Here is a video as well as a few pics of a one act play I recently performed in at the bar Jimmy's #43, part of ESPA's Detention Series (Primary Stages). The piece was written by Seth McNeill, directed by Rachael Harrington, and I shared the stage with the lovely Natalie Neckyfarow.
Say what you want about Tom Waits's voice, there is no denying the power of his storytelling through song. I am very pleased to be dusting off my old guitar tonight and joining Anthony Wills, Jr. and his company, Artistic Pride Productions for The Mule Variations. We will present the entire 1999 Tom Waits album via spoken word, dance, cacophony, and of course, song. I love working with Anthony and his company because each cabaret I do with them challenges me in ways that are at times terrifying, at times exhilarating, and always rewarding. I'll be reciting lyrics, singing (!), playing guitar, playing a variety of percussive instruments, and maybe I'll play a tune on the piano. :) Here's to getting out of our comfort zones!
In other news, For Francis continues to make its way through the festivals. Last week, it played at the Cannes Film Festival's Short Film Corner (the French loved us, as we knew they would!), and this weekend, we are an Official Selection of the LGBT Connecticut Film Festival in Hartford CT. For Francis is also an Official Selection of the Manhattan Film Festival on June 12th, which is a red carpet event, so I look forward to wearing my boat shoes. Special thanks to all those who came out to the screening in April and voted for our film....we won, and qualified as an Official Selection of the Downtown Film Festival June 15th!
There's a great deal more to tell you--so many exciting things are happening--but it will have to wait for another post!
Thank you, as always, for your support.
Enjoy this last beautiful weekend of May!
David G Beck
I am thrilled to announce that I have recently begun working with manager Kristen Ernst at Uzan International Artists. Kristen heads the new film, television, and straight theatre division of UIA, as well as the commercial department. UIA also represents world class opera singers and conductors. I couldn't be more excited to develop my career with UIA and to be in the company of such sophisticated talent! www.uzanartists.com
This past weekend, For Francis (the short film I wrote, acted in, and co-produced last year) was honored with the Student Voices For Peace Most Inspiring Story Award at the Peace On Earth Film Festival in Chicago, Illinois. The festival included films from around the globe that "raise awareness of peace, nonviolence, social justice, and an eco-balanced world".
Also, For Francis will screen at the 11th NYC Downtown Short Film Festival on April 10th! This screening is where the audience votes for the best film. If you live in the New York area, we need your help in voting for For Francis. If we get enough votes, we will qualify for the final round, which will be held in June. Help make it happen on Friday April 10th @ 8 PM. Tickets are $10. Reserve them here
For Francis will also be screening at the Athens International Film and Video Festival Friday April 3rd at 9 PM, and in Cannes as part of the Cannes Film Festival's Short Film Corner in May. As you can see, For Francis is on a roll!
On the closing night of our critically acclaimed run, we were privileged to have our playwright, Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph, in the audience. Below is a picture with Rajiv (center), the cast, and our director Merri Milwe (left). Producing and acting in this beautiful play has been quite a journey, and it was an "honest to goodness blessing" (as my character Andy would say) to have received such high praise from the writer himself. Onward!
Below are some quotes from the reviews about my performance as Andy Froling, but the play as a whole has been highly praised thus far! Click on the full reviews to read more.
"Beck is charming as Andy, eliciting all of his naturally nervous qualities in actions as sweeping as confronting his idol or as tiny as donning or removing his jacket; he really seems to treat it as though he believes it doesn't want to touch him, which adds a sad pathos to a man you can't help but like."
-Matthew Murray, Talkin' Broadway Full Review
"...If all that spells "nerd", it's true, but Beck manages to combine bashful gaucherie and yearning and self-knowledge without ever seeming weak, effeminate, or just foolish. It's a beautifully modulated performance.
"Beck shows Andy's hurt and manfulness as he tries to recover from his disappointment, but the quiet tragedy of Animals Out of Paper is that , like the folds that cannot be erased in origami, the creases in one's past prove just as complicated and indelible on the human soul."
-Edward Karam, Offoffonline Full Review
"It is difficult to overpraise the cast...At the curtain call, just for a second, I looked at Beck and thought who is this guy? He'd created such a completely other physical persona for Andy that I almost didn't know him."
-Kathleen Campion, The Front Row Center Full Review
"One of the strongest elements of this production is its stellar cast...David Beck as Andy works for every ounce of sympathy and endearment. He is very grounding throughout the play....When you have a cast of talented actors and a smart script, all you really need is an audience. I recommend that you provide that element to this production. It’s well worth it."
-Richard Hinojosa, nytheaternow.com Full Review
"Joining the cast is the adorably nerdy and completely smitten calculus teacher-com-Origami enthusiast Andy (David Beck) who never fails to make you laugh as he barges into Ilana's life to collect membership dues for American Origami."
-Caleb Ryan, theatrescene.net Full Review
"As the optimistic math teacher Andy, David Beck brings a delightfully manic tone, sometime toeing the line of exceedingly eager...Andy is a literal open book - he keeps a book in which he counts his blessings and openly shares some of the secrets contained therein with Ilana and Suresh. Beck delivers the pronouncements from this book of blessings with ceaseless earnestness."
-Rachel Weinberg, Broadwayworld Full Review
"Beck is endearing as a man hypnotized with a woman just beyond his reach."
-Bianca Garcia, Stage Buddy Full Review
Our production is featured on broadwayworld.com! Check out the press release and buy your tickets while you can. One week into the rehearsal process, I am having an absolute ball working on such compelling material with this fine group of artists. Reserve your tickets at smarttix.com. Special thanks to Lendon Flanagan for the publicity photo. See you on opening night!
This past week, I had the good fortune of being asked by Lisa Rothe to read in a new play called "Wake Me Up" by Amy Wheeler. It is an absolutely fascinating story drawn from the playwright's own personal experience. I played Caleb, a high functioning adolescent with autism: about eight years old emotionally, but views himself as a grown man. It was a ball diving in to such a challenging role, especially in such good company, playing with renowned actresses Deirdre Lovejoy (The Wire) and Mary Bacon. It is an intriguing story, and I look forward to seeing how the script develops.
This is the second time Lisa asked me to participate in the Lark Play Development Center, and both times I have found the experience wholly gratifying. For an actor, there is nothing quite like being in the room and actively listening and responding to a playwright's words for the first time. I always imagine what it must have been like for Shakespeare's company of actors reading "The quality of mercy is not strained...." or "Conscience doth make cowards of us all" for the very first time! The sheer rush of ecstasy!
In other news, the Animals Out of Paper cast and design team are all in place! We found a tremendously gifted young actor, Maneesh Sasikumar, to play Suresh, and my co-producer Nairoby Otero is pleased to inform the world that the entire design team is comprised of women. That wasn't intentional...they are just the right people for the job. Tickets will go on sale in the beginning of January!
Thanks to Tony Webster (AKA bigbadllama) for a great photo session. So happy to have headshots with a beard now! No more teenage roles for me! Headshots coming soon, but in the meantime, enjoy this classic B&W pic.
Starr Films and I are excited to announce that "For Francis" will be screening in Cincinnati, Ohio November 16th-18th at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati. If you are in the Cincinnati area, we would love to see you! We will keep you abreast of more screenings across the country in the coming months!
and for the great questions at the Q&A! The cast, Viktor, Susan, and I really enjoyed sharing this short film with all of you...and we know this is just the beginning of this journey with "The Exalted". We have exciting plans which we will announce in the near future! Stay tuned. :)