So in case you need to know how to sell antenas parabólicas for AT&T, I might be the guy to tell you...in a series of sporty costumes. Huge thanks to And Media for having me on this very fun shoot.
Every time I get to do something like this, all I can think is how lucky I am to be doing it. 700 people? They oughta get me nervous, right? Truth is, it's hard for me to choke because I love this job so much. And when you're happy and your job is to be funny, it's all gravy. Steve Martin mentions in his memoir that his stand up years are where he "felt funny." I'm feeling like I'm at the beginning of those years, man. It feels great.
That feeling can be a trap though. I've sat through plenty of comedy shows where nobody laughed, where instead everyone is just thinking, "Wow, this guy sure thinks he's funny." Personally, in comedy, I always remember the crowd is talking to me. When no one's reacting, I don't think, "They're wrong, I need no adjustment," I adjust.
With Los Secretos, that adjustment was grounding my character's discomfort, listening to my scene partner, the wonderful Elsa Monroig, and letting my improvisations be about our relationship, not about me getting a cheap laugh. David Mamet says, "Every line is a character trying to get what they want." I just wanted to get to the Mayors house and find a girlfriend. All the best lines came from people seeing me struggle .
It all comes back to theory. Freud said we laugh because we feel superior. Latinos don't get to feel "superior" to gringos so often - look at our current climate. I was a gringo who couldn't colonize. Sometimes in losing you win. That's comedy.
Once every blue moon, the blue moon calls on you to bring your utmost creativity. Los Secretos de Santa Mónica is my blue moon. This show will razzle/dazzle ya. There's dancing, original music, and I'm in a tutu at one point. Here's a short video explaining just what's up:
I'm playing my first solo show tonight at Chicago's iconic Empty Bottle tonight. Guitars, loops, and keyboards in the coolest way.
Big show coming up! I get tooled around a fictional Latin American town in this Spanish/English show going up at the Athenaeum Theatre Mainstage! This show has multiple floors on stage, you guys! Multiple Floors! Get tickets for the Chicago show, or fly out to see us in Phoenix during the summer! Click HERE to order
The holidays are here, and that means giving. So...help yourself to some free high-res me images for your desktop. This is for all my fans out there, not just some of them. Whether you like my music, my acting, my painting, or my upcoming book of poetry (don't know how but maybe), this the Red Bull your desktop craves.
The short story of Convergence is that I started out as an actor in the series, then became something much more. My title (besides actor) became 2nd assistant director, however I don't know how I could really sum it all up. In the following trailer, you'll hear a language that is spoken by few people, a language that I had the script translated into to be historically accurate for Southwestern Pennsylvania in 1857. You'll see locations that I secured. You'll see props I designed, other actors I cast after I was cast. Convergence is already some life-changing stuff for me, and I'm incredibly pleased to announce we won the Emerging Artist Award at the Filmmakers Global Movie Trailer Festival.
You can see me kicking a trashcan and riding a four wheeler if you look. Enjoy!
Little known fact is that I did ballet when I was a kid up until about age 8. My mom's best friend had a little dance studio, and there wasn't enough boys and I've always loved dancing. Anyway, look at me going off about the good ol' days. Here's a shot from a recent videographer gig I did for Ballet Chicago.
Did you know the term for "wet blanket" in Spanish is "Agua Fiesta"? It's true. Man, I learned that and so much more about my Latino side while doing this play. Though I was the only person in the cast that spoke English onstage, they only spoke to me in Spanish during rehearsals. My Spanish has always been pretty good, but it's good to get the crash course. "Que Gente, Mi Gente" is a radio novella of which I'm part of the central cast, but they're doing these theater companion shows. ¡Miralo!
Flying back from Pennsylvania, I cruised a cloud staircase that was just nutso. The floor and the ceiling looked like cauliflower. It was like "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" in a down comforter. It was breathtakingly beautiful, the perfect closer for my trip to Scranton, my hometown, my coal cracker.
Maybe sounds emo, right? I talked a little about growing up from emo in an interview you can check out here (There's some additional press via Highway 81 Revisited also). While the interview is credited to me, the boys all did it together. I remember coming out onto the porch, yelling to Andrew on the Hammock about coming inside for the press, and, man we just beamed. I think the interview says a lot, but omits our joke that the show might be the worst part of the weekend.
Lord it wasn't though. The show packed the Bog like it was parade day. I later learned they had to hire extra bartenders to come in. Girls were crying, taking selfies, people were climbing the walls, I even saw some of our t-shirts from 2007. Doorman said 163 people came, man. Crazy. (Also check out opening band Pity Party. They rip.)
We opened with our cover of Anthems for a 17 year Old Girl, which really dripped with more meaning. "Used to be one of the rotten ones and I liked you for that."
Then there was my solo show called "My Billions. Mine." which I performed at the beautiful Radisson Hotel for the Scranton Fringe Festival.
More great press too! I got a full page write up in the Times Leader, and NEPA Scene published this little "letter to the editor" gag. Huge thanks to the Scranton Fringe Festival. This was their inaugural year and I'm very psyched to have been part of the weirdness they brought to the city. I mean, I threw pizzas all over a national monument in a fake-ish mustache. I'll have some videos of that real soon. Until then, here's a picture from a preview.
While I was home, my dad told me over hibachi something very poignant: everything beautiful has backbone. You need to have "bones in your heart." Only Delfor Salazar could drop casual wisdom like that over hibachi.
Scranton, damn, you are the bones in my heart.
Completely out of the blue, THE ELECTRIC CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL has kindly coordinated a REUNION of AWKWARD SILENCE, my high school band. This is going to be warped. I am beyond psyched to play with my best friends again. This is the most like Guns 'N Roses that I may ever feel. Here's a sweet old video
Thats me in the shirt of electric space cats with an emerging lime green guitar...I was 17.
I'm happy to announce, I've been hired to head the art department for re-shoots on the feature film Jim Shoe. This is a great, Chicago-centric film starring Mike Erwin (Everwood, The Hulk, Teen Titans). I had to jump in pretty quick for it (including trips to my favorite place Propabilities) to prepare for shoots in a funeral parlor, a South Side home, and the beach. Above is an on-set photo from the first day of shooting.
I learned so much about funerals shooting this show, chief of which was that inside coffins is this little cubby for stashing notes. The cubby comes with an envelope with a quote that said "We have memories so that we may have roses in December." Love that quote.
I'm so excited to announce I've joined the cast of "Qué Gente, Mi Gente" a radio novella that broadcasts internationally, including to my Peruvian family's home in Arequipa, Peru. I'm so excited to announce this and check out the picture above. More updates on this coming!