A behind-the-screen look at the making of a web comedy series.

From stage to screen

Nick is on vacation with his wife in India right now. If you could see me right now, you could see that this is my jealous face.

So Nick wrote to me about playing Coworker Dave in April, and as I announced very clearly at my first and last day of shooting (it wasn’t me, I swear…my character is only in enough scenes to necessitate one day of filming), Once Upon A Time In Brooklyn is my first foray into the world of screen acting, and more recently, screenwriting. I am at home in a theater, and have been since I was about ten. I majored in theater in college, and recently I graduated from Circle In The Square Theater School. It’s not that I thought film and TV wouldn’t be for me, it’s just that my experience on camera has been limited to one On-Camera class about five years ago, and a few shoots as an extra here in New York. I’ll tell you what my favorite part is about working on this web series. It’s that I get to be stupid.

The plays I have written so far, while they definitely have lighter moments, are really about deeply emotional subject matter. I also look a certain way, and often get typecast as the romantic lead, or the rookie cop that cares, or an emotionally-distraught young monarch. Tough life, right? Woe is me. My point is, though, I never get to be the clown. And yes, the grass is always greener, even if the other lawn is covered in weird s–t.

Working on Once Upon A Time In Brooklyn, I get to write ridiculous, silly stuff. Stuff that won’t fly in theater, because a theater audience doesn’t come to laugh at situational comedy (SitCom– get it?). I have notebooks full of dialogue and plotlines that no theater-goer in their right mind would enjoy. Why? It doesn’t fit the medium. The same way you wouldn’t want to watch a 10-minute episode on the internet about a man who steals the lost work of William Shakespeare, and what happens to him when he tries to publish.

And I get to be the clown! I get to play every complete wacko that looks like a normal guy I know. What could be better than that? It’s more refreshing than this summer rain falling right now, and that’s saying something, considering how much I love a warm rainstorm.

Speaking of which, I hope you’re enjoying monsoon season, Nick! Makes for a nice change of pace, I’m sure!

Sometimes, that’s all we need.

Until later,
Ben

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