How does Dulé Hill psych out his board game opponents?

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Rick Yaeger: Hey everyone! It’s Rick Yaeger here with “One Question Interviews”, the show where I ask famous people curious questions. Today’s guest has not taken a breath in over 15 years.

Dulé Hill: [laughs]

Rick: He finished seven season of NBC’s “The West Wing”, followed that up with eight seasons on “Psych”. Now you can see him on Broadway in “After Midnight”. Please welcome Dulé Hill.

Dulé: What’s happening?

Rick: What is happening? Tell me what.

Dulé: I’m trying to catch a breath. That’s what’s happening. I’m trying to catch a breath.

[laughter]

Rick: Do you take vacations?

Dulé: I do. I actually have a vacation planned in a couple weeks in August. It’ll be my first time in about a year and a half that I’m going away, but I’m taking that time.

After Midnight

Rick: Tell the folks what you’ve been up to. Everybody knows you from Psych, but Psych is finished up and you’re moving on.

Dulé: I am. Now I’m here in New York. I’m here on the Broadway stage having a good time, dancing, singing, being backed up by swing music with the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, and working with this talented cast in After Midnight.

I’ve been doing that for about eight months I think. I’ll be doing it for at least a couple more months. Then we’ll see what comes next.

Rick: [sarcastically] There was that little talent show they had on TV last week called the “Tonys”.

Dulé: Oh yeah.

[laughter]

Rick: That was kind of amazing.

Dulé: Thank you. It was a lot of fun. The last time I actually performed on the Tonys was 18 years ago when I did “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk”. It was nice to go back out there and dance a little bit with this cast.

Of course with Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, and Fantasia leading the charge it was a memorable experience.

Rick: Then Wolverine jumps in.

[laughter]

Dulé: How many times does Burton Guster get a chance to dance with Wolverine?

[laughter]

Dulé: It was a good time.

Rick: That was awesome.

For the actual performance Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight wouldn’t be there on the same night, would they?

Dulé: No. Patti LaBelle is in the show now. Gladys Knight‘s supposed to be coming in a month, I believe.

Rick: Right. It seems to change up every month. Is it the same character that changes?

Dulé: The same track, yes.

Rick: Had Fantasia. Had Vanessa Williams.

Dulé: Had k.d. Lang. [cut off] Toni Braxton.

Rick: Had k.d. Lang. Natalie Cole‘s coming up.

Dulé: Yes. It’s been good time. I’m thrilled to share the stage with all of the artists.

As an actor, how many times in my career and I going to get a chance to share the stage with Patti LaBelle, Fantasia, k.d. Lang, Natalie Cole, and Gladys Knight? It’s a little mind-boggling. I’m enjoying the time for what it is right now.

Rick: You’re a lucky man. You’ve got the big names on stage, but then you look in the orchestra pit on the sheet music you see names like Duke Ellington. You see Cab Calloway. Ted Kohler, and Harold Arlen. This is a big thing. [laughs]

Dulé: It’s an honor to be part of a company that’s doing iconic music, historical music, music that’s a part of the fabric of our nation. Jazz is the original art form that was formed here in the States. To be able to sing Harold Arlen‘s music or Duke Ellington‘s music is an honor.

Rick: I admitted before the show I haven’t actually been to New York. I’m going to fix that in a couple years, maybe next year.

I figure if I was going to go to New York I’d want to soak up that history. Seeing a show like that, that takes place in 1932, Prohibition era, the Cotton Club in its heyday, you just feel the history.

Dulé: It’s the fabric of the heartbeat of New York, actually the heartbeat of America. That’s what it was. The music, the energy, and the art is a part of the lifeline of what the nation was built on. Yes, especially New York City. If you come to New York I would say that’s the show to check out.

Rick: That’s the show to check out. I’m on-board with that. There’s not too many choreography awards left for you guys to win.

Dulé: I don’t think there’s any. The Tonys is the big thing. After you get to the Tonys, it’s like the Superbowl. Now we’re into the run. Now we’ll just be here as long as folks want us to be here.

Rick: I’d say it’s an amazing show. I can’t wait to see it.

Dulé: You’ll be taken to this moment of time where I’m the host who brings you into this world. You come and you get a chance to see what the Cotton Club floor show would have been like back in the 30s.

When it’s all said and done, I snap you right out of it and send you on your merry way.

Rick: After Midnight is at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City. Check it out.

Dulé: Check it out.


SAD NEWS: After Midnight Will Shutter on Broadway on June 29, 2014


 

Nomino app

Rick: I also want to talk about your app. I’ve been playing with that.

Dulé: It’s called Nomino. It turns photo sharing into a game. Pretty much right now if I took a picture of you, I would say what am I doing right now?

Rick: You put it up there on Nomino and you give it the little blanks for the answer.

Dulé: For the answer. It’ll be like a “Wheel of Fortune” type layout there where you get a chance to answer the questions. Every time you answer the question correctly you’ll get coins. Also, for every Nomino you create also you get coins. They’re redeemable in our marketplace.

It’s a new adventure. It’s my first foray into social media apps and things like that, being an entrepreneur that way. It’s fun. I’m learning a lot about the space. I enjoy being able to interact with fans, not just on Twitter but this way also by posting trivia about things and vice versa.

It’s always hilarious to me when I get stumped by my own trivia. Post something about me that I don’t know.

[laughter]

Dulé: It’s fun though. A friend of mine, Rochelle Thwaites, she’s the one whose idea it was. She was driving through Malibu Canyon a couple years ago. She asked herself a question.

She said, “I wonder if I took a picture would my friends know where I was.” That was the light bulb moment. Together with another friend of ours named Talitha Watkins, the three of us formed Nomino and started to develop it.

We’re still in the early stages of the app. We launched a few months ago. At this point we’ve been taking our time working out all the kinks. In a few months we’ll start to really push it out.

Rick: It’s really fun. I posted a few on there. I keep getting the little notifications saying, so and so has solved your Nomino. It’s cool. You’ve got a really vibrant community of people. It’s just really clever ideas that they’re putting out there.

Dulé: That’s what I like about the app, too. It’s user-generated content. It’s not just what we push out. It’s wherever people are they can take pictures, post videos, and ask whatever question they want about the content that they’ve uploaded.

It’s a little more deeper engaging besides just posting a picture. That’s what I like about it. It’s a lot of fun. We have an update coming out in the next couple of days that will make the user experience even more enjoyable. Check it out.

Rick: I don’t see too many people posting their sandwiches on there like they do on Instagram.

[laughter]

Dulé: At least not yet. What kind of sandwich is this? [laughs] What kind of cheese?

Rick: Name this condiment.

[laughter]

Dulé: We might get there, though.

Rick: No. Unless it’s like what New York deli did I buy this sandwich in? It’s like this this big. Then you know that’s a Nomino. That’s good. I’m going to get to the question.

The Interview

As you know, this show is called One Question Interviews. I have almost a thousand different questions ranging from the profane to the profound. I’ll choose one at random and you answer it seriously or in a funny voice if you like. Everyone goes home happy. Cool?

Dulé: Cool.

Rick: I just grabbed a handful here. I can’t hold a thousand cards in one hand. [laughs] I’m just going to riffle down the side. You tell me to stop any old where.

Dulé: Stop.

Rick: Right there. You want the top or the bottom?

Dulé: Bottom. Pull from the bottom.

Rick: Dulé Hill, what is your favorite board game?

Dulé: Monopoly. M’nops. I call it M’nops.

Rick: [laughs]

Dulé: We want to call it M’nops because we’ve made it our own. It’s not just go around the board. We get to make side deals and form corporations and conglomerates to own a whole block together. I’ll give you this property if I get five passes on it without paying any rent. But then you’ve got to pay double.

It’s all kind of deals. It’s the art of the deal. M’nops is about the art of the deal.

Rick: [laughs]

Dulé: If not, you’re just going around in circles.

Rick: Seems that you’ve got some pretty serious house rules.

Dulé: Yes. We have a good time. It’s a fun game but it takes a long time.

Rick: Takes a long time and you can lose friends.

[laughter]

Rick: As a M’nops expert, which monopoly is the one you want to get?

Dulé: Really if you can get the red and the yellow, that’s really a good spot to always get. When you get to the green, sometimes landing on Boardwalk and Park Place doesn’t happen. That red and the yellow is a nice chunk of real estate. When people land there it’s going to hurt them.

That’s number one. Number two is the purple and the orange. That’s like St. Charles Place.

Rick: What you’ve got there is that one corner. Across that corner is what I call the tunnel to jail. The policeman’s on one side and the jails on the other.

You can bypass, like you said, the green properties, the Park Place Boardwalk properties, all the ones that cost so much to develop. Just bypass it. Go to jail. People have more monopolies than you. You just stay in jail. [laughs]

Dulé: Stay in jail. The other good thing, too, is really any two adjacent properties, except the cheap stuff. I just keep those for cash flow.

Even if you can get the yellow and the green at the corner by the same jail thing, you’re killing them. It’s very unlikely that someone’s going to get all the way around there without touching your property. Those cost some money when you land on them.

Rick: Dulé and I are going to be putting together a 12 part course on how to win at Monopoly. It will be available online later this year. [laughs]

Dulé: We’ll sell it for $5.99.

Rick: $5.99 or just slip us a railroad or a utility under the table and we’ll let you in.

[laughter]

The Wrap up

Rick: That was your question. You got a good one. Thank you so much for doing the show.

Dulé: That’s it?

Rick: That’s it. It’s simple: one question.

Dulé: Oh, it is one question. Wow.

Rick: That’s it.

[laughter]

Dulé: I’m just shocked that’s what it’s about. It ended up being M’nops.

Rick: M’nops. Everyone check out Dulé Hill on Broadway in After Midnight at Brooks Atkinson Theatre. I’m not sure what night, but if you’re visiting New York why not visit New York in 1932 and really steep yourself some history?

Dulé: That’s right. Every night besides Monday.

Rick: Every night besides Monday. Download his iPhone app Nomino, free in the iOS App Store. Rate it highly and give it a great review.

This is gold for app developers. We want to support new app developers, especially this one. You can go to mynomino.com if you’re having trouble finding it, but you won’t.

You can also watch Dulé in seven seasons of the West Wing and also seven seasons of Psych on Netflix because they haven’t got the eight one there yet.

Dulé: Ah!

Rick: There you go.

Dulé: Coming soon though. Should be coming soon.

Rick: Should be coming soon, but if you can’t wait you can check it out on iTunes where you will also find the soundtrack to Psych the musical.

Dulé: Boom.

Rick: Follow him on Twitter. He is @dulehill. While you have that in your head, go to facebook.com/dulehill, instagram.com/dulehill.

Another thing we didn’t talk about, but you can hang with Dulé Hill at hangwith.me/dulehill. It’s a very cool little app. Are you involved in it or do you just like it?

Dulé: No, I just like it.

Rick: I like it, too. It’s a very immediate screening app where you recorded things just on the way to the theatre, on the way getting your physical therapy.

Dulé: It’s a slice of life. It’s a moment in time.

Rick: Just happens and you’re sharing that moment with people across the world. That’s hangwith.me/dulehill. Download the app and check it out.

You know what’s really easy? Just go to onequestioninterviews.com. I’ll post a transcript of this whole interview. I’ll link up all the cool stuff we talked about, just make it plain and simple.

Dulé: It’ll all be right there. One stop shopping with One Questions.

Rick: [laughs] One stop Dulé shop.

[laughter]

Rick: That’s it. This is Rick Yaeger for One Question Interviews. Thank you so much for watching, seriously. Subscribe to the show in the iTunes podcast directory. It’s free and then you won’t miss out on the next episode. I had Dulé Hill today. Who do you think I’ll have next week? I don’t know.

Dulé: I don’t know.

Rick: He don’t know, either. We’ll just have to wait, OK? Until then, this is Rick Yaeger signing off. Bye bye!

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