Frank Catalano is a member of the faculty of the School of Dramatic Arts at the University
of Southern California and was as an executive at Warner Bros, Lorimar Studios,
Beverly Hills Playhouse, and Southern California Center for the Arts. He has written and performed in animated, live action television series and feature films including:
THE ADVENTURES OF DYNAMO DUCK for Fox TV
DIGIMON DIGITAL MONSTERS
BIT THE CUPID
BEE BOP COWBOY
FLINT THE TIME DETECTIVE
VAMPIRE PRINCESS MIYU
HONEY BEE HUTCH
LOVE LIVE LIVE – motion picture
and ABC TV series including LA Law, NYPD Blue and Ugly Betty.
As an author, he has written
ART OF THE MONOLOGUE
THE CREATIVE AUDIENCE – the collaborative role of the audience in the creation of visual and performing arts
WHITE KNIGHT BLACK NIGHT – Short Monologues for Auditions
AUTUMN SWEET – a play
THE RESTING PLACE – a play
RAND UNWRAPPED - CONFESSIONS OF A ROBOTECH WARRIOR
CHE CHE – a Screenplay
SHORT MONOLOGUES FOR AUDITIONS
BOOK TO SCREEN – How to Adapt Your Novel into a Screenplay
SHORT SCENES FOR AUDITIONS and ACTING CLASS
RECENT INTERVIEW WITH "ON THE AIR"
Member of the faculty of the School of Dramatic Arts at the University
of Southern California, and former executive at Warner Bros, Lorimar Studios,
Beverly Hills Playhouse, and Southern California Center for the Arts, author Frank Catalano is preparing to release a new book called SHORT SCENES FOR AUDITIONS AND ACTING CLASS. We talked to Frank Catalano to get to know the man behind the books.
Eyes&Ears: What inspires you to write?
Frank Catalano: Writing has always been for me the form of expression that I feel most comfortable. I am always concerned with the prospect of “what if?” and within the context of the answer to that question, I find myself writing those ideas down.
E&E.: What is your biggest challenge while you write?
F.C.: The hardest challenge as a writer for me is to not edit or revise my work as I write it. I think the best practice is to write the first time from the heart and then edit and revise with the brain once it’s all down… However, with that said, it is often a challenge to follow this rule. The danger of writing and editing simultaneously is that you will be consumed by the changes. Every instance you change one element, it requires you to go back and change something else…. And you never complete the work.
E&E: What do you love the most when you write?
F.C.: I love the process of exploration. I’m not a big outline person… I like to put characters or ideas on the page and then let them explore the universe they live in and overcome the obstacles that they discover.
E&E:When did you start writing for tv?
F.C.: I started writing TV when I was in graduate school in Hawaii. At that time I was studying for my first masters which was a degree in Asian Drama. While in school, I was hired by a Japanese film production company to work on a television series call ULTRA 7.
E&E:What was ULTRA 7 series about?
F.C.:ULTRA 7 was a live action half hour series shot in the Japanese language and aired in Japan. I was cast as the voice of ULTRA 7 at night... and PLANET MAN DAN – a mild mannered reporter by day. We would receive scripts from Tokyo that were literally translated from Japanese to English. The English speaking actors had to dub their voices to the Japanese footage. It was almost immediately apparent that the literally translated scripts from Japan were not going to work and I started taking the original scripts and the English translation and converted them to conversational English. This form of script writing is known as ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) or Dubbing. In 2014, I wrote a book the experience with ULTRA 7 as well as the landmark science fiction series I did called ROBOTECH.
E&E: Was it a life dream?
F.C.: No not a dream in the traditional sense. I always thought writing would be part of my life no matter what I did.
E&E: How has writing for tv and film changed your life?
F.C.: It’s has been fun but not as fulfilling as writing plays or books.
E&E: Does the themes of your books come from your own life experiences or people you know?
F.C.: Some of my books do. For example: RAND UNWRAPPED CONFESSIONS OF A ROBOTECH WARRIOR is directly about my experience as a writer and voice actor on the animated television series ROBOTECH. Some of my published plays draw from real life experiences as well. My published plays AUTUMN SWEET and RESTING PLACE all take place in Long Island, New York. A third play will be published later this year NIGHTFALL will be the third installment of what I am calling THE LONG ISLAND TRILOGY.
E&E.: How has your path influenced you to write your books?
F.C.: My unique experience as a college professor and working in the motion picture and television industry have given my a unique perspective on the creation and distribution of motion pictures and television. The studio I spent the longest time at was Warner Bros. I learned a lot there about how audience trends influence the creation of motion pictures and television in a commercial market.
E&E: I suspect there are many more books to come. What will we see from you next?
F.C.: I have a new book coming out which will be a companion piece to SHORT MONOLOGUES FOR AUDITIONS. The new book is called SHORT SCENES FOR AUDITIONS AND ACTING CLASS. Should be out by the fall. This book, like the monologue book, will be used in acting classes at colleges, conservatories and as a source for audition material.