Monday, January 31, 2011

Wait a moment...

How do you think fast in the moment? Take a moment to think.


Then act.

That's the distinction between stalling and taking your time. The former puts you in your head, the latter lets you use it, then act accordingly.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

(A)Typical Day

Most of my day was spent waiting, which means it was a shoot day. A bit scattered, but it happens. I chose not to complain, but to make the best of it. I worked on lines and got to know other members of the cast.

One of my castmates is a very experienced drag queen. I ended up feeling his boobs (36DDD). Surprisingly natural from the front and from below, but a little too stiff from above. Take that sentence how you want. After that, he did my make-up. I was to look 15 years older. I ended up looking very draggy in life, but on camera it worked perfectly. Todays lesson: Trust Queens. Apparently another of my cast members has his own stripping company (as in a crew of people who he hires out to strip for parties, himself included). Yet another member of the cast owns/manages a circus. This is a very eclectic crew, and I think it's fair to say that I may be the most normal of the group, and I pick up dead bodies.

Long story short, I learned a lot today. Including what it's like to do all green screen acting. It's odd to have so many people who are characters in a small space, but be a character talking to walls instead of actual castmates. Life happens.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Drunk on Fall

As the fly dances
on the rim of the glass,

Drinking deeply his world,

So I
am in love
With Fall

So much that I am surprised
to suddenly find Winter
At its bottom.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Message from the Mat

Apparently a stunt person's job is mostly falling. I spent the last two days doing the more exotic jobs of the stunt team: wire work. I've done impossible Matrix-style flips in the air, been picked up and thrown against the wall like Spiderman on a bad day, and jerked through the air by pneumatics like I was right next to a huge explosion. All that, suffice it to say, was awesome. That was the candy. The other side was working as a puller to help other people achieve these same impossible tasks. That is all about watching. In fact, the entire weekend was about focus. Not focusing on what you're doing, per se, because that generally caused over-thinking and educational experiences. With all the notions of working with timing, location, blocking, trust in a team, ready to hit your mark when action is called and everything else that goes with that kind of work, the two possibly most important elements are breathing and where you are looking. If you don't breathe, you can't live, so how can you be super-human without air? Moreover, you go where your eyes go. If you look at the ground, well that's where you're going. These are the same two things that have been haunting me (in a good way) all my life. I have a pretty good idea where I want to be, it's just staying focused on that. Now is a very big distraction. I want to focus on what is directly in front of me, which is important, but if I stay focus on that, then that's where I will stay. It's like trying to look at a particular star, but following a bird, then a cloud, then a plane, then going inside because it's raining. A lesson from the pros is that you look at where you want to go; your peripheral vision will tell you what you need to know, and the ground will always be there, whether you are touching it or not, and don't close your eyes for a second or you will miss something very important. ...and keep breathing. If you have those two things, I think you're pretty good and already a bit super-human.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bills, Blogs and Bill Boggs

This is my most bloggy post yet. Deal with it.

I just got paid yesterday, which really means one thing: time to spend it all on bills (yay). There, now that's done, I need to post on my blog so that people know I'm still alive, because everyone should get their validation from the internet (I think it's on sale over at

There. Done. Now I am off to fly through the air, movie-magic-style. I am ridiculous and signed up for a two day workshop called an "Introduction to Aerial Flight and Wire Rigging" with Bill Boggs. Apparently he's done wire stuff for a bunch of Hollywood films. Should be fun and ridiculous. This is, in fact why my entire paycheck and more is going to bills...because the rest of it goes to stuff like this.

Regrets? Not here.

So that's my life right now, paying bills, writing blogs, and flying through the air singing classic Disney songs with Bill Boggs. I live a charmed life.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Doing lines is fun

If you ever think life is too boring and want a real challenge, or if you find life difficult and want more challenges so you have to organize all of your life by the minute, then just get cast in an independently produced film based on an obscure Shakespeare play that uses the original script. You'll quickly discover that memorizing Shakespeare is not like memorizing other lines. It's harder. Especially if you have some long scenes.

So challenge yourself. It helps prevent Alzheimer's disease. Or dementia. Something like that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catman Begins

Larry awoke in a daze with the vinyl fake-wood pattern from his kitchen floor pressed firm in his cheek. The last thing he could recall was eating breakfast as usual. "The cat," he thought, "he was acting funny when he brought me my toaster Eggos."

Yes. Drugged.

Larry lay helpless on the floor, unable to move. Quietly at first, then louder as it neared, he heard the usual scritch scratch of his cat approaching. In his final moments, the truth drowned Larry like a flood.

"No, ninja cat! I trained you....I trained you for good, not for this!"

It was too late. With all the cunning he had learned from his apartment sensei, the catawan had overthrown his master. Thus began the reign of Jean-Claws Van Damme

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Haiku for you

Bed. Alarm. Get up.
Time to be making art with,
Or without intent.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A life by any other name

Last night I was having pizza with a friend who asked me about my experience dating a specific person (let's call her Lady Jesus). This was kind of a surprise as I had not realized I dated Lady Jesus. I thought about it for a bit. When I first met this girl we talked for quite a few hours about all sorts of things. It was nice. Then the next few weeks we saw a couple plays together and generally hung out a bit. Then we didn't. It did follow the general form of what's known as "dating" but it was never really named.

Did I date Lady Jesus? Can something be some thing without being named that thing? Apparently it can, at least to someone else. If you believe that yes, a rose would smell as sweet if it were called a Snordgutzel, then must also think a thing can be whatever you do or do not name it.

Apparently, unbeknownst to me I had lived unintentionally. Life happened on its own accord without me forcing my overthinking on it or invoking any word-prisons on it. I guess I'll take it as it is; a series of semi-intentional dates, a natural story arc that never really ended, but rather faded. Though I should stop trying to name it now, because those life moments without names exist just the same.

Just like Lady Jesus.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A day without sunshine is like...night

If your dead-end job gets you down in its endless daily grind of grating off small pieces of your soul to fuel the wealth of its CEO and BOTs, just take a moment to watch the sunrise. All your thoughts will gently melt away. Then you will realize you are late and there's traffic.

...unless of course you have to be at work before the sun realizes it's the morning, then just stare at the start-up screen on a computer for like five minutes at the start of your day. It's pretty much the same thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Web-side voices

For the last few days at work, every time I've taken a break, so has a specific person who has to fill any hint of silence by narrating her actions and thoughts to the room. I don't have much more to say about this other to complain that it happened when I wanted to focus on reading.

Advice: Instead of narrating everything that happens inside your head to a room where people have no choice but to listen to you even if they do not want to but are too polite to tell you to stop, just blog it instead. That way, people don't have to read it if they don't want to and you can still put everything in your head down into words to enlighten the world of your thought processes play-by-play.

(Also why I don't twitter)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Something is a nothing

Something may be better than nothing, but only depending on the something. Like kiwi pie. It's better than no pie.

In some cases, nothing is a desirable something. Like a kiwi allergy. No kiwi pie is better than some.

Here's a question: Is having a car accident better than not having a car? I guess that kind of depends on the outcome.

This may be too deep for the morning.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lose it (or use it).

Rather than living up to their namesake, lost weekends generally find their way into legend.

Lose a couple days sometime, they are definitely worth finding again later on.

(Except if you spend the day watching Lost, then that's just poor planning on your part).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Does the thought really count?

I spent all of last night making a delectable salad. I artfully chopped some mixed vegetables (and a pear for good measure) and spent at least an hour tossing mesclun and lettuce with a delicious mix of vinaigrette, herbs and spices. All of this so I could deliver it to a couple friends who cannot come on our annual winter camping trip. It was a wonderful plan and very nice of me (if I do say so myself, which I clearly do).

Then my alarm went off and I woke up, realizing I spent all of my sleeping time dreaming about doing this one nice thing for other people instead of cool stuff, like flying or painting straw.

All that effort wasted.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Listening works too

If you feel like you don't have anything useful to say, don't.

(Pure drive thru self help)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Keeping up Appearances

I read some sides today for an audition, and there were misspelled words all over the place. My initial reaction was "Well, I guess that's a no thank you for me" since the person didn't even care enough to edit, or perhaps even do a second draft, then they must not care too much about the qulity of the work. I have a problem seeing the story through the bad grammar trees. However, it also might be a sign of a very creative person who is so into the story that they can't be bothered with such trifles as spelling and word order. ...or like me they did it on a netbook and their fingers kept hitting the finger pad moving the mouse which got them so irked they didn't want to go back and fix it.

Either way, I'll keep making mistakes and taking chances until I learn not to. So far: unsuccessful at learning that lesson. However, I did pick up somewhere the motto that if you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough. Also, I'm typing a blog that I'm fairly certain not many people will read, so who am I to type (other than to myself)?

...and yes, I noticed my change from "the person" to "they"...and my beginning of that ellipses with an and. I'm oddly okay with that.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Halfway through the dark

I'm not rightly positive what I am trying to accomplish with this daily blog. My initial idea was to slightly mock the Chicken Soup books and entertain some people with my humor. I don't seem to be infusing quite as much humor into this as I thought I might. However, the winter kind of has that effect on me. I think it's the Oregon sadness. With the dearth of sunlight and abundance of cold weather, I can really see why certain animals hibernate. I've been doing quite a bit of that myself.

This is different from a journal. I'm not really writing to myself or some other imaginary or future person, but to the cloud. I guess I'm writing for myself instead of to myself. I had no real plan when I sat down for this post and am happy at the discoveries made. I had a much better plan of attack with notes I wrote last night in bed on a torn out daily calendar page. Consider those scrapped for now. I want to incorporate comics into this blog as well, much like Chicken Soup.

I am opening myself back up to life and the world (and this blog thing). I watched the Doctor Who Christmas special this year, their version of A Christmas Carol (it was fantastic, by the way). In it a character references that about this time of year on every planet, all of the people stop what they are doing and celebrate the light in the dark, a sort of congratulations for being halfway through the dark. On this planet we saw the shortest day of the year a couple weeks ago, so we are definitely officially halfway through the dark. I like this idea, this crystal feast. I feel very halfway through the dark. I still feel the darkness and the cold, but something important changes inside when one is half of the way through with something. It's like I had previously hit the wall but now I'm back up and know that as long as I keep going I will be fine. More so than a few feet or days prior, depending on the system of measurement.

Happy over halfway. It's a kind of edge for the middle of things, and all the interesting things happen at the edges.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Read a Book


Read the book Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon. He is a most brilliant writer who will shock you with his brutal honesty and insight.

ATTN: Women

Don't read Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon. I assure you that men are a lot more attractive when you don't know what's going on in their heads. I even try to avoid thinking about what's going on in there.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Down with the Sickness

The Moral:
Get the flu sometime for fun; it reminds you how great just feeling normal truly is.

I've pretty much written off the last two or three weekends as never happening productively as I've spent most of my time playing video games, watching movies or generally napping instead of ticking off the things on my list. This slightly ticks me off as my over-productive and lazy natures have always been at odds. I do have a "good" reason though; there's something wrong inside my body. Not sure what. Headaches and stomach aches and lethargy, oh my! It's not all been completely in vain though. This mysteriously persistent illness is teaching me to truly enjoy the moments when I feel normal, like people should. The moments simply when I feel not sick are elevated to something a little more, like rice cakes with frosting on them. I've always enjoyed the flu in principle for this reason: you get a few free days of resting, reading, video games, (and vomit, yes), then you feel great in comparison. Maybe that's weird of me. I'm content with that.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Burning in the New Year


If you don't like something, burn it and hope that makes it go away.

Full meal deal:

Last night I was introduced to a new (to me) New Year's tradition. Before midnight you take a piece of paper and write down something(s) from the previous year you want to let go of for the new year. Basically, instead of taking on more stuff in the form of a resolution, you get rid of some old stuff by burning the word of it (and words have power, do not doubt that).

Super sized:

I somehow still turned this letting go of the past into more work for the future. I chose to let go of my need for approval from others. I've mostly lived my life as a good improvisor and said yes to most things. Someone suggests I try something, I do. That's why I jumped out of a plane in New Zealand (but that's a whole different kettle of walnuts). As an actor still figuring out my thing, it was strongly suggested to me that since I wear glasses (as a person), I should get more prominent frames. I assume it's also a suggestion to make bolder choices in life and art. I pondered this for quite a while and as I am getting new frames, I looked at quite a few options. I really sought out bigger frames that say "Hey, look at me, I'm glasses. Dig me, or whatever." However, I have a thing about artists (pronounced arteests): I don't like them. It's odd to be an artist (pronounced the way real people say the word) in Portland, Oregon, enjoy mostly indie music, have a closet full of the equivalent of life costumes and still despise hipsters, but here I am. There's probably a French saying that would fit well here, but again, I'm not that kind of artist.

What this all comes down to is, I did not go with the strong suggestion from my professional actor friends. I burned that option. Gladly. It turns out that I do not want to look like someone I don't like. I'd much rather look like me. That's quite enough to deal with, and one less thing I'll have to burn next year.