A 20+ Year Alliance Forges A Great Partnership
Jon Brekke and Eric Nemoto have combined to work on numerous creative projects over the years. They first met in 1994 when Eric’s new, fledgling collection of acting enthusiasts, an eclectic band known as The Actors’ Group, sought a place to continue their weekly acting classes and found the perfect spot in Jon’s Yellow Brick Studio on Keawe Street in Honolulu. Through this association they began a creative partnership that has continued ever since.
Doorway to the original Yellow Brick Studio, a hole-in-the-wall theatre in Honolulu, Hawaii, that operated from 1994-2008.
Over the years Jon and Eric have collaborated to write numerous screenplays and work on a variety of creative projects involving television commercials, stage plays, short films, and feature length films. These include:
• Chaminade University (1995): Eric wrote three commercials for the university and played the principal character in each. Jon produced and directed these spots which aired on each of the major network television stations for a number of weeks.
• A Boy, A Girl, And A Dead Cat (1997): Jon produced and directed this feature film about four teenagers whose drive to the prom turns into more than what they bargained for when they run over a cat and make the decision that they must bury it first before they can continue. A wonderful coming-of-age story filmed entirely in Honolulu that was eventually screened before a packed auditorium at the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) in 1999. Eric had a featured role as a tough teacher(see Movies Produced).
Boy Meets Girl Meets Cat…
• Witness Protection (1998): Produced by Steve Cedillos, who also serves as one of the actors, Jon wrote and directed this 15-minute trailer on 35 mm film for a possible feature length movie deal. The movie involved six cops (five men and a woman) having to watch over a female witness in a mob trial for a week in a suburban house. Filmed in LA, Eric played one of the cops, along with Steve, Audrey Stanzler, Andy Trask, Brian Fowler, and Brad Powell. Vonnie Rhee played the witness.
The Trailer Of Scenes From “Witness Protection”
• The Committee Responsible For Exposing The Reverend Terry Jamestown (1998): Eric wrote and acted in this stage play produced by TAG. Jon directed. The story, which revolved around what appeared to be thugs breaking into a psychiatrist’s office to forcibly attempt to blackmail a wealthy televangelist by forcing him to take photos with a prostitute, is still revered as the production that first brought notoriety to The Actors’ Group as it played before packed houses; something the theatre had never experienced before. The reference to “appeared to be” is because in the end, it is revealed that all of the participants, including the psychiatrist herself, were part of the same “committee” involved in the blackmail.
• An Entity Without Material Reality (1998): During the early avant-garde years of TAG – The Actors’ Group, Jon wrote, produced, and directed this poetry reading where actors performed the pieces that were recited at the Yellow Brick Studio. This live performance before an audience was filmed and later aired on cable television. Eric was one of the actors performing. This production can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here.
• Vent (2003): Jon wrote, produced, and directed this short film about the behind-the-scenes lives of the actors in a small community theater just before they go on stage. Quite literally a depiction of some of the actors (and their personalities) who were associated with The Actors’ Group, the film was very well received and was screened at the Ohina Short Film Festival in Honolulu. Eric played one of the leads (see Movies Produced).
• Tiramisu On The Beach (2004): Eric and Jon co-wrote this stage play that was produced by TAG. The comedy drama follows a man and a woman, two high powered attorneys and former lovers, as they meet at a beach park to celebrate what is thought to be a successful out-of-court settlement on a sexual harassment case. But everything goes crazy when the woman says her client wants a lot more money which then turns the evening into an endless verbal war that evolves into a battle between the sexes. Eric played one of the leads and Jon directed.
GREAT ‘TIRAMISU’: Jon Brekke, left, director of The Actors’ Group production of “Tiramisu On The Beach,” congratulated Dorothy Stamp, Eric Nemoto, and James McCarthy after the threesome played to an overflow crowd at the Yellow Brick Studio on Saturday. So many paying customers showed that Brekke gave up his seat and listened from the hallway. TAG’s provocative look at the ways men and women relate to the concept of sexual harassment continues Thursday.
John Berger, Honolulu Star Bulletin, May 2, 2005
The stage review: Gender Conflict Propels New Play
• Tiramisu On The Beach (2005): Jon produced a unique dinner show version of Tiramisu where the audience actually ate the same meal as the actors who performed the play on stage. It was performed for eight performances during as many weeks at Indigo Restaurant in Honolulu. Eric continued to play one of the leads and Jon again directed.
The review of the dinner show: Dramatic Dinner Plans
• Tiramisu On The Beach (2006): Jon produced a breakfast show version to serve as the centerpiece of a morning seminar on sexual harassment for Oceanic Time Warner, held at the Hawaii Okinawan Center in Waipahu, Hawaii. Eric continued to play one of the leads and Jon again directed.
• The Tide Is High (2007): Jon conceptualized and produced this television series for OC-16 (Oceanic Time Warner in Hawaii) about two young women who open up a coffee shop in Waikiki, featuring actress comedian Stephanie Sanchez. Eric was one of the writers for the series and appeared in a bit role. See the Honolulu Star Bulletin article.
• Merry Christmas, Roberta (2007): Jon’s and Eric’s screenplay of the same name, was adapted for the stage by writer, Michael Wurth, and was produced by TAG at the old Yellow Brick Studio. Jon and Michael co-directed and Eric played one of the leads. This play, about a homeless woman who is asked to come to a Thanksgiving dinner with a local family after the father mistakenly takes the woman for a man who had been stealing their daughter’s lunch money, had a very successful run and was also rewarded with a Best Play Po’okela (Hawaii’s top stage award) at the following year’s (2008) theatre awards.
• Magic Island (2009): Jon produced this pilot episode with producer Steve Wyman of Days Of Our Lives, to translate New Zealand’s successful 25-year soap opera, Shortland Street, into a Hawaii-based TV series targeted for the Japanese market. Local actors Kala`i Miller, Maile Holck, Stephanie Sanchez headed up the cast. Eric was featured in one of the roles.
• Merry Christmas, Roberta (2010): A reprise of this play was produced by TAG at their new theater in the Shops at Dole Cannery in Honolulu. Jon again directed and Eric played one of the leads.
• Tiramisu On The Beach (2012): Jon produced another dinner show version of Tiramisu. This production featured three shows performed at the Arts at Marks Garage in Honolulu. Eric continued to play one of the leads and Jon again directed.
Tiramisu 2012: At the Arts at Marks, James McCarthy, Lauren Murata, and Eric Nemoto reveled in the gastronomical and political delights that is “Tiramisu On The Beach.”
• A Breath To Survive (2013): Jon wrote, produced, directed, and co-edited this beautiful movie; a heart tugging story about a woman who drops out of the corporate world and finds the artist within herself (see Movies Produced). Eric appears in a bit role and served as an AD on the final shoot day.
See Movies Produced for further collaborative works of Jon and Eric since the establishment of Yellow Brick Studio and LegacyVision Films.