Cerebral Flotsam And Jetsam Too Many Thoughts For One Head

10
Nov
2003

It was 20 years ago today…

…that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play. Ahh, but who cares about that old git and his silly band. More importantly, it was one year ago today, that a wunnerful woman lost her mind and actually married me. How she’s managed to put up with me for one full year is a mystery for the ages. One year, is our paper anniversary, which is good since I can afford that. I made her an origami giraffe a few weeks back in anticipation. It’s nice to always have your best friend around.
Yay for us!

09
Nov
2003

Lord of the Cash

Jess and I will not be attending the Lord of the Rings marathon trilogy…
because our 2 tickets just sold on ebay for $400. Now we will be pleasing the Lord of the Rent next month.

02
Nov
2003

Money and Happiness

Why is it so rare that these two things go together. It seems like I only ever have an abundance of one. Right now, I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as happy in some ways and creatively fulfilled. Since we’ve been in Austin my creative passions have run free. This weekend alone, I went on something like 6 auditions, and I must say kicked ass, but more on that later in the entry. The point is that our money situation is beyond an emergency state, and I must find a job, any job, and quick. This will balance out the money factor at the expense of my happiness factor. Anyway, enough about that, onto the fun stuff.
I had 3 different auditions today (all for non-paying projects). Before the first one, I stumbled upon a monologue that just resonated with me and fit like a glove. I have 2 other monologues, one light, and one darker that I’ve been using when needed up until this point. I knew immediately that I just had to learn this new one. With both the others, I really had to struggle and work on delivery and timing and such. The new one just flowed with me perfectly from the moment I read it. I quickly memorized it, and 30 minutes later did it at my first audition. They then asked if I had another one from a different angle, so I did my light hearted one from my repertoire. By the end they knew they wanted to use me in their short film. One small hitch was that this film was for the 48 hour film contest where film makers receive a genre and some miscellaneous detail Friday night at 7:00 and have 48 hours to make and submit a film. What’s the hitch? The fact that I had already auditioned for 2 other teams, one of which wants to use me for something, albeit they told me it would be for like 30 minutes on Friday night which wouldn’t interfere with the other 2 which would be shooting on Saturday. So now the problem was which of the other two to participate in.
I went to my second audition for a short student film, and absolutely killed with my portrayal of a tailor named Vito which I did with a strong New York accent.
My third audition was callbacks for the other 48 hour team which I had auditioned for yesterday. I told them that the other team definitely wanted me, so I wasn’t sure I should even audition again with them. They said they also wanted me, and that they’d love for me to at least stay and read, and I could decide later. I stayed and read, and felt like I kicked some ass. I then waited around before a second round of reading, and got to know some really cool actors as we chatted away for hours. After the second reading, they wanted me to stay for a third reading since they were really short on guys to read opposite the girls so I did. In the end, I felt I’d really done well, and now I have to decide which of these two teams to go with, and hope that the third doesn’t end up changing from the initial Friday night shooting estimate.
It’s nice to be wanted and feel confident in my work. I’m trying to just bask in my current happiness and not think about the getting a job thing right now. At least until tomorrow. I actually put in an 8 hour day of auditioning today. Crazy, eh? I have begun my world take over.

26
Oct
2003

Life does not like me much at the moment.

So in a turn for the worse, I took Jess to work tonight, only to find that when I got back in the truck to go home, it wouldn’t start. I turns over, and occasionally will sputter for 5-10 seconds and then die. Seems to be fuel related, like the fuel pump or fuel filter or something. So Now I’ll have to call the Mobile Mechanic to go to my truck and check it out, which we can’t even come close to affording at the moment since I’m currently wondering how we’re going to pay rent. Must…find…job…NOW!
Le sigh. Does anyone besides my wife and mother even read this any more?

24
Oct
2003

God Strikes Back! A Mel Gibson Production.

Or so the Church would probably have you believe. So Mel Gibson is filming this highly controversial movie about the life of Jesus called “The Passion of Christ”. There has been all kinds of furor over this film accusing it of anti-semitism, and due to the fact that Gibson plans to release it with all dialogue in ancient Aramaic with no subtitles. When I read this article on People.com there was just no way to not find it hilarious.

STRUCK: Actor Jim Caviezel, 35, who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson’s controversial film “The Passion of Christ,” was struck by lightning during shooting, reports Variety, which quotes a producer as describing how he saw lightning come out of the actor’s ear. An assistant director on the film, Jan Michelini, also reportedly was struck — twice. The first time, a lightning fork struck his umbrella during filming in Italy, causing light burns to the tips of his fingers. A few months later, Michelini was carrying an umbrella and standing next to Caviezel. Both were hit, with the main bolt striking Caviezel while one of its forks hit Michelini’s umbrella. Neither were hurt.

In related news (not really, but conspiracy theorists could link them), check out this article on CNN.

23
Oct
2003

Anxiousness

So I’ve found myself to be very distracted and on some underlying level frustrated lately. I would say “unhappy” but I don’t feel comfortable with that word as it seems to convey to grave a nature to my state of being. I’m not depressed or anything like that, but there is a bit of grumpiness at life in general. I just can’t seem to shake it. I was thinking about it today trying to figure out how I could remedy this situation, and was quite displeased to realize that I can’t. The frustration will only be alleviated by actually having some degree of success in my chosen vocational areas. Now some would say that I do have some degree of success, and this is true, but my stress and frustration will only be alleviated when I am making something resembling a living doing the things I love. This worries me because it is not directly under my control, and everything I’m trying to do is just this side of fool’s folly. I mentioned today that to stay sane as an actor (and it applies to music, and crew work too) you almost have to be daftly, and blindly egocentric to a point. You have to believe that there is something so special about you that you will succeed where scores of others fail. This is a hard facade to keep up, but it is absolutely vital. I believe that if you think “Ahhh, I’m not any better than the teeming masses of other people trying for the same dream” then you’ve already failed from the start. It’s like actually convincing yourself each week that you’re going to win the lottery.
The problem with having gigantic, vivid, and vibrant dreams is that it can make reality very painful. I’ve found that making a career out of film crew work is only the tiniest bit more likely than making a living as an actor. Here’s hoping I can sell my screenplay for loads of money and make a deal to direct and star in it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been closer to being really happy and on my path, but I’ve also never been more frustrated and felt so close and yet so far. Part of me has wondered if Austin is really any better a place than anywhere else, or if you really have to be in L.A. to even stand a chance of any kind of entertainment career, be it in front of or behind the camera.
The other day I was an extra on “The Ringer”. There I was, sitting on the set all day long next to Johnny Knoxville, Bobby Farrelly, and Luis Avalos, who among many movie roles was also “Luis” in the long running children’s show, “The Electric Company”. I sat there, ecstatic to be on set (and one of only three extras), and yet feeling a bit down at watching this world I want so desperately to be a part of in much more involved capacity. I feel so many walls keeping me from where I want to go, and I don’t know how to bypass them. They never even ended up using us extras either, but at least I got paid to hang out on the set all day. We even had a trailer. Argh! I want it all, and I want it now!

20
Oct
2003

Most excellent!

So one of my best and oldest friends (oldest as in how long we’ve been friends, not his age), Andy Hunter, will be moving to Austin, and even cooler, moving into an apartment one building away from mine. Very cool.

20
Oct
2003

Auditions, gigs and funerals

The three are not related, in case you were confused. Saturday morning on our way out of town I went to 2 auditions. The first was for a little non-paying role in a film called “Love-holstry”. The script was demented, shocking and pretty damn funny. Basically, the lead gets dumped by his girlfriend, gets drunk, and then his comfy chair starts talking and coming on to him trying to get him to have sex with it. For my audition, I did a monologue from “The Jerk” by Steve Martin, and then read some of the script. I think it went well.
Next up was the extras casting call for the new Johnny Knoxville (of “Jackass” fame) movie, “The Ringer”. Since I initially didn’t think I could make the casting call due to having a gig that night, I had sent them my headshot in the mail previously, but figured I’d go ahead and pop on by anyway. Good call on my part. I filled out the info sheet, stood in line, and watched as everyone haned in their stuff and left. When she got to me, she turned to another girl who was in the back at a table and said “what about him?” She then told me to go see the girl at the table. Much to my surprise the girl actually recognized me from my picture that I’d sent in the mail, and I was hired on the spot to be an extra this Tuesday. It sounds pretty promising too, because there will only be 3 extras on the set that day.
We headed off to College Station for my gig which was uneventful. It was ok, but nothing special. Much to my surprise, it was pretty cold that night and I wished I had brought a jacket.
Sunday was Mimi’s memorial service. All in all it was a very cheery affiar, just the way she would have wanted it. She was a fan of wakes, and such as opposed to grim depressing funerals. It took place at a 100 year old house which also would have made her extremely giddy with joy. It was really nice seeing everyone and talking and catching up. To paraphrase something Jess said at one point “This is the cheeriest funeral I’ve ever seen”. It was true. All in all a fitting send off that she would have approved of heartily. It’s kind of strange to know that she’s gone and never coming back. It’s a concept that my mind can’t really wrap itself around. I wondered last night what an alien culture would think if they saw our little death rituals. I’m sure it would depend on the culture, but I wondered if they might be puzzled at how these strange people have a solemn ritual every single time one of their flesh bags ceases functioning. Billions of them around the world, and yet with each passing, life halts for just a moment to pay their respects. Those wacky humans!

13
Oct
2003

Betty Cooper 1925-2003

We lost my grandmother today. For those who might not know, it was totally expected. She had been in declining health for a long time, and living with my mother who had been taking care of her for many years now. She was constantly in and out of the hospital, and my mother had somehow managed to take care of her for a long time even though Mimi (as we knew her) was really far beyond the capabilities that should have been expected from my mom. Somehow my Supermom managed to make it work all this time though, even though Mimi really should have gone into some place where she would have been professionally cared for 24/7. The thought of any kind if “home” or anything was anathema to her though, so my mom bravely soldiered forward, living her life basically as a 24/7 home care nurse.
With this last trip to the hospital, it was pretty much determined that things were looking worse, and that these might be her final days. She had a “Living Will” and did not want to be kept alive by any machines or life support or any of that. In her final week she was moved to a Houston facility, and my mom, my 2 uncles, and their wives were pretty constantly down there with her. In her final days, the doctors had proposed various feeding tubes and procedures which really served no purpose but to delay the inevitable, so in the end all those procedures were declined, and instead, she was just put on oxygen and morphine to make her comfortable. That was yesterday. She died some time after noon today. I’m sure she was ecstatic to finally be out of her misery and to again be with my uncle Jim, who I’m sure was there to greet her with his guitar in hand at the boat dock, bus stop, train station, futuristic air tube, or whatever other transit there is to the after life.
My mother and I spent a large majority of my life living in the same house with Mimi, so she was a large part of my growing up too. A few random memories:
She introduced me to the delicacies of butter and sugar sandwiches, raw cookie dough (which I liked to eat as much as finished cookies), and can probably be blamed for my enduring sweet tooth.
She was responsible for exposing me to old horror films, Monty Python, and Benny Hill, which I’m sure played a large part in shaping me.
She obviously raised a damn good family too, since my mom and my uncles are all exemplary human beings.
Good bye, Mimi. Here’s some change for Charon, the bus driver, the train conductor, air tube coin slots, or whatever it may be. Say hello to Jim for me.

11
Oct
2003

This NaNoWriMo thing

For anyone who is not familiar, check it out here. It sounds intriguing, but there’s no way I will be participating unless I finish my screenplay before then. If I finish my screenplay before November, then I may undertake it just for fun by taking an idea loosely based on P@’s dream about time travel but done in a silly Douglas Adams-y way. Initially his dream gave me this great idea for an action thriller screenplay with a sort of “Minority Report” atmosphere, but upon thinking about the NaNoWriMo thing, it lent itself well to my Douglas Adams-y thing too.
If I don’t finish my screenplay before November then I shall endeavor to use that time to make sure it gets finished by December. Whenever I do finish it, it is only the first draft which will need some serious re-writing and tweaking, so that may end up taking precedence anyway. We shall see what happens.