Performer profile: Jose F. Helu Jr.
While still in school studying science, Jose sang and danced in the chorus of the school musicals. While this might not have been the best thing for the audience, it did get him started in theater, and when the script of the Hollywood film Meteor fell into his hands, he decided to try his hands in the cinema, writing and directing a spoof called Asteroid in which bungling scientists try to deflect a guess-what that's heading straight for the Earth. Whether this was a disaster film or a film disaster is still the topic of literary debate.
Returning East he discovered Community Access television, and produced a number of shows including an aptly named one called Coast to Coast, which linked New York and California together by telephone in a shared interview format, as if by satellite. Upon moving to Ridgefield he eventually discovered the Ridgefield Theater Barn, where he did a lot of backstage work. Returning to the spotlight, he played Milton in Myles Gansfried's Milton and the Minotaur, and secured the title role in Lucky Stiff. Other theaters he's worked with include the Pound Ridge Theatre Company and the Town Players of Newtown.
In his spare time, Jose writes music and plays, develops web sites (such as this one), and flies all the time. Sometimes he uses an airplane. His wife, a clay artist, is fulfilling her dream of "just living in the country and making pots".
As an actor...
- Jim Juner in Asteroid (directed by me), 1979-1981
- Daryl in The Unforgettable Whatshisname (directed by Jennifer Gantwerker) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2011
- Milton in Milton and the Minotaur (directed by Sherry Asch) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2007
- the corpse in Lucky Stiff (directed by Aurora Marin) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2007
- Audition course at RTB taught by Bill Bochinsky
- Scene study course at RTB, taught by Devon Caraway
As a musician...
Tenor - principal range: B3 to E4
extended range: G2 to B5
Singer or Instrumentalist
- singer in choral works (directed by Amy Kaiser, and later, Kent Trittle) at the Dessoff Choirs, 1985-1998
- singer in choral works (directed by Johannes Somary) at the Fairfield County Chorale, 1985-1995
- singer in choral works (directed by Richard Vogt) at the Greenwich Choral Society, 1982-1985
As a dancer or choreographer...
|Israeli and international folk||
|Square and Contra||
- Folk danced for many years, many years ago.
As a director...
Notable directing credits
- An Incident, 1980
- Asteroid at Caltech, 1979-1981
- Fortune at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2010
- The 385 Pound Smoker at Pound Ridge Theater Company, 2008
- You're a Commodity at Archipelago Virtual Theater, 2020
Behind the scenes...
- Former board member of the Pound Ridge Theatre Company
- Founder, Archipelago Virtual Theater
- Former board member of the Ridgefield Theater Barn
Notable tech and backstage credits
- sound design for FIve Women Wearing the Same Dress (directed by Debbie Levin), 2014
- sound design for Fully Committed (directed by David Bass) at The Newtown Players, 2014
- sound design and operation for Piano Bar...n at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2014-2015
- sound design for Stop Kiss (directed by Marla Manning), 2014
- sound design, sound operator for The Man of La Mancha (directed by Craig Rosen) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2007
- lighting designer for A Dangerous Man (directed by Sherry Asch) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2014
- lighting designer for The Last Flapper (directed by Robert D'Amato) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2014
- lighting co-designer for The Clean House (directed by Julie Bell Petrak) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2014
- lighting designer for Ruthless (directed by Joel Paley) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2012
- lighting designer for Love, Loss, and What I Wore (directed by Larry Schneider) at Pound Ridge Theater Company, 2012
- lighting designer for Italian American Reconciliation (directed by Sherry Asch) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2012
- lighting designer for I Love You Because (directed by Larry Schneider) at Pound Ridge Theater Company, 2010
- lighting designer for Godspell (directed by Rick Hodder) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2009
- lighting designer for How I Learned to Drive (directed by David Bass) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2009
- Lighting design for Beyond Therapy (directed by Lester Colodne) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2009
- lighting designer for A Delicate Balance (directed by Maryann Arcoleo-Koltun) at Pound Ridge Theater Company, 2008
- stage manager for Picasso at the Lapin Agile (directed by Cathy Linder) at Ridgefield Theater Barn, 2002
- producer and host for Coast to Coast at Comcast Cable, 1991
- co-producer, Technical Director for A Room Full of People at Comcast Cable, 1987
- videographer for The Art Of... (directed by Diane Dowling) at Comcast Cable, 1990-1991
- motion programmer for The Space Works (directed by Joseph Strick) at Trans-Lux, 1982-1985