A Broadway Adventure

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I’ve got my metaphorical dancing shoes on and am ready to celebrate the magnificence that is NYC theatre at the inaugural BroadwayCon event!

Okay, so maybe I’ll be wearing snow boots in lieu of ballet slippers as I flurry from one panel to another. However, the impending storm may cause headaches, schedule adjustments, and canceled sessions, but it won’t lessen my excitement.

I look forward to meeting other theatre fans and gaining insight from those in front of and behind the curtain.

Award Show Weekend Prep

Award Show Time

Today marks the start of Golden Globes weekend and though I’d much rather be in Hollywood interviewing artists on the red carpet, I’m still excited for the telecast regardless of my location. Granted, I don’t watch any of the nominated TV shows nor have I seen any of the film nominees, but this is the time when I decide which ones interest me enough to spend my time or money.

I originally planned to host a viewing party, as I’ve done in years past. However, this year’s viewing will be a low-key event involving my couch and some themed desserts. As I look ahead to Sunday’s telecast, I included some of my earlier blog entries regarding award shows and why they fascinate me so.

Enjoy!!!!

CHAMPION THE ARTS – “...So while my friends and family may plan for the big play-off party I’ll be waiting with excitement for the upcoming entertainment award show season.

A GOLDEN REQUEST – “I have no desire of ever attending a Super Bowl but I do have a goal of going to each major award show at least once in my lifetime.  And the Golden Globes are the ones I seek to attend next!

REQUEST DENIED – “I arranged to visit my sister and her family in Los Angeles once I found out the date of the Golden Globes.  I figured I’d multi-task; spend time with family and check off “attend the Golden Globes” from my bucket list.

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with the Golden Globes telecast, the HFPA, or their affiliates/sponsors/subsidiaries is implied.*

 

An Entertainment-Filled Weekend

A recent trip from the east to west coast inspired me on both a personal and professional level.  As such, I wrote about my experiences on my Author website and have included the links below for your reading enjoyment!

A RECAP OF STORY EXPO 2015:  http://kellydeeny.com/2015/09/14/a-recap-of-story-expo-2015/

Story Expo

SUNDAY SOULJOURN: ENTERTAINMENT PATH

Sunday SoulJourn: Entertainment Path

Sunday SoulJourn Hollywood


Goodbye REVENGE: A Fitting Series Finale

REVENGE viewers spent the past week speculating as to how this four-year journey would end. Who’d make it out alive? Would Amanda be able to say goodbye to Emily Thorne, the identity that defined her for over a decade? Were happy endings in store for Nolan, Jack, David, and Emily? How would the epic rivalry between Emily and Victoria finally come to a close? Tonight’s final episode of the series answered those questions and more.

I sat, riveted, on the edge of my seat throughout the entire episode.  I laughed, cried, and grinned from ear to ear.  I will miss watching this show but am so grateful for the four years of stories created by the REVENGE team, on-screen and off.

Instead of dissecting the episode, I decided to use this forum as a way to celebrate the show and all those dedicated and talented individuals who brought it to life.

It takes a village to raise a…TV show.  While the cast (I’ll get to them in a moment) become the face of the program, so many artists are involved to make the magic happen: set designers, prop masters, script supervisors, stunt coordinators, production assistants, and more. We would easily pass them in the grocery store and never recognize them, though their work left an indelible impression on our lives.

The journey of these characters has come to its end, but my respect and admiration for the cast only grows. Without their talent, we would never have cared about what happened each week. We wouldn’t have rooted for “Emily/Amanda” and loved to hate “Victoria”. One of the saddest parts about REVENGE ending its run is that I won’t see this talented group of actors portraying the characters that I adore. Each of the gifted artists deserve their own blog post, but let’s focus on the dynamic trio:

  • NICK WECHSLER (Jack Porter) – With a combination of gentlemanly charm and raw emotion, Nick made us care about “Jack”. We felt for the man on the outskirts of the truth, and understood his actions. We wanted him to find out that “Emily” was really “Amanda” and when he finally did, Nick steered his character through the choppy waters of that revelation. His character endured tremendous loss over four seasons, and its due to Nick’s talent that we grieved with him. “Jack” was not only “Amanda’s” safe place…he was ours, too.
  • GABRIEL MANN (Nolan Ross) – It takes tremendous skill to flow in and out of comedy and drama, yet Gabe made it look easy. One moment we’re laughing at one of his quotable one-liners, and the next, we grasp the gravity of the situation in which these characters lived in for four years. It’s fitting that it didn’t take long for “Emily” to trust “Nolan”, because we’d already fallen for him by episode 1×1.
  • EMILY VANCAMP (Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke) – An actress whose work speaks volumes without uttering a world. That’s how I define Emily’s talent. She can say so much through a quiver of the lips, tear-filled eyes, and revenge-focused glare. We wanted “Emily Thorne’s” plan to succeed, because her portrayer maneuvered effortlessly between scarred little girl whose childhood was shattered, and a determined young woman on a mission. We cheered her on when she exuded control and fearlessness. We wept with her when loss hit home. Emily VanCamp’s work throughout the series is not only worthy of viewers’ praise and respect, but of acting awards too.

REVENGE may have set sail for the horizon, but it will live on with its viewers infinity times infinity!

**DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with REVENGE implied.**

Thank You to the REVENGE Cast and Crew

ABC’s primetime drama series, REVENGE, will end its run May 10th when the fourth season finale equates to the series finale. Revengers around the world will miss this beloved show, and I proudly include myself among them.

Goodbye Revenge

For four years, REVENGE was the one show that I could NOT miss watching each week. I looked forward to finding out what would happen next and anticipated episodes full of twists and turns. My fellow REVENGE fans will no doubt find ways to say “Thank You” to the cast and crew through photo collages, video montages, memes, sketches, playlists and more – I decided to use my love of the written word to convey my thanks for an amazing four years of must-watch television!

TO THE CREW:

  • Mike Kelley, you created a TV show that became beloved by fans worldwide. You gave us characters that we rooted for and against, sometimes simultaneously. Thank you for bringing something new to the canvas filled with shows about doctors, lawyers, and cops.
  • Sunil Nayar, thank you for guiding us through the past two seasons, and for starting season 3 with a bang!
  • Maybe it’s due to my long-standing belief that music plays an important role in art, but Fil Eisler’s original music caught my attention time and again. His exquisite work during pivotal moments (i.e. Daniel’s death and Victoria’s final act) accentuated the emotion in the scene and the aftereffect each would have on not only the other characters, but the show overall.
  • Jill O’Hanneson (style guru and costume maven) – you are a genius in your craft. You didn’t just dress the actors; you outfitted the world in which they lived. I frequently caught myself saying, “I love that dress!” and “Where do they come up with Nolan’s outfits; that’s fantastic.” From Emily’s gorgeous wedding dress to Victoria’s fiery red gown, the pieces are embedded in our memory.
  • To all the directors, DP’s, producers, production assistants, hair, makeup, story editors, script supervisors – your work behind the scenes did not go unnoticed. The show could not have been made without you!!!!

TO THE WRITING TEAM:

I’ll admit it – I’d likely have a fangirl moment if I ever had the opportunity to chat with any of the REVENGE writers. I hold them in very high regard. Here’s why: the hard work, dedication, time, energy, creativity, and attention to detail that it must take to write 39-48 minutes of dramatic television each week deserves my respect and appreciation. This writing team consistently left me guessing what would happen next and anticipating the next chapter in the story. They gave us memorable one-liners and plot twists, and created characters that won’t soon be forgotten. I wish you all the best in whatever the future holds. *UPDATE MAY 2016: In the past year, writers from REVENGE moved on to new and established dramas such as LIMITLESS, SUPERGIRL, CASTLE, and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Brava!!*

TO THE ACTING ENSEMBLE:

Dear Emily, Gabriel, Nick, Josh, Madeleine, Henry, Christa, Barry, Karine, Elena, Ashley, Conner, James, Margarita, and the rest of the REVENGE cast – What can I “say” about this tremendous acting ensemble that you’ve not already heard? The greatest compliment I can bestow upon such a talented group of actors is this: you brought to life characters that will live on long after the finale. While you excelled in your craft on an individual level, your talent shined through your on-screen interaction. We loved watching the brother/sister relationship develop between Emily and Nolan throughout the seasons – their goodbye in Season 3 still moves me. Regardless of what romantic pairing the fans “shipped”, each of the men in Emily’s life had issues, complexities, and drama all their own. As you keep moving forward toward the next journey in your career, I wish you continued success – on both a professional and personal level!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone involved with bringing REVENGE to the small screen for the past four years.  While I don’t presume to “speak” for the entire fandom, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll support all the projects that this REVENGE team pursues in the future. Whether Agent 13 joins her S.H.I.E.L.D counterparts or a Hamptonite conquers the Broadway stage, you better believe the Revengers will assemble!

*DISCLAIMER: My opinions are just that…mine.  No implied endorsement from anyone associated with this show is intended.

REVENGE Recap: “Burn” Episode 4×20

With now only three episodes remaining in this season of REVENGE, my anticipation for the May finale is ablaze with curiosity after last night’s game-changing hour of drama!

**SPOILER ALERT: If you have NOT watched up to episode 4 x 20 of REVENGE, stop reading and go watch!**

Now, let’s get down to the business at hand…Victoria’s hand, that is.

REVENGE "Burn"

FIRESTORM

Have we truly said goodbye to the Queen of the Hamptons?! If our eyes can be believed, than yes.  The end sequence (written by Ted Sullivan, directed by Kenneth Fink, and featuring a hauntingly-beautiful score by Fil Eisler) showed Victoria Grayson taking control of the situation and turning Grayson Manor to rubble with the help of an open flue and a lighter.

Throughout the episode, Victoria appeared to take the brunt of Emily’s Amanda’s plan of revenge. First, she got a not-so-nice greeting in the parking garage when a masked figure attacked the matriarch and searched her purse for some unknown item. Though she claimed that Emily was the culprit, she seemed too fearful to retaliate by handing over the incriminating flash drive to authorities.  Then, Emily adeptly retrieved said flash drive through a plan that involved pickpocketing a FBI agent and impersonating a firefighter.  Victoria’s mental state became unhinged as the minutes progressed until she donned a fiery red dress, sat on her throne, and flicked the lighter. She put the power back in her own hands, quite literally.

Victoria’s decision and motivation could not have been believed without the sheer talent of Madeleine Stowe.  She brought to life a character who was both tormented and strong, brave yet scared, and dedicated to her children.  Thank you for an incredible four years of Victoria Grayson!

GIRL FIGHT

I said this from the beginning of the season, but I’ll say it again: I like Margaux, and I think she’d make an amazing ally for Emily. Two smart, brave, passionate, and determined women fighting for a common cause would be a fierce duo no one should cross. However, I find myself enjoying the Margaux/Louise frenemy dynamic. Neither of these fiery women could agree on how best to protect and support Victoria, which led to loads of snarky comebacks and exchange of power until they finally decided to let their history be just that.

With Mama Grayson’s last act, she put into motion events that will pit Margaux and Louise against Amanda Emily. Ultimately, I still want our beloved heroine to outwit, outmaneuver, and outsmart the new tag team, but I’ll enjoy the ride in the meantime.

TAKING FLIGHT

“Don’t go, Jack!” That’s what kept running through my mind as our protagonist rushed to stop the man she loved (but has yet to tell him so) from leaving the Hamptons.  After Nolan attempted to convince his best guy friend of Emily/Amanda’s feelings, the two said a heartfelt farewell.  *Sidenote: The Nolan/Jack friendship has always been one of my favorites on REVENGE.  Kudos to Nick Wechsler and Gabriel Mann for making us love this bromance.* Nolan then booked it directly to his bff’s house, scolding her for not admitting her feelings sooner and prodding her to take action before it’s too late.

These two wounded characters hurt one another time and again, sometimes intentionally and other times due to misunderstanding and miscommunication. They’re both struggling to figure out who they are and how they fit into each other’s lives as adults. It’s a beautiful love story, based on friendship and developed over time.  As Amanda Clarke faces her past and an uncertain future, she’ll need Jack all the more in the present. I look forward to seeing how it develops in the final 3 episodes of the season.

As season four comes to a close, I anticipate a conclusion that will keep me glued to my seat and leave me momentarily speechless!

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with Revenge, its parent company, affiliates, sponsors, or artists implied!*

Reasons You Should Hire Me for Your TV Drama Series

Working as a writer on a dramatic series was a dream that belonged to a teenage girl who hoped and wished. I now know without hesitation that the dream is not only possible but probable. It’ll take hard work – work that I’m ready, willing, and able to manage…I would love to gain insight from those currently in the Dramatic Writing profession. Understanding the paths they took may help guide me along my own.  – Day 31 of the Artistic Spirit Pledge: DRAMATIC WRITING

I write characters better than I sketch them!
I write characters better than I sketch them!
  1. DEDICATION: It takes a lot of hard work, time, energy, and talented artists (in front of and behind the camera) to bring a TV series to the screen each week. You only need read the end credits to see how many people are working together, united for a common goal. My passion and respect for the TV drama industry makes me a valuable asset to the team, whether you hire me to edit a script for consistency, answer telephones, or run errands for a producer.  I seek to develop my craft and learn from those whose expertise shines in the work they create.
  2. COMPLEX CHARACTERS: The characters I create and those I root for on a dramatic series must have inner turmoil on some level. I strive to develop situations where the labels of “protagonist” and “antagonist” no longer apply. It is through conflict exploration both internal and external that the characters develop, thus adding depth and complexity to the entire canvas.
  3. DIALOGUE: When I start a new story, it’s the dialogue that moves it forward. I can write idea after idea about what’s going to happen, but once the characters start conversing, the story takes on a life all its own. I find it not only exciting but creatively stimulating to create dialogue for each character that gives them a unique voice.
  4. TARGET MARKET:  I’ve spent most of my adult life utilizing my skill sets in programs, workshops, or completed writings that target teenagers and young adults.  With two decades of volunteer involvement in youth-oriented programs, I have a keen insight into their struggles, hopes, and goals. This understanding led me to write an 80,000 word Young Adult fantasy novel, which follows a young woman on her journey of individuality through family responsibility.
  5. GENEALOGY: I hated history, truly I did. However, when I realized that the ones who came before me experienced the same range of emotions (though the specifics differed) as I do, I saw them with renewed focus. We aren’t simply names and faces – we each have a story to tell.  My ancestors are complex characters in their own life story, and through genealogy research, I help create the first draft.
  6. APPRECIATION: The profound respect, admiration, and appreciation I have for the TV drama industry continues to inspire me on a daily basis. I love watching behind-the-scenes videos, reading interviews from Executive Producers and Show Runners, and discussing the episodes with viewers who share in my excitement. I hold this industry in high regard while also being able to look at it objectively.

I look forward to discussing my qualifications with you in greater detail. Please email me directly at kdeenywriter@yahoo.com.

Best wishes,
Kelly Deeny

TV Moments That Moved Me to Tears: ‘ONE LIFE TO LIVE’

Without further ado, the top TV Moment That Moved Me to Tears is…

This moment deserves a little photo creativity!
This moment deserves a little photo creativity!

#1 – MEGAN GORDON (One Life to Live, ABC Network):  When Megan died from the effects of lupus in 1992 it left an impression on me that’s lasted twenty-three years. I saw and appreciated what brave storytelling and brilliant acting could do.

BACKSTORY

Megan burst onto the scene, full of life, energy, and confidence. She quickly became one of my favorite characters, thanks in large part to her portrayer – Jessica Tuck. As sometimes occurs in the interesting world of the soap opera, Megan was revealed as the long-lost daughter to the show’s beloved matriarch – Viki Buchanan. This connected a popular character to an established one, only intensifying Megan’s role in the fictional town of “Llanview, Pennsylvania”.

Despite receiving a kidney from her mother, Megan’s body could no longer hold off the damage lupus had done. I remember so vividly the moment I first cried during this storyline: Megan’s sister, Sarah, sat at her bedside and tried to remain happy and positive. The two acknowledged the reality of the situation and said a tearful goodbye. From there, the tears continued as she said goodbye to her younger siblings, former flames, and newly-found mother. I thought about my own siblings, parents, and loved ones. How would I react in that situation? Reflecting upon those ideas made the storyline all the more impactful.

Her missing husband (held captive and found just in time) arrived to share some final tender moments with his ailing wife. Jake helped Megan to the hospital room window to show her their wedding tree he had transplanted the hospital lawn for her. Attached to the branches were heart-shaped paper ornaments, tied by ribbons, blowing in the wind.  She held one of the hearts that he gave to her in the hospital room and as Jake spoke about the future, with beautiful music swelling, the paper heart fell from her hand and her body went limp.

LASTING IMPRESSION

It was the first time I recall crying as a result of a fictional character’s death.  This storyline remains etched in my memory, and I have lasting respect for the writing team, directors, actors, and music supervisors who created so many moments of television excellence.  One Life to Live introduced us to memorable characters, educated us about social issues, and created a world that viewers wanted to visit Monday through Friday.

Though gone from the world of daytime dramas, OLTL will live on through the fans who loved it and the actors who graced the screen.

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with One Life to Live, its parent company, affiliates, or artists implied!*

TV Moments That Moved Me to Tears: ‘ANGEL’

We’re so close to revealing the top moment! The runner-up is…

Angel

#2 – FRED (Angel, S5 Ep15, “A Hole in the World”): When Joss Whedon kills off one of his characters, it’s not just for the ‘hellmouth’ of it nor is it pretty.

The gifted writer/producer/director always introduces us to a wide variety of characters: rebels, villains, and flawed heroes/heroines. Then there were the ones that held them all together: Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kaylee in Firefly, and Fred in Angel. Putting any of those three in dangerous situations upped the ante for the rest of the characters and tugged on the viewer’s emotions.

Portrayed to perfection by Amy Acker, Winifred Fred’ Burkle became the heart, soul, and innocence of the team.  A character full of so much heart, joy, intelligence, and compassion added balance amidst the tormented souls that surrounded her.  From the moment she was introduced on the show, Fred’s journey was one we wanted to follow. Over the course of the next three years we watched her come into her own and flourish. So, when Fred died in the arms of the man she loved I wept along with the characters. “No, not Fred.  She can’t die,” I thought.  “She’s too important.” I didn’t have long to mourn the loss of such a beloved character, because in true Joss fashion, Fred’s death opened a portal (wink, wink) to a new character. Fred’s spirit ceased to exist and Illyria took over, thus, providing Amy a new acting challenge and giving the show added conflict. We lost Fred but still had Amy, and she continued to impress.

This TV moment ranks high on my list not only because Fred is one of my favorite TV characters, but because of the episode as a whole. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, “A Hole in the World” paid tribute to a character we all came to love and admire. As her friends rushed to find a way to save her, we felt the fear that they wouldn’t be able to and the disappointment in realizing that they couldn’t. This stunning hour of television remains embedded in my memory due to the talents of those in front of and behind the camera.

Dramatic television series can inspire, motivate, educate, and empower. However, they also have the ability to reach us on an emotional level. They do so by creating characters we enjoy watching, and rooting for, only to take them on journeys that make us reflect on our own lives and choices. While I’ve cried many a time during TV shows, there are five TV moments that not only had me sobbing like a baby but impressed me on a creative level. 

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with Angel, its parent company, affiliates, sponsors, or artists implied!*

TV Moments That Moved Me to Tears: ‘GENERAL HOSPITAL’

The next item on our countdown is…General Hospital  (ABC Network)

Dramatic television series can inspire, motivate, educate, and empower. However, they also have the ability to reach us on an emotional level. They do so by creating characters we enjoy watching, and rooting for, only to take them on journeys that make us reflect on our own lives and choices. While I’ve cried many a time during TV shows, there are five TV moments that not only had me sobbing like a baby but impressed me on a creative level. 

General Hospital

#3 – ZANDER SMITH (General Hospital, portrayed the role from 2000-2004): I’m accustomed to characters dying on daytime dramas; after all, I’ve been watching them for over thirty years. Given the numerous and impactful deaths that occurred on General Hospital over its five decades on the air, Zander’s death may seem an odd choice for this list. Emotional storylines like B.J.’s death in 1994 and Stone’s a year later changed the canvas of the show. I cried along with the characters and applauded the artistic choices. As emotional as those deaths were for the other characters, the show, and the viewers, Zander’s death affected me for a much different reason.

Behind-the-scenes changes (i.e. head writers, executive producers, network reorganization) affect the daytime dramas too, sometimes more significantly and not always in ways that do justice to the show, the characters, or the gifted actors. The hard-working teams that bring daytime dramas to the screen five days a week have responsibilities that many of us can’t fathom. I respect the art form and those involved, and write this from a viewer’s perspective.  To clean the slate, or erase storyline choices, interesting yet complex characters get used as scapegoats. Their actions become unstable and very quickly shift to dangerous. From my perspective, they were vilified in order to wrap a storyline and find a character on which to lay blame. Within a year’s time, General Hospital killed off three such characters: Stefan, A.J., and Zander.

Zander’s arrival may not have intended to prompt such passionate reaction from the viewers, but the on-screen chemistry and acting prowess of Amber Tamblyn (Emily) and Chad Brannon (Zander) created a relationship that we wanted to see develop. And that it most certainly did. When Amber left the show and Chad remain, this beloved on-screen twosome had a bittersweet goodbye that showcased the growth of each character and the beautiful love story that developed over time. Emily was recast some time later and the relationship changed. Zander quickly became the “not-as-popular” love interest for new Emily and his character started making choices that were unusual, confusing, and head-scratching. Ultimately, they wrote him into a corner, having him hold Emily hostage (a cyclical choice, as that’s how their storyline began) only then to be gunned down by the police. I knew it was coming, yet I sobbed uncontrollably.  I cried over the death of a character I enjoyed watching, the frustration over storyline choices that did a disservice to the show, and for all the character development opportunities missed.

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with General Hospital, its parent company, affiliates, sponsors, or artists implied!*