Terminator Too: Judgment Play
Do you have what it takes to be part of The Resistance and stop the Rise of the Machines? Think you can pull off a next-to-perfect Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation? Then, join the crowd headed to Santos Party House for the Saturday night debut of the interactive spoof, “Terminator Too: Judgment Play.” For each show, the role of the Terminator will be chosen from the audience … by the audience, according to its director and mastermind Thomas Blake Jr. “This show has tons of surprises … If you have seen the movie then you know how many special effects, and car chases, and robot wars in the future there are, and the show has it all,” Blake reveals in the following interview with Tania Fuentez Media.
NOTE: The show runs every Saturday at Santos Party House, starting June 23-Aug.11. Visit the official site for details.
TFM: You’ve already wowed audiences with “Point Break Live!,” even garnering a visit by actor Gary Busey. What inspired the upcoming interactive production, “Terminator Too, Judgement Play?” Can you share a few surprises up your sleeve? What’s involved exactly and how did you decide on the cast?
When I was working on “PBL!” people were always asking what was next. I knew I needed to pick the perfect classic movie, with tons of over the top action, an iconic (in a so bad it’s good) leading role and many memorable lines. “Terminator 2” was one of my faves growing up and it had all of those characteristics, so I thought it would be perfect. Plus, I knew hearing someone from the audience trying to do that infamous Arnold accent would be comic gold!! For this show I also wanted to do a big homage to the late 80s and 90s for everyone who grew up in that time. I chose to use as many classic toys as I could find from those periods to use as props, as well as adding characters and lines from other movies and TV shows of that period. I thought this would help take the majority of my audience back to the good ol’ days when they didn’t have to worry about bills, or jobs, or any of that grown up stuff.
This show has tons of surprises … If you have seen the movie then you know how many special effects, and car chases, and robot wars in the future there are, and the show has it all. So the biggest surprise is how we do all of that with a very limited budget live on stage!! About half the cast I had worked with before on various projects and the other half went through an audition process. I reached out to both UBC and The PIT to see if they could pass along the audition info to their talent, which they gratefully did, and I ended up casting a couple of actors from each.
TFM: Describe the premise behind “The Worst Generation” and how you officially signed with MyDamnChannel.com?
“The Worst Generation” is about a group of twenty-somethings who are lazy, jobless and drug-addled mooching off of the success of their commercially famous dog. We like to say its like like “Entourage” but instead of Vinny Chase, “The Worst Generation’s” characters meal ticket is a four-legged pooch. We originally shot the show as a pilot that we were pitching around L.A., when one of our friends got it to the very awesome, MyDamnChannel.com, and they wanted us to re-cut the pilot into a full season of a Web series. We did, and the rest was history!
TFM: Name your favorite “Terminator” film and why? What makes the original movie such a cult classic after all these years and what’s the takeaway message?
My favorite “Terminator” film is obviously “T2” … that’s why I did it and not any of the others. It was just the best. The script was so epic. James Cameron set the bar for special effects with this film, the cast was incredible, Edward Furlong was the man and they had the money to bring it all together. The reason that the “Terminators” are great is simple … James Cameron is an incredible director and visionary and pretty much anything he touches is awesome.
I think the message of the Terminator was if you don’t want to get killed by robot-assassins from the future, then you better have a robot assassin from the future on your team.
TFM: Comedy and satire aren’t as easy as it looks. Any words of advice? Explain the importance of good writers in this mix.
Comedy is really hard to pull off. If you are doing comedy it’s all about timing. Really good shows have a definite rhythm. I think having the confidence in what you are doing is also key. If the confidence in your jokes and the rhythm of the delivery are both there, then most of the time you are on the right track. Of course having a good script is the most important. And the actors. And the direction. Actually, everything has to fall in place for great comedy to work. It’s one of the hardest forms of entertainment to achieve, and it’s always something you will be getting better at.
TFM: Live performance can be so unpredictable. Have there been any interactive shows that have gone wrong and what did you do to get things back on track?
Some of the best parts about doing interactive shows is when something goes wrong. If you hire excellent actors who are good at improv then they can turn any mishap into something funnier than you could have ever written! I love when unexpected things happen during my shows, I guess that’s why I prefer the interactive shows.
“Terminator Too: Judgment Play” site: http://www.terminatortoo.com
Thomas Blake Jr.: http://www.thomasblakejr.com
George Spielvogel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/thegeorgiegeorge
Santos Party House: http://www.santospartyhouse.com/