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.