“Krampus: The Christmas Devil”

As Christmas vastly approaches, many of us celebrate with family traditions and regaled storytelling. However, some tales aren’t so lavish and magical. In fact, some are the makings of horrible nightmares. The story of Krampus is certainly one not to be ignored.

Krampus, a humanoid creature bearing a pair of wicked looking horns atop his head, resembling that of a sinister being set out to wreak punishment on all misbehaving youngsters during the Christmas holiday season. Unlike his jolly counterpart, good ol’ Saint Nick, Krampus doesn’t have a fantastical list of names that “he’s checking it twice and gonna find out who’s naughty or nice”. Nope, according to tradition that began centuries ago in Germany, Krampus begins appearing throughout the towns on the eve of December 6th known as Krampusnacht. His mission? To seek out the ungrateful children, snatch them up and take them back to his lair where he commits unspeakable acts of torture. This Christmas Devil is quite nefarious and isn’t exactly my cup of hot cocoa when it comes to memories of a warm holiday season, but still rather interesting. Interesting enough that a feature film has been released throughout the cinematic world titled, Krampus.

 

Folklore claims that this evil beast is the son of Hel. In Norse Mythology, Hel is a female who rules over the realm also known as Hel where many dead are said to go. According to Norse Mythology, Hel is the daughter of the shape shifter referred to as Loki and the phrase “Go to Hel” simply means to die. Not exactly an idyllic family tree compiled of warm holiday sentiment.

So, my question is this….. Since Krampus is a dark being of irrefutable fear that weeds out the bad children from the good, is he in cahoots with our beloved Santa Claus in order to help restore the light in humanity? Hmmm…. Question to ponder….

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

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The Palmer House Hotel

Located in the small city of Sauk Centre, Minnesota stands The Palmer House Hotel. Built in 1901 by Ralph L. Palmer and Christena J. Palmer, this historical landmark is enchanting with all its grandeur, warmth and charm. The hotel is well-known for its paranormal activity with reports dating back throughout the decades.

Aside from the ghostly residents, The Palmer House Hotel is full of rich history. As soon as an individual enters the front door facing Sinclair Lewis Avenue, it’s as if one is taken back in time. The feeling of yesteryear is quickly felt, aided along with respectfully displayed photographs hung upon the walls throughout the building, still constructed with original materials.

In the lobby, close to the base of the stairway, is a beautiful display case. Inside is a very elegant dress worn by original owner, Mrs. Christena J. Palmer. I was in such awe at the sight.

A couple of weeks ago I traveled from the Gulf Coast in Alabama to The Palmer House Hotel to attend The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT hosted by my friend, Blaine Duncan and his brother, Austin in honor of their exciting upcoming film, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film. The event lasted from November 10th – 12th. The entire weekend was full of fascinating presentations. The fun-filled activities were non-stop! Blaine and Austin shared with everyone their background in regards to the paranormal. They also talked about the many awesome locations they visited (including The Palmer House Hotel) while filming and promised to give details upon the film’s release!

Healer and Intuitive, Suzanne Worthley hosted two presentations about Angels, chakras, the difference between spirits and earthbound ghosts and so much more! Hearing her speak literally helped open my mind to an even higher level of understanding.

Psychic Medium, Tiffany Johnson was also there conducting readings. I asked her about my father who had passed away a little more than seven years ago. All I did was ask how he was doing and then Tiffany began to tell me things that I hadn’t discussed publicly before, personal things about my father. I could feel my father’s presence as Tiffany was relaying his messages. Tears began to well my eyes, some were happy and yet some were sad because I still miss him so much. Tiffany Johnson’s psychic gift is true and sincere, and I am extremely grateful for the reading she gave me.

Members of the Twin Cities Paranormal Society team were at the event as well talking about their team’s background history, the use of paranormal equipment and they even shared evidence that was captured on previous investigations. Their evidence was intriguing and some were even intense and frightening evps (electronic voice phenomenon).

And as both nights were winding down, Friday and Saturday, everyone gathered together to conduct paranormal investigations of The Palmer House Hotel. I, along with others, witnessed some flashlight responses when questions were being asked and flickering from light fixtures. Was I frightened? Absolutely not. Not once did I feel anything malevolent or terrifying. However, I must be honest, I did find myself becoming extremely captivated by this exquisite hotel. There was an undeniable sense of “home”, like I had been there before in the past. To those who had experienced the very same feeling, affectionately referred to it as “The Palmer House Effect”. The hotel’s current owner, Kelley and her staff were beyond amazing with their professionalism and yet personable ways! From the very first moment of my arrival to the last moment when I turned in my hotel key, everyone made me feel extremely welcomed!

Even though it has been a couple of weeks since The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT, I still feel drawn to the location. It’s something that I will continue to carry with me always!

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT!

DON’T MISS OUT ON THE PARANORMAL DIARIES FILM: EVENT! TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!!!

The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT is an exciting event that will take place over the entire weekend starting Friday, November 10th at 6 p.m. – Sunday, November 12th at 12 p.m. at the beautiful and haunted location of The Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. This is a special event hosted by filmmaker, Blaine Duncan and his brother, Austin in honor of their phenomenal movie, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film.

This onscreen production is full of haunted locations (including The Palmer House Hotel) that the brothers visited while on their travels throughout the back roads of America, capturing their real-life paranormal experiences.

“There’s sort of this parallel between us traveling down the road and traveling in our own personal journey to document proof of the paranormal.” ~ Blaine Duncan

At The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT there will be sneak peek clips from The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film, along with awesome guest speakers including Angela and Brady from Twin Cities Paranormal Society, Psychic Tiffany Johnson and Suzanne Worthley! The fun-filled weekend will be full of non-stop activities. And just before everything is finished, there will be a ghost hunt throughout the entire haunted building of The Palmer House Hotel on Saturday night!

Great times indeed! And for those who would like to book their stay at The Palmer House Hotel during this exciting event for Friday and Saturday nights, will have the opportunity to stay Thursday night for free, graciously offered by the hotel’s owner.

All event proceeds are donated to The Palmer House Hotel for restoration projects to help maintain the elegance and history of this fantastic site!

I’m pretty excited about going! Already have my ticket and room booked. Along with being an active participant in all the amazing activities, I will also be a vendor there selling signed copies of my novel, The Spirit Within! Looking so forward to it, CAN’T WAIT!!!

Hope to see you all there!!!

 

 

For ticket information, please visit:  The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/theparanormaldiariesfilm/community/

And hotel booking at The Palmer House Hotel:  The Palmer House

 

 

 

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Interview with Filmmaker, Blaine Duncan

Today I’m welcoming back filmmaker, Blaine Duncan as he discusses his upcoming film, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film and his exciting event, The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT. Thank you, Blaine for stopping by!

 

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a pretty simple guy with a love and passion for paranormal investigating. I grew up in a haunted house and the idea behind figuring out what it is that goes bump in the night has always been intriguing to me. I was always that kid who laid under my bed covers at night reading scary ghost stories, trying to pretend to be brave and then freaking myself out. As I got older I started experimenting with the paranormal and ghost hunting a little bit more. I began sneaking out and going to graveyards or local spots that were reported to be haunted. I did this kind of thing by myself for a really long time, which obviously isn’t something that should be done for many reasons, but I always felt like working in a small, intimate group of only a few people, or by myself, was the best way to really confirm what you were seeing or hearing wasn’t being caused by human interference.

 

 

 

Your upcoming film is titled, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film. Tell us about that and what was the inspiration behind its creation?

The film was actually an idea that I had back in 2009 or 2010. Life circumstances at that time, or maybe just where I was at in my life, didn’t allow for me to go out and really pursue shooting a documentary like I hoped. Fast forward to January of 2016 and I finally said, enough is enough, I need to make this film. I have to do it, because it really is something that I need to get out of my system. I needed to check that box so-to-speak. So in May, along with my brother Austin, we packed up our camera equipment and ghost hunting gear for what turned out to be a two month road trip, traveling around the country, driving the back roads of America in hopes of finding some unknown haunted hotspots. And that’s exactly what we did. We really wanted to do something different that no one else has done and incorporate the road trip idea or theme into what the film truly is. There’s sort of this parallel between us traveling down the road and traveling in our own personal journey to document proof of the paranormal.

 

 

 

In honor of your film, you have a special event scheduled in November. Share with everyone all the exciting details about The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT.

Yes! I’m really excited about this. It’s been a lot of work in the making to do this event, but I wanted to go back to many of the places that we filmed at and present part of the film. I always had this idea of how cool would it be to show a documentary film about a haunted location while actually watching it in a haunted location? Though we won’t be showing the entire film and only clips from our time on the road, it’s still my hope some day to do that. The event is going to be great though. We’re having some guest speakers including Angela and Brady from Twin Cities Paranormal Society who I have so much respect for and the work that they’ve done. Psychic Tiffany Johnson will be there to do her psychic gallery in the basement of The Palmer House, which is going to be super cool. And then we have Suzanne Worthley who I can’t say enough great things about! She’s just awesome. It’s going to be a great event with non-stop activities going on throughout the weekend. We’re going to finish the weekend off by having a ghost hunt throughout the entire building on Saturday night. What people don’t realize is that most of the hotel is going to be ours to wander and investigate, which is something that isn’t easy to come by. Many times there are only certain areas that you can get into or certain areas that are off limits, but for the most part, almost the entire hotel will be available to investigate. It’s going to be fun!

 

 

 

Why did you choose The Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota as the event’s location? And what’s the history behind this haunted hotel?

I chose The Palmer House because it was actually the first location that we investigated in 2016 when we hit the road. It was a place that I had been to before filming there and a place that I just really love. It’s incredibly haunted and I’ve had some really fun, crazy, experiences there. Many people actually believe that The Palmer House sits on some sort of portal and spirits come and go from the building constantly. There’s everything from full-body apparitions seen there, including ghost dogs and cats, cold spots, sounds of children playing throughout the building, items that move about on their own, really you name it. It’s just an amazing place and the owner, Kelley, has just been amazing to us. The event proceeds are actually 100% going back to the hotel, we’re not making a dime from doing this. As a way to thank Kelley for allowing us to film there and a way for her to know how much we appreciate her and her beautiful building, we decided we wanted to give the money back to her for restoration projects. Hopefully we can do more in the future and maybe even screen the whole film there one day!

 

 

 

Have you experienced anything paranormal at this beautiful, historic site?

I have! I always tell people that if you want to dip your toes into the world of the paranormal, The Palmer House is the place to do it. I’ve never picked up on anything negative or dark there, so I don’t think of it as a “scary” haunted place. It’s for sure haunted though! As a matter of fact, it’s been voted the most haunted place in Minnesota and one of the top ten most haunted hotels in the country. What will be fun is for those people who are staying the full weekend, I believe they will be most likely to have an experience. It seems like the building and it’s spirits get used to you and they seem to want to interact more the longer you stay. I can’t wait to get back and I hope to have my own experiences when I’m up there again!

 

 

 

Where can people go to purchase tickets for The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT?

To purchase tickets for the event, go to our Facebook page by searching The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film on Facebook, and we have a link on our page to the event. If you follow the event link you will see how to purchase tickets through PayPal. And then once you have your ticket for the event, give The Palmer House a call and book your room for the whole weekend. The owner has been kind enough to include Thursday night free for anyone who stays Friday and Saturday.

 

 

 

What’s next for Blaine Duncan?

I always have all kinds of ideas running through my head! I have a couple ideas for my next film project that I would like to do and I may stray slightly from the paranormal field with the second film. It would still be focused on something quite dark and scary, more in the sense of monsters, myths and lore throughout America. I’ve also been interested in doing some writing as well, so who knows, maybe I’ll put pen to paper and start jotting some stories down some time.

 

 

 

Any positive words of advice?

Don’t get caught up in some of the negativity that runs wild through the paranormal community. It’s sad that everyone can’t get along, but for the betterment of the paranormal field, I think people need to present a united front so that the scientific community will start to take this subject more seriously. I hope one day we can get there.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Executive Producer, Christopher Garetano

Today I’m welcoming Christopher Garetano, the executive producer, director of re creation and co-host of the History Channel’s phenomenal new television series, The Dark Files! Thank you, Christopher for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Here’s the short version: 🙂

I was born in Huntington, New York and I spent most of my childhood living just outside of a small harbor village called Northport, NY.
That area has many traditional small-town charms but there were a few local ghost stories that haunted us as well and there were others that made national and world news that were terrifying to me.
Regardless of how it might appear on the surface, sometimes pure evil hides in the shadows of small-town America. It lurks amongst the summer fairs and fall festivals, in the churches and schools, the forests and in suburban homes.
The seasons are well defined in that part of the country and each one has its own mystery.
I think it’s why I can relate so well to the works of Rod Serling and Stephen King because my small town experience could have been one of their stories.
You don’t realize, when you’re living in it, how bizarre it truly is. It’s not until you’ve had ample time to reflect on the past and that’s when it fully revealed itself to me.
I grew up in a place that was rich with atmosphere and I always had a sense of wonder and discovery.
I was crazy about mysteries and paranormal stories even before I was determined to make movies. I frequented book fairs and the local library when I was a kid. I collected books on BIGFOOT, UFO abductions, monster legends and hauntings.
There is also a geographical and even a historical beauty about Long Island.
It’s a variety unbeknownst to most of the world. There were Spielbergian type communities with town gatherings and seasonal festivals but there was also the “Say You Love Satan” murder, The Amityville Horror, and The Montauk Project right around the corner.

When I was a kid those local tales gave me many nightmares and further fueled my imagination.
I also had a few family ghost stories that stayed with me and couple of profound paranormal experiences.

I lived in New York City during my late teens and early twenties. I really grew up there.
I worked at a video store on Park Avenue and I went to film school while living in the city.
I loved music (punk and heavy metal mostly) and movies and art.
I later became obsessed with jazz, synth based music, and motion pictures scores.
I love my physical collection of vinyl records, books, and movies.

I couldn’t imagine my childhood being glued to an IPAD or a PlayStation.
There’s a lot lost with the digital format of everything. That tactile experience is gone if all you have is a collection of files.
I’m grateful that the download-technology didn’t exist back then.
What can and should be explored for a young child and an adolescent, during those formative years, are precious and infinite. We played outside all of the time and I know that helped shape me as a person; those early adventures.

I don’t live in New York currently but I love exploring new places.
I lived in Michigan for a couple of years and I’m currently in Florida.
The reason why I work so hard these days is to remain in that creative place, full-time.
I had to develop a good business sense to keep the artist in me safe and alive.
Movie making is such “an expensive paint box”, as Orson Welles said.
There’s no other way in life for someone like me. I need to do this.
I wasn’t born with a trust-fund or connections in the movie industry, so to survive I had to find a way to make things work and that’s really just trying to remain unique and creative.
I feel alive when I’m working on a movie.
Movie making encompasses a variety of wonderful art forms, so I feel like it’s the ultimate celebration of art.
I feel such a purpose in life with it.
During that dark period, in my late teens and early twenties, I had a few unfortunate brushes with death and some dangerous situations also found me.
I decided a while back it was either “get busy living or get busy dying.”
As a result, I’m in a place now where I’m spiritually and physically sober (and have been for years) so I can experience life without any interference.
I spent some of my youth romancing death and taking frivolous risks and I simply don’t feel that way anymore. That’s a distant memory.
I have no interest in anything but being alive and loving life.
I’m a temporary visitor on this planet so I want to experience as much as I can. I love life and I want to live as long as I can.
You cannot acquire true experience from just ingesting movies and books and pop culture so I do spend as much time as possible venturing out and experiencing this life.

 

 

 

What made you want to become a filmmaker?

It had a lot to do with a exposure to various movies and TV programs that just lit up young mind. It was just the right time and some of the greatest motion pictures ever were brand new at that time. It was overload. They filled that impressionable zone in my imagination.
Everything from Alien, Jaws, Blade Runner, Dawn Of The Dead and John Carpenter’s The Thing to Raiders Of The Lost Ark and the original Star Wars trilogy. They were all relatively new and brand new at the time. There’s just too many classics to list here but, my god, am I grateful to have been a kid at that time. It’s an ethos that’s popular again right now and I think it’s important to examine why that decade of culture is so strong.
My family would always tell stories during gatherings and late night talks, so observing that helped a lot.
I saw a lot of good and bad when I was a child so life experience added to it. I had my own stories to tell.
I should give some formative credit to playing with action figures in the early eighties. They had these incredibly well-established characters with starkly defined roles of good and evil.
There was a profound story for them all.
I’m convinced that this was an amazing early tool for imagining, designing and blocking scenes.

I was also an outdoors kid, so I was outside and in nature all of the time. We went camping quite a bit. I remember running around barefoot all summer long, catching fireflies at dusk. My eyes were exposed to so many colors and textures, constantly.
But there were a few things in particular that I know made me want to make movies.
My parents owned a small video store in the eighties so I saw every movie.
I loved horror films mostly and I still love them; at least the very few good ones that are made each year.
My folks would take us to the Drive-In and the indoor movie theater a lot too.
One Halloween my father had a Frankenstein’s Monster Makeup Kit. He was applying the gelatin sections to his face and I was fixated while he was transforming into the monster right before my eyes.
So I later saw the making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller with the mighty Rick Baker (special effects wizard) transforming Jackson into a werewolf. There was also a documentary titled Scream Greats: Volume one. It was a Fangoria Magazine video about Tom Savini ( a horror renaissance man) and once I learned about him I was obsessed with becoming a special effects makeup artist as well as a filmmaker.
I later went to film school at The School Of Visual Arts, in New York City. I was there that I was introduced to an endless collection of independent movies and world cinema.

 

 

 

Tell us about your documentary, The Montauk Chronicles.

Montauk Chronicles is mainly a character study and it’s also an independent investigation of several gentlemen who claim that they were participants in a bizarre secret government experiment. They say that between 1971 and 1983 there was a covert program that occurred deep beneath the Camp Hero Air Force station in Montauk, New York, and that young runaway teen boys were kidnapped and brought to a secret facility to be put through a series of brutal mind control experiments.
The men (Preston Nichols, Alfred Bielek, Stewart Swerdlow and James Bruce) all claim that they were a crucial part of training the boys in psychic warfare as well as programming their minds to be triggered later on for assassination missions. In Jame’s Bruces Swerdlow’s case, they claim to have been the recruited boys.
In addition to the mind control experiments it is said that they were used as human crash test dummies for time travel and interstellar travel experiments, and all of the men claim that the technology was reverse engineered from extraterrestrials.
I began making the movie back in 2006. This wasn’t a very popular story back then.
It wasn’t until after Huffington Post / AOL NEWS did an article an interview with me in 09 that I noticed people really started to become interested.
That article went out to a lot of people and they showed my early trailers with it.
That was the first time anyone really saw an adaptation of those tales in a cinematic form.
Later, the story inspired the hit NETFLIX show Stranger Things.
The original title of their show was “MONTAUK.”
I made two movies actually. I finished the first one in late 2011 and I wasn’t very happy with it.
I started all over again in 2013. I finished it in early 2015 and that’s the movie that is out there right now.
I wanted to combine cinema and powerful interviews.
I wrote, produced, photographed, edited and directed the movie.
I also created the live and post visual effects and designed and edited the sound.
I feel that The Montauk Project is a horror story so my movie is quite bleak at times.

It was a huge project to take on but I’m happy with it and it seems to have a new life every week.
It led to my History Channel show (The Dark Files) and many other things so I’m grateful that I stuck it out and I’m grateful for the few folks that were dedicated to helping me make the movie.

 

 

 

What would you say to the skeptics out there who may question your research? 

I would tell them to please just simply look into it all. You must conduct some of your own research, even beyond Youtube, Google and Wikipedia.
Before you make any judgment call (on this story) you shouldn’t ignore the factual information that’s available about similar cases.
As part of my own research, I personally traveled to and I interviewed all of the men telling the tales. I spent a considerable amount of time at Camp Hero and at Montauk. I searched through the Montauk library archives and asked a lot of questions. I talked to the locals as well.
These secret programs aren’t fiction.
There are so many factual accounts like the Holmsburg Prison experiments and MK ULTRA that prove a great deal of what I’ve discovered is true and has happened in other locations.
So the more you research the more this story becomes less science fiction and more of something to be afraid of.

 

 

 

You have an amazing television series titled, The Dark Files that’s now on The History Channel. What is this exciting new series about and when will viewers be able to tune in?

I’m an executive producer, director of re creations and co-host of the Dark Files. It’s a two hour continuation of my investigation Of Camp Hero, that began in Montauk Chronicles.
I return to Montauk with my co-hosts Barry Eisler (author and an Ex CIA agent) and Steve Volk a writer and an investigative reporter. We conducted a true investigation that included a full site exploration with geophysicists and scientific equipment that wasn’t available to me before.
We also returned to all of the major witnesses and alleged whistle blowers for new interviews.
I truly love the show and I think between Montauk Chronicles and The Dark Files there is nothing better on the subject.
What we found is the bridge between fiction and fact. I’m convinced that we found something that is now the foundation to securing proof that The Montauk Project did happen. I believe at least that it was a secret mind control experiment.

The premiere on September 8th, for The Dark Files, was a strong open.
Even though we had this monster hurricane (IRMA) on its way, we still rated very well.
The weather channels and new stations dominated the ratings for the weekend.
That threw things off for everyone on TV.
Regardless of all of the above we still rated well, so right now History Channel is planning an additional October premiere and they’re going to test it, hurricane free.
After that the plan is, as long as it still rates well, we’re going right into the full series.
It’s a necessary process considering the amount of money and time that goes into making an entire series.
I’m excited and I trust that there will be many more Dark Files.

 

 

 

Where can fans follow you and your work?

They can check-in with me and find my work on my website www.montauckhronicles.com, Facebook, Instagram, and on my Youtube channel GARETANO7

 

 

 

Aside from The Dark Files, what else does Christopher Garetano have planned?

I’m working on a bunch of things that I’m really excited about. I’ve been crafting the ultimate BIGFOOT movie for a while. It’s a really a perspective on the beloved cryptid that not many have considered.
Our country was forged in war, violence and genocide and I suspect part of the creature/species elusive behavior is a result of what they may have witnessed, looking out at us from the forest.
There are so many noteworthy books on the BIGFOOT subject but nothing really to speak of in a decades worth of movies and TV.
I’m crafting a movie of timeless stories, mystery, eyewitness accounts and a very spooky atmosphere. I want the audience to feel like they’re in the forest alone at night and the creature is moving nearby in the darkness.
It’s important to bring the audience into its world and out of our own.
There were a few programs worth remembering like In Search Of (With Leonard Nimoy) but it seems that modern TV programs tend to lose focus on the proper mystery and atmosphere for Sasquatch stories, and I want to bring that back.
My goal is not to necessarily find BIGFOOT or but to examine its history as a collection of incredibly rich stories.
I’ll be back to work on BIGFOOT in the spring of 2018. It’s just such an enormous project that needs a little more for the production. I’m going to take advantage of the many doors that have been opening lately and make this the right way.
I’m also working on a few more TV projects. One of them is a fictional tale (a dark Science Fiction story) that I wrote and will direct for Television.
Another is my first independent horror movie and I’ve already shot various pieces of it.
It’s a macabre story of witchcraft and a family house that’s haunted by an ancient energy.
I don’t want to say too much more about it right now but I promise it will be a unique take on all of the above.

 

 

 

Any words of wisdom you’d care to share?

Just be thankful. Be grateful. It’s all a gift. This entire experience is a gift.
Some of my most painful and excruciating moments were followed by me making a point to be grateful, before I fell asleep that night. Of whom or what you should be grateful to is entirely up to you.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with actor, Robert John Burke

Today I’m welcoming actor, Robert John Burke. Thank you, Bobby for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am frighteningly ordinary.

 

 

How did you get into the career of acting?

I got into acting through an experimental acting class in my high school. It also offered an internship with the professional equity acting company. Then it was onto college, where I attended the acting conservatory at SUNY purchase.

 

 

In one of your earlier films, you played the role of the well-known character of Alex Murphy in RoboCop 3. What was it like playing the part of a cyborg?

It was very daunting playing RoboCop three. I thought Peter Weller did such an amazing job that it should have been left alone. No Peter no sequel. I was resistant for about eight months and then I finally acquiesced. The physical demands of the role were great. It involved movement training with a man named Moni Yakin, who had also worked with Peter. He is a teacher at the Juilliard school and he’s amazing. I think if I did anything at all right in that role, I owe it to him.

 

 

In the horror film titled, Thinner, (that was based on Stephen King’s novel) you portrayed the main character of Billy Halleck. Tell us about that and did you encounter any challenges in playing such a diverse role?

Thinner was the ultimate role for me to play. Getting to hide under five hours of make up should excite any actor. But the schedule was pretty grueling. I would get in the make up chair at 2 o’clock in the morning to be ready to start shooting at 7 AM. Then shoot to about 10 PM in the evening.

I was a little disappointed with the way the film turned out. There were lots of different directions that people were pulling it in. Although I must say, quite a few people really enjoyed that film. Meeting Stephen King was a complete thrill.

 

 

Your other on-screen accomplishments include Limitless, 2 Guns, Safe and Dust Devil, just to name a few. Aside from your films, you’re also on the t.v. series: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Allegiance, Banshee, Nurse Jackie, Army Wives, and Rescue Me… (the impressive list goes on)… How do you maintain such a balanced schedule?

On paper it can look like I’m doing a lot of different projects. The reality is that I lead a very balanced life. There were times when I was doing two and three television shows at a time. But somehow it was always manageable. And to tell you the truth, it keeps things interesting that are a hell of a lot of fun.

 

 

Is there any one role that you find in particular to be your absolute favorite?

People ask you what’s the most fun or is there any one role that you find to be your favorite. I think there are several for different reasons. I’ve met a lot of really amazing people on all the productions I’ve been on. Got to travel to exotic and beautiful places. The work I’m most proud of is probably the work that the least amount of people have seen. Films like First Love Last Rites, The Unbelievable Truth, and No Such Thing, are among my favorites.

 

 

Aside from being an actor, you’re also a NY State Certified Firefighter. You helped with the rescue efforts during 9/11, mind telling everyone about that? 

My best friend was in FDNY, captain named Patrick J. Brown. He fell on 9/11/01. Because all of Long Island New York is voluntary fire service, I decided to join my local department and dedicate my service to his memory. It’s been 16 years. I think I missed my True calling.

 

 

What’s next for Robert John Burke?

I’ve taken some time off recently but I’m also developing several projects and working hard on them.

 

 

Where can fans follow you and your work?

I don’t really have a website or anything like that. Sometimes I’ll post pictures of a particular project I’m working on on social media. Certain shows I’ve been on, particularly SVU have legions of very loyal enthusiastic fans. So I treat them with great respect and try and post stuff that keeps them in the loop.

 

 

Any positive words of advice you’d like to share?

I rarely give advice. But I do make suggestions. I suggest people remember to be kind to each other. And I say remember because people forget. I have a coffee mug that says “be kind” on it. It reminds me because I don’t ever want to forget to extend even the smallest gesture to another person that could mean a great deal to that person at that moment. If we take care of the little stuff, the big stuff takes care of itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with actor, Dave Buzzotta

Today I’m welcoming actor, writer and singer, Dave Buzzotta. Thanks, Dave for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Buzz (what his friends call him): Well, I’m a triple Aquarius, so for the most part, I go with the flow. Now, I’m always pursuing some artistic endeavor, and though the bulk of my work is in the theatre, and on camera stuff, of course, but I’m at my best as an artist when I’m also working on music. And I’m putting a new project together. Growing player by player. Free flowing jams we record and take home and work on our own perspective jobs and bring it in. Plus, I have some original songs of my own that I’ve worked on since my former band crashed just when we were releasing our EP at The Viper Room. And I also enjoy hiking up Runyon Canyon, gigs, museums, dogs AND cats and putting my headphones on to a little Pink Floyd.

 

 

What made you want to be an actor?

Buzz: Truthfully, a few little gems mesmerized me quite young and felt like they literally became the strength of my young, growing bones. I remember seeing a scene my mother was watching on American Playhouse or something. It was James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in Fences. I didn’t quite understand it, but I knew it was me. I also remember walking from the kitchen, and on my way to the bedroom, I was paused by Alfre Woodard’s Hill Street Blues episode where the cop shot her boy. I was chilled. I think it was in reruns, but I was quite young and can still see them both. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that probably what solidified it was Star Wars. I was a little drawer and painter very young before I understood what acting was. So everyone thought I’d go in that direction. And I still do, but after seeing the film, I sat right down and drew all the characters and memorized the album my mother bought me of the actual dialogue of the whole movie. I memorized and mimicked every character, sound and death and performed it for my family who felt I might need special help. I started as a kid starting with print and commercials. As a teenager, I did a Dayrunner ad with Jessica Alba. So funny what 20 years in the business throws your way. As a child I was cast as Snoopy in a New York production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “The Babysitter’s Club, as a boy sitter. Fun then. Embarrassing now, also a Broadway production, a couple off-Broadway stints, a cabaret show, a punk band while studying with Sanford Meisner as his youngest student. That’s where I learned how to act. So many a-ha moments and it gave me a technique that I’ve made my own. New York did me well. And whenever I’m not working, I’m in class to keep the muscles toned.

 

 

You’ve played roles in the films Last Resort, She’s All That and Prophecy 3: The Ascent. What are some of your other onscreen accomplishments?

Buzz: I’ve always liked the indie scene, so my most fulfilling projects are usually gritty roles like: Fuel, where I played the lead character, based on a real heroin addicted genius who, developed a magnetic engine (which took the highest honor in the Lisbon Film Festival and did well on the indie circuit with Al Gore as a producer), If Tomorrow Comes where my role as a teenage porn actor gave me quite an education in the Los Angeles sex working industry (with James Franco as my best friend) and two action films shot last year: Wolfmother and Water. I also did a short where I played an 80s rockstar called Jon and the Wolf that was a hell of a lot of fun. We even made a cheesy video for the film called “Feeding Frenzy.” And She’s All That was a hell of a lot of fun.

 

 

You’re also a singer. Tell us about your band.

Buzz: I had to take some time off, but at the moment, I’m playing with an amazing guitar player and talking about what we want to do. Then we’ll approach the guys we want and continue writing while we start playing out in LA. I’d also like to use my previous band’s EP for a web series I’ve nearly completed.

 

 

Do you have any current and/or upcoming projects you’d like to share with everyone?

Buzz: In addition to Water and Wolfmother, I have an offer I’m considering and I’m shopping two television series, an action drama called Stage and a children’s animation series starring a cat called Geep. Being a member of a few theatre companies, I am always interested in doing a great play when I’m not shooting or developing something. I have to do at least one play a year or I feel like I’m starving. I was nominated for an Ovation Award last year (the closest event to the Tony’s in LA) which validated my fears of coming back to my career. I’m very excited about ARULA (Artists Rise Up Los Angeles), a theatre company formed the day after the election. In order to do our part in our way as a faction of the tremendous anti-White House agenda. Our first production, E Pluribus Unum (Out of One, Many) performed to a sold out crowd with rave reviews, spawned a New York chapter and a follow up production, Transparency, Taxes & Tweets April 17 & 18 at Atwater Village Theatre.

 

 

What would you say is the most rewarding part of your career?

Buzz: The energy of performing live, whether the theatre or music. It’s always emotional for me which is what I think attracted me to performing in the first place. I remember my mother telling me at a young age when I was upset. She said, “It’s ok my love, you just feel things more than most people do.” Though acting and singing and shaken’ it are distinctively different, there is that rush of feeling the audience and feeling them feel you and I approach them the same way. Not much different than a roided out tennis match, feeding off each other and connecting on a more spiritual level than every day human contact.

 

 

At the end of a busy day, how does Dave Buzzotta unwind?

Buzz: Well, if I’m staying in, I get straight into my fleece pjs, pet the cat or dog while watching msnbc, eat and then write.

 

 

How can fans follow your work and find out about updates?

Buzz: I can be followed or reached on FB and Twitter, as I do post my projects. My website was badly hacked and will be up again soon at: Dave Buzzotta.com. I may not be prompt, but I always get back to my peeps.

 

 

Any words of wisdom you care to share?

Buzz: I would never say I have much wisdom to offer, however, I think we all should pursue art and creativity in our lives. Not necessarily as a career, but as a way to appreciate the beauty and freedom we do have, especially in the midst of what is going on in the world. And if you’re an aspiring actor, I’d say first buy a copy of Sanford Meisner’s book, On Acting. See what you think, find a great teacher and do the two year technique. And go where the work is or make it yourself. Thank you, Sheila for this opportunity.