Friday, October 26, 2012

And AWA-A-A-A-Y We Go!

Let's see...where were we?

Last time I posted was over two months much for my monthly posts.  I'll try harder!

Vincent, Bobbie, Jacob and me at B.B. King's October 28
But it's been busy!  Just this weekend coming up I'll be in New York, doing the "Fall In Love Again" show with Vincent Irizarry, Bobbie Eakes (love her!) and Jacob Young at no less than B. B. King's!  I just love doing this nice of these very talented people to let me play with them!

See it for yourself!  Go to: for more info!

Wanna WIN some tickets?  Go to:

Vincent and me in Harvey in July
Right after Harveywith my friend Vincent Irizarry and the Resident Company of WilleyWorld Community Productions in my home town of Ottawa, Illinois - came to a close, I started in.  I returned to our farm and bed and breakfast, the Crystal Mesa Farm in Santa Fe, NM, and began getting my new one-man show, Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok, ready for tour, putting my stand up act - Wild and Willey - back on the road, editing (with editor Annemarije de Boer) my new comedy DVD, Wild and Willey in Jackson - LIVE! at South Street, developing the Wild Bill! In-School Program, our new in-school program of instruction, mentoring, and fundraising for high schools, and preparing to bring Wild Bill!... to you.  And by "to you" - I mean to your house!

But let's take 'em one at a time, shall we?

Most of you know by now that I have a new one-man show, Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok that I've begun to tour with.  The researching, writing (with Kim "Howard" Johnson), and performing this show has become a passion for me.  Hickok is a fascinating man and one of the Old West's greatest legends.  And we were born forty miles apart, both 6'2' and blonde and blue!

James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok and me - as him!
This show has been blessed from the beginning.  The first night I did it, in March for The Island Players in Marco Island, FL, there was a Hickok in the crowd!  What were the chances?  And when I did it for Wild Bill Hickok Day near his birthplace (and mine!), the were many Hickok's in attendance.  Not too surprising, I guess, but when I did it on one of my favorite stages - McCurdy's Comedy Theatre in Sarasota, FL, in September - there was another Hickok!  And this one was a lawman!

And all those Hickoks told me they just loved the show.  The Hickok's are very protective of their "Uncle James" (no "Wild Bill" for them!),  so I'm very honored to receive their approval.

Thanks to everyone who has come out to see Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok in Marco Island, in Mendota, in Tampa, in Sarasota, and in Los Angeles!  Hope you had as much fun as I did!

One of the joys of my life is that my theatrical production company, WilleyWorld Community Productions - headquartered in my home town of Ottawa, IL - has developed such great community relations in the area.  Since it's formation - with long-time friend and Ottawa resident Kim "Howard" Johnson - we have reached out to area youth interested in the Theatre Arts, offering seminars and internships, instruction and mentoring.

And now we have come up with a formalized program in conjunction with Wild Bill!...

The program features instruction, mentoring, and fundraising opportunities for any high school with a stage!  After several days of in-school seminars, coaching and pre-production, I perform Wild Bill!... for the public in the high school's performance space, with a student crew.  And a portion of the proceeds goes to the high school's theatre department/drama club!

Wild Bill!... In-School Program Launch

The Wild Bill! In-School Program, the first community outreach project of our newly formed Illinois Valley Coalition On Performing Arts (IV-COPA), will have it's inaugural launch at my alma mater, Ottawa High School in Ottawa, IL, as I bring Wild Bill!... home to LaSalle County on December 1 and 2.

In an economy like the one in which we currently find ourselves, the first cuts are always taken in the Arts.  So if you have a high school in your community that would like someone who has made their living in "show business" for thirty years to come in and instruct/mentor theatre arts students and help raise money for their theatre arts program, please let them know about the Wild Bill! In-School Program.

Maybe I'll be in your town soon!

Next stop for the Wild Bill! In-School Program: Jackson, TN!  Sound familiar?  It should!

It's where I shot my new stand-up comedy DVD last fall, during the Wild and Willey Comedy Tour after All My Children folded its tent.  We shot over two nights in October of 2011 at the South Street Comedy Club there.  The result?  Wild and Willey in Jackson- LIVE! at South Street!  My good friend and editor, Annemarije de Boer, and I took our time putting this DVD together. We waited until I shot Wild Bill!... at the ACME Comedy Theatre in LA in June and put together a tour of the Crystal Mesa Farm, our Bed & Breakfast in Santa Fe, NM, so we'd have great extras for the DVD!  And I designed and executed the packaging and graphics!  Truly a labor of love!

Go to right now and subscribe to updates.  We'll let you know the minute that Wild and Willey in Jackson- LIVE! at South Street is available.  We're just adding some finishing touches and hoping to have it available for Christmas giving!  And I'll bet you know a few folks who would just love finding it in their stocking or under their Christmas tree!

And now...on to the BIG EVENT in Jackson, TN!

So many of you have expressed the desire for me to bring Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok to you...thanks for the interest.  However, the logistics of trying to produce this show in so many places is very daunting, so I've decided to bring it to you in a different, very exciting way!

On Saturday, December 8, we'll be bringing Wild Bill!... to you LIVE! and STREAMING! to YOU!

William Fain Productions and the Jackson Film House of Jackson were the folks that shot the comedy DVD last year, and are the perfect partners for this event.

We are in the developmental stage right now, but plan to bring you a LIVE question and answer period with me before the show, taped packages of the Wild Bill! In-School Program experience the previous week at North Side High School, surprise guests, and - of course - Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok!

And if you are in the Jackson, TN area, come on out and be in the audience for this LIVE! and STREAMING! event!  The North Side High School in Jackson has the perfect facility for this intimate show and after the show I'll be doing a Q &A with audience members, which we hope to stream as well.  There will be surprise guests  I'm so excited to bring Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok to YOU!

Scandal Crest, the new improv soap parody from
ACME Comedy Theatre
Last week I got a call from my friends at the ACME Comedy Theatre.  I've done their Hollywood Dream Role and ACME Saturday Night! shows and shot Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok there in June.  They wanted me to join the cast of their new "soap" show, Scandal Crest.

I was the big "reveal" at the end of the show on October 16, playing "Vincent", the patriarch of the central family - back from the dead, of course.  And a surprise to the rest of the cast!

My kids?  Friends Eric Martsolf and (the very funny!) Molly Burnett!  We go again on November 16, live and streaming!  Check it out!

And here's a last minute announcement!
The Everyday Lies producer/director
Steve Royall and me sealing the deal!
And yes, the moustache is real!  

I'll be joining the cast of The Everyday Lies, web series that producer/director Steve Royall describes as "a half scripted/half improv comedy in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm about an aspiring director navigating through the treacherous shark-filled waters of Hollywood while trying to achieve movie-making success!"  Steve's last web series, This Indie Thing, was very popular in it's three season run.

I'm convinced that the web series is the future of "TV", and I am thrilled to be a part of this!  Steve and I met yesterday at The Village Idiot on Melrose in Hollywood and had a great conversation.

And my part?  I'm playing myself!  I'm teaching an acting class (art imitating life!) and interacting with many of the series' characters.  My first shoot date: November 15th.

Well, folks, I guess that's just about it for now.  See?  I told you I've been busy!

Make sure you go to waltwilleyworld for all things in Walt Willey's World!

All my love, always and in all ways,

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