Very few people go out and make things happen, Clay Von Carlowitz and Asta Paredes did with their crowd-funded rendition of John Patrick Shanleyâ€™s play, â€œDanny and the Deep Blue Sea.â€
Caged in by the small, but intimate Robert Moss Theater, the audience is taken on an emotional-thrill-ride amplified by the two actorsâ€™ performances.
A story of two broken characters that fall in love over the course of one night, a night of pushing and pulling between the two until they find solace in each otherâ€™s love for one another.
Stars of the B-movie, â€œReturn to Nuke â€˜Em High Vol. 1,â€ from independent production company Troma, Carlowitz and Paredes met on set of the film and instantaneously fell in love.
Flash forward two years and now they have put together their very own production.
It is hard to believe just two months ago we sat down with the young couple to talk about the crowd-funded project.
It has been a hard, albeit rewarding journey to â€œDanny and the Deep Blue Sea.â€
â€œIts not about the stress, its about the story,â€ said Carlowitz. â€œWhatâ€™s best is when you finally get there and all the work youâ€™ve done falls into place.â€
Fitting the two decided to use a play with only two characters to showcase their talent as the couple found themselves going through, as Parades puts it â€œbaptism through fire.â€
Producing, rehearsals and pouring not only their hearts into it, but putting every bit of money they could into the project.
Although they reached their goal of 3,000 dollars, Carlowitz and Paredes put 2,000 dollars of their own money into the project.
â€œWe donated a good amount,â€ laughed Paredes.
The extra money put into the play was to enhance their show.
â€œIt was stuff we had to do,â€ said Carlowitz. â€œIt wasnâ€™t a question, it was just what can do to make this work.â€ And boy did it work.
On the first night of their two-night engagement, the actors were greeted with applause, praise and even a bottle of champagne from legendary filmmaker, Lloyd Kaufman.
Kaufman, the actorsâ€™ director on the film â€œReturn to Nuke â€˜Em High,â€ in an exclusive interview with Review Fix described Carlowitz, Paredes and the entire cast of the film as â€œthe most enthusiastic, hard-working, and creative castâ€ heâ€™s ever had.
That hard work and enthusiasm Lloyd was referring to is fully displayed in â€œDanny and the Deep Blue Sea.â€
Carlowitz and Parades showcased their passion for storytelling and deep understanding of characters with this show; a level of passion they pride themselves in.
â€œThat is something you can always control, the degree of passion you have for a project and how you show that,â€ said Carlowitz. â€œYou want to show that you are there to play ball.â€
As much effort as Carlowitz and Paredes put into this project, it was not to pat themselves on the back.
â€œWeâ€™re not here to say â€˜oh, we did this work,â€™â€ said Carolowitz. â€œWeâ€™re here to say â€˜come to see the show, we think youâ€™d enjoy it.â€™â€
The two were not alone in their efforts.
Outside of the support of their donors, they had a director in Meg Grujon, there to check them. Unabashedly gave the two actors direction in how to fully realize their characters.
Grujon forced the young couple to de-familiarize, so that every moment the two got on stage, they earned, described Paredes.
Earned indeed, one audience who approached Paredes after the show did not even realize the actors were together when praising their onstage chemistry.
The five month process to bring the coupleâ€™s â€œDanny and the Deep Blue Seaâ€ to life was a learning experience, one that broadened their gaze.
â€œAs stressful as it was, I loved producing,â€ said Paredes. â€œI do have plans to do this again.â€
â€œWe certainly learned a lot,â€ emphasized Carlowitz.
Like their experience with Troma, this crowd funded play has instilled immense confidence Carlowitz and Paredes.
With a busy summer ahead of them, they both return to Tromaville to shoot scenes for â€œReturn to Nuke â€˜Em High Vol. 2,â€ Carlowitz goes across the pond to the UK, he nabbed a lead role in the crowd funded horror film â€œBanjo,â€ and the coupleâ€™s two year anniversary; this project was the acting exercise the two young thespians needed.
â€œYou know how some people they work out all the time, they go to the gym, and then every now and then they train for a marathon and then they do that marathon and feel good about themselves? This was that marathon for us acting wise,â€ Paredes enthused. â€œWe realized its good to check in and do work that you are passionate about.â€
Because the show was well received does not mean Carlowitz and Paredes are looking to rest on their laurels.
â€œWe originally didnâ€™t intend on this being more than a one time thing, but now we are thinking about doing another show because people did receive it so well,â€ said Paredes. â€œThe day after weâ€™re done working, we start talking about the next production.â€
â€œYou know it was great. No matter what we were doing, we had to work really hard to make it work and that we delivered,â€ said Carlowitz.
With a crash course in producing your own work, the two are now dedicated to making their next joint project bigger and better.
They now have a team of fellow creatives and supporters that allows them to make a worthy successor to their performances in â€œDanny and the Deep Blue Sea.â€
â€œFrom this experience now we have people who know how hard we work. We have a team now,â€ said Paredes. â€œIâ€™m much more optimistic then I was before we did this project. I didnâ€™t know how much was possible.â€
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Photo byÂ Brooke DiDonato
â€œDanny and Deep Blue Sea an Apache Danceâ€ logo byÂ Lauren Nicole Hom