The Role of Films in Education

Teaching methods have changed with time, and currently, many centres of education are using film to teach. You might say that it is a way to make students more attentive in class, but it is more than that. Many teachers prefer using films during a lesson as it explains a phenomenon more clearly than text.

For you, as a student, you might not be taking the film seriously. If you do that please start doing so as it makes you understand more. It even helps when you are given an essay as an assignment. However, if you need an essay, you can visit this site to buy original essay.

So, the following are roles of films in education.

Attention

The vital thing for a student while in class is being attentive. Without focus, you will not learn anything. With the current trend and technological change, more students are more careful when watching a film. That is why many learning experts prefer the use of films in education.

It helps students to become more attentive and learn more things while in class. Unlike the use of textbooks, many student’s attention usually shifts and makes it hard for them to concentrate; therefore, if you notice that your students don’t pay attention to introduce film-watching while in class.

Understanding

Use of textbooks is not enough to understand some aspects. You need additional educational material for your students to get the point. Here the use of films is essential as it helps your students to understand more. A thing about cinema is that it gives you a comprehensive view when learning.

It enables you to know new things more so those that were challenging to you. Therefore, for you, as a teacher or student, you need to use films for understanding. Written text is not enough; you need to use movies.

Learning Moments

One of the reasons I love the use of films in education is that it provides more learning moments. You might be looking at a film like Gandhi, and your main interest was about his history. However, while the movie you get to learn more aspects of Gandhi and how they can help students in this era.

Some aspects students will learn from watching films include religion, non-violent protests, freedom, gender, rights, responsibilities, and imperialism. These are some of the life aspects that students will learn while watching a film like Gandhi. It will not only help them in class but also in their social lives.

Thus, to provide your students with more learning moments ensure you show them more films that have a positive impact on their lives.

Literacy and Reading Improvement

You might say that literacy or reading improvement is through reading books. However, you might be right but from now on that is changing. Films that have subtitles help to improve literacy and reading levels in students. Consider reading novels. Yeah, it is usually exciting, but many students tend to lose focus.

To avoid that while in class you can use films. Currently, many novels are making films to be used during studies. If you use films, you will notice that even those that were having challenges understanding written text will now begin learning something from the film.

Therefore, to help increase your student’s literacy and reading levels ensure that you use films during lessons. Don’t make it a norm but do it occasionally.

Unity

Your class might be divided into various learning groups like those who are bright, average, and less bright. That should not be the case in any learning institution. To curb such a menace start using films. It makes students engage more and appreciate each other.

Conclusion

Before you start using films for educational purposes, ensure that you look at your school policies. That is the initial thing you should do. To know more about cinema for education, you can visit Film Education. They provide training, screenings, have a film library, and tons of resources.

Thank you for reading.

Bill Moseley talks about his role in “3 From Hell”

Bill Moseley is a legend in the horror business. He is known best for playing Chop Top from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” and also Otis in “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil Rejects”. He is reprising the role of Otis in Rob Zombie’s latest film “3 From Hell”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Bill to discuss his new film and stepping back into the character.

**Tickets for the September 16th/17th/18th nationwide release of 3 FROM HELL are available at FathomEvents.com/3FromHell**

Mike Gencarelli: It’s been nearly 15 years since “The Devil’s Rejects”, what was it like picking up this character again after all these years?
Bill Moseley: It seemed liked it was going to be a pretty daunting task to try that but once we got to the set and got costumes and makeup – and with that good script under our wings – everything worked out pretty smoothly.

MG: Gotta respect the beard man, how long that take to grow out?
BM: That beard was at least 16 months. My wife was very excited when I finally got “beard release”. She followed me to the barbershop, here in Los Angeles, and they cut it all off and put it in a plastic bag.

MG: After working with Rob Zombie now on a few films; did you feel you had freedom with this character?
BM: Most of it was in the script. Sometimes with creative freedom to come up with new lines and moves for the character is because the scripts need a little help. But with Rob’s scripts they are so good you really don’t need to do more than follow the printed page.

MG: After the ending of “The Devil’s Rejects”, some would have thought that was the end but, I like things turned out in “3 From Hell”…
BM: With “3 From Hell”, I am glad the way Rob brought us back due to the poor shooting of the Rudgesville Sheriff Department. A lot of fans certainly wanted more after “The Devil’s Rejects”. I remember at different horror conventions fans coming up and giving scenarios. The worst was with someone waking up and saying “Wow, what a dream I had”, that is the lamest device in Hollywood. One that I thought was really cool is that we did actually die, went to hell and the devil rejected us making us truly the devil’s rejects…but of course then if you do that then we are supernatural and that’s a different universe. This way makes sense cause the sheriff’s department looked like a real motley crew even with us driving right at them.

MG: Where was the Mexico scenes shot?
BM: Right outside LA. It was a cool movie ranch. I think it was in the same vicinity as the spawn ranch scenes from “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”. I don’t think it was exact location but there are still movie ranches dived around the hills in LA.

MG: What was your biggest challenge working on this film?
BM: The biggest challenge was getting back into Otis’ skin after 14 years. Also to do Otis from “The Devil’s Rejects” justice and to take him to a new level and that is a big challenge. I was a little nervous at first, day 1/day 2 on the set, I had mini monologue to deliver and I remember flubbing the lines, so I took a time out after a couple of takes. I remember a voice in my head saying “Get out of the way Bill, I got this!” It was Otis and after that everything just went very smoothly.

MG: Would you consider this the end for Otis and the gang or could you see yourself stepping into this role again?
BM: I don’t necessarily see an end. I still have a kid in college, so I hope there will be three or four more of them. And BTW they are really fun to do. It is hard work making movies, there are a lot of moving parts and pressure but working with these guys makes it worth it.

Actor Jimmy Bellinger Talks About His Role In The Film “Blockers”

Jimmy Bellinger is an actor who has appeared in a variety of commercials, films and, television series including “The Middle” and “Parks and Recreation”. In the newly released film “Blockers” starring Leslie Mann and John Cena, Jimmy plays the role of Chad a nerdy yet confident high school student. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Jimmy recently about his character and the film and also about his widely popular Skittles commercial.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the film “Blockers” and your character Chad?

Jimmy Bellinger: “Blockers” is a fun, raunchy sort of coming of age story that follows three parents and their daughters. We first see the girls as young children and then as teenagers getting ready to attend the prom. The girls decide they want to lose their virginity and make a pact to do so. The girl’s dates are not aware that this is set to happen and it turns into this crazy thing when the parents find out and attempt to stop them. My character Chad is sort of a dorky guy but he is very confident. He loves to dance and be a showman. Chad also loves a good fedora!

AL: How did this role come about for you?

JB: It was actually quite a long process. I auditioned a few times over the course of two months before officially getting the offer. Originally I read for a character that’s not in the story anymore. I then went back and read for the role of Chad. I actually did two auditions that day as they brought me back in the afternoon to read with a group of girls auditioning for the Sam role. None of those girls ended up in the film and I didn’t hear anything for a couple weeks until they brought me back to read with a different group of girls. This whole time I was never really sure if I was going to get the role or not because they could have been seeing other people that I didn’t know about. A week or so later I found out I got the part and also that they recast all three girls and the other two guys. I was lucky that I made it and am very happen that things worked out for me the way that they did.

AL: Over that time did the script change in any way?

JB: Yes it did. Originally there was this completely different character in the script and that role had been cut out so there were definitely a lot of changes made from the time I first read the script to what ended up being in the film. Things were added and locations changed but the film is still just as funny as when I first read for it and, that was what interested me in the project from the start.

AL: Were you allowed creative freedom with the character or were you asked to stay to the scripted material?

JB: There was certainly creative freedom. Yes there was a script for the character they wrote but I feel like unless you are playing a real person that existed somewhere in time you bring in pieces of yourself to each role you pay. I feel like most people want you to bring your own traits as an actor to their character. That’s essentially your job. You have ideas and there are scripted pieces so you start there and once you get going you might come up with some other things that help the character and story. The film’s director Kay Cannon is an extremely talented writer so if we weren’t pitching ideas she was coming up with things to try or add. We shot a lot of different versions of each scene so you really didn’t know what will be in the final film until you see it.

AL: The film has a very comedic cast. What was it like on set between takes?

JB: It was fun! Sets are all very similar because the days are long and when you are not shooting you are hanging out with the other cast and crew joking and having a good time. You get to talk with and meet a lot of different people. The cast was great as were the crew and, being that we were shooting a comedy and not a drama or something really serious everyone was just very relaxed and the mood was light.

AL: You also are currently the face of Skittles and appear in the hilarious Skittles-pocks commercial. How did that opportunity come about and, will you be reprising that role in upcoming ads?

JB: That came about much like this film through a regular audition. I went in to read for the part and they paired us up randomly with the girls who were their reading for the other part. I ended up being with the girl who also ended up in the commercial. After the first audition I got a call back and I could tell that they liked me because I read with the first girl again as well as a couple others. When we shot it even though it was such a short spot we tried a bunch of different things. The lines were there but I got to have a lot of fun playing within the confines of them. I had no idea what made it into the commercial until it came out. The ad started on the internet and then they started airing it and then they stopped. That usually happens after some time with commercials but then they decided to renew it and it has been playing non-stop. I am completely fine with it. Some people think it’s funny; some people think its gross or a combination of the two. I think that they are probably all right but I think that’s kind of the appeal of it as it’s weird but quick and easy. It’s just crazy how big it has become and seeing how excited people get amazes me. In terms of reprising the role that really on them however I will happily be paid to wear more skittles on my face. I am fine with that.

AL: Are there any other projects you have been working on that you would like to mention?

JB: There are some things in the works but I can’t really talk too much about those right now however, I did do an episode of the Nickelodeon show “Night Squad”. My episode won’t air until Halloween time but I do want to let people know it will be coming out and when they can look for it.

For more info on Jimmy Bellinger you can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @JimmyBellinger

 

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The Increasing Role Of Social Media In The World Of Online Casinos

Whether the business is big or small, social media networks can play a huge role in helping them develop. This is thanks to them being excellent for attracting new customers, keeping existing customers entertained and informed, marketing new products and services and providing the vital link between a business and its customer base. With billions of people regularly using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s no surprise businesses such as online casino brands are taking advantage of what social media has to offer.

For a start, engaging with customers these days is huge, especially on platforms such as Facebook. People who visit online casino sites they want to feel appreciated and not only that but they want the services on offer to be kept updated with fresh content. Through social media, it’s remarkably easy to inform customers and potential customers of the latest games, services and promotions on offer. Social media also allows reactions to be gauged accurately too through the use of likes and comments; which is invaluable to any successful service. It’s the ideal link between customers, both new and existing, and the business.

So apart from social media being great for marketing purposes it’s also a great way to actually get to know the customers too. When an online casino operator knows what a large part of their fan base wants from a slot game for example, they can set about ensuring that it accurately reflects their tastes as much as possible. It reduces a lot of risk involved when bringing fresh content to the table. Knowing what somebody likes beforehand is a great advantage and social media can help make this possible.

Keeping customers happy and interested is vital in the success of any business, be it online or offline. Online casinos, Unibet being a perfect example, are renowned for having promotions on for both new and existing customers and what better way to get the message out there than through the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? It won’t just be members who take note either as special offers such as a triple deposit bonus will spread like wildfire on social media from person to person remarkably quickly.

Social media also allows for promotions, special offers and information to be presented to people in much more engaging ways through images and videos. Online casinos often utilize these methods well in order to communicate directly to people and as they will also attract more feedback than a generic Facebook post for example, they’re great tools to ascertain what customers like and dislike.

The role of social media has never been more important, especially for highly competitive businesses, as per seen in the online casino industry. It’s vital that customers are kept happy and are regularly engaged in the right ways and the likes of Facebook and Twitter make this a whole lot easier. With social media also being a hub for accurate feedback on the latest services and products, it’s a crucial tool when it comes to delivering the fresh content that people want and need.

Grace Kaufman talks about her role on the CBS series “Man with a Plan”

Teen actress Grace Kaufman has appeared in a variety of television shows including “The Closer” “2 Broke Girls” and the “The Last Ship”. Graces newest role has her playing opposite Matt LeBlanc in the CBS hit comedy “Man with a Plan”. Media Mikes has the chance to speak with Grace recently about her role on the show and also about her new film “Brave New Jersey”.

Adam Lawton: Tell us about your role on “Man with a Plan” and how the role came about?

Grace Kaufman: I play Kate Burns on the show. She is a very fun role to play because not only does she have a little bit of sass along with some rebellious qualities but she also really loves her family. That’s where I feel I connect with the role. Kate can be disobedient but loving at the same time. I had heard about the role by going through the normal auditioning process. I got the script and immediately fell in the love with my character Kate. I knew she was definitely a role I wanted to play. After my first audition I received a call back and that’s when I met Matt LeBlanc for the first time. That was very exciting for me as I have always loved his work. I found out shortly after reading with him that I had gotten the role and I was just over the moon about it.

AL: Was the role fairly laid out when it was presented to you or were you allowed to develop certain traits
of the character on your own?

GK: There were definitely some parts of the character that were already set ahead of time but, I also brought in my own set of traits and personality to the character. I think that’s what makes things more natural. I was very grateful for the opportunity to do that I was able to explore the character of Kate and really get to know her as well.

AL: What has it been like working alongside Matt LeBlanc?

GK: When I first met Matt at the initial call back it was like meeting one of your idols. I loved him on “Friends” and I have enjoyed his other work as well. Matt is very talented and a brilliant actor. To be in the same room and read with him was such a cool experience. Just being there was very exciting. We did our read through and there was some notes they gave me for the next read and everything just went from there.

AL: The show recently got picked up for a full run. What do you feel makes “Man with a Plan” stand out from other family based comedies?

GK: I feel like the show is not only one that’s fun for the whole family to watch but one that every member can relate to. I feel like a lot of the situations that happen on the show are things that happen to real families. That’s what I think makes the show so special and enjoyable for families to sit down and watch together.

AL: Was this your first experience filming in-front of a live studio audience?

GK: I have done some guest starring roles on shows which film in front of live audiences so I had some experience with that going in to this show. This was my first show that I was a series regular on where there would be a live audience. Even though I had done guests spots before in similar settings it was still very exciting and a bit nerve racking. The more we work in-front of the audience the more I have been able to see that they are not there to judge us. They are there to support us and laugh with us. Knowing that has made me start to feel very comfortable in-front of them now.

AL: You also recently had a film premier at the Austin Film Festival. Can you tell us about that?

GK: The film is called “Brave New Jersey”. I filmed that about a year ago in Tennessee. It was a lot of fun as I had never been to that state before nor had I ever done a period piece. The film takes place in the late 1930’s on the night of Orson Wells “War of the Worlds” broadcast. It’s set in a small town in Lullaby, NJ which overhears the broadcast and assumes real aliens are in-fact invading. The premise is based around if you know you only have one night to live what would you do? Having never done something like this before it was a lot of fun and I got to work with some really great people that I learned a lot from.

AL: What are your plans for the coming year?

GK: We start filming “Man with a Plan” again in January so I have that to look forward to. I also have a role on the show “The Last Ship” which is on TNT that just got picked up for a fifth season. I start working on that in April. I have been working on that show for about four years now so I am very excited that we are coming back for another season. The cast and crew have become like a family to me there. It’s quite different than “Man with a Plan” but they are both special to me in different ways. Shooting this fifth season is going to be really great.

For more info on Grace and her projects you can check out her various social media accounts at @ImGraceKaufman

 

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Chantel Riley Talks About Broadway’s “The Lion King” and Her Role in the New Film “Race”

Born in Toronto, Chantel Riley’s path to stardom began when she realized she wasn’t doing what she truly wanted in her life. She is now. Since 2012 she has starred as Nala in the Broadway musical “The Lion King” and last year was able to take time off from the show to begin her movie career with a pivotal role in the new Jesse Owens bio-film RACE.

During a break in her busy schedule, Ms. Riley took the time to speak with me about the physicality of “The Lion King,” her role in RACE and why one day she hopes to be able to “ease on down the road!”

MIKE SMITH: Tell us a little bit about your background? How did you end up on Broadway?
CHANTEL RILEY: I’m originally from Toronto and I went to University in Toronto. After school I pretty much got a 9-5 job but after about a year and a half I realized it definitely wasn’t my thing. (laughs) Because I was a performer. I had taken dance lessons and I had grown up singing in my church. I just had an idea that something else was out there for me. I had no idea what it was but I knew I needed a change. A friend of mine told me about an open casting call they were having in Toronto for “The Lion King.” I had never auditioned for anything before in my life. This was my first time doing anything like this. So I went to the audition and got a few callbacks, which was very exciting. I had a couple well extended lunch breaks…I kept having to go downtown for these callbacks. A couple months later I got a call from my agent and they wanted me to audition to be part of the cast of “The Lion King” in Germany. So I flew to Germany, did the audition and booked the job on the spot. I did the show there for about a year and then I auditioned again for Julie Taymor, who directed “The Lion King” on Broadway, and was offered the role of Nala in New York on the Broadway stage. And here I am!

MS: So basically you’re just like Shirley Jones…you just show up and you’re on Broadway!
CR: (laughing) Exactly!

MS: You’ve portrayed Nala for quite a while now. Do you have to prepare anything special for yourself to keep the performance fresh? I can imagine doing the same thing 8 shows a week for a couple of years might get boring after awhile.
CR: Yes I do. I keep occupied by taking classes and making short films. These things keep me thinking outside the box. I also use what I learn from the classes and the films and bring it with me on the stage. It gives me a new sense at how I look at each performance every night. And this also gives me the chance to try something new. Every night we have a new audience. So it’s a great way for me to try new techniques and to find different ways of performing.

MS: I’ve never seen the show on Broadway but I’ve seen photos and the occasional video clip. It’s a lot more than just standing on a stage and singing. Is the show more difficult physically as opposed to musically?
CR: The show is very physical. We’re constantly on stage and we play lions and zebras and other animals. My role has me constantly running around. If Nala isn’t jumping on-stage she’s jumping off-stage. There’s a lot of activity. AND singing. I sing two songs in the show. We sing live and the dancers are moving non-stop. So it is a very physical show.

MS: You have an important role in the upcoming film RACE. What is your character’s relationship to Jesse Owens in the film?
CR: Quincella Nickerson was someone who was very close to Jesse Owens. She was not only his friend but a huge fan of his. She was a socialite whose father owned a huge insurance company in California. At that time that was pretty huge…that an African-American could be that affluent. She spent a lot of time with Jesse…attending parties and things. There were rumors going around that she and Jesse were engaged to be married. They spent a lot of time together. So we see a lot of that in the film…a lot of her in the film.

MS: If you could play one role on Broadway, either current or a show from the past, what would it be?
CR: Definitely Dorothy from “The Wiz.” I think that would be such a fun role. It would be so exciting. And it’s such fun music. That would be so much fun!

MS: What do you have coming up next?
CR: I’m working on a new short film with James Brown-Orleans, a fellow cast member from “The Lion King.” We’ve done a lot of short films together. Our most recent film, “Teacher’s Nightmare,” just won the Wendy’s International Short Film Award for Best Drama. That’s pretty cool.

Jamie Bamber talks about new role in “John Doe: Vigilante”

Most audiences are familiar with actor Jamie Bamber from his role as Apollo on the acclaimed television series “Battlestar Galactica” and its accompanying films. I was a huge admirer of his work on the UK version of “Law and Order.” This week Mr. Bamber appears as a man on trial for 33 serial killings in the new film, “John Doe: Vigilante.” While taking a break at home (with his dog) we spoke about the film and the change of pace casting.

Mike Smith: Hello and a belated Happy Birthday (Mr. Bamber recently turned 42 on April 3rd)
Jamie Bamber: That’s very kind, thank you.

MS: “John Doe: Vigilante” is such a change of pace role for you. What drew you to the project?
JB: Definitely it was the script. I just thought it was such an unusual script. It definitely addresses the view of the audience…without hitting them over the head and railroading them into having an outraged, bloodthirsty, justice-seeking mob opinion. I found the subject to be very threatening to society and civilization and goodness and everything like that. But then it shifts on you. Just as you’re being pulled into this mob response and losing your faith in justice, it changes your view on what that view is. It makes you feel reprehensible for going there. And I think it really does do that. When you watch the film… (Mr. Bamber’s dog starts barking) Sorry (more barking and whispering). Sorry. It was that very unusual script that drew me to the story.

MS: You’ve played quite a few likable characters in the past. Was the kind of character John Doe is part of your decision in taking the role?
JB: Definitely. You’re quite right. I’m often offered roles that are the decent guy in an extraordinary position. Actually, when I looked at this, I thought “this is an opportunity to do something very different.” And I thought that the guy was fundamentally a decent guy who ended up going on a very unusual journey. Some awful things have happened to him in circumstance and he has lost his moral anchor. But the places he goes to – the dark places – the extreme isolation he experiences behind the mask and when he’s in prison – those are the opportunities to play things I hadn’t played before. And I greatly enjoyed the challenge.

MS: You’ve done quite a bit of both film and television work, do you have a preference? Do you prepare differently as an actor for a film role as opposed to a television role?
JB: They’re both so wonderfully different and yet so wonderfully the same. They both use cameras and the cameras help tell the stories but there’s something about television where you get to watch the stories unravel and go on and become more and more complex. And that also applies to the people you’re working with, too. You become a family. I mean I consider “Battlestar Galactica” one of the greatest experiences of my life. So that side of television is certainly a wonderful thing. The longevity and the continuation. And yet there’s also something amazing about telling a story from beginning to end, from A to Z, in two hours of screen time. I mean you go into the project knowing how it ends. So it may be a bit more demanding in the acting choices you make. You have to be able to tell a story in ninety minutes.

MS: You’ve also voiced a few video games. Is that another “type” of acting as well?
JB: I love doing voice work. I love doing that, it’s great. I love trying to communicate the scene only through the spoken voice. I’d like to do more. I’d like to do a motion capture game, I think that would be interesting.

MS: What do you have coming up?
JB: I just finished a film in Canada called “Numb.” It’s a film I’m very proud of and I can’t wait to see. I also just finished “The Better Half,” which is a romantic comedy which should be out later this year or early next year. I’m keeping busy with different things. No long-running TV show at the moment but I’m keeping busy.

Dave Coulier talks reflects on his role in “Full House” and his stand-up comedy tour

Dave Coulier is know best for his role as Joey Gladstone on “Full House”. What you may not know is that before “Full House”, Dave started out as a stand-up comedian. Well, he is returning to those roots this year with a comedy tour and is hitting the road with dates all around the country. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Dave about his tour, reflect a bit on “Full House” and even chat about his voice acting roles on “The Real Ghostbusters”. Check out his tour dates, here.

Mike Gencarelli: This year is a big year for you as you tour the comedy circuit from January through October; what can we expect that these shows?
Dave Coulier: I started doing stand up many years before “Full House” and I really wanted to get back to my roots. I love performing live. I have been lucky because people have really been packing these venues. I sold out shows in Cleveland and Cincinnati in the last month. I think a lot of people know me from “Full House” but not as a stand-up comedian. So it has taken a couple of years to remind people that this is what I started doing. But I have a really funny show. I talk about “Full House” a bit but you will also get to see what I do when you are not watching me on “Full House” re-runs. So it is fun!

MG: What would you say is one of the hardest parts of doing stand-ups?
DC:I think the most challenging part for me personally is the travel. The writing is a constant challenge for sure and the actual performing on stage is a real blast and I love it. I also really enjoy getting to meet my fans afterwards during the meet and greets. Like I said though, the hard part is being away from my wife and my family. You are living out of a suitcase in a hotel, so that is certainty tough. The performing, I have been doing that for 35 years, so that part is just a lot of fun.

MG: Since you are touring throughout the year, what do you do to make sure your material does get old for you personally each night?
DC:It is a constant process of weeding out material that doesn’t work and filling it with stronger, fresher and better stuff. That is the process night after night. This set that I am working with now is about an hour and fifteen minutes with material which will also be included in a stand-up special that we are going to be shooting soon. It is going to be called “Glorified Birthday Clown”.

MG: I know a few years ago you did a “Clean Guys of Comedy Tour”; is your current tour family friendly or adults only?
DC:I have always worked pretty clean. If you look at the landscape of comedy today, there is a wide specter of guys like myself, Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, Jerry Seinfeld and we are all clean. Then there is the other side of the spectrum where the comedians are using F-bombs and being very edgy and there is a lot of different flavors in between that. For me, I just never worked any different. My goal early in my career was to get on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, which was clean. So, I got to make my first appearance on “The Tonight Show” when I as 24 years old and since then, I never really changed my style. So if you come out to one of my shows, you will not be offended. We have all types of people ranging from teenagers to grandparents.

MG: When you played Joey Gladstone on “Full House”; did you ever imagine that this show would still be so popular and people would still be saying taglines like “Cut. It. Out!”, after all these years?
DC:I think we are all really proud of the work we did and that it has had such longevity. It has also become very multi-generational. We have never been off the air since 1987. We have been syndicated in over 100 countries around the world. I think it owes to the fact that it is good family entertainment. You get some good values when you watch an episode of “Full House” and they don’t produce shows like that anymore. We are all also still friends as well, in fact just prior to us speaking now, I was on the telephone with John Stamos. We are closer than ever and I really love the friendships that have developed from working on this show.

MG: Lastly before “Full House”, you have also done tons of great voice work including voicing Dr. Peter Venkman on “The Real Ghostbusters”; what was it like working on a show like that?
DC:It was an great show to work on. It was such an iconic movie and to be able to play a part that Bill Murray played was a real treat for me because I am a real fan of his. It still has a fan base as well. In fact, at one of my stand-up shows recently and a fan had brought actual animation cells from the show to have me sign. So that was really cool that people are still enjoying it also. So for me the coolest part was just to have been involved.

John O’Hurley talks about his role of Billy Flynn in the touring production of “Chicago”

Television fans know John O’Hurley as the popular J. Peterman, Elaine’s boss, on the long running show “Seinfeld.” But it is performance on another show that helps bring him to Kansas City. As a contestant during the first season of ABC’s popular “Dancing with the Stars,” O’Hurley finished in second place, losing to Kelly Monaco, an actress whose show just HAPPENED to be on ABC. Fans of the show cried foul and demanded the two have a “dance-off,” with only the fans voting for the winner. In the rematch, O’Hurley and his partner, Charlotte Jorgensen, were declared the winners, raising over $125,000 for the charity Golfers against Cancer.

Since then, O’Hurley has split his time between the stage and screen. He played King Arthur in “Spamalot” during the show’s production in Las Vegas and has played shrewd lawyer Billy Flynn in “Chicago,” both on Broadway and on the road. Well known for his voice you can hear him in such cartoons as “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” “Duck Dodgers,” “Phineas and Ferb” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”

This week Mr. O’Hurley reprises his role of Billy Flynn in the touring production of “Chicago.” Before opening night he took time out to talk to me about the show and his career.

Mike Smith: Welcome to Kansas City.
John O’Hurley: I feel welcome. Thank you.

MS: If the Internet Broadway Database is to be believed you literally just walked off the stage of the Ambassador Theater in New York City, where you played Billy Flynn for the last six weeks, to travel here to take the part on the road.
JO: I closed on Broadway Sunday night. I had a great time there, especially during the holidays.
MS: Wow, when they say the road shows are “direct from Broadway” they’re not kidding.
JO: (laughs) Not at all. I think I still have the same socks on.

MS: You’ve played Billy Flynn over 1500 times on stage. Do you get comfortable in a part or do you try to bring something new to your performance when you can?
JO: Every night! Every night something different will happen. I say one prayer every night before I go on stage and that is “God, let me be surprised.” And every night something different happens. If I’ve done the role 1500 times I assure you that the role is 1500 times richer since I started playing it in 2005.

MS: You are, of course, best known for your work on “Seinfeld.” Was it your appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” that led to your work in musical theater?
JO: I’ve done King Arthur in “Spamalot” over 1000 times and, of course, Billy Flynn over 1500. I think a lot of my success came about because of that show. It gave me my name back. Prior to that I was known as J. Peterman. But after 2005 I was known as John O’Hurley.

MS: You do a lot of voice work. Do you have to prepare differently as an actor for a cartoon voice as opposed to a full live performance?
JO: Right now I’m involved in about fifteen cartoons…”Spongebob,” “Fineas and Ferb” and others…but it’s a lot of fun because I have an eight-year old son and it’s nice to be able to develop a body of work that is somewhat successful to him. As far as preparing, not really. The roles are already larger than life. It’s a medium that’s very BIG. The characters are larger. Subtlety is not a part of animation.

MS: How long to you plan to stay on tour with “Chicago?”
JO: I started the tour late last year, in October and I’ll continue through the end of it, which is the end of March.

MS: Do you have anything else coming up?
JO: Yes, I have a new television series with Bryan Cranston from “Breaking Bad” that we’re working on now. We’ll be shooting later in the spring. I have a movie to do in Greece. And I’m hosting a dancing tour this summer, which will be sporadically through my vacation time. And I’m sure there will be another tour of “Chicago” next year.

 

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Nicolette Pierini talks about her role in “Annie (2014)”

Photo Credit: Yolanda Perez

The youngest of four children in an acting family from Long Island, New York, nine-year old Nicolette Pierini was destined to follow in her elder siblings’ footsteps. She began her career as a performer in commercials and short films, including Fool’s Day, All That Remains, Keeper, Poetry Man, and Transitions. However, Pierini received her first big break when she booked the role of “Flora O’Neil” opposite veteran actors Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen in the Rob Reiner-directed drama THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE. Also, she most recently, appeared as “Lola” in the feature film TIO PAPI, directed by Fro Rojas.

This week she will appear as Mia opposite Quvenzhané Wallis in the new film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical, “Annie.” While taking a break from a busy day in New York, young Nicolette took time out to talk to me about the film.

Mike Smith: Can you tell us about Mia, your character in “Annie”?
Nicolette Pierini: She is the youngest of the foster children. She’s very young and she loves Annie. She has a very big heart.

MS: How did you get the role?
NP: I had to go to various auditions. One for acting. One for singing and acting. And then one for dancing and singing and acting.

MS: Had you had a lot of musical training before you auditioned?
NP: I went to dance lessons so I had a little bit of experience. I could tap and I could ballet, so I did have a little dance training. And I’d done a lot of singing. I love singing. It’s really fun.

MS: What kind of music do you like?
NP: Any kind really. I love the music…I love the emotions behind a song. I like how a song is put together. I’ve actually written some songs myself.

MS: Do you think as you get older you’ll try to pursue a musical career as well?
NP: (considering the question) Yeah…YEAH!

MS: What else are you working on?
NP: Right now I’m just going on auditions and I’ll see what comes. Hopefully something that’s right for me.

Nicolette loves to hear from her fans. You can drop her a note at the following social media sites:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nicolette-Pierini-Fan-Page/225583847456286
Twitter: @Npierini0

Parker Sawyers talks about role in “Monsters: Dark Continent”

Parker Sawyers is co-starring in the upcoming film “Monsters: Dark Continent”, which is a follow-up to the 2010 film “Monsters”. Parker also appeared this year in the film “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat about “Monsters: Dark Continent” with him and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with “Monsters: Dark Continent”?
Parker Sawyers: I’ve been acting for nearly three years now and try to hit every meeting I am lucky enough to get. I see it as practice. So, “Monsters: Dark Continent” was another meeting to me. Interestingly, I had a short film to shoot 15 minutes after my meeting time and I was so worried about missing the call time, I don’t really remember what I said or did in the room. Whatever it was worked, thankfully.

MG: Were you familiar with the original film prior?
PS: In preparation for the meeting for Monsters: Dark Continent, I watched the original film, Gareth Edwards’ “Monsters”. I was pleasantly surprised as I watched the two central characters develop a relationship amidst such dire conditions. To me, the original film was about humanity and how even in the face of extreme adversity or in their case an alien invasion we would still find love, fight for one another, and even bicker. Perhaps we’re not much more than that.

MG: Give us some background on your character Shaun Williams?
PS: Shaun is a kid from Detroit. I see him as a multi-talented, cool kid who never got “that break”. He is a sportsman, clever and chilled. Though I now live in London, I’m originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, just a few hours away from Detroit. To play a guy from the Midwest with heaps of heart and a laid back attitude was exciting and refreshing. I think the Midwesterners who watch the film will relate to Shaun and his friends; the hustle, the hunger, the decency, the loyalty.

MG: Tell us about where the film was shot and what was the most challenging aspect?
PS: We shot the film in Amman, Jordan and Detroit, Michigan. The people in Amman are some of the most hospitable and warmest people I’ve ever met. It was my second time being there, the first time was to film “Zero Dark Thirty”. I’m itching to return for a vacation. As for a challenge, I’d say the amount of work that needed to be completed by the end of each day, to stay on schedule. But, we worked hard and Tom Green, the director, never made any of us feel rushed. But, of course, we can read a call sheet and we knew we had a limited amount of time. Ultimately, we made it work. Detroit was cool. Talk about smiling through adversity, the people were wonderfully American and hardworking.

MG: How was it going from low-budget indie to big budget action, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”?
PS: All jobs are the same to me. Whether it’s working with an Oscar winning director or an up and coming talent like Tom Green, I put forth the same amount of effort. I must say though, the Monsters cast was and still is like a family. We stay in touch, attend each other’s birthdays, and cheerlead whenever possible. I’d never had that experience before.

MG: What else do you have on the cards for 2014?
PS: I’m off to Bulgaria in March to film James McTiegue’s spy thriller, “Survivor”. It’s an amazing script and I’m fortunate to be part of the project. Other than that, it’s pilot season, so non-stop meetings as far as the eye can see!

Joseph Bishara talks about his role and his score in the film “Annabelle”

Photo by Dean Karr

Joseph Bishara is the amazing composer for horror films like “Insidious”, “The Conjuring” and most recently “Annabelle”. He is also probably the cause of a few of your nightmares since he played great characters like Lipstick-Face Demon in “Insidious” and Bathsheba in “The Conjuring”. Joseph took out some time to chat with Media Mikes again about his new film “Annabelle” and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: From your role of Lipstick-Face Demon in “Insidious” to Bathsheba in “The Conjuring” to your latest role in “Annabelle”; what do you enjoy most about getting to play these roles?
Joseph Bishara: I like being able to look through the eyes of these characters, and getting to have a different perspective and take on the film. It’s seeing the scenes unfold from the inside. They were all very interesting characters to explore.

MG: We got to learn about your character in “Insidious” and “The Conjuring” but not much in “Annabelle”, give us some background on your role?
JB: It’s the demon that’s attached to the doll. When discussing the character with James (Wan), his take described it more specifically, as Lorraine Warren would explain as a “latching demonic”.

MG: Which of the three was the most challenging for you?
JB: I would have to say “The Conjuring” because it was the most time I was on set and also the longest to get into the makeup. “Insidious” was challenging also but it was different because it was more guerrilla filmmaking, where we had to make do with what we had to work with.

MG: How does it feel like to give a grown man nightmares with these roles?
JB: [laughs] That’s a good thing. I won’t apologize for anyone losing sleep, everyone needs to have nightmares.

MG: You not only have roles in the above-mentioned films but you also are the composer delivering spin-tingling scores; what do you enjoy most about working in this genre?
JB: It’s the genre that I feel most comfortable in, and with the directors that I have worked with I have been given a lot of freedom to take the scores in the directions I wanted. Horror is always a favorite of mine and I just really enjoy creating in that space.

MG: “Insidious” is easily one of the best horror scores in recent years; how do you approach a score when you are working with the film?
JB: When I start on a score, I just start hearing it in my head often from the moment it starts being discussed. I can’t really explain it but if the project is right, ideas will just come. It’s finding what the language is and isn’t, and then speaking it.

MG: What can we expect from you in terms of role and composer in “Insidious: Chapter 3″?
JB: I can’t say much just yet, but Leigh did an excellent job with it and brings a bit of a different flavor. Hopefully you’ll lose more sleep.

For more info, check out his official sites: www.jbishara.com and www.voidrecordings.com

Steven Blum talks about voice work and his role of Zeb in “Star Wars Rebels”

Steven Blum is one of the best in the voice acting business. He has such amazing range working on shows such as “Cowboy Bebop” voicing Spike Spiegel to “Doc McStuffins” voicing Commander Crush to “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” voicing both Red Skull and Wolverine. Recently he is taking on the role of Zeb in “Star Wars Rebels”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat about “Star Wars Rebels” with Steven and his a few of his other voice roles.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got the role of Zeb in “Star Wars Rebels”?
Steven Blum: Well, I auditioned for it like everyone else in town. I didn’t even know what it was for when I showed up. They called it a completely different name and edited out any of the information that would have made us know it was “Star Wars”. I didn’t actually know it was what it was until I booked the role. I was in England at the time at a “Transformers” convention when I got the email that I landed the job and I needed to record it there. So I had to find a studio in the middle of the countryside at this guy’s house and started recorded. About 10 minutes into the session, I am looking at the script and I see Stormtroopers in the copy and I said “What a second…this is Star Wars…THIS IS STAR WARS!!” It was a huge surprise. I just didn’t know the scope of this show. I have done “Star Wars” projects before but it was only in the video game context, so to get to work on the franchise on something this big is just an incredible thing. I got to introduce not only a new character but also a new species into the “Star Wars” universe. It was incredible.

MG: Where did the find the voice for him?
SB: We played with it a little bit. (Speaking in character) “It started out in the lower range” and we ended up tried a bunch of different accents. We did Eastern European, Australian and all sorts of different things. We landed on something that is sort of English with other ascents peppered in. It is sort of like a bad English accent [laughs]. I am apologizing to the entire UK for my bad accent [laughs].

MG: You also voice Shoe and Sparky in “The Boxtrolls”, out now.
SB: I am very excited about “The Boxtrolls”. It is an amazing piece and I have been a fan of LAIKA’s work for a long time. I even got to go to the studio and play with the puppets and see how these amazing people have put this film together. Every single bit of this film is hand made. It is phenomenal. They made like 3,000 different faces for this film with magnets on the back so that they can swap them out for each shot. It is uncanny.

MG: Since you have voices hundreds of characters like Spike Spiegel in “Cowboy Bebop” and Wolverine in various projects; if someone asked you to do a voice what is one of the first that comes to your mind?
SB: It depends on what I am working on that day. I always have a million voices going on it my head [laughs]. I need to do this job so I can let them out and not explode. So, it depends on the day. People can usually just point at a character and I can remember their voice and speak it.

MG: You have done a wide mix of villains and heroes; do you have a favorite type of character to voice?
SB: [laughs] It also depends on the day. If I am really pissed off and sitting in traffic, I will let a lot of that energy out. I do love playing the heroes too though. I love working on kid’s shows also now like Disney Junior’s “Doc McStuffins voicing Commander Crush and the two Karate Kangaroos. It has been really fun to work on something that is so child friendly.

 

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Academy Award-winner, Nicolas Cage talks about his role in “Left Behind”

Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage is a man that does not need any introduction. He is well-known worldwide for being one of the most versatile actors of all time, equally known for his poignant portrayals in both drama and comedy. Some of his more notable films include “The Rock,” “Con Air,” “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “National Treasure”. Coming up next, Cage stars in “Left Behind,” a Christian-themed apocalyptic action film based on the best-selling book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Additionally, Cage recently completed filming Paul Schrader’s “The Dying of the Light” with Anton Yelchin and is currently in production on “The Runner,” which also stars Sarah Paulson, Peter Fonda and Connie Nielsen. Media Mikes had a chance to attend a teleconference with the actor to chat about his role in “Left Behind” and what we can expect the film.

Can you give us a little background on your character Rayford Steele and his importance in the film?
Nicolas Cage: Well I mean Ray Steele is a captain of a jumbo jet, a transatlantic jumbo jet going to London, England. And he’s an important guy on that airplane and he has a flirtation and there’s a chemistry that’s happening with the flight attendant, so marvelously played by Nicky Whelan. He loses track of what’s really valuable to him in terms of his treasures within which is his love for his family. He’s kind of, not that he’s a bad guy but he’s making a mistake that many people make that are in powerful positions lose track of the importance of family. They’re drawn away, or they’re seduced from their true inner-values by something attractive, or something flirtatious, or something that has the call of the wild. Ray Steele gets back to his true need for family through this experience and through this extraordinary experience and understands the value of family and just wants to get back to that no matter what happens. Just to be able to get back on the phone with his daughter and say I’m sorry and “I love you”. And I think that’s as simple as that. I think that is heart-wrenching. And if you have a heart I don’t think it’s possible to see the movie and not get a little verklempt. I mean it, there’s some very poignant, emotional moments.

What was it about this script or what regarding the movie in general that drew you in?
NC: I really said “Yes” on the merits of the screenplay. And also to work with, to work with Vic again, the director. I think all artists, if you’re tapped in, if you’re tuned in, to the zeitgeist and they’re open to that then they’re going to pick up on that. I felt that the script was a challenge and it gave me a chance to really try to make the extraordinary, believable and to do something authentic within performance so that everything around me was going into chaos. People were just appearing on the airplane and how did I make that organic? And again, all the actors, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, they were all on-point. And I find that exciting. To me, it was, it was an exercise and I’m very happy with the results.

How familiar were you with the “Left Behind” series before getting on board?
NC: I was not familiar with the “Left Behind” series. I’m familiar with the rapture of course. My brother, Mark, is a Christian pastor, and he was very excited about this. And he said, “Nicky, you’ve really got to to do this”. I’d already wanted to make the movie because I thought it was such a great script and an opportunity again to do something challenging. But when I saw how passionate he was, I thought, “Well, yeah I want to make this movie for my brother too”.

What was it like working with director Vic Armstrong?
NC: Well actually I’m very comfortable working with Vic. I got to spend quite a bit of time with him on another movie that we made, called “Season of the Witch”. And it was a good experience and I thought that he directed me to a good performance and something that I was very proud of and wanted to work with him again. I knew that I would be able to relax with him and that I would be able to go within and just sort of exhale and be in the moment and be in the scene. That he would allow his actors to breathe and to be relaxed and to find the truth of their performances. And it really shows in the movie. I mean, across the board, of Chad Michael Murray, and Nicky and Cassi again just powerfully real performances. And I knew that that would happen working again with Vic.

Bill Smitrovich talks about “The November Man” & “Ted 2”

Bill Smitrovich is best known for his role as Drew Thacher opposite Patti Lapone, Kellie Martin and Chris Burke in the acclaimed television series “Life Goes On.” He also has one of the most recognizable faces on television or the big screen. Roles in “Miami Vice” and “Crime Story” led to work in such films as “Independence Day,” “Air Force One” and “13 Days.” Recently he’s appeared on “The Event,” “CSI: New York” and has just begun a recurring role on “The Last Ship.” He also co-starred in “Ted” and will begin shooting the sequel shortly.

His most recent film is “The November Man,” opposite Pierce Brosnan. We spoke on the phone in conjunction with the film and I found him to be a kind, soft-spoken subject. When we said our goodbyes he asked me to be sure I included his fellow co-stars when I mentioned “Life Goes On.” A true gentleman.

Mike Smith: Can you give us an introduction to your character in “The November Man?”
Bill Smitrovich: He’s a high-level CIA agent who once worked with Peter Devereaux (Brosnan). Devereaux is now in seclusion…in retirement, and I go in and pull him out to help us with an operation that his ex-wife is involved with. And the fun ensues (laughs). He needs to get a name from his ex-wife to complete his investigation but he runs into a lot of things in-between that cause problems.

MS: The film has a great cast and a first class director (Roger Donaldson). Was that what drew you to the project or was there something else?
BS: Absolutely! A lot of things drew me to the project. The role. The script. And particularly Roger, who I had done “13 Days” with. I was delighted to be able to work with him again. He’s such a great director. And the script, which kept getting better, especially afterRoger took a pass through it. And, of course, working with the great Pierce Brosnan. I loved it! We found out that we had so much in common and we’ve remained good friends. We even have our birthday in common (May 16th). Which was also the day I started filming, which is kind of strange. It’s almost divine because this particular filming experience was one of the best I’ve ever been involved with.

MS: Working with Brosnan, did you ever feel like you were double-oh eight (008)? I mean, you were trading shots with James Bond.
BS: I was shaken, but not stirred (laughs). You know, wherever you go with Pierce…all over the world…it’s the same reaction. People just love him. He’s a terrific guy to hang out with, and he’s a terrific actor. Besides Bond he’s done some terrific work on screen. And he’s also a wonderful painter, which I’ll bet you didn’t know.

MS: I was not aware of that! It’s been 20 years since “Life Goes On” left the air. Do you still hear from fans of the show?
BS: Oh yes, from time to time. Thanks to Facebook and social media, you really can’t get away from that. Not that I want to. I run into fans all of the time. Recently I was at Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Water” in Pennsylvania. When we got done with the tour this really nice man came up to me. He was probably in his 50s and he was with his wife. He said, “I didn’t want to bother you during the tour but I just wanted to say that we’ve been fans of yours since “Life Goes On.” It really meant a lot to our family and I hope I’m not bothering you.” I always tell “Life Goes On” fans that they are among the very best fans. They are usually very humble. Very polite. Super compassionate and sincere people. I tell them that they are very nice people. And that they have very good taste! (laughs). “Life Goes On” was a very, very satisfying experience for me in many ways. I would get fan mail from siblings of children with Downs Syndrome. It was very special. The show was groundbreaking and I’m so proud to be a part of that. It’s something I’ll always cherish in my career.

MS: Since it’s been 20 years, do you know of any plans for a reunion film or special?
BS: I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s going to happen, unfortunately. It would have been nice. But with everything, there are often too many obstacles to put it all together. I would have loved to have done it. At one point I thought it would be fun to have a little movie with just Chris and I playing private detectives? We’re both out of work so we come upon the idea of becoming investigators undercover. It would have been funny. Because we would just hire people with handicaps. People that are blind have increased hearing. People in wheelchairs. They would blend in and no one would suspect them of being detectives.

“The November Man,” What else do you have coming up?
BS: I start filming “Ted 2” in September. I’m really excited about that. And “The Last Ship” on TNT. My character just appeared last Sunday and I hope to be on it next season when it gets picked up. The finale’ is coming up. It’s a great one. I’m liking it and people are liking it. I’m glad it’s finding an audience. We have things to do. We’re going to save the world.