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An Interview with Mike Messier, Mastermind of Messier Mantra

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2015

Mike Messier on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new show Messier Mantra - in a few words, what is it about and what's the philosophy behind it?


Messier Mantra is a thirty minute interview show with guests that I find intriguing. The set and feel is very intimate and the discussions tend to run deeply personal, motivational and inspiring. Each guest is encouraged to share a "mantra", a catch phrase, expression or philosophy that describes their approach to life.


What inspired you to do the show in the first place, and to choose exactly that format for the show?


It's a long story! To be succinct, Messier Mantra was born on the fly this past winter, due to circumstances involving inclement weather. The format of Messier Mantra is simple: let's talk with people. Everybody has a story. Some are more interesting than others. I find guests that have something to say.


Mike on the set of Blue Line, Cromwell, CT

So what can you tell us about your role as Mike Messier, the host, and how comfortable do you feel in that role?


I feel very comfortable as a host. I hosted the award winning and eclectic Mike Messier Show out of Providence, RI  for a while when I was younger.

More recently, I have been introduced to our recording station TV9 Seekonk (MA) for a while and have a great relationship with the station manager Jeff Fountain and the technical director Cody Peixoto. BC Film's Bryan Casey produces Short Film Showcase out of TV9, and Bryan has featured me as the host of that show for three years. Short Film Showcase has both short films from and interviews with New England filmmakers and actors. My work on Short Film Showcase began my relationship with TV9. So, building upon that experience towards producing and hosting my own show was very natural.

I'm also happy to report Short Film Showcase will be taping new episodes soon. The good people of Seekonk, MA will soon feel like I'm moving into their homes.


How do you choose your interviewees for Messier Mantra, and to turn the question right onto its head, is there any way one can apply to be interviewed by you?


I choose guests based on my own personal interest level. So far, many guests have been in the film industry which is great. In addition, I am looking to book more guests from the naturalistic healing, yoga, philosophy, visual arts, and other fields of interest. A few guests have been booked by contacting me themselves and those interviews turned out very well. For anyone wanting to be a guest, please note that you must be able to be interviewed at the Seekonk, MA (USA) studio in person. Interested parties can submit an introduction letter and bio to with the subject line "Mantra guest inquiry".


Scorpio - photo by James DeMello

Jose Guns Alves - photo by James DeMello

Cailey Calisi - photo by Mike Messier

Raeshelle Cooke - photo by Eileen Slavin

Tommy DeNucci

John Depew

Rosemary Pacheco

How much preparation goes into each of your interviews, and to what extent are your questions just improvised out of thin air?


I do research on each guest. I check out their websites and whatever else is available, while still leaving room for mystery and discovery on the actual show. For most episodes, I go with the flow and do not rehearse the interviews or have questions already planned. The one exception to this guideline was a filmmaker who had specific bullet points he wanted to cover regarding his project.

I cite legendary interviewers James Lipton of Inside the Actors Studio and Charlie Rose of The Charlie Rose Show as inspirations. I have a more casual style than those gentlemen, however, I take my own show very seriously, as Mr. Lipton and Mr. Rose obviously do.


Talk about some of the guests you've had on the show so far, and what did each of them bring to the table?


Scorpio was my very first guest, on a snowy winter night in Seekonk. Scorpio is a wild dude, a really deep thinker and poet. I'm glad to call him a friend and collaborator.


Jose Guns Alves was my second guest and he and I have a real good rapport as actors and writers. Jose puts the work in; he is always pushing himself towards greatness.


Scorpio and Guns are scheduled for my film Distance from Avalon.


Cailey Calisi was a great guest, a young actor who lights up the screen with her luminance and integrity. Cailey is so insightful and inspiring with her motivational videos on YouTube, I encourage your readers to check them out.


Raeshelle Cooke [Raeshelle Cooke interview - click here], a rising filmmaker with an edge, had a great interview, she is really someone to look out for.


Tommy DeNucci is an established  filmmaker and his approach to and his enthusiasm for his new film Almost Mercy made for a great interview.


Filmmaker John Depew's interviews felt like a lesson in substantive filmmaking, John recently directed Lazarus Rising.


Judith Blacquier brought a beautiful sensibility to her episodes as natural healing practitioner.


Paul Kandarian brought a writer's mind and an actor's sensibility.


Rosemary Pacheco was so human and honest, and also generous in promoting other artists.


Fred Sullivan's episode was like coming full-circle for me as Fred was my first acting teacher.


All of these episodes have taught me, and hopefully the audience, much about life in all its joys, wonders, challenges and triumphs.


What can you tell us about the taping of a typical Messier Mantra-episode as such? And any backstage anecdotes you'd like to share?


It's a pretty simple and easy set-up. Jeff and Cody at the station make the show look great. I book the guests in advance and once the camera rolls, we capture the show in one take for the most part.

Backstage anecdotes? I'll leave those for my memoirs. "Messier Memoirs", coming soon!


Any future guests you'd like to share? And any new directions you want to take Messier Mantra to?


Tomorrow night, I am taping an episode with Gary Parent, who has overcome a lot in his life to be a craftsman, author and visual artist. As stated, I am trying to book guests from the "holistic" world and even motivational/inspirational speakers. Female pro wrestlers, burlesque dancers, and roller derby queens are also invited to apply.


A few words about audience and critical reception of Messier Mantra so far?


People seem to like it.


The $64-question of course, where can Messier Mantra be watched?


My vimeo page - - as well as Seekonk, MA public access TV and Rhode Island (USA) public access TV.


Jonathan DelPonte, Mike Messier, David Gere, Tommy DeNucci

Any future projects beside Messier Mantra you'd like to share?


Distance from Avalon is a very unique feature film script in development with some highly talented and passionate people involved.

I have been sending several entries to screenplay contests quite a bit recently. My Acting class Tao Zen Acting, is soon to return to Rhodywood Studios in Providence, RI.

Finally, I am in development with producer David Gere and director Tommy DeNucci towards an exciting mixed martial arts film to be shot in Connecticut, USA.


Your/your series' website, Facebook, whatever else?


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Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Drink more water. Also, for those interested, I highly recommended the Zen based life and career books by Laurence G. Boldt and the acting books by Eric Morris. I'd also like to thank photographer Steve Barao, the sponsor of Messier Mantra.


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you Michael and your readers! - MIKE MESSIER


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD