Ever since Jack Black became a friend on MySpace, I haven't had much of an opportunity to give the comic a plug.
What are friends for, after all?
That all changed when it was announced that Kung Fu Panda 2 was slated for release in theatres countrywide this week.
With Jack making the rounds of the talk-show circuit there is much to gab about.
For starters, Mr. Black is thrilled with the outcome of the much-anticipated big-budget studio flick.
"I am so proud of this Kung Fu Panda. After all, long after I am gone, it will still be entertaining people," he proudly noted to one interviewer on a morning talk show.
How much of Jack is in the Panda character he plays?
"About ninety-percent. I left about ten percent to use for other roles."
At one point, Meredith Viera tried to stir up a bit of controversy in one interview when she posed a question which caused a little tension on the studio set when it first zinged off her lips.
"I interviewed Angelie in Cannes. She said that she had to go back into the studio to redo lines because you changed a lot of them in your studio session."
The camera panned over to Jack in time to catch an awkward look which flickered across his face for a second or two.
"Is that okay?" Viera probed further in - what appeared to be - a shame-faced effort to seize the moment and make an issue of his acting "style".
"Well, yeah. I think so," Jack responded, as a polite look of astonishment visibly crossed his lovable mug.
Of course it is, Meredith!
When a director hires on a talent to work on a project, he or she has to be mindful of the fact that every actor approaches his craft differently.
It is a given that they - not only be ready to accommodate the "gift" - but be prepared to work with it in a unique straightforward hands-on way to flesh the talent out.
It is one of the quirks of "creativity".
In some cases, performers get a handle on their work by extraordinary methods, but that is the nature of the beast (in this case, the Panda).
Jack went on to point out that because the studio work was all "voice-over", it was a golden opportunity to focus on the true essence of the character, play up the nuances - and ultimately - find the heart of it.
"So, you try things in many different ways, take some risks."
A good director gives an actor a lot of leeway in that respect and only reins in "the talent" when necessary for the overall project's sake.
Jack pointed out that part of the reason he signed on for the sequel is because the storyline deals with deeper issues in respect to parenting and family.
Apparently, the film has an underlying message, and is not all comical fluff with slick special effects geared towards dazzling the filmgoers.
The children at the school where Black's kids attend were all treated to a sneak preview.
"They loved it," he gushed enthusiastically.
Now, let's wait and see what the critics have so say, eh?
Julian first sauntered onto the stage in a production of "The Marriage Proposal" in 1968 (Chekhov).
First-time out, Ayrs won an "Award of Merit" from the Simpson's Drama Festival for his portrayal of the nervous suitor "Lomov".
Essentially, though, he started his career as a painter.
Ayrs was part of a group show of West Coast artists at the Galerie Allen (Gastown) in 1970.
On the heels of that exhibition, he was commissioned by the City of Vancouver to create kiosks for the downtown core (1972).
One-man Exhibitions followed at the Contemporary Royale Gallery (Vancouver) and Open Space Gallery (Victoria).
In 1973, Ayrs made an entrance onto the International Art scene when he was invited to exhibit his abstract-expressionistic paintings at the San Francisco Arts Festival.
During a brief visit to New York in 1974, Ayrs appeared off-off Broadway in a "Hot Peaches" spoof on the Andy Warhol stars.
The production was titled "The Magic Hype".
After his short stint on stage in that successful musical comedy, Warhol Star Jackie Curtis
invited Ayrs to appear in a special New Year's Show at the Fortune Theatre in the East Village.
Ayrs was first published in IS8 - a Coach House Press publication edited by Victor Coleman (Toronto).
In addition, a short story - Cottage Cheese - was broadcast on CBC Radio (Robert Chesterman / Producer).
Julian modelled in the early eighties.
His face has graced the pages of National ads for American Express, the Bay, Eatons, Big Steel, and Sears (to name a few).
Ayrs' fashion column - Dressing Right - appeared in the morning newspaper "The Province" (Southam News) for approximately two years after he gave up the fashion runway.
An acting bug catapulted the struggling actor into the exciting Film & TV industry full throttle when he moved to California.
Ayrs has appeared in parts on the popular soap "General Hospital"(Reporter), "Victims for Victims" (Doctor), "Murphy Brown" (Doorman), and Fox Studio's big-budget comedy "How I Got into College" (Harvard Recruiter).
Drawing on his background in writing, Ayrs pursued a career as a Literary Agent for the next two years at Wallack & Associates and the Camille Sorice Agency respectively.
An opportunity to pen a blog for a Fox Network Show "On the Lot" - not only opened up a new well of creativity - but the opportunity for Ayrs to flex his visionary skills in several areas of the arts such as writing, film & video, web design, etc.
Then, Ayrs sequed into film reviewing.
Currently, he is a well-known film critic in the Los Angeles Area.