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Actor Adam Nelson PERFORMS THE ROLE OF Edmund IN Shakespeare's KING LEAR | Act I, Scene II
Of all of the play's villains, Edmund is the most complex and sympathetic. He is a consummate schemer, a Machiavellian character eager to seize any opportunity and willing to do anything to achieve his goals. However, his ambition is interesting insofar as it reflects not only a thirst for land and power but also a desire for the recognition denied to him by his status as a bastard. His serial treachery is not merely self-interested; it is a conscious rebellion against the social order that has denied him the same status as Gloucester's legitimate son, Edgar. "Now, gods, stand up for bastards," Edmund commands, but in fact he depends not on divine aid but on his own initiative (1.2.22). He is the ultimate self-made man, and he is such a cold and capable villain that it is entertaining to watch him work, much as the audience can appreciate the clever wickedness of Iago in Othello. Only at the close of the play does Edmund show a flicker of weakness. Mortally wounded, he sees that both Goneril and Regan have died for him, and whispers, "Yet Edmund was beloved" (5.3.238). After this ambiguous statement, he seems to repent of his villainy and admits to having ordered Cordelia's death. His peculiar change of heart, rare among Shakespearean villains, is enough to make the audience wonder, amid the carnage, whether Edmund's villainy sprang not from some innate cruelty but simply from a thwarted, misdirected desire for the familial love that he witnessed around him. Camera + Direction: Logan Hodson | Music: SuicideSheep 'Dawn' with a performance by Adam Nelson www.adamnelson.me
Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,--legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
HOLLYWOOD - With over 27,000 talent submissions received, 113 hopefuls were chosen to advance to the Final Round. New York native Adam Nelson successfully battled film industry finalists each vying for just 23 spots. He would go on to ultimately win a talent spot as an Actor on Season One of "The Reel Deal", a multi-platform new media competitive reality show where celebrity led teams make Academy Award quality short film in just four days. Contestants auditioned in categories including actor, director, composer and writer as created by 21st Century Pictures Group | Adryenn Ashley, Producer. Filming begins in 2015 in Hollywood. Hot on the heels of the success of Netflix original series, 21st Century Pictures Group is further innovating the way we consume binge-worthy entertainment, namely with the production of a new reality television show. ‘The Reel Deal,’ will distribute online, on demand, on mobile and through social media in an innovative interconnected multi-platform format. Alongside host David Chokachi, season one’s celebrity cast includes Dustin Diamond (of Saved by the Bell fame), Holly Fields, Judy Norton, Eric Roberts, Tim Russ and Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson. The Reel Deal was created by award winning film/tv producer Adryenn Ashley, and produced by Ashley alongside industry favorite casting director and producer Bonnie Gillespie. Media Partners include IMDB, YouTube, Squerb, Twitter and Facebook. To learn more about the upcoming show, log on to thereeldeal.tv/adam-nelson
ADAM NELSON began his career with an actor’s grant for gifted and talented children after an appearance on the Jerry Lewis annual Telethon. He relocated to Houston, Texas to attend the High School of Performing Arts on scholarship where he studied Theater. After attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where he received his BFA (1991), he attended certificate programs through both Yale University (1989) and Oxford University at the British American Drama Academy (1990). He returned to Manhattan to become a founding member of Workhouse Theater Company whose original membership included Adrienne Shelly, Gil Bellows, Calista Flockhart, Mira Sorvino, Dean Winters, and Tom Seizmore. He gained recognition through appearances in feature films A Tiger’s Tale (1988) with Ann Margaret, Lesser Prophets with John Turturro (1997), Dead Broke with Justin Theroux (1999), Home Sweet Hoboken with Ben Gazzara (2001) and Shooting Vegetarians with Elodie Bouchez (2005). Nelson was been associated with some of New York’s most notable groups including Nak ed Angels, Cucaracha Theater Company, Manhattan Class Company, Circle Rep, Arden Party and the Adobe Theater Company. Called a “film star” by Toronto's Now Magazine for his role as the suicidal gambler in Sundance Channel’s cult classic Dogs: The Rise & Fall of An All-Girl Bookie Joint (1996), he was granted exclusive rights in 1997 by the Lenny Bruce Estate, Bruce's mother Sally Marr, and producer Marvin Worth to produce and perform his one-person show How to Talk Dirty and Influence People: The Story of Lenny Bruce which ran at Workhouse before moving Off-Broadway to Mother located in New York’s Meatpacking District (1999). The sold-out performances benefited the charity God’s Love We Deliver and received critical acclaim from the Village Voice which praised his rendition as “restless, brilliant and hilarious” and TimeOut New York’s chief theater critic, Sam Whitehead, branded him “an impresario, a notorious theatrical madman”. After the tragedy of September 11th, he co-produced The 24 Hour Plays to aid The NY State WTC Relief Fund with a cast that included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rosie Perez, Benjamin Bratt, Billy Crudup, Mary-Louise Parker, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Kyra Sedgwick, Lili Taylor, Natasha Lyonne, Scarlett Johansson, Liev Schreiber, Jared Harris, Sam Rockwell, and Fisher Stevens. He married the stage manager of his show How to Talk Dirty, Alison Nelson in 2002. She is the founding owner of Chocolate Bar. They have two children a daughter, Lulu Scout and a son, Sailor. Visit www.adamnelson.me
Headed to Hollywood on the wings of fine friends, family and mentors, but most importantly, the cloud bursts of Adryenn Ashley, Bonnie Gillespie and Tina Davis. For that, there are halo's and this video of thanks. #TheReelDeal
RAP(ID) RESPONSE | THE REEL DEAL - ADAM NELSON - ACTOR Featuring Adam Nelson as he fights with rapper's delight for the finals of the new celebrity tv show The Reel Deal. Break it down by voting, visit www.therealdeal.tv/Adam-Nelson
Fi Fie Fo Fum
Rap Battles are lots of fun
A squerby derby
I once played
So I can be ...
Emote and feel
Lonnie with a remix
That's some kind of
Balls in my court
But I got children I have to support
MUSIC: Charger | Midi Mafia
THE REEL DEAL TV SHOW To learn more about the upcoming show, and Finalist Adam Nelson via his page https://www.thereeldeal.tv/adam-nelson. Vote for the Finals until 15 May 2014
NEW YORK CITY: One of the contestants who has reached the Finals is actor Adam Nelson who admits he's avoided the dramatics of reality television since briefly appearing in two episodes of the first and second seasons of Donald Trump's The Apprentice. However, a new cross-format show is in the works, and the New York City native is among about 120 film industry semifinalists vying for 21 spots on The Reel Deal, set for filming this summer. He's thrown his hat into the ring because this show is not your typical reality show. In the vein of American Idol or The Voice, the new competition includes celebrity-led teams of actors, composers, writers and directors shooting short films in four days, the show slated for streaming broadcast via new media. An innovative multi-platform reality television show, 'The Reel Deal,' has secured celebrity talent, non-traditional distribution, and a groundbreaking partnership with Squerb.com designed to allow audiences to peek into the future of the entertainment industry, and deeply engage with the content, contestants and celebrities.
Hot on the heels of the success of Netflix original series, 21st Century Pictures Group is further innovating the way we consume binge-worthy entertainment, namely with the production of a new reality television show. 'The Reel Deal,' will distribute online, on demand, on mobile and through social media in an innovative interconnected multi-platform format. Alongside host David Chokachi, season one's celebrity cast includes Dustin Diamond (of Saved by the Bell fame), Holly Fields, Judy Norton, Eric Roberts, Tim Russ and Don 'The Dragon' Wilson. The Reel Deal was created by award winning film/tv producer Adryenn Ashley, and produced by Ashley alongside industry favorite casting director and producer Bonnie Gillespie. Media Partners include IMDB, YouTube, Squerb, Twitter and Facebook. #TheReelDeal #TheReelDealAudition #TheReelDealContest
The Real Deal Audition | The Reel Deal Contest | The Reel Deal
BACKSTAGE THE PERFORMING ARTS WEEKLY | DOWNTOWN SENSIBILITY by Sherry Eaker
There's a group of actors that I define as "downtown performers," though the term has very little to do with the location of any of the theatres where these actors might be performing. It actually has more to do with a certain sensibility that they share. They tend to work at the same theatres, doing less-than-traditional fare and, instead of constantly being on the hunt for agents and doing showcases with the sole intent of attracting agents to come see them, these independent spirits make the art of their business their number-one priority.
Adam Nelson is a typical example of an actor on the "downtown" scene. Currently featured i n the Adobe Theatre Company production of "Notions in Motion" (which, coincidently, just moved Uptown to the Raymond J. Greenwald Theatre on W. 26th Street after receiving terrific reviews while playing at the downtown Ohio Theater on Wooster Street), Adam has also appeared i n production at New Georges, Cucaracha, Playwrights Collective, Manhattan Class Company, and the now-defunct Malaparte and Workhouse theatre companies.
"I just want to work ," Adam told me over the phone the other day wh en I asked him what his goals were. "I want to eat three times a day, sleep on a bed ... and do the kind of work that I can be proud of," he stressed. "I'll take anything; the challenge is always there: find ing the director's vocabulary, figuring out the way the writer is thinking ..." You can tell that Adam really gets into his roles.
Adam wanted to perform ever since he was a kid. Born in New York, he spent a lot of his growing-up years in Houston with his mom and brother and sister where he attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, taking such classes as stage combat , voice, movement , and scene study. But adolescence was a difficult time for Adam and he didn't do very well i n school. It wasn't until he got to the University of the Arts i n Philadelphia that he began appreciating his studies. "I had a thirst for knowledge that I never had before ," Adam told me . "I devoured as much as possible." His extracurricular studies included two three-month private programs, one at Yale in 1989, and one at Oxford in 1990. The courses got him to meet and work with head s of theatre departments and well-known actors. After graduating in '91, Adam came to New York, but within a few days head ed to Maine for the International Film & TV Workshop , his first real professional job. Work ing with film-industry folk further enhanced his networking opportunities.
I asked Adam if he ever worked with an agent. Actually he did. It was in L.A., where he was "stranded" for a while following their earthquake. He got an agent the fourth day he was in L.A. The agent booked several jobs for him, none of which Adam felt took any talent or education: "All it required was patience and good looks." Realizing that he wasn't cut out for L.A., he returned to New York ; counting on some of his acquaintances to open some doors for him . Yes, it was easy for him to make first-time contacts with several agents in New York, but the agents weren't interested in him, telling him that he was too "down town-looking, too ethnic ." "They told me to call when I was in something, which I did, but they never showed," Adam noted .
Does he see having an agent as a plus? "They pro vide the opportunity to go into an audition, to be seen for film and TV work , on stages such as the Roundabout, the Public ...I want to be able to work on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at the Public-I want to be able to do Shakespeare in the Park," Adam told me. "But," he continued, "I could spend my whole life doing the business of the art. I won't stop doing what I'm doing now."
And so, to fill the time, Adam wrote and performed his one-person shows, doing one here in New York at the Workhouse theatre right before the theatre closed. Adam was with the Workhouse for four or five years , and cal led himself an "orphan" now that it's no longer around. "I lost my true home. The Workhouse is where I grew up, where I learned; it gave me an identity . It gave me a cachet.
Adam described the appeal of working with ensemble groups like the Workhouse or like the Adobe where he is presently . "There's this incredible working relationship , a vocabulary that you begin to share. The work is far more rewarding."
Adam has also just completed work on a film which stars Scott Glenn, John Turturro, Amy Brenneman, and Elizabeth Perkins. "Lesser Prophets " was written by Paul Diomede, is being produced by Richard Temtchine and directed by William DeVizia all independent filmmakers, working under the banner of October Films , and doing a major studio film for the first time.
So, if moving to an uptown theatre and working on a major studio production doesn't quite fit the image of Adam that I just described, he asserts, "As long as it's not taking me away from my original navigation.
Adam is the first of a few "downtown" artists that Back Stage will focus on in an upcoming issue.