Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Some things you can never go back to.

Evening Party People,
       I hope this month finds you well as you read this. As for me I have many things moving in all sorts of directions, some up some down but all in motion.
       It's Wednesday night and so far this week I've done two open mics. That's better than where I was a few months ago but I need to do more. That's not me being down on myself it's just a fact. It's kind of like exercising's exactly like exercising the  more I think about it. If you have a goal of what you want your body to look like and you're about 50 lbs off then working out twice a week isn't going to cut it. The same goes for my stand up....shit I need to work out more too.><
       You ever have a fond memory of a place you've been to? Maybe it's a meadow that you played in as a child, or maybe it's a bar you and your buddies used to hang out at, what about the job you had when you first realized that you were living on your own and for the first time felt a little like an adult? I have these places too, for the most part I fear going back to those specal places because I'm afraid that the magic it once held for me wont be there when I return, and for the most part it wont.
        Those place in space in time only live in our hearts and minds, the same could be said about relationships with people. I met an old friend tonight , someone who was, for a short period of time, a close friend....meaning that we spent a lot of time together due to proximity. During that time of my life I felt there were few people I could relate with and this person was one of them. This friendship was one of those things that held a special place for me. I know this sounds sappy but it's true. When we spoke tonight it was fun and pleasant and by no means a negative experience but there was something that seemed a bit off. I think I have a selfish notion where I want people to stay the same , that way I'll always have those special feeling with me that'll last forever. It's funny, I never thought how ugly that sounded until I wrote it.
         I was bummed about it all for a few minutes then I started thinking of other relationships and friendships that have gone the same route. My ex-wife comes to mind, or my best friend back in high school. Both very important people for that place and time but like any special moment in life they pass into memory, and that's a beautiful thing.
         I'm trying to be a better person and one of the ways I'm doing this is by pulling any fault of mine out into the open. It's not about what I don't have anymore, it's about what I have as well as had. While I'll be sad from time to time about the passing of these people,places and times I'll work at being grateful that I had them at all. Who we are isn't just built by some uncontrollable roll of the genetic dice but by each moment we feel and see. Then once all those building blocks have been set it's up to us to make the most out of what life has given us, a challenge to each of us with varying degrees of difficulty, but in the end , regardless of the struggle, we all reach the same peak.
         I'm happy that I saw my friend tonight, and being happy is good enough.

Till next time Party People
Keep on a Chooglin!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Morning Party People!    
            It's 1 am and it's safe to say tat there is no way in hell I'd be able to drive a cab in the morning. So if I'm not going to work then I need to get to work on something else.
            As far as an update for my Kickstarter goes I think it's safe to say that it's dead in the water. No regrets mind you, I've learned a lot over the past month and I see the whole thing as an educational win.
            So what else is new?
            I have a new job! Well a part time gig but new at any rate. I'm a cook at Stand-Up Scottsdale which so far has been pretty cool. The way I see it it's like I'm getting paid to go to school. Also in a round about way it all feels like I'm on the fringe of showbiz. There's the Producers,Directors,Talent,tech crew,promotion people,radio and 15 more steps down the list lies Comedy Club cook. I'm on the list!
            I've been trying to do at least two sets a week of stand-up. I find that working on a set is far different than working on a song, a song you can record and hear if it sounds good or not, a joke you can only tell if it's good after you've performed it in front of an audience, hence the classic advice, "You just got to keep going up".
            Such is life right?
Till next time Party People
Keep on a Chooglin!

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!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

::hic:: Um, you bet!

Evening Party People!
             Tonight's blog is sponsored in part by Kilt Lifter.
"Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale: Because F@*K that bitch who needs her!"

           So what's new? Well I finally have a new job. It's nothing too exciting but it's something that I've been looking forward to for a few years now. I now have a part time entry level position working at a uhaul rental center. It's awesome because I know nothing about that business and I have zero ambition to advance in that company! It's not a bad place to work by any means, as a matter of fact everyone has been super cool. I just now have a job that wont pull focus away from my other projects.
           Everyday is a great day to get something done! Now I seem to have an issue on keeping to a schedule which involves exercise, writing, music, entertainment and of course video editing. I think I'm going to have to start making a weekly schedule so I can keep on track. That or I have to get rid of my xbox.
           I've been getting a lot done when I don't have to go into my job, I feel better that's for sure, emotionally anyways. Physically I need to lose a bunch of weight, not that being thin will make me feel better, I just don't like not being as strong as I used to be. You see for a big guy like myself one of the few saving graces of being large is that you're more than likely stronger than people smaller than you (non athletes of course). As I get older I find that I can't do as much as I used to, I learned that my first week at uhaul as there is a lot of physical work in that job. There's a gym near by that's free for people who live in the community, maybe I should start there?
            It looks like I have a new habit to form, this is going to be tough as I hate not being able to east large amounts of candy at any given point in time. Oh well, tat way of living has never brought me the happiness I was looking for, all it did was give my the "happy" that I'd settle for.
            Another motivation is that my girlfriend has been losing a lot of weight, and if there's one thing I learned from watching all those weight loss shows, is that f your gal loses weight and you don't SHE WILL LEAVE YOUR FAT ASS!!!
            ON A NON WEIGHT RELATED ISSUE....HEY DID I LEAVE THE CAPS ON on? On a non weight issue I've been writting a lot more, most specifically the radio drama from a few years back. With any luck there might be some big news for the rest of the show coming up.
            As much as I'd like to sit here all day and write, there's an eliptical machine I need to hit up.
Till next time Party People!!!
Keep on a Chooglin!!!