2011

With spring quickly sweeping through NYC, the acting opportunities are becoming more plentiful. Coming off a great winter of acting, I appeared as the lead in Manhattan Repertory Theater’s Winterfest in the brand new work “For Want of Nothing” A great cast, crew and director led us to an extended run with nearly packed houses.

Coming off of that I took yet another class at the excellent ESPA school associated with Primary Stages taught by the excellent Linda and David Laundra.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be appearing in a staged reading of yet another new work “The Waiter Project” Details to come.

A Fitting Tribute

The last two days were a marathon that I was simply happy to get through. Slotting in clients amongst a Samsung 3D TV promotion and a super stressful audition made for some exhausting hours which were capped off with a 5 hour late night shift at my gym. I was finally lucky and caught a break today with only one client and a few errands to run.

During this time though, my grandfather

(notice any resemblance?) was on a journey of his own, one long overdue and well deserved. He is one of the remaining few WWII survivors and as such was asked by the government in conjunction with HBO (which was doing a promotion for their new mini-series based on the war in The Pacific) to fly to DC to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the recently completed WWII memorial.This was organized by The Honor Flight Network which describes itself below:

“Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. Now, with over one thousand World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.”

From the missives and updates emailed at steady intervals by my mother, it seems the trip was a special and memorable one. Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks were both there to speak and honor the veterans. They were greeted at both the departing and arriving airports by volunteers only too eager to help and shake hands. A showing of Casablanca and a screening of the first episode of The Pacific was held for the men along with dinner. My cousin Courtney who lives and works in DC was able to attend some of the events and took some great pics.

Sal Citrano-WWII Memorial

Sal Citrano-WWII Memorial

Sal Citrano and grandaughter Courtney Yohe

Sal Citrano and grandaughter Courtney Yohe

It is comforting to know that we still have living tangible reminders of what happened 60 years ago that involved nearly the entire civilized world. Much about this subject has been written, portrayed and reenacted, but the lives and times of these men an women can’t be fully comprehended by those of us that weren’t there. As time and tide take more of them day by day, the opportunity to learn and most importantly thank them is dwindling rapidly. Its good that we are doing it now, for we are here to do it, because of them and their sacrifice.

A Few Laps

I am often grateful for the beautiful weather that comes as winter fades and moves further and further north, until the mild weather encompasses even the topmost reaches of Maine. But, as we may not be out of the woods yet, (March is a long, uncertain month) I took the opportunity to get back on my tri bike yesterday as the temperature crested 60° in Central Park. (Details at the end)

This is only the second time I rode since getting my bike ergonimically fitted by Mike Sherry at Performance Labs HC and it felt great. I went for about 1hr and 15min which was enough time to ride from my place and do 3 loops around the park. I find the most difficult thing to be keeping a steady pace when I find other bikers passing me. The internal competitor inside wants to chase but the calculating athlete in me knows to keep it steady and stick to the training plan.

It took me a while to get my steady cadence down but I started feeling stronger during the second lap and was holding back by the third. A good sign. But in reality I should be running more for the next week and a half. I have the NYC 1/2 marathon on Sunday the 21st which wasn’t cheap to enter. So I had better make it worthwhile and get a PR.

The Ironman looms over each and every workout I do and even more when I am not working out, but should be. It colors everything I’m doing. Not necessarily in a negative way per-se, but its impossible to avoid. The uncertainty is what is most troublesome. I assume this is all part of the training. All part of becoming a stronger athlete. Lets hope.

Activity Type: Cycling
Time: 01:14:57
Distance: 21.56 mi
Elevation Gain: 1,290 ft
Calories: 1,589 C
Avg HR:149 bpm

Till next time.

March 2010 Update

While anthonybagnetto.com has existed in some form for 8 years now, the changes in communication on the internet and the rise of social networking has largely made “personal” webpages obsolete. Still it is good to have a place where I can post content I have complete control over and can also act as a portal to all other social sites on the web. As a reminder, you can find those links on the right side of my page.

Since my last update, September ’09, I have settled into my new apartment in midtown which has proven to be a very convenient location for both acting auditions, classes and my personal training clients. It has quite simply changed my life. Since the move I have been commuting on my bike nearly 95% of the time right up until the middle of last month when I broke down and bought a monthly metrocard. My first since July. The snow and weather was becoming totally unmanageable, even for my indomitable spirit. This, coupled with the fact that I broke my hand back in October after crashing on my bike, made me somewhat more cautious on the roads. This incident came a mere week before Kristin and I took a very enjoyable trip to Italy which the broken hand did not spoil.

The holidays were terrific and I have enjoyed the all the snow this year despite the occasional inconvenience. I have been training throughout the winter, albeit in a fairly unfocused manner. Despite that I managed to match my August 1/2 marathon PR in January and to crush my 4 mile PR in early February finally going under 30 minutes. Nearing the end of this month I will be beginning, in ernest, my training for the September 2010 Ironman Wisconsin. I am toying around the idea of blogging my experience from the beginning of training through race day for a couple of reasons. One is that I simply need to write more and another is to have a record of what I went through in case I’m ever stupid enough to try another one.

Till next time.

On 30

Every time I attempt to write about what its like to turn 30 I get stopped at the first sentence. I never really know why or for who I am writing but only know that I should be.

Which makes it hard to get to the second sentence. But now that I am solidly into the 4th, things are going more smoothly and I’m settling in. To begin at nowhere in particular, I guess I feel that at this point in my life I should be able to do everything well and expound upon most things with ease. Writing obviously, but also finance, real estate, literature, current events and the state of media, bias and prejudice, demographics, marketing, the major cultures, medicine and drugs, and especially music and technology. I want to feel that as soon as I meet someone new, I can hold a moderately intelligent conversation on whatever that persons job or hobbies might be. I’m not sure why this has become an important issue in my life and why it comes to mind when I think about turning 30. It seems like a good age to finally be able to relate to people and to have a good idea where they are coming from in the most general sense. It feels like the years leading up to this turning point have been filled with an ego-centric point of view. That I have been pre-occupied more with finding out who I am, rather than who the people around me are. Perhaps this is the very definition of maturity (not Websters, go with me here.)

There seem to be two camps, both with conflicting opinions on turning 30 or on turning anything for that matter. One group holds great importance on the date as a milestone signifying true adulthood and the beginning of the transition to middle age. I’ve heard multiple times about the ability to leaves ones tumultuous and uncertain 20’s behind. Which, by default, assumes that the 30’s are an age of stability and confidence, something that fills me with unnecessary anxiety. Its touted as time to build the solid foundations on which the rest of one’s life will stand. On the other side are those that espouse that 30 is just a number, another age that one inexorably turns, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” They say age is simply how old you feel and act (and more often in this reality-tv driven society, look.) Perspective and outlook overrule any arbitrary celestial event as insignificant as a rock orbiting a ball of gas x number of times. They encourage us to live we wish and to not be burdened by the unhappy souls with their hard and fast rules.

This is all well and good until you realize that nature doesn’t care how you feel about any of it and entropy will have its way with you no matter how you try and ignore it. So attention must eventually be paid to the gradual detoriation of our bodies and the physical limiters that become more and more apparent as the years pass. Its no secret to me anymore that the large majority of NFL quarterbacks are now younger than me. And while the pro-triathletes for the most part are still older than me, they have 10 years of the sport already under their belt. Which doesn’t even take into account the 19 year old pro phenom Andrew Yoder who came in 4th in this years NYC Triathlon with his elders Andy Potts (33), Matt Reed (34) and Greg Bennett (37) right above him.Thank God for Age Groups in these races. Its truly comforting when someone 10 years younger, or actually more often, 10 years older passes me, and I know he doesn’t affect my age group ranking. Us 30-34 year olds are all huddled together in the same boat regardless of experience, wealth, or having our lives together in any passable way.

I can never mention aging and physical milestones without feeling so blessed once again that I am not a woman. They have a whole different understanding of the term biological clock that I thankfully will never know. Which leads me to the glaring and nagging observation that a large majority of my high school peers are now married. Of these, at least half have one or more children. They own houses (mortgages really), silverware, joint bank accounts, possess health insurance, 401k’s, car notes, gone on cruises, joined churches, and have basically become contributing, valued members of society. I’ve done (I hesitate to use the word accomplished, as if these are things to be ticked off on an identical list that everyone has) none of these things. I’m not necessarily jealous or feel left out even, but I can’t ignore the disparity and pretend that I’m not in the minority. These facts though are mitigated by the idea, often trotted out drink in hand at fabulous NYC parties, that no one in the city has these things and certainly haven’t missed out for not taking part. We urbanites pity the suburban drones, chained to their house and car payments, diaper changes, streets with no sidewalks or all-night bodegas. They in turn think we are insane for living with constant noise, light, traffic and the never ending, choking crush of humanity.

What I’m getting at I suppose is that turning 30 is highly contextual. Like our perception of wealth, feelings about age largely depend on who we are surrounded by. Most of my city friends who are close to my age haven’t “achieved” their career goals or know that they are even on the right track. They don’t own anything larger than a bed or more expensive than a flat screen TV. And while some are slowly beginning to get married or settle into serious long term relationships, almost none have children. Perhaps with an increasing variety of life options that a city provides, the more time it takes to sift through them all and make decisions. That being said, my non-city friends lives don’t feel foreign to me. After all, I grew up in the surburbs and it was all I knew of life until I was 18. I see their happiness and contentment, the assuredness they feel in their lives and sometimes find myself wondering when my turn will come. I feel this most keenly during major calendar events like birthdays and new years. I can’t imagine the pressure I would feel if this was a constant state of being especially considering my current occupation. I refer of course to acting, not training.

Acting is perhaps one of the most difficult professions to endure when thinking about one’s age (aside from modeling I suppose.) Us actors are constantly evaluating our professional viability which is often linked directly to our perceived age. That relationship, between our biological age and our perceived age, is fraught with stomach churning anxiety. The best compliment most of us can receive is that we don’t look our age by far. Self-delusion in this area is dangerous and could easily be damaging. Showing up to an audition for a part that is far younger than I can play is one of the largest red flags for casting directors and a sure indicator that the person who should be most aware of their “type” doesn’t have a clue. Its not a far leap from there to wonder what else I don’t know. So I suppose I must tread carefully.

All in all, I am content. Looking back doesn’t cause me anxiety, or remind me of things I haven’t accomplished. Looking forward doesn’t frighten me. I believe I’ve set strong foundations for whatever lies ahead. I am lucky to have the terrific friends I do to look after me and shape the person I am. I’m lucky to have Kristin, who’s love is vast and unconditional and I am lucky for a supportive and healthy family. I suppose if I must turn 30, whatever that may mean, I am ready.

First Indoor Triathlon with Jack Rabbit Sports

Placed 2nd on Sunday at my first ever indoor triathlon. buy generic cialis 20mg Pretty fun little tune-up for late winter. 10min swim as far as you can. 30 min spin as fast as you can. 20 min run on treadmill as far as you can. Jack Rabbit

Back from South Beach; Jr Lab Ratz with more air dates

Just returned from a relaxing 5 day vacation in South Beach, Miami ready to get back to work. While I was out of town, WCNY made their way to KidScreen Conference in NYC to promote Jr Lab Ratz and from early accounts it went well. Meanwhile, it has been airing multiple times on PBS in Syracuse. In addition, there have been more confirmed air dates around the state of New York which are below.

Catch Jr Lab Ratz on:

WXXI (Rochester): Thurs. 3/19 @ 5:30 PM
WXXI City 12 station: Thurs. 3/19 @ 6 PM
WPBS (Watertown): Sun. 3/15 @ 12 PM & Thurs. 3/19 @ 5:30 PM
WLIW (Long Island & NYC): Sat. 3/28 @ 9:30 AM
WMHT (Albany): no date yet, it will air some time in April
WSKG (Broome County): no date yet, it will air some time in April

Back here in the city, I have a bunch of shows to catch with friends from the WBW cast, including:

Othello with John Douglas Thompson
3 Sisters with Lisa Johanson
Love/Stories with Marc LeVasseur
Leah’s Train with Jennifer Ikeda

Go see them, they are all terrific actors

Jr Lab Ratz Premier

Jr Lab Ratz Cast

Jr Lab Ratz Cast

The very successful run of the Off-Broadway production of Women Beware Women came to a buy generic cialis 20mg close this past Sunday night. It was an amazing experience and I learned a great deal from the actors I had the good fortune to work with.  I have already started to miss the cast and crew. But all good things must come to and end I suppose. I have already began auditioning and perusing the castings for new work. I have a meeting to re-connect with my agent early next week.

But, the big news is the airing of the pilot I filmed this past summer, Jr Lab Ratz. It will be premiering on WCNY in Syracuse this Sunday January 25th at 7pm EST. Other airings will be:
Wednesday 1/28 @ 8 PM
Friday 1/30 @ 5:30 PM
Saturday 1/31 @ 9:30 AM
Sunday 2/1 @ 10 AM

As of right now, no solid dates are set for other PBS affiliates but it will be airing throughout upstate NY. As more dates come in I will update it. You can find more info out at www.jrlabratz.com along with production photos and the trailer.

Rave Reviews for Women Beware Women

Well, after the first excellent week of shows for Women Beware Women we are still packing the houses. Because of the great reviews in the Times, Variety, Theatermania, Backstage Time Out NY and Curtain Up, it was announced on Monday that we will be extended at the St Clements Theater till January 18th.

This is one of the most satisfying theater experiences I’ve had in NYC to date.  The cast, in addition to being immensely talented and professional, are a amazing group to be around and I’m learning a great deal both on and off the stage. I am supremely fortunate to work with legends like Roberta Maxwell (original cast of Equus among many others) and Everett Quinton (of Ridiculous Theatrical Company and Charles Ludlam fame) The show itself is a blast and its great to watch everyone work each night to bring something new and respond to the audience.

We are dark till Friday so I was able to come upstate to my parents house to celebrate Christmas. After a long day of last minute errands, exchanging gifts with Kristin and her family in Jersey, I headed to the annual Dec 23rd  Christmas party with old high school friends. Looking forward to a couple relaxing days before I have to be back onstage.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Women Beware Women at Red Bull Theater

I’m happy to post that I’m nearly 3 weeks into rehearsals for the new Off-Broadway show Women Beware Woman at the Red Bull Theater company with Jesse Berger as director. I was cast in the ensemble and also as Ganymede. A bit about the show from blogger Clyde Fitch:

“WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN, by Thomas Middleton, is a rarely performed piece which speaks with a shockingly contemporary voice about sexual politics and women’s rights. A Romeo and Juliet for adults, Livia, a widow, pursues sexual independence and in the process she destroys not only herself, but the innocent lives of those around her. WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN is a timely examination of the inherent pitfalls of a society that does not treat women equally and that treats love as a commodity.

Red Bull Theater is dedicated to the presentation of vital and imaginative productions of heightened language plays and to the development of new plays written in a similar vein. With a special focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Red Bull Theater aspires to challenge the intellect and engage the imagination of today’s theatergoers through company-created, resonantly provocative staging of great classic stories. Named for a London playhouse of the seventeenth century, the original Red Bull was the first of the English theaters to reopen after years of Puritan rule during which plays were banned. Founded in 2003, today’s Red Bull Theater embraces this rejuvenating spirit and aims to lead a renaissance of language-based classical theater in New York.”

The cast is really terrific, rehearsals are going smoothly and we open on Dec 9th for previews. I can’t emphasize enough what a pleasure it is to work in that kind of environment. This was how I knew theater could be and it will be very difficult to go back.  Hopefully that won’t be necessary.

In other acting news, I went up to Syracuse on Monday and Tuesday to do some  ADR (automated dialogue replacement) for Jr. Lab Ratz which is now finished being edited. It is slated to air all across PBS in NY state on Sunday January 25th at 7pm.

Training is actually picking up a bit despite the market and economic conditions and I am keeping busy with holiday planning. Very much enjoyed the fall weather and am thinking about getting back to some triathlon training beginning with some base running and biking.