Wrapped - Again

A while back my amazing fiance Bekah wrote three short films for me for Valentine's Day. They were based on ideas for characters I had, a few of which I had written monologues for. Bekah worked her writerly magic and crafted them all into gut punching narratives.

As luck would have it, one of her very talented friends, Alexis, wanted to transition from stage directing to film, and so asked Bekah for any shorts that she might have that she could direct. 'Again' was one of these three shorts, and Alexis chose it to be her first film directing experience.

 

Fortunately, Alexis is married to another great talent, Rick, who is a DP fresh off of a NEXT Audience Award win at Sundance 2016. As if that weren't enough, we were joined by a smattering of talents, including producers Stephanie Marin and Tyler Evans, AD Tim Astor, and crew Dan Adlerstein, TJ Yoshizaki, Sevell Bensen, Katie Moest, Ryan O'Hara, and Dan Siegelstein.

But wait, there's more! A stellar actor by the name of Aubrey Dollar joined in to play my better half.

And then there's me. It's been a hot moment since I worked on a film, so there was a little adjustment to make. But what struck me many times was 'what a solid team this is, and how fun it is being on a team'. One particular moment was towards the end of the shoot - I was off screen waiting for a queue from the director to feed Aubrey lines for her closeup. By this point the crew had gelled quite a bit, so the set up came together like clockwork. So there we were, hanging on the moment, myself waiting for a slight, wizardly wave of the hand of the director Alexis. Why she didn't drop her raised finger to point at me for the queue delighted me to no end. Instead, her finger melted into an embellished swish, which cast a silent spell that said, as she did throughout the shoot, "whenever you're ready." I am. For people to see this.

What's Up - Vocal Isolation Booth Build

The many stages of vocal booth creation.

The many stages of vocal booth creation.

As a novice builder, I found this gentleman's tutorial videos extremely helpful.

Last year I ran into a consistently annoying problem. How do I record a VO audition/audiobook/podcast if I have to stop recording and wait for the sound of a passing plane, large truck, motorcycle, church bell, school bell, water pipes, computer fan, or friendly cricket?

Solution - build a small room where no sound can enter or leave. Having never really built anything, I decided to do some research and planning to make sure that if I'm spending a good amount of money, I do it right. I scoured the internet for pictures, videos, and forum threads that dealt with the various stages of building this giant recording box.

If you're at all thinking of this I recommend these forums to get a sense of the work ahead of you/plethora of problems that will arise:

www.gearslutz.com

www.soundonsound.com

www.homerecording.com

There are a few senior forum members that everyone listens to. Rod Gervais is one of those members who not only offers advice frequently, but also has a book about this very thing. If only I had bought it at the beginning of my planning and design, it would have saved me time. Many people echo this sentiment on the forums.

The planning took me the better part of January and February. The building took me most of my free time in March and part of April.

Home Depot and Baller Hardware sold me most of the building materials, the other stuff (like fans, window glass) I got online.

Now, for the most part, it's done. There are still a few tweaks that need to be made, but when a helicopter passes overhead or a leaf-blower passes next door, I don't hear it, so I can focus on my performance.

It wasn't possible without Rod Gervais' book and the help of many friends - Matthew Watterson for his viking strength and know how (and drill), Brian Nichols for his carpentry expertise, David Graziano for his sage advice and the loan of woodworking tools, and my fiance for many hearty home cooked meals.

What you're looking at is this - A ventilated room with a double pane tempered/laminated 1/2'' glass window. The walls are built with staggered studs for decoupling, a 1/2'' ply outer sheath, 3'' Roxul Safe N Sound Insulation, with two layers of 5/8'' drywall on the inner wall that are separated by a layer of Green Glue. The floor is plywood on a concrete slab, with Flor carpet tiles on top (I plan to add a rubber underlay later when budget allows). The ceiling is built much like the walls, except that I used chicken wire to secure the insulation.

For room treatments I built a panel resonator into the corner, and attached acoustic foam to most of the corners and wall. I'll probably continue to tweak this as I find what sounds best for recording.

I built a small shelf on the panel resonator to attach my scissor arm mic stand, and a fold out table for the podcast mic. The booth comfortably seats two people, and stays cool even with temperatures of 80-90 degrees outside.

The Escape Pod is now open for business.

The finished product (for now). Behold y'all - The Escape Pod.

The finished product (for now). Behold y'all - The Escape Pod.

What's Up - 'Tea Too Many' Podcast, hosted by Andrew Goldmeier

Wanna kick it back and drink some tea with my buddy Andrew and me?

Then listen to this podcast, wherein Andrew interviews me and we discuss a whole slew of topics. I reveal all sorts of sordid details about my life.

I give shout outs to UCB, iO West, A Noise Within, Buy Me Brunch, Boston Harbor Marina, Tufts University, Owen Robinson, and panic attacks!

Wrapped - RocketJump & FPLA Staged Reading

I'm thrilled to have just wrapped yesterday on a really fun project with RocketJump. I've been a fan of Freddie Wong's for a few years now, so it was like stepping into a really fun dream.

For info on the project, HERE is their creative director Danny Vink.

Check out their videos for some delightful action, special fx, and comedy.

Here is a clip of theirs with Key & Peele that's received OVER 11 MILLION VIEWS!!!

The cast and crew were all amazing to work with, and so talented.

Big thanks to Adrianne and Christopher for bringing me in to read for it! And to Freddie for building his online wizard empire.

On Tuesday night this week was the FPLA staged reading of Sharon Yablon's play Hello Stranger.

The audience seemed to enjoy it, and it was really fun for me to do a play again. You get to ride a story the whole way through, instead of in the typically shorter bursts of other mediums.

This is me lurking behind Heather Boothby. If you want to wander into a backyard in Fontana on El Dia De Los Muertos, this play is for you.

Big thanks to Fresh Produce'd for having me!