Category: The Cheese Shoppe

16
Nov
2005
10:27

My archnemesis, Darin Murphy

I have decided that Darin Murphy is my arch-nemesis. Who is Darin Murphy? Ahh, where to start.
Darin Murphy is a professional working musician here in Austin. I actually remember him and his sister Trish Murphy playing around College Station many years ago when I lived there. When I first moved to Austin and started trying to do some freelance work with that studio here writing jingles, I quickly found that there was this little clique of artists who get most of the work there. One of these people was Darin Murphy. As time went on, I heard his name (and that of the others in the elite cadre of musicians) more and more. I would hear him performing on the morning radio show. Then I heard about how he had been cast in the Broadway show, “Lennon” and moved to New York temporarily while he was in the show. It was especially noted that he he was the only person cast who had no acting experience at all, but had still impressed people so much and knew some great contacts. As I read his blog it just depressed me that this guy seemed to have it made. He seemed to be my successful twin. There was definitely a kindred spirit thing there too. A familiarity. I didn’t hate him. On the contrary, I felt like we’d probably be great friends and have a lot in common artistically and personally, but he seemed to be somewhat living the life that I so often feel is missing. He seemed like an alternate me who had usurped one of the better time lines that I could have followed leaving me in this time line disconnected and wanting. He is what I could have been.
As I studied up on my nemesis, I found out that he’s also in a cover band called the K-tel Hit Machine. The other members of the band are those same compadres from the Elite Cadre clique whose names seem to keep wafting into my life like a taunt. The band sounded exactly like something I would be a part of or would have started. I heard them on the radio this morning. They were awesome. I hate them.
Darin Murphy has stolen my soul. While he isn’t necessarily living my dream life 100%, he’s living what I see as a most realistic version of what could be a point in my journey to my life’s ultimate destination. He’s like my doppelganger living a version of my life that I’ve yearned for. This is the stuff comic book villains are made of. I don’t really hate him, of course. I envy and respect him, but it’s much more fun to blow it up into some mythical duality where he’s somehow cosmically stolen my life and therefore he is my arch-nemesis. I seem to constantly be taunted by references and allusions to this whole musical league of super heroes, and with each occurrence, the wind is sucked out of my sails.
He lives the life while I do what I’ve always done…dream.

20
Feb
2005
17:51

More Karma with 42% More Misanthropy

For the record, while I’m a bit grumpy and misanthropic today, this post probably sounds much more gloomy than I actually feel. Just a heads up that in reality I’m doing pretty damn good, and am not in some kind of deep funk or anything.
I realized today that I hate people. This includes most of my friends who I really like. I hate them too. They’re all annoying. Let me ‘splain.
Most of our friends fall into at least one if not several of the following categories:

  • Have or are having children
  • Are impossible to get a hold of
  • Have their lives dictated by other people
  • Are so hard to coordinate any time with that launching a space shuttle or getting a bill through congress look easy by comparison
  • Live or are going to live very far away (very far ranging from 30 minutes to another country)
  • A litany of other self absorbed selfish gripes

Take my cousin for example (as a complete side note, I absolutely can not write “cousin” without writing “cousing” and then correcting it).
Now I only use him as an example because a)he illustrates many of my points, b) he is the most amusing example, and c) I don’t think he ever reads this. So this not to pick on him, just to illustrate my point.
He has always been like a brother to me and is one of my favorite people in the world to hang out with. I thought it would be so great when we moved to Austin because then I’d get to see him all the time! The first barrier to this is getting a hold of him. It is such a farce that we’ve come to call it the “Casey lottery”. If we do actually reach him we jump and yell and celebrate winning the Casey Lottery. As you could probably guess, Casey does not have a cell phone, nor does he want one, and in fact is vehemently against owning one, bu that’s another story.
The strangest part of the fact that he is never home is that when we do see him he usually can’t ever stay away from home for very long because he has to get back to take care of his pets. This makes any kind of trip out of town next to impossible. There is a whole sub-irony to that fact due to how often he is watching other friend’s pets for them while their gone (which seems very often), so you would think he’d have a plethora of people willing to do the same. He can’t ever leave home for too long, and yet he’s never home. It’s a mystery/enigma burrito. Of course we often hear about other trips he took to camping or go out of town with other friends, so that pretty much leaves the option that he hates us.
If you do manage to get a hold of him, finding a time to actually do anything with him is a whole other hurdle. Even if we manage to get together with him for some particular purpose (like filming part of our movie yesterday), as soon as business is done he usually has to go. He’s tired. He has to wash clothes. He has to go kick his dog. Again, leading to the inevitable conclusion that he hates us.
Another big part of his presence being as common as ice skating on the river Styx is the fact that he is very popular and unfortunately has many friends who are extremely demanding, guilt trippy and far more aggressive and effective than we are at grabbing his time. He’s obviously hanging out somewhere all the time, but it’s not with us, nor are we ever invited. There’s this whole separate group of friends who we know and like, yet can’t crack into ourselves. It’s the secret Casey society, and we don’t know the handshake.
There was a time when I thought we would make the greatest roommates ever. At one point I proposed this to him since he lived in a three bedroom house all by himself, and he very politely shot me down saying he was enjoying living by himself for the time in his life. That was fair enough actually, but it was kind of the crushing blow that made realize the cold hard truth: My high regard and brotherly affection for my cousin was not a two way street.
This is an important fact. Important because it is a recurring theme in my life. Whenever there is someone I really want to be good friends with, it is rarely ever reciprocated. I’ve written before about being so excited to find old friends and wanting to strike up th old friendship only to be met but polite indifference and only when I initiate contact.
I have decided this must be Karma. Karma because I, in fact, am a totally crap friend. I suck at keeping in touch with people, and have let more great friendships fall by the wayside than some people ever have. So I guess it’s only right that the people who I really want to hang out with and get to know better, or foster real lasting friendships with don’t always feel the same way. It was quite a realization to me. If you believe in anything like karma then it really does fit.
Thus I have become a huge misanthrope and it only seems to get worse as I get older. People are annoying. Even my friends. They probably say the same about me.

30
Aug
2004
20:20

To quote the magic 8 ball…

“Outlook not so good”
As you may remember, I have some friends who work for a company that I really want to work for, in a department that I really would like to work in, in a career and industry that I would absolutely love to pursue. There were some job openings, and after hearing that I had applied, they put in a word for me to try and get me an interview. A few weeks went by, and I made a follow up inquiry, and they thought they might start interviewing in the next couple of weeks, and that I was on the list to be interviewed as far as they knew. About a month later I made another inquiry and found out interviews had been going on. They went and talked to their manager only to find out tht he had forgotten I was a recommendation, and that I did not make the but to be interviewed due to my totaly lack of industry experience, and the fact that another company had recently gone away and thus flooded the market with experienced folk.
This has hit me quite hard, even though I was trying not to get my hopes up. I feel absolutely gutted, and pretty much on the verge of tears all day. I feel totally trapped in a job I hate, with no foreseeable future other than going from one unpleasant job to another, forever slaving for the man due to the fact that regardless of what skills I possess, I don’t have anything to really show or prove that I am qualified for anything.
I am quite taken aback at how hard this has hit me. I didn’t realize how tight I was clinging to this hope to keep me afloat, and now that’s gone, and I don’t really have anything to cling to now. Just a general grayness overlaying everything I see now. I’m sure it will pass, but this is the worst I’ve felt in a long time. I hate wallowing in self-pity, and it bothers me when other people do it, and yet I can’t shake the funk. I see no light to look forward to at the moment.
Boo. Boo, I say. Cheery post, eh?

20
Jul
2004
8:39

Prison or sanctuary?

So some friends of mine are putting in a good word for me at a company that I’ve wanted to work for since I moved here. As far as “jobs” go it would be about as good as they come. In fact it would be one of the jobs I have been actively pursuing. However, something dawned on me last night that is also kind of scary. If I did end up getting this job, I would not want to leave it. That sounds like a good thing, I’m sure, and it is in many ways. However that puts a scary angle on my acting/film crew/music work. If some opportunity arose, I would not leave my job to pursue it unless it was a proverbial “big break”. If I got some kind of offer for a month long PA job, acting job, music tour, etc., I couldn’t take it because I sure wouldn’t quit such a great job for a temporary gamble.
So this raises the question, “Which is more of a prison: a job you hate or a job you love?”
Now to be fair, I would still pursue it all to the best of my abilities and work around my job as much as I could, while also being far happier at my job and outside of it, but still it’s a scary prospect in some ways. Considering I haven’t even had an interview yet, I realize this is putting the cart before the horse, as it were, but I’m a ponderous guy.

13
Jul
2004
19:49

Funk part 2

Because life likes to taunt us, I received a call to be a PA on a VH1 show filming for 5 days here. Well, not only would I have to quit my job to do it, but I have a band gig one of those days, so I couldn’t do it no matter what.
Don’t you hate when Opportunity knocks and you have to tell it “Sod off you bloomin’ Opportunity! I’m not home!” and then Opportunity goes next door, and you hear it having tons of fun with your neighbors as they drink and yell, and scream bad songs together (although they erroneously sing “fire all of your guns at horses” during “Born to be Wild”), and then Opportunity is like “Yo dudes! We’re out of queso! Let’s hit the store!” and they all pile into someone’s car with the stereo cranked through the crappy car speakers, and screech off down the road to get more queso, and other party supplies, and you go to sleep grumbling under your covers until you are awakened by Opportunity and your drunk neighbors bellowing more hits from the 80’s as they come back from the store and order a pizza just as the pizza place is about to close (but it’s O.K., they tip the driver very nicely) and you eventually manage to tune out the euphoria and get a few winks because you have to work your crappy job the next morning and as you leave for work you see through the bay window that Opportunity and everyone are crashed out on the couches and floors amidst pizza boxes, queso stained upholstery, Queen albums, and swim suits (from the sojourns in the jacuzzi), but it’s all O.K. because you have your red stapler.

12
Jul
2004
12:03

Funk

Not the good kind. Not as in “We want the funk. Gotta have the funk.” Funk as in, I’m in one. I can’t shake it. Yes this is yet another entry of Heath whines about his dissatisfaction with life in general, so feel free to move on to more enlightening reading.
The usual stuff. Job is miserable. Which generally makes it hard to really enjoy anything even when you’re not at work. I’ve come to the realization that even if I get a better job, I’m just trading one prison for a more comfy and acceptable prison where you can at least enjoy your life outside of prison. However, it would still pretty much prevent me from really pursuing the things I want to be doing. It would still be a step up though.
I kinda feel like maybe my moment has passed. I’m too entrenched in the machine of life to break out and do what I want to do. Time to wrap up the dreams in a shoebox and put them in the closet with old photos and such. Perhaps I’ve dabbled in too many things and mastered none. I just don’t feel like there’s any chance of doing any of the 100 things I want to do barring some random chance at life’s lottery.
As much as I love Austin, I still think that if I really wanted any chance of acting, voice acting, or film crew careers I would have to go to L.A. Take, for example, this excerpt from voice acting 101:

Equally important is that you really should live where the jobs are; in North America, this means Los Angeles, where most of the cartoon voice work is cast and recorded. Some actors such as David Kaye and Stephanie Morganstern are based in Canada, but they are exceptions. No one will hire you if you live in New Jersey or Texas, no matter how talented you are. When a casting call comes, you need to be there, sometimes within the hour.

I feel like I need to get to a destination that’s 5000 miles away with no vehicle, no maps, and no clue.
Ahh, enough whining for now. Trying to corral my personal mental Charybdis and put it into words just ends up as a rambly mess. I just feel bad that my frustration, and moreso my current job prevents me from really enjoying anything anymore. I have a great wife, and want to be able to not be a big bummer around her. I hate that she has to suffer due to my frustration.
Two weeks of great fun and vacation really makes you realize how much you hate your job when you come back.

09
Mar
2004
9:00

Gut check!

Argh dammit and all that. Yesterday I get a call from an infomercial company here in Austin (actually an L.A. company who have opened an Austin branch) wanting to know if I’d be interested in being an office production assistant for the next week for $100 a day. Of course I want to, since it’s actually something I want to do, and it’s decent money. However, there’s no way I could do it without quitting my current full time job. I felt like I was being tested, as if this was the moment where I symbolically choose to either follow my dreams or live a life of wage slavery. On the drive home I kept thinking “if only I had some kind of sign, or a potential interview at NCSoft (the gaming company I want to work for here), or any other potential job then maybe it wouldn’t be so crazy to just quit my job for this opportunity”.
I got home to find an email from NCSoft telling me that there were still some Level 1 Technical Support positions available and who to contact if I was interested. Exactly the sign I had asked for. I emailed my information to the contact, and then he emailed back asking for my resume, which
I then sent him. I called the infomercial company to get the details, and I explained to them my situation. I asked how quickly they needed an answer, and she said that I could get back to her the next day. She seemed impressed by my eagerness and told me that she had some calls out to some other people, but that she would wait until she heard back from me.
She also told me to send my resume on over either way, as they would probably have some on-set gigs coming up in the future and such.
So now it’s the next day, and I’m fairly sure I’m going to have to say no, and it just kills me. There’s no way work would let me take a week off (I’m currently still a temp technically, and they’re already short handed next week due to several people going on vacation), thus the reason I would have to quit to take this one week Production Assistant job. There are two equal parts inside me fighting for dominance. One is the part that says how stupid it would be to ditch a full time decent paying job (even if it is nothing more than a paycheck and gives you no job satisfaction) for a one week job that “may” open some doors and lead to new opportunities on one of my chosen paths. The other part thinks that these are the kinds of risks you have to be willing to take if you really want to make it, and that if I don’t then I’m just being a big coward and taking the easy, safe path which is steady but unfulfilling.
Well at least the NCSoft job may come through. There is some solace in that. Life is hard.

29
Feb
2004
12:56

Whine in the key of D minor

So I’ve been going through another phase of intense life restlessness and all that. I’ve whined about it before so I’ll save it for now. Firstly, as some of you may know, I had interviewed twice at a video game company for a great job being in-game support. The interview went really well, I thought. Last week it was announced that the Austin office will be closing. This is a double whammy in that a) there goes my freakin job opportunity, and b) the market will now be flooded with video game industry people looking for jobs, thus greatly decreasing my chances of getting on with the other company I really wanted to work for.
I really want to start pursuing voice acting some more, so I tweaked my character voice demo. Feel free to listen and critique it here.
I may send out a bunch of my radio voice demos too, and see if I can’t get on with a radio station again (I was a DJ for a couple of years). I have no job satisfaction right now, and worse, it has completely sapped all my time and energy to do things I want to do (of which there are too many; acting, music, writing, directing, etc). Life makes me want to scream ARGH! or some other such exclamation. Feel free to suggest your favorite.
In other news, we have no social life. We’re like prisoners of our apartment. No one ever calls us to do anything, and about the only social interaction we get is the rare occasions when we manage to get a hold of my cousin and book some time before someone else does, or when my friend Andy actually stays in town for the weekend (which is pretty much never), and we can’t seem to crack the barrier to being included in anyone else’s activities. Thank goodness I have my wife to keep me from going totally insane.
Now scroll back up and go critique my character voice demo.

19
Dec
2003
18:05

No time for blogging!

So tired. I’m not used to this working crap. So I spent the week training for my new job doing phone support for lottery ticket machines. All in all it doesn’t seem like too bad of a job, but I’m not jumping for joy either, except for the fact that we once again have money. I’m just so frustrated at the whole job thing. It sucks so bad that so many of us have to do something we’d really rather not do, only because we have to survive. More than anything I just want a job even somewhat related to something I love. I can’t think of any job in the entertainment industry that I don’t think I would love. It’s amazing how you can do the exact same job in two different industries, and you may hate it in one instance, but love it in the other merely because it’s related to something you feel passionate about. I feel like I have so many varied talents that could be put to use, but all the things I do aren’t things you can just apply for. I have friends who are movie and sitcom writers, Creative Executives, game level designers, TV/Film crew positions, and so many others. I would kill to be able to pay the bills doing something vaguely creative, or interesting, or just in the general field. So once again, I find myself gainfully employed, yet tired all the time with seemingly no time for anything else but a job that I do only because I have bills to pay. I try to remain an optimistic and happy cheery person, but as of late I find it so hard. I feel so much urgency in getting to where I want to go. I feel like I’ve wasted too much time already and now I’m trapped. Sometimes I feel a bit cheated by life and wonder why fortune has not smiled upon me as it may have on others who may not even really appreciate it or feel the passion for what they’ve been given. Sometimes I feel I deserve more. I always realize afterwords how silly and selfish that sounds, but never the less, I feel like this undiscovered treasure packed so densely with potential that may never be discovered. I just wish that everyone, not just me, could make a living doing something remotely related to their inner passions or interests. Grrrr! Frustration!
I would happily move just about anywhere if an opportunity presented itself. I think I may resume what I call my “Lottery Ticket” technique. This is where I write letters to celebrities I admire hoping that my words will be infused with enough magic to perhaps sway them into taking a chance on me and giving me a job of some sort. Production Assistant, Personal Assistant, Secretary, Creative Consultant, whatever. I’m not picky. Anything. I know Mike Judge is a local here in Austin. I love his work. If anyone has his address, let me know. Robert Rodriguez is a local too, as well as Sandra Bullock sometimes. If you see them, give them my information. I think I’m going slightly mad. er…madder. Well, mad in the not cool and fun way. Damn you life! Where are my just rewards! Cough ’em up!