What Will Your Oscar’s Speech Be?

As I watch the various entertainment awards ceremonies that populate the first few months of the year, I am always struck by the depth of intention artists find in work that can sometimes feel like pure entertainment. I’m reminded that in everything we as actors do, we must find the greater purpose. Make it about something bigger than ourselves because that’s where the possibility for greatness lies.

Last night, during the SAG awards, many of the actors rose to the occasion of our times, understanding that the work they do does not exist in a vaccuum, but is rather reflected through the prism of the culture, giving their award an importance beyond simple recognition of talent or hard work. Continue reading What Will Your Oscar’s Speech Be?

Nailing Your “No Sides” Commercial Audition

Before I get to the tips, I want to share some good news.

I’m very excited to announce that I have joined Arlene Thornton’s On-Camera Commercial Department.

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My agent there, Janet Tscha, is a winner and multiple-time nominee of the Seymour Heller Award for Commercial Agent of the Year. (Heller, yeah!)

I’ll be sure to let you guys know when you can catch my ugly mug selling products on TV’s everywhere.

Now onto nailing your “no sides” commercial audition.
Continue reading Nailing Your “No Sides” Commercial Audition

See what the Tonys Inspire

6a012876c6c7fb970c01bb08264d7a970d-300wiThe Tony Awards always leave me inspired. I didn’t get to watch this years broadcast, but even just seeing the names of nominees and winners that are close to my heart fuels me to keep pushing ahead in this crazy business of show.

I’m especially inspired by the win of FUN HOME – a story we’ve never seen before on the musical stage – as it further widens the breadth of what stories a musical can tell. As it has for centuries, the theatre continues to have the power to give voice to all sorts of populations whose stories deserve to be told.

That’s why I’m so excited to premiere some brand new songs from JOE SHMOE SAVES THE WORLD as part of The Festival of New American Musical’s Musi-CAL series, celebrating new musicals written by SoCal writers.

The show is hosted by Rockwell Table & Stages in Los Feliz. It begins at 8pm and tickets start at only $15.

Come have a bite to eat and support new musical theatre performed by my incredible cast featuring Jonah Hill (American Idiot, Hair at the Hollywood Bowl), Alex Wyse (Masters of Sex, Broadway’s Lysistrata Jones), Ashley Argota (The Fosters), and Nicole Farnoush, as well as Kat Hennessey, Chris Meissner, Lyle Mackston, and Holly Howell.

Grab your tickets ahead of time – and I’ll see you there!

The Host With the Most

“It’s a wonderful night for Oscar (Oscar, Oscar!) who will win?”

Thus began every Oscar monologue given by the master Billy Crystal.  The first time I ever seriously watched the Oscars (I was super invested in “Good Will Hunting” winning) it was hosted by Billy.  He worked his ass off to entertain – a true performer and just plain silly.  He came out 3/4 of the way through the show at crouched behind the glass podium exclaiming: “Look!  I’m a present!”  7998822

His songs during the opening monologues, pointing out the (at the time) 5 Best Picture nominees were the precursor in many ways to what Neil Patrick Harris has accomplished many times at the Emmy’s and Tony’s.  To Matt Damon and Ben Affleck he crooned to the tune of “Night and Day”: “Matt and Ben – you are the ones.  Your script was tight and, damnit – so are your buns.”

images-1This Sunday, however, will be hosted once again by Ellen Degeneres.  Ellen did a great job the last time she hosted with her signature folks-y, meandering comic style with surprise zingers.  She last hosted when Helen Mirren would win for “The Queen.”  Ellen quipped: “Lots of British nominees.  Would I say ‘too many’?  Not here.  Alone at home in my pajamas with a box of chardonnay in me? who knows what I’d say!”

The good thing about Ellen is that she never gets too overtly political, which is bad for the air on Oscar night.  Chris Rock went very far in that direction, holding his mic like a true stand-up, with this joke that didn’t even have anything to do with the Oscars: “Bush did some stuff you could neeeever get away with at your job, man.  You know when Bush got into office they had a surplus of money.  Now there’s like a 70 trillion dollar deficit.  Now just imagine you worked at the GAP…”

Whoopi got political the first time she hosted (the first time ANY woman hosted), but she condensed it to one “political soapbox rant” that ended with: “Let Frank Sinatra finish!”

Jon Stewart, who I love on Daily Show, was also a bit political, but less so.  He just seemed ill-at-ease while not behind his desk.  He didn’t know what to do with his hands.  But he did have some great lines such as: “Diablo Coldy used to be an exotic dancer and now she’s an Oscar-nominated screenwriter…I hope you’re enjoying the paycut.” And my favorite of his:  “This year’s theme is “Bringing Back the Glamor” and let me just say — thank god.  Because for too long Hollywood has been without.”

Second to Billy as my favorite host is definitely Steve Martin:  “When they asked me back in January if I wanted to host the Oscars my first thought was: “Would there be enough time for my facelift to heal.”

What they both do so well is poke fun at Hollywood, which I think is so necessary on a night where super rich celebrities give each other statues made of gold.  And when he joined forces with Alec Baldwin (the first DUO to host the Oscars) it was pure magic.

Unfortunately it lead the way to one of the WORST Oscar duos – James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

So here’s to Ellen and a great night at the Oscars!

 

 

OSCARS Live Tweet

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love the Oscars. The celebrity, the art, the speeches.  The Oscars make me fall in love with show business over and over.

In fact, the only thing I love more than the Oscars is LIVE-TWEETING the Oscars. The jokes, the snark, the hashtags.

So follow me on twitter (@btryback) and this Sunday, March 2nd follow join me starting at 4e/7p.  I won’t quit until the last man affirms his heterosexuality by thanking his girlfriend/wife/escort.  Or the wine puts me to sleep, which ever happens first.

See you Sunday!  And may the statuettes be ever in your favor.

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A Little New Music

Hey Los Angeles – Looking for something to do next week?

This Fall’s sold-out event A LITTLE NEW MUSIC returns to One of the Hottest Music-Theatre Joints in LA – Rockwell. Next Tuesday, December 10th @ 8pm. Click here for tickets.

Featuring work by Brett Ryback, alongside Joe Iconis (The Black Suits, NBC’s “Smash”), Gregory Nabours (The Trouble with Words), and many more!

Don’t miss it!

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TAVERN KEEPER’S is a Winner!

EPSON MFP imageThis week, the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program’s summer production of my musical THE TAVERN KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was voted Best Production by the readers of Pasadena Weekly – beating out works at both the highly regarded Boston Court Theatre and the major regional Pasadena Playhouse.

I’m very proud of everyone’s work on the production.  Congratulations!

Listen below to Lesli Margherita (Broadway’s Matilda) sing “Let Go!” from THE TAVERN KEEPER’S DAUGHTER.

 

Last Chance for BWAY BOUND

Tonight through Sunday is the last week to see Broadway Bound at La Mirada.  The audiences have been absolutely wonderful, and the critics have only fantastic things to say about everyone.

 

“[As Stanely and Eugene,] Ryback and Alda are ideal…Ryback embodies Stanley’s astoundingly unshakeable faith in, and readiness with praise for, himself and Eugene as great comedy writers.  Sweating out their first assignment for radio, Ryback’s Stanley is absolutely driven.” ~OC Register
mtn8pu-b781175088z.120130924115535000g3u1g38e0.1“As Stanley, Brett Ryback provides the almost frenzied ambition and creative anxiety against which Eugene’s own creativity blends or bumps. He must always vibrate with urgency, and Ryback makes that both believable and highly entertaining.” ~Long Beach Press-Telegram

 

The show is a delightful, heartfelt experience and I would love for you to get to see it.

To purchase you may call the Box Office at 562.944.9801 or order online.

 

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Photo Credit: Michael Lamont