Actor, Writer James Mathers Reveals his Alter Ego

James Rudolph is the pen name of Hollywood denizen, writer and actor James Mathers, who has written two new e-books, Cindy Eyes and Henry & Dad. Mathers was born and raised in Seattle Washington and attended the University of Washington and Southwestern University Law School. He began his career as an actor and playwright in the 70s in San Francisco, moved to New York in the 80s to continue to work in TV, film and theater.

HR: Tell us a little about your books and what was the inspiration for them?

JR: “Henry & Dad” is based on a one-act play I wrote, inspired by a conversation I had with my son a few years earlier. The play was produced a couple of times, did well, and then the one-act turned into the novel. The hero, Henry, a construction worker finds his girlfriend pregnant and missing and has to reconcile with his alcoholic father in order to solve the mystery surrounding her disappearance. It’s a fast-paced novel. An e-book to open up at LAX and by the time you get to Denver, you’ll be at the last page.

“Cindy’s Eyes” is the story of Ray, a Hollywood taxi driver in the early seventies, and his remarkable fares. Ray falls for one of his fares, Cindy, a porno queen, and tries to drag her out of the hell she’s in. They try to make it but she’s a victim of her addictions and slides back into the life. Ray follows. This book has all the action of Hollywood in the early seventies – sex, drugs, rock and roll.

I actually did drive a cab in Hollywood in 1969 – up and down the boulevard, and these stories are a composite of some of the great fares I had. People open up in the back seat of a taxi cab especially at night, and they tell stories that they wouldn’t tell anyone else because they know the cab driver doesn’t give a fuck. These stories prompted the character of Ray, a great flawed hero who is looking for himself actually, as he drives his yellow sarcophagus through the night.

HR: What are you working on now?

JR: I’m finishing my third novel, “Gold Cup”, about the famous after hour’s coffee shop that used to be on the corner of Hollywood and Las Palmas, it’s gone now, but it was where everybody congregated – cabbies, hookers, all the people of the night.

HR: What is “Gold Cup” about?

JR: In “Gold Cup” Ray again recounts memorable fares, and falls for a biker chick named Mabel. Yes, that is her name. Mabel is the “property” of Fang, the leader of the local One-Percenters, a violent spin-off of the Hell’s Angels. “Gold Cup” deals with Ray’s adventure with them and his love for Mabel, the looker from the Valley. The book should be available for download by Christmas.

HR: Your bio says that you attended law school, what made you change your focus to show business?

JR: Well, I went to law school at night here in Los Angeles at Southwestern for a couple of years, then I graduated from Beverly College of Law which later became Whittier Law School, I believe. While I was there, I learned to have an appreciation for case law – stories that have happened to real people – and the stories fascinated me. I loved law school and was a good student, but during that time I was also starting to write and sell low-budget scripts, short stories and essays. Basically I was lured into show business by going to law school and driving a cab.

HR: What did you do in San Francisco before the move to New York and what was the attraction to go first to the Big Apple instead of coming to Hollywood?

In San Francisco, I actually joined the life of the theater. In acting, like in writing, you create a character and that’s what turns me on. I met my wife in San Francisco, and she and I built a couple of lofts – I was working as an actor in theater, commercials and movies and she worked as a graphic designer – but there was always the lure of the big city so we checked out the scene in both New York and LA, finally deciding to pack up, move to New York and become New Yorkers. We lived in lower Manhattan for almost ten years, where I worked as an actor, did theater, TV, movies. It was fine life – exciting.

HR: You have a website, what are you promoting on it?

JR: Oh, the studio44hollywood.com site is all of the projects and capabilities we have, my wife Dallas and I, including graphic design, writing and web projects we are producing. Now we’ve gone into this new world of publishing, and that’s on the web site. It shows the books we’ve done so far. It’s quite a process – writing the books, formatting, designing the covers, and also designing the websites including this one and our book sites, henryanddad.com and cindyseyes.com. We are offering these services to others as well.

HR: The Zombie Radio Show sounds very interesting…tell us about that?

JR: I started writing with my partner, Craig Sabin, a web series which is a radio show satire based upon the “zombie apocalypse” which stuck New York in 2013. New Yorkers find themselves faced with zombies lurching about trying to eat their brains. I’m Jimmy Rudolph, the radio show host who bring you jazz in the middle of the night, reports traffic updates, news and announces zombie outbreaks. We now have over seventy hilarious and edgy two- to five-minute episodes produced and up on zombieradioshow.com

HR: You have a unique style of writing, how did you develop it?

JR: Mostly playwriting. In playwriting you have the ordinary world and the characters populating that ordinary world. Playwriting helped me develop dialogue skills, because it requires that the story be told by the actor, who interprets the words, and presents them to you through behavior. So rather than just writing expositional paragraph after paragraph, I try to have more dialogue, more action, and let the reader imagine the location, the setting as the characters describe them. That’s where the fast action and fast pace comes from. Language is changing today. Short form content is replacing long form. I’m just trying to stay ahead of the wave, on the leading edge, but it ain’t easy.

HR: I understand you are a working actor. What are some of your recent roles and do you have anything coming up we should look for on TV or in the movies?

JR: I keep fairly busy acting. I’ve got some commercials running and a TV pilot coming out with Jon Voight, Leiv Schreiber and Elliot Gould. I’m also in the movie “7500”, a teen horror thriller on a plane, directed by “The Grudge” director, Tak Shimizu, where I play the old guy on the flight from LAX to Tokyo and then, well…horror happens. This will be released soon. In a recent Hyundai spot I’m a CEO riding in a Genesis with my minion. I have a heart attack and the driver shocks me back to life with the seat belt. It’s a funny spot and played on the Super Bowl and the Oscars. And I did a “Got Milk” spot and some other stuff – I just try to keep busy. That’s the name of the game.

HR: You have a Writer’s Group that meets at the Two Roads Theatre in Studio City, how did that get started and is it more for support or networking?

JR: That’s “The Writers Group”. My wife and I arrived here in LA from New York in 1990, got a sweet little house in the hills and thought we had it made, but soon found ourselves strangers in a strange land, and work was hard to find. So we got together with some other friends, writer and actors, from New York and began bringing them up to our house on Wednesday nights to read the work we’d all been doing – plays, short stories, screenplays, prose, poetry – and give ourselves positive feedback. Then that became a weekly thing – Wednesday night – from seven to ten. Eventually we moved to a theater over Jerry’s Deli, and then to NoHo for a while, then we found a permanent home at the Two Roads Theater in Studio City. We’ve been doing this now for 22 years and the output has been prodigious. The Writers Group has been a stimulus for all of us all these years.
It’s motivating, it’s community, it’s supportive and it’s networking – networking is the job of everyone in our industry – it’s the woof and warp of the industry.

HR: What is next for James Rudolph?

JR: Writing my third book, “Gold Cup” – That’s going to be a schlepp – I‘m only about half way through and I’m on the rotation at the Writers Group now and I’m going to have to start bringing in pages and let the group give me their feedback – which is always challenging to the writer. But it’s very good to get that kind of feedback because the writer’s skin needs to thicken up. You’ll need it if you ever get your screenplay into a studio, as Dallas and I did with a couple of pieces, one which we optioned with Fox Searchlight, and did a rewrite. We would sit in meetings with the suits and listen to them change our beloved screenplay into something almost unrecognizable. But you have to sit there and you have to address the notes, even if they are insulting, and not run screaming from the room. Anyway, right now I’m concentrating on finishing “Gold Cup”.

HR: Thanks for talking with us.

For more information please go to: www.studio44hollywood.com, www.henryanddad.com or www.cindyseyes.com

Stars Share “Beatles Stories” in new DVD Release

Los Angeles: September 28, 2012

October, 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ first single, Love Me Do, that launched the Fab Four’s stellar career. Nearly five decades later, The Beatles are still captivating audiences everywhere and are considered the most influential musicians of all time, according to Rolling Stone.  Along with their musical legacy, The Beatles left behind personal stories with those lucky people who were able to share a moment with these legends.

On October 2, 2012, to mark the anniversary, Cinema Libre Studio is releasing BEATLES STORIES, a documentary that captures cherished stories from famous fans – and the not so famous – about their unique encounters with these often imitated, but never duplicated, international stars.  To coincide with the DVD/digital release date, the film will make its official theatrical premiere on Tuesday, October 2nd at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, with future showings to be announced.

Director/ Producer Seth Swirsky, an accomplished singer-songwriter and best selling author, grew up in the 60s and fell in love with The Beatles.  They greatly influenced his decision to pursue a career in music where he is known for writing the international #1 hit Tell it to My Heart by Taylor Dayne and Love is a Beautiful Thing by Al Green.

In 2004, Swirsky was invited to perform at The Cavern Club, which the Beatles made famous so many years ago.  While in Liverpool,

Seth Swirsky

Swirsky began asking the locals about The Beatles. To his surprise, these strangers shared their fondest recollections about the band; treasured stories he had never heard before, which he captured on his hand held video camera.  Swirsky then wondered, “How many more stories are out there that people have never heard before?”  That was the moment that BEATLES STORIES was born!

Over a period of eight years, Swirsky traveled around the world filming an exceptional array of people – many themselves celebrities – who wanted to share their stories.  Some of the stars he managed to sit down with include Sir Ben Kingsley, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson, Henry Winkler, Jon Voight, Art Garfunkel, Davy Jones and Graham Nash.

The DVD release also contains additional interviews with the likes of Peter Tork, Denny Doherty, Alan Livingston and Paul Tennant as well as an extended interview with Norman “Hurricane”Smith, the Beatles’ first recording engineer.

For more information on the October 2nd screening, visit www.egyptiantheatre.com or to purchase tickets, please visit: www.fandango.com

Website: http://beatlesstories.com

BEATLES STORIES

Seth Swirsky’s One Degree of Seperation

Like many of us, singer/songwriter, Seth Swirsky has always loved the Beatles. As a youngster, living in Long Island, New York, he and his little brother happily bounced on their beds to the sounds of the Fab Four. As an adult, with kids of his own, Swirsky decided five years ago to embark on a journey to interview people who have met the Beatles during their heyday and beyond. After conducting over 100 interviews, 55 of them made the final cut of Swirsky’s 75 minute documentary, “Beatles Stories” that had it’s world premier at the European Independent Film Festival in Paris on April 3, 2011.

Many of the recollections are compelling. Graham Nash talks about his invitation to the TV broadcast of the Beatle’s new song, “All You Need is Love” and being a part of a magical, star studded experience. Peter Noone, of “Herman’s Hermit’s” fame tells about being a15 year of up-and-coming pop star, and having John Lennon covertly slip him alcohol at a London night club. Ray Mazarek of “The Doors” remembers the day he realized that like himself, Lennon was also a “stoner.”

George Harrison’s first girlfriend, from before he was in the band, talks about how sweet George was as a 14 year old. Henry Winkler recounts a random meeting with Paul McCartney on a New York street where the Beatle was as happy to meet “The Fonz” as Winkler was to meet him.

Former head of Apple Records, Jack Oliver, remembers waking Paul McCartney to ask if he was okay after rumors that McCartney was dead flooded the media. McCartney told Oliver to F-off, proving that, yes, he was still very much alive.

Artist/bass player, Klaus Voormann, talks about how everyone was speechless when they first saw his artwork for the Beatles album, “Revolver.” It was only when John Lennon said it was brilliant that the praise began to pour, with Beatles manager, Brian Epstein even shedding a few tears.

On the technical side, Beatles engineer, Norman “Hurricane” Smith discusses various recording techniques used by the band. Smith worked with the Beatles from the day they auditioned for their record deal, (June 6, 1962) through their ”Rubber Soul” album. He engineered every Beatles song from, “Love me Do” to “Michelle,” just under 100 songs in all. His contribution to this fine film is alone worth the price of admission.

Other interviews include Sir Ben Kingsley, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson, Jon Voight, former First Daughter Luci Baines Johnson, Donovan, Art Garfunkel, Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick, Chris Carter, host of Breakfast with the Beatles, Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles and Joey Molland from Badfinger.

Swirsky’s subjects recount sincere, fond recollections of “being in the presence” of the greatest rock band ever. With this documentary Swirsky gives the viewer the chance to be a fly on the wall from those magical days gone by. This is a must-see film for anyone who loves the Beatles, or for anyone who wished they could have been there in the swinging 60’s, living the life that so few got to experience.

“Beatles Stories” next screens at the 2011 Gold Coast International Film Festival in New York.

For more info visit: www.BeatlesStories.com

“The Boys:The Sherman Brothers’Story” Premiers in Hollywood

Jon Voight, Ben Stiller, John Landis and Karen and Kat Kramer were just some of the celebrities who attended the premier of “The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story,” which screened at the El Capitan Theater last night.

The evening 20081117opened with a surprise live solo performance by 80 something Richard Sherman who played a medley of the songwriting duo’s best known songs.

The story of  siblings who wrote some of Hollywood’s most memorable tunes such as “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Feed the Birds” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” as well as number one hits like “You’re Sixteen” for Ringo Starr, is told in  this new compelling documentary from Disney, the studio that was Richard and Robert Sherman’s artistic home for many years.

The feature-length documentary, conceived, produced and directed by Gregory Sherman and Jeffrey Sherman, two of the songwriters’ sons, offers a rare glimpse of two song writing greats at work.

It also explores a deep and longstanding rift that has kept the brothers personally estranged throughout much of their professional career.

The filmmakers, cousins who grew up within blocks of each other in Beverly Hills, never really knew each other.

“There was a ‘keep out’ sign posted over that part of our lives,” stated Gregg, an Emmy Award-winning producer and feature film writer who is the son of Richard Sherman. “My family would see his family at a Sherman Brothers event, but we would never be seated at the same table or near them in the theater. We would acknowledge that they existed, but we had no relationship with them.”

As adults, Gregg and Jeff decided to break that tradition after they connected in 2002 at the London premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the stage adaptation of one of their fathers’ most successful films. They decided that by working together, they could pay tribute to their dads.

The result is both informative and emotional.

The documentary includes all-new interviews with Julie Andrews, Roy E. Disney, Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., John Landis, Angela Lansbury, John Lasseter, Kenny Loggins, Hayley Mills, Randy Newman, Debbie Reynolds, Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke and John Williams, as well as a rare archival interview with Annette Funicello. It also explores Richard and Robert Sherman’s friendship and love for their mentor, Walt Disney.

The picture gets a limited release May 22 in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Palm Desert, CA.

It is well worth seeing.