Sam Tallent [Interview]

Hello Folks! And welcome to Trainwreck’d Society. Where for the last decade, we have had the pleasure of bringing you a plethora of interviews with some the best actors, writers, filmmakers, comedians, and beyond. It has been an absolute pleasure to serve. And now, I have to say that it is all over. This is it, Folks. After 10 years, I have decided to close our digital doors. It’s been great. And I am extremely proud of what myself and all the contributors to this site have managed to pull off. For everyone who has been reading on the regular for all of these years, again, thank you so damn much. This site started off as just a way to yell into the internet about movies at a time when I was only yelling into the internet about music. I plan on writing a big ole heartfelt goodbye in the coming weeks, so I’ll stop with the mushy shit for now, and get into the details of our amazing guest….

It’s Sam Tallent, Everyone! Sam is an absolutely hilarious human being with a DYI spirit that is extremely impressive. He is a road dog comic through and through, but also might be one of the most knowledgable and interesting folks in the game. He is also quickly becoming one of my favorite novelists of all time. Last year he released (self-released, just how we like it around here) the absolutely incredible book, Running The Light. As you all know, I love stand up comedy. I think it is one of the purest forms of entertainment there is, as it requires so little physically for the most part, but a whole LOT mentally. With that, Running The Light is definitely the best novel about stand up comedy you will have ever read. Now, the conundrum here is that I fucking hate telling people, “You’ll love this book, even if you don’t care about stand up”. Because while that’s true, it’s really not fair to Sam. The story in RTL is definitely outlandish enough that it could have been written by somebody with far less talent than, well, Tallent. But, I swear on children, this is one of the best pieces of writing I have ever consumed. But, the “even if you don’t like stand up” problem seems to deter people. It’s as if I recommended Tortilla Flats to people and said, “Even if you don’t like broke ass migrant workers, it’s such a well written book.” People may still read it! Well, that is how I feel about Running The Light. Sam Tallent has a skillset on par with a John Steinbeck and will only continue to prove as much in the years to come. Which is an affirmation that I will stand by until my untimely death.

Oh, and did I mention he is funny as hell? As most of you know, when it comes to having comedians on this site, we don’t generally allow those who are not funny. What the hell would be the point? I’ve always made it a point to make you all feel comfortable in knowing that if I have a comedian on this site, they are guaranteed funny. And Folks, Sam Tallent is guaranteed funny. I’m actually just two days out from getting to see Sam live and in person right here in Alaska! In fact, I believe as of this writing, the dude has to be at least on a plane headed this way, or already here suffering through his first sleep in the midnight sun. And you know what Folks, I already know he is going to crush. Guaranteed funny.

So, Folks, it is an absolute pleasure to say that our final guest on the site is one of the funniest human beings on the planet, and one of the best writers around today. I could not think of a better person to wrap this whole thing up with than Sam Tallent. My first two interviews were with a writer (Jess Walter) and a comedian (Timmy Williams). So what better way than closing it out with somebody who has mastered both. I am so excited to have Sam Tallent grace our digital pages today. And without further babbling, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Sam Tallent!

Have a wonderful evening, and a beautiful tomorrow.

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What inspired you to get into the world of comedy? Was it something you have wanted to do since your youth, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?


My family valued humor above all else. Everyone was very funny in their own ways. My mom was acerbic, my dad was a ham. My sister is a sniper: her quips are acidic and cutting and perfect. My uncles and my aunts and my cousins – they all love to cause and receive laughter. My paternal grandfather was hilarious and ridiculous; I have so many memories of him and me and my dad taking turns making my grandmother laugh until she cried. Funny was a balm applied liberally when times were tough, both emotionally and financially. Even when my parents weren’t getting along, they still laughed at each other. All the people I love and need are funny: I don’t have any friends who aren’t funny. My wife is a stunning, brilliant doctor, but I highly doubt we’d be married if she wasn’t funny (we definitely wouldn’t be married if I wasn’t funny). Funny has just always been the most important thing. There’s footage of me doing stand up – “I just flew in and boy are my arms tired” type jokes – when I was 3 or 4. I parroted these hacky 80’s jokes for my aunts and uncles – whether they fed them to me or showed them to me on TV, I have no idea – but these tapes exist. So I guess I wanted to be a comic before I could read. 

What was your first paid gig in the world of comedy? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work to date?

My first paid gig was at Albums on the Hill in Boulder, Colorado. I learned that if you’re nice and funny and easy to get along with, people will book you for shows you don’t deserve, just as Brent Gill did for that gig. I still abide by that rule and now Brent is one of my funniest and closest friends. 


I have been following your stand up for quite a few years, and happen to know that you hail from the same small part of Colorado as our friend and past guest David Gborie, and that you two are as close as can be, and the stories you would tell on your podcast Shinin’ feel absolutely outrageous. With that in mind, how do you think the environment in which you grew up in affects your work to date? Is it always a constant reminder of where you have been and where you can go? Or is it simply source material for a life well-lived?


Growing up in Elizabeth, population 900, both David and I learned to make everyone laugh. You didn’t have the luxury of choosing your clique. The sample size wasn’t big enough to afford discernment. Parties were attended by cowboys, jocks, theater kids, nerds, burn outs, skaters, goths, preps, rednecks and the generally uninspired, all of them competing for each other’s attention. I don’t know if David would agree because we had different experiences due to the demographics, but I watched him evolve into the beautiful and admirable man he is today since we were 14, so I’m going to speak for him on this specific issue: I think that we each benefited from learning how to speak to the comedic sensibilities of disparate groups. As adults, we can make anyone laugh, and I think it was a skill we learned in our nonage sitting in basements and around bonfires cracking wise for every freak in town. 


We always like to ask comics who are regularly on the road this question: What are some of the more unique cities and/or venues that many people may not realize are actually great places to do comedy?


Cincinnati is pound for pound the funniest city in America. New Orleans is a great place to learn stand up. If I had to film a special, I would heavily consider Minneapolis and Milwaukee because the crowds are smart but they also occupy the center of the Venn diagram formed by drinkers who aren’t loud heckling assholes when they’re drunk. Portland, Maine is better than Portland, Oregon. The Comedy Fort in Fort Collins, Colorado is the best new club in the country. Comedians should go to Pensacola, Florida more because I want the scene to grow so I can eventually move there. Tuscaloosa, Kansas City, Omaha. Iowa City, Little Rock and South Dakota and Kentucky in general are much better than you’d assume. You can still raise hell in San Francisco. Also, never call SF “San Fran”, call it the City to impress locals. I want to spend more time in Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Diego, Montana and Oxford, Mississippi. If I disappear, look for me in Key West or Chattanooga. No matter what happens, I will consider myself successful as long as I never have to perform in Gillete, Wyoming again.. 

Your book Running the Light is absolutely incredible. Obviously fans of stand up comedy will love it, but it’s also brilliantly written. So, what made you want to tell this story? Has the occupation of novelist always been something you’ve aspired to do?


Thanks, Ron. That’s very nice and flattering. Reading literary fiction is my favorite thing. If I could just read books, I’d be fairly happy. I’m confident to say that I have excellent taste in fiction. I was writing short stories, just tinkering, and I sent one of them to VICE. They liked it and they published a butchered version and it went viral in the comedy world. The success of that gave me the idea that maybe I could write, but I never intended to write that book. It came out of trying to write two other things and I got about 120,000 words deep on those before I met Billy Ray (the protagonist of Running the Light). And I know saying I met him sounds pretentious and bullshit but I had no intention of giving him life. I initially wanted to tell the story of his son, Jeremiah, the boy who was orphaned by him, and the first chapter of RTL was a vignette from that project, but as I wrote it, I realized I knew Billy Ray better than his son. The decisions he made were organic and he was easy to write; I never had to yank his strings or force him. So I just followed him on his mission and ten months later I had a book. And yes, if I’m honest, I have always aspired to be an author, which is weird to admit for some reason and I don’t know why.    

If you were given free range to create the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

 I’m not a big fan of biopics. I don’t like happy endings. I like stories involing very high risk for very little reward. Like a highly orchestrated and well thought-out jewel heist is less interesting to me than a guy who robs a gas station with an unloaded gun and gets away with $300. I guess if I got to do a biopic, I’d do a movie about a guy like this guy here in Colorado who modified a bulldozer and used it to destroy a bunch of buildings in his small town before he blew his head off. As a story teller (I can’t believe I just said as a story teller. Jesus Christ.), I think it would be fun to explore what brought him to that point where he’s behind the wheel of this homemade tank smashing up VFW’s and Wendy’s. How pissed off do you have to be to build a killdozer? There’s a lot of steps involved. That’s not like a dude who snaps and takes a gun to the post office. You have to build a killdozer. You have to source the steel, order the rivets. You have to learn to weld. I’ve never been so furious that I learned how to weld. The killdozer demolition of Granby, Colorado isn’t the result of a guy having one bad day, it’s the culminaiton of a lifetime of bad days. And I think there’s probably a very human story in all of those bad days that would be intersting to tell. 

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

I’m touring again, building a brand new. My dates and my book are on SAMTALLENT.COM. I’m going to start putting out other peoples books on my publishing company, Too Big To Fail Press, which was a dumb decision, but I have to put out at least one so I can know exactly how dumb it is. I have an Audible Original coming out this fall. It’s a 30,0000 word short story about a teenage bare knuckle boxer. It’s violent and bleak and hopeless and beautiful and I’m very proud of it. I’m swimming and lifting weights and cooking plant based meals for my friends and family. I’m celebrating five years of marriage with Doctor Tallent and feeling grateful every day for everything. I’m reading the entire catalog of New York Tyrant, RIP Gian. I’m half assedly working on my second novel. I’m reccomending the book Preparation for the Next Life to your readers because it’s the best book I’ve read in a very long time. My comedy special comes out September 7th. And finally, after an 11 year hiatus, I’m obtaining the last 8 credits I need to get my undergrad so that maybe, one day, I can make college kids at a small  and expensive liberal arts school read my favorite books and have them tell me why they suck. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?


My wife just came home from work and did a half scoot/half run into the kitchen with her arms pinned to the side and told me it was called “the mini scuffle”. Then, on her way out of the kitchen,  she did it at full speed and informed me that version was called the “big mini scuffle”. 

Varda Appleton [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! Today we are getting back to the roots of the site. I’ve always wanted to considered Trainwreck’d Society an arts appreciation site, and god dammit all if we don’t have a great interview to share with you all that absolutely fits that bill. While we have shared words from folks from all sorts of realms of entertainment, the performer has obviously been the key to our showcasing. Which is why I am so excited that this interview, or second to last ever, is with the brilliant Varda Appleton. She is an absolutely incredible actress, and I can’t think of anyone better to close out our conversations with performers than Varda.

I became intrigued by Varda’s work when she appeared in our friend and past guest’s, Zachary Ray Sherman’s, directorial debut, Barbie’s Kenny. It’s a damn near perfect film, and Varda plays a major role the film’s near perfection. She is an absolutely incredible performer, and we are so excited to have her grace our digital pages. Thank you Varda. You’ve made a mark on us here at TWS, and we will be forever grateful. I hope you dig this, Folks. She’s the last of her kind here at Trainwreck’d Society. And I couldn’t be more content with that.

So Folks, here it goes, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant actress, Varda Appleton! Enjoy!

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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something you have aspired to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Definitely something I aspired to since my childhood but didn’t always have the courage to pursue full-time. I knew I wanted to be an actor, but saying that out loud was too scary. I remember seeing Equus on Broadway and thinking I must get into that world, some way. I started taking the bus into New York from Teaneck, NJ to study acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio and NYU summer programs. I was very much conditioned to choose a more “practical” route and went to school and worked as a neonatal ICU nurse while studying acting. But alas, I kept getting lured back to the “impractical” pursuit of a full-time acting career. 

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

My first paid gig was doing children’s theatre in NYC. When Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman came to see the show with their kids and treated us like colleagues, that was exciting and inspiring. Lessons learned from doing theatre are invaluable and starting in theatre has definitely affected my work ethic; I’m so glad to have come up that way. It really gave me the stamina and concentration that sticks with me in any project, any medium. 

One project that you worked on recently was actually one of our Top 5 films of 2019, which was Barbie’s Kenny, written & directed by our dear friend and past guest Zachary Ray Sherman. I am curious to know what drew you to this project? What was it about this story that made you want to be a part of it?  

First, the people. I am such a fan of Zachary, he’s an amazing actor and an equally amazing and humble human being; these traits serve him well as a director. Second, I loved my role as an acting coach because I got to draw on all of the acting teachers I’ve had over the years. It was great to see it all come together.

You’ve done some wonderful work in film, television, the stage, and beyond. I am always curious to know which do you prefer? If you were only able to pursue one means in which to perform, what would it be? Why?

I absolutely love working – that’s the bottom line – I always say I’d love to do enough film to allow me to work on Broadway – that’s always been my dream. My ultimate goal would be to move fluidly between Broadway and film.  

If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or perform in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

Sherry Lansing made her mark in a male-dominated industry at a time when this wasn’t the norm.  I was always in awe of her and wondered how she mustered the strength and motivation to navigate her career.  I think it would be fascinating to explore her journey in more depth.

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

The future is bright. I am an optimist, and I am tenacious. I’m involved in a couple of very funny pilots that I hope will go forward this year. Recent work includes the dark comedy/horror film Cut and Chop and the thriller Manifesto (both streaming on Amazon Prime).

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Opening the email containing my vaccine appointment induced my biggest smile of the year. Being back on set, getting crafty in a box, working again, has kept me smiling.

Doogie Horner [Interview]

Hello Folks! I sincerely can’t explain how excited I am to share this interview with you all. Today’s guest is somebody that I have wanted to have on the site for quite a while. And we finally got ’em, Everyone! It’s the brilliant comedian, illustrator, and writer Doogie Horner!

I first discovered Doogie’s existence in a fashion that has been a pretty routine occurrence around here at TWS. It was Doug Loves Movies. Much like just about every comedian we have managed to wrangle onto this site, you could probably play that weird Kevin Bacon game to track them back to DLM. In the last few years, Doogie has been such a presence on the show, and it lead me to dig into some of his work, including the amazing book, Some Very Interesting Cats, Perhaps You Weren’t Aware Of, that I will routinely break out when I just need a little pick me up when I’m feeling a bit down. It’s absolutely delightful. And wouldn’t you know it, he has a plethora of other great works that everyone should check out. We talk about of a few of them in the interview below, but it behooves me to let you all know that he is also the creator if a Die Hard coloring book. Yes, you read that correctly. Along with all of his other works, you should definitely buy that.

So Folks, please enjoy some amazing words from the hilarious Doogie Horner. And after you read this interview and definitely say to yourself, “Hey, this guy seems like the cat’s pajamas with the bee’s knees all over them, I should buy stuff that he does!”, be sure to head on over to doogiehorner.com to do just that. Enjoy!

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What inspired you to get into the world of comedy? Was it something you have been inspired to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

When I was a kid, I loved old comedians like the Marx Brothers, Bob Hope, and Danny Kaye. I liked comedy movies, not necessarily standup. I also read a lot of funny comics like Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes. I was always a funny (a.k.a. weird) kid, but I never thought of doing standup. I tried it on a whim, simply because I heard Helium (in Philadelphia) had an open mic.

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

When I started doing standup in Philly, standup was not as popular as it is now. So there weren’t many real shows at comedy clubs, or alternative shows in the back of bars. Most of the shows were poorly planned train wrecks, in hoagie shops or VFW halls. Surprisingly, they were generally fun. Because they were so bad, right out of the gate, that you didn’t feel any pressure to succeed. Just surviving was a big enough accomplishment.

The first paid show I did was way out in Delco; it was some kind of fundraiser, I didn’t really know for what. Once I arrived, I found out that it was a fundraiser for a police dog who’d died in the line of duty. The cops gave a eulogy for him and then I went on. There was no stage, and I performed in the round—directly after a Powerpoint eulogy for a dead dog. It was a big crowd, maybe two hundred cops, standing in a circle around me while tears dried on their cheeks, angrily listening to my weird jokes about rowboats and muffins or whatever.

Performing at those early train wreck shows helped me get used to being booed, yelled at, bombing my face off. There’s no way I can bomb harder than I did back then. That’s why when I performed on America’s Got Talent, and everyone at the Hammerstein Ballroom booed me, I wasn’t fazed.

I absolutely adored your book Some Very Interesting Cats Perhaps You Weren’t Aware Of. For those poor unfortunate fools who may not have checked it out yet, could you tell us a bit about it? And what made you want to tell this tale?

It’s an illustrated book of one hundred short, funny stories about cats. Cats are mysterious. You can never tell what they’re thinking. Whenever I leave my house, I always wonder, “What does my cat do while I’m gone?” I imagined him having a rich, secret life, and the book explores stories like that. The secret lives of housecats.

A couple of your more recent writings, such as the YA novel  This Might Hurt A Bit and the cute little comic David’s Dad’s Movies available on your website, have been geared toward a younger audience than your typical one. Obviously there will be differences, but I am more interested in what you feel is the same? Are there any core elements in storytelling that exist no matter what the genre or form may be, in your personal opinion?

This Might Hurt a Bit is a lightly fictionalized memoir about my teenage years, growing up in rural Pennsylvania. I didn’t intend it for a younger audience necessarily, but that book is appropriate for teenagers on up. There’s some heavy shit in there. Everybody who reads it cries.

David’s Dad’s Movie is for a much younger audience, five or six year-olds.

But to answer your question, yeah, telling a story to anyone, at any age, requires certain core elements if you want it to be interesting. Even stories with vastly different formats—a three-minute joke compared to a 300-page book—have similarities.

1. The story has to be coherent. The more the reader/listener understands, the more they’ll enjoy it. This rule sounds self-evident, but it’s amazing how often I forget to stop and ask myself, “Does the audience know what I mean? Are we on the same wavelength?” Kids especially value understanding, because they hear so many things they don’t understand every day.

2. The story has to be interesting, and the best way to do that is to make it relatable. There have to be some familiar elements in it, so the audience can relate to it. Add a few surprises too. But make one of them a surprise for the characters, but not the audience.

3. It’s helpful if things happen, if things change. In story-writing school they call this “character evolution,” but I hate that term. I hate how in movies (books do it less) the main character always learns and evolves. In real life, people rarely do that. Maybe that’s why we love to see it? It’s like believing in Santa Claus, this fairy tale that we can change who we are.

Anyhow, you can sidestep this rule somewhat if you really nail number 2. Movies like My Neighbor Totoro, or books like The Catcher in the Rye or Slaughterhouse Five don’t have a whole lot of character change, but they depict reality in such a clear, true way that that’s enough to keep the audience hooked.

Basically: Be interesting, connect with the audience, and, if you can, tell the truth.

The best book on writing I’ve read is Stephen King’s On Writing. And the best book about reading is How Fiction Works, by James Wood.

If you had free range, and an unlimited budget, to create the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

Well it wouldn’t require much budget, but I’d make a biopic of Bill Peet. Actually, maybe I wouldn’t. He already wrote and illustrated his own biography, and I don’t think I could top it. I’d only do a bio of him so that more people could know about his work. He’s one of my favorite illustrators, and he also worked on a lot of Disney movies. His biography is an interesting read, I highly recommend the book:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Peet

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

I’m writing and illustrating a comic book right now. We’re moving back to NYC soon; we’ve been hiding in the woods of Massachusetts during the pandemic.

The main thing I’d like to plug is my novel This Might Hurt a Bit. It’s a funny coming of age story about a kid whose sister dies of cancer. I know that doesn’t sound funny, but the book is generally funny.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My son yelled, “Come into the bathroom!” and I went in and found him suspended near the top of the shower, supporting himself with his hands and feet pushed against the walls. “Help, I’m stuck!” he yelled.

I feel like that anecdote shouldn’t count though, because my son makes me smile ten times a day, so here’s another one.

I was visiting my Dad for a couple days, just the two of us because my Mom was at the beach with my family. My Dad had a stroke, so often he can’t think of certain words. We were shopping at the grocery store, and he was looking for something he couldn’t name. He struggled to explain it to me. “It’s round,” he said, drawing a circle in the air. “Like . . . tortillas. And . . . in a bag.”

After a minute I guessed, “Pepperoni?”

My Dad was so amazed I’d guessed it right that he laughed with surprise. His clues had been pretty bad (although, at the same time, spot on. Pepperoni slices are like little tortillas). He laughed and laughed and said, “this should be a game show.”

That made me smile.

And now, some other fun photos Doogie was kind enough to share with us:

Sherilyn Fenn [Interview]


Hello Old Friends and New to another amazing interview here at Trainwreck’d Society. As we near that decade mark that will mark the end, we are going out with a bang! Today we are keeping the Twin Peaks love going with some more great words from another essential and brilliant performer who appeared on both the original run as well as re-appearing in the third season. It’s Sherilyn Fenn, Everyone!

You should instantly recognize Sherilyn as tantalizing and seductive Audrey Horne! Audrey was one of my favorite characters on the series, and so much of that is owed to the immense talented held, and holds, as a performer. She is as good as they come in my honest opinion. With a career nearing 40+ years and including projects on the horizon, she has never slowed down. She’s got Globe & Emmy nominations under her proverbial belt, and has appeared in some amazing projects over the last 5 decades. Especially in our beloved genre, which would be horror. She is an absolute beast in her career field, and just a gem of a human being.

So, I will cut this short, and allow you all to proceed to check out these amazing words from the brilliant Sherilyn Fenn! Enjoy!

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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something you have wanted to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I think my aunt inspired me as she had great success in the music business. But not for  the reason one might think. I come from a broken and unhappy childhood  as most  of us do. I saw what appeared to me to be a lot of love and attention from all of my family, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I wanted that love shown to me, I believe and I think that I thought IF I became ‘famous’ then I would get it from my family. Instead of feeling like a pillow on the couch. Just an inconsequential object. Or worse, a puppy dog because unlike a pillow, I needed care. My aunt also had some  of the most beautiful clothes that  I had ever seen. Clothes that she bought in London. I coveted pretty stuff  like that as well. I was a child with childish ideas. 

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

I am not sure if  it was my ‘first paid gig’ but I remember doing a small film in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (when it was still that). I believe I had my 18th birthday there. Walking to the set for the first time,  my whole body was shaking with  fear. All the lights were pointed to a place on the ground where I and a  boy were to sit and do a scene. I sat down, shaking. They said action andI looked down and blanked completely. I could not remember a single line, few though they were. The boy whispered ‘just keep going’ and I looked up- into the lens and said ‘cut’. I was told that the actor NEVER says cut. I learned it. Although now in all honesty, I still may end a take if something dodgy is happening, like a prop is missing, etc. But never from the place of ‘feeling lost’ because that is when the magic starts  to happen. To have the courage to be lost and keep going. Just like we  do in life. Not trying to control everything.

Your role as Audrey Horne in the highly original and beloved series Twin Peaks was absolutely perfect, on so many levels. You were absolutely amazing in the series. So, I am curious to know what drew to this project? What was it about the world of David Lynch that made you want to live in it for a while?

Who does not want to live in any DKL project? I was in my early 20’s and I had seen Blue Velvet and left the movie  theatre speechless. It had so many interesting aspects to it. It was absolutely frightening, Dennis Hopper with the oxygen mask crying for his mama to bizarrely hysterical, ‘Are you the one who found the ear??? I HEARD it. Or I am gonna honk the horn three times, one, two,three……what?????? And everything in between. My mind  was blown. 

Happily I rented The Elephant Man  so I could also see what a deep heart DKL had. 

I did not get to read the script. Just had a meeting with a genius filmmaker. Who would say no?

And how was the return back in 2017 for the latest installment? Was it like old times, and just jumping right back into the proverbial saddle? How was this experience?

The return was filled with many ups and downs. Twists and turns. I was filled with gratitude to work with DKL again as I always am and always would be. I was happy with the rewrite he did for Audrey. And also sad that she did realize her potential as a person in that story. That she was trapped in her own mind. 

The fandom revolving around Twin Peaks is one of wild devotion and extreme loyalty, I have come to notice. At least that is my perception. But as somebody obviously more well informed, I am curious to know what you think? How have your fan interactions been over the years?

The Twin Peaks fans are what I call a ‘sacred family’. They are amazing. And they keep growing. As a young actress I would say ‘if I do a role that stands the test of time, I will know I have succeeded’. Well Twin Peaks has done just that. I meet people younger than my son, Myles, and they are fans.I look at them and say you could be my child. But they  look at me as if I am still that very young woman, which at 56 I am not, with love and  joy i their eyes. And I feel blessed that my work actually touched people and still does. What a gift from God. It makes me so happy. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing. And I love  them all dearly. They are better to me often times than my own blood family. We connect, we laugh, we cry….it is truly a gift.

While you have worked in just about every genre imaginable, one of them happens to be one of our all time favorites around here. And that would be the world of horror. I am curious to know how you enjoy working in this world? What do you believe it is that sets it apart from other genres?

Well I am not big on ‘genres’. I just bring truth to whatever I’m blessed to be a part of. I guess Twin Peaks is considered ‘horror’. But not to me. I feel Audrey was  a light in that darkness. 

That is what I aim to be. A light in the seeming darkness  of the world. My beloved  grandma used to  love  horror movies. She would go and see them alone. She would giggle and giggle during the’ scary’ parts. They never scared  her. She thought they were ’silly’. She was so advanced and nobody could see it. She  was actually absorbing all the energy that others were releasing in the theatre unbeknownst to them. A conscious being shared about this and I realized how advanced she was. People don’t know what to do when they have a lot of energy in their bodies and often spend it in all these useless places. When it is contained and lifted one can access higher states of consciousness. 

If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or appear in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be? 

Well, being my age takes away some my choices. But if age were not an issue…. Hedy Lamarr because she was beautiful but brilliant and pioneered the technology that would be the basis for today’s wifi. And my grandmother loved her. Marilyn Monroe, to finally show the woman. The real woman who was wise behind all the affectations. Clara Bow….. because she was a bright light.

Any amazing unknown to the world woman who showed up in her life to change the lives of people around her, not relations, out of the goodness of her heart and strength of character. 

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

The futures so bright I have to wear sunglasses. Many amazingly great things are coming together……it is quite a ride….. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Feeling God so deeply at work in my life. So loving. So kind. So present. Not because I am special, we all are. But because I am finally listening. Blessings.xxoo

Wendy Robie [Interview]

Hello Folks! I am as usual very excited to showcase today’s amazing guest interview. Especially so, as we are breaking new ground right at the end of our 10 year run here. Today’s guest is Wendy Robie, Everyone! Wendy is a brilliant performer, who absolutely shined in my personal favorite dramatic series of all time, the amazing Twin Peaks. The OG run, of course. Well, also the third season as well. Wendy played the infamously eye-patched Nadine Hurley, and was a personal favorite character of mine.

Wendy is actually the first cast member we have had from the OG run of Twin Peaks. We’ve spoken with some folks who appeared in the most recent third season, but this marks our ability to add Twin Peaks performers to our roster. And seeing that we are a month out from shutting our digital doors, I am very happy that Wendy was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.

So Folks, please enjoy some amazing words from an exceptional performer of screen and stage, the brilliant Wendy Robie!

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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something you have wanted to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?    

I’m sorry this will be a boring answer to an interesting question, so I’m glad to get it out of the way. I was one of those kids who put on plays in the back yard for relatives and neighbors.  I was very bossy.  However, opportunities were limited.  Without going into detail, I’ll just say that my route into show business was circuitous indeed. 

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

I played Helena in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Monterey Shakespeare Festival in’82. I learned how seductive laughter can be, and how easily one can hurt oneself doing some pratfall one thinks is just hilarious. On that first job, I observed the professionalism of the actors I admired.  I’ve followed that work ethic ever since. 

You were absolutely incredible as Nadine Hurley in the seminal classic TV series Twin Peaks. I am curious to know what drew you to this insanely original series? What was it about the world that David Lynch created that made you want to live in it for a while?  

In the fall of ’89 when David Lynch and Mark Frost came to Seattle to shoot the pilot for Twin Peaks, I was one of several local stage actors called in to audition.  When I met David and Mark, they told me about Nadine and her eye.  I slapped my hand over my left eye and asked, “This one?”. David laughed and Mark said, “Yes.” Lucky guess. I loved playing Nadine, and I hold her secrets close.  I respect her — her innocence and pain, her yearning and courage.  She never gives up.  She’s like an unstoppable, inconvenient, unwanted puppy.  Her outlandish behavior makes her an easy target for mockery.  Meanwhile, she wanders in a firestorm of loneliness. In Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost created a dreamy world of mystery and menace.  Nadine lives there in her own mystery, broken and beautiful where she is broken. 

And how was the return back in 2017 for the latest installment? Was it like old times, and just jumping right back into the proverbial saddle? How was this experience?  

The Return was just astonishing.  I can’t even describe it except to say that it was our Twin Peaks but so much more.  I’ve watched those 18 hours three times since it first aired on Showtime.  Every time I just take the epic ride.  My personal experience was different.  I was so happy and grateful to see these people again, these people that I adore and have missed.  We were so lucky to have shared this experience. When Nadine jauntily marches up that road with her shovel over her shoulder she is earning her own redemption.  How great is that! 

The fandom revolving around Twin Peaks is one of wild devotion and extreme loyalty, I have come to notice. At least that is my perception. But as somebody obviously more well informed, I am curious to know what you think? How have your fan interactions been over the years?

Most of the Twin Peaks fans I’ve met are filmmakers and artists themselves. I’ve met Twin Peaks fans from all over the world.  Agent Cooper is much loved in Finland, you’ll be pleased to know.  The fans know more about Twin Peaks than I do. 

While you have worked in just about every genre imaginable, one of them happens to be one of our all time favorites around here. And that would be the world of horror. I am curious to know how you enjoy working in this world? What do you believe it is that sets it apart from other genres?    

It’s true.  I’ve appeared in a few horror movies.  But I’m not really knowledgeable.  If I had to say what sets the genre apart, I’d say blood, lots and lots of blood. But that can also be said of Greek Tragedy.  I’ve played Clytemnestra in The Oresteia.  She gave her husband a bath and hacked him up with a battle axe.  Trust me: he had it coming.  I’ve played Lady MacBeth a couple of times. Now there’s a play with terror, murder, ghosts, and witches. But we don’t call it Horror.  That’s classical theatre. That’s Shakespeare.  Here’s the secret:  it’s fun.  But there’s a great story and glorious language and profound human truths underpinning all that bloody, frightening skullduggery.   I think that’s true in horror movies, too.  There has to be a human truth and a structure or it just isn’t going to matter.  Wes Craven knew that.   

If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or appear in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?   

This one is easy. Since I was 8 years old my idol has been Amelia Earhart! I would love to write that, to gather all the information available and just see if there’s more her story has to tell us.  Thank you for that question. 

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

Watch for Michael Smith’s latest film, Relative ( www.whitecity.com ). We start filming in Chicago this summer.  Yes!  It is time to begin again. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?   

The headline in today’s New York Times: “Chauvin Guilty in Floyd’s Death”. Smile isn’t really a strong enough word.  A prayer of thanksgiving is more like it.

Andrea Rosen [Interview]

Hello Folks! We are back at it with the funniness today as we have an absolute legend in the world of comedy sharing some wonderful words with us today. It’s Andrea Rosen, Everyone! Andrea has been involved with a plethora if hilarious comedic ventures over the years. From the brilliant and underrated Comedy Central series Stella, to working with the legendary UCB, all the way up to working on her long time chum Michael Showalter’s reunion of Wet Hot American Summer in series form, to the amazing work she is doing today, she is a phenomena in the world of comedy.

Andrea is one of those hilarious people who can walk into a scene on any series, film, or stage (I am willing to presume, although I haven’t had the opportunity to see) and absolutely light up the proverbial room when she’s there. I can particularly remember two instances when I noticed Rosen in a scene and just knew it was going to be good, no matter how short your part may be. It was specifically on an episode of Maron, a series we have covered many times over on the site, as well as another appearance on the short-lived but wonderful series I’m Dying Up Here. The later was what made me realize that I would love to have Andrea on the site. Well, several years later, she’s here!

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the absolutely hilarious comedic performer Andrea Rosen!

What inspired you to get into the world of comedy? Was it something you have wanted to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

When I was little my brother and I played 3 albums: Cheap Trick Live at Budokan, the Annie soundtrack , and the Steve Martin album, Wild and Crazy Guy. We were obsessed with Steve Martin. I also LOVED Gilda Radner, specifically, Rosanna Rosanna Danna. I LOVED The Carol Burnett Show, and I LOVED I Love Lucy. So, yeah, I was definitely inspired by those specific comics. Off beat and character heavy. And as a child I was always making up characters and perfoming them for my mom at the foot of her bed.

What was your first paid gig in the world of comedy? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work to date?

My first real job in comedy was the tv show, Stella on Comedy Central. I played “Jennifer” and I was one of 3 downstairs neighbors. It was such a funny show and Comedy Central definitely should not have cancelled it. But also I was paid peanuts, and that sucked. (Did not have an agent at the time). 

What did I learn? I learned that I really loved being a comic actor. And that even though I was super nervous, I didn’t want to make a living doing anything else.

What are some of the more unique venues and/or cities that you have performed in that many people not realize are wonderful places for comedy? Maybe something off the coasts in the “fly over” region of the country?

I performed in a comedy show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. The show was short lived because I don’t think the organizers had gotten permission from the museum. The performers played “tour guides” and showed the roving audience around. My character was called “Hortence Frillon”, and I focused on 6 paintings of women in water. I called my lecture “Drownings and Sisters”. I had an indecipherable accent and I wore a dirty wig. It was a blast.

If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or appear in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

I don’t know. Maybe someone who was a drunk, because slurring and screaming is always fun to play. Or someone who’s really shy, because then you don’t have to learn a lot of lines. Or someone who’s really old, so that at the premiere, everyone will think I look amazing. 

This isn’t the answer you were looking for. You wanted a response that would shine a light on who I feel aligned with in a spiritual and physical sense. A person from history who reflects something innate about me…Does she fancy herself a Marilyn Monroe type?(No, but I have a 2nd cousin named “Marilyn”). Eleanor Roosevelt? (No, but I did grow up on Roosevelt Island in NY).  Hedy Lamarr? (Barely know who she is)…I’m sorry. I’ve failed here.

After 20 years in the world of comedy, and the advancements that have been made in technology, what do you believe has remained the same? Are there any core values that have remained since you started? 

It’s always been the same. Truth in comedy is what works best. The goal is to find what’s silly from your own point of view. And that silliness comes from real stuff…Because everyone can relate to true experiences and true feelings. 

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

I recently made a short film called The Rain Poncho. I wrote, produced and directed it. I’m also in it. It got into some great festivals and now it lives on line. And I’m super proud of it!   

I’m also on a fun tv show called Upload. It’s on Amazon. I play a stupid boss bitch. One season is out now. We just finished shooting the 2nd season.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This shouldn’t be the hardest question on here, but it weirdly is…

Okay, movie-wise, Bad Trip really made me laugh. 

Life-wise, my 6 year old son just watched a Marvel movie and then asked me what “sonny bitch” was. He meant “son of a bitch”. I didn’t correct him, I just said it wasn’t a nice thing to say to someone. And the whole thing made me smile.

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Lee Spencer [Interview]

Hello Folks! We have another great interview with a man that truly fits the bill here at Trainwreck’d Society. It’s Lee Spencer, Everyone! We’ve had a plethora of character actors showcased on these digital pages, some of the best really, and today is no exception. To break the fourth wall a bit (if that’s a thing in blogging?) I tend to seek out these people because they have worked, in some part, on some of my favorite projects. In 10 years of doing this, I have probably spoken with at least one person involved in almost all of my favorite films, TV shows, music, etc. And as it turns out, some of the kindest folks happen to be character actors who played very memorable roles. And as I mentioned before, today is no exception.

Today’s guest, the wonderful Lee Spencer, came across my radar when I noticed that he portrayed a member of the legendary Foot Clan in the epic film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. And with a bit more research, I began to realize that I have seen this cat all over the place, in roles where we actually see his face when it’s not donned with a giant tube sock! Most recently I can remember him from his brilliant performance in the brilliant and not praised enough film The Peanut Butter Falcon. But, he also has an astounding credit roll in the world of TV, appearing on brilliant shows like Under The Dome, One Tree Hill, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, & so many more. He also recently appeared in a film called Charming the Hearts of Men, which I have not seen, but am very intrigued and will be looking into it ASAP!

And as luck tends to have it, he is an incredibly nice man who provides some great insight into some wonderful projects that he has worked on. I’m so excited to share his words with you all today, and I am honored that Spencer was willing to take some time out of his very busy schedule to share said words with us today. So Folks, please feel honored, and please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Lee Spencer!

What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something you had wanted to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day? 


In the ninth grade I took a drama class. I was painfully shy. One class we did a lip-synch battle and I got up on stage and mouthed the words to an old novelty song called ‘Alley Oop’. The class erupted into laughter and applauded furiously at the end and I was hooked on performing. I could come out of my shell on stage. I had a brief detour into music and being in a band but eventually moved to NYC to attend acting college. 

What was your first paid gig in the world of performance? And were there any sort of lessons from this experience that still affects your work to date?


After I graduated from school in NYC and floundered for a few years I returned to my home state of NC to rethink things. I figured until some other plan for my life ‘dropped in’ I would continue to audition for theater since it made me happiest. I booked a role in the play Butterflies Are Free at the Barn Dinner Theater in Greensboro, NC, my hometown. I was thrilled I was to receive $225 a week. I was now professional. Haha. I remember the  first day of rehearsal I arrived early. I was playing a blind young man so I figured I would wander around the stage set blindfolded to ‘feel’ out the room and connect with the character. My director walked in and said ‘take off the blindfold we’re blocking Act I.’ We mounted the show in two weeks. And yes, to this day I think, dive right in. Learn your lines and do your research. There is no perfection or getting it ‘right’. Bottom line is you have a show to do or a scene to film and you just have to show up and be vulnerable and listen and respond and don’t be concerned because you didn’t get to ‘sniff’ the furniture so to speak or go live in a cave somewhere to prepare for the role. It’s make believe. I’ll add that if you can perform in the ‘Round’ to a group of drunk patrons at a dinner theater that is the school of hard knocks training. 


It’s now been thirty years since my favorite childhood film was released, which would be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. One of your earliest roles was in this film, portraying a member of the legendary Foot Clan. With that being said, I am curious to know how your experience was working on this legendary (at least to me) film?


It was my first part in a movie. Which was a huge deal. A few lines as a Foot. And I got a close up! It enabled me to join the Screen Actors Guild. I was legit. Lol. In the back of my mind I probably thought I’d made it. It was fast. I arrived on set at Screen Gems in Wilmington, NC and the interior set for the junkyard was huge. We did a few takes of me running in the Foot hideout. I remember one of the Turtles played a Foot as well and had asked for some lines so they took away a couple of my lines and it irritated me. But I did get the big ‘His Face’ line to Shredder. It was thrilling. When I saw my image on the big screen I remember feeling queasy. HAHA! I just couldn’t take it. I left the theater after. I’ve never seen the entire movie. But to this day any male hovering around late thirties loves to hear I was in that film. I feel old now. Next question. 


In more recent years, you portrayed the character of Glen in the absolutely brilliant film The Peanut Butter Falcon. I am curious to know what drew you to work on this one? And how was your experience overall?


Every once in a while you get to work on something that turns out to be pretty special. It was simply another audition like any other. In fact the only name attached was Shia and I had not much of an idea what the plot was. I instinctively felt I could play it with a little southern flair so I channelled an old famous character actor named Strother Martin. Just had fun with it. Not too broad but outside the box I normally operate in. Four months later when I arrived to film, many big names were attached and it was a hot script. Dakota Johnson and I got to play and improvise a bit and we shot the scene over many takes. She was just delightful. The directors Tyler and Mike were very special cool fellas and I could tell the project was the most important thing in the world to them. It was truly a labor of love and a dream realised. My scene was cut in half practically, which is the norm, however what stayed in the picture was great and I couldn’t be prouder to have had a part in the film. 


If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or star in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?


Most of the figures that come to mind I would have loved to play at a younger age. Probably any figure from the early years of this country so the research would be fascinating and people wouldn’t have such a strong idea of who the person was. One of the more obscure semi famous figures. It’s tough to play someone who is an icon. For instance I loved Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash but most surely there was someone who didn’t buy it who was a rabid Cash fan. I would feel that way about an actor who played one of the Beatles. I used to fantasize about playing a cowboy or lawman in the Old West. However the truth is I’d probably have been cast as the guy in the telegraph office with the spectacles and little bill cap.

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


I am in fact filming parts on two tv series this very moment (one in RIchmond VA and the other in Atlanta). However productions are so secretive about their scripts and characters these days I had to sign NDA’s. Bummer. I WILL plug the studio I teach on camera acting at and where we tape hundreds of actors audition tapes weekly. Right in the Triad of NC. Check out in-studio.org. Drew Matthews and myself along with a few other extremely qualified gifted actors run this huge facility in Greensboro and honestly I would put the quality work we do right up there with anyone in the Southeast market in film/tv training. 


What was the last thing that made you smile? 


After I taped an actor for a part in a film last week (his first audition) he was so excited about the finished product that he was smiling and laughing so genuinely that it made me smile for real. 

Brian Thompson [Interview]

Hello Folks! Today we have a great interview with long time working, and self-proclaimed blue collar, actor. It’s Brian Thompson, Everyone!


Oddly enough, this interview came to be because of a random conversation I stumbled upon on my Facebook Timeline. I’m hardly on that wretched site, but it seemed to be fate this time around. Our old friend Randy Mazucca (a.k.a. Mr. Facebook, circa 2013) mentioned that the man who portrayed Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was from our shared hometown of Longview, Washington. I was intrigued, and had to look him up. 
And now here we are! Thompson has worked on a plethora of damn fine films and television series. Currently he has a reoccurring role, as fire captain Gerard on the Fox Original series 9-1-1, and has appeared on other fine shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files. His film credits include, The Terminator, Cobra, Flight of the Living Dead (directed by our old friend Scott Thomas!), I Am That Man, and many more.
On a personal note, Brian actually made me take a deeper look into the place that I call home. I have actually been the cliché (spoiler alert, he says it below) person when talking about where I am from. But, Brian’s words actually helped me put things into a better perspective. So, dearest Longview….my bad.
Alright, so Folks, please enjoy some incredible words from the accomplished Brian Thompson!


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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something that you aspired to do since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day? 

 I had asked friend Paul Delashaw if he wanted a ride home from school, spring of 1977 about three months prior to graduation from Mark Morris High.  He said, no that he was trying out for the school play then exclaimed, “Brian, there’s a part you’d be GREAT FOR!”  I ended up playing the Russian ballet instructor “Boris Kolenkov” in You Can’t Take It With You.  The entire experience was delightful bordering on ecstasy. It didn’t hurt that three of the girls who would always turn my head were in the play as well.  I got to be near them for several weeks in a row: Julie Lafaw, Nancy Johnson, and Marcia Jacobsen — beautiful, kind, loving creatures. I cherish that experience.  I probably am the only person who still to this day owns a poster from the play, it is framed in my living room. At age 61, the title is an affirmation, “You can’t take it with you…”  The summer after highs school I fought forest fires on for a forestry company.   At the end of that summer I walked onto the Central Washington University football team. At the start of the winter quarter, I saw an audition notice for Guys & Dolls. I think I sang happy birthday that night at the audition. I haven’t stopped acting since.  I started out majoring in music/piano. My father who was a science teacher at Robert A Long High School, was wounded by the declining salaries of teachers. He knew Central was heralded for its business program.  The thought of his son graduating with a degree that didn’t equate with a viable job, caused him much concern. I ended up graduating with a degree in Business Management, but I lived in the drama department. My backpack was full of plays. If I read a monologue that I liked, it wouldn’t leave me alone until I had it memorized. My senior year, without telling anyone, I auditioned for graduate acting programs and got a full ride to the University of California Irvine, where we acted, sang, and danced around 12 hours a day 7 days a week. I was obsessed. Acting was something that I couldn’t stop myself from doing.  I would walk by a closed theater and start vibrating, “they do plays in there!”  UCI was a three year program and half way through my second year I started sneaking off to auditions in Hollywood, just for practice.  I ended up getting some of the jobs. During my last year at Irvine in 1984, I found an agent, became a member of the Screen Actors Guild, did two commercials, two television shows, and one feature film, the original Terminator.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this project that still affects your work to date?  

During my junior year at Central, I auditioned for the Cripple Creek Melodrama, and was hired. I unfortunately had been hospitalized just prior to when I was supposed to join the company. I convinced the doctor to let me out of the hospital. I was still in a lot of pain. The doctor gave me one more shot of morphine, and I hopped on a plane.  You had to audition for your roles once arriving.  When in the hospital, they had put a tube in my stomach, but the first couple attempts the tube hit my vocal cords and they were bruised.  I tried to sing at the audition but my voice kept cracking. I apologized to the director and producer, told them about the mishap with the tube, and that I was very tired and needed to sleep. I woke up 24 hours later (they had sent a doctor to check on me twice) and learned that I no longer had a job and they had given my parts to an actor who had mistakenly thought an audition application was an offer for work and had driven all the way to Cripple Creek.  So what did I learn?  From the actor who drove all the way there with no job, take chances, something good does have a chance of happening.  For myself, the show must go on. If you snooze you lose.

So, I learned from your bio that you and I share a same hometown! I grew up, for the most part, in Kelso-Longview, Washington. Where I understand you also grew up as well? I know I already asked about inspirations, but I am also curious to know if a blue collar community like Cowlitz County had any influence on joining the world of entertainment?

 I’m very fond of Longview.  Wood shop, metal shop, and auto mechanics classes were a part of our culture. We breed capable people who know how to fix things and know what hard work is. I had a great swimming coach Richard Stumph, who beat into my head, “whether you say you can or you say you can’t you’re right.”  We shared a lot of success together saying, “I say I CAN!”.  That solidified my belief in incremental progress towards a goal.  I paid for my first year of college with savings and working the entire summer at Reese Brothers foresters at $3.75 an hour, but after 40 hours you got time and a half and after 60 hours a week you got double time.  I only took 3 days off the entire summer and averaged 90 hours of pay per week.  I had been working several days in a row when I first started. Luck put me in the cab with one of the two Reese brothers. On the way to the job site, he somewhat apologetically said, “We don’t pay a lot here, but if a guy is willing to work, you can make some serious money.”  I replied, “Yes, today is my 11th day in a row.”  He did a double take, “What’d you say your name was?”  The next day when I arrived for work, one of the foreman handed me a set of keys and pointed at a crew van, “You’re driving.”  Everyone wanted to be a driver as now you were paid for your time to the work site. When we worked on the Oregon coast, it added as much as 6 hours a day to your salary.  A shout out to all my Reese Brother’s Brothers. You know what we did and how many people we saw who quit halfway through the day and asked to go back and sit in the van. To the tens of thousands of trees we planted, forest fires we put out, and the miles upon miles of fire trails we dug by hand on terrain so steep that you couldn’t swing a pulaski without being roped in.  So you ask if Longview had any influence on joining the world of entertainment? I was never a person who said the cliche, “I have to get out of this town.” It was never a conscious decision to leave Longview. I was simply following a path to find a way that acting could bring income. No one in Longview, especially not my parents, ever encouraged me to attempt it, quite the opposite. This is not a fault of anyone. To their credit they know the absurd chances of finding sustained employment as an actor. Every time I get a job, I hear a very incredulous yet quiet voice, saying, “How’d that happen?”  Of the approximately 50 actors that I knew at Irvine who were picked out of hundreds for their professional promise, only a handful of us found some employment, and after about ten years, I was last actor standing. Longview is full of hard working honest people.  When I get to portray those roles, my interaction with them for certain, is a blessing.



While you have worked in several different genres, one of them you have done some wonderful work in is the world of horror. Including 2019’s Hoax, which you starred alongside our friend and former interviewee Adrienne Barbeau. So, I am curious to know how you enjoy working in the world of horror? What do you believe it is that sets it apart from the plethora of other genres you have worked on? 

For the average blue collar actor of which I count myself a member, you seldom ever get to pick your jobs. The jobs pick you. Actors love what? ACTING!  The joy of creating a character, memorizing lines, then getting to take these characters to play, is the joy.  The jobs that come your way are often the highlights of your year. The jobs are the vacation, especially when you are a supporting actor.  I’ve done a few leads and the leads get their ass kicked. Supporting parts are usually a few lines or scenes, with lots of days off in between. I’ve travelled all over Europe on my days between being on sets. With the exception of a few days, Hoax was a vacation. We were in a stunning location high in the Colorado Rockies, and there were lots of days off. Matt Allan the director was an actor’s director, kind, funny, and well prepared. What sets horror apart? That something bad is going to happen to these characters and a makeup artist is going to show up with gallons of blood.  Suddenly the story becomes dark, really dark, and these characters that you love, have horrible things happen to them. One of the darkest productions, dark as in haunting, that I’ve ever experienced is Joel Coen’s Macbeth. The scenes I have with Denzel Washington as Macbeth, are horrifying as we grown men are contemplating and planning murder. That’s horrifying. 

One particular project that you worked on that truly blew me away was the 2017 film Trafficked. I know what I enjoyed Siddharth Kara’s story so much, but I am curious to know what drew you to this project? What made you want to be a part of this project?  

Once again, the jobs pick you. I learned of it first from my agent Mike Eisenstadt. I read the script. Human trafficking was a subject that I knew of, but had no idea of the extent it is being propagated in the US. Being involved in projects that help mend social ills, is very important. In scripted form, these projects are rare, so I was eager to help. During the past year I have been able to watch more documentaries than at any other time. Probably very much like many americans who now have a deeper relationship with Amazon Prime and Netflix:  Docs I highly recommend: HBO’s Q-anon, Food Inc, Scientology the aftermath, Forks over Knives, Athlete A, Bikram, Seaspiracy, The Great Hack, What the Health, Last Breath, Dirty Money, Fyre, The College Admissions Scandal, Bob Lazar: Area 51, Gloriavale, Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle, Going Clear, NIXIVM, Holy Hell, Children of God.


If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or star in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be? 

Elon Musk. I don’t believe that the average person understands exponential change and how rapidly our culture is going to change — Moore’s law and AI.  A movie that gets inside the philosophy of Musk will introduce many more people to the digital tsunami that is arriving, including crypto currency, as well as the environmental benefits of the world he is moving us to.  The world that he envisions is a healthier safer world. I’m all for carbon taxing now. Petrochemical companies are as liable as the tobacco companies. This includes plastics.  Coal rolling and unnecessary acceleration should be outlawed. We do not have the right to pollute indiscriminately. If you don’t want it in your house, in your air, with your children, why do you allow it outside? 


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

Captain Gerard is returning to 911. There’s a special special agent showing up on NCIS LA.  Then Macbeth, directed by Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers. I’m an ardent supporter of St. Judes, Best Buddies, NEXT for autism, & Operation Hope that is chaired by Longview’s Mark Morris graduate, Jennifer Trubenbach. I encourage readers to share their good fortune with them, as they a really are moving the needle. If you happen to be on the west coast of California or Oregon, you might catch me wing-foiling. Google it.

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

I smile a lot when Shari, my girlfriend of 22 years comes home, or when we sit down to share meals that we prepare. We haven’t been to a restaurant in years.  But the last thing that made me smile actually was Guillermo our painter, just showed up at the door and it was a big smile to see him after several years. That was my last real smile, as he happened by just before I answered this q. 

Trey Galyon [Interview]

Hello Folks! Today we have another great interview with another outstanding comedian. It’s brilliant comedian Trey Galyon. I became a fan of Trey’s several years ago, in a way that I’m sure a lot of his fans have gotten to know his work – through his smattering of appearances on the wonderful podcast Doug Loves Movies. Much like the show’s host, Doug Benson, Trey has made a name for himself for being somewhat of a “green comic”. He likes weed, Folks. Like, a lot. And it’s wonderful. And even beyond the weed humor, he’s just a genuinely hilarious comedian. I strongly recommend his latest album, Live From Creep Records, which is one of my favorite albums of the last decade. 

And beyond the world of comedy and podcast guesting, Trey has moved on to put the title of podcast host to his resume. Alongside fellow DLM fave, Geoff Tate, and Geoff’s brother Troy, they have a movie podcast entitled Ruff Drafts, in which they draft movies with specific themes. For example, movies that feature a talk show host, or dog movies, or Ice Cube/Ice-T movies. It’s absolutely hilarious, and you should definitely check it out.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful responses from one of my favorite comedians (back) out there in the world today. Enjoy!

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What inspired you to get into the world of comedy? Was it something that you aspired to do since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?


I always wanted to be a comedian. It never seemed realistic, so I went to college and got random jobs and got fired from most of them, so decided to start writing things a thought were funny in notebooks. I did that for a couple of years before I started going to open mics and watching. It took a while to finally get my nerve up enough to try one, and loved it from the moment I did my first open mic.


What was your first paid gig in the world of comedy? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this project that still affects your work to date?


My first paying gig was an opening spot at River Center Comedy Club in San Antonio. The people that owned Cap City in Austin at the time, also owned River Center so they’d send Austin comics down there to open from time to time. Your home club is generally the last one to book you for a paying gig. Thats just kinda how it was back then.

We always like to ask comedians who have been all over the place this one question: What are some hidden gem cities, venues, etc. in some of the “fly over” states across the country that many people may not realize are wonderful places to perform in?


Colorado Springs gets overlooked. It’s close to Denver and VERY conservative, but they’ve had comedy there for a long time. Loonee’s Comedy Corner was one of my first road gigs. The people there are a tough crowd, but I always looked at it as just making me more well rounded. Knoxville, TN is great! They have a very cool vibe and plenty of smaller venues that you can do shows at. Dead Crow Comedy in Wilmington, NC is pretty dope too. I never woulda gone to that town if it wasn’t for comedy. The club is run by cool people and the town is small with an artsy feel. Plus, there’s a Waffle House right next to the club!

I became a fan of yours from your multiple appearances on the acclaimed podcast Doug Loves Movies. I know it’s been a hot minute, but I am curious to know what you enjoy about appearing on this particular podcast?


I enjoy doing DLM because I’ve been friends with Doug for a long time and it’s fun to do stuff with friends! Plus, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of cool people doing it. Show biz people and fans. Parking lot hangs after a show with those fans are the best!



And now, you have your very own podcast alongside fellow DLM legend Geoff Tate and his brother Troy entitled Ruff Drafts. Can you tell our readers a bit about it? What should the expect to enjoy?


I’ve known Geoff for a long time too, so it’s just fun to be able to do something with him every week even tho we live in different towns. I see him more than a lot of my NYC comedy friends right now. That’s one of the few benefits of this Zoom meeting thing. Having Troy on is great just to even out the dumb talk me and Geoff throw around during the show. Troy gets us back on track. Ruff Drafts is just a simple movie draft where we pick a category each episode and draft our favorite movies in that category

If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or star in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?


Hunter Thompson. A true American!

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


Who knows what the future holds? That’s kinda the groovy thing about the future. I’ll always have comedy in my life. Family and comedy. We’ll figure out the rest as it comes

What was the last thing that made you smile?


The last thing that made me smile was arguing about LeBron James with Geoff earlier today. I think LeBron has kids locked up in his basement and Geoff disagrees

Charlotte Larsen [Interview]

Hello Folks! As many of you know, this our tenth and final year of bringing Trainwreck’d Society to the world. We’ve done hundreds of interviews, all equally fascinating in their own ways. A lot of the time we have creators from projects we already know and love, which is always great. But, one of the other fun things to do is to learn about some folks we may not have been aware of for some reason. I’ve spent years working with some of the best PR firms in the business, and discovering new talent across the globe to showcase here at TWS. And today is no exception! We are headed down under today to share some words with trailblazing producer of film and television, Charlotte Larsen!

Charlotte has managed to bring some very intriguing projects to light, especially some based in her homeland of New Zealand. She is a bright, creative soul, and we are so excited to have her grace our digital pages today. So, Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Charlotte Larsen! 

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 What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something that you aspired to do since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I wanted to be an actor since I was a child. At age 10 I got my first role in a play and really enjoyed it. I did more plays in school and decided I wanted to be an actor, so I went to college to study theater and film. After that, I started a production company and fell into producing through that.

 What was your first paid gig in the world of film and television? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this project that still affects your work to date?

My first paid gig was when I started my company. I wasn’t really paid a fee for the work, but we made money on the project, which went back into my company to grow it into bigger things. It was a tv talk show series called FixTV, which was great fun to work on!

 Having worked in both the New Zealand market of film and television, as well as the states, I am curious to know how they compare to one another? And how would you say they differ?

The film industry in NZ is a lot smaller – a lot less people in the country! Usually this means you know everyone you’re working with even if it’s the first time working with them. In the US, there are so many shows and films and small indie projects and big studio projects that unless you are making your own work or are a permanent hire for a company, you usually don’t know anyone who is on the project. That’s both a good and a bad thing – the diversity of people you meet each time makes the experience different and you really get to make a new mini family with every new project!

If you were handed the opportunity to create the biopic of any legendary figure in New Zealand history, who would it be? Why?

Taika Waititi! Well, he’s not really historical yet, so if I had to choose, I would say maybe Kate Sheppard. She was our most famous suffragette, making New Zealand the first country in the world to give women the right to vote!

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

I have several projects I’m trying to sell right now. I work a lot with my best friend and roommate, Michael Benzaia, who is a very talented actor, writer, singer and dancer. I am in awe of his drive and talent, and we have a few projects we are developing. My favorite is a TV drama series called Neon Lights which I hope we can get made sometime very soon! After that, I am just hoping to be able to get to London to see my mom, and to New Zealand to see the rest of my family!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

It was either a dog I follow on Facebook called Tucker Budzyn (he is also on Instagram), or something Michael said/did, because he’s always doing something silly and fun!