Congratulations go out to Psycho Rock Productions and the feature film CUT!, which just won FOUR major awards at the prestigious Indie Fest Film Festival.
CUT! won THREE prestigious Awards of Excellence and ONE Award of Merit from the Indie Fest, including awards for Best Feature Film, Best Director (David Rountree) and Best Leading Actor (David Banks). CUT! also won the Award for Merit for Best Overall Sound Impact.
Director/Producer David Rountree was all smiles saying that “we were thrilled just to be accepted into Indie Fest. To win in four major categories was a tremendous accomplishment for our film. Winning has really been a reward for all of the hard work that so many people have put forth into making this film what it has become.”
The Indie Fest recognizes film professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film industry. Information about the Indie Fest and a list of recent winners can be found at www.theindiefest.com.
Best Feature Film
Best Director: David Rountree
Best Leading Actor: David Banks
Merit Award: Overall Sound Impact
In winning an Indie, Psycho Rock Productions joins the ranks of other high profile winners of this internationally respected award. Thomas Baker, Ph. D., who chairs the Indie Fest, had this to say about the latest winners, “The Indie is a very difficult award to win. Entries are received from all around the world. The Indie helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the exceptionally high quality of entries. The goal of the Indie is the help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”
You can check out my interviews with the cast of CUT! below.
The film is expected to be released theatrically this summer:
Guitarist Gus G has spent the better part of the last decade solidifying his place as one of metal’s reigning guitar virtuosos.
He’s recorded more than a dozen studio albums and performed around the world as a member of Arch Enemy, Dream Evil and Firewind. And let’s not forget he was handpicked by Ozzy Osbourne in 2009 to become his new guitarist.
But Gus G’s debut solo album, I Am The Fire, which will be released March 18, is a new adventure. The album, which was mixed by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Stone Sour, Steel Panther), gives Gus the opportunity to explore a different side of his creativity and showcases his skills as a producer and songwriter.
Apart from a few signature Gus G instrumentals (“Vengeance” and “Terrified”), I Am the Fire veers away from the traditional heavy/power metal vibe and leans more toward a straight-ahead classic rock sound. The album also features a multitude of guests, including vocalists Mats Levén and Jeff Scott Soto and bassists Billy Sheehan and David Ellefson.
I recently spoke with Gus G about I Am the Fire, his playing and how he got the gig with Ozzy.
GUITAR WORLD: How did the I Am the Fire project begin?
I had some time off with Ozzy because he was busy with the Black Sabbath reunion and started coming up with ideas that didn’t really seem like a Firewind record.
They were more on the hard rock side of things rather than metal. One singer I’ve always wanted to write with was Mats Levén, who sang on the Yngwie Malmsteen album Facing the Animal. We’ve known each other for about 10 years and had always talked about doing something together. So I sent him a few demos, and that’s what got things started.
Read the rest of my Guitar World Interview with Gus G by Clicking Here!
Chameleon is the Concord Records debut album from legendary session drummer Harvey Mason and draws upon the rich jazz-funk heritage of the 1970s.
Co-produced by Chris Dunn, Chameleon (Releasing April 29th) showcases some of the most talented young musicians in jazz today: trumpeter Christian Scott, bassist Ben Williams, pianist/keyboardist Kris Bowers and guitarist Matthew Stevens.
Bringing even more firepower are trombonist/vocalist Corey “CK” King, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, vocalist Chris Turner, and keyboardist Mark de Clive-Lowe.
Chameleon features seven of the era’s most enduring classics infused with modern day shine, including an imaginative new arrangement of Mason’s signature song and title track. For this new version, Mason invited Bill Summers to reprise his famous hinedewho intro to “Watermelon Man”, a song from Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters LP which Mason also was a part of.
Fans concerned about Chameleon sounding retro will take comfort in knowing that Mason has delivered an album that interjects fresh new elements on each subsequent listen.
In addition to being one of the most in-demand studio musicians of all-time, Mason still regularly records and performs as a member of the super-group Fourplay along with Bob James, Nathan East and Chuck Loeb. I spoke to him about Chameleon, his time working with Herbie Hancock and more.
How did the idea for Chameleon begin?
I first came up with the idea of creating Chameleon while I was playing solo in Japan with different configurations. Most of the people there have seen me never play with Herbie [Hancock] during that era and would often tell me that I needed to record the band and this music. My thought was that if I did it, I wanted to change the music and not play the same thing that I played back then. Chris Dunn was the one who suggested we re-record many of the songs, but use younger guys. So we chose a bunch of people, gave them songs to arrange, went into the studio and this is what we came out with. I’m very happy with it!
How is a project like this different from one done with Fourplay?
With Fourplay, the four of us have known each other for a very long time. We all write for the project and bring our own songs in and each guy produces his own song. It’s a democratic band and we all play live in the studio. With this project, I had never played with many of the guys before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But it was a magical moment. You’re just experimenting to see what happens and reacting to it.
Let’s discuss a few tracks from the album: If I Ever Lose This Heaven
Originally I didn’t plan on having any vocals, but Chris suggested the song. We asked Chris Turner to come in and sing it and I asked my son to produce the vocals. They came out with a song that I feel is worthy of being played on almost any radio station and Chris sang it incredibly well.
We gave the song to Ben Wendell (Kneebody) who came up with a great blueprint for it. Then I added Bill Summers and his patented whistles. The arrangement really sounds fresh and goes through a lot of different colors and changes.
What was it like working with Herbie Hancock on the original version?
I’ve loved Herbie from the time I was a kid when he was working with Miles (Davis). To get to be in the studio with him during that era to create and write was amazing. Whenever we play together its magical. We have a special chemistry together.
Was there a meaning behind the track Studio Life (Hold It One Second)?
I had played a drum solo that didn’t make it on a song. It was just a little snippet, but Chris thought that we could put something else with it. So we pieced it all together. It really gives people an interesting view of the recording process and what goes on in the studio.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a musician?
It was innate. Growing up, I always had this thing where I wanted to be a drummer. Even from the time I was crawling around, I was always banging on the floor with spoons and hitting pots and pans. Then in school, I had an opportunity to play drums in the orchestra. I remember my teacher there was also a violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra and he really pushed me to be the best I could be.
What led you to become a studio musician?
Originally, I had thought about becoming a lawyer. While it was fun to play music, I wanted something that might be a little more stable. I had given thought about going to law school but then read an article about Larry Bunker and studio musicians and said “That’s what I want to do!” Right at that point I decided to switch gear. I applied to a couple of music schools, got accepted and the rest is history! I eventually went to LA and started making my way in the studio. I just kept playing without any intention of going out on the road. That’s why my discography is so large.
What’s the origin of Fourplay?
Bob James and I were friends for many years. He was coming to LA to record and asked me to help him put together a couple of bands for the project. So I put together two bands for him and one of them had Nathan (East) and Lee (Rittenour). It was the band that Bob decided to use for the entire CD. I remember it sounded so good while we were in the studio that Bob asked us if we would consider being in a band and each one of us said yes. At the time, Bob was working at Warner Brothers and went to Mo Ostin (president) to ask him if he’d support us. He immediately said yes and the next thing you know we’re in the studio and are off and running!
In your view, what makes jazz such a great form of music?
The fact that you’re able to create and play what’s in your heart and soul. You’re able to interact with other players and have the freedom of being able to spontaneously create with no preconceived ideas. It’s pure creativity and improvisation. The only thing you’re restricted by is your own mind.
For more on Harvey Mason check out his Official Website by Clicking Here!
It’s hard to believe that’s its been twenty years since multi-instrumentalist hitmaker Brian Culbertson released his debut album, “Long Night Out”. An album he created on a shoe-string budget while a student at DePaul University.
In the years since, Culbertson has become one of the most recognized artists in jazz, but always kept thinking about those early days recording in his Chicago apartment. Patiently waiting for the right time to explore the material again.
On “Another Long Night Out” Culbertson returns to his roots by revisiting the album that jump started his career. For this fresh update, Culbertson re-imagines his debut by enlisting the help from some of the greatest artists in contemporary jazz. Retaining the essence of each song while bringing the production quality to 21st century standards.
On its own, “Another Long Night Out” stands out as a time capsule of sonic goodness. Proving that a project twenty years in the making was certainly worth the wait.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Culbertson about “Another Long Night Out” and what he believes makes jazz so special.
Looking back at that first album twenty years later, what thoughts come to mind?
It’s hard to believe that its been twenty years. It seems like the older you get the faster it goes. But as the years go by, you start to find out who you are and I finally feel like I’ve hit a good stride with what life is all about for me. I’m in a good place balancing life with music.
What made you decide to revisit “Long Night Out”?
On the first album I was really limited with equipment, funds and the people I knew. Although I always liked how the songs stood on their own, I always wished the sonic palette and sound of the album could be what it is now. My goal was to redo the production of the album and bring it to life.
You have a lot of guest guitarists on the new album including Lee Rittenour, Chuck Loeb and Steve Lukather. Was there a reason you chose them?
When you get into that top echelon of guitar god, everyone does what they do best. I knew in essence what each one would bring to the song and that’s why I called them about those particular pieces. In the case of Lukather [Beautiful Liar], I knew he would just destroy it [laughs]! He came over and we literally played the song three or four times and every time it just kept getting better and better!
Saxophonist Candy Dulfer also appears on the album. What’s it like working with her?
She has such an amazing attitude and was so excited to be a part of the project. She really wants to get things perfect and I love her for that because I’m the same way. Those sessions were a lot of work, but a lot of fun.
Were there any special moments that stood out during the recording process?
I had Will Kennedy from the Yellow Jackets come in and play drums on one of the first sessions that we did. Will was a huge influence on my drum programming on the first album. To have him playing the grooves I was trying to emulate twenty years ago was a trip.
What’s the origin of the original “Long Night Out” album?
I started songwriting in junior high school and was one of the first generation of kids to grow up with the early four-track recorders and the beginnings of the Macintosh. I always knew that I wanted to get into music production and songwriting but never set out to be an artist per se. But once I moved to Chicago and started listening to the jazz station there I started thinking that it might be something I could do. So I put together a three song demo and sent it to the one person I knew who lived in LA. My friend played it for the president of his record label and a few weeks later called me up and offered me a record contract. It was crazy!
What happened from there?
The label wanted to put the album out in February, and by that time it was already August. They wanted it completed by November, so the next three months were pretty intense. I remember that right before I came to LA for the mastering we were still pulling all nighters mixing it. It was crazy. That’s why I decided to call it “Long Night Out”.
Do you have plans for another new album?
In terms of writing, the plan is to start working on some new material this summer. And I will let this out of the bag slightly. I’m going to be working in Minneapolis. It’s going to be funky [laughs].
What’s your songwriting process like?
I write in a few different ways. Sometimes I’ll just sit down at the piano or keyboard and start improvising. I’ll record the melodies and then go back and listen to see if anything really stands out. “City Lights” was one of those songs where I just literally sat down and started playing that melody. Other times though, I’ll get a groove going with a drum beat and then start layering parts on top of the beat. On those songs, the last thing I do is write the melody. I love fitting the melody into the track and making it groove as much as the beat and the bass.
How do you come up with a song title?
It’s actually pretty difficult to name instrumental music. Usually, it’s based on how the song makes you feel. On that first record, I remember half of the songs were still untitled when we were mastering it. I even had the art department calling and telling me to hurry because they had to go to print [laughs]. So I started brainstorming with a few friends about what to name them. In the case of “Beautiful Liar”, that was a song I had already written my senior year of high school. I was taking private composition lessons and had to write a pop song based on lyrics my instructor had given me called ‘Beautiful Liar’. I originally wrote it as a vocal tune based on those lyrics. When the time came to record the album, I just played it on the piano and kept the title. So there are words to the song that no one has ever heard [laughs].
What makes jazz so great?
The fact that there are no rules and you can do whatever you want. There’s so much freedom that it allows you to keep moving forward to morph and change. The live aspect of it is great too. Typical pop shows are so structured that they’re exactly the same every night. With jazz, it can be completely different from night to night. That’s what I love about it.
For more on Brian Culbertson check out his official website by Clicking Here!
Their followup album, 1990′s In The Heart of the Young, maintained the momentum with the successful singles “Can’t Get Enuff” and “Miles Away.”
But the advent of grunge and changes in the musical climate, coupled with being the target of two notorious cartoon characters (Beavis and Butthead) eventually led the band to go on hiatus.
In 2001, however, Winger reunited, and they haven’t looked back since. They repeatedly win back fans and critics through their relentless touring, strong musicianship and inspired songwriting.
Winger’s new album, Better Days Comin’, which will be released April 22, is another testament to the band’s legacy and perseverance. Guitarist Reb Beach — who also plays with Whitesnake — and vocalist/bassist Kip Winger have put together a collection of songs that combine tasty riffs, infectious grooves and unique arrangements. The band is rounded out by John Roth (guitar) and Rod Morgenstein (drums).
Better Days Comin’ is available for pre-order now (See the link below), with a deluxe edition that includes a bonus track and a DVD that features a “making of” documentary and videos for the album’s first single, “Rat Race,” and the title track.
I recently spoke with Beach about the new Winger album and his early years and session work. He also gave me an update on his next solo album.
Read the rest of my Guitar World Interview with
Reb Beach by Clicking Here!
Director Carrie Carnevale’s debut short film, “Beside Her” is a love story and fictional portrayal of the true human condition. An amazing piece of film work that’s been screened to audiences world wide. Now, here’s your chance to see the film for yourself.
Join Carnevale and members of the cast and crew of Beside Her for a screening at this year’s Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival on Saturday, March 15th .
Along with the amazing talents of actors Ashley Watkins, Erika Flores and Owen Conway, Carnevale delivers a film containing all the elements that make for a great story: love, tension, drama, suspense and even a twist in the end for good measure!
While watching “Beside Her” you quickly become oblivious to the fact that the lovers you see on-screen are female, and become more enthralled with the deep sense of love and connection they both share with each other. But Beside Her is much more than just a love story. It’s a beautiful film about the human condition and the connection we all share.
The Alliance of Women Filmmakers Inc. is a non-profit 501c(3) organization established to empower women filmmakers to create diverse roles for women as well as increase exposure for women made movies. Each March, they produce the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival which showcases narratives, documentaries, animation and student short films made by women of diverse backgrounds from around the world.
Beside Her will be screening as part of the LA Women’s Fest Shorts Program Four. For more information and to purchase tickets Click Here
Be sure to type in the code “AWF” to get a discounted ticket price of $6.00.
For more information on “Beside Her” and 17 Films Click Here
It was 12:01 a.m. August 1, 1981.
The music business was in the toilet when a fledgling channel named MTV hit the airwaves to start the engine again.
Throughout the decade, MTV became one of the biggest things on the planet and revolutionized the music industry with a new medium — music videos.
Viewers would regularly host their own MTV parties, tune in for Friday Night video fights and experience unprecedented musical events such as Live Aid. The MTV phenomenon was so big that Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler referenced the channel, incorporating its “I want my MTV” slogan in the band’s massive 1985 hit, “Money For Nothing.”
Four of the original MTV VJ’s — Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn and Mark Goodman — have written a book about their experiences, VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave.
The book, which is co-written by Gavin Edwards, is a narrative-driven oral history of MTV, complete with behind-the-scenes tales and anecdotes as told through the VJs’ own voices (NOTE: JJ Jackson, the fifth original VJ, died in 2004).
From stories on how each VJ landed their job, the channel’s historic launch, the changing dynamic and their eventual departure, the book details the triumphs, pitfalls and everything in between. Today, in addition to acting and producing their own syndicated radio shows and films, the four original VJs can regularly be found on Sirius’ ’80s on 8.
I recently spoke to Hunter and Blackwood about the book and their days at MTV. They also discussed their favorite guitarists and other projects they’re working on.
You can read the rest of my Guitar World Interview with
Alan Hunter & Nina Blackwood By Clicking Here
Actress Amber Bollinger is no stranger to the world of horror, having already accumulated a number of them on her film resume. But it was her role in the 2010 scream filled “Pelt” that caught the attention of director Paul Morrell, who asked her to audition for a role in “Big Bad Wolf” (releasing on DVD March 4th). Working together alongside other talented cast and crew, this twisted version soon came to life; exceeding expectation and delivering a thrill ride of scares, screams and sexiness.
A dark, allegorical adaptation of the story of “The Three Little Pigs”, Big Bad Wolf stars former “Bachelor” Charlie O’Connell as Huff, an abusive stepfather living in poverty in California along with his battered wife, Lorelei (Elina Madison) and three teenage girls. On the verge of making a lucrative drug deal that will finally give him the money he needs to escape his misery and retire to Mexico with his mistress, Huff’s plans begin to unravel when his wife secretly gives the drug money to her daughters and encourages them to run away to seek better lives. This series of events triggers a chain of rage-induced asthma attacks, complete with ‘huffs and puffs’ as Huff attempts to locate the three runaways and recover his money. “Big Bad Wolf” also stars Clint Howard, Natasha Alam, Jenna Stone and Elly Stefanko.
I spoke with Bollinger about “Big Bad Wolf” as well as her upcoming film, “Listening” which deals with the power of telepathy.
How did you become involved in Big Bad Wolf?
I actually landed the role based upon a movie I had done called “Pelt”. A mutual friend had introduced me to Paul Morrell, who had seen it and liked my performance. He contacted me through Facebook and asked me to come in and audition.
What attracted you to the story?
I liked the fact that it was a different kind of horror film. It literally is a dark twisted ‘Three Little Pigs’ story.
Tell me a little about your character, Brixi.
Brixi is the oldest of the children and becomes the real mother figure her little sisters never had. She’s the God-fearing, tough one who understands that she may have to take on the role of martyr in order to protect her sisters and get out alive.
What was the chemistry like on the set?
It was great and we all got along really well. Charlie [O'Connell] is such a funny guy and not anything at all like his character on-screen. When “action” was called, he became someone completely different. He can turn it on and off at will. Elina [Madison] was great too. She works a lot to get into her character and I really trust her as an actress. You knew that everyday she was going to come in fully prepared and ready to give her all.
What do you think makes for a great horror movie?
I love all kinds of horror films but I think the best are the ones that aren’t apologetic. They’re just brutal, bloody and go for the jugular. That’s what this film does.
Tell me a little about your other upcoming film “Listening”.
It’s a Sci-Fi drama about grad students who are trying to invent mind-reading technology. My character, Jordan helps them along by giving them elements they haven’t seen before. There’s also a government organization involved that’s trying to get the discovery in order to use it on a much larger scale. In a lot of ways, the story is not that far-fetched. There’s a lot of reality to it.
Big Bad Wolf is available on DVD March 4th
Firehouse guitarist Bill Leverty has released several solo projects over the past few years, including ‘Flood The Engine’ (a side project with Keith Horne, Andre LaBelle and Jimmy Kunes) and ‘Drive’, a collection of cover songs paying tribute to music that inspired him as a youth.
But it’s Leverty’s new single, “The Bloom Is Off The Rose” that takes more of those same influences and builds a wall of texture, tastefully blending in the guitarist’s own unique sound and vocal style.
It’s the third single Leverty has recently released. A trifecta that also includes the blues-based “Ace Bandage” and country themed “For Better or Forget It”. Leverty is slowly amassing an arsenal of songs with the intention of releasing a new solo album. One that will not only be diverse in its sonic quality but also stay true to his roots as both guitarist and singer/songwriter.
Leverty and the rest of Firehouse (CJ Snare, Michael Foster and Allen McKenzie) are showing no signs of slowing down. In addition to having recently performed a sold-out show in Leverty’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia, the band has announced a string of new tour dates that includes this year’s Monsters of Rock Cruise and U.K’s Firefest.
I spoke with Leverty about his new music as well as got an update on Firehouse.
Where did the idea for ‘The Bloom Is Off The Rose’ originate?
I got the hook when I heard someone mention it on TV. It was a phrase that I had never heard before and when I looked into it, I discovered that it’s really used when talking about the economy. Whenever the economy takes a downturn they’ll sometimes say, “the bloom is off the rose”. I wanted to put the human element into that phrase. So I started thinking about my past, the present and the people I’ve seen get hurt by other people. I also thought about how some people think they’re so special, that is until you pull away the facade and find out that they’re not.
What was the recording process like?
Michael Foster from Firehouse plays drums on it and Keith Horne plays bass. I really wanted the guitars to have different kinds of texture and give it a David Gilmore / Stevie Ray Vaughan type of sound along with some of my own. I consciously wanted to make it sound more eclectic.
Let’s talk about a few of your other new songs: Ace Bandage
I was actually in the shower when the line “I’m an Ace Bandage” came to mind. I remember telling my wife and daughter about how “I’m an ace bandage, wrap me around your heart” and everyone just could not stop laughing. I knew I had to finish it just for the entertainment value. It’s a very blues based kind of song that basically says if you were my woman and I was your Ace bandage, then I’m there to support you, hold you up and make you feel better.
The song was also involved in a racing sponsorship. What can you tell me about that?
It was used for Tyler Jett Motorsports, a race team that a friend of mine, Gene Ostrowski is involved with. He’s out of Berwick, PA and has also sponsored a Firehouse race car. Any car that’s out there racing with a title to a song that I was involved with I’m honored to be a part of.
For Better Or Forget It
That’s a country genre song that I actually co-wrote with my wife. I had originally written it with piano and Fender Telecasters but then decided to put some heavy guitars on it for the rhythm section. I had the hook about a marriage where the husband and wife are complaining because he said the preacher said “For better or for worse” while she thought he said “For better or forget it”. It starts off where everything is kind of cool but then she sees a Mercedes Benz instead of the Chevy S-10. Then she wants fancy clothes. This guy is working his ass off to support them but she’s like, “it’s for better or forget it”. It’s a little bit comedic.
Let’s discuss a few of the shows Firehouse has coming up:
Monsters of Rock Cruise: If I wasn’t performing, the cruise is something that I’d want to go on just to see my favorite bands. The people who organize it are all top-notch professionals and make it an awesome experience for the fans as well as the bands. It’s a great party and so much fun.
Firefest: It’s another wonderful festival that focuses on the melodic rock genre. We love going over there. It’s a really good, multiple night event. The cool thing about it is that it’s an international event and people come from all over Europe to see it. When we meet fans after the show, we always find out that a lot of them are from as far away as Spain or Greece.
Do you have a funny story you can share from Firehouse’s heyday?
There are so many funny stories from those days because we were all practical jokers and lived for the next opportunity to crack up. One of my favorites though happened in the winter of ’91. We were doing a show in Colorado Springs, CO with Slaughter and decided to play the ultimate practical joke on them. We outfitted our drum tech in nothing more than a diaper, a bow and arrow and a pair of Angel wings. During the first verse of their song, “Fly To The Angels” he walked right up to Mark (Slaughter) and put his arm around him as he was singing. All of the guys in the band loved it and we still laugh about it today [laughs]!
What’s the origin of the song “Love of A Lifetime”?
That song is about the search for the right person and the feeling you get when you finally do find the one. CJ came up with the hook and the chorus and had plotted it out on a Fender Rhodes. I took what he had and wrote the guitar intro melody and solo.
Did you know at the time how much of an impact the song would have?
We always thought it was a good song, but you never really know what people are going to grab hold of. To take it a step further, you never know what the record company is going to grab a hold of and make a priority. When “Shake & Tumble” came out, our album (Firehouse) sold 100,000 copies. Then “Don’t Treat Me Bad” came out and the album went Gold. That was when Epic records knew that they had something special and put the love and muscle behind making the video for “Love of A Lifetime”. That song resonated with a lot of people and become more than just a hit. It was a big song for us, but also for the people who got married to it. It’s pretty cool to think that we had that kind of an impact on people. To where they actually used our song for their wedding. It’s a wild feeling.
In the world of network television, it’s a blessing for a series to get seven seasons. A long lifespan by any measure of the entertainment business. But for actor and writer Barry Floyd, it’s all just part of The Game. Floyd and the rest of the cast from the successful BET show will return for a seventh season beginning March 4th.
Last season, fans of the show saw Floyd’s character “Tee Tee” Carter transition from being a sidekick to Malik Wright (Hosea Chanchez) to becoming more involved in his own Cluck Truck business. This season, fans will get to see Tee Tee in an even more dramatic light as things take a turn for the worse. As an actor, Floyd was originally only set to appear in a few episodes of the show, but his character was so well received that he was added on as a series regular.
In addition to acting, Floyd is also a lead-writer and director of the online sketch comedy series, “Purple-Stuff TV” along with having several other projects in various stages of development. I spoke with him about the new season of The Game as well as some of his other passions.
What can fans expect out of this new season of The Game?
Without giving too much away, I will say that my character gets into some trouble with his Cluck Truck business and takes a big financial hit. Fans are going to see Tee Tee at a really low point in his life as he tries to recover and get back to where he was. For me, it was a great opportunity to do some dramatic acting and be able to flex that muscle.
How would you describe your character?
Tee Tee is probably the most relatable character on the show. Everyone else has sort of a larger than life personality. They’re all either professional football players or agents or people associated with the world of pro athleticism. Tee Tee just happens to be a guy who’s along for the ride. Over the course of the show people have seen his transition; starting out as a sidekick to creating his own business and building it from the ground up. His path mirrors someone in real life. Someone who’s just starting out and builds something from nothing. I think Tee Tee is an inspiration for people like that.
What’s the chemistry like on the set?
After seven seasons it’s become a well-oiled machine. When Hosea, Wendy (Raquel Robinson) and I are together, its rapid fire. We just know each others tendencies and styles of acting.
How did the role of Tee Tee come about?
I was working as a production assistant on the show ‘Girlfriends’. One day, they were doing a rehearsal in front of network executives and one of the actors wasn’t there for some reason. So they asked me to just stand in and say his lines. I took it very seriously and when I did it, I got a lot of laughs. The casting director also happened to be there and asked me if I’d be interested in reading for the role of Tee Tee in ‘The Game’. I went in and read for it, not really knowing what to expect. But I ended up booking it and became an actor.
What are some of the other projects you’re currently working on?
In addition to working with Brandon Broussard on our sketch comedy show Purple Stuff TV, we’re also working on a new project that’s a male version of a show similar to ‘Sex in The City’ and ‘Girls’. One where it’s the men who can be brutally honest about dating and sex. I’m also working with Sebastian Burton on a pilot with a working title of ‘Show Up or Shut Up’. Sebastian was on the show ‘Ultimate Gamer’ and is big in pro gaming circles. He’s won a lot of tournaments and actually makes a living playing video games. The pilot is based on his life as a pro gamer.
Was becoming an actor something you always aspired to?
I went to college at Temple and got a film and media arts degree with an original goal of moving to LA to become a screenwriter and write movies. Acting was an opportunity that fell into my lap and I quickly discovered a passion for it I never knew that I had.
What did you enjoy most about the transition of Tee Tee over the course of The Game?
It kind of mirrors my acting career. I started out as a production assistant who had the opportunity to act on a show. The first few seasons I remember just being happy to be there, surrounded by these veteran actors and trying to soak up everything I could. But as time went on, I came into my own and instead of seeing myself as someone who was lucky to be there, I saw myself as someone who deserved to be there and earn a spot to grow as an actor. I still continue to grow every day.