Tag Archives: short film

Summer Happenings…

2017_retouch_IMG_3212

I just reunited with Sibyl Kempson and Graham Reynolds to work on The Securely Conferred Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S. at New Dramatists.  It’s a sort of kaleidoscopic meditation on Mary Shelley’s life, monsters and the outdoors.  We had a week to work primarily on music but we also managed to try out some new theatrical conceits that proved super fertile during our concert reading.  It was a treat to have so much time to work with artists I admire and adore.

I’m thrilled to begin work on another musical this week at Ars Nova.  Created by a wildly talented couple–The Bengsons–with additional lovely thoughtful work on the book by Sarah Gancher, it’s called The Lucky Ones and is being directed by Anne Kaufman.  I love working with Anne as much as I love watching her work.  So I’m very excited to be in this room and sing these songs and return to the freedom and delicious that is Ars Nova.  Last time I performed there it was in the original production of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 so partnering with them again feels like home.

I’m also doing a short film with my friend Shane Kearns.  He wrote the script, won a grant from BMCC and is hard at work to make his vision a reality.  It’s called Remedial Love and we’ll star in it together.  I’ll share our fruits as soon as I can.  Stay tuned cause I’ve got another play on the horizon…

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Screen Time!

Masquerade Premiere

With Writer/Director Andrew Hawkins and costar Max Lawrence (photo: Ryan Maxwell)

A short film I’m in Masquerade: A Story of the Old South was accepted into the DC International Film Festival.  Incidentally this screening was also our world premiere so most of the people who worked on the film travelled to be there.  Shooting that film was the kind of experience so special and singular it bonds everyone involved so it was wonderful to reunite to celebrate and be celebrated for our efforts.

Last month I was lucky enough to book a guest star on Bull on CBS.  I’ve had enough time on camera now to be able to relax and have fun on shoot days so it was a really fun few days of shooting.  Their set is filled with people so skillful, friendly and efficient it was a real pleasure to be a part of their ranks.  The episode I’m appearing on is titled “Free Fall” and airs Tuesday March 7th at 9PM (EST) on CBS.  I’ve got another little network something coming up soon so stay tuned…much is in the works!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Harvest!

dbessdeadon

This fall has been chock full of new developments!  I’ve been in residency at The New Museum since the end of October.  They’ve created a pop up repertory company called X-ID Rep in an effort to further explore the theme of their season: persona.  More to the point: the company is investigating “cross play” in the theater or playing someone of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and what the politics of that are.  We’re talking stereotypes, appropriation, xenophobia, history, language, privilege and so much more.  It’s been a difficult heady tender meta journey to have the talents of eight performers, four writers and four directors meet.  But overall, everyone’s skills are so varied and wonderful it’s been a real gift to share this time and space together.  We’re essentially an ongoing exhibit at the museum until we have our final showing in January.  So anyone can stop by and check out the process during open studio hours.  More information including open studio hours (and eventually details regarding the final showing) can be found here.  Justine Williams is writing a series of articles about the project for Culturebot that can be found here.

I attended the Audelco awards a few weeks ago as Dancing on Eggshells (a show I was in the world premiere of earlier this year) was nominated for Best Choreography and Best Ensemble.  We didn’t win but it was wonderful to be acknowledged and invited.  There was a lot of talent in that room.

I just watched a final cut of Masquerade, a period short I’m in that tells the true story of William and Ellen Craft’s escape from slavery (see post below for more info).  It’s being submitted to festivals and will premiere in 2016 so I can’t post clips yet but I do have this screen shot to share:

NinnyStill

Last month I was in PlayTime at New Dramatists, which is one of their longer developmental workshops  (lasting two weeks) for five of their playwrights in residence.  What’s amazing is that they take such great care of everyone and go to such pains to make sure that people working on different shows intersect that it feels like a retreat though almost everyone in the company was in the city they call home.  There were free meals, yoga classes and writing workshops and the whole thing was totally kumbaya and rejuvenating.  I was lucky enough to work with Sibyl Kempson (writer/director) and Graham Reynolds (composer) on The Securely Conferred Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S.  Sibyl is endlessly smart and creative and operating on a frequency that resonates in yet undiscovered parts of the psyche.  Graham’s music is inspired and hearty and satisfying.  Love them.  Love the work.  So excited to see what else we can make together…

Finally, I’m so excited to announce that I’m in the world premiere of Laura Jacqumin’s Residence directed by Hal Brooks at Humana Festival.  Humana is such a hotbed for great new American plays it’s been a goal of mine to be a part of it.  I’m really happy I’ll get to go with such a great creative team and more than a relieved to miss the worst of winter in NYC 🙂 More info here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Year New Work!

2015 has been great so far!  The first week of the year I shot a beautiful short film Masquerade with my new friend and collaborator Andrew Hawkins.  It’s a period film about William and Ellen Craft who escaped slavery by posing as a white invalid and his slave.  It’s an equally fascinating and unnerving true story that I’m honored to have a part in telling.  The crew of people that came together for this were talented hardworking problem solvers.  I am so grateful for all their efforts. Our fearless cinematographer Thomas Garrett brought a drone!  So cool and surreal to see (especially against an 1848 backdrop!).  I’m so excited to see how the shot turns out…

The rest of January through March I was busy running around for pilot season.  Which basically means a lot of makeup and memorizing. I’m kidding–it’s great exercise!  And I’m so pleased there’s so much more work available and feel lucky to have been considered for so many large parts.

Also, I just booked another short film called Dizzy With That Dame.  It’s another period film–this time the 30s–and it’s a “whodunnit!”  Check out the kickstarter page here to see a short promo video featuring yours truly.

Up next is the world premiere of Cynthia Robinson’s Dancing on Eggshells.  It’s being produced by The Billie Holiday Theater but we’re in residence at The Brooklyn Music School Playhouse in Fort Greene.  More recently I’ve been focused on writing and pursuing on camera work, but doing a play will always feel like home.  Nothing can match that feeling of “we’re all here in a room together and anything could happen” so I’m over the moon about starting rehearsal next week.  The play has a lot of heart and danger and it should be interesting to see where we go with it.  It runs from April 23rd to May 17th (Thursdays through Sundays) and you can buy tickets here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Ying and Yang Update

Early this year I shot Ying and Yang, a short film that was written and conceived of by my good friend and colleague Devere Rogers.  He is wonderfully talented and charismatic and rounded up a great bunch of folks to help him bring his vision to life.  Since its premiere, it’s screened at Brooklyn Shorts (where it won the Audience Choice Award), San Fransisco Black Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, Breckenridge Film Festival, Hollywood Black Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Urban Mediamakers (where we won Best Short) and New Brooklyn Theater Film Night.  Soon it’ll be shown at the International Black Film Festival of Nashville, New Filmmakers in New York, and Columbus International Festival of Film and Video (more on that soon).  I’m so happy the film’s enjoying a life on the short film festival circuit and am eager to see what happens next!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Short Film Screening

Image

I was recently cast in a short film by Shana Darabie called Reunion.  It’s about 2 people who have a (surprise) reunion of sorts.  We shot it last week in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  It was a relaxed informal shoot with a small dedicated crew.  We had a lot of fun together and I’m excited to see our work at its premiere at SVA on the 14th.  For more info on Shana check her out on Vimeo:  http://vimeo.com/user13184454/videos

Tagged , , ,

Currently…

A few months ago I was given another opportunity to work with David Adjmi– this time on Marie Antoinette for Yale Repertory Theater– which was (as usual) a real treat.  Rachel Taichman directed David’s delightfully irreverent and emotionally raw script with humor and grace.  It was a joy to work alongside Marin Ireland’s earnest and volatile portrait of Marie Antoinette.  Marin’s the real deal.  Her choices were exciting and inspiring–such a gift.

At the beginning of the summer I booked and shot a short film titled The Pressure with Astrolab Films.  It’s a psychic thriller that’ll be released later this month.  It’s my first sci-fi film and I hope it’s not my last, as I am (in general) attracted to scripts that stretch boundaries and the genre pretty much demands that.  This also basically means that you get to do stuff that looks really cool and that you would otherwise never have the opportunity or ability to do.  I was struck more than once by the fact that I was spending long hours with a creative and focused group of adults in a sweaty warehouse way out in Brooklyn playing dressup and pretend amongst buckets of fake blood.  I love my job!  For more information about the project feel free to checkout the Kickstarter campaign link below (there are two teaser videos):
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thepressure/the-pressure-a-psychic-terror-thriller

In July I worked on Lauren Whitehead’s stunning, still at the Vineyard Arts Project with Colette Robert, Sheldon Best and Malcolm Madera.  VAP is a wonderful (relatively) new artist development center on Martha’s Vineyard.  The studios are bright, the houses are comfortable and the land is just beautiful.  We spent our days listening to the play and pulling it apart.  We spent our nights cooking family meals, looking at stars, playing games and sharing poetry, songs and whiskey.  It was like an arts-intensive summer camp for adults!  Fertile grounds for creativity.  When Lauren arrived she had six scenes.  By the time we’d given our last performance we’d discovered that she was actually writing a three act musical.  She’s an incredibly brave and instinctual writer with a background in spoken word and so much heart.  stunning, still is Lauren’s first play, so it was a real gift to have the time and space to work on it away from New York and everything else.  The success of this magical place is due in no small part to the amazing team of women who run it.  They are absolute gems and I urge you to click on the link below and take a look at some of the amazing artists they’ve had in residency.
http://www.vineyardartsproject.org/

This month I’ve been busy auditioning for both the big and small screen while rehearsing for the American premiere of Philip Ridley’s Tender Napalm.  It’s about a young couple struggling to stay together while coping in the aftermath of a tragedy.  The play itself is poetic, searing, fantastical, sensual and just so well made.  It has not yet ceased to reveal new parts of itself to me.  I’m excited to invite you to this production where I fight hard, play hard, and fall in love, with the smart and generous Blake Ellis.  With only three weeks to rehearse this two-hander we’ve been lucky to have a wonderfully supportive director and a stellar coterie of coaches, designers, and creatives to help us meet the challenge.  It runs from August 23rd until September 9th and seating is limited.  For more information and/or tickets click the link below.
http://59e59.org/moreinfo.php?showid=88

Many thanks for your support and I hope to see you at the theater!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,