Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ya done me in, Wells Fargo. I give up.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Idea for a screenplay

I'm thinking of writing a screenplay. A tragedy, of sorts, about an ambitious young post-grad actor. Yes, a thespian. He moves to Los Angeles to do what he loves and pursue his dream, where he initially has some success. Yet after two years of little progress and dead-end jobs, he runs out of money completely, gets bogged down in debt, has his dreams smashed and is forced to move back in with his parents with his tail between his legs to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do next. Yes, I think this screenplay will be my ticket straight to the top!

I have no idea how to end it, though.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Masta Degreee

Oh hey Blogger. So I haven't updated you in a while. You've sort of been replaced by my Tumblr account(s). Yeeeeeahhh... sorry 'bout that. I'm now addicted to that site like I'm addicted to crack and 10 dollar whores. I have a problem. I need help. In the meantime, here's a little mini-update for ya...

I'm applying to grad schools. I've decided that getting my Master's is the right step for me right now. In an economy as shitty as the one we're currently in, it' s just a good time to be a student. And I need something to force me to act on consistent basis. When you're a starving artist, its kind of hard to act when you can't go to class or workshops because you're flat effing broke. Such is my dilemma... But when you're in an MFA program you kinda have to act. Like every day. Which is exactly what I want. For various reasons I've narrowed it down to Yale School of Drama, USC and The Old Globe/USD. Apps are coming along nicely, although I have a lot of work to do as far as monologues are concerned. And there's the fact that my MacBook didn't come with any decent word processing program, forcing me to use that prehistoric piece of shit PC of mine for personal statement/resume. Click icon - wait 20 minutes while hour glass spins - use program that you tried to open 20 minutes ago. I'm gonna go "Office Space" on that thing pretty soon. What was I talking about? Oh yeah.. grad school apps. Exciting stuff, man. We'll see what happens.

Also, there comes a time in every struggling actor's life when he or she must become a barista. It appears that time may be just around the corner for me. And now for your enjoyment, here's my personal statement for Yale:

James Dean once said, "being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that's all you have." After having spent the past year and a half living the life of the prototypical "starving artist" in Los Angeles, I sometimes wonder if any truer words in regard to acting have ever been muttered. Being an actor can be very lonely indeed. Soon after graduating from UC San Diego and relocating to the big city to pursue my dream, I was forced to come to terms with and embrace the fact that I had chosen to pursue a field that requires you to give all of yourself all of the time and, in turn, gives back little.

As a starving actor in Los Angeles there are certain experiences one is bound to confront, in some form or another. Undoubtedly one will become humbled by the fact that, while once the shining star of the theatre department in high school and/or college, he or she is now a dime a dozen - competing against hordes of other actors of the same "type" and ability. One will also surely experience the incessant frustration of seeing that audition that he thought went so well go for naught - often times watching the part go to someone with less technique, but a more marketable "look." Finally, one will almost certainly become discouraged at the sight of several friends, once passionate thespians, abandon hope in the industry and enroll in law school, much to the delight of their parents.

The inevitable question then arises: "why on earth would one subject himself to a life so painfully unrewarding?" The answer to that question varies from actor to actor, but for myself the answer lies in the latter part of Mr. Dean's quotation. Inside every actor there exists an imagination - an insatiable thirst for discovery in the art. For me, the excitement and challenge of interpreting life and bringing truth to a performance succeed in fulfilling those parts of me where the business side of acting does not. My desire to explore and develop my craft outweighs any lust for fame or bitterness towards an often cruel industry.

One important thing I've observed in Hollywood is the congruence of an actor's passion for the art and the longevity of his or her career. While nearly anyone in LA with a pretty face and an appetite for glamour and status is capable of having a flash-in-the-pan career, those who express a dedication to studying the craft and constantly bettering themselves as artists are bound for great things. These are the actors who may or may not be blessed with that quintessential Hollywood "look," but are fueled by an unyielding devotion to the art. These actors such as Paul Giamatti, John Turturro, Liev Schreiber and Meryl Streep, and these are the actors I most admire.

Of course, besides their talent and success on stage and screen, all of the aforementioned artists have one thing in common; they are all graduates of the Yale School of Drama. I've been very fortunate to have some outstanding drama instructors both in San Diego and here in Los Angeles. However, I feel the intensive study I need to take me to the next level as an actor and in my career lies in a top-caliber conservatory acting program such as Yale's. I look forward to surrounding myself with some of the nation's most creative minds, making discoveries and breaking new ground for myself as an artist.

I thank you for your consideration.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Windy City

I figured since I've been home for over two weeks now it's about time I talk about my Chicago experience at the tail end of my road trip... What can I say? Chicago is just an amazing city.

We ended up crashing at the apartment of Tom's old friend from Kansas which just so happened to be on the North Side in Wrigleyville and only a couple blocks from Wrigley Field. I spent a good hour one cold afternoon just walking around the empty ballpark and taking pictures; empty because, of course, the Cubs had failed to make the playoffs. Shocker! But any hardcore baseball fan can't help but get the warm and fuzzies just being in the presence of that baseball shrine. It's priceless.

The Chicago stay was very relaxed and devoid of much work at all, which was great. The night we rolled into town we checked out a show at the great North Side bar/venue called Schuba's. Although we missed the set of Hockey, the band we came to see, we got to catch Portugal. The Man (terrible name; great band) and they were excellent. The following morning my taste buds were delighted by the best marscapone cheese-filled, cinnamon roll french toast I have ever had at Ann Sather, widely regarded as the best breakfast place in Chicago.

Meeting up with old friends you haven't seen in years is always a delight, and that was undoubtedly the highlight of my Chi Town stay. I spent two nights hanging out with Allie, one of my bff's from UCSD theatre; a girl who has played my wife three times and my mother once. We drank ourselves silly on Saturday night - a night that included my getting hit on while taking a pee in the restroom of a gay bar (Allie sure loves gay bars).

Of course it was freezing balls the entire time. After complaining about he 109-degree heat in Arizona to start our trip, we were now complaining about the beyond chilly 34-degree weather in the midwest. And being from San Diego, of course I didn't even bother to bring a jacket on my trip. Only a Southern Californian would pull a bone head move like that. But anyway, after three enjoyable days in the Windy City I jetted back to LA where I was greeted by rain. Course the trip wouldn't have been complete without another road block; TSA gave me a hell of time getting through security at the airport (no photo ID, remember? ) But it all worked out..

I hope life's journey takes me through Chicago several times again before I check out. It's one of my very favorite places.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Top 20

"List Your Top Twenty Favorite Bands"

So I did... and then some.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best. Book. Ever.

I got this book a while back. It's pretty awesome. It's called 'Music Listography (Your Life In (Play) Lists)'. 138 pages of 69 music-related lists that you fill out after taking a thorough look through your music collection...

For example: "List Your Top 20 Favorite Bands"/ "List The 20 Albums You'd Bring If You Were Leaving Planet Earth On A Spaceship"/ "List Music From Your High School Years"/ "List A Song That Reminds You Of Each Lover You've Had"/ "List Performers You'd Bring Back To Life"/ "List The Songs To Play At Your Funeral"/ "List Concerts You Wish You Could Time Travel To"/ "List Songs That Completely Transform Your Mood" etc.. etc.. Straightforward lists, fun lists, obscure lists... fun stuff. It's something I could literally spend all day doing. It's the closest thing I'll probably ever have to an actual written journal; in my music lists you could probably find out anything about me you'd ever want to know. It's so me, it's ridiculous. After all, listening to music and making lists are two of my very favorite things in the world.

Each lists also comes with a really cool graphic related to the subject of this list. So like, for "List The Best Concerts & Music Festivals You've Ever Seen" it's got a drawing of a Ziggy Stardust arcade game enveloped in flames, with the caption Arcade Fire, Central Park Summer Stage, Surprise Guest David Bowie 9/16/2005. . For "List The Best Soundtracks", it has a drawing of Frank the Bunny from 'Donnie Darko'... which I particularly enjoyed because the 'Donnie Darko' soundtrack has always been one of my favorites.

My nerdly obsession with this book is pretty astounding. I am just in love with it. There are probably only a handful of people in the world who would be thrilled by "Music Listography", but I am one of them. I feel like they made it just for me. Anyway, just thought I'd share.

Sounds pretty cool, doesn't it Janet? I knew if there was one person who would appreciate this book as much as me, it'd be you. I told you I got you a prezzie for your b-day... Well, be sure to check the mail on Saturday, or possibly Monday.

Hapee Burthdaye

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Dirty South and Midwest...

Rain. Wet. Cold.

Those would be the best words to sum up our five-day journey across the South and Midwest. Really makes you appreciate that beautiful Southern California sunshine. I will never take it for granted again.

We hit the first three states in which I had never been before on Sunday: Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. However we didn't really get to enjoy all, or any, of what they had to offer due to the time crunch getting from New Orleans to Atlanta to Louisville in 2 days and due to the miserable weather, which drained us of any desire to stop and do anything outdoors. The most memorable thing about our brief jaunt across the Bible belt had to be the billboards (eg "HELL IS REAL"/"JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS"/"AN EMBRYO IS A BABY"), the gas-station t-shirts (eg "1 cross + 3 spikes = 4 given" and confederate flags up the wazoo) and the healthy dose of Southern Hospitality we received. Just about every gas station in the South is run by a"down-home-looking" woman. And these gas station ladies are just as pleasant as can be: "How y'all doin' todaaye?" is the typical greeting you receive in stereotypical Southern drawl. It caught me somewhat off-guard, seeing as how most gas station attendants in California a.) often do not speak English well or at all b.) are usually not women and c.) usually look like they want to punch you.

Say what you will about Tennessee and Kentucky, but driving across them is really beautiful. Nothing but miles and miles of rolling hills, deciduous forest, grassy fields, rivers, cows, horses and farms. Monday evening there was a chill in the air and with the leaves just beginning their colorful transformation i got my first real taste of fall in years. It was really nice. Almost made me wanna live there. Almost.

The city of Louisville has a classic Eastern feel with Brownstone neighborhoods full of close-knit brick homes. Unfortunately AC/DC cancelled their scheduled show there and the weather sucked out any life the city may have had. Our stay there was a pretty uneventful one, the highlight being an in-store performance by The Entrance Band at Ear X-Tacy, one of the best record stores I've ever stumbled upon. And in Kentucky.. go figure.

Our next stop was St. Louis, where Paramore promptly continued our string of 'luck' and re-scheduled their show for November. We were left without much to do but drink in the St. Loo night-life with Nick, a super cool hulk of a man we met during our hotel's happy hour who happened to be both an Army Ranger and MME fighter. St. Louis has this great area down by the riverfront; a few blocks of cobblestone streets from the French colonial days and all kinds of great drinking holes with live music. Sadly, on a Tuesday night they were all virtually empty, even during a Cardinals playoff game. We learned that the economy was largely to blame for this. Imagine the Sunset Strip being nearly empty during a Lakers playoff game. It's kind of like that, which was pretty depressing.

We hit up the University of Missouri (Mizzou) football game against Nebraska last in rainy (surprise surprise) Colombia, Mo where we spread Wolfmother cheer and soaked up the whole college football game-night atmosphere that I unfortunately never got at UCSD. With two nationally ranked conference rival schools going at it on national television in front of stadium packed with drunken students and alumni, it was like like nothing I had ever experienced. Thanks again for depriving me of yet another essential college experience, UCSD!

Chicago all weekend. Can't wait. Stay tuned.