Corin Nemec first beca..." /> Corin Nemec On His Book "Venice High," His Years Of Making Street Art & His Upcoming Film Projects The Hype Magazine: Unveiling the Pulse of Urban Culture - From Hip Hop to Hollywood! Explore a Diverse Tapestry of Stories, Interviews, and Impactful Editorials Spanning Fashion, Gaming, Movies, MMA, EDM, Rock, and Beyond! - The Hype Magazine The Hype Magazine - News From Hip Hop To Hollywood!


Published on March 14th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz


Corin Nemec On His Book “Venice High,” His Years Of Making Street Art & His Upcoming Film Projects

Corin Nemec first became a working actor as a teenager, booking several commercials before landing his debut film role alongside Jeff Bridges in 1988’s Tucker: The Man & His Dream. Nemec’s appearance in 1989’s I Know My First Name Is Steven earned him an Emmy nomination, yet it was his role as the titular character in the Fox hit comedy Parker Lewis Can’t Lose that really made people take notice. In recent years, Nemec spent several seasons on Stargate SG-1 beyond portraying various characters on NYPD Blue, CSI: NY, Supernatural, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Beverly Hills, 90210. Nemec is part of several films currently in post-production, including a pair of movies made for the Lifetime television network.

Beyond acting, Nemec has proven to be a prolific writer and graffiti artist. Notably, he was the co-creator, executive producer, co-star and sometimes-director of the TV series Star-ving, as produced with David Faustino for Sony off-shoot Crackle. Nemec’s latest published work is the novel Veniche High, a “stranger than fiction” story about street art that is based on his childhood. Venice High is currently available for purchase through, Amazon, and the Barnes & Noble website.

I had the pleasure — and I do mean pleasure, given how honest and insightful many of his responses were — of doing Q&A with Nemec on behalf of The Hype Magazine. Corin Nemec can be followed on both Twitter and Soundcloud via the handle @ImCorinNemec.

Is there something you wish more people knew about Corin Nemec?

Corin Nemec: My life has been a strange amalgam of opposing realities held together by an artistic life experience, from drawing and writing, graffiti and street art, to theatrical and television acting as well as photography. The success I garnered at a very young age put me in the public eye at a time when I was completely immersed in a street-style life, directly in opposition to the clean-cut, all-American kid the trades, magazines, and talk shows were portraying me as.

My artistic experiment was on the cutting edge of expanding into a real dramatic unfolding of events that I was only mildly prepared for. This clashing of worlds soon put me at odds with the very industry I was exposed to professionally for so long already, and I developed a real disdain for the public relations aspect of my career, feeling that the true character that was myself was never revealed, which was both good and bad for me. I had been exposed to gang-life at 15 due to several guys I grew up doing graffiti with getting involved with it. A lot of the guys I was running around within the graffiti scene have developed into very talented artists, from Justin Warfield from She Wants Revenge, Mickey Avalon, Shifty from Crazy Town, David Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Shane Mooney — son of legendary comedian Paul Mooney — as well as his cousin, incredible underground L.A. rapper Kev Hicks, even actors David Faustino and Brian Green were got themselves roped into the scene.



I was very much into rapping as well, being from the old school hip-hop movement, it was important to represent as many of the pillars that I could, the art, the dance, the lyrics, the dress-code, only thing I was weak at was DJing, but Balthazar had that taken care of. He, David Arquette and myself had a rap group when we were teens called 13th Floor and used to record at David’s place on a four-track that Balthazar somehow used as a eight-track and no microphone, so we rapped into headphones plugged into the mic jack. One of our tracks still exists on my Soundcloud under the title “The Maddness.” Later Balthazar and I teamed up with Shane Mooney, Kev Hicks, and some others and created a group called Starship Of Foolz, which was going very well. We were performing quite a bit and scored a development deal with Mwtown Records, putting together an entire album executive produced by Balthazar Getty. In fact I still own the rights and original two-inch reels of our album. The deal fell through due to our A&R rep nearly dying in an auto crash and the record deal never being finalized.

I was very heavy into the hip hop scene, performing live at Yo! MTV Spring Break in Daytona Beach with Brand New Heavies doing the live beat. It was an incredible time, hanging out with Nice and Smooth, Leaders Of The New School, Pharcyde, Funky Town Pros, House Of Pain, Black Sheep… My man Jarobi from A Tribe Called Quest, he and I used to hit the hardcore rap clubs in the early 90s and catch freestyles on the mic. Our boy Dave from The Violators was the heater in case some sloppiness popped off, which it did on occasion, trust me. That mixed with the graffiti art scene, man… No one would believe the whole story even if I wrote this as an autobiography instead of a loose, fictional account drawn from the world I was born out of. No one would believe it.

How would you describe Venice High to someone who hasn’t yet read it?

Corin Nemec: Venice High is a simple slice out of the life of a poor kid living in Venice Beach with a single mom and intense love for graffiti. Having lost his brother to the streets, the lead character Den has found he has little hope for a positive outcome to his life. Then he meets a girl from Bel Air while he is painting the Venice Beach graffiti walls, and for whatever reason she snaps him out of his stupor, changing him from being a boy with no hope to a man with infinite possibilities.

The story reveals what life is like for this societal class of talented outcasts and troublemakers. It is not a complicated story and leaves you with an open ending, so it is not offering a rapped up storyline, as that is how I find life to be, forever unfinished. The story has an appeal to all I think as it touches on the basic hardships we all go through, whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual.

How long did it take you to write Venice High? Has it been completed for a while?

Corin Nemec: I originally wrote Venice High as a pilot for a TV series some time ago, even shooting a few scenes as a presentation which I think are still floating around out there on YouTube. My whole adult life I have wanted to write the story of my teen years because they were so harrowing, exciting, criminal, and unbelievable that the memories are a constant haunting. The true nature of my life experience is so outrageous that it became impossible to tell the story as a novel, I just became stuck every time, running into events that were so crazy no one would believe me or events too painful to dredge up do to the violent nature of some outcomes.

Finally boiling over, I had to put pen to paper on some level, that’s when the idea of a TV series manifested, this felt safe to me. I wrote a pilot episode which eventually fell into the ranks of the other 16 or so scripts I had written and not been able to produce. Years later all of these stories began to haunt me, but none more so than Venice High. It’s no Moby Dick or Huckleberry Finn, it is just a simple tale stripped from a lifeline of a fictional character developed from my own personal existence, but it haunted me most, I felt the overwhelming need to share the story. To share all the stories. I love telling stories. My children grew up with me telling them stories, my rap songs were stories, my poetry is stories, and I just couldn’t go any longer without sharing at least one as a novel, if not eventually all of them.

Was it always the plan to self-released the book?

Corin Nemec: Self-releasing the book is a huge challenge, but you know what? It’s a lot like getting to paint a wall. I show up with my tools and I burn it. No corporation is over my shoulder telling me how tight my lines need to be, or where I need another cut-back, no one to deny me the chance at publishing it, so f**k it, right? Do it myself, and it has been so worth it, the sense of relief I feel is incredible. Everyone should get to feel this kind of completion.

Where did the idea come from to write the book in a script-like format?

Corin Nemec: I started writing scripts in the 90s. I prefer writing scripts as the style is so much more simple and direct than a novel. Especially the way dialogue flows in a script, it just streamlines the whole experience for the reader. The fun part was exploring all the aspects of storytelling that are left out of screenplays, the in-depth character analysis, the historical overlay, the dynamic past experiences the characters have all gone through to get where they are today.

One reason I never wrote a novel before was because I found the formatting frustrating and stifling, so when I saw that the Harry Potter books had a kind of script-like feel I decided, f**k it, I can do this my way. No rules, no guidelines, no editors, no agents, just me and what feels right. I actually approached a number of publishing companies years ago about publishing my scripts as scripts, but they were not interested. Like, not at all. So I scrapped the publishing idea, only thank god for Venice High, because the need to share that story superseded all else, leaving me with no other option than to make it happen.

Do you have any goals for Venice High? Are you hoping to adapt it into an on-screen production?

Corin Nemec: I would love to continue the story of Venice High as a series, but am not married to the idea, although I think we need this show on TV right now. We need to see what life is like for those young kids that don’t have it all, that aren’t going to college, who may very well not even live to see 18. We are sidelined, trivialized, tossed to the trash bin and I want to shine a light where darkness once prevailed. Making Venice High into a series would be rad, but not the reason I released the book, I did that to get it off my chest. I have been living a Bruce Wayne/Batman life since I was 11 years old, being a squeaky clean success story by day and paint-dusted defender of the streets at night, so this finally brings it all full circle and I get to be whole for once.

Speaking of on-screen work, I have read that you will be appearing in a few upcoming Lifetime movies. Anything you can tell me about that or other upcoming projects?

Corin Nemec: I have several Lifetime movies coming out titled, Snatched and A Parent’s Nightmare, also a fantastic horror/comedy based on the Sourcepoint Press graphic novel Rottentail about a scientist who mutates into a psychotic half-man half-rabbit. It is going to be f**king rad. Brian Skiba directed Rottentail, that dude has a career ahead of him I can tell you that. Also a great and gritty indie-film called Sleeping In Plastic playing a nasty white-trash drug dealer, great role, very excited for it. Many other projects coming as well!

Being that you have been acting for more of your life than not, is it still your favorite creative outlet?

Corin Nemec: I feel just as at peace in life when I am on-set acting as I feel when I am in a dirty graffiti yard painting, they both hold deeply personal and meaningful places in my life. I caught my first tag when I was 10 years old and wrote my breakdancing name on the side of a dumpster at Sparkles Skating Rink in Atlanta, Georgia, two years before I would step on-set as a professional actor in the Francis Ford Coppola movie Tucker: The Man & His Dream, playing the son of Jeff Bridges who held the title role. The rest is history.

I enjoyed the show Star-ving, which was produced long before Netflix and Amazon were big into producing original content. Have you and David Faustino worked together recently?

Corin Nemec: David Faustino and I have been friends since we were 13 or so, knowing each other from the acting world. I brought with me into the social scene of Hollywood all my homies I ran with on the streets, introducing many unsuspecting young, impressionable kids to a wild and violent world they never expected. In fact, David and I did a series loosely based on our real lives for Sony TV’s titled Star-ving, a ridiculous comedy where one episode deals expressly with my past history as a gang member.

We did one season and the show was so hilarious it angered almost every executive at Sony, either it was the comedy or the controversy, not sure which anymore. But the show was removed from all platforms about two years after its release, which is very unfortunate as we were way ahead of the curve and had they stuck with us we surely would have led the race in online series. David and I are still very close and do plan on doing further projects together. We did another online series with Neil Strauss, writer of The Game, a pick-up artist’s textbook. It too was a big hit, pitting David against myself with hidden cameras as we attempted to score girls’ phone numbers while in the wild, David getting training from Neil and me getting not much. David always won.

Is there a goal you still are working towards in your career?

Corin Nemec: I am currently working toward bridging the gap between my worlds, that of professional acting, writing, producing with the world of graffiti and street art, culminating in the book Venice High and the soft-launch of the website centered around entertainment and merchandising in the urban arts scene with my partner Omen Ferdowsi, who is out of the San Francisco dot-com scene. I have a number of acting jobs coming up and am developing other scripts I have written to be produced and/or adapted into novel form.

A lot of classic and cult TV shows have been getting reboots in recent years, and arguably Parker Lewis Can’t Lose was a popular show with a cult audience. Do you have any interest in revisiting that part of your career?

Corin Nemec: Working on Parker Lewis Can’t Lose was one of the most dynamic times of my life. The amount of flavor I had generated in my youth, that richness of graffiti and hip-hop culture permeating the very essence of my being broke open like a shattering vessel releasing a genie who went about making wishes come true left and right, a time that is cast in marble-memories never to be lost. The world was far more simple then, so many fewer distractions and flows, hell I remember having to pull over to call someone back when they paged you, and having a pager was gangster. (laughs)

Are you still in touch with any of the Parker Lewis cast?

Corin Nemec: I stay in touch mainly with Troy Slaten (“Jerry”), Abe Benrubi (“Kubiak”), and Tim Stack, who played Parker’s dad. We all had an incredible time on that show, so many laughs and many hours of hard, worthwhile labor.

When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?

Corin Nemec: I am always working on something, whether it is a new design for my art, some writing project, painting, doing street art, raising a kid, doing dishes and laundry, mowing my lawn… S**t, never a moment to chill. (laughs)

What was the last concert you attended for fun?

Corin Nemec: I grew up in the music business, my mom was a graphic designer for a huge promotional company in Atlanta and we used to see everyone, plus get to go backstage and hang out. Joan Jett, Hall & Oates, J. Geils Band, KISS, Asia, Iron Maiden, man, you name it, I was there live. It was great. But I don’t often go to concerts much anymore, although I used to go to a lot of raves. I was arrested for throwing one with Shifty from Crazy Town when we were in our teens. Bad night to drop acid, I can tell you that much.

Finally, Corin, any last words for the kids?

Corin Nemec: Kids? Uh-oh… Hopefully none too young are reading this. (laughs)

I do have some last words though, and they are from my heart. In a world where being an artist is only as meaningful as the perceived success of that art, it is more and more difficult I think to just be an artist without having to prove your swag. My experience has proved to me that we have to believe in ourselves more than anyone else will ever believe in us, because the popular vote comes and goes, and if we base our expression and the happiness we feel from that expression on how well we are received by the masses, we have missed the target completely.

Everyone can learn something from the graffiti artist, the artist who spends hours upon hours, weeks, months, years of life, energy, money, and time spent creating works of art that are never meant to be permanent, some lasting only hours or even minutes. We have to let go of the need for permanence and idolatry, for fame and even fortune if we want to find peace of mind, heart, and soul as an artist. We have to be willing to not go insane because no one is paying attention to our creation and allow our creation to exist forever in the unknown, only then can it truly be found.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑