VENTS Magazine 141th Issue

Page 8

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Rj Frometa


Ryan Vandergriff

RJ Frometa

We’re super-excited to be speaking today with acclaimed actor Armen Nahapetian; greetings and salutations,

Armen Nahapetian

Photographer: Ryan West Groomer: Elie Maalouf Wardrobe stylist: Benjamin Holtrop

1.) Armen! Before we dive down the proverbial celluloid Q&A rabbit hole, how goes your 2023 thus far?

What's up Vents Magazine! Thank you for the awesome greeting! 2023 has so far been exciting with the anticipation of the world getting to meet Beau! I filmed Beau Is Afraid two years ago so I have been anxiously waiting for its arrival. Also, I turn 16 this month so I'm looking forward to getting my driver's license if I hopefully pass the test!

2.) Major congratulations on the upcoming April 23 major motion picture Beau is Afraid in which you play a younger version of the film’s leading actor Joaquin Phoenix! For anyone not in the know, can you tell us a little about what Beau is Afraid is about?

Thank you for acknowledging the fact that I play a younger version of Joaquin and that I'm not CGI!! Beau Is Afraid is about so many different things, and I think each person will have their own opinion and interpretation. I can't give away too much but what I can say is that Beau didn't have a normal childhood which leads to him having a chaotic Kafkaesque adventure as an adult.

3.) Did you know as soon as you were approached to be a part of Beau is Afraid that this was a production that you wanted to be a part of?

Absolutely! As soon as I read the script I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of because it was so unique and I had never seen anything like it before. As I was reading the script, I could envision it in my head and knew this was going to be a remarkable film.

4.) In advance of showing up to shoot Beau is Afraid, did you take a stab at watching some earlier work from Joaquin Phoenix such as Parenthood so that you could catch some of his vibe and mannerisms when he was a bit younger and apply it to your own work on this film? Or was everything you really needed baked into the screenplay? That's funny you mention "Parenthood" because my Parents always say to me "Hi Gary" using that tone from the film. I did watch that movie and it helped me get a feel of Joaquin in his younger years but I based Beau off of real issues that at the time I was going through.

5.) Your director on Beau is Afraid is the insanely talented Ari Aster. What was your collaboration process like with Ari? Is he what some actors might call “an actor’s director”?

Not only is Ari an incredible director, but he's also incredible at making an actor feel safe and free to express themselves creatively. He is the ultimate "Actor's Director". Ari created a space and vibe that made me feel calm and not pressured. Ari knew how to communicate with me in order to get my very best.

6.) Speaking of Joaquin Phoenix, what was it like for you to work in a film featuring the best actor of his generation?

It was an honor to be in the same acting space as Joaquin and an even bigger honor to have the important task of portraying him as a younger version. I was really nervous and put a lot of pressure on myself to do him justice but thankfully on my last day of filming, Joaquin reassured me that I did a great job!


7.) In your humble opinion, what differentiates Beau is Afraid from the Distinguished Competition on the 2023 movie scene?

Beau Is Afraid is going to be so insanely different from any other film out there that it falls into a category of its own. It's indescribable! You have to see it to understand and even then you will still have questions. Every detail has significance. It's visually stunning and Ari has spent so much time perfecting it that it's an experience you can only get in theatres!

8.) Who inspires you acting-wise?

Joaquin for sure inspires me. He has the ability to transform into any character so much that you forget it's Joaquin. Leonardo Di Caprio is another phenomenal inspiration, especially in his early career like Basketball Diaries and This Boy's Life. He's so young yet so able to tap into complex emotions. Not only do these two inspire me in an acting sense, but I also admire what they give back to the world and advocate for.

9.) When you’re not acting what do you enjoy doing just for yourself?

I love music. You'll always find me with earbuds on. My older Brother Remy and I go to a lot of concerts together. We might have to take it easy on concert-going after we got jumped and wound up in the ER last weekend. That's a story for another time! I live in Huntington Beach so my friends and I are always hanging at the beach and skateboarding. My family spends summers in Arizona where I waterski and go rafting which usually ends in someone getting tossed which is really fun!


10.) Your first credited bit of acting comes in the form of a 2017 episode of the television series The Orville. Any special memories of that freshman production? Orville was a unique first experience! I got to work with Seth MacFarlane and wear prosthetics and contacts that took Hair and Makeup hours to put on me. It wasn't easy wearing prosthetics and contacts all day but it taught me how to be patient and professional.

11.) What do you have coming up after Beau is Afraid? Any special film or television that we should keep our eyes out for?

I can't really talk about it yet but I have a project that I'm super excited about! Wish I could say more!

12.) Word ‘round campfire is that you’re passionate about two very important things - raising awareness about the Armenian Genocide and the safety and well-being of animals. Can you talk with us a little about why these two causes in particular are so important to you?

My Father named me Armen to carry on the legacy of the Armenian people and their history. He was born in Iran after his Armenian Father's family was displaced during the Armenian Genocide. Unfortunately, most teenagers today don't know the history of Armenians and specifically the Armenian Genocide. Their struggle is being forgotten and I am here as a reminder. So when you go see Beau Is Afraid on April 21st keep in mind the Armenian Genocide Remembrance day is on April 24th. Another cause I'm passionate about is helping shelter animals. I have adopted 3 cats and 2 dogs and fostered numerous kittens. The feeling of seeing overcrowded shelters full of helpless animals deeply saddens me. They need loving and stable homes. If I could adopt them all I would. It is my dream to open up a ranch in the future, where I can give as many shelter animals as possible a loving home.


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Hello Thank you so much for having me 2023 is off to a great start I am about to finish my freshman year in high school and will get my driver’s license in a few weeks I was fortunate to work on an amazing feature film, Holland Michigan, and I am leaving for Cannes next week for the New Shoes world premiere Then I will be in NYC to film

Regarding Veronica I am beyond grateful to be working

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There is a lot of excitement surrounding New Shoes at the moment and I am thrilled We are having our world premiere at the American Pavilion at Cannes on May 24th and then right onto the Berkshire International Festival for our U S premiere and deadCenter the following week

We are getting ready to leave for France this week and while I don’t really know what to expect I know it will be an incredible experience So, no I don’t think I had any idea of what direction we would be headed in when we filmed a year and a half ago But I have always believed in this project and the passion behind the story

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New Shoes is about the troubling relationship between a young boy (Tristan) and his drug­addicted mother Elaine (Tristan’s mom) supports both her son and her habit the only way she knows how Tristan, protects her the only way he knows how, on the front porch with his trusty brick After telling Tristan she plans to spend her recent payday on her next fix, he reminds her again that he needs new shoes for school Elaine angrily decides to burden her son with the guilt of placing herself in harm’s way in order to provide him with the shoes

Tristan always tries to be supportive but also feels very guilty The overwhelming remorse he feels prevents him from going through with buying the new shoes, only to return home to find his mother bleeding out from an attempted suicide After saving her life, Tristan is forced to examine his own life and decide whether or not he wants to continue to be her savior, or to save himself

The really powerful part is this is based on a true story

The life of Thommy Kane who also co­directed the film It is raw and real and just a glimpse at what the feature film will look like as Thommy’s journey took place over many years until he found great success as a signed recording artist and sadly lost his mother, Elaine

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I knew I was attracted to the concept However, at first it was a lot of really heavy topics for me and it took me a while to get comfortable There was the uncertainty of portraying a real person and trying to be my own character while also honoring Thommy’s truth and raw emotions I had not taken on a role like this before and had not been exposed to drug use or abuse so I had to completely detach from “Jacob” in order to become “Tristan ”

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They are totally both “an actor’s director ” Aside from being super cool people they are extremely talented and both brought a totally different perspective to the film Bojan has a successful background in producing very cool music videos among other great things and brought a visual sense and calmness to the set Thommy lived this It is his life so he was able to provide insight to real emotions to give me a better understanding of the backstory and how he felt as a little boy We actually had a blast filming After we wrapped and as tired as we all were we had an impromptu cast party in the duplex we

filmed in and I can tell you there were a lot of laughs and unbelievable excitement to start editing right away, even during the party The team was great It is amazing that we packed so much into a 20 min short I can only imagine how powerful the feature will be

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That is a great question and look I am only 15 I was 14 when we shot this so even if my resume stacks up to some adult actors I am always in awe of watching others work Laura/Elaine stayed in character through many of her really rough scenes on and off camera and that was amazing to watch David Afflick was fascinating to work with because he is a kind teacher in real life and played such a jerk in the film He was brilliant as was Laura Whiteley, Joe Vingi and Densie Monteiro

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So so so many As I am getting older, I am realizing how important it is to watch so many genres of films and study different actors I am always fascinated by Leo DiCaprio’s work and Adam Sandler keeps me laughing and learning about comedic timing However, my list is long

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Wow, that was my first TV experience It was great Director Andrea De Brito is very talented and kind and being part of a re­enactment of a mystery that took so long to solve was great I have found myself playing roles in the 70’s and 80’s and love the look and costumes Currently just wrapped Holland Michigan which is more of an early 2000 look and loved that too

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I am so excited for everyone to see both of these films Holland Michigan is a suspense thriller led by Nicole Kidman, Matthew Macfadyen, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rachel Sennnot, the amazing Jude Hill and Lennon Parham who is hands down the greatest improv/comedic timing actor I have ever met We don’t have a release date yet but look for it on Amazon Prime

Regarding Veronica begins filming in June It is directed by the talented actor and writer David Beck This one is going to stretch me as an actor too I don’t want to give too much away but the film tackles the issues that a transgender woman faces after being fired from her teaching job at a Catholic school and then contemplates suicide She meets a young girl with two fathers and they end up having a profound impact on each other’s lives I am thrilled to work alongside Abigail Hawk (Bluebloods) who portrays my mother along with a very talented cast that will be announced soon We are definitely going to tackle some important issues while making a great film

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Well, I am a bit of a wild man I love driving (fast), watersports (fast) like wake surfing and jet skiing and I am also scuba certified I am addicted to Pickle Ball which has been really fun too I love to travel and will be in Milan this summer studying with my best friends at Bocconi University

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I hope people walk away and realize everyone has a story My mom tells me that people suffer silently a lot and you never know what someone is going through, so always be kind I want others to connect with that message I also think it will leave people looking at their own relationships with parents and family members and maybe start some conversations or healing around the hurt that so many families face And, I want them to walk away wanting to see more! Definitely check out the website to watch clips, see photos and learn more www newshoesfilm com

Thank you so much for having me!

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Pic by Guido Venitucci

Emily Berry

1.)Emily! Before we dive right down the proverbial Q&A rabbit hole, how has your 2023 been treating you?

We’re very EXCITED

-Hi Hi Hi - thank you for having me. The first sneak preview of The Consultant dropped on Jan 3, and the following week I shot a commercial for Jimmy John’s the with the hilarious Bad Garrett. So, 2023 is off with a bang!

to be speaking today with acclaimed actress


2.) Major congratulations on your upcoming turn in the Amazon Prime series The Consultant which premieres this February 24! For those not in the know, what can you tell us about The Consultant and the character you play therein, Dana?

-It’s a psychological thriller about how far will one go to keep their job/please the boss/get ahead. The Consultant, aka Regus Patoff, played by Christoph Waltz, steps in to ‘help’ our struggling company, CompWare. His methods are…shall we say, non-traditional. My character Dana is a few years older than most of the other employees, so she represents a generational gap. She doesn’t see this job as a stepping stone to the next job. Dana really needs THIS job to support her family. She’s a bit of an everywoman and a relatable presence for our viewers.


Photographer: Ryan West

Hair Stylist: Sarah Latchford

Makeup Artist: Stephen Moleski

Wardrobe Stylist: Caroline Fogarty


3.) Did you know as soon as you were approached to do The Consultant that this was a production you wanted to be a part of?

-Indeed! Seeing Mr. Waltz’s name attached was delicious information. Also, my husband and I loved Tony Basgallop’s other recent series, The Servant. So I was doubly excited to be considered! I usually work in commercials and tv comedies, so it was very cool to play in a different genre.

4.) Let’s talk a little about the brilliant ensemble of thespians that populate The Consultant, led by Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz. What was it like for you to exorcise your own considerable acting chops alongside such stalwarts as Waltz?

-Oh yes let’s discuss! Most of my scenes were with Christoph and the lovely Brittany O’Grady. Mr. Waltz has this air of quiet confidence, like he’s watching and taking everything in, not missing a trick! Not surprisingly, I noticed he was always looking for ways to explore the space/props/script within rehearsals before cameras were up. I had the luxury of watching him watch people/actions, he’s a master at being playful and giving himself permission to explore & let things be weird!

The lovely Brittany and I bonded immediately and have been friends since day 1, she is so welcoming, friendly, and down to earth. She has a wonderful balance of being not only professional but also fun and a natural leader. I am honored to call her a friend in my personal life and hope great things for her!

5.) The Consultant features some of the very best directors plying their craft. What was your collaboration process with some of these directors such as Matt Shakman and Alexis Ostrander? Are they what some actors might refer to as “actor’s directors”?

Honestly, all the directors I worked with in my episodes felt like ‘actors directors.’ They all allowed for some play, wanted to see our ideas first, and then would make adjustments based on their vantage point of the complete story being crafted around the scene at hand. Alexis was fantastic! I felt very seen by her like I really mattered to what was happening right then. She was a delight. Matt Shakman (brilliantly!) directed the pilot and my character didn’t come on until episode 2, so hopefully, he and I will cross paths creatively on something else soon!

6.) What makes The Consultant different than anything else on the 2023 episodic television scene?

It’s primarily unique for two reasons: 1) the horror-comedy genre exists more in films than on tv; and Usually thrillers are 1-hours, so delivering this type of story in 30-minute episodes almost feels like a new genre.


7.) Prior to being cast in The Consultant, had you read author Bentley Little’s novel of the same name?

Honestly, no. I wanted to see the script through fresh eyes and specifically the lens of Tony’s vision, so I bought it on Amazon (wink, wink!) after we wrapped.

8.) We understand that you’re a real champion for such important causes as mental health and animal rescue. Can you talk with us about why these two causes are important to you?

My husband and I adopted a black lab rescue pup in our first year of marriage. I never understood unconditional love until that cute little bugger walked into our lives. We’ve had two more rescue pups since he crossed rainbow bridge, and my heart grows bigger with each one. In a perfect world, we’ll retire on a ranch with 1000 rescue animals!

Regarding mental health, I had a family member who suffered from mental illness when I was growing up. Having a therapist to talk to about that and other life hurdles was instrumental in my own journey into adulthood & beyond. Let’s be honest, it’s a lot to ask of a friend or spouse to help navigate everything! Hopefully, by sharing my experience, I can encourage others to seek out psychiatric help/counseling if they are struggling.

9.) Your first credited work as an actor is listed as the 2003 short Gretchen Brettschneider Skirts Thirty. Any special memories of that freshman production?

That fun short film incorporated all the elements of musical theatre, which was my first love growing up. Suffice to say, I was in heaven! It’s like Glee before Glee existed, but in 15 minutes and with all the original music. Also, I met my now-husband Bradley on that project, who was a producer on the film.

10.) What fascinates you the most about acting?

Every character has a unique set of experiences and a belief system born from them. Sometimes the beliefs are very different from mine and sometimes very similar. I love exploring the characters' lives and tell their stories truthfully, using my body/face as the vessel. Also, it’s never the same day twice on set! Always a new challenge, and figuring out how to put all the elements together, like a 4D puzzle.

11.) At the end of the day, what do you hope viewers walk away with after watching The Consultant?

Ooo I hope the viewers enjoy being sleuths -collecting clues and forming theories- about Regus Patoff and his methods for ‘consulting.’ Would love to see their passion inspire a Season 2!

12.) Final – SILLY! - Question: Favorite movie about the making of movies –Living In Oblivion, The Player, Barton Fink, or Swimming With Sharks?

I’m going rogue! I have to say the series The Offer. It's about producer Al Ruddy’s experience making The Godfather. I love The Godfather movies so that series was PURE comfort food.


Jayden McGinlay

Congratulations on your star-turn in the upcoming feature film reimagining of author Stephen King’s Children of the Corn which is set to haunt cinemas on March 3 and digital/On Demand on March 21!

For anyone not in the know, can you tell us what this iteration of Children of the Corn is all about?

Thank you! Yes, this film is based on Stephen King’s short story, however it’s a truly new take on the story. The film puts the focus squarely on the kids, and not the adults. The children in this film are tired of having to pay the consequences for their parents’ mistakes, so they take things into their own hands. I play the character of Cecil, Boleyn’s younger brother and one of the children living in Rylestone, a fictional town in Nebraska, which is inferred is near Gatlin, where the original film was based.

Prior to being offered the role of Cecil Williams in Children of the Corn, had you been familiar with the short story from King or any of the other film versions based off of it?

Well, when I first got the audition, it was an untitled project, and it wasn’t until I went for the in-room callback that I found out that the project was Children of the Corn. So immediately after that, I watched the original movie and did all my research! I hadn’t read or seen it before surprisingly, as I’ve been a huge fan of Stephen King’s work for years and I’d read The Shining,


Pet Cemetery, It, and Carrie when I was younger, and watched most of those movies, though I was probably too young to! Haha. I had just turned 15 when I was offered the role.

How is this version of Children of the Corn similar to some of the past ones?

How is it different?

Our Children of the Corn is firstly a prequel of sorts to the original, rather than a retelling of the same story, so all the characters are new and original. Our film touches on themes of the state of the world today and the environmental

We’re very happy to be speaking today with acclaimed actor and musician Jayden McGinlay; greetings and salutations, Jayden! Before we dive down the proverbial cinematic Q&A rabbit hole, how goes your 2023 thus far?

Hi, thanks for having me!

My 2023 has been good so far, thank you!

disaster that adults are leaving behind for their children, whereas the original was about religious fanaticism. What this version does maintain is the old school horror style.

What was your collaboration process like with Children of the Corn’s writer-director Kurt Wimmer? Is he what some actors might call “an actor’s director”?

It was an absolute pleasure working with Kurt. Because he wrote the script, he already had tons of insight into the character and he articulated


his ideas and thoughts about the character really clearly, which was great in helping me to understand what was going on in Cecil’s mind and what he was dealing with. Kurt had a really clear vision in his mind but also was very open to collaboration and he had a wonderful openness, so I was able to make Cecil my own. So yes, he is an actor’s director as even though he had a clear vision, he allowed me to be free and experiment a little. He was awesome to work with and is a genuinely nice guy.

You work alongside such a talented cast in Children of the Corn including the likes of such luminaries as Elena Kampouris. What was it like for you to exorcise your own considerable acting chops alongside this lot of thespians?

We had such a great cast on this I’m super grateful to have been able to work with them. Elena is so talented in so many ways and was so great to work with. She has great energy and such a bubbly personality, and kept the vibe on set really fun, even though the content of the film was so dark. Callan Mulvey, who played my dad is such an amazing actor and such a nice guy, it was an honor to work with him, and then of course Kate Moyer, who is absolutely awesome and was so much fun to work with.

Lionsgate is releasing Children of the Corn. What makes them the best home for this eerie little movie?

Yeah, the film is in great hands with Lionsgate as it’s the largest and most successful mini-major film studio in North America and focuses on independent films. It has distributed a heap of successful film franchises, so that’s awesome.

At the end of the day, what do you hope moviegoers walk away with after viewing Children of the Corn?

Well, the main reason people go to see horror movies is to be scared and entertained, so I hope the film does those things for them. I hope they just have a good time watching it. I could say I hope people walk away feeling encouraged to stand up for what they believe in, as the passionate children in this movie did, but they took it a little too far! Haha.

You’re known as “an actor’s actor.” Do you study other acclaimed actors such as Brando, James Dean, River Phoenix and Monty Clift? All of those above names also made names for themselves as being fully committed to their craft.

For sure, I’ve watched so many performances over the years and I really aspire to do work like those actors. Marlon Brando and River Phoenix are incredible, I went back


and watched their earlier work like The Wild One and My Own Private Idaho, which are incredible films, and their performances are amazing. I definitely love studying all the legendary actors and I’m constantly learning from them and inspired by them.

You’re also a musician who writes, produces and records your own material. Can we look forward to an album release in the near-future?

Yeah, music is a side project of mine and I love creating and recording in my spare time. I started training in singing and piano when I was 6 or 7 so it’s always been a big part of my life. I have a growing collection of music that I’ve made over the past few years that I could one day make into an album. I have a song I’m planning on releasing soon, so stay tuned for that.

What do you have coming up after Children of the Corn as far as film and/or television?

For that, you’ll have to stay tuned!

Final – SILLY! - Question: Favorite Stephen King film –Shawshank Redemption, Misery, The Shining or Stand By Me?

The Shining for me is a classic, the writing is incredible and paired with the acting by Jack Nicholson and the directing by Kubrick, it’s easily one of my favourite horror films.

Yes, for sure. Both of these are amazing non-profit organisations that do so much for wildlife. World Animal Protection is working to put an end to the cruelty, pain and exploitation of wild animals around the world, from the bear bile industry in Vietnam to elephants carrying tourists in India. Currumbin Wildlife Hospital

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital is one of the busiest wildlife hospitals in the world. Its mission is to treat, rehabilitate and release Australian wildlife. They have rescued and rehabilitated over 140,000 wildlife patients in the last 20 years. Both of these charities are so important and are doing amazing things and I encourage everyone to check out their websites, raise awareness, donate or start a fundraiser, as those tiny things add up to so much. and www.

Another passion of yours is in supporting wildlife charities including World Animal Protection and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. Can you tell readers a little about these important charities?


1 1 )) W Wee’ ’rre e e exxcciitteed d tto o b be e s sppeeaakkiinng g ttooddaay y w wiitth h D DGGA A A Awwaarrdd­­nnoommiinnaatteed d d diirreeccttoor r e exxttrraaoorrddiinnaaiirre e T Trraacci i H Haayyss; ; g grreeeettiinnggs s a annd d s saalluuttaattiioonnss, , T Trraaccii! ! B Beeffoorre e w we e m meeaannddeer r d doowwn n tthhaat t p prroovveerrbbiiaal l c ceelllluullooiid d Q Q&&A A p paatthhwwaayy, , h hoow w g gooees s y yoouur r 2 200223 3 tthhuus s ffaarr? ?

I hit the ground running with my New Year's resolution where I spent the last 75 days working out twice a day, drinking a gallon of water, reading 10 pages of a book, and not eating any sugar or bread, or drinking alcohol because I wanted to form healthier habits and mental toughness and focus in my life

2 2 )) M Maajjoor r c coonnggrraattuullaattiioonns s a annd d p pllaauuddiitts s o on n tthhe e u uppccoommiinng g rreelleeaasse e o of f yyoouur r n neexxt t ffeeaattuurre e ffiillm m B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaat t a annd d C Chheeeer r w whhiicch h iis s s seet t tto o p prreemmiieerre e o on n T Tuubbi i o on n A Apprriil l 1 155! ! F Foor r a annyyoonne e n noot t iin n tthhe e k knnooww, , w whhaat t iis s tthhiis s n neew w ffiillm m a alll l a abboouutt? ?

Blood, Sweat, and Cheer is a dark comedy inspired by real events about a woman who impersonates her daughter, goes back to high school, and joins a cheer team to fulfill a dream she never achieved of competing in her senior dance competition. Think Mean Girls meets Heathers

3 3 )) Y Yoou u w woorrk k w wiitth h ssuucch h a a b brriilllliiaannt t e ennsseemmbblle e o on n B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaatt, , a annd d C Chheeeer r iinncclluuddiinng g tthhe e lliikkees s o of f T Taammmmiin n S Suurrssook k a annd d M Moonnrrooe e C Clliinne e a ammoonng g m maanny y o otthheerrs s W Whhaat t w waas s iit t lliikke e ffoor r y yoou u tto o d diirreecct t tthhiis s iinnssaanneelly y ttaalleenntteed d lloott? ?

Such an honor! Tammin is such a pro and an immense talent She brought so much humor to this film that wasn’t written on the page I definitely ruined the audio on a number of takes from laughing too loud! She’s so down to earth, always has a smile on her face, and is willing to take risks with her character choices

Monroe was no different ­ she has a calming presence and always came to set excited and ready to play Not only does she have acting chops, but she’s an incredible dancer She learned the entire dance routine in an hour!

I couldn’t have filled out the rest of the cast with so many talented character actors without my casting director, Lindsay Chag, who’ve I had the pleasure of working with a number of times

4 4 )) B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaatt, , a annd d C Chheeeer r o on n tthhe e s suurrffaacce e ffeeeells s a as s iif f iit t c coommees s ffrroom m tthhe e s saamme e g geennrre e o of f ffiillm m w whhiicch h b brroouugghht t u us s ssuucch h g geemms s a as s H Heeaatthheerrss, , T Thhrreee e O O’’CClloocck k H Hiigghh, , E Elleeccttiioonn, , a annd d M Meeaan n G Giirrlls s W Weerre e a anny y o of f tthhoosse e ffiillmms s jjuummppiinngg­­oofff f p pooiinntts s ffoor r y yoou u a as s a a d diirreeccttoorr, , d diid d tthheey y s seerrvve e tto o iinnssppiirre e yyoou u iin n a anny y ffaasshhiioonn? ?

I love that those references come to mind for you because they were 100% inspiration for me with the tone, fashion, and color palette of creating the world I wanted each teen cheerleader to have their own color pallet that they wore for the whole film Renee’s character wore pink throughout the film except for one scene in particular towards the end of the film (can’t go into details because of spoilers!).

5 5 )) T Thhe e p puubblliicciitty y ffoor r B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaatt, , a annd d C Chheeeer r sseeeemms s tto o iimmpplly y tthhaat t ssoomme e o of f tthhe e e evveenntts s iin n tthhe e ffiillm m w weerre e p paarrttiiaalllly y iinnssppiirreed d b by y rreeaall­­lliiffe e e evveenntts s H Hoow w m muucch h o of f tthhe e n neew w ffiillm m iis s ffiiccttiioonnaal l d daarrk k c coommeeddy y a annd d h hoow w m muucch h o owwees s a a ttiip p o of f tthhe e o olld d IIrriissh h h haat t tto o tthhe e w woorrlld d o of f rreeaalliittyy? ?

Yes, the film was inspired by real­life events about a woman enrolling as a high school student, and joining a cheer squad, but all the dark comedy elements of the film were fictionalized It was an opportunity to lean into the psychological aspect of our heroine's point of view in a stylized over­the­top

fun way I was greatly influenced by Black Swan and the downward spiral of a character becoming obsessed with being the best and fulfilling a dream, no matter the cost


6.) ) IIn n yyoouur r e evveerr­­hhuummbblle e o oppiinniioonn, , w whhaat t d diiffffeerreennttiiaattees s B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaatt, , a annd d C Chheeeer r ffrroom m tthhe e D Diissttiinngguuiisshheed d C Coommppeettiittiioon n o on n tthhe e 2 200223 3 m moovviie e sscceennee? ?

It’s a short, tightly­packed ride that captures the zeitgeist of the 90s culture, characters, and craze with a sense of humor It builds on the nostalgia of the John Hughes high­school coming­of­age genre with a flawed and fierce female protagonist at the center of the narrative

7 7 )) S Sttrreeaammiinng g s seerrvviicce e T Tuubbi i iis s rreelleeaassiinng g B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaatt, , a annd d C Chheeeer r W Whhaat t m maakkees s tthheem m tthhe e p peerrffeecct t h hoomme e ffoor r yyoou u a annd d yyoouur r n neew w ffiillmm? ? As a fast­growing streaming service with over 64 million monthly subscribers, Tubi is the perfect platform to reach an audience And the best part Tubi is free! As an ad­based model, it has a larger reach not just in the US, but internationally

8 8 )) B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaatt, , a annd d C Chheeeer r iis s tthhe e ffoollllooww­­uup p tto o yyoouur r 2 200222 2 ffeeaattuurre e ffiillm m d diirreeccttoorriiaal l d deebbuut t T Taanngglleed d W Waas s tthheerre e a annyytthhiinng g ffrroom m w woorrkkiinng g o on n T Taanngglleed d tthhaat t iinnffoorrmmeed d h hoow w yyoou u d diirreecctteed d yyoouur r ssoopphhoommoorre e ffiillmm? ?

I learned so many valuable lessons directing Tangled. Since the film was shot in and around Atlanta, I got to know the landscape of the film industry, met lots of talented crew, and was familiar with locations so when I came back a year later to direct Blood, Sweet, and Cheer, I was already familiar with the area and was able to utilize my connections Although I had less prep time with the film than I did Tangled, I felt right at home because I had spent months living in Atlanta and was prepared for all the crazy drivers ­ haha Not that LA drivers are much better

9 9 )) Y Yoouur r ffiirrsst t ccrreeddiitteed d ttuurrn n a as s a a d diirreeccttoor r b beehhiinnd d tthhe e c caammeerra a c caamme e iin n tthhe e ffoorrm m o of f tthhe e 2 200110 0 s shhoorrt t ffiillm m

B Beettwweeeen n B Baarrs s A Anny y s sppeecciiaal l m meemmoorriiees s o of f tthhaat t ffrreesshhmmaan n p prroodduuccttiioonn? ?

Oh, yeah! That film holds such a special place in my heart. We shot on Super 16mm and I remember on the last day of principal photography the DP ran towards me with a can of film, tripped, and the can of film went flying, exposing the negative or so I thought It turned out to be a dummy roll of film and the whole thing was planned as a gag we laughed about it for weeks afterward but at the moment I remember being horrified…

1 10 0 )) A At t tthhe e e ennd d o of f tthhe e d daayy, , w whhaat t d do o yyoou u h hooppe e m moovviieeggooeerrs s w waallk k a awwaay y w wiitth h a afftteer r w waattcchhiinng g B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaatt, , a annd d C Chheeeerr? ?

Life’s too short and we all need to laugh more, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams, and always remain young at heart

1 11 1 )) W Whhaatt’ ’ss o on n yyoouur r d daanncce e ccaarrd d d diirreeccttiinngg­­wwiisse e n noow w tthhaat t B Blloooodd, , S Swweeaatt, , a annd d C Chheeeer r iis s a abboouut t tto o m maakke e iitts s d deebbuutt? ?

I’m currently attached to a few features that I'm taking out with my agent, going on lots of general meetings, and developing a television series Excited to expand my craft to episodic directing this year!

1 12 2 )) F Fiinnaal l –– S SIILLLLYY! ! ­­ Q Quueessttiioonn: : F Faavvoorriitte e m moovviie e a abboouut t tthhe e m maakkiinng g o of f m moovviiees s –– L Liivviinng g IIn n O Obblliivviioonn, , T Thhe e P Pllaayyeerr, , S Swwiimmmmiinng g W Wiitth h S Shhaarrkkss, , o or r B Baarrttoon n F Fiinnkk? ?

Very fun and silly! Out of those, my pick is The Player

Photo credit: Jackie Rangel PHOTO CRED: Demarest Photography

1 1 )) W Wee’ ’rre e v veerry y e exxcciitteed d tto o h haavve e s soomme e ttiimme e ttooddaay y w wiitth h o onne e o of f tthhe e ffuunnnniieesst t a annd d m moosst t a accccllaaiimmeed d c coommeeddiiaannss, , w wrriitteerrss, , a annd d a accttrreessssees s o on n tthhe e e enntteerrttaaiinnmmeennt t llaannddssccaappee, , O Or r M Maasshh; ; g grreeeettiinnggs s a annd d s saalluuttaattiioonnss, , O Orr! ! B Beeffoorre e w we e d diivve e d doowwn n tthhe e p prroovveerrbbiiaal l Q Q&&A A rraabbbbiit t h hoollee, , h hoow w g gooees s yyoouur r 2 200223 3 tthhuus s ffaarr? ?

My 2023 is going great, I feel that after 2020 I found a new appreciation and joy with the smallest things just as much as the big achievements Just wrapped up two more seasons of Wild N’ Out for Vh1 and Paramount+ and I’m very grateful for it. Spending my nights in comedy clubs making audiences laugh and being surrounded by my people­ comedians

2 2 )) C Coonnggrraattuullaattiioonns s o on n yyoouur r h hiillaarriioouus s ttuurrn n a as s a a rreegguullaar r c caasst t m meemmbbeer r o on n tthhe e h hiit t V VHH1 1 s skkeettcch h c coommeeddy y a annd d m muussiic c iimmpprroovv­­bbaasseed d s shhoow w ““WWiilld d ’’N N

O Ouutt” ” ffoor r P Paarraammoouunnt t P Plluuss, , tthhe e n neew w s seeaassoon n o of f w whhiicch h p prreemmiieerreed d tthhiis s p paasst t A Apprriil l 6 6! ! F Foor r a annyyoonne e n noot t iin n tthhe e k knnooww, , ccaan n yyoou u e exxppllaaiin n w whhaat t W Wiilld d ’’N N

O Ouutt’ ’ss iis s a alll l a abboouutt? ?

Wild N Out is a sketch comedy and battle rap game show Every episode starts with improv comedy games and ends with a battle rap that focuses on jokes The cast is divided into two teams that battle each other and each episode has a winner The show was created in 2005 and continues to feature the biggest Television and musical guests in American culture such as Zandeya, Snoop Dogg, Bella Thorne, Kevin Hart, and many more

3 3 )) D Diid d y yoou u k knnoow w a as s ssoooon n a as s yyoou u w weerre e a apppprrooaacchheed d a abboouut t W Wiilld d ’’N N O Ouut t tthhaat t tthhiis s w waas s s soommeetthhiinng g s sppeecciiaal l y yoou u w waanntteed d tto o b be e a a p paarrt t o off? ?

When I first auditioned I was happy to get the opportunity to showcase for them but I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself I said to myself ‘ Just do your best’ and remove any expectations The expectation and the outcome we think we have to have gets in the way of the fun When you have fun things tend to flow better Being a comedian I learned that when you have fun the audience has fun and that's the most important thing

4 4 )) D Do o y yoou u ffeeeel l tthhaat t b beeiinng g ffrroom m IIssrraaeel l lleenndds s y yoou u a a u unniiqquue e s sppiin n o on n h hoow w yyoou u p peerrffoorrm m A Ammeerriiccaan n c coommeeddyy? ?

Having an outsider’s take is great for comedy

Many times I say things and people burst out laughing and at the beginning, I never understood why, Later I learned it was my unique perspective and the way I say things The stories and jokes you hear from Or Mash you'll probably never hear from anyone else and I think that’s cool Sometimes, I feel like an outsider, but I learned to stay true to who I am

5 5 )) Y Yoou u w woorrk k a alloonnggssiidde e s suucch h a a b brriilllliiaannt t e ennsseemmbblle e iin n W Wiilld d ’’N N O Ouut t W Whhaatt’ ’ s s iit t lliikke e s shhoowwiinng g u up p ffoor r w woorrk k e evveerry y d daay y a annd d g geettttiinng g tto o e exxeerrcciisse e y yoouur r o owwn n c coonnssiiddeerraabblle e c coommeeddiic c c chhoopps s w wiitth h tthhiis s ttaalleenntteed d g grroouupp? ?

I’m very blessed to be given the opportunity to be on stage with the very best In the beginning, I’d get nervous but luckily the old school cast mates have been so kind to me and made me feel at home I am learning and growing so much it really is a blessing


H Hoow w d dooees s W Wiilld d ’’N N O Ouut t k keeeep p tthhiinnggs s sso o ffrreessh h tthhiis s m maanny y s seeaassoonns s iinn? ?

It’s the harmony between all the people who are making it happen. From the producers to crew to cast it all feels like a big family Nick is a huge factor in the way he leads the team and wants to see everyone win The show always brings the hottest talent and remains a staple in American homes I know people that used to watch it when they were young and now their kids watch it

7 7 )) C Coommeeddyy­­wwiissee, , w whho o iinnssppiirrees s y yoouu? ?

Robin Williams, Kat Williams, Sarah Silverman, Earthquake, and George Carlin

8 8 )) H Hoow w d diid d yyoou u llaannd d u uppoon n tthhe e p paatth h o of f w waannttiinng g tto o b be e a a ccoommeeddiiaann? ? IIs s tthheerre e a an n E E! ! T Trruue e H Hoollllyywwooood d S Sttoorry y y yoou u ccoouulld d sshhaarre e w wiitth h o ouur r e evveerr­­iinnqquuiissiittiivve e rreeaaddeerrs s rreeggaarrddiinng g yyoouur r ccoommeeddiic c o orriiggiinnss? ?

I had a whole different career in Israel. I worked in the Gaming industry and did well for myself but the feeling of ‘Am I missing something?’ grew stronger One day I decided that I don't want to grow old and asked myself what if? I decided to go to Los Angeles to try to stand up even once and come back I'll never forget the day of the flight I went to the bank to pick up an American credit card and the bank made a mistake and gave me one that only works in Europe At the same time this happened, I got a call from the only person I knew in LA saying I can't stay with them when I land like we originally planned This was 5 hours before the flight I was about to fly to America with nowhere to stay and no working credit card I called my sister who was in Paris at the time I asked her and myself if I should reschedule the flight, and she said “If you postpone the flight you might never do it Go for it and god will be with you” I landed in LAX not knowing a single person when suddenly I got a call from an older lady She said she overheard my sister in Paris talk about my story and I can stay with her granddaughter until my card arrives

She was a god sent I knew a comedian that had taken me to my first comedy club, The Comedy Store on Sunset They had an allwoman joke challenge and someone pushed me to the stage I told my joke and Won

9 9 )) A As s a an n a accccoommpplliisshheed d a accttrreesss s y yoou u h haavve e n no o lleesss s tthhaan n ffoouur r u uppccoommiinng g p prroojjeecctts s h heeaaddeed d o ouur r w waayy: : A Alltteerrnnaatte e L Liiffee, , IIn n tthhe e M Miirrrroor r R Reefflleeccttiioonn, , E Ennvvy y M Moovviiee, , a annd d B Boooo! ! W Whhaat t ccaan n yyoou u tteelll l u us s a abboouut t tthheesse e iinnttrriigguuiinngg­­ssoouunnddiinng g ffiillmmss? ?

These films were so fun to make and were the first time I realized how much I love being in front of the camera I also shot a series with my sister Ophir Mashiah that won Best Comedy pilot at Atlanta and Toronto woman in film festivals I am now working on two new films that I am very excited about! I can't disclose too much but will say I love the storylines, originality and can't wait to share more!

1 10 0 )) F Fiinnaal l ­­ S SIILLLLYY! ! ­­ Q Quueessttiioonn: : F Faavvoorriitte e m moovviie e a abboouut t m moovviiees s ­­ L Liivviinng g IIn n O Obblliivviioonn, , T Thhe e P Pllaayyeer r o or r B Baarrttoon n F Fiinnkk? ?

Note to Laura­ I actually have never seen any of these films so maybe we can ask a different question?


crreeddiibblle e ffeeaat t w whhiicch h m moosst t s shhoowws s n neevveer r rreeaalliizzee.

6 6 )) W Wiilld
N O Ouut
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, a an

Kayden Koshelev YOUNG ACTOR

1.) We’re happy to be speaking today with acclaimed young actor Kayden Koshelev; greetings and salutations, Kayden! Before we dive down the Q&A rabbit hole, how has your 2023 been so far?

I want to say that I feel really happy to be talking to you today! This year has been really good to me so far! Last year, I got the opportunity to be in a lot of films, and now I get to watch all of them, which is super exciting! Sometimes, it seems like things are going slow in the movie business, but that's okay! I can use this time to focus on school, hang out with my friends, go to auditions, and take some cool classes until things pick up again.


2.) Congratulations on your upcoming turn in the new Zack Snyder/Netflix film

Rebel Moon which is set for a December 22 release! For those not in the know, can you tell us a little bit about what Rebel Moon is about and how your character of “Finn” figures into the proceedings? Wow, thank you so much! I'm really excited for everyone to see Rebel Moon when it comes out on December 22! Basically, it's a movie that Zack Snyder made, and it takes place in this really big universe that he created. My character's name is “Finn”, and even though he's just a small part of the story, I think he's pretty cool. I can't really give away too much about the plot, but I can tell you that it's an epic sci-fi adventure with lots of action and cool special effects. It was really amazing to work on a movie with such talented people and to be part of something that is so big and exciting.

3.) Did you know as soon as you were approached about being in Rebel Moon that this was a production you wanted to be a part of?

When I first heard that I was auditioning for Rebel Moon, I was actually feeling sick. I was SO sick. However, I was still really excited when my mom told me that I had two auditions lined up. Despite not feeling well, I decided to film the auditions anyway and then went right back to the couch to rest. As it turned out, I ended up booking both of them! One of the projects was Rebel Moon, and the other was Night Court, a great sitcom streaming on Peacock. Later, when I found out that I had booked Rebel Moon, I did a deeper dive into the project. It was only then that I realized how huge and exciting this project was. I couldn't believe that I was going to be a part of it!


1 1. W Wee’ ’rre e s suuppeerr­­eexxcciitteed d tto o b be e ssppeennddiinng g ssoomme e ttiimme e ttooddaay y w wiitth h a accccllaaiimmeed d e eddiittoor r M Miigguueel l A Ammooddiioo; ; g grreeeettiinnggs s a annd d ssaalluuttaattiioonnss, , M Miigguueell! ! B Beeffoorre e w we e d diivve e d doowwn n tthhe e cceelllluullooiidd­­lliinneed d Q Q&&A A rraabbbbiit t h hoollee, , h hoow w g gooees s yyoouur r 2 200223 3 tthhuus s ffaarr? ?

Well, I just got my fourth feature off to post sound and color, so It's off to a great start!

2 2 K Kuuddoos s a annd d m maajjoor r a accccoollaaddees s ffoor r tthhe e u uppccoommiinng g ffiillm m T Twwo o L Liivvees s iin n P Piittttssbbuurrggh h w whhiicch h b beeaarrs s yyoouur r d deefft t a annd d sseennssiittiivve e e eddiittiinng g s skkiillllss! ! H Hoow w d diid d y yoou u b beeccoomme e iinnvvoollvveed d w wiitth h tthhe e p prroodduuccttiioon n o of f tthhiis s g geem m o of f a a ffiillmm? ?

I was on a production job in New Orleans with Two Lives Producer and Cinematographer Tiffany Murray when she was telling me that they had to let the original editor go and they were trying to figure out what to do I asked her to consider throwing my hat into the ring and fortunately for me, she did She sent me the script and introduced me to the executive producer, writer, and Director, Brian Silverman We hit it off immediately and the rest is history.

3 3. W Whhaat t w waas s yyoouur r ccoollllaabboorraattiioon n p prroocceesss s lliikke e w wiitth h T Twwo o L Liivvees s iin n P Piittttssbbuurrggh h d diirreeccttoor r B Brriiaan n S Siillvveerrmmaann? ?

My collaboration with Brian was fluid and easy; in another life, Brian is a teacher and it shows. He is very measured in his approach and is a fantastic listener I can be a bit “passionate” at times, and he was always great about hearing me out and moving forward from there. He’s a wonderful human


I try to look at whatever I am given as an absolute. That there will be no pickups or reshoots, so I like to approach an edit with a “work with what you got” mentality. Brian, Tiffany and Lola really went through the wringer on this and have been busting their asses much longer than I did They knew this story inside and out, so when they had to pivot because of the pandemic, they made it look easy. It's amazing to say, but there were absolutely NO pickup shots or stock plate purchases for this film. That’s a testament to my team's attention to detail They absolutely fixed it in Pre, and it made it much easier for me to focus on tackling knowing “this was it ”

7 7 Y Yoouu’ ’ v ve e g goot t n no o lleesss s tthhaan n tthhrreee e o otthheer r ffiillmms s tthhaat t yyoouu’ ’ v ve e e eddiitteed d ­­ F Foor r T Thhe e L Loovve e o of f JJeesssseeee, , D Deevviill’ ’ s s K Knniigghht t & & T Thhe e S Sttaar r C Ciitty y M Muurrddeerrss. A Annyytthhiinng g yyoou u ccaan n tteelll l u us s a abboouut t tthheesse e p prroodduuccttiioonnss? ?

Jessee was my first feature and was a family­style drama. It has an incredible heart and I was able to collaborate with many of my industry friends. I still work closely with Director David McAbee and we hopefully got some fun stuff cooking for 2024 Star City Murders was a collaborative edit with Angel Sanchez, my 1st Assistant Editor, and was his first official feature film, so I was happy to be a part of that journey with him. Devils Knight just got kicked over to Sound, Color, and VFX, and should be dropping at some point later this year It's been a fun adventure these past two years

8 8 W Whhaatt’ ’ss tthhe e sseeccrreet t tto o b beeiinng g a a g gooood d e eddiittoorr? ?

Truth be told, I'm not completely up to date on what other films are in the festival cycle right now; however, I think what hooked me on Two Lives in Pittsburgh was the perspective the story is told from I won’t go into spoiler territory, but I hope the film creates a positive conversation about gender and identity in today's contentious climate.

That’s a hard question to answer For me personally, while I'm sitting/standing there, about to start my assembly, I try to remember that the audience won't remember the story, editing, cinematography or even the directing, but they WILL remember how they felt when it's all said and done For me, it's really about the emotionality of the thing and trying to think of the audience's perspective. This helps me keep it measured and grounded

It's a story about family It's a story about grace. It's the humans we love making very human mistakes and judgments, but learning and growing from them.

9 9. A At t tthhe e e ennd d o of f tthhe e d daayy, , w whhaat t d do o yyoou u h hooppe e vviieewweerrs s w waallk k a awwaay y w wiitth h a afftteer r cchheecckkiinng g o ouut t T Twwo o L Liivvees s iin n P Piittttssbbuurrgghh? ?

I hope it creates a platform for measured conversation about acceptance: acceptance of identity, gender, and sexual preference

4 4. . W Whhaat t d diiffffeerreennttiiaattees s T Twwo o L Liivvees s iin n P Piittttssbbuurrggh h ffrroom m tthhe e D Diissttiinngguuiisshheed d C Coommppeettiittiioon n o on n tthhe e 2 200223 3 ffiillm m sscceennee? ? 5 5 F Foor r yyoou u p peerrssoonnaallllyy, , w whhaat t rreessoouunnddeed d a abboouut t T Twwo o L Liivvees s iin n P Piittttssbbuurrgghh? ?
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6 6. T Twwo o L Liivvees s iin n P Piit

C. Kim Miles


We’re excited to be speaking today with acclaimed cinematographer C. Kim Miles; greetings and salutations, C. Kim! Before we meander down the proverbial Q&A pathway, how is 2023 treating you thus far?

Pretty great; I’m in Atlanta making another movie with Bobby Farrelly


2.) Congratulations on the upcoming March 10 Bobby Farrelly-directed film Champions! For anyone not in the know, can you tell us what Champions is all about?

“Champions” chronicles the story of coach Marcus Aldridge, a disenfranchised minor league basketball coach whose shenanigans after a very public altercation with his head coach lead him to coach a team of basketball players with intellectual disabilities as part of a community service sentence imposed by the court. Marcus comes to realize the opportunity that this circumstance affords him and leads the team to an appearance at the Special Olympics.

3.) As soon as you were approached to lens Champions did you know that this was a production you wanted to be a part of?

I did; I had watched the Spanish film on which “Champions” is based and saw some opportunities to make our own version our own, and was excited by that prospect. I also wanted not only to work with Bobby but to add another theatrical credit to my resume. I’d never worked with anyone with intellectual disabilities and thought that the challenge could be rewarding.

4.) What sort of challenges were you presented with while working your magic on Champions?

We had a tight schedule, and a number of cast

members that not only suffered from different intellectual challenges, but had never been on set before. That was daunting enough, but adding the challenges of shooting in the Prairies in the winter allowed us an opportunity for bonus points.

5.) Visually, what type of look and/ or feeling were you going for with Champions?

Honesty. Above all, honesty. Bobby and I spoke early about the look of the movie and I pointed out that I wanted very much to avoid a visual interpretation that would detract from the legitimacy and very real personalities of our cast; I worried that if the movie took on a visual character that was too whimsical, that it would undermine the audience’s perception of the very real lives and struggles that the characters endure. Folks with intellectual disabilities live every public moment of their lives judged by preconception. It’s easier and more comfortable for able-bodied and able-minded people to categorically dismiss as inferior any individuals they recognize to have intellectual disabilities. People assume that these folks are helpless and unable to be participant in a productive society, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. My preconceptions melted away almost instantly as I got to know our cast, and working with them proved to be so inspiring that it deepened my commitment to treating their story with respect and honesty so as to give the audience an opportunity to bond with the characters without distraction.



What was your collaboration process like with Champions director Bobby Farrelly?

Bobby has a storied career making movies with his brother Peter. Collectively, their success is undeniable. Being invited to collaborate on Bobby’s first attempt at a solo directing gig was humbling and quite an honour. Bobby is very much a performance director, and by that I mean that while he has a broad concept of how he wants the film to come together, he’s less concerned with the mechanical filmmaking details and more focused on working with the cast to distil performances. Because I enjoy shot design and crafting the look of the film in a very internal way, and also enjoy the preproduction process and problem-solving the challenges I anticipate, being able to make decisions relatively unfettered (but with Bobby’s participation of course) was a genuine treat, and the faith and trust that Bobby afforded me was humbling. I’ve always felt that because the filmmaking process is such a collaborative form, the very best results always come when everybody on the cast and crew feels like they have ownership of the show in their own way; that they’ve contributed a bit of themselves to the story, and left their mark on the show. Bobby’s trust in me gave me such a generous share ownership than I was able to give other members of my crew more creative participation and spread the wealth, knowing that I could harness their enthusiasm and drive it right onto the screen.

“Champions” is a simple, honest story about very real characters played by very real human beings. To me, nothing should stand in the way of the connection the audience needs to make with these characters. With that in mind, my hope is that the cinematography in the movie does nothing to detract from that; I wanted it to draw no attention to itself, and simply to be transparent to the story and therefore not a distraction to the audience. I do a lot of shows that have complicated visual effects considerations, or that involve intricate stunt work; shows that necessarily draw attention to the cinematography in one way or another (hopefully only in hindsight), so “Champions” was an opportunity to take a step back and give the floor to the cast and let the audience watch the story unfold.


From a visual point of view, how is Champions different than anything else currently on the movie landscape?



What do you hope moviegoers walk away with after watching Champions?

My biggest hope - and I realize how cliché it sounds - is that audiences come away a little more respectful of people with intellectual infirmities and learn that these folks are the most inspiring people you’re likely ever to meet. They overcome judgement and preconception almost every moment of their lives, and yet greet the world with emotions so unencumbered by social expectations that they are as close to pure as I’ve ever seen. I fell in love with our cast, and getting to know them made my heart both break and swell with equal intensity. I wish I could feel a laugh erupt from within as purely as they surely do; I wish I could cry as profoundly as they most surely do, because those are the things that make them so very much more human than many of us could ever extricate ourselves from our “lives” to experience. If people that see this movie might take a moment to say “hello” to someone they might previously have judged to be less than them, to share a human moment with someone they might previously have shied away from, then I’ll be happy. It’s a little thing to look someone in the eye and acknowledge them as a human being, but that acknowledgement means the world to someone who’s spent their lives being denied this most basic connection by virtually everyone with whom they come into contact.

I did some work with Davis Guggenheim on his documentary film “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie”. I’ve long been inspired by Michael’s fortitude, leadership and relentless refusal to be victim to his circumstance. His story is so very vulnerable, so very human and ultimately so inhumanly heroic as to be one of the most inspiring I’ve come across. He proves that with the proper dosage of determination, shored up by the impenetrable support of a partner with the emotional fortitude of Tracy Pollan, that no limits need hold you back. I never realized the parallels between “Still” and “Champions” at the time, but I’m so very grateful that I now find myself in a period in my career in which I get to choose the projects that truly inspire me, and hopefully, inspire others too. Subsequent to “Still”, which opened at Sundance this year, you’ll see my name on Netflix’s “The Brothers Sun” with my dear fellow Malaysian Michelle Yeoh, and on Bobby Farrelly’s as- yetuntitled next movie.


What do you have coming up after Champions?


10.) Secret Origin Time: How did you set about becoming such a respected cinematographer?

Hahaha. I don’t know about “respected cinematographer” but you’re very kind. It’s really always just been a case of taking each day, each project, at a time. I’ve always put story first, and blindly (or perhaps naïvely) believed that as long as I’m focused on doing the very best that I can to translate the words on the page to the screen, that the rest of it falls into place. I worked my way up through the ranks on set; I’ve been a grip, I’ve been a camera assistant, I’ve been an electric. I don’t say that to draw attention to myself; but I’ve always believed that in order to lead, one must first follow. Doing the jobs that you oversee gives you a perspective that isn’t top-down; I know the human cost what I’m asking for and it ensures that I consider carefully the decisions that I make because I respect the needs and well-being of my crews. I was also lucky enough to have an upbringing that included literature and art, which helps me see a broader picture; people have been telling stories visually since the only story to tell was scratched on a cave wall or acted out by a campfire. I’m not doing anything new; I’m just trying to tell the stories that come to me. Do that long enough, and I suppose I can understand being respected for stubbornness and perseverance, if nothing else ;-)

11.) Congratulations and kudos for your recent nomination from the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers for your stellar work on Lost Ollie. What did this coveted nomination mean to you personally?

Thank you. “Ollie” was a project that was very special to a lot of people, particularly Shannon Tindle, the creator, and Peter Ramsey, the director. In many ways it is representative of the direction that I would like to see filmmaking progress; pure collaborative enthusiasm from every individual involved in the project; pure collaborative respect for each others’ process, responsibilities and contributions. My collaborators on “Ollie” are people that I consider to be the very best at their craft, and to an individual, each fell in absolute love with the project, and that is what manifests on the screen. I know how hard everyone worked on the show and I’m intensely proud of it. I’m humbled and surprised to be nominated for it, but when I think of the tireless contributions that each person made on that show, I realize who the nomination really represents; everybody that worked on the show, and for them, I’m swelling with pride.

12.) Final – SILLY! -Question: Favorite movie about the making of movies: Living In Oblivion, Barton Fink or The Player?

“Oblivion”. I work on set and live some aspect or another of that movie’s absurdity every single day.


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What’s up guys? This year has been a ride but going well Good to be here

2 ) Major plaudits and kudos for your upcoming March 24 feature film The Astrid Experience which you not only wrote yourself but which you also directed and starred in! For anyone not in the know, can you tell us what The Astrid Experience is all about and how your character of Chase Abbot figures into the proceedings?

The Astrid Experience is a romantic drama­comedy film based in the City of Angels The story follows Chase Abbott, a once­successful artist thats made a lot of bad life decisions and dug a very deep hole for himself When he hits rock bottom, he decides to do the personal work needed to turn his life around On his journey back to the light, he meets Astrid when he helps her out of a difficult situation at a casting studio She invites him to party, which kicks off a magical night through LA the kind of night people dream about having when they move here

Chase Abbott is the lead character of the film the character I play and loosely based on many experiences in my life

I wrote the original outline for ‘The Astrid Experience’ back in 2012 or something like that, based on this night I had walking through Hollywood with a girl It was originally called ‘The Untitled Los Angeles Romance Project before it became what it is now I was writing a lot of scripts back then, and I think this was like my 11th or 12th feature script something like that my main focus has always been acting, and writing second, but I was starting to get interested in filmmaking due to the mumblecore movement that was happening at the time, where a bunch of actors were starting to get together and shoot their own movies on DSLR cameras Films like Scoot McNairy and Alex Holdridge’s ‘In Search of a Midnight Kiss’, The Duplass Brothers ‘Puffy Chair’, and Aaron Katz’s ‘Cold Weather’ really inspired me to get out there and shoot something independently with all this new technology that was available It was a liberating idea as a young actor

From there the project basically got shelved as an outline as other stuff came up In 2014 I wrote directed and produced a music video for my friend John

That called ‘Hippy Girl’ that did well and we had a lot of fun making it so we always knew we wanted to do something else together In 2018 he asked if I had anything that could be produced independently in Los Angeles, and I went through my portfolio and ‘The Untitled Los Angeles Romance Project’ caught my eye

I pulled out the outline and did a page one rewrite, spending several weeks infusing six more years of life experience into the script, and drafting up what became The Astrid Experience’ as it is now 4 4 )) A Alltthhoouuggh h T Thhe e A Assttrriid d E Exxppeerriieenncce e m maarrkks s yyoouur r ffeeaattuurre e ffiillm m d diirreeccttiinng g d deebbuutt, yyoou u a allsso o d diirreecctteed d ttwwo o p prreevviioouus s p prroodduuccttiioonns s p prriioor r tto o T Thhe e A Assttrriid d E Exxppeerriieennccee: : 2 2001144’ ’ss JJoohhn n T Thhaatt: : H Hiippppy y G Giirrl l a annd d 2 2001188’ ’ s s H Hoollllyywwooood d b by y N Niigghht t W Whhaat t d diid d y yoou u ttaakke e ffrroom m tthhoosse e p prriioor r d diirreeccttiinng g jjoobbs s kknnoowwlleeddggee­­wwiisse e a annd d a apppplly y tto o y yoouur r e exxppeerriieenncce e o of f d diirreeccttiinng g T Thhe e A Assttrriid d E Exxppeerriieennccee? ?

‘Hippy Girl’ was a music video I directed based on an awesome song by John

That and ‘Hollywood by Night’ was basically a short film I created as a way to test our equipment and get ready to make ‘The Astrid Experience’ I learned a ton on both, mainly how to work with small crews, editing workflows, and ultimately just to get out there and create something

As educational as they both were, neither really prepared me for the true education I d get by making a professional feature film Its just such a larger undertaking, with such higher levels to hit Directing The Astrid Experience has been the ultimate filmmaking education

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I had enough acting and on­set experience that I kind of knew what I was getting into Most of the writing is done in pre­production so that’s relatively un­obstuctive to my acting process In fact acting in stuff I’ve written often makes the acting preparation process faster and easier as so much of the internal work of understanding the story and finding out who the character is and how they fit into the world, has already been done

Directing and acting is another matter Directing while starring in a film is not a position I was necessarily seeking out, or would even recommend I really value the collaboration with a great director while I m acting For The Astrid Experience , me directing was really more by necessity than by choice I just happened to be the most qualified for the job in our given circumstances and with what resources we had available at the time I think I had written about 18 feature scripts at that point I had a good grasp on story, and I had a shooting script drafted up so I knew how I wanted to tell it visually, so it made the most sense for me to direct Thankfully, My co­producer John and our DP Chris were really acting as my “eyes” behind the camera while I was acting, and we had a good flow on set that took us across the finish line

Directing is a ton of work I have so much more respect for directors now The time and energy commitment is beyond just reminds me even more why I love acting : )

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Lucia and Mena are both very talented actresses They were both very young in 2019, wow, but it was clear right away they were very gifted We held auditions at a casting studio in Hollywood, and they both came in and just blew us away It was clear pretty quick that they “were” the part, so to speak, and they both had great chemistry with each other, which was key since they play best friends in the movie Since I play the lead character I read with them in their scenes and had a blast I could already picture the film in my head after our reads before we even started rolling camera and all I had to do was shoot what was already there when we got to set

Personally I think directing while acting is really hard You have to balance letting go as an actor while staying vigilante to make sure the other actors are giving you what you need to tell the story No actor wants to be directed by another actor My hat is off to anyone who does it well Thankfully, Lucia and Mena are both very talented actresses that did their homework and were perfect for their roles, so for the most part I could just get out of their way and let them work

if they can find it in themselves to push through times of immense adversity, isolation, and loneliness if that can just just make it one more day there’s always chance to wake up the next morning and that they could meet someone or do something and their life could change in an instant

Still Kids is a short­film my friend Petrie Willink wrote His feature film directorial debut, Krispr , a sci­fi thriller reminiscent of Ex­Machina , is coming out soon, and its a film I have a substantial supporting role in, so he s someone I also have a long history of working with Now that we’re both doing features, I don’t know if we’ll ever make ‘Still Kids’

As an actor, I haven’t been interested in doing shorts for some time, and I also feel similar about directing Once you move into features, I feel most of us leave the short world behind as a lot of reason for doing the shorts was to build up to having the opportunity of doing features But I don’t know maybe maybe we’ll go out one weekend and just shoot it!

In terms of taking on multiple roles I think the actor­writer­producer role is the ultimate multi­hyphenate position I love acting in stuff I wrote, and I have a lot of cool IP’s and star vehicles ready to go at different budget levels, all stories I aim to tell as the central character I’d definitely consider directing while acting again, but it’s not the norm It’s something I’d only do if my vision absolutely calls for it

As an actor I really want to work with a lot of top directors Fincher Spielberg Cameron Nolan Tarantino PTA etc before I ever dream of becoming one I just have so much to learn on that front Directors are the ultimate masterminds of our industry

Haha, special memories indeed 2011 was like my second year in LA I looked like I was twelve, and I was just riding a perpetual high of big­city life Start Button was a wild production It was a music video shot by a student at the New York Film Academy We shot it out in the middle of these high­rise condos over by LAX I played a nerd at a pool who tries to put moves on a girl while she’s sunbathing, only to get taken out by a guy that looks like Tom Cruise! It’s really hilarious Like something right out of Austin Powers!

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In my early twenties I was really into Los Angles Fiction and American novels and I wanted document my American experience It was a bit unconventional for an actor working in the entertainment industry but I wrote my first novel ‘True Grandeur’ when I was 23 which was inspired by these life­changing experiences I was having as a young artist in Hollywood the people I met, and things I saw it was a all very dark, but magical at the same time This town really rocked me when I was young, no doubt about it

If you re into writing, once you start writing novels, you never really go back, as its really the ultimate format in which to express yourself through writing You basically have unlimited freedom, and can go in can direction you want inside, outside, past, present, and/or future unlike a screenplay, which is such a limited present­tense box to create in, comparatively I got the novel bug in my early twenties, and it’s stuck with me

My second novel, Son of Neverland, is really what I’m excited about I’ll get into that in the next question

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‘Son of Neverland’ is a mature, epic­fantasy, Peter Pan sequel that takes place one­hundred years into the future after the fall of Captain Hook, where Peter must defend Neverland against a dark god that threatens the eternity of his world and all he holds dear I adapted the novel from my favorite screenplay I have of the same name, and published the first installment of the series in 2021 My goal is to set it up with a major studio as a franchise and get it made ‘Son of Neverland’ is a massive project think ‘Avatar’ budget, size and scope and I’m already writing the second book in the series, which is even bigger and more epic, which I aim to publish by the end of this year or early next year, where the title for the second book will be revealed

What excites me about the project is the levels of imagination I’m hitting as a creator and the pure joy of being the first person on the planet to get to experience the story I honestly feel like I’m just channeling a story the universe wants to tell with this one like a radio antenna and it’s humbling to be a part of it, because it all feels so much bigger than me Like the universe is gonna tell it either way, and by doing the deep self­work and tuning in, I have this incredible opportunity to be the paint brush it paints with I feel like it gets that way with art It starts with ego when you re young, and if you survive that and move beyond that truly adverse stage to the other side where the good stuff is, you eventualy just throw up your hands everyday and say I don t know how this is happening, but its amazing Thats how I feel right now with ‘SON’

From an acting stand point, if there was ever a super hero role I was born to play, Peter is it I share a lot of the physicality and personality of the character I’m a child at heart but I have a strong shadow I feel eternally young but also know I have an old soul The novel art was already created in my image so I just keep building it one piece at a time I think it’s well

3 3 )) W Whhaat t w waas s tthhe e g geenneessiis s o of f T Thhe e A Assttrriid d E Exxppeerriieennccee? ? H Hoow w d diid d yyoou u ccoomme e tto o w wrriitte e iitt?
7 7 )) A At t tthhe e e ennd d o of f tthhe e d daayy, w whhaat t d do o y yoou u h hooppe e m moovviieeggooeerrs s w waallk k a awwaay y w wiitth h a afftteer r w waattcchhiinng g T Thhe e A Assttrriid d E Exxppeerriieennccee? ? I want moviegoers to walk away with a sense of hope I want them to feel that
Hope resilience
personal responsibility past
the flash and
that’s really what this
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unnddiinng g p prroodduuccttiioonn? ?
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g? ? One
day, maybe, but right now its acting all the way baby! For the next decade at least Acting is the best!
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way 1 13 3 )) F Fiinnaal l –– S SIILLLLYY! ! ­­ Q Quueessttiioonn: : F Faavvoorriitte e m moovviie e a abboouut t tthhe e m maakkiinng g o of f m moovviiees s ––S Swwiimmmmiinng g W Wiitth h S Shhaarrkkss, B Baarrttoon n F Fiinnkk, T Thhe e P Pllaayyeerr, L Liivviinng g IIn n O Obblliivviioon n o or r T Thhe e B Biig g P Piiccttuurree? ? ‘Living in Oblivion’ all day, haha love that movie Photo c
redit: Blake Eiermann

HMU: Kristine Lisman

Trisha Lafache x vents

1.) We’re excited to be speaking today with acclaimed and multitalented actress, writer, director, and legal advisor extraordinaire Trisha LaFache; greetings and salutations, Trisha! Before we dive down the Q&A celluloid rabbit hole, how goes your 2023 thus far?

Greetings & Salutations to you, very Christian Slater in "Heathers" of you. I dig it! My 2023 is going well! Really excited to have the show out and for people to be seeing what an unhinged little gem it is.

2.) Major congrats and kudos on your upcoming new series Jury Duty which premieres this April 7 on

Amazon Studio’s streaming service, Freevee! For anyone not in the know, can you tell us a little about Jury Duty and how your character of Debra Laseur figures into the proceedings?

Yes, so Jury Duty is a comedy mockumentary very much in the style of The Office, but it has a reality component to it, where

Photo: Matt Kallish

Trisha LaFache



only ONE of the 12 jurors does not know that the trial and thus his Jury Duty are all fake! My character, Debra Laseur, is the plaintiff's attorney. My client's character, Jacqui, played by the hilarious Whitney Rice, and I are both very used to winning, and we are out for blood. In a fun way!

3.) As we pointed out in our above introduction, you’re also a well-respected legal advisor and – in a former life – a federal criminal defense attorney! Did that particular history help inform your role as a lawyer on Jury Duty?

Yes, 1000 percent. The entire legal team, the judge, Alan Barinholtz, and the defense counsel,

Evan Williams, we are all attorneys. If you did not have trial experience in addition to being a great actor. It would have been impossible to do what we did.

4.) Word ‘round campfire has it that you actually wrote every bit of the material which your character performs on the new series. Did that creative elbow room come about because of your past history as a defense attorney?

Yes. The writers of the show were in preproduction for I think 5 months writing the show and breaking story on each of the episodes. Carving out the relationships. Deciding what


journey each of the jurors would go on. They also had a good idea of what the case would be in court. So when we got into rehearsals, we immediately met with the creative team and started expanding and collaborating on the case itself. How to present it; what exhibits we'd need; the witnesses we’d be presenting, and then I had to do my job and make that happen.

5.) What differentiates Jury Duty from anything else on the 2023 television scene?

Everything. Ha! First of all, we had a group of people from the EPs, to the director to the writers who were all the funniest, most talented, and kind group of people. And then you have this cast that came together and just gelled in a way that is extremely rare. Resulting in pure hilarity. Add finding Ronald Gladden to be our hero. It allowed us to make the show that our creators wanted. From the very beginning, it was made clear that the goal was not to prank the hero, it was, hopefully, to highlight what can happen to a group of people who are led by a good person. And because Ronald is so amazing, we were able to do that.

It was almost like he read the scripts. He DIDN'T by the way. And he's a really smart guy who totally observed that a lot of crazy stuff was going on around him. But we were putting on a real court case, so we were able to keep him on the journey.

6.) You work alongside such a great ensemble in Jury Duty, including the likes of such thespians as James Marsden and Evan Williams. What was it like to exorcise your own considerable acting chops next to this brilliant lot of actors?

It was a dream. I'm so grateful to be a part of it. Getting to watch the scenes outside the courtroom is such a treat since I wasn't there for them. James Marsden, I knew he was killing it when I was there but watching him back? He's

fantastic. Evan Williams is perfection. The entire cast was just so dialed in on what they were doing. Every time I watch it I find something new that they are doing that I didn't notice before. A dream. I said that, but, yeah an absolute dream.

7.) What was your collaboration process like with Jury Duty Director Jake Szymanski? Is he what some actors might refer to as “an actor’s director”?

The collaboration process with Jake was exactly what you would hope for if you said "Hey, universe, I have to do this really exhilarating and hard thing, can you please send me the best group of people to collaborate on it with?” Like that. And same with the rest of the team. But you asked about Jake specifically. So brilliant and funny. And also so calm and patient. He told me that once he’s cast the right people he's no longer worried. I'll take his word for it, but I'll also say if he was worried, it never once showed. I absolutely think he's an actor's director. I think he knows exactly how to get what he's looking for and to make everyone feel comfortable and free. I also think he knows how to do cool stuff with the camera. So he's got the whole thing going for him.

8.) How did you land upon the pathway of wanting to be an actress? Is there an E! True Hollywood Story you could share with us regarding your journey?

Not the E True Hollywood story! I love it. The short THS is I've always performed and was a really serious ballet dancer as a kid. Hurt myself, went to college started acting again. But I knew my parents wanted me to go to law school and I wasn't huge into the business of disappointing them. So I auditioned for Yale MFA, stunk up the joint, and decided to pull the trigger on Brooklyn Law School to maintain my father's love and my dignity. But just as soon as I got there I met a guy who had an agent in law school & he had friends with agents and I said, well damn, then I


can get an agent! And I did. And I started acting professionally pretty much immediately. While finishing law school taking the bar. And appearing in federal court in Brooklyn and Manhattan. What, like it’s hard? :-)

9.) One of your first credited onscreen works came in the form of a 2003 episode of Law & Order. Any special memories of that early work?

I do have special memories, I actually booked that job and "Garden State" with Natalie Portman and Zach Braff the same week.

Funny story from the Garden State premiere. So I’m at the premiere, my character's name is Kelly. Closing credits come up: Kelly played by "Kelly LaFrache." WHAT? My name is Trisha LaFache! So on the way out of the theater, Zach Braff comes up to me "What did you think of the film?"


Zach, without missing a beat “I'm so sorry, I'll have it fixed before the second print.”And he did. Thanks, Zach. My grandmother really appreciated that. As did I. You know what they say? Doesn't matter what they say about you, as long as they spell your name right!

10.) You’ve stepped behind the camera a total of nine times thus far to direct. Is directing something which you might like to concentrate on one day versus the acting, or is it all apples and oranges?

My goal would be to do it all. And ultimately to write on a show that I both act and direct on.

11.) What do you have coming up after Jury Duty, acting-wise?

Right now I am finishing editing a pilot I directed; prepping to direct a play this summer and I also have a music video that I co-directed with one of my best friends, India de Beaufort, for her new single, "Karma." Looking at that, it's a lot of directing but not intentional. I also have my second true crime podcast coming out called "The Unexpecting" that I host and co-wrote. I can't wait for people to hear this story.

12.) Final – SILLY! - Question: Favorite movie about the making of movies –Living In Oblivion, The Player, Swimming With Sharks, or Barton Fink?

Ooh, not silly, tough. I’m going to go Barton Fink because John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Tony Shalhoub, John Mahoney, and the COEN BROTHERS. Similar level of unhinged as JURY DUTY.


We’re happy to be speaking today with acclaimed singer and songwriter Sophia Treadway; greetings and salutations, Sophia! Before we amble down the proverbial Q&A pathway, how goes your 2023 thus far?

It’s been a great year. I’m so excited for it! I have a lot of upcoming music that I’m so excited to release and share with the fans!

Major congratulations on your upcoming April 28 release of your new single Title! What was the genesis of this wonderful new tune? How did it come into being?

I had just gotten out of a relationship at the time and knew that that was what I wanted to write about. I wanted a pop beat and something that felt right and felt true to me. Autumn Rowe and I write “Title” the story meant a lot to me, and producer C-Ray brought the track to life.

How is Title similar to some of your past music such as Kiss N Tell? How is it different?

Kiss N Tell and Title are in the same genre but have some differences. Kiss N Tell was more y2k inspired whereas Title was more of a pop balled inspired song. They're both similar because the song is fresh and something I believe hasn’t been heard before.

Who was your producer on Title and what did the collaboration between artist and producer look like in the studio?

I worked with producer Cray Roberts on Title. I was very involved in this process and wanted it to be a certain way and we delivered it together and he brought my thoughts to life.

In your ever-humble opinion, what differentiates Title from the Distinguished Competition on the 2023 music scene?

I think Title has a different sound and it is very fresh sounding with pop and R&B as well as ballad sounding. We created the song with a lens of of "how can we make something special and unique?" and I believe we truly did it. I’m so excited for people to hear it.

On the heels of the April 28 release of Title, can fans look forward to an EP or LP release from you before the end of 2023? For sure, I am working on a lot of new music and am so excited for those upcoming release plans and to share new music with everyone!

What does your performing/touring dance card look like in the wake of the release of Title?

I would love to perform and tour in the future. It is something I am looking forward to doing one day! I would say that it is definitely in the cards.

Who inspires you musically?

I would say listening to other artists and songs and what’s hitting currently inspires me to create more and try and bring something new to the table.

You were born in South Carolina, and you’re based out of the beautiful state of Texas! How do those roots inform you as a musician?

I’ve moved a lot in my life and growing up I’ve listened to every kind of music genre and music


Sophia Treadway

has always been important and special to me. I am a Mexican and American girl and coming from that it has inspired me to also make music showing both those sides of me.

How does your family feel about your hard-earned musical success?

My parents and family are my biggest supporters and I love them all so much and couldn’t have done any of this without their support. I want to continue to make them proud.

At the end of the day what do you hope listeners walk away with after giving Title copious spins on their respective hi-fi systems?

I hope they walk away with the story and the feeling it brings them. The song is really about love and heartbreak and it was made to share and it's a song everyone can listen and relate to.

Photo Credit: Kelsey Hale Photo credit: Peter Me


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It’s been high highs and low lows With all my large projects as an actor, I’ve been so fortunate however everything is clouded with the recent passing of my 19­year­old daughter Alana

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The story is about 19­year­old Sam Yeung (played by Chase Sui Wonders) who gets shot in Central Park and the mystery surrounding who did it. It weaves in the underground NY Music scene with the Wealth Uptown elite and the many secrets that are uncovered I play Joe Yeung Sam’s father who sees his whole life as he knows it crumble to pieces as he struggles to stay strong for his daughter

helped solidify me as a serious actor Since I was cast in Sound of Metal in 2018 its been a crazy busy ride since then

8 8 )) L Looookkiinng g a ahheeaadd, , y yoouu’ ’ v ve e g goot t s soomme e iinnttrriigguuiinngg­s soouunnddiinng g p prroodduuccttiioonns s iin n tthhe e p piippeelliinnee, , iinncclluuddiinng g L Liioonneesss s a annd d tthhe e S Sttaarrz z sseerriiees s R Raaiissiinng g K Kaannaan n W Whhaat t c caan n y yoou u tteelll l o ouur r e evveerr­­iinnqquuiissiittiivve e rreeaaddeerrs s a abboouut t tthheesse e u uppccoommiinng g p prroojjeeccttss? ?

Taylor Sheridan’s Lioness was exciting to be a part of as I got work opposite Zoe Saldana and Nicole Kidman and with Raising Kanan alongside Patima Miller Both roles had direct connections to my daughter Alana which I can’t disclose too much yet, but they were very special to me

9 9 )) Y Yoouu’ ’rre e n noot t o onnlly y a an n a accccllaaiimmeed d a accttoorr, , b buut t yyoouu’ ’rre e a allsso o a a cceelleebbrraatteed d c crreeaattoorr. D Dooees s p prroodduucciinng g ffeeeed d a annootthheer r p paarrt t o of f y yoouur r ssoouul l tthhaat t a accttiinng g ccaann’’t t q quuiitte e s saattee? ?


3 )) D Diid d y yoou u k knnoow w a as s s soooon n a as s y yoou u w weerre e a apppprrooaacchheed d a abboouut t d dooiinng g C Ciitty y o on n F Fiirre e tthhaat t tthhiis s w waas s a a p prroodduuccttiioon n tthhaat t y yoou u w waanntteed d tto o b be e a a p paarrt t o off? ?

Absolutely, Once I saw it was being produced and written by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage I was so hoping that everything would work out with me playing the role of Joe Yeung They’ve created iconic shows such as THE OC, Gossip Girl, Chuck, and so many others It was an honor working with them

4 4 )) IIn n y yoouur r o oppiinniioonn, , w whhaat t d diiffffeerreennttiiaattees s C Ciitty y o on n F Fiirre e ffrroom m tthhe e D Diissttiinngguuiisshheed d C Coommppeettiittiioon n o on n tthhe e 2 200223 3 tteelleevviissiioon n s scceennee? ?

Writing and the Cast We have some of the best writers in Hollywood on this series and the cast is full of really interesting people When you see the series you’ll see what I mean

5 5 )) Y Yoou u w woorrk k a alloonnggssiidde e s suucch h a a ttaalleenntteed d e ennsseemmbblle e iin n

C Ciitty y o on n F Fiirre e W Whhaatt’ ’ s s iit t b beeeen n lliikke e e exxeerrcciissiinng g y yoouur r o owwn n c coonnssiiddeerraabblle e a accttiinng g c chhoopps s a alloonnggssiidde e tthhe e lliikkees s o of f

C Chhaasse e S Suui i W Woonnddeerrs s a annd d W Wyyaattt t O Olleeffff? ?

It was amazing working with both of them Chase Sui Wonders who plays my daughter is a star She is so grounded and smart and caring I couldn’t ask for a better person to be my daughter in the show

As my oldest daughter was the same age as her character, we had a strong father­daughter bond from the beginning

Wyatt and I had some scenes together on Day 1 of production and we had so much fun While between shot setups we ended up improving a funny scenario and it just kept going and going until, way longer than was comfortable but neither of us wanted to be the one to break it He’s so talented

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O Orrddeer r O Orrggaanniizzeed d C Crriimme e W Whhaat t w waas s iit t lliikke e a alloonnggssiidde e

C Chhrriis s M Meello

I’ve had many guest star roles before but this was the first time that I had a role so large I worked every day of the episode most days one of the first ones in and the last to leave There was a lot of pressure to be on my game for the duration of the two­week shoot rather than other roles with a scenes spread out I got a glimpse of what it takes to lead a TV series and I give those actors a lot of credit


y yoou u w weerre e b beeiinng g o offffeerreed d u up p u unnttiil l tthheenn? ?

I feel that with the Oscar success of Sound of Metal

Acting is my number one, but many times as an actor we don’t have much control in a project By producing and writing my own projects, I have the control to put out the message that I want to put out So it's a good balance I’m currently working with my producing partner Teja Arboleda on a feature documentary about the rise and struggles of Asian American comedian Joe Wong.

1 10 0 )) Y Yoouur r ffiirrsst t c crreeddiitteed d o onn­­ssccrreeeen n w woorrk k c caamme e iin n tthhe e ffoorrm m o of f a a 2 200007 7 e eppiissoodde e o of f B Brrootthheerrhhooood d A Anny y ssppeecciiaal l m meemmoorriiees s o of f tthhaat t ffrreesshhmmaan n p prroodduuccttiioonn? ?

I got a chance to work opposite Jason Isaacs on Brotherhood, where I tried to cross him on a deal and he retaliates by threatening me with a gun and I was supposed to act scared Since it was my first credit I was worried about how my acting was going to be but there was no acting required as once the camera started rolling Jason Isaacs was so menacing and intense, I was so scared in real life!

1 11 1 )) Y Yoou u lloosst t y yoouur r d daauugghhtteer r iin n a a ttrraaggiic c a acccciiddeennt t llaasst t y yeeaar r tto o w whhiicch h w we e o offffeer r o ouur r ssiinncceerre e ccoonnddoolleennccees s H Hoow w h haas s tthhaat t lloosss s iinnffoorrmmeed d ssoomme e o of f tthhe e p prroojjeecctts s y yoouu’ ’ v ve e ttaakkeen n s siinnccee, , b bootth h a as s a an n a accttoor r a annd d a as s a a w wrriitteerr? ?

My daughter passed about a month after the wrapping of City on Fire But the similarities to almost all of my scenes in City on Fire and real life is uncanny I truly believe that this role was a gift from my daughter to help me prepare for the tragedy that I was about to embark on. It was a lifeimitating art scenario All my roles since then have tied into my daughter and every time I did those roles, I have felt a very strong connection to her and these roles have been very healing to me

1 12 2 )) Y Yoouu’ ’rre e a an n a addvvooccaatte e ffoor r A Assiiaann­­AAmmeerriiccaan n rriigghhtts s a annd d ccaauussees s e essppeecciiaalllly y o on n T TV V & & F Fiillmm. C Caan n yyoou u ttaallk k w wiitth h u us s a a lliittttlle e a abboouut t w whhy y tthhiis s iis s a a c caauusse e w whhiicch h iis s n neeaar r a annd d d deeaar r tto o yyoouur r h heeaarrtt? ?

Because most of my career Asian Americans on screen have shown very negative portrayals Finally the last few years I have had the ability to play roles on screen that challenge and break some of those stereotypes There is nothing better than to play a 3­dimensional character on screen that younger audience members can watch and relate to and feel they that are being seen.

1 13 3 )) F Fiinnaal l ­­ S SIILLLLYY! ! ­­ Q Quueessttiioonn: : F Faavvoorriitte e m moovviie e a abboouut t tthhe e m maakkiinng g o of f m moovviiees s ­­ L Liivviinng g IIn n O Obblliivviioonn, , T Thhe e P Pllaayyeerr, , B Baarrttoon n F Fiinnk k o or r E Ed d W Woooodd? ?

I have seen most of those movies but honestly, I don’t remember them too much but a movie I love connected to behind the scenes in the arts is Birdman

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It’s such a treat to be with you, thanks! Honestly, 2023 arrived with a bang It's been an exciting few months with the podcast launch, my film Seafoam making the festival rounds, and seeing some of my coaching clients get their films off the ground It’s been rewarding and very busy, but in April I got the chance to slow down and take a breath on a trip to Italy with my partner It was much needed! Thanks for asking, how about you?

C Coonnggrraattuullaattiioonns s o on n y yoouur r b brraanndd­­ssppaannkkiinn’ ’ n neew w p pooddccaasst t iinnddiie e s sppuunnk k w whhiicch h iis s o onne e o of f tthhe e v veerry y b beesst t o of f 2 200223 3 iin n o ouur r e evveerr­h huummbblle e o oppiinniioonn! ! F Foor r tthhoosse e n noot t iin n tthhe e k knnooww, , ccoouulld d yyoou u e exxppllaaiin n h hoow w yyoou u e emmbbaarrkkeed d u uppoon n tthhe e jjoouurrnneey y w whhiicch h u ullttiimmaatteelly y lleed d tto o iinnddiie e ssppuunnkk? ?

You’re too kind Our whole intention with the podcast is to help more creative multi­hyphenates make micro­budget films that get them industry recognition, so I’m thrilled at the response so far because I want this resource to find as many ear holes as possible!

The indie spunk podcast was born out of both my own experiences navigating the industry as an actor/director over the past decade, as well as my coaching practice where I help emerging and established filmmakers gameplan, strategize and take action on film projects that take their careers from stagnant to abundant

Over the past few years of coaching, I discovered that many of us creatives struggle with the same fears and blocks, and if I can help demystify the road ahead so that more diverse stories get told, I sleep better at night!

W Whheen n y yoou u b beeggaan n c coonncceeiivviinng g iinnddiie e s sppuunnkk, , w weerre e yyoou u m miinnddffuul l o of f o otthheer r p pooddccaasstts s w whhiicch h h haavve e s siinncce e g goonne e g geennttlly y iinntto o tthhaat t g gooood d n niigghht t w whhiicch h a allsso o d deeaallt t w wiitth h tthhe e w woorrlld d o of f iinnddeeppeennddeennt t c ciinneemma a iin n o orrddeer r n noot t tto o rreepplliiccaatte e w whhaatt’ ’ s s c coomme e b beeffoorree? ?

To be honest, not really! I’ve just been following my curiosity while listening to my clients & community over the past few years in order to build them a support resource they’re looking for So I felt confident that this would evolve into what it needs to be

W Whhaat t ccoonnvviinncceed d y yoou u a at t tthhe e e ennd d o of f tthhe e d daay y tthhaat t tthheerre e w waas s a an n a auuddiieenncce e o ouut t tthheerre e h huunnggrry y ffoor r a a p pooddccaasst t s suucch h a as s iinnddiie e s sppuunnkk? ?

Inside of both my coaching programs and indie spunk club (my membership), we have the most fantastic chats about career growth strategies, micro­budget filmmaking techniques, festival game­plans, script­writing, and we have industry special guests come in and share their wisdom, too As the membership and programs grew in size, it became clear that so many creatives out there are looking for this kind of support It was time we brought all this juicy wisdom to a free and accessible podcast platform, and it was always my intention to share as much as I can to help get more stories funded, filmed, and celebrated I love the badass creatives I get to support!

C Caan n y yoou u g giivve e o ouur r e evveerr­­iinnqquuiissiittiivve e rreeaaddeerrs s a a h hiinnt t o or r tthhrreee e a as s tto o w whho o ssoomme e o of f tthhe e v veerry y ssppeecciiaal l g guueesstts s w wiilll l b be e o on n u uppccoommiinng g e eppiissooddees s o of f iinnddiie e s sppuunnkk? ?

You’re in luck a few episodes have already aired with some incredible guests!

Curious about how to make a festival splash? We’ve got Oscar Qualifying Hollyshorts Festival co­director Theo Dumont, who also represents Spike Lee It’s so juicy, a very popular episode!

If you’re wanting to craft a life as a TV comedy writer, we’ve got an amazing ep with Comedian & The Simpson’s writer Julia Prescott who shares her wisdom, experience, and very actionable advice

And if you’ve ever wanted to apply to Sundance, or you tried but didn’t get through the first or tenth time? You should listen to the episode with Sundance’s wonderful Producing Manager Lauren Lukow who sheds light on how to build your portfolio and what the Sundance Labs look for in applicants

And we’ve got more incredible industry special guests coming up soon, so tune in for the goods!

it t ­­ a annd d w we e ccaann’’t t iimmaaggiinne e tthhaat t iit t w woonn’’tt! ! ­­ c caan n y yoou u u ullttiimmaatteelly y e ennvviissiioon n a a d daay y w whheen n tthhe e s shhoow w m miigghht t m moorrpph h iinntto o o otthheer r iitteerraattiioonns s ssuucch h a as s s sppiinn­­ooffffss, , a a tteelleevviissiioon n vveerrssiioonn, , o or r e evveen n a a g geennuuiinne e ffiillm m m maaggaazziinne e ((wwe e a assk k tthhe e llaasst t o onne e llooookkiinng g w wiissttffuulllly y a at t o ouur r c coolllleeccttiioon n o of f tthhe e d deeffuunncct t A Ammeerriiccaan n P Prreemmiieerre e M Maaggaazziinnees s a annd d M Moovviieelliinnee))? ?

Absolutely indie spunk is already a film production house, and I can see publications and TV collaborations in our future, too I deeply miss the abundance of print magazines, but as we evolve as a society I can also see our lust for the days of analog Zines are now popular and circulating, I don’t think print media is gone forever But I do see indie spunk growing in many ways

W Whhaatt’ ’ s s s soorrt t o of f ssuurrpprriisseed d y yoou u tthhe e m moosst t a as s yyoouu’ ’vve e a assssuummeed d tthhe e m maannttlle e o of f p pooddccaasst t h hoosst t ffoor r iinnddiie e s sppuunnkk? ?

I didn’t consider how difficult it would be to talk about myself and my own experiences It’s so easy for me to put on my coach hat and help others, but it’s vulnerable to get into my sound booth and tell stories of how I’ve failed and what I learned Yet I feel that it’s vital, because I think there is a ton of sugar­coating in this industry, and a key value at indie spunk is authenticity and industry transparency

W Wiitth h tthhe e p prroolliiffeerraattiioon n o of f C CGGI I s suuppeerrhheerro o ssppeeccttaacclle e a annd d m moorre e h hoorrrroor r fflliicckks s tthhaan n y yoou u ccaan n sshhaakke e a a s sttiicck k a att, , w whhaatt’ ’ s s y yoouur r p prrooggnnoossiis s ffoor r A Ammeerriiccaan n IInnddeeppeennddeennt t C Ciinneemmaa? ? IIs s iit t tthhe e tthhrriivviinng g iinndduussttrry y tthhaat t iit t w waas s d duurriinng g tthhe e 1 1998800s s a annd d 1 1999900s s w whheen n iit t ffeellt t lliikke e e evveerry y o otthheer r w weeeek k w we e h haad d a a n neew w M My y O Owwn n P Prriivvaatte e IIddaahho o o or r S Sllaacckkeerr? ?

Oh man, we’re certainly not in the hey­day of cinema that we once were in the 90s, hey? But what goes around comes around With new technology comes new access, too More storyteller diversity is emerging which excites me greatly

Perhaps naively, I’m ever optimistic about what the future of film holds Especially from my perspective, supporting many emerging creatives, mostly women and non­binary folks, through the process of getting their films made Their ideas are radically cool, pushing boundaries

Cinema isn’t dead, it’s just going through a rebirthing process The renaissance is coming, we’ve just got to hold on long enough, stay curious, keep busy, and not let all the chatter get us down

Y Yoouu’ ’rre e tthhe e c ceelleebbrraatteed d C CEEO O a annd d b buussiinneesss s o owwnneer r o of f h heer r c coonnssuullttiinng g a annd d m meennttoorrsshhiip p ccoommppaannyy, , IInnddiie e S Sppuunnk k ffrroom m w whhiicch h tthhe e n neew w p pooddccaasst t d deerriivvees s iitts s m moonniikkeer r ffrroom m H Hoow w d diid d tthhiis s h hiigghhlly y s suucccceessssffuul l b buussiinneesss s c coomme e a abboouutt? ?

Thank you for flattering me, I absolutely dig owning and running a business that supports filmmakers

The biz evolved from a few different places My brain naturally likes to problem solve, and because I started working professionally as an actor at 17 with absolutely no pre­existing connections in the industry, I knew I needed to figure out how to stay in it, and grow

Friends and other creatives always naturally sought me out for advice, and I’ve always been excited to help others get their ideas made I’ve also gone through a few confronting and traumatic experiences over the years working as an actor and director I don’t want any other creatives to deal similarly, or be in the dark about this industry when it comes to taking care of ourselves

So I decided to put all of that together and build a community and mentorship practice to help other creatives feel less alone and have a place to go to strategize and get their stories told This is the kind of support I wish I had when I started We also talk about a lot of stuff I wish I learned in film school

A At t tthhe e e ennd d o of f tthhe e d daayy, , w whhaat t d do o y yoou u h hooppe e lliisstteenneerrs s w waallk k a awwaay y w wiitth h a afftteer r lliisstteenniinng g tto o yyoouur r n neew w p pooddccaasst t iinnddiie e ssppuunnkk? ?

You can build a big, unapologetic career in this industry, no matter who you are or where you come from Your voice matters That the only creatives who don’t fail are the creatives that don’t do anything Start today

can find it all here > https://podcasters spotifycom/ pod/show/indiespunk
f iinnddiie e s sppuunnk k b beeccoommees s a a ssmmaassh h h hi
Photo credit: Wayne McDonald Photography

I am so excited to be speaking with you, thank you so much!!

Let’s see 2023 started off in the best way possible, we were only two weeks into 2023 and I was being offered the role of Annette in God of Carnage I have also been very lucky to have had a lot of great television and film roles Now that those have wrapped, focusing on this Production and working with this cast and our director has been so much fun We have such a great Production Team and can’t wait to welcome audiences to the CAA

od d o of f C Caarrnnaagge e iis s a abboouut t a annd d h hoow w yyoouur r cchhaarraacctteer r o of f A Annnneetttte e R Raalleeiiggh h ffiitts s iinn? ?

Thank you, it is such an exciting time and I have to pinch myself sometimes that this is all happening We open very soon For anyone who hasn’t seen it or doesn’t know the story without giving too much away, there are two sets of parents, the Novak’s and the Raleigh’s, who come together to discuss an incident involving their children at school It is a fun play where you see the characters trying to find a mature solution to the problem However what happens is that they quickly go from being mature adults, to acting like children themselves Watching how her interaction with her husband, as well as the other couple is interesting to see change as the play progresses 3


Yes 100% there was never any hesitation This play has won many awards and there are many amazing actresses that have played her Who wouldn’t want to be part of a play with that much history and be in the company of so many great people that you admire with an opportunity to step into this character, like they did I am so excited and honoured to have the chance to play Annette As we get closer to Opening Night, I wish I could put into words what we are all feeling We are so excited to be able to perform this for the Toronto audiences

a accccoommpplliisshheed d e ennsseemmbblle e iin n

G Good d o of f C Caarrnnaagge e W Whhaat t h haas s iit t b beeeen n lliikke e w woorrkkiinng g w wiitth h tthhe e ccaasstt? ?

As a performer you have your thoughts on how you are going to approach and prepare for the character There are aspects of her that I find myself drawing comparisons to, but also there are differences where I would want to approach things differently if I were in her shoes However in the end this is something as a cast and production we are bringing together to audiences When we as a cast and production come together, we are all collaborating together with our director, to bring our version of each character and the story to life

5 5 )) W Whho o iis s yyoouur r d diirreeccttoor r iin n tthhiis s p prroodduuccttiioon n o of f G Good d o of f C Caarrnnaagge e a annd d w whhaat t h haas s yyoouur r ccoollllaabboorraattiioon n p prroocceesss s b beeeen n lliikkee? ?

His name is Mark Datuin and I have had many opportunities to work with him He is great to collaborate with and really so open to our ideas and input He creates such a safe space where all our voices are heard and welcomed He has such a great vision for what we are doing and he shares that openly When we are working together as a cast with him, he really is so open to trying different things, until we land on something that is perfect for our show It has been such a joy to work with him and the cast, as we lift the text from the page and give life to it on the stage Though this play has been performed many times all over the world, we have still managed to make something unique to us We hope our audiences love the theatre experience we have crafted for them

6 6 )) T Thhe e rroolle e yyoou u p pllaay y iin n G Good d o of

W Wiinnsslleet t H Hoow w d dooees s y yoouur r p peerrffoorrmmaanncce e h hoonnoor r tthheesse e o otthheer r rreemmaarrkkaabblle e p peerrffoorrmmeerrs s w whho o h haavve e c coomme e b beeffoorre e yyoouu, , w whhiille e a allsso o m maakkiinng g iit t d diissttiinnccttlly y y yoouur r o owwnn? ? See that is exactly what I was referring to earlier when I said so many amazing actresses have played her These are people I love watching, so it is intimidating given that history of Annette Knowing the people that have played her was something I was very cognisant of, in playing Annette there are big shoes to fill However the best way to honour the writer, to honour Annette and the actresses before me is to embrace what makes me different and use that to create a performance that works in harmony with the vision we as a cast, along with our director have set out for our production

There are a few movies of the week, television shows and a feature What I am also really excited to see is a film where I speak a language other than English I am always excited about being able to perform in Tagalog, which is one of the languages I speak

8 8 )) Y Yoouur r ffiirrsst t ccrreeddiitteed d o on n ssccrreeeen n w woorrk k ccaamme e iin n tthhe e ffoorrm m o of f

2 2001133’ ’ s s s shhoorrt t ffiillm m S Siix x D Deeggrreeees s W Wiitthhoouut t S Seeppaarraattiioon n A Anny y s sppeecciiaal l m meemmoorriiees s o of f tthhaat t ffrreesshhmmaan n p prroodduuccttiioonn? ?

The director of that film is actually our director on God of Carnage Six Degrees Without Separation is actually the film where we first met An indie film with a lot of heart, I have a lot of great memories making that film If I were to pick one I would say that to this day he’s the only director that convinced me to sing I actually sang on that film So there is evidence out there!

9 9 )) A Accttiinngg­­wwiissee, , w whho o iinnssppiirrees s yyoouu? ? How long do I have to answer this question? We could be here for a very long time I can’t even narrow that down to Top 10 Two people that come to mind having just rewatched the film Everything Everywhere All at Once, are Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh In their interviews you heard them tell stories of their struggles, the highs and lows of this industry and their experiences If I met them in person I would like to say thank you Thank you for not giving up and for being an inspiration

1 10 0 )) Y Yoouu’ ’ v ve e a allsso o w woorrkkeed d iin n tthhe e iinndduussttrry y a as s a a p prroodduucceer r W Whhaat t iis s iit t a abboouut t p prroodduucciinng g w whhiicch h yyoou u rreessppoonnd d tto o a as s a a ccrreeaattiivve e p peerrssoonn? ?

Over the many years I have been really lucky to have been a part of many films, though not always as a performer When you bring up being a Producer, I would have to make mention it was through Mark Datuin that it all came about We have known one another a long time, since the first film he cast me in and have become great friends One thing I learned early on in my career is to surround yourself with good people You have your friends and family and there is also your creative community A community who inspires, encourages, supports you and who you in turn can do the same for You’ll find many of the same people collaborate over and over again together I have been lucky enough to experience this with Mark and the entire MAD Family – the many creators over many projects that he has brought together We all have been able to grow together with many of us also finding the joy of creating, behind the scenes as well I think for me being able to Produce, has given me a chance to be able to give opportunities to others Also to have some input on the other aspects of the film, outside of performance There is such a great feeling of achieving success together and celebrating together, it is such a wonderful part of this business We have taken the films we have collaborated on, to many film festivals and I will always cherish being able to go to Cannes with a few of them

1 11 1 )) A Anny y ffiinnaal l tthhoouugghhtts s w whhiicch h yyoou u m miigghht t lliikke e tto o sshhaarre e w wiitth h rreeaaddeerrs s rreeggaarrddiinng g yyoouur r u uppccoommiinng g ttuurrn n a as s A Annnneetttte e R Raalleeiiggh h iin n G Good d o of f C Caarrnnaaggee? ?

A lot of friends who know me and who know Mark is the director have asked if I am singing in God of Carnage I couldn’t blame them though as Mark is in such demand and he is actually doing a Toronto Fringe Festival Musical called Third Wheel I could see where there was confusion as that show happens about a month after our show closes Sorry to disappoint but there is no singing for Annette There are however a few very intense moments for Annette For those that know the play, they have been asking how we are going to show the physical manifestation of the stress and tension on Annette It’s a visibly “messy” moment in the play and we are excited to see how audiences react to it – especially for those that know it is coming!

1 12 2 )) F Fiinnaal l ­­ S SIILLLLYY! ! ­­ Q Quueessttiioonn: : F Faavvoorriitte e m moovviie e a abboouut t tthhe e m maakkiinng g o of f m moovviiees s ­­ L Liivviinng g IIn n O Obblliivviioonn, , T Thhe e P Pllaayyeer r o or r B Baarrttoon n F Fiinnkk? ?

This one is going to take me down memory lane Actually I think my dad influenced this one You see I owe my love of performance to him I was an only child who loved stories both in print and on screen I didn’t have siblings but I had a big imagination Well my imagination and a very encouraging dad who loved films and television shows The Player is one we enjoyed together, so in honour of my dad that gets my vote!

1 1 )) W Wee’ ’rre e vveerry y h haappppy y tto o b be e ssppeeaakkiinng g ttooddaay y w wiitth h a accccllaaiimmeed d a accttrreesss s A Annggeelliicca a A Alleejjaannddrroo! ! B Beeffoorre e w we e d diivve e iinn, , h hoow w iis s yyoouur r 2 200223 3 sso o ffaarr? ?
Theatre 2 2 )) C Coonnggrraattuullaattiioonns s o on n y yoouur r u uppccoommiinng g p peerrffoorrmmaanncce e iin n tthhe e T Toorroonntto o p prroodduuccttiioon n o of f tthhe e T Toonny y A Awwaarrdd­­wwiinnnniinng g p pllaay y G Good d o of f C Caarrnnaaggee! ! F Foor r a annyyoonne e n noot t iin n tthhe e k knnooww, , ccaan n y yoou u e exxppllaaiin n w whhaat t G Go
3 )) D Diid d yyoou u kknnoow w a as s ssoooon n a as s G Good d o of f C Caarrnnaagge e c caamme e iinntto o yyoouur r o orrbbiit t tthhaat t tthhiis s w waas s a a p prroodduuccttiioon n tthhaat t yyoou u w waanntteed d tto o b be e a a p paarrt t o off?
4 )) Y Yoou u w woorrk k a alloonnggssiidde e s suucch h a an n
f C Caarrnnaagge e h haas s b beeeen n p pllaayyeed d b by y tthhe e lliikkees s o of f H Hooppe e D Daavviiss, , L Luuccy y L Liiuu, , A Annnniie e P Pootttts s a annd d ­­ o ovveer r o on n tthhe e ssiillvveer r ssccrreeeen n ­­ K Kaatte e
7 7 )) A Alloonng g w wiitth h tthhe e M Maay y 2 233rrd d ­­ 2 288tth h p peerrffoorrmmaannccees s o of f G Good d o of f C Caarrnnaaggee, , y yoouu’ ’ v ve e a allsso o g goot t a a n nuummbbeer r o of f u uppccoommiinng g ffiillm m a annd d tteelleevviissiioon n p prroojjeecctts s iin n tthhe e p piippeelliinne e W Whhaat t ccaan n yyoou u tteelll l u us s a abboouut t tthhoosse e p prroojjeeccttss? ?

1.) We’re very happy to be speaking today with acclaimed actress Nikki Duval; before we dive in, how has your 2023 been so far?

2023 has been good! But it’s definitely a huge year of change for me career wise. Workin’ Moms final season is airing on Netflix and it’s such a bittersweet goodbye. I have been blessed to be a part of such an incredible show for 7 years! It’s been such a magical journey. And although I was ready to say goodbye to Rosie this year, it’s still so sentimental. Very sad that I won’t be working with these incredible artists I’ve gotten to know over nearly a decade! Change is scary but change is also very good and exciting.

2.) The final season of Workin' Moms is making its premiere on April 26th on Netflix. Can you give fans a hint or three as to what they can look forward to?

I am sworn to secrecy! But I can say that this season the Kate Foster PR family is shaking things up, now that we all have a share in the company. There are new power dynamics and it’s been a fun ride to explore in its final season. I also get to work with characters on the show I’ve never been able to work with the past 7 years! Which was so so fun! I’ll let you guess which character Rosie gets to have some laughs with.

3) In your opinion, what do you feel differentiates Workin’ Moms from anything else on the 2023 television scene?

I think there are very few TV shows that showcase the messy side to being a mother while balancing work life. Can women have it all? Can they juggle putting both family and career first? I think it’s such a unique perspective. And I know it causes some controversy with some people. I think we are used to seeing narratives where women absolutely love everything about motherhood and that having a child is an absolute blessing. But the reality is, that motherhood is complicated, difficult and messy and it’s okay to not love it all the time. It’s okay to still want to be the woman you were before you gave birth. It’s an honest exploration of that narrative, which can be quite dramatic, but this is a comedy. I think the show has a powerful realness that finds the humour within all the mess.

4.) How has your character of Rosie on Workin’ Moms changed since we last saw her?

Well we ended season 6 with Rosie being offered partner at Kate Foster PR. So we definitely see Rosie have more confidence and agency at the firm. She is no longer an assistant. This of course causes a bit of conflict throughout the season, as we know Rosie is a pleaser when it comes to Kate's opinion of her and Kate being a control freak. But don’t worry, it’s all in good fun and Rosie is still the little weirdo we know and love.

5.) When the role of Rosie Phillips came across your desk, did you know right away that Workin’ Moms was a production that you wanted to be a part of?

Yes absolutely. Fun fact, I actually first auditioned for the role of Frankie, who the incredible Juno Rinaldi played throughout the series. It was my first introduction to the scripts and to Catherine Reitman. I remember doing quite a few callbacks with


Nikki Duval

Catherine and I absolutely fell in love with her playfulness and kindness in the audition room. We got to improvise together and totally go off script and just play! I’ve never had that experience before and I was determined to be on this show! I, of course, didn’t book the role of Frankie. How could I even compete with Juno?! She was made for that part! But then a few weeks later they asked me to read for Rosie and honestly it was such a better fit for me, I fell in love with her immediately.

6.) You work with such a talented ensemble on Workin’ Moms. What has it been like working with the cast and crew?

It was so special being a part of that show. For 7 years I’ve gotten to work with an incredibly talented cast and crew. Everyone was so generous, kind and inspiring. It’s also the only show I’ve worked on where the majority of the crew were women. It is such a better vibe! Sorry to the men out there. No hate, just I love working with women! There is a strong collaborative energy. There is a mutual respect on set. I’ve made lifelong friendships that I will miss working with year after year.

7.) What fascinates you the most about acting?

I think the energy exchange between you and your fellow performers but also you and the audience. It’s a beautiful thing to be in the moment while acting. To be truly listening to your partner. Not to be thinking of the future or of the past, but to be open and willing to go anywhere with them at any moment. And to invoke emotion and change in an audience. To touch their hearts or make them laugh. It's so fulfilling.

8.) After Workin’ Moms, what do you have coming up in the near future acting-wise?

Currently, I am filming a Netflix Christmas movie starring Christina Milian and The Pentatonix, called Meet Me Next Christmas. It’s cute, charming and funny. A holiday delight!

9.) Final – SILLY! - Question: Favorite movie about the making of movies – Living In Oblivion, Swimming With Sharks, The Player or Barton Fink?

I am going to be honest and say that I haven’t seen any of these!!! Is that shameful??? lol But based on title alone: Swimming With Sharks. I have an irrational fear that there are sharks in every body of water in the world. So this title really terrifies me, but also intrigues me. (I hope it’s in fact about swimming with sharks…)

Photo credit: Kristina Ruddick

We’re happy to be speaking with acclaimed actor Niko Ceci! Before we dive in, how has your 2023 been so far?

My 2023 has been amazing. We started 2023 off with a long overdue family vacation to Antigua. I have also been taking my singing seriously by competing in several competitions around Ontario. I have made it to provincials which will be taking place in June of 2023. An amazing coincidence occurred at the competition. When I was in the room ready to sing they called me to the front to prepare. When I turned my head, I thought I saw someone. After the competition I went outside and asked her: Are you Cynthia from Ginny and Georgia? She responded with: Yes! I started to go full fan mode and geeked out.

Major congratulations on your role in the upcoming series I Woke Up A Vampire which is set to premiere this spring! For anyone not in the know, can you tell us a little about the show and how your character Kev fits in the story?

Thank you! I Woke Up A Vampire has just been announced that it will make its premiere on May 5th at 6:30pm on the Family Channel and later in the year on Netflix. I Woke Up a Vampire tells the story of Carmie Henley. On Carmie’s 13th Birthday, she discovers that something is off. She comes to the conclusion alongside her best friend Kev, who I play, that she has super powers. Kev has to help Carmie navigate her life in this new world of creatures and dangers. Carmie also has to navigate her way through middle school. She has to balance her super powers along with being a kid!

Did you know as soon as you were approached about doing I Woke Up A Vampire that this was a production you wanted to be a part of?

Working on I Woke up a Vampire was truly a dream come true for me. I have always loved fantasy series and movies like Harry Potter. One of my biggest goals in 2020 was to work on a TV series with lots of VFX and stunts. As soon as I got the character breakdown I immediately fell in love with the series and the character of Kev. I am truly so blessed to be a part of such a unique project and I could not have asked to be a part of a better show.

In what ways do you feel you’re similar to your character of Kev in I Woke Up A Vampire? In what ways are you different?

Me and Kev both share a passion for the fantasy world. We both have big imaginations and hearts. If I put my mind to something I am going to do everything I can to make it happen. Kev definitely shares


Niko Ceci

that quality with me. The one thing that makes me different is that I am not as passionate about comic books as Kev!

What was your experience working with the cast of the show?

The cast was absolutely incredible! Everyone was so friendly and talented. The entirety of the cast and crew was one big family. Wrapping was definitely a very sad day. We all continue to keep in touch and hopefully we get to work together soon.

What differentiates I Woke Up A Vampire from anything on the 2023 television scene?

I Woke Up A Vampire is truly such an entertaining and adventurous story. The mysterious and mythical aspect of the show is such an exciting and unique touch by our incredibly talented show runner Tom Lynch. It not only will make you laugh but cry. Our show will keep you on your toes and eager for the next episode.

Acting wise, who inspires you?

My favorite actors of all time are: Helena Bonham Carter and Tyler Perry. Helena Boham Carter is such a diverse actor. She can play any role, Evil, Good and distressed. Tyler Perry is one of the funniest Actors/Directors of all time. Tyler Perry has an outstanding work ethic and is such an imaginative person.

What can you tell us about Circuit Breakers?

I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to join the cast for season two of Circuit breakers. My character's name is Felix. He is outgoing, funny and friendly. I cannot say too much, however, you guys are gonna love our episode.

FINAL-SILLY Question. Favorite vampire movie: The Lost Boys, 1985’s Fright Night or Bram Stoker’s Dracula?

My favorite movie out of those options has to be The Lost Boys. This is because it's the only one I have seen!! I also love the story and characters within it. My favorite character has to be Edgar Frog because he is so dedicated to his comic books and friends!


Adolyn H. Dar


1.) Before we dive, how is your 2023 so far?

I've been very grateful that it's been pandemically uneventful, knock on wood everyone! It's been good so far and so far so good.

2.) Congratulations on your role in the new film Desi Standard Time Travel which is making the film festival circuit. For anyone not in the know, what can you tell us about this film and how your character of Imran fits in?

Desi Standard Time Travel tells the story of a new father who loses his own father and gets an opportunity to go back in time to end things on a better note. Of course, with time travel...things don't always go to plan. Imran is the titular character and I'm very fortunate to play him. Imran, like many south asian men, struggles with connecting with his dad, and so when his dad passes away suddenly he's left with a myriad of unresolved emotions. We follow Imran's journey in understanding himself, while also elucidating his parent's story in a way that will surely leave you hugging your loved ones by the end.

3.) Did you know as soon as you were approached about possibly working on Desi Standard Time Travel that this was a production that you wanted to be a part of?

Absolutely. I have an even deeper reason for it that gets answered later, but truly it was a script that spoke to me and a part that I felt like I could really bring to life.

4.) What was your collaboration process like with Desi Standard Time Travel director

Kashif Pasta? Was Kashif what some actors might refer to as “an actor’s director”?

Kashif was incredible to work with. Of course it was his mind and heart that came up with the concept and the written words, so I kind of guessed he would be a great guy even before I met him. He allowed me to play and bring the character to life and I can't thank him enough for that. He let me do so many different takes that there's a whole cut of the movie out there of just me goofing off. I'm hoping I can get him to direct something I've written in the near future.

5) What was it like working with the cast of the film?

Incredible. The warmth you feel in Ali Kazmi's character (my father in the film) is the same warmth he brings as a person. Anika Zulfikar is a gem, an incredible actor and overall the most supportive person. Sumit and I were able to immediately riff and he played along with all my improvisations. Harleen, this was Harleen's first time on screen and she killed it! All the aunties out there will be proud.

We’re excited to be speaking today with Adolyn H. Dar!

6.) In your opinion, what differentiates Desi Standard Time Travel from other films in 2023?

We are at a precipice right now, where the industry is slowing down and yet the need to tell diverse stories is greater than ever. I think, unfortunately in my opinion, this precipice will force everyone to bring their A game. I say unfortunately, because I wish diverse voices were given a greater chance to experiment and quote unquote 'fail' to build their voice, their style, and be given the same chances the dominant hierarchies have been given to really find themselves in their storytelling. That being said, Desi Standard Time Travel brings it. Everyone brought their 'A' game and it shows. It's centered around a south asian family, with south asian themes, but it truly is a universal story about the distance we all have between our parents and the generations that came before us...only to learn that distance is a lot smaller than we first thought. I can't tell you how many people of all ages and backgrounds have told me it has changed them and I think that's so beautiful.

It meant the world. A few years ago I had decided to quit acting due to health and to support my family due to the pandemic. But of course, we always go back to that first love right? DSST was the first gig I did when I decided to come back. What really made this feel like a turning point was that, a few weeks before I got on set my father was diagnosed with cancer. And you know what my father's name is? Imran. The same name as the main character of DSTT. Deciding to come back, and then having this be my first project, felt like the universe aligning in a way that still gives me goosebumps. I had to take so many secret breaks to let the tears flow or stop from shaking as I did the part because I was wrestling with my own personal situation of possibly losing my father. Spoiler alert, it's been a year and my father's still fighting and doing the best he can despite the ongoing treatment. And I'm so happy I did this project because it brought me closer to him. So to be recognized for all the work I've put into acting, all the sacrifices, money, time and heartbreaks means a lot. And for it to be a project that resonates with every generation out there means that my father (in his own quiet way) get's to share in that spotlight and so it well, well, it means that this is exactly why I came back and why art is so important to me. Thank you ACTRA Toronto!

professional actor
with a 2023 ACTRA Toronto Awards nomination for Outstanding Performance for your role in Desi Standard Time Travel?
7.) What did it mean for you as a
to be recognized

8.) Tell us your journey to becoming an actor. Is there an E! True Hollywood Story you could share with us on your acting origins?

Ha! Great question. Short answer...I'm not sure what qualifies as E! worthy? I'm quite shy about my own story and find myself to be the least interesting thing about life. I suppose, my family and I have a raggish origin and we continue to carve our own little path in life. But I'll leave the true origin story a bit of a mystery as I think my hero's journey is just beginning :D. What I can tell you is that stories have enraptured me since I could read, and I have been writing stories since I could write. There's an old CRT monitor style computer out there with thousands of pages of stories I've written. Heros of ages gone by, poetry for many a love lost, and even scripts for tv shows and movies that absolutely should never see the light of day.

9.) Your first credited on-screen work came in the form of the 2016 short film A Great Guy. Any special memories of that freshman production?

Well done with the research! Adrian Patterson was the director and writer for that short and it actually has a bit of a fan following. It did pretty well in the festival circuit and I had no idea acting was even a thing when I auditioned for it. I think my favorite memory was being broken up with over and over again... (that's the premise for the short). But in all seriousness, I've been lucky to have had really great directors and set experiences and Adrian, and the crew and cast for A Great Guy really set the tone for the rest of my career - making films can really just be super fun!

10.) You’ve got a number of upcoming projects in the pipeline, including In Production, Fat Lady Sriracha and Disarranged. What can you tell us about these intriguing-sounding productions?

Once again - the research on this - a round of applause and a tip of my hat to you good folks. InProduction is my foray into writing more comedic roles for myself and I'm working with a fantastic director Lucy Belgum, who has so many areas of expertise I couldn't list them all. But from comedy to horror, from writing to directing, they are your person. We're production on that one and ha, that gets a laugh every time. Fat Lady Sriracha will be coming out later this year so do check it out and hopefully we can talk more about it then.

11.) Any final thoughts which you might like to share with readers about Desi Standard Time Travel?

Desi Standard Time Travel is really a labor of love and it took everyone there from the producers, directors, cast, crew, drivers, craft, lights, camera, and more to bring it to life. I hope you'll give it a shot. If the cost to see the film at a festival or in theatres is ever a barrier please don't hesitate to reach out to me and I will find a way for you to see it.

12.) Favorite movie about time travelPeggy Sue Got Married, Somewhere In Time or Back to the Future?

Hundred percent has to be Back to the Future. I can rewatch the movie over and over again and still love it. I'm really looking forward to supporting and seeing Still.

Final - SILLY!Question
DJ Alonso Mendez

1.) We’re very excited to have some time today with acclaimed music artist DJ Alonso Mendez! Before we dive in, how is your 2023 going so far?

2023 is going great. It has been a very busy year so far, with a lot of surprises and exciting releases coming up.

2.) Major congratulations on the release of your upcoming single Bon Voyage! What was the genesis of this song? How did it come into being?

Thank you! Teria had recorded a version of this song, and had the amazing idea of using a lot of key phrases in different languages. Once I heard it, we spoke about my vision for this project and we started to re-write some parts, writing a full spanish version, and producing a whole new song featuring Choclair to morph the original idea into this summer jam titled "Bon Voyage". A true collaboration between Teria, myself and Choclair.

3.) You have a great collaboration with artist Teria Morada and JUNO Award winning and Canadian hip-hop legend Choclair on the upcoming single. Can you talk about the specific energy these two dynamic talents brought to Bon Voyage?

Teria and I have a very long lasting friendship. She is a very talented singer and performer, and an athlete. Her energy is very positive, fun, and relentless like that of an athlete. She also embodies multiculturalism and this song is a fun reflection of her energy. Choclair is someone that I have been a fan of since the first time I heard his song LET"S RIDE when I was younger... he has a very unique old school flow that just sounds amazing over these new beats, and the experience he brings to the song is something unmatchable. Working with him is a lot of fun. He is lyrically gifted and both are rhythmically gifted, which is one of the formulas to such a great song like Bon Voyage.

4.) Did you do the producing on Bon Voyage and, if so, can you talk about the pros and the cons of serving as your own producer?

I did the production and arrangement on Bon Voyage. The Pros is that I do not stop working on the song when it feels 100% right to me. The Cons is that to get A - Z sometimes it takes a lot of endless nights working on something until it feels right. Bon Voyage simmered in endless studio sessions until it became that perfect poolside margarita ready to be enjoyed.

5.) In your opinion, what differentiates Bon Voyage from other hits on the 2023 music scene?

I believe that Bon Voyage is different then what is out there because it really speaks to the sense of travelling, exploring, and having a good time by uniting different cultures via the lyrics, and also features one of Canada's Hip Hop Legends on Hip Hop's 50th year anniversary. Choclair's flow and Teria's pop vocals are a perfect match for the Bon Voyage feels.


7.) How is Bon Voyage similar to some of your past music? How is it different?

6.) With the May 12 release of Bon Voyage, is it too soon to ask when our ever-inquisitive readers can look forward to an EP or LP release from you? It's never too soon! Bon Voyage is coming out on Underbite Records on May 12, and the remixes are coming out on May 26. We are in the middle of finishing Teria Morada's full EP which will be released by the end of summer, as well as my album which will be released around the same time. It's a busy year full of awesome music with great people! Follow me on Spotify @AlonsoMendez for all the latest releases.

I think for those that might have heard of me in the past, they will recognize the Alonso Mendez touch on the song because it is something danceable in both its Pop and Big Club versions. However, it is very different from my previous work. I think it's more elevated and approach with this song was just doing what felt right and getting lost in the vibes while doing it, and once it was all said and done...we created something that I think people will really want to include as a part of their lives.

8.) Who inspires you musically?

My love for dance music started at a young age with the Bee Gees and being that 4 year old kid dancing to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack every opportunity I had. I discovered house music when I was introduced to DJ Lil Louie Vega and Mijangos, both grammy winning DJs and electronic music producers who I have looked up to since my early days as a DJ. Somewhere in between these three artists and today's pop and electronic music I am inspired to create music I can lose myself in.

9.) On the heels of the May 12 release of the new single, can we look forward to seeing you on the performing/touring circuit in the coming weeks and months? We have a few things lined up that have not been announced yet but I will definitely be bringing the Bon Voyage vibes to some of your nearest dancefloors.

10.) At the end of the day, what do you hope people walk away with after listening to Bon Voyage?

I hope that people associate Bon Voyage with a great memory, with travelling, getting ready for a trip, relaxing poolside, dancing to the song, learning the dance, singing the different

catchphrases out loud, and just having a good little get away during the 3.09 minutes of the song. If it can help people uplift their moods, and smile... then it's a job well done!

11.) Favorite movie about the music scene - This Is Spinal Tap, Almost Famous or 8 Mile? 8 Mile. Eminem's journey to becoming a musical legend is real, and his work ethic and perseverance is second to none. FinalSILLY!Question:


4.) How are you similar to your character of Finn from Rebel Moon? How are you different?

Unfortunately, I can’t say anything about my character.

5.) You work with such a great ensemble of actors in Rebel Moon, including the likes of Sofia Boutella and Anthony Hopkins. What was it like exercising your own considerable acting chops alongside this talented lot of thespians? Sadly, I didn't get to meet Anthony Hopkins or see his character on set. However, it was absolutely incredible to see how Sofia got into her character like no one I had ever seen before. Everyone involved in the production was truly remarkable and amazing. I am in awe of how deeply they got into their roles while still being hilarious and kind people. Sofia was so nice when we did scenes together! She is really sweet and caring.

6.) What was your collaboration process like with the director of Rebel Moon, Zack Snyder? Is he what some actors might refer to as “an actor’s director”?

I can absolutely agree that he is an actor's director. He is super great at communicating with everyone, and if we were really lucky, we would get to watch him take things into his own hands and pick up his camera to get a shot. It was called the "Zack cam"! For example, one time he was using his camera to film us while they were pulling him on a wagon, and he fell off and hit the ground tumbling! But he got up and asked if his camera was ok. We all laughed so hard once we knew he was ok! It was truly an honor working with him, and he is definitely a genius.

7.) In your opinion, what makes Rebel Moon different from anything else on the current day movie scene?

I can't even begin to describe it. It was such a massive production! Every tiny detail was thought out and planned with intention. It was really impressive to see how much work went into creating this world. From the costumes to the sets, everything was so well-designed and carefully put together. It's amazing to think about how many people were involved in making this project happen.

8.) Your first credited on-screen performance came in the form of a 2015 episode of the series Bunk'd. Any special memories of that freshman production?

My first TV show was actually Patriot on Amazon Prime. It was really cool, and I remember being SO excited! I had done a lot of commercials and print work before, but this was different. I had to say my lines while riding a bike and then falling off onto a mat. So, it was also my first stunt. It was crazy, but so much fun! I got to work with Terry O'Quinn, and he was so nice! He kept giving me advice and pointers, which was really helpful. Being on set and working on this show made me realize that this was exactly what I wanted to do. I couldn't wait to do it again and be a part of more projects.

9.) How did you land upon the pathway of being an actor? What initially attracted you to this profession?

When I was around four years old, I saw a kid in a commercial on TV and I asked my mom if the kid was real. She said yes, and that the kid was a child actor. Right then and there, I told my mom that I wanted to do that too! A few weeks later, we saw a musical at a theater in Chicago and I asked my mom if kids my age could do musical theater. She said it was possible but required a lot of hard work. I was determined, and as we walked out, I told her that I would be on that stage one day, that I was


going to be an actor. My mom then signed me up for dance classes and musical theater classes, and I auditioned for an agent. The rest, as they say, is history! A fun fact is that when I was nine years old, I landed the lead role of Oliver in "Oliver!" at the same theater where we had seen the musical years earlier. It was truly a dream come true!

10.) Acting-wise, who inspires you?

There are so many people who inspire me, but I am especially drawn to those who can do it all. I have always dreamed of being known as someone who is multi-talented. That's why I really look up to Cheyenne Jackson, Zendaya, Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, and Skylar Astin! One time, I asked Cheyenne Jackson a question on Instagram, and he replied with some great advice: "Don't put yourself in a box." That's exactly how I view my future career. I love to try new things and play new characters. I don't want to limit myself by sticking to just one type of role.

11.) You’re a huge champion for animal rescues, a cause which is near and dear to our own hearts. Can you talk about how you became interested in helping animals?

I simply love animals, I suppose! Every time I enter a shelter, I feel so sad for all the adorable faces and I wish I could bring them all to my home! My mother used to take me to various animal shelters and rescues, and we would play with the cats and dogs. I want all these innocent animals to have a loving home.

12.) Any final thoughts which you might like to share with our readers about Rebel Moon?

If you're ever lucky enough to be a part of a big movie production, I would say to be prepared for something truly amazing. The main actors in the movie are absolutely incredible and it's hard to put into words just how talented they are. Even though I had a small role in the movie and was only on set for a short time, being around such talented people, especially working with Zack, was an experience I will never forget. I am so grateful for the opportunity because it taught me a lot about acting and what it takes to make a great movie.


welcome back to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi guys


! Good morning and great to talk with you again.

First off, thanks for always supporting us, particularly through the last 2 albums and now with the single. "Silver Tongue" is the culmination of 25 years of Little King tunes, and I am pretty proud to send it out to the world.

We have been...busy! So it goes, though. We released the "Silver Tongue" at midnight on March 25th, and the response from those who've dove into the 6:20 opus has been incredibly gratifying. The term "silver" alludes to the 25th anniversary of Little King albums, as Transmountain came out in 1997. The band felt really good about pulling out all the stops as a 3-piece, and I think the results reflect a band that is still vital and kicking ass.

In addition, we toured a bit last year and recorded the show at The Rockhouse in El Paso, TX for a live video release. We shall see how many performances make the cut, but I am listening and editing as we speak and I'm pleased with the results. Hoping the live video gets out in the early summer, and then we plan to tour in October and perhaps again in December.

What can you tell us about the title and meaning behind your most recent release?

As I said, we are in a 25th Anniversary year! I thought it would be fun to record a song that represented us both musically and lyrically (I actually reference EVERY LK RELEASE in the lyrics of the bridge...I thought it was funny) as a nod to the past and a propulsion into the future. I feel like Little King has really hit its stride in the last 5 years, and "Silver Tongue" captures that perfectly.

We've never had a "genre." Early on, we had a couple record deals with Unicorn Digital in Montreal, and they handle Prog Rock exclusively. We had a decent following in that genre, but the true Prog heads were mostly like, "Eh...ain't proggy enough." I'm cool with that. We are Little King...not Little Tool or Little Rush. Although...


The lyrics are meaningful to me in a number of ways. Aside from the obvious reference to the number 25, there are levels to how I reflect on the journey. Introspection,'s a mantra and while I stray from it all the time, it's what I aspire to. How could I have done things differently? How do I carry that answer into the next 25 years?

I think those sentiments apply equally to the band and to my own path. It's nice to say that I don't care about what other people think, and that's true to some degree. I certainly don't make music for approval, and I don't live my life as a father, son, musician, worker, and human looking for affirmation. I can affirm myself, for the most part...

But hey...we slave over art and release it for critique willingly and at our ego's peril. I guess at this point I am almost inured from harsh criticism. But at the same time, damn it's nice when someone actually takes the time to LISTEN. Not HEAR, mind you...but make some effort to understand where Little King is coming from. At that level, the level of appreciation is entirely subjective and left to the vagaries of taste and shine.

How was the recording and writing process?

This one took a bit longer, primarily because we were busy getting ready for shows. So we tracked a lot of it in 2022, but I finished the vocals and guitars at the end of the year and mixed/mastered into the new year.

As always, the guitar noodle is first. I string together notes, then riffs, then phrases, and then hopefully a somewhat cohesive song. Then I break it down and do it over again! Seriously, the process takes time. I have learned to vary the time signatures and tempos early in the writing process to get a sense of what's working best. I built a decent little demo studio last year, so I've been able to take that process forward with a bit more polish.

Once the bed drums (Eddy Garcia is still the studio drummer and engineer and is still a MONSTER), bass (Manny Tejeda, also fierce and active on this track), and rhythm guitars (moi, trying to keep up) are done, I take the ruff mixes home and write words. Over and over again. I usually know what the general sentiment is intended to be, and "Silver Tongue" in particular had a pretty focused motif.

The words can be meaningful AND sound pretty, but that's where the hard work and magic come in. Does the melody serve the message and work in a power trio format? Will I ever be able to sing and play this (no)? Once I'm ready to sing, I do that dance and add my fluffy guitars. This time, though, it all fell into place rather quickly, and Daniel Salcido got hold of it to mix and Maor Appelbaum mastered. They both worked on the last album, Amuse De Q, so they already get me. Was a really fun and seamless process.

Will you be hitting the road this year?

Yes! The plan is to go out October 7-15 with a stops in El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix, LA, San


Diego, Vegas, and perhaps Albuquerque or Las Cruces. We shall see...but it's in the works. Little King hadn't done much live before our September 2022 shows hit. It was INCREDIBLY gratifying to woodshed myself and then with the band. I can't tell you how much better and more confident I am as a musician. Found a great rehearsal space setup and a killer vocal coach named Stephanie Hansen, too. That's all made such a difference in the quality of our live show.

We also played with the full band from the last album. Jessica Flores sings lead on "How Could You" both live and on the album, and she also blew a mean sax on the last song of the night, "Internal Smut." Such a killer musician and person! David Hamilton and Christina Hernandez (cello and violin, respectively) joined us as well. Dave actually has written string arrangements for the last 2 records, as we met right before Occam's Foil was tracked in 2019. He's another absolute

KILLER musician and human being. Can't overemphasize how lucky I've been for the last 25 years.

What else is happening next in your world?

Again, hit up for all of the latest. "Silver Tongue" is out! From there, expect that live video (pr portions thereof) to drop in June and then come catch us on the road for October. In addition, we already have 3 new songs demo'd and ready. There is no doubt that a new album is forthcoming...maybe sooner that you'd expect.

Thank you so much to the faithful FOLK (Fans Of Little King) for caring for over 25 years. Your support is incredible, and we can't wait to pay you back on stage again. Hope you all dig the Tongue, too!

M ichael Gira o f SWANS

Thank you. Like all the work over the last 40 years it’s a way of tatooing one’s name on the face of God. It’s important to work constantly in order to discover if there’s truth to the rumor that I exist. I ‘m always working, even when I delude myself that I’m relaxing. Over a given period I accumulate enough songs to justify going into a recording studio, where I get the chance to rip away their skin with my friends and cohorts and discover if there’s any muscle underneath them. Then, if we do our work correctly, we kill these monsters and they become something else entirely – hopefully something I don’t personally recognize. It’s like looking at your face in the mirror and suddenly realizing it’s not your face, that’s its lips move independently of your own and that it’s talking to you in a language you don’t understand. The task is always to decipher what the stranger now in front of you is saying, and then to follow his instructions mindlessly and exactly. The result is what you hear on the album.

1.)We’re super-excited to be speaking today with lead singer of the nigh iconic band Swans, Michael Gira; greetings and salutations, Michael! Before we dive down the proverbial Q&A musical rabbit hole, how goes your 2023 thus far?

I feel like I’ve been pushed off the edge of a 50 story building and have suddenly discovered I can fly. Thank you for asking.

2.)Major congratulations on the upcoming June 23 release of the sixteenth studio album for Swans which is entitled The Beggar! What was the genesis of this altogether remarkable album? How did it come into being?


3.)You’re a rightly celebrated producer. Can we assume that you did the producing honors for The Beggar and, if so, how did that collaboration between you and the rest of Swans go in the studio while cutting the new album?

Most producers these days are knob twiddlers who spend too much time chopping up shapes on a computer screen. I’m more like the film director who shows up on set with an elaborate, detailed script and when confronted with the intimidating beauty and talent of his actors rips up the script, then spends the rest of his time trying to wrestle the ensuing chaos into a recognizable, worthwhile shape. It’s best when all the ravenous participants swarm me, subdue me, and devour me alive. Then we’ve really got something worthwhile!

4.)Speaking of the band, can you introduce our ever-inquisitive readers to the other members of Swans that lent their musical alchemy in the service of The Beggar? Here’s how I recently described the participants: Michael Gira – Vocals, words, acoustic guitar, production. Gira started Swans in NYC in 1982 and has been the primary songwriter, singer and producer throughout the years. During the Swans hiatus (1999 – 2010), he released several albums by and toured with a group called Angels of Light. Gira recently published a book of his short stories, journals, and words for music, called The Knot. He lives in New Mexico.


Kristof Hahn – Lap steel, various guitars, vocals. Kristof first joined Swans in 1989 and was a principal contributor to Angels of Light, and a core Swans member 2010 – 2017. Kristof’s other musical ventures have included the Rock ‘n’ Roll Noir band Les Hommes Sauvages and Kool Kings (with Alex Chilton). He recently played guitar with Pere Ubu. When not making music Kristof translates books. He lives in Berlin, Germany.

Larry Mullins - Drums, vibes, orchestral percussion, Mellotron, various keyboards, backing vocals. Larry is a trained symphonic percussionist. He played through the ‘90s with Iggy Pop and later with The Stooges. He played with Swans in the late ‘90s and was a main contributor to Angels of Light. His current main job is playing drums with The Bad Seeds. Larry lives in Berlin, Germany.

Dana Schechter – Bass guitar, lap steel, keyboards, vocals, piano. Dana played bass in and was a core member of Angels of Light. She subsequently released music and toured as Bee and Flower. Her current band is the power-duo, Insect Ark. Dana is also an animator and designer in the film industry and currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

Christopher Pravdica - Bass guitar, sounds, keyboards, vocals. Chris played bass as a core Swans member in 2010 – 2017. Chris has played with the bands, The Gunga Din, Flux Information Sciences, Xiu Xiu, Yonatan Gat and Medicine Singers and has a project of his own called We Owe. Chris is a sound designer and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Phil Puleo – Drums, percussion, vocals, piano, exotic wind instruments. Phil played drums with Swans in the late ‘90s and was a core member in Swans 2010 – 2017 and contributed to Angels of Light. Phil’s early NYC musical venture was Cop Shoot Cop and has since played with Human Impact, among others. Phil is an extremely talented illustrator and lives in Chicago, IL. Ben Frost - Guitar, synthesizers, sound

manipulations. In his own work, Ben’s adventurous sound-craftings are sometimes harrowing and sometimes delicate and quite musical. His numerous albums and his powerful live shows have afforded him much recognition. He is also an accomplished composer and arranger of music for film and television. Ben lives in Reykjavik, Iceland.

5.)How is The Beggar different from the last album from Swans, 2019’s Leaving Meaning? How is it similar?

The Beggar was our first opportunity to work together following the forced isolation of Covid. As such, there was a lot of pent up frustration, and using the template of the songs we took the opportunity to exact revenge on one another. I suppose it was like locking a pack of starved hyenas in a barren white room for an extended period of time and the sole survivor to emerge from the ensuing carnage was the album you now hear.

6.)There’s a pretty nifty feature on The Beggar in the form of a download card. Can you explain to readers what this particular feature will allow them?

The download card that comes with the vinyl album provides a link to a 42 minute film soundtrack called The Beggar Lover that was composed for a film that doesn’t exist. Its length precluded it from appearing on the vinyl version of the album. Personally, my feeling about vinyl is that it weighs too much and takes up too much space in one’s home. One of my primarly goals in life is to get rid of stuff, not to accumulate more. For this reason, coupled with the fact that there’s less constraints on the running time of the music, I prefer the 2XCD version of the album, or the digital version. For me, these formats provide the definitive version of the album. Any attachment to the nostalgic fetishism of vinyl is outweighed by the uninterupted experience of the music


itself. I don’t like being woken up in the middle of my dream.

7.)In your humble opinion, what differentiates The Beggar from anything else on the 2023 music scene?

I’m blissfully unaware of anything resembling a music scene. I isolate myself as much as possible, almost never socialize and I only listen to contemporary music when I’m forced to do so. After decades of making music that is often sonically overwhelming, most music sounds and feels like being stabbed in the ear with an icepick.

8.)We’re particularly fond of the tune Los Angeles: City of Death off of the upcoming The Beggar album! Is there a VH1-Behind the Music story on how this gem of a track came into existence?

I was born in LA and didn’t manage to fully extricate myself until my mid 20s, when I escaped to NYC. One of my formative memories is of being 13 years old and terribly high and peaking on LSD, sitting in a park with a crowd of other placid but colorful hippes, and watching as several members of a notorious biker gang suddenly and mercilessly stomped a young guy who had stupidly touched one of their motorcyles. The concussive sound of their boots thudding repeatededly against his head and chest had a very specific quality I’ll never forget. I felt my bowels loosening… LA is a wonderful locus of glamour and physical beauty, but it’s also a garden of riots, fire, poisonous smog, choked freeways and disaster. But it remains seductive. I love LA. I’d move back there in a second if I could afford a simple house on the beach. I’d spend the rest of my days barefoot, dazed and suntanned, just like when I was a kid.

9.)Who inspires you musically?

Nico, Diamanda Galas and Nina Simone. Also Henryk Gorecki, Ennio Morricone, and The Doors. Recently, I’m in awe of one particular and impossibly beautiful song by Lucinda Williams by the name of Rescue.

10.)At the end of the day, what do you hope listeners walk away with after giving The Beggar copious spins on their respective hi-fi systems?

That’s really none of my business, but I hope that a measure of love and comfort is provided.

11.)Word ‘round industry campfire has it that Swans have a pretty jam-packed touring schedule ahead of them! Can you tease our ever-faithful readers with some details on these venue stops and what they can expect from a Swans show?

We will be wearing furry animal suits as we play and as much as possible we’ll be performing in cathedrals rather than sticky black rock venues. The music will sound almost nothing like the recent album.


Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’re doing great. Thanks for having us!

What can you tell us about the title and meaning behind your most recent release?

Our latest release/video is Little Brother. A song off of our debut album Through Obstacles. This is something we’re super excited about for people to hear and see. Without saying what the meaning behind the song is, one thing that we’ll say is that this is by far our most personal video we released yet.

It’s shows a side of us, as brothers that now many people are willing to share. We hope that people enjoy it!

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing/recording process was quite natural. The subject of the song is something that we never talked about before the song was written. So therefor the process was really therapeutic and revealing.

Where did you guys find the inspiration for the song and lyrics?

We always wanted to write a song like this and talk about this specific subject. Guess we just waited for the right music to match the story. We’re so proud that we managed to do it and that we waited long enough to truly honor the story.

Will you be hitting the road this year?

That’s certainly the goal! It’s something we’re focusing on at the moment. Nothing would give us more satisfaction right now than to perform these songs live and connect with people face to face.

What else is happening next in your world?

There’s a lot in stock for this year. We’ll be releasing new music as and just content in general. We have a release schedule in place that we always follow. We like to stay a few steps ahead so we can plan other things in parallel.

Pople can follow us on social media to keep up with everything coming up. We’re so excited to show you what we’ve been working on. Stay tuned!

Anything else to add?

Thank you everybody for the support! Also, to anyone who just discovered us and listened to our music. Thank you! We truly appreciate each and every one of you. We can’t wait to perform for you and meet you all in person. Again, thank you VENTS for having us.




3) Who was the producer on Will Power and what did that collaboration between artist and producer look like in the studio?

I produce all of my own music currently, and work with talented minds and creatives along the way. I enjoy the phases of the creative process, and each layer of the music going from sounds I make with my guitar to ears and hearts throughout the world. On this track I worked with my fantastic audio engineer Benjamin Cunill over at Left Coast Recording, multiple Grammy Award winning mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering, and my talented drummer Danny Beallo.

4) How is Will Power similar to some of your past music such as Evil Grieves? How is it different?

I think my music will always have a common thread, hopefully, as it all comes through me and my soul. I think this song has all of my blues foundations and rock n roll roots that are prevalent throughout my tunes. I also tend to sing some songs that have that empowering kind of vibe, so it’s quite similar to Evil Grieves in that regard. It’s different in that it is the next phase and evolution of my music now, always evolving and growing, changing but the core remaining the same.


Freedom Heartsong

1) We’re excited to be speaking today with acclaimed singer/ songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Freedom Heartsong; greetings and salutations, my friend! Before we meander down the evermusical Q&A pathway, how goes your 2023 thus far?

Sending good vibes your way! Thank you so much for the lovely intro and positive energy. My 2023 is flowing along, really rockin’ and rollin’. I’ve been creating in so many different realms and loving it.

2) Congratulations on the brilliant new single Will Power! What’s the VH1-Behind the Music origin story on this gem of a tune? How did it come into being?

Thank you! Well, this song is really a great representation of my blues roots. It’s got a lot of my soul in it, and exemplifies for me that swampy, bluesy, soulful, rock n roll sound that I love to share so very much. I wrote the intro a while back when I was going through some rough times, really became a motivating anthem for me. That part just worked so seamlessly with the main riff and the progression was steadily born, built in layers, fine tuned to fit the whole of the song. It certainly has an empowering vibe, and is meant to share that self-actualization inspiration kind of energy.


5) The intro to Will Power comes charging at the listener with such a beautiful power and gravity. Can we ask how you hit upon this memorable opening in a song that is replete with memorable bits? Oh, thank you for appreciating that! Yes, it’s got that swampy, stompin’, movin’ along beat that soothes my soul, pick’s you up off the ground and propels you forward. This intro I have been singing for years before it was born into this song. An “I’m not gonna give up” kind of mantra and reminder when times might be tough.

6) In your ever-humble opinion, what differentiates Will Power from the Distinguished Competition on the 2023 music scene? Well, I know that this song comes from my soul, and so it is therefore different from any other song as it has my heart, feeling, and the energy coming through me. I feel this is true for all artists. That said, I think this is a song everyone can relate to, it’s part of the human experience, so hopefully it can provide some encouragement for all who listen.

7) Sony/Orchard and Dark Star Records is the home for Will Power. What makes these respective labels the perfect home for you and your music?

I think the people I work with and the love and good vibes we share is key to this. Great energy, vision, and global reach are some of the key elements as we share this music worldwide to hearts and minds of those who are open to it.

8) On the heels of the release of Will Power, can fans look forward to an EP or LP release from you in 2023? I have tons of music in the works, and plans to release more singles imminently. And oh yes, I am currently working on the next album, which Will Power is part of, and will be keeping everyone posted as it evolves.


9) Who inspires you musically?

Well my biggest inspirations historically have been Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, and countless 60s, 70s, bands and musicians. Currently I’m enjoying some excellent tunes from Samantha Fish and Lukas Nelson as well and love supporting other current artists.

10) What does your performing/touring dance card look like in the wake of the release of Will Power?

I have a California spring tour coming up starting at the beginning of May. We have acoustic and electric full band dates all over California which you can check out at tour . We will also be heading to Colorado, Chicago, Arizona, and beyond this year spreading the tunes and good vibes.

11) You’re based out of the City of Angels, Los Angeles. How does the vibe of that particular city inform you as a musical artist?

I think the most influential aspect of being an artist in Los Angeles is the community that is created, and that is really so small. Everyone always ends up playing with someone you were in a band with or worked with. Beyond that, I think for me the beach vibe, the coast, the mountains, the multicultural food, the energy, there is so much to feel and be inspired by here.

12) Any final thoughts which you might like to share with readers regarding one of the best songs we’ve heard in ages, Will Power?

Well, I will say thank you so very much for the amazingly complimentary context of your questions in this interview! I’m so glad you enjoy the new tune, and I can’t wait for everyone to come out to a live show and have a direct experience of something magical, to be inspired, to laugh, and to leave ready to live an happy life.


Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Considering the whole country is falling apart… We’re great!

What can you tell us about the title and meaning behind your most recent release?

Our most recent release was called FunDay (for no real reason) our next one is called unsigned and crap and is out on the 30th of April.

How was the recording and writing process?

Jake does a lot of the basic writing, but when we get in a room together it completely transforms. We record all of our stuff live with only the vocals being overdubbed. So what you hear is what you get when it comes to us. Literally no fakery, auto tunings, crazy post edits.

Where did you guys find the inspiration for the song and lyrics?

Jake used to live on the fringes of society so a lot of the songs are about his experiences.

Will you be hitting the road this year?

We’re all over the south west, but we’d love to get out and visit the north at some point.

What else is happening next in your world?

We’re in the studio this week so the nest thing for us is that. We’ll be recording 4 songs this time. All quite heavy material compared to our last stuff. I like to consider it neo-grunge.

Higuys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

John- Doing great. Promoting our new album "Breathe" and excited that it's expanding our audience and connecting with folks who are already fans of the band.

Todd - We are good. We just released our 2nd full full length album titled “Breathe” . It came out on February 17th 2023 on Deko Entertainment.

What can you tell us about the title and meaning behind your most recent release?

John- The new single sort of explores the idea of being someone's "arm candy" or an extension of their ego. There's always going to be someone who will truly appreciate another person for who they are, not what they represent.

Todd - The first single is “Afterthought”. It’s the lead off song on the album and to me the song represents not being someone’s 2nd choice.

How was the recording and writing process?

John- Our writing and recording process is really a testament to what technology can allow to happen. Fortunately, we had established our friendship and working relationship long before our geographical distance increased so much. We're grateful we can still work and create.

Todd - We both write music wise, John writes 99.9% of the lyrics though. We also do all of our recording via file sharing. John lives in Michigan and I currently live in Florida.

Where did you guys find the inspiration for the song and lyrics?

John- Musically, it usually starts with a riff, groove, or musical idea. Together we bounce melodic and musical ideas back and forth and I try to create a storyline and characters as we go. Todd is always there to bounce ideas off, and he always helps get the melodies into place as well. Todd has a great ear for melodies and hooks.

Will you be hitting the road this year?

John- It's always in the back of our minds to do something, but we're also grownups with plenty of road experience that's taught us to work smarter instead of harder. Does it look great to have a list of tour dates? Certainly. Does it make good business sense to us as a band or our label? At this time, full band performances would be careless and wasteful. But we never say never.


Todd - Financially and logistically we really can’t do it. It’s just the 2 of us and we would have to hire a few other guys to tour. We both have families, jobs and responsibilities that come along with that. Plus we are at a spot in our lives where we really can’t be traveling around, sleeping on people's floors making 100.00 per show and paying other guys. We’d probably lose a lot of money.

What else is happening next in your world?

John- Always trying to move the band onward and upward. Connecting with our audience, improving the craft, and

Ghosts of Sunset

trying to put some songs back into the world since we've gotten so much from music ourselves.

Todd - we just released the album, doing a video for our single “Afterthought” and we are currently writing for a next album. We have one song written, mixed and mastered and writing more as we write this!


Hi and welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello! It’s great to be here, and I’ve been good, thank you!

What can you tell us about the title and meaning behind your most recent release? Well, the album is called Uncharted Territories, and it comprises a collection of 11 songs that each deal, in one way or another, with the concept of moving on from one state, or a stage in life, to another one that is unfamiliar. The title reflects this and is taken from the lyrics of the first song, New Stories. Although there is this overarching ‘theme’, the album is nevertheless quite varied, I’ve tried to choose a blend of songs that showcase the variety of what I do as a songwriter – both in terms of music style and lyrically. There is a mixture of up-tempo rock music and gentle ballads here, and I like to think it is all melodically very strong. Some of the songs are a bit proggy and quite lengthy, so the album provides more than 60 minutes of music. I really hope that listeners will relate to the lyrics too.


How was the recording and writing process?

I’ve been writing songs for many years now, and have a portfolio of more than 40, so this album actually combines some recent songs with others written several years ago. But they’ve all been revisited and recorded especially for this album to ensure a consistent high quality. I tend to write at the piano, improvising riffs and chord sequences until I have something I like and can put melody to. The vibe of the music usually dictates the lyrical content, and I spend hours and hours on the lyrics. I take lyrics very seriously as I believe they should be elegant and worthwhile, and be thoughtprovoking and/or evoke an emotional response in the listener. Once I have the songs mapped out, I take them into the studio where I work closely with two collaborators: Andrew James does most of the vocals for the Kylolus songs, and he also produces the recordings at Cotswold Vocal Studio, and helps me optimise the musical arrangements. I also work closely with a really versatile guitarist, Steve Skidmore (aka ‘Skidders’), who plays the guitar parts and provides valuable ideas for arrangements that would not occur to me as a keyboard player.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The ideas come from all sorts of events, but I find I’m often inspired to write a song by a very specific event that evokes a deep emotional response in me. I’m an older gent, so many of the songs deal with the events that we face throughout adult life. Sometimes I can get a bit political too! This album has songs covering issues such as becoming an adult, your children leaving home, finding romance in later life, retiring from the rat race, bereavement, surviving severe illness – oh, and there’s even a song about Brexit!

Will you be hitting the road this year?

No – it’s important to say that Kylolus is not a band as such, and certainly not a touring band. But Kylolus is also more than just me, Murray Edmunds. I think of Kylolus as the platform that gives life to my songwriting, and which manifests my songs into professional recordings. That requires me to collaborate with others, most notably Andrew and Steve. But sometimes we’ll employ other singers or musicians if the song requires it. The goal for me is simply to enjoy writing songs and to make these into the best quality recordings that we can achieve in the hope that they will find an appreciative online audience!

What else is happening next in your world?

I’m about to release a single called When, and I’m already well underway with a second album, again working with Andrew and Steve. And I already have the content of album number three in my head too. As I mentioned, I have a large roster of songs written over the years, plus there’s always something new in development. I just love the whole creative process from piano stool to studio, so hopefully there’s plenty more music to come in the months and years ahead!



Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Great! We are in the midst of preparing our LP release in June called Refined Anomalium. It will be our first LP ever after our 2011 EP before hiatus in 2014. It consists of 8 songs and we are happy about it!

What can you tell us about the title and meaning behind your most recent release?

It’s a single called Noble Mind Traveler. The lyric is about someone seeking for truth, which not necessarily something acceptable by social norms. But in the end they found it and albeit it requires an amount of contemplation of solitude, they feel happy and enlightened. If you dig deeper into the lyric you’d find that it could be a quite sensitive topic in some parts around the world, which one of the reasons why we like the song even more!

The music itself you can say that it’s an alternative rock with sprinkles of accordion-based waltz in it, and strong chromatic notes progression. It could be quite visual, in a way that it could give you a Nightmare Before Christmas-ish feeling.

How was the recording and writing process?

As usual, Rivelino (vocals/guitars/synthesizer) created the first basic arrangement and lyrics, and then we assembled together to discuss what could and could not be in the song.

Where did you guys find the inspiration for the song and lyrics?

It is a topic that’s quite close to me (Rivelino). As for the music, growing up with Radiohead, classical and celtic music, I would say that I have always loved dark arrangement of notes that conversely gives me a happy feeling, which in this case is the lyrics. During the process it came to have some sort of mysterious ambience, which made decided “ok this song is on the right path”

Will you be hitting the road this year?

Yes we plan to do so. We are still looking for some venues where we can perform for the album launching, looking to sort it out as soon as possible. Hopefully we will manage to do it on more than one place.

What else is happening next in your world?

We also have started to conceptualise the next album. It is a slow process for sure since we are aiming a stronger and more complicated concept, largely because the track listing should be in timely manner, as also the music and lyrics of each track should represent the era that the song is describing. Simply speaking it will be a story-telling album that covers a certain timeline.


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