Thursday, December 23, 2010

the DH's Thursday Thirteen - 13 Guitars I'd Love To Own

The DH's list of 13 Guitars he'd love to own, AKA Kate's last-minute Christmas shopping list if we win the lottery tonight.

1. Brazilian rosewood Martin D-28, any year.

2. Shell Pink Fender Stratocaster.

3. Pelham Blue Gibson SG

4. Martin OM-28V.

5. Gibson Mike Bloomfield Les Paul

6. Rickenbacker Roger McGuinn 370-12

7. Martin D-18 Golden Era

8. Gretsch 6120.

9. Taylor 814 CE.

10. National Resonator Duolian

11. Tom Anderson Cobra

12. Fender Nocaster Reissue

13. Martin D-42 or D-45

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Posting on Nine Naughty Novelists

Today's my blog day over on Nine Naughty Novelists, and in the spirit of the season, I'm blogging about... chest hair?

Okay, not a holiday topic, but hope you enjoy!

And here, have some pics to go with the post!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inspiration Friday - Flat Daddies (and Mommies)

Last night, I went to a choir concert at one of the kids' schools. (It was one of three concerts - plus a play - yesterday, which made for a busy but enjoyable day.) Around the time the concert was starting and the kids were filing in, a woman a few rows up hauled out a big cardboard cut-out and set it in the middle aisle, blocking a good half of the space next to her.

All I could see was the white back of the cut-out, which stood about waist-high. I also wondered (a little irritated) why she put it there, blocking the aisle and potentially the view of shorter audience members behind us.

Then, about halfway through the concert, I saw the front of the cardboard. It was a life-size, waist-up picture of a man in a navy uniform.

It was my first encounter with a Flat Daddy.

I was touched - and humbled - by the knowledge that for some child in the concert, daddy was able to be there, no matter how far away he is. So for me, today, the men and women who serve are my Inspiration. And so are the families who carry on at home.

The DH's Thursday Thirteen - Top 13 Movie Scenes (Part Two)

As promised, here's Part Two of the DH's Top Thirteen Movie Scenes. Wait, that would make it the Top Twenty-six, right? :) Again, these are not in any particular order.

WARNING: There are most likely spoilers throughout this list. Avoid if you don't want to know significant events or plot points of some classic films from all eras of filmmaking.

Top Thirteen Movie Scenes, Part Two:

1. Impact tremors, Jurassic Park
The first time we hear the T-rex, and see the impact tremors in the puddle and the glass of water. Wow.

2. The rolling barrage, A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Early in the movie, when the Germans are entrenched in the trees, waiting for the British. The british walk the barrage right up to the tree line. Intense, feels very real.

3. Preacher tells Scout to stand, To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
As Atticus walks out of the courtroom, the courtroom spectators rise. Poignant.

4. Slim Pickens character is dying, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" plays in the background as Katie Hurado looks on, tearing up.

5. The death scene, Ride the High Country
The dialogue between Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott is fantastic. Right up there with Shane for best ending to a western.

6. Burning of Atlanta, Gone With The Wind (1939)
Again, amazing special effects, particularly for the time period.

7. "That's a fact, Jack!" Stripes
Bill Murray leads his troupe in a drill routine at boot camp graduation. Funny.

8. Gunfight between Johnny Ringo and Doc Holliday, Tombstone
Val Kilmer's delivery is wonderful. He steals the movie.

9. Opening scene, The Godfather.
Transition of Don Corleone's office from dark to bright. Beautiful cinematography.

10. "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. deMille." Sunset Boulevard
Norma Desmond's descent into madness is chilling.

11. Captain Queeg's court martial, The Caine Mutiny
The mental instability of the Captain on the stand becomes clear, from the rolling of the steel balls in his hand to the unraveling of his testimony.

12. The final shootout, The Wild Bunch
Bloody, but beautifully choreographed.

13. Baby carriage down the steps, The Battleship Potemkin
Visually stunning, especially for 1925.

So that does it! The second 13 of the DH's favorite movie scenes. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guest Post: Christmas Traditions with Skylar Kade

Christmas is all about traditions. Though my boyfriend, Phin, and I started dating long before last December, this is our first holiday season living together. It's been such a joy starting our own traditions, like debating between multi-colored or white lights for our little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. After much deliberation, we came to an agreement on a decorating scheme (white lights, red and green ornaments) and founded a tree-trimming tradition: a Skylar-style dinner. I'm not big on cooking, so we had my version of tapas: baked brie and crackers, crudites, hummus, and cold cuts. Not much in the way of gourmet food, but we had a blast nibbling and decorating. I love forming new traditions, because that shared memory forms the foundation for a strong relationship. In “Christmas Packages,” Jason uses a new tradition not only to entice Lizzy to indulge in her darker desires, but to bring them closer together.

What traditions do you and your family share? And was is your fondest Christmas memory? C'mon, I've got plot bunnies that need inspiration!

For your own inspiration, here's a little more about “Christmas Packages,” and a contest!!

Blurb: Elizabeth has watched with frustration as her relationship with Jason slowly faded away. Braced for their inevitable end, this “nice girl” is instead surprised—and aroused—by her boyfriend’s naughty Christmas plans. Jason has tiptoed around what really turns him on, afraid Lizzie would run screaming from his kinkier desires. But as their relationship flags, he latches onto a last-ditch effort to inject energy into their sex life—and their love.

For twelve days leading up to Christmas, Jason gives Lizzie a new present, each one enticing her further into his dark desires. Now Lizzie needs to loosen up a little—to give up enough control to submit to her edgiest urges and give herself completely to the man determined to be hers forever.


To celebrate this release and the holiday season, I'm giving away a copy of "Christmas Packages," along with an early present--Sexuations (US only). This game includes an adults-only card game, a book of naughty stories, an erogenous-zone map, paddle, blindfold, and feather to tickle all your fancies. I'll be touring blogs all week, and on Friday, I'll the select a winner!

To enter, leave a comment at any of the blogs on my tour or tweet about the book/contest using the hashtag #christmaspackages

Blog stops:
Monday—The Nine Naughty Novelists
Tuesday--Andie Marie's Sidewalk
Wednesday--Kate Davies Blogs!
Thursday--Kelly Jamieson's Building Castles
Friday—the Skylarverse


“Open it.” He held his breath as she unwrapped the small package, folding the paper into a precise rectangle. Lizzie, his little neat freak. The deliberate movements of her hands and her prim way of opening everything from the newspaper to cereal boxes to presents fascinated him and gave him one more thing to love about her. Hell, sometimes it even turned him on.

She cocked her head to the side in what he thought of as her curious little bird pose and popped open the lid of the box to reveal a blue silk eye mask. She turned to him with one eyebrow cocked. “I’m sleeping just fine, Jason.”

Though he tried not to read into her words, he cringed inside. He didn’t want her to sleep poorly without him, per se, but would it be too much to ask for her not to be sleeping fine?

She’d always been able to read him, almost as well as he could read her, and she cupped his cheek. “I’ve missed you, Jason. The bed is empty without you.”

He kissed her before saying. “Yeah, hotel beds leave much to be desired. Mainly, you.” Her pupils dilated and he kissed her again, lingering on her lips. “Besides, the blindfold isn’t for sleeping.” Holding her gaze, he watched the understanding fly across her face, only to be replaced with warm delight.

“Oh, it’s that kind of blindfold. How very inventive.” Her grin gave him hope that maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t run from his desires.

He stroked her back, enjoying the softness of her gray sweater. But it would have to come off. “Why don’t you go change into your robe and point me in the direction of the candles and oil.”

She shuddered under his hand and her breathing hitched. Their eyes locked as she answered. “Okay. And everything’s in our bedroom.”

Our bedroom—he loved hearing that. And it was past time he showed her just how much. “Then change in the bathroom, love, and I’ll have everything set up when you’re done.”

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The DH's Thursday Thirteen - Top 13 Movie Scenes (Part One)

Welcome to The DH's Thursday Thirteen, where my husband takes over the blog to share his top 13 in whatever category catches his fancy. He'll be dropping by from time to time to post. I've added as many video clips as I could track down. Hope you enjoy!


1. Chariot Race, Ben Hur
11 minutes of amazing filmmaking.

2. Gene Kelly's dance in the downpour, Singin' in the Rain
Pure moviemaking magic. Will put a smile on your face.

3. "Do you feel lucky?" Dirty Harry
The first time Harry says the famous line, after the bank robbery. And then smirks after he pulls the trigger on an empty chamber.

4. Opening scene, The Searchers
When the character of Martha opens the door of the cabin, as Ethan is coming home. The transition from the black interior to the gorgeous scenery of Monument Valley. John Ford at his best.

5. German planes strafe the beach, The Longest Day
Fabulous long shot, from the German pilot's POV, where you can see the men on the beach diving for cover. Amazing to me.

6. The car chase, The French Connection
The quintessential car chase as police officer Popeye Doyle chases an elevated train. Bullitt is a close second, but this takes the prize.

7. Airplane chases Cary Grant, North by Northwest
Hitchcock doesn't get much better than this.

8. "Shane! Come back!", Shane
With the music swelling, this scene tugs at your heartstrings.

9. Captain Fred Derry's father reads his citation letter, The Best Years of Our Lives
Beautifully played by Ronan Bohnen. Emotional and touching.

10. Cafeteria breakdown, White Heat
Disturbing scene where Cody Jarrett goes nuts in the prison cafeteria after learning his mother has died. (It was VERY difficult to choose a James Cagney scene. "Made it, ma! Top of the world!" [White Heat] and the grapefruit scene [Public Enemy] were strong contenders.)

11. Train station, Gone With The Wind
When the camera pans over all the wounded soldiers, pulling past the Confederate flag. Powerful.

12. Earthquake, San Francisco
Included for the amazing special effects, particularly for that time period.

13. Any scene, Casablanca
Perfect film. All-time favorite.

(It was impossible for the DH to narrow this list down to 13. Expect a Part Two next week.)

How about you? Do you have a favorite movie scene that didn't make the list?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Story of "Hi Kate!"

If you've followed me on Twitter or friended me on Facebook, you may have noticed I don't use a picture of myself as my avatar. Instead, I use a rotating set of photos of hot guys holding a sign that says "Hi Kate".

And I've started getting questions about it - who are those guys? And how did you get those pictures, anyway?

The guys are soap actors from the US and Germany. Yes, all the pictures are real - no photoshopping required. And it all started with the Gays of our Lives fan event in NYC last spring. Though I wanted to go, it conflicted with a family vacation that had been in the works for a couple of years. Several online friends attended, though, including redcouchaddict.

So the event is in full swing, and I'm living vicariously through Twitter as the attendees post about what's happening. Suddenly, redcouchaddict has posted a link to a picture for me. I click on it, and there's Igor Dolgatschew, actor on Alles Was Zaehlt, a German soap, smiling and holding a sign with my name on it.

I may have flailed a bit.

By the end of the weekend, I had several pics, both of the actors in attendance and of my friends, most of whom I was 'seeing' for the first time through these pictures.

Since then, the "Hi Kate" photo collection has grown, both with actors (Eric Sheffer Stevens, Van Hansis, Jake Silbermann) and friends. But I'm always on the lookout for more. So here's the scoop:

If you want to be added to my "Hi Kate" gallery on my website, all you need to do is send me a picture of yourself with a "Hi Kate" sign. I'll add it in. Help make this the largest "Hi Kate!" collection around!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Book BIN Tuesday - His For The Holidays

I adore holiday anthologies, and there are a bunch of them out there I'm itching to read. One of the ones topping my list is His For The Holidays, featuring four stories from LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield, and Josh Lanyon. These four m/m contemporary novellas seem sure to warm your heart - if not more! Here are the deets:

Spicing Up the Season

Hope brightens a bleak Edinburgh December. A man gets a second chance with his high school crush. A decade-long game of cat and mouse comes to a passionate conclusion. And Santa Claus drives a red muscle car. Heat up your holidays with this collection of four festive tales from some of the top talent in the male/male genre.

Anthology includes:

Mistletoe at Midnight by LB Gregg

Nine Lights Over Edinburgh by Harper Fox

I Heard Him Exclaim by Z.A. Maxfield

Icecapade by Josh Lanyon

It looks just delicious - so why not head over to Carina Press and Buy It Now?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Movie Musings - The Man Who Came to Dinner

This month, I'm going to spend Mondays focusing on my favorite holiday films. (Seems appropriate, no?)

I'm kicking things off with one that is full of sparkling dialogue, great characters, and a fun story. The Man Who Came To Dinner originated as a stage play, and it shows - in a good way. When radio personality Sheridan Whiteside slips on the steps and injures himself, he ends up convalescing at the owners's home and taking it over completely. There are celebrities, resident nurses, a mummy case, penguins, and hijinks galore. It's smart and funny and snarky and sweet, and I love it.

The cast is amazing, too - Bette Davis, Billie Burke, Monty Wooley, Ann Sheridan, Jimmy Durante... not an off note in any performance. Just delightful.

I highly recommend it!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens Part Four

Hard to believe, but this is the last day of my interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I did! Today, we take a look at what's coming up next for Eric, and some final thoughts on the acting life.

I know you’ve just finished up with SILENT HOUSE; are you working on anything right now? Do you have anything on the horizon? Or are you just appreciating a little time off?

Yeah, that’s good. I’ve been trying to get stuff done at home this whole week, stuff I’ve neglected for months now.

We’re developing a play that’s just about written. It’s a four-hander (four characters), a playwright that I’ve worked with before. Over the past year and a half we’ve also been doing readings of a two-hander (two character play) that he had written about a married couple. Right now he’s writing the four-hander. Jenny Mudge and Chris Coffey, my wife Jenny and I. The couples are mixed up, and it’s sort of – I don’t know how to really pitch it. It’s very funny and it’s really good. [The playwright] is about 60 pages into it, and we just had a reading of it last week. We’re sort of close on a grant to start a company that would produce this sometime next year when all of our schedules come together.

Eric and his wife Jenny in last summer's Much Ado About Nothing

He’s just sold the film rights to this other script, so he’s in L.A. all the time. All of us are in different places. But that’s what we’re working on right now, this week included. Taking some time to all work on it together, try to move it closer.

And then it’s always a mystery as to what acting work comes along. You just start auditioning again, and something happens, and you start it two weeks later. I’m sure nothing right now, over the holidays. I’ll just be doing this, and then in January things are going to start up in earnest again. And I may be here, or I may go out to L.A. for a couple months, just sort of be back and forth a little bit.

LEFTY LOOSEY RIGHTY TIGHTY. Where is that in the process right now?

I just heard from them today. They think they’re going to have a rough cut next week, which is pretty amazing. It’ll still be a little bit of time before they have a final cut. Their deadline for themselves is the first week of December so they can make the cutoff for SXSW festival. I know James is working every single night on it. They’re sending it back and forth. The editor, who was also our DP (Director of Photography), is out in LA, so they’re doing a lot of filesharing and putting it all together. I haven’t seen any of it, except what you’ve seen, the teaser, which I loved. I’m going to go out there sometime this week to James’ house to go over the footage with him.

Well, we’re campaigning hard for the Seattle International Film Festival. Late January deadline. Plenty of time.

Sounds great! That sounds perfect, yeah.

Current TV lineup, broadcast and cable – what show would you like to be a regular cast member on, and what show would you like to guest star on?

MAD MEN, I’d love to guest star on. Just started watching that; it’s a great show. I’d love to go back in time and be a regular on THE WEST WING. That show was amazing.

Here’s another one that came through on Twitter. People were tossing out questions for the radio call in but didn’t get through. If you were to create your own primetime show, what kind of show would it be? Is there any kind of a feel to a show that you’re really drawn to, or just whatever happens to cross your plate?

I think anything that David Simon was writing, I would kill to be on. The guy’s doing TREME right now, he did THE WIRE, did HOMICIDE. That’s just amazing TV writing.

I’m sort of behind in TV shows. I don’t have cable, and so I watch things on DVD later. Much later. Sometimes years later. I still haven’t seen DEADWOOD; I’ve never seen THE SOPRANOS. I have kind of bizarre little quirks like that.

But yeah, I think it would be an hour-long drama, but also something bizarre and funny, which I think all good writing has. Tying all of the elements together, which makes the comedy more funny and the profundity deeper, by contrasting those two things.

I have some questions from my kids.

FutureStar: How did you become an actor? What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

I was always interested, and I started doing it in college. I stuck with it, and it just sort of kept happening. Sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I’d just say pay attention to the story, more than to your own character. As far as how your character is telling the story and contributing to the story. For too long I just really wanted to be an actor. I was focusing a little too much on my role, my character, and not about storytelling. Something clicked for me when I realized that I was a storyteller, and that made me a much better actor.

Midkid: How early do you have to get up in the morning for acting jobs?

Yeah, that’s hard for me. Theater is pretty awesome because you start late. A lot of times you rehearse noon to eight pm, or ten to six. But TV you get up really early. Always before the sun comes up. It’s awful. And film, too, but they’re longer days. At least on [daytime] TV you’re getting up at 5:30 to be there at seven, but then you’re done usually at two or three. The worst day was five pm, but you’re not doing twelve hour days. They don’t do that. Film and [primetime] TV is often twelve or fourteen hours. You’re working from seven in the morning to nine at night on those days that you’re shooting. But no, you don’t sleep in.

GPS: How would you feel if you were a superstar?

I don’t think I would like it. Not what I’m gunning for. I think I would hate it. It just seems like you would lose a huge part of your life. It would be nice to skirt that and still make a living at it.

A huge thank you to Eric Sheffer Stevens for taking the time to talk with me, and for sharing so much with us all. And thank you to all the readers who took the time to keep coming back for more. I so appreciate it!

If you missed the earlier parts of the interview, links are below. And if you liked this interview, and want to read others in the series, check out the two-parter interviews with James Yaegashi, director of Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty, and Parrish Hurley, creator of "the (718)", a TV pilot.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens Part Three

Is it day three already? Wow - time flies! Today's theme is As The World Turns, which is where the majority of us were introduced to Eric Sheffer Stevens. Learn how Dr. Reid Oliver impacted Eric's life/career, how some of those character quirks came about, and what he REALLY thinks of the Cartoon Saga. Enjoy!

Would you say that the role of Dr. Reid Oliver opened doors for you, limited you, both, or neither?
It remains to be seen what kind of doors it might open, but it was a great opportunity, and it can only be good. There’s nothing that’s limiting about it. Because it was such a character role, and also because it was just less than a year. It would be pretty impossible for me to be stereotyped. It was actually great for me as far as other things I’ve done, to have a guy like that in my body of work. Because of how bizarre and specific he was written. So yeah, for me, it can only be a really great thing.

Were you surprised by the reception for the character, or the attention that you got for the role? On paper I can see it looking like, “oh, secondary character in a secondary storyline, couple of days a week, a good, solid few months of work, steady income” kind of a thing. A great character, a lot of fun to do.

Yeah, that was all exactly my reaction.

And then, all of a sudden did it feel like it exploded on you? In a good way?

It was very surprising. I was pretty unaware of it for a while. Just [noticed] that they kept me working and brought me more and more into the world there. It was just a lot of fun. And that he got so popular was very surprising to me and very unexpected. And, obviously, you think you’re just going along and … it was just what you said. They said two or three months. I’m not sure what they thought the storyline would be, but that character would be around for two or three months. And I thought, “that’s fantastic! That’ll be so much fun.” And then that they wanted to keep him around indefinitely was such a surprise. A welcome surprise – it was a happy thing. That was a character I could have played for…I would have been happy to go on longer with it.

We would have been happy to watch it, too.

My friend Maia and I live in different cities, but we always watched the show together. We’d get on IM and chat while we were watching. I used to joke that it was time for Master Class, because we loved seeing the choices you would make for the character. Line deliveries, or bits of stage action, it was like, “Oh, my God, I never would have thought of that, but it’s perfect.” It was really enjoyable.

That’s really nice. Thank you. You know, it was fun because there was a freedom there that I didn’t realize at first. I think each little thing that I got away with … I mean, they were really happy with it, but I felt more and more emboldened. “Oh, they’ll let me eat whatever food is on set, they’ll let me do anything! This is great!”

Let you drink somebody else’s lemonade.

Yeah, right. [laughter] That one was an odd one. I’ve talked about this before, but we had to redo it, because one of the cameramen started laughing. It was just so random.

Excellent. [laughter] You know it works when you can get the crew to break.

Or it’s just that bad. It could be that as well.

Have you been approached by any other soaps since the end of As The World Turns?

Yes, two. They were contract roles. I remember they were described as “nice”. And I said both times to my agent, “Wait, wait, stop.” So, neither one of those seemed right, but I’m definitely open to it. It depends on what would come along.

I have to say as someone who has done some theater, I completely get where you’re coming from. Because the nice characters are not as interesting to play.

And there’s a lot of them, and they just sort of move through the story. I know I would be really bored. And that’s a really bad place to be. Just not feeling challenged. I’d be miserable, my family would hate me, I’d be very crabby. So that’s something I have to think very seriously about.

I remember being offered a role in PICNIC, down in Baltimore. This is right after Trent and I worked down there together. It was for the role of Alan, who is the nice guy who gets jilted. The hunky guy, Hal, you know, the William Holden part, that’s the fun role to play. I’m not right for that, but I also didn’t want to play the nice guy. It would just be really … this is coming out wrong. I don’t have anything against being nice. At all. In life. And there are plenty of nice characters. But there are tons of parts where that’s their only function is to be the nice guy, so the other person can be interesting. That’s what I’m talking about. So I passed on that.

But then the guy who was playing it bailed on them after opening weekend, to go do something else. And they called me to go on in a week. And I said, “No! What?” That’s actually your nightmare. That whole being naked, not knowing your lines, onstage thing. And my wife said, “Do it. It would be the most ridiculous challenge. It would be horrible and they would love you and you’d save the situation and it would be the most unique experience.”

So I called back and said, “Uh, okay.” And I took a train that day, and the director took the train with me. I rehearsed that night, and then I rehearsed the next day, and went on that next night with a book in my hand. It was terrifying. And that was fun. The character wasn’t the challenge, the circumstances were. I went on twice with a book and the third night, the Friday night, I did it off-book. That was another scary, horrible night. And I got through. It was fun. And after playing that part for a week I was completely bored. But the whole first week was worth that.

The cartoon saga. I know you’ve heard of it, or been made aware of it.

Oh, I’ve watched a lot of them. Yeah, it’s hilarious.

The Mistake is my personal favorite because it’s based on the first time we talked, on that radio call-in when I asked about the Shakespeare plays.

The one with Yorick? Yeah. Those cartoons are hilarious. They’re so smart. They’re ridiculously smart. I think my favorite was the Bad Hair Day. The continuity one. That was genius. So funny.

There have actually been major posts on that (subject).

Oh, yeah. We had to shoot one scene, [where] we were making out, at the end of one of the episodes and the beginning of the next. And we never did the other episode until a month [later] because of some snow day or something, I don’t remember what happened. And he got his hair cut. I was like, “what are you doing?” And he said, “Yeah, it wasn’t supposed to be this short.” So then they’re trying to push it forward or something. Trying to make it all look [the same]. That was one where I knew it wouldn’t work right away.

There were a lot of conspiracy theories about that – were there reshoots, are they trying to make it hotter or what?

No, no reshoots. Just a scheduling thing. Your hair grows. When you wait that long to shoot the next scene, it’s going to look a little weird.

The joke making the rounds was that it was such a hot kiss, not only did it shorten Luke’s hair, it dried Reid’s hair.

[laughter] Yeah. That’s something they let go of, a little bit.

It must be cool to have something like the cartoon saga created around a character you developed.

Oh, yeah. Of course it is.

Guess what? Tomorrow is the last day! So be sure to stop by to see what's on the horizon for Eric!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens Part Two

Welcome to Day Two of my interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens. Today we talk about challenging roles, dream directors, and working with Terri (Colombino) Conn.

What would you say is the most challenging role you’ve performed to date?

[long pause] I don’t… I don’t know. I have kind of a hard time with those questions. “What was your favorite scene?” And I look back and it’s just a blank. I don’t see anything. Hold on here. I’m moving over to the computer to open up my resume.

[laughing] We can go ahead and skip that question if you want. They’re not typed in stone.

No, wait, I’m opening it now. I’ll glance over this and come back to it.

Okay. Well, you had mentioned in one of your radio call-ins that you had just completed a scene with Terri that you really enjoyed, but you couldn’t tell us what it was because it hadn’t aired yet. So there was a bit of a debate going on on Twitter about what scene it was.


Oh, yeah? What month was it?

Um… it was the first radio show, so it was probably right near the end. Within the last month of filming, the last few episodes, I think?

What did I do with Terri… I don’t know if this was it, because I have no idea, I don’t remember that, but it might have been – what did I say about it? Did I say anything about it? Or did I just say I enjoyed it?

You said you really enjoyed it, and it was a lot of fun to do, but you couldn’t say what it was because it hadn’t [aired] yet.

Oh, this wasn’t what I was thinking of, because this wasn’t fun to do, but… well, maybe. There were two things it could have been. The funny one, towards the end, was ...the toothbrush thing. I thought that was so random when the writers wrote that I actually keep my toothbrush in a very specific place in the holder, and that I noticed that it was turned the wrong way. And then she says, “Oh, yeah, Chris stayed over,” and I threw it. That was fun to do. That was a fun scene. I’m not sure if that was it.

One of the ones I was most impressed with with her was when she finds out Chris is sick, and then she finds out I already knew, that I knew the whole time. And then she just hits me in the chest. She hit me so hard that afterward I lifted up my shirt and showed her that her handprint was right on my chest, and it was there for half the day. But I thought it was really fantastic. Because before doing it, she was like, “I don’t know, it’s kind of stupid,” and the director’s going, “Just do it. Just go with it. I think it’s good. It’s good.” And then when she did it, she did it completely unlike how we rehearsed it and just completely whaled on me.

And she also has an amazing emotional connection. I’m really impressed with her. I thought she was fantastic. And then the whole end, with Reid dying, and dealing with Chris… I think she’s a really great actor. I loved everything we did. I loved working with her.

That was, I think, my second favorite pairing of yours on the show, with Terri. Reid and Katie together. I loved that connection you guys had.

Uh-huh. What’s your first favorite?

[Laughter] Well, it’s kind of obvious…


Yes, definitely [Reid] and Luke.


But yes, I think you’ve covered the bases, because I think those were the two scenes that were argued about on Twitter which were the favorite ones. So I think you’re going to make everybody happy by mentioning both of those.

Oh, really? [laughter]

Have you had a chance to look at your resume?

No, no, I was trying to remember that scene. You asked me another tough one and I couldn’t –

Sorry, I distracted you again.

I started, and then I got distracted. Give me the next one, and then I’ll answer it.

Okay, let’s see…

I know one I really struggled in. I just found this and had a horrible memory associated with it. I did Alexei in A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY, by Turgenev, Brian Friel’s adaptation. I was in grad school, so this was just ten years ago. I felt like I was miserable in that. I couldn’t find my way in that one. I had a really hard time [communicating with the director] and I just wasn’t sure what I was doing. I really struggled through that whole process and wasn’t very happy with it. Ultimately I was happy for it to end. I felt like I kind of arrived at something finally but I remember I was just miserable to the point where I didn’t want to go to rehearsal. I would listen to Nine Inch Nails, I remember, on the way over to rehearsal, just trying to get some sort of energy. Some sort of will to live. [laughter] It was terrible.

That’s a really interesting choice to get the will to live, through Nine Inch Nails. You know, whatever works for you.

Yeah, that doesn’t quite work out. As far as the energy of the piece, I found, not the message of it. Not Trent Reznor’s darkness.

Okay, going to the other end of the spectrum, if you could choose a dream director to work with, who’s on your list?

Jack O’Brien. I would work with him again in a second. He was a dream director. When I did COAST OF UTOPIA, that was the one of the first times I worked with somebody who was famous and worked on Broadway all the time. And then I actually worked with him and found out that he’s just the real deal. He’s actually that good. It’s not just a hype situation. He’s a brilliant director. What he did with that sprawling, nine-hour play was unbelievable. He was like a preacher, and we just followed him. He’s a dream director to me, even though I’ve already worked with him.
The full cast of COAST OF UTOPIA. Eric is third from the left, back row, wearing black.
It’s nice to find that kind of experience.

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

(Be sure to come back tomorrow for more! We'll be diving into the ATWT phenomenon.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens Part One

Welcome to Day One of my interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens! This incredibly talented actor of stage and screen was kind enough to sit down with me (via phone) a couple of weeks ago for a wide-ranging conversation, which will be shared over the next few days on my blog. Today, we talk about the differences between film, stage, and TV, how acting is like writing, and how his creative process has changed over the years.

One thing I noticed as I was looking at your resume, you’ve worked in all the major areas of acting – primetime, daytime, stage, film, commercial. Just wondering what’s different between them for you, or is there a difference, in terms of the way you work or the experience you get out of it?

Yeah, there’s a pretty big difference. This last project, SILENT HOUSE, that I just did, there was a month of just sort of being immersed in this “thing”. There’s so much waiting – you’re not really being hugely productive, because film is a lot of lighting, and waiting for them to set up the shots. So you’re sort of immersed in the world for a very long time without actually producing anything or capturing it on film. So it feels different, and you have to learn how to fill that time to be able to plug right back into that story when they actually are ready to go.

You had mentioned on the radio show yesterday that it was all done in one shot.
Yeah, that’s a very cool project. It’ll be good to see how that’s going to play out. That’s very unusual. Very unique, film-wise. It was a lot of rehearsal, for a week and a half or two weeks, without any film crew. Well, we were with the DP, the Director of Photography, because he was very much in the whole dance. We had to choreograph him into everything so that you never see him. And it’s in a sort of dark house, so we had to rehearse how to light ourselves with lanterns and flashlights. It was pretty technical and ultimately really interesting work. I enjoyed it a lot.

As far as your other question about the differences between them, each thing is very different, even within the genres, so it’s hard to say. Theater is very much being immersed in rehearsing a scene over and over for an hour and a half and then you move on and you try and work on the next one and then you put the whole thing together over four weeks or five weeks just so you can do it in front of an audience and feel confident about it, feel like you’ve really fleshed it out. You don’t do that at all in TV. TV is also fun for that reason.

There are a lot of people, I think, who prefer one over the other, and then some who feel comfortable going in between them. I feel very comfortable going in between. Doing TV, you use a completely different part of your brain and your creative process and you just have to make very quick decisions, and if you’re good, hopefully the decision will be a good one. And then you’re stuck with it.

A lot of times what happens, which is kind of funny, and it happens in both film and tv, you work so long that day, and then that night in bed you go, “Oh, shoot, THAT was the way to solve that problem.” And you so wish that you could have had another go at it because you feel like you found something really interesting in the scene that you didn’t get to (do) because you just are spending that day, one day, in it. In theater, you can have that thought and then bring it back to rehearsal the next day. And, you know, keep building on that performance.

Tied in with this a little bit – in writing, we refer to it as plotters or pantsers. Whether you plot out every detail in advance or whether you just kind of fly by the seat of your pants. And wondering if there’s something similar in your acting, or does it depend. Like with theater, you can look at the role and decide where you’re going to go with each different scene, but when you’re thrown into something, like in daytime, where you have one day to walk on and do the work, is that more seat of the pants?

That’s very seat of your pants there, doing the daytime stuff. You’re really hanging out there.

Do you prefer one way or the other? Do you prefer having the time to immerse yourself in the character and the script or do you like the challenge of just jumping feet first?
More and more I’m liking not knowing what’s going to happen, and not having thought it out. I’m to a point now where I know what I need to do preparation-wise and then find the things in rehearsal (or actually while you’re taping, as is the case for daytime)…
I think I used to, especially when I was younger, I tried to plan things out too much. Just because I wasn’t very comfortable trusting that something would come to me. And also I didn’t want to suck.

I don’t have that anymore. I’m not afraid to suck.

I don’t care, or I care much less, about what people think about what I’m doing. And that frees me up to actually rehearse. And then you make mistakes and you look stupid, but if you don’t care that you look stupid, then it’s okay. Then you can move on to the next – actually reach something better than if you were playing it safe and caring about what people are thinking of you.

That especially applies to theater, where you’re rehearsing and you care about what your colleagues think, and you want them to trust you and feel like you’re going to get somewhere with this performance, but you have to spend usually the second week and the third week just feeling like crap. Because you have a tenuous grasp of the lines, and you’re not quite where you want to be character-wise, and it’s in that time that you kind of figure it all out, and everybody’s really familiar with that period. So as you do it more and more, you trust that something’s going to come, and you arrive there a lot faster than when you’re younger.

It’s similar with writing, people talk about the “sagging middle”. You know, the first couple chapters, everything’s great, you’re just flying along, and then you hit the wall, and it’s the worst thing ever written in the history of the universe. It just totally sucks. And you just have to work your way through it. And the more practice you get, the more you learn to trust your own skill.

Yeah, right. And you’re going to be able to write your way out of this hole and end up somewhere.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How the Heck Did You Get An Interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens, Anyway?

A couple of months ago, I called into a radio show where Eric Sheffer Stevens, my favorite actor, was being interviewed. Although I was on hold for an hour, they only managed to get five callers on to ask questions, and I wasn't one of them. And, being the calm, rational person that I am, I did what any calm, rational person would do - I complained about it on Twitter.

Almost immediately, I got a private message from a friend. Why didn't I ask him for an actual interview? I shrugged off the suggestion. I'm not a reporter, I'm just a writer and fan. I don't have an outlet to publish an interview other than my blog. I don't know the proper channels to request an interview, anyway. But she persisted. And after some hemming and hawing, I figured I had nothing to lose, so why not? I wrote up an interview request and sent it in.

A week or two later, I got a response - "he said yes."

One minor freak-out later, I decided to keep the news quiet until the details were set. Nothing worse than making a big announcement that then doesn't go through for ages. So there's been a lot of behind-the-scenes schedule-juggling and random cryptic posts from me on Twitter and Facebook along the way. I prepared questions and sent them along, and finally got the word that the date was set.

So a week and a half ago, I chatted with Eric on the phone in a wide-ranging interview that covers everything from his most challenging role, to his favorite episode of the Cartoon Saga, to what the future holds. Don't expect anything about the end of ATWT - one of my promises in the interview request was not to berate him about the ending. :) But there will be lots of stuff you haven't seen anywhere else.

I'll be posting the interview in installments, starting Monday, so be sure to check back every day for a new chapter!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book BIN Tuesday - Under Wraps

Three reasons I want to pick up a copy of Under Wraps by Joanne Rock:

1. It's a Christmas story. I love stories set during the holidays.
2. It sounds super fun and sexy.
3. It's by Joanne Rock. I love her stuff.

Here's the details:

The Christmas feeling is in the air... and so is sexual indulgence!

Marnie Wainwright started her fantasy escapes travel agency, Lose Yourself… to spice up boring dialing routines for others. But when she discovers she’s the subject of a deliciously hot private investigator’s surveillance, she suddenly starts living her own wildest fantasies. After all, what better gift could she get than a chance to spend the holidays at a quaint Adirondack Inn—which just happens to offer naughty playtime for sensually adventurous couples—with her sexy PI?

Jake Brennan should keep his hands off Marnie. But she’s delectable… irresistible! And the longer he keeps his desire under wraps, the more he wants her.

If only she wasn’t his number one suspect…

Lose Yourself… what you find might change your life.
Sounds fun, right? So why not head on out and Buy It Now?

Monday Movie Musings - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Thursday night found me, once again, making the trek to the local theater with my two oldest, ready to watch the midnight showing of the newest Harry Potter movie. It's debatable whether that makes me a great Mom (midnight showing! Family togetherness!) or a horrible Mom (it was a school night! We didn't get to bed until three am!).

The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. I justified the decision by focusing on the fact that it's a rare occasion (please to be ignoring the two other midnight shows we'd attended since June, though both of those were during the summer months) and that school was on early release the next day so they could power through a shortened day and crash when they got home.

Okay, setting aside the behind-the-scenes agonizing, the movie itself was fabulous. I loved how much of the book was actually in the movie, really fleshing out the story and bringing in those smaller moments that made the HP series so much fun to read. I loved the special effects, the crackling pace, the characters and their interactions. (I don't want to give anything away, especially since it's so new in theaters, so I'm trying to be purposefully vague.) I do understand those who felt like the ending was missing something, since it's really only half of the book, but I thought it was overall a very well done film.

Have you seen it yet? What did you think?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let's Put On A Show!

When I was in college, I was part of a student-organized theater group called We're Not Your Mother. Every quarter or so, we'd reserve the Old Main theater, throw together a bunch of performance pieces (everything from dance to experimental theater to music videos and beyond) and put on a show.

I loved being part of WNYM, loved the opportunity to try new things and stretch my creative wings. My first plays were performed during Mother shows; I got to work in pieces by performers I really admired. And most of all, they were damn fun to do.

So when I heard that someone named Darren Criss was going to be on Glee last week, and that he'd been part of something called A Very Potter Musical, I decided to check it out. And the minute I clicked on the first video on YouTube I couldn't stop smiling. Despite surface differences, AVPM reminded me so much of what it was like to be part of a creative group like that.

The video I have of We're Not Your Mother performances is still on VHS, so I can't share any of them here. But here's a clip from A Very Potter Musical, along with a congrats to Darren Criss on his successful leap to primetime!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rolling Write-in Trip Report

I'm pleased to announce that the second annual rolling write-in to Portland was a rousing success! We doubled our numbers to 8 this year, and I believe all of us had a fabulous time.

The day started much earlier for everyone besides me, as they had to be on the train by 7 am. Being further down the road, I meandered down to the train station at the appointed "half hour before" the website had demanded. Upon arrival, I discovered a) the train station itself wasn't even open yet, and wouldn't be until ten minutes before the train arrived; and b) despite having to type in the AAA card membership number and have it verified before buying the ticket online, if you don't have the actual physical card with you, you'll end up paying full price anyway. Grumble.

Shaking that off, I got on the train and was directed to the group by the very accommodating conductor. They'd saved a seat for me and everything, so I sat down, powered up the computer, and got to work. I'm not NaNo-ing this year, but I did have a project or two to work on, so I had plenty to keep me busy.

By the time we reached Portland, I had a completed and polished partial, all but one paragraph of a synopsis, and a start on the second partial. Success!

Next on the agenda: brunch. The restaurant we went to last year was even busier this time around, so we returned to a likely prospect we'd passed on the way. No wait, enough seating for all of us together, and plates of poutine as big as my head.

No, bigger.

Stuffed to the gills, we wandered down the street to Powells Books, and set a meeting time so we could explore to our hearts' content. After, we hit the Saturday market, where not even a constant drizzle could dampen our enjoyment.

Last stop was at the Fox and Hounds, a quiet little pub with great food, friendly staff, and very potent lemon drops. Particularly when the waiter kept telling me to "drink it down" so he could add more from the shaker.

Again, and again, and again. Hic.

Back on the train, where I wrote another 1K or so on the new story before disembarking and wishing the rest of the group happy writing for the rest of their journey.

Looking forward to next year!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Interview Part Two: James Yaegashi, Director of Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty

As promised, here's part two of my interview with James Yaegashi, director of Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty. Find out more about James and the movie - including what makes LLRT stand out from the crowd.

The movie's website is now up, with the trailer and information about the film. Prior to this, however, you had a "soft" opening of the site, including information about supporting post-production with donations (a common practice for indie films on a nonexistent budget). Despite the lack of official publicity, you managed to raise the initial $15,000 for post-production in about two weeks. To what do you attribute that success?

Well, we actually were not planning on going public with the website at all, until we had finished the teaser. But, some fans of Eric Sheffer Stevens, who’s one of my buddies starring in the film, found our website that was still under construction and the information spread among his fans who have been enthusiastically supporting our project—it’s been UNBELIEVABLE. We had no idea we’d meet our minimum goal so quickly. So, a million thanks to all you ESS fans out there!

Would additional donations be helpful, even beyond that initial push?

Yes, additional donations are absolutely helpful. The minimum goal we set was essentially to make sure that we could raise enough funds to go into editing right after principal photography. However, post production costs include much more than just editing, and any funds that we are able to raise beyond our initial goal will help us do a lot more in the post process (visual FX, audio enhancement, color correction, title sequence animation) and will also help cover festival submissions--which is like $50-$150 a pop, and the list goes on. Truth is $50,000 is close to "no budget" in this industry, and we're trying to pull this off with half that cost!

What are you currently working on?

Besides parenting a 7 year-old and a 4 year-old while working on LLRT? As an actor, I’m going to be doing a small part on Man On A Ledge, which just started principal photography; I’ve also been working on an upcoming video game called Homefront; and, also on the voiceover front, I’m going to narrate a new novel by a talented new author named Charles Yu this month. I’m actually a theater person—as are most of the actors in LLRT—and I’ve been developing a couple new plays as well: a stage adaptation of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (which we premiered earlier this year in NY, but are continuing to fine tune it); and I__NY, which I’m doing with some other wonderfully talented Asian American actors at the Ma-Yi Theater (2010 Drama Desk Award-winning company) in New York. I’m also advising a Japanese translator who’s working on translating Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who’s Sylvia for a Tokyo production in the spring. Wow, now that I’ve listed them, that’s kind of a lot on my plate, I guess...

Why should readers of this blog check out Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty? Why was it important that this movie be made, against all the odds?

Well, I think the story will resonate with a lot of people out there—it’s funny, but it’s very real in terms of the observations it makes and the characters who inhabit the story. It’s extremely relatable (is that a word?). [Kate's note: Yep.] I hope it’s the kind of movie that people can watch and get different things out of—humor, affirmation in life’s hard places, poignancy about how fleeting life can seem, etc.

And the acting is really good—these are actors who have proven their mettle on Broadway and Off-Broadway, and the quality of acting is one of the huge selling points of the film.

Who are you, anyway? Where did you come from? How did you get here?

Getting metaphysical? [Kate's note: No, just going song-lyric on you. LOL]

My name is James Yaegashi.

I was born and raised in Japan, went to college outside of Chicago, grad school in Kansas City, MO, and now live in Brooklyn—it appears I’m becoming a New Yorker.
I drove to New York 12 years ago in a big yellow Penske truck with my, then, newly-married wife (I think I may have violated traffic rules by driving it down the Sawmill Parkway en route to Manhattan)—not sure if a moving truck is considered a “commercial vehicle.” What do you think? [Kate's note: I have no idea. Whichever gets you in less trouble. LOL]

What didn't I ask you that you wish I had?

What do you want to be when you grow up? (Answer: I don’t know!!)

Thanks, James, for a great (and insightful!) interview. I really appreciate it!

To the reader, thanks for stopping by! For part one of the interview, click here. For an overview of the film, click here. And if you want more info (or to donate), check out the official website. I'll be sure to keep you posted as I get more information on the film and its progress!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview: James Yaegashi, Director of Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty

This week, I'm fortunate enough to welcome James Yaegashi to the blog for a two-part interview. James is the director of Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty, an indie romantic comedy currently in post-production. I was curious about the film and how it all came together, so I decided to go to the source for some information. Luckily, James was gracious enough to put up with my questions. :) Here's the result! Hope you enjoy.

Tell me a little about Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty. What was the inspiration behind it? How did you go about putting it together?

I was talking to a friend who has a bunch of HD equipment (he ended up not being able to be in the project), and he was encouraging me to use his stuff to make a movie of my own, because I’ve been wanting to direct, and I have a great pool of resource in terms of actors from having been an actor in NY for 12 years.

So, I approached Pat, a college friend, about maybe making a movie together, since I’d read several of his screenplays in the past and thought he was good. The whole idea was to do something strictly among friends, a family affair filmmaking that’s outside the box of the business-as-usual that we know.

Pat & I tossed around different ideas for a few weeks, I asked Pat to go off and write something, and he came back with LLRT. We worked on the script together for several months, put together a reading of the script in NYC with my actor friends (most of whom ended up playing parts in the movie itself) and went back and did more rewrites. Then we called up Judson, another college friend, who got into filmmaking after doing a similarly low/no budget project with a bunch of friends (I was in the cast), and got him on board as DP (Director of Photography). The film is cast entirely with the good people I’ve come to know over my career in NY, and we also got a lot of production help from other college friends and younger folks who graduated more recently.

Did you end up using your friend's HD equipment even though he himself couldn't participate?

We ended up using some of my friends equipment, but the cameras we used were Judson's and Sven's: Canon 5D and 7D. We actually used both cameras for almost every scene, so we were shooting with at different angles/range each time. It helped enormously with the time constraint.

The title intrigues me. What does it mean? (Other than the obvious, jar-opening version.) How does it relate to the film?

The obvious jar-opening reference is actually kind of the point. We tend to complicate life so much, but maybe it’s a lot simpler than we make it. Sometimes all we need are simple reminders--like “lefty loosey.” Besides, it’s kind of quirky and sounds funny.

Did you know everyone involved in the movie prior to filming, or did the show bring you all together?

I guess I answered this prematurely in the first question! Yes, the movie is entirely made with people I know —that was the point: create something good with good people, both in talent and as a person. There were several people on the production team who came on board that I didn’t know at first, but they were all only two-degrees of separation, a friend of a friend, and they all came highly recommended.

LLRT was filmed on a very tight schedule. Was that a deliberate creative choice, or dictated by outside forces (scheduling conflicts, etc.)? What was it like filming that quickly? Did you see any benefits to a shortened production schedule?

It was absolutely by necessity. Since my friends are all working professional actors, we had to get this done in a timeframe that wouldn’t encroach on their other work (especially since this film was no “payday” for them). Scheduling was a nightmare. Shooting was insane. Judson and I (and Sven, our assistant DP who did a yeoman’s job) essentially had 17 hour days for 14 straight days. We were always under the gun to get all the scenes of the day shot—there was no margin for error. So, if we had a large budget, I would have DEFINITELY taken my time! LOL

Once the film is finished with post-production, what are your plans? Where do you see it going from here? Have you considered submitting it to the Seattle International Film Festival? (Okay, yes, there may be an ulterior motive involved in that part of the question.)

We are going to submit to as many film festivals as possible. Big ones, little ones, niche ones, wherever we think we have a shot. We would really like to get a rough cut completed in December (the first big one is SXSW, but it’s early December, so we’re not sure if we’ll get it in time). Looks like Seattle’s final submission date is early January, so I don’t see why we wouldn’t submit! [Kate's note: YAY! Fingers crossed, because if it screens during SIFF I am so there. Maia, Karen, you coming with? LOL]

And there you have it, Part One of my interview with James Yaegashi. Tune in tomorrow to find out more about James, his upcoming projects, and the one question he wishes I'd asked but didn't!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Book BIN Tuesday - Cowgirls Don't Cry

In the mood for a western red-hot romance? Lorelei James has just the ticket for you! Out today is COWGIRLS DON'T CRY, her latest in the Rough Riders series. And does it sound good!

Good girls can play rough too…

Rough Riders, Book 10

Jessie McKay has accepted her marriage to Luke McKay wasn’t perfect. After two years of widowhood, she’s ready to kick up her bootheels—until Luke’s younger brother shows up to spoil her fun. But if Brandt thinks she’ll ever take orders from another McKay male, he’s got manure for brains.

Brandt McKay has avoided his sweet, sexy sister-in-law ever since the night he confessed his feelings for her weren’t the brotherly type. Unexpectedly faced with proof of Luke’s infidelity, Brandt is forced to ask for Jessie’s help in taking care of Luke’s young son. Jessie agrees on one condition—she wants Brandt’s boots exclusively under her bed for the duration.

The sexual heat that’s always simmered between them ignites. Brandt is determined to make the temporary situation permanent, proving to Jessie he’s a one-woman man. And Jessie is shaken by feelings she’s sworn never to have again for any man…especially not a McKay.

Warning: Contains branding-iron-hot sex , the one McKay on earth who wants to be tamed, and a woman who’s decided tame is for nice girls who finish last.

Think that sounds good? Why not head over to My Bookstore and More and Buy It Now?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday Movie Musings - Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty

So a month or two ago my favorite actor, Eric Sheffer Stevens, mentioned in an interview that he was working on a new film, Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty. There wasn't a lot of info on the film out there, but eventually we discovered that it was an indie rom-com set in Brooklyn, put together by a group of longtime friends and colleagues. Their website had a "soft launch" a few weeks back (translation: it wasn't officially open for business yet, but ESS fans discovered it and started spreading the word), and some more details were available there.

Like all indie films, it was made on a shoestring budget, and there was an opportunity to donate toward post-production costs. (Check out the funding request here. It's hysterical.) The minimum amount needed was raised in under two weeks, and editing has begun! Check out the result of that work below, a teaser that looks more like a big budget release than the title "indie" would indicate. (And I mean that as a compliment.)

LLRT from Lefty Movie on Vimeo.

Here's what the film is about:

MICHAEL is a former college indie rocker who’s now a new dad and not sure how he feels about his life of comfortable domesticity. His wife HELEN is not sure how she feels about Michael not being sure…especially when he’s the one always opting for “crazy” evenings of watching Netflix on the couch with a six pack of tall boys safely nearby. Perhaps Michael can make one last great grasp at rock stardom and finally find that complete 100% certain no-doubt-about-it contentment that hasso far eluded him.

FRANKLIN (Eric Sheffer Stevens) is a recently divorced college professor who’s convinced he’s a loser and no one will love him ever, ever again. He does have cerebral suspicions that his 19-year-old poetry student MARY wants his body bad, however. This creates an internal crisis of significance; even for a man who’s viewed his entire adult life as one long series of continuous internal crises.

LLOYD is an aspiring novella-ist and reluctant part-time notary who’s most successful at eating nachos and shunning commitment from his longtime on-again/off-again “friend” KIT. When backed into a corner by Kit’s newfound romantic certainty, does Lloyd opt for a free lifestyle of syndicated daytime television and semi-competitive sports involving Kooshballs? Or, does he choose love…

“Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty” is the story of three friends on the precipice of middle-age. Too old to be young. And too young to be old.


Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? I can't wait to see the finished product. And if you're interested in learning more, stop by Wednesday and Thursday for an exclusive interview with the director, James Yaegashi!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Book BIN Tuesday - Inside Out by Lauren Dane

One of my faves, Lauren Dane, has a new book out! It's called Inside Out, and it looks fantastic! Here are the deets:


Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.

Sounds great, huh? It's on the shelves now, so why not run on out and Buy It Now?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monday Movie Musings - Sherlock

So I've been listening to my non-US-based friends go on and on and ON about the new BBC version of the Sherlock Holmes story, SHERLOCK. Of course, it wasn't showing in the US yet, so I was sadly left out of the squeeing and raving and cheering.

Until now. Thankfully, PBS's Masterpiece Mystery series has imported the Brit hit, and I'm thrilled that they did! The first episode, A Touch Of Pink, aired a week ago, and I LOVED it. Absolutely loved it. The second episode is currently waiting on my DVR for an uninterrupted hour-plus to sit down and enjoy.

Because really, this isn't a show you can watch with half an eye. There's so much there - so much crackling dialogue, so much interplay between Sherlock and Watson, so much detail that could be missed if you're not watching full-on. It's entertaining, intriguing, snappy, amusing, modern, yet not ignoring the grand history of Sherlock Holmes. The actors are exceptionally talented, the scripts are instantly quote-worthy, and the mystery is challenging enough to keep the viewer hooked.

I'm so glad Sherlock made it across the pond. Yet another BBC import to adore!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rest in Peace, Grandpa

I just heard that my last surviving grandparent passed away last night. He lived a long, productive, love-filled life, and I'm honored to have known him. I loved spending time at his house during the summer, in the guest room in the basement. I loved the garden where he grew corn and pumpkins and berries and so many other yummy things. He was gentle, and thoughtful, and always positive. And he loved his family fiercely. You'll be missed, grandpa.