William Kaufman [Interview]



Happy Wednesday Folks! We have a wonderful and exciting interview to share with all today. We are fortunate enough to have another damn fine writer and director to feature on the site. In fact, his work speaks for itself, and has actually been featured here at Trainwreck’d Society in the past. It’s William Kaufman, Everyone! He is a brilliant mind in the world of action films, and happens to have a close partnership with our dear friend Chad Law! And best of all, William is one hell of a nice guy!

We discuss Mr. Kaufman’s start in the business, what he loves about action films in particular, our beloved city of Spokane (which we were once calling “The City of Lost Potential”, but may have to retract that statement soon!), and so much more. We are so excited that William was willing to grace our digital pages today and we know you are going to love what he has to say. So Folks, please enjoy some great words from the brilliant artist and person, Mr. William Kaufman!




What was your first introduction into the world of cinema? And what made you decide that you wanted to join this world for a living?

I grew up in London and being the only “Yank” on campus I think I always felt like a bit of an outsider at my British prep school… I think going to the movies was sort of my “escape”… most of the movies I saw were American blockbusters, heroes saving the day and as “little boy” as that sounds, it was my connection to home…  I have insanely great memories of all those Saturdays I spent in my old local theater. 

I quickly became “that kid” in the neighborhood that was always running around with a camcorder making his little movies.  To be very straightforward it was all I ever wanted to do… When I was around 13 we moved to Texas for Junior High and then moved back overseas to Bangkok Thailand where I went to an international school. While I was there I got to work (PA/extra) on a couple big US movies that were shooting there and from that moment on I was hooked. After film school in Texas I got hired on by a SFX/Armorer coordinator and that definitely served me well when I got ready to do my first indie film The Prodigy.

The majority of your credits have been in the world of action/adventure. What is it that you love the most about this genre of film? What keeps you wanting to work in this world specifically?

I think it was just a natural direction to go in as that genre is what spawned my initial love of film. I love the action genre when it’s done well, and for me in particular, I am most connect when it’s grounded in great characters, compelling storylines and and a gritty reality I can recognize. 

I’m not saying that I don’t care for fantasy or sci-fi… on the contrary, I just prefer it when crazy outlandish ideas are are taken seriously.  I just want the stakes of the storyline to matter… And in the action genre specifically, I have to be completely invested in the characters for any of the action set pieces to have any impact.  Without that, it’s simply a series of stunt shows strung together for 90 minutes.



You filmed much of 2011’s The Hit List in the eastern Washington city of Spokane. I was living in the area at the time, and I remember strolling around Riverfront when you were shooting. The film was fantastic by the way, and I’m sure local Spokanites are always happy to see their city being used. So how was your experience in the city of Spokane? Did you get to enjoy your time in eastern Washington’s largest (and frankly, only) city?

Spokane and the surrounding areas are beautiful. I had an amazing time there. It was a huge growing experience for me because up till then I’d never done a studio picture… I never had anyone in charge of the production that superseded me creatively. That was a huge adjustment… I learned a ton… I definitely learned what to do and also what to absolutely NOT do when playing at that level :).

The next year you returned to work with Cuba Gooding Jr. with One in the Chamber. This time your location was a bit more enticing, as it was set in Romania. So you spent a lot of time with the Oscar winning actor of the course of these two films. So how has your experience been working with Cuba, and what do you believe is a main factor in your partnership that has helped in  putting out such great films?

As I said on The Hit List there was quite a bit of adjusting for me. Cuba of course was great but I still think he was trying to figure out what kind of a filmmaker I was if you know what I mean. That’s just natural… I was an absolute unknown indie film maker out of Texas with one tiny little, genre festival hit under his belt and another film nobody had seen yet called Sinners And Saints in post production.  On One In The Chamber, all that was behind us. Sinners And Saints had become a run-away cult hit and Cuba had gotten great reviews from The Hit List and so his level of confidence in me was completely unwavering.  I remember he would come to set and say “OK coach let’s get to work” He was awesome to work with… Great attitude, amazing work ethic… We had a blast!

While you are definitely known to write your own brilliant stories, such as Sinners and Saints, The Prodigy, & more, you have manage to direct the works of some very fine screenwriters like our old friends Alan McElroy and Chad Law. So when you are picking up a gig as a director on a project that you didn’t write, what are you looking for a script that a guys like Alan or Chad just seem to get? What makes a solid script in your opinion?

Alan’s resume speaks for itself.  We didn’t get to collaborate very much but he’s a great guy and responsible for a lot of very cool stuff. 

My relationship with Chad is a completely different animal. We’ve been friends and collaborators for over 10 years. Chad is a straight up monster of a writer.  You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more prolific as a screenwriter and lover of genre film than Chad. And that’s what I look for… Someone who REALLY has a love of the genre… Too many aspiring writers dabble in the genre thinking it will be easy path to get to do “real movies.” They quickly find out how misinformed they are.

Chad is someone who really “gets it”.  His scripts are also a blast to read… They actually read like a good fiction novel. They’re slick, funny and oozing with attitude. So speaking as someone who is inundated with scripts all the time, Chad’s work definitely stands out.  He also invests a huge amount towards attention to detail… Always double and triple checking that everything in the script tracks… That everything moves the story along and stays true to the characters he has created. Knowing your partnered with a writer who cares that much about doing great work is a powerful weapon to have in your arsenal.



What does the future hold for you? Anything you can tell our readers about?

I did a very cool little action film in Albania and Bulgaria called The Brave that I’ve been told will be released later this year.  It was a really unique project because with the exception of Louis Mandaylor who played the protagonist and Armand Assante who played the antagonist the entire cast was either Russian, Albanian or Bulgarian.  The story is set in Albania and is about an elite Albanian strike team going after a powerful drug lord. If you’re a fan of old-school gritty action cop films I think you’ll really dig it… Louis and his costars killed it… Super proud of his performance in it.

As for upcoming work… There are lots of interesting things developing but it’s probably a bit early to share those. One project I am particularly excited about is Johnny Strong and I are shooting a follow up to Daylight’s End early this winter.  It’s a great script, again penned by Chad Law… A different kind of movie than the first one. It’s more of a survival/journey storyline than last stand action film… I promise to report back to you soon as I get the greenlight to share more. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Ha! Probably this question… Do you mean on production?  Well then that would be my experience with Louis on The Brave… after production ended in Albania we had an bit of an adventure trying to get out of the country… I’d share the details with you but then… then I’d have too… Well you know. 1f60e.png


Left to right
Bes Kallaku (famous Albanian actor), Kaufman, Louis, Chad Pittman (producer)

Harry Werksman [Interview]


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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

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



Linden Ashby [Interview]


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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

Haha, Daily! And I love it.



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

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

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

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

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My wife!

Jay Tavare [Interview]

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

What was the last thing that made you smile?

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


Zachary Ray Sherman [Interview]


Hello Folks! We have another wonderful interview for you all on this beautiful Wednesday! Well, it’s looking pretty good around these parts, and I hope it is well for you all. Today we have some wonderful words from a brilliant actor, writer, producer, and director. It’s Zachary Ray Sherman, Everyone!

Sherman may be most recognizable for his work on the brilliant Netflix Original Series, Everything Sucks! And while we may not be seeing more of this incredible series, I was a huge fan of what we got to see. And our lovely guest was absolutely amazing on the program. Zachary has had an incredibly entertaining career beyond this one series, and has some pretty amazing projects in the works that will be coming to you in the near future, which we will discuss below.

Zachary Ray Sherman is a brilliant person who couldn’t have given us any more nicer of responses to our queries, and we are so excited to have him on the site today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the truly brilliant human being, the great Zachary Ray Sherman. Enjoy!

You happen to hail from a region that we here at TWS consider to be the best in the land, which is the Great Pacific Northwest. Specifically the wonderful city of Portland, Oregon. Did you begin your career in the city of Roses? And did the city have any sort of influence on you?

I’m with you, I love Portland and the PCNW too. All my family is up there, I’m lucky to visit many times a year. And yup, I began my career in Portland. I discovered acting pretty young through a class. A neighbor girl asked my sister to go with her to this acting class downtown, my sister asked me to come along. I ended up going along and really fell in love. Portland actress Sharonlee Mclean taught that class and opened my eyes to what acting was and could be. I recently asked Sharonlee act in my most recent feature which was shot in Portland, she’s the best.

I’m sure the city had an influence on me. When I first moved away, I noticed the people being different. I moved south to LA when I was twenty-one but was always in Portland til then, it’s all I knew. I acted in plenty of short films and art projects for aspiring Portland filmmakers, I TA’d and attended a really great acting class which primed me for upcoming work in LA. But yeah, I’m sure the people, weather, and region had a large influence on who I am. 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this first experience that you still keep in your acting arsenal to this day?

After the acting class with Sharonlee, this was the mid 90’s, I continued exploring acting in some classes around town and finding an agent. Soon after I was cast in a cable MOW (movie of the week) on the Lifetime channel playing Kirsten Dunst’s little brother. The role was written for an older teen, but for whatever reason they went with me. From day one, I was in awe of production. Trucks lining the block, crew everywhere, houses being taken over for the set, it was amazing. I knew this is what I wanted to do. The director and I hit it off, he’d made one of the Free Willy movies prior and was the sweetest guy from New Zealand. He had an ease while helming the show that was (and still is) impressive. I focused on playing my part in this family. I was surrounded by great actors and it sort of felt like being thrown in a pool to learn to swim. You just do it and I was sidelines enough where it easy enough to figure it out. It was a story about teen pregnancy (Fifteen and Pregnant) and how it affects the girls and her life. Production was this amazing process, I think I must have been like, ‘holy crap, this is was what making movies is…’ Everything about that job appealed to my fourteen year old self, still does. I was lucky that it showed me what I wanted to do, I’ve never really looked back.



Last year you had a reoccurring role on the hit Netflix Original series, Everything Sucks!, which I have found to be a whole lot of fun, especially as a former child in the 90’s. So, I am curious to know how your experience has been working on this project? Is it as enjoyable to work on as it is for us to watch?

Glad to hear you liked it. I did too. I’ve been friends with Ben Jones, one of the creators of the show for over a decade. We were enrolled in the same film school before I dropped out. He asked if I wanted to read for the part, I loved the material and they liked what I was doing. It was great to be able to come home to work on the show. Ben and Mike (Mohan, co-creator and director of ES!) did such a tremendous job with the series. As did Ry Russo, a great director who helmed a handful of the episodes. It’s a shame the series wasn’t renewed but I’m grateful to have been a part of it. 

Every role is different … whether ‘it’s as much fun to watch as it is to work on’ … and it’s probably more fun to watch then to work on. That said, I’m still in the love with sets and acting on them and making movies as I was on day one… It can just be grueling. And acting is never easy. With ES! I was in a unique position as the character I played is the absent-dad, who’s been gone for years. As the show goes on, Luke (my character’s son) learns more and more about his father though these VHS tapes left behind in the garage, which were essentially video diaries, years before the selfie or vlogging. 

The majority of my material was those moments on the VHS tapes. The way it worked was that I filmed all those ‘VHS tape segments’ in one sitting. I started work on day 00 as they call it. The day before everyone comes to work and officially begins. For day 00 they had a skeleton crew for this garage shoot along with knocking off a few other moments with the some of kids at the same location. So I shot the majority of six or seven episodes in one day.  It was a little uphill as the material we shot was longer than what made the show. Lots to memorize. Leroy rants and rants in his garage, the writers did a beautiful job exploring this guy and what he thinks about and says to his camera alone in his garage, it was great stuff. It was a good amount of dialogue. Luckily I was prepping for a play in LA, Keith Huff’s A Steady Rain which essentially is two actors who never leave the stage for 90 minutes and just talk. 8 page monologues talk. So my retaining-dialogue-muscle had been working out and I was able to come at the Leroy work with some momentum. 

Mike, Ben and team made a fantastic show. People should check it out if they haven’t yet.

I am very intrigued by a project you wrote, directed, and produced, as well as starred in, entitled Barbie’s Kenny. Can you tell us a bit about this project? How did you come up with this incredibly unique sounding story?

First off, I didn’t star in it, I’m listed online as an actor but it’s really just an off camera voice. That was a clear decision I made at from the beginning. I decided that my first time directing, I’d better not complicate it and I’m very glad we did it this way. Just directing was a great choice. I may try out doing both someday, we’ll see. 

My lead actors, all the actors were terrific. I wrote it with many of them in mind. I’m a very acting-forward director, it’s hard not to be with my experience and that’s how we begin… with rehearsing. 

This project came out of me wanting to quit thinking about directing and making a movie and actually do it. So I self financed it (savings, loans and credit) and shot it very quickly as people were working for free or next to nothing. I was elevated by my talented peers who came on and donated their time, skill and energy to the project. My director of photography (Martim Vian) is brilliant and he was an amazing catch. I didn’t think he’d be available to do it, but he read the script and he liked it and generously came on board. It was a lot of work, but I thrive on the prep, the planning, deciding what’s going to be the best for the making of the movie. I wrote, produced and directed and we shot it in ten days. The story is loosely based off of my girlfriend and her dad. A couple years ago he came to live with us and I got to know him. I dramatized the seed of the inspiration (you can equate it to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in that he took this story that took place over months, in some times years in previous versions and he ratcheted up the tension by placing the drama within days) and came up with the script by taking a microbudget online film course led by a great guy Shawn Whitney. The script came together really quickly and after shooting Everything Sucks! I began planning how to go and make my first feature and was shooting a few months later. 

If you were given the opportunity write, direct, and or/star in a biopic about any well known individual in American history, who would you choose?

There’s two. Houdini and Bukowski. 

Houdini was the first celebrity here, I’ve always thought there’s something there. He’s this great symbol of the American reinventing itself. I’ve been interested in telling a story with him and his wife Bessie at the middle. And Bukowski is someone I’ve always joked to my sister and girlfriend about but would seriously love to do later in life if the opportunity came to be. I love his fervor and think there are endless paths to explore. 



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

My sister (Sarah Sherman) and I work together and are in the edit on our first feature together. We shot it in Portland in fall of 2018. It’s a love story of sorts, exploring the first love experience. Quinn Liebling, Tyler from Everything Sucks!, plays a sophomore in high school and Anjini Taneja Azhar plays a freshman who lives across the street from each other in Portland. We’re really lucky and the film is being executive produced by the Duplass Brothers. We’re excited to share it. Anjini and Quinn are terrific and I think people will really connect with them. 

Another project to note is a film I acted in last year. We actually began shooting one year to the day … or maybe give or take three, but it was literally a year ago. It’s a very memorable and heavy project, in many ways. 

The film is called Cuck a character study observing an isolated young man who doesn’t feel heard or seen. And has a pretty traumatic past. It’s a look into a problem our nation is plagued with (unlike the rest of the world) these mass shootings that occur daily and which we’re numb to. I’m getting soapbox and bubbled and that should be separate from this explanation because the movie we made is simply about this guy (and the state of America) and I think it could really pack of punch, we’ll see. We put everything into the work and I’m eager to see what Rob (director Rob Lambert) did with the film. I’ll be seeing it in a week or so for the first time. It was a first for me in that I approached the character in a new way: gained nearly 45lbs for the part. The script was very heavy and dark and I found that as a way in to exploring this character which isn’t unlike the young racist white men we saw in Charlottesville. This racist bigot flare up the country is witnessing that’s been stoked by the Trump’s bullshit is front and center in this movie. 

There’s a teaser trailer online if you search in Vimeo or Youtube for Cuck, film, Zachary Ray Sherman, or Rob Lambert. Hope people will check out the movie when it’s released. They can stay tuned by following on Twitter or Instagram.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Getting to the end of this interview 🙂  Thanks for your time and interest Ron. Have a good one.


Check out the previously mentioned teaser for the film Cuck featuring Zachary himself:

Philip Williams [Interview]


Hello Folks, and happy Friday! It’s been a busy week here at Trainwreck’d Society, with our first ever Book Club segment, dropping our 2019 Oscar Contest, and getting presidential with our old friend Mr. Beat. So, it is nice to wrap up the week with a good old traditional interview, and wouldn’t you know it…we have another damn fine actor to share a few words from today! It’s Philip Williams, Everyone!

Philip is a seasoned veteran in the world of performance, both on screen and in the world of voice over work. He has appeared in a plethora of films and televisions series in very diverse genres. Everything from our beloved world of horror in the the 11th installment of the Friday the 13th series, Jason X, to the comedy classic Tommy Boy, or voice over work on children’s series like Babar and Clifford, and right around to appearances on hit television series such as Fargo, and most recently as a regular cast member in the Netflix Original Series Anne with an “E”. Of course, I knew him best for his hilarious appearance in one of my favorite films of all time, which would be Good Will Hunting, which we will discuss in detail below.

It was a true honor to have Philip grace our digital pages, and we are so excited to share with you all what he had to say. So without further babbling, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Philip Williams! Enjoy!


When did you first discover your passion for the world of performance? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do? Or did you just happen to find yourself in this life one day?

Iv’e heard it said that this is a profession that you don’t look for, but rather one that finds you. I dabbled in it from a young age, mostly on the voice side of things. I also sang with the school choirs, and did the odd school play, but my main focus growing up was always sports, which in a way is performance of some nature. In the 70’s a director saw me dressed as Groucho Marx for Halloween in the washroom of a club, and asked if I wanted to read for a play about the Marx brothers. I said sure, what the heck, and ended up getting the role. So I suppose it found me. That was 40 years ago.

What was your very first paid gig as an actor? And do remember learning anything from that specific job that taught you something that you still incorporate into your work to this day?

My first paid gig was on the original De Grassi Street, which was non union back in those days. I think they produced about 8 shorts before they became the big show they are today. I probably made somewhere between 25 and 75 dollars. My first professional job was a radio ad for the drug Naprosen when it first appeared on the scene. I don’t remember anything specific that I learned and incorporate in my work today other than it takes a lot of people working together to bring a finished product to fruition.

While you have had so many memorable roles in the past, I have to admit that it was you brilliantly calling Stellan Skarsgaard an asshole in one of my favorite films of all time, Good Will Hunting. With that, how was your experience in working on this set? Was there anything memorable about working in this film that you can think of that really stands out?

I can recall that whole scene like yesterday.  We actually shot that scene in Toronto not far from where I shop..lol. The garage where the set was, doesn’t exist anymore. For some reason the dialogue wasn’t making a whole lot of sense so I approached Stellan (don’t know where I got the gall from) and said “if you say this, then I say this, then you  say this, it’ll connect everything” and he says sure. There was some ad lib stuff in there as well, from me introducing the background performer as a professor to the final line of me calling Stellan an asshole. I thought it was a hoot and why not use everyone there right? Gus Van Sant approved, and all was good.


You have proven yourself to be a very versatile human being when it comes to moving in and out of different genres. From comedy to horror and beyond you can do it all! But, I am interested to know if you happened to have a preference? What genre brings you the most joy to work in?

It’s funny. I love doing comedy. For me it’s natural and a lot easier, however, I find I don’t get a lot of comic related projects. Don’t get me wrong I love working in all genres and get a lot of satisfaction from all of them. One thing I do though is look to see if there is a comic element in the characters I play. Humour is the one thing that ran through my whole family, and there was always a way of finding the lightness in some of the darker places.

And while technically it could be a “genre”, the world of animation is really just a whole other ballgame. And you have had some great success in this game, even earning an Emmy Award nomination for your work. With that in mind, what do you enjoy about working in the world of voice over work? What is your process of bringing life to a character using only your voice?

I love doing voice work. I use to fool around with voices and impressions as far back as grade six (dang, I’m old) I was a child of the 60’s cartoons, and was mesmerized and entertained on Saturday mornings. Mel Blanc was a hero. To be able to be a part of this genre today is such a blessing. Usually you’re provided with  a character description and possibly a picture of what they look like.This gives me ideas where I’d like to go vocally. The dialogue will tell you what they do. Of course the voice director will have his own thoughts, so theres a whole process to a finished product. Much the same as creating a real life character at times with so many different styles.



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

Hopefully the future holds many more work days. It’s like being a gypsy in a  sense. I get to travel all around to different camps and learn all kinds of new things from new people and new stories. I’ve just started voicing season 12 (crazy huh?) of a cartoon called Cyberchase. I’m also working on a Television show called Anne With an E which I believe is on Netflix, and have completed my first ever Motion Capture character for a video game. I”m afraid I can’t tell you anything about it though or they’d kill me.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I’m pretty easy going, so I tend to smile and laugh a lot, but today is a special day. It’s poker night!! We play for, like 10 dollars. A group of actors that have been doing this for some 30 odd years. Always broadens the smile THINKING I’m going to make out like a bandit.

Michal Sinnott [Interview]


Photo by Braden Moran

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely brilliant interview for you fine folks today. We have some wonderful words from a person who is not only a gifted actress, but has recently added the credits of writer and producer to her list of talents with an very exciting project in which we shall discuss below. It’s Michal Sinnott, Everyone!

As most of you regular readers already know, we have a deep-rooted love for the world of gaming. And while the Fallout world may be where we occupy most of our time in the realm of video games as an art form, the insane world that is the Grand Theft Auto franchise is another beloved universe we love around here. And Michal Sinnott happened to play a major role in the latest installment of the GTA world, as Tracey De Santa in Grand Theft Auto 5. Michal is actually the third interview subject from this singularly brilliant game that we have had on the site (alongside our old friends Danny Tamberelli and Matthew Maher), but we actually spoke with them long before we learned about the beauty of this game. So, we are very excited that Michal was able to tell us a bit about what it was like to work her magic into this legendary release.

And as it usually tends to, we discovered that Michal has done just a plethora of amazing work in her time that we so excited to share with you all today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the incredibly talented Michal Sinnott! Enjoy!




I understand you started acting quite early, and even grew up with a mother who was also an actress. While I understand you may have had an obvious influence around, but what was it that drew you personally into the world of acting?

I was very shy as a small child. When I did my first commercial with my mom when I was seven, I instantly loved it. Honestly, I think it was exciting and safe to be someone else. There was a lot of unrest and chaos in my early childhood. The opportunity to play someone else in a different set of circumstances from my own was exhilarating. I loved everything about it – wearing different clothes, taking on emotions that weren’t my own or else having a safe space for emotions I shared with the character, having this space to take a break from my own life and embody someone else. And I was praised for it. I was good at it. So I’m sure that fed my love for it as well. I loved the safe space in which to play without consequence. Acting has always been the biggest breath of fresh air for me. Even the difficult characters are a joy because it’s just wonderful and peaceful to take a break from being Michal!

I love my life now and I love who I’ve become but it was a long road to get inner peace in my own life and acting provided a sanctuary from anxiety and a lot of complex circumstances that I didn’t entirely understand before doing a lot of self work as an adult. Acting is still an escape for me but now I don’t cling quite as tight. The present is pretty great too these days, so it’s a joy to be someone else because it allows me to think and feel in ways I might not experience otherwise, but life as me is pretty wonderful, too.

We have spoken with quite a few folks who have worked in the world of video game voice over acting. We actually featured both Danny Tamberelli and Matthew Maher on the site, but unfortunately it was prior to being aware of the beauty of Grand Theft Auto V. And now here you are! So I am curious to know what it is like to be a part of such a legendary franchise? Do you get the “your voice sounds familiar’ statement a lot?

Oh I love Danny. I loved working with him. It was incredible to be a part of something so big and iconic. And a lot of people don’t know this, but it’s actually far beyond voice acting. My voice is just one part of it. It’s performance capture, meaning we performed the scenes on a sound stage with 36 cameras that corresponded to our movement. We wore the suits with the balls so the movement of the characters is our movement and then they recorded our faces at the same time with a pin hole camera attached to a helmet we wore so you got our facial gestures and then those gestures were digitized by a team of animators who pixilated our faces for years. They did a body scan of us before we shot and then used that for the acting which became data for the animators. It was kind of like a mix of theatre, soap acting, and green screen work but entirely it’s own.

When I met some of the animators at The Game Awards when we won Game Of the Year, they stared at and chatted with me in the most intense way. Their job had been to animate my face for 3 years! It was surreal for all of us and made me feel both weird and so strangely honored. When I was a kid, I always dreamed about doing a part that resulted in being made into an action figure. In a lot of ways I got my wish. Tracey is like a cartoon version of me – but with a very different sense of style, thank God, and all my body parts blinged out a bit, too! Ha. I’m always tickled when I get sweet fan mail for Tracey. And it’s so fun when people learn that I played Tracey, especially if they’re gamers.

On a super rare occasion with a die hard gamer, they might say my voice sounds familiar, but for the most part I go around with my secret identity. I spoke in a nasal register for her, so I don’t sound quite as annoying as her, thank goodness! But it’s fun to go into her voice with a fan. People get a big kick out of it and I do too.

We have also spoken with a lot of folks who have worked in the world of Soap Operas. And you are no stranger to the breakneck world of acting within the world of Soaps. So I am curious to know what you thought about working in that world? How much did it differ from other types of sets you have worked on?

I loved having a recurrent on One Life to Live. I’m afraid I was a bit of a snob when I graduated from drama school, and I thought I was somehow above being in a soap in the midst of all that Shakespeare and Chekhov training. But you get out there in the real world and start slinging drinks at night as a waitress or bartender while you hit the pavement in the day for acting work and you quickly realize how lucky you are to book anything. And kudos to soap actors for memorizing so much copy every day. When I was on the show, we’d shoot 6 one hour long episodes in 5 days! Think about that. Grand Theft Auto V took 3 years to shoot. One episode of Law and Order takes 2 weeks to shoot and we’re shooting more than one episode of OLTL in less than a day! That’s insane. You have to be so on your A game. You get one take and if you flub a line, they just cut it. There’s no take 2. Soap actors get a bad wrap, but honestly I think they’re incredible. You have to be so good to move that fast. I was in awe of how quickly the machine moved along. I was just a small part of it, but the big soap stars who have all that dialogue and emotion going on, it’s a real feat to watch.

I am very intrigued by your upcoming project Born That Way. It’s such a unique story that I am hoping we will get to see soon? Can you tell us a bit about this project? What inspired you to write this tale?

Thanks for asking about Born That Way! It’s been a passion project of mine for some time now. We’re in late Development with it now, meaning we’ve raised some of the funds and had a successful shoot of aerial and land footage in Tanzania, where the film opens. We are in the process of attaching name actors for the other lead roles and once we do that, we’ll be able to raise the rest of funds to shoot the rest of the film in New York City, where it largely takes place.

The film is about a lot of things but at it’s core, I think it’s about our lost connection to each other, and to the Earth, to something beyond the tangible, be it soul or otherwise. I call it A Magical Realist Present Day Fable for the People.

These are dangerous days. Born That Way is a film that speaks to many of the social justice issues of our time. It is a film that subtly challenges the status quo in all sorts of ways. It’s a small story between 5 people — but with the use of music & cinematography, it should feel epic in form. It touches on everything from the rights of the undocumented, to animals as sentient beings, to the displacement of indigenous people, to police brutality. It challenges our notions of gender & sexuality & what it means to love regardless of the physical form you arrive in to this world. It is in fact a protest of sorts. But it’s choosing love and forgiveness as the ultimate radical act. ‘For the people’ comes from the Constitution & reverberates in the Gettysburg address. It’s a call to our consciousness & our rights to freedom for all. Born That Way is a story about freedom from self & the cages we create for our spirits. It’s about judgment and all the ways that we judge ourselves and each other. It’s about our connectedness. I am you & you are me.


Photo by Meera Michelle

And in our selfie obsessed world, it feels like the kind of story I want to tell right now, the kind of story that I want to see. There’s still so much nihilism out there in cinema. And look, I get it. The world is really messed up and we’re in a hell of a pickle. But what are we gonna do about it? Stop naming it and start declaring that it’s not gonna go down like that! What we need is a blackhole. But what we’re capable of, is all the light in the universe. I want to see stories that look at what’s happening and offer solutions to make it better. That’s what I’m interested in.

About a 10th of the film is in animation. It lives in the world of Run Lola Run, or Amelie, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with a nod to Moonlight or Beasts of the Southern Wild. It’s about a bunch of adults who never grew up, and now they have to.

You can watch our proof of concept that’s received over half a million views on FB on our website, bornthatwaythemovie.com

We hope to go into full production this year.

If you were given the opportunity to portray any historical figure in American history, who would you want to portray?

I just saw a documentary on Jane Fonda which really made me admire her so much. I didn’t know much about her. She made mistakes in front of the world for which she was vilified, but she also was so courageous and such an outspoken activist. I really identified with that devotion towards both film and political activism. She was a fearless trailblazer towards both the anti-war movement and second wave feminism, in the midst of contending with a very confusing and painful childhood. She was born into privilege but she really worked to make her own way. She had nine lives. It would be incredible to play her.

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

I’m co-directing my first feature in a few months with a wonderful friend, Alexandra Clayton. We’re organizing a very DIY shoot abroad with a group of friends. It’s a female driven ensemble comedy. I’m a co-writer with Alexandra and my husband Joseph Schollaert, and I’ll also be acting in it. So there’s a lot of hats at play! If it fails, we’ll still get a fun vacation out of it, so nothing lost no matter what! But I expect that we’ll create something really special together. It’s exciting to dive in and do something now because Born That Way is such a long term baby.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My nephew just turned one year old the other day. I FaceTime with my little brother Isaac a lot with him. He’s always all smiles. It’s wild to see your brother’s face in his little boy. I love it. I love being an Auntie. I love watching his enthusiasm for the world. And I love watching my brother’s love for his little boy. It’s all a ton of joy to witness.