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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.

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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Q&A With Joe Tantalo, Artistic Director, Godlight Theatre Company

Our new Q&A is with Joe Tantalo, who recently opened a stage version of "A Clockwork Orange" with the Godlight Theatre Company.

Why A Clockwork Orange? What are you trying to get

The loss of individuality, and at what cost, is the central theme in Anthony Burgess's novella. Additional realities in the journey that our young narrator, Alex, and other the characters take are: over bearing government, censorship, drugs, violence and essentially losing their humanity. Begging the question again: And at what cost do we allow these things to happen? It doesn't take me to point it out, as I'm sure that an audience can see that Anthony Burgess's world of Nadsat, evil government, the old Moloko, and religion and faith in politics is clearly to be seen as it weighs heavily on our 2005 minds.

What are the challenges in bringing a classic movie to live theater? Do you feel you have to walk a fine line between staying true to the movie and doing your own thing?

It is a fine line, isn't it? The expectation is the movie and there is no real effective way to get around that. But I don't mind it. The movie served and continues to serve its purpose as an important piece of cinema. However, for the theatre, we are dealing with an entirely different beast. The play is based on the novella, not the movie. We stay true to the intention of the author/playwright (Burgess) and really dive into the raw material that is very available to present as live, edge-of your-seat theatre. We have had a blast working on A Clockwork Orange. You just don't see this type of theatre out there and I think it's refreshing as an artist and as a patron to allow yourself these types of experiences that you really can only find the world of theatre.

What's your favorite Stanley Kubrick film?

I really enjoy Full Metal Jacket the best. I remember watching it with my father for the first time when was I young and it scared the shit out of me. Vincent D'Onofrio? C'mon, he is extraordinary as Private Pyle. But going beyond my first response and seeing it again some years later, I was struck by how haunting Kubrick's direction is. Although, that same idea can be found in many of his films though. Especially A Clockwork Orange.

Tell me about your background. How did you get into theatre?

I grew up in Connecticut with my parents and younger brother. I went to public grammar school and Catholic all-boys high school at Notre Dame. After high school I went to Southern Connecticut State University and studied theatre. My background in theatre begins "officially" during my senior year of high school (but really it began in second grade when I played the dancing mummy in a production of The Monster Mash...). Economic times had forced the high school to make some cut backs and of course drama was one of the many things to go. I didn't want to lose the opportunity to be in the school play as my high school career was coming to an end, so I went to the principal and headmaster and asked if I could direct the school play. No student had made such a request before, so for whatever reasons, they let me do it. I assembled a cast from Notre Dame and our sister (all-girls) high school Sacred Heart and we went into rehearsals for Agatha Christie's The Unexpected Guest.

What a year. The high school custodian built our amazing set (an interior of a mansion) and we spent so many hours on that stage just being happy that we were actually going to pull it off. And well too. I had never directed a play before, but everything came naturally to me. I really enjoyed it. I almost knew what I was doing. And so, now cut to the performances, and it was magical. We had done it. So, from there onward it was in me and my course was set.

Godlight Theatre Company began in 1994 as I broke away from Southern's theatre dept a bit and wanted to do my own work. We had humble beginnings in a church basement in downtown New Haven. Sounds like cliché, but there is something extraordinary that Godlight began that way. Since then the theatre company has worked at some amazing places and not so amazing places. Every circumstance was different, but it built our character.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Continuing to build Godlight Theatre Company and working with people who challenge and inspire me.

What advice would you give a actors and directors trying to make it in New York?

To make your own way. No one will hand you anything. Work for the sake of the work and all else will follow. Too often I've talked with people who are guided by other reasons and it just doesn't work that way.

How does one get involved in your productions?

The best way is to see one and see if you want to get involved. I have found some of my best and most respected collaborators that way...because if you don't like our work, then why bother?

Thanks to Joe for taking the time for the interview.

Here's my previous interview, with former presidential candidate Mike Dukakis.

Also check out my interview with Good Day Live correspondent TJ Allard.

Check out my other Q&As


Blogger Unknown said...

Honestly - Not seen the movie / play in question. Neither do I think I will - If its that scarry and quiet political as well as religious - The UAE will not permit it to be screened here !

Even Gibson's film 'The Passion of the Christ' was released after a lot of 'delebration' - wonder what it was !!! Finally some say it was released because somehow it was anti Jewish - Crap !

But isn't it funny that the more one censors something - it is always 'Seen' - at least I know I will - the more I'm said 'NO' The higher the chances are for me to 'investigate' :-)

Another interesting thing - "The loss of individuality, and at what cost" - The more we conform the less we think, the less we think ... the more stupid we become. In short - I suppose we need to respect every other person's individuality - Variety is the spice of life - isn't it?

I liked the interview - shall catch up on the other interviews later, when I'm in a better mood - right now - BAD BAD Mood!!! :-(

Reading helps - and reading about like minded people - Helps a lot - I am an Individual I am ME, but I'm not the only ME ;-)And if there was another ME just like ME, I'd certainly be bored! Very Certainly - I need others who are 'others' and not ME. Confusing ??? Got to Stop before I ... make no sense!

Thursday, 03 February, 2005  
Blogger Angry Dan said...

I agree with discovery boy.
If there were other Me's, I'd freak out and punch their faces!

Thursday, 03 February, 2005  
Blogger Nominal Me said...

So what's the most popular movie over there?

Thursday, 03 February, 2005  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Most Popular Movie over here .... Lemme think .... They ape the US of A - It was 'Meet the Fockers' some time back, I forgot what it was this week - In all probabilities it is the one which stands number one in the US Box office - but of course here we get the 'censored' versions - even 'Kisses' are censored!!!

The most frustrating film I'd ever watched was 'Titanic' - Unfortunately, the crux of the film is in between a passionate love scene and *tada* Blue screen is all I see and when the picture does come back Leo and Kate are looking out at the ice .... on the board !!!

Never ever rent a movie in the Middle East. But yes of course the people here do have a notorious sex life and yes its swept under the blanket. Not gonna mess up your nice, clean blog ;-) Got to read your blog ... By the way mind if I add you on in my blog ??? Thank you in advance ... :-)

Thursday, 03 February, 2005  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ooops ... that was supposed to be 'swept under the Carpet'

Thursday, 03 February, 2005  
Blogger Angry Dan said...

Why dont you move to a country that has uncensored movies and many love relationships? Like France.

Thursday, 03 February, 2005  
Blogger Jackie Chiles said...

Kudos again for scoring a tight interview Nominal.

Speaking of trying to make it as an actor, have you seen HBO's Unscripted? If so, whaddy think? Caught one episode and it didn't do too much for me. But the jury is certainly still out.

Thursday, 03 February, 2005  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi there Angry Dan, LOL .. *OK Me here am really tickled with laughter*

There's quiet a few things u ought to know - I'll tackle the relationships querry first : LOADS and LOADS and LOADS of relationships are possible ... This country screams of 'Chastity' But is full of ... Vanity. Here, legally the guys can have 4 wives (If you are Muslim - and of course you have to pay a lot of money). The cliche is - They've got to treat them all well and equally ; seriously speaking.

As for sex - This place is hotter than any European country - In France you get only the French - Here you get the world - Name it you have it ... If I'm looking out for Sex, good time, no strings attached - This definitely is the place - Of course got to use common sense and judge wisely before making a move like any where else in the world.

What then is the bother? I hate the 'multiple standards' the 'hypocracy' and the 'discrimination' ...

By the way am not interested in multiple relationships or any thing of the sort - Pretty geeky me - Like my computer and the present friends - love talking - What I dont like is the 'censorship' which kinda spoils the fun - and hella lotta rules !!! And the discrimination.

Oh - one more thing - Even over the Internet - all dating sites are blocked - Height of .... (Fill in with your choice of words)

Friday, 04 February, 2005  
Blogger Angry Dan said...

Right, so if you dont like the hypocrisy you can move to somewhere where 'swinging,' as we call it, is very public AND theres no censorship of dating sites or movies so you have a greater chance of getting MORE ass.

Swingers have many relationships, but they arent forced to marry multiple wives so you arent responsible for them or treating them nice or equal.

Instead of having to pay for 4 wives you could have 10 'girl friends' that you arent responsible for.

Friday, 04 February, 2005  
Blogger Unknown said...

LOL :-)

Hmmmmmmmmm... Life's full of Variety. It's one thing to appreciate and enjoy the variety - quiet another to keep ones head on ones sholders in the midst of all the enchantment - That I believe is 'Individualism'.

So, I like to actually get back to my roots, where I belong (Now, that's an interesting / intriguing thing ... where does anyone belong - do we really have a 'my own place' ??? - OK - too contemplative mood!) Yup, I dont like this place, but I like my job and I enjoy being here despite the irky rules !!! (Wouldn't have anything to crib about if it were not for those stupid rules ;-) LOL)

One more thing - I think you've got my gender wrong - I'm not a guy (I thought you checked out my profile!). And I definitely would not like to make out with a 'swinger' - Not a lesb - But am not the kinda person who goes criticising other people and telling them how to live their lives ... kinda get bugged up by that! Me likes me computer, me friends, me job and the regular stuff like movies and games ... I like my world:-)

Nice to note a stranger actually lookin at the kinky side and being opinionated - Hardly come across such people ... keep talking angry, interesting, stranger!

Monday, 07 February, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thursday, 24 November, 2005  

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