Macbeth Update!

It's been a while since a good update, so it's time I got to it!

I started work on Macbeth with New York Classical Theatre seventeen days ago (July 10th), and I couldn't be happier with the work I've been doing. We rehearse in Battery Park, right by the beautiful water and under some very tall sycamore trees. The water provides a cool, salty breeze and the trees give us all the shade we need on those hot days. It's an incredibly refreshing setting for a guy that hails from a much more rural part of the country. Though I am lucky enough to live right by a public park, I find myself continuously searching for more green in my life. Thus, this rehearsal process is almost cathartic for me. I arrive to rehearsal nearly 45 minutes early every day so that I can walk around the park and take in the air, and I usually stay about 15 minutes after so I can enjoy the cool breeze and beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty.

Tomorrow will be rehearsal #16, and tech #1. This weekend will be full of many challenges I'm sure, as we'll be tech-ing every day, but this cast and crew has been incredibly easy to work with and I know that trend will continue. Monday will be preview #1 and then we're off to the races! Official opening is on August 9th and we'll continue until the 27th. It's going to be a great show, full of much violence, many a sword and lots of sweaty people. Please, if you're looking for a good night, come join us! The performances are FREE and I'd love to see as many familiar faces as possible, so let me know if you're able to make it.

The poster for the show is attached below and you can find all the important details there!

*Side note - gotta give a shout out to Stephanie Klapper Casting and Director Stephen Burdman for assembling an awesome cast!

Macbeth Postcard


Today I'm thrilled to announce that I've been cast in New York Classical Theatre's production of Macbeth!  

This is my first show since I left Otterbein, and I couldn't be more excited to be acting again. I'll be playing the part of Seton and I'll be doing a lot of sword fighting! 

Previews start July 31st and the run ends on August 27th. We'll be traveling through various parks in NYC and the performances are free! So come watch me swing around a broadsword and deliver some grievous news. It'll be fun!  

Snow Blog

Snow Day = Blog Day

The elusive day off is welcome in my apartment, and I think we're all taking advantage of the unexpected free time. This morning, Steven and I finalized the casting for one of our upcoming projects.

We lost the first competition we were apart of, but we know we'll rebound strong with the upcoming shows. Natalie and Lauren will be featured in the next show Periastron. The show prequels our last project, "More Than/Less Than," and we discover how our two characters meet. Periastron will be debuting at Big Apple Theater Festival on April 8th. Lauren and Natalie both have other projects to work on, so Otterbein Alumni Mason Smajstrla will take over as Stacy and Caylie Rose Newcom as Mia when we join our next festival, NLTP Darkroom 13. Mason and Caylie will be performing on April 13th and 14th.

There's also one more play that I'm directing, which will also be a part of two festivals. Rebecca Schafer, also a brilliant lighting designer and stage manager, has taken up play writing. Her debut work, Lump, will be performed at Manhattan Rep. Theater and the NLTP Darkroom 13 as well! It'll be a busy few days. It's premier at Manhattan Rep. is scheduled for April 7th, and it'll open at New Light on April 13th. Alison Schiller and Connor Allston will star in the two character 10 minute play. I won't give any of the plot away, but you can be sure that it's a comedy.

That's the end of my directing updates, but that means there are still a few other areas to cover:

Internship - Still going very well. I've spent a few days working on the office's Project Calendar, and it's amazing to look at the number of projects that Stephanie, Alexa and Ari have covered over the last year. And as a young director who works very closely with a few young playwrights, it's exciting for me to see the amount of new work that Stephanie has been casting. It's a very nice reminder that people are willing to give people chances and develop young artists. I've also decided, through talking to Stephanie, her assistants and a few others, to extend my stay as an intern in her office. While I have time and opportunity to learn from Stephanie and her office, I'll be working there.

Internship Goals: We have list of things to accomplish while here, and I haven't been consistent about posting the things I've done. In theory, each get's it's own blog post. That's kinda hard for me to make sure I do, so I've decided to give an update here on the things I've done. 

1) Broadway Show: Oh, Hello. Phantom of the Opera. On Your Feet. Come From Away.                 2) Off Broadway Show: Yours Unfaithfully. Fade. Ring Twice for Miranda. Yen.                                   3) Concert/Opera/Symphony/Ballet... :UCB Improv Show (2). Rusalka (Met Opera).                       5) Go to a Museum: Museum of the American Gangster.                                                                       6) Central Park (3 Locations): The Reservoir, The Lake, Great Lawn                                                  7) New Food: A Chocolate Egg Cream from Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop.                                          9) Choice Event + Classmate: A UCB show with Steven Meeker Jr.                                                      11) Choice Event + Yourself: The Flatiron Lego Store with a raccoon.

That's my current list, and still have to accomplish #4 (Walk the Brooklyn Bridge), #8 (Go someplace alone) and #10 (Choice event with an alumni). Walk the Brooklyn Bridge is something I hope to do when it's warmer outside. I've gone a few places alone, but I'm actually yet to just take a moment and write my event. For #10, Steven and I are hoping to go see the Power Rangers movie with an alumni. WHICH IS COMING SOON!

Anyway, this is the end of my big update! It's been snowing outside since last night and we got a a bunch of freezing rain today too. Who knows, maybe we'll get seven more blizzards and I'll finish all of these blog entries! 

PS. The NFL draft is coming up. My favorite 5 guys for the Panthers 8th overall pick are: Malik Hooker, Jamal Adams, OJ Howard, Soloman Thomas, and Leonard Fournette. 


I'm admittedly very bad at keeping this blog up to date. 


But it's because we're so busy! There's so much going on that this blog falls behind, and I'm grateful for the amount of work I've been given. 


Originally, Stephanie and I had discussed 3-4 days a week of work. Well, that's not how this cookie has crumbled. I've gone in every day for work, and my hours have grown too. Alexa, Ari, and Stephanie have all been extremely giving with their time and advice, and they've made my transition to this city much smoother than I ever imagined it could be. 


So work is fun. It's a lot of work, and I come home tired every night (a very good feeling), but there's more to life than work! I'm seeing plenty of shows. Including several Broadway shows and some awesome off-Broadway productions too. I recently got a chance to see Rusalka at the Met, because TJ Gerckens is the man, and I've seen a few more improv shows too. The opportunities to see shows and enjoy the work that's produced in this city makes life very fun here.  


I've also been blessed by the opportunity to make my directing debut in New York next month! I'm sure many people have seen Steven Meeker's post concerning the approaching production of his play  "More Than/Less Than," and I couldn't be more excited. Steven and I have been talking about the chance to produce our own work and work with our own people since freshman year. And for the two of us, this is just step one. We're gonna be doing this for a while, and we'll keep pushing each other to make our product better. 


My mom also came to visit! Mostly to drop off stuff, but also for some much needed talking. It's always nice to see moo! Though sad to see her go.

But now, my room is nearing completion, and I'm very happy with the current state of things here. 


The Internship Blog, Part 1

PART 1! Internship has been awesome. I'm with Stephanie Klapper Casting, and I couldn't be happier than I am with them. They're all incredibly smart, kind, and devoted people. They're perfect examples of how to be professionals in the theater industry.

There are four of us in the office; Stephanie, Alexa, Ari and I. Alexa and Ari are her two assistants, and they're both some of the kindest and most helpful people I've ever met. Stephanie may be THE kindest person I've ever met. All three are willing to forgive any mistake I make, and use each one as a teaching moment. Perhaps the thing I'm doing the most of right now is learning, actually. And that's just how it should be! And I don't mean I'm just sitting around listening to them tell me what to do, that's not the case. I'm doing things around the office and trying to be as much help as I can, but I'm learning about everything as I'm doing it. It's fast and confusing, but they're always willing to answer any questions. 

My hours shift from day to day, but last Thursday and Friday were my longest days yet. Despite the length and how stressful they were at times, they we're tons of fun. And, I got a chance to sit in on some auditions for a show! The show was White Snake, adapted by Mary Zimmerman, and it was so much fun. As an actor myself, auditions are a huge part of my job, and watching these professional working actors do their jobs was extremely helpful. 

They also happen to have an awesome office and view, and I'm gonna get the chance to use my photography skills to potentially help them use that view on their website.  It's a cool and unique project, and I'm very excited to get a chance to help them build their website.

Other things that have happened since I moved here...                                                                         - Steven and I saw a UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) show. It was very funny and we followed it up by trying out some the pizza places nearby (cause we're always lookin' for good pizza).              

- I got a comp ticket to a show named ReconFIGUREd from the very cool Katie Faulter, and Steven joined me for that. The show was great, and a reminder of how many people are out there just trying to tell their story.

- Saw La La Land in theater's with Steven and my roommate Doug, and I honestly didn't get the hype. I didn't particularly enjoy the singing or dancing (if you know me, that's not surprising), but more importantly, I didn't think there was any conflict. The lack of conflict made for a boring movie to me, and I found myself struggling to stay attentive at times. I did think the ending was cool, but quite a long build up for such a short sequence.

- Me and 10 of my classmates got a chance to meet with Tom Miller from Actor's Equity today. Tom was great, and Otterbein alum Ethan Schwartz skyped in from California to talk to us too. The two of them educated us on the various types of auditions and contracts equity uses, among other things. It was incredibly useful for us, and very kind of them to give us their time.                                                               

There's this whole list of things I'll be working on accomplishing while I'm on internship here, and I know I've checked a few of things off the list, but get ready for a whole lot more posts from me. These first few weeks have been really solid, and I'm beginning to think at some point I may even be able to call this city 'home.' But, my adventure here has really only just started, and I'm sure there will be many more ups and downs to come.

So stay tuned!


Toledo to NYC, Part 1

So it begins... the first trip to NYC of December. Nat, one of my classmates and best friends, and I are taking the train from Toledo to NYC. We got on at 3:35 AM and will get off around 6:30 PM. If all goes right, we'll finish this trip with an apartment in NYC! 


Wish us luck! 



Class of 2017

I love this group. I couldn't be prouder of my class, and I can't wait to take the next step forward with them. Even if I'm not spending every waking moment with them ;D  


The Crucible


The Columbus Underground gave us a great review, so click here for that!

We had an awesome opening weekend, and I couldn't be prouder of this cast and crew. There's still another weekend of shows for everyone to see, so grab a ticket fast!



The Addam's Family

Come see The Addam's Family at Otterbein! Not only will it be an awesome show, but I also took the publicity shots for it!

The show opens this Thursday and runs through October 1st!

Private Eyes

There's nothing like a good rehearsal. When the actors are clicking and the directors are buzzing with ideas and energy, everything feels right.

I'm currently directing a workshop production of Private Eyes, by Steven Dietz, and today's rehearsal went perfectly. The actors are working with each other and listening to me and my AD so beautifully, that it reminded me why I love this world so much. Theater is a collaborative art, and when each member of the team brings their focus and energy to the table, beautiful things happen. 

Great rehearsal = great way to start the day. 


Sometimes, we all just need cake. It's of the very basest human necessities. So tonight, I made a yellow pound cake. The recipe is from Edna Lewis' The Taste of Country Cooking. It's a great cookbook, and this is the third recipe I've used from the book since I got home. I highly recommend it! 


We served ours with some sliced strawberries!  


And Graeter's salted caramel ice cream... 


I love biscuits. Sometimes there is nothing better than fresh baked biscuits. So today, we make biscuits! Well, I'm making biscuits at least. 

For the full recipe, check out my sisters blog:

Picture time! 


That's pre-baked... 



Just out of the oven... 



Served with butter and scrambled cheesy eggs. Breakfast done right.  



The title of this basically sums up the post...  

I used the Rising Sun Bakery recipe, plus I added a little oatmeal to mine because I like a little crunch to them. And ya know, cause oats are healthy or something...I tell myself that the oats counteract the butter. 


First, make dough.  


Then, make cookies!

For the full recipe and all the how to, check out the link below:

The link will take you to my awesome big sister's baking blog, which features recipes of her own, and from my Dad's bakery days. 

Check out her blog for more recipes! I promise you won't be disappointed.  

NFL Mock Draft

I love the NFL Draft. It's so much fun trying to predict it. So I'm going to start posting my draft predictions on here! This is a strange draft. It has really nice depth when it comes to defensive players, especially at DT and DB. But it's definitely lacking offensive playmakers. No QBs worth the top pick, in my mind, no WRs worth a top 15 pick. But it does have really solid OL talent and depth, along with a rock solid RB class. 

The Panthers always draft BPA, or best player available, and some teams  draft by positional need. If the Falcons need an OT, they'd draft that position specifically. If the Panthers need an OT, but there's a DT that's better than any OT prospect, they'll take the DT. So our drafts are very based on how other teams draft and how our board looks, thus making it hard to predict. 


Now, the mock draft! 

1. Jared Goff

2. Carson Wentz

3. Deforest Buckner

4. Jalen Ramsey

5. Leonard Floyd

6. Laremy Tunsil

7. Ronnie Stanley

8. Ezekiel Elliot

9. Joey Bosa

10. Myles Jack

11. Vernon Hardgraves

12. A'Shawn Robinson

13. Shaq Lawson

14. Eli Apple

15. Jack Conklin

16. Sheldon Rankins

17. Darron Lee

18. Taylor Decker

19. Laquan Treadwell

20. Paxton Lynch

21. Ryan Kelly

22. Will Fuller

23. Josh Doctson

24. Jarran Reed

25. William Jackson III

26. Robert Nkemdiche

27. Reggie Ragland

28. Corey Coleman

29. Noah Spence

30. Kevin Dodd

31. Christian Hackenberg


That's it! Draft in 10 minutes!  

Casting News!

In recent news, I was just cast as Deputy Governor Danforth in Otterbein University's production of The Crucible! The play is this fall, and I'm so excited. It's a great cast, paired with an awesome director, and it's going to be an fantastic production. I can't think of a better way to end my Otterbein career!

Otter Alumni!

I feel the need to post something about the awesome amount of support from department alumni I've seen recently. From the opening night reception of Fiddler to Tony Gonzalez stopping by to teach dance and answer some student questions, it's been awesome to feel the Otterbein love these past few weeks. 


Proud of this department!

A Fiddler on the Roof!

Tomorrow night, Fiddler on the Roof opens at Cowan Hall here at Otterbein. It runs this weekend and next, with closing night next Saturday. 

Dr. John is going out with a bang! Come see him before he retires from the department--it's gonna be a hell of a show and you don't want to miss it. 


 Director, Lenny Leibovitz

Director, Lenny Leibovitz

So come see this Tevye, and his fiddler!