Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Daily Photo Journal Project 2012

The Port Jefferson Patch featured a photograph from my current art project, a photo diary of each day from 2012 done using just my iPhone and the Instagram application. Below is an example of the images from my vacation last week but to check out all of them add me on Instagram @TimNeedles or view them on web.stagram.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Advice: Carrie Fisher

"Even when you don’t feel inspired, do it anyway"

This week's advice comes from an actress we are all familiar with, Carrie Fisher. She is known for her iconic roles in films such as the Star Wars trilogy, The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, Austin Powers, and recently on the cartoon Family Guy but in addition to acting Fisher has written a number of plays and books such as Postcards from the Edge which was made into a film directed by Mike Nichols as well as working on screenplays such as Sister Act and The Wedding Singer. I had a chance to interview her while she was working on her most recent play, the autobiographical Wishful Drinking which was recently made into a documentary film which aired on HBO is September.

Mr.Needles: I teach high school and I teach film, screenwriting, and acting. What advice would you give to young creative people in terms of them wanting a career in a creative industry whether it’s writing or acting?

Carrie Fisher: Well it’s a big difference between whether it’s writing or acting. The important thing is to learn as much as you can and to write even when you don’t feel inspired, you know, to do it anyway. Do everything anyway whether you feel confident or not it’s worth going for.

Full Interview: Short & Sweet NYC

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Advice from Mr. Needles

Every Friday in February I'll be posting advice from students culled from some of the interviews I've done with actors, writers, artists, and otherwise interesting people on my school blog Artroom 161. Here are the first two posts:

"My advice would be writing is everything"

As you may know in addition to teaching I also work as a journalist and occasionally have opportunities to interview actors, writers, directors, musicians, and artists for magazines and blogs. In each interview I try to ask a question that might aid my students and throughout this month I'll be sharing some of the advice I've heard from some of the people I've interviewed each Friday.

We'll start it off with actor and screenwriter Jonah Hill; I'm sure most of you are familiar with Jonah from his roles in films such as: Superbad, Knocked Up, Get Him to the Greek, Funny People, and Moneyball (for which he was recently nominated for a Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor) but in addition to acting he's also a prolific screenwriter. I had a chance to sit down with him at the Fox offices last year while he was promoting the independent film Cyrus from the Duplass brothers which also stars John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei and I asked him about his advice:

Mr. Needles: I teach film and screenwriting in high school and wanted to ask on behalf of my students what advice do you have for people who want to succeed in the business?

Jonah Hill: My advice would be writing is everything. You know being an actor and not being able to write is one of the scariest things in the entire world, I know this from friends of mine who are actors and don’t write because a lot of time as an actor, especially starting out you spend 99.9 to 100% of the time unemployed so if you can focus on writing everyday and getting better at writing- you should spend every day getting better at what you are trying to do. If you’re an actor and you want to act there’s not going to be movie parts for years unless you are one in a billion so find some friends who are into writing, write a play with them, and then you guys put it up where ever you can: in someone’s house or at a party or something or whatever, borrow a family members camera make a short film, read plays out loud with your friends… every day should just be spent moving forward at getting better at what you are trying to do. That’s my advice and that’s what I did, I just didn’t waste any day when I wasn’t writing or acting even in the few years of unemployment, you know, you just have to fill that time with things that are positive towards your goal.

Here's a link to more from the interview: Short and Sweet NYC

"Keep growing, keep moving and you’ll find the world that you need"

This Friday's advice comes from Oscar and Grammy nominated actor, singer, and screenwriter John C Reilly who you probably know from films like: Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Chicago, Gangs of New York, Boogie Nights, Casualties of War, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and one of my favorites What's Eating Gilbert Grape. He'll be in the upcoming film Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie but I interviewed him for the film Terri last year in which he plays a high school assistant principal.

Mr. Needles: What's your advice for students who are being bullied or having a difficult time in high school?

John C. Reilly: If you’re in high school and you’re freaking out about your place in the pecking order and you feel like a monster or an outcast and you feel like, in the deck of cards that is high school there’s the aces and the kings and queens and you’re like the three of clubs, just know that this is true for every single person in the world- the moment you get out of high school that deck of cards is thrown into the air and those who were kings and queens often end up the assistant manager at the grocery store and those who were the three of clubs end up on press junkets for movies starring themselves, it gets better for everybody, and you just have to get through it. Keep growing, keep moving and you’ll find the world that you need.

Here's a link to more from the interview: Short and Sweet NYC