Category Archives: Television

Doggies Treats

“Son of a bitch. It’s bad enough your God damn dog tore up my prize tomatoes but now he killed my chicken too.” Jon stood clenching his fist. His face the color of his prize tomatoes that were strewed about the yard.
“Dude you need to chill. He just animal and that’s what they do man” the young man said from the other side of the fence his eyes match the color of Jon’s face.
“If I catch that damn animal-“ Jon shook his fist in the air and stomped across his yard slamming the sliding glass hard enough to make it rattle. A few beers and some football later Jon woke up on the couch to the sound of dog, howling. Armed with the shotgun he kept by the door for an emergency, he stormed out the door to find the dog digging up all his potatoes. In the silence of the night, Jon grabbed the barrel of the gun and swung it over his shoulder like a bat and crept towards the dog. “Gotcha” he whispered.
***
“Hey man, I’m making some burgers. What do you say I make you one and we bury the hatched,” Jon waved at his neighbor over the fence whistling has he flip the sizzling meat patties.He through one on a bun with fresh topping. “When until you taste what fresh lettuce can add to a burger.”
“Hey man, thanks. Have you seen my dog?” the young man walked up to the fence and shook hands with Jon.
“No, I’m sure he’ll be along.”
“Yeah man,” He took a huge bite of the burger and pointed at his mouth smiling and nodding.
“Special recipe for special occasions,” Jon said with a smile. “I’ll get you another to go.”

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Manu Bennett

From athlete to actor, covering the gambit in between, Manu Bennett has a career to be proud of. From his home country of New Zealand to the American shoreline, action, adventure, and middle Earth have been part of his life.

A young Manu was trained by his father to be a national athlete in New Zealand. He competed mostly in running, jumping, and throwing events. “My best event was the hurdles, maybe a metaphor given the many I’ve had to leap throughout life.” The first of those many hurdles came in the two week time period that his mother and brother were killed in two separate car accidents. Bennett’s grades fell do to poor concentration and emotional pain. Rugby became his outlet of choice along with the arts. He excelled on the field, venting his aggression. Later in his career he used these emotions to bring characters to life on the screen.

Art as therapy continued into his teenage years when a girlfriend, who was a ballerina, asked him and his friend to help the troop by being in West Side Story. Which led to other musicals such as Grease and Swan Lake. “In fact,” Bennett said. “I couldn’t attend the trials for the Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union Team because I was committed to a local production of Swan Lake. Trying to explain that to a bunch of rugby lads was futile. It was my Billy Elliot moment, but I loved dancing. Dancing proved to be as physically demanding as Rugby, with the advantage of carrying around ballerinas. Dancing gives a body awareness you don’t necessarily get in other sports.”

After his mother’s death, Bennett was sent to Maori Boarding School in rural New Zealand. The school was rife with bullying and a drastically different attitude then the urban Australian schools he had previously attended. “That school was very much a Spartacus type experience for me, where survival meant pretty much having to fight for your rights.” In hindsight, the school played a huge role in his career, allowing him to be fully invested in characters he played. The example came in handy when it came to his role as Crixus from Spartucas. “I took a lot of that experience with me into my performance on the series and portraying the character of Crixus from bully to a gladiator who was forced to join with others.” expressed Bennett. “It was tough but I figure: If you haven’t lived it, you can’t be that great at acting it.”

Challenging roles with a good support system are what actors dream about to expand their range. The Hobbit, was a learning experience. The opportunity to work with Peter Jackson was one he will not forget. “Working with Peter was a great honor, something I hold as the highest achievement in my career thus far, yet it was the shortest & probably the most underpaid job I’ve done,” Bennett shared. “Stepping into the shoes of Andy Serkis was overwhelming and creating Azog, the leader of the Orcs, posed a whole bunch of new opportunities for me as an actor, developing scenes in post-production when all of the other actors had wrapped. I’m lucky Peter was as patient & understanding a man as he is, because I stretched everything out to get the most out of the little I had to work with, including a pommel horse on skate wheels that I rode which would later evolve into my white warg, a giant wolf creature. When I asked Peter if I could develop a relationship with my warg he took a deep breath & trusted me & for whatever it was worth it was a decisive choice in how I played out Azog, who spent a lot of time riding that white warg. The artistry & technology involved in The Hobbit was on another level & the commeraderie on the set of a Peter Jackson production is spurred on by the General himself – it’s just a feeling in the air. New York actors have Martin Scorcese, New Zealand actors have Sir Peter Jackson.”

From Kuwait to L.A., the audition for Deathstroke, Bennett’s latest character on the television series Arrow, was not something to be taken lightly. In Kuwait, a week before the audition, Bennett was training with Special Forces officers in the art of the take down. When he arrived in L.A. for the read, Bennett gave them a little something special. “The one thing no one in the casting room was counting on was when I got the reader auditioning with me in the choke hold, “Bennett says. “I actually choked him out and he collapsed on the ground momentarily unconscious. It was a very strange moment when the whole world just stops. I asked the casting director if him collapsing was meant to be part of the scene that he was acting out. The director said, ‘No. I think you choked him out.’ I apologized profusely, but he stopped me and said ‘It was perfect.’ So, what I thought might have been my last Hollywood audition turned into an epic journey taking me to Vancouver, Canada for 18 months where I helped turn Slade Wilson into one of DC Comic World’s most popular super villains.” Unfortunately Deathstroke is still in purgatory, so there were no juicy bits to spill about Season three, so we will all have to stay tuned in. Bennett did leave us one teasing bit of information. After he leave the Santa Fe Comic Con at the end of the month, he will be on his way to Seattle for an “interesting project”. You’ll hear more about that in 2015!

An inspirational career to many, Bennett knows how to take on the hurdles of life and come out on top. Hard work and learning to focus his emotional stress into physical activity and acting has taken the sting away, but not his memories. Tune in and watch Bennett on Arrow on the CW (he will get out of purgatory) and look for new projects coming from this versatile actor.

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Where’s Norma Now?

Where’s Norma Now? That is the question everyone in Albuquerque will soon be asking. Armed with nothing but two GoPro cameras, and some wicked imaginations, three local ladies, with a great crew, have created the latest hotness, “Where’s Norma Now?” Sheryl Brown, Terry Hicks, Nina Knapp are the screenwriting – directing – producing power team behind this show, starring Teresa Longo and Cheryl Hooks.

The idea? A life long desk jockey, Norma Esperanzo, is given a GoPro camera at her retirement party. With time on her hands, Norma, now retired and widowed, has to face the question so many do. What comes next?  Norma hopes to answer that question throughout the first season of the show, while learning just what it means to live a life of adventure.

The team of Sheryl, Terry, and Nina came about this idea when Nina got a GoPro camera for fun. The struggle to get it out of the box alone was enough to spark ideas and hours of banter between these funny ladies. With a mostly female film crew and a high action shooting style, “Where’s Norman Now?” is a comedy about coming of age the second time around. The ladies on Team Norma has started a grassroots movement using social media to bring this web show to life around the world. So, along with Norma learning her new life, the team behind this movie is learning, too.

Social media, GoPro Camera, and web shorts are just part of the learning curve for experienced filmmakers to overcome. Luckily for us, the team is taking us along on the journey with them. Check out http://www.Wheresnormanow.com and see what the new face of retirement looks like.

For more on What’s going on in New Mexico check out New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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RJ Mitte

By Winter Flack

Back in New Mexico, after traveling the country, RJ Mitte feels like he returned home. Here in Albuquerque for Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE), Mitte has a smile on his face, but the expo isn’t the only thing that has bought him back to the Land of Enchantment. He has a new project in the pipeline that is close to his heart, out here in the beautiful southwest.

Mitte first time out as an executive producer is for the film, Vanished: The Tara Calico Story. Having known the family of this nineteen year old who went missing without a trace, Mitte wanted to help bring peace to this small town in New Mexico and bring closure to the families involved in the 25 year-old mystery. Tara Calico of Belen, New Mexico disappeared one day while riding her bike never to be seen or heard from again. “Having a little sister, and knowing this could happened to her, made me want to bring awareness to people of the danger”. This project differs in so many ways from what people know RJ Mitte for. He’s not acting or being a spokesperson. He is helping to give a voice to someone who hasn’t had one in a long time. In the film he made it clear that the people they interview will do the talking and provide evidence. There will be no fancy editing or trying to point blame on his of the project, his goal, to bring truth to light for this missing girl and her family and closure to a cold case. Not what most people would expect from Walter White’s on screen son, but he did start out on Hannah Montana so he has a soft spot for Disney endings when ever possible.
At the ripe old age of twelve RJ moved with his family from Texas to LA so his younger sister could pursue a career in Hollywood. Initially all RJ planned for his Los Angeles adventure was to go to school and make some friends, but one day while looking for a new agent for his sister he received a proposal he couldn’t refuse. The agent wanted him to work in Hollywood. To RJ amazement he began doing background on tween televisions show while take acting lesson four times a week. “It was a whirlwind”. With in six months he landed a role on A&E’s Breaking Bad. He played Walter White JR the son of soon to be drug king pin of Albuquerque Walter White SR. The character suffered from a minor case of cerebral palsy like RJ himself.

The pilot for Breaking Bad will always be RJ’s favorite episode even through there were so many great times on the set. The first episode everyone knew they had something special going. “It was such a wealth of knowledge to work such amazing people.” Breaking Bad will always hold a special place in the hearts of the fans and the people who worked on the show. It was the first show of it’s kind, even promoting a funeral for the main character of the show, a fundraiser for healthcare for the homeless.

RJ also used the recognition he garnered from the show to speak out about cerebral palsy and how disabilities can affect people. “I don’t really think about it (cerebral palsy), in all honest”. He just wants to be seen as RJ doing whatever RJ is doing at the moment, he never took into account his disability. In his latest role on ABC Family’s Switch at Birth RJ plays a character confined to a wheel chair. “My new role I’m playing a paraplegic, I’m progressively getting worse”. Playing a paraplegic on set opened RJ eyes to how differently people with physical disabilities are treated by some. He’s not worried about being type cast in the role, because he makes the decisions on what roles he takes and when.

In the spirit of ACE RJ thinks he would make a great super villain. He wants to keep growing creating and trying new things whenever he can. When asked what he wants to leave behind for a legacy “I will always be a Breaking Bad kid. I already have a legacy even though it might fade”. Beyond Breaking Bad RJ wants to make a positive difference in the world and make sure his family is always provided for.
Growing changing and moving forward I the focus of RJ Mitte’s life, but he will always have a soft spot for his second home here in Albuquerque, and it will always have a soft spot for him. New Mexico hopes to see RJ back here again and again over his career in all the different roles he will be playing.

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Lou Ferrigno

Lou Ferrigno was a young boy with an introverted personality and a speech impediment. He would read comic books from cover to cover, hoping some day to find a way to feel as good about himself as he did about the superheroes he adored. He life began to change in his early teen years and he went on to be the one of the people he admired the most.

At the early age of thirteen, Lou was looking for a someway to more confident in his own skin. One day at a friend’s house he saw some weights in the corner and tried to lift them. They were so large he couldn’t do it, yet. But, he knew then that someday he was going. “ One of them (his friends) flex their arm and he had a bicep, a small bicep like a baseball, I was like ‘Dang! I want be like that,’ and that is how it begun.”

Reading The Hulk® comics books for most of his life, he was ready when the audition opportunity came up. “I had been the Hulk my whole life,” said Ferrigno. He went in without preparing – knowing they would give him the role. After a short time of doing some pantomiming for the camera, he was given the role and began to film the next day. The Hulk was a great role that helped Lou break into the Hollywood scene.

Ferrigno stayed in the limelight of film for almost ten years before going back to weight-lifting. At forty-two, he went back to the competition circuit to finish the sport. At his age, with a wife and three kids, weight-lifting bought new challenges. “It’s a very narcissistic sport,” says Ferrigno. “You have no social life, your dieting and training, and you have to conserve all your energy for competing.” With his family’s support, he competed again, placing respectively at Mr. Olympia and Masters Oympia, and closed the book on his competitive weight-lifting career.

The movie role that stands out most to Lou was a documentary of a documentary he worked on called David and Goliath. The actor who was playing David kept trying to antagonizing Lou on set, which made him uncomfortable. It took him everything he had not to squeeze the life out of the actor. On the Celebrity Apprentice, the other members of the cast truly underestimated Lou. “They expected the Hulk to show up,” shared Ferrigno. When he got to the boardroom he was very outspoken and surprised everyone. “Luckily I learned a lot about branding and raised a hundred thousand dollars for my charity ALS”. No matter what role Lou has played in his life, he has taken a lesson from it.

One of Ferrigno’s newest ventures, Ferrigno Fit, by no surprise, is a fitness company that the whole family is involved with. “I don’t believe in dieting,” says Ferrigno. He wants to teach people how to adjust their eating habits for a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes are the only way to really improve your life and health. Ferrigno’s latest project is presenting a body building show, FerringoFit.com, that he hopes one day will turn into a health expo, including fitness chiropractors and others. His kids all started out over-weight and they each made their own decision to get into shape and become personal trainers. With his whole family backing him, he has already proved he can do anything he puts his mind to. With his sons in mind, when it came to asking what his advice would be for the youth of today, those who look up to him, Ferrigno says, “Be passionate about what you do, and don’t compete or compare yourself to other people. Everyone has a different genetic make-up. Stay away from drugs, alcohol and negative people.”

Ferrigno is a lover of comic convention. They are a great way for people to come and meet their favorite characters, and be themselves for a day, without fear. It’s great to be able to emerge yourself in pop-culture. He hopes to leave a legacy behind of him of being in good shape and being healthy.
From introverted child to the Incredible Hulk, Ferrigno has proved to himself and the world that he has a lot to offer society as a whole. Expanding every year with new ideas and new endeavors, he will be in our hearts and mind for years to come as a hero in so many different ways.

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New Mexico Film Conference

New Mexico Film Conference, held over two days at the Albuquerque Hotel, was not at all what I was expecting. Walking in, the Breaking Bad Tour RV is sitting out front, enticing people to go for a ride. You have a sales pitch to the visitors on why to film in New Mexico. Once inside, vendors line the wall for any production assistance you may need, and the ones you haven’t thought of. Panel discussion are separated from the masses in smaller comfortable rooms. Being a novice to films, I might just learn something here, and learn I did.

I sat in on the taxation panel to start with. I learned the ins and outs from how to set up your production company to what qualifies and what doesn’t. The most important thing I took away from this panel was if you even have an idea that you might want to make a film here in New Mexico, contact the New Mexico Film Office and they will be a great resource for you.

Back out on the floor, I talk to people set up at different tables from schools to equipment rentals. With a warm smile, I am told about the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School in Albuquerque dedicate to digital development. From films to video games, they teach children the regular academics and more, with small class sizes. Another table gives me price list for renting a soundstage at Nob Hill Studios. Yet another table gives me a price list and details on how to rent camera equipment in New Mexico. You can plan your budget right here in the hotel, and if you’re still not sure, there will be a panel on budget planning happening as well.
The final key to why this conference should be a must for anyone interested in film is the social groups that attend. I met some lovely ladies from Women in Film New Mexico. The name may be misleading since you can be a member as a male also. This group helps writers, actors, and many others, find a community network of people to help you hone your craft and maneuver the sea that is film. They have monthly meetings in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. There were also groups from Roswell Film Festival and a Dark Matters horror film festival coming up here in Albuquerque.

The conference answered questions I didn’t previously even know to ask. The panels were made up of well-educated people, dedicated to helping us all understand the laws and the hurdles of filming in New Mexico. We will be following up in later articles with some of the key speakers from this year’s conference, so for those who thought making a movie or being a part of one was out of reach, will find out that you can make it happen right here at home.

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J. August Richards

As a young child growing up in Bladensburg MD, all J. August Richards ever wanted to be was an actor. Even then, the only thing better then being an actor to the little boy was to be a superhero. Well, today he has accomplished both of those goals. Playing Deathlok on Marvel® Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has given Richards the chance to play a superhero, and a super-villain and a dad, in the first season of the show alone. We can only image what will happen in the upcoming second season.

At the ripe old age of two, Richards’ parents would put him up on stage everywhere they went to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The applauses and recognition certainly fed into his drive to be an actor. Richards went from the Pledge of Allegiance, to a preforming arts high school, where he honed his talents and applied to only one university. The University of Southern California accepted him to their acting program, offering him scholarships and grants to help him get through school.

His mother, hoping her son would pick a more practical course of study, encourage Richards to go into law. While at University Richards took a Law 101 course, his teacher would spend much of class going back and forth debating with Richards. This prompted his teacher make Richards an offer of going into law when he gave up on acting. Richards never took him up directly on the offer, but went on to play more then one role as an attorney. It probably wasn’t want his mother or teacher had in mind, but even they can’t argue with success.

Angel, one of the roles where his character, Gunn, played an attorney for evil, Richards speaks fondly of the role. “Angel was a challenge, forcing the characters to change almost daily, in turn forcing the actors to grow and stretch with them.” Joss Whedon, the creator of Angel, was a huge influence in Richards’ career. He speaks fondly of the days working with Whedon on Angel and now again working with him on S.H.I.E.L.D. “It’s great to meet my fans and have the parents remember me as Gunn, while the kids know me as Deathlok.” Angel may have ended over ten years ago, but the show is still alive and well in syndication,
creating new fans everyday.

Richards loves any role that challenges his ability to act. “I did a musical one time where I had to learn to tap dance in the six weeks of rehearsal and I did.” He has physical confidence in his body and believes if someone else does it, he can do it. He tries to do as many of his own stunts as he can. “I do them, because I enjoy it,” says Richards.

When ask if he had any hidden talents, Richards says he considers himself to be a good dancer and musician. He has written and recorded songs that he has released on YouTube. He actually posted one of them, so he probably can’t consider his musical side a hidden talent anymore.

Being part of Marvel has been a real-life experience. “I got the part in a matter of two days. The minute I heard Joss was doing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I knew I wanted to be a part of it.” Deathlok is a character he has always loved. He is very different from Richards, but there is a deep connection there. “Working with Joss is just beyond a dream.” Deathlok takes two hours a day to get into costume and a half hour to get out.

Richards will be in town for the Albuquerque Comic Expo. “I love Albuquerque, I would love to retire there,” says Richards. He fell in love with New Mexico when he was in college about fifteen years ago. They toured many high schools, doing a musical about chemistry. He rapped about the scientific theory, but claims not to remember a single word about it.

Richards would like to leave a legacy behind that he was a great friend, a good relative, and the person that makes peoples day a little brighter.

When Richards decided to be an actor at such a young age, neither he, nor his parents, knew what to expect from this endeavor. Iconic roles in shows such as Angel and Marvel® Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., to guest star roles in a number of exciting shows, to rocking out on YouTube, Richards’ career has been full and ever-changing. He has no current plans for what comes next, but a quick look at his track record, it’s sure to be another great role his fans can sink their teeth into.

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Meet the people behind the scenes, Janine

At a Flying Star in downtown Albuquerque, I grab a latte and wait to talk to one of the city’s newest arrivals. It seems a fitting venue to talk with her about being a makeup artist to the stars. Outside these four walls, the streets are lined with movie trailers that are closing up shop for the day. On the second level there are actors running lines for the “next greatest thing” shooting here in town. Luckily the downstairs is sparsely filled for 3 in the afternoon, so talking will be easy.

Janine is from Long Island, a cosmetologist in the Big Apple. Some of you, like myself, might wonder what a girl like her is doing in a town like this. The short answer is Fate.

About a year ago, while managing a cosmetic counter by day and doing makeup for photo shoots and movies by night, Janine decided she needed a change. Born and raised a New Yorker, she hesitated to leave the city and her grandparents behind. While assessing her life to make a change, she experienced the tragic loss of her grandfather. She temporarily put her search for meaning on hold when she received another shock at his funeral. Her grandmother was moving to New Mexico to live with family members. To her surprise, she felt free to leave Long Island. In a moment of liberation, she asked her family how far Albuquerque was from Austin, Texas – a place she had been considering for a while.

She made a phone call to a longtime friend who lived in Austin to find out more about what it was like. This was her chance to start her life fresh and spend more time working on her dream, not just her survival.  He mentioned she should really consider New Mexico.  With the tax breaks and successful shows filming in the area, it might be just what she was looking for. That was the motivation she needed.  She headed out to visit her family in Rio Rancho and investigate the neighborhood. Shortly after her return home, she packed up and relocated out west.

She can’t stop smiling when she talks about her good fortune and the wonderful people she has met since moving here. “The community here is so open and friendly. Everyone is so supportive,” she raves.

When asked about what she likes best about her job, she bubbles over about the creative freedom her job allows. She is an artist to the core with a love for all mediums, but her first love will always be using the face as a canvas, especially when she gets to create fictitious symptoms and a fictional disease. She worked on a film where she was able to decide what the effects of a deadly nanovirus would look like on its victims. Among other gruesome symptoms, the infected character sweated blood.

On another occasion she worked with contestants in a costume contest sponsored by a tequila company. She convinced her lovely lady to have her makeup done like Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, who was there. Her contestant won hands down.

Thanks to her day spent working on that contest, she was asked to help Snider and his family shoot an Indie film with third graders as the stars. “It was amazing to work with him (Dee) and his family.  They are creative geniuses. If there was anyone I would drop everything for and fly back to New York to help, it would be the Snider family”.

When asked how little Hollywood in New Mexico compares to the Big Apple she says there is no comparison. Albuquerque has given her the sense of peace in her heart she has been looking for. Since arriving in town, she has been doing makeup for everything from photo shoots to movies to donating her spare time to help worthy causes (low budget indie projects). She will forever be grateful to the friend who told her Albuquerque is the place to be. She misses New York from time to time, especially her friends and family, but she is making new memory here in her new home.

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George R R Martin

By Winter Flack & Teresa Ewers

Many have witnessed the thrill of the HBO series Game of Thrones. But there are those who have been fans for years because of the writer, the 5’6″ bearded legend we know as Martin – George R.R. Martin. Going as far back as 1971, George has been writing science fiction for the mass. He began with publishing more then fifty short stories by 1977. His first novel was published in 1977, hitting a total of four by the early eighties. The fourth novel called The Armageddon Rag was a contemporary novel set in the 1980’s. It got great reviews, but it was a commercial disaster. With a black mark on his record, he couldn’t find a publisher who would touch him.

“Luckily for me when that door was closing, another door was opening in Hollywood,” shared Martin.

The book that almost ended his career was optioned for a film adaptation. Although the movie was never made, it introduced George to movie making. CBS at the time was looking to bring back The Twilight Zone. The shows producer turned to science fiction writers to create scripts for the shows, even writers with no screenwriting experience. Martin did a script for the show, followed by another, and then, before he knew it, he was on staff out in Los Angeles. He never left Santa Fe, needing a calm place to call home. Working in Los Angeles was an amazing time and he worked with some marvelous people, but he wanted to come back and live in New Mexico.

After his time in Hollywood, he decided it was time to put his own shows in development. It was a time of learning in his life. In Hollywood, you can pour a year of your life into developing characters and a story, and, through no fault of your own, they will kill your show idea. Martin decided, at that point, he needed an audience that he could entertain. He wanted to create things that people could enjoy, no matter what four guys in suits had to say. With this in mind, he went back to his first love – writing. He put his effort into writing Ice and Fire, which became Game of Thrones, currently playing on HBO. After five years of trying to write something that would turn into a TV show, his most long and complicated work becomes a hit. Martin loves the way the show has turned out, being that the books are his babies. Each one is about 1500 words. These take him years to write, so he found a great team – David Benioff and D.B. Wiess – to handle the majority of the show’s writing. They write about seven, out of the ten, episodes a season. He does write one script a season for the show. He wishes they could run for twelve episodes so that they could get more of the books into the show itself.

Martin continues to be an acclaimed writer and is now a theater owner. George R.R. Martin re-opened the Jean Cocteau Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2013. The theater had originally opened in the 1970’s and George had watched many movies there in his time. Citing his main reasons – one of them being they had the best popcorn in all of Santa Fe – the darkened theater sitting empty made him sad. After months of wondering why someone wasn’t reopening the theater, he realized he should be the one to take on the challenge. Now, they show movies, music, and magicians in the theater. If your lucky, you can catch the showings of Game of Thrones. “A little piece of Santa Fe history and the Santa Fe community bought back to life,” says Martin, who is involved in picking out what comes through the theater, but most of the decision runs through Jon who manages the theater. Jon has ties with the film community in Santa Fe and sets up great finds for everyone, of every taste, to come and enjoy at the theater. “I occasionally chime in from the owner’s box and say I want to see Red Planet.” jokes Martin. “We opened with my favorite science fiction movie and we had Robbie the Robot here.” In case there are a few of you out there who aren’t into theater, they also have book signing and author events from time to time at the theater. There is no excuse if you live in Santa Fe to miss out on this little theater.

When Martin has some down time, he spends it with his wife, Parris, who both offer support to The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico. He also does a lot of reading these days and science fiction & fantasy has been his go-to for literature. It started at a very young age with comic books and has just continued to grow. Nickel paperbacks to full novels, he has never been able to kick his habit. He likes to throw in a good mystery, or historical fiction, every once in a while.

When asked what he would like his legacy to be, he turned to one of his most inspired writers, J. R. R. Tolkien. “I think every writers dreams that his books will last. That’s what I hope of.” says Martin. “I was very flattered a number of years ago when People magazine called me the “American Tolkien” because I’m a huge fan. I read him in high school. He was the man who redefined modern fantasy. Just being mentioned in the same reference as him is a great compliment. And if my books are read 100 years after I wrote them and I can become a candidate of fantasy like Tolkien’s books have, that would be enough legacy for me.” He has a goal for the theater as well. “I hope that the Jean Cocteau here will last. I hope the revived Cocteau last another 22 years where people can watch movies, listen to music and eat our popcorn, which is still the best popcorn in New Mexico, with real butter!”

George R.R. Martin is a multi-talented individual who puts his heart and soul into everything he does, hoping to entertain people along the way. Make sure you check out the Jean Cocteau Theater in Santa Fe and enjoy the hit series Game of Thrones on the big screen or pick up the book. Either way, you will step into a world beyond your wildest imagination.

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Just Nick, Nick Wechsler

Nick Wechsler, born and raised right here in Albuquerque New Mexico, always had dreams of being a comedy star. After graduating from Highland High School, Nick took off to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. By his own admission, he hoped to go into comedy, but has been popular in dramatic roles. “I haven’t had many opportunities to do comedy,” said Wechseler. “Which probably just means I’m not very funny”. He jokes, of course, with many successful TV series under his belt like Team Knight Rider, Roswell, and Revenge, we know he’s good at his job.

In his current role as Jack Porter in Revenge, Nick says this is one of the harder characters he’s ever played simply because Jack is a good guy. Being a comedian at heart, his sense of humor skews to negative, making it easier for him to play a villain. But, no matter what the character is, Nick has a formula for bringing them to life. “I will read a script several times to extract as much information as I can about tone and history and character, and then I store it, internalize it. I just try to relate to these guys.” Every character has a piece that you can relate to. If you can relate to him then other people can too.” Understanding is the basis of how Nick creates his memorable characters.

Jack is a challenging and different character for Nick to play and is helping him stretch and grow as an actor. Variety is everything in a field where becoming typecasted is easy. The change of pace keeps thing fresh and new. “I will read a script several times to extract as much information as I can about tone and history and character, and then I store it, internalize it. I just try to relate to these guys.”

His rise to stardom has been an uphill climb. He’s had some major success along the way, but also had some times of serious self-doubt and struggling. “I’ve been at it for 16 years. I’ve had some success, but I’ve also had long stretches of nothing, which was demoralizing,” Wechsler shared. “I think the hardest part of acting is trusting your worth, despite near-constant rejection.” Like many other careers out there you can be riding high one day and crashing and burning the next. You need to build up your confidence and self-esteem. In Nick’s case, his lively sense of humor has helped through his valleys.

He reminisces about the early days when he went out to Los Angeles and the time spent with his roommate, Taran Killam. At the time, Nick wanted to be on the cast of Saturday Night Live to explore and develop his comedy side, but he ended up with dramas and no SNL. His old roommate, on the other hand, wound up on SNL and Nick is so proud of him. “The comedic part of me is jealous of the dramatic part,” joked Wechsler.

Before leaving Albuquerque for the City of Angels, Nick was a theater actor, with many performances under his belt. But when it comes to taking the jump from primetime to the stage, he admits he’s a little apprehensive. “I’m kind of terrified of the stage now. I haven’t done any theatre since high school. I used to like it a lot back then, but that was before I did this for a living. I have a fear that if I returned to theatre now, I’d be eviscerated. I should probably do it in that case, get past my fear of it. It’d probably make me a better, more confident performer But here’s the deal, nah” Nick feels his place is in film, but after so many years in the industry, the stage may be in the distance, distance goal.

Showing off his twisted sense of humor, Nick creatively dodges a direct question about the future of Revenge. His convoluted answers point to show rating, executive decisions, and audience response, but not a definite yes or no to if Revenge is coming back. So for those of you hoping for some insight into the shows return next season, Nick isn’t giving away anything. “But what the hell do I know?” Wechsler says. “It’s all up in the air until it isn’t” Nick isn’t one for making plans. He likes to stay flexible and keep his options open, whatever they may be. “I don’t currently have anything in my pipeline. Which is probably best, y’know? Because then I’m available for whatever. Like watering my plants, or staring at the walls, or sobbing into a pillow.”

With such a versatile career, Nick won’t be watering his plants or sobbing into his pillow for long. He is bringing his sense of humor to his “good guy” dramatic role with a flare all his own. If the fans of Revenge have any say in the matter, the show will be returning for another season, maybe more.

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