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Happy Holidays !!!

It's been an interesting year! I managed to see a record 140 movies and half a dozen Broadway shows, and my résumé of acting credits has grown quite a bit while studying acting and voice all year. I began the year with a class in stand-up comedy culminating in a performance at Caroline's on Broadway in Times Square- I have followed it up with other performances in all the major clubs in Manhattan. Justin made a visit to Manhattan for a performance of his in January, and I moved to my new co-op. Be sure you have my current address recorded below! I have a great view of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Empire State Building (made of Bloomington limestone!), the Chrysler and Prudential buildings, and the Williamsburg Bridge.

In February, I was cast in a supporting role in an off-off-Broadway play which began performances the next day! I developed a relationship with the writer/director, and her next play marked my directorial debut in October. In March, I wrapped an independent film shoot and performed as the lead in another off-off-Broadway show.....the script for this play is just screaming to be shot as a movie, which we hope to do next year. Mom also made a visit and we drove up to see Justin in March, in between my rehearsals for another independent film....needless to say, none of these films have been of the caliber to be released in theaters or on video....yet!

In April, I "signed" my voice to Special Artists Agency in New York City- they represent the voices of Mel Gibson and Jack Nicholson, among others, so I'm in good company. This gives SAA the exclusive right to 10% of whatever I make....which so far isn't exactly much, but the voice industry is harder to get into than in-front-of-the-camera acting, and I'm on my way....I was in the competition for the voice of the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, the Publishers Clearinghouse ads, and quite a few others. I also spent a nice, relaxing weekend out of the city with my cousins in Cherry Hill, NJ.

I taught for the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art both semesters (2 different classes, of course!) in Greenwich Village, coincidentally where both my maternal great-grandfathers went to school.

In May, I made a trip back home to Indiana, and got to visit with former neighbor Jennifer Drennan and co-workers Drs. Mike Wemple and Stephanie Castro along the way. Later in the month, Jennifer took her first trip to NYC. I also flew to CA for UVA friend Dr. Laurel (Quaile) DeMaula's wedding on a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean....absolutely perfect.

(Me walking Laurel to her Dad at the altar)
(click for full size)

(view from the altar at Bodega Bay, CA)

In June, I became an uncle (Dzian Hawkins Kolack, June 22!). I again attended the Beginnings acting workshop as Head Chaperone and shot another independent film. July was a pleasant camping trip in Montreal with local friends and a quick trip to Indiana (and got to see IU friend Dr. Chuck Crawford and his fiancée Christine just prior to their perfect wedding on the Atlantic Ocean in August just before the August Beginnings).

In September, I went to Six Flags and took a nice trip to the Adirondacks with local friends, got a visit from Beginnings friend Jennifer Hagberg and made a trip to UVA for the Pep Band's 25th Anniversary....It was GREAT to be back at UVA (despite the growing attention given to sports) and see old friends, and if this powerful group of alumni put their goofy minds to it, perhaps the Band would stop getting so much crap!

In October, after a pleasant visit from IU friend Dr. Sandra Tagg (making her first trip to NYC- I still have touristy stuff yet to do!) I took another week-long, relaxing trip to Indiana, and got to see my pregnant firefighter friend Wynne Deckard just before she hatched.

In November, my sketch comedy troupe had 2 weeks of performances that went over so well that the show is looking for a permanent home in the new year. A late addition to the lineup was a puppet-show parody of Mayor Giuliani (which I puppeteered and voiced) that was extremely well-received. Pictures of this and some of my other '99 exploits are on my web site. I spent Thanksgiving in Cherry Hill with just about the whole family. Because I got to have an additional Thanksgiving dinner with a friend from NY, my Atkins diet was put on hold for a few days- yes, the diet is controversial, but my blood chemistry and blood pressure are better than they've ever been, and I've dropped 25 pounds of flab, revealing some muscles I wasn't sure I had anymore!

December hasn't been the best month, with somewhat of an acting slowdown, among other things. I have had several good meetings with casting directors this month, which should please my agent. One unusual highlight is that I'm getting my taxi license and should be on the road just after the new year (sadly, just missing the most lucrative holiday season in a decade). Actors just don't drive anymore (did you see recently-released special edition of "Taxi Driver"?), and I'm counting on picking up some good stories (and good tips, as one of the few English-speaking cabbies!).


I hope this finds you happy and healthy,


Peace and love always,