I Have a New Recurring Role on a Hit Prime-Time TV Show This Fall!!

I can’t tell you the name of the show. Or of my character.  Or what my cool costumes are like. Or anything. Yet.

But I CAN tell you I’ve booked a fun little role in a hit prime-time TV series, and that the role has just become recurring!  Whether I’ll appear more than a couple of times, I don’t know yet. All I know is I love these people–the producers, directors, writers, and fabulous cast.  Not to mention the lovely folks on costumes, hair, makeup, props, and crew.  Seriously–what a sweet bunch of people. I was the first fitting of the season; we put on great music and simply had a wonderful time creating my character’s look. Everyone was so incredibly warm and welcoming right from the season premiere table read. I went to my second table read yesterday, and it was lovely being welcomed back by so many smiling faces.

I’m lucky, and I know it. They saw a lot of people for this role, both male and female. I’m so glad they chose me. I don’t know how long this particular little ride will last, but I intend to enjoy every minute of it.

I’ll share the name of the show on the date of the September season premiere–stay tuned!!

Premiere of Mike Reiss Play “It’s All in the Execution” at 2017 Writing the Rockies Conference

This July, I had the great pleasure of sharing the stage with Sam Robards (so great in The 39 Steps on Broadway, among other projects) for the finale of the fantastic 2017 Writing the Rockies conference at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO. Such a smart, sweet, and funny man. And the pleasure was increased by the fact that the two of us were giving the premiere reading of my Harvard classmate (and Simpsons writer) Mike Reiss’s darkly funny new one act play about terrorism, It’s All in the Execution. His wife (and another Harvard classmate) Denise Reiss told me she hadn’t read this one beforehand as she was concerned it might be too dark. But Mike’s signature ability to find big laughs even in the bleakest scenarios was on full display, and the audience–including Denise–simply ate it up.

Pictured here with me (L to R): Sam, Mike, Denise, and our mutual Harvard classmate David Rothman, who runs the Graduate Creative Writing Program at WSCU, and who keeps Writing the Rockies spinning along vibrantly.

If you are a novelist, poet, or screenwriter, and you haven’t attended Writing the Rockies–you are missing out big time!  David and his team bring in terrific, working talent from L.A., New York, and elsewhere, across all disciplines, to give small classes and fascinating keynote talks. And there’s even an opera workshop thrown in for good measure. Plus, the program includes time to enjoy some of the stunning local mountain scenery and great food. If you’re serious about your writing, and about improving your craft, you owe it to yourself to attend the 2018 Writing the Rockies Conference.  I’ve attended two years in a row, and it’s simply terrific.

See you there next year!

 

Teaching Presentation Skills to Graduate Student Poets and Novelists

This was my second year as a member of the graduate creative writing faculty at Western State Colorado University, in Gunnison, Colorado.  I was first hired in 2016 by my Harvard classmate David Rothman, head of the program and of the poetry concentration, to teach a summer intensive on presentation skills to second-year grad student poets.  Once I got there and the genre novelists heard about the work I was doing, they asked me for some sessions, as well.  This year, we baked that into my teaching schedule.  So I had four hour-long morning sessions with five delightful and talented genre fiction writers, all of whom were seeking coaching for their final pre-graduation presentations.  And in the afternoons, I taught my 8-session summer intensive “Poetry in Performance,” coaching three extremely talented and dedicated poets.

This ph0to is of me with the 2017 graduating genre fiction novelists after their final presentations: from left, Kaleb Erickson, their wonderful writing instructor for this year, Candace Nadon, and Carla Mercado on my left.  In the back: Vincent Harper, Marissa Harwood, and Ketura Barchers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And in this picture, talented composer Justus (Jay) Perrotta (L) joins me in congratulating my three poets Ellen Metrick, Brian Calvert, and Brian Palmer, after their final 25-minute presentations.  Jay has interest in setting some of the poems he heard to music.  All three poets knocked it out of the park, and brought tears to many audience members’ eyes–including mine.

Well done, all!  You did me proud, and I look forward to seeing and hearing more of your work.

 

Watch for me in “The Good Fight” on CBS All Access March 12th!

Here I am with Sarah Golden as Nicholas and Courtney Haight on “The Good Fight” for CBS All Access.

Despite the sudden closure of the Cheers Live on Stage tour, I did land one nifty bit part before the end of 2016. I was cast as Nicholas Haight in the upcoming streaming drama, The Good Fight, which will premiere this Spring on the new CBS All Access channel.

My role was small; most of my lines were cut in the rewrites between the audition and the shoot date. That’s showbiz. But they did leave me something choice to say. No spoilers here; you’ll have to tune in to find out!

My two days working on the set with the fabulous Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, Becky Ann Baker, Prema Cruz, and my onscreen “wife” Sarah Golden (pictured here on set with me), were start-to-finish wonderful. Director Alex Zakrzewski was both shrewd and funny; what a pleasure working with him.  He and Christine set the perfect tone for the set.  What a lovely, lovely bunch of people, including the terrific crew. We worked on a Friday and Saturday, and Christine surprised the entire company on Saturday with a fantastic holiday Polish buffet lunch.  A real holiday treat.

I’m only sorry that my “wife” and I aren’t like to recur given our plot line, because I had such a great time with these folks. But I’m thrilled to have been along for episode 4 of this hot new series. And who knows–maybe their clever writer Joey Hartstone will come up with a way to bring Nicholas back into the mix in a surprising new plot line.  😉

Watch for me in Episode 4 of The Good Fight, March 12th on CBS All Access.

What a great way to end one year and begin the next!

New Year and New Projects!

Sorry I haven’t posted in quite a while. Many who know me have heard that the wonderful Cheers Live on Stage tour shuttered suddenly halfway through its Chicago run.  The producers simply never found an effective way to advertise the show and accomplish the all-important task of selling tickets. The entire company was devastated by the news; we had become a close-knit band in those 7 weeks together, and it’s taken me some time to adjust to the fact that the promise of 9 months of work on my first national tour was suddenly limited to just those 7 weeks. But what seven weeks they were!

We opened at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, where my late parents used to take me to see the touring productions. I can’t even express how much it meant to me to open in my home town, and to see all my siblings and their spouses, and many of my local friends, at the show. Thank you all!  We then moved on and performed for three weeks in Chicago. All I can say is that Chicago is every bit as magical as I’ve always heard, and I simply can’t wait to find another project that brings me there. It can’t happen soon enough.

So now I’m back in NYC, seeking my next projects. But I can’t thank our wonderful director Matt Lenz enough for bringing me on board for Cheers. Despite the sudden closure and loss of work, I wouldn’t have missed a moment of it for the world. And the cast is still staying actively in touch, encouraging each other, seeing each other perform, and catching up over lunch or a drink. Some bonds last long past the project’s end.

Onward!

Big News: I’m in the “Cheers Live On Stage” National Tour!

Cheers_LogoAt last I can share this news: I’m playing the fabulous role of the mysterious Eric Finch in the upcoming Cheers Live On Stage national tour, which opens this September where I grew up: Boston, MA. I’m beyond thrilled to be working again with the fantastic and delightful Matt Lenz (who directed me in the award-winning 30th Anniversary production of The Foreigner at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in 2014), along with my buddy Sarah Sirota (we just appeared together in Like Money in the Bank in NYC), costume designer extraordinaire Michael McDonald (who designed costumes for The Foreigner) and a host of other lovely people. The web site is still in progress, as is the itinerary; I’ll provide updates as soon as I have them. (And if you don’t remember who Eric Finch is, don’t do research–just come see the show and be surprised!) This is my first national tour, and I’m very excited.  I hope to see you when we come to your town.

Special thanks to Matt and to Joy Dewing of Joy Dewing Casting for bringing me in and for being such a wonderful audience at auditions.

You can read the press release by clicking here.

May Contest! Win a Copy of My New Audiobook “Black Sails White Rabbits”

BlackSailsWhiteRabbitsI’m celebrating the release of my first audiobook narration, Black Sails, White Rabbits; Cancer Was The Easy Part, by holding a raffle!  

If you’d like to win a FREE copy of this audiobook, just make a comment on this post including your real name before 11:59pm on May 30th, 2016. I will compile all the names, pick one at random, and announce the one lucky winner the first week of June.

Of course, if you don’t want to wait and you’d like to show your support now (not to mention hear a rippingly good tale), this audiobook is now available on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and on iTunes. If you make this audiobook your first purchase (not freebie) on the Audible website, that helps me even more!

Black Sails White Rabbits is the extraordinary autobiography of sailing athlete Kevin A. Hall, whose dreams of competing in the Olympics and raising a family were put on hold at the age of nineteen when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Then bipolar disorder. Then testicular cancer again. And Kevin’s bipolar disorder takes the form of what is now called “Truman Show Delusion”–when an episode hits, he thinks he’s the star of a global TV program. How Kevin has weathered his illnesses, faced his demons, and achieved his goals makes for one heck of a tale–at turns darkly funny, frightening, surprising, sweet, and moving. Kevin is a super-bright man, and he doesn’t pull any punches; you’re right there with him as it happens–and that’s especially true of the audiobook version. He’s not only a great sailor–he’s a terrific storyteller.

I’m honored that Kevin selected me to narrate his book. He had his choice of some extraordinary talent, but when he attended the Alice150 international convention with our mutual artist friend Wendy Ice in October 2015 in NYC, he saw me perform my new one-man show Through the Looking-Glass Darkly, and decided I was the man for the job. I’m thrilled Kevin is so happy with the resulting audiobook.

If you want to enter my May 2016 raffle, remember to make a comment on this post before June 1st.  If you want to buy the book now, you can use the links included in this post.

If you enjoy the audiobook, and know others who would, please do share this information with them.

Thank you for your support, and good luck!!

Great Reviews for “Like Money in the Bank”

IMG_0403Well, “Like Money in the Bank” has closed, so I’ve taken a look at the reviews.  I’m so happy the play and production received so many nice notices.  And I’m tickled that critics enjoyed my work, as I had a great time performing my three very different roles:

The cast is made up of bold, brassy actors, perfectly suited to a period piece. There was no weak link amongst the lot, but Andrew Sellon’s three character’s particularly stood out to me. His understated facial expressions reminded me of David Hyde Pierce’s own worriedly comedic expressions and movements quite a lot.Quick Theatre  (I get compared to David Hyde Pierce pretty much daily, and that makes me very happy as I think he’s terrific.)

Special mention to Andrew Sellon for his role of Lockett (also Socialist and Sidney); his innate talent for comedy is a joy to behold, not only in his characters but as he carries title cards across the stage.  Woman Around Town

And the reviewer from NY Theatre Guide praised all my lovely fellow cast members individually, then ended with this:

But I fell in love with Andrew Sellon’s effervescent characters. He was perfectly moody, manic, kooky and commanding. I adored his scene change unspoken seductive story telling. I found his work polished and quite perfect.NY Theatre Guide

My thanks again to  wonderful playwright Jerry Polner and delightful director Shana Solomon, not to mention each and every one of my cast members and our crew for a great experience.  On to the next project…!

My First Audiobook: Black Sails, White Rabbits; Cancer Was the Easy Part

Black Sails Book CoverI’m delighted to share that I’ve just recorded my first audiobook.   And I’m especially thrilled because of how it all came about. As you may know, I’m a major Lewis Carroll/Alice fan, and I presented some staged readings of my new, original play Through the Looking-Glass Darkly at the October 2015 ALICE150 international conference in NYC.

My friend, the multi-talented Wendy Ice (whom I met last winter in Portland, OR when I was performing out there), was in the audience for one of my performances. Wendy is producing a stunning, collectible edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by her insanely talented husband, David Delamare. And that evening, Wendy brought along her friend Kevin Hall, former professional sailor and Olympian, who is also a huge fan of the works of Lewis Carroll. Kevin and I are both coincidentally Kickstarter backers of David and Wendy’s book.

After my performance, my husband Tim and I had dinner with Wendy and Kevin to discuss our various creative projects. It turns out Kevin was about to publish his autobiography, about his dreams of Olympic competition and raising a family, set against his struggles with cancer and bipolar disorder, specifically Truman Show Syndrome. It’s a frank, harrowing, wildly theatrical, and often darkly funny tale of triumphing over adversity and fulfilling your dreams.  It is, like Kevin himself, remarkable.

Long story short, Kevin loved my performance, and a few weeks later asked me if I would like to perform the audiobook of his story. I’ve just completed recording sessions at Star Cloud Studios, and we hope to have the audiobook available on Audible and Amazon sometime later this March.

Sometimes all the stars align, and all the elements for a magical creative project just fall into place.  I couldn’t be more excited to share this amazing story with you.  Stay tuned for release information!

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Requiem Holmes LogoI’ve been so busy so far this year that I’m just now trying to catch up with some posts.  Back in 2015, I performed the role of the world’s greatest detective in a staged reading of Greg Oliver Bodine’s new play, A Requiem for Sherlock Holmes, which combines two famous Conan Doyle short stories into a very satisfying Sherlockian evening of theatre.

This past January 6th, on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 126th birthday, Greg asked me to don the role of Sherlock again, this time for a staged reading at the Players Theatre, nimbly directed by Leslie Kincaid Burby.  We had a great audience, and a great time.

After the show, we were given a private tour of The Players, including Edwin Booth’s private rooms.  Remarkable and fascinating.

Here’s hoping I have the opportunity to bring Greg’s play and my Sherlock to a theatre for a full production sometime soon!