It’s ME it’s HIM it’s T-I-M,
Hey everyone I’m back to share some more thoughts with you from sunny southern California. First off lemme just say how much my heart goes out to you braving it in ice/snow and the like, I grew up in the black ice-rich, monster ice sickles-rich, snow tundra that is NW Pennsylvania so I get it. My advice: LEAVE if you can! Winter can be an abusive relationship where it just pounds on you with evil but people stay because “its pretty” Fuck that! Get out! That’s my Holiday cheer, doesn’t get better than that so suck it in man.
I have many things on my agenda so lemme break it into hunks for you:
FIRST OFF Here’s a solid shout out to the theatre scene in North Hollywood, CA and the talents behind it. I am lucky enough to live near what’s called “The Arts District” and thus I see many attempts at art and not all in my opinion land anywhere near what I’d call art but it is subjective and thus my thoughts may not be yours so with that understood lets begin on what I consider to be the best in local theatre this month.
I shall start with a gift from God.. or Satan.. or? Okay I’ll just explain- I write dark horror (credits include Fangoria, Icons of Fright, Girls & Corpses Magazine, various anthologies, etc) so I have a deep burning desire to embrace and appreciate the truly dark, disturbed macabre and in that vein I have NEVEEEEEER EVVVEEER experienced the feels like I do at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater.
I was first introduced to them by Bill Mosely’s recommendation on social media. Bill has played some of the most iconic horror characters in films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects; so for HIM to say that it blew him away meant I had to see it for myself. I went to a late night showing of one of his pieces and I was so impressed not only did I write about it before but I continued attending performances on multiple occasions. Nobody pushes the boundaries of visceral intensity and mood like him so when I received a message that he would have some more craziness live in December I was happy to attend with the promise of a write-up.
Here’s what I saw first:
T H E T E M P E S T
Jana Wimer’s Critically-Acclaimed SciFi Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Classic!
FRI @ 8:30p + SUN @ 7pm ~
I am NOT a fan of Shakespeare. WHEW! -That felt good to get off my chest, it’s like the true elephant in the living room amongst me and my theatre/acting-artsy fartsy friends. I don’t get it and I don’t wanna get it, I find it pompous and self aggrandizing.. “OH LOOK AT ME.. I’m SO GREAT” it’s like the worst goddamn soap opera I’ve ever seen. Ever.
So THAT being said- I agreed to see this show because:
- It’s at ZJU (Zombie Joe’s Underground) so its gotta be glorious
- It was directed by Jana Wimer, whom I’ve been a fan of
- meh- what the hell..
I had a super cute, amazingly talented filmmaker with me, Angelique Klas and we were both escaping the mundane crush of life for the night so BRING ON the overly loud proclamations about life and death, me thinks.
Here’s what happened, it did not suck. It was a blast. It did not drag as much as other Shakespeare plays I’ve been too and the characters had been adjusted to a pop culture sci-fi influence with robots and creatures straight influenced by Avatar. It was sexy, it was weird, and it had a genuine surprise twist that I never saw coming. I cannot compare it directly with the original Tempest as you can understand but for what it was, there was heart and passion, plus an artist’s vision; hope that doesn’t sound too cheesy.
Okay, so after this one we went to a nearby bar and enjoyed the craziness of alcohol, dancing and the search for a belt (don’t ask..) it was fun. I love Hollywood oddities. After an hour or so we hustled back for the main event of our night of debauchery.
B L O O D A L L E Y C H R I S T M A S
ZJU‘s Freaky-Ass Late-Night Holiday-Horror-Theatre Smash!
FRI and SAT @ 11pm ~
This is what makes my horror-loving heart go pitter-pat. An experience of pure shock and revulsion, disturbing acts of violence fluent with sexuality/nudity (which are not always exclusive) and the embrace of darkness. Its not a straight narrative play but rather bits and pieces that each induce its own reactions from a shocked and affected audience.
Before it began someone that was familiar with his past shows warned me “It’s Pornographic” to which naturally I as a red-blooded American pervert only wanted to go see it more! I’m totally going to hell, but hey my friends will be there!
Speaking of my hellion friends, in writing this article I called my cohort from that night Angelique for her thoughts/memories and here’s some of her thoughts:
For THE TEMPEST she felt the characters were well written, very modern-day, Hobbit-inspired and with elements of Star Wars. She said to her it dragged in parts and during those moments she remembered what I had said about Shakespeare.. (haha) ..but overall was entertained and would be interested to see what Jana could achieve with a non Shakespeare concept. As for BLOOD ALLEY she said “Hands Down I would see Blood Alley again! That one blew me away!” She went on to say how it thought outside the box and was much more than shock value. She says it sends a message in an artistic way like no theatre she’s ever seen before.
Please do yourself a favor – see ZJU live. Bring some friends and try to sit in the front row. I guarantee you will never have an experience like it again. I am a member of the Horror Writers Association, have watched BLOODSUCKING FREAKS 100 times, and Clive Barker has given me quotes for my writing.. soooo I get that I may not think like the average fucker but to this guy.. It’s a treasure.
~ Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group ~
4850 Lankershim Blvd.,
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Reserve Your Tickets Now! Call (818) 202-4120
SECOND of all, I saw another wonderful piece of original art performed at the historic Whitford-Lindley Theatre Center, 11006 W Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA. This one person performance was the brain-child of ‘The Purveyor of Fine Words and Phrases” Mr. Dylan Brody. It was called SINGING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.
It surprised me that Dylan whom I have a fondness for as an artist, speaker and writer would go in the direction of substance abuse; but it showed even more sides to his range and direction having this actress embody his creation as she did. I sat in the balcony and watched his uniqueness and mastery of words teamed now with this actress’ presence and energy captivate the sold out space. There was singing, there was music, there was drama and there was depth. As with any art, its not for everyone but its always worth the gamble when its Dylan Brody behind it.
I’m not sure the plans for the play moving forward after this run but I eagerly await his next creation.
Dylan Brody, wrote script, words music, directed, produced
Robyn Heller as Sandy Morrow
Kevin Fisher, musical director and arranger, also played guitar
John Gannon, percussion
THREE, moving right along I’d like to plug some things I have going on. My short story CALIFORNIA DREAMING was accepted into the latest CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL book. It’s very exciting to be part of such a juggernaut in the Bestsellers dept and they are putting me on a tour which it helpful to my brand. It comes out in stores this Feb so please look for it.
Few other things just in passing…
My movie KILLJOY’s PSYCHO CIRCUS is now available on Hulu so please check out my largest acting role. I’m a killer clown so it’s like a total dream role.
Hey MARVEL Cinematic Universe, I’m pleased that with the success of Dr.Strange and Ghost Rider/Darkhold on AoS it looks like we may be getting into darker territory finally which is where my favorite side is. Occult and vampires, monsters and crypts I’m rooting for you so don’t let me down.
Congrats on my longtime friend NIGEL McGUINNESS on finally landing that deal to be in WWE. He’ll be calling the action alongside Michael Cole for the New United Kingdom Tournament and debut of a title. Nigel deserves the shot at greatness.
Hey MARVEL we see Aquaman getting shit done for DC, so when do we get underwater adventures.. as in NAMOR? Gimme gimme gimme.. can’t believe we got a talking raccoon first!
I have a standup show this FRIDAY in Hollywood so please do come one, come all its only $5 and it’s a killer night Headlined by my fathead.
PS- Spoiler Alert****
BRUCE WILLIS makes a cameo at the end of the upcoming film SPLIT, showing it’s all a part of the UNBREAKABLE universe. Truth.