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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

MAR 12 HIGH DIVE – Gainesville, FL

MAR 13 Mad Beach Dive Bar- Madeira Beach, FL

MAR 14 Iron Oak Post- Melbourne, FL

MAR 15 Banana Boat- Boynton Beach, FL

MAR 16 Martinis Bombay- Marco Island, FL

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

Linden Ashby [Interview]

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haha, Daily! And I love it.

 

 

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

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

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

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

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My wife!

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

 

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

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

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

Filmmaker’s Statement

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

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

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

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

– Writer/Director Kevin O’Brien

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Jay Tavare [Interview]

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

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

 

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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:

JayTavareAcademy.com

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

What was the last thing that made you smile?

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

 

New Music Tuesday: The Tenth – Dunes [Album]

 

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

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

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

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

 

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!

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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.