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This short piece is one segment of a sequence in “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee” in which I link up the airport to a doomed flight to finally a meeting with a Hollywood producer. In the Nineties, I was always “pitching” in LA, trying to land writing gigs with the major studios. This way of making a living is fraught with danger, physical and psychic.
Originally from Chicago, LISA JOYCE received her BFA in Acting from the Theater School at DePaul University. Shortly after graduating she appeared in Adam Rapp’s Red Light Winter which premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company before transferring off-Broadway and being named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Lisa made her West End/Broadway debut in La Bete and toured nationally alongside Cherry Jones in Doubt. Some of her favorite Off-Broadway credits include: Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore and Soho Rep.’s The Ugly One (Drama Desk nom.). Lisa has also performed at The Public, New York Theater Workshop, The Signature, Classic Stage Company, Rattlestick, Transport Group, StageFARM, Williamstown and The Studio Theater in D.C. (Helen Hayes Award, Blackbird), as well as working with the LAByrinth Theater Company where she was recently made a member. TV and film credits include: The Following, Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Fringe, Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU, The Brave One, Oren Moverman’s The Messenger, Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO) and The Master Builder, Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn's adaptation of the Ibsen classic directed by Jonathan Demme.
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J. Eric Cook
I’m not the only person transfixed by the monomania of the serial killer. What makes these people so fascinating is that as different as they are from us non-serial killers, we can identify with them in a weird way. Each of us sees him or herself as the center of the universe. This guy is simply an extreme version of myself. (Plus I grew up around outlaw bikers and will never tire of their commitment to anarchy.)
J ERIC COOK is an actor, writer and producer. He has written four full-length plays, workshopped with LAByrinth Theater Company, and a one-man show J. Eric Cook's Vagina Project in honor of Women's History Month. Mr. Cook was a founding director of Sonoma County Repertory Theater and served as Associate Artistic Director for Actors Theater of Sonoma County in California. In NYC he produced Nikole's Tick Parade a variety-show benefit for Lyme Disease, and the off-off-Broadway premiere of Love Sick by Kristina Poe. He has worked in fund development, youth services, education, and workforce development, serving on the California State welfare reform Youth Services Committee. In 1993 he was awarded Arts-maker of the Year in Sonoma County, CA. Mr. Cook is also a professional underground poker dealer and grifter. He lives in NYC with his wife and daughter.
The Recovering Male
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Performed by Matthew Maher from the solo, “Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead”, Minetta Lane Theater, 1994, Jo Bonney, director.
MATTHEW MAHER performed in Eric Bogosian’s play One Plus One, at the Powerhouse Theater at New York Stage and Film. Other recent credits include Mr Burns: A Post Electric Play and The Flick at Playwrights Horizons; Golden Child at the Signature Theater; Red Handed Otter at the Cherry Lane, Uncle Vanya and Orange Hat and Grace at Soho Rep; Tales From My Parents’ Divorce at The Flea, and School For Lies at Classic Stage Company. Maher received Obie Awards in 1999 for The Race Of The Ark Tattoo with The Foundry Theater and in 2013 for Sustained Excellence in Performance--and is an associate artist of the Civilians and Clubbed Thumb, both theater companies dedicated to creating and/or producing new work. Regional credits include work at the Williamstown Theater Festival, NY Stage & Film, Berkeley Rep, the American Repertory Theater and the McCarter Theater Center. Film credits include It’s Kind of a Funny Story, The Killer Inside Me, Gone Baby Gone, Jersey Girl, Dogma, Bringing Out The Dead, Vulgar and, upcoming, East Of Acacia and While We're Young. Television credits include Over/Under, The Unusuals, John From Cincinnati, Bored To Death and all three Law & Order shows.
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Performed by Yul Vazquez from the video, “Confessions of A Porn Star”, directed by Rob Klug, 1994.
YUL VÁZQUEZ will next be seen in five upcoming feature films. Runner, Runner (20th Century Fox) directed by Brad Furman, opposite Ben Affleck, and Justin Timberlake, Captain Philips (Columbia Pictures) directed by Paul Greengrass opposite Tom Hanks and Catherine Keener, Blood Ties directed by Guillaume Canet opposite Mila Kunis, Clive Owen, and Marion Cotillard, Glass Chin directed by Noah Buschel opposite Billy Crudup and Kill The Messenger (Focus Features) directed by Michael Cuesta opposite Jeremy Renner.
He can currently be seen on the Starz drama Magic City opposite Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Set in 1960s Miami, the show centers on the upscale Miramar Playa Hotel amongst the political and organized crime drama of the time. Yul portrays ‘Victor Lazaro,’ general manager of the Miramar Playa. Additionally he recurs in three other television shows, as ‘Pedro’ in FX’s Louie, as ‘Christian’ in CBS’ The Good Wife and as 'Detective Anthony Nikolich’ on HBO’s Treme.
Vázquez starred on Broadway in the Tony nominated The Motherf**cker with the Hat opposite Chris Rock. For his portrayal of the eccentric ‘Cousin Julio,’ he received nominations for a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony Award.
Vázquez has appeared in over 35 films, working with directors such as Ridley Scott, Steven Soderbergh, and Steven Spielberg. Other film credits include The A-Team (Fox) opposite Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson, John Sayles’ Amigo opposite Chris Cooper, Salvation Boulevard (Mandalay) opposite Jennifer Connolly, Pierce Brosnan, Marisa Tomei and Greg Kinnear, Little Fockers (Universal) with Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (Universal) alongside Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington (a 2008 SAG nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture), Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, (Dreamworks) opposite Tom Cruise, Bad Boys II (Columbia) opposite Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, Runaway Bride (Paramount) opposite Julia Roberts and Nick of Time (Paramount) opposite Johnny Depp. He reunited with director Steven Soderbergh to star opposite Benicio Del Toro in Che (IFC). Soderbergh first cast him in Traffic, for which he and his fellow cast members won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
He has had numerous roles on some of television’s most popular shows. From his re-occurring character ‘Bob,’ the “angry gay Puerto Rican,” on Seinfeld, to one of Samantha’s love interests on HBO’s Sex and the City, to 'Rueben the Cuban' on HBO’s The Sopranos. Other television include Law & Order: SVU (NBC) and Fringe (Fox).
Seamlessly moving between film, television and stage, Vázquez is a founding member of the LAByrinth Theatre Company. Theater credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (The Public Theater) opposite Sam Rockwell, directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Stendhal Syndrome (Primary Stages) with Isabella Rossellini and Richard Thomas, and The Floating Island Plays (Mark Taper Forum) to name a few.
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When I was first putting together my collections of monologues, I was trying to represent all the men who “live inside” of me. The characters were meant to be a gallery of archtypes, like the gallery of female archetypes my friend and colleague Cindy Sherman was making at the time. But it ended up being more than that. This guy is aspirational. This is me when I’ve crossed all the “t’s” and dotted all the “i’s.”
DYLAN BAKER was honored with an IFP Gotham Award and an IFP West IndependentSpiritAward nomination for his starring role as ‘Bill Maplewood’ in the critically acclaimed film Happiness, directed by Todd Solondz. He will be coming out December 20 in Anchorman: The Legend Continues. His additional feature film credits include Secretariat, Revolutionary Road, Hide and Seek, Rick, Spiderman II & III, Head of State, How to Deal, Road to Perdition, Changing Lanes, The Cell, Along Came A Spider, Random Hearts, Requiem For a Dream, Celebrity, Trick ‘R Treat,Simply Irresistable, Disclosure, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, The Long Walk Home, Delirious, Let's Go To Prison, Fido, The Hunting Party, When A Man Falls In The Forest, Across The Universe, The Stone Angel, Diminished Capacity and 2 Days In New York.
Baker’s television credits include season four of Damages, Tom Hanks’ HBO miniseries From The Earth To The Moon, Stephen Bochco’s courtroom drama Murder One, Drive, Book Of Daniel, The Pitts, Feds, HBO’s The Laramie Project, the CBS show The Elizabeth Smart Story, the NBC series Kings, USA’s Political Animals and recurring roles on ABC’s Ugly Betty and USA’s Burn Notice. He appears as Colin Sweeney on the hit CBS show The Good Wife for which he was nominated twice for Emmy Awards Baker earned Tony Award and Drama DeskAward nominations for his role as The Prince in the Broadway production of La Bête and an Obie Award for his performance in the Off Broadway production Not About Heroes. He starred in Sea of Tranquility at the Atlantic Theatre Company and received rave reviews for his role in Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul at the New York Theatre Workshop. Most recently Baker was seen on Broadway in Mauritius, David Mamet’s November, and Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage. 23 Blast marks Mr. Baker’s directorial debut in film, while on the stage, he has directed George Kelly’s The Torch-Bearers and Eduardo diFillipo’s Christmas in Naples for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. In New York, he directed The Torch Bearers (Lucille Lortel award-Best Revival) for the Drama Department, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona for the Blue Light Theater. Mr. Baker also directed The Coarse Acting Show at the Chautauqua Theatre Company, and Blithe Spirit, Our Town, The Taming of the Shrew, The Importance of Being Earnest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.
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Performed by Stephen Lang from the solo, “Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead”, Minetta Lane Theater, 1994, Jo Bonney, director.
STEPHEN LANG's work in the New York theatre includes Death of a Salesman, A Few Good Men, Wait Until Dark, The Speed of Darkness, Hamlet, and Beyond Glory. Television includes Crime Story and Terra Nova.
Films include Last Exit to Brooklyn, Gettysburg, Conan the Barbarian, White Irish Drinkers, Gods and Generals, Christina, Public Enemies, Manhunter, and Avatar.
Nominations and and awards include Drama Desk, Helen Hayes, Joseph Jefferson, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, The Tony, The Saturn, Chairmans Medal for Distinguished Service from the NEA, The Bob Hope Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. He is a member of The Actors Studio, and holds Honorary Doctorates from Jacksonville University and Swarthmore College.
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Performed by Jessica Hecht from the solo, “Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead”, Minetta Lane Theater, 1994, Jo Bonney, director.
Bway: The Assembled Parties (Lilly Award, Drama League Nom), Harvey (Drama League Nom), A View From the Bridge(Tony, Drama League Nom), Brighton Beach Memoirs, Julius Caesar, After The Fall, The Last Night of Ballyhoo
Off B-way: The Three Sisters, The House in Town, Flesh and Blood, Stop Kiss (Drama League Nom) , A Midsummer Night's Dream
Playwrights: Stage Kiss, Lobster Alice, Plunge
Williamstown Theatre Fest: A Streetcar Named Desire, Autumn Garden, Blithe Spirit, Top Girls, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told etc.
TV: Breaking Bad, Bored To Death, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, Elementary, Friends, Seinfeld etc.
Film: Upcoming: Anesthesia, Sisterhood of the Night
Also: J Edgar, Whatever Works, The Sitter, Sideways, The Grey Zone etc.
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Performed by David Zayas from the solo, “funHouse”, The Public Theater, 1983, Jo Bonney, director.
David Zayas most recently starred as Angel Batista on Dexter, the hit Showtime drama and 2011 Golden Globes nominee for Best Television Series - Drama. A former New York City police officer, Zayas began his acting career in 1992 with the Labyrinth Theater Company. Since then, Zayas has starred in more than 30 plays, including Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, and Our Landy of 121st St. While performing in New York plays, he began to book roles on hit TV shows such as New York Undercover,Law & Order, NYPD Blue, all while working for the New York Police Department. Zayas' success earned him a leading role on UPN's crime drama, The Beat. Soon after, Tom Fontana (writer of THE BEAT) created the character of Enrique Morales, the fierce leader of the Latino prisoners on HBO's Oz, especially for Zayas.
His feature film credits include The Expendables, Skyline, 13, Michael Clayton, Sixteen Blocks, The Savages, Bringing Out the Dead, The Yards, Undefeated, Wit, Angel and The Interpreter. Zayas also starred on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics.
Zayas recently wrapped a lead role opposite Helen Hunt in the indie feature Ride and this Fall will start production on the feature Annie (Sony) co-starring opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
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Craig 'muMs' Grant
Performed by Craig 'muMs' Grant from the solo, "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll", The Orpheum Theater, 1980, Jo Bonney, director.
CRAIG 'MUMS' GRANT is an American Poet, Actor and Playwright. He has performed on New York City stages for more than 20 years. muMs is best known for playing Arnold Jackson aka Poet on the HBO hit show Oz. At the same time muMs is an internationally known Poet- performing at over 200 cafe's, Colleges and Universities across the U.S., Europe and Africa.
muMs is a proud member of the Labyrinth Theater Company, debuting in such productions as the critically acclaimed Last Days of Judas Iscariot and A View From 151st. Both performed Off-Broadway at the NYC's Public Theater. With the Labyrinth, muMs has also workshopped two of his own plays, Paradox of The Urban Cliche and Loveness: I will only love you once.
Some of muMs' acting credits include: Side Effects, Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order, Cold Case, Chappelle's Show, Boston Legal, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Sopranos, Dark Water, Everyday People, Bamboozled... amongst others.
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Performed by Sam Rockwell from the solo, "Drinking in America", American Place Theater, 1986, Wynn Handman, director.
SAM ROCKWELL was most recently seen in David M. Rosenthal's thriller A Single Shot, opposite William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright, and Melissa Leo. The film premiered at the 2013 Berlinale Film Festival. He was also featured in The Way, Way Back written by the Academy Award winning team of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants),starring Rob Corddry and Amanda Peet. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He was nominated for a 2014 Critics' Choice Award for 'Best Actor in a Comedy' for his performance.
Rockwell recently wrapped production for the remake of the classic film Poltergeist, starring as 'Eric Bowen' opposite Rosemarie Dewitt. He is currently filming Don Verdean with Jared Hess. He will next be seen in Lynn Shelton's Laggies, where he plays the father of Chloë Grace Moretz and the love interest of Keira Knightley. He can also be seen in the upcoming Why Now by Adam Rapp, opposite Marisa Tomei. Throughout his career, Rockwell has created memorable characters in films, including Tony Goldwyn's Conviction opposite Hilary Swank, Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2 opposite Robert Downey Jr.; Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens opposite Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig,Duncan Jones' Moon; Andrew Dominik's critically acclaimed film The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, starring opposite Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck; Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths opposite Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson; David Gordon Green's acclaimed film Snow Angels, opposite Kate Beckinsale; the Russo brothers' comedy Welcome to Collinwood, opposite George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, Jennifer Esposito and William H. Macy; David Mamet's Heist,opposite Gene Hackman, Rebecca Pidgeon and Danny DeVito; the blockbuster Charlie's Angels, with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu; and Frank Darabont's Oscar-nominated The Green Mile, opposite Tom Hanks. Rockwell also appeared in DreamWorks' box-office hit Galaxy Quest, opposite Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Tony Shalhoub.
Additional credits include The Sitter opposite Jonah Hill; Everybody's Fine opposite Robert De Niro; Frost/Nixon opposite Frank Langella; Joshua opposite Vera Farmiga; The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, opposite Zooey Deschanel, Mos Def and Martin Freeman; and the Warner Bros.' comedy-drama Matchstick Men, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Nicolas Cage. He has also appeared in Woody Allen's Celebrity; Michael Hoffman's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Kevin Kline and Michelle Pfeiffer; John Duigan's Lawn Dogs; John Hamburg's Safe Men; Saul Rubinek's dark comedy Jerry and Tom; Tom DiCillo's Box of Moonlight, opposite John Turturro; Peter Cohn's Drunks, with Richard Lewis, Parker Posey and Faye Dunaway; Paul Schrader's Light Sleeper, with Willem Dafoe; Uli Edel's Last Exit to Brooklyn, with Jennifer Jason Leigh; and his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola's Clownhouse, while he was still a student at San Francisco's High School of the Performing Arts
Rockwell won critical praise, as well as the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Berlin Bear Award and Movieline's Breakthrough Performance of the Year Award, for his portrayal of Chuck Barris in George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. He starred opposite Clooney, Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts in this adaptation of Barris' memoirs. Other awards include Best Actor at the Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia for his performance in Joshua and the Decades Achievement Award from Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival.
On stage, Rockwell was last seen starring opposite Christopher Walken in Martin McDonagh's critically acclaimed production of A Behanding in Spokane. His other stage credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, opposite Eric Bogosian, at The Public Theater. Philip Seymour Hoffman directed the LAByrinth Theater Company production. Rockwell has appeared in Face Divided as part of the EST Marathon series, as well as the off-Broadway production of Goose-Pimples, which was written by noted film writer/director Mike Leigh. He has also appeared in The Dumb Waiter and Hot L Baltimore for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, both of which were directed by Joe Montello.
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Performed by Karren Karagulian from the "Orphans" series of monologues.
KARREN KARAGULIAN is a screen actor and writer, known for his work with director Sean Baker on Tangerine (2014), Prince of Broadway (2008) and Starlet (2012) (for which he shared the Robert Altman award), and Four Letter Words (2000). He is currently appearing in Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament and will be featured next year in Tom’s Dilemma and Welcome Home, currently in post-production.
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Cheese was originally part of the duet "This Is Now", originally performed in 2006 with Elliott Sharp at Merkin Concert Hall.
Ricky Paul is a nightclub entertainer who has been living in Berlin for the past thirty years and came out of retirement to perform this "fake" voice-over. In the 1980's Paul performed at the Mudd Club, Studio 54, Whitecolumns and Tier 3.
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"Godhead" was included in the solo "Drinking in America" at the American Place Theater directed by Wynn Handman in 1986.
MICHAEL SHANNON has been a huge admirer of Mr. Bogosian's ever since he started out acting in the Chicago storefront theatre scene in the early 90's. At much too young an age, full of piss and vinegar, he decided to perform Drinking In America in its entirety at a little theatre called A Red Orchid, which he is a founding member of and just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Eventually, Mike made his way to the Big Apple and started working with the LAB. Most notably, he appeared in The Little Flower of East Orange, directed by the late great Phil Hoffman (RIP). That is when he started getting his mind blown by actually seeing Mr. Bogosian in the flesh from time to time. And oddly enough, the monologue "Godhead" is part of Drinking In America. If you had told me 20 years ago that I would have been performing that monologue in front of Eric while he videotaped me doing it, I would not have believed you at all. What a wonderful world. Please come see The Killer this spring at Theatre For A New Audience.
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Performed by Sebastian Stan, from the solo: "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee", Jane Street Theater, NYC, 2000, Jo Bonney director.
SEBASTIAN STAN is Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier in Captain America:The Winter Soldier. In 2007 he played “Kent” in the Broadway production of Talk Radio with Liev Schreiber. Born in Constanta, Romania, Stan is also known for his work in The Black Swan, Rachel Getting Married and The Covenant.
Voice in the Wilderness
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Performed by Betsy Aidem, from the solo: "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee", Jane Street Theater, NYC, 2000, Jo Bonney director.
In New York:Winter 2014 ALL The WAY, Broadway, Nikolai and the Others, Lincoln Center, Dreams of Flying, Dreams of Falling at Atlantic, The Metal Children and Mary Rose at The Vineyard. Crooked , Womens Project, Celebration and Sea of Tranquility at the Atlantic, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Edge , The Triple Happiness, Second Stage, Good Thing, The New Group, The Butterfly Collection, Playwright’s Horizons, Luminescence Dating, EST, Perapalas, McGinn Cazalle, Steel Magnolias, Lortel, A Lie of the Mind, Promenade, Escape from Happiness, Naked Angels, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, MCC, Road, Lincoln Center Theater, Balm in Gilead, Circle Rep and Minetta Lane.
Regional theater includes: All The Way, ART, The Whore and Mrs. Moore, Dorset Theatre Festival, GOD of CARNAGE, George Street Playhouse, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, Huntington, Sweet Bird of Youth and The Sugar Syndrome at Williamstown, Jolson Sings Again, George Street, 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, ART, Saddlers Wells and European Tour, SEVEN, International, The Miser, Hartford, Miss Julie, Portland. Platonov, Invanov, The Seagull, The Cherry Orchard, Lake Lucille.
TV: The Big C, Smash, Law and Order: SUV, CI, Trial by Jury, (7) The West Wing, Sex and the City, The High Life, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, Rescue Me. Film: Margaret, The Bleeding House, Arbitrage, The Oranges, You Can Count on Me, Motherhood, Music of the Heart, Winter Passing. Received the 2007 Obie for Sustained Excellence of Performance.
The Quiet Man
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Performed by Michael Stuhlbarg from the solo, “Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead”, Minetta Lane Theater, 1994, Jo Bonney, director.
Broadway: The Pillowman (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award), The Invention of Love, Cabaret, Taking Sides, Saint Joan, The Government Inspector, Timon of Athens, Three Men on a Horse. Numerous Off Broadway plays; 10 productions with the New York Shakespeare Festival including the title roles in Hamlet and Richard II; Cymbeline with Theater for a New Audience at the Royal Shakespeare Company; OBIE for The Voysey Inheritance at the Atlantic Theater Company. TV: Arnold Rothstein on HBO's Boardwalk Empire;... FILM: A Serious Man (Golden Globe nomination), Blue Jasmine, Lincoln, Hitchcock, Hugo, Men in Black 3, Seven Psychopaths;... UPCOMING: Season 5 of Boardwalk Empire; Cut Bank; Pawn Sacrifice.
This Is Now
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“This Is Now!” is the title monologue of a series of monologues from the duet, “This is Now!” performed at Merkin Hall in 2006 with composer/performer Elliott Sharp. While the monologist riffs, the musical accompaniest riffs and the two performers play a kind of musical/verbal tag.
NIKOLE BECKWITH’s plays have been read, developed and performed with Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, The Public Theater, Labyrinth Theater Company, The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Barrow Street Theater, The Old Vic, Chautauqua Theater Company and Ensemble Studio Theater, among others. She isan alum of EST's Youngblood, a former associate artist of Atlantic Center for the Artsand a 2010/2011 member of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. She started off 2013 as the first non-UK playwright to be given a writing attachment at The National Theatre’s Studio in London, where she wrote her newest playSeven Sisters which premiered at The Royal Court Theater in London, directed by Vicky Featherstone. Her screenplay adaptation of her stage play Stockholm, Pennsylvania garnered a 2012 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, awarded by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and made the 2012 Black List before heading to The Sundance Labs for further development. She wrapped principal photography on the film, which she also directed in March 2014 and is currently in post production. The film stars Saoirse Ronan and Cynthia Nixon, and was produced by Fido Features and Olympus Pictures (Rabbit Hole, Beginners). As an actor, Beckwith has developed new work with Gregory S. Moss and Eric Bogosian among others. She made her New York stage debut in Joshua Conkel's hit play MilkMilkLemonade to critical acclaim, and performs with The Story Pirates, a kids literacy and arts organization where she is an actor, director and teaching artist. Her comic strip companion piece to The Civilians' You Better Sit Down: Tales From Our Parents' Divorce can be viewed on the WNYC culture page, her other bittersweet comics have been featured on NPR, The Huffington Post, The Hairpin and various other outposts on the Internet. She is from Newburyport, Massachusetts where she grew up making plays in various living rooms.
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Performed by Kevin Geer from the solo, "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll", The Orpheum Theater, 1980, Jo Bonney, director.
Broadway: Juror #2 in “Twelve Angry Men”, Jonesy in “Side Man”, Mitch in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, and “The Rose Tattoo”; Off-Broadway: “Medieval Play” (Signature], UNCONDITIONAL (LAByrinth@The Public), “Oedipus”, “On The Bum” (Playwrights Horizons), and originated Ellard in Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner.” Regional: Title role in the world premiere of Tennessee Williams “The Palooka” (Hartford Stage), O’Neill’s “Anna Christie” (Long Wharf), “Side Man” [London’s West End & The Kennedy Center] “Defying Gravity” (Williamstown). Television:"ALPHA HOUSE", "OZ", numerous “Law & Order: CI and “Law & Order: SVU s,” an acclaimed combined two-part "Law & Order / Homicide","China Beach","M*A*S*H", and opposite Elizabeth Taylor In "Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth" .Film: Kenneth Lonergan's “Margaret”, “The Men Who Stare at Goats” w/George Clooney, “American Gangster”, “The Contender”, “The Tavern”, “The Pelican Brief”, “Arrowshot” (Sundance), “100 Feet”, the apocalyptic western “Bunker Hill,” “The Only Good Indian” (Sundance], and upcoming this fall opposite Jennifer Connelly in Paul Bettany's “SHELTER.” Mr. Geer works with the kids of the 52nd St.Project, is a member of the LAByrinth Theatre Company, And has spent 21 summers developing new plays at the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Upcoming this summer: Samuel D.Hunter's A GREAT WILDERNESS at the Williamstown Theater Festival.
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Candy was originally a voice-over performed by the actress Anna Levine in the solo "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" (1991). As such it is the only monologue in the solos written and performed for and by a woman.
Charlie Ray is best known for her debut lead role in “Little Manhattan”, when she starred in her first feature film at the age of 12. Since then she has played leading roles in Cabaret and Hot L Baltimore at the Martin Theater in New York City and has guest starred on Law & Order SVU, Inside Amy Schumer and the CBS pilot Company Town. At Northwestern University she starred in “Miss Julie”, the world premiere production of “Aimée and Jaguar”, “The Night of the Iguana”, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Kafka by the Shore.” Charlie graduates from Northwestern in two weeks.
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This monologue began as something very different. I was writing about a gang rape up near my home town in Massachusetts and wanted to get inside the head of one of the perps. I wanted to look at how he didn’t think he had done anything wrong. I ended up with this second-person narrative in which Frankie’s exploits are described in detail by the adoring Richie. It’s a long story and was the centerpiece of the 1986 show, “Drinking in America.”
PETER SCANAVINO was lucky enough to work with Eric during the revival of suBurbia at the Second Stage Theater in New York. Having long been a fan of Erics work, the experience of actually being in one of his plays remains a personal highlight. Peter has worked with MTC, the Cherry Lane Theater, the Atlantic Theater, the Play Company, Mark Taper Forum, and the McCarter theater among others and has been seen on numerous tv shows and films, most recently starring in "the Cold Lands" directed by Tom Gilroy. He lives in Brooklyn with wife and son.
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The Throat is a monologue from the solo, "Advocate", performed at Artists Space, NYC in 1982. This solo was meant to explore "negative attitudes" and featured a slide show of liberated concentration camps and child porn. It was a rebuttal to criticism I was receiving in the press at the time that my work was "too dark." One monologue in the show, "Our Gang" originally about a gang rape was rewritten and ended up in "Drinking In America" as a comic piece. (see Number 31, "Our Gang", performed by Peter Scanavino.)
HALLEY FEIFFER is an actress and a playwright. She performed in the revival of Eric Bogosian’s subUrbia at Second Stage Theatre, directed by Jo Bonney. Other theater credits include the Broadway revival of John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves, directed by David Cromer, for which she won a Theatre World Award; the recent revival of Jon Robin Baitz’ The Substance of Fire, directed by Trip Cullman; Ethan Coen’s Women or Nothing at the Atlantic Theater, directed by David Cromer; Kenneth Lonergan’s Medieval Play at the Signature, directed by Kenneth Lonergan, and Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still at the Roundabout, directed by Sam Gold, for which she was nominated for a Drama League Award. Her film work includes Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me, Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale and Margot at the Wedding, Jared Hess’ Gentlemen Broncos, Oren Moverman’s The Messenger, and Michael Urie’s He’s Way More Famous Than You, which she also co-wrote with Ryan Spahn. She will appear in the upcoming film Appropriate Behavior, directed by Desiree Akhavan, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Television work includes guest appearances on “Ugly Betty,” “Royal Pains,” “The Good Wife” “Torchwood” “Flight of the Conchords” and “Deadbeat,” as well as recurring roles on HBO’s “Mildred Pierce” and “Bored to Death.” Her work as a playwright includes the recent production of How To Make Friends and Then Kill Them at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, directed by Kip Fagan, and the upcoming production of I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard at the Atlantic Theater, directed by Trip Cullman. Her plays have been developed by Second Stage Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, The Cape Cod Theatre Project, Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, LAByrinth Theater Company, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a commission for Manhattan Theatre Club.
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The monologue Wood was only performed live a few times on tour. It is a true story.
Jennifer Tilly has appeared in thousands and thousands of movies and television shows. She is perhaps best-known for her Academy Award nominated performance in Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway.” More recently she has appeared on stage in London and New York City in the Wallace Shawn/Andre Gregory collaboration: “Grasses of a Thousand Colors.” Tilly fame as a celebrated stage and screen actress vies with her reputation as an international top-ranked No-limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker player, having won a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2005.
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SMOKING is part of the long Eric Bogosian/Elliot Sharp duet, "This Is Now!" performed at Merkin Hall in the spring of 2006.
Dallas Roberts created the character of “Pony” in the play “subUrbia” while still a student at Juilliard (working with the author in the first staged production of the play). After graduating Juilliard, Dallas has worked continuously on stage, film and tv. Notably he received a Drama Desk nomination for his amazing turn in Adam Rapp’s play “Nocturne.” Dallas is also well-known to fans of “Walking Dead” as the mild-mannered Milton Mamet, as Angus Partridge in the “The L Word” and Owen Cavanaugh in “The Good Wife.” His film credits include “3:10 to Yuma”; “Walk the Line”; “Dallas Buyer’s Club” and “The Grey.” Currently he plays Eliot Delson on “Unforgettable.”
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Fat Fighter is from an early solo called "Voices of America", which was performed in small tehaters, the ICA in London, the Edinburgh Fringe, and the Mudd Club
Violet Krumbein is best known for her appearance as “Knob Kardashian” on 30 Rock. She can be seen in the upcoming film “Life Itself,” opposite Dianne Keaton and Cynthia Nixon. She was recently cast in the film “Nebraska Horizon,” opposite Parker Posey. She been a long time performer at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, as an improviser and sketch comedian, and as a solo artist in “Human Painkiller.” As a filmmaker, her short film Asbestos Girl was featured in the Brooklyn Short Film Festival.
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Alone Together is a monologue from the solo, "Advocate", performed at Artists Space, NYC in 1982. This solo was meant to explore "negative attitudes" and featured a slide show of liberated concentration camps and child porn. It was a rebuttal to criticism I was receiving in the press at the time that my work was "too dark." One monologue in the show, "Our Gang" originally about a gang rape was rewritten and ended up in "Drinking In America" as a comic piece. (see Number 31, "Our Gang", performed by Peter Scanavino.)
Actor JEREMY SISTO soon begins production, starring on A&E’s drama series THE RETURNED, based on the acclaimed French Series of the same title. The series, from Carlton Cuse and FremantleMedia, focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, bringing with them both positive and detrimental consequences. Sisto stars as “Peter,” a psychologist who runs a grief support group for people in the town who are struggling with the loss of loved ones from a bus accident four years ago.
Sisto just completed a 3 season run, starring on the hit ABC comedy series SUBURGATORY. He starred as "George Altman," a single father who moves his daughter out to the tamer suburbs for a better life, a role for which he received a Television Critics Choice Award nomination in 2013. Sisto is probably best known for playing Billy Chenowith on Alan Ball’s SIX FEET UNDER for five years, a role which Alan wrote for him. In 2010 he finished a three year run on LAW & ORDER as Detective Cyrus Lupo. He was also the lead in the short-lived, but critically acclaimed Jason Smilovic show KIDNAPPED. He played the title role in the two mini-series JESUS and JULIUS CAESAR.
In film, Sisto next stars in the tennis comedy, BREAK POINT, which he also co-wrote and produced. The film, about two brothers who united to form a doubles tennis team for a run at a grand slam, premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival. The film also includes David Walton, J.K Simmons, Amy Smart and Chris Parnell. Sisto also stars in Fox International’s genre film, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR, and was most recently seen in the indie films AS COOL AS I AM with Claire Danes and James Marsden, and “Robot and Frank” with Frank Langella and Liv Tyler.
Sisto's other film credits are eclectic and date back to the early nineties with titles such as GRAND CANYON, CLUELESS, HIDEAWAY, MOONLIGHT AND VALENTINO, WHITE SQUALL, WHITHOUT LIMITS, SUICIDE KINGS, THIRTEEN, WRONG TURN and WAITRESS.
Sisto's Los Angeles theater credits include “Take Me Out,” (the role earned him a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Featured Performance), Sidney Kingsley's “Dead End” at the Ahmanson Theater, and the one man show “Sanguine” at the 2nd Stage. In New York, he made his Broadway debut in “Festen,” a stage adaptation of Thomas Vinterberg's film “The Celebration,” and he recently finished Beau Willimon’s “Spirit Control” at the Manhattan Theater Club – a story that explores a man’s thirty-year struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Jeremy also starred with Brian Dennehy in Bertolt Brecht’s “Galileo” in Chicago. The play was directed by Robert Falls.
He currently resides in Los Angeles.
It's Not How Much You Make...
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This is the opening monologue of the play, "Talk Radio", performed here by Zach Grenier who created the role in the original production of the play. "Sidney Greenberg" is a guy who gives financial advice on the radio.
ZACH GRENIER originated the role of Sid Greenberg in the 1987 production of “Talk Radio” with Eric Bogosian.
He can currently be seen on "The Good Wife" as the ethically-challenged family lawyer David Lee. Other series roles include the highly-praised “C16:FBI” on ABC and “Touching Evil" on USA Network. Zach recurred in a number of critically acclaimed series, including Fox's “24," in which he played the fixer Carl Webb, and HBO's “Deadwood," in which he played Andy Cramed, the gambler who brought the plague to town. He joined Bill Nighy and Christopher Walken in “Turks and Caicos,” the second installment of David Hare’s BBC thriller, “The Worricker Trilogy," coming to PBS in the Fall of 2014. His film credits extend back to the cult classics “A Shock to the System," starring Michael Caine, and Mike Figgis’s “Liebestraum." More mainstream film credits include “Tommy Boy," “Twister,” "Donnie Brasco," David Fincher’s "Fight Club" and “Zodiac," Ang Lee’s "Ride with the Devil," and Clint Eastwood’s "J. Edgar." He can be seen in the 2014 “Robocop," directed by José Padilha.
He was nominated for a Tony Award® for his portrayal of Beethoven in Moisés Kaufman’s “33 Variations” starring Jane Fonda, and most recently for a Lucille Lortel Award for his performance in John Patrick Shanley’s “Storefront Church” at the Atlantic Theater Company. His portrayal of Dick Cheney in David Hare’s “Stuff Happens” at the New York Shakespeare Festival was recognized with Ensemble Awards by both the Drama League and the Drama Desk. He has twice shared the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway stage with Frank Langella, in Robert Bolt’s “A Man for All Seasons” and Terrence Rattigan’s “Man and Boy." He joined Julie Harris in Tim Mason’s “The Fiery Furnace” at Circle Repertory Theatre. He originated the role of Dr. Chapman in David Rabe’s “A Question of Mercy” at New York Theatre Workshop, a performance that earned him an Outstanding Artist honor from the Drama League. His first Broadway credit was Larry Gelbart's "Mastergate," in which he had no lines, but played all four lawyers: Mr. Child, Mr. Picker, Mr. Boyle and Mr. Carver.
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The Meeting” was inspired by the dozens of meetings I “took” while working in Los Angeles in the 90’s. This fictional meeting is linked to other monologues/episodes in “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee”, specifically monologue #’s 72,73,74 & 79,80,81,82 which specifically focus on a typical airport experience that ends in a massive crash landing…and the subsequent meeting. As we post more of them, it will all make sense.
RICHARD KIND. Broadway: The Big Knife (Drama Desk Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor and nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play), The Producers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Sly Fox, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. Sondheim’s Bounce! (Goodman Theatre and Kennedy Center). Candide (New York City Opera at Lincoln Center) Travesties, The Lady in Question and Rough Crossing (Bay Street Theatre) Once in a Lifetime (Guthrie Theatre); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Front Page (Williamstown Theatre Festival) Power Failure (Actor’s Studio Free Theatre Co.) The Seagull (Matrix Theatre) The Second City in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles; Working, All in the Timing, Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight, 12 Angry Men, and Synergy (LA Theatre Works). Film Credits include Angriest Man In Brooklyn, Argo, Hereafter, A Serious Man, The Visitor, The Grand, The Wild, Cars, Spymate, The Station Agent, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, A Bug’s Life, Johns, Stargate, Clifford, Mr. Saturday Night, All-American Murder, Hacks, and Tom and Jerry. On television, he has been seen as a series regular on Luck, Spin City, Mad About You, Head Cases, Carol Burnett & Co. With many guest appearances including Scrubs, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Harry’s Law, Good Wife, Glee and Gotham.
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Artist is the last monologue in the solo "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll." It's about making art, not making art, being paranoid, being revolutionary all against through a haze of weed. It's about as close to the way my mind works as anything I've written.
Best know for his role opposite Glenn Close on the critically acclaimed "Damages", Zach Booth is an New York based actor with extensive credits both on stage and on screen. Off broadway he has premiered new works by Edward Albee(Me, Myself, & I) and Craig Lucas(Prayer for My Enemy). Most recently he made his broadway debut in "The Winslow Boy." His films include Keep The Lights On, Last Weekend, Dark Horse, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and White Irish Drinkers.
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Melting Pot is one of the older monologues (1984-6, "Drinking in America") from the days when I used to hang out and try to pick up the chain of consciousness monologues of the street. There was a diner on the Bowery where me and Zwack would hang at the end of the night. As the sun rose over the greasy streets, the hookers and junkies would gather at the diner to get their last cup of coffee and doughnut before hitting the sack. I was loved the contrast between the immigrant workers behind the counter and the street life who wandered in and out. I am the grandson of immigrants. My grandfather would call people who didn't work, "bums." This is about that.
Broadway: reasons to be pretty (Theatre World Award, Drama League nomination, Tony nomination), After Miss Julie,The Big Knife. Some Off-Broadway: In the Wake (Public), Three Sisters (Classic Stage), A Lie of the Mind (New Group), Blasted, Marie Antoinette, (Soho Rep), Cyclone (Studio Dante, 2006 OBIE); Far Away (New York Theatre Workshop). Royal Court’s American tour of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis, RSC/Wooster Group Troilus and Cressida. Film/TV: new show “The Divide” for AMC/WeTV, “Homeland”, “The Killing”, “Boss”, “Mildred Pierce”, “Good Wife”, “Gifted Man”, I Am Legend, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, 28 Hotel Rooms, Hope Springs, others.
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"America" is the prelude to the show "Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead". Written in 1994 at the height of the anti-Clinton hysteria, it was a shot at the vociferous junkie and radio personality Rush Limbaugh. I wanted to explore the ass-backwards logic of the cavalier right-wing mass media characters who pretty much will say anything as long as they get their ratings. Here it is performed by the master of rant, Mike Daisey, known for his own amazing list of monologue shows.
MIKE DAISEY has been called “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by The New York Times for his groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. He is best known for The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, a tour de force that explores the contradictions inherent in the major corporation, Apple Inc.
Since his first monologue in 1997, Daisey has created over fifteen monologues, including the critically-acclaimed The Last Cargo Cult, the controversial How Theater Failed America, the twenty-four-hour feat All the Hours in the Day, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction, the four-part epic Great Men of Genius, and the international sensation 21 Dog Years. Other titles include If You See Something Say Something, Barring the Unforeseen, Invincible Summer, Monopoly!, Tongues Will Wag, I Miss the Cold War, and Teching in India.
Grace of God
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"Grace of God" opened the 1991 show, "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll." It's from the time when I would listen to people on the street, trying to pick up a cadence, an unusual logic. I was always on the look-out for a natural monologue. Though it is 25 years old, there are still guys moving through the subway trains in New York City apologizing for taking up your time and then asking for money. I was interested in the mixture of pathos, threat and irony caught up in this monologue.
FILM: Features: 23 Blast (2014) True Grit (2010) Erin Brockovich (1999) Money Train (1995) Under Siege II (1994)
SHORT FEATURES: Ignorant Bliss of Sun and Moon (2011 Tribeca Film Festival) Killing the Joneses (2010) *My Mother Dreams...(2000, *Academy Award)
TELEVISION: Boardwalk Empire Blue Bloods Unforgettable Law & Order (7 episodes) Special Victims Unit (4 episodes) Criminal Intent (2 episodes) Cracker (series regular, 13 episodes)
BROADWAY: Inherit the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire, Bus Stop, A Few Good Men (Nat'l Tour, 1992 LA Dramalogue Award)
OFF BROADWAY: Hand To God, Tennessee, Matthew and the Pastor's Wife, Lenin's Embalmers, Gynt, Princes of Waco, Ring Of Fire: The Songs of Johnny Cash
AUDIOBOOKS: Thomas Berger, John Grisham, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Tom Clancy, Douglas Preston, John Hart, Jackie Collins and dozens more...
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This monologue is actually a “journal entry” from the piece “Notes from Underground”, a “novella” in the form of a journal meant to be read out loud. I’ve performed it (at PS 122), as has Danny Mastrogiorgio and Jonathan Ames (both of whom are on this site). The protagonist is seemingly “normal” (because he wears a suit and tie) while behaving in a way that is many degrees off of the norm. So, I guess the question is, “What is normal?” (see also May 18)
Jonathan Ames is the author of nine books, including WAKE UP, SIR!, and his most recent, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE. His novel, THE EXTRA MAN, was adapted as a film starring Kevin Kline and Paul Dano. Mr. Ames was also the creator and show runner for the HBO show "Bored to Death," which ran for three seasons and starred Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zach Galifianakis. In addition to writing, Mr. Ames sometimes performs, most notably in his one-man show "Oedipussy" and in Eric Bogosian's "Notes From Underground."
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This monologue is actually a “journal entry” from the piece “Notes from Underground”, a “novella” in the form of a journal meant to be read out loud. I’ve performed it (as PS 122), as has Danny Mastrogiorgio and Jonathan Ames. The protagonist moves through the world appearing “normal” (because he wears a suit and tie) while behaving in a way that is many degrees off of the norm. So, I guess the question is, “What is normal?” (see also April 14)
David Cale is the writer and performer of the solo shows 'The History of Kisses', ‘Palomino’, ‘A Likely Story’, ‘Lillian’, ‘Deep in a Dream of You’, ‘Smooch Music’ and ‘The Redthroats’. He wrote the book, lyrics, co-composed the music for and starred in the musical, ‘Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky’, inspired by the character of Floyd he portrayed in the film, ‘The Slaughter Rule’. He has appeared in plays on and off Broadway, most recently 'The Total Bent' and 'Mouth to Mouth'. His other film credits include 'Pollock' and 'Two Lovers'.
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I’ve consumed a great portion of my inner, thoughtful life racked with guilt. It’s my default. I don’t know if this has anything to do with religion, but I grew up around a lot of good Catholics and it’s tempting to feel guilty every time I have a desire for anything.
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One day I was on the subway and in the the car was a filthy, smelly guy, basically camped out in the corner of the car. Everyone on the train was keeping their distance. We came to a station and the guy pulled himself together and shuffled off. Leaving empty the seat he had been occupying.
An unsuspecting commuter got on, and seeing a big clear space, promptly sat down there. Everyone on the train was thinking the same thought, what kind of horrific bacteria was on that seat? This character is the most threatening of all my street people. He represents the complete unknown.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, D’Onofrio grew up in Hawaii, Colorado and Florida. He eventually returned to New York to study acting at the American Stanislavsky Theatre with Sharon Chatten of the Actors Studio. While honing his craft, he appeared in several films at New York University and worked as a bouncer at dance clubs in the city.
Vincent is currently filming Universal’s JURASSIC WORLD opposite Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard and being directed by Colin Trevorrow. This fall, Vincent will begin filming the Netflix series DAREDEVIL, opposite Charlie Cox, as the supervillain The Kingpin.
Vincent will next be seen as the coach in Brian Grazer’s PELE, written and directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. He will also be seen starring opposite Liam Neeson in RUN ALL NIGHT
Last year Vincent wrapped the independent film BROKEN HORSES opposite Anton Yelchin. In July 2013 D’Onofrio was seen in Wayne Kramer’s action-comedy, PAWN SHOP CHRONICLES, with Elijah Wood, Matt Dillon, and Brendan Frasier.
In 1984, he became a full-fledged member of the American Stanislavsky Theatre, appearing in “The Petrified Forest,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”and “The Indian Wants the Bronx.” That same year he made his Broadway debut in “Open Admissions.” He recently starred off-Broadway in Sam Shepard’s “Tooth of Crime (Second Dance).” D’Onofrio gained attention for his intense and compelling talent on the screen in 1987 with a haunting portrayal of an unstable Vietnam War recruit in Stanley Kubrick’s gritty FULL METAL JACKET. His other early film appearances include MYSTIC PIZZA and ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING. He also executive-produced and portrayed 1960s counterculture icon Abbie Hoffman in the film STEAL THIS MOVIE, opposite Janeane Garofalo; and starred opposite Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn in the science-fiction noir film THE CELL. Other film credits include THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTER BOYS, opposite Jodie Foster; THE SALTON SEA, opposite Val Kilmer; IMPOSTER, with Gary Sinise; CHELSEA WALLS, directed by Ethan Hawke; HAPPY ACCIDENTS, co-starring Marisa Tomei; Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER; Joel Schumacher’s DYING YOUNG; Tim Burton’s ED WOOD; Kathryn Bigalow’s STRANGE DAYS, opposite Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett; Harold Ramis’ STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY; Barry Sonnenfeld’s MEN IN BLACK, opposite Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones; THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR, opposite Craig Bierko; THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, which he produced and starred in, opposite Renee Zellweger; and Oliver Stone’s JFK. More recently, D’Onofrio appeared:in the scifi thriller THE TOMB, featuring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and also recently finished FIRE WITH FIRE opposite Bruce Willis and Josh Duhamel. Forthcoming film appearances also include the independent feature CHAINED, from writer-director Jennifer Chambers Lynch.
In television, Vincent starred as Detective Robert Goren in over 100 episodes of the USA Network original series LAW & ORDER: Criminal Intent. He received an Emmy® Award nomination in 1998 for his riveting guest appearance in the HOMICIDE: Life on the Street episode, “The Subway.” D’Onofrio directed, produced and starred in the short film, FIVE MINUTES, MR. WELLES, and recently appeared on the Academy Award winning short, THE NEW TENANTS.
Away from the set, D’Onofrio enjoys spending time in New York with his family.
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For about twenty years, I spent a lot of time enmeshed in the business of “Hollywood”, with its attendant deal-making, hondling and mendacity. Often I sat in offices with agents or lawyers, listening to them work their magic on the phone. I couldn’t resist representing this essence of the American soul.
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This monologue is one of a sequence about flying out to Los Angeles to “take a meeting.” I used to fly a ton and I was always struck by how cool and calm the captain would be when he addressed us over the loudspeaker. One time, about three weeks after 9/11, the captain came over the intercom to tell us that “we had a little problem” – that the plane was flying perfectly, but that the hydraulics seemed to have been cut and he wasn’t able to steer the plane. Somehow he got the plane back to JFK, and though we were given a new plane about an hour later, the cabin was half-empty. Most of the passengers were too freaked to get back on the plane.
C.J. Wilson: Broadway: Bronx Bombers, The Big Knife, Festen, Henry IV, The Best Man. Off-Broadway: Our New Girl, Offices, The Voysey Inheritance (Atlantic Theatre), Bronx Bombers, Happy Now?(Lucille Lortel Nom., Primary Stages), Medieval Play, The Lady from Dubuque (Signature), Race (CSC), Home of the Brave (Jewish Rep), Stop Kiss (Public). TV: "The Sound of Music Live!," "The Following," "The Good Wife," "The Americans," "Blue Bloods," "Pan Am," "Brotherhood," "Onion Sportsdome," "Without a Trace," "Third Watch," "L&O," "SVU," "CI." Fox Fellow.
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Typical of my generation, I’ve worked hard on “self-improvement” all my life. This is relatively new phenomenon. My grandparents never gave a rat’s ass about self-improvement. (Or self-esteem or co-dependence or any of that shit.) It’s as if our life work is to become “better” people. But as I observe folks around me engage in this kind of introspective self-absorbtion, I am struck by how many of them remain complete assholes. Also there’s something “essential” about this piece as an acting exercise. The character has no real sense of who he is. He believes in himself. Don’t we all? (This is a sister monologue to #97 “Victim”)
Danny Mastrogirogio considers the first true "acting book” he ever bought to be Eric Bogosian’s “Drinking in America”. "It may not be an acting book in the typical sense," he says, "but it was to me. I was in my earliest 20’s and had just signed up for my first acting class. I didn’t know who Eric was, but I loved the title of the book and the cover picture. And the blurbs made it sound pretty cool. So I bought it. And it was better than cool. It was awesome. My great buddy Brian Amidei and I would stay up late into the night drinking and firing monologues back and forth at each other. It was a brilliant training ground for me as a young actor. The characters were alive, visceral, raw and fun. The pieces were an incredible, challenging, blast to explore."
"A few years later, in my 3rd year at Juilliard, Eric came to our school to workshop Suburbia with our class. I didn’t get cast in that. Instead, Eric cast me to be directed by him in a one man show of his, “Notes from Underground”. To say I was blown away would be the understatement of a lifetime. I could barely speak in my first rehearsal, alone there in a room with him, much less act. So I figured I’d ask him a question or two to maybe get him talking for a bit so I wouldn’t have to begin. It worked. Really well. By the time Eric stopped talking our rehearsal time was over. And the stories were, of course, hilarious and highly entertaining. It may have been unproductive rehearsal, but it sure was fun as hell for me."
"Ultimately though, I overcame my nerves and we did rehearse. And we put up the show. And, we became friends. Which truly blew me away. It was an amazing experience for me. Working with him made me believe that dreams can come true in this business.”
“And here they are coming true again. I am performing a piece of his, directed by him- this time on film, for posterity, as part of this incredible project celebrating his work. I couldn’t be prouder that he asked me to be a part of it. And I still can’t quite believe it.”
Danny Mastrogiorgio has worked extensively in Off- Broadway, Broadway, Television and Film in his 20 year career. Recent credits include, Golden Boy (Tom Moody), Lucky Guy (Bob Drury) and Rocky (Paulie). He is also currently appearing on the Fox show Gotham.
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When I first started writing these monologues, I was always looking for forms of performance that wasn’t strictly theater, but was performance nonetheless. Tele-evangelists provided a great reservoir of styles and energy. I’m also always on the lookout for moralizing in the form of condemnation. And the idea that Satan really exists. (I’ve played the Dark One at least three times in plays.) Anson Mount grew up in a part of the country where he could see actual snake handlers and other intense preachers. He clearly knows the territory.
Anson Mount is best known for his portrayal of Cullen Bohannon in the AMC series "Hell on Wheels". He is also adjunct faculty at Columbia University's MFA Acting program, a playwright and author, a philanthropist and owner of a french bulldog named 'Mac'. Theater credits include playing the lead role of 'Joshua' in the original MTC production of the highly controversial Corpus Christi by Terence McNally, Chekhov's The Three Sisters at Classic Stage Company, and Lanford Wilson's The Fifth of July at Bay Street Theater, and Venus in Fur at Singapore Rep. Film credits include: "City By the Sea" opposite Robert DeNiro, "Cook County" (which he also produced), "Tully", "Non-Stop" opposite Liam Neeson, "Seal Team Six", the upcoming "Supremacy", "The Forger" opposite John Travolta, "Visions", and "Mr. Right" with Sam Rockwell. Now living in Brooklyn, Anson hails from Tennessee and still roots for the Titans every Sunday.
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One of my earliest monologues, it is an accurate reflection of my general state of mind, circa 1980. I was resentful of everyone and blamed everyone else for my problems. Whatever they might be.
He is the author of two full-length autobiographical monologues – HELP WANTED: A Personal Search for Meaningful Employment at the Start of the 21st Century and NOW WHAT? – which he has performed in theaters and spaces across the country, including Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Baltimore Centerstage, Dixon Place, Access Theater, The Yale Cabaret, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
As an actor, Josh has worked with Playwrights Horizons, NY Stage & Film, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), Woolly Mammoth, Centerstage, Signature Theatre (Arlington, VA), Arena Stage, Olney Theatre, and Theatre J. Additionally, he has toured both domestically and internationally as part of Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell.
His poems and essays have been published in numerous journals online and in print, and his short plays have been performed at The Illusion Theater in Minneapolis and Theater Alliance in Washington, D.C., among elsewhere. He has recorded essays for NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC’s Americana.
Josh has received a Young Artist grant from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry at the University of Michigan, and was previously selected as one of New York’s Best Emerging Jewish Performers. Most recently, he won the 2013 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry prize.
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Gold Card is part of a sequence of monologues that make up the center of "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" - these include "Upgrade", "Captain" and four others. The sequence revolves around air travel as metaphor for modern insanity.
Tate Donovan has been in over 30 films including Argo, Good Night and Good Luck, Memphis Belle, Ethan Frome, Love Potion #9, Clean and Sober and the title voice in Disney's Hercules.
Other TV credits include "24","Hostages", 'Damages','The OC',and 'Friends'.
Tate has also appeared on Broadway in "Good People" with Francis Macdormond, "Amy's View" with Judi Dench, The Roundablout's 'Picnic' and has worked off Broadway with Kenny Lonergan in two plays, 'Lobby Hero' and "The Medieval Play'. As well as the Long Warf, Tate has done several plays at the Mark Taper Forum and Williamstown theatre Festival
He's also directed several episodes TV including the upcoming NETFLIX show "Bloodline", 'Damages' 'Glee' 'Weeds" 'Gossip Girl', 'Nip/Tuck', 'The OC' and recently won an Emmy for his ESPN 30for30 documentary 'Arthur and Johnnie' about the tennis star Arthur Ashe.
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This is one of the first monologues I wrote/performed. Around 1980 Jo and I were living on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy and we were constantly in the presence of our colorful landlord, Joe L.. I loved the way he talked about things. (I should add that the whipped cream line came from my Armenian uncle up in Medford, Mass.) Anyway, Joe on Elizabeth Street had a voice I could "do" and the character's (not Joe's) obliviousness really appealed to me. Performing "Calamari" was also a revelation. When I created it, I just wanted to lay out an archetypical character. But when I performed "Calamari", people laughed and I discovered that I could be funny. Just never occurred to me before. Over the years, this monologue taught me more about comic beats than any teacher ever could.
In 1994, Chris Bauer spied Eric Bogosian on the N train dressed in black, typing on a laptop and thought to himself: “I’ll never be as legit as that guy”. The honor of performing one of Eric’s monologues is as good as it’ll ever get in a career that includes starring as Frank Sobotka on the second season of ‘The Wire” for HBO where, for the past 7 years he has played Andy Bellefleur on “True Blood”. In addition he has been a regular on four other shows and has appeared in at least 160 episodes of television. Chris has worked a lot with Jez Butterworth, who is also a pretty good writer, on “Mojo”, “The Night Heron”, and the world premiere of “Parlor Song,” all in New York at the Atlantic Theater, where Chris is a company member. On Broadway he was nominated for an Outer Critic’s Circle Award when he played Mitch in “Streetcar Named Desire”. On film he has been directed by Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Woody Allen, Taylor Hackford, John Woo, Steve Buscemi, Joel Shumacher, Brad Anderson, Bob Balaban, Jim Jarmusch, Mary Harron, etc. He came to life at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, learned many things about acting at the Yale School of Drama, and has a long way to go.
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Brian d'Arcy James
I used to do a ton of touring. This piece is very much about loneliness – eating the cheese burger alone in my hotel room while watching the Nature Channel. It doesn’t matter that this guy is with a hooker. He’s just stuck in the twilight zone of the road. It’s based on a real “ceramic tile salesman” (whatever that is) I met while flying to one of my tour stops.
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Bottleman is the kind of character I made my reputation with in the 80’s. I was transfixed by the rhythms of street people. New York City abounds with street folk. As a dramatic device, I worked this angle for years – using a series of non-sequiters and crazy language to find a kind of truth. Also these monologues (Bottleman, the Pacer and others) are technically difficult to perform.
MICHAEL CHERNUS - Can currently be seen as Chief-Mate Shane Murphy in the Paul Greengrass film "Captain Phillips" for Sony Pictures. He was recently seen in Tony Gilroy’s The Bourne Legacy and Barry Sonnenfeld's Men In Black 3. His other recent film credits include Oscar® nominee Vera Farmiga's directorial debut Higher Ground, Bradley Rust Gray's Jack and Diane, Michael Urie's He's Way More Famous Than You, Ed Zwick's Love and Other Drugs starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and the indie comedy Feed the Fish starring opposite Tony Shalhoub. He can also be seen in the Oren Moverman drama The Messenger playing opposite Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, and Jena Malone, as well as in Bart Freundlich's comedy The Rebound which stars Catherine Zeta-Jones. In Kirt Gunn's award-winning feature Lovely By Surprise (2007 Special Jury Prize Seattle Film Festival), Chernus plays the lead role of Humkin alongside a cast that includes Dallas Roberts, Reg Rogers, Austin Pendleton, Carrie Preston, and Kate Burton. Upcoming film projects include Cameron Crowe's currently untitled feature film set in Hawaii starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams, Goodbye To All That which stars Paul Schneider, Melanie Lynskey, Heather Graham, and is written and directed by Angus MacLachlan (Junebug) and Glass Chin directed by Noah Buschel and starring Corey Stoll.
On television, Chernus most recently appeared as Cal Chapman, Piper's hippie brother, in the Netflix Original Series “Orange is the New Black.” He made a memorable appearance in the Season One finale of HBO's “Bored To Death” as Zach Galifianakis' nemesis, but he is probably most recognizable for his recurring role as Ryan Flanagan on the NBC hospital drama “Mercy.” He also had a recurring role on Season 4 of “Damages,” and had a multi-episode arc as Pastor Rick in Showtime's “The Big C.” Other television appearances include episodes of "The New Normal," "Nurse Jackie," and "Royal Pains." He will play Howie V, an L.A. based music producer, on season 2 of ABC's "Nashville" in 2014.
Also an accomplished stage actor, Chernus won a 2011 Obie Award and received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for his performance in Lisa Kron's “In the Wake” at The Public Theater in New York City. He most recently co-starred with David Hyde Pierce in the Manhattan Theater Club production of “Close Up Space” at New York City Center. Other New York credits include such theaters as Playwrights Horizons, the Roundabout Theatre Company, Primary Stages, New York Theater Workshop, The Atlantic Theater Company, and many productions at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (where he played the lead role of KJ in Annie Baker's play “The Aliens,” which Charles Isherwood, of The New York Times, named the best play of 2010).
His credits in regional theater include productions at the Williamstown Theater Festival, The Yale Repertory Theatre, and the Guthrie Theater, among others. Internationally, he appeared in Adam Rapp's “Finer Noble Gases” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Fringe First Award) and in London at the Bush Theatre. Chernus is a graduate of the Juilliard School's Drama Division.
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“Reach Out” is a sequel to “Benefit” (from “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll”) and ended up being an “orphan” because it was originally meant to be part of “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee”, but didn’t make the cut. I am intrigued by the way that progressive action has been co-opted by the mass media promotion machine. It becomes harder and harder to discern sincere empathetic action from lip-service.
Bruce Norris is the author of Clybourne Park, which premiered in 2010 at Playwrights Horizons and in 2011-12 received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the Olivier, Evening Standard, and Tony Awards for productions at the Royal Court, West End and on Broadway. His newest play, called The Qualms, premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago in 2014 and will be seen at Playwrights Horizons next year. Other plays include Domesticated (Lincoln Center Theatre), The Low Road (Royal Court), as well as A Parallelogram, The Unmentionables, The Pain and the Itch, Purple Heart, We All Went Down to Amsterdam, and The Infidel, all of which premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago. He used to be an actor. He lives in New York.
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Denise is one of the callers to Barry Champlain’s talk radio program in the play/film “Talk Radio.” She is one of the earliest “voices” I wrote and I was happy to return to the stream of consciousness/“wall of words” that had inspired my first monologues.
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In the early 80’s I spent much of my time hanging with junkies and alcoholics. Every single one of them sees himself as a victim of some sort. The world is full of injustice, isn’t it?
MICHAEL LAURENCE is an award-winning actor and playwright. Michael’s stage credits include the Broadway revivals of Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio and Desire Under the Elms, the New York premieres of Opus and The Morini Strad (Primary Stages), The Few (Old Globe/ Rattlestick, upcoming), the Off-Broadway premieres of Appropriate (Sundance/ Signature Theatre, upcoming), Horsedreams (Rattlestick), Diary of a Teenage Girl (New Georges/3LD), the Off-Broadway revival of Two Rooms (Platform Group), John Proctor in The Crucible (Hartford Stage), Mikey Dillon in Good People (Huntington Theatre), Starbuck in The Rainmaker (Arena Stage), Eric Bogosian’s Humpty Dumpty (McCarter Theatre), Tooth of Crime and Book of Days (Signature Theater, NYC). TV credits include The Heart She Holler (recurring), Damages (recurring), The Good Wife, Elementary, Person Of Interest, and others.
His film credits include One For the Money, Man On A Ledge, A Walk In The Park, The Operator, Follow Me Outside, Room314, Escape Artists, Claire Dolan, Love God, Particles of Truth, other indies. He is the author of the plays Krapp39, The Escape Artist, and Virgil’s Cauldron, and he also wrote and directed the independent feature film Escape Artists. Krapp, 39 had a six-month run Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse, and was nominated for a 2009 Drama Desk Award. The play subsequently ran at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London, and Axis Ballymun Theatre in Dublin.
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Denis Leary has mentioned my work when talking about how he got started with his own one-man show, “No Cure for Cancer” (which launched his prolific career). What he doesn’t know is that heinspired me to write this monologue, one of my most popular. It has to be performed full-tilt. I would use it to end the shows, especially if I was playing a big non-theatrical house. Like “Dog Chameleon”, it is anger without apologies.
BOBBY MORENO is an actor, emcee and activist. He first became aware of Eric Bogosian at high school speech tournaments all over Texas in the late 90s. Anyone performing one of Eric’s monologues was sure to know where the best parties were that night. More importantly, the writing was visceral, funny, biting; if someone who thought like that could make it in theatre, maybe Bobby belonged there, too. He began performing Blow Me in college, at parties on request, in his own one-man show, and once, in the courtyard of his college, where campus security approached saying they had received calls that a madman was ranting and raving. Performing the piece under Eric’s direction over a decade later, with brand new, horrifying and hilarious jokes being texted directly to him, has been a dream come true. In the meantime, you may have seen his star turn in Year of the Rooster (Drama Desk Nomination), his “cocky swagger and boisterous humor” on display inGrand Concourse at Playwrights Horizons, or his work in Hand to God, Invasion!, Luther, Red-Handed Otter and much, much more. Film credits includeHow He Fell In Love, Five Nights In Maine, Private Romeo and Icarus Stops for Breakfast. He has appeared on The Good Wife, Kings, Law and Order and One Life to Live. He is one half of the hip-hip group BiFocal Triclops, a lifetime member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, a Freestyle Mondays Battle Champion, a former Bat and a member of the Indie Theatre Hall of Fame. More at bobbymorenoworld.com
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I’ve built some monologues upon saying what I’m really thinking. It’s hard to do, because self-censorship is second nature. It’s easier to tell the truth if I do it through a character. For many years, I have lived and worked in the universe of the mass media. It is a special dimension, full of demented ideation. What is fame and fortune, why is it so desirous? Explain the logic out loud and it sounds crazy.
Josh created the role of “Jeff” in the original production of Eric Bogosian’s subUrbia at Lincoln Center and as “Phil” in the premiere of 1 + 1 at the Powerhouse Theater at NYS&F. Other stage credits include the recent Broadway revival of The Real Thing(Roundabout), Dead Accounts(Music Box), The Coast of Utopia(LTC), The Bridge Project- Winter’s Tale/Cherry Orchard(BAM, Old Vic), Reasons to be Happy(MCC), Kenneth Lonergan’s This is Our Youth(New Group),The Waverly Gallery(Promenade), and The Medieval Play(Signature), Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard(CSC), Proof(Walter Kerr), A Lie of the Mind, Things We Want and HurlyBurly( all at the New Group), The Cider House Rules(Atlantic/Mark Taper), As Bees in Honey Drown(Drama Dept) and Women and Wallace(YPF).
Films include: Alive, Kicking and Screaming, Outsourced, Dark Skies, Diggers, House of Yes, Away we Go, Francis Ha, Margaret, Bottled Up, and Take Me to the River(Sundance 2014).
TV includes: Gracepoint, American Horror Story-Coven, Madame Secretary, and Louie.
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Hypocrisy comes in many flavors. In the 80’s one of my favorite targets was self-promotion in the guise of “spiritual philosophy” and charitable work. I’m sure it was and still is all very well-intentioned and sincere. But still….plus rock stars are so easy to make fun of…
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This monologue stands alone. I wrote it and didn’t know what to do with it. I ended up performing it a couple of times at the annual Saint Marks Poetry Project New Year’s Eve marathon reading. It makes sense to me, but I’m not sure I can explain it. I guess I’m contrasting “fake” revolution with “real” revolution. And it’s a gas to perform.
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Jonathan Marc Sherman
"The Offer" was a segment in "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" which has a different structure from the other monologue shows in that most of the monologues are linked in some way. The plane crash that Satan describes here is the same plane crash that "Eric" survives and takes a meeting to discuss in LA (see #82 The Meeting with Richard Kind), it's also the flight that Tate Donovan is trying to get on (#73) and that Lisa Joyce is ticketing (#74).
Jonathan Marc Sherman is a playwright & actor. He was born & raised in New Jersey, graduated from Bennington College, and lives in New York City. Theater acting: Ivanov (Classic Stage Company); Clive (The New Group); Sophistry (Playwrights Horizons); Israel Horovitz’s Unexpected Tenderness (WPA) and The Chopin Playoffs (American Jewish Theatre); Marc Spitz’s I Wanna Be Adored, Retail Sluts, and Up For Anything; Oliver! (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera); and A Joke, Wild Dogs, and The Great Unwashed with Malaparte. Film: The Baxter; Quiz Show; The Limbo Room; The Hottest State; When The Nines Roll Over. TV: Broadway: The American Musical (as E.Y. "Yip" Harburg); My First Swedish Bombshell. He is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company. His hobby is writing about himself in the third person.
In The Dark
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I was working in Holland in 1982 when I learned the story of a little boy who hid in the closet because he was so full of fear. In the closet there was a rubber raincoat. He would wrap himself in it. As he got older, he developed a taste for black rubber. I found an old rubber fetishist magazine that featured people completely covered in black rubber outfits. I tried to get inside the mindset.
Ethan is an accomplished actor, screenwriter, film director, theatre director, and novelist. He has appeared in over 50 films including Dead Poets Society, Reality Bites, Before Sunrise, Gattaca, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and Training Day, for which he received his first Academy Award nomination. Hawke's eighth collaboration with director Richard Linklater, Boyhood, earned him Golden Globe, Academy Award, BAFTA, Gotham, SAG, and Critics' Choice award nominations; and his screenplay for Before Midnight, co-written with Linklater and Julie Delpy, won the 2014 Critics' Choice Louis XIII Genius Award. His stage credits include, as an actor: The Coast of Utopia, Henry IV, The Winter's Tale, The Cherry Orchard, Hurlyburly, Macbeth, and Blood from a Stone, which earned him a 2011 Obie Award for Performance; and as a director: Things We Want, Clive, and A Lie of the Mind, for which he received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play. He has written three novels and directed three films, most recently the 2015 best-sellerRules for a Knight, and Hawke's debut as a documentary filmmaker, Seymour: An Introduction.
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“Nice Shoes” is one of the first of the monologues. It has a lot to do with why I started acting in the first place – to play the tough guys who frightened me when I was growing up north of Boston. But it is not based on them, it is based on some of the tough guys I ran into in Little Italy, New York City when I first moved into that neighborhood in 1979.
MIKE CARLSEN is an actor based in New York City. He has been seen on broadway in Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia (TONY Award 2007 - Best Play) and his Off-Broadway credits include: The Wood at the Rattlestick Theatre, WTC View at 59E59; L(Y)RE at ARS NOVA and Spirits of Exit Eleven at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row. Mike is currently playing “Mikey Politano” on the Emmy-nominated Netflix comedy UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT. Other TV credits: LAST WEEK TONIGHT; 30 ROCK; PAN AM; PERSON OF INTEREST; LAW & ORDER; LAW & ORDER: CSI; and RESCUE ME. FILM credits: MENTOR, WRECK IT RALPH, A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES (with Liam Neeson), 11:55 (opposite Julia Stiles), LOST CAT CORONA, and CUSTODY. It’s an honor to be performing “Nice Shoes” for this historic webseries.
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Fascism is like the wolf at the door, always trying to find an excuse to enter. People seek safety when they are full of fear. Consciously, I don’t buy any of it, but I am susceptible to the racist fear campaigns that are endlessly promulgated in our society.
Fried Egg Deal
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Beggars are great observers of humanity, since they are forever interacting with strangers. They “see” us in a way we can’t see ourselves. We all believe in some kind of logic or order in the universe, (until it lets us down). The person who has nothing cannot believe in a benevolent order to reality. They must believe in something deeper. Here’s one philosophy.
A Tony® Award-winner for his role in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Bill Irwin has starred in many Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional stage productions, including The Goat or Who is Sylvia, opposite Sally Field; Waiting For Godot with Nathan Lane, for which Irwin was nominated in 2009 for a Drama Desk Award; The Tempest opposite Patrick Stewart; Texts for Nothing; Largely New York; The Regard of Flight; Garden of Earthly Delights; Accidental Death of An Anarchist – and the Tony® Award winning Fool Moon which he created with David Shiner. He was Playwright in Residence for the 2003 Signature Theatre season.
On television, Irwin has recently appeared on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, FX’s “Lights Out”, “The Good Wife” and “A Gifted Man”. He has also appeared on “Saturday Night Live”; “The Tonight Show”; “The Cosby Show”; “3rd Rock from the Sun”; HBO’s “Bette Midler, Mondo Beyondo”; CBS’s “Northern Exposure”; PBS’s “Great Performances”; and, with great pride, on “Sesame Street”, as Mr. Noodle.
In his film work, Irwin had an award-winning role in the Jonathan Demme film Rachel Getting Married, and appeared in such films as Robert Altman’s Popeye; John Sayles’ Eight Men Out; Michael Hoffman’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Ron Howards’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Burr Steers’ Igby Goes Down; M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water; Dark Matter, starring Meryl Streep; Julia Stiles’ Raving (short film) starring Zooey Deschanel; in Julie Taymor’s Across The Universe, and Vera Farmiga’s Higher Ground.
Irwin was an original member of Kraken, a theatre company directed by Herbert Blau, and was also an original member of the Pickle Family Circus of San Francisco. He has won many awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship, a Guggenheim, a Fulbright and a MacArthur Fellowship.
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"Food" is an adaptation of a monologue for a short film called, "American Vanity" directed by my friend, the great artist Robert Longo - one of the oddest projects I have ever worked on.
Sometime in the late-80's, maybe as late as 1991, Vanity Fair magazine got in touch with me to ask me to put together a short video for them. They said they would pay me to do it as well as pay for al the costs of the video. I told them I would do it, but that I would need total freedom to do what I felt like. In other words, I wouldn't be making like a hip Eric Bogosian "ad" for the magazine (which was cutting-edge hip under Tina Brown at the time). They said OK. I brought in Robert Longo to direct the thing and together we made "American Vanity." (You can find this video under the Additional Resources/Video section of this website.)
Robert and I had a great time recording some of my monologues. And I wrote some new ones as well. "Food" in its earliest version first shows up here.
A few days before the video was to be delivered, (at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars), Tina Brown invited me to lunch at the Four Seasons, the watering hole for power lunches among New York's elite. I thought she wanted to hang out with me. Instead, she icily asked me about the video. What was going to be on it? I said, "I'll tell you this, it's going to be amazing." She didn't seem pleased by that response.
We delivered the video a few days later. There was no response. The guy who worked at Vanity Fair who set the whole thing up was fired. The video was never used by Vanity Fair for anything. But Robert and I got the video.
I liked the monologue, worked on it some more and here I polished it up a bit more for Marg.
How the one percent lives....
Emmy Award-winner and Golden Globe nominee Marg Helgenberger was last seen guest starring on the CBS series, UNDER THE DOME. In Spring 2014 she was starring in the Barrington Theatre Company’s production of THE OTHER PLACE. Prior to that she costarred in the CBS drama series INTELLIGENCE, also starring Josh Holloway. In 2013 she ended her twelfth season of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION for which she has earned two Emmy nominations. The critically acclaimed show airs Wednesday nights at 10:00PM on CBS and is executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Her character, Catherine Willows is a single mother working as a crime scene analyst on the graveyard shift in Las Vegas.
Marg was seen starring alongside Kevin Costner in MGM’s psychological thriller Mr. Brooks, about a man who occasionally falls under the spell of his murderous alter-ego. She costarred with Julia Roberts in the Universal hit drama, ERIN BROCKOVICH, as a woman dying of cancer due to a contaminated water source. Marg also starred as Patsy Ramsey in the highly rated CBS miniseries, PERFECT MURDER, PERFECT TOWN based on the best selling book about the unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Helgenberger appeared in two original telepictures for Showtime. In the controversial THANKS OF A GRATEFUL NATION, she played the sister of a man (Steven Weber) who suffers a terminal brain tumor after returning from the Gulf War. She then co-starred with Ann-Margret in the HAPPY FACE MURDERS as a detective investigating a very unsettling and confusing case of murder.
Her breakout role as K.C. on CHINA BEACH, won her an Emmy Award in 1990. In 1997, she guest starred on a four-episode arc on ER playing George Clooney’s love interest. Her other television credits include MURDER LIVE with David Morse and Teri Garr, Stephen King’s highly-rated miniseries THE TOMMYKNOCKERS, a Tom Hanks directed episode of Showtime’s FALLEN ANGELS, and the Oscar nominated short film, PARTNERS, directed by Peter Weller as well as THE GOLD COAST, starring opposite David Caruso.
On the feature film side, Helgenberger starred in SPECIES, opposite Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen and Forest Whitaker and in SPECIES II. Other film credits include, IN GOOD COMPANY, starring alongside Dennis Quaid and Scarlett Johansson, FIRE DOWN BELOW with Steven Seagal, THE LAST TIME I COMMITTED SUICIDE with Keanu Reeves, MY FELLOW AMERICANS with Jack Lemmon and James Garner, COWBOY WAY with Woody Harrelson, BAD BOYS with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, ALWAYS with Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfuss and CROOKED HEARTS with Peter Berg and Noah Wyle. Growing up in North Bend, Nebraska, Helgenberger acted in school plays, but it was not until she attended Northwestern University that she thought of acting as a career. While there she appeared on stage as Kate in TAMING OF THE SHREW and as Blanche in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, to name a few. After graduating college she was cast on the ABC-TV daytime drama RYAN’S HOPE. While in New York she also did work with the Children’s Theatre Company, TADA.
New Action Army
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I have great respect for those who have found their calling in the armed forces and law enforcement. I hail from the kind of blue collar town that most soldiers and police call home. This kind of work is dangerous and often goes unthanked. To what degree do young men and women who choose this line of work know what they are getting into?
John is an actor, filmmaker, and composer. Originally from Toronto, Canada, John now resides in New York City. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Brown University and has trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in England. John is a co-founder of Good Baby Films, an award winning filmmaking collective based in New York City. John has directed, written, and composed music for Good Baby’s films, commercials, and music videos.
Selected acting credits include: New York: Beau Willimon's Breathing Time (Fault Line Theatre), In The Event of My Death (Stable Cable Lab Co.), She Stoops to Conquer (Hudson Warehouse), Untameable (The Unsoft War/Highly Impractical Theatre), Bronx Bombers (Cover for roles, Primary Stages), The Tie That Binds (The Gallery Players). Regional: Fracture/Mechanics (Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep), Freshwater Road (Rites and Reason), One More Room (Williamstown Theatre Festival Workshop); The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Brown University).
. . .
When I wrote “Medicine”, the downtown community was being ravaged by the plague which was eventually known as “AIDS.” Half-baked cures, specifically the drug AZT, were being foisted on the hapless victims of this scourge. It was a horrible. It made me question the pharmaceutical industry. I still do. This piece was too painful to be included in a show when it was first written. Later, after the “cocktail” provided some relief to those with HIV, we could stand listening to this piece. In the intervening years, it has become commonplace to be warned about drug side effects. The monologue has gone from being indigestible to satirical.
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We New Yorkers live in close proximity with down and out folks who have very little. Every day every one who lives in our great city passes someone on the street asking for money. At the same time, New Yorkers, particularly those living in the affluent suburbs, enjoy probably the most comfortable lives on earth. This monologue is an attempt to collide those two worlds. ( Plus I spend a lot of time grilling. Tip of the hat to John Markus, one of the great grillmasters of the United States.)
After college, John Markus moved to Los Angeles and landed a job writing for Mighty Mouse. In under a year he was let go for, as he was told, “writing lines that Mighty wouldn’t say”. After an assignment on Paramount's Taxi, Markus joined the original writing staff of The Cosby Show. He became the series’ supervising producer during season one and was promoted to show runner for the rest of his tenure, six seasons. During this time, he wrote or co-wrote 67 episodes, earning an Emmy, a Peabody and two Humanitas prizes. He also co-created A Different World, which ran for six seasons on NBC.
As a writing/producer on The Larry Sanders Show, Markus was Emmy-nominated for co-writing the Ellen Degeneres episode, “Ellen: Is She Or Isn't She?” Next, The Fabulous Lipitones, a play co-authored with Mark St. Germain, opened at Goodspeed Theater in 2013. About a barbershop quartet that loses its lead singer to a high B-flat-induced heart attack, Lipitones is produced regularly in regional theaters throughout America. Markus directs it when they let him.
He turned his hobby, cooking Southern-style BBQ, into a television series that just finished its eighth season on The Discovery Network. In 2010, he took five pitmasters from the series to Kuwait to cook and serve real BBQ to 5,200 soldiers stationed at our military bases. He’s currently finishing a documentary about the mission. Just last year, The Kansas City Barbecue Society awarded him a PhB-- an honorary status bestowed upon only a handful of pitmasters.
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This short piece was part of something called “Men In Dark Times.” I just had to write it. It speaks for itself. Horribly, what it implies is real. There are places all over the world where this reality is reality.
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Reagan was president. Many supporters of his were racist and xenophobic. There was a strong tang of patriotism in the air. Nationalism. I am wary of all that. I wrote this “speech” as a hypothetical bridge between Reagan’s supposedly common-sense politics and full fascism. Unwittingly, we posted this speech on the night of Trump’s election to the office of President of the United States. A dark day for our country.
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"Faith" is from "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" and one part of a chain of monologues that make up the piece. I was brought up Christian and there have always been parts of the Jesus story that I don't exactly understand.This monologue is an attempt to take a look at some inconsistencies in the realm of "faith."
Mary Wiseman is a recent graduate of of Juilliard. In New York she's appeared on Broadway in Therese Raquin and Off-Broadway in the Obie award winning production of An Octoroon at Theatre for a New Audience. She returns to TFANA this winter as Sabina in The Skin of Our Teeth. She's performed the last two summers at Williamstown Theatre Festival in Off the Main Road and most recently, Romance Novels for Dummies. TV credits include Baskets, Netflix's Longmire, The Characters and Hulu's Difficult People.
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“The Glass” is another attempt on my part to simply say out loud what I am thinking. It is a “rant” and in performance I would kick it pretty hard. I still find it hard to come to terms with my consumerist mindset and my supposed “empathy” for those who have little or nothing. How can you be “spiritual” when so many in the world are suffering?
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I was watching one of those PBS Depak Chopra specials one day and found myself actually getting sucked in. Which bothered me. When I played around with the character, this monologue is what emerged. I guess in the end, it reveals an essential truth about me. And maybe not just me. It’s no secret that the power of moneyhas replaced the power of God as the foundational belief of our society. Money is all powerful, much like Christ was in medieval times. Right?
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It’s easy to claim the truth when your beliefs are never tested. Street people have their own truth. And they are always performing, in their own way, because they are always out there, visible to an uninvited audience.
. . .
Russell G. Jones
"LIVE" is from the 1991 show, "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll." By '91, my lifestyle had changed radically from my starving artist days. Travis was born that year, so we had two children and Jo and I had found a place outside the city to spend weekends. I bought a car. We could afford to buy fresh vegetables and crazy luxuries like paper towels. I was beginning to get residuals. I had "spending money" for the first time in my life and I became very aware of what money could buy. I was trying to establish some kind of balance in my life, financially. It was as if there was a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. And the devil kept whispering in my ear, "Spend the money! Live!"
Russell G. Jones is an Auldeco, Obie and SAG Award winning actor that has been seen on stage (The Signature, Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, The Public/Mark Taper Forum) on film (Side Effects, Traffic, The Ticket) and on TV (Godless, Louie, Law & Order and The Americans). He has worked for over a decade as a director, facilitator, moderator and as a teaching artist creating programming, workshops and curriculum for Artsgenesis, the ABC+ Program, Developing Artist Theater Company, The National Black Theater, Community Word Project, Labyrinth Theater Company, Periwinkle National Theatre, The Liberty Partnerships Program at Bank Street Teachers College, Bronx Academy of Letters and The Cleveland Public Theater. Mr. Jones has been a member of The Labyrinth Theater Co. since 1995 where he has taught in the Master Class, Ensemble Workshop and Intensive Ensemble. He was the Program Coordinator for the 2014 Intensive Ensemble and has served on Labyrinth’s Board of Directors. He is the founder of BLIND SPOT a multi-platform campaign that facilitates cross cultural dialogue and critical thinking so more of us can recognize and resist internalized and systemic oppression.
. . .
In 1992, I was in a mini-mall parking lot in New Jersey, wearing a "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" show jacket. (The show had done so well, the producers ordered us show jackets with the title emblazoned across the back.) A man stopped me. "Hey, dude, you like sex, drugs, rock and roll?"
I turned to face a bearded fellow in a bandana. I instantly recognized him as a Hell's Angel because he was wearing a black leather jacket, had Hell's Angels colors on his jacket, and sported a tattooed ear. "I said, 'Sure.'" He continued, "I like sex, drugs, rock & roll, too." I smiled sheepishly.
He asked, "You ride?" [Side note: I grew up with outlaw bikers in my home town. I've learned that they can turn from nice to nasty in seconds.] "Um, no, no, I don't ride."
"Oh." (thoughtfully:) "Well, listen, I like your jacket, get me one. Here's my card."
Hell's Angels have business cards printed with their name on it along with the initials, "MC" - which stands for "motor captain". I took the card. I still have it. It says "RED - MC" and the chapter of the Hell's Angels he rode with. "Sure, I'll get you one. No problem."
After getting in my car and driving away, I immediately understood the dramatic potential of our encounter. A Hell's Angel gets friendly with a guy who sees himself as kind of a rebel, but really isn't. I cooked up this scenario in which a stock broker (Mike) stops by "Red"'s house to buy a nickel bag of pot. It's my favorite monologue.
It is performed here with manic aplomb by one of my all time favorite actors, my brother-in-arms from "The Get Down", Kevin Corrigan.
Kevin Corrigan was born in the Bronx in 1969 and raised there. He studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute during the mid-to-late 80’s, the post-punk, post-new wave, post-cool years of downtown Manhattan.
He is recognized for his work during the independent film boom of the 90's.in such films as BUFFALO ’66, SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS, LIVING IN OBLIVION, WALKING AND TALKING, HENRY FOOL, RHYTHM THIEF, and KICKED IN THE HEAD. Other film credits include TRUE ROMANCE, GOODFELLAS, THE DEPARTED, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, AMERICAN GANGSTER, and SUPERBAD.
On television, he played Uncle Eddie on the sitcom GROUNDED FOR LIFE, Jackie Moreno on the Netflix show THE GET DOWN, Milkshake on Showtime’s DICE and has guested on numerous shows including THE MENTALIST, FRINGE, DAMAGES, CALIFORNICATION, and LAW AND ORDER.
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"Superman" is one of my first monologues. When I was growing up, "Superman" was a black and white tv show starring Steve Reeves. All the little kids in the neighborhood would run around with sheets trailing behind them (for capes) pretending to be their hero. Some were even dumb enough to jump off of roofs. When I created this bit around 1979, I wasn't really thinking of it as a "monologue" per se, rather simply as an example of one of the people who live inside me. Which is to say, the little kid inside who is full of energy, prejudice and fear. Also, I was trying to be as awkward and embarrassing as possible in performance. Superman is also a celebration of the birth of "acting" for me. When I was a kid, I spent endless hours alone in my room, pretending to be other people. Isn't the essence of acting to pretend to be someone you can't be in real life? Anyway, this one goes back to my roots. And thanks to Ajay Nadu who was amazing in the film "subUrbia" ( where we first met), for bringing his super-energy to this essential piece.
AJAY NAIDU recently completed production on The Kindergarten Teacher opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gael Garcia Bernal, which is set to premiere Netflix in winter 2018. Other film credits include cult classic Office Space, Richard Linklater’s SubUrbia (independent Spirit Award nomination), Bad Santa, Scary Movie 3, Hotel For Dogs, The Accidental Husband, The Wrestler, The Honeymooners, The Guru, Hannibal, Requim For A Dream, Chutney Popcorn, and Pi. In 2006, Naidu directed his first feature film Ashes which had its release in 2010 and for which he won Best Actor accolades from the New York Indian Film Festival in New York and the London Asian Film Festival. Naidu's first professional acting job was the film Touch and Go (released in 1986) which he won from an open call.
Television include “Blindspot”, “Friends From College”, “Odd Mom Out”, “Deadbeat,” “Bored to Death,” “30 Rock,” “West Wing,” “Lateline”,“The Sopranos” and MTV India’s “The Ajay Show”. As an emcee vocals include Talvin Singhs Mercury award winner "OK.”
Theatre includes The Kid Stays In The Picture (Royal Court), Indian Ink (Roundabout), Master and Margarita and Measure for Measure (Theatre Complicite), Little Flower of East Orange alongside Ellyn Burstyn directed by Phillp Seymour Hoffman (Public Theatre) Darwaza (solo performance, Labrynth). The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui alongside Al Pacino, directed by Simon McBurney. In 2001 Naidu's solo theatre piece Darwaza was a sold-out hit at New York's Labrynth Theatre.
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Living in New York has held many charms for me. Two of them are crazy fuckers on the street screaming all kinds of wild truth and dog smudges on the sidewalk. This piece is fun to perform and at the same time, very hard to do. It showed up in many of my early solo shows and for me, it's one of the more "punk" pieces. And it's about something I care about, i.e. pollution.
An award-winning actress who crosses seamlessly from studio films to independent, from the stage to television, Rodriguez has played the emotionally complex Aleida Diaz for the past four seasons on the groundbreaking Netflix series “Orange Is The New Black”. She was also recently seen as a series regular in the role of Liza Ortiz on AMC’s smash hit “Fear the Walking Dead” and continues to recur as Paz Valdez on Starz’ “Power”. Some of Rodriguez’s other series regular roles have included NBC’s “Prime Suspect”, ABC’s “All My Children”, and Cinemax’s “Blanco”. Other work includes “Devious Maids”,“Grimm”, “The Shield”, “ER”, “Six Feet Under”, “Third Watch”, “Law & Order”, “Law & Order: SVU”, “Cold Case”, “Just Shoot Me”, “NYPD Blue”. Rodriguez’s film credits include co-starring in Michael Mann's "Miami Vice", “The Drop”, “Tio Papi” (for which she garnered an Imagen Award Nomination), "Return to Paradise”, “Jack Goes Boating”, “Glass Chin” and the soon to be released independent “11:55”.
Rodriguez received a 2011 Tony Award nomination, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award, as well as a Theatre World Award, for her role as “Veronica” on Broadway in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “The Motherfu**er With The Hat”. Additional theater includes three world premieres at NYC’s acclaimed Public Theater in “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" (directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman), “Unconditional” and “A View from 151st Street”. Other notable plays include “Beauty of the Father” (MTC), "Roger and Vanessa" (Actors' Gang), "Den of Thieves" (Black Dahlia), “Unorganized Crime” (Elephant Theater), "Robbers" (American Place Theater) and “The Power of Duff” (Geffen). Rodriguez is a native New Yorker and member of Labyrinth Theater Company
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Without ambition, where would we be?
STEVEN BOYER stars as Dwayne Reed in NBC’s comedy “Trial & Error”, as well as Jerry Gorsch in "Chicago Fire".
On Broadway, he received a Tony nomination for originating the role of Jason/Tyrone in Hand to God.
Other television credits include "The Blacklist," “The Good Wife,” “Orange is the New Black,”
“Mom,” “The Crazy Ones,” “Louie,” “High Maintenance,” “The Share,” “Person of Interest,” “Law & Order,” and the films Bridge of Spies, The Wolf of Wall Street, Listen Up Philip, & Did You Hear About the Morgans? Member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre.
I'm Here Every Night
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This speech is the climax of the drama “Talk Radio”, which I wrote as a play and as a film. It has many moving parts vis-a-vis the dramatic plot. But the monologue can also stand by itself. I’ve always been interested in the tension between the performer and his or her audience. The performer doesn’t exist without the audience. But who is the audience? Who does the performer think he or she is performing for? The relationship can get EXISTENTIAL, as Jean Paul Sartre and Jean Genet have said about masters and slaves. I’ll leave it at that.
NATASHA LYONNE began her film career in Pee-wee’s Playhouse which led to roles in more than 50 films including But I’m a Cheerleader and Slums of Beverly Hills. She stars as a series regular in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, a role for which she received an Emmy nomination. Lyonne co-created the upcoming Netflix series Russian Doll with Amy Poehler. She wrote and directed for the series which stars her as Nadia, a young woman on a journey as the guest of honor at a seemingly inescapable party one night in New York City. Last year, Natasha made her directorial debut with the Kenzo film Cabiria, Charity, Chastity. She also wrote the screenplay for the film which stars Rudolph, Fred Armisen, and Leslie Odom Jr among others. Next year she will be seen alongside Lucas Hedges and FKA Twigs in Alma Harel and Shia Labouef’s Honey Boy.