Tue, 16 April 2013
"The Guild" And "Legend Of Neil" Actor/Writer/Director Sandeep Parikh Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with the hilarious actor/writer/director Sandeep Parikh ("Save The Supers," "Legend Of Neil," "The Guild," "Community," "Californication," "The Temp Life"). You may know him as Zaboo from "The Guild" or maybe you saw him play Abed's Abed on "Community." You may also be one of his many fans from his work behind the camera. Either way, Sandeep is a guy who delivers many, many laughs. We talk about everything from doing gymnastics in a bar to the power of the internet to Comic Con fame.
SANDEEP PARIKH'S BIO
Hi I'm Sandeep's bio. As such, it is my duty to inform you that Sandeep is a comedic writer, director and actor. He plays Zaboo on The Guild, created, directed and stars in Save The Supers, and also created, directed and co-wroteThe Legend of Neil for Comedy Central. Hi I'm Sandeep's Bio's bio, he's featured on Sandeep's website and is polyamorously dating several YouTube comments and a Huffington Post article on smart-phones.
Tue, 2 April 2013
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with the multi-talented actress/writer/composer Nora Kirkpatrick. Nora's many acting credits include: "Greek," "The Office," "CSI," "Dorm Life," "Big Sur," "Growth," "John From Cincinnati" and "Happy Place," just to name a few. Besides acting in film and TV and composing scores for films, Nora also plays accordion, keyboards and sings in the Grammy-winning, gold record-producing band Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros. The band's third album is coming out this May. You can currently see Nora as Esther on "The Office" on NBC. Nora was a delight to interview. We talked about everything from accordion muscles to touring with Mumford and Sons to how farming experience can come in handy when guest starring on a hit network show.
NORA KIRKPATRICK'S BIO
NORA KIRKPATRICK grew up in the rural Midwest, and studied in Spain, England and Africa before graduating from UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television in 2007. She has been working steadily in both TV and film since her graduation, most recently playing Esther, Dwight’s new love interest from the farm, on the final season of NBC’s The Office.
She’s had recurring roles on several other shows, including ABC’s Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23, ABC Family’s Greek (as the uptight Panhellenic president, Katherine Parker), and on HBO’s John From Cincinnati.
Active in the indie film world as well, Nora has a supporting role in the film Big Sur, starring Kate Bosworth, that screened at the Sundance Film Festival this year. She has two other films coming out in 2013: Sexy Evil Genius, starring Seth Green, and a voodoo thriller, Bayou.
Nora is heavily involved in the sketch and improv world, often performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles. She also co-wrote and starred in two Funny or Die produced and funded webisodes entitled “Happy Place.”
On the musical side, Nora has been playing accordion, keyboards and singing in the folk-rock group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros since its inception in 2009. The band has appeared on Letterman twice, Jimmy Kimmel twice and on Conan three times. Their first album yielded a gold record, Rolling Stone listed the second album in its top 10 for 2012 and the third album comes out in May 2013. Earlier this month, the band won a GRAMMY with Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show for best long-form music video, the film Big Easy Express, that also won the audience award at the SXSW Film Festival. The band has played Coachella, Lollapalooza (both in Chicago and South America), Bonnaroo, SXSW, Newport Folk Festival, Outside Lands, among others, and many European music festivals. It curated a series of sold-out concerts and performance art in the Old Vic Tunnels in London at the request of Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey.
In her free time, Nora also writes songs and film scores. Her scores have appeared in several short films (Peter at the End, Elliot and others) and she wrote and composed original songs for the upcoming feature film Never, starring Zelda Williams.
Tue, 19 March 2013
In this episode, I have the honor of chatting with the hilarious Dana Gould ("The Simpsons," "The Ben Stiller Show," "Parks And Recreation," "Lost Angels," "The United Monster Talent Agency," "Seinfeld"). You've probably seen him performing standup on TV or heard him on his super funny podcast "The Dana Gould Hour." Some regard Dana as one of the pioneers of alternative comedy. Dana is taping his new one hour special, "I Know It's Wrong" this March in Seattle at The Neptune Theater. We talk about everything from doing standup at age 17 to writing for "The Simpsons" to stories about the Comedy Condo.
DANA GOULD'S BIO
Massachusetts native Dana Gould began his professional stand up career at the tender age of 17, cutting his teeth in the comedy boom of the 1980’s. He arrived in Los Angeles in the early 90’s, where he became one of the founding fathers of the alternative comedy movement. After starring in the TV series “Working” and guesting on such shows as The “Ben Stiller Show” and “Seinfeld”, Dana joined the writing staff of “The Simpsons,” eventually becoming executive producer of the legendary show.
Dana left the show and rededicated himself to his stand-up career. In addition to numerous HBO specials and the CD, Funhouse, Dana recently completed the one-hour special “Let Me Put My Thoughts In You”, directed by fellow “Ben Stiller Show” alum Bob Odenkirk.
Dana wrote, produced and starred in the pilot “Nolan Knows Best” for ABC television and, in addition to his podcast, The Dana Gould Hour, which premieres in February 2012, is currently developing, along with the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, a new pilot for F/X, “Rock Bottom.”
Tue, 5 March 2013
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with producer Rick Dugdale ("Combat Hospital," "About Cherry," "A Haunting At Silver Falls," "The Storm"). Rick is the President of Enderby Entertainment and has a wealth of experience in production. Rick started as a production assistant and moved up the ranks to work in the locations department and from there moved up to producing for TV and film. We talk about everything from film financing to working on "The X-Files" to how one goes about getting a major city to agree to shut down busy streets for a shoot.
RICK DUGDALE'S BIO
Enderby Entertainment President Rick Dugdale oversees all aspects of finance and physical production for Enderby. He serves as producer or executive producer on all Enderby Entertainment projects, including About Cherry, which Dugdale produced for Enderby in addition to playing a key role in arranging the financing for the film. Dugdale will produce the Mickey Rourke film, The Storm as well as Dawn Patrol by Daniel Petrie, Jr. Dugdale also serves as CEO of Tony-Seven Films, Enderby Entertainment’s thriller division; he served as executive producer on The Speak, Vile and 5 Souls and as producer on A Haunting At Silver Falls, No Tell Motel and Blood Shed. Another major focus for Dugdale is transmedia and all forms of social media marketing.
Dugdale joined Daniel Petrie, Jr. & Company as Vice President, Production in 2003 before becoming a full partner in 2004. He then founded Enderby Entertainment with Petrie in 2006. Prior to teaming up with Petrie, Dugdale gained extensive experience in physical production in his native British Columbia, working at all budget levels in both feature film and television. During this period, Dugdale was responsible for negotiating with local and provincial governments some of the most complex and extensive location filming agreements to date. Dugdale then gained experience in public sector financing and investor relations while working in oil, gas and uranium markets.
Dugdale also serves as one the judges and panelists for the sponsored award category of the Annual Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition, the Enderby Entertainment Award.
Tue, 19 February 2013
"Moneyball" And "Eastbound & Down" Assistant Director Jonas Spaccarotelli Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with assistant director Jonas Spaccarotelli. Jonas has worked with some of the biggest stars in TV and film. He got his start working as a production assistant in Portland and worked his way up to being an assistant director in Hollywood. His credits include: "Moneyball," "Eastbound & Down," "Everwood," "Eat Pray Love," "I Love You, Man," and "Killing Them Softly," just to name a few. We talk about everything from the importance of having a valid passport to what it takes to get into the DGA to shooting a movie across four countries.
JONAS SPACCAROTELLI'S BIO
Jonas Spaccarotelli is a DGA award nominated Assistant Director. He began his career in film by working as a PA in his home state of Oregon. He moved to Los Angeles in 2001, and was accepted into the Directors Guild 4 years later. His credits include: "Moneyball," "Eat Pray Love," "Killing Them Softly," "Paranoid Park," and "Stand Up Guys."
Tue, 5 February 2013
"Criminal Minds" And "Titanic" Special Effects Guru Tom Seymour Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with special effects guru Tom Seymour, whose credits include: "Titanic," "Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End," "Criminal Minds," "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," "Lethal Weapon 4," and "Jericho." If you're looking to make a car explode or make a river flood or create an accurate replica of the the Titanic for a movie, Tom's the man to call. We talk about everything from working on a Young MC music video to building a river set for "Dante's Peak" to why math and science are important subjects to study if you want to blow things up for a living.
TOM SEYMOUR'S BIO
I was born on Friday the 13th.
My Dad was a fireman.
Halloween is my favorite holiday.
I get paid to commit felonies and acts of vandalism.
My Mad Scientist motto:
"Blowing up the world. A little at a time."
Tue, 29 January 2013
"30 Rock" And "Arrested Development" Writer/Producer Ron Weiner Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood
In this episode, I am lucky enough to chat with the hilarious and talented writer/producer Ron Weiner. Ron is a 2-time Emmy Award winning comedy writer and his credits include such shows as "30 Rock," "Futurama," "Arrested Development," "Newsradio," "Father Of The Pride," and "The Weird Al Show." Besides writing for some of TV's funniest shows, Ron has also written a musical about internet dating that had international acclaim. We talk about everything from the vermin at the "30 Rock" writers' offices to writing for Weird Al to how amazing it is to work with Tina Fey.
RON WEINER BIO
Ron Weiner is a two-time Emmy Award winning comedy writer. He has written for such shows as 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Futurama, Newsradio, and The Weird Al Yankovic Show.
Ron is also a composer and lyricist. His songs have appeared on Futurama and Help Me, Help You, a short-lived but much loved sitcom starring Ted Danson. He also wrote a stage musical entitled Internet Dating: The Musical, which was an LA Times Critic’s Pick. It was later produced in Seoul, South Korea (!). Ron can attest to this because he flew there with his parents and Aunt Rhoda and saw the Korean production, which was totally professional, quite excellent, and clearly had a larger budget than the LA original.
Ron grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. While an undergrad at Harvard, he joined the Harvard Lampoon comedy magazine, at which point he learned about the possibility of an actual career writing comedy for TV, and not just being annoying in line for food in the dining hall.
Ron lives in Los Angeles, California. He urges anyone reading this to get up and walk around, because research is showing that sitting is worse than smoking.
Tue, 22 January 2013
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with cinematographer/director/writer Tom Callaway, a very talented fellow whose credits include: Broke Sky, Feast, Road House 2: Last Call, Undead Or Alive, Who’s Your Caddy?, National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers, Critters 3 and 4, A Warrior’s Heart, Heebie Jeebies and The New House Party, just to name a few. Tom is a hard working guy, he has over 82 credits as a cinematographer on IMDB. You may have also seen him on TV working behind the scenes of the Feast, a Project Greenlight movie. His directorial debut, Broke Sky, was an official selection of the South by Southwest Film Festival, won the best narrative feature at the Memphis Indie Film festival and won the Grand Jury award at the Dances with Films Festival. Variety had the following to say about Broke Sky: ""An exceptional example of American indie filmmaking...begins on a ghoulishly jaunty note and then audaciously shifts gears into a powerful noir." Tom and I talk about everything from how he built a dark room in his closet as a kid to shooting a movie in 3D to how to make your own opportunities.
THOMAS L. CALLAWAY'S BIO
Tom is a native of Waco, Texas. He grew up with 6 sisters, who provided eclectic
Tue, 15 January 2013
Documentary Filmmaker/Writer/Director/Producer Grace Lee and Actress/Comedian/Writer Jane Edith Wilson Share Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood
In this episode, I chat with two very talented ladies: documentary filmmaker/writer/director/producer Grace Lee and actress/comedian/writer Jane Edith Wilson. Grace Lee is an award winning filmmaker whose credits include: The Grace Lee Project, American Zombie and Janeane From Des Moines. Her work as appeared on the Sundance Channel and at festivals such as Slamdance and the Toronto International Film Festival. You may have seen Jane Edith Wilson performing standup on Comedy Central or on many a TV show or feature film. Her credits include: Curb Your Enthusiasm, FrankTV, ER, Eight Legged Freaks, Seinfeld, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, American Zombie, Significant Others, TV Guide Letter Theater and Janeane From Des Moines, just to name a few. Grace and Jane first met when Grace directed Jane in the feature American Zombie. They also recently worked on a second feature together, Janeane From Des Moines, a mockumentary about the 2012 Iowa Caucuses (Janeane From Des Moines is now available on iTunes). We talk about everything from making Larry David laugh to creating a movie about the softer side of zombies to making the national news alongside Mitt Romney.
GRACE LEE'S BIO
GRACE LEE (Producer/Writer/Director) Lee's most recent feature film JANEANE FROM DES MOINES had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Grace Lee was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri. She has a BA in History from the University of Missouri and an MFA in Film Directing from UCLA Film School where she won DGA and Student Academy Awards for her thesis film, BARRIER DEVICE, starring Sandra Oh. Her first documentary THE GRACE LEE PROJECT was released in 2005, broadcast on the Sundance Channel and is distributed by Women Make Movies. She also co-wrote and directed AMERICAN ZOMBIE, a feature film, released in 2008 by Cinema Libre. She is the recipient of the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Digital Media, a Rockefeller Media Arts grant, the PPP Pusan Prize as well as funding from the Ford Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, Chicken and Egg Pictures, and the Armani Directing Fellowship through Film Independent. Other documentary credits include BEST OF THE WURST, which is permanently featured at the Currywurst Museum in Berlin and CAMP ARIRANG. She is currently in postproduction for AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS about a 97-year-old Chinese American philosopher and activist in Detroit.
JANE EDITH WILSON'S BIO
Jane Edith Wilson acts, writes, produces, and can tell a joke or two. She welcomes anyone who wishes to give her money to make her next film. Tweet her @JaneEdithWilson
Random fun fact about Jane: She appeared as one of the "NCIS dancers/singers" in an episode of my web series TV GUIDE LETTER THEATER.
Tue, 8 January 2013
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with comedian/writer/actress Tess Rafferty. Tess is a hilarious lady that you've probably seen performing in countless sketches on "The Soup" or you may have seen her discussing pop culture on the TV Guide Channel or VH1. Besides writing for and performing on TV, Tess recently wrote her first book, "Recipes for Disaster: A Memoir." We talk about everything from her inspiration for her book to playing a dancing maxi pad on TV to the importance of a beehive.
Also, in honor of the Golden Globes coming up next weekend, Tess was kind enough to allow us to share an excerpt from "Recipes For Disaster: A Memoir" with some great ideas/recipes for throwing an awards show party (which I am pasting below).
TESS RAFFERTY'S BIO
For 7 ½ years Tess Rafferty wrote on the cult comedy show The Soup, where she skewered pop culture, parodied celebrities and helped her co-workers pick out gifts for their wives. She was frequently seen on camera as herself, Posh Spice, a Succubus, a “Guidette” from Jersey Shore, and perhaps most notably The Dancing Maxi Pad. Her first feature film, Thicker Than Water, is scheduled to begin filming in early 2013.
While at Emerson College, Tess started performing stand-up comedy at the clubs and Chinese restaurants around Boston, and, when not holding herself to ridiculous standards at dinner parties or learning to speak Italian, continues to perform stand up in Los Angeles. She is also a regular performer at the storytelling show, Public School, and frequently reads her essays at the Pez show. She can also be seen discussing pop culture on the TV Guide Channel and VH1.
A drinking “enthusiast,” Tess enjoys wine, specifically good wine. She’s tasted wine from the Napa Valley to Long Island to the island of Ischia, and at every airport bar in between. Her travels have led to an appreciation of good food, which she attempts to bring home and recreate for her friends, with varying degrees of success.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their three ungrateful cats, a modest wine collection and a pool. So nothing bad can happen here.
FYI: Tess will be participating in a book signing in Santa Clarita on February 7th at 7:00pm at the Santa Clarita Public Library.
EXCERPT FROM "RECIPES FOR DISASTER: A MEMOIR" - AWARDS SHOW PARTIES
Awards show parties are difficult to plan food for and your guests will need to eat The broadcast lasts as long as a flight to Europe and at least there people get 2 meals and a snack. Only it’s not a sit down event and everyone will want to eat at a different time or at least find a distraction from the categories they find particularly uninteresting. We’ve frequently served The Husband’s Chili (Formerly The Boyfriend’s Chili) during the Oscars as you can keep it hot in a crock pot or on the stove top and set up a buffet of cheeses, sour cream, hot sauces, tomatoes, raw onion, jalapenos…whatever you think people might like on their chili. Put out some bowls and spoons and let people help themselves whenever it’s convenient for them.
Likewise, the grilled cheese bar works well for the event.It’s not like you and your guests have to worry about fitting into those dresses.
The Husband’s Chili – The Colonic You Can Drink With
1 large onion
2 lbs ground beef
2 hot sausage links
2 cups water
1 12 oz. beer
4 tsp paprika
2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp cumin
1 cup chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
About 2 inches of pepperoni, cut into small pieces
Salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste
Chopped tomatoes (optional)
The Husband has been making this recipe for years, largely by heart, which means he often changes things up and doesn’t measure accurately, preferring to adjust his spices to taste. So, if you are worried about it being too spicy, use only half or so of the spices at first, adding as you go along to your own desired flavor.
Heat oil in a large stew pot. Dice the onion, then sauté it for five minutes over medium heat in the pot. When the onion starts to brown, add the ground beef. Keep “chopping” the beef with a wooden spoon so the beef breaks up into little pieces, which is how The Husband likes it best, just tiny granules of beef. Once the beef is browned and chopped into the preferred consistency, add water, beer, beans, paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, vinegar and garlic. In a separate pan, sauté the sausage and then add that to the chili pot, as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 2 hours, stirring it every so often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and making sure the liquid isn’t boiling off. If it does, add more beer or water.
At the start of the second hour, dice up the pepperoni into 1/4”-1/2” cubes. “Don’t be anal about it,” says The Husband, “They don’t have to be perfect cubes, Just don’t make them too big.” Sear the pepperoni in a pan with a little oil and add pepperoni to chili. Now’s a good time to start tasting and adjusting the spices, too. If it’s too hot, add more water. If it’s not hot enough, add Tabasco or more cayenne pepper. Continue to simmer for the second hour.
Serve with cheese, sour cream and chopped tomatoes.
When we want to be healthy we substitute dark ground turkey instead of beef. You could use ground white turkey, but it’s dryer and we don’t want to be that healthy. Conversely, when we want to just stop our hearts for an afternoon we use only 1 1/2 lbs of ground meat and 1/2 a pound of stewing beef, which we let cook until it starts to fall apart. Also, you can add an 8 oz can of tomato sauce or tomato paste to thicken your chili, but we don’t since I can’t eat tomatoes.
Setting Up A Grilled Cheese Station or How to Make Your Guests Cook Their Own Food
This is so easy, you’re going to feel guilty. You’re going to feel guilty hell as you merely decant bread from its bag or simply stick a spoon into an open jar of mustard. And if you feel guilty then, you will feel Single-Mom-Leaving-For-Business-Trip guilty when your friends rave about it and ask for seconds and tell you it’s the best thing they’ve ever eaten.
But you know what else you will feel? Relaxed. And probably pleasantly buzzed.
All you need is one or more panini makers and lots of counter or table space for your sandwich station. Then all you have to do is go to the store and use your imagination. Start with your bread and your cheese. Choose some basics: a hearty white or sourdough bread for purists; a neutral cheese like a mild cheddar or provolone. You want something for less adventurous eaters, however that doesn’t mean this is the time for cheese that comes individually wrapped. (It is never the time for individually wrapped slices of cheese!) After that’s out of the way, get some blue cheese, some goat, some sharp cheddar, some Gouda. You can buy this whole and slice or grate yourself or you may be able to find gourmet cheeses such as these already sliced, at places like Trader Joe’s. Get some wheat breads, something a little eccentric like olive bread or cinnamon. Remember to buy the appropriate amount for your guests. There may be six loaves at the store you’re dying to try, but if you’re only serving 12 people that may be overkill. What are you going to do with the leftovers, besides create the biggest flock of foodie pigeons on your block?
Next, if you want, you can always add different meats like prosciutto or salami or braised short ribs. But braised short ribs take work so you may want to skip this. Or do as we do, and next time you braise some short ribs, throw a little meat and gravy into the freezer for days like this.
After that, pick some spreads: mustards, honeys, aiolis, tapenades. The gourmet food section at the grocery story is your oyster! Raid the gift baskets you got last Christmas for those condiments you never thought you’d use. Depending on how much work you personally want to do, you could slice up some tomatoes, fry some bacon or carmelize some onions. Pick up a few things like walnuts or currants or raisins. Put a bowl of potato chips out so that people can crush up potato chips on their sandwich like they’re five again. Remember, if it sounds good to you, it will probably sound good to others as well. And if it doesn’t, it still sounds good to you, so who cares?
Arrange everything in some semblance of easy to get to order and try to have a separate spoon or fork for everything for people who are allergic to half of those things, such as myself. Then just plug in the panini makers and you’re all ready to go! I know, it’s so simple but so delicious, people won’t even mind that you’re making them cook their own food.
Direct download: 2_Degrees_Ep_23_Tess_Rafferty_FIXED.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:00am PST