Month: March 2013

An Interview with Actor/Comic Jack Zullo

DSC_0182

Jack Zullo is an actor, comedian and  writer who has appeared on Lipstick LA; here is a link to his website:

http://www.jackzullo.com

 

 

Q:  What the hell is Lipstick LA and how did you get on it?

A: Lipstick LA was a little talk show that a girl I met online was the host of. She asked me to come down to the studio and be a guest on it, a la Jimmy Kimmel or Conan. Had so much fun riffing it up to an albeit small studio audience and the show was streamed live. The studio was a mom and pop deal, which made it a bit shady. But the girl herself is a positive little pepper pot, and has since moved on from the location, taking her show/brand with her.

Q:  You’ve done a lot of Shakespeare; what do you think is the secret to making him accessible?

A: The secret to doing Shakespeare is directing the hard work in the correct place. Shakespeare (or whomever he/she was) wrote in such a manner so as to do all the acting work for the performer, i.e. the character, inflection, beats are all in the dialogue. Doing one’s homework, ie breaking down the script and working on the words is all the actor has to do. Understanding what is going on in the scene, who the character is, and relationships within that scene, will dictate everything. The iambic pentameter and grammar do the rest.

Q:  What made you want to be a performer?

A: Like everything else in my world. Girls. Whenever I saw a girl on stage I would develop an immediate crush on her. So I projected that if I was on stage, girls would then be crushing on me. I was very young, like elementary school young, but in some ways I was spot on. There I said it, I love attention, happy? Obviously as I’ve grown up, my motivations have evolved, but I’ve landed a few girlfriends from walking off a stage.

Q:  What personality characteristics does a good director have?

A: I’ve had the luxury of working with 3 or 4 brilliant directors so far in my career. Each of them was concise in their direction, offering only one or two notes with this caveat attached: Try this, then try this. If it doesn’t work, try something else. Additionally a director must be able to connect with each actor on the basis of individual need. Each actor has their own working style, strengths, weaknesses. A good director will quickly identify, then work with each in a specific manner. At the same time, the director cannot get pulled into the actor’s world. A director must toe the line of intimacy and distance all at the same time.

Q:  What is your strangest backstage story?

A: The first thing I ever booked was at a dive called the Impact Theater in Brooklyn, NY. Same old story of some guy volunteering to be the artistic director of a space and enjoying it WAY too much for what it was. Like he was going to put this wreck of a blackbox on the international theater map or something. Backstage was a thin strip of a walkway pressed up against the back wall of the space. The back wall had a door to a courtyard in back, but the door was broken/slash awkward in its hinges so the winter weather was always blowing through. We were freezing. Aware of our grumblings, the director acknowledged the crumminess of the theater, then dove into a diatribe about how he was involved in a reading workshop of a script. First day of his read he took in his surroundings, a filthy basement, and decided the play wasn’t going anywhere, had a freakout and quit then and there. The play he was cast to workshop but quit went on to be Jonathan Larsen’s “Rent”. Basically told us a story to not be a loser like him.

Q: You played John Belushi in Live From the Grave….Its John Belushi; what kind of experiences did you draw from for this role?

A: That’s a tough one. The project is an opus of mine, something I continue to work on in my spare time. It had a few incarnations, the first of which had me hosting the show as John, while other performers re-worked sketches he did from his time on SNL. The second incarnation was a somewhat linear narrative of a his rise to fame, including sketch improv scenes, about 5 original videos, and a live band. Man that was fun. So much work putting it together rehearsing the actors, shooting the videos, rehearsing with the band (who were sick musicians, btw). In many ways the actual putting together of the production was the real tribute to John, rather than showing moments from his young life. The man rocketed to stardom through his own guile, confidence, and willingness to go for it no matter what the cost. Slowly but surely that same moxie doubled back on him and in the end killed him. Working on him is a lesson in hubris.

Q:  What makes someone a good comedy writer?

A: Box. Get out of it. Clever. You’re not. Steal. Do it. My comedy writing is a conglomerate of everything I’ve seen and indentified with. Plus action action action. Make sure your comedy isn’t all dialogue. Not everyone is as smart as you. And don’t forget to get your brilliantly hilarious work in front of people. just recently had the most satisfying note from someone ever. They said, “I read your script 3 times, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. But when I saw it read live, I completely got it. Brilliant, man”. Man that was a complete payoff. I have a frenetic energy that comes through in my writing which can be intimidating if trapped in a person’s mind.

Q:  Who are some of your comedic influences and in what way do they inspire you?

A: John Ritter, Gene Wilder, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams, John Belushi, John Candy, Tom Hanks, Seth Macfarlane, Ricky Gervais, Lenny Bruce. There are more, obviously, but off the top of my head, John Ritter portrayed a sensitive guy who was funny, friends with girls, and yet still got em. He was very physical. He was a nice guy, who still knew how to get the girl. Gene Wilder could go from 0-60, Bill Cosby could sit in a chair for three hours and make you laugh with clean anecdotes and facial expressions. John Belsuhi, well see the tape, John Candy was so lovable, Tom Hanks was very physical, lanky, added a calmness to comedy with a simmer beneath it. Robin Williams is the frenetic I identify with. Lenny Bruce was so real, so in touch with the way things should be it killed him. I could go on with everyone else, but you get it I hope.

Q:  What trends in comedy annoy you?

A: I HATE prepared, word-perfect scripted bits. You see them alot on the open mike and amateur scene. It’s masturbatory and insecure. Its kinda of like showing the audience how smart and funny you are, which alienates people. The audience knows you’re smart and funny. That’s why you don’t have a 9-5 job, bud. Have a general concept and go with it. The more organic the material, the more the audience is able to connect.

Q:  What is your opinion of “The Boob Song” from The Oscars?

A: Hilarious. It’s satirical. Kind of poking fun at ourselves. I feel the awkwardness might have affected the reaction. But who cares. Humans are awkward. I’m a big picture kind of guy.

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

Advertisements

An Interview with Actress Alina Gorun

alina-0210-copy

Alina Gorun is an actress who appears in the film Pulse of the Indigo, here is a link to her IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3690059/

 

 

Q: What made you want to become an actor?

 

A: Since i could remember , i had a passion for movies. I was an introvert child, so i liked to hide in that imaginary world and embark in those new adventures by being somebody else. By being so afraid to express myself in real life, i found a way to hide. By the time i was 9 i told my mom that “if i was born in Hollywood i would be an actress”, which she was taken by surprise 🙂

Q: What is Pulse of the Indigo about?

A: Pulse of the Indigo, is about a war between a Russian and a Mexican Mafia, but soon they realize that in the middle of all this is a serial killer .

Q:  What role do you play?

A: I play Svetlana, the daughter of the Head of the Russian Mafia, who is madly in love with an American guy, but finds out he is not who she thinks he is.

Q:  Why do you think the crime genre is so popular?

A: I think the crime genre is so popular, because it makes you sit on the edge of your seat. It Gives you suspense of what it will happen next.. Its like a drug or a roller coaster ride , that makes you tremble with fear and excitement at the same time.

Q:  What is your strangest Hollywood story?

A: I’ve been here only two years so i didn’t really experience the strange part of Hollywood, i guess i was lucky in finding the right people to have in my life.

Q:  If you could change one thing about Hollywood what would it be?

A: I would make it a more friendly place.

Q:  Why do you think so many people want to work in the entertainment industry?

A: People see glamor and fame by looking and analyzing the lives of these actors. But its not all fun and games. Its hard work, and to get to that point of success you have struggle, learn and doubt yourself. That is the amazing creation of a great actor. I think a lot of people want to be in this industry just for FAME and money! But i wish them best of luck in their endeavors 🙂

Q:  What method of acting do you use most often?

A:  Each project is different so you can’t use the same method of acting, but most of the time i find the power of imagination to be a great asset in creating a character and its depth. “The imagined life” by Diana Castle is amazing!

Q:  What is your day job and how do you draw from your experiences in that job when you perform?

A: I am a part time bottle service girl at the pool, and sometimes day to day with have your own worries and conflicts, but you have to put a smile on your face and act like you life is amazing!

Q:  What well known film role could you have nailed.

A: “The girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is one of the roles I would have nailed it. Its one of my dream characters to explore. It’s such a complex and different human being that is very surreal and strange at the same time. I loved everything about it.

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 Eliza Agudelo

elia

Eliza Agudelo is an aspiring actor who appears in the film Social Etiquette; here is a link to her IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0013379/

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

A: I was always interested in acting, but I guess I forgot about that dream until after college I woke up one day and realized I wasn’t happy and I thought about what would make me happy and moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams and have never looked back.

Q:  What was you most challenging role?

A: My most challenging role has been portraying someone who had to realize the choices she made brought her where she is now and to move forward she has to also forgive her father for sexual molestation as a child. It was an eye opener as not just an actress but a person.

Q:  How do you go about getting a reel made?

For now I have some friends who have equipment and we get together and edit some pieces together. I also like to involve myself in the crew side of filming.

Q:  What are the advantages of having an IMDB page and how does one go about getting one made?

A: Since the film industry has changed so much, having an IMDB page is crucial it’s what a lot of people look at when you haven’t gotten to A-List celebrity status yet. So just even registering your information yourself and adding your resume is how you start just like any other site. The credits on the other hand come from the producers of the films you’re in, not all get posted but at least you can be found on the site.

A: I really enjoyed going to Lifebook Acting classes, they’re not very well known, but they teach everything, from scene study to improv to cold reads and they help you find your niche who you would be cast as.

Q:  What sort of day job you have and how does it influence your work?

A: Currently I work at an accounting firm. It actually has been very pleasant because I have flexibility to go to auditions or film and the owner does taxes for people in the industry and he helps me out by introducing me to them.

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

A: To be honest right now, none really come to mind. I don’t know if there is a real depiction of the “casting”couch” the sexual favors for a role, the insults the people who try and put you down and those saying that you can’t make it without them. It would take away from the glamorous life that other people hold Hollywood as.

Q:  What do you think motivates people the most, fame, money or artistic vision?

A: Well I have been pursuing my acting for about 3.5 years and I always loved the creativity, the feeling of freedom to explore and understand other people, the fact that I can cause people to think differently, open their minds, their hearts and make them feel what they didnt think they could feel. But I’ve noticed that a lot of the newcomers like me really want the fame and money. I think we all think about it sometimes, who doesn’t want to be able to take care of their family and never worry about finances again.

Q:  What is Social Etiquette about?

A: It was sort of a mockumentary on what is appropriate in the world of Social networks, how far people go, like stalking or harassing etc.

Q:  What role do you play?

A: I play the role of Traci, I’m being interviewed and asked what is the craziest thing that has happened to me in any or all of those sites.

lease 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 Public Relations Specialist Joseph Benjamin

jb

Joseph Benjamin is the owner of Sassy Public Relations, a firm dedicate to promoting those in the fashion industry; here is a link to his website:

Sassypublicrelations.com

Q:  What made you interested in doing PR for people in the fashion industry?

 

A: Honestly from watching The Hill’s, that is what spark my interest in fashion. I still had no idea what exactly I wanted to do in fashion.

Q:  Who are some of your favorite designers?

A:  Alexander McQueen is my favorite designer; I feel he is one of the very few designer that design from his heart, well when he was still alive.

Q:  Why should my readers hire your company?

A:  I specialize in helping emerging designers. Branding is key element in the success of any brand. We build your brand from the ground up, and then we publicize your brand to the right media outlets.

Q: Why should I care about clothes?

A: That is complete up to you. My love of clothes comes from understand people and their patterns. I honestly do feel that they we people dress usually represents who they are in some way.

Q:  What is the biggest change you have seen in the fashion industry in the last ten years?

A: Front row crasher, I have guarded front row seats at fashion shows because people will just take a seat or take the gift for the editors.

Q: When I was in college in the nineties I was the Vice President Of SETA (like PETA for students). We thought we had made great progress in making fur unfashionable many celebrities joined our cause and we were sure fur was dead. Slowly but surely if began to regain popularity. Considering all the less cruel, better smelling, less expensive options; why do you think fur is still popular?

A: I honestly have no idea I don’t think anyone should wear fur.

 

Q: What do you think was the best Oscar dress ever?

 

A. Julia Roberts made waves when she stepped on stage to receive her Oscar in 2001, and not simply because her dress was so beautiful. The actress eschewed the standard award ceremony practice for custom-made, never-seen-before gowns, in favor of this vintage Valentino masterpiece from 1982

Q:  What changes would you like to see in the fashion industry?

A: I would like to see more support for emerging designers.

 Q:  What was the best fashion campaign you have ever seen?

A: Alexander Wang, his first campaign was amazing. His entire brand was created by him making one sweater.

Q: Take us through the process of promoting an unknown designer?

A: I start by getting to know the designer, their goal for the brand and where they see themselves in the next few years. Once all this is establish we make a plan of action. The branding process starts right away, Creating a website, Look Book, Press kits, allowing stylist to pull clothes. The Look book will be sent to all the major fashion publications and socialites, bloggers. Now you are a known designer to the correct people. Now it’s time for your big show, we invite only editor from publications we feel will make your brand shine.

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