The Creative Moments Series - What those who have made it have to say to those who want to create with inspiration
by N J Howell
Improving Stand Up
About Del Shores: Del is an accomplished writer and director. His plays have entertained sell-out crowds in Los Angeles for decades, starting with "Cheatin". He's also the author of "Southern Baptist Sissies" and "Daughters of the LoneStar State". In addition to all his writing and directing credits, Del has also done a fair share of producing. He executive-produced Sordid Lives: The Series, The Wilde Girls, Tinseltown, etc. He was consulting producer on Queer as Folk and Dharma and Greg. Del Shores on imdb
I fell in love with Del Shores, the writer, when I saw "Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife" in Los Angeles, featuring the incredible Beth Grant and Dale Dickey. I also fell a little in love with Del Shores, the man, when I met him at that production. Good heart. That's what I'd say I noticed first. Authenticity and a good heart. Del has a way of making every character ridiculously funny and somehow touching at the same time. Lola Faye Barnes ... "Who flushed my banana pudding down the toilet?" is one example that comes to mind.
Del's hilariously funny play "Sordid Lives" was turned into a sitcom on Logo with most of the original theatre cast reprising their stage roles in the televions series. There's a movie version of Sordid Lives as well, with one of the funniest casts I've seen share a single screen in a while. I know Rosemary and Newell Alexander from my Hollywood days and I'd say the same thing about them as I say about Del ... Good hearts. These are just good people and when you add talent into that, wow.
By the way, I am distinctly honored to have been the first actress to utter "I once'd made a rooster outta lentils and beans" in a stage production. Let me explain ... The hilarious Juanita Bartlett character, first seen in the movie version of Sordid Lives, was not in the original Sordid Lives theatrical play when Del first wrote the play. I just happened to be cast in a production with a local theatre company in Chattanooga, Tennessee when Del added Juanita to the script for the first time, before that new script even went on to Sam French. The director of that theatre company is a friend of Del's so Del sent along the revised script and I got to play Juanita, one of the most fun roles I've ever had on stage or in film.
Of course, Sarah Hunley played Juanita when the newly revised version of the play opened in Los Angeles, which is as it should be. That's another thing I admire about Del. He is very loyal to those who start with him and usually ends up casting the same talented folks in other productions. My friend, Carol Goans, got to stand in for Juanita for some performances in Hollywood once. Woohoo, I bet that was a hoot and a half for Carol. Wish I'd been able to see that. OK, without further ado...
Creative Moments with the fabulous Del Shores:
Question 1: If you could give a performer only one acting tip for creating inspired and believable characters, what would it be?
Del's Response: Look the part and dress the part. Costumes, makeup and all the external elements many times transform an actor internally as well.
Question 2: What advice would you give creative performers on developing their career, making a living, and enjoying the creative aspects of life as a performer in film and television?
Del's Response: Work as much as you can. Do stage, webisodes, short films, work on scenes with your actor friends, stay in class. It's all like going to the gym. Then when the big auditions come, your "muscle" is toned and strong!
Next: Meg Lansaw Creative Moments
Ever wanted to see a story told or knew a certain actor would be perfect for a role but would probably never be cast? That's kinda why I started the Cosmic Casting Office. It's not a bricks and morter building but a sort of plea to the universe.