In this week’s Page 6 in the New York Post they talked about actress Aesha Waks 34, and DJ and photographer Liam McMullen 23, planning their wedding for the Spring of 2012. They were originally supposed to be married last August, but decided to postpone it indefinitely. Liam is the son of celeb photographer Patrick McMullen whom I’ve known for many years. I clearly remember him bringing Liam with him to parties when Liam was only about 12 years old, so he’s been exposed to the New York nightlife scene for quite a while.
Actress Aesha Waks and her fiance DJ, photographer, and hopeful stand-up comic Liam McMullen partying at Pacha!
I’ve had the pleasure of being friends with Aesha for years now. As a matter of fact she was with me the one and only time I met Mick Jagger, who was on the short list, ( the very short list!) of people I had wanted to meet in this lifetime. No one can ever get old as long as Mick is around because he’s maybe 67 and still the hippest guy in the room. When he moves on stage it’s like he’s 27. I know young bands that are in awe of him still.
Aesha and I were having dinner at Lotus that night, at the time the hottest club in the Meatpacking District, and a place where my old friend nightlife guru Mark Baker was part owner. I’m pretty sure it was a party for something or other, as I recall being at a party once! (LOL) (And I swore I’d never do THAT again! LOLOLOL )
Anyway, they happened to seat us right next to Mick and Jann Wenner if I recall correctly. It also might have been Jason Binn. I know it was someone big in publishing. So I went over and told him that when my kids were little, and my hair was very long, they used to ask me why I didn’t look like the other Dads who were living in Scarsdale. My answer was, ” Well you’d understand if I was Mick Jagger.” Their answer was,
” Yeh Dad, … but you’re not! “
Another cute photo of lovebirds Aesha Waks and Liam McMullen taken by Jeffrey Gurian!
I thought he’d get a kick out of the story. Turns out I got more of a kick out of it than he did! (LOL) But at least I got to meet him. I didn’t have my camera with me in those days which is one of my regrets, but I also didn’t have it when I met Woody Allen for the first time, Salvador Dali, when we spent the evening together, or when I got to meet The Beach Boys, the only other people on that very short list!
Jeffrey Gurian and Lauren Francesca partying it up at Pacha with Aesha Waks and Liam McMullen!
The last time I was with Aesha and Liam was at a party at Pacha, Zev Norotsky’s place. I was with Lauren Francesca, the internet star, best known for playing Lady Gaga in the Key of Awesome parodies, and they were very romantic, and totally into each other. Aesha had called me not too long ago because Liam now wants to get into stand-up comedy, and I told her I would definitely help him. I offered to bring him to audition at The Comic Strip.
Lauren Francesca in a "swoon" with Jeffrey Gurian! Maybe it was his cologne!
They said the wedding will be an eclectic mix of people of all different ages and attachments to the couple. Who knows, maybe I’ll be invited! Maybe we’ll do a little Roast for the wedding???
Now Aesha Waks is in a "swoon", from Liam McMullen's kiss! Btw, what the heck is a swoon???
All I know is this time, I’ll make sure to bring my camera!
Goodfellas came out in 1990. That was 21 years ago, and I don’t think anyone who ever saw the film will ever forget actor Frank Vincent’s line as Billy Batts to Joe Pesci’s character Tommy DeVito, ” Go home and get your shinebox.” Just hearing that line, and knowing Tommy’s hair trigger temper sends chills through most people. Billy Batt’s paid for that line with his life.
Jeffrey Gurian with Frank Vincent at the Soho International Film Festival event in Frank's honor!
As Phil Leotardo in The Sopranos, Frank got whacked in the last episode, standing in a gas station kissing his grandchildren goodbye, and fell under the wheel of his daughter’s car, which rolled over his head. Another Frank Vincent scene indelibly etched in the minds of whoever saw it.
Jeffrey Gurian with Frank Vincent at the Gen Art Film Festival back in 2006!
Frank Vincent’s presence on the big screen is so powerful that of all the guys who play gangsters, to me he stands out as one of the scariest. ( A definite compliment! ) So to find out that he started out as a comic was both startling and thrilling to me. He actually did stand-up with Joe Pesci. Pesci killed him in Goodfellas and he returned the kindness, and killed Joe Pesci in Casino.
Jeffrey Gurian with director John Gallagher, who's also on the Advisory Board of the Soho International Film Festival, and who produced the event in honor of Frank Vincent!
Frank was honored by the Soho International Film festival in a fantastic evening produced by award-winning film director John Gallagher, who will be working with Frank in an upcoming film called Fickle, written by Ryan O’Callaghan who was there to walk the red carpet with John and Frank.
All of Frank’s friends came out to support him including some of his Sopranos cast members. There was John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, sometimes known as “The Mayor Of Little Italy”, who played Albie Cianflone, (and who couldn’t believe I remembered the name of his character), Tony (Paulie Walnuts) Sirico, and TV and film actress Sharon Angela, who memorably played Rosalie Aprile, on the hit HBO show, where during the 6th season she was elevated from a guest star to a series regular.
Jeffrey Gurian with John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia at the Friars Roast for Jerry Lewis in 2006!
Jeffrey Gurian and Tony Sirico in James Edstrom's column that was also on Page 6 of the NY Post where Tony (Paulie Walnuts) Sirico showed Jeffrey how real men take photos together, … with a fist through the other guy's arm!
Jeffrey Gurian with Sharon Angela at the Soho International Film Festival where she starred in Michael Imperioli's film "The Hungry Ghosts."
There were also lots of beautiful women there from all over the world, in the film business and not. I met two from The Philippines, Ida and Lisa, who were there to honor Frank and also had their own film in the festival.
(L-R) Lisa and Ida who came all the way from The Philippines for the Soho Film Festival!
And just to play it safe, I brought my own beautiful woman, (LOL) Lauren Francesca, the internet sensation known for playing Lady Gaga in The Key of Awesome films, ( www.thekeyofawesome.com) and who starred in two short films I created for her, “Besame Mucho’s Academy of Oral Skills”
Jeffrey Gurian and Lauren Francesca on the red carpet of the Soho International Film Festival!
and “The Magic Of Transforminol” about a magic pill that guys can take called “Transforminol” that makes their girlfriends look like Lauren.
The thing about Frank Vincent is that he’s nothing like what he looks like which makes his performance even more powerful. In his own words, he’s a nice guy, and he is. But he told a story that was so chilling it affected everyone in the audience.
He was saying how many people think they’re really gangsters when they’re really just Italian-American actors, but one night he walked into a restaurant and there was a real mob boss there who called him over to his table to say hello.
Frank’s group was then seated near this mob boss close enough for Frank to hear him mention something about Hollywood, which caused Frank to toss out a remark. With that the mob boss called him over to the table and in front of everyone there told Frank he had a lot of nerve barging in on his conversation, and as Frank phrased it, “He’d leave him standing right where he was, if he ever did that again.” Frank’s point in that story was well taken.
Frank is a good actor which is why he knows how to act like a gangster. A good actor has feelings. Real gangsters don’t.
John Gallagher is on the advisory board of the Soho International Film Festival and works directly with Sibyl Santiago, the director of the festival, who was incredibly helpful to me in getting this story done. She made sure that I got to speak to everyone I wanted to see.
Aside from directing John also teaches acting, and among other places taught for five years at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse on East 54th Street in Manhattan, the school where Sanford Meisner taught for more than 50 years. I even took the summer program there one year because as a director, I thought it behooved me to understand the acting process as much as possible. It was a fantastic experience.
I’m hoping that John will be directing a film that I wrote that he fell in love with called “Men of Violence.” It’s a gangster/martial arts/action film with lots of comedy.
The comedy is real, as is the violence, in the style of Pulp Fiction. It’s about a plastic surgeon who is obsessed with violence. He studies martial arts and carries a gun. When he accidentally kills a mob boss’ son protecting his wife during a mob hit in a restaurant, he has to become the baddest man on the planet in order to save his own life and the lives of his family.
All we have to do now is raise the money! ( Maybe Kickstarter?) The cast we don’t have to worry about. Between John and myself we know every gangster/actor in the business!
Check out Jeffrey on the red carpet for Frank Vincent!
Lauren Francesca in "The Wearin' Of The Green" with Jeffrey at Patrick McMullen's Party at Pacha
We already shot two films that I wrote for her. One is called “Besame Mucho’s Academy of Oral Skills” in which she plays a sexy Latina named Besame Mucho, ” voted by 3 major men’s magazines as the best kisser in the world.” Click the link below to see the film:
She runs a kissing school, where she teaches girls how to kiss so they put men into a dream state. She teaches them exotic oral exercises like the “Besame Mucho tongue push-up”, and tongue swinging where you swing from a trapeze by your tongue to build up strength!
Lauren Francesca and Jeffrey ready to hit the dance floor!
Lauren's hair dancing to the music, with Jeffrey nowhere to be seen!
Lauren Francesca doing her famous "booty-shake" move at Pacha!
At Patrick’s party I ran into my old friend talented actress Aesha Waks, who happens to be engaged to Patrick’s son Liam McMullen. Aesha told me that Liam wants to do stand-up comedy so I plan to help him as much as I can.
An intimate moment between Liam McMullen and fiancee actress Aesha Waks!
And then we wound up at Lavo to see my pal Erik Von Broock.
Jeffrey and Erik Von Broock at Lavo, with a beautiful unidentified guest!
Above are some of the photos from our memorable evening!
Internet sensation Lauren Francesca, who plays Lady Gaga in the super-successful Key of Awesome parodies,( 27 million hits and rising)
filmed a parody of Lady Gaga in all of the Oscar nominated films, True Grit, The Fighter, 127 Hours, Black Swan, and The King’s Speech. Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters is in The King’s Speech playing the Lionel Logue character.