2000-02-12 / Columnists

From The G-Man...Gary Toms

From The G-Man

Rockaway Native Takes 'Centerstage'

Hey people! I recently had the pleasure of doing an interview with another great talent from Far Rockaway. Patricia Medlin, long time resident of the Redfern Housing area, is the creator of the television shows "Centerstage", "Breakfast at Centerstage" and "Round and About with Centerstage". Here are some portions of that interview.

G-man: You have three cable shows. What does each show focus on?

PM: P.M. Production presents "Centerstage" was started back in May, 1998. At that time, it focused solely on plays and mini-series. From that show, I started "Breakfast at Centerstage", which aired in April, 1999. This show allowed actors, singers, musicians and all other types of artists to showcase their talent. In August, 1999, "Round and About with Centerstage" was created. This is a different type of show because the crew and I get the opportunity to take our cameras to different places, and we are able to tape a show based on events that are already in progress. For example, last year I had the pleasure of interviewing the cast of "Guys and Dolls", which was performed at the Flushing Synagogue, and prior to that we did an exclusive interview with "Big Kap"; who recently released a CD with hip hop DJ Funk Master Flex."

G-man: How did you get your own cable show?

PM: "I happened to be a guest on another producer’s show, and this producer was the one who put the bug in my ear. I did not get on cable overnight. It took a while for me to get on the air. I had to wait for a time slot, and then I had to make sure that I had material to keep my show on the air."

G-man: Did you receive any special training to become a cable network director/producer?

PM: "I took a training course at York College, and I received my certificate as a Certified Public Access Producer".

G-man: Do you do all of the work involved with your shows?

PM: "Yes, I’m responsible for the writing, producing, directing, casting, camera work, editing and coming up with new ideas for future shows. I’m very fortunate to have two great assistants who work with me: Goldie Lanier and Cory Johnson".

G-man: How long has P.M. Production been operating?

PM: "It’s been around for eleven years, and it’s a non-profit organization. When I first started, I had no clue as to what I was doing. I knew nothing about theatre, and I basically learned by trial and error".

G-man: Do you deal with professional actors exclusively?

PM: "P.M. Production is a theatre group that is open to anyone with a desire to act. I let them know that it’s not easy. You have to have a good attitude and a great deal of discipline. Some of the actors you see in the mini series are not professional actors, but they do their best, and that’s what counts. The majority of the performers you see in my stage plays are professional actors".

G-man: What’s the hardest part of what you do?

PM: "The most difficult part involves being a writer. You have to constantly come up with new ideas."

G-man: How many plays have you written?

PM: " I have written, produced and directed seventeen off Broadway plays".

G-man: How often do you write plays?

PM: "I am constantly writing, but I usually write two plays a year".

G-man: What topics do you most enjoy writing about?

PM: "I love writing about real life situations because whether they see the stage play, or see it on television, most people can identify with topics that are real: such as AIDS, domestic violence, drugs, alcohol and many other issues. By viewing my plays, or watching my shows, they are able to get an understanding, and some may even be fortunate enough to find solutions to their problems."

G-man: What’s on your agenda for this year?

PM: "I have so many things coming up this year. I have another mini series coming up in April, which is the pilot for the upcoming soap opera "The Series". There will be new talent features on the next "Breakfast at Centerstage". I will be holding auditions for the soap opera and for my next play called "The Commitment Part Three – The Final Scandal".

G-man: Do you have anything, that might serve as inspirational, to say to our readers?

PM: "I believe we all have certain talents. The key is to find out what makes you happy and to follow that dream. Never say that you can’t do it, because when you don’t try, it means you’ve already failed."

If you are interested in working behind the scenes, or you want to test your hand at acting, you may write to Pat Medlin, P.O. Box 900563, Far Rockaway, NY 11690. You may also reach her at (917) 821-9766. Don’t forget to watch "Centerstage" on Monday nights, at 11:30, on channel 57. The repeat broadcast airs on Wednesday afternoon, at 5:00, on channel 56, and they have just been picked up by Manhattan cable. The show can be seen on Monday nights, at 11:30, on channel 67 in the city. Be sure to stay tuned for the next P.M. Production!

Special acknowledgements go out to the following:

Florence Altschuler, Mildred Falcone, Starlight Lindstrom, Vincent and Georgiana Manno, Denise Palermo, A. James, Ted Odyssey and Maureen McNelis.

Your "gifts" were great! Hit me at GeeMan1025@aol.com folks.

See you next week!

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