6 Tips for the Aspiring Journalist

Photo of Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman
View from the Front Row: Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, Awesome Con. Credit: Pat Cuadros

I moved to Washington, DC, for a great career opportunity recently. Relocating inevitably meant joining other social groups, where I faced the usual inquiry: “What’s your line of work?”

I have a regular office job Monday to Friday. Outside of that time, I’m a freelance writer. I write film and television reviews, and interview actors, and recap festival events. Within the past couple of years, I’ve covered famous actors and directors like Kiefer Sutherland, Robert Carlyle, and Wil Wheaton. This month, I attended Awesome Con in DC, where one of the headliners was Peter Capaldi from the BBC hit series Doctor Who.

Instead of resting on vacation, I’m all out with my voice recorder for interviews, my Nikon camera for photo ops, and a notebook to write ideas. Sometimes my older brother (COMM ’97) joins me on these adventures.

The most common reaction that I receive is, “How do you get into that?” That’s a good question. I’ve gotten the sense that people feel uncertain about branching out into new hobbies or skills. Here’s a list of quick tips if you are an aspiring journalist, which apply no matter what fits your topic of interest. Continue reading “6 Tips for the Aspiring Journalist”

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Made in Hong Kong Film Festival: A Salute to Kara Wai

If you’ve never heard of the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival, it’s a wonderful event cosponsored by the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office. 2016 marks the twenty-first year since the Festival’s inception in Washington, D.C., with a spectacular line up of films from July 15 through August 7 at the National Museum of American History.

Photo of Actress Kara Wai
Photo of Kara Wai courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Sunday afternoon featured the second day of a Salute to Kara Wai with a special screening of My Young Auntie (1981). The fifty-six year-old actress won her first Hong Kong Film Award for her performance in the funny and intense kung fu classic made by the Shaw Brothers studio. She plays a young student who marries her dying teacher to protect his inheritance. She delivers the deed to her new nephew and grand-nephew, but greedy relatives are not too far behind. Continue reading “Made in Hong Kong Film Festival: A Salute to Kara Wai”

Theater Review (Washington, D.C.): Special Performances of ‘The Originalist’ at Arena Stage

Edward Gero stands out with a brilliant portrayal of Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court Justice.

In July 2012, I won a ticket lottery during my summer internship on Capitol Hill. The speaker slated at the closing lecture was the late Justice Antonin Scalia. To my surprise, Scalia devoted his hour to Q&A time rather than to a prepared speech.

Photo of Edward Gero and Kerry Warren in 'The Originalist'
(L to R) Edward Gero as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Kerry Warren as Cat in The Originalist at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater March 6-April 26, 2015. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

I was struck by a couple of things about Antonin Scalia as I sat in the Supreme Court. He was very polite. Second, he seemed genuinely excited that all of us were interested in government and law, regardless of our backgrounds. He was also quite passionate about looking at the original meanings and contexts within the U.S. Constitution. “I am a textualist. I am an originalist. I am not a nut!” he exclaimed to us. Continue reading “Theater Review (Washington, D.C.): Special Performances of ‘The Originalist’ at Arena Stage”

Interview with Steven Bartle [Part 2]

Steven Bartle reveals his collaboration with Damon Hess and new projects ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Distant Love.’

Photo of the 'God Save the King' Poster
Courtesy of Steven Bartle

In the first segment of my interview with Steven Bartle, the U.K. actor and writer told me about how his medical discharge from the Royal Marines Commandos shaped the story of his upcoming film short, Recoil. Bartle is very busy on other projects like Distant Love and God Save the King.

As a film producer, are you getting the music for Recoil, too?

I’m currently working with a well-known British producer called Damon Hess, who is doing some of the music for Recoil. It’s a very exciting time to be working with an artist such as Damon. He is collaborating with [DJ and singer] Sonique on a brand new release for Reckless Records due out in the summer.

Tell us about Distant Love, another short film.

Distant Love is actually the first [short] film that I’ve written fully. The husband is doing everything he can to save his marriage that’s falling apart in his eyes. As far as he’s aware, he’s done nothing wrong. He treats his wife like the princess she deserves! But she’s throwing everything back in his face and treating him like he’s not there. In the end, we’re left with this huge twist that I’m not going to reveal. Continue reading “Interview with Steven Bartle [Part 2]”

Interview with UK Actor Steven Bartle [Part 1]

Actor, writer, and producer Steven Bartle talks about his latest project, ‘Recoil.’

Photo of Steven Bartle
Steven Bartle, Courtesy of Bartle Productions

I want to spotlight StevenBartle: an actor, writer, and producer who currently resides in London. Originally from Sheffield, Bartle was a Royal Marines Commando until 2010, when he was injured in an attack that left him blind in one eye and unable to continue in the service. The young man was determined to make a fresh start, which came to be in his passion for acting. The 26-year-old was happy to Skype with me last month to discuss his career and reveal his upcoming projects.

How did you decide to get into acting?

I always wanted to be an actor. However, I never had the courage to do it. I never believed in myself. I went and joined the [Royal] Marines. After that [ended], I was just overcoming some very dark personal issues. I was starting to really think that I may as well come out of that and pursue what I really want in life and not be scared anymore. Continue reading “Interview with UK Actor Steven Bartle [Part 1]”

Awesome Con: Interview with Johnny Alonso

Johnny Alonso teases a possible return to ‘Gotham,’ the premiere of ‘Chronology,’ and other exciting projects.

Photo of Robin Lord Taylor and Johnny Alonso
Robin Lord Taylor and Johnny Alonso at Awesome Con. Courtesy of Johnny Alonso.

Earlier this month, I was in Washington, D.C., to cover Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman at Awesome Con. Prior to that fascinating panel, I wandered through the Exhibit Hall, passing by the autograph booths where many fans were lining up. I knew that actor Johnny Alonso would be at the convention, but it was a pleasant surprise to find him standing at one booth in particular. He and his camera crew were engaged in a friendly chat with Gotham actor Robin Lord Taylor!

“I decided to drop by and say hello. [I] wished him a happy birthday,” Alonso shared about his encounter with Taylor, who keeps generating a lot of buzz as Oswald Cobblepot. “So I said when are you going to get me back on the show?”

Fans of Gotham might see Alonso return as bass player Kazz, thanks to Taylor’s conversations with the writers about next season.

Photo of Pat Cuadros and Kevin Tan
Pat Cuadros and Johnny Alonso, Awesome Con. Credit: Pat Cuadros and Kevin Tan.

Alonso has other promising projects in full swing, both of which are under the direction of Derik Wingo and Kipp Tribble. Chronology, a film starring Billy Baldwin and Danny Trejo, already premiered in Poland. He’ll also start filming on Coffin 2 in Los Angeles this summer. The sequel marks the return of his shady character Trick.

For the full details on these updates and Alonso’s interest in The Walking Dead, be sure to view the entire Blogcritics video, courtesy of Kevin Tan.


This article was originally published on Blogcritics.org with minor edits here. The Youtube video of the interview is on my channel: https://youtu.be/A2sIvrF_J44. Special thanks to Robin Lord Taylor, Johnny Alonso, Kevin Tan, and Tony Cuadros.

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman Talk ‘Doctor Who’ at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. [Repost]

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman share behind-the-scenes stories. Capaldi revisits his Malcolm Tucker days.

Photo of Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman
Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman amuse the crowd during the Q&A, Awesome Con, Washington, D.C. Credit: Pat Cuadros

Doctor Who fans converged on Washington, D.C. for Awesome Con on earlier this month to see Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. The U.K. actors were interviewed by Kristen Page-Kirby, the Senior Arts Editor for the Washington Post Express. The half hour panel also featured a Q&A with the audience.

“I’m not sure how successfully Clara was able to wipe [the Doctor’s] mind,” Capaldi hinted about future episodes. He stopped mid-sentence before giving away anything else. Though Clara has left, it remains to be seen where these leftover pieces, if any, will take the Doctor. Continue reading “Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman Talk ‘Doctor Who’ at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. [Repost]”