Corrections or additions?
This article by Nicole Plett was prepared for the February 7,
2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
At the Movies
What do you want to be when you grow up? An
systems manager or a movie star?
That’s the question that Keith Fencl of Belle Mead is asking himself.
A 2000 La Salle University graduate, recruited to the management track
by one of our area’s larger pharmaceuticals, Fencl is one of two
winners of a Web contest to land a role as a featured extra in
Pie 2." The movie is a sequel to the hit comedy about four high
school boys who want to lose their virginity. Known for its gross-out
humor, "American Pie" also grossed $100 million domestically
and launched the careers of its ensemble of young, previously unknown
Notable among them was Jersey boy, Jason Biggs, as well as Mena Suvari
(later featured in "American Beauty") and Seann W. Scott.
Scott’s career "really has taken a fabulous turn," says Fencl,
who recently saw the actor in his starring role in "Dude Where’s
Fencl (a name of Czech origin, pronounced Fen-sill) grew up in Mount
Laurel. His father works in commercial real estate and his mother
is a drug and alcohol crisis counselor for a South Jersey high school.
He has an older brother in the army, currently stationed in Germany.
The contest was billed as an online casting search by Universal
and its partner, the new media film studio Hypnotic (on the Web at
hypnotic.com). Fencl was selected by Hypnotic users and the Universal
casting department from thousands of nationwide submissions that
a short list of 28 semi-finalists. From November 21 to December 20,
Web visitors reviewed photos and statements by the 28 and voted for
their favorites. He receives an all-expenses paid trip to Hollywood
for shooting that begins in February.
"I voted for myself once and had a couple of friends vote for
me," he says, "but frankly I didn’t expect to be a
In addition to getting on screen, he says meetings will be set up
for him and his co-winner with Universal Studios casting directors.
"I’m amazed that I got this chance to get my face in front of
these producers and directors and hopefully through this contest I’ll
be able to realize the dream I’ve had that’s been keeping me awake
at night," says Fencl, full of anticipation. "There’s no
that I’ll be the next Brad Pitt or Jason Briggs, but these metings
will get us boths ahead of the new talent."
Fencl’s online plea to earn votes was made for dramatic effect —
and it worked. "I know acting is for me," he said. "But
I am stuck in a career I can’t stand. I want to stir emotions. I love
to go to the movies to laugh and cry. I know it’s only a fictional
story, but the actors make it seem so real and I would love to have
the opportunity to do the same. I know I can do it! You will not be
Fencl is no stranger to drama. A natural athlete who lists no less
than 18 sports among his interests, he was a Division I diver for
La Salle for four years. "Diving takes athletic ability, and it
also takes a willingness to elude death," he says with emphasis.
"I fractured my back diving my freshman year, but I came
Singing, dancing, and modeling are also among his interests.
Having worked as a model during college and made movie and television
appearances in bit parts, Fencl says it’s hard to settle into his
ordinary — but promising — career. "I’m 23 and I look
18, but I don’t dress like an 18-year-old," says the slender,
6-footer. "I have a cutting-edge style."
Fencl, who earned his degree in business administration at La Salle
University last May, was recruited to the information management
program immediately upon graduation last May.
"It was a whirlwind, walking down the aisle at graduation,"
he says, "I couldn’t believe it. I was going from an immature
and self-destructive college student to a straight-laced, 9 to 5
I’m getting a really big taste of reality right now. Here they throw
you to the sharks and have you show them what you can do."
Is it any wonder he’s dreaming of stardom?
"I’m in a very tough situation right now," he muses. "I
get a great paycheck and do the same thing every day. Do I tighten
the belt a little bit and take a risk?
Fencl says his parents tend to worry "about my well-being and
my college loans. They’re a little uneasy, but they’re also hot and
cold. Sometimes they get caught up in the excitement like me."
He says the decision to take a risk in Hollywood is his own.
"We make choices every day in our lives that will effect the next
second of our lives," he says. "I don’t want to be 40 years
old, on my second heart attack, and kicking myself in the butt, and
saying, Why didn’t I do this?"
— Nicole Plett
Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, New Brunswick. Screenings are
Fridays through Sunday in Scott Hall, Room 123, College Avenue Campus
(near the corner of College Avenue and Hamilton Street). Thursday
screenings are in Loree Hall, Room 024, Douglass College Campus (near
the corner of Nichol Avenue and George Street). All programs begin
at 7 p.m.; $5 non-members. Information 732-932-8482; Website:
starring Greta Garbo as a Soviet agent romanced by Melvyn Douglas,
Thursday, February 8. Requiem for a Dream, Darren Aronofsky’s
new feature, adapted from a novel, about four drug addicts and their
descent into a pit of self-induced misery, Friday to Sunday, February
9 to 11.
festival with $2,500 in prizes; different programs each night, with
prizewinners announced final night, $8, Friday to Sunday, February
16 to 18.
members. The group meets at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton
every Monday evening from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For information call
609-396-7774 or visit the website: www.njgmc.org.
to join them in performing a major work in the Trenton area on Sunday,
April 1. Accompanied by a 25-piece orchestra, and under the direction
of Joseph Pucciatti, the Choral Society will present Dr. Morton Gold’s
"Haggadah" (the Passover story). The group rehearses on Monday
evenings from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at Villa Victoria academy in West
more information, call Sherry Spiezle at 609-883-3504.
in "Alice in Wonderland." Auditions are Monday and Tuesday,
February 26 and 27, at 7 p.m. at Kelsey Theater, on the Mercer County
College campus, for such roles as Alice, the White Rabbit, the Queen
of Hearts, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Caterpillar, and the
Cat. Directed by Donna Miklojcik, performances begin April 19. Call
609-586-4800, ext. 3580.
step toward getting to and winning the National Slam in Seattle this
autumn by selecting a team," says slammaster Robert Salup. Judging
will be done by the screaming rubber chicken and audience meter.
that sleazy poets could try to fix the results by bribing judges,
we will return to the original judging system set up by the founders
of the Urban Word and the Great New Hope Poetry Slam, Judith and
Toy," says Salup. "This system has been proven fail-safe.
It includes the screaming rubber chicken, which is held over the
head and accurately measures the audience’s reaction whereby it lets
out an audible signal which is recorded by the slammaster." Four
weeks of team selection slams will take place at the Urban Word, with
the four highest-scoring poets named to the team. Two alternates will
also be chosen. To be eligible, poets must have won at least once
or come in second at least twice. To compete contact Salup at
working with artists, teachers, and students at the Mercer County
Teen Arts Festival scheduled for Wednesday, May 9. The one-day
brings an estimated 1,000 students from public, private, and parochial
schools in Mercer County. The middle and high school kids participate
in performances, critiques, master classes, and workshops while a
staff of 40 lead seminars in visual arts, music, creative writing,
theater, and dance. Call 609-324-7383.
to work with patients and their families. Hospice patients are people
who have chosen to die at home with peace and dignity. Information
sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, February 13, 6 p.m.; Wednesday,
February 21, 10 a.m.; and Monday, March 5, at 6 p.m. Volunteer
sessions will be held on eight consecutive Tuesdays beginning on March
6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
seeks applicants over 18 years of age, with access to transportation
and a valid driver’s license. Background investigation including
and completion of a 40-hour training course beginning in January.
Contact Captain Kevin Pollard at 609-581-4035.
to join a committee working to help improve the museum, work with
the community, and stay current with educational trends. Call
newly-formed association of Garden State beer writers whose mission
is "to promote quality craft beer brewed in New Jersey, and to
encourage its responsible consumption through education." NJAB
was organized by beer writers Gary Monterosso, Mark Haynie, Jim
Lew Bryson, and Kurt Epps. For information on how to join go to:
for the 30th annual state pageant April 27 through April 29 in Ocean
City. Junior age division, 12 to 15; senior division, 16 to 18.
to enter the scholarship event is February 15. Call 609-652-8216.
art tour of Philadelphia, Friday, February 23. Destinations include
a tour of the Philadelphia Sketch Club by the sketch club president
and a visit to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, with lunch at
the Philadelphia Inn. Preregister, $66. Call 609-394-5310.
of children or adolescents with mental health issues. The support
groups are every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., at the
Presbyterian Church, 1039 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville. Call
about "Conservation Trees" with information on how to plant
shade trees, how to prune them, and how to attract songbirds. For
the free booklet, send name and address to Conservation Trees,
Arbor Day Foundation, Nebraska City, NE 68410.
church groups, or individuals in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and
Washington D.C., to be considered for possible inclusion in "Best
of the Best from the Mid-Atlantic: Selected Recipes from Delaware,
New Jersey, Washington D.C." For information contact Barbara
editor, "Best of the Best State Cookbook Series," Quail Ridge
Press, 1-800-343-1583, www.quailridge.com.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.