Daphne Ashbrook is an actor who has probably appeared in your favorite show. With a resume in theatre, film and television shows ranging from “Knight Rider” to “Murder She Wrote” to “NCIS” to “The OC,” just to name a few, Daphne’s honed her craft into an incredibly successful career. She is a favorite among science fiction fans as well for being one of the few people to appear in both “Star Trek” and “Doctor Who.” In recent years, she’s branched beyond acting by releasing several albums “Grace Notes” “All Good Dreamers” and penning a memoir on acting “Dead Woman Laughing.”
Daphne’s latest adventure is writing, producing and starring in a new short film, “Once More, With Feeling.” Inspired by a true and frightening turn of events during a trip to Joshua Tree, “Once More, With Feeling” tackles intense issues such PTSD and suicide but with a humorous slant as well. As you’ll hear, Daphne’s indefatigable spirit is sending her on an artistic journey where she has to relive her fears. This is a great and inspiring listen which brings home the courage needed to bring your vision to life. Enjoy:
Once More, With Feeling IndieGogo fundraising site:
Sometimes when thinking about making a short film, it’s easy to get caught up in the limitations of the format. “There’s not enough time to develop story or surprise people.” Filmmakers Stacy Gueraseva and Travis Rust have made a short film that disproves those misconceptions. The just released “Synergy” is a short they made in February that’s a topical comment on social media and infomericals with plenty of comedy, twists and turns.
Stacy Gueraseva is an experienced magazine editor and non-fiction author. You may recognize her name for her book “Def Jam Inc.” Travis Rust is a seasoned unscripted TV editor and has made short films before. In addition to their own experience, they assembled a trusted cast of talented people.As a husband & wife team, this is Stacy & Travis’s first film together. They tell us how they divided their labor but also trusted their instincts and welcomed the input of theircast & crew. Enjoy:
There’s a lot of discussion and speculation about the reality portrayed in Reality TV. This week I asked long-time colleague Rory Lapointe Smith to join the show to shed some light on the matter. Rory is a Story Producer who’s worked on shows ranging from medical documentary to celebrity to competition to docu-soap. He’s currently working on the MSNBC staple show “Lock Up” about the world of prisons.
Rory has climbed the ranks to Story Producer from working as a logger and story assistant. He’s worked every facet of Story Departments and is an expert on how to build narrative in the unscripted genre. This interview is a nuts-and-bolts look at the Story Producing craft and also examines the impact of Reality TV has had on our entertainment landscape:
What does it take to make an animated show? I honestly have no idea. Fortunately, my guests this week know a ton about it. Thomas Krajewski (not pronounced as it’s spelled) and Jennifer Muro are a pair of animation writers. They also happen to be developing live-action material, are very knowledgable on all things nerdy & geeky and are married to each other!
Tom and Jen each have over a decade of experience writing and developing animation shows. They give us a nuts and bolts look behind the scenes of how story ideas are drawn to life. But also how writing animation has helped them when it comes to branching out into writing live-action with an effective economy of words. Before writing scripts, Jen worked in development writing bibles for numerous shows. Tom was nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Writing In Animation for his work on Nickelodeon’s “The Fairly OddParents.” And recently his live-action script was a finalist in the Page Awards and a winner in the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest.
And we also geek out about Doctor Who & Buffy The Vampire Slayer while agreeing that the world is ready for more female action heroes. Tom & Jen are smart, fun writers making this a smart, fun listen. Enjoy!
In the most multicultural episode of the Express yet, I’m proud to be joined by actress, model and director Rizelle Januk. Rizelle is of Indian descent and joins us all the way from the nation of South Africa. I didn’t know a whole lot about Indian culture or South Africa so this episode turned out to be a real education for me. And despite the geographical distances Rizelle offers insight that will be useful to anyone on the outside of Hollywood who dreams of getting inside one day.
Rizelle talks about the challenges of chasing her dreams while living in a region that doesn’t have many opportunities. And what opportunities do arise, many casting people don’t know where to fit her because of her mixed heritage. However, Rizelle is not taking “no” for an answer and has created her own opportunities in several international independent films. She also highlights how to use social media for networking and how to capitalize on any kind of break, such as being a finalist for Miss Earth in 2010.
In order to make the time difference work, I had to stay up a bit late and Rizelle had to get up a bit early so please pardon any tiredness you may hear. Overall, this is a great message about following your dreams, no matter what the restrictions. I hope you enjoy…
Alright, let’s get into some nuts and bolts screenwriting stuff. My guest for episode 11 is Stephen J Llorens who joins us fresh off the heels of his very first job as a screenwriter for hire. That’s a bit different than selling a spec as you’ll hear. Stephen will tell us how he got hired and gives a rundown on exactly how to be professional screenwriter when trying to meld his vision with the notes of his employers. It’s a tricky tight rope that screenwriters have been walking for decades and Stephen offers us some great insights on how to take those steps.
Stephen and I also compare notes on how to tackle writing amidst a busy life. Stephen is the proud father of two very young children so if a parent with a toddler & infant can find the time to finish a script, the rest of us have no excuse. And if that’s not enough, we also found some time to further explore some of the diversity issues that challenge minority writers in 2014. Stephen & I haven’t spoken in a while so we were excited to catch up. As a result this week’s show runs a little long but I don’t think you guys will mind. Enjoy:
It has a been a whirlwind journey for me since I launched the Express. I went back and forth about this venture because I knew it would require a lot of commitment which would take away from fictional writing and day jobs. But I’m a writer and expressing myself is what I do so I made that commitment and happy to report zero regrets with that decision so far. Incorporating other creative talents into the podcasting element of this blog has been possibly one of the best things I’ve done since joining the entertainment business 11 years ago this very month.
Over the past 6 weeks, I excited and humbled by the talents I’ve been able to wrangle onto the Express. A diversity of occupations, I felt, was vital to give this little venture any credibility. Along the way, we’ve explored the challenges facing women writers, compared writing styles between the US & UK and even managed to pay tribute to recently departed icons. I’ve also been able to pair up with the fantastic Dan & Travis show on iTunes and have joined them on the wonderful Chronic Rift network. I’m overjoyed with the results so far and quite frankly, am very pleasantly surprised at how quickly this little venture has grown.
I’m just a one man operation self-promoting on social media but I am exploring some exciting promotional options to help spread the word. I’m excited about the listenership numbers (47 countries have either read or tuned in) but based on all the positive feedback I’ve received I’m going to do my best to keep building the audience. To that end, I continue to ask: If you enjoy what you’re reading and hearing on the Express, please don’t be shy about posting on facebook, twitter, pinterest, twiter, google+, wherever and yes, twitter is probably the best promotional tool we have right now. We live in a time of saturated media so we all have to promote the things we enjoy so they get noticed.
Thank you very much especially to Megan Karasch, Tim Bannock, Mark Askren, Arnold T Blumberg, Shannan Leigh Reeve & Chelese Belmont of Beleeve Entertainment and Dan & Travis for their extra efforts in shouting the word about the Express far and wide.
If this is the first post your reading, welcome, I hope you enjoy! Below are the first 10 episodes of the Handsome Timmy D Express which explores various aspects of the creative life and screenwriting and the entertainment business from various corners of the entertainment business:
EPISODE 1 – World-renowned DJ Matt The Cat takes us through the world of radio – and soul music:
EPISODE 2 – Award winning screenwriter Megan Karasch gives a guide to self-publishing and writing sitcom pilots:
EPISODE 3 – Director & Digital Media Producer Mike Doto on what a director does & the ever-changing digital landscape:
EPISODE 4 – Awesome podcasters Dan & Travis one what podcasting actually is all about:
EPISODE 5 – Independent film producers Beleeve Entertainment on following your vision & their movie Penumbra:
EPISODE 6 – Director of Television Research Brian Veys tells us how TV Ratings work:
EPISODE 7 – Writer Joseph Lidster on writing about & with depression as well as some Torchwood & Dark Shadows:
EPISODE 8 – Publicist AJ Feuerman on image management & brand-building:
EPISODE 9 – College Professor & Author Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg on the mythology of zombies and comic books:
EPISODE 10 – Stand-up Comedian Talia Harari remembers Joan Rivers & talks about the challenges facing women in comedy:
And it’s just the beginning, Episode 11 will be posted tomorrow (and it’s wicked good) and I’ve got some great guests lined up throughout the fall and winter. The Handsome Timmy D Express goes onward…
The Handsome Timmy D Express is proud to be a part of: