.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’m currently developing my next film, We’ve Dreamt of Demons, with an eye towards shooting it later this year. I most certainly have plans for the next two films after that, but I’m more than thrilled to maintain my focus on just this next one! That said, I’ll be doing some peripheral producing work as well throughout 2018.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This sounds like a pre-loaded story I keep nestled away in my back pocket, but it truly occurred and happened this morning. I was walking to a little project with some SFP alumni (Marta Gac and Nicholas Urda) in NYC, and I was traveling through a long tunnel around 191st St. and Broadway. I’m prone to hyperbole but it must be close to a quarter mile long. It has this gorgeous graffiti that lines the entirety of the curved hall, and the people were scarce, and the noise low. A singing began ringing out; it was a female voice, melodic and true and touching and angelic. I couldn’t place who it was coming from; for a long while, I thought that perhaps there was a series of speakers lining the corridor. No one else was speaking. You couldn’t hear traffic and you couldn’t hear the subway; there was no noise apart from this singing. Near the exit of the tunnel, as the sunlight and the noise and the reality began to slowly filter in, I spotted the woman who had finally abandoned her song in favor of breaking into an amble to catch a bus. But for just that sliver of a moment, I was reminded of just how human we all are, how beautiful a city can be, and what a thrill it is to simply enjoy being alive. That made me smile.

Bill Holmes [Interview]

We have an exciting interview for you fine folks here today, and we are even presenting it in a whole new way! Today we are speaking with a man who is not only another voice actor from our beloved Fallout 4 (I’m sure we are sitting around a dozen featured on the site by now) and the insanely popular series we all know and love, Rick and Morty, but he has actually been dubbed The Voice Over Doctor! He is an absolute mastermind in the world of voice over work, and we are so excited to have him on the site today!

And being that he is indeed a voice over mastermind, we actually have an audio recording of him answering our questions, rather than being written out! I would love to go on and claim that this was my idea at all, but it honestly was all Bill. He is an innovator and a genius to the fullest extent of possibility. I have quickly learned that he is not just simply the man behind Edward Deegan and AJ in my beloved Fallout 4, but he is a wonderful human being with an amazing story to tell. He was so damn kind to take the time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions, and give some amazing responses (sometimes even in the voice of Deegan or AJ!). And even gave a shout out to our friends over at the Fallout Wastelanders Facebook page!

So Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy an amazing audio adventure with our newest friend, Mr. Bill Holmes!

Also if you find yourself interested in getting involved in the world of voice over acting, head on over to The Voice Over Doctor website, where you can find yourself learning from the best of the business!

Kayte Giralt [Interview]

Hey Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you fine folks! Today we are showcasing the work of a brilliant Atlanta-based actress and model, the wonderful  Kayte Giralt. Kayte has done lot of work on film and in print, most notably for us, she was featured in one of the greatest short “films” that Adult Swim has ever done known as “Too Many Cooks”, which was written and directed by our old friend Casper Kelly!

More recently, you could catch Kayte on a couple of episodes of the hit Netflix series Ozark, and in publications across the land. She is a delightful young woman, and just a model human being, let alone a human being who is also a model. We talk with Kayte about her work on “Too Many Cooks”, Ozark, and the Atlanta film community in general. We are so excited to share these amazing words from an amazing person. So please enjoy some words from the brilliant Kayte Giralt! 

When did you first realize that you had a passion for the world of acting and modeling? And when did you decide you want to do these gigs for a living?

I first discovered my passion for acting when I was a kid. My siblings and I would all try out for the local community theater and I did a couple plays over the years. My parents really stressed academics growing up so I never followed through with acting. It wasn’t until college that I stumbled across modeling which naturally opened that door to the acting world again. After graduating, I moved to Atlanta and decided to give it a go as a career and haven’t looked back.
When was the first time you can remember seeing your self appear either in print or on screen? What was that feeling like? Do you remember what you were doing at the time?
Print was a cool feeling the first time but it’s nothing like seeing yourself on screen. My first experience with the big screen was Ride Along with Kevin Hart where I attended the red carpet premier in Atlanta. I left that theater with so much fire in my heart for acting, knowing that I was definitely on the right career path.
I understand you are currently based out of Atlanta, Georgia, which is where you have had some great work on the acting side of your career. I am always curious about scenes in areas that are off the coasts. So what is the acting world like in Atlanta? Is there a pretty solid community in the area?
It’s growing so fast that it’s hard to keep up! It’s now the norm to see the yellow set signs on the side of the road and famous actors around the city. I love the fact that the community is still relatively small compared to LA and NY, so I work with a lot of the same people on different projects. The community here is one full of great people to network, be on set, or grab a beer with.
You appeared in the ridiculously hilarious short entitled “Too Many Cooks”, which was created by our dear friend and past interviewee Casper Kelly. So what was it like to work on such a zany and ultimately brilliant project? Was it as fun to work on as it was to watch?

Ah I still get that song stuck in my head sometimes! Working on the project was an awesome experience! My favorite part of the day was figuring out how my superhero character could take a machete to the face. I always love seeing the final product of something I’ve only worked a bit of; you get to realize the final vision of the creators and how it all comes together.

And when you got to see what would become the final version of “Too Many Cooks” that would go viral and rock the world, what were your thoughts on what the world was seeing?
Now when it went viral, it was a whole other feeling. I still have people send me lyrics from the theme song over 3 years later! Some people didn’t understand the genius of it, but the overall response was extremely positive. It’s awesome to see something become a “cult favorite/classic” – I heard they even had “Too Many Cooks” Shirts selling in stores! So naturally, I bought one.
Recently you appeared on the smash hit Netflix Original series Ozark. I’m always curious about what set life is like on a project that is actually littered with some pretty gritty content. So how was the shooting experience like for you on Ozark? Was there a lot of effort to lighten the mood a bit?
Ozark was a GREAT show to shoot on, I’m so thankful for the experience to work with someone like Jason Bateman and the rest of the crew. It was my first speaking role on a TV show so I was nervous but the set was very relaxed yet professional. I felt it was a pretty quiet set in order to keep the mood where it needed to be, but I think my joke about strippers “making a living” helped to lighten it up a bit.
What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to tell our readers about?
Right now, I’m focused on acting, just trying to stay busy with constantly learning and reading, while waiting for the next audition to come along. I did get to work with the talented Casper Kelly and Dave Willis last year and can’t wait to see the final product when it comes out later this year! I’ll keep y’all posted 🙂
What was the last thing that made you smile?
My life makes me smile on the daily; however, getting asked to do this interview definitely put a massive smile on my face. Thank you!!

Charles Shaughnessy [Interview]

Today we have some words from an absolute legend in the world of acting. Charles Shaughnessy has been a master of the world of theatre, cinema, television, voice over acting….basically any avenue of performance that exists, Charles has mastered it. Some of you may remember him as Maxwell Sheffield on the seminal classic sitcom The Nanny. Or maybe his 8 year run on Days of Our Lives during the heyday of Soaps. Or just because he is EVERYWHERE! As he very well should be!

We were fortunate enough to be able to learn a lot more about this amazing man, and we are so happy that he was willing to tell us a bit more about himself. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Charles Shaughnessy!

When did you first realize you wanted to join the world of acting? Did you grow up with a desire to perform, or did you just somehow find your way into this life?

It was, first of all, the “family business.” My mother had been an actress when I was very young ( it took a very back seat to bringing up my brother and me,) and my Dad was a screenwriter and playwright.  My personal epiphany happened when I was about five and despite being by far the best “reader-out-loud” in my class was passed over for the role of Peter Rabbit in our first ever school play. I was overwhelmed at first by green-eyed jealousy of my friend Peter Robinson who was Peter, closely followed by the thunderous self-awareness that this REALLY MATTERED! I went on to “star” in just about every school play from that moment on playing roles like Prospero, Richard III, Willy Loman and Lawrence of Arabia : all before I had turned 17!

You’ve been appearing on scattered runs on the legendary Soap Opera, Days of Our Lives, for over 30 years, including a run that ended in February of last year. What is it like to revisit that world, that character after years pass? Is it any easy transition to make your way back into that world?

My first eight years on DOOL were synonymous with the beginning of my life in America so it was a profound experience. I spent as much time with my DOOL “family” as I did at home with my wife, Susan. It was during the Golden Age of SOAPS in the 80’s, so the money and celebrity took some getting used to! But we had so much fun! Going back to the show every now and then has been very easy and fun: like going back to visit your old school only all your friends are still there! The work is faster and requires a lot more serious concentration and focus now, but the skills and MO are still the same.

We have spoken to a lot of folks who were involved with “TV families”, either as a parent or a child. You famously portrayed one of my most favorite TV Dads of the 90’s, in The Nanny. So, what was it like to work on a show of that nature, and literally watch your “family” grow around you? Do you feel a bond when you are working in a setting like this?

I have always felt slightly paternal to “the kids” and can’t help but feel a bit proud of the way they have all turned out ( not that I had anything to do with that!) I had a very visceral and upsetting reaction, in fact, to seeing Madeleine Zima’s wonderful performance in the pilot episode of “ Californication” where she was stark naked on top of David Duchovny! I had this sudden and irrational urge to go and beat the shit out of him!

One area of performance that you have seemed to flourish in quite a bit is the world of voice overs. You have appeared in some of pretty great stuff! How do you enjoy this line of work? Is the “showing up in pajamas” stereotype a real thing?

Sadly, I don’t get to do as much in that field as I would like. It really is wonderful to not have to worry about make-up or looking neat and tidy – and it so much fun. There is something very liberating about being just you and a microphone in a little booth: free of your own physicality, you are only limited in terms of characterization by your own imagination! It can also be very well-paid: two or three nice national advertising campaigns can make life VERY comfortable for a while!

You received an Emmy for your work on the animated project Stanley, and we always like to ask our statue holding friends one simple question: Where do you keep your Emmy/ And does its location have any sort of significance?

No where particular actually. Maybe there’s a bit of inverse “showing off” in that. It’s actually rather cool when someone admires it to say : “ Mmm? What? Oh, that old thing. Yes, can’t even remember what I got that one for actually” 🙂

As a veteran of so many different mediums, from stage to television to film, voice overs, etc. What would you say is your favorite medium to work in? As in, if you were for some reason only allowed to perform in one of them for the remainder of your career, what would it be?

Even though it is considerably harder work in many ways, I would have to say the stage. It is the excitement of live performance and playing off an audience that got me started in this and I would miss the adrenaline and challenge of that. But then it’s hard to make a living at it. That was the great thing about The Nanny: I could make a ton of money during the season and then go off and do theatre in the summer. In fact, when I worked at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, after renting a house there and flying my family out etc. it ended up costing me about five grand!!

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

In this business you’re not working until you are! Right now I have just finished a couple of episodes of a FOX TV show called Ghosted with Adam Scott and Craig Robinson and in July I will be appearing in  42nd. Street in Scottsdale, AZ. By this time next week I might be the star of a new TV show or in a big, blockbuster movie, but then again……I might not!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Last night – Our dog slowly inching up the bed from her place at the bottom until she’s literally sleeping between Susan and me with her head on the pillow: she is completely unaware that she’s a dog and thinks this is one of those modern  “menage a trois” arrangements!!

Kirk Fox [Interview]

They say that “patience is a virtue”, or “good things come to those who wait”. I’m sure there are many other clichés out there, but these are the first two that come to mind. The point is, these were the first things I could think about when I finally managed to get some answers from the brilliant man who is Kirk Fox after a whole lot of back and forth. And it would be remiss of me if I didn’t admit that I was partially flattered by the fact that a world-famous comedian was even willing to go back and forth with a guy like me. I wasn’t sure that the interview would ever happen, but in the end, I can hands down say that I now have the best interview that has, and possibly ever will be, appearing here on Trainwreck’d Society. Even though it comes to us with the spite of Mr. Fox deciding to become a whole new, and possibly more “professional” person (which we here at TWS would NEVER condone), we are extremely excited about his presence here on our digital pages. He may just be looking to help create a better life for his beautiful wife and pending child, which is, again, just the sort of justifiable yet futile gesture that I simply can not condone.

Nevertheless, I can not tell you how excited I am to be able to share these amazing words from one of the finest comics of these modern times. I was a fan of his work as a comic and an actor years before I had any interaction with him, but I have built an immense amount of respect towards this man as an artist. And yes, I definitely respect the new man he has managed to become on the back of the career of being “That Guy” for oh so many years. I actually said all that shit in the last paragraph to be funny, but then realized by the time I reached this paragraph, that I am not a comedian, and I should really just stay in my own fucking lane.

So, with that, please enjoy some words from one of the finest comedians in the business and my new friend, Kirk Fox!

I understand you did not start out with a direct path to the world of comedy, but obviously had a natural talent for it. So, can you tell us a bit about your journey into the world of comedy? And do you feel as though you were destined to make people laugh for a living?

Let me start out by saying I’m not sure I have a natural talent for anything. I often say, “I’ve worked hard to get where I’m not.” My dad was funny. He was a handyman. People seemed to like having him around. Not so much for the shelves but more for the laughs. He often said he was a housepainter by trade. I’m a tennis pro by trade. When I came to Los Angeles I taught tennis to directors. Every acting job I think I’ve ever gotten has been a result of fixing someone’s backhand. I didn’t start out to be a comedian. I remember being runner-up in high school for class clown. Didn’t think at the time it was a possible career choice. My guidance counselor actually said I should become an ambulance driver. I laughed at the time but now I think she was probably dead on. Looking back I don’t seem to remember being that funny. I always had a dry wit. I can’t remember ever doing impressions.

Was I destined to make people laugh for a living? Good question. I’m not sure yet what I was destined for. I’m having a daughter in May. I’d like to think I was destined to be a father. But having a mouth to fill besides my own might cause me to rethink my approach to stand-up comedy. Definitely the making a living part. I’m only answering these questions because I’m having a child. I think we’ve been talking about doing this interview for two years. Why now then? Because I have to start taking this profession seriously. In order to monetize anything you have to get the word out. This is certainly a step in the right direction. Not sure how many people will read this but if I can get even one to be interested enough to purchase a ticket next time they see that I’m doing stand-up in their town then it’ll be worth it. I prefer giving tickets away though. I’m a terrible businessman. I think I get that from my father. He invented the headstand machine and forgot to get a patent. That’s why he drove a Honda Accord. I remember he took out the passenger seat and put a little table in its place. He’d cut up cheese and apples on that table during long drives. Ted Bundy also took out the passenger seat in his VW so he could transport victims below the eye line of other motorists. Sometimes I rode in the backseat when my father would drive me to soccer games and tennis tournaments. I remember trying to slide down below the eye line of passing motorists as well. My dad may have actually been the first Uber driver. Why else would anyone be in the backseat of a Honda with an empty table in the front? I definitely got my dad’s business sense. Damn. Dad missed out on the Uber patent as well.

My journey into stand-up was late. I didn’t tell a joke onstage until I was in my 30’s. November 10, 2002 was my first time onstage. I loved it. I enjoyed thinking of jokes during the day and saying them at night. I suddenly felt like I had a reason to wake up in the morning. Stand-up comedy made me a better actor as well. It taught me how to listen. One of the keys to comedy for me is talking with the room and not at it. Stand-up comedy allowed me to start auditioning for comedies instead of simply westerns that didn’t require much hygiene. I’ve always looked homeless. I like to think that if I became homeless at any moment of my life I wouldn’t have to go home to change. I’m always dressed for comfort and possibly falling asleep in an alley. Not afraid of denim. I actually even booked my first audition for a sitcom. The show was called Rodney and it was on CBS starring comedian Rodney Carrington. Rodney liked the fact that I was a comedian as well and gave me the job. I never told him that I was just starting out and was soon opening for him on the road. I went from an open mic for ten people in a coffee shop on Wednesday to an arena on Saturday.
Okay, let’s move to the next question or we may never finish this.

Bottom line, I did not have a direct path to comedy but clearly had been training for it my whole life. I had a wonderful childhood so I was not propelled into it. I had nothing to complain about. By the time I hit my thirties I still had nothing to complain about except that everyone I knew had a house and family. I began to get concerned about my future. How will I eventually feed a child if it happens? Well it’s about to and I think at this moment comedy will be it. Luckily my wife is a CPA so the kid will always have food. Me is a different story. Lastly, making people laugh feels better than making them cry, so if I am destined to make people laugh, I’ll gladly accept my destiny. Next question please.

Close followers of the stand up comedy world know that you are a regular face down at the famed Comedy Store in L.A. It seems as though the last five years has brought a lot of attention to the comedy scene, and the Store specifically. And you have been appearing there for a very long time. So, in your obvious expert opinion, how has the scene around the Store changed since you first began hanging out there?

I’m a creature of habit. I think the main reason I’m always at the Comedy Store is they provide parking for the comics. My whole life has been predicated on parking. I think every job I’ve ever had in Los Angeles has never been outside of three miles. I lived in the center of Hollywood for most of my L.A. days. I’m now living in Laurel Canyon but that’s only because my wife has a house and I moved in with her. I’m no dummy. Once again, she is very close to the Comedy Store so it worked out. If she had lived in the valley, it’s safe to say we would not have married. She was very convenient to the Comedy Store. She’s also gorgeous, young, and smart. But the location certainly raised her stock. I also like that she has never laughed at any of my jokes. When she does laugh, I know it won’t work onstage.

You are correct. The last five years has seen a spike in comedy. What has changed for me at the Comedy Store? The shows are now always sold out. I used to be happy with half a room. There were periods when twenty people was plenty. What has caused the spike in comedy? I can only guess, but the world definitely needs things to laugh about. The Comedy Store is magic to me. It’s my home. Over the last few years some big specials were shot there. The store just slowly got hot. Podcasts got the word out. Marketing became a priority. Social media. It was a perfect storm. The store also got a new booker and with him came some of his famous friends. With huge names on the lineup huge crowds would follow. I also saw comedians that had been growing at the store hit hard. Timing. All comedians that had been at the store during the lean years are now a huge reason why it’s filled. It’s the Comedy Store. It’s where you want to be onstage or where you want to be in the audience. I could post the lineup of any night of the week and you will see that the best comics in the world are performing there. If a comic is working on a special they are trying their jokes there. It’s a great time to be a comedian.

How has the scene changed for me? The scene has changed only in that the rooms are now filled nightly. It’s still comedy. You have to be funny. Now that I think of it, maybe in the past you could spend a bit more time on some new thoughts. Drift a bit. Not much room for drifting now when a room is sold out and you’re wedged between killers. Keep the laughs coming or you might not have a spot next week.

Much like our dear friend and past guest Alison Becker, you had an absolutely hilarious re-occurring role on the acclaimed series Park and Recreation. How was it working on a show like this? Did it differ in any way from other works you have done?

People sure seem to love “Sewage Joe.” This was my favorite job. There was no one on that show that wasn’t kind to me. Maybe it’s just because I’m so cool. Maybe they weren’t nice to anyone but me. You’ll have to ask them. What I liked about that show is everyone was having fun. All of the actors were great at improvisation. So if someone went off script it could lead to something magical. I have been fortunate to do mostly comedies so the shows are all pretty painless for me. But I’d definitely say Parks and Rec spoiled me. Lately I’ve done a couple episodes of The Mick on Fox and it was also a blast. Everyone is loose and funny. I play a loan shark. My wheelhouse. I seemed to have a penchant for sex offenders and finger breakers. I also did an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and it was easy for my brain as well. I guess I haven’t really had to work with too many pricks. Man I’m fortunate. Okay, next question.

I understand you have a special coming out on Showtime this April. Can you tell us a bit about it? What can fans expect from this upcoming special that may be new and exciting to them?

It’s called ‘That Guy” and we all know one. The friend who doesn’t seem to be growing up. Spends too much time chasing girls. Doesn’t seem to have many worries. Wishes he was a cop. All the usual. It’s an interesting chapter in my life. It’s my first hour special. I had a half hour special on Comedy Central in 2008 but hadn’t really put the effort in since then. Yes, that’s something “That Guy” would do. I definitely had enough material but I couldn’t stick the landing. But eventually I managed to stay in the pocket long enough to let the cameras capture an hour of jokes. It’s interesting because since filming “That Guy ” last year I’ve now become “This Guy.” “This guy” is now married with a daughter on the way and two puppies. We got them a week before I found out my wife was pregnant and I immediately asked if it was too late to abort… the dogs. It was. So now most of my days are spent walking two puppies. They are brother and sister and were rescued from Mexico. They are Narcos dogs. I know this because they only bark at cops, DEA agents, and hookers. That’s Narcos in a nutshell. They are part beagle, shar pei, and termite. They love to eat wood. My dad left me a musket from the 1800’s that is now a pistol. Eventually it will just be a civil war toothpick. They have taught me patience.

People will like this special. It’s funny. Not much about politics, religion, or relationships. Just my brain dancing for an hour. Watch it. April 13th on Showtime. 10:00 pm. I usually wouldn’t promote anything but with a baby on the way I’m forced to care about something. This is the new Kirk Fox. Nice to meet you.

When you are not out there making people laugh all over the globe, what would we find you doing for a little “me time” or a vacation maybe?

My life is a vacation. It’s only been “me time.” That’s the beauty about where I’m currently positioned. Right now my life is spent planning for a human being to be comfortable. “Me time” is being replaced by “Addison time.” That’s her name. I’m excited. Sometime in May I will have a daughter. I will finally put someone before me. I’ve been training my whole life to be a stay at home dad. I hope Addy doesn’t get in the way of it. But what will I be doing for the next month? The same thing I’ve been doing my whole life. Tennis. Some golf. Work on the new jokes and then deliver them at night. Build another hour special. I’m also on a mission to make the world a better place. When I take the stage it’s always with the hope that these jokes will benefit all sentient beings. My wish is to replace suffering with happiness. I also do Pilates a couple of times a week. I’m working on my posture. My wife got me into that. She is a saint. She keeps me alive. Makes sure I have food in my belly. She also likes me to have facials every few months. She loves her old man and wants to keep him from aging. She is young. She will be around a lot longer than me. She will keep an eye on Addy and the dogs after my exit.

What else does the future hold for you? Anything else coming up that you would like to plug to our readers?

Plug to your readers? I can really only plug one thing at a time. Showtime special, April 13th. 10:00 pm. They can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I like hanging little pieces of art there. I think of my tweets and Instagram posts as little pieces of art. I respect the followers who take the time to look at them so they are not hung lightly. I care about humans. And animals. If I don’t say animals also I have to deal with the vegans. I made a joke once on Twitter that all those animals vegans don’t eat wouldn’t hesitate to eat them if they were given the chance. That was two years ago and a day doesn’t go by that I’m not reminded by an angry vegan that cows don’t eat people. And once again, maybe if they were mad enough they would. I love vegans and don’t even really know what they stand for. I just eat what’s put in front of me.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I definitely need to smile more. I know this because as I think about the question I can’t pinpoint it. I smile a lot internally. I think I smiled the other night onstage when I said, “I’m against marriage. And I have the ring to prove it.” The room laughed and so did I. It will be a part of the next special. I never wanted to get married. Always was against it. I had my suspicions why. Now I can confirm them. That to me is a funny angle. But in all honesty I like being married. It’s good for me to try to grow up. I was tired of being “That Guy.” Except I still wish I was a cop. The only thing that has really changed for me since I got married has been foot massages. My wife used to always rub my feet before we were married. Once we got married it stopped. She started to rub them once after we got married and then stopped and said, “were your feet always this big? I don’t remember there being this many toes.” I laughed. So that was maybe the last time I laughed. If you made it this far thank you very much. I hope to see you out in the world sometime. And if you don’t enjoy “THAT GUY” hopefully you’ll still give “THIS GUY” a chance. At least for Addy. If not I will be driving ambulances. Which at the end of the day, might actually be my destiny.

Be sure to check out Kirk Fox’s aforementioned comedy special that will airing April 13th at 10:00 p.m., and will be available On Demand from Showtime on April 14th. For more details, go HERE. And also check out more info and hilarity at Also be sure to catch Kirk’s hilarious Twitter and Instagram accounts!

Sandra Hess [Interview]

We have a very cool interview for you fine folks today. Today we have the brilliant Swiss actress and model Sandra Hess sharing a few words with us. I should really put some emphasis on the SWISS part, as you will soon realize that I made a ridiculous mistake and stated that she was from Sweden, which are two entirely different and unique places in their own right. I haven’t been to either, but I want to go to both. But, I digress.

I was first interested in speaking with Sandra Hess because she played the illustrious Cave Nug in a film that was oh so important to me as a child, the Pauly Shore vehicle of a film featuring the Hobbit Man himself, Sean Astin and Mr. George of the Goddamned Jungle himself, Brendan Frasier, known as Encino Man. And let it be known that I have probably watched this film over 100 times in my life, and yet, Sandra managed to truly blow my mind with a fact that I had never really “Linked” up with until now (someone may enjoy what I did there).

Sandra is an amazing actress, and just an overall wonderful person, and we are so happy that she was gracious enough to to be featured on our digital pages. So Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy some great words from the amazing Sandra Hess!

I understand you began modeling in Sweden at a young age, but when did your yearning to be a performer begin? What drove you to make the big move from Sweden to L.A.?

Well first of all….I’m from Switzerland , not Sweden, LOL. If I had a penny for every time someone confused the two I’d have a nice little sum of money.

[Editor’s Note: Yeah, no excuse for that. My apologies to Switzerland.]

My obsession with stories and story telling started as a child. I remember being maybe about 6 and begging my mom to take me to see kids plays at the theater and I was obsessed with movies and tv. I would watch these stories and completely get lost in them. At the same time I had a huge fascination with America and whatever came from there. So when I graduated school and a friend of mine was headed to UCLA for a language course, I begged my parents to let me join him. The rest is history…..

One of your earliest roles was a short but sweet, and very memorable to me as a young person during the time, was as the Cave Woman who inexplicably shows up at the end of the film in Encino Man. What was your experience like working on this film? What was that mud made of?

Haha….maybe you need to watch the movie again and pay close attention to the beginning, then maybe the end won’t be so inexplicable. You will see us in the beginning with long haired brown wigs just going about our business in our cave when a big earthquake hits and our cave crumbles. Brendan Fraser’s character thaws out first and mine not until the end of the film.

It was my first role ever and a great experience. And mud is mud…. even on movie sets.

In 1996, you appeared in the third installment of the legendary Beastmaster series known as The Eye of Braxus. What was your experience like working on this series that has its own cult following?

Wow..that was ages ago, but the one thing I remember most favorably about that movie is all the different animals that were on set.

You have worked in just about every genre of film possibly, from Soap Operas to comedies to fantasy or horror. In your experience, what has been your favorite genre to work in?

I like all genres if the characters are interesting.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to tell our readers about?

I haven’t been acting much the last couple of years and at this point in my life would like to get into producing. I have optioned a script that  I’m trying to get made. It’s a bit of a family project. My husband would direct it and a dear friend of ours would star in it. Fingers crossed.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Waking up next to my hubby and 4 animal noses this morning.

Adam Ambruso [Interview]

We are wrapping up the week here with some great words from one of today’s brightest stars on the rise. That star is Adam Ambruso, and we love him. Last year, he appeared in the amazing and harrowing film Trafficked, which featured the likes of Ashley Judd, Sean Patrick Flannery, and Jason London. And not only that, he was also an executive producer on this incredible, and dare I say important, project.

Ambruso is a man who has worn several different hats in his career thus far, and we firmly believe that he is only just getting started in this business. With each and every project he puts out or appears in, he is simply cementing his deserved status as one of the best in the game. And we are so excited to continue following his wonderful career, and seeing what he will graciously give to the world next.

So, let me stop rambling, and let you all enjoy some amazing words from the great Adam Ambruso!

What drew you to the world of acting? When did you first realize you wanted to play pretend for a living?

I always wanted to act and talked about it as a child. This desire became real when I took my first drama class while attending The University of Texas at Austin. Being a “latchkey” kid reared by a single mother, I was raised largely by television shows, movies, and music so there were countless actors and moments that inspired me to become an actor. I definitely resonated with Tom Cruise, Burt Reynolds, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, and Harrison Ford and their stories growing up, as well as countless others. However, my drama professor at UT really had the greatest influence on me taking the plunge into acting in Hollywood. One day in class he asked me to stay after so that he could talk to me. In that meeting he said pensively, “I’m not sure, but I think you might want to consider this as a profession”. That’s all I had to hear. I decided right then and there that I was going to move to Hollywood and make that a reality.

One of the latest films you both performed in and executive produced, is the amazing and controversial Trafficked that I have heard so many amazing things about throughout 2017. So what drew you to work on and produce this project? What inspired you to help create this project?

That’s an interesting question. I’ve been asked that many times because of the subject matter. Honestly, when looking for projects my main objective is to find a great story, but I also have a strong desire to leave a positive imprint on this world and send impactful messages through my work. However, I believe the script finds you. That was definitely the case with “Trafficked”. My producing partner and mentor Will Wallace dropped it on my desk and asked me to give it a look and see if it moved me. Well, it definitely did that and more. I was saddened and enraged that such a terrible and disgusting human rights violation could be happening right underneath our noses. I felt that I didn’t really have a choice whether to make the film or not. This film had to be made, and I was going to see to it that it did.

Another recent project you worked on is Manny Rodriguez Jr.’s Butterfly Caught, which also features our old friend Dominic Bogart, looks to be absolutely fascinating. So, again, what drew you to this project? And what should our readers be looking forward to watching you do in this film?

I like Dominic a lot although I didn’t get to directly work with him, unfortunately. We were on set the same day but were in different story lines. My acting coach and mentor Will Wallace brought me this project as he often does. He let me know it was a Hollywood story and that he normally didn’t like stories about Hollywood, but that this one was different. As usual, he was right. I felt that the story was relevant and needed to be told and that the subject matter was important. The characters were rich and interesting and had depth. Right away I resonated with the character of Randy and knew that I had to play that role in the film. This began a long battle of me fighting to play that role. It was the first time I took some big risks and really put things on the line to get a role. The story of how I finally got the role is almost as interesting as the role I had in the film. That will be for another time. Here’s what you can expect to see when you watch the film. After tragically losing his fiancée, Randy becomes a cop in an attempt to avenge or “right” her death and ends up getting tangled in a sticky web on his way to the top of his career.

When your off set, and find yourself with that occasional bit of “free time”, what do you find yourself doing to occupy your time? Beyond the world of film, what makes you happy?

When I’m not on set, I am really trying to enjoy all life has to offer. I work a lot at this stage of my life. I am building a new house in the Hollywood Hills, managing several rental properties, and run a couple of businesses. When I’m not working I love to watch films and listen to music as well as play my guitar and sing. I love all things athletic…from hiking to lifting weights to Snow boarding, which is my favorite thing to do. I would be remiss if I didn’t include spending time with my family, friends, and that special someone whenever I am in a relationship.

What does the future hold for you? Anything else you would like to plug to our readers?

This year I filmed the Great Race starring Treat Williams and a movie for Lifetime called Who Took My Daughter, both of which will be out this year. I am currently gearing up to play my most difficult role yet, which is the lead role in a true life story of a real savant that is alive today. I also plan on playing the lead role in the big budget super hero film that I am writing with my writing partner called 13: The Search For Peace.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

That last thing that made me smile is when my buddy Griff Furst just told me over the phone that he goes to auditions and pitch meetings sweaty immediately after running sprints or working out. I think that’s just plain awesome.

Alfred Sole [Interview]

Today’s interview subject is a guy who is unique for many different reasons. First of all, he is probably the first full fledged Production Designer we have had featured on the site, and checking that box is pretty damn cool. Also, he is one of the best in the game, who has worked on just about everything you love most likely. Secondly, he is the filmmaker behind one of the most terrifying films I have ever seen. That film is the cult classic project Alice Sweet Alice, also famous for being the breakout role for one Brooke Shields.

One thing not so unique to this site, but absolutely amazing either way, is his involvement with a project we adore and have spoken with several folks in the past about, and that would be Friday the 13th: The Series. I’m not sure how many writers and actors from this short but sweet series, but I know it is certainly not enough!

So Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant artist we should all know and love, the wonderful Alfred Sole!

Have you always had the passion to create, or did you just find yourself in this line of work one day?

When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be a painter. I wanted to be Salvatore Dali.

When did you first discover that you had a passion for the world of film and television?  

When I was a kid, my father took me to the movies, and I saw a film called Diabolique. I kept on thinking, “how do you do that? How do you make that?”

The 1976 thriller Alice Sweet Alice, which you wrote and directed, was my earliest experience with being scared out of my mind. Going back to it as an adult, I find it to be just brilliantly made, and a truly strange tale. So where did the inspiration for such a frightening tale come from? What made you want to tell this strange story?

It started from the Catholic mass- Take my Body. Take my Blood. Of course, I was raised Catholic. I kept reading about low budget features, and how directors got started. Then I went to see the movie Don’t Look Now, which I thought was brilliant. I started thinking about what it would be like, for a storyline, to kill someone- a little angel during her first Holy Communion, while everyone was taking the host, which is supposed to be the blood and body of Christ.

Alice Sweet Alice has built a cult following amongst avid horror fans. I know why I love it so much, but what do you believe it is about the film that has kept audiences interested in the film for over 40 years?

I just think it’s a good story. It was made with a lot of love and passion.

Another project that we have discussed at lengths here at TWS is Friday the 13th: The Series, having talked with several writers and actors from the series. I understand you worked on this highly underrated program as well! How was your experience working on a project like this?

I worked with the Producer at the time, who was very supportive of my writing. They were looking to do Friday the 13th. She needed to figure out a way to do it as a TV series. Eventually after many conversations, I came up with the idea of the pawn shop.

Beyond writing and directing, you are also a very accomplished production designer, having worked on very popular television series like Veronica Mars and Castle. For those of us who may be a bit more ignorant to what actually goes into make a film, can you tell us the importance of production design? And what are the specific duties that pertain to being a production designer?

I remember reading about David Lean and Alfred Hitchcock, how they started out, as Art Directors. Originally people were called Art Directors which evolved into Production Designers, and I was studying architecture and design. I remember when I was doing Communion I had found my own locations and almost all of the costumes. It’s very hard for me to let go and give that kind of work to someone. What a Production Designer does is, whenever you see an actor, behind him is the sets. Whether digital or built, I really have a passion for that.

One film that you worked on happens to be a classic that I watched as a teen repeatedly. It was Rich Wilke’s Glory Daze. So, I have to ask, what was set life like on that film? You also had a brief cameo as well. So how was that? Was it as fun to be a part of as it was to watch almost weekly as I did?

Working on Glory Daze was LOTS of fun! There was very little money, but Rich was such a smart director, that I enjoyed the collaboration.

Don’t ask me why I wound up in the film. I usually get very nervous when I have to speak or appear anywhere, but I do think, if I recall correctly, the actor who was supposed to do it, didn’t show up. They asked me to do it. I enjoyed watching Glory Daze, except for my scene. I was embarrassed.

One of the things I remember about that film is Ben Affleck, who was in the film, used to practice his lines. I would hear him saying the same thing over and over, in different ways. He was so young and serious. Matt Damon would come by and they were friends and would hang out. I had a vibe from those two guys that they were going to go on to bigger and better things. There was just something about it. I couldn’t put my finger on it.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Right now, I’m Production Designing MacGyver for CBS, and it’s been hard work but great fun. We get to go 2 or 3 different countries on every episode and we build a lot- from insides of airplanes to insides of ships to Afghanistan. I enjoy the challenge.

I hope someday that they will do a remake of Alice, Sweet Alice. I’ve been approached before to do a “2”, but I turned it down. I want to do a remake of the movie with a rewrite of the first draft.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This makes me smile: I can’t believe the movie has its own life. People are discovering it.


New Music Tuesday: Nikhil D’Souza – Silver & Gold [Single]

“During early writing sessions I had a conversation about how relationships these days don’t seem to last. It’s like people get together then due to other options it becomes a matter of convenience. It’s so easy to end that relationship. But silver & gold signifies staying together and you have to really put an effort into it, It actually comes from the colour of hair. It also refers to the change of colour in your hair as you age and staying together through all of that.” – Nikhil D’Souza

What a lovely sentiment, isn’t it? I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to explain the track myself, so I thought I would let Nikhil do the work. “Silver & Gold” is an absolute delight of a track for anyone who loves a slightly anthemic and brilliantly crafter singer/songwriter vibe. I truly adore Nikhil’s enchanting vocals, that operatic feel of the whole track, and just a beautiful theme for a song. The sentiment of trying to understand what it truly means to love is not an unusual topic for a song, but when it is done as well as this one, it feel fresh and exciting.

Nikhil will be releasing a full length album in the coming year, and if the rest of that trackless is as provocative and down right classy as “Silver & Gold”, we are sure to be in for a real treat in 2018. I know I will be on the look out, and it would behoove you to do the same. I am confident that one listen to this track (see the video below!) and you will be as hooked as I am. Enjoy!

Tour Dates:-

April 9th – Village Underground, London – supporting Lissie & Milk & Bone

May 5th – Live At Leeds

May 17/18th – The Great Escape

May 21st – The Waiting Room, London

 Follow Nik

You can stream “Silver & Gold” via Spotify right HERE. Or download the track HERE. Also check out the song right now, with this incredible video for the song:

Justin Nozuka [Interview]

It has been almost 10 years since I first stumbled into Berbati’s in Portland to see this young kid that my wife was raving about. And since that night, the name Justin Nozuka has been a staple in the Trembath household. But some where through the mystery of time, I didn’t hear much of his work beyond his critically acclaimed debut album, Holly.

But as serendipity would have it, Just Nozuka has returned to my world in a major way. Emerging almost a decade since I last really listened to him, he has created a whole new sound that is absolutely impeccable. Not only some of the best work I have heard from Justin, but some of the best work being released now…by anyone.

I talked about how much I love his track “Warm Under the Light” and his High Tide and Low Tide E.P.s at length on last week’s New Music Tuesday, so be sure to check that out as well!

And with that, please enjoy some amazing words from one of today’s most talented singer and songwriter, the brilliant Justin Nozuka! Enjoy!

You kicked off your career at a very young age. What was it like throwing yourself into the world of recording and touring at such an early age? And what sort of advantages do you feel you may have gained from doing so?

It was a thrill touring out of high school. I’ve gotten to see a lot of different places, and been exposed to so many different cultures- it all contributes to my growth as an artist, I’m super grateful to have had those experiences.

Your latest EP’s High Tide & Low Tide are absolutely exceptional journeys in the world of music. I truly can not say enough great things about them. So, coming off your 2014 album that was a bit more experimental, what were you hoping to accomplish with these albums? What did you want the listeners to understand?

With the new releases, I wanted to create something a little more traditional. I was listening to a lot of folk music from artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young, and felt inspired to create something that had a similar sensibility. Somewhat more straight forward I suppose- and I also wanted to induce an uplifting, comforting, warm experience for the listener, and myself.

I previously mentioned in a review for Low Tide that I first saw you perform live 10 years ago. Obviously time makes us all grow as humans, but what do you believe is different about yourself as an artist than you were around the time I saw you in Portland in the summer of ’08? What has been the most important lesson you have learned?

I’m a lot more careful about what goes into the album, while at the same time I still go with the flow. I have become more careful about not over doing my vocal licks and straining my voice. I take more care with writing lyrics as well. I think like any growing human, my sensibilities are becoming more refined and I know more what I like and don’t like.

I understand you are hitting the road over here in the UK and Europe with a pretty rigorous touring schedule. I am curious as to how receptive audiences over here are to artists from the states and Canada. Have you managed to find a sort of cult following in any particular region on this side of the pond?

We’ve had a lot of support in the Netherlands. I’ve been to Western Europe quite a lot over the years and we’ve had bigger audiences and more intimate ones. For the most part it’s been a really positive experience touring there. We’ll be playing some new territories we’ve never been before which is exciting and a bit scary. All in all, I’m really excited to get back there.

When you are on long stretches of touring, what do you do to really savor the experience? Do you have any traditions or things you like to do while you’re on the road?

Surrender. The tour has a schedule and I just enjoy surrendering to it. Some of the sights (landscapes) are insane… you just feel lucky to get to experience that. Another must for me is vocal rest- I don’t speak much to keep the vocals feeling fresh.

What does the future hold for you? Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I’m feeling really inspired at the moment. I’ll be releasing more music in a few months. I hope to tour for the rest of the year and into next year and in the meanwhile write and start working on another album.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Balam Garcia (our guitarist) is a laughing and smiling man, it’s contagious!


Justin Nozuka Tour Dates – Europe & UK

APR 4 – Ideal Bar, Copenhagen, Denmark

APR 5 – Ingensteds ,Oslo, Norway

APR 6 – Kägelbanan, Södermalm, Sweden

APR 8 – LantarenVenster, Rotterdam, Netherlands

APR 9 – Stadschouwburg, Groningen, Netherlands

APR 10 – 013 Poppodium, Tilburg, Netherlands

APR 11 – Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands

APR 13 – Kulturclub Schon Schön, Mainz, Germany

APR 14 – Frannz Club, Berlin-Friedrichshain, Germany

APR 15 – Béi Chéz Heinz, Hanover, Germany

APR 17 – Papiersaal, Zurich, Switzerland

APR 18 – Konzerthaus Schuur, Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland

APR 21 – Backstage, Paris, France

APR 22 – Sticky Mikes Frog Bar, Brighton, United Kingdom

APR 23 – The Garage, London, United Kingdom

APR 25 – Thekla, Bristol, United Kingdom

APR 26 – The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham, United Kingdom

APR 27 – The Wardrobe, Leeds, United Kingdom

APR 28 – Northumbria Institute 2, Newcastle, United Kingdom

APR 30 – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, United Kingdom

MAY 1 – The Caves, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

MAY 2 – Night People, Manchester, United Kingdom

MAY 3 – The Sugar Club, Dublin, Ireland

MAY 5 – Ohibo, Milano, Italy

MAY 6 – Monk Club, Rome, Italy

MAY 8 – Razzmatazz 3, Barcelona, Spain

MAY 9 – Moby Dick Club, Madrid, Spain

Check out this amazing video for an even more amazing song, “Warm Under the Light”: