Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas times!

Home sweet home. A couple of weeks ago, I contemplated whether or not my "home" was starting to change. For the longest time, I continually told myself that Virginia was my home. It was where I grew up, where my family is, and where I became an adult, and while I'll still call it home it's not where my life is. Near the end of the week for the first time, I actually wanted to head back to Los Angeles. It wasn't because I have grown to love this city at all, but more for the fact that this is where I can and will make my dreams a reality. These past couple of months have proven it. Opportunities are opening up to take advantage of and so this is where I'm supposed to be. Like I said at Thanksgiving, I have a good group of friends to help protect me from the fakeness and greed of this town.

The Holmes' again opened up there home this morning and allowed me to spend Christmas morning with their family and Danielle. It was enough like home to satisfy me. They truly have become an integral part of my life, and I can never repay the debt I owe to them. Also, the egg dish I had this morning was glorious, and I'll be adding that recipe to my repetoire of breakfast dishes!

Kimmi, of course, is my ever faithful beer or coffee drinking friend (whichever is needed at the moment), and Aroma and Timmy Nolan's have become a Cheers of sorts for us. I never walk away from those two watering holes regretting going. Luckily Kimmi puts up with all my weirdnesses and idiosyncracies, at least enough to get through a couple of beers. It's definitely become a staple of my life.

Ben and Kiel are life savers and I owe them all that I am.

And there a plethora of other people in my life that have created a "home" here in Los Angeles. Like my previous home, this one is tied to people not a place as it should be, and again my adult life has gathered a group of true friends to help me through this thing called life.

Anyway, enough sentiment.

My week at home was a blast. I saw so many people over the week, that I swear I added a year's worth of miles on my parent's car while I was home last week. I was up, down, left, and right. I was all over the great state of Virginia. I was able to get down to Virginia Beach for a day and visit all my old pal's at GEICO. It was definitely a homecoming of sorts, though there are so many new faces that I had to stop for a second and make sure I was in the right place. Seeing Bill and my "nephew" Nathan was great too. I miss not having them more in my life.

Meeting up with Noah and Chris was awesome. I had seen neither for many years, and it felt like we picked up right where we left off. It's good to know some friendships aren't harmed by time! Also, seeing Tommy and Michelle was so good. Their happiness in each other is easy to be around and makes me happy to be around them. I'm always sad that I haven't been able to spend as much time as I would like with them. It was also good to connect with a bunch of people from FCS that I haven't seen since graduation. Good times were had!

Well, this is getting longer, so I'll end it with a promise that I'll have more than just sappy moments gracing my page soon!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Museums, Coffee, Voiceovers, and Nixon!

Life has gotten around to being great. No, I haven't "made it" as an actor yet, but yet somehow I feel energized and ready to face the coming new year. The past two months have been molded and seem to fit my goals and dreams. While I still have a lot to accomplish, the overwhelming feeling I get is gone. While still daunting, I feel like it is something that can and will be handled.

It's been like this for the last couple of months. The new promotion at work helped desperately with my utter hatred for work, and while I don't love work, I don't mind going to work anymore which makes those forty hours of my life a lot easier to stand! It is still a means to an end, but I can enjoy it while I'm there.

The major thing is that my voiceover demo is up and ready! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, finally after many months, my demo is done and ready to be shown to the world! I'm very excited with this new step forward and plans have already formed to capitalize on it. A year ago, I would never have put this much effort into voiceovers, but seeing opportunities and potential for a career in this side of acting my focus has extended to include this side of the business. While I've already gotten work from voiceovers already, I now know that I am on my way to being able to get more opportunities to join in on this side of the business. My love for on-camera work hasn't waned, but voiceovers have become a secondary goal that I desire to achieve.

While I would never say my life has become routine, I am glad that there are some constants that have made life very enjoyable. I have my watering hole of choice, Timmy Nolan's, which has become my Cheers of sorts. Then there's the great coffee shop off Tujunga, Aroma, that gets better every time I visit. And who can leave out the Sunday football sports bar that makes waking up for football worth it? While I am still in a love/hate relationship with Los Angeles, I am beginning to collect my gems that have become a part of my life and things I would consider "homish". If this keeps up the unthinkable may happen...LA may feel like home at some point. I doubt that highly, but I can see the threads that lead to that point. While my head screams out no with that idea, I don't know if my heart is so completely against it anymore. There is still a lot I hate about LA, but the good is bleeding through.

Anyway, I was able to visit the Getty Center again yesterday and see the Carleton Watkins Dialogue Among Giants exhibit. Some of his photographs of Yosemite are awesome and I can see why his work is heralded. He has a great eye for the construction of his shots and make them quite visually interesting. I would definitely suggest visiting if you are in the area, before they close down the exhibit in the next month.

Also, I was able to see Frost/Nixon early, and I must say it was a great movie! Frank Langella did an awesome job as Nixon, even though he doesn't really look or sound like him too much but I completely believed the character. The pacing was good, and there was some good laughing moments. This is one movie that I would have paid to see, but was even more jazzed that I didn't have too! Living in this city really has it advantages some time.

Friday, November 28, 2008


As I sat around the table last night for the Thanksgiving feast, I realized how much Burbank is starting to feel a little like home. Feeling the warmth and enjoyment of last night at the Holmes', my adopted family out here in California, I realized that they have become an important part of my life and another reason I am able to keep my sanity in Los Angeles. I'm very thankful for everything that family has done for me this past year. Kiel has been there for me through ups and downs as well as another friend to do nothing with on a weekday night. His father, Bill, has done more than I can repay this past year. He's given me so many auditions, insight into the business, and enough razzing to last a lifetime, and yet he continues to help me. I guess he enjoys trying to help Joey Starbuck make it in this town. The rest of Holmes' fill out the family nicely as well, and I am very thankful for them as well. I found myself quite content all yesterday, that though I wasn't with my folks, at least I was with my friends to celebrate food, football, and alcohol!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In the age of jet packs!

So I'm a little late on finally posting this, but I am forced to comment on it even though it's "old" news.

The age of technological wonders is upon us! Ladies and gentleman, we have jet packs. In the end of September a man flew across the English channel on a jet wing, which is basically a jet pack with wings. Finally, the pursuit of the working jet pack is on the downhill slope! Soon everyone will be jet packing off to work, school, and anywhere else they desire. Now that is a product I will gladly stand in line to get. Growing up, I always wanted a jet pack, and most of G.I. Joes experienced the thrill of the jet pack flight. I guess my love comes from jet packs being so futuristic and connected to the world of Star Wars. Come on, the coolest bounty hunter ever, Boba Fett, wore and used a jet pack. If that isn't the height of coolness, I don't know what is. Of course, we are a long way off from Boba Fett, but with this historic flight, I am hopeful that I will jet pack myself across the sky before I die.

Life has been quite busy lately, in a good way, and I'm feeling quite relieved for a little downtime. I had a friend from back East move out here to L.A. this past weekend, and it's stirred things up a bit. While I am glad he's here, and it'll be good for him to be out here, we may need to start looking for a 3 bedroom apartment in the next couple of months. I know for certain that I'm not the easiest person to share a room with, and I don't want to put any strain on our friendship.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Horror films and webcomics...

So I figured I should take a minute and talk about the few links I have attached to this site.

First and foremost, the new link to the Stump the Band website is up and I definitely suggest people going and visiting the site. It's for a horror movie that's coming out on June 3rd. I was privileged enough to see an advanced screening of this film, and I walked away completely entertained. Stump does a great job of not taking itself seriously and allowing laughter to join in with the fear. There is a great balance between characters you want to live and those that you are waiting to get killed off in some satisfying manner, and Stump doesn't disappoint. Check it out on June 3rd. It is available on and will be available at your local Blockbuster. Enjoy the rock and roll horror!

The next link sends you to a new web comic started by the talented pair Tony Chavira (writer) and Josh Dunlap (artist) called Tuna Carpaccio P.I. While they are only on their third comic, the tension in the strip is already thick. Don't expect your typical one liners/find the joke in everything comic that currently is the trend on the internet. These two gentlemen hearken back to the serial comic that used to be found in your daily newspaper and it brings something fresh to the internet. There is a lot of potential and talent that is on display, so go and check it out!

The last is just a link to my flickr site. Unfortunately, there isn't anything outstanding there, but mostly just pictures from my life. Still working on getting a better camera to document life, but at least I have something. I try and update it pretty regularly, so keep checking.

Thanks for playing!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A new kind of grilling...

Well, the last two nights I have gone out on a limb and have used wood instead of charcoal to grill with. I have never gotten behind gas grilling mainly because it adds nothing to the process. It's the lazy man's grilling method. Yes, it's easier to clean and light and blah blah blah, but you lose something in the flavor of the meat (or whatever) when you use gas. I don't know what it is, but every time I have grilled using charcoal, some type of flavoring shows up that makes the food that much better. Of course, you have to be careful with some of this match-light charcoal, since if you don't let it burn long enough you get the lighter fluid taste on the meat (yeah, bad experience with beer can chicken). Anyways, the last two nights I have grilled both steak and chicken using hardwood, and it's by far the superior method. While it takes longer to prep, it is well worth the effort. The unprepared, unmarinated steak I grilled tonight was mouthwatering. With only the marble in the steak to flavor it and the hardwood to cook it, something came out that I can't even coax out using charcoal. It made the extra time worth it. Oh, and grilled asparagus with sea salt and olive oil is awesome.

Well, other than that life is moving forward. I am actually leaving Starbucks for bigger and better things. I have gotten a job with just as much flexibility as I need, but doubles my pay while still giving me benefits. Granted, I will be working more hours, but that's fine since I'll still have time to audition and take gigs. While I enjoyed the people at Starbucks, I have mastered the job and have become bored (of course, the electrocution didn't help either). I am looking forward to adding to my savings and ira again.

Next Monday I am working on a short film for a writer buddy of mine who will be showing this film to some powerful people in this town. I'm not guaranteed anything of course, but it's a good script and at least it's more people seeing my face. Still pushing myself forward and trying to meet and network with as many people as possible which is what this town is about.

Was able to go out for with a bunch of the guys on Saturday night and of course had a blast. Good food, friends and alcohol. It doesn't get much better than that! Here's an interesting picture from that night. Yeah, I am crazy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


So at church, the pastor talked about storms. How we as humans focus so much on the storms and even hold onto the storms instead of moving on or dealing with them properly. Sometimes the storm while tumultuous can be reassuring since in this changing world they are something we can latch onto and are constant. These storms can be anything from the worst moment of your life to just small insignificant little moments that bring pain. The movie Swingers has a perfect conversation that explains it:
Rob: Sometimes it still hurts. You know how it is, man. It's like, you wake up every day and it hurts a little bit less, and then you wake up one day and it doesn't hurt at all. And the funny thing is, is that, this is kinda wierd, but it's like, it's like you almost miss that pain.
Mike: You miss the pain?
Rob: Yeah, for the same reason that you missed her... because you lived with it for so long.

Generally, I try to let the small things go...or slide. For most things, I couldn't care less about because in the scheme of things they don't matter. Fight Club talks about this and it's one of the reasons that it's my favorite movie. However, while I let most of the small stuff go, big events can be a problem. I mull it over in my brain, I try to analyze, and I replay through all my actions again and again. The problem is when I am dealing with the big stuff, it's harder for me to pass off the small events that I usually don't care about. Like today when the yogurt idiot had my car towed because he thought it wasn't an employee's car and cost me $200 to get my car out(which the landlord is going to pay for). While I would say this is more of a medium to large problem, I almost went nova. Luckily, some fellow employees calmed me down, but it was like this was going to be the outlet to let out all the pent up frustrations and emotions.

I bring up storms because even right now, I am still fuming about the car and I need to just let it go. Life is too short and too enjoyable to let that idiot ruin my day. I just have to let it go. Things I wish for I have to let go. I can't hold onto these storms anymore. Life has too much to offer.

I have to let go.

I have to let go.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Orwellian...and beyond

Finally having the time and inclination, I sat down and watched George Lucas' THX1138, and I have to say on a first viewing that I was simultaneously impressed and unimpressed. His depiction of an Orwellian future was visually stunning. While the images and cinematography were great, the pacing was a little slow. It felt like Lucas was spending far too much time drinking in the sets than he was worrying about how the story was progressing. I am not talking about the acting here. Duvall and Pleasance did fantastic jobs, especially given that they were working with a director who really doesn't direct his actors. When the locale is one where emotions are chemically subdued, then Duvall does a great job holding back and then climbing out of the emotionless pit. The iconic scene of the three guards with long poles holding back Duvall was just as awesome as the stills I had seen previously. Lucas has a great eye when it comes to setting up shots, and he would make a great dp or even better a producer since he seems to excel at that job. Lucas, while stealing heavily from George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, creates a film that allows me to let the flaws and the blatant stolen ideas and phrases (Nixon speeches anyone?) go by. I am a huge Orwell fan in general and 1984 specifically. There is something about the Orwellian films that I just enjoy them even though they are sometimes the same idea with just a different outcome. I wouldn't mind either acting in or making my own version of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451.

So this past week has been quite busy with my improv class and voiceover class, I am getting a good amount of practice and training from some talented teachers. Besides that I was able to audition for a couple of independent films and two voiceovers. The voiceovers I should hear something by next week, but the independents I have no idea if they'll contact me. One of them, I think I would look a little young for, but since they had it in my age range I still went. I'll never pass up a chance to network or audition. While the jobs are infrequent right now, at least my auditions are frequent which at least makes me feel like I am pushing forward. I have still been doing extra work on my days off to both add to my income and hopefully get my third SAG voucher. However, the biggest avenue I am looking at is still voiceovers (at least for paid work), since they are simple and quick to do and are good money. I will be doing a short film for a friend who is a great writer. I am excited to work with him and see what is in store for him.

Other than that the week was a lot of fun. My uncle came into town over the weekend and so on Monday we were able to hang out and I got to show him around. Luckily, he has seen all the "tourist" stuff, so I didn't have to drive him to downtown Hollywood which is honestly worthless in the daytime. He wanted to go on a studio tour and so after reading a couple of reviews of the Universal Studios and NBC tour, I just took him to Warner Bros. and we took the tour there. Even though I had gone in January with my mother, it was a blast to go back since the strike is over now and we were able to see some filming in progress. Also, my camera had died about halfway through the tour last time, so I was able to get some better shots of the water tower and other sets that I missed the first time. Of course, no visit to Burbank would be complete without a night out at Don Cucos, so we met up with one of my uncle's coworkers there and enjoyed some margaritas and dinner.

So finally after six months in Los Angeles, I finally swam in the Pacific (which brings me to only 3 more of the seven seas to swim in!) and while cold was fun. On Thursday, I went down with a bunch of friends and was able to just relax on an almost deserted beach around the Santa Monica area, catch some sun, and skim board along the beach. It was a perfect day for the beach, and I had a blast of course (how can you not have a great time at the beach?). I have a couple of good pictures, but while I look good, I am still way to white to show.

Right now music-wise, I am going through my Itunes library and giving a listen to those albums which I have only heard once or not at all. Some are good while others I couldn't care less about. Been listening to a good amount of Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds too.

I'll leave you with my wonderful picture of someone having fun with their De Lorean DMC-12.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Acting and Alcohol

Well, this weekend was a blast. My roommate's dad came into town to drive my roommate's old car back to Kansas. Luckily, he was able to stay and hang for a couple of days which was quite enjoyable. He fit in well with Ben and I, and we had a mini-celebration. There was lots of good food and alcohol for three days straight. On Friday night, I came home to find that Ben's dad had went grocery shopping for us and we had become stuffed to the gills with food and alcohol in our kitchen. It was a glorious night. There are just some parents who I feel can transition well when their kids become adults and then others who can't. Mr. Starkey is definitely in the former of those two options. We tried this Brazilian steakhouse and I must say it has become one of my favorite restaurants. If you like meat of any kind, then this is definitely a go to place. They cook everything from steak to lamb (and everything in between) right on spits and once the meat is done they take them off the grill and bring them around to all the different tables. There is so much to choose from and there wasn't a single piece I didn't enjoy, and it is all you can eat too. It is definitely a place I will frequent if I can.

This week I start my voiceover class and I couldn't be more excited. While I have had some success in that area, I know I have a lot improve upon and also this gives me a chance to meet some more people in the industry. My biggest issue is that I am in my head too much when I do voiceovers. This isn't stage, and it needs a much more natural feel then any stage play and while I have been able to perform, I know I can be even better. I have a couple of other options that may have me actually filming in other parts of the country over the summer which would be awesome. Nothing is definite yet, but I have gotten past the first hurdle in a couple of them.

My uncle is in town and he has the day off today, so it's time to play tour guide again. However, I don't mind at all.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Act of bravery

It is a question that sometimes haunts me and makes me look back on my life: what have I done to serve my country? Yesterday, Bush gave the Medal of Honor to Michael A. Monsoor for going above and beyond the duty and saving the life of his fellow SEALs when he dived onto a live grenade to protect his comrades. This man, and many others, have given their lives to protect and defend the rest of our nation. I benefit daily from the freedoms and opportunities that arise from being in the greatest country in the world, and yet what have I done to help it? Have I truly ever given anything back or served in a way that even remotely comes close to what our armed services do? I look back at my family and see a line from my father back of military service, and here I am in Los Angeles pursuing acting! While I love acting and I feel God has put me here, I sometimes feel that I don't come close to being a true American or patriot. I haven't had to choose between fight or flight for my country, nor felt the fear of staring at RPGs and AK-47s firing rounds at me. It's not any desire to be "brave" or "show-off", but more along the lines of giving back to my country that has given me so much. Yes, we may have our issues and bicker amongst ourselves like siblings, but there is no greater country in the world. Hands down.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Live Musicand the glorious SoCal sun!

So I was able to score a ticket to the Bamboozle even in Irvine, Ca on Saturday, and while I didn't know or care for 90% of the bands, it was still a blast. Of course, Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was out, the temperature was in the 70s, and there was a slight breeze blowing making it a perfect day to be at the amphitheater. While it was mostly bands playing on the six stages around the theater, there were also carnival rides and other events happening (like the required guitar hero tourney). Though I hate carnival rides that can be packed up and moved elsewhere. I have no desire to go upside down in a ride that has traveled across the country and back. Call me scared and silly, but seriously, that just doesn't make sense to me.

The two highlights for me were being able to fall asleep on the lawn in front of one of the stages and take a nice nap while listening to some no-name band play (hey, I had opened the store at 4:15am that morning and was working on 3 hours of sleep, give me a break), and seeing Alkaline Trio perform since they haven't for a while. Alk Trio was a blast to see live. Though there was a band there called RX Bandits who were definitely a jazz band and I had a blast just watching them play. They were pretty good too, enough that I bought there CD.

Anyways, it has been a busy and exhausting week, and I am happy this next week will be a little slower, though I'll be heading to Vegas in the middle of the week to visit some friends.

On a more interesting note, Absolut Vodka has a new ad that has been causing quite a controversy. I won't go into it much, but it just depicts what a "perfect Absolut world" would look like and shows Mexico having control of most of the western United States. The one thing I will gladly harp on is that Absolut states that they are pushing for the Mexican national pride. That is all well and good, but wait, isn't most of Mexico living in the U.S. now? If the Absolut version of the world was true, then the Mexicans would just have a lot longer of a walk to get the the U.S. We've actually done everyone a favor! Mexico is such a worthless country, what kind of pride would you have when most of the people in your country want to leave! Oh, and if Manifest Destiny had been allowed, there wouldn't be a Mexico today, so enjoy what you have!

Anyways, if you have no true understanding of where the "idea" of this map came from, read some history especially around the years 1846-1848! Something called the Mexican-American War should pop out at you.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Crazy Times

Well, this past week has been a blur. Auditions galore along with a couple of jobs too. Snagged a role in a small horror flick (a paying gig of course), and am currently emailing a studio in Alaska about doing their small film that shoots in Alaska this summer. Had several more voiceover auditions, and with each one I am getting closer to feeling completely at ease in the sound booth. Also, I have started work on my reel which is good, so hopefully I can get an agent who will help the procedure.

I also started taking an improv class recently. This class will definitely help stretch and grow my acting muscles. The teacher is phenomenal and the people in the class are all working actors, so I am able to make some connections as well. Improv is such a primal and basic form of acting, yet it is so difficult that you really have to work to get good. While standard training is fine, improv will help work my brain to make connections and choices faster and better. While I will still sit down and analyze the roles I get, I know that my brain will be sharpened by this class. Also, improv does wonders for both auditioning and voiceover work (well, non-union anyways), so I have that going for me which is nice.

I got to explore Santa Clarita yesterday which was fun. Several friends and I went out to the "High Desert" and hiked a bit. Then we met up with some more people for dinner at Rattlers (which has the best Tri-tip ever). Being the social nerd that I am, I stayed out way too late even though I was opening this morning. 4am comes around so fast!

Overall I feel blessed and happy. Still many things going through my mind and the future is still open, but as I continue to get deeper into the acting world my desire grows and I know that this is where I should be.

I'd go through my thoughts about current events and politics, but I am out. It's beach time!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Acting and all that jazz

Well, I didn't get the Speed Racer spot, but at least I had an audition. I lost it to my friend Kiel who has been doing this for a while, so it doesn't make me feel to bad. He's had a lot of practice and knows a lot of people in the industry, so there is a slight advantage on his side of the table. This totally brings out my competitive nature though, and I am determined to book one. Now it's just practice, practice, practice. Luckily, I have another voiceover audition today, so another chance to prove myself. The rejection is part of the game, and hence why I have a thick skin. I will book jobs in voiceover, and that's all there is to it.

In other news, I went to see a neurologist finally about my arm, and I am glad I did. Turns out that in my type of case if it's not treated properly there may be permanent nerve damage. That freaked me out a bit, but the doctor said I should be totally fine with the treatment I am on. I will start taking a drug and doing some rehab including some acupuncture. I am glad things are moving along.

Life is strange. Events change and can directly effect your mood. Recently, certain events have completely brought myself back around to close to normal. While not totally 100%, I am getting close and it feels good. Still am not sure what the future holds, but I push onward to find out what it looks like. Life can only get better.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dangerous Speed Racing in Hollywood or Life as a Coroner's Assistant!

To be! That is definitely the answer to the question.

In the last couple of weeks the acting life has begun picking up. While it has mostly been auditions that have been coming my way, I have also had several paying jobs as well. On Tuesday I spent twelve hours on the set of CSI. Of course, most of the time was spent off camera reading, talking with cast and crew, and partaking of the large array of food provided on set. However, those times spent on set in front of the camera were so exhilarating that I it reassured me that I want to do this for the rest of my life. Even though so much time was spent waiting around for my scene, I still loved every minute. I was in my element and felt right at home. God continually shows me that this is the path for me.

I do have to laugh at the CSI filming though. My call time was at 7am at the Universal lot, so I arrived at around 6:40am, parked, and then headed to craft services for breakfast. After heading into the tent with my omelet and orange juice, I barely sit down when a pa is rushing in and asking for me. I find out that I am needed in wardrobe and then on the set. So I dump my food, get into costume, and head to the set and precede to sit and wait to be do my scene. I waited and I waited. Soon other people started trickling in for their later call times, and still I sat waiting for my scene. Well, we ended up breaking for lunch before I was used even though those who had a later call time had already been used. Of course, I wasn't complaining. I was just happy to be there and of course that I got paid by the hour. Anyways, I finally was able to shoot my scene, and it was awesome. Cameras everywhere and chatting with the director, I had a blast! During lunch I was able to walk around the lot and enjoy the day. Of course, the Universal Studios theme park was 100 yards away, so as I was walking the lot I could see people standing in line for different. It was a lot of fun to be on the studio side of the fence. Overall it was a great day.

Thursday I got to work on the new Minnesota Lottery commercials which was a blast, and then of course I had my Speed Racer voiceover audition that went really well. Sitting in the studio on the lottery gig was my first time in a sound studio which was definitely an experience. Monitors and computers everywhere and tons of sound dampening padding. Of course, free food and drinks were available on site, though the coffee was absolute crap. The directors had no clue what they were looking for so if I remember correctly we were on take 73 before we wrapped. I was still in my element and had a good amount of ad libs in there that everyone liked. Definitely an experience I would be happy to get used too. With the lottery experience being so good, I hope I can snag the Speed Racer gig as well, but being as inexperienced as I am I know it will be a tough uphill climb.

So I have a new band of the week, School of Language, which is Field Music's David Brewis. The debut album, Sea from Shore, was produced completely in Brewis' bedroom. Listening to this stunning album would make you think it was commercially produced. Brewis knows how to record and the make the most of his equipment. Having already sat down and had the cd play through itself twice, I came to the conclusion that this is a gem. While it's not perfect and a few spots in the album that I plan to skip past, overall I am quite pleased. Of course, I have no idea who Field Music is, but if David Brewis is attached then I'll have to check them out. If you are looking for something new and enjoyable try School of Language. That only goes if you have already checked out Vampire Weekend!

Well, life is definitely moving forward and California has become a great place to live. In my exploration of the Golden State so far, there is so much to see and do and enjoy and I haven't even touch a quarter of the state! It is like manifest destiny. Thank God I am here!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Boston tea party or...March madness and me!

Well, tonight is the first episode of John Adams; the short mini-series I was a part of for two weeks. While it's nothing to cheer about, it is nice to be able to tell people that I will appear on HBO today. It allows me a little bit of legitimacy in a crowd of under-worked actors. Speaking of legitimacy, I have started to work a little steadier and seem to have a good amount of auditions coming in which makes me feel better about myself. Also, on Tuesday, I had my first big "Hollywood" meeting with a voice-over casting director. A one hour meeting ended up being four and included a lunch and a great Mexican restaurant named Don Cuchos. There are several opportunities that will come from that meeting, and at the moment I am in the middle of two of them. They aren't completely finalized, but I am excited at what is on the horizon.

So March madness has started and like this past college football season, I have become swept up in the "madness". I think there are several reasons for my change in heart of watching sports. The first is that both my roommate and several of my friends are big sports fans and so as the social guy that I am I join in the fun with them. With this social experience, I begin to find the enjoyment in the game for myself and becomes something that I like myself. Second, with the recent relationship events and her hatred for all things sports, I take a little joy in the fact that I can sit and enjoy a good game of basketball and not hear any crap about it or how much she hates sports. Thirdly, when I was in highschool I played a lot of basketball and used to watch ESPN religiously for the NBA highlights and scores, so I do have an enjoyment of the game (definitely playing it more than watching, but hey, it's fun to be able to chat with the guys). The benefit of this year's March madness is that I actually have watched several games and know some stats which helps me bullshit my way through a conversation, which has given me more extended conversations with a certain lovely lady. Anyways, while I have never been anti-sports, I have never been truly pro-sports either. It's always been something that has never grabbed my interest, but it may be changing. I still would rather watch a movie, but the I won't turn down a good Wisconsin Badgers game either! Though UNC will totally win.

My arm is still half-numb and sore from the electrocution, so I am seeing a neurologist to make sure that the damage isn't completely permanent. After seeing a couple of doctors about it, I have been told that the jolt may have been even more severe than what they first thought. The last doctor told me that I may be looking at a couple months to a year of my arm being at this half-numb, tingling sensation. It's not fun at all. The other night, when I went to wash my hands the water was cold to my left hand while hot to my right hand (the one that got zapped) which freaked me out a bit. I hope that it's just nerve damage and nothing to do with the circulation. If this keeps up, I don't know what will progress with Starbucks.

Oh, I have to promote this guy Gabe Soriano because I saw him on Thursday night at a bar and he was phenomenal. I also have his two cds and I have been listening to them frequently since Thursday. He's got a good mix of influences and the tracks are good listens and I find myself tapping my foot or bobbing my head to his music. It's nothing out of the ordinary, but it's just good classic music. If you are looking for something new to listen to check him out, or of course check out Vampire Weekend since I am still listening to them.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Electric shock therapy and Death Stars!

Well, it definitely was an interesting weekend. I rolled into work around 7:30 am on Saturday to begin my long shift for the day (of course, after being there until 11:30 pm the night before!), and at first I just thought it was going to be hell. However, due to the fact that I both of the assistant managers on the floor were busy elsewhere, I assumed control of the floor. Ah, power in the workplace leaves me with such a heady feeling and brings the phrase "drunk with power" into reality. Though I am definitely a benevolent dictator, but I made sure things got done. By noon, I was walking the newest barista through the process of mopping the floors (the ones behind the counters, we don't do the lobby until close of course), and part of the process is to mop underneath the movable milk fridge that sits underneath the espresso machines. The unfortunate thing is that the cord for the fridge is too short for it to be moved, so every time it is moved the fridge is unplugged. Well, since it an enormous pain to plug it back in, especially if you have never done it before, I decided to show the new barista how and where it needs to be plugged into the wall. Unfortunately for me, having collected some water while it was sitting on the ground, when I plugged in the cord electricity arced through the water and shot up my arm. Now I have been shocked many times, but I have never been hit this hard. It felt like my arm swelled to three times its size before I was able to release the cord. Needless to say, there was a yelp of pain (ok, maybe a scream, but I won't admit to it, you'll have to ask the witnesses) and then me huddled up against the fridge clutching my arm for a solid two minutes. My arm felt both like it was on fire and that the entire Los Angeles Dodgers decided to practice there swings on my arm. Luckily, my arm went numb after about four minutes of this pain, and while my arm felt "weird" at least it wasn't hurting. Unfortunately, my arm "woke up" and it began to hurt and feel, the only way I can describe it, fiery tingling. I have never been one to treat electricity lightly, so after filling out a work injury report, I hightailed it to the urgent care and saw a doctor. Well, after calling me a lucky punk, he said that since my heart rate was normal, I had no burns, and my muscles weren't spasming that I should have no long term damage. He did however say that my arm would hurt and feel "weird" for the next week. Even today, my arm still hurts and is about half numb like its constantly in a state of sleep. Of course, now it's time to deal with worker's compensation which will not be fun.

In other news, I read an article today about the universe's true Death Stars. While the conclusions are typical alarmist journalism, it was a fun read. First off, 8,000 light years is a long distance and the chances that the pinwheel is perfectly aligned with the Earth to receive any of the death rays is slim to none. From that distance even a millimeter off from dead center would mean that rays would pass harmlessly by Earth. Second, the "short fuse" of this star is at a few hundred thousand years. Yeah, that's a guess if I ever heard one, but it does sound better than, "We have no idea." While this was definitely an interesting read (for one who loves astronomy, like I do), it definitely reminds that the general public is just not that interested in the Final Frontier when it takes this kind of story to make any sort of news.

Well, life as a whole is pretty decent. While I still have ups and downs, they have become easier to deal with and their strengths have lessened (well, the downs anyways). I still have many unanswered questions still ponder at night, I am making progress which is encouraging. Also, new openings have happened for the acting career, but too soon to really report anything quite yet. Hopefully in the next week or so I will have some big news.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Karaoke, Chavez, and the fate of global warming again!

So last night's adventures were both surprising and entertaining. What began as a simple day off became a night of exploration. After a day of running errands and working out, I met up with Kiel to go to Barragan's for dollar taco night and pitchers of margaritas (which interestingly, I swore two years ago I'd never drink tequila again, but I had changed my just recently, which is another story). The tacos were good for a dollar and the margaritas were good and strong. Kiel's roommate Bert and my next door neighbor Geoff joined the two of us as well, and the conversation never lagged. After many tacos and 3 pitchers of margaritas we headed out (I was the dd, don't worry), and I dropped Kiel and Bert at home then Geoff and I headed to Michael's to meet his wife and a couple of friends for Karaoke. Now, I preface that this was like no karaoke place you have every heard. The people getting on stage had amazing voices, and it was a little intimidating. It almost seemed like the last few nights of American Idol (which I still have never watched...ever). However, after a couple of bourbon and gingers I decided to jump up and give it a whirl. For being a karaoke virgin, I did pretty well. Of course, I started off with a DMB song, which is difficult itself since Dave has such a distinct and different voice, but I think I handled it well. After that performance, I was able to just sit back and relax and enjoy the company and the night.

Well, on to more interesting topics.

Chavez is back to his usual blustering and fist shaking at everything American. While all the news stories are talking about a war happening down in South America, I have my doubts that this will go that far. First off, Chavez is cheap talk and doesn't have the balls to start a fight with Columbia. Second, he wasn't even offended in this transgression so he has no legs to stand on, and if he invaded then he would see a world of hurt descend down on his little "empire". The attack allows Chavez to look tough, however if he pushes to hard he may end up on his face and have lost some faith in his power hungry friends across the globe. Thirdly, when you take a glance at the different military strengths of all three countries, Columbia has a larger, better equipped, and better trained military than both Ecuador and Venezuela combined. It would not be a contest. Did Columbia have a right to do a surgical strike into Ecuador to kill FARC rebels? Of course! Raul Reyes, a high FARC leader, has been hiding out in Ecuador controlling his rebels across the border and making incursions into Columbian soil for the past several years. Also, with hints that Reyes had ties with Rafael Correa, the Ecuadorean president, and Ecuador doing nothing to help prevent this, Columbia did what was needed to help stabilize their country. It was a bold move, but that is what it takes in a war against cowards such as Reyes. This is a better world without him.

I know I have talked on it before, but I have to bring it up again that this whole global warming scare is a complete joke! In this article the founder of The Weather Channel talks about how much a fraud global warming is and how TWC has devolved into a platform for alarmists trying to scare the country. I have been saying it again and again that in ten years, maybe twenty, we will look back and wonder how we were all duped into believing Al Gore. Well, he did invent the internet, so he must be pretty smart.

Last note, it looks like SAG has begun starting talks with the different studios in an effort to stave off a strike in June. After the WGA strike, this town is weary and just wants for things to get back to normal. Here is hoping that negotiations are both swift and final.

Monday, March 3, 2008

To the top

There is nothing like a good hike to clear your head. After several weeks in LA, I was definitely ready to get out of dodge for a day. Granted I only had to drive 20 minutes to get to the Angeles National Forest, but you would never think that you were close to LA. The place was totally remote and was in the middle of the San Gabriel Mountains, so only occasionally I would see glimpses of Arcadia and LA County. Other than that I was in the wilderness with all the excitement and dangers that come with it. I had just recently gotten a hydration pack and I wanted to test it out as well, so it gave me a good excuse to go hiking (it worked great!).

So my roommate and I head to the pack station, which is about halfway up one of the mountains, park the car, and start hiking. We decided to do the full loop which brings us down into the canyon and then up and around the mountains surrounding the canyon. Once we got into the canyon, I felt like I had been transported back to the East Coast. With the streams running everywhere and all the green, I could've been in any forest and it seemed to really cleanse my thoughts and mind. The canyon seemed to calm the nerves and soul. At one point later on, Ben and I sat and relaxed on some rocks as we looked over the canyon and were silent. The quiet that descended seemed to just pull you into the unspoiled region we were in. All we could hear was the wind and the rustling of the trees. No cars, people, horns, or city life could be heard. That alone did wonders for both of us.

As we climbed out of the canyon we came to a fork and decided to reach the summit of Mount Zion and take a look into the canyon. While it was only a little over a mile to the top, it was definitely a grueling climb. We changed our elevation by about 1200 feet in that short span of distance. Granted, both of us haven't done any real hiking for a while so we were definitely pushing ourselves. However, the effort was worth it. The view from the summit was beautiful and we decided to rest there and eat our clif bars and trail mix. At 3575 feet in the air you can see a good distance, and the haze wasn't too horrible so we could see for a good while.

After a short break, we headed down (much easier!), and continued on the trail and ended taking circling the canyon from the mountains above. It was awesome to look down below and know that just a couple hours before we were at the bottom climbing our way up. Conversations would start and stop as Ben and I both would just be awed into silence and look at the world around us.
After about 5 hours of hiking we were back at the car and ready to get home and cook some burgers and rejoice in a good day.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I have no idea where I am going with this post, but I just felt like writing. It is something to take my mind off the many things beginning to weigh it down. While going slowly, I am progressing in my chosen field. I still question it sometimes, and just look at myself and think I am crazy. If I had stayed in Virginia Beach at GEICO in the motorcycle department, I would be pulling in around $55,000 or more a year. While money isn't everything, I didn't hate the job and for a while I really considered GEICO to possibly be my career. I know life would be a whole lot different than the current version. I would quite possibly have a house or at least a lot more stuff to tie me down and keep me in one spot. I know acting is my passion, and I do know that God has me out here (he has shown me that several times). I guess a part of me is just scared of the future. I really don't know what the future looks like or what it holds. There is so many avenues and alleys that it can take, that I can't really plan or guide myself like I have been able to previously. So much of my choices rely on prayer, luck, and making the most of opportunities. I have been able to make some acting contacts which may or may not help me in my quest, but you have to make the most of every opportunity. I am not discouraged, nor am I depressed, I am just weighed down by the immensity of what I am taking on. How do I keep my integrity in this business and still make a living?
I am still pushing for doing voice-over work, since it's something I definitely could do well. I used to do radio commercials back on the East Coast and I really enjoyed that and the station seemed to call me often. It would still be acting, I would be very lucky to start doing voice-overs. I might even be able to start working on video games, which of course would be awesome if I could break into that field.
Well, my car is done being worked on (she has put up with a lot, especially driving 6000 miles in less than three weeks), so it's off to go pick her up and enjoy this beautiful day in California.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Coffee Master...or something like that

Saturday nights at my Starbucks are crazy, especially between 6-9pm. While generally, I am usually taking the orders and the money, tonight for some odd reason I was on bar making the famous lattes and mochas (and adding Soy milk to just about everything). In December, I began to feel quite comfortable at the bar. I understood the drinks and while I was still not the fastest, I was able to keep my counter low on drinks to be made. However, tonight, with generally 10+ people in line and a stack of cups going around my syrups, I was pumping out drinks like they were already made. It was that moment that you get at any job where everything clicks and you know exactly what to do, how to do it, and you do it fast. It was definitely an enjoyable experience even though it didn't seem to let up. Of course, I got to yell out the drinks too which always makes me happy. I get to project and not get told to be quiet or to settle down. While Starbucks is just a job, I am glad that I can have a little fun there and my coworkers are just good people all around.

Anyways, life is moving along and the acting side of life is definitely picking up. Still in the baby steps stage, but I am progressing which is more than I can say during the strike. I can feel it will happen, and my plans will bear fruit. I know it.

Vampire Weekend!

Well, I have to come back to this cd. While I definitely enjoyed it my first couple of listens, I must say the more I listen to it the more I love it. This album will definitely not change the world, but I continually find myself humming the tunes on this album. The songs are fun, upbeat, and just plain catchy. You can tell that Vampire Weekend enjoyed their studio time because it shows in the songs.

I was able to turn this album on when I had a group of people over last night. We were just hanging out eating Bison burgers and drinking wine (2005 Columbia Crest cabernet sauvignon to be exact, and it drank great!), and as the music began to play I had several people ask me who this was. Everyone was digging the music and just made the night that much more enjoyable. I definitely have to thank Vampire Weekend for adding to the party. This is definitely something you can just let play through and even put it on repeat.

My favorites are Oxford Comma, M79 and Bryn, though I could name probably most of the others as favorites too. I would definitely suggest at least finding someone who has this album and giving it a good listen if not just straight up buying it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The perfect spot for Machiavellian Goliaths

So on my day off yesterday, I found the perfect spot to relax, read, and recoup. While it is still in the city, it is a park at next to the "river" and at the base of the mountains. If you throw on some music, grab a book, and face away from the street you almost believe you are out in the country. It has trees, grass and inviting spots to sink into and forget. I went there yesterday and enjoyed listening to The Mars Volta's new album The Bedlam in Goliath and finishing up Machiavelli's The Prince.

The new album was awesome, and I highly recommend it if you enjoy The Mars Volta at all. While bringing themselves back in line with their first two albums (De-Loused in the Comatorium and France the Mute) and gone are the 10+ minute songs. While I never faulted Amputechture for the extended jam sequences (In fact I love Tetragrammaton), I do know many fans felt that some of the songs just wouldn't end. The addition of their new drummer, Thomas Pridgen, also gives the album a fresh feel. Pridgen definitely has the skills necessary to fill out his role in the band, and is a welcome addition. Song-wise the album is an easy push play and walk away album (though Tourniquet Man is completely out-of-sync with the rest of the album, and sounds like it should be followed by some metal ballad, but luckily it's only clocks in at 2:38 so it is bearable). This album will be on my playlist for the coming months.

Of course, Machiavelli's The Prince was a great read, and one day I will be able to employ his principles in my path for global domination. This book will become a yearly read like Sun Tzu's The Art of War, as I know it will take several reads to completely digest the principles that Machiavelli discusses and try to apply them to my own situations. I highly recommend it for businessmen and corporate climbers as it can easily be applied to business (especially takeovers!).

Also, I recently got Vampire Weekend's debut album, and gives me nostalgic feelings of listening to a Paul Simon album. Very Afro-pop, but in the end it's quite enjoyable and I find myself humming "Oxford Comma" throughout the day. The whole album is a fun listen and something you put on at a party and everyone seems to enjoy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I am ready for my close up

So, I spent eight hours yesterday on set filming, and I must say it was good to be back and flexing those acting muscles. Also, I had a blast filming. Both the cast and crew were a lot of fun to chill and relax with on set. It just felt good to be doing my passion again. I am glad that it really was the Writer's Strike that was keeping me from working, because it was getting slightly depressing that I couldn't even get an audition in my first four months out here. Now, though, I have gotten several auditions and the strike hasn't even been over a week! God is good. I can see all the small events that he is doing to bless me and show me this is his plan for me. It's a good feeling.
Anyways, I am hoping to be able to get my ultra-light backpack soon, so I can start heading out to Northern California and do some backpacking. The main thing that is holding me back is the sleeping bag because the ultra-light ones are like 200-300 dollars, but I should be able to get that in the next month or so and then California, here I come!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Frozen pipes and rolling your own pasta!

3:45 came around way too early today. It felt like I had just fallen asleep when I wake up to my alarm informing me that it was time to go open the store. After a fairly fast open (still working on memorizing where all the pastries go, but that'll come with time), we open the doors and sat around waiting for someone to show up and want some coffee. It was a good thing that we didn't have anyone that morning, because about 15 minutes after opening the doors we discovered that there was no hot water. So, a quick call to the facilities manager to let him know, and of course we get a well-timed response of, "It's frozen pipes. They'll warm up." Now this is Southern California, so yes it is a desert and does get cold at night, but not freezing temperatures. The low for last night was around 42 degrees. Also, we don't usually finish closing the store until 2:30am and arrive to open at 4:15am, so in less than 2 hours in 42 degree weather our pipes froze? Yeah, I wasn't having it, and of course informed the manager of the ridiculousness of his statement. He then said,"Well, they may not be frozen, but they could be just cold?". I responded by telling him that it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes (at the most) to warm up the pipes, and we had been running the water for a bit now with no luck. Then the most intelligent thing this man said came out, "Well, it could be the pipes leading to the building that are cold." I had to hold back from laughing. Yeah, the water treatment facility doesn't warm the water it pumps through the pipes to us. That's why we have a, wait for it, water heater! Luckily, I was able to reason with him and we were able to call a plumber; who wouldn't get there for another 4 hours.
Anyways, it became a fun day of light cleaning and chatting with the other employees and watching people come up to the door, read the sign stating that we were temporarily closed, and then trying the door anyways as if they thought the sign was a ruse that the employees were using to get out of work. Yeah, the count got up to over twenty before we stopped.
Yeah, it was a fun morning.

So last night I got to roll my own pasta which I must say is quite fun. I had headed over to Steve's to hang out with him and a bunch of his friends, and entered into the cooking zone. Since I love cooking, I washed my hands and jumped right in to help (even though I only knew Steve at this party). So I spent the next couple hours making pasta noodles and ravioli from scratch (Yes, and I mean scratch). I thinned out the dough for the ravioli, stuffed, and sealed the raviolis myself. Of course, there was also the beautiful fettuccine noodles Steve and I made too. They both went great with the steak and salad that went along with it as well. Let's just say it was quite the food party (and alcohol, of course!).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

By grace and grace only do I survive...

Wow, in the darkest part of my life these past couple of weeks, God struck. Questioning everything that I have become, what I have done and lost, and how could I ever recover, He sent me a sign that the path I am pursuing is His will. That's right, out of the blue I get an acting gig. Why on a Thursday night (Valentine's Day no less), and at my lowest point to I get a call from a director about acting in his film? That's right, no audition, he wants me! I am so blessed, and this pushes me forward and gives me the strength to continue my pursuit. God has me in his hands and I will be better because of it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Whirlwind of thoughts, emotions, and actions

So finally the WGA strike is over. Today, the writers went back to work and hopefully the town can begin to function again as usual. Unfortunately, I still don't know what that is, since by the time I got settled and started my search, the writers decided to go on strike. Well, at least now there should be more jobs about that I will be able to get my hands on. It still is a hard road ahead, I have no delusions of grandeur, but at least now there isn't something larger than myself keeping me from working.
On the home front, Ben and I are back to looking for new places to live and getting out of this rat-infested apartment that we live in at the moment. Everything is still a little up in the air, since we don't exactly how many roommates we will have. There is potentially two other guys we may be living with, which may be good to help split the rent, but it's not definite yet. Back to the holding pattern we go.
Still trying to keep myself busy, and today it mostly worked, however when you start at 4:15 am eight hours comes pretty fast at 2 pm. Of course, that is when your mind wanders, and everything comes crashing down again. Luckily, I have a great set of family and friends that can get me out of these situations.
It was nice to out and about these past couple of days. Santa Monica was, as always, beautiful, Leno was a blast to see again, and the Warner Bros. studio tour was a lot of fun. I am glad that I am finding places to bring people when they are out visiting. LA is huge and there is so much to do, but you definitely have to know how to find it, or at least the inexpensive ones.

And with that I will leave you with a picture from the studio tour in which I am outside the front door of Chicago's favorite emergency room door.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Back in the U.S.S.R.

Well, after two weeks back in Virginia and three days of driving back across the country, I am settled once again in Burbank. While the reasons for coming back were bad, it is good to be back around people and places that I can enjoy and that don't remind me of anything. I already have several plans that are in the works and hopefully my goals will be reached. At least this move seems to have better timing, since the WGA strike looks like it is winding down. Now, I just hope that SAG doesn't start their own. Unfortunately, my plans that I had in the works for the East Coast went stillborn when I arrived. The couple of gigs that I had lining up, I didn't move forward with due to other circumstances that still make me feel like I am stuck in a nightmare. I still have a hard time grasping the concept of this separation, but it wasn't my decision and so it will take me that much longer to deal with it.
While I have focus and drive with my passion and goals, other parts of my life are in somewhat of a whirl and I must come to grips with them.
Anyways, things are looking up and I am happy to be back in The Golden State.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Well, the world has definitely turned upside down this month. Hopefully, next month it will start to level out again.
With a short departure back to Virginia, my bags are being assembled to send me back to the City of Angels. Time to apply all my energy to my passion, or at least trying to weather the Writer's strike storm. I definitely will enjoy rooming with Ben again. It is funny how, when I first moved to L.A., I hated every minute of it and wanted to move back. However, as my last month there dwindled to a close, I began to enjoy aspects of the city that I would miss when I left.
I am definitely jazzed up about going back. The year-round shorts weather was quite nice!