I believe in telling stories that entertain, inspire, and bring people together, says Bill Hoversten
#BillHoversten; #MikeRezendes; #ActorWriterProducer; #PodcastHost; #SAGSignatory
Toronto/Canadian-Media: Actor-writer-producer-comedian-podcast host Bill Hoversten believes in telling stories that entertain, inspire, and bring people together — through both live and recorded audio and visual media, as well as the written and spoken word.
Asha Bajaj, Editorial-Director of Canadian-Media discusses with Bill Hoversten by e-mail his background in writing and performing, and how his mission is reflected in some current and future projects.
Asha Bajaj: What motivated you to enter the entertainment field?
Bill Hoversten: I’m grateful for the opportunity to communicate and connect with people, not just intellectually, but also emotionally.
How did your acting addiction originate?
I began by performing Gilbert & Sullivan and other musicals in community theatre in Boston. I liked it! So I started taking classes at Actors Workshop, Institute for Contemporary Dance, and Boston Conservatory of Music (voice). I must confess, these studies only deepened my addiction!
What motivated you to act in the short film ‘Mother’s Day Memories’ which you wrote and produced?
You know, when I originally had the script over at Hallmark, I didn’t presume to expect that I’d be in the film! I figured if they bought it, it was their choice to cast whomever they wanted. But when I decided to produce it myself, I figured: why not? After all, I had a passing familiarity with the character!
What challenges did you face in maintaining a balance between your role as a producer with your first-time-film-making, acting and, writing in ‘Mother’s Day Memories’?
It was tough! For the most part, I was able to take off one hat before putting on another. But I was so ambitious in pushing myself on this project — as a writer, executive producer, line producer, and actor. In addition, I became a SAG signatory and engaged both an insurance company and payroll company. Such paperwork! I also sent out call sheets, ordered meals, and arranged transportation for lead actors. I felt like a circus performer juggling many objects!
Please name the plays in which you acted in the experimental theater with a brief description of your acting in Shakespeare’s production.
I did two seasons of summer stock at York County Playhouse in Maine and worked with several small theaters in Boston, including experimental works with Mobius Theater and Massachusetts College of Art (both experimental and street theater).
In the Boston Shakespeare Company, I played Marcellus in “Hamlet,” delivering the line “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” The Player King was a Harvard student who later went on to the Yale School of Drama, Broadway, and Hollywood. His name: Courtney B. Vance.
What inspired you to write feature stories for the L.A. Times and other publications?
I got inspired to write feature stories by my editor at the East Boston Community News, Mike Rezendes. He later went on to the Boston Globe, where his work there was chronicled by the 2016 Oscar®-winning film “Spotlight.” Mike was portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, who was nominated for an Oscar®. So yes — he was an inspiration!
Your first feature script “The Secret War” was honored in screenplay competitions. Can you throw more light on this?
My screenplay is an action revenge story set during the Armenian Genocide. Because it features women learning fighting skills to avenge themselves, it was honored by the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival. And I was a co-finalist, along with Oscar® nominee Jose Rivera, for the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance contest, whose judges included Oscar® winner Steven Zaillian.
Recently you acted in theater, films, TV, music videos, web series, and Virtual Reality. Can you give a few examples?
Plays at the James Armstrong Theater (Torrance) and Underground Theater (Hollywood), narrating an art installation for rapper Kilo Kish, VR: “Choose Your Own Sketch Show,” web series “S.K.C.” for Matthew.
TV: “Tosh.0,” and “Icky Free Kids” for director Mark Brown (“Barbershop”), a dozen short films and a couple of features — just for starters. I love new and different experiences!
Can you throw more light on the podcast and YouTube channel “But You’re Not Funny!” you started.
It’s a blend of my standup comedy and interviews with experts on a range of topics: relationships, sexuality, self-defense, finding community, and discovering your mission in life. So it’s a light-hearted approach to serious subjects. Each half-hour episode I craft with care, to entertain the audience and give them useful takeaways. It’s available on all audio podcast platforms, but on YouTube, I add a wealth of visuals to make it even more of a treat!
What are your future plans and projects?
I’m continuing the podcast, starting a blog, and developing a web series; and even more projects will come into focus this year! Through these projects, I hope to continue providing value and inspiration to an increasing number of people.