Liars' League: Crimes & Misdemeanors

On October 7, 2015, I performed with Liars' League NYC, this time reading The Ballad of Crackhead Clint, by Thomas Kearnes (audio here). It's a tremendous story, set in 1980s east Texas and told from the point-of-view of a gay man with strong opinions - though perhaps not the strongest sense of self. I savored a lot about the performance, from the opportunity to delve into Texan dialect (not visited since a production of A Lie of the Mind, lo these many years hence) to an exploration of a tenuous balance between healthy ego and delusion.

No, You Tell It! : ASTORIA!

I will make an appearance as both writer and performer at the brilliant Astoria Bookshop July 17 at 7:00 pm in a return to the equally brilliant No, You Tell It! (I gotcher Facebook invitation righ'cheer....) This incarnation of the NYTI series features alumni of the program, and has me paired up with my former day-job colleague, Marcos Stafne. He'll be performing my second-person narrative of a particularly rough winter commute, and I'll be performing his story about another former colleague of his - Fantasia, the 20-foot, 300-pound albino python.

The Brooklyn Lit Crawl

I had a great time last Saturday at the Brooklyn Lit Crawl, with special thanks once again to Mr. Andrew Lloyd-Jones of Liars' League NYC fame for keeping me connected with the performative literary scene. This time around, the crowd was more specific to literary interests of course, the atmosphere and I generally more relaxed, and it was sans amplification, which made the whole thing have an entirely other flavor that I very much appreciated. You can't step into the same river twice, as they say...

May 18, 5:00 pm - Liar's League NYC @ Brooklyn Lit Crawl in Cobble Hill
Jeff reprised his reading of Don DeLillo by C. D. Rose. He did not, however, avoid drinking beforehand.

Outdated Outcome

Thanks and thanks again to all who joined me for last Monday's No, You Tell It! It was every bit as thrilling and daunting and rewarding as I had imagined it might be. I strongly encourage you to attend one if you haven't yet - it's a good ol' time, but also one of those good ol' times that effortlessly enriches those involved. In fact, most of my friends should not only attend but PARTICIPATE. I'm looking at YOU, [INSERT NAME HERE]...

Finally, if'n you weren't able to attend, I offer you options for a vicarious experience:

No, YOU Tell It: Outdated

On April 22nd - a Monday night, no less - I'll be appearing in a session of the superb switched-up storytelling program No, YOU Tell It! The concept behind this program is really wonderful. Two pairs of performer/writers match up to workshop a personal narrative with the whole group, revise, and then work with a director before presenting the piece. And the twist, is that the writer performs his or her partner's story, and vice versa. While the writer of the story sits there on stage with them.

Scary stuff - believe me.

Exploring the theme of "outdated" led me down a lot of different paths, including some dating stories from my single life (I'll let you decide if the medium deterred me from that subject matter). What I've ended up writing about is a sort of retrospective of my work with my commedia dell'arte troupe, Zuppa del Giorno, and an exploration of what it means to be a dad now. It's hopefully funny. It's definitely honest.

No, YOU Tell It! - Outdated
Monday, April 22nd @ 7:00 p.m.
Jimmy's No. 43
43 E. 7th Street (btwn. 2nd & 3rd)

Reading: The New Me (3)

Writers amaze me. The real ones never stop working when they believe in what they're writing. In a little over fours years, this is the third time I'll be appearing in a reading of a new version of Margo Hammond's The New Me. I'll be playing the same role as last time, back in 2010 - that of a private investigator who becomes a bit more personally involved in the affairs of the play than he had perhaps planned. Once again, too, I'll be working with one of my favorite directors, Kay Long.

This time, however, the reading is open to all and is being held at The Dramatists Guild:

6:00 - 7:30 pm
Frederick Loewe Room
1501 Broadway, Suite 710
New York, NY  10036

I love playing detectives. Join me, won't you...?

Liars' League: Marriage & Divorce

This Wednesday I'll be making my first public appearance since siring my offspring, presenting a reading of the short story Don DeLillo, by C. D. Rose. It's part of an excellent reading series called the Liars' League that I got to experience for the first time last summer, wherein actors are recruited to present works of fiction as best they can. The story I'll be presenting is a great, round-about retelling of a literary couple who come to a crossroads in their relationship.

Great dialogue is only troubling when you're the one who has to present both sides of it. Come see how I do.

Liars’ League NYC presents: Marriage & Divorce
7:00pm Wednesday, 3rd October 
KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (between Bowery and 2nd Avenue)

Reading: On Rachmaninoff's Birthday

Tonight I'll be appearing in a private reading of On Rachmaninoff's Birthday, a three-act play by Alejandro Morales. I'll be playing Vladimir Nikolayovich Zubokov, a repressed Russian piano student in Leningrad in 1960, as well as the same fellow in Cuba, in 1989. I'm looking forward to it (even scraping the rust off my Russian dialect), as I like the script and have yet to work with Alejandro. I've met him through my association with Packawallop Productions. Communism: still bringing people together.

Packawallop: The Lounge Series

Tonight I'll be playing Garrett Pruitt in a scene from Christina Gorman's play-in-development, Far From the Trees, as a part of the development arm of Packawallop Productions. You may remember Christina as the playwright of the last show I performed in, Sacred GroundThe Lounge Series are regular events in which The Pack presents some of what's been brewing for playwrights in their regular meetings. I was fortunate enough to join The Pack last year by invitation and support from Christina, Josh Sohn and Laura Pestronk. It's a tremendously supportive group that doesn't shy away from honesty in its feedback, to boot.

Garrett is a nice role, from what I've read - I wish I could play him out in his entire arc. He's a disenfranchised doctoral candidate in astronomy, stuck back at his tiny home town after a terrible research mishap that cost his family plenty. In the scene we get to play tonight, he antagonizes a young researcher who's come in search of some petrified trees his uncle recently discovered on his land. It's fun, and tactical, and pithy. He's kind of a prick. Like I said: Fun.

Reading: Princess

A year-and-a-half ago I performed in a short play called Princess, by Jason Schafer. It has been expanded into a screenplay, greatly revised, and yet somehow I'm still involved! In tonight's reading - free and open to the public - I'll be playing Heath, a father of a different stripe than the one I played back in 2010. The details:

@ The Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street between 6th & Varick) at 7:00 pm.

Ben Curtis ... North
Liz Douglas ... Marina
John Gardner ... Ace/Dean
Shira Levin ... Screen Directions
Michael Gnat ... Pappy/Pastor Bob/Policeman
Ian Scott McGregor ... J.J./Griffin
Heidi Schreck ... Gretchen
Jeff Wills ... Heath
Amy Wilson ... Sarah

Reading: The Memory Play

Tonight I'll be participating in a developmental reading for Josh Sohn's new full-length play, The Memory Play (not sure if that's a working title or not). I'll be playing Gabe, the one whose memories are ostensibly at play in the action as he hashes through some romantic history with the dubious assistance of those who were involved. It's exciting to continue working with Josh, to be privy to his development as a playwright over a course of years, and in varying roles. And hey - you can attend, if that's your interest. Please email me so I know you're coming. Everything's kicking off at about 6:30 here:

Pearl Studios, Room L
519 8th Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, NY

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Reading: Summer Night in a Goldfish Bowl

This Monday evening I'll be participating in a reading of Summer Night in a Goldfish Bowl, by John Watts. It's a story set in Newark on the eve of the 60s, and I'm personally celebrating the fact that we'll be using dialects; that doesn't always happen for a reading. I'll be playing Michael, a middle-aged father traumatized by war. The reading will be held at the historic Players Club just off Gramercy Park.

Sacred Ground

"Rehearsing a drama about abandoned babies" is the answer to the question where on earth I have been for the past month. I play Father William, a young, newly appointed Catholic priest suddenly in charge of a very large congregation. Tomorrow, Thursday June 16th, is an invitational dress rehearsal for Sacred Ground, Friday is preview, and Saturday is opening. It runs every night except Sundays, at 7:30pm, until the 30th. Some more details:

The Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater Company presents SACRED GROUND by Christina Gorman, directed by Shelley Butler, at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting (31 West 27th Street, Floor 2). 
Former socialite Genevieve Barrows spends her days gardening in the church cemetery at the graves of abandoned newborns, while her church pastor and the local police sergeant keep a protective eye on her as she doggedly pursues her daily task. When a guileless young woman invades the trio’s turf, her presence threatens to upend their uneasy alliance. Inexplicably drawn to the cemetery, these four unlikely sentinels clash over grief, law, secrecy and redemption. Featuring Sarah Lord*, Angela Vitale*, Jeff Wills* and Noel Wilson. Presented in conjunction with the Actors Equity Association of North America.
 It's a good play, and a nice chance to re-team with Christina Gorman, with whom I worked on As Far As We Know. Tickets available here.


Last weekend I began upon an epic adventure: Acting in a mock-buster. Mock-busters, for those of you at all outside of this obnoxiously hyphenated lingo, is a low- or micro-budget film that borrows heavily from other films. They're not actually trying to mock said films - that just kind of happens when you're trying to do Avatar, for example, while funding it with your Discovery card. Anyway, the working title of our little science-fiction epic is Robowar (which I badly hope gets changed) and I play Rathbone, a brass-polishing former space mercenary. It's being directed by Andrew Bellware through his company, Pandora Machine. Did I mention there's no money? Did I mention it is ridiculously fun? We film over the next few entire weekends, no idea how long it will take to produce, but in the meantime there are photos.

Reading: Various Shorts by Nat Cassidy

Nat Cassidy; evil genius.
Tonight I'll be reading various roles in several short plays by friend-o-mine Nat Cassidy. The plays are mostly under ten pages, and all in one sense or another address intimate relationships. Love, in most cases. I'm not sure of all I'll be doing, but I know one of the characters is a really sweet, romantic guy who has to confess to the girl he just hit it off with that he tracked her down after seeing her in a pornographic video. So, you know: really mainstream, middle-America type stuff.