Sunday, May 31, 2009
Remember when women couldn't legally vote or own property? Remember when a black person couldn't legally marry a white person? Of course not.. because these are Dark Age laws of decades long-past. Yet here we are in the 21st Century and my great uncle Donnie and his partner Russ, who live in Missouri and have been in a loving relationship for around 40 years, couldn't get married even if they wanted to. But creating a ridiculous television "reality" show in which a bunch of bimbos battle it out to marry a complete loser they don't even know, and then divorce a few weeks later? Well that's totally legit, right? There's plenty of "sanctity" in that, right? C'mon now...
I believe that state laws outlawing gay marriage are no less outdated, discriminatory and downright asinine than laws that would forbid my white cousin Charmie from marrying her black husband Steve, or laws that would deny my mom, grandma, and the two girls that follow my blog the right to vote. The rights to vote and marry are civil liberties protected by laws based on the Constitution of the United States of America, not the Holy Bible.
Now I have the utmost respect for Christians and the Bible, and I understand that Leviticus 18:22 says "Thou shalt not lie with mankind" ...but the Bible also says a lot of other things too.. I went to church a few months back here in Los Angeles. The young, very intelligent, very eloquent preacher of the evangelical church I attended quoted often from Romans in his sermon. He spoke of the dangers of self-righteousness in Romans 3:9, "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: '", and also in Romans 3:23, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
So, therefore, all people are sinners and NO ONE can meet God's standard of righteousness, right? And righteousness comes not from what WE DO but what GOD us done for US, right? Then it seems to me that acting morally superior to others (like gay people) and trying to become righteous by doing what one consider's "God's work" (like, perhaps, passing Proposition 8) is actually the antithesis of Christianity. When the pastor (talking about the Bible) yelled out "It's about Jesus! It's not about you!" it became clear to me that real Christianity is about becoming righteous by your faith in God, not by any works or deeds of your own... and certainly not by using the name of Jesus, the ultimate symbol of compassion, to restirict the fundamental rights of an entire group of people.
So anyway, in a (gigantic) nutshell, that's why I hope that someday Mr. Newberry won't need to stress the word "husband."
Thursday, May 28, 2009
...That's right. For 8 whole years I was forced to flash the above 16-year-old, brace-faced pic every time someone asked "to see some ID." For the first couple years it was no biggie, but when you're 24 years old and you're using a picuture of yourself from a time before your balls dropped it's kind of ridiculous. To put into perspective exactly how much time has passed since this photo (that I used until today) was taken, here's a clusterfuck (love that word) of things that have happened in the meantime:
I lettered in cross-country and track & field, I attended four high school proms, LaDanian Tomlinson and Drew Brees were drafed by the Chargers, I dated Jessie for over a year, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in NYC, Beatled George Harrison died of cancer, I took my first acting class as a freshmen at UCSD, I changed my major from Communication to Theatre as a sophomore, I dated Raechyl for over 2 years, the Bush Administration decieved the nation into supporting a pre-emptive war in Iraq, I was cast in my first play, Bush deceived the nation into re-electing him, I dated Lisa Marie for over 2 years, I served as Communications Director, Vice President and President during 3 years with the UCSD College Democrats, Radiohead released "Amnesiak", "Hail to the Thief" and "In Rainbows", I organized a successful mass protest of the Iraq War at UCSD, I received my degree in Theatre from UCSD, I moved back home to Carlsbad for over a year after graduating from college, I starting doing regional theatre in San Diego, I moved myself to Los Angeles, Barack Obama was elected 44th President of the United States (thank GOD!), I was cast in my first SAG feature film, I started this blog...
And the rest is history.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
To help us develop our showcase characters, we were asked to walk the streets of downtown San Diego for an hour in character - doings things our characters might do, going places they might go, sayings things they might say, etc. Doing so would help us discover who this person really is and thereby create a more believable performance. We would then report back and reveal to the class what invaluable knowledge we gained about our character as a result of the exercise. Easy enough, right?
My character, Blake, is a womanizer, so I initially figured I'd go to various Gaslamp bars and prey on as many women as possible. However, I realized the thing that confounds me most about Blake is that he is a compulsive liar who manufactures stories to dupe women into loving him. He is such an amazing liar, in fact, that he even convinces himself that his lies are actually the truth. Personally, I am not a great liar by any means, so I decided that this was the quality of my character that I most needed to explore... and I decided to turn the exercise on it's head. And what better way to test one's ability to lie than to make a room full of actors believe every word of a completely fabricated story? For me, the real exercize began when I returned to class...
I spent my hour at Hooters drinking a couple beers, watching the Lakers and tieing for first in a trivia contest. I used this as the backbone for my tall tale and fleshed out the rest with my imagination. It was an elaborate tale that involved winning a beer-chugging contest and charming the pants off a beautiful brunette bartender so much that she gave me her phone number (which I showed to the class). I told the story to the class in the same manner that I imagined Blake would tell one of his two girlfriends the story of why he can only see her three days out of the week. While sitting at the bar I went over the story so many times in my mind that I practically convinced myself that it was true. I imagine this is what compulsive liars do.
The class lapped it up. Believed every minute detail I created.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Karen Garner-Rivoira is one of the most amazing people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. Her kindness, generosity and empathy for her fellow man (and animal) make Mother Theresa look like Cruella De Ville.
You must understand: I hear "ohh, how's your mooom??" and "ohh, I miss your mooom! Tell her I say hi!" on nearly a daily basis. When I was 17 I started bringing girls over to the house in Carlsbad to hang out and meet Mom; each and every one immediately fell in love with her.. and why wouldn't they? Meeting her for the first time, many are taken aback by how genuinely warm, affable and welcoming she is - like almost an unearthly kind of nice. Remember how sweet, loving and all-around awesome Norma Arnold in The Wonder Years was? Well multiply her by 1000 and you have my mom.
I kid you not, guys: this is a woman so understanding that she once responded to finding a bloody used band-aid in her salad at a restaurant by smiling warmly at the server and kindly asking for another, as if they had only mildly inconvenienced her. This is a woman so compassionate that she'll stop the car and pick up each and every lost dog she sees walking down the road in an effort to find the poor pooch's owner. This is a woman so supportive that she paid to see my last play six freaking times! And this is a woman who, after reading my post about being told I look like Emilio Estevez, emailed me pictures of a young Emilio and assured me that I was "much handsomer" ...she sure did.
Seriously, the only times I can remember ever getting upset with her growing up were when she had the audacity of being too caring: Getting worried sick and breaking down crying because I didn't arrive home at the time I said I would and I haven't called in hours to tell you where I am? Don't be ridiculous, Mom! Forcing me to send a 'thank you' note to every single person who was generous enough to give me a birthday/graduation gift? Aww, c'mon! That'll take forever! ...You say you feel bad for the opposing pitcher because he's giving up so many runs? Ok, Mom, that's just retarded! ...Yep, this is about as bad as it got for me as a kid.
Whenever my heart gets broken, whenever I'm having trouble with my P.O.S. car (and trust me I've had a lot), and whenever being a poor actor has me down in the dumps, Mom's always the first person I call for words of advice and encouragement.. and she always knows exactly what to say to make things, no matter how lame they might be, seem like they're going to be okay. I could go on ad nauseam about all the times my mom has gone above and beyond her motherly duties for my brother and me. For the sake of you, the reader, I will not, but I will say that words can't describe how greatful and lucky I am to have the greatest mom a guy could ever ask for. And if you know her too, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
...it's a wonder a woman like this gave birth to such a jackass :)
Happy Mothers' Day, Mom. I love you.
Friday, May 8, 2009
I. I, will be King, and you, you will be Queen
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Well as a wise man once said, "frankly, my dear, I dont give a damn." If I wanted to write to entertain the masses I would have majored in literature or journalism. But since I'm feeling compassionate and somewhat lazy on this Sunday afternoon, I will condense today's planned blog post to a microcosm of what it would have been, using as few words as possible. Enjoy...
What deal Padres? Start great, now no runs. Offense suck. Shit pitching. Roster full scrubs. Surprise surprise. Same song dance. Fan 25 years. Love team since baby. Qualcomm Petco second home. Endless suffering. Fans deserve better. Me not happy. When Charger season start?
Am I right?
**It just occurred to me whlie proof-reading this that that was a really long-winded way to open a post about abbreviating my writing. Hahaha...**
Friday, May 1, 2009
In any case, despite the fact those all-too-kind references to Dean's image have stopped in recent years, the celebrity comparisons have not ceased altogether. No no, now those parallels are drawn to a very different icon of the silver screen. While nowadays I rarely hear any more about the Rebel Without a Cause, fortunately I get enough Coach Bombay and Andrew Clark comparisons to fill this void. That's right, apparently I look just like this guy...
..Yep. I'm the spitting image of 1980's Emilio Estevez. Hoo-ray. **said in the most unenthusiastic tone possible**
Personally, I have never seen the resemblance, but others do. In fact, just this week I've gotten "You look just like Emilio Estevez in 'The Outsiders!'" and "...when I first started going to class, I was trying to remember your name and I told Thurman 'The guy who looks like Emilio Estevez, only young and not playing hockey.'" Since I guess there's no denying it any longer, I might as well embrace my Emilio-ness. So in the spirit of embracing it (and because I just love making lists), here are the...
Top 5 Things Emilio Estevez and I Have in Common (besides our unmistakable likeness):
1. I am an actor who currently makes no money acting; Emilio Estevez is an actor who currently makes no money acting.
2. Emilio Estevez is 5'5" tall; I was once 5'5" tall... when I was 12 years old.
3. Emilio Estevez's younger brother stars on the show Two and a Half Men every week on ABC; my younger brother smokes two and a half joints every day at UCSC.
4. Emilio Estevez has a mother named Janet who is credited as a producer for the movie Beverly Hills Brats; I have a friend named Janet who has probably never seen the movie Beverly Hills Brats.
5. Emilio Estevez worked with a crazy motherf*cker named Tom Cruise in the movie The Outsiders; I worked with a crazy motherf*cker named Stephen Baldwin in the movie To the Wall.
There ya have it - we're one in the same...
..."I was like, 'EMILIO!!!'"