Click below for the interview!
We’ve just come right out of Black History Month, and we’re right into Women’s History Month. What a wonderful time to spotlight more creators in the nerdy and tech spaces! I wanted to interview someone very active and inspiring in the indie gaming scene, and a creator who quickly came to mind was Catt Small. She is a Black game developer from Brooklyn, known for putting together the Game Devs of Color Expo, Code Liberation, and speaking about diversity in the games industry.
Although she is very busy, I was able to get a bit of her time to ask her some questions. Check out the interview after the jump!Continue reading
I love music and it has often been a comfort to me; I’ve also found value and comfort in nerdy things. So, mixing these two concepts together is the perfect product for me. This week’s Web Crush Wednesday, Adam Warrock, makes self-proclaimed “Overly Enthusiastic Hip-Hop” about pop culture and general nerdy media.
Hello all! PolyglotPisces here to talk with Tim Tolbert, an extremely talented young actor about to take part in a super exciting new musical theatre project. I met Tim when I worked as musical director/pianist for a production of Little Shop of Horrors, where he showcased his powerhouse vocals in the challenging role of Audrey II, everyone’s favorite giant talkin’, rockin’, people-eatin’ alien plant. Little Shop has been an old favorite of audiences and performers for many years, but now Tim will be involved with a much newer show—brand-new in fact—the debut production of A Pirate’s Tale. This project is presented in collaboration with Pittsburgh’s very own Gateway Clipper Fleet, a fleet of riverboats offering a variety of cruises on Pittsburgh’s three rivers. A new musical… about pirates… performed on a boat. How exciting is that?! Let’s get some inside scoop from Tim.
I hang out on Tumblr a little too much, because Tumblr is way too good at thinking up uniquely creative fandom endeavors that eat up all my time. So it was that I stumbled upon the above picture a few months back. Did someone actually go to where the incredibly depressing “Doomsday” was filmed and take that picture? Curious, I clicked on the blog and quickly discovered many more such pictures: Les Misérables in London, Torchwood in Cardiff, even Star Trek Into Darkness in Los Angeles—all centered around an iPad photo of the original scene. And I was hooked.
Fangirl Quest is just what the name implies—Tiia Öhman and Satu Walden, two Finnish fangirls, are on a quest to visit filming locations all over the world. Once they’ve arrived at the exact location, they take photos with a method they call sceneframing: Satu holds an iPad with the relevant screencap while Tiia takes the photo. Who needs selfies? Sceneframing is the new cool.
The two of them have just finished a truly epic roadtrip through the United States and Canada, and were kind enough to talk to me via email about their blog and their adventures. Check below the cut for my interview with the fantastic girls of Fangirl Quest!
My fellow Moonies, rejoice! We are truly in the Neo Golden Age of Sailor Moon. What with the current revival of the anime and anime-themed merchandise worldwide, the re-printing of the manga in English with the direct intent of being more accurate to the original (whether it actually is or not is an argument for another time; the intent was good), and the production of a new series being in the works we are getting more Sailor Moon goodies than we’ve seen since she first took the world by storm.
In the midst of all this official media and merchandise, we are also seeing wild numbers of fan films and fan series being produced! I talked about one already and now it’s time to share another one. I was hoping to wait until the second part of the film was uploaded to talk about it but I’m impatient and want to share it now, so enjoy part one and look forward to the conclusion to come! This film comes from an Australian group of fans and is titled Dead Moon Circus:
Review under the cut:
A few weeks ago I had the song ‘I Know Him So Well’ from the musical Chess stuck in my head so I went to the good ol’ YouTube to satisfy my need to hear it. In doing so, I found this video parody starring Susan Boyle and Peter Kay:
Can I just say perfect parody is perfect? Everything is spot on in this from the hair, to the sets, to the little bits of visual comedy thrown in. If you’re not familiar with Chess, the music was written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA so there was plenty of popular interest in the show. As such, several of the songs had music videos created for them and had success on the pop charts. You can view the original video for this song here to compare it to the parody. Seriously, everything is captured and parodied perfectly.
One song in particular from the show can still be heard fairly often on the radio (well, I guess I have no basis to say it’s played often. I very rarely listen to the radio but I’ve heard it played at work at least once):
BTW, the actor performing the song is Murray Head. You know, original Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and Anthony Stewart Head‘s brother? Damn, that’s a talented family.
MadameAce: Now the Scarecrow, he’s a Batman villain that has been re-imagined a lot, over and over again. How did you envision him when you first started playing him? I know you talked about the demon in the human body and whatnot, but I’ve just seen so many different versions of him.
Dino Andrade: Being a long-time Batman fan, the first thing that I did was look back at the first, the original Arkham Asylum graphic novel which then I got the script and discovered that the two had absolutely nothing to do with each other. After that, I started looking at darker versions of the Scarecrow. One of my favorite versions of the Scarecrow, although he’s not in it for very long, is in the series Batman: Vampire where Scarecrow has human fingers sewn into his costume and stuff like that. He’s this terrifying character and I really liked that interpretation.
That was kind of my jump off point from there because I knew that Arkham Asylum was going to be much grittier than anything that had been seen or done before on video games or comics and so on because, of course, Chris Nolan’s Batman, which took a grittier tone, was so successful. I believe that was part of the mandate for Arkham Asylum: to go for darker territory than Paul Dini and company were allowed to do in previous television incarnations. That’s why I purposely studied Batman: Vampire which is probably the darkest Batman story there is.
It’s that time again, the falling leaves, the chill in the air, the dead body swinging from the tree in the neighbor’s front yard. October is truly a wonderful month. It contains the best holiday which crosses over all faiths, races, and creeds (that don’t think it’s about devil worship). I can hold a bloodied sack of candy while dressed as the Batman without anyone calling the cops, but the most important part of this wonderful holiday full of ghoulish ghosts and wicked witches, bloody vampires, and psychotic clowns, are the Halloween movies! We all have our favorites, but possibly the most beloved (or at least most well-known) Halloween movie “for families” is Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas, a stop-motion animated movie about a bored Pumpkin King and a less-than-jolly Santa. In that same vein Burton’s latest movie Frankenweenie was released this October 5. It is based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the 1931 movie of the same name.
Frankenweenie is a simple story about a boy named Victor and his undead dog Sparky that he brought back to life using electricity (I see what you did there, Burton) and a special scientific formula. Aka: science is magic. Victor’s unfortunate looking classmate Edgar recognizes the bestitched Sparky and blackmails Victor into teaching him how to raise the dead. Soon some of his other classmates find the formula and after playing God for a while, end up accidentally creating giant monsters. Havoc ensues.
There were some very funny parts of the movie. Edgar had some good one-liners. The Weird Girl was also appropriately named. When Burton calls something weird, you better believe it! Overall I enjoyed the movie. The beginning was very touching; it truly showed the bond between Victor and Sparky. I cried when Sparky was hit by the car, was reanimated, and at the end of the movie. Sparky reminded me of Zero, Jack Skellington’s red nosed ghost dog and Victor reminded me of…Victor from Burton’s lackluster movie Corpse Bride. Overall I would say it was B+; pretty good, but it seemed a bit short, and I didn’t really like the Asian representation in the movie. Still, I heartily recommend it.
Read the first part of the interview here.
MadameAce: I know you said that you experienced some disappointment when you did that role, but in the early days what were your thoughts on doing voice overs?
Dino Andrade: At the time most of what I wanted to do in voice over was basically to [have it] work as a stepping stone. I really wanted to get into doing on-camera. I started doing a lot of commercials at the time. I was doing commercials for McDonalds, Delta Airlines, various things like that kind of working my way up. I was also doing a lot of training with The Groundlings comedy / improv. I’m a very physical actor, physical comedian. This was something that I felt might be the future for me, but it was very disappointing: unfortunately it seemed that 90% of what I was being sent out for was one Mexican, cholo gangster after another. It is so not me! That was very discouraging and I decided that, “you know what, if I’m going to get into these projects I might as well make them myself.” So I decided to leave acting for about ten years and spent the 90’s being involved in independent filmmaking, writing screenplays—I sold six screenplays, none of which were produced. [laughter]
Stewi: You still got paid
Dino Andrade: I still got paid. I think it was Kurt Vonnegut who said that the best thing that could ever happen is to sell a screenplay and have it never get actually made so your work isn’t screwed up. [laughter] So my work has not been screwed up six times, but it was kind of cool that I sold them. I also produced one independent film called Bob’s Video that ran the film festival circuit for a year and got me to travel around the country which was really fun. In the end, in the 00’s, I decided to go back to acting and to my original love, which was animation and fantasy, which then meant voice over. Even that was somewhat accidental.
There was a director who was working on an anime show called Vampire Princess and I was being told about that. And I thought, “well maybe I can get in on that as a writer. I’ve never done anime writing, but maybe I could give that a shot.” It turned out that he was also working on another show called Saint Tail and his wife was casting it and when I was contacting him I wound up contacting his wife and his wife thought I was an actor calling in for a scheduled telephone audition. I said, “…sure! Yes, that’s me,” and so I wound up auditioning completely cold, had no copy at all, so I just had to make up something about, “oh yeah, I didn’t get it. The courier didn’t make it. The fax machine died,” or something. I don’t remember. So they fed me the lines and I auditioned and they said great and I got a small part on Saint Tail. I took that as a sign and said, “okay! I guess this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” I returned to voice over at that point.