is a member of the award winning theatre company, Theatre
Neo where he has been seen in Jules Feiffer's The
White House Murder Case,
Alex Dreman's Scream
Into My Breasts,
and Peter Sagal's Mall
He has also performed with The Blue Sphere Alliance, The Odyssey
Theatre Ensemble, Kinghtsbridge Theatre, and the Attic Theatre.
On the big screen Bacalski has starred in the My
and the sci-fi spoof Cyxork
Rea caught up with him as My
were due for release on DVD...
Rea: What is it about acting/comedy that appeals to you? Is
it the fame and fortune that you crave? Or do you just enjoy
Bacalski: I'd be lying if I said fame and fortune never mattered
to me, but what really draws me to acting is what I learn
about myself and people in general every time I explore a
new character. All characters, even one as exaggerated as
Clever Bill Emory [Cyxork 7], have needs and goals
that drive the dialogue. Finding those needs and putting them
behind the writing to create a fully human character that
never existed before is the fascinating first part of the
second part is presenting our creation ("our" being the writer,
actor, and director) to an audience. Laughter is the clearest
and most immediate form of feedback. It's also the most thrilling
to experience. That's ultimately why I love comedy. I do drama
as well. In fact my role in Real Men is dramatic.
there have been times when I've done drama and I had no idea
if I connected with the audience or if they even liked it.
comedy you find out right away! Besides, there is nothing
like making a packed house laugh its ass off! It's the greatest
How did you originally start acting? And what would you be
doing if you had a "normal" job?
I always wanted to be an actor. I remember being 4 or 5 years
old watching The Brady Bunch and wanting to do what
they were doing. I was aware that it wasn't real and I wanted
to pretend with them.
high school, I was the classic "drama geek." I even lettered
in speech competition! (My event was Humorous Interpretation,
by the way!) From there I majored in theatre at the University
of California, San Diego.
college I moved to Los Angeles where I was very lucky to find
an acting teacher named Robert F. (Bobby) Lyons. He taught
me how to act from the ground up; how to analyse a scene,
how to discover and manifest emotion for a character, how
to audition. In college I was taught what an actor does. Bobby
taught me how to do it.
don't think I'm cut out for a "normal" job, but if a gun was
put to my head and I was told to choose a 9-to-5 career, I
would probably seek out a position on the staff of a non-profit
arts organisation. That's as normal as I'd let it get!
Chanin and Michael Maxwell in Cyxork 7
How did you get involved with Cyxork 7?
That's a fun story! Cindy Chanin, who plays Natalie in the
film, is one of my closest friends. She was also, conveniently,
the assistant to the casting director, Liz Jereski. Cindy
kept dropping my name and insisting that Liz bring me in to
read for something.
I was appearing in a production of a play called The White
House Murder Case by Jules Feiffer at Theatre Neo at the
time and Cindy convinced Liz to come see it. After the show
Liz said she thought I would make a great Rob Berdash (the
newscaster played brilliantly by Greg Proops.) A few weeks
later I came in to read for Rob Berdash and ended getting
offered the part of Clever Bill!
DR: Was your role written as you portrayed
it, or did you suggest the slightly unhinged, power crazy
Clever Bill was always unhinged and power crazy! What's interesting
to know is that the part was conceived as an older character,
sort of a Roger Corman type. I believe Mr. Corman was even
offered the role. (Lucky for me he wasn't available!)
Huff and Andreas Kossak auditioned a ton of older character
actors, but just couldn't find what they were looking for.
Apparently when they saw my audition tape, they were inspired
to re-conceive the character and I was cast without another
It was such a memorable character, but it could have come
across badly if the right actor wasn't playing the role -
or if bad direction had been given. Were you at all apprehensive
about how it would look in the finished edit? Whether you're
performance would fit in with the style of the movie?
Thank you. That question is quite a compliment!
had such a clear idea of what he wanted that I was never the
least bit apprehensive about whether or not it would work.
I knew that if John didn't give me a note, then I was doing
Because you were working on an independent movie did you ever
worry that it would never be completed, or that it would be
a total disaster?
Never. Remember, Cindy was my mole in the production office.
Her feedback on the whole team was always glowing. I went
into this project knowing these guys were on solid ground.
DR: The movie has been well received.
If another Cyxork movie were in the works would you
jump on board? And if so what would you like to see your character
ABSOLUTELY!! Especially if the entire original crew came with
it! I only worked one day on Cyxork 7 and I have to
say it was the warmest, friendliest, and most welcoming set
I'd ever been on! I think that's because John and Andreas
are just naturally warm and gracious and they set the tone
for the whole shoot. As for what I'd like my character to
do. hmm. I think I'd like to see how he hires his secretaries.
DR: You've just started work on Theatre
Neo's Real Men and Others, can you tell us about that?
Love to! It's an amazing collection of offbeat monologues
by playwright, David Lewison that explores a very funky side
of male thought and introspection. The themes range from the
meaning of a kiss on a first date to the meaning of death.
I have the distinction of performing the only dramatic piece
of the show. (Yup, it's the one about death!)
actually have two shows running at Theatre Neo in Los Angeles
right now. The Voice of the Prairie by John Olive runs
on our main stage on the weekends, and Real men and Others
runs Thursday nights in April. Our website, www.theatreneo.com
has all the information about how to get tickets!
Where are you happiest? TV/Film work or the theatre, and why?
I love the process of theatre. The time one spends carving
out a character is where the meat of the art is found. The
interesting thing about film is that while the same creative
process is necessary, you have to do it very quickly and often
without the close involvement of the director.
exciting thing about film is the fact that it's a mass medium.
Art is useless unless it's experienced by an audience and
I think film is probably the most often-viewed art form in
the modern world. Film also has the power to preserve a performance.
The fact that people can still see Cyxork 7 two years
after we shot it is very exciting.
answer: I love the artistic luxury of the theatre and the
exciting power of film.
If your life story was to be made into a movie who would play
you and why?
You may be surprised by the answer. I've always admired the
work of Adam Goldberg. Who's that? He played the Jewish soldier
in Saving Private Ryan and was one of Russell Crowe's
colleagues in A Beautiful Mind. We're similar character
types and he's a very intelligent and sensitive actor. He's
not a huge star just yet, but I think playing me would push
any career over the top, no?
What's the one thing in your life that you are most proud
of and why?
That's a tough one. I've always wanted to do musical theatre,
but never had the vocal chops. I just started studying voice
at Los Angeles City College. If I get cast in a musical in
the next year or two, that will make me very proud indeed.
What of the future? Where can we expect to see you pop up
I've got two movies coming to DVD, Cyxork 7 and another
film called My Tiny Universe starring Lesley Ann Warren
and John Heard. My Tiny Universe will be available May 30
and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com.
will also be producing Jane Anderson's play Looking for
Normal for Theatre Neo in October.
has all the latest news!
Thank you for your time.
Tiny Universe is released to own and rent on DVD from Skouras
Ventura on the 30 May 2006
this DVD for $22.49 (RRP: $24.99) by clicking here
special preview release of Cyxork 7 on DVD will soon
be available for sale directly from the website www.cyxork7.com.
To be notified when the DVD goes on sale, please send an e-mail