hello there

Monday, October 31, 2005

a good start



what's better than adults walking and driving around in costumes?

today i saw several pirates, a guy in a silver lame jumpsuit, a tall princess leia, a zombie driving a car and a bunch of princessessess.

banks said that there's a guy at nickelodeon who is dressed as the 40 year old virgin poster, complete with the orange gradient behind his head.

it's a great world.

we finished watching the 1st season of house last night. i'm so glad that stupid millionaire character is gone. lazy writing.

season 2 looks to be good what with whatsherface. it was a drag that they had house looking unhappy at the end. there seemed to be some self pity. i like that he functions and doesn't think about it much.

the episode with the class was great, though it seems like they wussed out on the concept halfway through. it was confusing and i had to pay attention. that was nice.

i should be on house.

i should have a pony, too.

did a v.o. audition at klong's studio today, then went to nickelodeon and did my annual cartoon audition. i don't get animation. i don't understand it. they seemed nice enough and, true to my rant, seemed like they wanted me to do well. who knows.

david lawrence's net access shut down so i dealt with his nutso landlady and went to his place and restored it for him so he could access it remotely.

it's hot. it's africa hot. tarzan couldn't take this heat.

that is all.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Playing upright for Gorey Stories at Sacred Fools this weekend. I'm filling in for Gary Viggers.

It's been fun. It's kicked my ass back in to lessons and playing every day and that's fun. The daunting thing is realizing, once again, that I'll never be as good as I want to be. I doubt anyone is.

Zac was showing me some things classical guys do with their bows when they play. Shit is fucked up and hard. I'd aksed about the difference between a $60 bow and a $5000 bow. I guess it can all be explained by market forces. There aren't too many people who need really, really, really good bows for their bass, so the guy who makes them by hand and listens to some dickhead complain about the weight distribution is worth 5 or 20 grand.

Then I think of basses. Mine was $900 and I spent another couple hundred on getting it set up nicely with good strings, etc. and that seems like a lot. There are $90k basses out there. 200 year old basses that guys in orchestras play. Karl Vincent's bass is 150 years old or something.

When I switched from my Ibanez to the Music Man there was an immediate difference and that wasn't a huge price difference. I played the $3000 bass Gary has for sale and could feel and hear a difference, and I'm sure the better I get the more I'll hear and feel differences in basses.

The bassists who've played mine are actually surprised at how good it sounds and plays, though. I like that. The flames throw 'em off.


The good news is that an agent, Marsha Hervey, called me to have me come in and talk to her and her partner about representing me as an actor. She's Jessie's mother's agent and I knew her years ago because her son, Jason, was my little brother on Fast Times.

Perhaps I'll have an agent at some point. I'd like to know that the reason I don't work as an actor is because I'm not getting cast instead of not in the game. Maybe that makes sense.

One of the joys of my life right now is watching the first season of House on DVD and eating candy with Jessie.

I do hate the Chi McBride character. Not the character, like you're supposed to hate him, but the way it's written. A businessman who donates 100 million dollars to a hospital would *not* try to make everyone fit in to some mold of doctors. The writers seem to be applying their experience with their shift managers from when they were waiting tables to someone who has 100 million to give to a hospital. One of the reasons successful businessmen are successful is their ability to recognize talent and make allowances for unconventional personalities. The person they're writing in House would understand that Dr. House needs some room. They'd probably make it easier for him, actually, instead of acting like the manager at Shakey's and saying "You have to show up on time and make pizza this way or you're fired!"

I imagine he'd even tell the Lisa E character to back off.

That's me. Idealistic. Nothing wrong with that.

I do love that the atheist character doesn't feel bad about it and isn't flawed because of it. Her flaws don't have anything to do with her atheism. Also that it's a hotsy totsy chick is good. It's close to home!

I think I managed to set the site feed up for this correctly, though the formatting on the archiving is nutty. Whatever.

Off to Sacred Fools for the final night of Bassingnessation.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

letters to a young poet

Knowing full well that I am the last person to aks about how to have a successful career in acting, someone aksed for my advice.

I'm hopeful that this doesn't come off as too bitter. I'm aware that I'm not Rilke. Thank you.

1) Do you live somewhere other than Los Angeles? If so, it seems tough to have a career from somewhere other than Los Angeles. You're young. You are the age that is castable and waiting for something to happen wherever you are may not be the best thing. You might want to consider moving to where the industry actually exists (for now, at least... i think it's on the verge of imminent collapse, especially as the new SAG president is a pro-labor pro-strike fool).

2) Do everything: If you don't write, start writing. If you don't direct, start directing. If you have an opportunity to be in something, do it. Don't ever turn down work unless it is physically impossible to do the job, like being in two places at the same time or something. The more you work, the better you get, even if you're in a piece of shit children's puppet show. If you direct, you'll know what it's like to be a director and that will make you a better actor to work with and you'll understand what battles are worth fighting and what battles are winnable as an actor. Acting once you understand what it's like to write something is important, too, because you will be able to see what the writer is trying to say or if the writer is not saying anything and is worthless. Knowing these things will also inform your character; you'll be able to see where you fit within the structure of the piece, assuming there is a structure. It will also give you respect for the project; knowing how difficult it is to get something off the ground; how difficult it is for something to actually end up at all watchable.

3) Fight for your character: this is that obvious statement about saying "I" instead of "he" when you're working. The obvious thing about "someone who is doing something bad can give you a million reasons why it's good that he's doing it". We are all convinced that we're right. So is your character.

4) Don't take yourself too seriously: understand that you are completely and utterly replaceable.

5) Take yourself seriously: there is no one else like you and only you have the gifts to offer the rest of us.

6) Study: get in a class. Do scenes. Read the greats from the American Theater. Do scenes by them all the time.

7) Don't believe the hype: Are the actors you like actually good or do you like them because people say they're good. Do you think they're good because they reflect what's happening in society right now or do you believe them when they say "I am an astronaut." Do you watch them and think about their personal lives? Their politics? If you do, why? Is it because of something you read about them or is it something you see when they work? Is it good if you do that?

8) Have opinions: There's nothing worse than watching people who don't stand for something. If there's nothing you'd fight for in your life, how can you expect to fight for your character? You're not going to get along with everyone. If you do, there is something wrong with you. On the other hand, don't be an asshole.

9) Have knowledge about things other than movies and T.V. Politics and world events are now Movies and T.V., so that does you no good. Learn about engines, sculpture, architecture, computer networking, book bindery, something... anything that doesn't have to do with Movies & T.V.

10) Don't do it: If you can be happy acting in community stuff or making videos and writing and acting in plays with friends, do that and have a life. It will be much more fun and you'll probably be more fulfilled because you'll get better parts. Understand that the reason you want to be in movies and t.v. is to fill some weird, fucked-up void in your life. You want people to sit in dark rooms and look at your face projected 40ft on a screen. you want to go in to people's homes and have them stare at you from their couches or beds. the whys are twisted and frightening. you certainly won't make money doing it.

11) Know where you fit in. Know your type. If you're starting out, figure out what you'll be seen as, the funny friend, the fat guy, the ugly duckling girl, the dumb blonde, the stoner, the nerd, the bad guy... if you need to gain 10 pounds to be truly fat, gain it. you can lose it later. but if you're just overweight, you need to shed that right now. You need to be the best version of yourself; your type. Be honest with yourself. Your parents may have told you that that mole on your cheek is cute, but is it really? It worked for DeNiro and Cindy Crawford. Are you DeNiro or Cindy Crawford? Or are you someone with a mole on their face that needs to be removed? No, you don't have to be perfect looking. Of course not. But you need to have as few reasons for people not to cast you or sign you. (see #12) You can break your type later once you're established, but first you need to actually get work.

12) When you walk in to an audition, they want you to get the job. Then they can move on to the next part or they can go home early. So, you start with a perfect score; you start with 100. Everything you do subtracts from this perfect score. The problem is no one knows what things you do that will subtract from your perfect score. There are the obvious things... you know... pissing on someone's desk, etc., but, that just might get you the job so you have got to be yourself.

13) Be yourself: You need to know who you are to do this. If you don't know who you are, how can you possibly expect anyone else to know who you are? You can't expect an agent to sell you, etc., if you don't know who you are. If you are shy, be shy. It's okay. If you're an asshole, go ahead and be an asshole. You know what I mean. Be yourself. Figure out who you are.

14) Are you ready to carry a movie? Are you worth carrying 80 million dollars on your back? It's okay if you're not, but it's a good question to ask yourself from time to time. There is a point when you'll think "I could be #1 on the call sheet." and that comes from figuring out who you are and what you have to offer that no one else has.

15) Watch out for the shitheads: There are a lot of dickheads who want to be your shrink and your guru. They struck out and are pissed and want to take it out on you by convincing you that you are damaged and only they can fix you. You don't need that. You just need an acting teacher and an agent who thinks you're great. You don't need a "Transformational inner-interpersonal breakthrough kundalini weekend intensive on-camera commercial and film acting workshop". If someone says to you "I can't explain it to you, you just need to come and you'll see how great it/he/she/the program is..."
it/he/she/the program is, most likely, a cult or a church.

16) Have fun: With all of this, realize that if you get work, it is the easiest thing in the world and you are lucky as hell and you should respect that by having a blast doing it.

atlas shrugged

i'm sure i'll write more about this but i just finished listening to atlas shrugged.

listening to books on the ipod is very cool. i listened to state of fear, by michael crichton and then dove in to atlas shrugged immediately.

this is my second favorite book of all time after moby dick. it's beautiful. i love monomania and this has the absolutism of moby dick, though in a very different way.

i kept thinking that this book has been around my entire life and i've only just eaten it. it was always around... sort of floating in the air... those beautiful ideas. the ideas.

as a libertarian it only reinforced my resolve regarding that system. the initiation of force is always wrong; be it from a thug or a well meaning congressman. if it resolves to a gun being pointed at you, it's just wrong.

it's so easy to poo poo rand and objectivism, especially because we're in a time where people easily sacrifice their true beliefs in order to let the lesser of two evils lead them. and... they're not even leading. no one believes in their candidate. because their candidate isn't really saying anything. it's all about what you as a "fan" of your candidate are able to put in the candidates mouth. kerry is a democrat so he's agains the war in iraq and the patriot act even though he'll never really come out and say it. bush is a republican so he's in favor of smaller government and reducing gov't spending (hahahahahah) even though that's completely incorrect. but, those were ideals of those two parties so when you're having coffee with your friends you can put any words in your candidates mouth because that's what that party used to stand for, even though the republicrats don't stand for anything anymore except getting and keeping power. and they both use fear and disasters to claim dominion.

libertarians have principles, which is why they're so easily attacked. we can never say "where can you find that in our material" because, we go on record for the things we believe. there's no waffling.

republicrats don't leave a trail... well, they just don't say anything, so you can't attack them.

so... rand lays out all the shit that's going down right now... or has been going down since she wrote the book and it's just lovely. it would make a great mini-series. they'd want to change the ending, though. they'd want the hero to compromise and work it all out with mr. thompson and those dudes.

plus, dagney is hot.

speaking of funny:

it can't be real... but, man, it made me laff...

i have work to do for gorey stories. i worked my ass off on a part that they don't play. they play another part which is not too difficult if one knows it.

reading music is cool.

worked on bow technique with zac today. i like learning. it are good!

i'll write more about atlas shrugged. it's just beautiful. full of hope and great ideas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

wednesday rocktober 26

the v.o. world is slow now. haven't done a spot this month, but geico is raining checks down on me... which is nice. it will be a good year but i'd always like to do more spots.

after another soul sucking commercial audition yesterday, i went over to gary's to go over the bass parts for gorey stories. i'm subbing this weekend on my upright and it will be my first gig with the upright. reading and everything.

there is some arco stuff, but my arco skills are, well, none, so i'm doing most of it pizz with 2 of the 5 pieces using the bow. the good thing about this is that it's kicked my ass to get back to studying. i've had one lesson with zac and like him. it's just about sticking to it. but, i do actually enjoy practicing every day even though it kills my arms and wrists. the instrument is a beast that one must actually develop muscles for. stupid idiots.

lorenzo poindexter came over today. he's begun an organization business and i had him come and hold my hand through throwing shit away and reducing clutter here. we have got to stop living like college students. much of it is my fault as i tend to get distracted and start stuff and not fini...

dropped my shitty worthless 17" mac off with emery to get it fucking working like a real computer should. that stupid piece of shit. the dvd drive just stopped working and now itunes doesn't work and shit is fucked up. stupid apple shitheads.

chatted with emery and provenz' about scotland. saw the video of us doing the aristocrats in scotland. man did i get fat. holy crap. i've been back at the gym, finally after a 4 month hiatus and seeing that gave me a kick in my hairy butt. sheesh.

just found out that billy the mime got pick of the week in the l.a. weakly. that should most definitely help the ticket sales. yippeee!!!

jessie and i are eating pizza and i must now practice and then we have movies to watch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Tightcircle has always been my sort of stupid sounding board, but this might be... i don't know.

i guess i'll just journal my v.o. stuff on here and maybe someday i'll start working as an actor again. until then... who knows.

for some reason, i feel more comfy revealing all my crap on my spamscamscam.com blog when i'm in scotland. perhaps to convice myself that i'm still an american or some shit.

who knows.

what i do know is that this would be the first post on a ubiquitous blog.
rock on.