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A Selection of Performances

"Heat'"
A full-length play

This is based on a true story and was based on a gymnast who was a mass murderer in Arizona in the 1950's. To be blunt, I didn't like the play, I didn't like the character and I didn't want to do the stupid role defending this asshole - I wanted him to be electrocuted but... it was the final graduating production when I was a student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Program - only 23, I was cast in the lead out of many students much older and with more experience. So I did it for all the wrong reasons and because I was told I had to. NYU was not an easy school - first year there were 54 students and year 2 only 22 - the others were "asked to leave." I think they kept the ones who needed training and threw those out who needed to be in another profession. I cannot act in a play or any other medium in any role that doesn't turn me on in a very special way and, it has to expand me. I realize this is a devastating issue but it's not changing. To me, art and money, fame, etc., do not merge necessarily and I am adamant about the devastating effects and conditioning that commerce plays in our culture (and our world). I hear the ratio        nalizations and the survivializations (new word), but in the end the artistic experience has to be highly personal, for me, or it means nothing and I get bored. I even stink on stage and don't care - it's my statement I suppose about people doing things for money, being proud of their mediocrity - not for me... I rather design websites - business is business - it's true and real in and of itself even if it sucks. But Art has always been special to me, a truly powerful insight into what makes us human, and more, and I think it is very important in our world, for all cultures to have a purely personal truth expressed (why it is expressed is irrelevant), so the audience can respond to that truth and find something for their own inner connection. I suppose my life is in protest right now - as all of the art organizations I see around me are selling out to the worst and lowest common denominator - that is a wealthy community that powerfully supports entertainment, with a mask of pretending it's high art. Art becomes entertainment when any part of it (I don't care if it's one line in an epic), is there or changed so someone is not insulted, offended, so the audience LIKES it etc. To change what has to be said for someone's defense mechanism, coupled with "I won't give you my money" is like living in a bad relationship where you've accepted grotesque suppression out of fear passed off as "love" (I'm staying in this bad marriage for instance because I LOVE my spouse - when in truth you're just afraid of them, and afraid of yourself but need to make your own hell so you feel normal with all the other justifying corpses walking around.") Now, there is nothing wrong with entertainment - but it's not art. And it has to be clear it's not art. And, that the entertainment perspectives have destroyed the art in it to some degree. It may be as creative, as any work of art but it loses the meaning and purpose the arts have in a society. It is that rare creature where purity must be protected at all costs. I realize this is unrealistic - which makes it all the more important to me.

(backstage gossip):

Not to tap myself on the shoulder but I really sucked in this play. I mean, I was BAD. The only other performance I can remember being bad in was this Off-Off Broadway showcase I somehow got myself involved in about 12 years ago - I didn't like the play, the director was an idiot, and the cast was full of amateurs. I have to love the role or I just don't want to do it - not a great acting problem to have in the BIZ. In this role I had no idea what I was doing - I didn't like playing a homosexual because at that stage in my life I was really proud to be one of the only heterosexual males in my school, and, thinking of myself as  a young stud (which I suppose I was at that time) kissing a
man on stage in front of my Italian immigrant catholic father was the most opening experience in my life. He didn't seem to care - which was even more profound. Of course now, I have friends that are gay so this is all silly to me - and academic, but then, it was a big deal. More, the director did not direct me, the head of the department at the time gave me the direction "you know get into this guy see what's under his skin" which was to me the same as "play it red"... I did not learn how to act until years after I graduated from NYU, but I always knew I had a strong stage presence and, I could make the audience watch, and feel which was a great big fat ego trip for me at the time being a poor, new actor in the big Apple. In this play, I did a lot of great posing - we had done a game in Paul Sills Improv class called "expertise" which is simply pretending you know what the hell you're doing when you have no clue... And that was what I did in this play. I was in great shape and I'd do anything to look as good as I did then now. :)... If only I had know it then!!! The Blonde in the middle was the heart-throb of NYU at the time. I remember those days as if they were yesterday and I'm about to turn 50. DID I JUST SAY THAT?