Posted by: Becca | January 15, 2012

The Road Not Taken Is Straight Ahead

“Sometimes the road to your dreams is not so straight.”
J.R. Martinez, Iraq War Veteran, 2011 Winner Dancing with The Stars

I recently had the good opportunity to meet J.R. Martinez in person at a local charity event. He said the above quote in his speech to a crowd of 500 people.  At the time, I wrote it down as part of an interview I had with him for the USO’s ON PATROL Magazine which was a print article. It’s the one thing he said of many that resonated in my mind.

Years of working in different fields to make a living left me feeling like a fish out of water.  I’ve gone from the cable industry to billing and finance to administrative work. Writing has always been a side interest but one that never really seemed to pay. So I dabbled on the side, occasionally interviewing interesting people who did work in the field of their dreams. The road to my dream job was long, quite curvy and had many off ramps taken. There were pot holes along the way, which I bounced over.  Road signs were missed, so along I went taking me where the road led.

I recently hit a hard bump on this road which provided the time to finally study the road map of where I wanted to go.  Armed with self-confidence, a new-found feeling of positivity, I launched a job search only in the field I wanted to be in. Writing.

Sure there were people and government workers who tried to move me off my road and into one they thought was better.  I ignored them.  Only I know which road to take.

My mother always told me to keep my chin up during these rough times. I used to think it was a cliché said because she couldn’t think of anything else.  Now I realize that you really have to do that or else you will miss the signs to better opportunities. (Something else J.R. has said.)  Yeah, it can be hard to be positive and walk with your head high when the world kicks you to the curb. But the curb is not that high anyway. Raise your head and kick it back!

My road was not straight. It was not easy. But I found it, mapped it and paid attention to the neon signs the world was now sending me. Tomorrow, Jan 16, is my first day on the job as a paid writer.
I wish me well.

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Posted by: Becca | November 24, 2011

Thanks for Giving

Thanks to WarRetreat.org for finding new ways to help our nation’s heroes and heroines fight trauma and stress.

Thanks to Sebastian Junger for the hug and picture we shared in Coral Gables at your book reading. You have no idea how much I needed that.

Thanks to Tim Hetherington for one of the best interviews and a well needed kick in the rear to follow my dreams. May he rest in peace and come to visit when he can.

Thanks to the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo, FL, http://www.marinemammalconservancy.com for being true animal advocates to the lost and not well.

Thanks to the Playwrights/Dramatists Group of South Florida for encouraging me to keep working on and writing new plays.

Thanks to Max Martini for putting up with me.

Thanks to the entertainment industry for never failing to give me good entertainment.

Thanks to Ascension Peace Presbyterian Church for the always warm welcome and not treating me like I’m the only white person in church. (Which I am.)

Thanks to God for listening to me when I ramble.

Thanks to you for reading this.

Posted by: Becca | November 14, 2011

The Face That Launched A Few Good Plots

Michael Irby, Actor

 

One expression can launch a head full of creative story plots. So can one very good guest starring spot on a popular Sunday night TV series.

Searching for work is no fun. In fact, it’s rather boring. The State of Florida forces one to apply for five jobs per week in order keep receiving unemployment benefits.  Tucked into this mundane work is my need to free my creative juices and hone playwriting skills. That’s where Mr. Irby comes into it.

Give this man any character and he will take it and make it his. This “master of expression” professional flipped my boredom around and I was able to complete two short plays with him in the lead. Several other plot ideas sneak in and soon my imagination is running amok getting him in trouble with his make-believe daughter, teaching a class of high schoolers with nosy questions, dodging verbal hits from a former friend who stole his woman and giving some shit back to those giving it to him. Sit him at the kitchen table with his family and he becomes the brother you wish you had and the apple of your eye.

Come to think of it, thinking of these fun situations to put him in is the reason this blog is so short. Back to work on the next play.

Posted by: Becca | February 8, 2011

The Learning Week

Temp work provides a person with the opportunity to do something while waiting for the bigger and better something to come.  I recently completed a temp assignment that was 44 miles round trip. Frankly, I’ve been spoiled for the last 6 years as I was employed only 5 miles from home. This recent, longer commute reminded me of what everyone else has to do every day.

The job was mundane and tedious. Sorting checks and documents alphabetically and numerically for hours on end every day for 5 days a week. You kind of forget how sluggish your thinking becomes when you haven’t worked for a while.  I arrived home from this assignment tired. My brain was tired. My eyes were tired. My body was tired from the stress of rush hour traffic in a busy part of the State.

In the end, it revved up my dedication to finding a new job that I’ll be passionate about and will gladly commute a longer distance than 5 miles every day. It also reminded me of the things I want to accomplish while I have the time to do them.

This new week is filled with opportunities to learn. Two online courses are now complete:

The Poynter Institute’s NewsU  http://www.newsu.org

  • Social Media and Journalism
  • Writing Online Headlines: SEO and Beyond

On My Plate:

  • NewsU – Writing with Tone and Voice
  • State of FL’s Linked In Forum

In the middle, helping a friend write content for his website, and working with another friend on some press related items for a film festival.

I’m grateful for the time to be able to accomplish these things.  What’s on your plate this week?

Posted by: Becca | January 3, 2010

A Different Kind of Unit Wife-Susan Matus

By Becca Bryan

August 2008

The 101 Café in Hollywood, CA is an old Hollywood meeting place. This eclectic café’s diners are a colorful mix people from all walks of life and professions. Here, artists in their most casual dress mix in with tourists from around the world, business people and the residents in the neighborhood. It was here that I met with Susan Matus, (pronounced Mah-toose) to talk about her role as a different kind of Unit wife, in her old neighborhood. Read on to learn how she feels about balancing a very busy life and her thoughts on the show’s hard won renewal.

This elegantly thin and studious woman is contemplative, warm and open. She has a strong background in theatre. She studied acting at A.C. T at age 11 and in 1993, moved to New York and studied at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She earned the Charles Jehlinger award for Best Over All Female Performer and was a part of the 95-96 Academy Company. She has numerous credits in the theatre but has stepped back due to its heavy demands on time.
Her character, “Sgt. Sarah Irvine” is seen in the TOC, on The Unit. But before you think she got the role because she’s Michael Irby’s wife, think again. She had to audition just like the rest of the cast. And she well earned the part.
HQ: Who is Susan Matus?
SM: I’m an artist, a mom, a wife. I’m the only child to a Nicaraguan father and a Danish/Irish mother. I grew up in San Francisco. I studied theatre in New York and that’s where I met my husband. We moved to L.A nine years later and six months after that I was pregnant with my son.
HQ: What is the most challenging aspect of your life to balance?
SM: I would have to say the hardest aspect of my life to balance is, time. As all mothers know there just never seems to be enough of it. I am very committed to being a mom  b ut I also feel it’s important to continue to fulfill your own personal goals and destiny as a woman, and in my case as an artist. I believe a balanced human being who is parenting helps to encourage and hopefully create a balanced child. However balance is not an easy thing to achieve, it is a constant motion of back and forth, this and that.
HQ: And how do you manage all that you do?
SM: I think to some degree I was born with the ability to multi-task really well without getting over whelmed. In fact, I tend to get more over whelmed when I’m not doing things, or when the things I’m doing have no deadlines. I love a challenge, I guess that’s part of my love of acting. But I also try to remind myself that everything will get done in it’s due time. That enables me to stay open to create solutions when obstacles do come up. Just remember to breath, sounds silly, but it’s so true.
HQ: What did you do during that long period of no work during the strike and the long wait for The Unit’s renewal?
SM: AH! I was sooo lucky to just be able to hang out with my gorgeous husband and beautiful son. Usually so many actors stress out about not working, and feel they need to stay busy, but Michael and I decided to really just take the time away from our busy hustle and bustle life to just reconnect and be together as a family. It was good for all of us, just to be simple. When the strike was over it was very bittersweet. Michael was very excited to get back to work, especially after his USO Tour in Iraq, but we had gotten very used to our time together.
HQ: What do you think of the renewal for 22 episodes this season? Pretty good news to us fans.
SM: I think it’s great! I hope the fans enjoy the new story lines and we can stay on for even longer.
HQ: Did you hear about the fan led activities to bring the show back?
SM:  No, but I think in order to get better quality programming on the air, the fans have to speak up. So I think it’s wonderful that the fans made the effort to be heard. This show doesn’t get a lot of publicity so it’s really important that the fans get involved.
HQ: So what do you think kept the network from taking so long to make a decision to bring the show back? I mean, it’s been a long time since it was on the air. Why didn’t it come back after the strike?
SM: It was just too expensive to bring back for the tail end of the year, so they just shut down production. And I’m imagine it was the cost of the show  that made them a little iffy about the renewal. Being in the dark about it for so long was hard, we were like, “Aw, come on! You’re killing us! Just let us come back!”
HQ: And we were stuck20with reality shows like Big Brother. Ugh! No more Big Brother!
SM: I know. I agree, there are too many “pseudo” reality shows on. Do you have any military connections?
HQ: Most of the people I know in the military I met through the show, in fan groups. The people in the military give the most positive feedback on the realism on the show.
SM: I know, they’re the fans that are the most important to us. Because they’re the ones who are risking their lives or having their loved ones lives risked on a daily basis. And as an actor you want to portray their truth as well as entertain, so there is something they can relate to, and at the same time maybe allow them to escape some of the hardship they’re all having to endure during these trying times.
The show started up again and the hectic life of Susan Matus is back on. But this determined and thoughtful woman will surely have no problem balancing her family’s needs and her own. She is after all, the kind of person you would expect to master it.
(c) 2009
Posted by: Becca | January 3, 2010

The CSM Upfront-Part Two

By Becca Bryan

January 2009

In Part Two of the interview with Eric Haney, he answers more fan questions and gives us a glimpse of what’s on his plate.

HQ: Thinking about writing any more books about Delta Force?

EH: No, there won’t be any more Delta books. I’ve written all I can about that.

HQ: Do you miss the Army or the missions you were on?

EH: No, I don’t miss any of it. Most of my dreams are still military dreams. But that was 20 years ago. I’ve been retired for almost 20 years now-19 years this this year.

HQ: Could America be safe without a special team like the unit?

EH: Yea, yeah I think it would be safe without it. It’s real use is so limited, so small in actuality. If we’re looking…it’s like cockroaches in the kitchen. You walk into the kitchen, throw on a light and the cockroaches scurry. The radicals of the world that use terrorism to further their aims, if you’re looking, paying attention, it renders them ineffective.

HQ: How many languages could you speak and still speak?

EH: I’m fluent in Spanish. I used to be fluent in German. I spoke it well. It’s almost as difficult as English. I read it okay. I speak Arabic at a childish level, like a five year old. I can read it a bit. I comprehend Italian because Spanish is its first cousin. French-I read it very well. Of all things, when I got a copy of my book Inside Delta Force in Dutch, I read it very easily. It reads so much more easy than German. And I speak some Portuguese.

HQ: So that’s 7 languages. That’s a lot. Is the town right at the border called Haney named after your family?

EH: All Haneys are related. It’s not a town but a small crossroads with a country store. All of us say, “All Haneys live near borders in case we hear there’s a warrant of the grand jury is after us. That way we can jump into the next jurisdiction quickly.”

HQ: That’s quite handy. What other projects are you working on and want to talk about?

EH: There’s the novel series “Tanner”. We’re working on the publishing contract for that right now. It could also be a TV series pilot. We’re working on that contract too. A CIA piece that I wrote in 2008 for Universal. We’re trying to obtain the lead and the director. The lead needs to be an actor with cojones.

HQ: Can you name the leads and director?

EH: No, I can’t right now.

Lest anyone think Eric is idle not working on The Unit this season, think again. He has many projects on the burners. And it has to be said that with this many things going on, he does not show the stress of it at all. Relaxed and at ease, he filled this interview with many fascinating stories he is so great at telling. We simply turned the recorder on and listened with rapt attention, and almost missed our flight home.

Editor’s Note: Inside Delta Force has sold more than 1 million copies worldwide and is currently published in 11 languages.

© 2009

The celebrity interviews posted on this site are copyrighted by Rebecca Bryan, aka Becca Bryan. Rebecca Bryan has the sole right to request they be removed, linked, sold, lent or reproduced to any other web site upon her permission.

Posted by: Becca | January 3, 2010

The CSM Upfront-Part One

By Becca Bryan
January 2009
On a sunny but cold day on the 2nd floor foyer of his restored farmhouse,  I sat down with the CSM. He is tall, lean and dressed for the chilly day. A soft spoken man, he smiles often and offers as much information as you want.
We discussed several different subjects and the interview ran long. So this is the first part of two with him. In this part, he graciously describes what it was like to be an actor on the show and answers some fan questions.

HQ: Did you have to be dragged in front of the camera or were you excited? Whose idea was it for you to go in front of the camera?

EH: The casting director, Sharon Bialy, called me and said, ’Hey! We have this part and really want you to play it.’ And I said, ’Yeah’. It was David Mamet’s idea. Mamet wrote that episode and he wrote that part for me.

HQ: Was it a good experience for you?

EH: Oh yeah! I enjoyed it greatly. You know, the soliloquy was almost a page. This character is old Army. He’s a recruiter. But if you look closely, you’ll see something that tells you he had been in Delta Force. So this takes place in the early to mid 80’s. Probably 82,83 or 84. So the way I portrayed it, thought of it was it was me after I left Delta and went into recruiting. And this recruiter is probably keeping an eye out for potential Delta candidates. So he zeros in on this kid. (a young Tom Ryan).

HQ: What was the day of shooting like for you?

EH: It was the last day of shooting that episode and the last day before Christmas break. Sharon told me what the part was like, sent the script to me. So the first thing I did was look at it and find out what year is it, what the part is. I sent my friend, Darryl Levine, the Wardrobe Master, my list of what should be this guy’s uniform-what he’s going to wear on his uniform to correspond to what I was at that time.

So I go in, get my fitting, practice my lines for my part and it feels good. He wrote it, I’m sure, knowing my speech pattern and how I talk, the emphasis I place on things. I get there and my trailer is all set-everything waiting there for me.. As a matter of fact, the only thing I brought were my old dress uniform shoes. I’m at base camp, saw my friends, dibbled around a little bit. But I got in uniform and walked to the set which was a block away. I hung out with my friends and the director. They were doing an outdoor scene. We then move inside to the set. I wanted to get a feel for it-where my marks were.

The director comes in and we do a rehearsal for marks, see what the movement is and then step outside and the lighting guys come in and light it. We then came back in and do a rehearsal for camera and we shoot it. We started shooting at about noon or 12:30 and we had it shot by lunch and lunch that day was at about 2 or 2:30.

The great thing was that the guys came in that day. Dennis wasn’t working that day. He came in purposely to be on the set with me. Robert Patrick came in early. Max was there, Michael was there. So it was a great thing between takes to have my friends sitting right there. Cast and crew.

HQ: What differences were there between working behind the camera and in front of it?

EH: It’s different sides of the same coin. I’ve spent so much time on sets with every department: pre-production, with the actors and directors, in particular, action scenes. Setting them up, lining up the shots. I comprehend what the actor wants to do to achieve the effect of what we’re looking for. As a writer of scripts and novels, I see it first. I see my characters. I see my set. I know what I want them to do. At what point they speak. So it’s in your mind-you know what a director wants.

I’d like to think that I moved the filming along quickly. You don’t waste time, no screwing around because you’re burning everybody’s energy . It’s a long, long day on the set.

HQ: What is the happiest memory you recall from your collaboration with The Unit?

EH: When Les Moonves said, ‘I wanna do it.’ Those were his words when we were pitching the series.

HQ: What do you think was the most important thing you taught them?

EH: What the world they were portraying is like. This pretty clandestine world they are in.

In Part Two, the CSM talks about the new projects on his plate and answers more fan questions.  Stay tuned!
© 2009

The celebrity interviews posted on this site are copyrighted by Rebecca Bryan, aka Becca Bryan. Rebecca Bryan has the sole right to request they be removed, linked, sold, lent or reproduced to any other web site upon her permission.

Posted by: Becca | January 3, 2010

Michael Irby-The Invisible Artist

By Becca Bryan

July 2009

Michael Clinton Irby, the man, the husband, father and artist is the kind of person you get to know and want to keep in your pocket to pull out when you just need a friend to listen to your troubles.  Or when the time is right, get the most anticipated interview  the fans of the now cancelled TV show The Unit want.  As the saying goes, I saved the best for last.

The conversation was an animated one, on both ends, with much laughter, passion and the kind of deep down earthiness one would expect of this very well grounded and private man.

In each role, he reached deep and pulled out some aspect of himself to give the part an honest performance. As “Charles Grey“ in The Unit it was the passion to portray a Special Forces soldier as realistically as possible. As “Enriquez” in The Last Castle, with a heavy hitter Robert Redford, it was to volunteer to be set on fire in a prison rebellion scene.  In the webisode Who Cut The Cake?,  to be a wedding guest with more than average admiration for news anchor Matt Lauer. Or the many roles he’s played on stage after graduating from the prestigious Academy of Dramatic Arts school in New York .

The same is said about this interview. Always the one others on The Unit set called “energetic”, Michael is a fast talker leaving me with the thought I should have taken shorthand in school. You can almost see his signature big, bright smile as he answers fans questions and listens to their rant about the show’s cancellation.  Yet he is often hard to spot in the various productions where he’s been cast. He blends in seamlessly in any background. That’s the way a true artist plays the part.

HQ: Do you see yourself as an actor or an artist?

MI: An artist.

HQ: I knew you would say that. We’ve read that you’re artistic. You’ve written some poetry, and play the guitar. Having gone to the prestigious Academy of Dramatic Arts school in New York and performed in such iconic and much debated plays like “Corpus Christi ” from Terrence McNally, is there a chance we can see on the stage soon?

MI: Maybe at an acoustic bar playing guitar.

HQ: What about plays or what if something comes up in New York or someplace else?

MI: If I’m passionate about it and it’s a believable part, then yeah.   I’d go back to the stage.

HQ: Both you and your wife (Susan Matus) are busy working artistic people. How do you juggle home and career when you’re both working?

MI: Delicately, with a lot of communication. You make sure you communicate with each other at a high level. You go the extra mile. Make a Valentine’s card instead of buying one. Water the plants if they need to be watered. Do the things at home the other one does when they aren’t there. You juggle things delicately. Everybody needs to feel important. And you just got to listen.

HQ: That’s good advice.  Fans can be very observant when it comes to watching their favorite actor. And several of them noticed the tattoos you have. Any chance we can ask you about them?  We know you went on a USO Tour with some others from the cast.   Each one of you came back and got a tattoo commemorating that.  We noticed that you sported a new one on your forearm. What’s the meaning behind that one and your other tattoos?

MI: They’re little signs or periods of my life. I always try to understand life and love. On my forearm, is the tattoo I got when I got back from Iraq . It’s the word Freedom. A picture of it. On my back is the Native American sign (on my father’s side) of my spirit protector. Someone’s always watching my back. On my stomach, is God’s House. I feel I am the creator. I make it happen. I’m speaking only for myself and how I feel about it. We don’t know everything. We’re all in this together. (The tattoos) are all about freedom. It’s all about freedom.

HQ: I could not agree more. It’s hard to appreciate the freedom we have until it’s taken away and for most of us, it’s never been taken away. And speaking of soldiers, a fan who is very observant noticed that there was a yellow ribbon the fridge in Hector and Grey’s apartment. Was this an homage to the original meaning of the yellow ribbon or a wink to the fan’s campaign to bring The Unit back in 2007?

MI: Ya know, that was the first time I ever saw that apartment. We were saying ‘Hey! We got an apartment that we share!’ It was the first time I ever saw it! I have no idea where that yellow ribbon came from. But it wasn’t done without thought.

HQ: The show had many fans who were very observant of those little details. I admit that I could not take my eyes off the action and didn’t see it. We miss the show a lot. We’re burning holes in our DVDs trying to get our fix. It just stinks that the show was cancelled and CBS dumped 10 million of us, those 10 million that were counted. Not to mention those of us who were NOT counted.

MI: I feel the fans were broadsided. You were slighted. I felt like the show connected to the fans on a human level.

HQ: We did! And the good part about being in this side of the TV screen is that we can tell the network what we think and not have to worry about losing our job or not getting another one.  So we did. We were rather vocal about it too this year.

MI: I can tell you that the cast really appreciates that. We always appreciated when the fans spoke up for us.

HQ: We felt like we were part of your Army family. And now the family has been broken up. When I visited the set back in February, everyone made us feel like were part of that family. That was so great. We met everyone, except you, because you weren’t there that day.  Where the heck were ya?

MI: I was working on the film I was in- Law Abiding Citizen.

HQ: So tell me. How big of a part do you have in it? You play Detective Garza. It’s a murder mystery kind of film. But what I want to know is how much of the movie are you in?

MI: I had a great supporting role and the opportunity to work with some really fantastic actors. I hear that it tested well and should be coming out soon.

HQ: What other projects are on your plate?

MI: Bolden! will be out next year. There some other things, but nothing concrete.

HQ: Finally Mike, I asked Eric Haney, who wrote the book The Unit was based on and who had written many scripts for The Unit, to give me a comment about you. I want to read you what he sent me:

“Michael is my dear brother. He is what the Irish call: ‘A lovely man.’ As an actor he is superb. He can give you more with a look than most actors can give with two pages of dialog.” I completely agree with that last sentence. I would agree with the first, but I’ve never met you.

MI: That just warms my heart.

The pleasure of watching Michael Irby perform, whether it be on the stage, TV or film, is also the challenge of trying to spot him. You’re not watching Michael Irby The Celebrity act, you’re watching a true artist disappear in his character. And that’s the way it should be.

© 2009

Posted by: Becca | March 24, 2008

Why We Like Mike: A Glimpse of Michael Irby

WHY WE LIKE MIKE

By Rebecca Bryan

If there is one character on CBS TV’s, The Unit, who provokes more discussion than others, it is that of “Charles Grey”.  Michael Irby, who plays “Grey”, is an accomplished actor with many outstanding performances in his background.

 If you’ve seen “Pinero” or “Flight Plan”, you will know what I mean.  He is a chameleon of an actor. He is able to change his look and disappear into the scene. That is no different for his character Charles Grey on CBS-TV’s The Unit.  Grey is the Unit’s master of all trades.  Dress him in the native costume of whatever country the Unit is sent to and he fits in.  He is able to master the art of building bombs, rewiring electrical closets and treating the wounded all the while, provoking us to question some of his motives.

Meet Michael Irby. The actor describes Grey as the Unit’s “lone wolf” and a “playa”.  Sexy, handsome with eyes that speak more than words, Irby is a soulful man who challenges viewers to think outside the box. Read on to see why we like Mike. It’s a blast.

Q. What was the deciding factor for you to take this role?

A. All of the obvious reasons of course; the opportunity to work with David Mamet, Shawn Ryan and Eric Haney.  Great people and great at what they do.  Also, the chance to help develop and mold such a complex role really excited me.

Q. What characteristics do you and Charlie share?

A. Fearlessness, the love of life and a good scotch.  I like to have a little fun.


Q. How long has Charlie been in the Unit? He seems to know just what to do in certain circumstances.

A. Grey has been in the Unit about 6 years.   Through home work and back story he has become the very efficient demolitions expert and electrician, not to mention the “playa” of the Unit.

Q. In Force Majeure, Bob wrote the weight down for each person who could have boarded the chopper. One of your fans saw 138 beside your name. Is that accurate?

A. 138 is a little light.  I tend to live between 145-150 lbs.

Q. What motivates Charles to occasionally top Jonas?

A.I believe for the most part we execute the missions without question, however there are some things that that do not sit in the black or white, which is part of my challenge as an actor and a testament to the great writing.  I think we all wish we could step out of line once in a while.

Q. We are wondering since Charlie has defied mission parameters before, if he will get booted out of the Unit or just reprimanded.  What will happen to him?

A.Let’s hope not.  A good scolding is always fun.  We can only wait and see.


Q. We’ve seen Charlie build bombs, dismantle bombs, and work as a medic. What is his MOS in the Unit?

A. I’ve said before “where it is brown, I ‘m down.”  No one really can tell my ethnic back ground, so I am used an under-cover operative quite often.  As I mentioned before, they use me as technical expert (electrician and demolition) so I guess a few of the writers talked to old friends or saw something in me.  I’ve always had a thing for fireworks. 

Q. Charlie seems to be the happy single guy in the Unit. Any plans for him to hook up with anyone?

A. Who is happy and single?  There’s gotta be someone out there.  I am sure there is something in the works, but we will all have to wait and see.

Q. What is Charlie’s code name? We’ve been batting that question around for a while.

A. “Betty-blue, Betty-blue” right from the pilot

Q. Clearly, it must be easier for the single soldier to deploy on such short notice. They don’t have to worry about anyone at home. What challenges do you think the single soldier has vs. the married one?

A. For myself anyway, there is a LONE WOLF mentality, which I am sure is dangerous for those around you who have someone waiting at home for them.  Also, even though the wives are not totally made aware of what we do, there is no denying the support they give their husbands.  That must be nice for the married types… Charles Grey would not know.

Q. David Mamet is a very well known producer. What’s it like to work with him?  He seems to be the person everyone wants to work with. I know I would.

A. David Mamet…wow… the name alone.  It is quite the experience working with someone so passionate.  All I can say is be ready for ANYTHING.

 
Q. You grew up in Cabazon, CA, which is in the desert, right? What was there to do as a kid there?

A. I played a lot of soccer and had a group of friends that I kicked it with.  We did all of the normal stuff… but then again what is normal?

Q. What made you want to move into the city?     

A. What city are we talkin’ about?  I went to New York when I was about nineteen.  I had grown bored of the West coast and needed a serious change of scenery.  I’ve been in L.A. for about 5 years.  So far so good.  I really just came here for the work… I heard there was more of it here.

Q. How big is your immediate family?

A. My parents are happily married and I have two brothers

Q. Where do you fit in there? Oldest, youngest, middle kid?

A. The middle kid… wouldn’t you know it?

Q.  I read in your bio on the internet movie database that you like to read poetry. It also said that some of your poetry is incorporated into the storylines sometimes? In which episodes did they incorporate it?

A. Not the same show. That was HAUNTED.  I did that show a few years ago with Matthew Fox of LOST.  Matthew’s character would have visions of murders that had taken place, and the visions were clues which I could help him understand.  I guess it was good for both of us that it did not take off. 

Q. What was it about?

A. A lot of poetry I was writing at the time was about struggle, about questions of love and freedom, and at what cost those things are achieved.  Mainly, just observations on society as a whole.  It is something I have always done.  A form of therapy almost. 

Q. How often do you get the chance to perform your poetry?

A. Not as often as I’d like.  There are so many great places, but I don’t always take the opportunity.  Writing is different than performing.  I’ve done both.  I’ll never stop writing.

Q. Is there anything that stood out during your audition for the Unit?

A. Yeah, David Mamet told me before the audition to go in there and let everyone know in no uncertain terms that “I did not need this job!”  I took his advice and said just that… I guess they did not believe me.  Oh yeah… Eric Haney… I could tell this guy was not from Hollywood.

Q. We’re having a nice discussion about on www.theunit-hq.net about your ethnic background. Will you please set us straight?

A. My father is African-American and my mother is Mexican-American.  Interesting mix I guess.  I was just born this way.

Q. Also, the fans are inquiring about how tall you are. Would you square us away on that one please?

A. Grey and I both say “it is all the same when you’re layin’ down”… but for those of you that must know… I’m shorter than Dennis.  5’6” actually…but I walk TALL. 

Q.  Do you lend your time to any charitable causes? Which ones?

A. I prefer to make chartable donations and give money to the homeless. 

Q. What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?

A. The down time can be hard.  I mostly try and stay creative and curious… about everything.  At the end of the day I am still an artist.  It is so easy to forget that when you’re not working.

Q. When you got out with friends, are you recognized?

A. It is starting to happen more and more.

Q. How do you deal with it when you’re recognized?

A. I’m pretty comfortable with myself and I like people in general.  You know, a lot of time I don’t even notice.

Q.  I heard that the definition of a successful actor is one who is always working. Judging from your bio, that’s you. What do you contribute your success to?

A. FOCUS.  Like I said, I grew up playing soccer and I relate the business to that of the game.  Being considered an ethnic actor there seems to be fewer opportunities, so when the door is open… even for a moment… you have to be ready to take your shot.  There was a time when I used to say yes to everything.  Even an ugly goal is a goal. 

Q. You have a growing fan support base on www.theunit-hq.net.  We keep demanding MORE CHARLES PLEASE!  What is your opinion about fans in general?

A. I have fan…really?  No, honestly I fully appreciate the support.  Your opinions do not fall on deaf ears, so keep letting them know.  The fans are what keep the show on the air.  But really, at the end of the day I am just working a job like everyone else.

Q. And how they relate to you? Do you run into any of them?

A. The fans are always very cool with great things to say about THE UNIT, or other project that they have seen me in.  It has all been pretty positive.  I am fairly laid back about the whole thing actually. 

Q. Have any men in the military made any comments to you about your role?

A. Yeah, they seem to genuinely like the character.  It is an honor really, when you take the time to consider what they do, as opposed to what we do.  I try and bring things to that role that provoke thought and truth.  Keep you guessing… so to speak.

Q. I have to ask this question because some fans requested it.  And they will beat down the walls of the Forum if I don’t.  Are you married, single, single and dating?

A. Happily married… sorry ladies.

You’re da bomb, ”Betty Blue”.

 

Posted by: Becca | March 24, 2008

More Mack:Why Fans Demand More Max Martini

by Becca Bryan

So you think you know Max? This sexy yet very down to earth actor is not a typical Hollywood artist. He gets bored when complimented too much. In fact, he’d rather joke around with you. 

True hearted, not-afraid-to-put-it-out-there, sometimes wickedly funny, Maximilian Carlo Martini is not just the sexy “Master Sergeant Mack Gerhardt” on CBS’ favorite TV series The Unit. He is a hard working, talented, successful actor, with a sense humor that’s WAY out there and has a heart of gold that he shares with family, community and fans.  When his very popular website was up, it was always a hot and happening place to hang out.  His legion of very loyal fans often found him replying to messages on this forum late at night. In fact, it was on that very website that Max agreed to join a group of fans on the 2007 Walk for Autism. His die-hard fans will once again walk in the 2008 Walk for Autism, a charity favorite of this, in Max’s honor. There is nothing his fans won’t do to support him, Nothing.

© 2008

The celebrity interviews posted on this site are copyrighted by Rebecca Bryan, aka Becca Bryan. Rebecca Bryan has the sole right to request they be removed, linked, sold, lent or reproduced to any other web site upon her permission

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