The Work • AEA Council Nomination Petition


Thanks for all your help, people. I'm now an official candidate. Check out my campaign HERE.

Hi, Guys. If you're a paid-in-full, member in good standing of Actors' Equity Association, I need your help.

I've decided to put my name in to run for AEA council for the first time. Though I'm technically qualified to run either as an Ensemble or a Principal candidate, I've decided for a few reasons to run to fill one of the three open Eastern Region Principal 4-year term seats. 

The first step in the process is collecting Nominating Petition signatures. If you're in NYC and care to add your name to my petition there are two ways to do so.

1) Hunt me down. I've got copies of the petition on me and a working pen.

2) Print out the PDF below, sign it (including your AEA member #), and drop it off at the Neil Simon Theater stage door, my attention, by noon next Friday, March 7th, 2014 . Or, if you're far away but still want in, you can snail mail it to me:

15 Magaw Place
Apt 1C
NY, NY 10033

Scanned, emailed, and faxed copies don't count, so this takes the death of trees and some leg work. 

click on the image to download the PDF

click on the image to download the PDF

If you decide to print it out and sign it, check around you to see if there are any other friendly AEA members who might care to sign as well. I mean, let's kill as few trees as possible. Right?

I appreciate any help you can throw my way. 



Video • All The Way TV Ad

At drinks last night, Jonathan Hadary (I love that man) told me about the new version of the tv commercial for All The Way. Besides the primary "hey, look, that's really Bryan Crantson" pitch they're also flogging the size of the cast. So my name (though I'm truly in a minor role) is right there on the screen. Blink and you'll miss it, but it's there. Bizarre. 

And, yes, he really is a great guy.

(Cranston not Hadary. I'm mean they're both great but you're probably wondering about Cranston, right?)

Video • The Executive Assistant

Why, oh WHY am I so fascinated with this world?

"When Sergio Kletnoy, the executive assistant to the Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles, saw “The Devil Wears Prada” years ago, he knew this was the industry he wanted to work in."


(video by New York TImes' Matthew Orr)

Sergio Kletnoy, executive assistant to the Cosmopolitan editor, Joanna Coles photo : Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

Sergio Kletnoy, executive assistant to the Cosmopolitan editor, Joanna Coles

photo : Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

For Christine Haughney's piece on Sergio Kletnoy and others in The New York Times, click here.

Dreams • Out There

Between the tunes Jay Klaitz is playing in the dressing room this morning (his and the Avett Brothers) and this image coming up in my tumblr feed, I'm really feeling the need to be out in the country today. Hiking in the fog, sitting on a porch, chopping some wood, sitting by a fire with a bourbon. Yup.  Instead I've got two shows to do here at George Street Playhouse. I'm a lucky man. But even lucky men dream.

Ukulele Zen • Ames & Daughter

It's been a while since I've shared a ukulele zen moment, but this morning brought one that made me soooooooo happy.  

Four-year-old Adelaide Ames couldn’t sleep because she thought she kept hearing fireworks. Her dad, musician and physicist Ben Ames, decides to use some uke therapy. The results are just charming.

(And dig the wicked smart auto-focus feature Ben's Canon 70D is rocking and his killer duck-behind-the-subject move to shift the plane of focus to his daughter mid-song. Sweet.)


Resource •

I like what these guys and gals are up to. This sale is a great chance to get to know their site and service. I don't get a cut, just the pleasure of hooking theatre folk up to other theatre folk.

8 Days. 8 Writers. 10% off.

September is already halfway over, and we know what that means for all you MTs: you're probably watching all of the youtube videos, traipsing through the wilds of the internet, and getting your hands on as much sheet music as possible in order to pick out what songs you're going to work on for the rest of the fall. To help you work through those painstaking choices, NMT has a special gift for you, and it comes in the form of a hashtag.

Through September 22 only, enter the code #NMTWRITER at checkout to get 10% off music by 
every #NMTWriter on the list below: 
Adam Gwon 
Drew Gasparini 
Joe Iconis 
Jonathan Reid Gealt 
Pasek & Paul 
Ryan Scott Oliver 
Salzman & Cunningham

8 days of discounts for 8 writers. It's basically Hanukkah in September. But remember, the code #NMTWRITER expires on September 22.

Plus: New Songbooks!

If can't decide on just one song, get an even better deal with a collection of songs by your favorite #NMTWriter. Check out the newest offerings:

Adam Gwon's 3 new songbooks - one for girls, one for guys, and one for duets - each feature a songbook-exclusive song that you can't get anywhere else on the site.

Fan of Drew Gasparini's new album, I Could Use A Drink? Get the complete sheet music here.

The new Mr. Joe Iconis Songbook contains Joe's complete NMT catalogue. Broadway, here you come.

If you're a BelterSopranoBaritone, or Tenor, there are new Kerrigan-Lowdermilksongbooks tailor-made for your voice.

Salzman & Cunningham are celebrating 10 years of collaborating together with two new songbooks - one for girls and one for guys - from I Love You Because, each available for only $10 this month.


Question • Morphing From Non-diegetic to Diegetic

I'm trying to think of an example of a character in musical theatre singing a non-diegetic song which later in the story is performed as a diegetic song by that same character or even someone else. Any ideas?


Examples of diegetic musical theatre songs : 

  • Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man - Showboat
  • Edelweiss - The Sound of Music
  • Beautiful Girls - Follies

Examples of non-diegetic musical theatre songs :

    • People Will Say We're In Love - Oklahoma!
    • If My Friends Could See Me Now - Sweet Charity
    • I'm Not My Father's Son - Kinky Boots

    The terms diegetic and non-diegetic are borrowed from the film world, but as a theatre artist I find them useful in pinning down what is really happening with any given musical moment. (Thanks to Stephen Banfield for introducing me to this idea in his book, Sondheim's Broadway Musicals, many years ago.) Here are some good definitions from a film perspective:

    Diegetic sound

    Sound whose source is visible on the screen or whose source is implied to be present by the action of the film: 

    • voices of characters 
    • sounds made by objects in the story 
    • music represented as coming from instruments in the story space ( = source music)

    Diegetic sound is any sound presented as originated from source within the film's world

    Digetic sound can be either on screen or off screen depending on whatever its source is within the frame or outside the frame. 

    Another term for diegetic sound is actual sound


    Non-diegetic sound 

    Sound whose source is neither visible on the screen nor has been implied to be present in the action: 

    • narrator's commentary
    • sound effects which is added for the dramatic effect
    • mood music

    Non-diegetic sound is represented as coming from the a source outside story space.

    The distinction between diegetic or non-diegetic sound depends on our understanding of the conventions of film viewing and listening.  We know of that certain sounds are represented as coming from the story world, while others are  represented as coming from outside the space of the story events.  A play with diegetic and non-diegetic conventions can be used to create ambiguity (horror), or to surprise the audience (comedy). 

    Another term for non-diegetic sound is commentary sound.


    Support • Lee Wilkof on Kickstarter

    As a character man, I like to support other character men. I don't know this character man personally, but he has gathered quite a respectable crew around him for this project:

    Laurie Metcalf
    Ted Levine
    Jessica Hecht
    Nathan Lane

    along with

    Boyd Gaines, J. Smith Cameron, Austin Pendleton, Mark Blum, Jeremy Shamos, Jeanine Serrales, Zoe Perry, Joel Higgins, Reg Rogers, Peter Jacobson, Alex Draper, John Bedford Lloyd, Cory Michael Smith, Benjamin Sinclair, Danny Binstock, Ellen Foley and Brent Spiner, the comedian Lewis Black, and the incredible Loudon Wainwright III, who is creating the original music.

    Here's the pitch. I leave it up to you.

    To see the Kickstarter site, click here