You may have noted on the main page that I am now assistant professor of acting, rather than adjunct professor. That is because I applied for the open tenure-track position. After three semesters of adjunct work and a competitive application process (eighty-five initial applicants and a short list of five), I was offered and accepted the position earlier this spring. Let the games begin!
The webseries cut of Unfocused is now streaming on YouTube, check it out here: UNFOCUSED
Let's see if this can get some heat and maybe some one will pick it up and make the show a reality.
Also in news, I am now represented in the southeast by BMG Talent through their Miami office. You may recall I was represented by BMG in Chicago some years ago. A great organization and I look forward to working with them.
The pilot for "Unfocused" has finished the awards circuit and now you all can see it. It will be split into scenes and released as a web series on YouTube. Let's get lots of clicks on this and maybe it will still be picked up as a regular series somewhere. Lots of networks producing new shows! The trailer is linked below. If you subscribe to Owen's channel you will see all the brief webisodes as they come out.
Finally! It is way overdue, but my new demo reel has been uploaded to the site. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
We had a vacation, we moved, we now live in Oxford, MS. Looking for representation in the Southeast market, please! But do wait until I can edit a new cut of my demo reel, if you don't mind.
Even after we had moved, I was still in demand in Chicago. I went back weekly this fall to understudy the role of ALFIERI in their mounting of Ivo van Hove's production of Arthur Miller's A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. Wow is all I can say about that. Always liked the play, but this production goes right to the bone. Powerful and timely.
JimMortal, the spec pilot I shot with my friends has won some awards at festivals, including best pilot at the Chicago Comedy Film Festival. I also shot a DePaul student film this spring--finally a chance to stay up all night that did not involve babies!
Didn't say anything about the experience at the Goodman for Uncle Vanya; I was just too busy. Leave it at this: outstanding production, with a truly dedicated cast and staff of real artists, at the premier theater in Chicago. I have worked there twice and would gladly come back on a moment's notice.
We are getting ready for the big move for Susan's career.
We are raising the boys.
I have another fun time coming up in a few weeks shooting a second spec pilot with the same duo who wrote, produced, and directed Unfocused last year. I'd work with these guys any time.
Also have a SAG student film coming up that will give me another good clip to update my reel.
Had a great time shooting Chicago Fire, though we froze our butts off.
Just got offered to understudy the role of Astrov in Uncle Vanya at the Goodman, directed by Robert Falls. Can't wait to get started. This is a role that I have anticipated since I first read the play.
Booked a week of work shooting an episode of Chicago Fire. More info to come when I can reveal it. It's episode thirteen, which I hope might be February sweeps.
The short I was in a couple of years ago, "Through The Trees," has won another "best of" in a small film festival, Collected Voices.
Enjoying the winter as it comes on, staying home a lot of the time with the twins, since Susan will be going back to work soon.
The website is up and running on the new host. Please check it out and let me know if there's anything missing or not working.
In the good news area, the spec pilot I acted in last spring was awarded best TV pilot at the Studio City International Film Festival on Sunday. Let's hope some industry bigs saw it.
Sunday was also the closing day of Visiting Edna at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Great experience all around.
First off, I will be changing hosts for this site in the near future, so if anyone is actually following it you may see some interruption, but I hope to keep it to a minimum. Second, it has been a busy year since I have posted and more has happened than I can readily post about. Short summary of professional work: continued on as the understudy on Disgraced when it moved to Berkeley Rep, understudied two roles in Othello at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, shot a SAG New Media Pilot, and got an understudy job at Steppenwolf Theatre in Visiting Edna--a world premiere by David Rabe.
The details on the rest of the news will have to wait, but the nugget is that we welcomed Oscar O'Malley and Jacob Michael, identical twin boys, into the world quite prematurely on March 16. Everyone is doing well.
The short I was in last year, "Through the Trees," has been awarded Best Short at the Illinois International Film Festival. The festivals and, I hope, the awards continue!
Starting this week I will be understudying at Windy City Playhouse in their inaugural production in the role of Arthur in END DAYS, directed by Henry Godinez. This is a really cool new venue that is going to change the way we think about performance spaces in Chicago and the kind of event that an evening of theater can be. Don't miss it! This coincides with the end of my understudy of two tracks in the Short Shakespeare! Macbeth with Chicago Shakespeare Theater. This has been an invaluable experience with fantastically talented people across the board. looking forward to much more work with them! Indeed, they called me in to audition for next season already.
Last but not least, I have a new Twitter account. Find me there: @stearns_dan.
Last week I spent a crazy couple of days shooting a spot for AT&T Uverse, directed by Michael Chaves. Look for it on TV and internet. Since I was a must-join for SAG-AFTRA prior to this shoot, I joined up.
I have added another in a perhaps budding niche in voiceover, that of voicing real historical military men. This time it is CPL Louis Budz of Chicago, a soldier who participated in the Italian Campaign in WWII. My voice in his words will be featured in the film portion of the permanent exhibit on the Italian Campaign in the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. In Shakespeare news, I will be understudying the Short Shakespeare! MACBETH at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Winter 2015.
It was a cold spring, but summer is finally heating up. Shot a commercial for Briarcliffe College last week. And in general commercial auditions are accelerating. Many theater auditions and callbacks including Chicago Shakespeare, Shattered Globe, Victory Gardens, First Folio, and Timeline. Looking to book that first show of the fall season.
And in other news, the short "Through the Trees" is finished and looking good. It will be submitted to fall festivals. As soon as it is formally released I will get a scene of it into a recut of my demo.
Also, I will be the voice of Maj. Abner Small of the 16th Maine Volunteers in the new National Museum of the United States Army.
Been working quite a bit on shorts and student films since I got back to Chicago. Always pleased by the dedication and competence of student filmmakers in this town. It's a credit to our great educational institutions. Just booked one that will shoot in April and have one more scene to go on another.
Just got back from a tremendous six days of stage combat training with MACE including their Advanced Combat Intensive, run by Drew Fracher and Chuck Coyl, as well as the annual SAFD-sanctioned Winter Wonderland Workshop. Fighting and acting all day long every day, including SPRs (Skills Proficiency Renewal) with a recommended pass in both sword & shield and quarterstaff. This was my first big SAFD workshop and I could not have asked for more. Can't wait for the next. I am now current in six weapons, with a recommended pass in rapier & dagger and single sword, plus a basic pass in broadsword and unarmed.
Update (2/5/14): Check out a few of the photos from the week in the Stage Combat page on the menu.