Friday, December 14, 2012

The Second Half of TWOThousandTWELVE


Thanks for stopping by   If you are new to this website:  This is a site created by Phil Ristaino - I am an actor/artist/and musician living on the west coast.  Please look around the site, there's tons of material derived from about 20 years of living the artist's life in NYC, San Francisco, New Mexico, Europe (a little bit) and wherever else I wandered to during the time between when I graduated college and now.

New stuff:  One of the more recent new things is this:   This is the site for the power pop/psychedelic rock band the Troy Westfield Experience, a band I front and play drums for from time to time.  Our latest album, "Business on the Lanai: a Refresher Course" was released summer 2012.   5 songs, 3 music videos so far, one more vid coming.  Here's the latest video, the lead off track, "Danny the Street."   This video was shot and edited by Mike Gordon, and animated by yours truly.  It features the enigmatic Mr Three Fiddy.  Check it out, it'll make you tweek:

We also fixed/remixed/remastered our classic album from 2001, "Tantric Scrimshaw."  It sounds amazing!  Both albums were produced and mixed by the great Allen Towbin at his Maze Studios NYC in Brooklyn.   Here's the lead of track from that album, sounding 100 times better than it ever did:

Both albums can be purchased at the TWE's website:

 The band also played a couple shows on the east coast in celebration of the both records being released.  You can see some great pics from our NYC gig here.

On the acting front:  I've been worked on several projects since I last posted news this summer.  In the midst of playing gigs and releasing TWE albums this summer, I managed to fit in a week of filming an entire feature film, called "Brother Sister Lover."   I play the brother.  We really jammed on shooting that film, I think it should be a nice little piece of drama - the actual filming of the movie only happened in 3 days!  It was intense, but our director Jason Torrey (of Blood Was Everywhere) and his crew kept the three actors on track, and I think the intensity of shooting over such a short period of time added to the tension, resulting in a few moments that even surprised me.  Here's the facebook page for BSL:

Next up, a short film I starred in called "Fix."  This film was shot over 5 days or so right at the end of 2011, rolling over into the new year.  We actually shot it during the new year's celebration here in downtown San Francisco.  That was a challenging shoot.  I was mixing it up with lots of poor and insane folks in one of the hardest-lucked parts of SF, the Tenderloin.  I play a down and out guy who lives under ground and must travel to the surface world during new year's eve to fulfill a secret mission.   "Fix" also marks the first time I've acted with rats.  Actual rats.  This film was shot by a 4 person crew from Salt Lake City, Utah, but you'd never know because it looks really astonishing.  Excellent editing, excellent cinematography, a great soundtrack.  I would consider this the most polished piece I've gotten to be a part of, not counting the Hollywood films in which I've appeared as an extra.  The film was on my website for a while, but the film makers took it down because I believe it is about to be screened at Slamdance.  Cool.  You can, however, see it if you go to the Stowaway Films site.  Its well worth a view.  I can't wait to be able to show it again on

Since this summer, I've filmed a few short internet pieces, a short film called "Michael Sadler's Crusade" about a 19th century English politician who changes the child labor laws, I've been an hippy in feature called "The Garden of Eden" about a strip club in SF in the late 60s, and done a few episodes of the Japanese show "World's Astonishing Stories."  Lately I've been auditioning a bit, so hopefully more gigs will materialize in the near future.

In terms of the website itself, I've done a bit of work to make it easier to navigate, cleaned up and added content to a lot of pages (like the Voice Acting and Interviews Page, for example, or the Dreams for Sale page, for another example) and even added a page that features old tunes I recorded with various friends mostly from the 90s while I was learning how to write pop music.  Here's an example:

There's lots more like that (or unlike that, really) at the Old Tunes page on my site. Hopefully I'll unearth more rare tracks to share in the future.

Please take some time to really look over the site, I think its in better shape than its ever been!  And stay tuned, I will have more to share, maybe even before the end of the year, because there's another Troy Westfield video on the way...

Happy Dec 21, 2012


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Venus transit + rare solar eclipse = progress!

Lots of crazy constellation activity in 2012, but I would expect no less from such a mythic year.  I actually looked at a rare solar eclipse the other week, one that happens only 25,000 years or so.  My brother was at a colleague's house on Bernal Heights (a hill below the Mission in SF) where they had special goggles that allowed intrepid folk to stare straight into the heart of the sun.  I rode my bike over to their pad as the eclipse was happening, the light was strange to say the least - dark but warm.  I stared into the eclipse like a voyeur of God as the moon was perfectly placed in the top center of the sun, it was ridiculous how it timed out so perfectly.  But then again, I had been meditating for an hour before that with the intention of manifesting my greatest life, so it really should come as no surprise.  Consciousness creates reality. Believe it, because the universe does.

The rare Venus transit across the face of the sun is only days away, (june 5-6), and I'll be spending most of it in an airplane traveling from the west coast of Turtle Island to the east, a tiny Agent of Venus mirroring her sojourn to tear the cosmic veil asunder before the great white fire god in the sky threatens to burn the seas and crack the heavens wise.  Why do I travel?  Two reasons, really:

NEW TROY WESTFIELD EXPERIENCE MUSIC.   It happens only once a decade, it seems, but a nearly a year and a half of hard fun, heated aesthetic compromise and weed smoke has finally yielded a new album from the Experience:  "Business on the Lanai: A Refresher Course" (the title a conjoined Fletch reference in honor of a shared reverence between myself and my partner in crime Mike Gordon for Chevy Chase's immensely quotable classic 80s film.)  Our five song extended player is no slight matter -- these songs are potent and will certainly entertain and challenge the listener.  I think they're some of the best songs we've ever written, honestly.   We lead off the newly launched record (which can be digitally downloaded at our website with our summer smash hit Good Ache, a song about playing a character in a movie who's falling in love and not being sure if you are actually falling in love along with the character or just falling into character.   Mike aka Troy himself has assembled a video made of old monster films to illustrate his interpretation of the song's themes.  I'll have my own version coming out just as soon as I get a  hold of all the precious footage I shot last summer....

We'll be playing a few live shows in nyc and maybe MA during the month of June/early July, keep an eye out for em. that website again:

 Which brings me to my second share: as I prepare to film a new feature with Sun In 10 productions, a new commercial I play the lead in has been released online and is soon to be on TV here in SF.  Produced by Fill In the Blank Media for Community Housing Partnership, a non profit that finds jobs and homes for the homeless and the jobless, this commercial was shot with a camera that would chop up the action to make it look like stop motion animation.  Except for the opening scene, which was taken one photo at a time with a camera on a curved track -- you'll notice it goes from daytime to night time, well that is an indication of how long it took to actually get this entire sequence.  But I think it works well:

June should prove to be quite a month, lots to do, many to see, and another film to make, and a universe that bucks and slides through the wetworks of time as it transmogrifies into a zoo of celestial butterflies the likes of which none of us could ever imagine.   I'll let you know how it goes....

Friday, April 6, 2012

American Epitaph: A Young Ruffian Production

So much awesome stuff is in the works right now.  The triumphant return of the Troy Westfield Experience rock and roll extravawowzer is mere months away, maybe less!  We have two, count em, two albums to offer all you wonderful folks, along with music videos, art, t shirts, and maybe a live show if you're lucky.... Stay tuned, damn it!  You can find out more about the band on the Troy Westfield section of my website,, or on our Facebook page.

But really, the main reason for this post is the debut of the teaser trailer of the Young Ruffian Productions first full length feature film, American Epitaph!  shit yeah.   Dig in:

"American Epitaph" Teaser Trailer from Ryan Holden on Vimeo.

This was an epic filming experience for myself and the entire Ruffian crew.  Filmed over a 40 plus day period during the summer of 2011 in the wilds of Vermont, American Epitaph is the story of four friends trying to live life to the fullest as an unseen war inside the United States slowly makes its way to their doorsteps.  I had a truly unique, amazing and inspiring experience making this movie with Ryan Holden, Mike Scudder, Joe Holden, Logan Howe, Andrew Mclennon, Justin Epifanio as well as my old friends Erin Lynch and Alistair Redman and all the incredible and inspiring cast and crew of the film.  It was truly a crazy good time.   I can't wait to bring you more news about this film and the TWE albums.  Soon oh so soon......

Friday, January 6, 2012

Journey into the Invisible World to Kubrick's Moon Landing

Happy 2012!  Happy 2912!  Happy 29120012!

I had a super busy December in 2011.  Went to NYC.  Finished (more or less) mixing the all new Troy Westfield Experience album (coming soon) with my power pop compatriots Mike Gordon and Allen Towbin.  I also starred in a upcoming short film called Left For Dead, where I played a man who lives deep underground and must embark on a mission to the surface world during new years eve.  We filmed all over the Tenderloin District in San Francisco (and if you know the Tenderloin, then you know it was a urine-soaked, crazy-crackhead-good time) at ungodly hours for five days and nights, including during the stroke of midnite amongst the heaving, thronging masses on new years eve 2011-2012.

It was insane.

I also appeared in studio on episode 85 of Frank Todaro's the Invisible World, where we talked about the brilliant Jay Weidner documentary "Kubrick's Odyssey."  Weidner has put together a rather convincing (in my opinion) doc on the deeper meanings and behind the scenes history of Stanley Kubrick, his films, and his alleged deal with the US Govt to help fake the Apollo moon landings.  Its a truly wonderful doc, check it out, you won't regret it:

Kubrick's Odyssey from Charlie Crumlish on Vimeo.

And then, please follow this link to listen to my conversation with Frank. I could have talked about the multitude of facets of this crystalline puzzle of the mysterious collision of sci fi and sci fact for 8 hours....

The Invisible World ep 85 12/14 by Theinvisibleworld | Blog Talk Radio

Much more to come in 2012.  Holy shit, its 2012!

wow.  who would've thought we'd even get this far....