Dinner With Friends – EXTENDED!!!

dwf-webOh, it has been a long time since I’ve been on stage. I think it has been at least 7 years since I did Inside Private Lives at the Fremont Centre Theatre. That show was a wild ride that involved controversial characters from the 20th century confronting and interacting with the audience. Each character appeared solely on stage and dealt with a dilemma directly with the audience. Some of the material was scripted but most of it was improvised. I played Aimee Semple McPherson alone on stage armed only with my research and a fantastic costume created by Kate Bergh. It was terrifying and liberating. At one point, we had been invited to participate in San Fransisco’s Fringe Festival. That audience wasn’t having any of my God talk or my weird hairdo. I eventually threw my bible, fell to my knees and screamed at God and them. They really liked that. Boy did I want to quit.

Well, I’m back on stage and this time in a scripted play, with other characters, safely performing behind the invisible fourth wall. However, I haven’t been in a play in over 20 years! 20 years! How is that possible?

Luckily, the play is the Pulitzer prize winning Dinner With Friends by Donald Margulies. It is a well written investigation of love, marriage and relationships. I get to play with 3 other incredible actors: Pete Gardner, Mary Manofsky and Michael B. Silver. The house is small which allows for greater intimacy. Rehearsals have been fun and intense. I think this will be a special night in the theatre. If this sounds like your cup of tea, try to catch us in this extremely limited run: February 27 & 28, March 6 & 7 at Stuart Rogers’ Theatre (AKA Theatre Tribe)5267 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood. The only way you can purchase tickets is through brown paper tickets.

MORE DATES ADDED, DUE TO DEMAND: MARCH, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28!

48 hour film festivals

Probably the only people who know about these kinds of challenges are actors. I had heard of them over the years, and it sounded god awful to me. You have 48 hours to make a short movie from “inception of idea” all the way to “finished project.” Hellacious right? Then I started studying at Stuart Rogers Studio and met all these terrific actors who really care about their art and craft and are not afraid of doing really hard work. I soon realized I had become a pampered, passionless actor who had morphed into a giant pussy. I was scared, scared to get involved and to care anymore. Well I don’t like being scared. My life is only 1/2 over. What am I gonna do for the last 1/2? Hide huddled in a corner too scared to try something new; too scared to rediscover my enthusiasm, passion and drive because I’m afraid I’ll look like an idiot for caring? Since when did I ever care about what I looked like?

This February, Stuart Rogers Studio had their 48 Hour Film Festival. I was determined to be a part of it. Luckily my favorite people allowed me on their team. Mandy Levin and Brice Williams had assembled an incredible assortment of actors, director, writer, artist, and editor.

Most of us are really only trained to act so we knew there would many challenges, specifically technical, along the way.

We were given “Buddy Film” as our genre.
We had to incorporate, “The opera chef cooks and sings,” somewhere in the dialogue.
We had to incorporate the name “Maxwell Geanalkoplis.”
We had to use a “plunger” somewhere in the film.
The film had to be at least 5 minutes long but no longer than 10.

It is amazing what you can do for no money, no time and a gun to your head. It is gloriously silly and fun. *WARNING* there is some foul language. I hope you enjoy.

Heather Robinson won Best Director and I won Best Actress. This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

The Team
Brice Williams – “Jack” and Co-Captain, Chief problem solver
Mandy Levin – “Maggie” and Co-Captain, Chief pre-problem solver
Heather Robinson – Director and “Housekeeper”
Catherine Butterfield – Writer
Marcus Williams – Editor
Tommy Burr – “Maxwell Geanalkoplis” – script supervisor
Jack Krizmanich – “Gorgeous Cop” and all around helper
Brett Doar – “Maggie’s Husband” and all around helper
and Me

SANTA BARBARA FILM FESTIVAL/super bowl WEEKEND

1604562_559051974189188_1216426380_nBFF’s will be premiering at the Santa Barbara Film Festival! Congratulations to Tara Karsian and Andrea Grano who wrote it, produced it and star in it! And congrats to me because I’m in it;)

So even though this weekend may be all about the Super Bowl for you (Hey, I’m gonna go to a Super Bowl party! Who’s playing?), you can help us by clicking here and liking the BFF’s Facebook page. Distributors look at all kinds of info (not just the quality of the film) to decide whether they will buy it and distribute it so the general public can see it. Wouldn’t it be cool to know you helped a movie get seen?

BFFs – Trailer from Ninja Goldfish on Vimeo.

LOGLINE
Looking for a few days of vacation and amusement, two best friends pretend to be lovers while attending a couple’s weekend workshop.

SYNOPSIS
Kat and Samantha have been best friends for years. When Samantha convinces a reluctant Kat to take advantage of a couple's weekend retreat by pretending to be lovers, they're hoping for some time by the pool and maybe a few good stories. How hard could it be? Instead, they find themselves immersed in an intensive workshop with real couples who are fighting to save their relationships. As the "Closer to Closeness" weekend progresses, Kat and Samantha are made to face their own shortcomings and, by default, begin to believe their own cover story. When the lines of friendship begin to blur, they are faced with asking themselves: could it actually be there is something there or has this weekend just worked a Jedi mind trick on them?

But you can also come to Santa Barbara and watch the film because the show times don’t interfere at all with the Super Bowl! Here is the link to the Santa Barbara Festival.

Showtimes are:
Friday: Jan. 31 – 8 am (yikes) Metro 4, theatre 1
Saturday: Feb.1 – 5 pm (I’m going to this one) Metro 4, theatre 4
Monday: Feb.3 – 7:20 Metro 4, theatre 2

BFF’s
Written by:
Tara Karsian and Andrea Grano

Directed by:
Andy Putshoegl

Cast:
Tara Karsian
Andrea Grano
Larisa Oleynik
Sean Maher
Pat Carroll
Eric Lively
Richard Moll
Sigrid Thorton
Patrick O’Connor
Dan Gauthier
Jeffrey Vincent Parise
and of course Me

Have a happy and safe Santa Barbara Film Festival/super bowl weekend.

Molly