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Alan Blumenfeld Interview with, 03.04.03 ...

Alan Blumenfeld (pictured left) is a successful actor who has been in over 200 television shows, several dozen feature films, and numerous plays. Earlier this season on Gilmore Girls, he portrayed the character Rabbi David Barans in the episode Take the Deviled Eggs. Recently, chatted with Alan about his time spent on the set and his future acting plans. Had you watched or heard of Gilmore Girls before you landed the role of Rabbi David Barans?

Alan Blumenfeld: I had seen a few episodes and my friend Michael Winters is on the show. So, I knew of it and thought it was excellent, well written and well acted, but I had not actually followed it.

ORG: How did you end up getting your part for the episode Take the Deviled Eggs?

Alan: I got this part the way actors usually get their roles. The script is written and the casting people, with the producers, send out a "breakdown" of characters that they are looking for to agents. Agents then submit actors, who they think might be right for the role. And the actors are then brought in to audition. There were many, many actors auditioning for this role and many of them are my friends (men I have known and admired for quite some time and with whom I audition often). I was chosen for the role and was delighted.

ORG: How long did it take to shoot your scenes and how many times did you perform them?

Alan: We filmed our scenes over the course of a day. Actually, we finished after about six hours. We did about ten takes of each angle of the scene, from different character points of view.

ORG: Can you think of any especially fun or memorable times interacting with the Gilmore Girls cast members? If so, what comes to mind?

Alan: As I said, my friend Michael Winters plays the town fussbudget, Taylor Doose. He is such a great actor and a wonderful man that we kept making each other laugh. During the scene, he had to become agitated and frustrated over our arguing with him. He is so adept at finding different ways to get blustery and was so funny that it made for a great time. The man who played the minister (Jim Jansen) is also a friend and we got along great. This was one of the most fun sets I have been on. The director, Jamie Babitt, who also directed “But I’m a Cheerleader” was fantastic too. She was patient, supportive, and very specific about what she wanted.

ORG: Would you be willing to go back to do another episode of Gilmore Girls?

Alan: I would love to do another episode. There is some interest in bringing me back in the next few weeks for another show and I would be delighted.

ORG: Have you always wanted to be an actor?

Alan: I did my first play while in the first grade, at summer camp, when I was about seven years old. By the time I was in junior high and high school, I knew that I wanted to be an actor for my profession.

ORG: Besides Gilmore Girls, you've also had small roles on classic television shows like Family Ties, Golden Girls, and Facts of Life among many others. What does it feel like to have been on so many great shows?

Alan: I consider myself very lucky and very fortunate to be a working actor. I make my living as an actor and it isn't an easy thing to do. I have been in over 200 TV shows and several dozen feature films, as well as dozens of plays. I also do voice overs, radio spots, and commercials; whatever the craft allows and whatever pays to work professionally. It is a great career and a sacred art form. In this country, the arts are not always honored as they are in other countries and as they have been in other periods of history. In the States, acting and most arts are commercial or popular culture. And that is fine. But as an artist one always strives to do great work. As an actor, that means the theatre and the classic repertory like Shakespeare, Moliere, Shaw and Checkov, among others. I have been very fortunate to have been able to work on stage also, and here in LA at the Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon. We are currently working on a production of Lysistrata, a new adaptation for the troubled times we are in. It will be performed this summer in repertory with King Lear and Midsummer Night's Dream and Skin of Our Teeth.

ORG: You've also done a lot of theatre work in the past; do you have a preference about doing theatre or television?

Alan: In TV, the writer and producer are in charge. In film, the director is in charge. On stage, it's really the actor's medium. I think it's essential to do all the forms and I very much enjoy them all. But the stage is my "home" and is what's most nourishing. But, I love TV and movies a lot.

ORG: What are your future plans for acting? Do you have any projects in the works?

Alan: I will be in the upcoming David Spade comedy, "Dickie Roberts, Former Child Star" which should be released sometime this coming summer. Also, as I said I will be in Lysistrata, King Lear, and possibly Skin of Our Teeth, over this coming summer. Other than that, I will be auditioning and working as much as I can.

ORG: When you have downtime, how do you like to spend it?

Alan: I love to play basketball, go hiking and walking here in LA (Malibu canyon and down by the beach). Also, I love to travel and I do it as much as I can.

ORG: Do you have anything you'd like to share with your fans or the fans of Gilmore Girls?

Alan: Just to "follow your bliss". Find something you love and do it. Also, go to the theatre and films as often as you can. would like to sincerely thank Alan for taking the time to answer our questions. Remember, Gilmore Girls airs Tuesday nights at 8:00pm/7:00pm central on The WB television network and don't forget to go see Alan in the upcoming movie "Dickie Roberts, Former Child Star."

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