Sunday, February 04, 2007

SOUL CATCHER READ BY ACTORS/ACTRESSES

Soul Catcher by Frank HerbertI recently had the honor of attending a script reading of one of my grandfather’s books. The reading took place in Studio City, California. There were fifteen actors/actresses up on stage reading the material from SOUL CATCHER and intoning the characters in their surprisingly full-fledged acting voices.

Amongst the readers was Michael O’Neill, TV star of such things as THE WEST Michael O'Neill with Annie CorleyWING, JUDGING AMY, and NYPD BLUE. He’s also going to be appearing in the upcoming theatrical release of TRANSFORMERS. Also in the cast was Kurt Caceres (reading the main part of Katsuk). Caceres may be best known for his role as Juan Lorenzo on THE SHIELD, but he also appeared in last year’s Oliver Stone film WORLD TRADE CENTER.

The reading took about two hours and with a cast of fifteen on stage it was pulled off exceptionally well. The script changed a few things that were present in the plotting of Soul Catcher, but this didn’t surprise nor upset me. The story was modernized to great advantage and the ending given a new face but remaining true to the story’s center (sorry but I’m not going to give away anything more).

The actors/actresses reading Soul Catcher at the Two Roads TheaterThe Two Roads Theater (where the reading took place) was small and every seat was occupied. There were at least two producers present and I spoke with one of them after the event (his wife is pregnant with twins and since I have twins we struck up a congenial conversation). He seemed very impressed with the script and even dropped a few "big league" names to play the main parts.

This was, of course, just a very small first step toward an actual movie, but it’s the first time Soul Catcher has been translated to a script and it was very exciting to hear it being read by professional actors/actresses.

Special thanks to Bruce Bernhardt for inviting the Herbert family down to Hollywood, and for his emotional response to our arrival; he seemed genuinely touched that several members of my family showed up.

It was also an honor to meet and speak with several of the actors/actresses after the reading. Michael O’Neill is one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet and we chatted about Soul Catcher and what Frank Herbert meant by plopping in various thoughts.

Anyway, it was great fun and very exciting to see Soul Catcher catch some notice.

Michael O'Neill reading from the script of Soul CatcherThe Two Roads Theater starts to fill up...An actress on stage sits with a copy of the Soul Catcher script in her lap

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