Origin Story, Part 2: Who Are These People?

The first Viertel/Lev production.  

The first Viertel/Lev production.  

Okay, there was one other reason I wanted to do all of this.  I wanted to hang out with my friends.  And, give or take, most of my friends are show biz types, most of them are funny, and I've already worked with most of them in one way or another.  I thought that No Plans would be a great way to get the band back together again.

So who are these people and how did I come to know them?  Deep breath... and...

I met JOEL VIERTEL when I was five years old at Hunter College Elementary School in New York City.  We went on to both high school (Hunter) and college (Wesleyan University) together, and have made the three feature films, DEVIL'S PONDCONVENTIONEERS and READY OR NOT.  Appearing in Conventioneers was WOODWYN KOONS whom Joel and I met in college, and whom I directed on stage senior year in Cloud Nine (for which Joel designed the sound), and again when she starred in Ready or Not.  Also in Ready or Not was TREVOR MURPHY (who had previously appeared in Coventioneers and also in Joel's short film, SUICIDE), CHRISTY MEYERS, and JEFF MEACHAM.  However Christy and Jeff were only cast after the original actors in the roles, LYNN CHEN and JOHN NEWMAN, both of whom I met at Wesleyan, both had to back out of the film.  Lynn recommnded her friend Christy to replace her, and Christy recommended her then-boyfriend-now-husband Jeff for John's role.  At school, I directed John on stage in Life in the Theater and - along with Woodwyn - Cloud Nine.  JONICA PATELLA had already graduated Wesleyan, and so couldn't be in Cloud Nine, but we did perform together at school, and I was her first American Sign Language teaching assistant, and we have both gone on to become sign langauge interpreters; oh and we dated for quite some time.  She was also in a stage production that I directed of The Vagina Monologues, performed in sign langauge and spoken English, and which also starred EMILY EIDEN, who is married to Trevor.  Speaking of sign language, I performed with JOSH BRESLOW in Deaf West Theatre's production of Flowers for Algernon.  On another Deaf West production, Spring Awakening, I met KATIE BOECKMERCEDES MANNING appeared in Joel's web series STRICTLY SEXUAL and in the feature film ZIPPER, which Joel produced and edited (directed by his wife, Mora, who went to Hunter with us).  Also from Hunter is JEREMY GUSKIN, whom I've also known since I was six, and who lived next door to me growing up.  JUSTIN ASHER also comes from the Hunter days, and once played a guitar solo with a dustbuster in a student-written play that I directed.  While JESSE ALSON-MILKMAN didn't attend Hunter, his sister did, and she went on to go to Wesleyan, where she met my friend, her future husband who went on to create HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, where Jesse and I worked, producing new media content, DVD special features, and the HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER PODCAST.  Helping to shoot some of the DVD stuff was TIMMY VATTEROTT, whom I met when our kids attended preschool together, and he is is one of the videographers -- along with COLIN WEATHERBY, who used to date my cousin -- on a documentary I'm now directing.  CURTIS WILLIAMS is ol' buddies with Jeff.  MOLLY FITE works in an office with me.  REEDY GIBBS and LAUREN BROWN are both neighbors of KAY DAIGLE, who is a felllow sign language interpreter, who performed, a few years before I did, with THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF THE DEAF, and is married to MATT DAIGLE. The National Theater of the Deaf is also where I met SARA LEV.  We've now been together for 17 years.  We haven't produced any films together, but we have produced two children, included No Plans all-star ZACHARY.