June 12th, 2018

Been a while since my last update, some things I had to take care of over the last few months.

  • Had some health issues that culminated in surgery ten days back. Here's what they did, with robots, because we live in the future.
  • Used the recovery time to transition from ProTools to Logic. Picked up a midi controller, been fiddling around as I teach myself the new DAW. A sample:
    • Long time coming, but the first draft of All Who Wander is finished. There will be some significant rewrites and revisions, with more steps after that. It's the first full length feature I've written as the sole screenwriter, feels pretty good to have a concrete product.
    • Got bored, had some down time, so chopped off all my hair. Because summer.

    There's some other stuff on the radar, nothing too crazy. Mainly focusing on getting my health back over the next month. Looking forward to eating solid food again, getting back to the gym, and back to auditions. I've had to turn down four gigs since this all began over four months ago, so it'll be nice to get things back on track.

    That's it.

    Pickings, LA

    Finally made my way out west to see what all this LA business was about. Saw some old friends which was great. Met with a few people about the short I'm working on. Got in just the right amount of touristy stuff. 

    No longer the tallest guy in the room.

    No longer the tallest guy in the room.

    Got back, enrolled in Heidi Marshall's class for later in March, and attended the Pickings premiere at the Lincoln Center AMC. It comes out in selected AMC theatres across the country tomorrow. Check it out!

    It's taken a long time, but I should have a finished first draft of All Who Wander by the end of March, which is great. After that, it's back to rewrites for the short, which now in no way resembles its original incarnation. 

    Got my first residuals for The Girl On The Train, which is fantastic. Helping friends with a few of their projects, figuring out Slated's platform for projects in development. Will post more as it occurs.

     

    Old photos, assorted updates

    There's a computer that lives in the back of my closet. It's a 2007 Mac Desktop that I hold onto because it's the only thing I have old enough to run an older version of Protools. I pulled it out to do some work, and in an effort to free up some space on a rapidly dying machine, I went to delete some old files. 

    The following are photos I stumbled upon that in some ways chart my progress from 2007 until now.

    Undergrad. The first head shots I ever got, some stills from various productions. 

    I'd graduate, do a show and a summer internship for Sound Design, and move back to Seattle. 

    I'd do a few shorts and student films in Seattle. Began producing the first of my own work. I learned how to ride a motorcycle just long enough to crash it.

    After nine months, I'd move to New York. My first year here, I linked up with a few small theatre companies, was in a few plays.

    In the single greatest photo of me that exists, I nearly made it into the Blue Man Group.

    Not quite.

    Not quite.

    I enrolled in the summer intensive at Esper, and then the two year program after that. While I was there, I'd be involved in a few shorts, a few features, and acted in the first short film that would later become the pilot episode for Soon By You.

    After Esper, I began work on Scenes From The Underground while continuing to audition. While co-writing, producing, and preparing to act in that, I'd get a featured role in The Girl On The Train. I'd learn that my type was generally "the guy with the punchable face".

    Since all this, Soon By You has shot a whole first season. Scenes is in post production. I've continued to produce my own work. I've continued to use sound design to keep myself around the theatre, even when I'm not acting.  

    Tomorrow I attend the premiere of a feature I'm in, at a theatre eight blocks from where I live, that will receive nationwide distribution. Pickings, coming 03/02/18. 

    This March will be my five year mark in New York. It's shaped up well.

    Last looks on 2017

    2017's wrapping up.

    • Best part of the year was being best man at my twin brother's wedding. Here we are attending at the season finale for Soon By You earlier this month. 
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    • We wrapped the first season of Soon By You. We've received close to a half a million views in our first five episodes. Earlier this week I did I live Q+A with fans of the series over social media, you can watch it on my facebook page if you'd like.
    • Pickings, a feature film I have a supporting role in, won Best Cinematography, Best Lead Actress, and Best Director at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter posted the trailer a few days back - if you don't blink around the 30 second mark, you can see me getting my face bashed in on a bar after being a prick.
    • Scenes From The Underground progresses. We submitted our working cut to Tribeca and continue to pare down the edit. We're sitting down this week with a CPA to go through the tax incentive paperwork.
    • I had multiple health issues that required minor surgery, which took me out of work longer than I would've liked. Thankfully all is resolved.
    • I've gotten a lot more into writing. Since co-writing Scenes, I've now written a miniseries pilot, which after some sage advice, I adapted into a short film. Wrapped up the second draft of that yesterday. After raising some initial funds, I'm now reaching out to potential members of the creative team to try and get it ready for filming by the first half of next year. I'm also over halfway on the first draft of a feature film, which admittedly has been dragging on about a year longer than intended. At least I've locked the main location for that. I also have a treatment for a webseries which has sat on the backburner for a few months, so looking forward to getting back to that.
    • Having been unsuccessful in securing representation in New York, I've started to look at other markets. I've decided to give New York at least one more year. During that time, I'll continue to make my own work. I don't want to leave, but I think it's important to be aware of when a city doesn't want you as much as you want it. I have family and friends in LA, so that's somewhere I'd like to check out. No decisions made yet, but it's on the table for the first time.

    There's a lot of things that don't make it on here, largely because I think it's important to keep a strong separation between personal and professional. What I will say is that this last year has been the most difficult I've had since moving to New York five years ago. I'm looking forward to hitting next year running, so that if I do leave at the end of the year, I can do so with my head held high, knowing that I've given it all I have.

    Have a great end of the year. Here's to 2018.

    Soon By You Season Finale

    Had a blast at the JCC for our Episode 5 premiere party last week. Some pictures from the night:

    We had a full house of great fans. Check the episode out here if you haven't already. It's got over 20k views in less than a week, so we must be doing something right.

    Got a great shoutout in the Times of Israel article

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    As well as a complimentary (albeit depressing) one in The Forward:

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    That's all for Soon By You at the moment.  As for the rest? Getting all our ducks in a row for festival deadlines on Scenes. Looking forward to being able to share more on that in the next few months. Polished a few scripts, booked an industrial and a short, and still working on my own projects. That's about it. Happy holidays!

    September 16th

    Just received the script for Soon By You's 5th episode. One of the strongest comedy scenes I've ever been given, very excited to shoot that in a few weeks. First read through is tomorrow.

    A feature script I helped workshop was just accepted into the Blockbuster category at the Oaxaca Filmfest screenplay competition, excited to see how that plays out. Way to go David Power!

    Pickings, a feature film I have a supporting role in, was just picked up by AMC Independent and will receive theatrical distribution in select theatres in LA, New York, and Austin in March 2018.

    Sound designed a play that opened last week at Roy Arias Studios.  Brilliant Traces, by Cindy Lou Johnson. Directed by David Newer.

    Taking the pilot I've been working on in a new direction, ditching the procedural element I sort of forced on there in favor of something more character driven, if perhaps less commercially viable. Hard to say at this point, but I'm satisfied with the changes.

    Locked the location for the horror feature. A farm in Camano Island, WA. Some pictures:

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    Finally put together a press page on this site, happy with how that turned out.  

    That's it!

     

    Early August updates

    Soon By You has received some good press.  There was this piece in The Jewish Standard that gave the cast an opportunity to talk about things we care about, which is always nice.  And then there's this, which I'm just going to assume is good press?  

    Google Translate doesn't quite cut it.

    Google Translate doesn't quite cut it.

    Somewhere along the lines, I was made into a GIF: 

    It's a good one, second only to this GIF:

    Almost, though.

    Had a great series of screenings of the fine cut of Scenes From The Underground, and are using the feedback we recieved to help guide us to picture lock. It was great to hear from people who are seeing it for the first time.

    Head back to Seattle tomorrow to location scout for a feature, attend a wedding, and finalize details for a pilot. Short but sweet trip.

     

    Happy birthday, America.

    On the most prestigious of holidays, filled with BBQ and explosions, let's look back at the last few weeks.  

    • Soon By You was featured in the New York Post, our biggest press to date.  Check it out here.
    • Received a short film back from post, have some fun stills from it here.
    Worst. Scene Partner. Ever.

    Worst. Scene Partner. Ever.

    Don't be creepy, don't be creepy...

    Don't be creepy, don't be creepy...

    • Finished the first draft of that pilot I'm working on with James Challis, locked it in with the WGA so it's protected, sending it around for feedback.  Looking forward to posting more about that when it gets closer to pre-production.
    • Looking at flights to head out to Seattle, do a location scout for All Who Wander. 

    That's about it.  Off to go enjoy some BBQ. Happy Holidays, from your boys Smith and Goldblum.

    Welcome to Earth.

    Welcome to Earth.

    Q+As, Podcasts, and some Big News

    It's been a good month.  

    A podcast interview went live that I did a month back. Topics include, but are not limited to: Scenes From the Underground, Soon By You, Magic the Gathering, and Mariners baseball.  Check it out, c/o Michael Scott and The Great Scott Podcast.

    A Question and answer session from the JCC premiere went online, you can view it here.

    Finally, biggest news of all, I booked the lead role in a feature.  Titled "The Dark Path", it's a vampire thriller taking place in modern day New York. I'll post more on that as details flesh out.  All good stuff.

    End of May Updates

    Episode 4 of Soon By You premiered at the JCC last night, and was an absolute blast. The episode is up on youtube, you can watch it here. Photos below c/o Fiona G photography.

    Finally got to watch the first cut of Scenes, currently in the notes process on that. It looks spectacular, can't wait to share it with all of you when we're done.  

    Wrote a pilot that's in the process of getting feedback for a second draft.  Hoping to shoot that late fall. Still trucking away on the script for All Who Wander.

    Turned 28.  Was presented with one of the best birthday gifts I've ever received, c/o the fantastic Colleen Slattery.

    Yeah, that's me as Batman. Check out David's  other work here , he's amazing.

    Yeah, that's me as Batman. Check out David's other work here, he's amazing.

    May have some more big news on the horizon, but going to wait until things are set in stone before jinxing it.  That's it for now!

     

    Soon By You, Del Valle, and more

    2017 has been going pretty well so far. I was best man in my brothers wedding down in New Orleans, which was a blast.

    Came back right after that to shoot out the 4th episode of Soon by You, should be going live sometime in late may. Always a blast to work with that team. A few stills from our central park scene, c/o Fiona G Photography:

    The day after we wrapped, we had a photoshoot for some new promotional material, c/o Abbie Sophia Photo.  

    Probably shouldn't have gotten into the matzoh. 

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    Scenes is still chugging along in post. We submitted to IFP, will post more if/when we hear back. I have a good feeling about it.

    In addition to acting, I do sound design for theatre. Ned Van Zandt, a good friend of mine, has been workshopping his auto-biographical one man show Del Valle for the past few years, and it's going up tonight in Marfa, Texas. Here's an interview about it on NPR affiliate KTEP - worth it for the stories alone. I was fortunate enough to do the sound for it. There's plans to move it to London's West End. Ned's a brilliant performer, it's a pleasure to see someone so present and in their element. Growing up on Mike Daisey's and John Leguizamo's solo shows, I've always been fascinated by the solo performance element, especially when based off of true events. It was wonderful to see it come together firsthand.

    What's next - still chugging away on the script for All Who Wander, going slower than I'd like, but it's quality stuff. Still auditioning, still looking for representation.  Helped my friend KC Arora with his pilot presentation, currently developing a pilot with one of my closest friends James Challis we're aiming to film in the fall.  That's it for now!

    Updates, a long time coming

    It's hard to say everything that's happened in nine months, but I guess that's how long it's been. I could bullet point, but that wouldn't do justice to the slog that's been the better part of the last year of my life.

    The crowdfunding campaign for Scenes ended.  We raised the remaining funds  for principal photography through private investors, and calling in more favors than I thought possible.  We amassed an incredible team.  We went through countless rewrites, looked at over 5000 actor resumes, and cast 59 principal roles for the premiere feature film from our production company, First Circle LLC.

    Had some small things here and there.  More stuff with Discovery ID, a couple SAG-ULB featured and supporting roles.

    Took a few great classes here and there, trying to stay sharp.

    Had a bit part on the new Emily Blunt vehicle, The Girl on the Train, directed by Tate Taylor.  Wonderful team, and informative to me to see how films function on the highest level of production.  

    Sound designed two full length off-broadway plays, one at The Paradise Factory, the other at The Robert Moss Theatre.  

    I've been lucky enough to have been taken under the wing of an experienced producer, who has been acting as a mentor of sorts.  His advice has been invaluable.

    Acted in a webseries about young orthodox Jews looking for love.  It blew up and has surpassed any expectations I may have had; the first episode went live three weeks ago, we've gotten over 55k views in that time.  The second episode has since wrapped principal photography.  I was featured in Backstage magazine where I gave a little blurb about it.  

    As I'm writing this, PM has turned to AM and we have entered the final day of principal photography for Scenes From the Underground.  Unbelievable.  I don't know what to say.  I've never worked on something so hard for so long.  When all is done, I will be the executive producer, as well as one of the leading actors, on an incredibly ambitious feature film.  It still hasn't hit.

    Auditions come and go.  Sometimes I book, sometimes I don't.  If I could see myself now from where I was five years ago, I would be proud.  

    I've learned a lot.

    Already trying to line up the next project.  Next steps.  Momentum is powerful, so I'll do my best to stay out of the way.

    It's happening.

    The amount I've learned over the past two years is ludicrous.  Between graduating Esper, taking a film from an idea to reality, making my name mean something in a new market in a new city - it's been intense, but worth it.

    Please, check our our website, follow us on social media (FB, Instagram, Twitter) and spread the word about this film.  It's going to be spectacular.

    Updates

    It's been a while.

    I graduated the two year program at Esper.  I'm part of the 50th anniversary graduating class from one of the top drama schools in the world.  Awesome.

    Been involved in a few short things - lead actor in a music video last month, acted in a short film last week.  Here's a still: 

    Obnoxious law student threatens girl outside bathroom.  Standard, really.

    Obnoxious law student threatens girl outside bathroom.  Standard, really.

    Finished up our final round of general callbacks for Scenes From The Underground, sending out casting notifications later in the week. It's shaping up really well. The script is on point. So far no snags with contracts/legal/any of that.  Researching grants, working on the day to day with the production company, setting up SAG stuff.  All good learning experiences.

    Still auditioning, though keeping it to film until Scenes is finished with principal photography, since I don't think I'll be able to give the proper time commitment to theatre.  It'll be good to get back into that world.

    Excited to see what the summer brings.  

    Through our second round of generals

    Of the last 60 hours, I have spent 26+ of them watching actors read.  Probably another 14 emailing, writing, scheduling.    The audition room was small and warm.  I wore the same pants for three days.

    Totally worth it.  

    I head back to school tomorrow after a spring break spent grinding on a project that once existed only as a series of pictures, small pieces and ideas floating around that have started to form into a larger whole.  At times it pisses me off, because everything is happening now, right as school is at its absolute hardest, and time is stretched thin and I'm not as patient with myself or others as I would like to be.  But I'm really hopeful, and I love the momentum we're moving on right now.

    There are still a few specialist roles we'll have to call in for, and we still need to send out the prompt for the video auditions, but we've seen enough actors to narrow down for callbacks for most of the core cast.  Big stuff.

    An actor came in Saturday night that really reminded me why I started this journey in the first place.  I was deeply moved by an audition, and it didn't matter that I was in the same room I've been in all day, or that I was running on coffee and wishful thinking.  Everything fell away, and I was completely caught up with this person.  A good reminder that I'm on the right track.

     

     

    New Website up!

    C/O Elizabeth Goodspeed, graphic designer extraordinaire.  Check her out.  Way more manageable, user-friendly, and polished than the last site.  Plus, URL.  Pretty thrilled. 

     Let's see:

    • Scenes From The Underground coming along nicely.  First few round of auditions under our belt.  Writers coming together.  Have to figure out various guild restrictions/possibilities, but overall very promising.
    • About to get my demo reel touched up with some of the test footage from Scenes.  Will update once I have it.
    • Found a teaser online for Good Dads.  
    • Like everyone else in January, I'm back in the gym for the first time since getting hit by that truck.  Humbling.  Looking forward to getting back to my ideal performance shape.  

    School + Scenes taking up most of my time.  Not bad problems to have.

    Thankful

    • I am thankful to be living in a city I want to live in pursuing a career I want to pursue.
    • I am thankful for being involved with a project where my input is valued.  Scenes From the Underground is taking shape in ways I could never have imagined, and I'm truly grateful.
    • I am thankful for dogs.  They make my life better when I walk past good ones on the street.
    • I am thankful for the emotional honesty that has worked it's way into my behavior.  I credit this to my training, a concerted effort on my own part, and surrounding myself with emotionally honest people.  This has, for better or for worse, given me a heightened "bullshit meter". I am no longer capable of having extended conversations about the weather. I can no longer feign interest nor apathy.  My behavior reflects how I feel, and I feel more unabashedly myself than I have in a long time.  This makes me a more polarizing of a person.  My highs are much higher, my lows far lower, but I am feeling in a way I thought I lost as I grew older.
    • I am thankful for the good people in my life. I have family and friends who want me to do well.
    • For the first time in my life, I feel respected. I have always felt liked, loved, cared about - but never before have I truly felt respected.  For this I am incredibly thankful, as it begins to fill a hole in my self-worth I never fully understood.
    • Good food is wonderful.  Poignant art helps me breathe.