10 • 28 • 2018 ••• WEIRD KIDS RULE!
w/ Creativity-Productivity Specialist & Writer Sam Bennett (In a Booth at Chasen’s)
Dennis ventures to beautiful Carpinteria, CA to interview creativity-productivity specialist Sam Bennett about the work she does inspiring people to make their creative ideas happen. She talks about how she got into this line of work, the difference between highly creative people and other people, why she moved on from acting to her current career path, that time her life fell apart and she had to totally reinvent herself and her days as an improv actor with Second City. She also talks about one of her creative babies that is about to be launched into the world; the musical In a Booth at Chasen's, which she wrote the book for. It's about the real-life Hollywood romance of Ron and Nancy Reagan. (It runs from November 9 - 25 at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood). Other topics include: the joy of getting a C at something (as opposed to always have to get straight A's), what's great and not so great about being your own boss, her murder mystery party days, remembering that marketing is a conversation, the wonderful poem she wrote called Ode to a Drama Teacher, missing acting, her problem with Siri, having blinders on about acting, the Modern Family gig that surprised her and the sound her clients sometimes make that makes her really really happy.
10 • 22 • 2018 ••• ANOTHER SIGN OF INCOMING GAYNESS
w/ filmmaker Yen Tan (1985, Pit Stop, Ciao)
Dennis heads to Koreatown in L.A. to interview Yen Tan, the writer director of such films as Pit Stop, Ciao and his latest 1985, which is about a young man who has been diagnosed with HIV visiting his parents in Texas over the Christmas holidays. Yen talks about the insurance job he had in his early 20's that inspired the film, why he chose to shoot in black and white, working with the actors Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, Cory Michael Smith (Gotham) and Jamie Chung, the challenge of shooting long takes and the moving comments he's gotten from audiences after screenings. He also talks about his sideline gig of doing graphic design for films, his current favorite font Brandon Grotesque, getting representation and lots of Hollywood meetings as a result of 1985 and how being gay and Asian-American has affected his career trajectory. Other topics include: the Goldie Hawn soundtrack that was his first cassette he ever bought, growing up in Malaysia and learning English from movies, his Elephant Man epiphany, coming to the U.S. for college, coming out, why he makes films and that time he sang in front of the whole school and it didn't go well. www.1985thefilm.com
10 • 9 • 2018 ••• I’M NOT GOOD WITH HATE
w/ performer and UnCabaret creatrix Beth Lapides
Dennis visits the Hollywood home of comedienne Beth Lapides, the host and creatrix of the alternative comedy show The Uncabaret, which celebrates its 25th anniversary with a star-studded show November 18th at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in L.A. She talks about the origins of the show, starting out in comedy in LA in the early 90's and dealing with the Andrew Dice Clay-ness of it all and how her role as host keeps her from sharing too much about what's going on with her. She also discusses how social media has changed the show, the Father's Day show that got really dark, her first time performing in a comedy club, embracing the terms "performo-tainment" and "god-shot," and the goof she made the first time she did stand-up. Other topics include: why she cherishes her key collection, the celebrity death that hit her the hardest, why she loves comedy, apologizing to Betsy Johnson for stealing a skirt, and that time she ran for First Lady of the United States. www.UnCabaret.com
10 • 3 • 2018 ••• I BUILT A STATION WAGON…
w/ Trump Family Special writer-director-producer Danny Salles
Dennis meets up with writer-director-producer Danny Salles, the creator of the musical comedy The Trump Family Special, which is currently playing at the Triad in New York City. He talks about taking the show from LA to NY, landing Gina Gershon at Melania, keeping up with the news cycle and how the experience has impacted his life. He also talks about his TV career, working on shows like Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best, Kathy Griffin: My Life in the D-List, Joe Schmoe and The Middle. He talks about how working in reality effects his scripted work, why he's good at it and the angst of not blowing the secret on Joe Schmoe. Other topics include: his favorite Joan Rivers moments, why he's good at working with mercurial talent, getting recognized in a diner, the 2012 Halloween costume he's super proud of the junior high drama teacher who still needs to suck it.