News

Our Latest ‘Apartment Performances’ of Havel’s PROTEST.

We won a New York City Arts Corp Grant to reprise the production of Vaclav Havel’s one act play, PROTEST, which I’ve performed off-and-on for several years now, in a production for The Alliance for New Music-Theater, directed by Susan Galbraith, and also starring actor Drew Valins (who’s unwittingly become something of an American expert in performing the iconic role of ‘Vanek,’ across from my ‘Stanek’). We’re performing for three nights in two different private homes in NYC: ‘apartment performances’ that recall the ‘apartment performances’ that were the only way to see Havel’s works, back in 1970s-era Prague, because they were banned from being performed in theaters, by the Communist government. These upcoming shows differ than past performances we’ve done–either in theaters or in private homes–both by how much Covid 19-era precautions limit the number of guests we can invite to see us, and by our preparations to adapt the play to a film version. We brought a camera into the rehearsal room for these upcoming live shows to play with ideas for our film, and a camera will be present in at least one of these upcoming evenings.

Finding myself increasingly pessimistic about the future of American democracy, and the more I find myself not knowing what to do about it, I find myself more grateful for this little play that won’t go out of my life, because it MAY–just may–be the best model for how I can best contribute to efforts to walk us out of this dystopian crisis. Havel’s writing is all about the distortions to the human mind and spirit created and enforced by oppressive ideology and its ideological enforcers. In the context of 1970s Czechoslovakia, that was Communism and the totalitarian policing of daily life by government hacks. In today’s context, oppressive ideology and the enforcement by ideological hacks comes from Trumpism and the GOP–most acutely–but also from the ‘woke’ left, though I’m heartened by a lot of evidence that progressivism is rediscovering its commitment to diverse thought, as well as to diverse ethnic and gender identity, and so I take the dangers of Trumpism far, far more seriously. I don’t have the political skill set–or the patience with the mind-numbing group think to which activists are prone–to be a political ‘activist,’ and there are too many writers who write and think better than I do to want to enter the ‘debate’ at a quasi-journalistic level, but I am an artist, meaning that I believe in simply 1) paying attention to daily life and 2) drawing attention to the experiences of daily life that make us who we are, and create the metaphysical condition of the possibility of change in laying down the infrastructure of hopes and expectations for a better future, that otherwise go consciously unnoticed, or are consciously suppressed by us. Havel does this work of revealing what we know about our daily lives but are either too distracted or frightened to say, and when we perform him, audiences momentarily light up in recognition (making the talk backs we always do quite a ride, sometimes). For the moment, by performing this one little play by Havel, I get to help in the work of reclaiming our shared humanity, and makes me think about how I may continue that work, when we’re done with this little show–if we’re ever done with it.

New Headshots by Clinton Brandhagen

I love working with Clinton. He has an unparalleled eye for actor head shots targeted to casting’s needs. I waited a bit too long to refresh my older shots!

Early Post-pandemic Update

Phew! We’re coming through this thing at long last–at least in the United States, I know all our hearts go out to locales still struggling, at home and abroad–and, like you, I’m coming up for air, re-assessing the stalled progress on several projects that mean a lot to me, but have unavoidably been momentarily felled by the pandemic. Projects that were in the works are now in various stages of ‘hold,’ as collaborators and I re-negotiate with distributors, investors, and stars. I’d love to say more, but can’t, as of now.

I can say that I’ve been jumping into summer, scuba diving in the Caribbean (Grand Turk) and N. Carolina (wrecks about an 1:30 boat ride out of Beaufort), California (La Jolla cove), and soon to dive with the manatees, in Florida. I’ve also been road bicycling more than I have in years–especially rewarding has been riding in the Catskills and Shenandoah Valley–so I feel more fit than I have in years! It’s a great feeling.

I hope to update soon projects that are moving into production, so please do check in, occasionally. Also, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have–be it about theater, film, tv, or scuba diving! Y0u can reach out via the contact form on this website, or just try me at davidmillstone@me.com. I’d love to talk to you.

Peace –

David!

Beaufort, N.C.

August Update

As you may know, I was fortunate enough to work at Tyler Perry Studios this month in a recurring guest star role on THE OVAL, one of the first tv projects to go into full production in the new era of Covid-19. TPS has put employee health and financial well-being above all other concerns by finding ways to put people to work, insist on strict protocols while doing so, and practice humane values that flow directly from Tyler Perry himself through the entire company: I have never felt more welcome as an actor, or as a personal guest, than at TPS! We were fed, entertained, given all the tools we need to work, and kept safe. It was a phenomenal experience.

Crew and cast housing at “Camp Covid,” the pop-up community built for the safety and peace of mind of everyone working on production at Tyler Perry Studios, in the summer-fall of 2020.

A week after returning home from TPS, I also had the good fortune to get away for some scuba diving, off of Morehead City, N. Carolina, with a group from Dive Connections, in Charlottesville, VA. I’ve done a lot of diving with these good folks and count Chip Earle, the owner of Dive Connections, as my mentor as a scuba diver. Marilou Maglione, a highly experienced scuba instructor, led our group on dives that included one of the most astonishing I’ve ever been on. The wrecks off of N. Carolina are numerous–representing hundreds of years of seafaring along the Atlantic coast–and the wildlife varied. We swam with giant barracuda, numerous Sand Tiger sharks, played with octopuses, and speared a few of the numerous flounder. It was a great trip I hope to repeat soon, perhaps in October.

Fishing vessels returning to dock at Morehead City, N.C., as we motor out at dawn to dive one of the wrecks that liter the seabed along the Atlantic coast.

Next up: as the Covid-10 pandemic eases off its summer peak in N. Carolina, I’ll be returning to projects on hold at Atlantic & Pacific Studios, in Burlington, N.C. Soon, too, we’ll get back on track on our film adaptation of the Vaclav Havel play, Protest. Other than that, audition requests are beginning to drift in again, and I’m back on the bicycle. I hope you’re well and that we’ll meet again soon, on set, in a rehearsal room, in the ocean, or at the bar!

xo,

David!

Project Update, July 2020

This is how I’ve been social distancing during this ‘Summer of Covid’ Bicycling and donuts!

Phew! It’s been awhile! My heart goes out to all as we each negotiate our own relationship to the new world in which we find ourselves. We’ll get through this, as generations before us got through their challenges, if not without deep loss. I wish for us a rediscovery that binds us together as a world, nation, and community. In the long run, I remain optimistic that we will heal together.

As I write this in early July, I’m waiting to perform a recurring guest star role at Tyler Perry Studios, then shortly after that, perform a starring role in the feature film, Broken, directed by Dean Jones and produced by Atlantic & Pacific Studios. Progress has been stalled, by Covid 19, on our film adaptation of the Vaclav Havel play, Protest, to be directed by Petr Jančárek, and produced by my LLC, 47th Avenue Films, but we’re committed to making the project happen, not least because we need Havel more than ever. Looking further ahead, the 2020 (Re)evolutionary Season at Theater at Monmouth, in Maine, has been postponed to Summer 2021, and I remain slated to play Caesar, in Julius Caesar, Cymbeline, in Cymbeline, and Charlie, in Seascape. I’ve also completed writing the first draft of a pilot for an adventure tv episodic to be developed by Atlantic & Pacific Studios. These are all projects I’ve previously announced and have been delayed–as have all our projects–by Covid 19.

In non-industry news, I’ve taken up once again road bicycling, a sport I’ve pursued, off and on, since I was a tween. I even registered for the NY Grand Fondo, a 100 mile race that begins on the George Washington Bridge and winds its way up the west side of the Hudson to the peak of Bear Mountain and back to Fort Lee, NJ. Soon, I expect to be scuba diving once again, as well, hopefully finding opportunity to use my still-new certification as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, of which I’m more-than-usually proud!

Thank you for your interest in my work, and I hope you are finding satisfaction in yours, but also taking time to recharge. I look forward to meeting again, ‘on the Rialto,’ when we can.

Peace and butterflies,

David!