Monday, October 30, 2006

Movie Premiere/Star Trek/Other Stuff

It has been an exciting week, I was excited to be on the set of the newest Star Trek episode, and the movie I wrote "Color of the Cross" premiered Saturday night at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills.

If you haven't heard, there are new episodes of the original Star Trek series, with Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and all the characters you love available online as free downloads from the Star Trek New Voyages website at These are brand new, skillfully produced episodes with great music and outstanding graphics, some of them starring members of the original Star Star Trek cast! The most recent is still in production and stars George Takei, the original Mr. Sulu. It is directed and co-written by my friend and mentor Marc Zicree.

On the left, I'm on the actual Star Trek set with one of the production crew actress/writer/producer Cali Ross. In the photo above you can see the huge "green screen" where, during the post-production they can insert the landscape of some strange new world. A crowd of special effects people, hairdressers, make-up artists, costume designers and others swarm around the set. In the photo on the right, director Marc Zicree discusses an upcoming scene with some of the crew.

This is me outside the WGA Theater taking a photo with my first feature film credit! Lots of well-dressed men and very attractive women packed the theater. My problem was that I thought it was a screening, and dressed like I was just going to a movie rather than dressing for a premier which is why I'm dressed the way I am in the picture. Other than that, it was very exciting although I was waiting in the lobby to talk to the producer and missed the beginning of the movie so I didn't get to see my credit as co-writer on the screen!

It was pretty cool to watch people on the big screen saying words I had written. I have a different take on why Judas betrayed Jesus and I created a relationship between Mary and Mary Magdalene that I hope you find interesting when you see it when it is released across the country on November 10th.

Other than that, I have been busy rewriting my script Area 52 after getting some terrific notes on it from two excellent script consultants. Writing is rewriting and it's never finished until you're watching it at home on TV.

Things are about to start heating up for me again. Periodically, I take a super mentor class with Marc and Elaine Zicree that super motivates me into getting the most out of every day. Marc And Elaine are former show runners (executive producers) and have written over a hundred scripts for television. Their list of credits is astounding. In addition, they are well-connected within the industry and point me in the direction of the right people and give terrific career advice. Every time I take a class with them my career kicks into hyper drive.

I just finished building a website for my good friend, actress/comedienne Geri Jewell. Deadwood fans know her as Jewell, the disabled girl who works in the whore house, and millions know her as Cousin Geri on the classic 80's sitcom "Facts of Life". You might want to check out her website at

That's about it for now, thanks for reading

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Upside of Writing Entertainment Magazine Articles

Not long ago, I pitched Emmy Magazine, an entertainment industry trade magazine, on the idea of writing a story about three TV actors and their moves into other areas such as writing, directing, or producing. The actors I chose were Laura Innes, Dr. Kerry Weaver from ER, Bryan Cranston, the dad from Malcolm in the Middle, and Michael Chiklis, Detective Vic Mackey from The Shield. All three of them are very nice people.

The upside of interviewing them, in addition to getting to meet them, is that I get to ask things I want to know because I'm transitioning from acting to writing myself. I also get access to them that I can't get by going through their agents or managers. For example, I talked with Bryan Cranston about the mockumentary I'm writing about the first quadriplegic mime. He thought it was a very funny concept and offered to read it when I finish writing it in December. (I'm really hoping he likes it because there is an excellent part for him in it.) The other upside is that I get to write for a prestigious trade magazine and get a blurb about myself in it, and of course, they pay me.

All I seem to do lately is write, it's a good thing I love doing it. I met twice with a terrific script consultant, Julie Marsh Nelson about "Hip-Hop Zombies". The writing is coming along very well and I hope to have the first draft done before the end of October. I want to write an excellent script that will draw big-name talent. I could probably make a cheesy version of it to release on DVD, but I wouldn't be happy with what I had created. I always strive to make everything I write the best it can possibly be.

I'm currently having my dramady pilot "Area 52" read by top script consultants, Marc and Elaine Zicree, and I will probably rewrite based on their input and start shopping it around production companies within ABC/Disney. (Because I wrote "Area 52" while in the ABC/Disney Scholarship Program, ABC/Disney has an option on it for a year so I can only show it to production companies who have a deal with ABC/Disney. I learned a lot in that program and its totally worth it.)

Having a successful writing career looks easy from the outside, but it's a very tough business. It's tough to get the job, tough doing the job, and tough to keep the job. But, it's my dream and I intend to persevere. In truth, the fact that it's tough motivates me to work that much harder.

The pilot for Comedy Central that I appeared in and creative consulted on "Special Unit" is still in play according to Bryan Cranston who directed it, but that's about as much as I know.

My acting career is also moving along fairly well. I'm going to a callback (a second audition) on Thursday for a part in a very exciting project that I will talk more about when I land the role. (notice I said when and not if).

Don't forget to mark your calendars for October 27th! Color of the Cross the feature film I co-wrote is coming to theaters. (if you look real close at this poster you'll see my name on the bottom line as co-writer ... BOOYAH!) It is the story of Jesus' last forty-eight hours and Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and several of the disciples will be played by African Americans. Please check out the trailer at

Thanks for reading, that's all until next time