It's a busy week! After 3 days on set for "Memory," I'm in the midst of 4 days this week for "Vanishing Act," a short directed by Emily Clark for the School of Visual Arts. This film has an adorably touching script, and I'm especially excited to see the final product because I will twice vanish from the screen!
Just wrapped day 1 of shooting for "Memory," a senior thesis film for NYU, directed by Alex Wood! We had some very chilly hours (would you ever guess this was photo was taken on the first very cold day in November?), but it was wonderful to start work. I can't wait to shoot INSIDE with the same awesome team tomorrow :-)
My episode of 1980s: The Deadliest Decade, "The Copycat Killer," airs Monday on Investigation Discovery. I play a lawyer on the prosecution team.
Update: the episode is available online, with a cable subscription, here.
I’m in rehearsal for I Stand Before You Naked at The AlphaNYC. I Stand Before You Naked is a collection of mostly monologues by Joyce Carol Oates that explores different aspects of strength and vulnerability in its diverse, all female characters. I play a patient in a mental institution with a belief system of steel. It’s a challenging part for a short rehearsal process, but I enjoy the stretch beyond the usual!
I perform Friday, August 11 at 7pm and Saturday, August 12 at 9pm. Tickets are available here or at the door!
I spent Tuesday on set playing a lawyer in a true-crime recreation show. That’s all I can say for now, but I will update when the episode is publicly announced. It’s scheduled to air in November!
I’m directing again! This time, a fully staged reading of Seminar, by Theresa Rebeck. I’m honored that I was asked to direct after the producer, Emma Lieberman, saw Airport Waiting. It’s been so much fun working with the cast and getting to try out directing a little more. The show is at the Artist Co-Op, which is a very funky space, so I’m enjoying setting the scene and helping the cast use the space to enhance the story.
The show is on Saturday, July 1. You can get tickets here!
Today, I shot some promo footage and stills for the 9/11 Tribute Center, which just moved to a new location. (The Tribute Center was started by families of victims and survivors and predates the 9/11 Memorial Museum.) I had never been there, and viewing the exhibits and speaking with the staff made this a moving and humbling day.
I am directing a staged reading of Tobin Wheeler’s new play Airport Waiting about a pair of close friends from online gaming who meet in a chance encounter at (you guessed it) an airport. The reading stars Piyali Syam and Justin Andrew Davis. It's great working with Barrow Group actors because, even though I'm a directing novice, we all speak the same language and communication is easy. Check out our presentation on Tuesday, June 6th at 3pm, at The Barrow Group.
On Monday, March 13, I'm going back to On the Spot, a fabulous cabaret/comedy show where I performed last summer! I'm excited to be working with their awesome creative team again, and I'm especially psyched because I'll be singing my first ever mash up. Hint: the songs are from Spring Awakening and Rocky Horror and have almost the same title.
While combatting the end of a case of mono in the fall, I started rehearsals for West of 10th's Lonely, I'm Not. As energy returned, I poured almost every ounce of it into this fabulous play.
The reviews are in, and I couldn't be prouder:
Rachel Goodgal was seriously impressive as the visually impaired Heather. She was utterly convincing as she confidently moved about the space as a non-seeing person, and yet we saw every visualization so clearly in her eyes. She delivers a powerful, mesmerizing performance.
-Jacquelyn Claire, NY Theatre Guide
Goodgal is especially affecting as Heather. She gracefully handles the physical obstacle with a remarkable sense of normalcy that allows Heather’s other attributes to shine through.
-Helen Hebert, Theatre is Easy
Goodgal emphasizes Heather's confidence, pushing it to extremes that make it clear why this woman has landed in her own dead end, and deploys it as a full-body shield against the pain inflicted by everyone around her—her total comfort with who she is, Goodgal lays plain, is what's her undoing.
-Matthew Murray, Talkin' Broadway
I'm so grateful for the support of my team, family, and friends as I re-group and start pursuing my next adventure. I hope you will check out some awesome stills from Lonely, I'm Not on my just-revamped photos page!
I returned at the end of August from some awesome summer travels, ready to ease back into life and auditioning for a couple of weeks before my day job and fall classes kicked off in September. That did not happen.
Before I returned, I had signed up for The Actor’s Green Room 72-Hour Short Film Challenge as an actor, thinking it would be a fun way to meet some new people and get in some film acting practice.
Then, 3 weeks ago tomorrow, I woke up to an email selecting me to be a team leader for the challenge. Normally, team leaders volunteer or at least indicate their interest and have been involved in the challenge in some way before. However, this month, there was a shortage of volunteers, so, presumably because of my producing experience with West of 10th, the coordinator chose me.
It was an incredibly stressful experience. I had 10 days to assemble an entire crew, get an entirely new script written, and coordinate all shooting logistics and budget in time for a 72-hour production period that spanned last weekend. I was assigned actors that I had never met and worked with the writer I found (who I had also never met, but who graciously agreed to work with me) to create a script that would let all of us shine. Despite several setbacks (i.e. – two sound mixers cancelled, one the morning of the shoot), I managed to assemble a great crew that was dedicated to making the best product we could. Luckily, my actors were all talented team players. And voilà – tomorrow night, our film, “ReLease,” will screen along with all the tilms created as part of the challenge this month.
While I still would have preferred more planning time in my producer experience, I am pleased that I took on the team leader role. I’m very proud of the final product, and I learned a lot about the myriad of moving parts that go into even a 72-hour short film. Plus, I got to meet and work with old and new friends who made the experience much less daunting.
Come check us out tomorrow night at Professor Thom’s, 219 2nd Ave. Screening starts at 6:30; order is TBD. I’m excited to share "ReLease"!
I will be performing in "On the Spot" at the Broadway Comedy Club on Monday, July 11 at 8pm! "On the Spot" is a combination cabaret/improv performance. Five singers, including me, will perform (scripted) music of all genres, and a team of improvisers will weave the songs they're hearing into a 90-minute musical! It promises to be hilarious.
On Wednesday, West of 10th produced a staged reading of Karate Hottie, a new play by Catherine Weingarten. I got to play Dart, a sassy outsider teenager in a very complicated relationship. Dart's up's and down's and the play's heightened style demanded all of my energy, and it was a thrill. It very exciting to work with Catherine on the play's continued development.
In other news, two examples of my work are now available for public consumption! If you want to listen to me give a tour of Manhattan, in French, download the (free) Circle Line Skyline Navigator app. (You can also listen to other people give tours in English and 5 other languages.) In addition, Seeking BFF, West of 10th's Quickie Fest entry, is now on Youtube.
I had a blast filming a very short film for the upcoming Quickie Fest on Friday! I co-wrote a new take on the classic "meet cute" with my West of 10th collaborators Sophie Hirsh and Jen Sandler, and Sophie and I starred. I'm excited for the premiere on June 3 and can't wait to see what the other one-minute filmmakers came up with!
After having a week to reflect, I am so proud of the fantastic work West of 10th did on Completeness and grateful to everyone who came to the show. Doing double duty as an actor and producer was exhausting, but my cast and creative team were both amazing and made the run an exhilarating success. Playing Molly was a dream - she's exactly the kind of intelligent, funny character I love to portray. Photos will be coming soon!
During the run of Completeness, I also directed the second reading in West of 10th's reading series: Anne Boleyn for President of the Class of 2014, by Gina Doherty. It was a lot of fun to step into the director's role and work closely with both Gina and our talented actors - and then nervously and proudly watch the performance from the audience! I needn't have been nervous - the actors performed beautifully, and I think watching them and participating in the audience talk back gave Gina valuable insights to continue developing this exciting new play.
I am extremely happy with the way West of 10th has grown over the past 8 months (I can't believe it's only existed for 8 months!) and can't wait to share what we'll be up to next!
In the meantime, I'm back in class at The Barrow Group, working again with the marvelous Lee Brock in her Monday morning scene study class. It's a great way to start each week!
I am proud to share that West of 10th, the theatre company of which I am a founder and artistic director, is presenting Completeness, a romantic comedy by Itamar Moses. I am both co-producing the show and playing Molly, a molecular biology graduate student navigating both scientific and romantic uncertainties. I am having a fantastic time in rehearsal and production meetings so far, and I can't wait to share what our amazing team is putting together. Tickets are now on sale at Brown Paper Tickets!
Today, I did my second voice over job, again in French! This time, it was for an animated advertisement for a breakfast biscuit. I got to play a very excited American speaking a very butchered French, and a very excited "jeune amoureuse" (young lover) speaking a hopefully authentic French. It is a test ad to be played for focus groups in France. I had a lot of fun putting my French to use again and continuing to get to know the world of voice over.
On Tuesday morning, I had a blast shooting commercial break bumper spots for the Puppy Bowl! Going to a bar at 9am with a bunch of friends and pretending to watch a (sort of) sporting event feels like the real thing. Turn on Animal Planet this afternoon at 3 to see a lot of adorable puppies and me, cheering them on as a Denver "Team Fluff" fan.
I am officially a professional voice over artist! Yesterday, I recorded the French voice for Circle Line's new NYC tour app. It was a great opportunity to practice my French (thanks Dad for the pronunciation coaching) and also delve into this new world of voice over. The app is expected to come out in March, so you can listen to me tell you (in French) all about the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower, the Colgate Clock, and other NYC sites, both renowned and a little obscure.
I had great time performing in West of 10th's reading of Disciples last Saturday! I discovered that doing a staged reading is hard! It was a challenge to perform without the help of the set, props, and costumes that make up the world of the play in a full production - and standing up the whole time. However, it was so exciting to work on this fabulous new play. It was a thrill to hear about the characters straight from their creator at rehearsal and get to help him refine his vision of them and their story. The audience was wonderfully giving with their thoughts at our post-performance discussion, and I am happy to know that their feedback, as well as our team's, will help Matt continue to develop the play. I can't wait to see where it goes next!