Sunday, June 23, 2013

“The Bloodhound Gang” (“3-2-1 Contact”) cast interviews, 3 of 4

Part 1.

Part 2.

“The Bloodhound Gang” was a series of short, live-action mysteries that may have been the most popular segment of the 1980s PBS science show 3-2-1 Contact. 

Why did the series end?

Nan: Not sure. Funding?
Seth: I never asked. I assumed it was either because Marcelino died or there just wasn’t a budget. I was disappointed to learn there would be no more “Bloodhound Gang,” for more than just selfish reasons. Sure, it was great to be on TV and a remarkable experience to have, but I knew it was the beginning of the end for 3-2-1 Contact. Every one of my peers, whether they knew my role or not, answered that “Bloodhound Gang” was what they think of the most when remembering
3-2-1 Contact. I found people remember us better than the “science” part of the show. On a rare occasion, people will remember the week the regular cast spent to Space Camp. We were probably a big drain on the budget—after all, we were a full union film production crew on location for a month a year, producing about a tenth of the total seasonal content (we aired 3-4 days a week). So it was probably a sound decision from a financial perspective, but the show’s audience missed out. And I think that is reflected by the show’s ultimate cancellation a few years later.
Glenn: I’m not sure. I was already in LA when the series ended.

Kelly: Not sure.

photo courtesy of Seth Greenspan

How did you feel when the series ended?

Nan: Sad. We got to work with great New York actors and a professional crew.
Seth: The series continued for a few years without producing any new “Bloodhound Gang” episodes before
3-2-1 Contact was cancelled. They simply retasked [old] “Bloodhound Gang” episodes for new 3-2-1 Contact ones. When I found out the show was continuing without new segments, I was very sad. But I kept reading about new adventures in the monthly magazine.
Kelly: I didn’t really follow the show since I was older and no longer a part of it. I thought it was a show lots of kids really enjoyed watching.

What shows, if any, did you appear in after that?

Nan: Featured and/or co-starred: Hot Hero Sandwich (another children’s show, on NBC); lots of episodic shows including Kate & Allie, The Cosby Show, The Cosby Mysteries, several  Law & Order episodes, All My Children, As the World Turns, Another World; lots of TV commercials; TV movie The Littlest Victims. On Broadway: Open Admissions; I replaced Angela Bassett in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
Seth: A few after school specials, a few one-line walk-ons, but nothing of note. I did get to perform as Puck in a summer stock outdoor performance of one of my favorite plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was my last; I hung up my hat after that.
Glenn: [Beyond] One Day at a Time, I did a wonderful CBS TV movie, Rifkin: Bounty Hunter with Harry Morgan. I loved that experience. I also hosted a daytime NBC show called Fantasy with Peter Marshall and Leslie Uggams, a favorite job of mine. I was in three Love Boat episodes and whole bunch of other cool gigs. I had a wonderful childhood.

  • 1981 The Private History of a Campaign that Failed (PBS TV-movie)
  • 1981 Nurse (CBS drama series; one episode, “Rivals”)
  • 1982 CBS Library (TV series)
  • 1984 CBS Schoolbreak Special

If you met any celebrities due to the series, who, how, and where?

Nan: Not that I can recall. Just really fine actors.
Seth: Skip Hinnant, who was a principal on The Electric Company, was in an episode. I was impressed with that because I also watched that show. I also met the guy who did the plant’s voice in Little Shop of Horrors. He played a pawn shop owner.
Glenn: Not due to
“Bloodhound” but I have been very fortunate to meet so many talented celebs throughout the years.
Kelly: I met a couple of actors who I still see on TV or in movies.

Did any guest stars who appeared in the series go on to become well-known?

Nan: I see lots of the actors that we worked with starring in movies, on TV all the time, just don’t know their names. They are not the super stars, but the very recognizable face you’ve seen so often.
Seth: Steve James, who was a Hollywood stuntman and played a police detective for a few episodes, just started to make it big in karate and action movies, but then I heard something happened to him that cut his career short.

What do you think about the band that named itself after the series? Have you had any contact with them?

Nan: I did not know there was a band with the name. What kind of music do they play?
Seth: Strangely enough, I did try to get in touch with them. Started an email conversation with someone from their webpage. I sent them photos to prove my identity, and never heard back. Later, I heard stories that one of them had been claiming he was me onstage. Weird. Like, really weird. Not too fond of them, but I guess there will always be a market for crude, rude, misogynistic 7th grade humor music, and they fit the bill.
Glenn: That was sooo cool when I heard about that. How fun! I never had contact with them. Not even 3-2-1 contact. LOL.

Kelly: I really don’t know much about them.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

Nan: I attended Virginia Commonwealth University, CCNY, and Empire State College. Studied theater. Received my degree from Empire State College in Theater/English.
Seth: Tisch School of the Arts for film and TV production.
Glenn: I went to NYU and studied film. I had left acting to do so. I got real about being gay and at that point the industry wouldn’t let me be honest about who I was. Games were played back then if you wanted a career in front of the camera. Thank God things have changed. I studied film to continue my creativity but not always be so public and under a microscope.

Kelly: I went to several schools as I moved around in the military: University of Maryland, Saint Leo University, and Campbell University. I finally consolidated all my credits and military training to get a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management with a minor in geography from Excelsior College.

What are you doing these days?

Nan: I am a teaching artist, actor, and writer. We moved to upstate New York where I got involved in the school system through an organization called Families First New York. They needed someone who could create artistic programs to teach academic subjects. For some reason I knew I could do that, and convinced them as well. It is such fulfilling and rewarding work. My years as a professional actor certainly helped to inform me and inspire the programming I developed. I was given a staff to train and implement my programs in both elementary and middle schools. They were hugely successful. I knew when I was hired it was the last year of that grant and they would not be getting any more funding.

I was lucky enough to be hired as an independent contractor, continuing to create and implement arts-based academic programs within the Poughkeepsie City School District, this time focusing mostly on the middle school. I wrote a musical the kids entitled Junior High School Drama, The Musical. Poughkeepsie is still talking about that show.

This work is what inspired me to develop a character education program entitled Virtue Planet. I always incorporated character building within my school programs as the need was so great; however, I wanted to create something specifically for that all-important aspect of life, so Virtue Planet was born. It includes an interactive storybook entitled Journey to Virtue Planet (Outskirts Press) with Virtue cards attached in the back of the book, bonus illustrated Virtue cards, and a sing-along book entitled What Is a Virtue? This book is part of the accompanying original music CD Virtue Planet.

Originally this program was designed for parents and teachers to have Virtue Planet parties. I included everything: the invitations, name tags, activities to reinforce the concepts, a mat to protect the floor, crayons, everything one needed to have a successful Virtue Planet party. A truly wonderful, fun, and educational experience.

I held a few at my home and in public and the kids (and parents) loved it! Unfortunately, my marketing funds (our pockets) were not deep enough to give it the push it needed and I had to set it aside. I’ve just recently started recharging it and hoping to really get it out there this time. I’ve narrowed it down to the two books and CD. It has been a labor of love and I feel once it gets out there it will be a huge hit. I may even try the Virtue Planet Parties again.

I’ve worked with Harry Belafonte at HarBel, his production company, as a story editor.

I’ve written short stories including “Memories of a Girl King” and “Pashima,” children’s stories, two series (The Girl with the Giggling Hair and Delaney Diction Master, unpublished), poetry, songs, screenplays, and lots of plays including Leaving Watermaine, which was recognized internationally as a Susan Smith Blackburn award finalist. I also conduct acting classes for community kids in Poughkeepsie. We currently call ourselves The Empowerment Players. Currently looking for work.

[Also, I have started a movement] combining meditation and creative expression as I believe creativity is a spiritual act and a healing energy. Eventually I would like to combine all of the performing arts creative expressions (dance, playwriting, music, poetry, maybe even set design) into a one-day workshop [with] a socially relevant theme for the performance and at the end of the day present it as a production at a dinner/luncheon event, keynote speaker, etc. I have gotten such excellent feedback on the first one and just the concept in general. On Twitter (@creationnation9) or by email ( people can send for a free purple gift bag, make a handmade gift, and give it away to a family member, friend, or stranger. All I ask is that they take a picture of their creation and send it in so I can post it on my gallery page on the site. Part of the movement!

Seth: Work in national news, have a boutique production company on the side, and have spent the last four years producing self-funded documentaries on critical marine issues.
Glenn: I still use a lot of what I learned from my early days in my business now. I own a TV station in beautiful Sedona, AZ. It’s called Sedona Now TV. We have been on the air for 11 years. I love living and working in Sedona.

I am also the co-founder of Sedona World Wisdom Days. This spiritual event will take place January 17-20, 2014. Bestselling author Jean Houston will be our first keynote speaker with more announcements soon. We will also have a weekend of life-changing workshops, a book fair, and an inspirational/motivational film festival [films have spiritual content].

Kelly: After I stopped acting, I did several things. At 21 years old, I ran and was elected to a three-year term as a selectman in my small Massachusetts town. I served as a part-time police officer and a volunteer fireman, but I finally decided to join the U.S. Army and ended up retiring in December 2010 after 20 years as a Chief Warrant Officer Four in Geospatial Intelligence. For the last three years, I have worked as a government civilian for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) doing things similar [to what] I did in the Army, but now every day I put on a suit instead of a uniform.

Where do you live?

Nan: Poughkeepsie, NY.
Seth: New York City.
Glenn: Sedona, AZ.

Kelly: I currently live in Stuttgart, Germany supporting United States Africa Command, but in the summer of 2014 I will move back to the States. Either the Washington D.C. area or back to Western Massachusetts.

Do you have copies of every episode?

Nan: No, just a few.
Seth: No. I was given a VHS copy by the producers that was missing one episode. It got left behind at the worst job I had, a podunk production facility in North Dakota. [They] decided that they wouldn’t return some of my personal property, like that tape, after we parted ways. On eBay I recently found a VHS tape with a few episodes, and I bought it just so I could prove that I was a cute kid.
Glenn: I do not. I wish I did.

Kelly: No. I did record a lot of the shows when they were running on TV, but the VHS tape doesn’t play anymore since it’s so old.

photo courtesy of Seth Greenspan 

Part 4.

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