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GSN This Week

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GSN This Week.jpg
The latest casting calls, film & music festivals, and theater events coming up this week.


Take 5!

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News and more from around the web.



A blow to the North Carolina film Industry
The impact of not renewing film industry tax credits.




My Toxic Backyard Poster.jpg


Katie Damien's My Toxic Backyard is the winner as Best Documentary in the upcoming Greenpoint Film Festival.
  











Just ordered our copy of The Strange and Unusual.  The special edition is available now on Amazon.com


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Here is the first in a series called Absurducopia by Kira Bursky and Wayne Culpepper.  This first episode called Big premiered at the Charlotte 48 Hour Film Project screening on Thursday.



Does indie filmmaking have a future?
Read about it at Salon.com






Scienstars will soon launch a series of short videos called Teachable Sci-Fi. In the video below, our Executive Producer introduces this new educational aid.






Potpourri

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As strolling minstrel at Grove Park Inn

Kira Bursky - Strolling Minstrel at Grove Park Inn.jpg
Photo Credit: Jay Bursky

English: Image:Villianc.svg (Vector version of...

Image credit: Wikipedia)

Villians have always played an important part in our stories as they are often intriguing, have great development, and create tension in the narrative.  Where would we be without someone to root against?  

Sometimes though, they have just enough redeeming qualities that we might like them, or even be rooting for them.  Even those we know of in real life.  Why is that?


Watch their conversation below.

GSN on Facebook

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Michel de Montaigne wrote of his condition tha...

Michel de Montaigne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What inspired Shakespeare? Did he have a muse in the form of the writings of Montaigne?  Stephen Greenblatt thinks so and that is the subject of his interview with Charlie Rose where they discuss his book Shakespeare's Montaigne. A book about William Shakespeare and his reading of Montaigne.

Michel de Montaigne was a French nobleman that Shakespeare never met, although they lived during the same times. There is some evidence that he read Montaigne's essays and drew  influence for some of the characters in his plays after what he read.  

Born in France at Château de Montaigne in the year 1533 Montaigne was sent to live with a peasant family until he was three years old in order for him to understand what that life is like.  After returning to his parents his tutor, servants, and anyone else that talked to him were instructed to only speak with him in Latin. In this way Latin became his first language

Château de Montaigne, Montaigne's family home

Château de Montaigne, Montaigne's family home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



By thirteen years of age he had graduated from Collège de Guyenne and began to study law. Nearing his forties, with a career in law and as a statesman behind him, he retired. That's when he began to write his essays. Setting himself up in a room of a tower in the family's chateau (which is reminiscent of the Biltmore Estate here in the Carolinas) he began to write. He wrote deeply personal and transparent accounts of himself, the people he knew, and the human condition.
 

Is this what inspired Shakespeare?  Listen to the conversation below and see what you think.
Samantha Mills by Erik Danielson
Samantha Mills  Photo Credit: Erik Danielson

Samantha Mills recently moved from North Carolina to Los Angeles.  In North Carolina she had built up a reputation as a model and actor working mostly in the southeast.  The move to L.A. was a career move but not for the reason you might think.  It was a better opportunity for her day job.  She explained that she would kind of be starting over in Los Angeles with her acting and modeling.  I'm sure she will find lot's of opportunity there.

As a model, Samantha's good looks and svelte frame have helped her get jobs such as photo layouts in magazines, advertisements for companies such as Belk and Pepsi, and placements to sell everything from jewelry and shoes to cars and insurance.  In modeling, and to some extent in acting, she considers herself a salesperson.  Whether it is selling the product, the concept, or the character she says that's what she's there to do.  After thinking about it for a while I understood what she meant.  She sold me.

Coming up Samantha will be starring in a film called Honeyspider written by Kenny Caperton and directed by Josh Hasty.  It is a cool thriller movie that is currently in post-production and is due for release later this year.
Samantha Mills - Cover Fort Mill Magazine
Samantha Mills Cover
Image Courtesy: Fort Mill Magazine



Samantha Mills in Honeyspider
Samantha Mills in Honeyspider  Photo Courtesy: HoneyspiderMovie.com


John Cullum & William Sadler.jpgWriters are often told to write what you know.  Miles Doleac takes it a couple of steps further.  He writes, directs, and acts what he knows in The Historian.

Miles is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. His specialty is in the Classics Department. I recently had a conversation with Miles and Tamarah Murley about the movie and here is what I found.  The story was influenced by his witnessing of the dumbing down of education because of administrative constraints and the Common Core Standards Initiative  that has been in the news so much lately.

This is his directorial debut but being an accomplished theatre and film actor he knew what he was getting into.  He had help with his long time friend and theatre director Mackenzie Westmoreland who helped him produce the movie but also had never worked in film before.  


"This script is a gift to actors."- Glynnis O'Connor, on The Historian


To make the movie the best it could be he brought on board some of the finest actors he could get. 
Casting William Sadler as the university history department head Valerian Hadley,  along with Tamarah Murley as his secretary Jill who wants to keep the office running smoothly and without turmoil.  John Cullum plays Valerian's aging father in the movie.  You may remember John from the TV series Northern Exposure.  A theatre veteran as well as film, he has won 2 Tony Awards for his acting performances.

In this movie Miles plays history professor Ben Rhodes, who has just moved to a  university where he doesn't exactly get along with his boss, Valerian Hadley, the head of the department.  Valerian does not make it easy for Ben, though I think he see's something of himself in the young professor.  They are also at odds over Anna (Jillian Taylor), who is one of Valerian's favorite grad students and a love interest of Ben.

Colin Cunningham & Glynnis O'Connor.jpg
Also appearing is an actor I've admired for many years ever since I saw her in a TV production of the play Our Town is Glynnis O'Connor.  I'm glad to find her in this movie.   As Dean Jan Messer she must weigh the arguments of all involved. To do what's best for the school in spite of Ben's conflict with Valerian, and his ideas about teaching and how the school should be run.

As I mentioned earlier Miles is an actor in the theatre.  He just finished a very successful run of Les Misérables at the Saenger Theatre in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  The musical got held over an extra day for an encore performance.  That's what you like to hear.

This movie has everything you might expect to encounter in a college setting: drama, relationships, happy, sad, and funny.  Sure to be a hit you'll not want to miss.


Miles Doleac as Ben Rhodes .JPG
Check out the trailer below and read the conversation with Miles and Tamarah.

Sometimes a person is compelled to do what is instinctive to them.  That is the case with Lilly Nelson.  She has been acting as far back as she can remember as a little girl, kindergarten or even before.  Even as a kid she was making up plays and doing little films with her friends and family.  Apparently her father, who is an art director, helped influence her  creativity.

At home on both stage and screen, it doesn't matter as long as she's acting.  No prima donna she likes to be involved whether it's in front of the camera or behind the scenes.  She will help with a production any way she can.  One specialty she has is helping actors with different dialects as well as teaching acting.

Lilly Nelson - Tracy Page/Babycakes Studios
Lillly Nelson  Photo credit: Tracy Page/Babycakes Studios

"Lilly has breathed life into Betty and given her more depth than we even imagined. She is a true artist."  - Christine Parker Director of Fix It In Post


Currently she is starring in Closer Patrick Marber that she has been wanting to do for many years.   Lilly is producing the play along with the Burning Coal Theatre Company.  Directed by Paul Sapp it stars Lilly along with  Miles Dwight Snow, Laurel Ullman, and Brian Fisher  It will be playing through this weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina.  

Lilly recently finished a part in the film Fix It In Post which is a campy, over the top story about what a film crew does to survive after an electromagnetic pulse knocks out the power around the world.  She plays Betty the slate girl who has eyes for the director.  A movie about people making a movie, trying to use their filmmaking skills to survive a disaster.

Not afraid to get her hands dirty she relishes playing the villain and taking parts that others might not want to consider such as the lonely woman in Kami that has lost her lover.

Lilly has several other things coming up including a part as Lieutenant Victoria Xen in  Sciencstars, a TV series for kids about science.  In Deadroom she is a German mercenary/assassin named Helga, adding to her list of villainous and antagonistic roles.  She plays a drugged out mother  In 12 Dog Days of Christmas that is about a troubled teen boy that learns a lesson about the spirit of Christmas.

A Carolina girl, she works most frequently in area between Charlotte and Raleigh, and prefers to live in North Carolina  because it is home, but is ready to go anywhere she is called to for a new production.

See Lilly in the short film Kami below by William K. Gerard and read the conversation we had about her acting career.

English: Claudia McNeil in A Raisin in the Sun...

Claudia McNeil in A Raisin in the Sun - trailer (cropped screenshot) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Raisin in the Sun is one of the great American plays and was written by Lorraine Hansberry  when she was in her late 20s. 

Comprised of an ensemble cast where every actor contributes significantly to outcome of the performance. All of the main characters are well developed and each has a story to tell from their own perspective. It is amazing how Lorraine had the experience, much less the wisdom, to craft such an inspiring story of the human condition at such a young age.  Sadly she died in 1965 at the age of 34.

If you've never seen this play I urge you to try to whether it be at a community theatre, college, or even on film.  There are frequent productions of it running in every part of the  country.  It is currently playing on Broadway in a new revival at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre where it was first performed in 1959.  

This  production stars Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, and Sophie Okenedo.  In their conversation with Charlie Rose below they discuss what it's like to perform the play and what each character means to them.

English: Kevin Spacey at the San Diego Comic-C...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NOW is a documentary that gives a behind the scenes of a touring theatrical play.  From putting the play together to the performance it shows what is going on behind the curtain.

Below is an interesting coversation that Charlie Rose had with Kevin about the documentary.

The Mineola Twins

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MineolaTwins.jpgCongratulations to the cast and crew of The Mineola Twins playing now through Sunday at Winthrop University as a part of Rock Hill's Come See Me Week.

It is a story of two young women, identical twins, who long to leave Mineola for bigger things.  Riley Ketchum shines playing the parts of both Myrna and Myra. Bridgette Smith has a strong and comical performance as Jim in the first acts and Sarah in the latter part of the play. Not to be outdone, Rodrick Freitas is outstanding as Kenny and Ben.  

The play starts out with Jenn Fant as The Voice who hauntingly narrates the dream sequences that appear throughout the play. Her and the ensemble: Sydney Bertsch, Jesse Pritchard, Nora Webb, and LaShawn Woolridge illustrate what's happening in the dream sequences as well as appearing as individual characters later in the play.

This is  a comedy with a serious subtext to it covering the periods from the Eisenhower era to the Nixon and Bush Sr. administrations.  Myra and Myrna are as different as night and day and are never in agreement as siblings sometimes are.  No one is perfect though as you will learn.  

There were many sets used throughout the play that were well designed with a modern look while being  simple and effective at projecting the style of the play and being the perfect backdrop for the performers.  The sound design and lighting emphasized what was happening onstage very well and the acoustics and sound in the auditorium was spectacular.  This helped create the magic of The Mineola Twins.


Writing

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are a writer or filmmaker who would like to learn more about writing and share some comaraderie with like minded folks this is the class for you. Beginning February 5th and continuing every Wednesday at Jade Castle Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.

The instructor will be John Norwood who graduated from  the University of Southern California with a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema-Television.  

Starting Wednesday Feburary 5th at Jade Castle Studios.
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

More information at:
Map of South Carolina highlighting Greenville ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acting classes for adullts and kids/teens being February 5th at Jade Castle Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.  The classes are limited to 10 students and you must register by January 31st.

Taught by veteran actor  Ron Joseph.

Wednesday Feburary 5th thru April 23rd at Jade Castle Studios.
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

More information at:
One of Tweetsie Railroad's two steam locomotiv...

One of Tweetsie Railroad's two steam locomotives, 2-8-2 #190, on May 20th, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tweetsie Railroad, located between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is seeking entertainers for their 2014 season.

They are needing singers, dancers, actors, equestrians, magicians, and specialty acts.


2014 Local Auditions
January 25 & 26
9:00 am Registration / Auditions begin at 10:00 am
I.G. Greer Hall
Appalachian State University
401 Academy Street
Boone, NC


English: logo of the Carolina Actors Studio Th...

 (Image credit: Michael R. Simmons via  Wikipedia)

Presented by Charlotte Viewpoint as part of their CV Conversations series there will be a reception followed by a preview/rehearsal of Mallery Avidon's new comedy O Guru Guru Guru -- or why I don't want to go to yoga class with you.  Donna Scott will moderate a Q and A session with Mallery  and Mrichael R. Simmons, the artistic director of CAST after the play.

I understand there will be a guest appearance by Julia Roberts as well.

Don't miss this entertaining event.


Potpourri

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KiraBursky by Abbey Sacks.jpg
Photo and Makeup by Abbey Sacks
Logo of Sci-Fi Channel (1999-2002)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuscon 40 is a sci fi, fantasy, and horror convention held in Tuscon Arizona.  This years event will be November 8th thru 10th, 2013. 

Here is an an event you'll like if you're a beginning actor.

6:00 pm Saturday, November 9th
Acting for Film an Active Lesson


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Eric Shumacher of Picture Arizona will be there teaching a film acting class where he'll go over the fundamentals of film acting and how it's different from stage acting.  He will also tell you about set etiquette so that you'll appear more seasoned when you appear on set.

As many attendees as possible will be involved in working a scene together and will cover how to nail a performance.  Special effects and how to act around them will be touched upon.


Kevin Skinner America's Got Talent 2009 in Las...

Kevin Skinner America's Got Talent 2009 in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Casino (Photo credit: bcbusinesshub via Wikipedia)


America's Got Talent is a popular TV series featuring a variety of performers competing to be the winner with a Las Vegas show of their own.  

The finalist and many of the favorite and top acts will also appear in the America's Got Talent Live Tour  after the TV competition ends.  So this is a great opportunity to break into the big time.

Don't miss your chance when they come to a city near you.


Find the city closest to  you below.

Broadway After Dark

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Broadway After Dark Poster.png


Debbie's Angels Productions presents Broadway After Dark!  Back by popular demand, this racy, rowdy revue is coming back to Jacksonville!  This is our 3rd year and our cast is bigger and better than ever!

This cast will be performing songs from shows such as Chicago, Rent, Cabaret and many more!   Girls night out?  Date night?  Just want to have a good time? 

Come out and be BAD with us!