Today bloggy friends I’d like to introduce you to Mike Jones a/k/a Mike LiCastri. No, he’s not related to Davey Jones from the Monkees. He’s a young guy I had the pleasure of meeting about five or six years ago.
Once upon a time, I was his barber. I’m not sure who entertained who the most. Me or him. His high school theater stories intrigued me as well as his aspirations and dreams. His dream is to become a screen writer. And well, he’s on the yellow brick road. Step by step, he’s getting there. A couple days ago, he informed me one of his scripts is in negotiation for a contract. How cool is that? And, he’s probably no older than twenty-one.
So here goes the interview:
Me: Why did you decide to take film in school?
Mike: I had always been interested in making films, but most middle and high schools don’t have filmmaking programs. So I took theater all through middle and high school, and I found out that I love theater as well. By the time I had graduated high school I had a solid enough theatrical foundation to feel comfortable making films in college. I strongly feel that if you want to go into film school, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn as much as you can about theater in high school to get a solid foundation in the dramatic arts. The two are closely related, and yet for some reason students on both ends seem to be ignorant of the other one – why limit yourself to only one box?
Me: What have you been doing with yourself? Where's your radio show heading?
Mike: I just graduated with a degree in Cinema Studies from the University of Central Florida, and at this point I’m trying to sell a script with the help of some agency contacts out here in Orlando. As I’ve been telling everyone, I’m trying to get my “Hangover” money. I’m also doing stand up again, which is nice because I had to take a 4 year break from it because there were no places to do it locally. Now we have a little network of open mics around town, which is really nice.
> As for the radio show, we’ll be entering our 5th season this August and it’s still going as strong as ever. Interviewing Jason Reitman (director of Juno and Up In the Air) was definitely the highlight of the show’s run so far, so I hope we’ll be getting to talk to more people this year.
> I also picked up the drums while I was in school, and some friends and I may try and record a folk/rock CD (we’ll see where that ends up going.)
Me: What are your future plans? Acting?
> Honestly, I’d like to go the Woody Allen/Kevin Smith route and act, direct, write and produce my own films and plays while doing short stand up tours around the country. The one thing I never want to do is limit myself to one field. When I was younger, I thought acting was the only thing and that I was going to be the next Anthony Hopkins. Now I’m a comedian who does so much more than acting, and I look back on my younger self and laugh a little bit at his naivety.
Me: Who's cutting your hair these days?
> Honestly, whoever is at the UCF barbershop the day I go in. I don’t have the same connection with the new people that I have with you, Shelly. You’ll always be my favorite barber/novelist hybrid!
Thanks for the compliment, Mike. You’ll always be one of my favorite and most memorable clients.
Also, if anyone is interested in viewing any of his short films, you can find them @ http://www.funnygordie.com/kithfan1202
He also hosts a college radio show which currently is inactive but he promised to let me know when it airs again. You can find that @ http://wwwucf.org/live/
That’s all for now folks!
Have a great day blogging, reading, and writing!