Saturday, May 24, 2014

Plunging Headlong Into the Abyss?! Why Not!?

Well, Hi! Just thought I'd "drop in"... BUAHAHAHAH!!!! Nice to "ski" you again! BUAHAHAHAH!!! There's "snow" time like the present! BUAHAHAHA!!!

*cough* *cough*

Whew, man... I should stop smoking my Sherlock Holmes pipe... sure, it looks distinguished, but, man, it makes it hard to laugh comfortably at my own ridiculosity...

So, yeah, I'm not going to apologize for the time between updates. You know how it is... Man, so much to talk about!

But first! Here's the President out for a stroll in DC, surprising the heck out of random people on the street.

Now, I find several things interesting about this clip. First, I loved it. Say what you want about the President, politically, but I love that he did this. Can you imagine the President just randomly walking up and greeting you, and chatting with you like that? I just think that is so cool.

I used to be more political. As I've aged (or "matured" sounds more flattering) I've decided that getting mad about politics is ridiculous. But I must be alone in that assessment. If you scroll through the comments on the video, you'll be amazed... well, maybe not. Such venom, so many ridiculous insults... I guess it could be argued that it's that way with every video on YouTube, or rather with people in general. I can pretty much guarantee that just about every one of those anonymous retards spewing hate online about the Pres in the comments section would sing a far different tune if they were the ones that met the man on the street.

It reminds me of this video from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where a Yankee baseballer returns to NYC after having accepted a trade to Seattle for a 10 year, 250-million dollar contract. Here, watch this....


Those commenters would do *exactly* the same thing with the President. I think it ties into my long-running fascination with the theme of "the idea vs the reality"... I know I would get a huge kick out of meeting the President.


So there's a lot of potentially interesting things on the horizon, acting/writing-wise. Once things solidify a bit more, I'll spill it here. But things are looking awesome.

We have a new instructor on staff at our acting school. It's this guy...

His name is Kaleti Williams, and he's been acting professionally for over a decade now. Check out his IMDB page, for the long list of things he's been in... what I loved most about him were the numerous real-world on-set illustrations and examples he gave... very specific, useful stories, as opposed to more general, conceptual things...

You may recall him from one of the Pirate's of the Caribbean movies (At World's End)...

He even did the impossible! He actually gave me new insight into why improv is important! As in, real-world application! He said, with the bigger-named actors, many of them will glance at the script, chuck it on the floor after getting a feel for what the scene is supposed to accomplish, and then find his/her own route there, which may or may not stay on script. If they deviate at all, and you're acting with them, and you're locked onto the lines, waiting for a certain cue, you're going to get lost. You need also to be able to know the lines, but also know the points that the scenes are supposed to hit, so if your co-actor dances off the path, you can dance with him/her.

Duh! It makes sense now! All this time I've despised improv because it never really made sense to me! Now it does!

Also, he had a really interesting take on audition attitudes. He said never go into an audition giving a crap about the role you're auditioning for. Instead, go into auditions with the mindset that what you're there to do is make an impression on the producers holding the audition, so in future projects, they remember you, and call you to simply offer you parts outright in the future. If you're angsty about a specific role, you'll likely make safe choices, and thus blend into the vast crowd of other actors auditioning, making your odds of landing the role next to nil. But if you strip that angst and tension away, focusing on future roles, then that will also affect your performance in this audition, meaning you'll be more relaxed, willing to take more chances, and able to make yourself stand out from the crowd, increasing your chances of getting that role, as well as future roles.

Anyways, it was very interesting, and it makes sense to me. I hope he subs in on our Advanced Class again. I love our regular teacher, don't get me wrong. But this guy has a lot to offer as well.

OK, change of topic.

Watch this. If you are a golf fan at all, watch what Jack Nicklaus does here...

That... is amazing. Not just that he sank a 102-foot putt that broke all over the place, plus traveling like 5 feet up in elevation, but that he looked at the putt for maybe a second before walking up and smacking it in. Unreal.

What am I reading, you wonder? Well, wonder no more! I'm rereading Best Served Cold, by the great Joe Abercrombie. I gave it 3 stars the first time I read it, and had issues with it. But a funny thing is happening now that I'm re-reading it. I know what will happen, so I'm able now to focus on enjoying the craft that went into the book. The story structure, the scene choices, the dialog - I mean, individual sentences, word choices, phraseology... it is *so good*... I think it was basically invisible the first time around, because I was flowing with the story... but now, I'm definitely going to revise my score upwards when I finish.

It makes me wonder about other books I've given less-than-stellar reviews to, including Abercrombies other book Red Country. I better re-read that one again soon. Man, my reread list is getting almost as long as my read list! It's a great time to be a fantasy fan.

On the gaming front, the Minecraft Creative server that I've been building on for months had a hacker attack, and lost all the plots. My domain was once again erased, wiping out an embarassingly enormous number of hours of work. It's therapy, really. It's a low-stress, mellow way to unwind, to create, to build, to vent tension... I love Minecraft. To have it all wiped out hurts in a way that all of you, I'm sure, won't ever "get"... sounds foolish to you, I'm sure. If it wasn't me, it would sound foolish to me as well...

OK, I'm going to stop here. I've unloaded enough nonsense on you for the day. If you read through it all, you have my appreciation.

Adios for now,

Dave the Appreciative

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Me and Her Meander

Hmm... lemme think.... how's this thing work again? What happens if I push this button..? "iTunes"? What's dat?

Whoa, sorry about that, bro...

So, how's things, y'all? Things are rolling along smoothly in this part of the world... sunny San Diego, for those of you prone to envy.... MUAHAHAH!!!

A steady diet of acting stuff, writing stuff, reading stuff and gaming stuff... in other words, business as friggin usual. On the one hand, I enjoy the routine... it's what I'm used to, though it is all basically entertainment-related, with the intention (I presume) of occupying my interest on a minute-to-minute basis, squeezing a little enjoyment out of the moments as they pass by.

Here's the ironic part... in acting class, I'm currently working on a scene from the film Collateral, with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. I'm playing JF's part, the cabbie, and in it, Tom Cruise's character reads him the riot act for pushing his dreams (in this case, owning a limo company) forever onto the horizon... he tells JF that he's a fool for not laying hold of his dreams now, ending his tirade by saying "What the heck are you still doing driving a cab?"

In case the irony isn't obvious, allow me... I have dreams of doing/being many things... they are forever just out of reach on the horizon, and as the days tick by, I spend them "driving a cab", so to speak... doing things I'm good at, but don't love doing, simply because it's familiar and comfortable... better the mediocre things I know and hold, than the unknown things I *could* have if I emptied my hands to lay hold of them. I guess the fear is "what if I do whatever is necessary to get this dream, and it isn't anything like I'd always imagined it would be? Then I would have lost what I had, in order to lay hold of something I don't want after all."

In other words, a little scene in acting class has once again hit my hot buttons. I'm turning 44 soon. Not old, per se, but not young either. I keep telling myself a person can be a writer/actor/director at any age -- it isn't a young man's game. And while that's true, believing that only adds glue to my chair, so to speak.

But there is movement. I didn't get the part in that latest Police Training video I auditioned for, but that's ok. I am going to meet with a crew looking for new acting talent for this year's 48 Hour Film Festival, which will film at the end of June. So I may get some screen time and set experience there as well. And the final pieces are falling into place for the BTI web series to start filming. Plus, in June there will be an actor's showcase at our school, with a Hollywood casting agent in attendance, so if I make a strong enough impression, I may end being considered for certain projects he's slated to work on soon. So that's something.

Love that song.

Wifey's out of town for a week. A nephew of ours is graduating from Notre Dame, so she's flying out there with her mother for that event. Hope she has a good time. So I'm batching it for a week! Woohoo! I get my bed back! Awwww yeah...

I'm been reading, of course... a few swing-and-a-misses... I tried reading To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis, which was disjointed and uninteresting to me, in spite of the fact that it was very well received, both critically and commercially. I tried reading The Alchemist of Souls, by Anne Lyle, which lost me at the beginning of chapter two, when it turned out the two main (male) characters were gay lovers. Not my bag.

[EDIT] I deleted the paragraphs here dealing with gut-level aversions, etc. Sorry, it was too muddled. If I can re-think it and present it again in a decent way, I will. Otherwise, forget it... [END EDIT]

I did read -- and finish -- a book lately. It was Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. I felt it was remarkably sub-par. It's the only title of his I've ever read that I can whole-heartedly recommend against. It was simply insipid and substance-less to me. Yes, it was a Young Adult book, ostensibly geared toward the highschool/Junior High crowd... wish I'd known that going in -- though I still likely would have tried it, since, hey, it's Sanderson, and I love his stuff. This, I did not love. Or like. It was shallow, linear, predictable, bland and corny. (Man, I am just full of love tonight!) Sorry, Brandon - I do love you, and will continue to read your stuff... but this series is done, as far as I'm concerned. I'm amazed I finished it. Anyone other than Sanderson, and I would have dumped the book part-way through.

So, yeah, I'm a rambler tonight. Which is fine. That makes skimming to the end more guilt-free for you, I'm sure...

I may go see Godzilla this weekend. It looks awesome.

OK, I'm done.

Adios for now,

Dave and a haircut

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hi Mom! Thanks For Dropping By!

Don't despise me, my friend! I have done nothing wrong! All I did was post a tiger sleeping on a gigantic Buddha head...

So there was this one time when I updated my blog, and I was, like, hey, let's post a photo of Pensive Cat gazing sadly out the window, at what his/her life could have been...

And then I was, like, let's post it bigger! Because Bigger is Better!

And then, yeah, like, you were all, Sah-WEEET!

Wait, what were we talking about?

Heck, I don't know. I just live here.

So, yeah, this blog is a ghost town, but you know what? That's ok, because I didn't like you anyway! So there!

OK, fine, that was a lie. I do love you, but only in *that way*, which is completely appropriate and above board. I mean, I wouldn't want my wife to get jealous of you or anything. Of course, she never reads my blog -- never has. She despises it. Which is fine! I mean, who needs her!!??! Oh, that's right. I do.

So, as usual, I have no idea what I'm talking about. But that should be no surprise to you. You know me better than anyone else on earth. Other than my mother. Actually, my mother is the only one left on earth who reads this blog. So I have that going for me. Which is nice. 

OMG, if I have to listen to the music from Frozen one more time... I will snap.

So I auditioned for another police training video. It was so much fun, I thought I'd tip the heck over. I need to be doing this for a living. It isn't even funny any more. They told me they'd know who had the part by Wednesday... and today is Friday. I didn't hear back -- so I assume I didn't get the part. Which is fine, really. I enjoyed the audition process so much. It made me feel alive (if you'll pardon how corny that sounds). Getting the part would have been icing on the cake. 

So I'm extending my feelers out a bit more. I got some new contacts to try out. Hopefully, it will result in more auditions. Who knows where it will lead, eh? I got put in touch with a local director who is looking for new actors to work with him on the 48 Hour Film Festival which is coming up in June (or July? Who knows...) Hopefully, I'll be able to participate this year. If so, I'll let you know. Mom. I'll let you know, Mom... since you're the only one who still reads this blog!

Say what you want about Jimmy Fallon, I think  he's very cool. I'd like to meet him someday, so he could immediately forget me. In the interim, check this video out.

Come on, that was funny. You gotta gimme that, Mom... 

Here's another one, where he photobombs people, this time with Cameron Diaz...

Yeah, so there's that...

It's Friday Night as I type this. Do you know where your kids are? I have kids! One of them is in this office with me, resting. She has a headache. (That's Maggie, for those of you keeping score at home). The Middle Child is in her room, doing Who Knows What. All I know is that she left Frozen on the TV in the living room, with the menu music endlessly looping "For The First Time In Forever," making me even more of a Mad Man.

Hey, when I become a Famous Actor, will you still be proud of me, Mom? I hope so. My goal is to go onto a live talk show, like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and fart on live TV, right in the middle of my interview, and play it off like nothing happened. 

Then my life will be complete.

And my Wife will be complete, too. 

Actually, my wife has told me for years that if I ever become a movie actor, she'd divorce me. Ah, there's nothing like having the person who's supposed to be closest to you in your life actively fart upon your dreams! Ahhh!

So I have that going for me, which is nice.

Yes! More cat photos and/or videos! And stuff! Cuz, like, cats are awesome. I wish I could have one as a pet. But, alas, the Little Woman is allergic to cats. 


Finishing the third book of the Liveship Trilogy by Robin Hobb. I tell you, it's up there with the greatest fantasy stories I've ever read. It is so good, it makes me sad... in that, someday very soon, the third (and final) book will end, and I will be very sad. Such a great authress. If I ever met Robin Hobb, I'd buy her a cup of tea. Cuz she's female, you know. If she was a dude, I'd buy her a beer. Heck, maybe she'd prefer a beer, I don't know. But look at her, mom!

Does she seem to you like a person who would prefer tea, or beer? See? Tea. My point exactly.

I'd be, like, "Hey Mrs. Hobb, your Liveship Trilogy was so amazing, it made me tip over. Can I buy you some tea?" And she'd be, like, "Heck yeah, you tool!" And then she'd be, like, "Hey, buy the rest of my books. Right now."

And life would be cool.

I wonder if she owns any cats?

And now, in an effort to win the award for Most Radical Transition in Blogging History, here is One by Metallica...

One of the greatest songs of all time. Up there with Dare You To Move, by Switchfoot; Coming Down by Five Finger Death Punch, Facedown by Matt Redman, and But Not Tonight, by Depeche Mode

Well, fine mom, what's your list?

You know what? I'm done.

Adios for now Mom...


aka Your Son