“Nashville” … finally!

Living in Nashville and being an actor, I get the question frequently “so have you been on ‘Nashville?'” I’d smile and shake my head, “not yet.” Well, after auditioning for the show 14 times, I finally got on.
I play a cop who has an interaction with Avery’s character in episode 4 of this season (so long as I don’t get left on the cutting room floor…every actor’s nightmare!).

Just a reminder to be patient: the right roles come at the right time.

(picture below is with fellow co-star and scene partner, Steve Alderfer, who flew in from LA for the shoot)


Aningaaq – a short film derived from Gravity

In a pivotal scene in Gravity, Sandra Bullock’s character Ryan Stone, trapped inside a Russian space capsule with little hope of survival, makes contact with a male voice speaking via radio in a foreign language. What unfolds on the other end of that fractured conversation, complete with a barking dog and a crying baby, is the subject of a short film from Jonas Cuaron, son of director Alfonso Cuaron, who co-wrote the screenplay for Warner Bros.’ $500 million-grossing awards contender with his father.

Aningaaq has also been submitted for Academy Award consideration in the live-action short category.

(Click the picture below to go to the video)


Happy Birthday, Marine Corps

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On 10 November, 1775, in Tun Tavern, the United States Marine Corps was born (fitting that it should find its start in a bar!) I had the privilege to serve for 8 years, and I’ll always be thankful for that chapter of my life.
In honor of the Marine Corps’ birthday, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite quotes.

The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! 
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the Marines don’t have that problem. 
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on? 
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff
during the assault on Grenada, 1983

I come in peace, I didn’t bring artillery.  But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes:  If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.
Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or “we’ll blow you away.” And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, “Igaralli ahow,” which means “Excuse me, I didn’t mean it, my mistake”. 
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever? 
GySgt. Daniel J. “Dan” Daly, USMC
near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines’ attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918

Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army. 
Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War;
shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered not to wear their khaki leggings.

Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They’re aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They’ve got really short hair and they always go for the throat. 
RAdm. “Jay” R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

Retreat? Hell, we just got here! 
Capt. Lloyd W. Williams, USMC 1918

“Snow White and the Huntsman” movie review

Over the past couple months, I’ve become a fan of Chris Hemsworth. So when “Snow White” opened, I decided to check it out. Honestly, I went in with mediocre expectations; this is the story of Snow White after all. To put it mildly, I was pleasantly surprised. I actually really enjoyed this film. This is no “ha-ha-funny” fairy tale. This is a true blue Grimm Brothers tale, dark and sinister to the hilt.

I’ll spare you all an in-depth storyline breakdown since I feel we’re all pretty familiar with one of the oldest and most-beloved fairy tales. The bare bones plot runs as follows: Snow White’s mother, the queen dies. Her father re-marries the beautiful (and evil) wicked queen who quickly offs him and takes over the kingdom. Through the years, she keeps Snow White locked up until her magic mirror tells her she’s not the fairest anymore, and in true lady-like fashion she goes postal. Our heroine escapes into the Dark Forest before she can join daddy in the ground and the hunt is on. Enter the Huntsman, played by Hemsworth. He’s sent to track her down. Of course, he joins her side, they meet the dwarves, gather more supporters, an epic battle is waged, the wicked queen is destroyed, credits roll.

What I enjoyed: to be fair, I was a little wary of the fact that Kristen Stewart (of “Twilight” fame) was carrying the title role. I saw only the first “Twilight” film (one was enough), and I responded with a resounding “meh.” I actually enjoyed her performance here. She was believable and held the strength of her character even when sharing the screen with Hemsworth or Charlize Theron…speaking of whom. Theron takes the role of the wicked queen and owns it. There’s no joking around with her. She’s pure evil. She prefers sucking souls out of poor victims, thank you very much. Then you’ve got Hemsworth. He really carries the film. I mean, you could have called the movie “The Huntsman,” and it would have been fine. From his intro as a drunken brawler, he gradually opens up throughout the film until we come to learn of the man underneath – a much more interesting character than Snow White, but I digress. The dwarves (shrunk down in true “Lord of the Rings” fashion) are played by a group of incredibly gifted actors (Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, etc.) who add depth to the film. They even find time to throw a couple of “heigh ho” lines in for laughs. Then there’s the filming itself. The action pieces (and there are several) are fantastic and feel bigger than life. The opening sequence calls to mind the opening battle from “Gladiator” (minus the gratuitous bloodshed). The Dark Forest as well as the Enchanted Forest are equally enthralling (think “Pan’s Labyrinth”). Beautiful landscapes and fanciful creatures; what else would you expect from a fairy tale? Director Bryan Singer seemed to be going for a Guillermo del Toro feel, and did a good job of it.

What I didn’t enjoy: Theron could have been given more meaningful dialogue. At times, it felt like she was just waiting to scream the next wicked witch cliché. She exuded such a menacing presence, I wanted to know more about her. Moving on to Snow White’s young friend/odd man out/long lost love (huh?). I mean, the poor guy thought she died twelve odd years ago, but when he finds out she’s alive, well he’s all gung-ho to save his lady-love. Whenever he was on screen I just wanted Hemsworth to come across and kick him off camera. No need for some weeny Twilight-esque love triangle here.  No offense, just cut the character. We all know who really loves Snow White….hello, did you read the title when you walked into the theatre?!

All in all, I enjoyed the film. It’s definitely dark with some scares/violence that gear it more toward the adult crowd. As far as fairy tales go, it’s not 100% “happily ever after,” but it really is a fun ride.

Vote for Miss South Carolina USA 2012 – Erika Powell

(click on the picture to access the voting website)

My good friend, Erika, is the South Carolina representative for 2012’s Miss USA. Erika is a fantastic vocalist. In 2007, she performed in Lyrique en Mer/Festival de Belle Ile, the largest Opera Festival in Western France. Erika won The Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions for the District of South Carolina and was a five-time winner of both state regional competitions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition for South Carolina and Southeast.  She made her solo debut at The Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City in 2010. Also, she was most recently seen in The New York Philharmonic’s 2011 production of Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen.” Erika had the opportunity to partner with platinum-selling singer/songwriter, Edwin McCain and music producer/engineer, Noel Golden of Golden Music and Entertainment 29 on her first Classical Crossover CD project, now available on iTunes and Amazon.

Show her some love and get your friends to vote too!