NEW YORK — Frustrated actors have a new outlet for their creative urges that until now was only available to their singing cousins — Movieoke, Karaoke’s cinematic sibling.
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The brainchild of film-fanatic Anastasia Fite, Movieoke is just what it sounds like: a chance for those brave enough to take over from Robert De Niro in his “You talkin’ to me?” monologue in “Taxi Driver,” or to strut their stuff alongside Ben Stiller in “Zoolander.”
The weekly affair takes place in the Den of Cin, a basement space below an East Village pizza parlor and video store that offers a huge selection of films to act along with.
Guests select a specific scene from a movie that is then projected onto a big screen, while a monitor in front of them shows the scene along with subtitled dialogue.
The result is either a skillful rendering of the original lines or, more often than not, some sort of goof up that draws laughter from the audience.
Don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself
So far, the Movieoke night has mostly drawn mid-20s movie buffs eager to relive scenes from their childhood favorites such as ’80s classics “Breakfast Club” and “Heathers.”
But you don’t have to be a connoisseur, or in your 20s, to love Movieoke, though having a few beers upon arrival might help loosen things up.
“As long as you’re not afraid to make a fool of yourself, it becomes a really communal experience,” said Fite, who invented Movieoke last October and gives patrons their first beer free.
Not surprisingly given her passion for films, the Movieoke queen hails from Los Angeles. An energetic participant herself, Fite says she got the idea after making a short film about a girl who talked only in movie dialogue.
Matt Dujnic, a regular who played several roles throughout the evening, was clearly enthralled by the whole thing.
“It appeals to the aspiring never-to-be an actor in me,” said Dujnic.
A small, but enthusiastic crowd attended Wednesday’s session. First-timer Jon Ratner seemed completely at ease as he played pretty much every character in a scene from Eddie Murphy’s “Coming to America.”
“I’ve seen that movie more than I’ve seen myself in the mirror,” he joked.
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