What could be more exciting than hanging out with J.C....
What could be more exciting than hanging out with J.C. MacKenzie, one of the Stars of HBO's new Hot series "Vinyl", right before its big debut?
Absolutely Nada! My Heart Literally Jumped Out Of My Chest... When I got the call to interview HBO Star, J.C. MacKenzie who plays the role of Skip Fontaine in the Upcoming Series "Vinyl", the long awaited, wild, Rock n Roll series phenomenon. ( Vinyl is a "70s rock drama from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter.")
Skip Fontaine is a power player, Head of Sales for American Century, and a nefarious character ( according to J.C.), who working along with Richie Finestra, a record executive played by Bobby Cannavale are trying to resurrect American Century.
As a hard core Rock fan myself and lover of all the great HBO series... I was practically fainting over the chance to meet and hang out with J.C. and get the opportunity to pick his brain and see what makes him and "Skip" tick! "And looking back, boy was I ever in for some surprises". This mild mannered, seemingly quiet character, was quite full of them! 😉
I chose for us to meet at the iconic music venue The Cutting Room to set the mood right for the big day! What could be more perfect right?!
Little did I know that J.C. would arrive early, and looking really cute, I might add, " omg my nerves", and my video and camera crew would come deathly late, somewhat hung over and missing vital equipment! Oy! Welcome to NYC on a Saturday morning in a nightclub --- Need I say more?! ... But, as they say: "The show must go on"... So let's rock'n roll with J.C.!
So with dry mouth and heart pounding, I somehow managed the following questions to J.C. (deep breath)
SET: Tell me about your character Skip Fontaine? Are you anything like him in real life?
J.C.: ( shyly smiling) Yes, I’m venal and inappropriate … No I’m kidding. that’s a joke. Don't say I’m venal. I don’t even know what “ venal “ means ? (chuckles)
" Don't Worry J.C. - I had to google Venal too! "
I would say in answer to your question that I am exactly like Skip Fontaine, in that, I use as much of myself , and conceed as little as I can to the character.
Actors have many different ideas about what good acting is. For some it’s completely physically transforming yourself. For me it’s being as real as I possibly can, under imaginary circumstances. There is nobody “realer” for lack of a better term, and no one I understand more than myself. ( smiles shyly) So, I use aspects or shades of myself depending on the situation. I place whatever “ lens” is required, but it’s always me up there. Though I don't always succeed , I’ve found it helps to ground the work .
"The audience will only believe when you do ."
" I believe! I Believe! He's so soft spoken and sweet! Could he really play this nefarious, sinful character of Skip Fontaine?
JUST "F" IT!
SET: So, What do you think Skips Life Motto would be and What is yours?
J.C.: Skip’s Motto : “ F*#k it" ! My motto: "F*#k it, PLEASE" . ( laughing)
SET: Well alrighty then, thank God you said " please". I was afraid, I was really sitting with Skip Fontaine for a minute , instead of J.C.! ( laughing)
PLAYING THE ROLE
SET: Does being in NY help you get into your character for the show? Do you enjoy living/working in NYC? What do you love about it?
J.C.: Absolutely. For me, New York is the only livable city in the states. Everything else bores the "f*#" outta me - actually, that’s not true. (quiet laugh) I LOVE New Orleans and Nashville, and think theatre in Chicago is stunningly good as well. Anyways, New York is my home . It’s where I feel most comfortable.
Going Retro - NYC IN THE 70's
J.C.: It used to wear me down when I first moved here. I would be physically drained at times. It was like visual and auditory assault ; but now I absolutely thrive off it! - and shooting on the streets in New York In THIS era - early seventies- is nearly the coolest thing I’ve ever done in the business.
We shot in the East Village one day and I literally felt I was floating it was so incandescently sweet to be surrounded by the vintage cars and extras in 70’s clothes. I have shot all the New York TV shows and there is nothing like the feeling I got shooting Vinyl on location here in New York.
Just Hanging with J.C.
SET: What are your top 2 hangouts here in NYC?
SET: Ahhh some 5 star dining, they sound amazing!
J.C.: Yea, 5 star dining at boutique restaurants.
SET: Any favorite bars?
J.C.: I can't stand bars. Obviously I love music, but I'm not into loud bars. (laughs) Is that a NYC Faux Pas?
SET: (laughing) No, definitely not with me. I love to eat too!
SET: What's One word to totally describe you?
J.C.: I have several - Insecure, Neurotic, Codependent … Kind.
My Thank You Notes
" J.C. forgot to mention Cool! I can't Thank JC enough for being so totally Cool, and really down to earth."
It was my pleasure to get to know him and I am truly beyond psyched to see him as Skip Fontaine for HBO's big debut of Vinyl! I will definitely be his biggest fan! I hope you will join me to watch Vinyls debut and of course, come with for a 70's style after party with Celebrity promoter Adam Sands, location TBA! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details-
Special Thanks to Adam Sands for always being there! And of course for connecting us with the infamous Cutting Room and Steve Walter. A super special thanks to Charlotte Silverstein of Fifteen Minutes for Making It Happen! Shout out thank you's - for candid Video by Devin Johnson, and photos by Gerard Carnevale. Original music by Kayla Vega- "The Story Of Us".
And special Thx to HBO for Press Photos.
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