Robert Leiberman [Interview]


Hello Folks! And welcome to our grand finale for the month of September, right on the cusp of our Month of Horror. We have an absolutely stellar interview to share with you all from a man who actually could have easily been a target for our MoH as well, but we really wanted to get this one out to you ASAP. It’s legendary film and television director Robert Leiberman! Rob is an extremely passionate director with a real eye for how to make a project work. I first became aware of Leiberman’s work as he directed the third installment of one of my favorite sports movie franchise from the 90’s, when he made D3: The Might Ducks, which is hands down my favorite installment. I would then come to learn that Rob has worked on a plethora of other amazing projects, including the most recent retelling of the classic story The Dead Zone, famously penned by the great Stephen King.

One of the main reasons we wanted to get this out to you all ASAP was to let you all know that Robert has a GoFundMe page set up to support production of a short film entitled Suerte, which will be about the terrible conditions of, and the acts that created the madness that is happening at the U.S./Mexico border, and the horror that is children literally being left in cages to die. It’s absolutely god damned insane that this is happening, and having somebody like Rob volunteering his efforts to highlight the atrocities that are happening is aligned with what needs to happen to make some real change. So Folks, if you have a few spare extra dollars laying around, please give! Or simply just share the LINK to the GoFundMe to somebody, anybody, who you believe can help out.

With that Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the legend himself, Mr. Rob Leiberman!




What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an aspiration you can remember having since adolescences, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

From the youngest age, I always liked acting and performing, appearing in many school and youth productions. When I was eleven, my mother read that they were casting locally for the Siamese children for a traveling summer stock production of The King and I that was going to play the local tent theater, Melody Fair, that summer in Buffalo and asked me if I would like to audition. We ended up in a room crowded with young aspirants. When my name was called I went into a smoked filled room occupied by a cigar-chomping older man behind a large desk to whom I performed the audition song I had prepared How About You, a popular tune introduced in 1941 in the film Babes On Broadway, sung by Judy Garland. The lyrics, I may add, were highly inappropriate for a boy of 11. I got the part of the crown prince and did about ten performances over two weeks. I had been bitten. I knew that I had to end up in a career in show business.

I acted through my college years but slowly lost interest as I saw the role of the director as having the real creative control over the process. So, I began directing plays on the university level with an eye on directing film. The only problem was that the University at Buffalo did not offer a course of study in directing film so, under the aegis of a number of professors in the English and Drama departments, I went about creating my own independent study program which I pitched to the provost of the university and which led to me being the first graduate to receive a B.A. in Film Studies from that institution. Necessity is the mother of invention.

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work today?

My first paid gig was for the aforementioned production of The King and I. But, my first paid gig as a film director happened later. after living in Los Angeles for a number of years I got the opportunity to get a job as an assistant editor for a small boutique commercial company, which led to me becoming their editor and finally the opportunity to direct a small Kraft commercial, my very first of what would go on to be thousands. As the story goes, the owner of the company was asked to babysit me since this was my maiden voyage, but he was not happy being there. He was used to being the director on the set. I had designed an elaborate single shot to cover the entire thirty-second commercial and when the fateful moment came I yelled “ACTION” for the first time. I was thrilled as I watched my design flawlessly executed by the two professional actors and the professional crew. I felt that I had really arrived. When they were done I was beaming with pride of accomplishment. The owner/director approached me, leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Don’t you think you should say something.” I panicked. Had I missed some professional folkway or etiquette? I quickly searched my memory for what that missing statement could possibly be. I turned to him, “Like what?” He just screamed out on the top of his lungs, “like CUT!!!!!.” I never made that mistake again and for the next fifty years always thoroughly review every detail and nuance of every scene and shot I would go on to do, so I would never be embarrassed like that again.

In the early days of your career, I noticed a couple of credits for directing the legendary After School Specials. I am always intrigued to ask people about their experience working on these projects?

At first, I was a commercial director but longed to direct dramatic pieces. I tried to get features made to no avail and to get a job directing episodic television you needed TV credits which I had none. So, assessing this dilemma I became aware that directing these low budget After School Specials could be an opportunity to direct dramas with only my award-winning commercial as credits. I immediately started to call on and lobby all the producer/suppliers of those independently contracted films for ABC. It took me well over a year of cajoling at meetings and lunches before a producer named Martin Tahse finally gave me my first break to direct one. These were extremely low budget productions, $200,000 all in, delivered with titles and music. We shot them in ten days, which is why they looked for young, hungry, aggressive, talented directors. The first one was Gaucho, the story of a young boy of Puerto Rican descent who has to navigate the hard streets of Brooklyn. I was thrilled to shoot the exteriors on the old MGM backlot where the steamboat from the film Showboat still sat in a man-made lake. It was very well received, so I got to do another, A Homerun For Love, a period piece that took place in 1946 New Jersey. What a challenge on this budget. Both films took place on the east coast which I had to somehow create with little money on the west coast. I grew as a director immensely on those two projects which led to my first MOW, Fighting Back: The Story of Rocky Bleier and then the MOW, Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy and then to my first feature film, Table For Five starring Jon Voight.

In 1996 you wrote and directed the third, and my personal favorite, installment of The Mighty Ducks franchise. What drew you to work in the Mighty Ducks universe? And how was your experience working in such a memorable franchise?

The truth is that after my film Fire In The Sky, despite good reviews, bombed at the box office, I was unable to get considered to direct another feature for over a year. So, when my manager got me a meeting to direct the third edition of The Mighty Ducks films, I jumped at the opportunity. I had a great meeting at Disney. I told them that I had no designs on reinventing a successful franchise, that my proposal was to paint the existing franchise on the outside of a balloon and then just inflate it by a couple of breaths, bigger and funnier. That evidently sold them because they hired me and I spent most of that year in Minneapolis filming. The whole experience was sensational and it went on to be my highest-grossing film. Michael Eisner, then CEO and President of Disney, confided in me that he thought D3 was the best directed of the trilogy. I was honored.



You are also the genius that brought the best versions of Stephen King’s legendary work of art known as The Dead Zone to film and television. I truly love what you did with these projects, especially the choice of Anthony Michael Hall as the lead. So what drew you to this particular edition of the King universe? What made you want to step into this world?

I always loved the original material so when I read this version which updated WWII references to the Vietnam War, I knew I wanted to do it. When I met with the producers and Lionsgate I told them that this project played right into my sweet-spot, the intersection between macabre, humor and heart. It got me the job. Side story: Usually when a pilot is made and passed on, it is thrown in the trash never to be revisited. But, in this case, the William Morris Agency felt my pilot was so strong that when UPN, the original network that had ordered it, passed on it, they kept it alive and kept selling it for an entire year until the USA network finally ordered it to series and it became their signature network franchise. It was a big hit that stayed on the air for seven years and I went on to executive produce and direct half of the episodes in season one. I am very proud of my work on that series. BTW, Anthony Michael Hall was already attached when I interviewed. He was fantastic in the role and a great guy.


You have directed several episodes for many of the biggest television series for quite some time. So with that in mind, what project have you worked on that you can remember having the most memorable craft services? Anything particular trays you still remember fondly?

Besides, The Dead Zone, which I actually had a hand in ordering the food and which was out of this world, X-Files had great craft service and on Friday at the wrap, the gaffer would pour martinis for everyone.


Rob Leiberman on the set of “Private Eyes”


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

I have been writing four features which I will go out with in the coming year. Two are horror movies, one is a high concept comedy and the third a small personal film. I have also written a short, Suerte (Lucky), which is crowd funded and which I intend to shoot next year in Cabo San Lucas. It highlights the atrocity of separating children from their families at the border as seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old Honduran boy and a ten-year-old Mexican boy who befriends him in custody. If any of your readers would like to support this effort they can go to my GoFundMe page.


What was the last thing that made you smile?

My wife loves pugs because our daughter has the most adorable pug, Frankie. Last night, trying to convince me that we should get one, she showed me a picture of the cutest little white pug. She wins. LOL.




Sunday Matinee: Relish [Film]


“Set as a modern day breakfast club, Relish follows the story of five teenage outcasts, who escape a private treatment facility in hopes of attending the infamous Dreamland Music Festival. Led by a rebellious transgender male, Kai, and with help from Aspen, a social media influencer, a football player addicted to opioids, Theo, who suffers from bipolar disorder, and Sawyer an alien obsessed nerd, the five embark on the journey of a lifetime. The film brings a level of authenticity to the heart-wrenching struggles and challenges faced by modern teens, especially by the transgender community today. Relish  is an emotional, and inspiring tale about the powerful bond of friendship, dealing with ones own personal demons, and learning that our differences make us special.” – Millenial PR



I have to admit something to you all right away, Folks: I was very hesitant to showcase this film, for a couple of reasons. The main reason being that I didn’t feel as though I was in the proper place or state of mind to be writing about the subject matter at hand. Sure, I loved the idea and concept of The Breakfast Club, the band of misfits, jocks, etc. banding together to feel as one. It’s a lovely concept. But even then, I was only just being born the year that the film came out. Cut to almost 35 years later, and the wonderful crafted and brilliantly acted film Relish comes across my digital desk. And it’s SO good. It’s fun, compelling, sad, and heartwarming all the way through. But, what the hell am I doing as a white dude in his mid-30’s commenting on the tyranny that the youth of today are facing? Who am I do judge, even positively, what the characters of this film are going through? Hell, I will admit that I truly don’t understand the concept of an “Instagram Influencer” is! I just learned that you can put multiple pictures up in one setting. Do you see where I’m coming from here?

But then it dawned on me: It honestly doesn’t matter. If the film is done well, it deserves to be known. And if the content happens to give people hope along the way, that’s even better! While I would not presume that most of you fine readers may fall into the age category of the subjects of the film…but, don’t ya’ll have kids? Have young co-workers who may appreciate a film that is speaking directly to them? I truly believe that this is where we come in. Spread the love. Spread the joy. You don’t have to pretend to completely understand what these kids are going through, just remember the times when you were a scared youth trying to figure out how not only your body works, but the entire seemingly insane world around you. And maybe, just listen? Keep your old ass mind open to what transpires through a film like Relish, and just appreciate that a film with such vigor to inspire us to get along better exists, and that there are genius minds out there desperately trying to make that happen. How does that sound?



And with all that preaching having been said, Relish is just a damn fine film! writer/director Justin Ward has a brilliant knack for modern storytelling and an eye for presenting it in a terrific fashion. And the cast! It’s always astonishing to me that as the new age of performers begin to rush in, they are just getting better! I’ve spoken in the past about my fear of the success of YouTubers taking away the spotlight from young performers. But, let’s lay that all to rest right now. The cast of Relish is STACKED with some of the best young talent in the game right now. All 5 of the film’s protagonists are absolutely brilliant. And the fact that this is Tyler DiChiara’s first role is absolutely astounishing. I have a great feeling that this star on the rise is going to be on our radar in a HUGE way. Also seeing Everything Sucks‘s Rio Mangini again is always a delight! Again, all of them were incredible in their own ways, and I simply cannot recommend this incredible “coming of age” story, even if you are no where near the age of the actors. Just feel the love and excitement that clearly exists in this incredible film.




Saturday Special: What Death Leaves Behind [Film]

“What Death Leaves Behind tells of a man who, after a kidney transplant, experiences reoccurring nightmares he believes to be visions of his donor’s violent murder, sending him on a dark path of vengeance, leading to an unbearable truth.” – October Coast PR



There seems to be a wave of new questions appearing in film and television these days in regards to the human body, and what it means to take a physical part of another human being, and put it inside your own body. And I have to say, it is insane to dismiss the possibility of mental side effects being a very real thing. How can it not? We are (most of the time) born with the same organs and (usually) wired accordingly the same as one another. But, what happens when we take from others? Especially from others we know nothing about? Is it possible that some very crazy shit can enter your psyche and leave you emotionally unstable, driving right to the point of psychosis? Well, that seems to be exactly what the multi-faceted filmmaker Scott A. Hamilton was looking to explore when he brought the idea to the large screen with What Death Leaves Behind. And Folks, let’s just say he did a phenomenal job! Regular readers may be reminded of the concept also being done on the Amazon Original series we touted recently entitled Dark/Web, except with a heart. And while that was a wonderful episode of series with a wider reach, this is a feature-lengthed look at the chaos that can ensue in the hunt for the truth and should be looked at from a very different emotional sense.



I would dare say that the amount of elements to love about What Death Leaves Behind is truly fascinating in itself. It’s wonderfully shot and edited in such a manner that if Hamilton isn’t attempting to scare the hell out of you, he’s making sure that you are strapped in for the emotional rollercoaster that is going off the proverbial rails right before your very eyes. And while I usually question the necessary use of non-linear storytelling, it absolutely works in this film and creates an entirely unique way of looking at the story at hand. And I will be damned if newcomer Khalil McMillan gives an absolutely mesmerizing performance as the show’s protagonist, backed by the likes of greats like Christopher Mann and Vincent Young. Again, What Death Leaves Behind is just an all around wonderfully made film with a suspense filled story to tell. I highly recommend you feast your eyes on the wonder as soon as possible.


What Death Leaves Behind, from Artist Rights Distribution and Smash Entertainment, in theaters nationally this fall.




Jerry Lacy [Interview]

Hello Folks! Today we are sharing some words from an absolute LEGEND in the world of performance, who also happens to be a testament to the events that will begin right here on this site starting next week, as well as our love for the world of horror. It’s Jerry Lacy, Everyone! For over 50 years, Jerry has been stunning audiences around the world. He has done some exceptional work in all genres, but he is especially legendary in the world of horror, as one of the top billed folks from the now legendary and cult classic television show from the 19060’s, known as Dark Shadows. I say that having Lacy on the site is a testament to this site, because he would have absolutely made a wonderful addition to our “Month of Horror” event starting next week. But, again, we appreciate the legends of horror all year round! We have had Mr. Lacy in our sites long before October was coming around, and any damn time we could get him on the site is wonderful in our proverbial eyes.
Beyond the world of horror, Jerry Lacy has given amazing performances on the small screen, film, stage, wherever genius has been needed, really. In fact, he appeared as the same character on a very special film that was birthed from the stage, which we will discuss below. We are so excited to have him on the site today and joining the TWS family! So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Jerry Lacy!
What inspired you to get into the world of acting? Was it something you had always wanted to do since you could remember? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

It all started in college when a friend suggested I take a class in the Theatre Arts Department because that’s where the prettiest girls could be found. But, the major change occurred when I got an A+ on my very first assignment and realized the joy of performing and hearing the audience response to what I was doing. And later, the encouragement and kudos from my fellow students. I switched my major to Theatre Arts immediately. I felt as though I had found a home.

What was your very first paid gig as a performer? And was there anything about this experience that made a profound impact on you that still affects your work today?

My first paying job was during that first summer break when I auditioned for a part in a non-union play being done in the Hollywood area. I was cast in the part and was paid a few dollars (one of which I still have in my scrap book) for each day of rehearsal. However I did not open in the play as it was delayed until school started again in the Fall, so I dropped out as I was cast in a play at school. John Phillip Law was the actor who replaced me in the play. The most enduring thing about it is that the money meant nothing, and never has. Any actor will tell you that the money is not the driving force. It does help, though.

One genre of film and television that you have done a great deal of work in that happens to be one of our favorites around here, would be the world of horror. I am curious to know what you enjoy the most about working in the world of horror? What is it about this genre that sets itself apart from the plethora of other work you have done?

I don’t really see it as a separate type of work. The genre may be different, but my approach to the role is the same: make it as true and real as possible. Sometimes the character is faced with situations that don’t apply to our normal existence so I have to create a reaction, and that will depend on the character of the character. But that is true of any role, each individual will react to the same stimulus differently, according to their personality. But a floating giant hand will scare anybody!



It has been over 50 years since you first appeared on the now legendary television series known as Dark Shadows. I am curious to know what it was like to work on a program that was truly unique to its time? When you were working on the show, did you have any sort of inkling that you were working on something that would be enjoyed by generations to come?

At the time, I had no idea. But, in retrospect, it is clear that our audience was very young, and in my own experience I know how I revere to this day the entertainment that made an impression on me in my youth. So it should not be a surprise that those young people would hold dear the memory of the show and enjoy revisiting it even after all these years. Also, it was certainly unique as far as daytime TV was concerned, and a brilliant idea for Dan Curtis. As an actor, it was rather hard work, a lot to memorize and difficult blocking to learn in a very short time, but exhilarating. And the fans to this day are providing us with kudos for our work, and making us proud we were a part of it all.

You portrayed Humphrey Bogart in one of my favorite films of all time, which would be Play It Again, Sam. I understand you also took on the role for Broadway as well! What was it that drew you to the idea of portraying Bogart on screen? And how did you enjoy this experience?

It was my hope, when I started rehearsal for the play, that I could preserve for the audience, the warmth and integrity that Bogart brought to his work. I also wanted to be able to deliver the comedy aspect that Woody Allen wove into the play. The play ran on Broadway for over a year, and then, a year later the movie went into production, with most of us playing our respective parts. It was a wonderful experience, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

During your time as an actor, there have been an immense amount of changes, especially when it comes to the advancements in technology. As somebody who has been doing this a while, I am curious to know what your take is on the modern days of film and television? Is the world of streaming media a positive thing that is creating more opportunities? Or is the entire business becoming too oversaturated with content?

I think that the technological advances are, for the most part, a good thing. A story may be better told with the use of technology. The only exception to this might be the use of digitally creating performers. That has the dubious quality of transferring the art from the actor to the digitizer, both of which are valid, but…is it ethical?

The opportunities created are only to the good. Many actors, writers, technicians of all walks, are enabled by the ability to create and be seen, where previously it was very difficult to get your work in front of the public. The more the merrier.

When you look back on your career of over 50 years in this business? What would you say you are most proud of thus far, professionally speaking?

Probably the fact that I was able to persevere and managed to maintain a career for so many years, while so many of the people I entered the business alongside were forced to find other means of employment and dropped out.

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

Good parts for actors my age are few and far between, but I am still on the lookout should one appear. Meanwhile I will keep busy with whatever comes my way, no matter how unimportant the part may be in the scenario. The point is that I am still doing what I love and I might just pop up anywhere on the small screen or even the Internet for a few more years.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Well, that’s easy. I just spent the afternoon at the zoo with my wife Julia’s three young nephews and I was smiling the entire time.

Marie Blanchard [Interview]


Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful, as well as very original for us here at Trainwreck’d Society, interview to share with you all today. It’s Marie Blanchard! Marie is, at times, an actress and a model. And she is damn good at it. She actually appeared in the absolutely hilarious Kevin Smith film Zack & Miri Make A Porno. And if you are a regular reader here, you know that anyone who has worked in the Kevin Smith universe has an open invitation! But what makes Marie such an original guest for use here is obviously not the Kev reference, as we have had a multitude of these folks on the site. No, Marie is actually one of the first (active) body builders we have had on the site! Yes, beyond starring in such films as Sorority Row, written by our dear friend Pete Goldfinger, Marie has pursued another passion and is absolutely killing it in the game.

And while Marie did receive a bit of an injury, she is a proven woman of strength, which was evident when I watched her walking again on Twitter just hours ago from this writing! Before we know it, she will be back in business and continuing to crush it as per usual. So Folks, we are insanely excited to have Marie on the site today to share with us her experiences in the world of body building and entertainment. So please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Marie Blanchard!




While you obviously had the talent to do so, but what made you decide you wanting to work in the world of modeling and acting? When did you realize that this was what you wanted to do for a living?

Ever since I can remember, as a little girl in Haiti, I have always wanted to be a model. Sometimes, your dreams and your parents’ aren’t always the same. Therefore I had a very late start as an adult.

And when did the bodybuilding come along? What made you decide to go done this avenue as well? And what do you love the most about this world?

It started out as a weight loss goal I wanted to reach when I was about 28 years old! My goal was to lose body fat and tone up. After a year of training and transforming my body, I decided to enter a bodybuilding competition. Shortly after, I started doing a bit better than expected then received my pro card with the NMA. Then, I began to compete in the NPC, which is on a different scale in the bodybuilding industry… as a member of the NPC, when you become a professional bodybuilder and accumulate enough points, you are then capable of competing as an Olympian. 

What I love most in this… I’ll do my best to answer lol

Uncontrollable belly laughs.

Being hopelessly in love.

Pepperoni Pizza.

Music festivals with my friends.

Helping someone who is in desperate need. ( I overdo it sometimes not always the best move)

Laying in the grass and smelling the clean air at our beach house in New York while our dogs run and play puppy fight all over our faces. 

From what I gather, you are a Pittsburgh based professional. I have to admit that I am very unaware of the city, but I have noticed that a lot of films have been shot there recently. So, I am curious to know what the acting world is like around there? Is there a community of sorts like in other places like Portland or New Orleans? Is it a competitive market to find work?

I actually moved out of Pittsburgh since 2015 and have lived in New York ever since. However, Pittsburgh is still booming with opportunities in the film/modeling industry. I was signed by a talent agency a few years ago and they sent me to auditions for both modeling and acting; although I had no experience nor coaching in acting. I ended up landing a few minor speaking roles. To name a few; Sorority Row with Rumor Willis and Rob Belucci in 2009 and Zach in Miri with Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks in 2008. I think the bigger the city, the more competitive it is to book a gig.

In 2008, you appeared in Kevin Smith’s successful film Zack and Miri Make A Porno as a dancer. I have to ask, what was it like working under the guise of the legend Kevin Smith? 

It was actually a bit intimidating once I found out who he was. Remember, I  was born in a different country and was very sheltered growing up here. I caught up with the American culture ( music, tv shows, movies) mostly as an adult.

In 2009, you appeared in Sorority Row, a great film that was co-written by our old friend Pete Goldfinger. How was your experience working on a horror set? 

It was absolutely amazing! Again, I was intimidated, not because I was shy in front of the camera; instead, I  was intimidated since I had no coaching on how to express myself in acting and I was in a room full of at least 100 people on set. I remember I had to repeat my part at least 3 times. Fortunately, Rob Belucci, who I  had to do my part with, kept me calm. 



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

In the future, I hope to continue doing the two things I am most passionate about. One is cooking and the other is bodybuilding. I published my first cookbook this year titled Dieting Deliciously, Crave-Killing Recipes For The Healthy Foodie, Volume 1. It’s filled with all of my favorite recipes that are both healthy and delicious! Within 5 yrs, I hope to publish 3 volumes with a special edition as a bonus. My other passion as a bikini bodybuilder is, of course, to make it to the Olympia stage. I know this is not an easy task, however, I have learned that I’ve always accomplished anything I dedicate myself to when no one tries to get in my way.

When the time comes for you to hang up your proverbial hat in the world of modeling and acting and bodybuilding, what do you want to be able to look back on your career and think? What is your ultimate goal in this business?

Honestly, I just don’t want to regret not continuing to pursue my passion. That would be the worst feeling in the world for me. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Dave Chapelle’s Sticks and Stones! Hilarious!


New Music Tuesday: Shane Alexander – A Life Like Ours [Album]



I’m finally doing it, Folks! I have been pushing the release date of a review for Shane Alexander’s triumphant album A Life Like Ours for far too long. I’ve listened to and enjoyed the album in its entirety for close to 2 months now, but simply haven’t found the chance to tell you all about it and give it the credit it so deserves. From the opening chords of “Everything as One” to the dramatic conclusion of “Evermore”, Shane Alexander has created something absolutely mesmerizing. And now that the album is officially released, it’s about damn time I give it the proper credit.

If you have been a visitor to our site over the years, you can probably guess what exactly it is that I love about Alexander’s work so much. In my own opinion, there is nothing better than a beautiful listening session with a talented singer/songwriter. While I am not opposed to a huge guitar sound or a high tempo punk rock vibe, my heart will always be with the world of classic and modern folk music. When it’s done right, that is. And Folks, I’m here to tell you that Shane Alexander got it EXACTLY right. He is quoted as saying he hopes “that my fans will listen to A Life Like Ours top to bottom to get my full intent.” And I am here to co-sign on this idea and say that while every song has its own proverbial legs to stand on, this album works so great as a whole, and should really be listened to as such.



If I had to think of one word to describe A Life Like Ours as a whole, as weird as it may seem, I have to say “pretty”. Because it really is. His voice is obviously calming and motivating in a strange way, but between the acoustic pick style he has mastered, and the feeling of the entire earth and existence as we know it colliding in song format to remind us that there may still be some good in the world, I honestly can’t see this amazing album as anything short of pretty. Even if the subject matter turns a bit dark, it’s still just so, so, beautifully done. See incredibly catchy and skillfully down “Taxi Cab” for an example of the latter.

I seriously cannot recommend A Life Like Ours enough to you dear readers. And I think it’s fair to say that Shane will be making an appearance on TWS in the coming months when we begin to wrap up the year in telling what were some our favorite pieces of art to be released in 2019. In fact, I can guarantee it, as this is not only on of the best artistic experiences I have listened to this year, it’s probably the one I’ve heard the most. After so many nights of having Shane serenading my headphones while pounding the keys for other features, I am so happy that I could finally pay tribute to the cat who has helped motivate me through the summer. So, get on it yourselves, Folks! You simply HAVE to hear this incredible album!


A Life Like Ours is available now from Buddhaland Records wherever you get music.


Nicolle Radzivil [Interview]

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you all today. We are sharing some wonderful words from the incredible actress Nicolle Radzivil! I first discovered Nicolle’s acting chops when she appeared in Trevor Moore’s incredible sketch special The Story of Our Times. Regular readers will know that I love to reach out to the folks who have found themselves working on Moore’s truly unique presentation of comedy, and that they always tend to be not only extremely talented, but also very kind. And nothing has changed in that respect when it comes to the great Nicolle Radzivil. She oh so kindly took some time out of her busy life and career to answer a few questions for us here, and we are so excited to share them with you all today.

So without further rambling, let’s just get right into it, shall we? Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the delightful human being that is Nicolle Razivil! Enjoy!




When did you first realize you wanted to join the world of acting? Is it something you have wanted to do since a child? Or did it just sort of evolve into what you did for a living?

My mom had me modeling as a baby. Which I still find hilarious. So, she was always very supportive of the entertainment industry. From the time I could walk and talk I would boss all my family around and put on plays and musicals at home, that I of course starred in!! I would have everyone in the house acting. My stepbrother, my cousin, my grandparents. When I was five years old I put on a pretty impressive performance of Hansel and Gretel at a big family reunion and I think that’s when my Dad’s side of the family really noticed that “Yep, oh boy this girl is going to be and is meant to be a performer”. My mom’s side knew right away because they had to deal with it every day. Everyday would be some new project I thought up and I was so excited and passionate and full of energy about it. 

So I started acting. My mom signed me up at every acting class in town. I learned a lot and I started working and going on auditions. She was so extremely supportive and still is. My whole family is. Then at 12 I got tired of running from audition to audition and so I took a very long hiatus. Which on one hand I regret but also feel extremely fortunate for because I got to grow up and learn about myself.

There was never any question for me or option of what I was going to do in my life. I knew right away. At an extremely young age. There was never a plan B there was never any doubt. Some people believe in destiny some don’t but I just knew and I still know that I’m here to perform. I’m here to make people happy, to make people laugh, to make people feel, something. And that is exactly what I intend to do, and am so fortunate and grateful that I get to do.

What was your very first paid gig as an actress? And did that experience leave any long lasting impact in which you still use lessons learned in your work today?

My very first paid acting gig was The Andy Dick Show. I was 10 years old!! It was funny, I had to do some wire work and I didn’t even know what it was at the time. I remember everyone kept asking me if I was ok and I was like “YES!! THIS IS AWESOME!!”

At an audition recently I was asked if I would be comfortable doing underwater wire work and of course I said yes. But in my head I was like “Oh man that sounds scary. What if something goes wrong?! What if I can’t do it?!” So the lesson here is whenever I’m doubting myself I need to remember how fearless, brave, and excited I was as a child.

Also, I didn’t get that part, so all that worry for nada.

Recently you gave some wonderful performances in Trevor Moore’s absolutely hilarious sketch comedy special, The Story of Our Times. What was it like to work on such a hilarious project? Was it as fun to work on as it was for audiences to watch? 

It was really fun!! I’ve worked on four projects so far that were Directed by Nicholaus Goossen, (Typically Rick, Trevor Moore: The Story of Our Times, Bhad Bhabie ft. Lil Yachty: “Gucci Flip Flops”, and most recently Sugar & Toys). Each and every one has been an absolute blast to work on. When you’re surrounded by hilarious and talented people for hours and hours it’s hard not to have fun!! 



If you were handed the opportunity to portray any well known (or not I suppose?) figure in American history, who would you want to portray?

Amelia Earhart. For some reason I became fascinated by her when I was a child. I did a school project about her in the fifth grade where I got to tell the class her story and dress up like her. Ever since I was a kid I’ve really been interested in her life. Which is interesting because I was absolutely terrified of flying. I’ve gotten over that fear though. One of the things that drew me to her was her fearlessness. Growing up I think I’ve read every article or piece of information I could have about her. I still do to this day. Recently I was working on location at the Wilshire Ebell, which is where she made her last public appearance before she disappeared and the feelings I got there were unlike any I had felt before. I was very nostalgic and felt this sense of calm and warmth that drew me to start reading about her again. She really was an incredible woman that I look up to and her story is pretty incredible.

When you’re not acting or writing or modeling, what would somebody find you doing in your off time? What does Nicolle do for a little bit of “me time”?

Hey I haven’t modeled since I was 15 years old!! My modeling career peaked at ages 1-2. I’m a home body. I love cuddling up on my couch and watching movies, that’s definitely on my list of all time favorite things to do. I also love to cook, and I love eating!! Trying different restaurants. So that’s a good combo. Me time includes meditation, yoga, at home facials, massages, reading, watching documentaries. I’ve become very spiritual in the last six months so just learning all I can about the Earth, life, planets, other forms of life. It’s all become very fascinating to me so I enjoy to learn.

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

Oh boy. The future holds so much. I’m just getting started!! But, look out for Little Willy directed by Andrew Bowser, that stars Andrew Bowser, Adrienne Barbeau, and Zach Galligan. It’s an awesome horror with some comedic elements that I’m so happy and grateful and excited I got to be a part of. It’s really fantastic. Andrew is beyond talented. And I’m also in an episode of the final season of Criminal Minds that airs sometime next year. Season 15, episode 4.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

It’s funny that you ask that. Yesterday I got some text messages from some old friends that were very sweet and encouraging and that made me smile. Talked with some family I hadn’t talked to in a bit and that made me smile. Got to watch a film that I was very excited to be a part of. I was all smiles yesterday and it was just because of those little things but the happiness I felt was immeasurable.

Sunday Matinee: Such A Funny Life [Film]

“Such a Funny Life” is about the Guiterrez family who moves to New York from “nowhere”. Our main character, David grew up in a challenging household with an abusive and plotting father Ralph, and mentally challenged mother Mariah. David is a complete pariah in school and in the street but he is destined to be a comic and entertainer. Through his childhood we follow him as he loses his sister Gabriella, to a tragic death, and then in his teens he falls in love with a complicated and troubled girl named Mariah. He befriends Tito, the responsible kid turned club owner and Rob, the neighborhood leader who turns into the biggest drug dealer in Brooklyn. We see the evolution of David as he juggles painful circumstances with dire decisions while still honing his ambition to be a successful comic, entertainer and actor. An inevitable story of secrets, loss, and betrayal to reach the top and later forces David to Los Angeles to start a new life where he achieves success in all aspects, albeit with a unknown price on his head and a trail of fire that threatens his family, friends and loved ones that goes deeper than any one of his comedy acts or movie roles.” – October Coast PR




Oh Boy, are we in for an emotional journey with this one, Folks. Such a Funny Life is just that, a fucking journey. A journey through the mind of the abused, the lost, and determined. And it is all combined into one character with so much strength and pain it becomes practically nerve-racking and downright upsetting! Writer and director Oliver Mann has a story here that his simply a delightful rabbit hole of horrible circumstances and the desire to get out of a life in which David Guiterrez, the film’s protagonist, almost had no control over. It is a gripping tale that is unfortunately as old as time, but seen through a whole new lens. And THEN you tag on the appearance of stand-up comedy as a means for dealing with such pains? Well Mr. Mann, it felt as though you were speaking directly to me!



I truly did enjoy Such A Funny Life. Gonzalo Trigueros gives an amazing performance in a beautifully shot, delightful story that had so much promise, and completely lived up to the hype I was given around this brilliant film. And I won’t say exactly what kind of ending the film has as that would be a real jerk move, but suffice it to say that it was exactly how I wanted it to turn out. Again, Oliver Mann seemed to dig into my brain and decided to craft something I would specifically go ape shit for, and I know I won’t be the only one. It has everything you would expect from a truly disturbing film about truly disturbing subject matter. And if that is the emotional rollercoaster you want to pay for, well look on further than this great work of art.


Such A Funny Life will be screening in NYC on September 17th, 2019, with additional screenings in NYC as well as Miami and Los Angeles, throughout October, 2019.





Saturday Special: Empathy Inc. [Film]


“Hotshot venture capitalist Joel has a multimillion-dollar deal go up in smoke, and he and his actress wife Jessica are forced to move in with her parents and start from scratch. At the lowest and most desperate moment in his life, Joel meets old friend Nicolaus and his business partner Lester, who are seeking investors in a new technology known as XVR—Xtreme Virtual Reality—from their company Empathy, Inc., which is said to offer the most realistic and moving experiences for users by placing them in the lives of the less fortunate. Joel gets the startup its funds but soon discovers that the tech’s creators have far more sinister uses in store for their creation and that the reality it provides its customers isn’t virtual.” – October Coast PR




Holy Shit, Everyone! I hate to be so brash so quickly, but I am very very excited to talk about this film. Empathy Inc. is a film that completely surpassed initial expectations by a LONG SHOT! [Editor’s note: After writing that last sentence, I noticed that it was actually similar to a quote on the poster from I honestly hadn’t seen that prior, which should be a testament to how true it is!]  It is an incredibly moving and powerful film that you must see. With its visually stimulating black & white cinematography, and a story line that simply doesn’t let up and keeps you guessing right up until the end, when the only question you have left is: “What the hell did I just watch?” And I tell you Folks, you will have watched one of the best films of 2019. It’s smart and just straight up a whole lot of fun to take in.



And as we like to do around here, we have to talk about the performances. It would be nearly impossible to refrain from spoiling very key elements and plot points of the film to really say what I want to say here, but suffice it to say that Empathy Inc. really brought out the range of actors like Kathy Searle, Zack Robidas, and Jay Klaitz. I really can’t throw anything else out there, but know that they are phenomenal! Filmmaker Yedidya Gorsetman and writer Mark Leidner have created the psychological thriller to surpass other psychological thrillers. I seriously couldn’t stop thinking about this film for days after being entranced by it so greatly. It’s an absolutely brilliant film that I need you all to see. Get on it, Folks!


Empathy Inc. is in select theaters now and will be available on VOD on September 24th, 2019.


Yedidya Gorsetman [Interview]


Hello Folks! And a happy Friday to you all. Today we have some words from an incredible filmmaker who happened to be the man behind one of my favorite films of the year. It’s Yedidya Gorsetman! Yedidya and his writing/filmmaking partner Mark Leidner are the geniuses behind the film Empathy Inc., which I loved so very much. In fact, you all should be so obliged to remember to tune in tomorrow for our Saturday Special series, for a nice little surprise. Okay, well, I guess it’s not really a surprise….we are covering the film itself. So look forward to that!

But, right now, at this very moment, we have some wonderful questions that were answered by the brilliant Mr. Gorsetman himself, and we are so excited to share them with you today! He’s a wonderful human being, and we are so excited to have him grace our digital pages today. So Folks, please enjoy some great words from filmmaker Yedidya Gorsetman.




What inspired you to get into the world of acting? Was it something you aspired to do since you were young, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I was exposed to acting and performance at a young age. My sister was always performing and did stage work for a bit, so there was always a lot of performative energy our apartment growing up. In high school I was stage manager and assistant director for the theatre troupe. The faculty advisor had been a producer on The Fantastics, the longest running Off-Broadway show, and he taught me a lot about how lighting, sound, and sets can help elevate performances.

What was your first paid gig on the world of filmmaking? And where there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work today?

I had to make a commercial for a disposable glove company. It was a tiny project, and my producer Josh Itzkowitz and I basically begged a family friend to let us make a video for their company. Miraculously, he said yes and gave us a budget of $2,500. We ran a casting call, scouted locations, storyboarded, and even made call-sheets for our 3-person crew. It ended up being 6 weeks of work, $2,300 in expenses, and the rest my producer and I split, $100 each. Not exactly paying the bills in New York City.  But looking back we learned a lot about the power of prep, communication, and doing a lot with a little. 



I recently had the pure joy of seeing your film Empathy, Inc. and absolutely LOVED it. It is a truly unique type of film that we just don’t see much of these days. So I am curious to know what made you want to bring Mark Leidner’s words to the screen. What made you want to get involved with this very bizarre and wonderful story?

Two years after our first movie, Mark and I were itching to make a new one so we could apply the lessons we’d learned. Once a week we’d send each other story ideas and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Three months later, Mark sent the idea for Empathy, Inc., only a paragraph long, but in that 3-5 sentences was the entire plot. It was a big story but one that was executable given the budget we thought we could raise. It was also full of humor, fun characters, and it gave us room to explore themes like empathy, greed, and technology, that we were both curious about.


If you were handed the opportunity to create and star in the biopic of any well-known figure in American history, who would it be? 

Maybe Scorsese. He’s one of my favorite directors, so it would be fun to learn more about him and get to play him in scene. In terms of casting, we’re both short and wear glasses. I’d probably have to get coaching though to be able to talk as fast as he does.



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

After Empathy, Inc. hits VOD on 9/24, we’re going to be working on our next script. We have a few that are complete and ready to pitch. One is sci-fi, expanding our direction from Empathy, Inc. Another is a fun drama based more on personal experiences. We like both stories and would be excited to apply what we learned on Empathy, Inc. to either one.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This morning my dog peed on my rug, then immediately ran and hid under a chair out of embarrassment. I was a little mad at him but it was so cute and pathetic I had to laugh.