Month: October 2012

An Interview With Neal Mayhem

Neal Mayhem is A British writer and broadcaster. Here is a link to his website:



Q:  How did you get into broadcasting?

A: I was always a fan of radio since I was a kid. I used to order tapes of all the DJs from America. Rick Dees , Stern and Wolfman Jack. But I was the most enthralled by Kenny Everett. That guy was a genuis. As much as Stern would love to claim credit for transforming radio, (and he DID do a great job of pioneering talk radio) Everett beat him to it. Anyway, I was 13, and decided it was what I wanted to do. I heard of a charity called “Radio Cracker” that was running in London. It was a short term license and it was for the month of December, to raise money for children’s hospices. I figured it would be a good idea to do one in my home town, so I applied, got funding, and was accepted. I had help from some adults though, of course. Anyway, we got the premises, and the studios were built and equipment installed on goodwill of the businesses. I assigned a committee of adults to help us, and they decided to make me programme director. I also hosted the evening show. It was a dumb show. Total chaos, but it gave me a taste for what I wanted to do. My next move was to get work placements in radio stations, and finally, I got a placement while I was at college. A small rock station in the North of my county. They gave me a shot when the mid morning guy walked out over pay, and I carried on disc-jockeying part time while I finished college. It was then my first paid job out of college. Well, I mean, I say paid, although it wasn’t really with money. They pretty much paid me in CD’s. If it was a tough month, I’d be lucky to get something from Hall and Oates.

Q:  What do you think causes someone to be an iconoclast?

A: Good question, and I’m not sure I’m really qualified to answer that one. I mean, I’ve always been of the view that I will never make any subject too taboo for my satire or comedy, and indeed I have attacked organised religion on several occasions. However, I have no beef. I would never dream of taking a verbal or textual dump on people’s beliefs. They have a right to entrust their life views in any entity, be it factual or mythological, and I won’t think less of them for that. I only hope they respect my right to NOT believe. There are some ‘comedians’ who think it’s funny to launch campaigns against religion, and pro aetheism. I don’t buy into that bullshit.


Q:  What is your wildest work story?

A: I once walked in on a company CEO having anal sex with my one time station director, in the studio early one morning after they’d been on a drunken night out. They attempted to recruit me into a threesome. I declined. I shouldn’t have. She was pretty hot. But, I found it kinda weird, considering they were also married. When they sobered up, and realized what they’d done, they tried to pay me a lot of money to keep quiet, and ‘resign’. I accepted. Don’t judge. I was broke at the time.

Q:  You’ve work in the US and the UK, which audience gets offended more easily?

A: Without doubt, the UK audience. People in the UK are generally ‘stuffy’. As much as our edgy television shows would contradict my point, it’s almost like a past time paradise for complainants to go after the media here. US audiences seem to just go with the flow. That said, I don’t think it’s the audience that’s the problem so much as the station management. The industry is awash with kids. People fresh out of college who don’t understand audiences or the entertainment industry as a whole. They’ve come up the ranks through the sales end. “Yes men” who have gotten up the ladder by sucking up and doing what they’re told, and demonstrating that they can do what they’re told. They don’t have the air miles.

Q:  What exactly is the minx of the week?

A: It’s 150,000 guaranteed hits a week, without even needing to think, is what it is. Sex sells. But, rather than just having a feature where I go, “here are some nice tits”, I at least try to throw some humorous context into it.

Q:  Who are some of your favorite radio personalities ?

A: In terms of in the US, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t an admirer of Stern. I think most broadcasters are. Especially those of us who have had the honor of working with him, no matter how briefly. Although, I’d argue that he’s had his day now. That ended with KROK. He’s great at spin, and he’d have you believe he’s as big as ever on Satellite, but the truth is, he has next to no audience now. No one will ever take away what he achieved though. Know when to quit, right? I am a huge admirer of Phil Hendrie. There is no one like him, and I actually pay to subscribe to his show, even though he should really give me a free backstage pass as we’re kinda friendly together. I will always love Rick Dees. Yes, he’s cheesy, but he’s the master. Ryan Douchecrest can only dream of filling his boots in LA. More recent favorites of mine are Jay Mohr. I discovered him by chance, as we’re both hosted on Stitcher. I found him in the same category as me. I totally love listening to Alex Jones, although he is a total fraud. In terms of the UK, I enjoy Danny Wallace, and I’ve always loved Simon Mayo.

Q: If you could interview anyone at all on the radio who would it be ?

A: Wow, that’s a really good question. I would have to say Dr Dre. When I was growing up, there were no such thing as talent shows, and music was very one-note. It was non-political, and typically about holding hands with girls. Then along came this group called NWA. Cynics would tell you that they were exploited to make a bunch of Jewish Californian’s rich, but there is way more to it than that. Both Ice Cube and Dre were genius in business, and I hope that they go deeper into that in that movie that’s coming out. It would have to be pre-recorded of course, unless it was on a podcast, because, f-bombs…dang…

Q: Are there any subjects you consider to be taboo?

A: Taboo? No. By nature, a subject is a topic that’s open for discussion. It’s how you handle that subject that can be taboo. I don’t tend to make rape jokes. They are rarely funny. That said, if someone else were to be able to pull off a joke that was funny, and it happened to be about rape, I wouldn’t allow my uneasiness about the subject matter to pre-judge the impact of its humor. Although I highly doubt a joke like that exists.

Q:  Who is the most ridiculous celebrity?

A: Any of the Kardashian’s. I can’t argue that they aren’t celebrities. They are. But the thing they SHOULD be famous for, no one gave a shit about. And the thing they really shouldn’t be, they are. They all have goose feather pillows, and drive around in cars worth more than your house, because one of them decided it would be fun to run a handycam while she put her mouth around Brandy’s brother.

Q: Marry,kiss or kill: Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus or Howard Stern? Don’t be a homophobe.

A: Kill Rush Limbaugh, Kiss Howard Stern and Marry Don Imus. Rush is a venomous troll, Howard is (miraculously) the prettiest, and I wouldn’t have to do ANYTHING with that disgusting cowboy Don, if I were to be married to him. And I’m never homophobic. Unless they’re tattooed weightlifters.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Moviebytes Owner Frederick Mensch

Frederick Mensch runs the web-site Moviebytes which offers a  list of contests and resources for screenwriters. Here is a link to the site:


Q: What inspired you to start Moviebytes?

A: I’ve got an entrepreneurial nature, and a background in both screenwriting and programming. I wanted to start a website, so I looked around for a market that wasn’t being particularly well served. Screenwriting contests looked like a good fit.

Q: What is your own background in film?

A: I studied screenwriting at NYU. I’ve sold a couple of scripts, including an indie satire titled Supreme Ruler with Marcia Gay Harden and Vincent D’Onofrio attached to start. That’ll start shooting next year, hopefully.

Q: What are some of the qualities that make a good screenplay?

A: Characters in conflict. That’s pretty much it, I think. I’m partial to character-driven stories, so I’m a stickler for honesty and a distinctive point-of-view, as well. I like my heroes to have flaws, and my villains to have virtues.

Q: What makes for a really bad screenplay?

A: For me, the worse screenplays are the ones that are primarily regurgitations of movies that have already been made. Needless to say, I don’t go to studio movies very often!

Q: What is the most prestigious contest out there? (and what makes it so?)

A: The Nicholl Fellowships. In terms of prestige, the Nicholl is pretty much the beginning and the end of the conversation. There are a number of other great contests out there, but none of them are sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. If you look at the credits of their previous winners you’ll get a pretty good sense of what a Fellowship can mean to a writer’s career.

Q: What was the most unusual request you have ever had from a writer or contest judge/owner.

A: Every couple of months I’ll get an off-the-wall email from someone who wants me “write up” a great idea they have for a movie. They’ll describe the plot in mind-numbing, incoherent detail (I remember one about flying dinosaurs), and generously offer to share the profits if I’ll just write up the screenplay. Sweet deal!

Q: What is the most realistic film you have ever seen about Hollywood?

A: Day of the Locust. It’s a dark, apocalyptic depiction of folks on the fringes of the film industry in the 1930s. I’m not sure I’d describe it as realistic, but that movie (and book) has always struck an emotion chord with me.

Q: What film do you think has the best dialog ?

A: The Social Network. Aaron Sorkin tends to write about hyper-verbal overachievers, which means he can reveal character and show off his dialogue skills at the same time. Less articulate characters don’t lend themselves to that kind of treatment.

Q: What do you think is the most overrated screenplay ever?

A: 500 Days of Summer. I doubt it necessarily qualifies as the most overrated screenplay ever, but it did win an Indie Spirit Award, and a WGA Award nomination, and I just hated the gimmicky nature of the screenplay. If the story isn’t compelling, jumbling the narrative just makes it worse.

Q: Are you more of a Charlie or Donald Kaufman ?

A: I have a full complement of neuroses, so I think probably puts me in Charlie’s camp. He’s a genius and I’m not, though, so there is one small difference.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Blogger Jackie Pomeroy

Jackie Pomeroy runs the blog Fun Over Fifty. Here is a link to the website:



Q:  What inspired you to start your blog?

A: I have met so many people that are turning fifty years of age and don’t know how to handle it. My friends and acquaintances kept telling me I needed to write a book about life after fifty. I decided to start with a blog instead, perhaps to be followed by a book.

Q:  What is the most common misconception about life after fifty?

A: For some people, they feel that their life is over. They may have lost a significant other through death or divorce, and don’t really want to start again. Many people also feel overwhelmed and tired and possibly financially stressed due to the economic impact on their retirement funds.

Q:  What are some of the particular challenges someone over fifty has when it comes to dating?

A: Many people over fifty have no idea how and where to meet people to date. Many turn to online dating sites. Some are fearful, perhaps because they were previously married to or living with the same person for many years and the dating game has really changed. Often people feel inadequate, out of shape and out of touch.

Q:  What are some of the challenges presented to job seekers over fifty?

A: Job seekers over fifty may have old skills. They may also have poor health. Some even have very low energy. Age discrimination is alive and well. Some workers may require too much in salary. If they apply for a job for which they are overqualified, they may not be hired because the employer feels like they will not stay long-term. The current economy has really magnified these challenges.

Q:  What are some of the ways you have tried to promote your blog?

A: I hand out my business cards to everyone because we all know someone over fifty, even if it isn’t us! I wear a t-shirt and/or hat with www.funafterfifty.comon it. I sign my emails with a link to the blog. I do group presentations and public speaking. I attend or volunteer at places where there are people over fifty. I comment on other related blogs and include a link to my blog if allowed.

Q:  Who are some of your favorite bloggers?


Q:  Do you do any other kinds of writing?

A: I have done some technical writing, mostly computer software courses and software documentation. I have done some content writing for websites. I plan to write a book or two in the future.

Q:  What are some of the positive things about being over fifty?

A: Kids are grown and out of the house. You get senior citizen discounts. There is more time to volunteer and/or travel. You can now try all those things you have always wanted to do but something else got in the way. You may be single and like it that way.

Q:  What are some of the negative things about it?

A: You just can’t do all the physical things at the same pace that you could do when you were younger. The body may be wearing out. You may not be earning as high of an income as when you were younger. There may be a loss of energy. You may have health challenges. You may be alone due to death or divorce. You may be depressed.

Q:  What are some of the jobs you’ve had and how have they inspired your writing?

A: I have been a softball umpire, a mathematician for the federal government, a self-employed software trainer and consultant, and a high school math teacher. I have always felt like I learned something from every occupation I’ve held. Some of the main things I’ve learned and used in my writing are:

You never know that you can’t do something until you try.

You are never too old to learn something new.

Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

Surround yourself by people who are doing what you want to do.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Actress Melanie Chrystn

Melanie Chrystn is an  aspiring  stage actress who lives in NYC and attended The Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton, OH.


Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: I became interested in performing at a very young age. I was very shy when I was younger, but when given the opportunity to act or sing, I realized I could express myself in a way that was usually very hard for me to do. I completely fell in love with the release of that energy and the confidence that it helped me build.

Q: What role that you have played was the closest to your own personality?

A: I once did a character study and portrayal of “Norah” from A Doll’s House. Norah began the show as a soft spoken and sweet girl with a lot of compassion for those around her, even for those who did not have the same respect for her. But throughout the story, Norah grows to embrace her independence and becomes a strong woman who is capable of making choices that will benefit who she truly is. I think every woman can relate to finding the balance between the commitment to yourself and the commitment to the people or things you care about.

Q:  What role was the furthest from your own personality and how did you prepare for it?

A: I portrayed “Lucy” in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Her character was very fun to work with, but while studying the original Peanuts comic strips, I noticed that she was a much more aggressive and outspoken young girl than I ever was. I studied the comics and Peanuts movies to help build my confidence in a role that required me to be very bossy. I had so much fun playing a character that was so opposite of my own demeanor.

Q:  What is the difference between acting for the stage and acting for the theater?

A: When acting for the stage, you are using your energy to express yourself and your character. When performing for the theater, you are conveying the same energy of expression for the many individuals in your audience. You give all of your energy into the stage, so it may extend from there and into the hearts of the people watching.

Q:  What is your weirdest back stage story?

A: In a show I was doing, as a prop, I had a scooter with a bell on it. I was originally supposed to ride the scooter on stage and ring the bell, however, moments before I needed to go on, a castmate backstage was mocking my character and broke the bell by accident! I had to ride the scooter out and verbally make the “ding ding” sound. It turned out to be a hit with the audience!

Q:  Who are your acting influences?

A: I admire the work of Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, and Debbie Reynolds; each individually talented and incredibly humble.

Q:  What do you like about NYC?

Whether you are an artist or just an adventurer, New York is an incredible place to be. I wake up inspired ever day knowing that there is diversity, consistent change, and endless opportunities here. The city has no limits, and has shown me that neither do I!

Q:  What don’t you like about it?

A: Everything is harder in New York, and sometimes I yearn for the simplicity of my home in the Midwest. But I am grateful to be here and even though the city can be challenging, I am growing as a person and as a performer because of it. There is no place quite like it, and there is no place I would rather be.

Q:  What is your dream role and why?

A: I am a children’s entertainment enthusiast and would love the opportunity to portray the role of “Marry” in Disney’s Marry Poppins. The story of the show is so elegant and charming, and Mary is such a beautiful, independent, and inspiring lady who teaches many valuable lessons and has exquisite humor.

Q:  Marry, kiss or kill? Edward Albee, Neil Lebute or Arthur Miller?

A: Marry – I respect that tradition. I admire Edward Albee because he is not only a motivating writer, but a motivating person. He has allowed himself to take challenges and accept the outcomes after doing so and believes every individual, artist or not, has the ability to accomplish great things if they allow themselves to and I think he portrays that mentality in his work.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Haunted House Actor Xavier Eskridge

Xavier Eskridge is an actor at Paranoia House, a Santa Monica haunted house located at395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Here is a link to Xavier’s Youtube page:

Q:  What made you want to work in a haunted house?

A: Well, of course the need for a job and to get paid most def but the experience is definitely a plus, I get to dress up and get made up and play a monster, which is pretty cool lol, not something i get to do everyday.

2. What role do you play in the house?

I play 2 parts, I play the skeleton man with a white mask, where i wear a suit and its pretty dark in there so all people see is me move my head and they see a skeleton frame which freaks them out especially when i pop out and scare them lol,or even my subtle movements freak them out.

3. What is your wildest work story?

Well everybody in the haunted house goes on a little promotional tour down the Santa Monica mall before show time and last week there was one adult girl who we walk by and she was balling up on the sidewalk crying cause she was so scared, it was pretty interesting site to see.

4. What makes Paranoia House unique?

Well beside the fact that its not yet Halloween lol, everybody is creative and has their own idea of what scary is, we take our jobs pretty serious scaring people and i don’t think you find people these days that take their jobs serious and still have fun and i think that definitely sets us apart and make us unique.

5. What do you like about living in LA?

I like the fact that nobody does 1 thing, everybody has more than one thing going on…everybody models but they sing and then they act and then the write then direct movies then the work at Starbucks ,then they freelance on the sidewalk promoting their different projects lol, which is different from any other place I’ve ever lived.

6. What don’t you like about it?

I don’t feel like a square cause everybody is so unique in how they dress and what they have to offer so  i feel more at liberty to do my own thing and not feel any particular way.

7. What is the scariest movie you have ever seen and why?

The Saw series is my favorite i think its very gruesome and disgusting movie and the story line is very strong and real, it actually has some very good points but just with a twist lol.

8. How does working in a haunted house help you with training for acting?

I never played a monster before and i never really celebrated halloween before so it definitely different however I’m learning its a lot of ways to scare people,its not always just about jumping out and catching them off guard, sometimes its the subtle movements, if they know your eyes are watching them without you moving your body…that’s a technique i can use when I’m acting in other projects, not to be afraid to try other methods, not just to go on 1st thing that comes to mind, but try something different.

9. What sort of day job do you have and how does it influence your craft?

Well usually i be in school most days of the week and then i head to work at the haunted house,i have to get in the mood to scare people and not be lazy cause its draining and overwhelming sometime…it feels inhuman sometime to be a monster lol.

10. A Jehovah’s Witness co-worker of mine once told me that going to a haunted house and celebrating Halloween was like worshiping Satan; what would you say to her?

I don’t involved myself with convo with those types of people its wasted energy. I do my thing and i keep it pushing.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Actress Adriane Hernandez

Adriane  Hernandez Is an aspiring actor who has appeared on The Dude Show. Here is a link to her IMDB page:

Q:  What made you interested in acting?


A: When I was a kid, going to the movies became infectious. I was constantly intrigued by the way visions, stories and books came to life on the big screen. I liked being able to escape into these stories; the same way people find themselves lost in a great book.

Q:  What do you like about Hollywood?

A: I like that everyone is constantly trying to “Hone their craft”, always trying to make it better. Everyone uses their creative compass to develop their unique set of skills. If you strip all the glitz and glamour of “Hollywood” away you are left with a group of extremely talented individuals; who work incredibly hard.

Q:  What don’t you like about it?

A: You sacrifice a lot here; it’s hard to stay grounded when you are around people who are so out of touch with reality; you go out to a bar and everyone looks perfect. There are a lot of surface level friendships; it’s hard to make solid foundations when everyone climbs over each other to get to the top. You see kids who go to set everyday who have never known what it was like to have a true friend “outside” of the business. It’s sad. I’ve been blessed to have cultivated most of my friendships over years with people who are “outside” of the business. I have really strong bonds with these people and their families; they are normal people who know and love me just for being me. My parents always kept me very grounded; they always knew I had big plans for my five year old self; but it was always kind of like “In due time kid, right now.. go play, have a life, so I did.”

Q:  What was your most challenging role?

A: Being myself! I think that’s why I like to entertain so much. I fancy characters that have bolder personalities — I like to play people who do and say more amazing things than my true self would. It’s easy to get lost in them and harder to find myself. Sometimes I’ll get frustrated for not being as “exuberant” as some of these characters; it’s an extremely hard balance for me to find.

Q:  What famous role could you have nailed?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     A: If I had been just a bit older I think I would have done well with Dania Ramirez’s role in Entourage.

Q:  What is your strangest work story?            


 A: Two years ago, I was just starting out and I got booked as a featured extra. I stepped on some lighting and sound equipment during a take of a couple being reunited on live t.v.! There was a 5 second lapse when the sound and lighting went out. I walked away and pretended it wasn’t me. They were livid.

Q:  Why do you think so many people want to be actors?

A:  I don’t think tons of people want to be actors! Instead, I think the media idealizes what it’s like to be “famous”– the return effects are that you get people who “try” to become entertainers; not because they honestly connect with what it’s like to want to be a true actor. So many people feel they need to prove something. They think that if they become “famous” all the sudden their self-worth will be validated by everyone who once did them wrong. That’s not the case. True entertainers have had it in themselves for as long as they can remember and it aches at them the more they let their true aspirations fade.

Q:  Who are some of your acting influences?

A: I’m very fond of the late Lucille Ball, she has always been a favorite. I think she has incredible comedic timing.

Q:  What method of acting do you use?

 A: Emotional recall also known as Meisner Technique is my best tool for dramatic roles.Sometimes it’s hard to go back to those emotional places, but they are raw and very real. I also use a lot of movement tricks. As a comedic actor you must learn how to control your body, you don’t want your unconscious movement to ruin your scene. Successful comedy isn’t just about saying something funny, its about saying it at the right time then controlling your body in a way that appears out of control yet natural.

Q:  Why do you think looks are so important in Hollywood?

A:  Think of Hollywood as the mecca of cultural art, fashion, music and entertainment. Any time you get a mix of overly creative people judgment follows and trends emerge. Everyone is always on their “A” game as most feel the need to be better than their competition.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Casting Director Angela M. Hutchinson

Angela M. Hutchinson is a casting director who founded the non-profit organization,  Breaking Into Hollywood. Here is a link to the website:


Q:  How did you become a casting director?

A: I had worked as an agent for a few years and it wasn’t really gratifying because I wanted to be closer to the creative process. So, after meeting with a mentor of mine who also happen to be a casting director that I was pitching an actor client to for a role, she was telling me about all of her casting experiences. It sounded interested so I looked further into the career path. I landed my first feature film casting job with producer/actress Tangi Miller.

Q:  Why do you think looks are so important in Hollywood?

A: I don’t think people would enjoy watching television or films if the talent on the screen was unattractive. We live in a very superficial society where looks matter. It’s the same reason why having good looks as a presidential candidate came more into play once the television was invented. I do believe beauty (internal/external) is a gift and should be shared.

Q:  What do you like about your job?

A: I love reading actors for a role. I love working with directors and producers on deciding which star names are best for the project. I also LOVE being able to give new TALENTED actors/actresses a chance that they might not usually have in a prominent speaking role or lead.

Q:  What is the most frustrating thing about your job?

A: Sometimes the best actor/actress doesn’t get the job. At the end of the day, filmmakers want to make sure they make quality content that sells. And generally, we are all driven to want to see movies with star names.

Q:  What gives someone star quality?

A: When someone walks into a room, you can tell if they have star quality based on their presence. A star glows in a room, and their mannerisms and speech patterns just make you want to be around them for an unexplainable reason—star power.

Q:  What is your strangest work story?

A: A guy once brought a McDonald’s meal into an audition and asked if he could eat during his audition (even though his character was not at all eating during the scene). He hadn’t eaten dinner and said he couldn’t wait…that was so rude especially cause I was hungry too. Another funny story is that I asked an actor to stand up for the scene since that’s how it will be acted out, and he told me that he had rehearsed it sitting down and that he couldn’t change that. To me that meant he was an actor who could not be directed so needless to say, his headshot quickly made it to the “No” pile.

Q:  What is the most perfectly cast movie you have ever seen?

A: Too many to name. I liked the cast of actors in the movies Clueless, Lean on Me and the Last Dragon. The Oceans movies are well cast as well.

Q:  What is the most miscast role you have ever seen in any film and who would you have put in the role instead?

A: No comment. Lol….

Q:  What makes someone a good casting director?

A: They have an eye for talent and can get the actor to perform on camera in a way that the directors and producers can see their vision come to life. A good casting director respects actors and the process in which they go through to prepare for a character.

Q: What is the biggest mistake an actor can make during an audition?

A: I don’t know if there’s a biggest mistake… I’m a pretty forgiving casting director especially if the actor delivers a good performance during their audition. I do however not like it when actors tell me they were late due to traffic. I think it’s rude when an actor is chewing gum; I don’t like glasses on the head (reflects in the camera when playing it back), and I don’t like when actors change the lines, especially not dramatically. I think that’s the writer in me… I discuss more information on casting and breaking into Hollywood inside my comedic memoir, “BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLyWooD,” which is available on Amazon.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)