Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hey who wants to be paid for their art?

Evening/Morning Party People!
          It's 12:30am right now as I click away on these keys. I should be going to bed now but here I am plugging away. I took a day off today, I felt guilty about not working the entire time that I should have been resting. Why am I so beat?
          I have a lot of things going on at this moment. I have a new job cooking at a comedy club in Scottsdale, I still work at a U-Haul center and when I'm not doing that I'm driving a cab. Then there's the  time I spend putting into my comedy act, that in itself has been rough as I still don't know what my act should be about. I know people say it should be about my point of view and stuff but Holy Crap is it tough to put a point of view on stage while being honest and of course funny. Then of course when I'm not doing that I'm writing Dark Secrets:Frankie's Story as well as promoting my kickstarter.
          I'm lucky I have a gal who is so supportive in my efforts, seriously not anybody can stand by me the way she has.
          This has nothing to do with the title so far, what gives?
          You're right, sorry about that. Ok the question is "Who here wants to get paid for their creative efforts?"
          We all do right? Of course! So how do we go about doing so? Boy I wish there was one straight answer to that question. So far this is what I've learned.
          - I've had to maintain a level of confidence that  I could produce something worth of value.
          - Once I'd done this I found it was easier to name a price on my next project.
          - Try to find people who understand the value of creativity.
          - Show people the value of creativity in a modest way that informs, not berates (This is tough for me sometimes)
          - Keep plugging away!
           I see you're goal on your kickstarter project is over 2k, what gives?
          I've always felt that sometimes you need to put out what you want to get back. Meaning I've always wanted to perform in a gritty drama, no one is going to just invite me to work on one so I wrote one myself. I'd love to get paid for an audio drama but I'm not aware of any in my area so I'm trying to make one. You see the 2K is for paying the talent, the engineer, and converting my living room into a sound studio.
          Talent =4, I don't count myself as one of the paid talent so I need money for three. The story is going to be over an hour in total so I'll need close to 30 hours per actor. The actors have bills to pay and I would never ask someone to give up a days pay for a favor to me. I figure about $100 bucks a day, industry people would tell me that I'm paying them peanuts.
          Engineer =1. The engineer will be working on this project about as much as I will. I expect to put 90-100 hours into the production, so at about $10 bucks an hour the engineer will walk away with a little over a grand.
          Sound studio . I'll be doing this via home depot and target. I'll need pads, mics, and a bunch of pvc pipe to get this done. I'm hoping to do this for a few hundred.

          So how does this pertain to me?
          To you personally? It probably doesn't, lets be honest. However it pertains a great deal to our community of creatives. No one is going to come along and just hand us what we want. The industry does put out some great pieces of work but at the same time it pumps out a lot of crap. So it's up to us to back the things we like, the stories we like, the music we like, the books and movies we like. Otherwise they tend to go away.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dark Secrets:Frankie's Story

        As is the case with all writers or artists if you will, there comes upon a time where an idea or story strikes a chord in our souls so deeply that we can't help but want to share it with as many people as possible.
        This story is about the Frankie, a bartender home from WWII who hasn't been able to sleep in two weeks. Night after night when he tries to sleep he is filled of visions of his long lost love Roxie begging him to come save her. Our story picks up when Frankie can't take the visions anymore and he goes out into the night searching for her. What happened to her? Where is she now?
        The closer Frankie gets to Roxie the more he finds out that the visions weren't just figments of his imagination, in fact his visions were far more...sinister.

        If I had to name a few inspirations for this story I'd have to say that the writing style of the new Battlestar Galactica was a big influence. Ron D Moore did such an amazing job at the character arcs in that storyline, it was truly an inspiration to watch. This next one might sound silly but Chris Avellone and his team of writers on the game Knights of the Old Republic II:Sith Lords really broke a lot of the walls that I had about storyline structure as well as character perception. If you can get your hands on the game I highly recommend it, the whole feeling of not knowing who to trust is a unique experience for a game, or even a movie or anything else for that matter! Last but not least would be the film Casablanca! Humphrey Bogart's Rick was the first anti-hero that struck a chord with me. There's something about watching a character go against his own interests or desires for something greater than himself. It stories like these that make me feel glad I'm an artist, so this is what I'm trying to make for all of you.

       I was talking to my cousin Jim awhile back and we were thinking of trying to make this story into a short film. Obviously this genre would lend itself well to film, it's been done before, it'll be done again. However I feel that we tend to lose some of the personal experience from a story like this when we "watch" it, listening to it in the realm of audio makes you a participant as well as a spectator, much like video games from people like Cliff Blazinski, Hideo Kojima or Hironobu Sakaguchi.

       I'm hoping that people who see this page and who read this post see something more than just some artist posting about his kickstarter. I'm not just about donations, it's about will and what we want out of this world. I often ask myself this question when I look outside every morning,"Is this the best we can do?" Is it? I think one way we can change our world is by pushing the boundaries of what we see and feel. Music does this for us, so does film, this is similar , only you'll be a part of it!

Thanks for your time Everybody!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Into the Great Wide Open!

Evening Party People!
          Well it was bound to happen at some point. For years I've been calling myself an Artist, it was only a matter of time when I'd get to a point and put something big out into the world. So here's me on the precipice of failure and glory and I've never been happier! I present to you my Kickstarter Project Dark Secrets:Frankie's Story
          I would ask of all my friends out there in the internets to lend a hand. While I wouldn't expect everyone to back this project I would appreciate it if you could share this link once a week or so on your Facebook or Twitter Feeds. Yes something that simple could make a big difference whether this project gets funded or not.
          I will searching down other avenues such as seeking out blogs or pages that deal with independent theater or old radio dramas and seeking backers there. So please don't think that I'm trying to rest this burden on your shoulders. As it is I'm just trying to get in touch with every facet that I have.
         Did I mention that I've been doing stand-up? I did two sets this week so far. One I did ok on, the other I ate a shit sandwich on stage. It goes with the territory I suppose. It would be nice if I killed every time I went up but if I did then I don't think I would learn anything. I think I feel the same way about this project. I know I'm in a learning phase at this point in my life.
         What do I mean about a learning phase? I mean that I'm in unfamiliar waters, I'm scared, I'm vulnerable. I felt the same way when I first moved to New York. I knew I was going to get my ass kicked but I also knew that I was going to come out on the other end stronger than I ever was before. Well here I am again!
          It's been a tough year, stepping away from the security that I had at HMS Host was not easy. For months I fought the urge to call and beg for my old job back. I had to hock my guitar, both of my amps and even my video camera. I think if it wasn't for Jennie I might have given up long ago. I can trace everything that she had done for me in one moment. We were driving home and I said that I thought I should go back to work at the airport and she said," I don't care if we have money, if we have to be poor in order for you to make your dreams come true then I think itt's totally worth it."
         What a gal eh? What a life indeed!
          Till next time Party People,
          Keep on a Chooglin!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vroom Vroom!....can someone give me a push?

Morning Party People!
                It's 1am and I just finished writing out the script for my current project which is.....::drum roll please::a kickstarter project for Frankie's Story!!
                That's right Party People , I'm taking the next baby step. I know this isn't the same as pitching a script to a studio but hey, it's a new world and I think Kickstarter could be a good thing for my story. I'll be filming the video tomorrow and hopefully I'll have it edited before I leave for the Open mic later that evening.
                Speaking of which, I think I'm getting better at the open mics out hear. That's not to say I've been killing, I haven't but I feel that every time I go up I learn more and get just a little bit better. One of my goals this years is to get a paying gig doing stand up, for how much? Who knows? All I know is that as much as I dig my part time work I know I don't want to spend the whole year doing either job.
                I was talking to Jennie earlier today about how one of my faults is I don't appreciate all the things I have in my life and that I try to show some sort of gratitude everyday. I was just thinking about how I wish I had been this motivated when I was in my twenties, maybe by now I'd be a professional actor or stand-up or whatever. What does it matter? If I had spent my twenties differently (or more productively for that matter) then I wouldn't be the artist that I am today. Meaning if I had started getting work acting right out of AMDA I don't know if I would have ever taken up writing. Had I not come to AZ back in 1999 I never would have met my friend Clay who got me into painting ,photography, and playing the guitar. With out those skills I never would have learned video editing so I guess in the end it all works out the way it's supposed to right?
                 I find looking back like that gives me solace in the choices I made. Give it a try sometime, only don't listen to The Cure while you do it, just trust me on this one.

Till Next Time Party People
Keep on a Chooglin!