Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

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

Monday, July 31, 2006

Welcome To The World

I'm pleased to announce that a family I know has gotten larger by a count of one: Samm and DJ have had a girl!

Sage was born nine days ago. Congratulations to the family; mother and daughter are doing splendidly, I hear. I'll be happy to supply the customary cigars...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Goodness in Many Forms

Folks, last night was host to not one, but three delights that are all worth noting. Plus I have my own good news; mwu ha ha ha.

Okay, first: I hopped a metro into DC for the Fringe Festival production of Pretty Theft. Jaclyn had a lead role as Allegra; the show dealt with a young woman dealing with strong feelings of inadequacy, an autistic man who was wrongfully put into a psych ward, and a 'thief' who has an affectation for pretty things. (Hence the title.)

The show was terrific. Bizarre at times, but definitely worth the price of admission. It had cohesion, it had some wonderful acting choices, and the separate elements of the plot came together splendidly. My favorite thing about the script was that the characters all said exactly what was on their minds. Tact didn't exist, nor was it missed; and the show thrived because of it. Outstanding work from everyone involved.

Returning home and looking for something to distract me, I was most pleasantly surprised by the Sci-Fi channel. Two offerings; Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and Amazing Screw-On Head.

Darkplace was nothing short of brilliant. I'm a huge fan of British humor to begin with; but the slightly macabre tone of the series, married with a deliberately shoe-string budget and in-episode commentary from the 'stars', made it the most refreshing thing I've seen in weeks.

Unfortunately, the show's original ratings flopped. There are only six episodes; but I'm looking forward to each and every one.

As for Screw-On Head? Likewise brilliant. From the mind of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, the animated series starring Paul Giamatti and (who else?) David Hyde Pierce is a splendid steampunk surprise. It's funnier than I expected it to be (I would have still enjoyed it if it took itself more seriously), and the Mignola-style animation is fantastic. Plus it had an actual plot! I'm officially a fan.


With that out of the way, I'd also like to announce something truly kick-ass. The soon-to-premiere blockbuster Snakes On a Plane has been made into an audio-book by GraphicAudio. Guess who has a starring role? Look for an August release, all the details will be found here. Outstanding.

I'm looking forward to seeing Writing Sucks tonight, and What About Waldo? on Sunday. Hope some of ya can make it to either one. Ciao for now, folks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Things Are Lookin' Up

You ever get the feeling that things are just... right? You're headed where you're supposed to be heading, you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. I've been feeling that way lately, more than I have in a while.

Granted, not everything's been sunshine and chocolate-covered espresso beans, but that's par for the course. --Opportunities that I've made possible by taking a few risks are starting to echo back. It's a good feeling.

Another aspect has been making the acquaintances I have, recently. I was taken very much by surprise how easy it's been to... connect with people. Yes, it helps that we have things in common; but I've met plenty of people in the business with whom I couldn't communicate at all; even with a megaphone, flashcards and a translator besides. This type of person, I'm finding, is rare but not 'endangered'. That's reassuring for its own sake.

Over-thinking things? Yeah. This, too, is par for the course. Still: I like where things are headed.

More to follow, folks. In its own time.

Coming Soon To a Theater Near You

Folks, What About Waldo has its premiere next Sunday at the AFI Theater at 11 AM. Admission is free. Come see my first flick on the big screen, if you can.

Do hope you can make it.

OH-- and the comic goes in the mail tomorrow. Enough waiting around. The convention's over, by the time it gets where it's heading, the mountain of back-logged mail should hopefully be chipped into. Time's a-wastin'.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

On Choices & Effects

I don't mean to sound like an ungrateful jerk, but I have to point out something I've noticed in the last few days. I'm glad to be doing the film shoot for AFI. It's my first shoot over sequential days and it's been very, very educational.

It's also cost me no less than three opportunities to do other things that are important to me. You can only be in so many places at once.

I missed a video game audition, though I'm working to send them a demo from here. I missed my show's opening night tonight (writing, not starring). And I had to cancel a get-together on Sunday because I knew I'd be shooting all day.

In the past, whatever show I was working on took priority. It still holds true. The work, the writing, something to focus on. This week, the shoot has been the priority because the schedule has been inflexible.
It has... urgency. Has to be the big thing, leastways through Sunday. Just... strikes me funny that so many events fell into the same five days. Go figure.

Ciao for now, folks. More to follow.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Extra, Extra

Forgive the cheap pun, but the title is in reference to my recent and not-so-recent exploits as background filler. Namely, on the sets of the flick Step Up and the 9/11 documentary Countdown to Ground Zero.

The movie hits theatres August 11: The classic tale-- Boy meets girl, boy is issued community service, girl needs new dance partner, boy happens to be untrained savant in all things de la danse. Tension and class-clashing ensues. I'll be wandering through the halls as a student for (likely) all of 1.3 seconds.

Two days later, Countdown will premiere on the History Channel, at 8 PM. That one, I'm actually going to see. I play one of a dozen or more folks descending the staircase of the first tower. Wore a suit to that one.

Fun coincidences:
#1. Two projects that shot months apart are premiering in the same weekend.
#2. A make-up artist that worked on Step Up recognized me at the 9/11 shoot. She works with hundreds of actors that are in her make-up chair for all of sixty seconds apiece, and she recognized me. Completely random, but noteworthy none the less.

Tomorrow, I begin shooting a short flick for AFI. I play the goofball. I have at least one really good line, so it's going to be a fun couple of days. I may even get to wear my hat. Outstanding.

More to follow, folks.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The List: Shiny and Updated

After a fairly eventful day, I would be remiss if I failed to announce something of great import-- a correction to a running gag found here on the blog. Namely, an addition to the list of women that can effectively shut me up.

To date, the list has included Heather, Wendy, Tamia, Mary, McCall & Andrea. Make room, please; Kate has earned her place.

We enjoyed some witty banter across the dinner table tonight (the most enjoyable thing there-- the food, service and coffee were all basically sub-par). Headed for our cars at the end of the night, Kate made a remark that left me dumbstruck. Just dumbstruck.

All seven of these ladies have my number, to one degree or another. Kate's had it just about as long as any of them, but this is the first time I can recall that she really used it to the best advantage, namely getting me to stop talking for five freakin' seconds.

Well done, Kate. Well done.

Whatever's Next.

I started this year feeling very distinctly that changes were coming. Big ones. The year is more than half over, now.

I might've been off the mark. Maybe those big changes weren't headed for me. Since January 1st, more than one friend of mine has become engaged. Another close couple is expecting their first child, another their second. A good friend has started a new job and moved, to boot. Definitely some big changes.

On the other hand, while my domestic situation has remained the same (not necessarily a bad thing, mind), I've found new opportunities. A year ago I set out to find some work in Voice-Overs; and to a satisfying degree, I've found it. I want more, of course; and am taking steps to pursue exactly that.

Changes. It's been a month since League auditions took place, and since then I've already had more promising call-backs than last year, or the year before. That much feels good.

I look different than I did a year ago. I'm doing what I can to be more productive... I've made some very good new friends in a relatively short amount of time, and re-kindled some old ones. All in all, I can't say things have stayed the same as they were seven months ago.

Beyond that? Not entirely sure. I thought change would be something I'd notice. It might be turning out to be one of those gradual deals.

And whatever's next? I'm lookin' forward to it. Sweet dreams, folks.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action

(If anybody can think of a different cliche' to use for a title regarding the topic below, I'm all ears.)

I got a new acting gig. Wednesday through Sunday, I'm shooting a short flick for the American Film Institute. It should come as little surprise that the character's a bit of a goofball. I can't wait.

If this weren't enough, the gal running the sign-up desk this afternoon was someone I knew in High School. Haven't seen her in eight years, but we recognized each other right off. Small world.

Later this afternoon, I saw a wonderful production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Baltimore. (Kate was kind enough to invite me to use her extra ticket.) Just wonderful. It was outdoors, and they had this rigging set up with a hoop, and another one with some kind of silken-fabric hammock, but the actors using it were pulling some near-Cirque Du Soleil maneuvers with 'em. Considering they were fairy characters, it was a most appropriate choice. If you've got the time, I highly recommend you go see it.

Kate and I had dinner after the show. I really enjoyed catching up with her. She's already heading back up to NY.

It's going to be a fun week, folks. More to follow.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Passing A Test

Feeling a bit brave, I took what pages I have of the new comic to some of the harshest judges out there-- comic book shop employees. These guys see comics every day, ranging from the awesome to awful.

A year ago n' change, when Tuxxer was being prepped, I took it to a shop or two and (advised graciously by McCall) took their remarks with a grain of salt. Still-- their remarks were less than enthused, less than positive.

This time around-- the artwork is better. The story's more accessible. The genre's easier to work in. I really, really hope it can work.

This afternoon, the shop guy I showed it to had the following to say: "I'd love to see the whole thing when it's done."

For me, that's a marked improvement over last time. Not to mention a damned good start. Fingers crossed, folks. Fingers crossed.

Friday, July 14, 2006

'Anne' Gets The Royal Treatment

I attended the pay-what-you-can preview last night of Anne of the Thousand Days, at Vpstart Crow's Cramer Center in Manassas. It was the best show I've seen in months.

Under the direction of Christine Lange, Jay Tilley and Pamela Sabella turned in superb performances as Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. More on them in a sec.

The Cramer Center space is not the easiest to employ. Its dimensions are... a little strange. Anne takes this in stride, however, and uses it to its fullest potential. Minimal sets are strikingly effective in the period piece, and the costumes are excellent. Kudos to costume designer Beth Vernaci.

The strongest supporting performances were given by Brian Crane and Brian Huse, filling the roles of Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More, respectively. Also worthy of note were Abigail Wright and Lauren Christopher-- in a show primarily about one woman, they still made their presence felt as past and future love-interests of Henry.

Speaking of which: Jay's work as His Majesty is outstanding. I've seen him in other roles, and this far and away made the best use of his talents. He brings power, gravity and passion to the role; while managing to show sides of the King that, while opposing, are clearly still the same man.

As for the title role, Pamela as Anne is exceptional. Displaying a smoldering feminine strength, her Anne is capable of very real love and loathing in equal measure. She proves herself in every way to be Henry's equal; not to mention his foil. On another note, Tilley's presence is not the easiest to draw attention from, especially as a King. In his audience, Sabella's quiet moments of reaction were captivating.

Having seen both the actors and the stage employed in other venues, due credit goes to the Director. Lange has risen the bar.

Anne of the Thousand Days runs for three weekends starting tonight. If you enjoy period pieces as they're meant to be done, visit the Cramer Center. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

An Object At Rest

Folks, this is me taking a breath. At this moment-- I have nothing to work on.

No lines to memorize. No scripts or comic pages to develop. No character voice to polish for a recording. No tasks at the desk that demand my immediate attention. I am temporarily free.

Feels kinda... good.

Now: There is something to work on in the near future, but I'm holding off on it until I get a few more details (or points on the direction to go in) before I dive into that.

This? This right here? Not bad at all.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Congratulations Are In Order

Namely, for Brian & McCall. This previous weekend, Brian popped the question and McCall accepted. Wonderful news. I wish them both the best.

Having no idea what the future will bring, knowing who you're going to face it with can only be a source of comfort and strength. Cheers, guys. I have my fingers crossed for you.

GAHH... Rats.

Well. My earnest thanks go to my brother Andy, who reminded me of something most important, today: The San Diego ComiCon starts this week. Everybody who's anybody in comicdom is going to be there, for the week, totally unreachable by lil' old me.

And, when they return to their offices, they'll have piles of mail to sift through. Darn the luck.

SO: We're getting a stay of execution. Only just, though. The comic will stay where it is for two weeks, give them time to get back to their offices and be fresh for new materials... But that is it.

In other news, I have an audition tonight. Don't want to jinx myself, so I won't, but it's a potentially big one. Fingers crossed, please.

Ciao for now, folks. If anyone has any tips on acquiring patience, I'd be happy to listen. Adios.

Status? *Wired.*

Well. It's quite late, and here I am, up. Need to see about catching some shut-eye, tomorrow's a big day. Of course, that's the exact reason I'm up so late.

Yes, I'm sending the comic out, tomorrow. Or, later today, depending how you see it. This is only half the package, as it turns out.

I have an audition tonight with a professional theatre company, my first in some time. Also, a direct result of League Auditions. Lovely stuff. I'll be happy to supply more details when it wouldn't be jinxing myself.

Be well, folks. Definitely more to follow.

Friday, July 07, 2006

*Does A Little Dance*

I'm very glad to announce that the comic book spec pages are finished. All done. Ready to go.

I'm sending 'em out Monday. And we start the waiting game on this little venture.


Avast There, Mates

Y'ar. Last night about the witching hour, me n' some mates absconded to yon moviehouse to catch the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean 2. It was good. Heck, it was downright fantastic.

Great plot, good pacing, the special effects and fight scenes were superb, with enough blending of old & new to create a thoroughly enjoyable experience. To wit: It rocked.

If you liked the first one, you'll like this one. Bill Nighy as Davy freakin' Jones is worth the price of admission alone. Go check it out, ye land-lubbers.

Shiver me timbers.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Bloody Good Sign

I got a phone call tonight from Nano. Nano of Irma Vep fame. (I mention this because it'll be relevant a paragraph from now.)

Nano is approaching the opening of Blood Brothers at the Industrial Strength Theatre. He's playing the Narrator, who only needs (unlike other shows) the one costume.

And what costume did they give him? What raiment will my good friend Nano be decked in, come opening night? My old Nicodemus coat. No kidding. This is outstanding. Can't wait.

In other news, I now have all the colored pages for the comic. They're done. We're a stone's throw away from getting this thing in the mail. Shazam.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Going Ape

Ever have recurring dreams? Last night's was a doozy.

I was a featured player on Saturday Night Live. As is typical for some episodes for featured cast members, I had nothing to do that night. The place was still hopping, though.

King Kong was in the studio. Bound in chains and caged, if memory serves. He was going to be part of the show later on. He wasn't happy. Before long, he broke free and laid waste to the place. A big serving of gorilla-shaped chaos.

I got out unharmed, but I was in the minority. This is not the first time I've had this dream. Go figure.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Poor, Poor James Marsden

*spoilery warning* Some elements of the movies below are given away in the short rant. Don't read if you haven't seen 'em.

Will someone please cast James Marsden in a movie where he isn't constantly losing the girl?

Please? I feel bad for the guy. It's embarassing. The X-Men trilogy: Cyclops can't keep Jeannie from near-constant looks of longing at Logan. She ultimately obliterates him to clear the way for Logan to get some personal time. Sheesh.

The Notebook. Hmm. What's this? Marsden's playing the wealthy fiancee' of Allie Hamilton before strapping young Noah comes along and completely steals his woman.

And now? Superman Returns. Marsden's Richard White has spent the last five years bonding with Lois and raising a kid together; the last son of Krypton swoops back into town and in five minutes they're trading angsty looks with each other. Give the guy a break, already.

Seriously. Put him in a romantic lead some time, or better yet, give him some karmic payback and let him steal someone else's girl for a change. Fair's fair, after all.

Poor bastard.

Well, It's Done

On my lunch break this afternoon, I made my way to the post office and dropped off about 75 demo CDs.

Talent agencies, casting agencies, cartoon studios & books-on-tape companies will be getting a little something in the mail, later this week. If I hear back from a handful of 'em, it'll be a lucky break.

I hate waiting. Equally irksome is the very practical need to forget about the CDs entirely and move on to more pursuits; while remembering to send out a friendly reminder postcard in a month or two.

Well, they're out there now. Here's hoping I hear something back, eventually.

Cheers, folks. Enjoy your day.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Good Night & A Weird Day.

First, I want to extend my condolences to Rob and his family-- his grandfather passed away yesterday. My prayers are with him.

Last night, I drove to Anne Arundel to visit some friends from college; Chris & Rinn. Rinn's job is moving her to Georgia; I have no idea when I'll see her again. I wish her the very best of luck down south, where the cost of living is cheaper and the temperature is higher. Go Get 'Em, Rinn.

We had ourselves a terrific time. We did. We successfully managed to not talk about old times, staying entirely in the present. Most refreshing indeed.

Today was just strange. I felt out of sorts for most of it; not myself. No earthly explanation for it. Can't even blame a full moon. (There isn't one.)

Eh. Tomorrow's a new day. Going for a walk and calling it a night. Enjoy your week, folks.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

It's The First Of The Month

Bunny, Bunny.

It Was A Very Good Year

1. Fell in love: The real thing? Honest n' true? 2001. For the first time. (Not the last.)

2. Lost someone close to you: I was 9. My grandmother died on my birthday. Car crash.

3. Drank alcohol: 17. Waited 'til college, though.

4. Went to the hospital: I was two. Burned myself with hot tea. Got the scars to prove it.

5. Got your heart broken: Hoo boy. 22.

6. Got kissed: Seventeen. Late bloomer, what can I say.

7. Lost a pet: Never had one I was especially close to.

8. Got arrested: Never.

9. Smoked a cigarette: Eh. My first cigar, I was 18. Good times.

10. Broken a bone: Never. I drink my milk and my bones are indestructible. Bwa ha ha.

11. Got a job: 17, if memory serves.

12. Got cheated on: Haven't been. Was convinced I had been, but it wasn't true.

13. Got suspended/detention: 4th Grade. Oh yeah. Who's a rebel.

14. Went to a concert: '95. They Might Be Giants.

15. Got your own cell phone: 20, I think.

16. Had first boy/girlfriend: 17.

17. Got a MySpace: Earlier this year. Didn't take.

18. Snuck out of the house: Never that I can recall.

19. How old are you now?: 25.

Nothin' like random trivia to amuse and... kill two minutes. Ok. Ciao for now.