I’ve added a page with a schedule of upcoming performances at Griffith Observatory, where I moonlight (heh) as a narrator of their live planetarium shows. They are the only planetarium with live performers. If you go to the Smithsonian, in DC, you’re likely to hear canned Whoopi Goldberg. Don’t get me wrong, I love Whoopi, but when you’re talking about the nature of Spacetime, nothing beats a live performer. It’s an honor to get to do these shows.
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Good news… just shot a guest spot on a new sketch show for Russell Simmons’ “All Def Digital” Youtube channel, called TACTLESS. Funny script, lots of ad libs and improvisation on set. Watch for it here before the end of the year, they say.
I’m beginning to think that I may have a career playing “serious white guy” in black themed entertainment. After 6 episodes of “Issue Cafe” for Robert Townsend and pic.tv (no longer available), and now this… at the very least I am liked by men whose names start with “R.” And that counts for something. I’m waiting for Robert Downey Jr. to call.
Is that tactless?
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So the company I’ve been touring with for the last 13 years, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, has played every single year since 1987 at the Reston Community Center in Reston, VA. How many touring groups can boast such a long, fruitful relationship with a presenter? So in honor of the 50th anniversary of Reston, many of the reducers went (along with managing directors / authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor) to Reston to perform SEVEN of the NINE abridged works over two weekends. It wasn’t a Shakespeare Festival. It was a Reduced Shakespeare Festival. The schedule was pretty hectic… luckily I was only in two of the shows, but one night I had to perform with someone I’d never performed with before (he was new) and another night with someone who practically retired years ago. Still it was an incredible time, where I got to make new friends (three generations of abridged Hamlets – Austin Tichenor (Current Head Co-Reducer), Jess Winfield (Founder and Originator of the role), and Me.
And in my copious down-time (not), I managed to record a little song, a little tribute to Austin and Reed, who have been authors and co-authors of every abridged show since the original Shakespeare show: “Complete History of America (abridged),” “The Bible, The Complete Word of God (abridged),” “All The Great Books (abridged)” “The Millenium A Musical (abridged),” “Completely Hollywood (abridged),” “The Complete World of Sports (abridged),” “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged),” and “The Complete History of Comedy (abridged).” The song was featured on one of the RSC podcast episodes dedicated to the extravaganza, but I present it here in full for your listening pleasure.
And here’s a fairly un-abridged selfie (Ellen style) featuring many generations of RSC members from founders to current fools, onstage and off, with some Restonites thrown in as well. Can you pick them out?
Tags: Extravaganza, Reduced, Reston, RSC
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This summer I had the pleasure of performing a dream role at the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival. Two summers ago I donned yellow stockings as Malvolio in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This summer I strapped on my guitar and played Django-style in a Twelfth Night set in the Roaring 20’s as one of Shakespeare’s most famous fools, Feste.
As a young actor I got to play Fabian in Twelfth Night with at Shakespeare Santa Cruz and watched two masters of the stage tackle the roles of Feste and Malvolio. The production was directed by prolific theater director Tim Ocel and featured the brilliant James Winker as Malvolio and the inimitable, irrepressible James Newcomb as Feste. It was a master class for a young actor. I was bowled over to be in their company back then, and to get to do both roles now in quick succession (and to learn to do tricks with my bowler hat). Yes, I stole from both. But I was able to add a lot thanks to my on-the-job clown training over my past 13 years with the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
Here are a few pics from the production. Thanks, Kingsmen Shakespeare, for this midsummer night’s dream. Click to embiggen.
Tags: 2014, Kingsmen, Shakespeare
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There’s a new Reduced Shakespeare Company Show. And the Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) (touring this winter – just two performances!) hasn’t even been published yet. I love that my friends and authors at the Reduced have been churning out the shows the past few years… and this one is incredible. They finally tackled a subject close to all of our hearts.
I am blessed to be a part of this company, and was blessed to perform this show for 5 weeks in Massachusetts in May. New England Theater Geek said:
Dominic Conti, Michael Faulkner, and Jerry Kernion form a high-energy three-man team that works seamlessly together to bring the correct amount of yuckle to your chuckle. These extremely talented gentlemen deliver the material with comic dexterity. Zigging and zagging as an unstoppable force, they know exactly when to punch it and exactly when to let it ride on home. They are adept at handling an audience (even when literally handling them).
Seriously. Catch it on tour, whether I’m in that particular performance or not.
Tags: 2014, Merrimack Repertory Theater, Reduced, RSC
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It isn’t often I get hired to act alongside my wife, Amanda. Sure, we act out all the time at home. But at the beginning of the year we got hired together to play Mr. and Mrs. Lambchop in “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.” The first I heard of Flat Stanley was a few years ago when one of my touring partners asked if his daughter could send me her Flat Stanley. If you’ve never gotten one, do it. When Flat Stanley visited me, he went to the moon at Griffith Observatory.
But guess what — Flat Stanley sings. Neither sharp nor flat. There’s a company that has been quite successful churning out musicals based on popular childrens’ books. Good ones, too. Even the adults loved this one. Fun.
Tags: MainStreet, Theater, TYA, Young Audience
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I have a hard time keeping up with posting here, I admit it. I am beginning to despise Facebook, so maybe I will just transition here, where I at least have the illusion of control over what is revealed. At any rate, what happened in the last year?
I was in an amazing production of Hamlet at Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival in Thousand Oaks, and had a blast in The Tempest too.
I played Berowne (another dream role) in Love’s Labours Lost at Coeurage Theatre Company.
I toured with the Reduced Shakespeare Company. This year I am learning their brand new show, “The Complete History of Comedy (abridged).” I saw it at the Cincinnati Playhouse over December and it is brilliant. I’ll also be at the Laguna Playhouse in March in All The Great Books (abridged).
I booked a commercial for Rent A Center where I was naked (see pic)
I was elected a delegate and attended the very first SAG-AFTRA convention.
I booked a spot for datacenterrapbattle.com.
I enjoyed entertaining crowds at The Griffith Observatory, where I moonlight as a museum guide.
And up next? The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley in Rancho Cucamonga.
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As I mentioned in this Reduced Shakespeare Company podcast, one of the great highlights of performing The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) over the holidays was the fact that it required me to get better at the guitar. I took my guitar to a really great luthier in the San Fernando Valley who set up my guitar (which hadn’t seen a qualified luthier’s hands since at least 1994) really nicely. It in fact played like an entirely new guitar, and is now an absolute pleasure to pick up and mess around on.
This gave me the inspiration to finish and record a song that I had partially written for my wife. Now I couldn’t move my entire recording rig down to San Diego for the run of the show, but I did have my guitar and my Macbook Pro. So the attached demo is what I was able to do with Garageband, the guitar, and the built-in microphone. It’ll have to do for now, but I really enjoyed making and enjoy listening to this tasty pop nugget. I hope you do as well. Leave a comment and let me know!
Click to listen:
Mandy, My Bride To Be
Tags: Bride, Marriage
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I’ve got a new commercial running. In fact it’s been running, but I finally added it to my commercials page.
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Had an absolutely stunning time at San Diego Rep over the holidays, performing the brand spanking new Reduced Shakespeare Company show, “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged).” Here’s a review. Here’s another one. Here’s a whole mess of quotes from a whole mess of reviews from performances all across the country. Stay tuned for more possible Reduced Shakespeare Company updates.
Tags: Reduced Shakespeare Company
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