It’s been 23 years since The X-Files debuted and with its resurgence earlier this year, Season 11 is on the way. John Kenneth Muir, author of The X-Files FAQ, sat down with Tony Black of The X-Cast to discuss all things X-Files. For all The X-Files enthusiasts, this interview is for you. Take a listen below.
The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week explores Chris Carter’s popular 1990s science-fiction TV series, which aired on Fox for nine seasons and inspired spin-offs, including feature films, TV shows, toys, novels, and comic books.
It’s amazing story behind how Chris Carter came to write the foreword for the book. In fact, at the time that he wrote it production was in full swing for the six-episode event series that aired on Fox this past January. John explained how that came to be which was from Chris wishing him happy birthday on social media. He then asked Chris for a blog feature and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. What started out as a simple gesture turned into a foreword for a book from no better person.
The book explores the series in terms of its historical context and analyzes how many of the episodes tackle the events of their time: the Clinton era. The X-Files FAQ also tallies the episodes that are based on true stories, selects touchstone moments from the almost decade-long run, and organizes the series by its fantastic subject matter – from serial killers to aliens, from prehistoric menaces to ethnic and religious-based horrors.
Tony started the interview with asking John his ‘fandom’ questions to his discovery of the show to his favorite characters and episodes. The interview continued with an amazing discussion between two fans going in depth about the various episodes and seasons as well as character development.
The X-Files FAQ allows readers to relive the “Mytharc” conspiracy and the unforgettable monsters of the week – from the Fluke Man to the Peacocks.
This is the sort of book I dreamed of writing about the X-FIles. My only regret is that I couldn’t cover every single episode in depth.
-John Kenneth Muir
LGBTG Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny author Alisha Gaddis, along with contributors Ilana Turner and Jamison Scala, sat down with FreakSugar to discuss the book among other topics.
Before I get into the compilation, what can you tell me about your backgrounds?
Alisha: I have been incredibly fortunate to perform all over the world in different capacities as an actor and comic (my first love). I’m in a band for children that has a kids’ television show, Lishy Lou and Lucky Too, which my husband and I created, produced and star in for PBS. Along with my husband, I also run an Artist Consulting company empowering other artists. I write books and articles, and I get to travel doing what I am passionate about. It is pretty spectacular, and I am very grateful to have success in order to keep doing what I do! (And winning an Emmy and Grammy doesn’t hurt things…)
Jamison: I grew up in NJ and went to college in Philadelphia, Temple to be exact. I moved to LA right out of college and when traditional acting classes didn’t inspire me, I got involved in improv at The Second City. I quickly fell in love and improv and sketch has become a large part of my life, taking me all over the world performing comedy.
Ilana : Having this monologue, Sugar Coat It, included in LGBTQ Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funnyis lovely because monologues were the first theatrical things I ever wrote. I’ve always written in one form or another, but when I started to take acting seriously, at Hampshire College, we had to write and perform a short solo show — basically a monologue. I was always terrified of writing dialogue, but I could write monologues. When I started to work on what became my first full-length play, O Réjane, I was trying to write myself a full-length solo show — a vehicle as an actress — but I could never get it to work. Thankfully, I fell in love with writing dialogue and the play was much better for it. I cast someone else in the lead role, played a supporting role and that turned out to be a great decision. That lead actress, Cara Pifko, won the first ever Stage Raw LA Theatre Award for Leading Female Performance and I was nominated for Playwriting — which felt like a huge win. I’ve continued writing plays ever since O Réjane premiered in 2014.
As an actress, I’ve been lucky enough to work in commercials, with some great directors, on stage and in indie film. I’ve done a bit of TV, too, like HBO’s Big Love and several what they call ‘back-door’ pilots.
Alisha. what can you tell us about the genesis behind LGBT Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny?
Alisha: LGBTQ Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny was a natural progression in the Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny series for Hal Leonard/ Applause Acting. Prior, I had put out the Women’s, Men’s, Teen Girl’s, Teen Boy’s, and Kids’ Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny versions — and there was still a large gap of LGBTQ performers left within the performing arts population. I am an advocate for trying to represent all persons in every way, so this book was a good way to start.
Ilana and Jamison, how did you become involved with contributing to the compilation?
Ilana: I used to do a lot of improv iO West, and I met Alisha Gaddis there. Alisha helmed all the books in the Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny series. When she put out a call for material for this book, I immediately sent her my pitch. Thankfully, she liked it!
Jamison: Great news, Facebook isn’t just for spending hours comparing yourself to other people! Through Facebook, my friend JP (also a contributor to the book) connected me with Alisha who was looking for writers.
Alisha, I really enjoyed the compilation, but, after having read it, I realized that there has been a bit of a guff in terms of a lack of these types of monologues available for LGBTQ actors. Was that one of the impetuses behind bringing this project together?
Alisha: This is the VERY FIRST book of its kind. That was a HUGE wake-up call for me. As an ally to the LGBTQ community- when I would go to bookshops and see my books alongside others in the same genre- I first got really excited! But then realized there is a massive hole in the representation of this community- for actors who are LGBTQ and also actors auditioning for roles that are LGTBQ (which are becoming more and more “mainstream” by the minute- thankfully!) This had to be changed ASAP! I am grateful to have publishers who felt the same.
To read the interview in its entirety, click here.
LGBTQ Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny is the first and only book of its kind. This cutting-edge and incredibly hysterical monologue book is specifically for actors auditioning for LGBTQ roles. It features works by LGBT writers and comics (and their allies) who have written and/or performed for Comedy Central, Backstage magazine, NBC, the Huffington Post, the Onion, Second City, E!, and many more. This collection is the go-to source for the comedic monologue needs of actors seeking LGBT material, as well as a paean to LGBT characters and artists.
Brian Solomon, author of Godzilla FAQ, sat down with Fox News to discuss the godzilla character with the new release of Toho Films, Shin Godzilla. He briefly shares his thoughts on the character plus more.
The latest release of Godzilla by Toho Films is its first since 2004. That film, Godzilla: Final Wars, was intended to retire the character for at least a decade. Since then there have been 28 versions over the course of 62 years. This 2016 release, Shin Godzilla, hones in on the essence of the horrifying character that was created with the initial release in 1954.
The film is kind of not looking to remake that because it’s not a remake of the plot, but they’re looking to recapture that horror and kind of reinvent the character.
Brian was the perfect person to explaining the character and popularity surrounding it since he discusses Godzilla further in his upcoming release, Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the King of Monsters. The book will explore the many facets of the monumental, fire-breathing radioactive lizard that has roared his way into our hearts over a 60-year reign of terror. But more than just a movie monster, he has become a pop-culture avatar, pervading our consciousness as few fictional creations have. Now, Godzilla FAQ take readers on a headlong dive into the depths of this unstoppable cinematic force of nature.
When asked if the Godzilla character was a metaphor to the United States, Brian shared how there were some parallels.
I enjoy the parallel of seeing Godzilla as a symbol of something else.
Godzilla FAQ will be released May 23, 2017. To preorder the book, click here.
Listen to the Fox News interview in its entirety here.
Brian Solomon is a former editor and writer for WWE, having worked on such publications as WWE, Raw, and SmackDown!, which he launched during his surreal seven-year tenure with the company. He is the author of WWE Legends, Pro Wrestling FAQ, and has also contributed to Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He speaks publicly on his experience in the business as part of New York’s acclaimed Kevin Geeks Out series.
Richard Wesley, author of The Richard Wesley Play Anthology, will be taking his politically driven play, Autumn, to the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. This will be Wesley’s first full-length play in over 27 years.
Autumn is a political drama that explores the conflicts that arise when aspirations collide across a generational divide marked by sharply different political agendas. The concept comes from Wesleys observation of the evolution of Black politicians against a changing political landscape.
Although Wesley has not had a full-length play in 27 years he is no stranger to the stage. His stage works include: The Black Terror, The Talented Tenth, and the Broadway production, The Mighty Gents. He’s also a noted screenwriter for classic films that star Sidney Poitier including: Uptown Saturday Night, Let’s Do It Again, and Mandela DeKlerk along with Native Son starring oprah Winfrey and Akosua Busia. He has write for televisions series as well.
What a thrill to return to The Billie Holiday Theatre and to Brooklyn with the New York City premiere of Autumn. This is a timely work that raises questions about the responsibilities politicians have to the public, an especially important issue in this age of hyper-partisan politics and legislative stalemate.
Autumn will be directed by award-winning director Water Dallas. The cast includes Jerome Preston Bates (Seven Guitars, Stickfly), Terria Joseph (Empire, Cornerstone), Brent Langdon (House of Cards, The Program), Dorian Missick (Southland, Deliver Me from Evil), Count Stovall (A Streetcar Name Desire, Driving Miss Daisy), and Pauletta Washington (Beloved, The Watsons Go to Birmingham).
The Richard Wesley Play Anthology featured, in addition to Autumn, The Black Terror, The Sirens, The Mighty Gents, and The Talented Tenth. Each of the plays included in this anthology was born out of the idea of the public thinker, and what Arthur Miller would refer to as the importance of an individual conscience – as well as the belief that each generation must give back, must inform and inspire the generation that follows. No people – and certainly not the African Americans still striving and struggling in the 21st century – can thrive if they fail to adhere to that simple idea.
The play will run from October 21st to November 6th. For more information on the show and to buy tickets, click here.
Author Alisha Gaddis along with Alessandra Rizzotti, Leah Mann, Jamison Scala, and Ilana Turner sat down with Barbara Dillon with Fanbase Press to discuss the book: LGBTQ Comedic Monologues That are Actually Funny. They each shared their inspirations behind the collection of monologues, their approach to creating it, experiences performing the pieces, and more.
Congratulations on the recent release of LGBTQ Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny! What was the inspiration for this collection of monologues?
Alisha Gaddis: Thanks so much! After the release of five other books in the series “Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny (Women’s, Men’s, Teen Girls’, Teen Boys’ and Kids’),” my agent, Sara Camilli, and I discussed the possibility of doing an LGBTQ edition. There was no book of monologues out there for LGBTQ actors, or actors auditioning for LGBTQ roles, and with the urging of one of the contributors, Alessandra Rizzotti, I went into action and made the pitch. It is so incredibly important that this book exists for LGBTQ actors and their allies auditioning for LGBTQ roles. The book is chock-full of hardy, hilarious roles for truly anyone and everyone.
Alessandra Rizzotti: As a current volunteer and former Communications Manager of The Trevor Project, the only national accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization serving LGBTQ youth under age 25, I found it important to give young people a positive outlet that could serve as a form of self-care, inspiration, and passion. I was frustrated that I didn’t see enough LGBTQ theater or media out there, so I reached out to Alisha Gaddis with this idea. I’m happy to know that the work of one of my fellow Trevor volunteers is also in this book — and he happened to train me at Trevor when I started.
Leah Mann: I’m inspired by people. It’s as simple as that. Everyone has their own perspective on the world and way of moving through it which is colored by their experiences. Love is love, hate is hate, and heartbreak is universal. It was great to give a funny take on the things every human — regardless of gender and sexuality — goes through, in voices that have been so severely under represented.
BD: How would you describe the creative team’s approach to creating fully fleshed out characters for the actors to perform in such a short period of time within each monologue?
AG: As the editor of the anthology, it is incredibly interesting to work with all the different writers and see their different approaches. Some writers sent me fully fleshed out pieces, complete with stage directions, character descriptions — the whole package. Some contributors sent an idea for a sketch of a person, in a place, and we worked together to craft a deep, interesting character that an actor can really dig into it. It is fascinating to see how different people create.
For me as a writer, I let the character talk in my head for a bit. I picture her in place, having the conversation. I see the scene around her — what does it look like, feel like, what does she look like, what does she have on? I let the character write herself. Then, I go to the paper and let her into the world!
Jamison Scala: I approached my writing coming from a background of improv. The art is instantaneous and quickly erased, never to be seen again. In improv, we’re taught to create a world as quickly as possible so it can inform our characters and our scene work, and I lent that approach to the monologues I wrote.
LM: I generally brainstorm various characters and scenarios that speak to me, creating a long list before sitting down and pulling specific elements together. I want each piece to have a clear and specific voice, high stakes (fighting for love, your life, revenge…) and a funny setting. Strong choices and small details let the actor and audience know who this person is, where they are, and who they are talking to right off the bat.
Ilana Turner: Monologues are almost always written for an actor to perform as though their character is talking to someone else — it’s just the audience can’t see the other person. (Soliloquies are written to be performed as though the character is talking to themselves — “To be or not to be,” being a classic example.) As people, when we talk to or at someone for a long time, we are usually trying to get something from them — and we usually reveal an awful lot about ourselves, even if it’s not what we expected to reveal. For my piece, Sugar Coat It, I kept the character, a middle-aged figure skating coach, focused on his what he wanted from his student, and then let all the details he maybe didn’t plan to reveal leak into his monologue.
Click here to read the entire interview.
John Breglio, author of I Wanna Be a Producer, spoke with Joe Donahue host of The Roundtable on WAMC. He spoke about why revivals of Broadway shows work so well, what you can find inside the book, and lots more! Click on the link below to listen to the full interview and let us know what you think!
What does a producer actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway? In I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway…or Get Killed (April 2016, Applause Books, $29.99), John Breglio – a Broadway veteran with more than 40 years experience – shares an exceptional road map for the hows and wherefores, the dos and don’ts of producing a Broadway play. In this highly informative book, Breglio offers practical concepts for the aspiring producer and entertains with great personal anecdotes from his illustrious career as a leading theatrical lawyer and producer.
Breglio recounts not only his first-hand knowledge of the crucial legal and business issues faced by a producer, but also his experiences behind-the-scenes with literally hundreds of producers, playwrights, composers, and directors, including such theatre luminaries as Michael Bennett, Joe Papp, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Patti Lupone, August Wilson, and Mel Brooks.
Says Breglio, “Ultimately, my goal is to give the business of producing the respect it deserves. It is a profession that requires numerous skills, both business and creative. It demands relentless fortitude and optimism, and it should never be assumed casually without recognizing the enormity of the task.”
Working or aspiring producers, investors, directors, actors, designers, teachers — as well as those who are simply curious about the backstage reality of the theater — will relish John Breglio’s sage advice and irresistible storytelling. They’ll also treasure the included DVD of Every Little Step, a documentary of the auditions for the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line.
I Wanna Be a Producer is indispensable reading for theater professionals and fans of all levels – from high school drama clubs to college theater programs, from community theater groups and summer stock to The Great White Way.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Everything Left to Know About the Campy Cult Classic
by Dave Thompson
When assessing the cultural impact of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, author Dave Thompson does not pull his punches: “Forty-plus years on from its debut in a tiny London theater; four decades, too, from its transition to the silver screen, Rocky Horror stands among the 1970s’ most lasting, and successful, contributions to modern culture.”
Thompson’s latest contribution to the Applause Books FAQ series, The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ (April 2016, Applause Books, $19.99) is the in-depth story of not only the legendary stage show and movie, but of a unique period in theatrical history, in both the movie’s UK homeland and overseas.
Inside these pages, we see Rocky Horror as sexual cabaret and political subversion, as modern mega-hit and Broadway disaster. At the movie house, we learn when to shout, what to throw, and why people even do those things. Here is the full story of the play’s original creation; its forebears and its influences are laid out in loving detail, together with both the triumphs and tragedies that attended it across the next 40 years.
Packed with anecdotes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ is the story of dozens of worldwide performances and the myriad stars who have been featured in them. From Tim Curry to Anthony Head, from Reg Livermore to Gary Glitter, from Daniel Abineri to Tom Hewitt, the lives and careers of the greatest ever Frank N. Furters stalk the pages, joined by the Riff-Raffs, Magentas, Columbias, and all the rest.
The book also includes the largest and most in-depth Rocky Horror discography ever published, plus a unique timeline – The Ultimate Rocky Horror Chronology – detailing the who, what, where, and when of absolute pleasure.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ will have you doing the Time Warp again!
6.0″ x 9.0″
B&W illustrations and photographs throughout
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dave Thompson is the author of more that 100 books on television, music, and pop culture, with previous titles in the Backbeat Books and Applause Books FAQ Series on Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, South Park, The Twilight Zone and soccer. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Goldmine, MOJO, Melody Maker and other outlets. He lives in Newark, Del.
Authors of the book Twin Peaks FAQ, David Bushman and Arthur Smith, spoke with Byron and Ben hosts of Twin Peaks Unwrapped. They spoke about the return of Twin Peaks, what you can learn in the book, and lots more! Click below to listen to their interview.
Twin Peaks, the infamously strange, seductive, and confounding murder mystery, first made network television safe for surrealism 25 years ago, is set to return to the small screen in early 2017. Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, the series continues to enjoy a hallowed standing in popular culture and remains a touchstone in the evolution of TV as an artistic medium.
For its many intensely devoted fans, Twin Peaks continues to beguile and disturb and delight; it’s a bottomless well of allusions, symbols, conundrums to ponder and images to unpack, an endlessly engrossing puzzle box, an obsessive’s dream.
Twin Peaks FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About a Place Both Wonderful and Strange by David Bushman and Arthur Smith will guide longtime fans and the newly initiated through the origins of the series, take them behind the scenes during its production, and transport readers deep into the rich mythology that made Twin Peaks a cultural phenomenon.
Bushman and Smith provide detailed episode guides, character breakdowns, and explorations of the show’s distinctive music, fashion, and locations. With a sometimes snarky, always thoughtful – but never dry or academic – analysis of Twin Peaks‘ myriad oddities, mysteries, references, and delicious insanity, Twin Peaks FAQ is a comprehensive, immersive, and irresistible reference for experts and newbies alike.
John Breglio, author of I Wanna Be a Producer, was once an entertainment lawyer before he became best known for his critically acclaimed revival of A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls. In this featured article below from Playbill, they take a look at John Breglio’s book and “making a career change if you’re willing to take a leap”. Read a snippet below to learn more.
John Breglio, one of the toughest and savviest theatrical attorneys on Broadway, decided to take down his shingle a decade ago to become, of all things, a Broadway producer.
A man who once sat behind the creators at the table on shows including A Chorus Line, Nine, Fences, Dreamgirls, The Elephant Man and Sunset Boulevard, to name just a few, now sits at the head of the table.
In life, he says, “You have to be willing to take that leap.” He must firmly believe that, as he is leaping once again into uncertain waters as a first-time author. His book, I Wanna Be A Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway… or Get Killed, is equal parts autobiography, textbook and showbiz tell-all.
Those who get bitten by the theatre bug generally remember the precise moment that its mandibles sank in. For Breglio, the moment came at age nine, when he was hypnotized by Gwen Verdon in her Tony-winning role as Lola in Damn Yankees, singing the erotically charged “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.”
The electricity of that moment carried him through law school and into his entertainment law career. There are so many things that people speculate about in show business, like what really happened between Patti LuPone and Andrew Lloyd Webber during the fateful transfer of the musical Sunset Boulevard from London to Broadway. Or what exactly was the deal Michael Bennett struck to give members of the original cast of A Chorus Line a share of the profits. Breglio helped craft those deals, and is able to pull back the curtain on their mysteries, setting the record straight.
Read the entire article by clicking here.
Author of Funny: The Book, David Misch, was interviewed on Ten Minute Interviews, a unique platform for authors, musicians and other creative individuals to speak about themselves, their lives and their work. David has lent his voice to sitcoms including Mork & Mindy, Police Squad! and Duckman, he has also released a new book titled A Beginners Guide to Corruption. Learn more about David in the interview below!
What was your childhood like, and how did it shape who you are today?
I was born in a humble log cabin in 1946, then again in a split-level thatched roof cottage in 1950. Growing a remarkable twelve inches a day (though, unfortunately, entirely in my shins), I was recruited by both the Chicago Bulls and AAA Ceiling Repair before my fourth birthday, but opted instead for a career as a professional snitch.
After ratting out literally dozen of ne’er-do-wells to the FIB, I realized I should have been dealing with the FBI, not Fellas In Basements, a special-interest group devoted to the study of La-Z-Boy armchairs. I then retired to an underwater colony of scuba gear scavengers who, unable to find scuba gear, drowned. I will be missed.
Growing up, who were your biggest comedic and creative influences?
When, as a kid, I discovered James Thurber, I then quickly went through the renowned wits of my day (and earlier days) – S.J. Perelman, Robert Benchley, P.G. Wodehouse – while on TV I saw great comics like Jackie Gleason and Dick Van Dyke, and film comedies from the ’20s through the ’50s.
But my seminal experience came from the Marx Brothers on the big screen. In my 20s, I lived in Cambridge, Mass. It was the ’70s and someone had the idea of playing old movies in theaters (what we now call “art houses”). The Marxes were pretty much forgotten, but one night a theater had a double-bill of Duck Soup and A Night At The Opera and the sold-out audience laughed so loudly you could barely hear the dialogue. I was hooked, with the lifelong goal to make audiences emit that loud barking noise at regular intervals.
How did the opportunity to work on Mork & Mindy come about?
I moved from Boston to New York City, where I became a stand-up and was spotted by Woody Allen’s manager, who signed me as a writer (which says volumes about my skill as a stand-up). Soon I was on a plane to L.A. to write for what I thought would be a lame sitcom about a Martian. But my manager also handled Robin Williams who, he said, “is actually pretty good.”
Despite airing only six episodes, Police Squad! is one of the most revered TV series of all time. What was it like to work on that show, and did you realize at the time that you were creating something special?
In every interview with someone who worked on something great, they say “I had no idea.” I can now confirm that’s true. With the caveat that we all knew it was damn funny.
Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker (“ZAZ”) had just made the hit movie Airplane!, which I loved. When their next movie idea – a parody of cop shows – didn’t sell, they decided to do it as a TV series.
Although I’d had a great time on Mork, most of the writers were older; ZAZ and the rest of the Police Squad! staff were my age and more my sensibility, so it was tremendous fun.
One thing I learned was sticking up for what you believe. The former dramatic leading man Leslie Nielsen was a supporting player in Airplane!, one of the first times he’d done comedy. The guys wanted him for Police Squad! but the network called to say no, he was too old.
The guys said “Okay, we understand,” hung up the phone, left the office, got in their cars, and drove off the studio lot. “We’re millionaires,” they said. “We don’t care.” A few hours later, Leslie Nielsen was our lead.
Another favorite memory from that show was landing at LAX in jacket and business shoes, getting picked up by a limo and driven to the beach in Santa Monica, where I was told I’d be judging a bikini contest with ZAZ. I remember walking across the hot sand, shedding my ludicrous outfit, thinking, “This is gonna be fun.” It was.
What was your role on The Muppets Take Manhattan?
The movie had been written and was going into production in a few weeks when they decided they needed someone to write for the constantly-changing list of celebrities who were going to do cameos in the movie. As I started doing that, director Frank Oz started making other changes too and before I knew it, I was rewriting the movie.
I was on set during shooting; one day in Central Park, I watched as Frank as Miss Piggy and Jim Henson as Kermit acted and improvised (with lots of obscenities) while a crowd gathered and stared not at the two six-foot-plus men, but at the two pieces of felt at the end of their arms.
Click here to read to the entire interview.