Happy holidays! After an exciting 2007 in NYC filled with just over 100 auditions and about 30 bookings, about 160 movies (two thirds on DVD), around 20 theater shows and concerts, plus lots of food, parties and travel, Iím getting the year in review out early! Be sure to check out the links to the things and people you read about. Download your 2008 Kevin Kolack calendar here!
For the very warm New Year, a party at Mikki Baloyís was just around the corner. In fact, our first flurries of the winter werenít until Jan. 18th, with the first real snow not appearing until Valentineís Day. (Yes, I grew up in the south and still am thrilled by snow. Plus, I just like it when this town gets QUIET!) I kicked off the year by booking 3 of my first 8 auditions, and appear on The Onion News Network online and in the Chik-fil-a calendar for the month of October 2008 thanks to shoots at the end of the month. I continued helicopter flight lessons, though the two flights I took this month were the only ones for the year. It wasnít that doing my first simulated engine failure wasnít fun, itís just that this habit is only slightly cheaper than what I imagine a serious drug habit to cost... and itís also in New Jersey. Diane continued her seminary studies, and I started teaching at The Cooper Union and tutoring again, went to a screenwriting lecture, and joined an Abraham-Hicks meetup group. Diane and I hosted a dinner party/screening of The Secret at our place, had Erin McReynolds and Dianeís sister Ally Campbell over for dinner, went to the incredibly fun Gazillion Bubble Show with Kara McElhinney (yes, there were a gazillion bubbles, including a few square ones, bubbles inside bubbles...), saw the hilarious Robin Selfridge perform a one-man show, and saw some other great theater on the cheap as part of our super-secret theater group. We also took a trip to MA to look at 3 cohousing communities with a group of people we hope to start such a community with a few hours out of NYC. Silly us, we thought we had invented the concept of a few like-minded individuals getting together to live lightly on the land! Plus, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group Diane founded met at our place for planning. For the season, we got 73 families to purchase locally-grown organic produce with 100% of the money going directly to the farmer, who made weekly deliveries Memorial Day through Thanksgiving to a local pickup point. Check out my links page for more on buying and eating local and healthy.
In February, I had a fun shoot with the Tasteless Choice boys, we chowed down at Alex & Lucasí house (as well as Tournesol and Marioís), I met with Solomon Chertok about hosting at his film festival again (which I did in March), I was interviewed on a local cable-access show (and again in August), hit a movie with Peter Sklar and Rick Flynn, and had a nice time at actress/producer extraordinaire Katha Feffer Catoís party. I met with a local neighborhood preservation group when it was announced that we were getting our third chain-store pharmacy moving in to the space where 5 local businesses had been, but apparently I am in the minority in thinking this is not progress. The CSA had a sign-up party at The Grind and watched The Future of Food, and we had a great trip to FL to visit Mom... it was quite nice to sit in the Florida room with our feet in the pool to eat breakfast having left snow in NYC! Plus, I got to go indoor skydiving again.
On March 1st, I booked both of my auditions. The one for Kajeet resulted in multiple bookings throughout the year, so you can hear me online, on the radio, and on TV for those folks. I was paid to burp. Seriously. (I love my job!) Also in March, Diane and I saw Krishna Das in concert, we hit the theater with superb friend and photographer Tony Gale, I saw the groundbreaking ď300Ē with Lindsay Teed (and went again in April to see it in IMAX), and I shot the first HR Pukenshette- The Movie preview with old buds Steve Herold and Steve Hicks. Daylyn Walz was in town for lunch, Mike Kendrick was in town for dinner, and I got to hang out with OD McConnell, Gina Musumeci and Sam Masotto of Jumping Up and Down fame, this time without a camera watching!
April brought Jenn Browne and Jenny Greemanís feminist version of A Midsummer Nightís Dream (NYC is a small town- two unrelated friends in the same production!), and the very funny Jill Twiss at the Comic Strip. Granpa Cratchet himself, Sam Bowman, was in town, and we went to a lovely seder at Merryl Reichbachís house. I got to see a goofy movie with Mikki, Diane and I visited Ellie Wolhandler out on Long Island, and we took a nice trip to Ithaca for a seminar in Prof. Brian Wansinkís Food & Brand lab and stayed at the Frog's Way B&B at the EcoVillage cohousing. We now know all sorts of cool things about food (like how you drink more out of short, fat glasses than tall, skinny ones!) and even more about cohousing. Mike was in town again (hooray!), I had a fun shoot with Robin, taped more of Chaotic (FOX Saturday mornings) as well as a guest-starring role on an episode of the new animated Speed Racer series among other bookings, shot another HR promo, went to Alena Gerstís surprise party (nice job, Todd Dailey!), edited my friend Kelli Brisbaneís reel, and had a nice dinner with Elephant In Loveís writer/director Ed Hellman and his girlfriend Andi.
I got to have lunch with the lovely Maggie Maes, Colleen Lis and Lindsay early in May, did a goofy gig for Stride Gum, strategized some film ideas with Kelli and gung-ho producer Irina Chernikina, who is producing The Professor K Show which shot in August! (I wrote the original script in 1998!) Tony had yet another amazing cookout, Sam and Gina were over for dinner (as were Tony and Mikki another night), Peter and Rob Chapnick hosted me for a movie and stogie evening, Mandy Droste came over for dinner, and we had dessert at her awesome new apartment with her brother, my pal Joe Droste. The CSA had its first dropoff later in the month, following a meeting at our place and a party for the core members at Quaint, and we spent a great Memorial Day weekend trailer camping at Juniper Woods and visiting Bishop John & Linda.
My brother Justin was in town in June, I did some work for Don Case Casting, and gave a VIP guest lecture at Peterís Beginnings Workshop. We chowed at Les Halles and saw Mikki perform, Rob was over for some goofy DVD watching, I strategized with Irina and Nivaldo Benedito, and we went to PA to visit Justin, Dzian and Mom. We saw Michael Mooreís latest film and had a great dinner at Cinema Paradiso with Carol Arnold.
I went to trapeze school in July... I donít know if it was lack of sleep or breakfast or what, but I have never been so motion sick in my life! We found a cool, new movie theater near our house in this strange mall that feels like suburban FL, I hung out at Robís and Peterís and ODís at various times, we hit another party at Tony & Beccaís and later, a joint Tony/Mikki birthday party at Tonyís studio, and Jennifer Watkins was in town from Seattle prior to beginning her Peace Corps adventure in Niger. Two amazing chefs under one roof makes for a very happy me! I shot/directed a spec commercial with my friend Rob Guida. OD tried to shoot a feature in one day, which was a lot of fun. He says that the rough cut of the footage makes sense for about the first 20 minutes, followed by a lot of random stuff with some very funny moments. Iíll post clips as they become available. Diane was craft services for the shoot, and we all got to chill out in the pool all day... now thatís how you make a movie!
Diane and I took an amazing trip to VT in mid-August. We ate lots of local food (The Farmers Diner is amazing), sparking many ideas in my lovely food-activist wife. We stayed at The Fairlee Motel, one of two drive-in theater motels in the country- you watch a movie from your room out a picture window to the drive-in theater behind it! (We went to a standard drive-in earlier in the month with OD, a day after going bowling.) Sara, Anthony and Sorin Valerio were in town and stayed with us for a few days. Anthony helped me get the Corvette running again, just in time to get it out of storage and up to Justin for the winter. I hit movies with Tony, Mandy, and Irina and Nivaldo, guest-lectured at Beginnings again, shot another film with OD, and did small shoot for Discovery Singapore.
September brought trips to Atlantic City, Juniper Woods, Roosevelt Island, and ODís, dinner with Lindsay, a party at our place, and yet more shoots with OD and Kajeet. I was offered my 3rd principal role on Law & Order:SVU, this time working with Christopher Meloni (again) and Mariska Hargitay. The episode filmed in October and aired in November. I also auditioned, booked, and taped Academy Award nominee John Dilworthís new cartoon, directed by Risa Neuwirth and the man himself. I will let you know when Chunks & Choogle is ready (Iím Choogle!). Two of the other folks from the meetup and I did an experiment in giving money away on the NYC subway- the responses from people were really interesting... some people didnít want to be given money!
In party month, we took an amazing trip to GA for my high school reunion. We were upgraded on our car and hotel, staying in the Governorís Suite at the Westin Peachtree Plaza with our fluorescent green Dodge Charger parked 73 floors below. We are spoiled for life. We got to eat southern cheese dip (you wonít believe the secret recipe) and Waffle House, and visit with Grandma, Mike and his parents, Jimmy Easterly and his wife, daughter and parents, and tons of old friends (Erin (Dooley) Dickson, Barbara (Kelso) Graddy, Patricia Reagan, Melissa Ging, Rus Rainey, Laura DeBoard, Nick Drosakis, Fran and Mary at Dr. Stimpsonís office- I know Iím forgetting someone, sorry!). I helped install the Campbellsí new stove, lunched with Kara, Lindsay, Mikki, and Irina at various times during the month, and we saw the NY Opera, Sinead OíConnor, and the original Phantom of the Opera accompanied live by a pipe organ. George and Kim Christou were in town, and we got to have a great dinner with them at La Bonne Soup. Ralph the Puppet made a music video, part of which is airing on Showtime, and I got to do a really funny radio commercial for Zoom Tan where I play two 90 year-old men talking to each other.
In November, I began editing The Professor K Show with Irina, in addition to working on an old film script of mine that her production company would like to shoot next year. We had an amazing Thanksgiving at Tonyís again, more nice meals with Robin and Carmen, Mikki, and Lindsay, saw Ago perform an incredible magic show at Cinema Paradiso, saw Marc Crawford Leavitt (one of the lawyers in Dianeís law firm) in concert, and got last-minute tickets with Steve Herold to a Steve Martin interview. The interviewer was incredibly bad, but Steve was very generous- luckily for the audience, heís a comedian.
We got our first flurries on December 1st. The CSAís regular season final pickup was in November, but the every-three-weeks winter share kicked off in December, so we werenít without local vegetables for long. I went to a cohousing meeting while Diane was in seminary, and we met up upstate and drove to Justinís to get our holiday decorations out of storage. We had a holiday party/Muppet Xmas Carol screening at our place, a wonderful picnic/holiday light show at the Time Warner Center, and of course, lots of good good food. Mom will be in town for a week over the holidays, and weíll visit with the Smiths and Justin and Dzian, and thus far, our New Yearís plans are undecided.
Iíve left out all mention of the storage building in Brooklyn, as it has been yet another year of adventure and disappointment- a severe, continual, financial & mental strain and drain. The story is too surreal to be believed, almost, and will make a great screenplay and/or stageplay. If it weren't happening to me, I would have a hard time believing people could get away with a real-life version of the movie Pacific Heights. The depths of greed and deceit that people, some of whom once called me their friend, showed throughout the year was truly shocking. These criminals have hired slimy lawyers to abuse the legal system at the state and federal level. At the same time, the support from family and friends (especially Diane, Justin, Rob, Joseph Yamaner Esq., Sam, and Jumbo Virgilio) was very comforting. I will report a positive resolution to you very soon.
Remember, you have a great life, and you get everything that you want!