In the coming weeks, I'll be launching my brand new blog!
REEL GIRL/NOVEL WORLD will contain essays, musings, wisdom, thoughts on books, films, art, and whatever else God puts on my heart to write about! It will launch soon so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out my brand new website at www.renegutteridge.com.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Are you following this current blog tour? Last stop, Andrea Nasfell's blog--an excellent writer with great writing perspective. Read here if you missed it:
Andrea passed the questions on to me, so here's my take on the writing process!Andrea Nasfell's blog
Who are you?
I’m Rene Gutteridge, aka freelance writer, aka mother/wife/daughter/sister/friend. I wear a lot of hats as a person and as a writer. I was pretty much born with an interest in storytelling, which then turned into an interest in screenwriting, then to writing novels, then to stage writing, sketch writing, ghostwriting, freelance writing…I decided early on I’d have a better chance making a living as a writer if I could do a lot of forms of writing, and it’s served me well and allowed me to be a part of some really great projects.
What are you working on?
My upcoming novel is a novelization of the feature film Old Fashioned. It is my very first straight-up romance. I typically do romantic comedy if I’m going to go down the romance road. I’m extremely proud to be a part of the Old Fashioned project. To read more about the movie, click here: www.oldfashionedmovie.com. Variety magazine just released a short article about it as well: http://variety.com/2014/film/news/fifty-shades-challenge-faith-based-1201270675/
I’m also working on two different films, in different stages, as well as working on the promotion of my feature film SKID which is due out next year. You can follow the progress here: Skid movie
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Well, that’s the funny thing about working as a freelance writer—I’m multiple-genre in everything I work on, whether it’s novels or screenplays or whatnot. I wanted very early on to make sure I didn’t get boxed in to one type of writing or genre. Some writers love writing only in their genre, but I have a wide interest in a lot of things, so for me, remaining flexible and open has always been the best choice to keep me happy. And although I’m a novelist, I immensely love collaboration, which opens up a lot of different kinds of projects as well.
Why do you write what you do?
I am a very curious person. All my stories are derived from my curiosity. I often tell writers that while creativity is certainly a great tool, they will be best served by their curiosity. That is what will help them find the stories they need to tell, and the stories beneath the stories too. Every single story I’ve worked on comes from vast curiosity, one that probably makes my family miserable. I ask an obscene amount of questions everywhere we go and about everything we do.
How does your writing process work?
I’m seat-of-the-pants. I’m the writer that’s jotting stuff down on napkins. I have five writing apps on my phone I never use. I’m a bit of a mess. One of my writing partners, Cheryl McKay, is amazing with her organization. She has color-coated storylines. She has tabs in her binders for each character. Sometimes I’m so unorganized I’ll just switch names of the character right in the middle of the story. He starts out as Chuck and ends up as Derrick. But somehow in the end I pull it off. I’m less interested in formula and more interested in finding where the story goes. I use my gut. I use my instincts. I dive straight into the story and characters and don’t come up for air. I do outlines and treatments only when required (they almost always are) and that’s probably what keeps my whole process from coming loose at the seams. But weirdly, I almost always produce a very strong first draft because I hate rewrites so I don’t tolerate from myself a messy first draft.
My writing life seems a bit easier these days. When my children were born and tiny little tots…that was rough. I grabbed writing time during naps and Barney and then late at night. I don’t even think I could do that now. I don’t have much brain power after 8 p.m. But now they’re older (high school and junior high!) and my hours are during their school day. I finish and call it a day when they get home and I’m a much healthier person because of it. God gave me the strength to get through the early years for sure!
Keep following the blog tour! Next up are two of my great writing buddies, screenwriter Cheryl McKay: Cheryl McKay's blog
And novelist friend Susan Meissner: Susan Meissner's blog
See you next time!
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Writing team Torry Martin and Marshal Younger are two of the most prolific and talented screenwriters I know. I had the privilege of working on their script Just 18 Summers, adapting it from screenplay to novel for my latest project. Here's a look inside their minds!
RG: Torry, I’ve known you for awhile, and I’m amazed at all your hidden talents. You act, write, speak, cook, just to name a few things. Are there things that came harder for you than other things, or are these all natural, God-given gifts?
Typing is the thing that comes the hardest for me. I’m a two-finger typist, and I think far faster than I type. By the time I get everything typed, I… Wait. What was I talking about?
Short sketches are easy for me—5 pages of material are about my limit. But the structure for a full-length screenplay is like engineering. The architectural type of thinking that is required for a feature length movie interrupts my creativity. I don’t think that way. In school, math story problems always killed me. Why ruin a good story with math?
Acting is what comes most naturally. The hard thing is getting cast. I have a unique appearance—also known as “too much sex appeal”—which limits my roles, particularly in the Christian film industry.
RG: Marshal, I’ve always been awed by your ability to churn out screenplays, and not just fast but really well done. How long have you been screenwriting? And do you prefer comedy or drama?
I have written screenplays since high school (my friends and I would film them with my Dad’s ridiculously cumbersome VHS camera. One of the movies involved evil talking basketballs). Writing movies was what I wanted to do, and I even majored in Script and Screenwriting in grad school at Regent University. But there was never any interest in any movies that I had written while I was in school. That was because I needed to learn how to write first, and God knew it. I got a job with Focus on the Family to write for a weekly radio drama called “Adventures in Odyssey”. There, I received ten years of excellent training for not only writing, but for writing fast. When you have a deadline, and you are forced to be creative NOW, you tend to get faster. I think comedy is far more difficult to write than drama, but I still like comedy writing better. I think the impact it can have is underrated.
RG: Torry, tell us how you and Marshal came to be writing partners, and tell us a little bit about how the partnership works. Are you elbowing each other at the keyboard or do you have a different system?
We met when he worked at Focus on the Family, and I became a freelance writer for “Adventures in Odyssey”. Focus put me into a hotel room, but he introduced me to his house to have dinner with him and meet his family. I liked him, and when you like someone, that’s the one you want to write with.
Marshal won’t let me type with my elbows (or any other part of me). We don’t sit in front of a computer and hammer out dialogue, but we work in the same room on ideas, outlines, and notes. We bounce things back and forth a lot, and we do a lot of drafts. One script we recently did had 16 of them. We rarely have to wrestle with each other, because we trust each other well enough to back off when one of us is passionate about a certain direction. It’s this third voice that emerges that is neither me nor Marshal, but something better than both of us could have come up with individually.
I had written a film called “Godspeed Junction” for Dave Moody of Elevating Entertainment, and he liked what I did with it, so when Michelle Cox came to him with the project idea, he thought of me for the screenplay. And since I write far better when I have my partner Torry working with me, I immediately knew I needed to bring him aboard as well. As it turned out, Michelle had already talked to Torry about the idea, and he liked it, so he was on board even before I mentioned it to him.
The thing that drew me to it was that my oldest daughter was about to graduate from high school, and the whole “You only have 18 summers with your child” concept was staring me down like an oncoming freight train. And I also liked the concept that Michelle and Dave had come up with—the “anthology”-type of film, like “Love Actually”. I thought it would be fantastic to see different sets of parents from different stages in their kids’ lives.
RG: Torry, I’ve worked with you on several projects now and I love your ability to “punch up” a joke. When I think it can’t get any funnier, you always raise the bar. How do you approach comedy writing? Do you have a method to your brilliant madness?
I don’t know if there is an approach to comedy writing. It’s just a clever camouflage for anxiety. With Marshal and I, no idea, no joke, is off-limits at first. If we both think it’s funny, but doesn’t quite work for the character or the moment, we either lose it or hone it until it does work. When you open your world to everything, you’re going to find something.
RG: Marshal, what advice would you give to a budding screenwriter?
First of all, don’t get in a hurry. Developing a career in this business can take a LONG time. Keep writing and don’t get discouraged. Second, it’s so easy to write what’s expected. Everybody does the cliché. Go beyond that. Work against the cliché. Show us something we haven’t seen. Third, read “Save the Cat”. It’s the best screenwriting book I’ve ever read.
RG: Torry, do you have any rituals you go through before performing stand up comedy? I’m a comedy writer but I do it under the safety of my own roof. I can’t imagine how terrifying it must be to stand up on stage in front of people!!
My approach to performing comedy on stage is to be willing to go where the story leads you. Be willing to make yourself vulnerable. That’s when people most often relate to us. When we make fun of ourselves, it makes people feel better about themselves because everyone does stupid things.
And I’m always funnier when I get the check first.
RG: Marshal, what’s the worst parenting advice you’ve ever been given?
Torry once suggested a guillotine to scare my children into obedience.
Also, there are a lot of hard-line parents out there who think there is only one way to parent. Every kid should be homeschooled. There is one single best way to punish. Use the same parenting techniques for every kid. But every kid is different. The things they respond to vary dramatically from kid to kid. There is more than one way to parent. I wish I had known that early on, because it’s very freeing. And if you’re generally a good role model for them, it’s way harder to mess up your kids than you think.
To purchase Just 18 Summers, go here:
Visit these websites to learn more about Torry and Marshal:
Monday, June 9, 2014
Surviving the Audition
by Jami Harris
Let’s face it – no matter how long you’ve been doing this, auditions can be nerve-wracking. If anyone tells you they love the actual audition experience, chances are they’re lying, they’ve never experienced failure, or they have sadomasochistic tendencies. That, or they’ve been auditioning for Mr. Rogers (or the producers of Skid, who are really awesome and know how to make an audition fun).
That said, something I’ve learned over the years is to stop letting my fear of auditioning control my life and dictate my success (or lack thereof) in this industry. I’m a perfectionist. I was the kid who cried if I got a 98 on the test instead of a 100. I expect a lot of myself, and when I feel like I’ve failed, I’m my worst critic. So the biggest step for me was learning to see auditions I didn’t book not as failures, but as opportunities.
There are a million reasons you didn’t book the role. Maybe you were too tall or too short, or you had the wrong hair eye color, or you were too thin or too tall, or they wanted someone younger, or they wanted someone older, or they wanted someone with blue hair. Maybe you were exactly what they thought they were looking for until that other actor came into the room and gave them an unexpected interpretation of the character that they fell in love with. I’d bet most of the auditions you didn’t book had nothing to do with your acting ability and everything to do with a factor beyond your control or knowledge. But for my first few years acting, I assumed every role I didn’t book was because I wasn’t good enough or blew my audition.
There have been several times I’ve auditioned for a role, not booked it, and beat myself up for not doing a better job until months or even a year or two later, the director of that project asked me to play a role in another project based on that supposedly “failed” audition. I learned at that time the director had loved my audition but I hadn’t been the right fit for that particular role. Then it finally hit me – I had been beating myself up for months for something that wasn’t a failure and had actually led to another opportunity.
There have also been some auditions where I genuinely messed up, and I’ve learned to be okay with that too. Obviously I always strive to be prepared and give the best audition possible, but there are occasions where you walk out of that audition room thinking, “How on earth did I mess up that line?” or “Did I really do that with a Scarlet O’Hara accent?” (Okay, that happens a lot more often when you’re me and hail from South Carolina. Sometimes the accent just comes out.) I’ve discovered that one of the secrets to not making the same mistakes at my next audition is to give myself permission to mess up. Once I’ve given myself permission to not be perfect, I de-stress and actually do a better job at my audition because I can focus on the scene instead of on some ridiculous standard of perfection I’ve set for myself.
I used to be extremely nervous before an audition. Okay, nervous is an understatement. I was thrilled to find out it was okay to memorize my lines and not carry the sides (audition script) into the audition room with me because I used to be so terrified the sides would be shaking in my hands as I read. I still get nervous before auditions, especially if it’s a project I’m really passionate about. But now I use that nervous energy to motivate me to do my best at preparing for my audition, and when I get into the audition room, I let it all go, do my best, and make a decision to be content with either outcome. And I’ve changed the way I pray before an audition. Instead of begging God to give me the role I want, instead I pray that He’ll help me do my best and that I’ll book whatever role I’m supposed to have. There’s something beautiful about being able to surrender a desire for a role and trust that life will go on regardless of the results of an audition.
There are roles I’ve booked that I thought I had no chance at booking. There are times I’ve auditioned against much more seasoned actresses and been shocked to find out I was cast as the lead. And there have been roles I thought I had in a box and auditions I thought I nailed where I wasn’t cast at all. Instead of trying to figure out why, I’ve learned to just go with it, be grateful for the roles I do book, and see the ones I didn’t book not as failures but as opportunities.
So at your next audition, I hope you’ll be able to embrace the opportunity and have fun. And if that doesn’t work, just go with the old standby and imagine the director in their underwear.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
He can arrest you with engrossing portrayals or literal handcuffs. Here's a fascinating and insightful interview with actor and officer, Rob Gallavan of SKID.
RG: It's the obvious question, but you're a cop and you're an actor. In the spirit of the chicken and the egg, which came first?
The chicken arrived carrying the egg in a basket. I grew up watching CHiPs and Emergency! and it started there. I started acting at the age of 6 and I really enjoyed it. The problem I faced growing up was the lack of any strong theater programs for children in Oklahoma City in the mid to late 80s. Child actors in Oklahoma City are incredibly fortunate these days. They have a wealth of opportunity in theater, dance, film and musicals (although subjecting a young child to musicals should be considered a felony crime). I didn't have that. I did school plays here and there and did a few in high school, but my interest waned because there weren't alot of good acting programs.
I always had an interest in law enforcement and that never went away. I was educated by the Jesuits, Carmelite Sisters, Sisters of Mercy and the Benedictine Monks...and I'm Irish, so I also had a stereotype to live up to.
When I went to college at St. Gregory's (a two year junior college back then), my intention was to study journalism. My freshman year I met a girl who was acting in a production of Harold and Maude. She was a cute brunette who was rather busty and she told me that the production needed walk-on roles. I was happy to walk-on the stage and follow her around for a few hours a night. Pat Snyder was the drama director and she asked me to audition for the next production. I auditioned and I was cast. I remembered how much I enjoyed acting and I was a decent actor. Pat insisted that I pursue acting as a profession but I was hesitant. I knew next to nothing about the profession.
The next year Pat Snyder introduced me to Roberta Sloan who was the Chair of the Department of Theater Arts at the University of Central Oklahoma. I knew UCO had a good program but I wasn't sold on pursuing theater. I had a strong interest in journalism and I still thought about law enforcement. Then I realized that UCO had strong programs for all three fields, so I applied and I was accepted.
I enrolled as a journalism major and had every intention to pursue that degree...until I saw an audition for a classical play in the fall of my junior year. I told myself that I would audition for one more play. If I didn't get cast, I wouldn't audition again. Well, Don Bristow cast me in the lead role. I quit my lucrative job at Mazzio's Pizza to do the show and it went well. I was offered a scholarship the following semester and I switched my major to theater. I was happy in the theater department at UCO and I decided to earn a minor in journalism.
But, I kept thinking about law enforcement.
I briefly considered switching my major to Criminal Justice until someone told me that it was a useless degree. Turns out, years later he was right. I tell people interested in the profession these days to get a business degree or a journalism degree. After working on the streets for five years, I think a criminal justice degree is absolutely worthless. My journalism minor, however, really paid off when I graduated from the academy.
I graduated from UCO and I was offered a leading role with Oklahoma Shakespeare In The Park in their production of The Duchess of Malfi. I spent five wonderful years with OSP and I met my wife Deanna during a production of Romeo and Juliet. I was Romeo and she was Benvolio.
Yeah, ok, she was Juliet. She was also a cute brunette and she was busty. It's a theme.
When we married we planned to move to New York to pursue my career as an actor. I still thought about applying to the Oklahoma City Police Department but I knew I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn't move to New York. I knew I was a decent actor but I wanted to know how well I could do in a professional market. New York City has one hell of a way of letting you know.
I also knew that if I kept my record clean, I could always apply to the police department in my 30s and even my 40s. I knew it would be difficult to pursue my career as an unknown actor in a market like New York in my 30s.
With our one-year-old daughter in tow, we moved to New York City. We arrived in September of 2002 with $600 to our name. We didn't have enough money to pay the next month's rent. We figuratively burned the ship we came in on. We couldn't move back even if we wanted to.
My wife found a full time job while I raised my daughter and looked for acting work. In March of 2003, I dropped off my headshot and resume at the New York Shakespeare Festival. I didn't give it another thought until they called me in to audition in April. I didn't think about it again until they called me back in early May. They cast me in their production of Henry V later that day.
I spent six wonderful years in New York City. I loved that city and I still do. But, when I turned 30, my wife became pregnant with our second child...and damn if I didn't keep considering a career with the NYPD the entire 6 years I lived in New York. I had a significant priority shift when I turned 30. I still loved theater but I also knew that I wanted to be a father. I had an offer to work for an entire year with the Shakespeare Theater in Washington D.C. but my wife was pregnant and she wanted to pursue a Ph.D.
I turned down the offer with the Shakespeare Theater and I applied for the NYPD. I tested well and they invited me to complete a packet. However, that same year, the NYPD officer's union wanted a much deserved raise for their officers. The city agreed to give them a raise if they agreed to lower the starting salary of a recruit to $25,100 a year. If you think $25,100 is a small amount in Oklahoma, you can imagine how small it is in New York City. I never submitted the application packet.
I took a regular job while Deanna finished her undergraduate degree. When she graduated she applied for admission at OU. I applied for the Oklahoma City Police Department. We both were accepted and we moved back to Oklahoma.
I graduated from the academy in 2009 and, go figure, I've worked more consistently as an actor than I ever had before.
RG: You also work in theater. What are the challenges of theater that you'd never find on a film set?
The challenge of live theater is also what makes it so great - a live audience. It's instant feedback and it can be thrilling, it can be even keeled or it can be crushing.
Some of my best memories as an actor come from events that went wrong on stage and the audience reaction. During the production run of Henry V, we had a rain out toward the end of the show. The rain wasn't that heavy but the tech crew were nervous about the electrical equipment. The Delacorte Theater seats 1,872 and most of the audience left when they made the cancellation announcement. However, there were about 250 people who stayed behind and chanted, "Henry!, Henry!, Henry!"
The cast thought it would die out and we started putting things away. But those people kept chanting for a good 10 minutes. At that point, we started talking about finishing the show. Liev Schreiber, who was playing the title role, also wanted to finish the show. We agreed to finish it in the light rain with no microphones and only flood lights to light the stage. Liev went out to the stage and invited everyone left in the house to huddle close together at the front of the house. We went on stage and finished the production standing close to the audience during a light rain. It was an incredible experience. You don't get that experience with film.
Theater is much more of a grind than film. Some film actors will disagree, but I think a majority of actors would agree that theater is more of a grind...and it doesn't pay as well as film. You rehearse all day from anywhere between 4-6 weeks and then you have at least a four week run of a production. Theater tickets are much more expensive than movie tickets and the audience expectations, for the most part, are higher with theater. You have to work hard to maintain audience interest, even with a great show. The attention span of an audience is incredibly short these days. When I directed King John for OSP, I made sure to keep it right at 2 hours.
With film, the scenes are short and you can spend all day making sure you get a scene just right. You can also improvise more with film. Theater is a little more strict in that regard. Playwrights get really bent out of shape if you change the dialogue, blocking or intention of a scene. Screenwriters aren't as rigid. For instance, when I worked on Parkland, the character I was playing was supposed to start the scene about placing Kennedy's coffin on Air Force One. When I arrived on set to shoot the scene, Peter Landesman, the director and screenwriter, told me that the scene was re-written.
Film production is very fluid. Theater production is much more rigid.
RG: When you began preparing for your role as Perry, how did you approach it? Did you study that weird uncle/cousin/neighbor everyone has, or is that guy deeply suppressed somewhere inside you?
I patrol the downtown area of Oklahoma City and I have come across many different versions of Perry. When I read the breakdown for the role, I noticed that Perry had a distinct "sniff." Well, based on my experience working with mental health consumers downtown, it appeared that Perry was a little schizophrenic. I remembered a consumer I came in contact with during a traffic stop. When I made contact with the consumer, I quickly found out they were having a schizophrenic episode. That person constantly sniffed, almost a snort. They sniffed the steering wheel of their car, the back seat of my patrol car, their own hand and whatever door handles they saw. During the evaluation, that person spit into their own hand, sniffed it and licked it back up.
I knew the film was a comedy and Perry couldn't be that dark, but I kept alot of that consumer's behavior in mind. The rest of Perry was the result of great writing and a great creative process. When I read the script, alot of small gags came to mind. I was hoping that you and Ryan would let me play around with the role and I was grateful when you both did.
Perry was a fun challenge because he had to be convincing as a bad guy, but he was also an absolute klutz. It would have been much harder to find that happy medium between the two without the great collaborative process we had on the set.
RG: You were always really prepared on set. Is your mind a steel trap or do you have a memorizing technique?
That's from years of working in theater and years of performing Shakespeare.
And it was a great script.
Skid was a film that opened the door to alot of creative improvisation. If you didn't show up prepared with something to offer then you missed out on a great opportunity. Film scripts are much easier for me to prepare and memorize. I don't understand why an actor would show up on set without their material prepped and memorized, especially if they are being paid for their performance.
RG: What's it like to come do scenes and work with people (and pigs) you've never met until that day?
That's one of the challenges of film that you don't have with theater. It's a little stressful because no actor sees the same scene the same way...and then you have to adapt to the director's vision. Darryl Cox gave me some of the best advice about working on a set before he and I went to Austin to work on Parkland. He told me to memorize the lines and have an idea about how I wanted to play the scene. Then he told me not to get attached to what I prepared and be ready to scrap it all the day I show up on set.
He was 100% right. As I mentioned before, when I showed up to shoot one of my scenes on Parkland, the scene was re-written. I still had the character prepared, but it was time to learn new lines.
That's why you have to prepare and then be prepared for changes. It's part of the collaborative process. And it can also be alot of fun. No one knew about Perry's laugh until we started shooting. That was one of the best aspects of not having rehearsals and not meeting anyone before hand. I think the laugh threw a few people off. The look on Lucas Ross' face the first time he heard it was great.
RG: Without overstating the obvious, the script was devastatingly witty and intelligent. Some might say slapstick and stupid. Whatever gets a laugh in my book. But you also have done dramas and other genres. Tell us about some of your other film roles, and what catches your eye in a script.
When it comes to theater...I'm looking for a challenge. When it comes to film...I'm looking for a paycheck. If I can get a challenging film role like Perry, that's just icing on the cake. Liev Schreiber gave me some great advice about the business when I asked him about his career. He simply said, "I do film so I can do theater."
I'm new to film and I'm not overly discerning when it comes to building my film resume. If the role is within my age range, if the script concept is reasonable, if I get to keep my clothes on and I have the time to dedicate to traveling to the audition, call back and shoot, I'm submitting for it. SAG roles pay $900+ a day. You don't turn SAG work down if you can get it. If you hear an actor say that they only submit for challenging film roles and that actor isn't George Clooney or Brad Pitt, they are lying.
My film roles consist of a secret service agent (Lem Johns) in Parkland, a deputy sheriff (Deputy Terrell) in Hollis, a straight laced friend (Harry) in Single and Dealing With It and a disorganized schizophrenic bad guy (Perry) in Skid. I have some roles in two short films and a bunch of commercials on my resume as well.
I spent 20 years in the theater and I unwittingly pigeonholed myself as a stage actor...and worse, a classical actor. Classical actors, for whatever reason, are intimidating to agents, casting directors and film directors. We're the anomaly of the business. You show up at an agents office and they basically say, "this actor doesn't neatly fit anywhere." I freelanced with an agent in New York City. She was impressed that I was cast with the NYSF so soon after arriving, but she didn't know what to do with me. It didn't last long. If I had to do it all over again, I would have diversified my resume before leaving for New York.
I have an extensive theater resume and I always look for a challenging role. Theater doesn't pay as well and it is a greater time commitment, so I have to be more discerning. I still want to play Richard III, Lear, Coriolanus, and some other leading men in Shakespeare's anthology. That's what I love about Shakespeare's works. There are great roles for every gender and age range. I'm about to turn 40, and with regard to Shakespeare's anthology, I'm about to enter my prime.
I also want to work on plays by Harold Pinter, David Mamet and Edward Albee. That's the next challenge for me on stage. I'm directing Glengarry Glen Ross for the Oklahoma City Theater Company this fall. Mamet's language has a very distinct rhythm, just like Shakespeare, and it is very precise, just like Shakespeare. Harold Pinter is the exact opposite of Mamet, very minimalistic. That's just as challenging because you have to carry the show through the hurdles of the infamous "Pinter Pause."
RG: What's the dream for you?
I'm living the dream. I'm a police officer and an actor.
I love being a cop. There are times I would do that job for free if my wife would let me. Becoming a police officer was the best decision I ever made, second only to pursuing my acting career in New York. I'll live the rest of my life not ever having to wonder, "what if...?"
I just became the President of the Board of Directors for Oklahoma Shakespeare In The Park. We are about to enter our 30th Anniversary Season. When I became the President of the Board, Kathryn McGill (the founder and Executive Director) and I decided that it was time for the theater to join Actor's Equity...the professional stage union. This puts OSP in the same category as Lyric Theater and City Rep. It officially gives us the stamp of a "professional theater" even though OSP has been operating that way for years. It's a transition that is well deserved and well overdue.
I'll spend two years in this position and I have the honor of overseeing a theater company that gave me everything I needed to succeed in New York.
I've achieved everything I wanted to achieve professionally and I did it before I turned 40. I worked alongside Liev Scheriber, Peter Gerety, David Costabile and Bronson Pinchot with the New York Shakespeare Festival. I'm credited in a film alongside Billy Bob Thornton, Marcia Gay Harden, Paul Giamatti, Ron Livingston, Tom Welling, James Badge Dale, Darryl Cox and a myriad of other great film actors in Parkland.
My parents, family and friends have seen me act Off-Broadway in New York City and they've seen me on the big screen. Having my parents see me play a speaking role on the big screen in a movie theater near their hometown was probably the biggest goal I had as an actor.
I'm sure I will act in other films and act in television shows down the road. Anything else I achieve from this point forward is icing on the cake.
RG: Just for fun, when you arrest people, do you throw on one of your accents just to freak them out?
Not if I'm arresting them, no. But, if it's a well known drunk I've dealt with 100 times, every once in a while I'll bust out an over the top Irish lilt or an over the top Brooklyn dialect to break up the monotony and have some fun.