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Broadway Bullet Interview: Breaking In

"Breaking In" is a new web show about breaking into the entertainment industry. We think their description of the show is pretty funny so here it is: There are thousands of us here – scraping out a living, competing for nonpaying acting jobs in 30-seat theaters in Bushwick, working as singing waiters while serving the tourists overcooked Denver omelets. Some people -- a few lucky ones -- will have what it takes to succeed in New York theater. They will be ushered in a private limousine from their temp receptionist job straight to their Letterman debut, while their agent BlackBerries them a breathless six-figure offer from Cameron Mackintosh.

"Breaking In" is not about those people.

It is a comedy about the others -- theater people with very little talent and even less character, each one of them convinced that they are the next chosen savior of the American stage. "Breaking In" is about the people you should avoid at all costs, the ones who will put you up in front of an audience under fluorescent lighting singing church-basement music after you've been sexually harassed in the wings. It's about the shows you're ashamed to admit that you were a part of. It's about the theater world not as we'd like it to be, but as it is. Petty. Sleazy. Crass. Dehumanizing.

And funny. We hope.

"Breaking In" -- If "The Office" were set in Off-Off-Broadway theater, it would look something like this, though it would probably be watched by way more people.

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Broadway Bullet Interview: Ryan Davis and Joe Drymala of Breaking In


BroadwayBullet: Anyone who's pursuing a career in entertainment knows it's all about breaking in. And that is the title of a new half hour comedy show that's being developed surrounding the musical theatre world. And developing the show is a former guest, in fact they're on the very first episode from their musical White Noise are creators Ryan Davis and Joe Drymala in the studio with us. How are you doing?

Both: Hi. 

BB: Ok, so what is the deal here with Breaking In. And I should say this is something all of our listeners will be able to access wherever they are.

RD: Absolutely. Well Breaking In we kind of developed through our experience working in off off Broadway theatre and Fringe theatre here in New York. And we wanted a project we could get the entire community of theatre together on. And people could see all over the country, all over the world, not just be limited to if you're in New York. So this something that is available to everyone on the internet.

JD: Right. So it's a backstage comedy about every show you wish you didn't have to do, and every bad director you've ever had to work with. Just all of the hellish experience that every actor goes through when they come to this city and they think they're going to make it big. And they have to do all these terrible little musicals. So this is about that world. It's kind of The Office or the Extras set in an off off Broadway theatre.

RD: But when he says off off Broadway theatre we're also kinda venturing into anyone in New York theatre. In our second episode we have Bob Cuccioli, who of course is a Tony nominee for Jekyll and Hyde. And we also have Euan Morton, who was a Tony nominee for Taboo. So we're really bringing in people who are well known and respected in theatre to kind of make fun of themselves just like Patrick Stuart did in Extras. And like Ian McKellen did on Extras.

BB: You'll have to do a scene in the studio here about how your guest is trying to get on BroadwayBullet.

RD: Done!

JD: It's absolutely gonna happen. I don't know why we didn't think of that before.

BB: You're offering this for free right?

Both: Right, of course.

BB: Through what? Youtube?

RD: It's available on our website as well as Youtube, myspace, googlevideo and itunes. So it'll be available almost any way you want to view it.

BB: Giving it away is nice. But who's putting up the money? Somebody has to be looking down the road to see if there's a financial upside to this. Are you seeing what the yahoo and google people aren't yet?

RD: Well we have a really smart producer behind us, Mitchell Maxwell who's producing White Noise off Broadway this fall. And he just believes in psychology and new talent and he wants to help us get out there. So it's with his help that we're doing this.

JD: We just hope we're going to be seen by a lot of those in the theatre community by doing this. And we want to create a show that's going to be something everybody has to watch every month. And episodes are going to come out once a month. The first Sunday of every month is when each new episode is going to come out starting April 1st.

RD: And we're doing 6 episodes every season, just like BBC. And that's the way they do The Office and stuff. So you're guaranteed 6 episodes.

BB: What kind of inspired the thought to put together the show?

RD: We had been raking up so many crazy experiences and we wanted to find a way to talk about it. And we talked to Erik Svajcar, another executive producer on the show. Jeffery Self, they've all had these experiences.

JD: Right. As everybody does I'm sure. Anybody who's every worked in theatre. Everybody has horror stories so there are a million plot lines that we are playing around with. And the problem is just selecting the ones we want to use, because there are so many great horror stories.

RD: And wouldn't it be great to show people who are not in New York a glimpse of what it's like to be in your early 20's trying to break into New York theatre. It's a very unique experience that we want to share with the world.

BB: Now is there a cast of regulars in here?

RD: Absolutely. We have a terrific cast of regulars. Justin Lamb and Brandon Bales play the 2 leads and they come from the improv world of New York. Justin's actually a really respected improv guy in San Francisco. And we have Jeff Hiller.

JD: Also an improv comedian here in New York. He's at UCB all the time.

RD; But he's also known for his theatre work. He was in The Children last year at NYMF and he won one of the performance awards there. So he's kind of well known for that. And Traci Chimo, and who else do we got?

JD: Lindsay Wolf.

RD: Lindsay Wolf, who's fantastic. We have a great kind of cast. Steve Sislen who composed Slut the musical is also helping us out playing a reoccurring character.

BB: Now is there some original music-taking place In this as well?

RD: Absolutley. Joe wrote a song called "Punkaholla" for the first episode.

JD: That's right I did.

RD: And Eric Svejcar (/people/Eric-Svejcar/) who wrote the musical Caligula at NYMF and was the original music director for Jaques Brel wrote a song that Euan Morton will sing with Lindsay Wolf called "
Blood is Thicker that Wine" from the musical The Lost Boys.

JD: The main characters are in this musical called The Lost Boys. Basically the movie The Lost Boys which they've developing for 7 years but they still don't have a script, but they use the show to get dates with attractive people by offering them roles. That's pretty much how it goes for them.

RD: Which is not based in any way on reality. We would never do that.

BB: On a different note slightly, like I said you were on the very first episode with White Noise and NYMF and before NYMF was officially offer the ink had tried on a deal to move that. And you think that's happening this coming fall?

RD: Absolutely. We just had a fantastic reading a couple weeks ago at Chelsea studios. And we're gearing up for a workshop this summer. And we're gearing up for a fall opening off Broadway for sure.

JD: Yup.

BB: What kind of pains is the producer putting you through? Is there some kinds of rewrites and stuff happening here?

JD: Oh sure. Yeah.

RD: HE has a lot of good ideas and it's been a really collaborative process. We're happy to work with someone that's got so much experience behind them. And we feel that we have a lot of good rapport.

JD: He's put a lot of trust in us too which is great because we're a lot younger than a lot of people.

RD: He's defiantly one of the gutsiest producer in New York to have a 24 year old directing off Broadway. It's pretty exciting.

BB: Who's going to be directing the show again?

RD: Me.

BB: Oh you're directing?

RD: Yeah the creator, conceiver and director of White Noise

JD: I try to get him fired.

BB: I'm definitely excited about that. I hope you'll come on again when that's becoming closer. In the meantime, again it's

JD: Can we just talk for a moment about the screening?

BB : We're taping this before the first screening but it's going to air after the first screening. I guess you're going to keep screening them though.

RD: We're really excited we're screening the show at New World Stages in New York. We're inviting everybody for free. It's a 500 seat theatre. We'd love to have you come down. But we're also screening it at 40 colleges around the country simultaneously. So it's literally being debuted around the country on Sunday April 1st. In a way that television hasn't been done before I think.

BB: How are you doing that? With setting it up around the country?

JD: Well, we've contacted a bunch of different students at these schools and they're all hosting their own Breaking In parties. And the person who hosts the biggest one, via evidence: pictures on the internet, things like that, they get…

BB: Used doobies?

JD: We don't know anything about that.


RD: I want to be invited to that party for sure.

JD: But the student who hosts the biggest party gets a cameo on the season finale.

RD: We're going to fly them and a guest down to be in the finale. It's definitely a cool opportunity. We have people hosting all over the country.

BB: So if you missed the first screening you can definitely catch the 2nd. Do you know what date that's going to be yet?

JD: It's going to be the first Sunday in May.

RD: The first Sunday of every month is when we're doing the launch parties.

JD: A screening followed by a big flashy cocktail party afterwards at New World.

RD: And you can always visit for information on that. 

BB: Sounds like another exciting project. Was this your first tv or film project?

RD: It's the second.

JD: It's Ryan's 2nd. It's my 1st.

BB: Was it harder than you thought? I'm sure the idea came, it was, "Ah, let's do it." But did it end up being a little more in-depth then you thought it was going to be?

RD: We had an unbelievable time filming it. We really got to work with our best friends for 2 weeks on this project. It wasn't easy but it was totally fun working with everyone.

JD: It was. And we were able to do it for under $3,000 the first episode, and we used people kinda on the same low as we are. Young up and coming crew, young up and coming…

BB: They're going to start negotiating pay raises immediately.

JD: No, no.

BB: "You know, there's 300 people at the Breaking In party at the college."

RD: We've had that happen with actors before.

BB: It was a pleasure. Listeners who are interested in White Noise can again check volume 1 it's still up. And be sure to check out Breaking In as it unfolds monthly. Thanks for stopping by.

RD: Thanks for having us Michael.


You can listen to this interview and many other great features for free on Broadway Bullet vol. 109. Subscribe for free so you don't miss an episode.

 or MP3 Feed with XML

Photo - Brandon Bales, Ryan J. Davis, Justin Lamb and Joe Drymala

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