Category: Life As I Know It


My Time At NCsoft

Tonight I found myself reminiscing about my days working at NCsoft. Probably because I’m housesitting for a friend who I met there all those many years ago. It was a very important event in my life. The year was 2004. I was married and we had moved to Austin in 2003. She got a soul sucking job in retail. I got a soul sucking job in telephone tech support for lottery machines. Since my job had benefits, she quit her soul sucking job, then later got some decent admin jobs, so I could finally quit my job which made me miserable. I set my sights on getting into the video game industry and NCsoft specifically as the company I wanted to work for.

When my friend since 4th grade, Andy Hunter moved to Austin as well with his wife, I told him he should apply there since he was an artist. He got the job! He then started keeping an eye on jobs for me and recommending me. Reviewing this blog, I was reminded that there was one round that I was hoping to get an interview for but didn’t due to my lack of experience and them forgetting I was a recommendation. He did also alert me to someone at the company holding auditions for a play. Both my wife and I auditioned and got cast and this turned out to be “A Christmas Carol,” the very first show that opened Richard Garriott’s Curtain Theater (Richard was one of the big bosses at NCsoft), directed by Athena Peters who I am also still friends with. 

Eventually, I did get an interview in the Quality Assurance department and got the job (my boss was Andrew Wagner, also still a friend). I was SUPER excited. This was the company and the exact job I had been chasing. A little while later, my wife got hired there as well and stayed with the company long after my layoff, our divorce, and the company move to Seattle where she still currently lives now (my friend Andy also ended up in Seattle for a time as well because of that).

It was one of the best “office jobs” I ever had. I loved the company, the games, and the people and in fact I am still friends with so many people that I met there. So many in fact that I don’t even want to try and tag people as I know I’ll forget someone. It really was a very special time and a defining event in my life. One of those magical eras you never forget. The layoff from that job really hurt but also was the thing that led to me pursuing acting and music as a full time freelancer. In a weird way, I had been released from my very nice, comfortable prison that I never would have just left on my own. 

I’m really glad I kept this blog, and still do to an extent though I don’t post here much since social media kind of took its place for me. It really helps me research and remember things as well as reminding me of things I’d totally forgotten. I wish it went back further than 2000!


The Human Fight Against Envy

I feel like envy is a hard-wired human trait that we must actively and constantly fight against. I’m sure there’s some evolutionary, survival-based reason it seems so hard-coded into the fabric of our being. We seem to naturally want to focus on that which we lack, and take for granted where we actually are and the always countless things we have to be grateful for. It takes constant, sometimes exhausting vigilance.

Today I had one of those moments. I have several friends who are full-time musicians playing all the time with great bands. Sometimes touring, sometimes mini-tours, sometimes just occasional jaunts to other cities and states. Big crowds, great venues, and busy all the time. I had a moment of sadness when I thought about how none of my full-time bands can ever be what those bands are. We have a ceiling we will never break past due to the fact that everyone (including myself) plays in multiple bands and even coordinating just occasional dates can be like orchestrating a rocket launch. Also, most of my band mates don’t do this full-time. They have jobs and families and other bands and even if Yacht Z, my Yacht Rock band started to really take off, we couldn’t do the things that my friends’ bands are doing. I’m the only one who could conceivably do this full time (and, well, kind of do along with all my other creative irons in fires as well). So it was kind of a let down for a moment knowing that we can never be [insert band here]. There is a pretty hard limit to how far we can go and how much we can play.

However, being someone who tries my best to always reframe from a place of gratitude, I had to remind myself that every journey is unique. I have to believe that I am exactly where I need to be. Like most of humanity, there is so much more I want to do, wishing I was so much “further” (a loaded and ambiguous word). I continue to believe that my whirling maelstrom of a constantly churning mind is both my biggest asset as well as my biggest flaw. Always thinking at the speed of light, layers upon layers of multi-dimensional overthinking. I haven’t had a “day job” since 2013. I play with some of the best musicians in Austin. Many people wish they had what I have, yet this human hunger plants that voice deep inside us always yearning for more, MORE, MORE. Insatiable.

If I was in the “enviable” position of some of my peers, I could probably only play with one band. Maybe two at most. Neither good nor bad, just a fact with pros and cons. It would probably make it much harder on my acting career (not that there’s been much of that for the last few years, but that’s another hunger that will be forever fed as long as I’m alive). I most definitely am grateful. I actively try to always keep perspective. I am a paradox, both always at peace, present, and grateful, and simultaneously a slavering beast, straining at my chains and fighting frustration and dissatisfaction.

I don’t know if I’m extra thinky because I just had a birthday, because it’s the end of the year, or just because it’s a new day and I am me.


Some Thoughts On Authenticity

I had some more thoughts on personal authenticity today. I’ve been on social media since the invention of social media. Early on I was much more hesitant to use profanity or post things I was worried might not be palatable to some of my friends and acquaintances. I tried to keep it more safe for general audiences. Over time, that felt more and more fake. That’s not me and I was restraining myself. I do also post lots of things that are totally fit for mass consumption, but I’m also someone who swears a lot and can get R-rated. I am deeply layered like a Bloomin’ Onion.

In the end I opted to just try and embrace my true self and be unfiltered me. Because no matter what we do we will never please everybody. There will always be people who don’t like us or for whom we are just not their cuppa tea, and that needs to be okay or you’ll always be fighting a battle you can’t win. I’m 99% sure there are people I love, respect, and admire who have unfollowed me or hidden me due to profanity or other things they may not like.

But even still, it’s a fight for me. Every time I post something that’s not necessarily fit for all audiences, I get a little twinge like “Should I do that?” I try to live absolutely transparently and genuinely. Those who know me best will tell you that my social media is not a curated version of me, it’s just me. You can actually, really, truly get to know me from my social media. And this is how I want it. I am an open book with no filters and that is exactly how I want to live. Actually, that’s not true. That’s my goal but I still get hung up with insecurities and such but it’s the goal I’m always working toward.

So of course it makes me laugh that the thing I am most widely known for on social media, the thing that went viral, was most definitely NOT something fit for general audiences. I guess that’s one way to get more comfortable with something. Get thrown in the deep end!


Kvetching About “The Biz”

I don’t generally like complaining on the internet, but sometimes it is a really helpful part of the process to just get it out. Acting and music are the reasons I am in this universe. The things I have the most passions for and that make me feel the most fulfilled and alive. The “business” part of “show business” however is brutal, exhausting, and demoralizing. I’ve mentioned before how not many days go by that part of my doesn’t want to just quit, but also I know I can’t. I’d never be happy.

My acting career has been in what feels like the most stagnant slump ever for the last couple of years. Now of course, much of this could be simple skewed perception and many of my peers have expressed similar feelings that the business in general has been much slower and tougher. I realized last week that I felt like I have just kind of “given up.” Not given up acting, as I don’t think that could ever happen, but I realized I had only been doing things that just happened to come to me. When my agent sends me an audition, I do it and do my best. When someone comes to me with a role or a chance to audition I take it. Outside of that, however, I’m not doing anything for myself. I’m not hustling, chasing, looking. I’m not working on putting demo reels together or scouring casting sites for roles I can submit myself for. I’m just tired and demoralized and feel like nothing is really going to change unless some equivalent of a lottery ticket win just somehow finds me and drops in my lap. I feel stuck and frustrated.

While “fame” has never sounded like something I didn’t want, it has also never been the goal. All I’ve ever really wanted is to the things I love and do them well, and hopefully pay the bills while doing those things. And truthfully, from a certain perspective, I am doing that. I definitely try to never lose sight of that fact and that I’m living a life that would make younger me scream “Holy shit! You are living THE LIFE!” I definitely try to be happy in every present moment and not constantly adjust my sights so that reaching one goal is no longer satisfactory and I just push it further to something else I don’t have, but I don’t think that’s what this is. I’ve always had a vision for what I wanted to do and the life I wanted to live, and this isn’t it. It’s a good life, and on the path I want to be on, but I want more (a seemingly perpetual human condition).

I think the frustration stems from feeling like I just don’t have access to the opportunities I want and feel equipped for. There’s so much luck and things beyond our control and that’s always going to be the case. It’s almost as if I’m so close to it but still kept away from it, which in a ways is more frustrating than something seeming so far away as to the path to it being incomprehensible.

This is not necessarily anything new and I feel like it’s a common phase that all my artist friends go through. That doesn’t make it any less frustrating though. To those of you still hustling and busting your asses trying to make things happen, I salute you. I wish I could at least say “Well I’m doing everything I can on my end so I have no fault in any career dissatisfaction” but that would absolutely be a lie.

I shall try to heed my own words from the past and “Keep my head down and do good work.”


Body Dysmorphia

Sometimes I get something rolling around in the old noggin that wants to come out. Usually it’s partially for my own processing but more so because I think it’s important for people who experience the same things to know they aren’t alone and that often people you would never expect, share the same struggles.

As I was winding down last night and having a shower, I realized just how much self-loathing I had for this meat suit I walk around inhabiting. I loathe my physical form. Detest my body. I realized just how strong and pervasive that negative voice is. First, I think a little relevant personal history is in order.

Continue reading…

Time Capsule To A Younger Me

Just sitting in a recliner in an AirBNB, reading a script for a possible future project, waiting for my call sheet to see when I film the next two days, had to turn down an audition because I won’t be back before it’s due, then when I get back I shoot a couple of things for Zero World and jump on several VO projects as well, prepare for some road shows with Texas Comedies, finish some original music for and make an appearance in a film with an awesome team, prepare for a quirky, original play coming up, and various practices and gigs with various bands. So I take this moment to project this back through time to a younger Heath with artistic dreams to say this: we are far from where we want to be (at times it feels astronomically far), and can often feel frustrated, stagnant, and weary, and want to give it all up yet also know that we could never be happy and fulfilled following any other path, but all in all in the big picture, we’re doing alright, kid. We’re doing alright. And most of all, we’re good people with a good head and a good heart. #gratitude


The Minutiae You Miss

Let me begin by saying that in general I’m totally fine being single. I’ve never been someone who needed someone else to feel complete or happy or who felt this desperate NEED to find a relationship. I try to focus on the benefits of whatever my current situation is as both have their perks. Going years between relationships is not unusual for me.

That being said, sometimes I’ll miss the most strange and random things. I’m sitting in a hotel lobby waiting to be seen for a fitting that’s running late, and I just found myself missing that constant connection that’s always there when you have a partner. Someone you maybe text/chat with throughout your day and just that feeling of always being connected even if you’re not actively communicating.

So yes, basically it boiled down to missing someone to text mundane boring fluff to. “Still waiting. Love you. I need to go get an oil change.”


A Moment Of Gratitude In Honor Of My Past Self

As I get ready for some upcoming gigs, rehearsing, organizing sounds and setlists, I had a random moment of extreme gratitude aimed at teenage Heath. I remember as a budding young musician lusting after guitars and equipment that was so far out of my reach that it might as well have been a million dollars. I remember this amazing multi-effects unit, the Roland GP-8 that I wanted so bad. I remember my amazement when Scott Eddy brought over his Roland JX-3P synth and it was like magic to me.

Now I’m a professional musician with 5 amazing high end electric guitars, 2 acoustics one of which is made of carbon fiber, 2 amazing basses, a keyboard that makes that JX-3P seem like a toy, digital models of thousands of synths, effects, guitars, amps, cabs, mics, etc. at my disposal.

I would say I’m living young Heath’s dream, but that’s not accurate as I don’t think he could have dreamed this big or known what would one day be possible and in his arsenal.