Harry Werksman [Interview]


Hello Folks, and a happy Friday to you all! We have yet another exciting interview to share with you all today. We have ventured once again into the world of wordsmiths, and are so very excited to share some words with an absolute legend in the world of television. It’s Harry Werksman, Everyone! Harry is a man that has worked as a writer and/or producer within a plethora of genres, from modern whimsical comedies such as Ugly Betty, to the sci-fi classic Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the incarnation of the wildly successful drama Grey’s Anatomy, and just so damn much more. He is an inspiring figure in the world of television and just damn good writing in general. And he also happens to give some of the best insight into some pretty common questions about the modern world of television that appear regularly here at Trainwreck’d Society, but also very often out in the real world, although I am sure many are afraid to actually admit they are asking. But, we don’t give a single solid fuck around here, and Harry Werksman doesn’t seem to as well, as he is brutally honest and, dare I say, exactly spot on with his answers (and far more rational, I might add).

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant mind of a legend in his field, the absolutely brilliant Harry Werksman!


When did you discover that you had a passion for the world of TV writing and producing? I understand you had a different career path before joining the world of entertainment? 

I have loved TV my entire life. For example, I would set my alarm clock as a boy (starting at age 10) to wake up at 11pm to secretly watch the original Star Trek, The Prisoner, and Night Gallery. Didn’t know back then that one day I would write and produce TV, in fact I didn’t even know those jobs existed, I thought I was really watching people doing these things. Well, except for Star Trek but I did want to tag along with Kirk and crew. 

And yes, I did have a slightly different career path. After I graduated from Northwestern, I went to Oxford to get a graduate degree in history (17th century English Ecclesiastical and Social History to be precise). The goal was a doctorate, become a Don at Oxford and teach. That changed, for a variety of reasons, I got an M.Lit. in history and moved to LA. Where, with my ever-useful degree, I got a job working for a crisis management consulting firm. After about 18 months in that job, I just couldn’t do it any more and quit. Given that unemployment wasn’t going to pay the bills and I knew that I wanted to write TV (I started taking extension writing classes at UCLA (having NEVER even seen a script before) to figure out how it all worked. While doing that, I worked as an art department PA on TV commercials. That production experience truly helped inform my writing. To be able to see what can and can’t be done and appreciate the incredible contribution everyone below the line can make. 



What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And was there anything from this experience that you learned and still sticks with you to this day in your work life? Any lessons learned, basically? 

After many fits and starts, my first pro sale was to Star Trek: DS9. At the time, the show was reading spec scripts (they had to be DS9 scripts) trolling for ideas and getting people on their pitch list. I had submitted a script, which they didn’t buy, but got me on the pitch list. After a few times going in to pitch, I had had no luck. Then on what must have been my third or fourth try, the producer I was pitching to said he “loved” the story but it was a “seventh (final) season idea. I left the meeting thinking “They’re going to steal the idea, God damn it”. About six months later, as I was now on a ticking clock to either break into TV or find something else to do with my life, I got a call from the DS9 offices saying they were buying my story and could I have a story document ready by Monday. When I picked myself up off the floor, I said “ABSOLUTELY!” It was Thursday late afternoon already. But I hunkered down, submitted it, got paid for the story and eventually saw it on the air!

The lesson for me was only do this writing thing if it’s truly what you want to do and you can think of absolutely nothing else you’d rather do and are prepared to hear “NO” 99.99% of the time. So, if you accept those two things (and dig deep for the answer) then NEVER GIVE UP. Write because you have something to say, not because you want to say something (thanks for that one FS Fitzgerald). It’s a marathon not a sprint.

The always reliable and knowledgeable website Wikipedia has informed me that you spent some time in the current “location” of the Trainwreck’d Society “headquarters”, here in the UK, including some time in Scotland as a youth, and even attending the prestigious Oxford University. With that, I am curious to know how you enjoyed living on this side of the pond? And were there any sort of British ways and means that still influence your work to this day?

My mum is Scottish. Growing up, before we moved my grandparents to California (Glasgow was no place for OAPs in the mid-1970s), I would often spend part of my summers in Scotland with my family visiting my grandparents. And yes, years later, I did attend Oxford for my M.Lit. in history, and some rowing and maybe a little bit of beer drinking.

I loved all the time I spent in the UK. Scotland was magical as a child. Oxford was an amazing experience — the friendships, the intellectual challenges, and just seeing the world from a different POV than through the colored prisim of America. The thing I think I carry with me the most is the ability to “take the piss” out of someone and have the same done to me. We’re just telling stories… getting paid to make up lies. I have a responsibility and a hope that what I write makes a wee bit of difference.

You were there in the beginning of the mega successful series that is Grey’s Anatomy. The popularity of this show was almost instant it seems like. Medical dramas have been around for a while, but GA will most likely go down as the greatest one of all time. With that, I am curious to know what initially drew you to this project? And were you able to foresee the success that it would become?

I had spent a year in Sydney, Australia working on Farscape and fell in love with the country. When I came back to the US, I wanted so desperately to go back  that I wrote a pilot set in Queensland. I eventually sold the pilot to ABC. It didn’t get made but it got me an interview with Shonda Rhimes.

When I was offered a job on the first season of GA, I took the gig but had NO CLUE it would become GREY’S ANATOMY! I don’t think any one did. Those first three seasons were a wild ride. The magic of that show was/is that it’s not really about the medicine. That’s just what the characters “do”. Medicine was a mirror that we held up to the characters that reflected what was going on with them and who they were and hoped they could become. 


You have worked several other damn fine projects over the years, such as Ugly Betty, Star Trek: DS9, and many more. And I would never ask you to choose your favorite project that you have contributed to in any capacity, but I am curious to know what you believe to be some highlights of your career thus far? When you look back on your career thus far as a whole, what are some things you find yourself having the most pride in?

I have been truly blessed with the career I’ve had so far. I’ve learned something new and experienced something different every step of the way. I’m proud of every show I’ve contributed to in one way or another, from Staff Writer on VIP to helping make Grey’s what it is to Show Running Moonlight (the little vampire show that could but was about a season too early).

But I’m most proud of every bad idea that I’ve had, on every show I’ve been part of, that started a conversation that resulted in a good idea being born, nourished or sometimes even brought back from the brink of death.

With a career that has spanned 25+ years, I am sure you have seen a lot of change in the ways in which television is made, not to mention the more recent resurgence of the television platform being where all the best stories are told. So, I am curious to know what your thoughts are on the current world of television? We have so many different ways to be entertained these days. Do you consider the abundance of shows available to be a good thing, or is the business simply becoming oversaturated?

Holy shit snacks! 25+ years! That’ll make you feel right sized if nothing else will. 

Yes, I’ve seen and experienced a lot of change in the TV world. The world is a very different place than it was 25 years ago. TV today is amazing. There are so many choices, so many voices, so many perspectives, and so many interesting stories being explored. Another Golden Age they say and I’d agree. The medium had to evolve the way it has to keep pace with radically changing technology and the way we consume our entertainment.

There will be over 500 scripted TV shows produced in 2019. Is that too many? Not enough? I’m not sure. Certainly there are more opportunities but that also means the opportunity for more crap (that being wholly subjective of course). As long as smart, funny, engaging, challenging and thought-provoking projects are having a chance to break through the clutter and noise then, while we may be reaching a saturation tipping point soon (I don’t really know, just my opinion), I say bring it on! Let’s take on any and all comers. Tell a good story that people care about, that makes them think and feel something, for better or for worse. At the end of the day, my job is to: Show up. Keep up. Shut up. That’s entertainment. 

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

I’m still just a working writer. I joke that I go to the “Word Factory” everyday. I’m continually coming up with new ideas, wherever and whenever they might come to me. I read a shit ton of books of every description and genre. I write pilots for stories with great characters, interesting stories, a specific POV and maybe something to say about something. I take pitch meetings, general meet and greet meetings, open writing assignment meetings, whatever comes my way. The one project I’m quite keen on at the moment (and has been an obsession of mine for years) is about the world of art crime. The Thomas Crown Affair meets Mission Impossible. It was recently optioned by a production company so my fingers are crossed. Stay tuned. 

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

That question and the fact that we should all smile more often. Though I just read that in primates smiling is a sign of fear. But maybe, just maybe we’re not just monkeys hitting a keyboard an infinite amount of times and producing Shakespeare. 



New Music Tuesday: Jason DeVore – Conviction Volume III: The Road To Clarity [Album]


You know when you are born? And you eyes are simply drowning from your mother’s inner fluids that you simply cannot see? Remember that? Well, whilst living the life of a lowly music blogger in the world of digital madness for the last couple of decades, this is a pretty normal feeling that manages to rear its sloppy head time and time again. Case in point: Jason DeVore. This is a cat that has been producing some very important and amazing music for well over 25 years, yet I have been blind to his brilliance. The bright side of it all though: eventually the fluids are wiped away, and the beauty can be identified. This could be a reason why I am so excited to talk about what is apparently (well, maybe literally, not apparently if we are to use proper terms) the third volume of a series of a punk rock legend who also likes to experiment in the world of acoustic and experimentalism from time to time. While I am admitting that Conviction Volume III: The Road To Clarity is my very first listening experience involving the world of Jason Devore, I will say that I am beyond intrigued by his brilliance and will obviously be looking into the previous two volumes, as well as his already well established and beloved punk band Authority Zero, who is probably already a staple in the lives of any new readers we have hear today. Because if anything that this man has done with on his previous solo work, as well as with Authority Zero is half as great as this album, I have a HUGE selection of greatness to get through.



Third volume of a solo project or not, Conviction Volume III: The Road to Clarity is an absolute gem of an album that stands entirely on its own as a beautifully written collection of songs that perfectly pander to audiences who enjoy high energy and amazing songwriting at the same time. And I’m not talking about the fans of the Church of Latter Green Day. No, this is just a wonderful collection of perfectly written songs that have a certain punk energy that is depicted in an acoustic pop format that is absolutely incredible. For regular readers of TWS, you are already going to know that “Whiskey And Roses” is the stand out track from this album. Fuck, I loved this track so damn much. It will definitely be a fan of this track. Yet, I couldn’t help but be compelled by the modern day spaghetti-western themed track that directly followed that is “Are We Too Loud”. In fact, I have to acknowledge that is is a truly fucking insane way to finish off an album, as these were the last two songs of the album. It’s almost as if Devore is planning to prepare us for a part IV that will be even more entertaining. And as somebody is is planning on devoting a great deal of time listening to the rest of the works from Jason DeVore, this may have been a well timed decision when it comes to track listing.

Essentially, I truly loved this album, and I am very excited to hear what Jason has to share in the future. The fluids of being a newborn have been cleared, and I am a Jason DeVore fan. I shall look to the past for entertainment, and to the future for the inspiration of a brighter day thanks to this amazing songwriter and debutant of a performer.


If you are reading this from Florida, Jason Devore is currently touring your truly bizarre state at these locations:


MAR 12 HIGH DIVE – Gainesville, FL

MAR 13 Mad Beach Dive Bar- Madeira Beach, FL

MAR 14 Iron Oak Post- Melbourne, FL

MAR 15 Banana Boat- Boynton Beach, FL

MAR 16 Martinis Bombay- Marco Island, FL

Also, check out the wonderful official video for the wonderful track from the previously mentioned album entitled “I Hate To Say I Told You So”:

Linden Ashby [Interview]


Hello Folks! Welcome back to another great week here at Trainwreck’d Society. We are kicking things off with a wonderful interview from a brilliant actor who has been gracing both TV and silver screens for quite a while in some pretty amazing roles. It’s Linden Ashby! Whether you know him from the more recent somewhat dramatic reincarnation of a classic film in series format known as MTV’s Teen Wolf, or you are a 90’s kid who thrives on acid washed nostalgia for one of the best video game turned films of all time, which is obviously Mortal Kombat, or you just simply watch quality film and television, you are probably already know and love Mr. Ashby for very obvious reasons. He’s a truly delightful performer, and as it turns out, a delightful person in the real world, at least through e-mail correspondence.

We are so excited to share this wonderful collection of answers from a truly magnificent performer who is brutally honest, and so damn down to earth that it is extremely compelling. We talk about the previously mentioned projects that he has worked on, and so much more. We are so happy that Linden was able to take a some time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about some of the old, and a lot of the new that he is offering to the world. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from an absolutely incredible performer, the brilliant Linden Ashby!




When did you first discover your passion for performance? Was it something you have always wanted to do since you were but a wee lad? Or did you sort of just find yourself in this world one day?

It was in my first year of college that that I realized how much I truly loved acting. From that point on it was all about doing plays and trying to figure out how to maybe/possibly/somehow …. make a life out of this???  So, after a few years of trying to figure it all out, (good luck) I did what all parents hope their children will do, and dropped out of college. I then moved to New York to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Aaand…. from that point on I was a goner. 

What was your first paid gig in the world of performance? And do you recall learning anything on this project that has stuck with you and continues to affect your work today?

It was a production of The Miracle Worker that was being done in a local theater in Jacksonville Florida. I think they paid me $40 a week. As to what I learned from it? I learned what a weird and insular world a production (film, TV, stage) becomes. And the positives, and negatives, of that insularity. I also learned that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t COMPLETELY suck as an actor. (Though in the ensuing years, I’ve certainly questioned that assessment.)




Looking back on six successful seasons on MTV’s Teen Wolf, what would you say you enjoyed most about working on this show? What do you miss about it, particularly in regards to set life whilst making the show?

What I enjoyed most about Teen Wolf was…. the people I worked with. I worked with people who have become some of my best friends. I worked with people who’ve become family.  I got to do this amazing show that I was SO proud of… A show that went out into the world and touched and affected people in ways that I couldn’t imagine…  (Including my own!) As to what I miss most about it? The people. Plain and simple.

In 1995 you portrayed one my favorite characters in a film that simply rocked my youth. I am talking of course about the film adaptation of the insanely popular video game, Mortal Kombat, in which you portrayed everyone’s favorite character, Johnny Cage. The name alone is so cool! So how was your experience working on this brilliant project?

Shooting Mortal Kombat was….  Siiiick!!!!!!! Haha

Ok, all kidding aside it was pretty sick. And if I’m being honest, it was also a movie that no one gave a snowball’s chance in hell of being successful. You have to remember, there had never been a successful video game adaptation before MK. Street Fighter had failed, Mario Brothers had failed, and Double Dragon had failed! So nobody thought Mortal Kombat was going to work at all! (Except for maybe w a core group of fans.) But we believed it could work! And it did. That movie went out into the world and just became this “thing”! To this day, there’s such a fondness for that film. People genuinely love it. And I love that!! I think it was this collection of people on that film who for a lot of different reasons all needed it to work. And we came together in this really collaborative way and somehow caught lightning in a bottle and made this film that…. I don’t know, I could spend a month telling you how it happened and why I think it happened but you’d get bored and I’d get bored… So, let’s just say it worked. And I’m REALLY happy and proud that it did! And yes, Johnny Cage is a GREAT name!!!!!!

I have to imagine that, even though the film is pushing a quarter century in age, there still are very die hard Mortal Kombat fans out there? Do you get a lot of 30 something year old guys and women accosting you about your role as Johnny Cage? Does being a big part of someone’s pop culture nostalgia still affect you to this day?

Haha, Daily! And I love it.



I have to be perfectly frank with you here Sir, and please don’t get offended right away….my dearly departed grandmother straight up HATED you. Well, obviously not you, but Cameron Kirsten, who you portrayed so devilishly on The Young & The Restless. You sure were a mean guy, and you did that so well. Beyond this role, you have had roles in other more “dark” projects like a few LFN gems and the 2008 remake of Prom Night. So I am curious to know what you enjoy about working in darker roles, whether you are the actually villain or not? What draws you to roles in projects like these?

I love a good role.  And I love food on the table, a roof over my family’s head, electricity in the light bulbs, and hot air coming out of the heater… So….  Sometimes you do the part because it’s great and sometimes you do it for other reasons.  But your grandmother was right, Cameron Kirsten was a pretty great bad guy. (Who I only played because Susan was on the show and I thought it would be fun.) (it was)

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

I’m in a new series coming out this spring/summer on Netflix called Trinkets. I’ve seen a bit of it, and I can tell you, it’s really good! Writing, acting, directing….  this is one that I’m actually really proud of and excited about. I also just finished directing my first feature length project for Lifetime called Homeless at 17 so…. I’m pretty excited about that one too!!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My wife!

Sunday Matinee: At the End of the Day [Film]


“After losing his wife and counseling practice, the only thing 32 year-old Dave Hopper has going for himself is his part-time professorship at his alma mater, a growing Christian college. And the only reason he even got that job was because his previous professor, now ambitious dean, pulled a few strings.

The dean’s plans for growth hit a snag when the property he wants to develop has been promised to a gay support group – which has plans to open an LGBT homeless teen shelter if they can raise the money in time. The dean is forced to take drastic measures, offering Dave his dream job, but he only gets it if he goes undercover in the group and stops them from raising the funds needed to buy the property.

Dave reluctantly agrees, and for the first time, is met face-to-face with the community he has been counseling against his entire career. The awkward and emotional experiences that follow lead Dave on a journey of truth, revealing that life and love are not as black and white as he first thought.” – October Coast PR

Filmmaker’s Statement

I grew up in a conservative, evangelical Christian home. I was taught that we had exclusivity to the truth, and the best way to love the rest of the world was to tell them our “truth.” Specifically, we were taught that “love the sinner, hate the sin” was the loving approach to the LGBTQ community.

It wasn’t until I started experiencing life and people outside of that bubble that I realized how dangerous that worldview is, how much I didn’t know, and that the LGBTQ community is full of the most loving, compassionate, and giving people I’ve ever met.

As my faith and views changed, I was compelled to create my first film about the tensions between the church and the LGBTQ communities. I felt an obligation to call out the misinformation that is taught in many churches at the same time I offer a hug to the LGBTQ community, specifically to those youth who have faced religious rejection.

It is my hope that At the End of the Day can bring healing to many who have been harmed, encouragement to those who have been doing the hard work of equality, and an opportunity for others to question their black-and-white worldview.

– Writer/Director Kevin O’Brien





I have to start this thing off by saying a very bold statement that I am more than ready to to defend: This is a perfect film. I seriously mean that. Everything from the execution, the performances, to the character development and surprising revolutions, and right down to an ending that, even if you see it coming, is going to figuratively (and hopefully not literally) just plain rip your fucking heart out. It has those cringe-worthy moments that just make you feel sad and/or angry for the injustice in the world, yet has some very whimsical and hilarious comedic moments. Not the least of which are some very hilarious bits brought on by an elderly gentlemen, which I will never not enjoy.

I do have to say that the main thing that really struck a chord with me personally was just how perfectly blunt this film was from beginning to end in terms of the opinions that filmmaker and writer Kevin O’Brien was trying (and succeed) to make very clear. Many people may not actually realize how strictly the evangelical world will adhere to the very black and white way of thinking when it comes to having an opinion on nearly anything. This applies especially to their dealings with the LGBTQ community. Through there “love the sinner, not the sin” bullshit rhetoric, they have managed to face the idea of people not being exactly like them with what is basically a condescending and self-righteous statement. And O’Brien has absolutely no problem pointing this out very matter of factly in a wonderful cinematic way.



And as we tend to do, we have to talk about the cast! What a damn group of brilliant human beings. Stephen Shane Martin and Danielle Sagona are absolutely brilliant in running the show. Paul Saulo was charismatic as fuck, and just a delight in every second he was on screen. Tom Nowicki made me want to punch him in the mouth every time he spoke, which was right in line with the character he was portraying, so obviously he did amazing! I really could go on and on about the rest of the supporting cast, but I will keep it short and just talk about one more….Chris Cavalier. This fucking kid really blew my mind. I truly loved his performance as Nate, one of the most conflicted characters in the film, and thanks to his brilliant performance, one of the most interesting characters of the film. Cavalier has the type of acting chops that are so good that the probability that he will one day reach a level of success that he will one day abandon the world of indie cinema to pursue Marvel movies & unintelligible Sci-Fi movies like some have in the past (looking at you ScarJo), because he is so talented that he can do well in just about any medium…is very plausible. Let’s hope he keeps on taking on roles like this one, but I would honestly watch him do anything. He was just that damn good. He was a brilliant addition to the cast, and his interactions withe Stephen Shane Martin are absolutely brilliant. I’d say they paired better together than a grape soda and a box of Fruit Roll Ups right before midnight.

It was a truly gripping and compelling experience to watch this film, and I hope you all check it out, and let the ideas that the film presents to us all go directly into your hearts. This film has a beautiful message that needs to be spread. And that is a message of love, if I were to be presumptuous. I know that amongst the hate-filled speech that is spoken with this film, there was an overwhelming sense of love to be felt throughout it. And, at the end of the day (see what I did there?) this is simply a brilliantly made and touching film that is going to make you laugh and cry and hopefully understand a bit more about yourself and the world around you.


At the End of the Day is available on iTunes and VOD. 





Jay Tavare [Interview]

Hello Folks! Happy Wednesday to you all. Today we have a wonderful interview with a world renowned actor, athlete, performance artist, and so much more. It’s Jay Tavare, Everyone! For me personally, I will fully admit right away that I was so excited to feature the man who portrayed Vega in the brilliant 1994 screen adaptation of the video game Street Fighter, a film that still makes as excited when I watch it as I was as a 9 year old kid watching in on Christmas Day with my grandparents (this is true, this did happen). I was obsessed with the arcade console of Street Fighter II at my local Boys and Girls Club around this time, and was a huge part of those formative years.

And as I have said several times in these introductions, because we tend to draw pretty awesome folks to our humble little site, the man who did a thing I loved even once happens to have had a career that is absolutely incredible beyond my initial yearning to have him share some words with us. Mr. Tavare was so kind to share a few words with us today about his career starting from he world of break dancing, to his involvement in the world of martial arts, self improvement, voice over acting, and so damn much more. So let’s get into it! Please enjoy some words from the multi-talented and incredibly impressive human being, Jay Tavare!




What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something you were always passionate about since your youth? Or did you simply find yourself in this world one day?

I was always a great athlete and the excitement of the sport arenas and competition in front of an audience was a high I found intoxicating. That eventually lead me into dancing, and competitions, until I became the freestyle world champion in 83-84 after winning a global contest in London, England, to find the best solo dancer in the world. I am proud to say, I was one of the original B-boys. My innovative routine was a mixture of acrobatics and breakdance with a touch of martial arts. I was the Dance Warrior. The media attention I got from winning that contest led me into doing TV commercials, then TV series and eventually into Movies. At some stage in between, I did study the art of acting from many great teachers. From Lee Strasberg, to Stanislavski technique to improve and master the craft.

What was your very first paid gig in the world of performance? And did you learn anything from this  experience that still affects your work today?

The prize money for winning the Malibu World Championships was over $150K, which included a brand new Ford sedan. I travelled all over the world entertaining the high rollers and Royal families and made great money before I was even 20. I also made money doing many major  European TV ad campaigns for corporations like Panasonic, Kellogg’s.

1994’s film adaptation of the legendary video game Street Fighter is still one of the most fun films I can watch to date. And you were incredible as Vega in the film, who happens to be one of my favorite characters from the game as well. So, what was it like working on a film of this caliber? Was it as exciting to work on as it was for me to watch as 9 year old kid at it’s release, and as I do today almost 25 years later?

Vega was my first Hollywood major role, so it will always have a very special memory for me. It’s interesting that now almost quarter century later, the StreetFighter movie has gained cult status and has become part of the “Pop Culture” and Vega, which was one of the most flamboyant and interesting characters in the game, is loved by so many people all over the world, I know this because to this day I get recognized as Vega and ask for autographs and photos whenever I travel, and it is very touching and humbling to see the impact of my first performance on so many people to this day. Making the film was very exciting too, we travelled to Bangkok Thailand, then flew to Gold Coast Australia, then to Vancouver in Canada… it was an international endeavor.


We have spoken with a lot of folks from the world of voice over work, especially in video games. And you yourself have worked on some pretty huge and wonderful games yourself, including the Metal Gear and Red Dead Redemption franchises. With that being said, how do you enjoy voice over work in comparison to on screen roles? How would you say the two gigs are similar and in what ways?

I have been fortunate enough to have a separate career as a voiceover actor, having worked on some major video games. One of my first voiceover gigs was doing the trailer for the movie Wind Talkers which I had to speak Dinè a Athabaskan, the dialect of the Navajo people.  I also had to speak Dinè in Metal Gear Solid V for my character Code Talker which I received a lot of fan mail for.

I find doing voiceover work in some ways is more challenging because you do not have the luxury of motion to convey emotions and the performance by the tone of your voice and with your delivery. I see myself as a storyteller and VO work  is just another medium for me to express myself.

I also enjoy doing Mo Cap, as in Motion Capture games, where I get to were the suit with computer dots all over it and act out the entire game.

You have worked with some pretty amazing filmmakers and artists in your time. From the likes of Ron Howard and Spike Jonze, you’ve worked with some of the best. With that in mind, as an actor, what would you say is the most important aspect of building a relationship between a director and an actor? What sort of mentality do you believe needs to exist in order for a good working partnership to be formed to bring out the best performance and overall project?

You know, they say a film is made in casting. In some ways there is a lot of truth to that. Once you win a role, or land the part as we say in Hollywood, you now work with the creative team to bring that character to life, as a thespian your work could be both internal and emotional as well as physical if the role requires that, but ultimately the trust between you and your director is vital to get the best performances. I’ve been very fortunate to work with many Oscar winning directors who have a clear vision of what they want so my job was to bring it and let them decide what to keep and what to disregard. I do extensive background research on all my characters I portray and I share that knowledge with my directors which often allow me to bring that authenticity to my roles.



In your obvious expert opinion, how do you feel Native American people are represented in the world of filmmaking and the arts in general? Do you find yourself being typecasted into specific types of roles?

Although I’m known for several of my Native roles, I do not see myself only as just a Native actor, I’m an actor period. I have portrayed many different races on film, Spanish, Middle Eastern, South American as well as many American Indian characters from as many Nations to mention a few.  Hollywood loves to put you in a box, it’s up to an actor to break free of that by doing more than leathers and feathers roles. The Native roles have improved over the decades I’ve worked in Hollywood but not enough, it’s also up to the Native film makers to write and direct and produce other stories about the indigenous people, that are not the usual Rez story. I think the best is yet to come for the Native actors. There are a few young actors coming up that are breaking the stereotypes as I’ve done in my career.

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

I’ve recently produced and released an online health and fitness course:


Health and fitness has always been an important part of my life and it’s how I keep myself fit, ready and injury free over the decades of work in Hollywood. I am also up for a Netflix series and several films that should happen in 2019. Follow me on Instagram for updates.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I find the simplest things in life are always the most precious like watching my three-year-old niece Dena Rose pronounce certain words, or my little fuzzy dog Miss Bardot giving me a wet kiss in the morning, and I love doing random acts of compassion where I go and help the homeless on our coastline by buying them a cup of coffee and having a conversation with them. I did all 3 this past weekend and it made my heart smile.


New Music Tuesday: The Tenth – Dunes [Album]


Loud. Abrasive. Fucking brilliant. In just about 30 seconds of listening, these were my initial thoughts of Dune. And that sentiment held true throughout the amazing listening experience that we should come to expect from a band like The Tenth. They refer to themselves as “bubblegum punk”, which if self-inflicted, seems accurate and okay. But, in all actuality, this is a fun group that is punk as fuck, yet also melodic at times, with a primal energy that is absolutely mesmerizing. While vocalists Harley Quinn Smith and Taylor Blackwell have a snappy tone that pops at exactly the right moments over brilliant guitar riffs, I feel that the “bubble gum” effect is minimal at best. I usually don’t care to make comparisons to other groups, but seeing as though they are a staple here at Trainwreck’d Society, I will just go ahead and say that I love this group as much as I love our dear friends at Tacocat. And while there are obvious differences between them, I will say that I would truly love to catch a bill that involved them together. As well as Portland’s Forever. What a fucking roster that would be, right?

At certain points throughout Dunes, it does honestly become less abrasive and a bit more melodic (as sort of mentioned before, in a roundabout way) with tracks like “I’ll Go When It’s My Time”. But the forthrightness and fuck it all energy is a ever-present, no matter how much they decide to slow down the tempo to prove a point on one of their brilliantly written tracks. The very quick but very impactful “I Saw A Ghost” is the obvious single, and a very good representation of the band as a whole, and I am very happy that they chose it as the the lead off track. But I will be fucked if I don’t acknowledge the incredible stick work of Kelly Cruz on the entire album, but specifically on “Hymns and Hieroglyphs”. And the amazing guitar work (especially that damn intro!) from Blackwell and Eden Hain on “Stop Pretending the Song’s Not About Me” is pure magic.

Lastly, I absolutely adore how the incredible artists that are The Tenth seem to be absolutely in love with the word “fuck”. It fucking screams throughout the entire album. It’s contagious, really. I’ve probably written the word “fuck” in this piece more than anything I have written before. The Tenth did that. That is some pretty inspirational stuff in itself, right? In all seriousness though, this is such an incredible album that you simply have to check out. It is fun, it is thoughtful, and a wonderful reminder of the power of what youthful angst can give to the world of music.

Dune is available now wherever you stream or buy (please do that) music. Check out this wonderful video for “I Saw A Ghost” right here: