Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Friday, July 29, 2005

You Pathetic Oat-Eating Bastard

I have to hand it to Rich Burlew. He knows from funny.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I pay a visit to The Order of the Stick, a fantastic online comic that revolves around the quests and quandaries of a Dungeons & Dragons-like band of heroes.

Well. Mostly heroes. Belkar, the team’s Hobbit—I meant Halfling! Halfling! Anyway. The little guy is as surly as it gets. He’s a miniature ball of spite that is too small to ride even a pony, and must resort to a riding dog (read Dachsund). In the latest strip, he takes the time to insult and threaten a horse. The equine hero had a hoof in detaining the Order of the Stick a few strips back, and Belkar minces no words promising to get his vertically-challenged revenge.


Belkar’s misplaced rage strikes me as hilarious. Not only is he threatening a *horse*, but he went out of his way to threaten the animal in private. He cornered a horse. He’s that petty.

I love this strip. Each character brings something unique to the mix, be it androgynous attitude from Vaarsuvius the Elf, blissful stupidity from the Minstrel Elan, or delicious wickedness from their recurring skeletal villain Xykon. The strip is great. Great.

Burlew is very good at what he does, good enough to even make a living at it by selling trade-paperbacks. Bam, indeed. The guy rocks.

If I were Snarky, I’d award some sort of verbal token of appreciation. Which would be ripping off someone else rather poorly. So I’m not gonna.

Still. Check it out.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Night Owl... or Insomniac?

I've been yawnin' all day. Can't seem to rub the sleepy-dust out of my eyes, and with good reason: I didn't get much sleep last night.

Went to see a *terrific* production of Last 5 Years last night at the Metro Stage in DC, t'was most excellent, verily. What I never fully realized was that there *is* no dialogue in the entire show. What you hear on the excellent soundtrack is what you experience in a theatre; you're not missing anything, except a handful of 30-second monologues that add little to the story.

Pedro and I went out afterwards for a Guinness and a Stogie, so I didn't get home until roughly 12:30, after the Metro trip home. Of course, my new computer arrived yesterday, so I spent some time setting it up before crashing. Tonight, after rehearsal for Book of Days, I'm going to see about transferring files over from the older computer.

Anyway: the yawning. A friend here at work called me on it, and asked me if I was suffering from insomnia. I shook my head no, and replied that I was just being a night-owl. She asked me what the difference was: "Insomniacs can't sleep. Night-owls choose not to." She made a "Hmm! Good point!" face and went back to her work.

As an experienced dabbler in both night-owlery and insomnia, I feel well-qualified to tell the difference. I much prefer the former. Of course, some nights I have to go for a late walk just to tire myself out enough to get some shut-eye... so it's a line between the two. Not a terribly fine line, but a line none the less. That line is a little fuzzy at the moment, but that's probably just the sleepy-dust talking.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Computery Goodness Is Nigh!

Yeah, I know I just used the word 'nigh', but it seemed appropriate. My new laptop arrives today! UPS tried to deliver it yesterday (when no-one was home), but today there *will* be someone at the house to receive it. Bam.

I love me some acquisitions. Especially shiny new laptops that will work faster. Woot!

Pardon Me, But They Were Here *First*

This might not be of interest to many of you, but it's something I heard about the other day and it's been stuck in my craw ever since:

The Kid’s WB, producer and owner of freshman cartoon series The Batman, has placed an embargo of sorts on its older (and IMO, better) cousin, Justice League Unlimited. JLU is not allowed to use any of the villains in the Batman Rogues’ Gallery, so as not to conflict with their potential use on The Batman.

Now, JLU is only the latest in a quality line of spin-offs from Paul Dini and Bruce Timm’s collaborative masterpiece; Batman: The Animated Series. Over a dozen years ago, the two put their heads together; and with the help of Kevin Conroy and other talented voice-actors, revolutionized super-hero comics. They demonstrated that kids could pay attention to an actual plot, appreciate a great score, and enjoy better animation than anything you’d find on The Jackie Chan Adventures.

Batman: TAS and its spin-offs have remained more or less consistent both in continuity and quality. They’ve had any and all the characters in the DC Universe at their disposal, and were even responsible for creating some new ones (like Harley Quinn). For their resources to be pared so abruptly feels a lot like an insult, and I’m not even affiliated with them.

If Nocturne ever came about, and at some point down the line an affiliate wanted to take away character rights from an older, more experienced, higher-quality line of stories, I’d be right pissed off about it. It’s not as if The Batman is even breaking new ground. I saw the first few episodes. They weren’t ‘taking new chances’, they were watering down a premise. They’ve taken established, quality characters and turned them into pale reflections of themselves. And if there's any doubt to Justice League's claim to the characters, it's *still* being produced by Bruce Timm. Kevin Conroy is still doing the voice of Batman, like he has for the last 12 years. It's the original team.

If it sounds like I’m taking this all too seriously, you’re probably right. But I grew up watching Batman. Now it’s catching abuse from a poor cousin who can’t share his toys. It just galls me that the first-come, first-served rule isn’t working the way it ought to.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Testing, Testing, One Two Three...

I didn’t want to jinx it by announcing it early, but today I did my first professional voice-over.

It rocked.

No, seriously. It rocked. I took a half-day at work to go downtown to DC, and visited Atlantic Video. They’re producing an educational video for the State Department, and I’m the narrator. How cool is that? They referred to me as ‘the talent’!

The tape is going to be used for high schools and possibly even college. There were 18 pages of copy, and we went over each one several times. “Sound more authoritative here”, “slow down the pace”, “do it sounding like Sean Connery”. While not a *practical* exercise, that last one was fun and solely for the producers. They had a good laugh.

It was all very snazzy. Atlantic Video definitely knew what they were doing. Plenty of water bottles on hand, good coffee, and the offices just looked great. I left them my information if they need my services again, so we’ll see if further work comes from it.

I am officially a voice-over artist. Bam.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Another Dream

It’s always a weird, disorienting moment when you transition from a dream you remember in vivid detail to being in your bed with the alarm going off. At least this dream had the decency to reach its conclusion before I woke up. You can’t buy good service like that.

It was a Narnia dream. I haven’t had one of those before, I don’t think. But I’ve been psyched to see The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe ever since I saw the trailer for it. (Of course I’ve read the books. I’ve also seen the cartoon and the BBC series, to boot, but I still want to see this new movie.) Tilda Swinton as the White Queen is going to rock on more levels than I can count.

Anyway: In the dream, I’m more or less me (albeit younger), but instead of kindly old Professor Kirke, is Tilda Swinton in the role of a very scary woman. Must’ve watched too much Return to Oz because she was giving me the willies worse than Princess Mombi and also had a key around her neck needed to unlock the Wardrobe. (The facts that A} the Wardrobe didn’t have a lock, and B} you can’t deliberately look for Narnia, were not part of my subconscious’s equation.) After several harrowing minutes and a moment of temporary dementia on Tilda’s part, I got the key away from her. It’s worth mentioning that the locket she kept the key in, the first time I saw it, revealed that the key inside was in several pieces (not unlike Aragorn’s Anduril). When I finally got my hands on it, it was in one piece again.

Moving on. Next thing I know, I’m in Narnia watching the White Queen’s (Tilda again) opening campaign for power. She looked happy and healthy until she passed under a garden threshold and the color literally drained out of her. She was with two other ordinary human beings, who she pointed her finger at and they turned to stone. A quick sled-ride later, she was outside a village and petrifying civilians left and right. She announced to the town en masse to surrender, or suffer the same fate as the statues on the street. Panic hit the streets as every commoner with working legs ran in every direction.

Things get weirder. The White Witch points at *me*, and tells me to get to work. A convenient mirror reveals that I’m now bone-white as well (although admittedly it’s not much of a change), and look decidedly sinister. Cheerful, swingy music kicks up as we have wicked fun petrifying every last villager in sight, and all I have to do is point at them and make a *fwisssh* noise.

As she departs the village, leaving a Pompeii-esque museum behind, the credits roll on the first segment of The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe. I’m in a movie theater watching the credits; torn between feeling that I’d love to see more of it in one sitting, and admiring the film makers for taking it slow, wishing that they’d pull the same thing for the next Harry Potter movie.

Like I said. Weird.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Say Something!!

An observant, intelligent woman I know recently told me that I come across as being egotistical. After considering a few things… I’d say she pretty much hit the nail on the head. I *am* a bit of an egotist. In conversation, I have the tendency to lead the talk toward myself. This is compounded by the fact that evidently several people mentioned it, just not to me. That I was unaware I was doing it comes as a bit of a smack, and now I feel like a horse’s ass.

You know what? Great! If I’ve been rude, self-centered, and haven't allowed people to get a word in edgewise, call me on it! I’m not perfect. I’d *like* to not step on so many toes, if I can help it. Really! I can’t say that I’ll take every piece of criticism as God’s Law, but if it sounds reasonable; then Hell Yes, I’ll take it under advisement.

Sheesh! So I’m self-centered. Big whoop. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but the good news is I’m neither old nor a dog.

What astounds me is that if someone has a habit or vice that annoys someone else, says nothing so in turn the first person does nothing to correct themselves; the second person continues to get increasingly annoyed by it! How is that logic?

I can count on one hand the number of times someone has had the nerve to stop everything, look me square in the eye and say “Casey, stop doing xxxxxxx.” But I can also tell you that I remember each one; and when they said it, I stopped doing it! It was a smack in the face (not literally), and it stung for a little bit (also not literally), but it is the ONLY tried and true way to go about it.

Don’t be afraid to speak up. My ego isn’t fragile, it’s made of reinforced vulcanized rubber. It’ll bounce back, with sufficient inflating! Seriously. I would much prefer the company of friends unafraid to chastise me for being a jerk, over the company of people who will just sit there silently and resent me for doing whatever it is I’m not aware that I’m doing.

Sheesh! (For the record: the list of people to call me on stupid shit I was doing: Jeannie, Andy, Lanny, Tamia, & McCall.)

Who Knows Who You'll Meet Out There On That Wacky Internet...

I found myself very pleasantly surprised yesterday evening, as I checked my email… I’ve got a fan! In New Zealand! A blogger himself, ‘Krazy Kelvin’ wrote me yesterday asking if he could post a link to my website… like I’m going to turn down free publicity. Kelvin’s got several blogs of his own, and he seems like a really nice guy.

I told him I’d offer to do a ‘blogger exchange program’, see if I can’t send some readers his way in return. Bam.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chapter 29

I’ve been patiently waiting for Constantine to make its way to DVD… I saw this flick in theatres a few months ago, and it was very, very good. It’s my opinion, of course, and people are free to disagree with me for any number of reasons including:

A) It’s another comic book movie, having changed much about the characters.
B) Keanu Reeves talks. A lot.
C) It dabbles pretty heavily in the occult *and* Catholicism.

To each their own. But let me tell you what *worked* for this flick: Tilda Swinton did a bang-up job as the virtuous (and mildly androgynous) angel Gabriel. I can’t wait to see her as Jadis, the White Witch, in the upcoming The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Bam. Shia LeBeouf turned in a memorable performance as the apprentice and sidekick Chas.

The movie comes in at a well-packed two hours. The pacing remains consistent throughout, that a looming threat may be more than our hero can handle, with or without supernatural assistance. Not to mention the fact that he’s been diagnosed with terminal, inoperable lung cancer. Compounded by his less than noble history, Constantine is looking at spending eternity in the company of the demons he sent to Hell. Eeep.

As good as I found this movie to be, my favorite part can be attributed to one man: Peter Stormare. His arrival as Old Scratch himself is fantastic. I’ve seen plenty of actors play the Devil, but Stormare’s choices with the role mark him far and away as my favorite. He’s just such a… bastard. Smug, rude, apathetic and self-amusing, Constantine’s Prince of Lies is what I’d imagine the Devil to be like. Not that I intend on ever meeting him.

I’m glad to add Constantine to my collection. If you enjoy a good comic book movie, check it out. You won’t regret it.

James Doohan: 1920-2005

James 'Scotty' Doohan passed away yesterday, from complications of Pneumonia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

I don’t quite know what to say. I never met the man, and outside two or three interviews, never heard him speak as himself. Along with nearly everyone else, I knew him best as Scotty on Star Trek. The unmistakable brogue, the same haircut for forty years, the uncanny ability to fix anything and everything, always in the nick of time.

I didn’t know that James was at Normandy on D-Day. A sterling silver cigarette case (a gift from his brother) deflected a bullet, safely in his pocket 4 inches from his heart. Another injury that day cost him his middle finger on his right hand. Did anyone watching Star Trek ever notice it was missing?

I didn’t know that more than half the students at an Engineering college cited Scotty as their primary inspiration in studying that field in the first place. I can’t say I’m surprised.

I did know that the man was a wizard for accents. He could walk around his home as a kid and use a different dialect in every room of the house. He was the reason I tried them out in the first place; I was just trying to sound like Scotty.

His work on Star Trek, as one of the most popular characters of the series, will not be forgotten.

His family asks that donations be made in Doohan's name to his favorite charity, Cowboys for Kids in Arizona

...With The Light Brown Hair

I dreamt of the girl again, last night. She didn’t play much more than a cameo, but her presence was felt. In the dream, I was running back and forth between almost simultaneous productions of Book of Days, my current show, and The Mystery of Irma Vep. Not that showing up late and half-dressed for Irma didn’t work for the show, it’s supposed to be fairly madcap. But there it is. And there she was.

It’s funny. I think the reason she showed up was because on a certain level, she’s being replaced… Allow me to explain.

When I was in High School, the theatre group was extremely important to me, as was their opinion of me, of my work. This girl, especially. (Always had a weakness for brunettes.)

Now, ten years later, I’ve become part of a different theatre group, and there are specific people whose opinions are very important to me. Friends, co-stars that I look up to and admire. I’ll grant that their view probably holds a greater sway than I’d like, but there it is.

One thing’s different, at least. This time around there’s no hint of romantic confusion on my part, which is good. The chronic over-thinker in me doesn’t need to chew on that, at least.

Still. I’m not exactly sure what this brouhaha revolves around. It’s not about… validation of talent. I know I’m good, and the papers seem to correlate that fact every so often. It’s more to do with ego and self-image, I guess. Value of character. If people I care for and admire happen to care for and admire me, then Rock On. That’s all I could ask for.

But that’s not the kind of thing you can literally ask for. It’s either there, or it isn’t. Short of being myself, there’s no real way to ‘accomplish’ it. And that’s the way things *should* be.

So why’s it so dang important...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

New Computery Goodness

After growing more and more dissatisfied with my current laptop’s performance, I’ve decided it’s time to buy myself a new one. My current one has served me more or less faithfully since 2001, but it’s just been getting slower, and slower, and slower. I can’t even get online without it taking multiple attempts. It’s incredibly frustrating.

Anyway: Now we’re cooking. I’ve looked over the specs of the model I want to upgrade to. I’m not a gamer, so I’m not concerned about video cards and whatnot, but my new computer must be FAST. Hella-fast. I don’t want to sit and wait for anything to load. Ever.

A friend of the family is very computer-savvy and will double-check to make sure that everything is shipshape before I actually go through and make this purchase. Everything will work. Because I declare it so. Bam.

And in another four years, I’ll probably start the whole process over again. Sheesh.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, RATS

Kaplahr. Ka-Plahr. Said it twice.

Seeing an opportunity slip through one's fingers is not a fond experience. It just isn't.

I auditioned something over a month ago for the League of Washington Theatres. Callbacks, while not expected, are hoped for with some fervency. I checked the phone messages at home last night, which had been beeping at me for two or three days. It took me that long to remember the voicemail phone number, and then the code to check the mail.

There were two messages of importance. #1. “Hello, I’m trying to reach Casey Jones, I’m with XXX Xxxxxxxxxxx, and I’d like to talk to him about an audition coming up this Sunday…” #2. “Hello, it’s me again. I’m just calling to make sure Casey knows about our auditions with XXX Xxxxxxxxxxx.” Auditions. Sunday. Found out about them Monday. Around 11 o’clock that night.

I called them today, just to be on the safe side… the film they were holding auditions for… has been cast.


Needless to say, the voicemail number and access code have been scored into my brain. The next time the phone announces that it has messages waiting, I will check them with all immediate speed.

Nothing to be done now, of course, but to move on. Curses.

We're Franchising

I've started a second blog, *just* for books. I've been reading more often lately, and want to voice my opinions and other thoughts on them... so what the heck. Go here to see the first article, with more to follow. Some will be timely, others will be on books I haven't read in ages but stuck with me regardless.

I hope you'll enjoy. After all, it's not like the internet is going to run out of room...


Monday, July 18, 2005


For the record (and I’m sure it will come as no surprise), I loathe waiting. Patience has never been one of my virtues. You think it’s a coincidence you can’t spell PATIENCE without p-a-i-n?

I just don’t get it. The process of trying not to think about whatever it is you want in your ownership, presence, or list of accomplishments, *stat*. Stat, interestingly enough, is recognized by Word’s spellchecker. Even though to my knowledge its only definition is ‘now if not sooner’. Or an abbreviation of ‘status’. I dunno.

Regardless: I hate waiting. That doesn’t mean I can’t, I just don’t like doing it in the meantime. I’m currently in anticipation of news on something fairly important. So important that I’d rather not jinx it (or risk the same) by mentioning it specifically. This is me knocking on wood.

Call it a form of hedonism: I like instant gratification. Granted, my tastes don’t run that rich: I’m not crazy about sweets, I don’t eat to excess and I don’t go chasing about young women. However: the things I *do* want… I hone in on them sharper than a half-starved vulture seeking day-old carrion. You can practically see them circling my head, waiting for the shoulder-angel to die that dares suggest I think about something else for awhile.

Anyway: The necessary information will not be gleaned tonight. It will arrive… when it arrives. There is nothing I can do about it tonight; so this is the extent of my ranting, raving, and carrying on. In the meantime, there are books, games, and the DVD collection with which to assassinate time. No mere murder, the Time I currently prey upon lowers like secret service men on the precious answer I’m awaiting. *Nothing* will get through until it passes. Which, since there is no alternative, is fine.

Anyone care for a round of Parcheesi?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been A Death-Eater?

Just got finished reading Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince. It was very good, and rest assured that this blog entry will hold no spoilers, although I can’t make the same promise for future entries… but I’ll at least give you a week or two to be perfectly fair.

Nevertheless: I am not betraying any secrets of the book (or at least, this latest one) by voicing my complaint about the series up ‘til now. Okay, here we go: There has been a fair amount of trouble over the Death-Eaters, a fairly small band of Voldemort Supporters who do his dirty-work when they’re not rotting in Azkaban.

My problem is not with their devotion to the big jerk; nor is it with the in-fighting of the group, the jealous squabbles, or the like. My problem is with the rest of Wizarding World’s ineptitude at being able to locate them.

The Death-Eaters are supposed to have secret identities. Fine. Super-Villains do the same all the time. It prevents them from getting in trouble when they’re not up to nefarious no-good deeds. Those Super-Villains, however, are not *stupid* enough to tattoo their fore-arms with a calling card the size of a Business-Sized Envelope. The thing is huge, and a grotesque emblem of a skull eating a venomous snake.

No-one who is not a Death-Eater would dare sport the mark, nor have we seen *any* sign that the Death-Eaters can do anything to conceal it, short of wearing a long-sleeve shirt. Tattoos are supposed to be permanent, and I imagine that the sigil of the most evil wizard in the history of the fictional world would be doubly so.

Now, I imagine the witch-hunt (no pun intended) involved to track them down if they weren’t wearing the tattoos on their arm, but honestly. The following is provided courtesy of Hugh Grant playing both roles:

Inquisitor: “Er, um, pardon me, but would you mind telling me: Are you now, or have you ever been a, um, forgive the impertinence of course, a, ah… Death-Eater, as it were?”
Suspected DE: “Ahaha. Er, sorry?”
I: “A Death-Eater. A secret supporter of ‘You Know Who’.”
SDE: “I’m sorry. I-I don’t understand the, er, reference.”
I: “Of course. Perhaps ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’ would ring a larger, um, bell.”
SDE: “Hmm… I’m afraid not, no. Don’t have the, er, foggiest to whom you are referring.”
I: “Erm, ah, well. The, ah, Darkest, Vilest, Most-Evil Wizard our community has ever known. Him.”
SDE: “Oh!”
I: “Yes.”
SDE: “I see.”
I: “Indeed.”
(A brief, uncomfortable silence.)
I: “Well?”
SDE: “Well what?”
I: “Are you?”
SDE: “Am I?”
I: “Are you a, um… Death-Eater, by chance?”
SDE: “Oh! No, no. No. Perish the thought. Wouldn’t dream of it.”
I: “I see. Well. In that case, would you mind terribly… rolling up your sleeves?”
SDE: “… I beg your pardon?”
I: “Yes. It’s just that we need to make doubly certain, you see. And we have to take into consideration the, uh, far-fetched near-microscopic of course, possibility that you may in fact be… uh, lying.”
SDE: “I fail to see what my sleeves would have to do in any way with my being the afore-mentioned Death-Eater. One way or the other. Ehr, yes.”
I: “Of course. Well. We have it on excellent authority that the, ah, afore-mentioned followers of ‘He-Who-So-On’ would um, not only be given to *lying* about their inclusion to said club, but also be in the habit of sporting the unmistakable, that is, tattoo on their person. Yes.”
SDE: “I see. Well. You’ll forgive me, of course, but I’m, uh, not terribly well at the moment. Seem to have come down with a slight cold, actually, as it were, and I’m afraid it would not be terribly prudent at this moment to, uh, roll up my sleeves, per se. You understand of course.”
I: “Ah, indeed. Accio Sleeves.”
(Ripping noise, as the fabric flies of SDE’s arms to reveal he does, in fact sport the tattoo.)
SDE: “Bugger.”

Problem solved! There you go! Bam! Bam! Simple!

And any of you reading the above, not understanding the ‘Accio Sleeves’ segment may as well have skipped the entire article. Should this be the case, rest assured that subsequent entries will likely have less to do with the J.K. Rowling books and more to do with my job, acting career, love life, and so on.

Right. Carry on!


Thursday, July 14, 2005

crooked little house

go here

this is where it starts

keep going until the end

follow the links

bon appetit

Alright: When you read the above, it'll make sense if you go through with it. I happened upon it and was *completely* engrossed. I have chills. I actually have chills from reading it, and its subsequent links. An outstanding collection of work that is unlike any ghost story I've read before. I felt like I was 10 years old again. Chills.

It may take a little time to get through the entire thing, say 15-20 minutes or more, but if you have the time, I can't recommend it enough. Damn.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Holding Up My End of the Bargain

A few months ago, I promised Leta that should Irma Vep win any awards, I'd recite a little something that she hopes will become standard practice among actors; namely thanking the person that suggested they audition for whatever show it is that wins the acclaim. After all, we don't get trees if no one plants the seed (acorn?) in the first place.

The Mystery of Irma Vep won the Ruby Griffith Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Play. It's an award to everyone involved, which seems only fair... Everyone did an outstanding job, and I'm lucky to have been a part of it. So here it is:

"Thank you for this major award. I have to tip my hat to my good friend Leta; who let me know about auditions for this in the first place. She handed me a copy of the script, and let me know when and where auditions were. Thanks, Leta."



Monday, July 11, 2005

The Ruby Griffith Awards

The Ruby Griffith Awards ceremony took place yesterday, in Germantown. The RGA’s are a big deal in these parts, giving out only three awards a year for Outstanding Achievement in a Play, Outstanding Achievement in a Musical, and All Around Production Excellence.

I wasn’t at the awards ceremony personally, I was attending Norm Seltzer’s All My Sons at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, and it was an incredible show. It’s replaced The Crucible as my favorite Arthur Miller play. I hope you got a chance to see the production, because now it’s gone…

That didn’t stop me from hearing the outcome of the Awards ceremony, however. I want to congratulate the cast and crew of the Arlington Player's Ragtime for winning Outstanding Achievement in a Musical. Director Christopher Dykton must be very proud of his people; all the hard work really paid off.

The age of cell-phones ensured that Andrea Spitz found out ASAP that the Silver Spring Stage’s Proof had taken All Around Production Excellence. I gave her a hug and a high-five. We *rocked*. So much work went into making Proof as good as it could be. We had a tight ensemble cast, great direction from Norm, and Richard Ley took very good care of us as Producer. I was pleased as punch and proud as hell to have been a part of it.

About ten minutes later, my head just about exploded. I got *another* call, this one from Nano Gowland, informing me that the Elden Street Players had also won for The Mystery of Irma Vep, with Outstanding Achievement in a Play. A list of exuberant profanities left my lips in the span of about two minutes. I was ecstatic.

Not only for Nano, or Bruce, or Gina, but everyone that worked their tails off on Irma Vep --while managing to make it feel like a vacation half the time-- and I was very proud. I was also just happy. Incredibly happy.

In showbiz, a little praise goes a long way; and usually straight to one’s head. We don’t do the work for awards or prizes. We don’t even do it for the same reasons as one another, necessarily. With that said, of course, being part of a team that wins an award *does* feel great. Twice!

I don’t know who to be prouder of: Silver Spring Stage, or Elden Street Players. Two entirely different shows in format, feel, and substance managed to walk away with outstanding honors. Hell, I’ll just be proud of both of ‘em, call it a day, and wait to see what happens next…


Sunday, July 10, 2005


This isn’t the first time the thought has occurred to me; but here it is again anyway:

Do I want too much?

I’ve been working on putting a comic book together (and a fine comic it is, too) for the last 20+ months. I’m also trying to foster an acting career. In the last 8 months, I’ve started work to get a voice-over career going. I work with an improv/sketch troupe out of Frederick. And during all of this, I’ve been writing Slam Poetry off and on (currently off), the occasional play and comedy sketch. In two weeks my first play will be performed in public to a paying audience. (Which is to say it’s the first play to be produced, and of the plays I’ve written it is also the first play I wrote. I’ve written other plays since.)

Is it too much? I know plenty of actors. I know one or two playwrights. I know several poets. I know no comic-book authors. And I don’t know any that are trying their hand at more than one or two at the most. Too many fingers in too many pies? Am I spreading myself too thin, or just keeping a lot of nets in the water at once?

I don’t know. I’d rather try my hand at a lot of things (all creative venues) and succeed at one, than try only one and fail. For all the fields I’m trying to accomplish something in, so far they haven’t conflicted with each other. I even planned it out in my head, once: being able to work on more than one at the same time…

I fantasized that I was a touring actor (which I’ve been, and could be again) with a comic book to publish. All I’d need would be my laptop. Granted, it would take some efficient time management… but one thing road actors have plenty of is time. Do the show, go back to the hotel, and write. Wire the script to the artists at hand and network everything very neatly to keep happy whatever publisher that was making Tuxxer happen (now Nocturne).

No one’s publishing. I have yet to land a single voice-over job. And I’m working on it.

I’m working on it.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Glad You're Okay, Rinn

A good friend of mine has been in London for the past several weeks, taking a Shakespeare class. Fortunately, she wasn't hurt in any of the bombings.

We’re part of a YahooGroup that lets us keep in touch with other alumni from our college, so I heard pretty quickly that she was okay. I’m grateful for the contact.

I’m not going to say anything about the terrorist attacks. Anything I could say has already been stated by those more eloquent than me, and this isn’t a topic I’d crib notes on.

I will say this, however. I’m very glad Rinn is safe, and my sympathies and prayers are with the families and loved ones.

Be well, everyone.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Progress Report

Oy. Just oy. It’s a little vexing: I’m not in a relationship right now, nor do I necessarily think I should be in one. But that doesn’t stop the desire, all the same.

I’ll admit, I have hang-ups. I do. I’m a bit insecure about how I look (and am trying to lose some weight), but tie in my current financial situation and its ramifications… and I don’t have a great deal to offer. I guess it’s about self-respect as much as anything else. Namely, not having enough.

Is this personal info? Yeah. But it’s also what’s on my mind at the moment, so there it is. I figure half the appeal of reading a Blog is to get an idea of what someone is thinking. “I could stand to lose weight and earn more money.” There you have it.

I’m continually answering leads on, trying to get voice-over work. I’ve got the necessary tools (my demo’s) and the contacts at the site to go through, but I keep missing Opportunity’s knocks. No luck so far. Does that mean I give up? No.

My comic book has unfortunately fallen to the way-side: The artwork needs improving, the plot is too involved, characters can be trimmed and things can be simplified in general. I’m not upset by this; I want it to be the best story it can be, regardless of the format. If that means a re-write and a face-lift, so be it. Not that it makes the task of finding the money to fund a second draft any easier… I still owe money to a friend of mine for Round One. Time is still on my side, though. I’m young and healthy, so I’m hopefully not going anywhere. But the growing list of complications to reach the goal is somewhat intimidating. Do I give up? No.

In the meantime, I’ve taken to drafting a TV Pilot screenplay, with the same improvements in mind. One way or another, this *will* come to pass. Half-way through the first draft, I already know it will need work. The way it’s shaped right now, it’ll be too long. But it’s better to finish the first draft and re-work from there, rather than stop-and-start with mini touch-ups on the way. It’s the only way to actually finish the thing. So do I give up? No.

I’m aware that this isn’t the most optimistic or cheerful of reports. Things kinda suck at the moment. But short of calling it quits, I don’t have a whole bunch of options. So there.

I’ve got the Comedy Pigs’ anniversary show tonight and tomorrow night, in Frederick. I’m looking forward to it. You’re still invited, if you’ve the time.

One more thing: Last night, I got 8 hours sleep, just the right amount, for the first time in longer than I can remember. I didn’t stay up ‘til one A.M., and it wasn’t a Saturday or Sunday where I overslept like crazy, either. If that ain’t worth mentioning, I don’t know what is.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I'm So There

The Washington Improv Theater is hosting an ‘Improv Jam’ this Sunday, the 10th, at the following address:

The Comedy Spot
Ballston Common Mall
2438 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
7:30 PM, $5

People can show up early and sign up to be *in the show*. They’ll be tossed at random in to scenes, games, whatnot. I’m so there. What can I say? I’m a glutton for Improv.

Comedy Pigs’ Anniversary Show is this Friday and Saturday Night, at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre at 8 PM. Consider yourself cordially invited!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Playwright Speaks!

It’s official, I have the dates that my one-act play is being performed! Woo-hoo! Strange Bedfellows is being shown as part of the Montgomery Playhouse’s One-Act Festival, at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn. My play goes up on the nights of Saturday, July 23rd and Friday the 29th.

SB is directed by Amanda Marie Imhoff, and stars Gary Sullivan, Jessie Joseph, and Chris Crockett. It’s the story of Molly (Joseph) and Daddy (Sullivan), who have just moved to a new town for Daddy’s new job. Molly’s first day of Kindergarten is the following day, and she’s worried because she doesn’t know any other children in town. Later that same night, Sal the Burglar (Crockett) breaks in through Molly’s window; and must convince her that he’s an imaginary friend in order for her to go back to sleep. High jinx ensue.

I’ve worked with Chris before, he’s got a great knack for comedy. I can’t wait to see what he does with the role of Sal. It’s so weird to write a show and then send it off like this. I have absolutely no hand in how Imhoff shapes the show… which is the way things ought to be, of course.

I hope you’ll be able to see it. I’ve got plans on the 23rd, but plan to be in attendance on the 29th. It’s the first time a play of mine has been on a real stage, so I’m all excited. Bam.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sock It To Me

Coming soon to a TV screen near you! Love! Valor! Socks! And those socks will sound very familiar to you!

Production is moving along on a public-access show for Montgomery County TV, featuring Sock Puppets. Not a typo, that’s Sock Puppets. I don’t know how much info I can leak at the moment, but it looks like it’s going to be pretty spiffy.

I’m going to be providing the voices for most of the characters for the pilot episode. It’s a long story, but the short version is that the right guy knew I could do voices, and I was in the right place at the right time. Bam.

The format involves sock puppets before a green screen. We’ll be putting the puppets together soon. Unless I hear differently, I’m fairly certain it’ll be my hands up the socks when the time comes, at least for the characters I provide voices for. Sweet.

I gotta say, I’m psyched to be on board. I’ve read the script, and some of it makes South Park sound like a Saturday Morning Cartoon. You can get away with more on Public Access, what can I tell you?

In the mean time, we’re meeting to hammer out details and put some polish on the scripts. So far, so good. I’ll keep you updated as details make themselves known.


What Do You Want?

I’ve been thinking lately on the notion of want. It’s being touched by the ethereal… The fact of the matter is, we don’t get to choose what we want. We see things offered before us (or watch them pass us by) and we inherently know if we want it or not. Having it, touching it, owning it would make us happier; and its absence makes us feel slightly emptier for the lack of it.

What motivates us so much as desire? We want a physical item, we save up our pennies in order to purchase it. The less moralistic among us would steal or worse to obtain it. But that’s just the tangible.

Some people want money. What they may not realize is that money is nothing but a means to other ends. Of course, the more money you have, the greater the ends you can reach, but in the midst of the dollar signs, does it matter that much?. Others want power, the ability to influence and change the circumstances (or the people) around them.

Then there’s the desire for people… whether it’s their respect, the pleasure of their company, a physical attraction, or some innate need to have them nearby, the want for their company can be a want so powerful it makes your moral compass start spinning.

Entire religions have been based on the denial of want. Saying No to tangible desires in an attempt to gain a greater spirituality, which is a want all by itself. You just can’t get away from it.

Why do we find certain people more attractive than others? A symmetry of physical features? The prospect of handsome, healthy offspring? The pleasure we feel in interacting with them? The promotion of status we’d achieve showing them off? What the hell is the big deal?

When it comes to other human beings, whether we realize it or not, *dozens* of appraisals take place the moment we lay eyes on them. And it shapes the course of our interaction with them from the first hello to the last good-bye.

Want fills us up. It gives us purpose and direction, a focal point on which to attach the course of our actions. It’s the only motivator, the only thing that drives us. We go to work every day at a job we may or may not like in order to satisfy the necessary wants, or needs. We need a roof over our heads, we need food on our table, we need our loved ones to be provided for.

At the same time, *absence* of want can be crushing. People show a lack of interest in old hobbies, appetites, or pastimes, and they seem sluggish in comparison to their former selves. We call them symptoms of depression, and we’ve done it for so long we’ve made it a clinical affliction. The presence of want, the desire to further our own goals is a sign that we’re alive.

We’ve written books, created works of art and music, pledged love and gone to war in attempt to placate our desires, to see them shored up and satisfied. And in every one of those motivators, there is a deeper, baser want.

I’ve thought a lot about why I write, why I act, why I try to get a comic book published, why I do any of the things I do. I want to leave a mark on the world after I’m gone. I want to be remembered well and thought of fondly. I want to know I accomplished something.

What do you want? A promotion at work? A new fishing rod? To shake the hand of your favorite celebrity? The love of a good man or woman? Just as importantly, what are you willing to do to get it? Would you steal for it? Compete for it? Sacrifice time, money and other resources for it? What drives you? Know what a person really wants, and you’ve got ‘em. The rest is merely details.

I want to know.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Well, *That* Would Certainly Explain A Lot

It’s recently been suggested that I might have ADD, or some related disorder. Huh. That would certainly explain a lot. I fished around online and found a list of applicable characteristics… I checked off quite a few.

The most conspicuous ones included taking forever to fall asleep, fidgeting, being easily distracted, forgetting details to tasks, and answering questions before they are entirely asked. (I had the worst habit of answering rhetorical questions in my Ethics & Society class in college… used to drive my teacher up the wall.) Alternate means of thinking ought to go without saying.

It makes me wonder; why am I only recognizing it *now*? I had decent grades in school and college, despite the fact that my mind wandered, which might justify how it stayed under the radar. I always just took it for granted: Rapping my knuckles on any available surface. All the pet projects faithfully started and rarely finished. Being terrible with names. Dang!

Kind of makes me wonder about a few things, like A) What exactly I should do about it, B) What could change if I do, C)What I could have accomplished if I’d identified this thing sooner; with all of these questions dependant on whether or not I actually have it.

Certainly gives one food for thought. I can imagine certain friends and other people who know me well enough, reading this and shaking their heads. “It’s about time.” I don’t know. I don’t. But it bears further scrutiny.

More to follow.

Duck, Duck, Duck...

A game of Tag has been going around these last few days, traveling from blog to blog. The people involved in it are handing out candid, potentially embarrassing tidbits about themselves with only the slightest provocation. And that’s neat. If they were super-heroes, their arch-nemeses could simply stop by their website to find out all sorts of helpful facts (like who to kidnap in order to get them to play ball).

Not having been tagged myself, I figure that’s no excuse not to get into the swing of things and be frank as all get-out. But I don’t have to follow their guidelines, either. So there.

Some stupid things I’ve done:
Picked more than one verbal fight in English class with the teacher. He was asking for it, and he knew it. I shouldn’t have taken the bait, but what the hell. You’re only young once.

I’ve also sabotaged some of my relationships by letting sleeping dogs lie too long and holding out on ant-hill problems; waiting for them to become much bigger problems. ‘Cause I’m smart like that.

I’ve held my tongue when I shouldn’t have, and I’ve blurted out things that did me no good to divulge whatsoever. I’m still trying to find an easier way to determine the difference.

Biggest Influence on My Life:

That would be my brother, Andy. He’s three years my senior, and I look up to him a great deal. He’s smart, he’s happy, and he’s living the life he wants to live. Andy makes things happen, whether it’s with his ambitions for
his website (constantly growing), his marriage, or his job. I’m not there yet. Well, I’m smart. That’s a decent start. I’m trying hard to accomplish my goals, and they happily diverge from my brother’s, but I’m not there yet, nor will I be any time soon. Failures happen, and I just pick up and do it again.

Working Time Machine, Who Would You Dine With?

I’m assuming these are five different meals, because I’d rather not gel all these people together at the same table.

1. Adolf Hitler. I’d go back to his paper-hanging days, (I’m a blue-eyed blonde, he’d love me), take him to dinner, and get a feel for what the hell he was thinking. If I couldn’t change his mind, I’d just poison his dessert. Jerk.

2. Ingrid Bergman. ‘Nuff said.

3. Gilda Radner. I think I would have liked her. She’s one of the reasons I want to do Saturday Night Live, some day, and every account of her has described a pleasant, warm, cheerful woman with a great sense of humor.

4. My grandmother. She died when I turned 9. I’d like to see her and talk to her, now that I’m a grown-up.

5. My kid. If I ever have a son or daughter, I’d like to meet them now, while I’m still young, when they’re grown up and we can just get to know each other outside the roles of Father and Child. I’d buy my kid dinner.

3 Non-Supernatural Wishes:
1. I’d wish that people could see outside themselves, from other people’s perspectives. I’d dearly like to understand others better than I do. And I’d like to be understood better, too.

2. I’d wish that I were ridiculously wealthy. I could bankroll my ambitions, for starters. I’m a generous guy, when the funds are there to back it up, and I could do a hell of a lot of good with money to burn. And since money talks, it’d help to have the gigantic megaphone.

3. I’d wish that I could let go of my hang-ups, old scars, everything psychological and subconscious that’s just in the way of being ready.

4. (Weren’t expecting it, were ya!) I wish I actually enjoyed exercise. Bam.

There’s nothing terribly note-worthy about my town; either in things to avoid or in landmarks to visit. This is me skipping that question.

A Life-Changing Event:
Falling in love with Her. One of the most incredible women I’ve ever known and cared for turned out to be a lying, deceitful woman who never showed me her true face. She broke my heart like never before, or since. If I’d never met her… I’d have a much easier time trusting the woman in my life (when there is one). It’s not impossible, but it’s harder than it ought to be. A lot harder. That’s pretty life-changing, if you ask me.

Insert Freebie Here:
If there’s anything in particular you’d like to know or are curious about, ask me in a comment to the post, and I’ll answer it in a post. I’m in a candid mood.

Tag. You’re it.

It's the First of the Month

Bunny Bunny.