May 27, 2009


“It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” – Rene Descartes

Watching the Twins tonight I am, for the first time, experiencing the ridiculously slow-paced East World hurler, Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Everything he does is in slow motion.  Pitch the ball!  Would ya?

Watching the Boston Beaner gets me wondering if God is a frustrated spectator pleading to me to stop pacing around the mound, flipping the rosin bag, and shaking off my catcher in favor of actually doing what I’m supposed to do.  Flawed metaphor and discrepant personification of my creator aside, I do think it’s time to pitch.

I just don’t know where to pitch.  My recent efforts to attract attention from LA agents and managers have proved fruitless.  Reading quotes from a couple agents in Chad Gervich’s excellent book, Small Screen, Big Picture, I am no longer surprised by the wallish reception to my cordial outreach.  Essentially, those poled for the book acknowledged that querying agents or managers is a waste of time.  The consensus recommendation is to simply let your work speak for itself.

So I will continue to work.  We continue to exercise our minds, but as Mr. Descartes eloquently coined nearly 400 years ago, building our minds up does little unless we apply that knowledge.

The path to success in this vainglorious club is nebulous.  The only thing of which I am sure is that it takes hard work and a consistent counterstrike to the attacks of the procrastination enemy.  No more lingering on the mound - one way or another I need to hurl some pitches up there and see if I strike out or hit a homerun.

And there… the metaphor officially fizzled.

May 24, 2009

Soap Athetic #4

Episode 4 is online now.  Keri did a phenomenal job with the delivery of the ridiculous soap opera dialogue.  She did it all straight faced in spite of her always giggling scene partner. ;)

Soap Athetic Episode 4

May 20, 2009


“A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.” – Alfred Hitchcock

So what makes a movie great?  Critical acclaim?  Box office success?  Oscars and Globes?  Great being an arbitrary term, a consensus definition cannot exist.  I’ve seen very few of what I would call great movies – Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and Jaws among them (see a pattern?) – but I’ve enjoyed a lot of flicks.  Ironically, many of my favorite movies are, admittedly, not great movies.

Take my second all-time favorite, Twister.  Sub-par acting, plot holes, continuity errors littered throughout, yet I watch it at least once a year at the arrival of storm season.  I love it.  The aerial shots of the expansive plains, rumbles of thunder in the rear channels of the soundtrack, Mark Mancina’s brilliant score, and flying cows – does it get any better?

For many, yes, it gets much better.  I know I’m in the minority for regarding the movie as highly as I do.  But that’s what makes movies such an important part of our culture.  Just as everyone favors a particular brand of toothpaste or shoes or ice cream, we all have our unique tastes in movies.

Our goal in making movies should be to make the finished product as appealing to the masses as possible.  Filmmaking is a business, and Hollywood has enough renegades throwing money away in pursuit of near-sighted art.  I’ll settle for making commercially successful movies that allow me to bring home bread for my family.

Is this the way to go about making great movies?  It all depends on your personal definition of greatness.  2008’s Academy Award winning Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire, ranked #16 in last year’s top grossing movies (according to Box Office Mojo).  Fellow nominee, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, ranked #20.  Next?  The Reader at #82.

Hollywood seemingly lives now by the dichotomy that prohibits a movie from being a financial success simultaneously while being an Academy success.  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Titanic are certainly two significant exceptions of the past fifteen years, but more and more the list of Best Picture nominees is filled with lengthy yawners I watch out of obligation rather than desire.

Maybe that’s why I haven’t made it yet.  My preference for Twister over The English Patient could be my doom.  I hope not, because I think there’s room for both kinds of movies.  And sometimes, both movies come together into one.  Maybe one day I’ll be a part of a Titanic or Lord of the Rings.

May 16, 2009

Soap Athetic #3

Part 3 of the 7 part series is available online now. Check it out and if you have a YouTube account, please rate it and favorite it and leave a comment or two.

I put up a short gag reel from the episode, too. Aaron and especially Meisha had a tough time getting through the silly setup without giggling. It plays funny in the episode, but it was even funnier the night we taped it simply because it was an awkward setup with Aaron getting right into Meisha’s face. Remember the closer-talker episode of Seinfeld? It was kind of like that. ;)

Soap Athetic Episode 3

May 9, 2009

Soap Athetic #2

Episode 2 of my mock soap opera is online now at Numa Network. Hard to believe for a 3 minute episode it took us three nights of shooting. Of course, we were picking up footage for other episodes at the same time. Thankfully the cast and crew were phenomenal throughout!

Soap Athetic Episode 2

May 6, 2009


“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

At an audition the other day I was asked what kind of character I saw myself playing.  The question caught me off guard.  I answered as honestly as I could by saying I view myself as a chameleon.  The response was, “so you see yourself as a character actor?”

Character actor seems like a redundant term, doesn’t it?  Isn’t all [good] acting character acting?  I do my best to make sure I’m not myself in every role I play.  Given the opportunity, I truly believe I could convincingly play any role set before me.

That’s not to say I could be Danny Ocean the same way George Clooney was; I’m not tall, dark, and ridiculously handsome like he is.  Nor do I think I could pull off Steve Buscemi’s Fargo role for the opposite reasons.  Poor Mr. Buscemi is my go to name when I describe my physical appearance as ‘somewhere between Brad Pitt and Steve Buscemi.’

You know what, though?  I don’t think Mr. Buscemi would mind.  He’s made an excellent career for himself.  How?  By being comfortable in his own skin and accepting his niche in Hollywood.  Oh, and he’s good.

If we have any hope of becoming professional actors, we have to know our own identity.  And we have to be accurate.  In her book, How to Sell Yourself as an Actor, K Callan offers the following story from a New York talent agent:

“I had a funny looking lady come in, mid-30s, chubby, not very pretty.  For all I know, this woman could be brilliant.  I asked her what roles she could play; what she thought she should get.  She saw herself playing Sandra Bullock’s roles.  Meg Ryan’s roles.

“I could have been potentially interested in this woman in the areas in which she would work.  But it was a turn-off because, not only do I know that she’s not going after the right things, so she’s not preparing correctly, but she’s not going to be happy with the kinds of things I’m going to be able to do for her.  So I wouldn’t want to commit to that person.”

Know yourself.  If you don’t know yourself, ask unbiased outsiders.  Find out who you compare to in Hollywood.  If you look like Kathy Bates, don’t fool yourself into believing you’re going to play the romantic lead in Transformers 3.

Just be yourself.  That’s what Hollywood needs.

May 2, 2009

Soap Athetic

One of my latest projects is now online at my Internet channel, Numa Network.  Episode 1 was released May 1, with subsequent episodes being released every Friday at 7 Central for the next several weeks.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Soap Athetic Episode 1