If you are new to my blog, on Wednesdays I post about my experience in Hollywood as a former child/teen actress. If you want to start at the beginning of these posts go here.
This is a rerun. Two weeks ago I posted part 1 of this interview.
This week is part 2 of my Q & A of my friend for 20+ years David Moscow!
If you missed David's first guest post for me check it out here.
If you missed my post about when David recently visited me in my hometown and got attacked by my kids go here.
If you want to read more about David then you should probably seek professional help.
Now that David has a girlfriend whose hometown is close to mine I get to see David more often! Got a text from him on Easter and so the Hagen crew made a quick stop at the restaurant where David was brunching . . . only a few miles from my house.
Here is Part 2 of our Q & A:
I remember when you were being considered for Newsies, when you booked it, and when I visited you on set. I also remember there was something kind of funny about you landing that role . . . tell us about your vast dancing and singing experience in prior to Newsies.
This is becoming like an interview of Obama on Fox News, where every question is subjective, leading and not the most flattering. If I had any kind of ego I would plead the 5th. Instead I'll be your huckleberry.
But just to be fair to myself; when I was first auditioning for Newsies I was not informed that it was a musical. And if you were paying attention you will remember that among the classes I was subjected to as a child nowhere was dancing or signing to be found. The barest inkling of what lay ahead occurred when my agents asked that for my 3rd call back could I bring a tape with some music I liked to dance to and if there was a song I particularly liked to sing. Strange requests, but not overly so in this business. Stand by Me the old Ben E King song was the only song I knew by heart (I was not the hippest of children) and I think I brought my Soul to Soul “Back to life” to boogie to.
So casting forgo the sides (fancy talk for script) and got right to the business at hand - could David Moscow be the lead in a Disney musical? And here is where the accidental subterfuge began. My Stand By Me was actually passable. Being that it was the only song I knew by heart it was all I had been singing in showers or while waiting for a bus my whole life and all that practice led to 3 mins of legit sound.
Casting was pleasantly surprised. What people don’t usually know is that casting is just as nervous as the actors are. Their job is riding on the fact that they can find someone to fill this role or else they are in deep trouble. There has been many a time where I’ve seen a casting agent praying for a great audition for me, literally mouthing the words along with me as I speak them, willing me to success. In this case they both looked at each other and smiled. Now came the dancing. Here some background is in order. My family is not a family of dancers but a family of marchers. I come from a very progressive intellectual politically active household. They are not adverse to dance, in fact, will fight for the right of others to dance but dancing seems like a waste of time to them as there is so much marching to do. But! And here is the next level of chicanery - I had just done a play in a tiny off off-Broadway theater called the Greene St. playhouse (more like Greene St. basement). And in that play my character was taught by a character played by a young Mos Def (at that time just known as Dante) how to dance. The dance was just a snippet, a bit more than a couple steps but I had practiced those steps all through rehearsals, previews and the couple week run. I knew those two steps. And in that audition I did them over and over to the poppy sound of that Grammy winning British hit. I looked positively at home on the dance floor. I believe casting high fived.
The next couple weeks were a blur. I was hustled out to LA to go through a sham screen test – how could I be denied when my name was the same as the characters, my real brothers name was Lev, the characters Les and my father was a lefty Jew same as my dads character in the film.
I don't know if your Newsies groupies know this, but you co-starred in a show called Living Dolls with Halle Berry. Do you regret not marrying her?
The whole show was confusing. I was 15 years old on a sitcom based on Facts of Life but with…models. On top of that I was a late bloomer with the opposite ex. So the whole thing felt like being tossed around on high seas. Everyday when one of the women glanced at me, spoke to me or asked me to grab them coffee I fell in love, the next I was heart-broken.
If someone had not seen any of your work and was stranded on a deserted island and could only watch one David Moscow film . . . what would you suggest?
My two favorite pieces of work are Restaurant (with Adrian Brody) and Nearing Grace. The parts were the type you disappear into. And so I did. I had always wanted to go deep deep into a part but hadn’t come a cross the right ones or didn’t recognize it if I had. But on these it was months of pretending to be a couple of very interesting characters 24/7. Amazing experiences as an artist but hell on the social life.
I know you have your hand in a lot of projects right now. Can you tell us about some of them?
I just finished acting in a little indie film called Humdinger. Set in Brooklyn about a guy trying to find his long lost father. And I just produced a big 3D horror comedy (like ghostbusters but with exorcists). We are in the middle of editing it but hope to have it out early next year. Its called Hellbenders.
**David forgot to mention that he also has a side business. He is a Magician for kids' birthday parties. If you are interested in having David at your next birthday party . . . here is a sample of his work.
This pic is from last fall when Carol-Ann Plante and I met up with David and his girlfriend for dinner in Hollywood. That's when the magic show took place.
You have been an environmentalist since before it was trendy. What is it that stirs up your passion about preserving and protecting the environment?
Although I was definitely a city kid having grown up in The Bronx and Manhattan I spent most of my summers in Utah and Maine. So there has always been a strong connection to nature. Environmental issues also just seem so basic and un-political. What do we need to breathe to live? What do we need to drink? What do we need to eat? How do we keep those things safe and clean. But I also feel that way about most causes. Its all pretty simple and logical. Whatever we were taught as children (clean up after yourself, learn to share, treat others as you would be treated, don’t burn your brothers hair with the car cigarette lighter while mom is in the super-market and ask him to lie about the smell when she gets back in the car) can be used as a template to live our adult lives. Its as if society (particularly American society) knows exactly what to do and does the exact opposite. Thats the only way I can explain poisoning drinking wells with chemicals, killing millions of innocent civilians for $1 off the gas pump and racists who can’t stand a black president.
I made sure to have him pose for a pic with me in front of my dirty minivan :)
David and my hubby, Shiloh
The end of David. For now.Pin It Now!