Your new show Messier Mantra - in a few words, what is it
about and what's the philosophy behind it?
Messier Mantra is a thirty minute interview show with guests
that I find intriguing. The set and feel is very intimate and the
discussions tend to run deeply personal, motivational and inspiring. Each
guest is encouraged to share a "mantra", a catch phrase,
expression or philosophy that describes their approach to life.
you to do the show in the first place, and to choose exactly that format for
It's a long story! To be succinct, Messier
Mantra was born on the fly this past winter, due to circumstances
involving inclement weather. The format of Messier Mantra is
simple: let's talk with people. Everybody has a story. Some are more
interesting than others. I find guests that have something to say.
Mike on the set of Blue Line, Cromwell,
So what can you tell us about your role as
Mike Messier, the host, and how comfortable do you feel in that role?
I feel very comfortable as a host. I hosted the award winning and
eclectic Mike Messier Show out of Providence, RI
for a while when I was younger.
More recently, I have been introduced to our recording
station TV9 Seekonk (MA) for a while and have a great relationship
with the station manager Jeff Fountain and the technical director
Cody Peixoto. BC Film's Bryan Casey produces Short Film Showcase
out of TV9, and Bryan has featured me as the host of that show for
three years. Short Film Showcase has both short films from and interviews
with New England filmmakers and actors. My work on Short Film Showcase began my
relationship with TV9. So, building upon that experience
towards producing and hosting my own show was very natural.
I'm also happy to report Short Film Showcase will be taping new episodes soon.
The good people of Seekonk, MA will soon feel like I'm moving into
do you choose your interviewees for Messier Mantra,
and to turn the question right onto its head, is there any way one can
apply to be interviewed by you?
I choose guests based on my
own personal interest level. So far, many guests have been in the film
industry which is great. In addition, I am looking to book more guests
from the naturalistic healing, yoga, philosophy, visual arts, and other
fields of interest. A few guests have been booked by contacting me
themselves and those interviews turned out very well. For anyone wanting
to be a guest, please note that you must be able to be interviewed at the
Seekonk, MA (USA) studio in person. Interested parties can submit an
introduction letter and bio to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject line "Mantra guest inquiry".
Scorpio - photo by James DeMello
Jose Guns Alves - photo by James DeMello
Cailey Calisi - photo by Mike Messier
Raeshelle Cooke - photo by Eileen Slavin
How much preparation
goes into each of your interviews, and to what extent are your questions
just improvised out of thin air?
I do research on each guest. I check out their websites and whatever
else is available, while still leaving room for mystery and discovery on the
actual show. For most episodes, I go with the flow and do not rehearse
the interviews or have questions already planned. The one exception to
this guideline was a filmmaker who had specific bullet points he wanted
to cover regarding his project.
I cite legendary interviewers James Lipton of Inside the Actors
Studio and Charlie Rose of The Charlie Rose Show as
inspirations. I have a more casual style than those gentlemen, however,
I take my own show very seriously, as Mr. Lipton and Mr. Rose obviously
Talk about some of the
guests you've had on the show so far, and what did each of them bring to
Scorpio was my very first guest, on a snowy winter night in
Seekonk. Scorpio is a wild dude, a really deep thinker and poet. I'm
glad to call him a friend and collaborator.
Jose Guns Alves was my second guest and he and I have a real good
rapport as actors and writers. Jose puts the work in; he is always pushing
himself towards greatness.
Scorpio and Guns are scheduled for my film Distance from
Cailey Calisi was a great guest, a young actor who lights up the screen
with her luminance and integrity. Cailey is so insightful and inspiring
with her motivational videos on YouTube, I encourage your readers
to check them out.
Raeshelle Cooke [Raeshelle
Cooke interview - click here], a rising filmmaker with an edge, had a
great interview, she is really someone to look out for.
DeNucci is an established filmmaker and his approach to and his
enthusiasm for his new film Almost Mercy made for a great
Filmmaker John Depew's interviews felt like a lesson in substantive
filmmaking, John recently directed Lazarus Rising.
Blacquier brought a beautiful sensibility to her episodes as natural
Paul Kandarian brought a writer's mind and an actor's sensibility.
Rosemary Pacheco was so human and honest, and also generous in promoting
Fred Sullivan's episode was like coming full-circle for me as Fred was
my first acting teacher.
All of these episodes have taught me, and hopefully the audience, much
about life in all its joys, wonders, challenges and triumphs.
What can you tell us about the taping of a
typical Messier Mantra-episode as such? And any backstage
anecdotes you'd like to share?
It's a pretty simple and easy set-up. Jeff and Cody at the station make
the show look great. I book the guests in advance and once the camera
rolls, we capture the show in one take for the most part.
Backstage anecdotes? I'll leave those for my memoirs. "Messier
Memoirs", coming soon!
Any future guests you'd
like to share? And any new directions you want to take Messier
Tomorrow night, I am taping an episode with
Gary Parent, who has overcome a lot in his life to be a craftsman, author
and visual artist. As stated, I am trying to book guests from
the "holistic" world and even motivational/inspirational
speakers. Female pro wrestlers, burlesque dancers, and roller derby queens
are also invited to apply.
A few words about audience and critical
reception of Messier Mantra so far?
seem to like it.
The $64-question of course, where can Messier Mantra be
My vimeo page -
as well as Seekonk, MA public access TV and Rhode Island (USA) public
Jonathan DelPonte, Mike Messier, David Gere,
Any future projects beside Messier
Mantra you'd like to share?
Distance from Avalon
is a very unique feature film script in development with some highly
talented and passionate people involved.
I have been sending several entries to screenplay contests quite a bit
recently. My Acting class Tao Zen Acting, is soon to return to Rhodywood
Studios in Providence, RI.
Finally, I am in development with producer David Gere and
director Tommy DeNucci towards an exciting mixed
martial arts film to be shot in Connecticut, USA.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
more water. Also, for those interested, I highly recommended the Zen based
life and career books by Laurence G. Boldt and the acting books by Eric
Morris. I'd also like to thank photographer Steve Barao, the sponsor of
for the interview!
Thank you Michael and your readers! - MIKE MESSIER