Earning His Big Coffee Break
by Ronald Sklar
A coffee break lands our favorite Israeli actor on a groundbreaking web series.
“I’ve been making [filmmaker] Jon Avnet espresso for the last five years,” says actor Yaniv Rokah, who spends part of his time as manager of Santa Monica’s Caffe Luxxe coffee shop. “You can say that he gave me a break, basically, and wrote a part for me, a really nice part on his new show.”
Even under normal circumstances, this would be the stuff of show business “how I was discovered” legend. What adds sugar to the coffee here is that Rokah will be a cast member of Avnet’s much-anticipated web series, on a ground breaking YouTube channel called WIGS (Where It Gets Interesting).
“It’s an original-scripted high-end drama and it revolves around women,” Rokah says. “It attracted a lot of big names like [film director] Rodrigo Garcia, who is producing as well as directing and writing. Also actors like Jennifer Garner and Virginia Madsen.”
The channel, which launched in May and is already surpassing 10 million unique views, is being touted as the future of television. Producers, writers and A-List actors are flocking to this next medium, which caters to the newly shortened attention span (episodes run about five to ten minutes) yet pays plenty of attention to user-generated comments. Characters can break out or be dropped as a result of instant user response.
“I play Dr. Rokah,” he says, which will at least surely delight his mother back in Israel. “Both my parents were in the hospital when I was performing the role, and I was Skyping with them, all dressed up like a doctor in a hospital.”
Rokah’s story arc begins in the fall, under the series name Kendra. And what seemed like an unthinkable concept only a few short years ago is now providing us with future shock.
“It’s genius, “ Rokah says. “It’s obvious that we’re all watching stuff on our phones, laptops, and iPads. It’s changing very fast. And why not? The series quality is the same as shows on Showtime and HBO. It’s a pretty amazing invention.”
Rokah, the youngest of ten children, was brought up in Netanya, outside of Tel Aviv. In the Eighties, an uncle in America sent back a color television. As a result, Rokah was bitten by the acting bug.
“It was always difficult to be in actor in Israel,” he says. “Everybody raised eyebrows back then if you were an artist. Now it’s a different story, of course, but back then it was hard to get around.”
With a growing resume of TV commercials and network and cable series parts (including a role in the upcoming feature film World War Z), Rokah is looking forward to the next phase of his career.
“There are no more excuses for anyone,” Rokah says of the digital age’s boundless opportunities for artists, “because you can write, create, do yoga, dance, and perform on the street as well as on the Internet. It’s everywhere, and it’s happening now.”.
To view WIGS, click here: www.watchwigs.com
Learn more about Yaniv here: www.yanivrokah.com/Site/Home.html
|#1 © 2012. Courtesy of Yaniv Rokah. All rights reserved.|
|#2 © 2012. Courtesy of Yaniv Rokah. All rights reserved.|
Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: August 10, 2012.