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Aug
11th
Mon
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These past two weeks were spent in rehearsal and performance for URBAN DEATH @ ScareLA.
ScareLA is a Halloween convention in Los Angeles. This was their second year in Los Angeles, and really showcases how incredible of a haunt community Los Angeles has.
I had invited the ScareLA team to see our haunted house last year (and they gave us an outstanding write-up) and they were keen to bring us to their convention this year.
For Zombie, it was an opportunity to bring his show to an audience that might not have heard about us before. An audience that loves haunts and horror as much as we do.
We rehearsed a 30-minute version of URBAN DEATH to bring to the convention, and then spent a few days converting the room ScareLA had given us into a theater space. We brought in lights, we set up a backstage area, and we set up our theater space.
Audiences came. Sometimes they screamed in terror. Sometimes they had no idea what to make of us. But overall, the reactions were positive and the shows were killer good. 
Three shows a day. 
The show itself is so physically demanding. We’d get offstage covered in greasepaint and sweat, only to scrub it off, reapply our makeup, and then turn around and do it again.
But overall, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. I love this show. 
Since last October I have performed in every iteration of URBAN DEATH that Zombie Joe’s Underground has produced. Alongside me have been Tina Preston (lower level, third to the right), Gloria Galvan (lower level, send to the left) and Wyn Harris (top row, left). Zombie Joe and Jana Wimer have directed/produced, and Adam Neubauer has stage managed (all top right).
The rest of the cast is comprised of actors I have befriended at the theater, and have worked with many of them several times. 
It’s a family. A sinister little family of misfits. Those who love this show so much we keep coming back.
It’s a thrill to be a part of.

These past two weeks were spent in rehearsal and performance for URBAN DEATH @ ScareLA.

ScareLA is a Halloween convention in Los Angeles. This was their second year in Los Angeles, and really showcases how incredible of a haunt community Los Angeles has.

I had invited the ScareLA team to see our haunted house last year (and they gave us an outstanding write-up) and they were keen to bring us to their convention this year.

For Zombie, it was an opportunity to bring his show to an audience that might not have heard about us before. An audience that loves haunts and horror as much as we do.

We rehearsed a 30-minute version of URBAN DEATH to bring to the convention, and then spent a few days converting the room ScareLA had given us into a theater space. We brought in lights, we set up a backstage area, and we set up our theater space.

Audiences came. Sometimes they screamed in terror. Sometimes they had no idea what to make of us. But overall, the reactions were positive and the shows were killer good. 

Three shows a day. 

The show itself is so physically demanding. We’d get offstage covered in greasepaint and sweat, only to scrub it off, reapply our makeup, and then turn around and do it again.

But overall, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. I love this show. 

Since last October I have performed in every iteration of URBAN DEATH that Zombie Joe’s Underground has produced. Alongside me have been Tina Preston (lower level, third to the right), Gloria Galvan (lower level, send to the left) and Wyn Harris (top row, left). Zombie Joe and Jana Wimer have directed/produced, and Adam Neubauer has stage managed (all top right).

The rest of the cast is comprised of actors I have befriended at the theater, and have worked with many of them several times. 

It’s a family. A sinister little family of misfits. Those who love this show so much we keep coming back.

It’s a thrill to be a part of.

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Jul
23rd
Wed
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photo via Melina Paez

Mad props to my friend Carrie for hooking me and Jessica up with tickets to go see “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” on the big screen. The film’s director, Tobe Hooper had a conversation with William Friedkin (dir. of “The Exorcist”) beforehand.

I’d never seen “Texas” before, and was in for an insane film treat. Simply incredible to see a 40 year old horror film that holds up so wonderfully. It was a crazy romp through horror tropes I now know are iconic, but that all came from this gem of a film.

Friedkin and Hooper talked a lot about the creation of the film, as well as its legacy, and I learned that Tobe Hooper took inspiration from a painting by Andrew Wyeth titled “Christina’s World”. I know the painting well.

It was a thrill to think that one of the most influential horror films of all time was inspired by a painting that I, myself, love. It reminded me of a quote by Ira Glass: "All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste."

We were lucky enough to run into two of my haunt friends, Russell and Mike, who let us cut in line with them and get choice seats in the theater.

Then I ran into Melina, who was the official photographer for the event, and was my co-monster during “Halloween Horror Nights” in 2012..

As we’re settling in for the talk the directors of Blackout walk past and say hello to us.

I’ve written about this before; but after two years of performing in haunted houses and getting to know the haunt and horror community, I’m making connections. Making friends. Getting to know people and them getting to know me.

August 9 - 10 will be the next performances of URBAN DEATH, taking place during ScareLA. I have been reaching out to everyone I know in the haunt community and inviting them to see our show.

I am thrilled to be able to do this. To be creative and to surround myself with other creative people.

A good feeling, for sure.

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Jul
18th
Fri
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This is my parents at the New Mexico State Capital donating one of the paintings that has hung in their house forever (Darren Vigil Gray’s “Ascending Indian #2” 1987, Pastel) to the state of New Mexico.
My parents and grandmother are leaving New Mexico for rainy Washington State to retire and start a new chapter of their lives.
I wish them well and want nothing for the best for them. They’re excited about their move and so am I.
But I get nostalgic. I think of my childhood. I think of my friends. New Mexico will always be the place I grew up. Albuquerque is my hometown.
And now to think that there will be a little bit of my family in the permanent collection of artwork at the New Mexico State Capital is a nice little reminder that I can always go and visit it.

This is my parents at the New Mexico State Capital donating one of the paintings that has hung in their house forever (Darren Vigil Gray’s “Ascending Indian #2” 1987, Pastel) to the state of New Mexico.

My parents and grandmother are leaving New Mexico for rainy Washington State to retire and start a new chapter of their lives.

I wish them well and want nothing for the best for them. They’re excited about their move and so am I.

But I get nostalgic. I think of my childhood. I think of my friends. New Mexico will always be the place I grew up. Albuquerque is my hometown.

And now to think that there will be a little bit of my family in the permanent collection of artwork at the New Mexico State Capital is a nice little reminder that I can always go and visit it.

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Jul
15th
Tue
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This here is the photo evidence of me and my friends going through “The Purge: Breakout” last night. 
While the photo isn’t much, I can tell you that we solved puzzles, screamed a whole bunch, stuck our hands in weird places, and overall had a hell of a night.
Mad props to BLUMHOUSE and BLACKOUT for creating something pretty gnarly and intense. Fun and wonderful and ultimately terrifying and challenging (and with a 1% success rate, pretty insane to try to get a group through).
It was crazy and fun and thrilling, and I can only think that after two years of going haunted house crazy I can smile and think about what comes up this Halloween season.
That after going through Wicked Lit’s off-season event last night and then THE PURGE tonight, that it was a serious haunted house weekend.
Onto Halloween 2014. Onto the next one.

This here is the photo evidence of me and my friends going through “The Purge: Breakout” last night. 

While the photo isn’t much, I can tell you that we solved puzzles, screamed a whole bunch, stuck our hands in weird places, and overall had a hell of a night.

Mad props to BLUMHOUSE and BLACKOUT for creating something pretty gnarly and intense. Fun and wonderful and ultimately terrifying and challenging (and with a 1% success rate, pretty insane to try to get a group through).

It was crazy and fun and thrilling, and I can only think that after two years of going haunted house crazy I can smile and think about what comes up this Halloween season.

That after going through Wicked Lit’s off-season event last night and then THE PURGE tonight, that it was a serious haunted house weekend.

Onto Halloween 2014. Onto the next one.

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Jun
29th
Sun
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It’s 2 am, but I feel like writing. If only to say that I have finished my run in URBAN DEATH.

Our first performance was on Saturday, March 8th, and our last was tonight, June 28th. In total, I performed this show on seventeen consecutive Saturdays.

The cast kept changing as we kept extending, and in the end there were only four of us who had been a part of every performance.

Along the way we’d gain new actors, tweak our show and constantly create new vignettes to make the audience laugh, squirm and scream.

The last show we did was a completely different show than our first, and to be a part of something with that kind of energy was truly a thrill.

It was  something I looked forward to every week. Realizing that I won’t be performing in this show next Saturday night makes my heart hurt. The cast and crew were incredible. It was a pleasure to be a part of it all.

Furthermore, there were moments in this show that pushed me as a performer further than I ever imagined possible.

I hesitate to describe these moments…they were performed in the safety of the theater and thus it’s best if they stay there. 

But I grew. As a performer. As a person. Pushed further than I thought possible in my creative life. It was a thrill.

I don’t know what will come next. Right now is a massive moment of transition, it feels, for all of those around me. 

The ground is shifting. It is scary, but wonderful at the same time. Change is good. Change is important.

So I say goodnight to URBAN DEATH. Until we meet again.

I smile and think of the good times. Those ephemeral moments inside of a black box theater in North Hollywood. A place you wouldn’t even know existed unless you were looking for it.

Hearing the applause, the reactions, the way the audience reacted to us as performers is a thrill unlike any other. I am so happy that I have found it, again.

I am reposting a note left on Facebook by one of our cast members, Karen, after she said goodbye to the show. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

So here’s to the next one. Here’s to whatever comes up ahead.

Goodnight.

Comments
Jun
18th
Wed
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Photos Courtesy of Marti Matulis

"…All in all, a very arresting and indelible 55 minutes of verbally silent theatre, pushing the envelope the likes of which I have never seen at any venue including Zombie Joe’s and that’s really saying something!

PS. If you plan on getting a sound night’s sleep hereafter, think again.  This will seriously f*&k you up!!! (But that just means it’s doing what it set out to do!)”

“Urban Death” can be seen Saturdays at 8:30 pm at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, (4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-202-4120) until June 28th.

- The Los Angeles Beat

Thank you Jennifer K. Hugus for your review of URBAN DEATH.

We’ve got two more shows before putting this one to bed.

All in all, when this is over I will have done 19 URBAN DEATH shows in the past four months.

Wow.

What an incredible show. What an incredible feeling.

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Jun
11th
Wed
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Yes! My very first gig with Seraph Films gets drunkified…

I got cast in this video after meeting Gene through a mutual friend. When it was the day of the shoot I gave them my writing samples, which got me hired to write their 4th season!!!

So here you get to see me get my throat ripped out and listen to Gene and James drunk talk over it.

Funny funny funny.

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May
21st
Wed
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Not gonna lie…of all the scripts that I wrote for Seraph Films this one was the most challenging. The idea was to take a childhood game and make it…sinister.

I liked the idea of “7 Minutes in Heaven”, and the first script had two characters heading into the closet during a party while their jealous friend butchered everyone else.

Ryan Bosworth, the director, smiled and explained to me that to film that scene we’d need enough extras to fill a party, as well as several sets and setups to get all of the scenes together.

Ryan advised me to pair it down, and soon the scene became a dinner party and a game of “Spin the Bottle”…

…then it got weird.

The version you see on screen was worked and re-worked by Ryan and myself. I credit him for guiding this scene into something tightly packed and well crafted while still being terrifying and intense from beginning to end. After several re-writes I simply had to trust Ryan to direct and craft this short film.

I believe he succeeded.

This one is really intense, people. Even I had to watch it through my fingers…

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May
20th
Tue
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I’m on a puppetry kick right now. I’m nose-deep into the Jim Henson biography, and we utilize puppets in Urban Death (Saturday nights, 8:30, come say hi!).

Something that I’m really enjoying about the Henson bio is that he really wanted people to understand that puppetry isn’t just for children.

Ok, ok, so the clip above is retro, silly and pretty goofy, and there really is a connection between puppets and children’s entertainment. An innocence, almost, with what you can get away with.

But I have seen puppet performances in the horror genre that simply send chills up your spine. Take my word for it. :)

The clip above is fun. I saw it once at a puppet horror film festival (it exists!) and glad to have found it again.

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May
15th
Thu
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Yes! Another HORROR HAIKU that I wrote just came online. Vampires and hunters and some sweet sexy blood, oh my!
(Though you cannot see it in the refrigerator, all the bloods are labeled with different crew member’s names. Somewhere in there is “Abel Horwitz Blood” bwah hah ha!)
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