Trainwreck’d Society’s Top 100 Albums 2009-2018 Part 1: 100 – 76 [Exclusive]

 

 

So with it being the year 2019, Everyone seems to be wanting to make a list or seven about their favorite albums of the the 10’s, which is still so weird to say for so many reasons. But alas, it is a thing to do, and sometimes reflecting on some wonderful albums past can be therapeutic. And who doesn’t love a good bit of nostalgia for things that you didn’t even realized happen so long ago? So let’s not condemn the obvious here, and just try to have some fun with it?

With that being said, I personally felt that we should do thing s a bit differently here at Trainwreck’d Society, as we often tend to do. I decided I wanted to showcase the Top 100 albums that have made our Top (insert random number here, used to be 37 1/2 specifically, but you know, times change) Albums list since I have been doing these lists. Now, there are a couple of technicalities that need to be addressed before we progress, forward, as I know that the handful of regular readers here are already addressing to themselves and prepping wordy responses that I would rather avoid. Yes, the site has only been around since 2011, so we don’t quite fit the whole decade. Yes, we have already posted lists from 2009-2011 that were originally published on the somewhat previous iteration of TWS known as TART Productions Blog, and several of the albums from those years will be included. With that, I feel the direct need to state this: I’ll do what I want. I decided to move them over to here, a lot of people enjoyed seeing them over here, so why back away now, right?

And lastly, it is with somewhat of a heavy heart that I have to admit that there is actually a two year gap in this list do to the fact that TWS took a 15 month hiatus from July 2015 to October 2016, which left both of these years pretty much unaccounted for. It was dark period for us here at TWS, so sadly those years of (probably) wonderful albums will not be represented in this list. And somewhat related, you will notice some numerical figures beneath the album title. They represent what year they made a TWS list, and what position they were in back then. So that’s fun, right?

But hey, despite all of the asterisk and faults that make this a very human-like site, we have some incredible albums to either remind you of once again, or to make you have that sense of pride that is probably unworthy but still feels so good in knowing that another person feels the same as you about it’s worthiness to even be considered in even the most unorthodox of end of decade lists.

So Folks, please enjoy what we are calling Trainwreck’d Society’s Top 100 Albums 2009-2018. Because why would we give you 2019’s best already? December has barely begun. That’s just not fair. Thanks for reading! And as I would like to pay tribute to the other masters of time suckage that are even more prevalent than this site, in terms that my kid’s swim teams would understand, and I’m sure you will all too by the titles: “This event will be swam in 4 heats, this is heat 1”. Enjoy!

 

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  1. ST. VINCENT – ACTOR

(2011, #36)

 

  1. OF MONSTERS AND MEN – MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL

(2012, #30)

 

  1. THE SPIN DOCTORS – IF THE RIVER WAS WHISKEY

(2013, #31)

 

  1. THE MIDNIGHT VEIN – THE MIDNIGHT VEIN

(2018, #20)

 

  1. A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS W/ THE PRAGUE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA – ASCENSION

(2018, #14)

 

  1. GASOLINE MONK – DISLOCATED JOINTS VOL. 1

(2011, #23)

 

  1. THE VERVE PIPE – OVERBOARD

(2014, #8)

 

  1. COWBOY MOUTH – GO

(2014, #17)

 

  1. HOTPANTS ROMANCE – IT’S A HEATWAVE

(2009, #27)

 

  1. PORTUGAL. THE MAN – AMERICAN GHETTO

(2010, #6)

 

  1. THE COFFIN COLLECTORS – LEOPARDSKIN TALES

(2011, #37)

 

  1. PASSENGER – THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF

  1. KANYE WEST – MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED ROMANCE

  1. THE ATLANTIC MANOR – THE WORLD BENEATH THE WORLD IS BRIGHTENING

  1.          REEL BIG FISH – LIFE SUCKS, LET’S DANCE

  1. ANDREW JOSLYN – AWAKE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN

  1. FABOLOUS & JADAKISS – FRIDAY ON ELMSTREET

  1. GRAYSON CAPPS – SCARLET ROSE

  1. AYRON JAMES & THE WAY – AUDIO PAINT JOB

  1. STAR ANNA – GO TO HELL

  1. SIMPLE STEVEN – ABANDON ALL ANCHORS

  1. SERGIUS GREGORY – SOUNDS LIKE PEOPLE

  1. THE HANDCUFFS – WAITING FOR THE ROBOT

  1. ATMOSPHERE – THE FAMILY SIGN

  1. BIKE THIEF – STUCK IN A DREAM

Teri Brown-Jackson [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! And welcome to what may be our very last interview of 2019! It has been a incredible year making all of these wonderful friends, and our guest today is truly the cherry on top of the proverbial cake that would emulate our year here at Trainwreck’d Society. It’s the wonderful Teri Brown-Jackson, Everyone! Teri has an incredible story of triumph, especially in the world of television writing. She has worked on some of the finest programs you know and love, such as a personal favorite of mine, House of Payne, as well as the hit series The Parkers, and as I would learn in the answers below, one of my favorite series from my youth, In The House. I will admit, I felt pretty ashamed about the fact that I had forgotten about this wonderful show that I thoroughly loved in my youth. Yet, I am so excited that we Teri had some wonderful things to say about this delightful series, her work on the absolutely brilliant House of Payne, and SO much more.

So Folks, please enjoy some incredible words from the insanely talented human being that is Teri Brown-Jackson! We shall catch you again in 2020 with some more incredible interviews after the December recaps of the year/decade that are coming soon. Until then, please enjoy this absolutely amazing interview that we are so happy to have cap off our year! Take care!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an aspiration you have had since you were very young? Or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I actually fell into it starting out as a journalist. After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in telecommunications/journalism, I planned on becoming a news broadcaster. I knew what I wanted so my senior year of high school I got braces because I needed the perfect smile. Lol (Thank God I had my senior pictures taken before the braces came on.) Anyway, I had several internships at NBC and CBS affiliate stations while attending MSU, so when I moved to Los Angeles, one of my first jobs was working at KFWB news radio as an editor assistant. Soon I found out I would have to start out in a smaller market like Barstow if I really wanted to pursue that career. Knowing that I didn’t want to relocate to “hick town USA,” I had to alter my career path.

Then one day a neighbor, who knew I wrote for news, asked if I would be willing to be his writing partner because he tried several times to get into the Warner Brothers Writers Workshop, and was denied each time. He figured he’d have a better chance if he teamed up with me. He taught me what he knew about sitcom writing and together we wrote a spec script. Funny, I don’t even remember what that spec was, but we entered it into the Warner Brothers Workshop, and we got in. From then on I went from journalism to entertainment writing and never looked back.

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

Okay, this is going to tell my age, but my first gig was working on In The House not to be confused with House of Payne. This was a sitcom on NBC staring L.L. Cool J. I’m happy this was my first job, but I soon learned all the “glitz isn’t glamor”; like learning that promises can be made all day, but unless it’s in your contract, it doesn’t mean much. I also learned that some people are willing to do anything for a little taste of money, and this business can be cut throat.

Unfortunately, after one season, my writing partner and I went separate ways, and I had to reestablish myself as a single writer. I think the hardest part from that experience was losing a partner, a friend, and my agent behind it.

You worked as a writer on a sitcom that was one of a kind for its time I believe, and that would be House of Payne. I am curious to know how your experience was working on this program? Was there anything that set itself apart from other projects you had worked on prior?

Working on House of Payne was like working on a sitcom to the 10th power. It was ground breaking because prior to that show the typical format was after a table read, the writers would work on that same script for the rest of the week until the day of shoot, which could be 4 days later. Each day we would make edits or punch up the script after each run-thru so on the day of the shoot, we knew we had a tight and funny show. Hearing the audience laugh during the taping was our confirmation. That all changed working on House of Payne. Instead of taking the time to produce one episode a week, we were shooting 2-3 episodes per week, which was unheard of. It felt like we were a well-refined factory kicking out shows. While one episode was being shot, we would be working on two different episodes in the writers’ room. It was crazy. While half of the writers were working from L.A., the other half were in Atlanta at Tyler Perry Studios. We would work by conference call with the Atlanta writers every day.

Normally it takes five seasons (or five years) to produce 100 episodes, which is the goal to become syndicated. We however produced 100 episodes in one season. Btw, I also learned how to write well under pressure. (LOL)

 

 

If you were handed the opportunity to write and produce the biopic or series about any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

It’s funny that you ask. Years ago I read the autobiography and wrote a biopic on the First Family of Gospel, The Winans. Unfortunately, things fell through and it never came to fruition. However, currently as we speak I am working on a biopic about Isaac Hayes with my manger/actor Ro Brooks. Isaac Hayes has an amazing rags to riches story. He was entered into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and is the first African-American to win an Academy Award for a music score, yet people still know little about him.

There are so many amazing people with untold stories, and one day I will write another one. But for now, I’ll take one at a time.

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

My desire is to be the next Shonda Rhimes, having several TV shows on the air at the same time and during hiatus write award winning feature films. Until then I plan on teaching a Half-Hour TV Spec Writing class at UCLA Extension this spring, and my award winning short film, Dark Chocolate, can be seen at various film festivals around town.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I really smile every day. In fact, most people don’t know when I’m having a bad day. My grandma used to say, “Any day above ground is a good day,” and that alone should give you a reason to smile.

 

Sunday Matinee: Cuck [Film]

 

Cuck is a gripping fly-on-the wall character study and psychosexual thriller tracking an isolated and lonely young man as he is indoctrinated into the online echo chambers of Alt-Right Ideology and hate. Touching on several topical nerves, Cuck gives a raw, unforgiving glimpse into a dark world that hides in plain site.” – cuckthefilm.com

 

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Strap in, Folks. Because holy mother of hell do we have a film to tell you about. Believe me, as shocked as you may be by the name of this film, I can guarantee you that the content of this masterpiece of a film is going to shake your world even more. It’s actually sort of sad, and definitely frightening, that this film could have easily been a straight up documentary about the times we are living in. Cuck is a film that examines the tough reality that is alive and shockingly thriving in the US, and the world, in this day and age. Zachary Ray Sherman gives a performance that is almost too spot on as a “repressed” white nationalist who feel alienated from factions of his country who strive towards progress. He feels isolated from everything in the world – especially the opposite gender in which he is attracted to, yet wants nothing to do with him. It’s this sort of behavior and thought patterns that have caused some of the insane tragedies, one being a presidential election (Hey O!), that have been far too frequent in the last 20 years, at least. Again, I have to reiterate here, as crazy as you think a film like this will be, I promise you it is more than that. Take your initial reactions, and prepare to have them shattered.

 

 

Controversy and down-right sadness aside, I feel as though it is important to acknowledge that Cuck is also a very well made work of art. Filmmaker Rob Lambert has a very obvious gift, and I am so excited to continue to examine his work in the years to come. And holy shit, Mr. Sherman! Former guest here at TWS, and star/writer/director of yet ANOTHER amazing film to be released in 2019 (Barbie’s Kenny) gives a performance that is hands down one of the best I have ever seen. He is almost unrecognizable from his previous roles on series like Everything Sucks! and the aforementioned Barbie’s Kenny. He clearly put on a ton of weight for this role, proving his dedication to the performance side of storytelling is some of the best in the game today. Seriously Folks, I wasn’t sure how Zach could outdo himself from his previous work, but hot damn he managed to pull it off.

I implore EVERYONE to watch this gem of a film. Cuck is one of the most important films of the last decade, and should be viewed by all.

 

Cuck is available on VOD now wherever you purchase wonderful films. Visit cuckthefilm.com for more details!

 

 

Saturday Special: Animal Among Us [Film]

 

“Fifteen years ago, two teenage girls were murdered at Merrymaker Campgrounds. The case was filed as an animal attack, the camp was condemned, and the killer never found. But something horrific still waits in those woods, ready to kill again.” – October Coast PR

 

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Hello Folks! I am very excited to share with you all, a brand new thriller that I can guarantee you is going to be a big surprise. Please allow me to explain. The film, for all extensive marketing and publicity reasons, is billed as a Bigfoot movie. Which is indeed, a fair description. Sort of. Much like a film like Jaws could, for the sake of fairness, be deemed a “killer shark” movie. But, when you dig deeper beneath the surface of what is happening in the film, you will begin to see that one of the key elements of the film is not actually a scary AF monster hidden somewhere out in the woods, but it is the human condition. It’s about familial loyalty. It’s about surviving in this world with the odds that were place before us, and the sometimes absolutely psychotic lengths we will go to in order to protect what we feel we deserve. The Bigfoot element of Animal Among Us is more of a metaphorical glue that is holding the fabric of these characters together. The element of “things aren’t as they seem”  begins to take even more prevalence whilst watching this extremely well done film than the idea that there is something out there in the woods waiting for you to become its meal. This is a suspense/thriller that has heart. Albeit a dark twisted and frightening heart, but heart none the less.

Or maybe I’m overthinking it? I don’t really believe this, but it’s comforting to know that I can recommend a film that is simply a delight and should be enjoyed by all even if you don’t feel like dissecting a Bigfoot film to be something larger than it really is. That’s fine. There’s something here for everyone!

 

 

No matter how you decide to decipher the meaning behind Animal Among Us, it can not be denied that director John Woodruff has taken a brilliantly written script from Jonathan Murphy and spun cinematic gold in this wonderfully stylized thriller. And you simply cannot sleep on this incredible cast! Everyone was fantastic, but it behooves me to specifically mention the “Bishop trio” of Heather Tom, Christine Donlon, and Larisa Oleynik. The latter being a specific performer who I have thoroughly enjoyed for over a couple of decades now.  Suffice to say that I went from the age of 9 to 13 during Larisa’s run of The Secret Life of Alex Mack. Take from this information what you will, but just know that a quarter of a century later, Oleynik is still a force to be reckoned with, and absolutely crushes it in this truly wonderful film!

 

Animal Among Us is available now on VOD and DVD from Uncork’d Entertainment.

 

Marissa Melnyk [Interview]

 

Hey Folks! Happy Friday to you all. I am so damned excited to share this incredible interview with you all. Over the last 3 years or so, I have looked forward to every Thursday for the dropping of the best podcast out there in the digital airwaves today. That podcast would be the brilliant All Fantasy Everything. We’ve talked about it quite a bit here at TWS, especially since I first discovered the podcast through our interview with co-host Sean Jordan! We’ve also had the honor of having fellow co-host David Gborie (who we just talked about last Saturday, actually) on the site a couple of years ago as well. And today we have a third member of the Good Vibes Gang with us here today! It’s the incredible, super producer Marissa Melnyk!

Some of you may know her as the background giggler for AFE, and if you know this, you know that she is an absolute gem of a human being who is adored by the show’s hosts and my fellow fans in the All Family Everything as well. Or maybe from Punch Up the Jam, where she also does some amazing work. Or any other delightful HeadGum podcast she’s worked on! It is such an honor having Marissa with us today gracing our digital pages. While I love all of our guests equally, I really really wanted to learn a bit more about the greatest producer in podcast history! And she does not disappoint! She gave some wonderful answers, and I am so excited for you all to check them out!

So, I will stop my babbling, and just get right into it! Folks, please enjoy some amazing words from the even more amazing person, the great Marissa Melnyk!

 

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What inspired you to get into your line of work? Was production in the world of entertainment you have wanted to do so since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world?

I watched a lot of TV growing up and liked the idea of producing entertainment for others. The idea of working on something that could make a stranger somewhere around the world laugh,  felt very fulfilling to me. I’d always been a fan of technology and the “behind-the-scenes” of production, and I put that in practice through making content for the web.

I never expected to fall into podcasting, but it oddly came full circle in my life. The first podcast I listened to regularly was the Nerdist podcast with Chris Hardwick. My favourite episodes were the “hostfuls”, where Chris, Jonah, and Matt would just gab for an hour. They often would reference their off mic producer Katie Levine, and I always wondered just what her role was on the show. 8 years later, I now find myself working on a show where 3 hosts gab and I sit off mic as a producer. It’s a little surreal that ultimately Katie’s position that I questioned about, I would find myself in years later. 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And where there any sort of lessons learned from this project that you still use in your work today?

I used to love attending local anime conventions, where I would bring my DSLR camera to shoot cosplay montage videos. It was a fun way to practice videography, editing, and get a free media badge for the weekend. 

Many of my freelance videography jobs I got were through people watching my videos on YouTube, or seeing me filming in public. This cosplay side project lead to job opportunities, which eventually built to bigger projects. Looking back on it, it taught me that the best way to get into the industry is to just start making something. Just do the thing and learn every step of the production- from planning, shooting, editing, publishing, and marketing. It lead me to understand what roles I was passionate about, and allowed me to be a flexible player in any project. 

Having that passion project was so valuable. It’s a great learning experience and in the end you’ll have a published product online that can be seen and shared. And could lead to the eyes of your next employer. 

I also learned that word-of-mouth is a very powerful tool – if you’re nice and a good person to work with, the word will spread to others, and more opportunities will come your way. 

I am a proud member of one of the greatest families of all time, the All Family Everything. I never miss an episode of All Fantasy Everything. It’s so great, and the work you do on the show shines through. So, what is it like to work on a show like this? Is it as much fun to work on as it is for us to listen to?

Aha, the All Family is the best family. The boys give me too much credit – I just ensure it’s tech’d and published to the web. it’s their amazing personalities, heart, and good vibes that make the show so special. 

When hosts work day jobs, we often record evenings or weekends – but it never feels like work when you’re working with those guys. They are 100% certified good, funny AF dudes.  And the emotionally-open nature they promote has lead to real positive influences on my mental health, and for many of our listeners too. We’ve gotten some amazing feedback from listeners who started pursuing self-care or therapy after hearing it promoted frequently on the podcast, which is nice to know the show has made a positive impact on people’s lives.

AFE’s host dynamic emanates the same magic that drew me to podcast listening in the first place, and now having the opportunity to produce that content for others to enjoy makes it rewarding work. 

 

 

What would you say is your favorite AFE pick thus far?

It was Nicole Byer’s first pick in the “Dating” draft. The stakes were high – It was her first time on the podcast for a very open-ended topic, so she could’ve gone anywhere with it. Nicole was set to draft first, and since the first pick tends to set the tone of the entire show, there was a lot of pressure on what it would be.  I remember waiting with bated breath to see what she would draft as her #1 pick about “Dating” … and her answer was “Being Eaten Out”. 

It made me laugh a lot. She nailed it.

Another wonderful HeadGum podcast you work on that I never miss when it comes out, is the incredible Punch Up The Jam. It’s so much fun, and again, you do amazing work on it! So sort of the same questions: Is working on Punch Up The Jam as fun to work on as it is to listen to?

Demi and Miel are such incredibly talented people, and I’m always blown away by their work every week making the punch ups. That’s another show I felt so lucky just to be in the same room. What listeners don’t get to experience is the amazing energy during the recording – When the song clips play there’s often scream-singing, dancing and head banging. The hype is contagious. 

That show’s format is incredibly fun to edit and taught me a lot about mixing music in podcasting. Fans might notice the latest All Fantasy Everything musical draft episodes (such as Weddings Dance Songs, Disney Songs, and an upcoming Love Songs episode) have musical clips heavily incorporated in the mix, and I thank PUTJ for giving me the practise.

Plus that show has such a killer theme song. Anytime I hear “PUNCH IT” I wanna throw a fist in the air. It’s just so good.

And what would you say is your favorite Punch Up that Miel or Demi have made?

Hands down, it’s the “Sk8r Boi” punch up they did together. They turned my middle school anthem into a hauntingly beautiful musical performance. Having grown up as an angsty Avril Lavigne-loving teen who also loved broadway musicals, this punch up really resonated with me. 

It’s so well produced and truly an experience – an absolute gem of a track hidden at the end of a podcast episode. 

Your Instagram is deifnitely one of my favorites. You get into the BEST shenanigans involving the world of video games, podcasting, etc. I understand you were actually just back in your homeland for the Toronto International Film Festival. Simply out of curiousity, how was your trip? Were you there to promote a specific project, or just because you are dope and you do dope shit?

Aha TIFF was great. I used to volunteer with the festival for years before I worked there freelance. Working there was a very rewarding experience since it introduced me to my mentor, Aaron Van Domelen, who taught me most of what I know today. 

This trip however, I wanted to enjoy the festival instead of work it. I also brought my Michigan-based boyfriend Zach, and it was great to experience the city through his eyes. Would an American love the city as much as I do? Luckily, he loved it! Toronto’s an amazing city, and it really lights up around TIFF’s season. I was recognized twice there from my podcasting work – which is just so wild to me? Most people who listen to podcasts don’t know what the show’s hosts look like. So the fact that people could recognize me who works off-mic on a show is just crazy to me. It’s really magical when it happens though, because it allows me to geek out about my love for the podcasts with a listener.

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

I recorded my first guest appearance on All Fantasy Everything! We drafted Bucket List Items, which is a topic I’ve been wanting to draft for nearly a year. Just had to wait until I had the nerve to appear on-mic.

HeadGum is also launching a slate of new original shows soon with some amazing new talent. Be on the lookout for it!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Just about every podcast episode makes me laugh, so the last thing that made me smile would be the last thing I edited. At the time of writing, I just finished editing All Fantasy Everything “Scariest Fictional Characters” In the episode there’s a lot of mention of “peepee poopoo” and David had a bit about “cutting off his dumps” which made me laugh a lot. It may not sound like the best sell for the podcast, but it was really silly. 

I’m thankful that I get to laugh a lot at my job 🙂

 

Amos Crawley [Interview]

 

Today’s interview subject is another incredible performer who has been in the world of entertainment longer than he has had full functioning memories. We’ve managed to talk with quite a few of these folks in the past, but it is always interesting how their experiences aren’t always similar. Fortunately for us, one similarity is that it all has worked out pretty well for them. But the main similarity is that they are all truly talented people who have continued to do incredible work through careers lasting over 30 years, yet they aren’t even 40 yet!

Such is the case with today’s incredible performer, the great Amos Crawley. Amos has been working both on screen and in the voice over world on some of the greatest projects you know and love. Some projects that have been reoccurring here at TWS quite frequently would be classic programs like Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps, and the more recent Netflix Original Series Anne with an E, which features our guest from last week, Helen Johns, and our previous guest Philip Williams!

In the wonderful and inspiring words below, Amos gives us some great words about his beginnings in the world of entertainment, some antidotes about being a teenager on the set of Billy Madison, and so much for great stuff. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the incredible Amos Crawley!

 

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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?

I actually just went into the family business. My paternal grandparents, Budge and Judy were filmmakers in the early days of the Canadian film industry, though they both died when I was very young. My parents, Alexander Crawley and Mary Long are both actors; my sister does hair on set and my brother is a post production guy. Which is to say that I don’t remember any particular aspirations so much as the world of film, TV and theatre has always just sort of been… like gravity or something. The story goes that my mother went for an audition and didn’t have a babysitter, casting needed a kid and there I was. From that point on I worked fairly consistently throughout childhood, though to be honest, I wasn’t particularly planning to do it beyond what was then the immediate future. Like all kids I had other fantasies of what I would be when I grew up. The turning point came for me at about 13. I saw a production of Waiting For Godot starring Tom McCamus and Stephen Ouimette and I remember sitting in the theatre afterwards simply stunned. I guess I didn’t know the length, width and breadth of what was possible on stage (and by extension in other entertainment mediums) and seeing the rules as I understood them be broken by a play like that was formative. At that point I took another look at this thing that I had been doing since the age of 4 and decided that I would invest more time, energy and thought into it. That’s what led to theatre school and genuine study.

 

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?

So because I was so young, I don’t actually remember my first gig. Certainly most of my youth is littered with various memories from film sets and recording studios they way some kids have images in mind from summer camp or working at a fast food restaurant and I would like to think that there have been any number of lessons that were learned that are at least informing me from time to time. Acting, like many jobs is cumulative. You run into an issue on a gig and you solve it– therefore you’ve added a new tool to your kit. The more comfortable you get with yourself too, the better you are as an actor. That said, there is a rarely a point during any creative endeavour where I am not absolutley convinced that I haven’t forgotten everything and undergo a pretty intense bout of imposter syndrome. The lesson that I continuely come to peace with with each passing job is being okay with that feeling and not letting it interfere with the actual task at hand. I have a friend who rather eloquently talks about letting your nerves or your bullshit be in the car with you but making sure that all of that stays in the passenger seat, not letting the jitters take the wheel.  For the past several years, I’ve been doing some teaching and audition and on-set coaching, and getting the opportunity to look at the work from that remove as been wonderful with regard to the mechanics of what we have to do– once those are in place the  intangibles of the work feel less daunting. I imagine that it’s like a pianist knowing their scales cold so that they can improvise, or an engineer figuring out a structural solution because they understand function so well. I can go off on a bit of a tangent from time to time, but suffice it to say, the best lesson I have learned is that the work is ongoing, hopefully evolving.

 

At a pretty young age, you gave a now legendary performance as Rod in the now classic comedy film Billy Madison. I am curious to know how it was working on a film of this nature? Was it as fun to work on this film as it has been for audiences to watch over the years? Any fun on-set stories that you can recall?

It’s funny– between that film and a handful of other things I was lucky enough to be in as a teenager I find that I end up having these conversations with my peers and finding out that I was a part of their adolescence in some way. That movie strikes a real chord with people– I think it has a genuine sense of anarchy about its comedy that’s not really definable but that hits you where you live– though I have to admit it’s been many years since I have seen it.

Certainly it was the biggest project I had ever been a part of and everyone was so gracious to all of us kids. I was 13 and worshipped at the altar of SNL (my generation is pretty lucky to grow up with the casts that we got), so all the behind the scenes stories that I got to hear from Tim Herlihy and James Downey felt like being admitted to a secrect society. Mark Beltzman took my family and me to a Second City show where he jumped on stage with the cast. Josh Mostel told me stories about Henry Rollins (then as now an idol of mine) and Tamra Davis, along with being as formidble a director as she is, was tapped into such an amazing world because of Mike D, and her associations with Sonic Youth. She was super generous with her time telling backstage tales to a dorky young kid. Steve Buscemi was Mr Pink and he introduced himself to me. Norm MacDonald and I talked about Samuel Beckett and country music. And of course Sandler was a total sweetheart to us– way more than he needed to be… does a killer J Mascis impression.

 

Amos Crawley in “Are You Afraid of the Dark”

 

You have done a lot of really great work in the world of voice over projects. We have spoken with quite a few folks from this world, and I am always curious to know how they not only enjoy the work, but how do you manage to project a bit of your own presence into the characters using only your voice? How do you manage to make a character that was already given an appearance, truly come to life in your own personal way?

I’ve been so fortunate to have been able to cultivate something of a career in the voice world. It’s a great gig, as any actor will tell you. To be honest I am not sure that I have ever conciously thought about projecting my own presence into the animated character– like with all acting, I think that your own presence is essentially a given, the only thing you can really do is get in the way of allowing an audience to hear and or see it. That said I do think that there is an art to expressing yourself using only a limited set of tools– in this case, volume and inflection– to convey intention. I personally like limits and boxes when it comes to creating something, I think that it can force you into your best, most expressive choices.

I think the voice is an underutilised tool in general– how many times have you been unable to convey your meaning in a text or e-mail (unless of course you’re a writer who is versed in the nuance of that?) Breath and voice are all you’ve got in the world of cartoons, so you cultivate a wider range of expression and you allow it to be your body, your facial expression etc. At least that’s what we try do do– speaking form myself, it’s not always successful– but if it’s not, at least hopefully it’s funny or something. Plus the animation and the editing on a well produced cartoon do SO much of the work for you– you try your best with your little corner of the project and once in a while everything comes together in an effective manner. I’ve got a new cartoon about to start airing called The Remarkable Mr. King, and though I’ve only seen some of it, I’m very excited because I think everything is in concert, from the writing down and I think it’s going to be a very sweet series, perfect for the preschool set.

 

You have worked in just about every gig available to a performer. From film & television, to voice over work, to the stage, and so on. With that in mind, I am curious to know what your favorite method of performing may be? If you some imaginable reason you were only able to work in one field for the rest of your career, what would it be?

While the delivery methods at play in all the different mediums I have been lucky enough to work in are distinct, I actually think that at it’s core the job is essentially always the same. We play our small role in producing something that allows an audience to disappear from the world for a few minutes. As we do this interview I am backstage before the first preview of a play and while it’s true that the tightrope walk of a 2 hour show in front of living breathing human beings is a welcome scare, the actual work that goes into it is not SO different than the way I would prepare for a scene in front of the camera. You turn the volume down on the stereo and you dim the lights, but it’s still the same song and the same apartment if you know what I mean. But I suppose I am avoiding your question– I would happily work in any medium that would have me for the rest of my days. I don’t really have a lot of real life skills, and am blessed to be able to play make-believe for a living, so any way I can do that and get to spend ample time with my wife and my kids is ok by me.

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

I mentioned The Remarkable Mr King which will be airing by the time this interview goes live. I’ve got a cameo in a film called The Oak Room that I was thrilled to be a part of– it’s produced by my friend Ari Millen who also stars along with RJ Mitte. It’s based on a play that I worked on in the Toronto Fringe festival about six years ago– I have high hopes for it. I’ll also be featured in this season of Anne With An E, which I think is a pretty remarkable show in it’s own right, but also amazes me in that they’ve been able to breathe new life into a story that has been told so many times. I am very proud to be a part of it. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I’ve got 2 amazing sons, so I’m allotted more than my fair share of smiling moments. Corny but true.

Jackie Garcia [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely incredible line up of interviews to share with you all this week, just before we take a short break, regroup, and head into December with a massive End of Year celebration and a smattering of film showcases to round up 2019, before jumping right back into the interviews at the beginning of 2020. It’s all happening so fast, and it is always a pleasure.

Today we have some words from a very inspiring person that transcends any borders in the world of entertainment, and has managed to do some work in some of our favorite fields here at TWS, including what would arguably be the top 2 – Stand Up Comedy & Horror. We’ve celebrated the two always equally here, and the amazing Jackie Garcia has officially become a master of both. Jackie has been entertaining audiences with her no holds barred comedy styling, and recently made her horror debut in a major way, appearing in the Rob Zombie’s latest venture, 3 From Hell, in which she is phenomenal in!

Jackie Garcia is truly an artist who has it all, and we are so stoked that she was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to grace our digital pages today! She’s an incredible human being, and we are so excited that she is here with us today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the amazing, Jackie Garcia!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something you have always dreamt of doing as a youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day? 

I was always in love with the camera and modeling and singing and acting. I  just loved performing even as a young kid I remember singing Whitney Houston or Madonna songs on top of the washer and dryer with my cousin to the empty back yard. And I really believe that my mother and Lucy Ball were the ones who really inspired me to get into the world of entertainment. Lucy and my mom were just so perfectly crazy and silly. As a young girl I felt so happy watching Lucy. No matter what was going on in my life, she was amazing. I could forget the world watching her. I wanted to be just like her, making people forget their own problems for a while and laugh, just for being my goofy self. Out of all the TV shows that I watched back then, she was the only one that was starring a woman. I’m glad that times have changed and now there’s more funny female-led stories being told on different platforms.

When did you first discover that you were a hilarious human being that you wanted to make people laugh for a living? 

I first discovered that I was a hilarious human being when I kept making all my classmates laugh when I was growing up but it really hit home when my psychiatrist said I should DO that. I had to see somebody after I lost my mom to brain cancer. From some of my life stories about my pain, I guess in the way I worded it, would make him burst out unexpectedly in loud laughter. 

Even though I had been an actress and studied for many years,  I was afraid of comedy. It’s so raw to get in front of people and reveal my true self with my own story  lines. When that doctor asked me what I wanted to be and what would make me happy, I responded that I would love to be a stand-up comedian. He encouraged me to start learning how to become one. That I could do it. I asked an acquaintance on how she got started and she introduced me to a comedy coach in Orange County California, Bill Word.

It turned out that the first day of class was the same date of my mother’s passing anniversary. To me that is another amazing signature moment. I now remember November 18th with bittersweet memories because that’s the day I started my journey in comedy and my mom transformed (RIP). I know she just would want me to keep making people laugh and enjoying life for the beautiful gift that it is. Bill had also told me that he had lost his mom 6 months before so if could teach the class then I could definitely sit there and listen and I did. I definitely cried that first day of class. It went well and I continued to get more bookings for more shows after that.

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And where there any sort of lessons learn from this experience that you still utilize in your work today?

My very first private paying comedy gig was for a Facebook comedy fan that wanted to do a comedy/roast show in honor of her late mother. Another monumental signature moment that I am on the right path. It was incredible to me. It was held at the Historical Idyllwild Lodge where Elvis Presley filmed Kid Galahad. The lesson I learned from that experience that I still utilize in my work today is to have fun and just be yourself. If I could put my ass and sit in the same seat that Elvis THE KING sat in, anything is possible. Never give up on my dreams, that’s the best lesson my mom taught me. We have infinite possibilities.

As an actress, you recently appeared in the wonderful Rob Zombie horror film 3 From Hell along with our dearly missed friend and past guest Sid Haig. We LOVE horror around here, actually having just come off a full month long celebration of the genre. So, how was your experience diving into the world of horror?

My first experience in the world of horror with Rob Zombie was honestly like a dream. Working with Rob was super cool! I have always loved his music and White Zombie is still one of my favorite bands. He is also a wonderful brilliant director and writer. I felt so honored to be chosen to be part of his movie. The scenes were so fun to shoot and so artistically beautiful, even though I die.

3 from Hell is a great film, I loved it. It [was] in theaters on October 14th . Its available online. 3 from Hell [arrived] on 4K Ultra HD combo pack, a blu-ray combo pack, and on-demand October 15th. It’s available [now] digital HD from Amazon videos and iTunes.

If you were handed the opportunity to create and portray any legendary figure in American history in their biopic, who would it be? 

Lucille Ball again. Actress, comedian, singer, model, film studio executive, TV producer. Everything that people said I couldn’t be.  Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio. I want to empower other people to believe in their dreams and to follow their hearts. I would want to show all the sides of her from her family life, growing up, marriages ups and downs, and being head of her (first woman ever) own studio. 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? The future holds many things for me. 

I was recently reached out to from a producer I auditioned for 3 YEARS AGO, (talk about patience) for a major cable network starring as myself in a comedy weight loss competition show so I am pretty excited about that.

I’m working with a comedy mentor and he’s helping me produce my first comedy album which is being released on CD Baby, Spotify and iTunes in the near future. It’s really fun to have such a great writer and professional comedian helping me figure this comedy game out. It really is a business and people don’t really teach this side of comedy. It’s not just about the funny. Please follow me on Instagram @funnyjackiegarcia.

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

The last thing that made me smile was hearing that you wanted to interview me. Honestly thank you so much! I want you to know you touched my heart in your email to my manager!  Before that smile I had a fantastic time laughing and smiling, performing stand up comedy at the Pacific Palms Resort in City of Industry where I will also be having another show this Saturday night Oct 12 featuring for Comedian Jeff Garcia. The tickets are already sold out for both shows!  My next shows are in Porterville CA, 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Comedy Bash, Sat 11/30/2019 at 8:00 pm and in Fresno CA and at the Rec Room in Huntington Beach California the night before Thanksgiving this year.