Friday, August 16, 2013

Checking in with friends from San Jose State

I've been meaning to make this blog entry for a while now but as if I was still in college, I procrastinated. Now it is on my mind and it has my full attention. It is only midnight so it is a good time to start as any. I think best at these hours of the night/morning.

I am now 31 years old, no longer a kid, but never sure I will consider myself an adult. Through my school, work, and everyday life I have met a lot of amazing people. Some people I keep in touch with better than others. Some people simply disappear whether you wanted them to or not.

With this entry, I want to share with you some of the amazing people I met at college at San Jose State University. These are some of the fellow students who have at some point worked with me, inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry, and just made life more enjoyable. While I don't talk to them or see them as much today as I would like - they've definitely played big roles in who I am today. They are all amazing talents and I suggest you give their websites and/or facebook pages a visit. (Again, this is just a sample of some of my amazing fellow students from college - and definitely not all of them!)

Netta Brielle - I knew her as Aquanetta in Theater History class but had also seen her perform in Stage Productions at SJSU. I remember her having one of the most amazing singing voices I have ever heard so it is no surprise that she is a recording artist now for Atlantic Records! She has worked with many other great artists including Oakland's own Too Short. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @nettabrielle. You can check out her website at and check out her latest music video "More To A Kiss" below -
Ali Hoffmann -  I'm not sure if Ali remembers or not, but she once brought up the question to me. "What if for some strange reason we were to get married? How would we spell our last name?" It's true, she does spell her last name wrong, but she is still a very talented person. I had the pleasure sharing the stage with Ali my first semester at San Jose State in a production of The Crucible. She played the lead role of Abigail Williams. I played a smaller role with 2 lines. My character's name was Hopkins. I actually remember one of my lines. It is a part where I (Hopkins) touch Abigail (Ali) and say, "She's cold your honor, touch her!" 
Ali Hoffmann
Ali is definitely no longer cold. Ali recently appeared in an episode of Major Crimes on TNT. She also played Mystique in a commercial promo for the new Wolverine movie. Even more recently she booked a gig shooting a commercial for Scion. You can check out Ali Hoffmann's website at Also, check out this video short Stunt Double that she stars in that was just uploaded last week. 

Ricky Marshall -  Ricky is an amazing actor who I had the joy of sharing the stage with at SJSU in the production, Of Mice and Men. When Ricky was in character - he did not break that character until completely off the set. In Of Mice and Men, he played Crooks, and I remember that even during set changes that he was still moving around in character. One of the nicest guys in theater I have ever met, Ricky deemed with the nickname "Shaq" since I seemed to show about as much excitement as Shaq when he would ask me a question.
Ricky Marshall
Ricky, who is a member of the Screen Actor's Guild,  recently finished filming  for the movie Against The Grain in which he plays a Street Thug. He will also be appearing in a YouTube series called "Cuffing Season" with fellow SJSU Alum, Maurice Hines. Check out Ricky's IMDB Page.  Also follow him on Twitter @kingrafique

Josh Marx - Talk about a presence on stage, I remember sharing many great moments with Mr. Joshua Marx. I remember many an after party drinking with Josh. He is a tall 6'3" and would stretch out his arms and say something like "Wes! Come here..." (and that was before the drinks!) Just an overall nice guy. He is the type of actor that I could see getting Knighted one day and be in the same class as Sir Ben Kingsley. I had the pleasure of sharing the stage at San Jose State with Josh for the production of Big Love.
Joshua Marx
Since the SJSU days, Josh has graduated from Rutgers University with his MFA. He recently directed his own immersive adaptation of Frankenstein called "The BEING." He also recently finished portraying Sir Andrew in Twelfth Night  at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, New Jersey. He now lives the dream of a New York actor.  Check out his website at at

Havish Ravipati - I met Havish at San Jose State also while working on the production Big Love. I see a lot of myself in Havish. He seemed like a shy guy in the beginning but then before long he is turning heads with one liners that nobody expected. 
Havish Ravipati
Havish has appeared now in numerous short films including "Goyin on the Roof" in which he plays a "Bar Thug." My favorite short that Havish is involved with is The Chick Magnet which also features my old buddy from the Easily Distracted Theatre , Jon Chapman. Jon was a terrific actor in his own right but sadly is no longer with us. I'm sure he would be excited to see all the work Havish has done since, as am I. Check out Havish's IMDB Page as well as his website:

Cecily Ryan-Trujillo - It is no understatement when I say that Cecily is one of the most amazing people I know. One of my favorite actresses from my time at San Jose State, I first worked with her when I was taking a costume class and had to help her change into different outfits offstage. Fortunately I didn't creep her out, and I would actually get to share the stage with her in the production of Big Love where she played the leading lady. 

Teaser Trailer for "Hunting Journey"

Cecily started her own production company called Black Gem Productions. Check out the website, here. The the project is a web series called "Hunting Journey" which debuts this month. So be sure you continue to check out the YouTube Channel and subscribe so you do not miss it when it debuts! Also, you can follow the Web Series on the "Hunting Journey" Facebook page. You can also check out Cecily's IMDB Page. I suggest also watching her in the feature film Cheer Up, Sam with her now husband, Daniel Trujillo. That is, if you can find a copy of it somewhere. 

As for me at the moment, I have come full circle in life as I am now currently living with my parents again. I am trying to find work in the Sacramento Area and relocate there. I will continue to do stand-up shows whether they are here or there.

Next weekend, I will be recording a podcast with 2 other SJSU Alums, Nick Ruiz and Lance Voellger. You can follow Nick on twitter @badhole1 and Lance as well @LVoellger. You can check out the website for their podcast at


1 comment :

  1. Glad to see my fellow alums from SJSU are doing well. Hopefully the football team will also have some famous alums soon too.