This past June, I had a somewhat impromptu headshot session with photographer, artist and blogger Kimberly Knowles, during her visit to New York from Boston. I was very flattered to have her include some of the best shots in a blog she posted to her website. Below is a link to her blog. Thank you Kimberly!
Appeared on Episode 108 of The President Show tonight on Comedy Central. I played one of President Trump's cabinet members in a political satire. It should be on YouTube soon. Here is a link to the episode:
Attending the premiere screening of Less Than Three by Solvency Studios in which I play Bob, an M&M loving, busybody employee, always trying to get the office dirt on his fellow employees, while pretending he has some dirt of his own!
Holiday season has arrived, and I have much to be thankful for this holiday season.
I have been very busy working on projects in order to add new clips to my reel and this website.
Through my association with the Murder Mystery Company, I was fortunate to be asked to participate in a web promo for Curious Elixirs coming out soon. Stay tuned!
Also, this fall, the new crime investigation series Grave Secrets premiered on Investigation Discovery. "Beyond the Grave", the episode in which I portray Dr. Cole, Medical Examiner who examines the body of the deceased and discovers her secret, aired December 7. OK, the image below of me as the medical examiner isn't exactly filled with holiday cheer.
To put you in more of a holiday mood, check out a web promo I did for Universal Music playing a Dad on Christmas morning here!
Earlier this month, the episode of The Perfect Murder in which I played the pastor who officiated at the victim’s funeral, aired on Investigation Discovery. It reached over one million households!
Stay tuned for the premiere of Grave Secrets. In Episode 3, I am the coroner who examines the victim’s body and discovers what her secret is!
On June 29 and 30, I had the opportunity to participate in a training session given by The Trial Skills Institute for Advocacy Excellence here in New York. Myself and three other actors got to portray an alleged police brutality victim and his commonlaw wife as well as the accused police officers. Lawyers from the Civilian Complaint Review Board were being trained on how to prepare their witness for direct and cross-examination in a case in which the accused is a police officer trained in how to answer the difficult questions.
Even though I was not one of the lawyers being trained, I learned a lot about trial skills, which can only benefit me as an actor who may be asked someday to portray a lawyer or a witness or even the accused in a trial scene.
As I was listening to the instructors, I couldn't help but make analogies to the theater, because after all, when you are a lawyer in a courtroom, you are onstage.
Here are some of the things I learned as I think they relate to the theater:
1.) Script. You have to have a script, and know what questions you are going to ask, and the order in which you are going to ask them. Just like in a play, without the script to follow, you might as well not even set foot onstage. What is the story you are trying to tell?
2.) Body Language. Just as important as the words you say are the way you say them and the actions you use. Probably more. Witnesses get to know you from their eyes. They learn visually. How you stand, walk and carry yourself are vital. One powerful gesture the instructors used was the flat open palm of the hand extended out to the witness -- the universal hand signal for STOP. It works like a charm when you want them to stop talking.
3.) Props. "I hold in my hand a photograph of the victim...", "I hold in my hand a copy of the RMA report SIGNED BY YOU..." You could be holding a copy of the Daily News, or nothing at all. It is up to you whether you show the witness the "prop" or not. But, those words, along with the prop can be used to make the witness think "Oh, s**t! They've got me!"
4.) Costume. How you dress can relay to the jury and the witness your attention to detail. Ill-fitting clothes, or wardrobe malfunctions can quickly take their attention off of what you are saying and damage your credibility. You can also make yourself more relatable to jury members by wearing something similar to what you see them wearing. Different colors can send different messages.
5.) Intention: What do you want? Ultimately when cross-examining a witness, you want them to admit to something or contradict something they said earlier
6.) Tactics. How do you get what you want? This determines your line of questioning and the order of your questions. When do you pull out a prop, if at all? If the witness keeps saying "I don't recall", how do you turn that into a recollection or "I don't know"?
7.) Listen. This is vital. In asking your questions, you are looking for a weakness you can exploit, a piece of information the witness gives up that you can grab onto like a bulldog and just work away on that until you take them down. If you are just firing questions at the witness without listening for their answers, or watching their body language, you are going to miss out on these golden opportunities.
8.) Improvisation. I have heard it said to never ask a question that you don't already know the answer to, but you still may be surprised at what a witness says or does that gives you an opening to explore something further by going off the script. This goes along with listening. You have to listen and watch for weak spots that you can exploit.
9.) Who are you talking to? You may be directing your questions to the witness on the stand, but you are really speaking to the judge and/or jury.
10.) Beginning, middle and end. Your first three questions are vital. They set the tone for the whole interrogation. Once the tone is set, know when to go for what you want: an impeachment, an admission,etc. Know when and how to finish. Once you've gotten what you want. Don't gloat. Get offstage.
May has been a busy month!
May 12 -- I filmed an episode of Grave Secrets for Investigation Discovery, portraying Dr. Cole, Medical Examiner.
May 14 and 19 -- I filmed a couple scenes from an episode of The Perfect Murder, which begins its 3rd season on June 2. I am portraying a pastor who comforts the family of a murder victim. Episode should air by the end of summer.
May 26 -- Started rehearsals for The Agreement by Janet Neipris, directed by Steven Ackerman for The Heights Players' workshop. It will be my first time back on The Heights stage after five years. I'm looking forward to treading the boards there once again! Performance dates are June 24-25.
May 27 -- Appeared in the TAPNYC Season 35 Showcase, performing the monologue "Looking At Me" written by Bobby Holder. It was a lot of fun, with monologues, sketch comedy and songs performed for a full house.
What will the summer bring?