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Multi-talented performer Sam Harris joins host Robin Milling for a backstage chat about his one-man musical, 'Ham: A Musical Memoir,' now playing at Theater 511 at Ars Nova in New York City. Directed by Billy Porter, featuring pianist Todd Schroeder, the show is based on his autobiography, 'Ham: Slices of A Life.'
On stage Sam expertly tells stories, speaking about his life's journey from boyhood to the present; whether in song or candid monologues. He tells Robin he's embraced the term, 'ham,' recalling his earliest performance at three singing The Star Spangled Banner at a football game in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Sam says performing is everything to him. 'It was my coping mechanism being a little bit of a different kind of kid growing up in rural, Baptist South; the buckle of the bible belt! For a burgeoning gay showbusiness kid it was a little freaky especially being born in the early 60s.'
And for those not born in the 60s, Star Search was the American Idol of it's day, where Sam won the 1983 grand champion singer with his rousing rendition of 'Over The Rainbow.' He tells Robin he accepts the legacy, along with his other accomplishments as an actor, a writer, and a recording aritst.
Sam talks about the cathartic experience he feels exorcising his demons on stage, although some things were left in the book such as his alcoholism; celebrating 11 years sober. Even though the show is personal to his life experience, he tells Robin it's universal. 'I don't think there's anybody who doesn't feel outside. I don't think there's anybody who doesn't need to be told 'you're enough.''
For more about Sam visit http://www.samharris.com/
Thomas Jane brings in the new year with Vice, playing a futuristic cop investigating a resort run by Bruce Willis, where human-like androids (Ambyr Childers) programmed to fulfill a user's fantasy have gone off the grid. Jane tells host Robin Milling he is a Sci-Fi fan so the opportunity to tell the story which might be a cautionary tale of abusing technology in the present, intrigued him.
He admits he is not a fan of social media but got into the game with his own site, http://www.rawstudios.com/ where he can check in occassionally to a supportive forum of like-minded graphic novel enthusiasts. He jokes, 'Nobody has created a fake Thomas Jane account on my forum; at least not that I know of!'
Thomas' plans for 2015 are vast, with a second graphic novel in the works, and a western that he wrote which he hopes to direct. The working title is 'The Magnificent Death From A Shattered Hand.' On the small screen he's got The Expanse for SyFy and the History channel's Texas Rising, which features his daughter making her acting debut alongside her dad. He tells Robin he was amazed by her talent, 'She was kind of uncanny. She must've absorbed it through some mechanism that we're not aware of, yet. There's some kind of morphogenic field out there where you can absorb experience from your parents somehow!'
To celebrate the holidays, Milling About joins the cast of Elf, now playing at The Papermill Playhouse. Based on the film, it's a musical about Buddy, an oprhan who was left on Santa's doorstep in the North Pole and raised by elves. All grown up, he returns to earth to discover his true identity; and in the process learns much more about love and family.
Host Robin Milling asks James Moye (Buddy), Heidi Blickenstaff (Emily Hobbs), Robert Cuccioli (Walter Hobbs), Jake Faragalli (Michael), Kate Fahrner (Jovie), Paul C. Vogt (Santa) and Matthew Sklar (Composer) about five things they couldn't live without if they traveled from earth to the North Pole and their fondest Christmas memories.
Milling About visits The Sagamore Resort in Lake George, New York, an idyllic property on Green Island in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Everywhere you turn is a view of the lake and the mountains. General Manager Tom Guay who grew up in the area tells host Robin Milling guests can hike the surrounding mountains as well as relax. There's a serenity with the sweet smell of pine permeating from the year-round lobby fireplace. Just outside is the Veranda terrace where brides begin their matrimonial walk down to the lake to say, 'I do.' The 385- room resort in existence since1883 is rumoured to be haunted, especially Room 209. Director of Sales Lori Rehm tells Robin about the resident spirits. There's a 1930s maid whose affair with a guest caused the wife to smother her with a pillow. Lori says some guests have seen someone in a maid's outfit standing in the corner or felt the blankets being tugged down by someone, and when the lights were turned on there was noone there! Visit www.thesagamore.com
Gary Busey wants you to get into The Busey Zone, interactive webisodes where you ask Gary questions and learn from his unique perspective on life, like 'A Moment With The Hobbits.' Gary tells host Robin Milling he's visited Middle Earth in his dreams through body projection. He says, "I time travel in my dreams." These observations come from a Harley Davidson accident when the curb split his head open and he died after brain surgery, seeing the other side. He jokes, "I could tell you more but it's like explaining an orgasm to a 10 year-old; you can't really discover it all!"
There's three books in the works from the mind of Busey including his autobiography, "360 Ways To See An Elephant;" meaning there's more than one way to see something. Plus a two- volume collection of his Buseyisms; Gary takes the letters from a word and creates a definition. His buddy Donald Trump is 'Taking Redirection Understanding Massive Power.' And from the man who played Buddy Holly, will be his book of lyrics 'Song Poetry.'
For Busey's outlook on life visit http://www.buseyzone.com
Gillian Anderson joins host Robin Milling to discuss The Fall, her first lead investigative series since The X Files. Playing a detective superintendent investigating a serial killer in Belfast, she jokes she's had nine years of medical school as Scully. The Fall is shot in Belfast and the tourism board has Gillian to thank as room 203 in the Hilton Hotel, where her character stays in the series, is booked through the winter of 2014.
Gillian tells Robin she's got a bit of an identity crisis, being born in Chicago and moving to London. In grade school she used her English accent to make friends, but kids can be cruel so she adopted an American accent. Now she says she can't escape 'the Britishisms' and calls London home.
You can also see Gillian on the NBC series, Hannibal as Lecter's therapist, and the upcoming series Crisis.
Milling About visits The Samoset Resort in Maine where romance, relaxation and recreation meet at their lovely waterfront property sitting on the edge of Penobscot Bay. Just sit back on a lawn chair and watch the boats go by or play 18 holes of their championship golf course while taking in spectacular views of the ocean. Luxuriate in your renewal journey at The Spa at Samoset after negotiating rocks on the near mile trek on the Breakwater to the Lighthouse.
General Manager Connie Russell and Spa Director Julie Slade join host Robin Milling. Connie came to the hospitality business working at his father's motel in his hometown of Orono. Along the property are one and two-bedroom cozy cottages Wind Drift, Spring Tide and Sea Spray, which Connie says are perfect for couples with screened porches and gas fireplaces. The glorious 100 year-old Flume cottage juts out on the rocks boasting an outdoor hot tub on a glass railing deck overlooking Penobsot Bay. Like any historic hotel, The Samoset originally built in 1889, has had it's share of ghost stories like the elevator closing or opening by itself!
At The Spa, Robin was treated to an aromatherapy massage deeply inhaling frankincense; the scents are tailored to your mood. Before your massage, breathe in the ocean air while sipping tea in the serenity room with privacy screens so you can walk around freely in their cushy velvety robe. Julie tells Robin the massage mixes western and eastern traditions with reflexology, Chakra work and Swedish. A former owner of her own day spa in Camden, Julie led Colorado whitewater rafting tours before she settled in Maine, and now she comes 'skipping to work!'
Jim Sturgess joins host Robin Milling to talk about his new film Upside Down. Jim tells Robin he actually had to practice hanging upside down for the role and got to 20 minutes with the aid of gravity boots; but not before nausea got the best of him! He even has an upside down kissing scene with his co-star Kirsten Dunst who had some previous experience with that in Spider-Man.
Jim says he was asked to appear in the Spider-Man musical on Broadway by his Across the Universe director Julie Taymor but opted to help out in the workshop with Bono instead. He prefers playing with a band and writing his own music rather than having back-up dancers behind him on a stage. One band he tells Robin was Saint Faith; a seven-piece outfit he started in Islington which he says never saw the light of day.
Music will always be there for Jim, but these days he prefers acting. He talks about working with the Wachowski brothers as an Asian man in the controversial film, Cloud Atlas, and is excited about his upcoming role as real life bank robber Eddie Dobson in Electric Slide.
Renowned rock 'n roll photographer Kevin Mazur tells the story of the paparazzi and the point of view of the celebrities they hound in $ellebrity. Kevin joins host Robin Milling to talk about issues in the film which include 'are celebrities' children fair game?'
Famous folk such as Jennifer Lopez and her then husband Marc Antony and Sarah Jessica Parker weigh in on the 'stalkerazzi.'
At the start of his career Kevin says a run-in with Robert DeNiro pissed at him for taking his photo without permission gave him the leg up he needed. By simply asking he's earned an exclusive pass to shoot the biggest names in show business.
For more information visit:
Photos courtesy of Kevin Mazur
Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez releases his sophomore film, C.O.G. which he wrote based on a story by David Sedaris. Kyle tells host Robin Milling getting the rights to the story from Sedaris was a challenge as he regularly passes on the idea of making his stories into films.
Determined, Kyle showed up at a Sedaris book signing with his first film, Easier With Practice, in hand. His passion plea was his personal connection to C.O.G.which deals with the intersection of religion and sexuality. Growing up in the Mormon community dealt with that in spades! Four months later Sedaris e-mailed and Alvarez became the first person to adapt his writings for the screen.
Kyle is clear that C.O.G. is not a coming out story but more about coming to terms with being seen as a gay person; nor did he want to cast an openly gay actor as a gimmick. Jonathan Groff was just the right person for the job. He says, 'I think Jonathan has the quality of being an openly gay actor for most of his career, arguably his entire career and I think he truly has the opportunity and the possibility to break out and for people to not question him as a romantic lead opposite women. He has the looks and the talent and the charm to handle all of those things you need from a leading man.'
Johnathon Schaech (pronounced Shek) joins host Robin Milling. Currently starring in Phantom, he tells Robin how his role as the master escape artist in the TV movie Houdini helped him to prepare for the claustrophobia on board the submarine. When they weren't in tight spaces the cast and crew kept themselves entertained playing baseball and Schaech even took Pilates classes, courtesy of co-star David Duchovny.
You would think by now he would've changed his last name with all the embarrassing ways it's been mispronounced, namely one that starts with an 's' and rhymes with 'lit!;' but Johnathon says, 'they got Schwarzenegger right.' Actually it was Sparrow director Franco Zeffirelli who christened him 'Jon-a-thon' when his real name is John; so it stuck.
An avid supporter of the arts, he talks about being recruited by former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum to join Adopt The Arts which led to his successful campaign on Capitol Hill, raising $35 million to keep crayons in the hands of first graders. He is extremely passionate about education, working with John Hopkins University to get students to learn math and science skills more creatively through music.
Next you can see Johnathon in Ray Donovan where he'll be playing a Tom Cruise-like movie star opposite Liev Schreiber's Hollywood fixer.
New Yorkers are so excited for the Broadway musical, "On The Town" opening this fall at The Lyric Theater in the heart of Times Square. Host Robin Milling was treated to a sneak peek performance for the press by the multi-talented cast of dancers, singers and actors who are bringing this show back to the Great White Way bigger and better than ever.
Featuring direction by John Rando and choreography by Josh Bergasse, On the Town is a classic that never goes out of style with music by Leonard Bernstein, book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Based on Jerome Robbins' idea for his 1944 ballet Fancy Free, which he had set to Bernstein's music; it's a story about three sailors on 24 hour leave in New York who are swept away by all the city has to offer, set to dance. Robin chats with Rando and Bergasse about their indelible mark on this quintessential classic.
The show's principal cast featuring Tony Yazbeck as Gabey, Jay Armstrong as Chip, Clyde Alves as Ozzie, Elizabeth Stanley as Claire DeLoon, Jackie Hoffman as Madam Dilly, and Alysha Umphress as Hildy share their stories of coming to New York for the first time, bonding with each other as a family, and why On The Town is still so prevalent for everyone to enjoy 70 years later. It's a helluva show!
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