Friday, March 31, 2006

embrace the chaos

When I was preparing to leave grad school, there was a period of time where I was close to panic. Questions flooded my mind:
  • Where would I live in New York City?
  • Would I ever find an apartment?
  • Could I find a job flexible enough to allow me to act?
  • Would I make enough money to be able to pay my rent?
  • How would I get an agent?
Having these concerns floating around your head is enough to drive you crazy. I was choosing a lifestyle that was unstable, with no guarantees of being able to support myself. I didn't know where my next job was going to be, or what it was going to entail, or who I was going to be working with.

I don't remember when the notion clicked in my head, but one day, this thought popped into my head:

Embrace the chaos.

(It was kind of like Field of Dreams, you know, when Kevin Costner starts hearing voices in the cornfield.)

Embracing the chaos means that I fully accept the fact that my future is uncharted. It means that I'm ok with my plans changing, with taking jobs far away from home, and from my loved ones. It gives me freedom and flexibility. And it also allows me to work a job where I usually don't have to get up before ten.

I lose track of this every now and then - get panicky, worry about my checkbook, stuff like that. But, as a friend of a friend says, it is what it is. And when I fully accept my circumstances, and embrace them, I'm good to go.

This was a really long winded way of saying that I'm ok with all hell breaking loose with my schedule. There's a good chance that I may spend half of May taking a super duper road trip with a fellow blogger. I've always wanted to drive cross country, and I may have the opportunity to do just that. And you can bet, if that happens, that I'll be writing about it nonstop. (That's what I did during my significant road trip seven years ago.)

Off to freshen up the wig. Good weekend to all...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My triumphant return to NY... April 25. Write it down, bitches!

playing through pain!

No news from the audition last week. So I'm officially writing it off, and looking forward to a fun-filled summer in NYC. (And yes, I'm fully aware that writing these words makes a phone call from that theater company probable.) I could have exciting plans involving two of my fellow bloggers...more news on that as it develops.

Only 2 1/2 weeks to go in Cowtown. Can't believe the time has gone by so fast. The show, which I was very worried about for some time, now seems to be in good shape. We got a great review from the big paper in town, and we've had great audiences since our first preview. And if people are ultimately entertained, I'm happy. That's why I'm doing this job, after all.

Just want to let all of you know that I'm gutting out this blog entry - last night I smashed my left middle finger. I have this bit in the show where I'm holding a couple of guns and I jump on stage from the audience. Normally it's a pretty fluid move, but yesterday I slipped and broke my fall with my hand - which was holding a gun. All of the weight of the gun (which I think may be antique) came down on my finger. It doesn't feel too good, and the nail is turning a couple of fun colors, but it's barely swollen this morning, so I don't think I broke it. I don't know how I managed to keep from reacting when it happened - guess that by this point, I'm trained to keep going. I'm such a professional!

Two shows today - the first starts in less than two hours, so I better scoot.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

F for fuckin' good

The title, of course, refers to the movie V For Vendetta. Excellent movie. I highly recommend it. The Wachowski Brothers have said that they're not trying to make comparisons between the fictional England they've created and America today - but if you don't come out of that movie thinking about the concept of terrorism, you weren't paying attention. But, hey, should we expect any less out of these guys? They gave us The Matrix, which also could be know as The Thinking Man's Action Flick.

One more thing - Hugo Weaving (who played Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy) is outstanding as V. The mask work that he does is unbelievable. And, if you've ever done any mask work, you know how hard it is.

more crazy

Two separate posts on two different subjects. Of course, we all know my well-documented attractiveness to crazy people. I was picking up some groceries at Safeway, trying to determine if the check-out girl thought I was cute (apparently not), when an older lady approached me.

You look familiar. Do you live around here?

Um, sort of. I'm not from here.

Do you know Dwayne blahblahblah?


Oh. Because he knows everybody. (Points to tabloid magazine rack) You look familiar? There was this time when (unintelligible) and then he got some cocaine. It was just a vial. And then there was a teeny (unintelligible string of gibberish).


And then she kept murmuring until she moved through the check-out line and joined the person she was with. What is it about me that attracts crazy?

Voice & Sandwich

I'm back, folks. You can breathe easy.

Voice & Sandwich left early early this morning, and are now safe and sound at home. It was really good to see them. I took them out for tea (since Voice is a tea freak; she drinks like six cups a day) and to In-N-Out Burger (since they'd never been) and showed them the Steelers Championship DVD in my palacial guest house. And they saw the show, which they liked a lot. (And so did the Cowtown Daily Bugle - they gave us a good review!)

I really love the relationship I have with my parents - I always have - and it seems to get better and better every year. They support my decisions, and they listen to me and always give me their honest opinions. (They had some very interesting thoughts on the ex-girlfriend during this visit that I had never heard before.) I feel very lucky that we're so close.

All right, enough of that mushy stuff.

Working out the travel itinerary for April, and, hopefully, the rest of the year. The theater is supposed to decide whether or not to extend the run of the play by the end of the week, so I have to draw up two different plans, but I know for sure that I'll be in NYC by May 1. Exciting times. The yearly plan (as of right now) isn't too different from what I thought a couple of months ago, but that could change radically in the next couple of days.

Off to the gym - I've been putting it off all day - but I have to tell you about the full court press I've been getting from Cowtown residents...

Friday, March 24, 2006

just say no

The job craziness continues. I thought I had a job offer (different from Monday's adventure) that was going to pay me X amount of dollars a week. I just found out that, instead, they want to pay me half of that. And several of the other conditions that I was told would be in place have changed.

So now I'm in a weird spot. I'm half committed here (verbally, but not in writing), but with the new terms of the arrangement I don't know if I can stick. And I know that there was interest in me in another couple of places, so do I chase after those opportunities full bore? I think the most likely course of action is that I string the offer along for a couple more weeks, while I figure out if there's anything else out there for me. (This is a great opportunity, Melissa and Bright-Eyes, for you two to put your heads together, pool all your connections, and get me hooked up with a steady NYC acting gig. Good luck!)

What this comes down to is that I always feel bad saying "no". I've gotten better at doing so over time, especially in the last few years, but I can't get over the guilt.

Voice and Sandwich (aka Mom and Dad) are coming into town this weekend! I really need to tell those of you unfamiliar with my parents how they got their names. Anyway, I'll probably be scarce until the middle of next week; a good weekend to all...

"the milk's gone bad!"

This is really disturbing. Funny, but disturbing. After clicking the link, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what I'm talking about. You only need to watch the first 20 seconds or so; once you see animals, my work is done.

(And, FYI, I'm an omnivore, so I'm disturbed by the video in the beginning, not by the content afterwards.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

quick post

...because I've got to leave for work in fifteen minutes. I was supposed to go to the gym this morning, but I overslept. In fact, I knew I was going to oversleep. We've all been there before - you look at the clock before bed, and think, "Wow, I should set my alarm," and then you think, "No, it's all right, I'll wake up in time, and if I don't, then I'll at least have had enough sleep." And maybe you even wake up an hour or so before your scheduled wake-up time, and think, "Yeah, I'll just lay here for a bit, and then I'll get up. I couldn't go back to sleep if I tried!" And then, next time you look at the clock, you realized you slept 45 minutes later than you were supposed to. Good times.

Has anyone been to My friend just made me a hilarious video. I thought about posting on here, but, as you know, I enjoy my anonymity. Plus, if you don't know both of us, it's probably not that funny. If you're really curious, send me an e-mail and I'll hook you up.

All right, off to be brilliant on the stage. No news about my audition yet. I'll let you know when something happens.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Did you ever feel like maybe you were destined to do something, and that, no matter how hard you tried, it wasn't going to change? I'm starting to feel like that about Shakespeare. I can't get away from it, no matter how hard I try.

Today I got a phone call from one of my castmates, who had talked me up to some people he was auditioning for. They wanted to see me - would I make the 90 minute drive up to the mountains above Cowtown to see them? I thought for a minute - all I was doing was sitting at the computer, putting off a trip to the gym. Sure, I said. Give me a half hour to shower; I'll be there at three.

The drive up was hellacious. Traffic. Torrential rain. Even snow (which gave me flashbacks to this). But I made it up there. I did two scenes and a monologue for them, and the seven people in the room were beyond enthusiastic. I should know by the end of the week, but I feel pretty good about it. By "feeling good", I mean about the audition, not about the fact my entire summer may be turned upside-down.

Not that I don't love doing Shakespeare - I do. But I had always pictured a different career path. Movies. Cutting-edge theater, maybe on Broadway, if I was lucky. Maybe even the odd guest spot on TV. Never in a million years did I think that Shakepeare would be paying my student loans, and putting food in my stomach and clothes on my back. I'm very grateful - but I'm stunned.

Dinner time. Low fat chicken parm, anyone? I think I'll be eating at're welcome to come over, if you can find me...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

at work!

So I'm finally doing something that most of my blogger friends do all of the time: I'm blogging from work! This may not be that exciting for y'all, but for me it's a total change.

We've got what's called "10 out of 12" this weekend; union rules allow for a show to have the actors for ten hours a day for two consecutive days. Translation - I spend all weekend at the theater. And since there's lots of down time during a tech, I figured I'd bring along my laptop. The main reason for that - you can get NCAA Tournament games online.

The show is going pretty well. Everything seems to be coming together. And not a moment too soon - we start performing for people next week. It's been a long time since I've had a role this big, and I'm really enjoying every moment. But I'm totally busting my ass...hence why I'm exhausted all of the time.

The other thing about this play is that I have to be funny. I mean, I think I can be a funny guy, but no one asks me to do that on stage all that often. So hopefully people will think I'm funny. I'll let you know what the reviews say.

All right. Looks like they're gonna need me in a few minutes. Back to work...hope you enjoyed your "insider" view...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

March Madness!

Two solid days of college hoops. Now that's good times. Unfortunately, I've got to be at work all day today, so I won't see squat. (sigh) Guess that's the price we pay, to entertain... (I hope you're picking up on my sarcasm, 'cause I'm laying it on pretty thick...)

Who am I picking? Villanova, UConn, Texas and the KU/Pitt round 2 winner - right now I like Kansas, but my mind changes every five minutes. I think 'Nova's got the firepower to win the whole thing. We TOTALLY should have started a Blogger pool! Next year.

Off to the gym.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Ah, Miss Fire, knew that I could count on you. I was just intending to make it a comment, but it was way too long. (Before you read this, check out the post below and attached comments. Read that? we go:)

- True, not every white person operates from a place of power. But, by and large, the people in control of things in this country aren't minorities.

- With this specific issue, I'm not talking about picking between two people of different races for one slot at a school. I'm talking about giving money to individuals already in the "accepted" pile. You don't just admit people of color just to hand out money - you make sure that they are qualified. Students can get scholarships for all sorts of things - gender, geographical location, economic status, membership in a club or group, religion - besides just race. And, no, I don't have a problem with any of those, either.

- I have no problems with going to community colleges - many of my friends and family members have. My parents couldn't afford to send me to college, either. That's why I worked my ass off to get scholarships. I applied for everything I could.

- The playing field is not level. I wish it were. You can't get into the game if you don't have the proper equipment, or the right footwear. And you certainly can't play if you can't find your way into the stadium - or if your way is blocked by others.

It sounds great to say that whites shouldn't be forced to suffer for decisions made by their ancestors. But guess what? Whites are still benefiting from decisions made by those ancestors. And minorities, particularly Afro-Americans and American Indians, still suffer from those same decisions. We've made some progress, specifically in how we treat people in public...but we're not there yet. Not by a long shot.

To answer your question (which was the only one that really got under my skin), no, I was not a "head count". I've worked twice as hard all my life just to get to where I'm at. Many of us do.

As far as my credentials...I don't want to brag, but I could have gotten into any school in the country, based on my grades and academic profile. I had one other full scholarship offer (from Penn State, based on my grades) and three other partial offers. I went to Boys' State and Boys' Nation. I played sports. I had a black belt in karate. I had a 4.5 GPA. I played an instrument and sang in the choir. I took several AP classes. I had leads in school plays and musicals. I was an officer in my church youth group. In short, I was probably the ideal high school student, regardless of race. Ask Melissa - she was there.

And yet, when it came time to find someone to take to prom, I had to go through three different girls just to get a date. Why? Because the white parents in my neighborhood didn't want their daughters to go to a dance with "the black kid". So, even after all I did in school, in my community, with my life, in these people's eyes, I was just another nigger.

I'll never forget that.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

early morning rant.

This makes me angry. I'm usually cranky when I wake up, and I just got up 15 minutes ago, but this isn't making my mood any better. Because of a Supreme Court ruling three years ago, colleges left and right are either shutting down their minority programs, or opening these doors for all comers.

My point is this - minorities need opportunities to get into the door. We're not talking about picking the black kid over the white kid here, people. We're talking about making it possible for the black kid to go to an outrageously expensive school by giving him some extra cash.

Full disclosure - I was the recipient of a full scholarship from my alma mater. And, without that scholarship, I wouldn't have been able to go. Sure, I could have gone to a community college, or a local university, but I wouldn't have had the same education opportunities at those places.

I love this quote - couldn't be more right on:
Advocates of focused scholarships programs like Theodore M. Shaw, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., challenge the notion that programs for minority students hurt whites. "How is it that they conclude that the great evil in this country is discrimination against white people?" Mr. Shaw asked. "Can I put that question any more pointedly? I struggle to find the words to do it because it's so stunning."


Monday, March 13, 2006

back in black

Finally feeling like myself again. I did virtually nothing this weekend (aside from my rehearsals) - just watched a lot of television and caught up on some blog reading.

In fact, I didn't even work out. I even had In-N-Out Burger and creme brulee last night - talk about going whole hog. But now I feel great. Today's my off day, but I feel focused and ready, for my workout later this afternoon (the plan for this week is entitled "Get Tough"), and for the last week of rehearsals - we start performing for people who pay next week.

It's just really hard for me to do absolutely nothing, no matter what the circumstances. But sometimes it's the best thing for you.

Anybody do anything exciting this weekend?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I've been really exhausted lately. I haven't worked this hard on a show in almost four years, and I'm going to the gym five or six times a week, but the level of my fatigue has been really surprising. I'm getting lots of sleep and eating almost all of the right things...but I'm still lethargic when I get home. Maybe it's living in this posh guest house that makes me tired.

I guess that's why, right now, even though I'm bored to tears waiting for my rehearsal to start, I really just want to sleep for two days straight. I'm supposed to go out with my friend's brother tonight and see just what's hip about Cowtown, but I don't know if I'm going to have the energy. How pitiful am I?

Hope that everyone has a great weekend...

LA meme

So Jesus' Favorite nailed me with another meme...dammit. But she's the big sister of one of my dear dear friends, so you gotta do what you gotta do. And, wouldn't you know it, it's all about my future home:

4 Jobs I've Had In My Life In LA (Well, seeing how I've never actually lived there, I've never made any money there. But, during my last visit, my responsibilities were:)

- acting
- finding representation
- going to the beach (or hot tub) every day
- drinking as much alcohol as possible without passing out

4 Movies About LA I Could Watch Over And Over

- Boogie Nights
- Beverly Hills Cop
- Pulp Fiction
- Clueless

4 Places I've Lived All Over LA (Again, we're going to tweak this one, to places I've stayed in the city:)

- Culver City
- The Valley
- Venice (2 blocks from the beach, baby!)
- (upcoming) West Hollywood

4 LA-Themed Shows I Love(d) To Watch
- 24 - words can't express how much I love this show. If you watch it, go here. Or here.
- Doogie Howser, M.D.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

4 Places I Would Vacation At In LA
- the beach
- the beach
- the beach
- the beach

4 LA-Based Websites I Visit Daily
- Jesus' Favorite
- The Sports Guy
That's all I got. Sorry. Click on them twice, over on the left where I keep the links.

4 Of My Favorite Foods Found In LA
- In-N-Out Double Double, Animal Style
- In-N-Out Fries
- Anything from Jamba Juice
- Roscoe's Chicken and good...

4 Places In LA I Would Rather Be Right Now
- the beach
- the beach
- the beach
- visiting my "friend"

I'd tag people, but there seems to be a current of bitterness about my move, so I'm not gonna risk it. ;-) Do it if you wanna.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

new name?

What if I call myself "Smoove B" know, like the guy from the Onion?

I could make it K, so that it would be less confusing...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


It's early Wednesday morning, but I don't have rehearsal until seven t'm'row night, meaning that I have no idea what time I'm going to get up in the morning. And I don't want to deprive my East Coast readers, who are probably waiting with baited breath to see if I'm going to come back to them.

Sadly, I'm not.

I've waffled back and forth for days now, and late Saturday night I was thinking that I was probably going to go back to New York. It would be easy, I thought. I know how the city works, I thought. My ex-g'friend is there, and it would be nice to see her every day again, I thought. I have a bunch of cool friends who are there, who will be moving there shortly. I thought I had it all figured out.

And then I woke up early Sunday morning and went to the movies (to see Dave Chappelle's Block Party - see the below post for my thoughts on the movie). And I sat in this mostly empty theater, right in the middle, and relaxed as the previews came up.

I don't remember the name of the movie that was previewed first. It's not really important. What is important is the feeling that came over me when the first frame appeared on the screen.

I want to do that. I CAN do that.

And from there, it was a done deal.

I love theater. I always will. I'll never stop doing it. The connection that's created when an audience and the actors are totally in sync is indescrible. Everything is in harmony, a perfect feedback loop.

But I've always wanted to do movies, ever since I was a little kid. And I'm not getting any younger. And, if I want to go that route, I need to be in the city that makes it all happen. The city that's got great weather, and beaches, and In-N-Out Burgers galore, and fake tits and puffed-up lips as far as the eye can see.

I'm moving to Los Angeles.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

a tag right up my alley

So I've been tagged - actually double-teamed by DH and April. (pause while you insert the dirty joke of your choosing here)

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to.

Like this totally isn't up my alley? I mean, how much do I love music? I could probably list seventy songs that I'm into, but in the interest of time and space, and not driving away my dear readers, I'll follow the instructions.

1. Go - Common: this song reminds me of a specific place and time...driving to and from the house of this girl with whom I had a torrid affair last summer, and the coolness of Sleepy Hamlet early summer mornings. It was a fun time. And this is truly a great song, from what is my co-album of the year for '05.

2. Touch The Sky - Kanye West: the trumpets in this song are to die for - so bright and clear. This song makes me feel invincible.

3. U Don't Have To Call - Usher: his best song, in my humble opinion. It was the last song I heard bumping from car speakers when I left NYC in April '02.

4. It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp - DJay: from the movie Hustle & Flow, which I liked a lot. Can you believe this won the Oscar? I'm still in shock about this.

5. Run It! (Remix) - Chris Brown f. Juelz Santana - can't explain this one.

6. Ms. New Booty - Bubba Sparxxx f. Ying Yang Twinz - I can explain this's the beat, pure and simple. Plus I think I look pretty cool nodding my head to this in the cranberry Malibu I'm currently driving (thanks Cowtown Theater and Avis!).

7. Shake It Off - Mariah Carey: it was tough picking something for the last slot - so many choices! But I can't get Mariah...I mean, her song...out of my head. So she wins.

Can you tell I've been listening to a lot of hip hop lately? And, speaking of hip hop, if you've been following along with my classes (or you're just a big hip hop fan) you HAVE to check out Dave Chappelle's Block Party. It's a really great concert film, and there's lot of material in there for you Chappelle's Show fans, too. And Michael Gondry directed it, who also directed Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, one of my favorite movies ever. Check it out.

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to tag seven people. Let's see...

1. Melissa

2. Tuckergurl

3. L. Britt

4. Sertich

5. Bright-Eyes

6. Hathor

7. The Bird Man

Sorry if I doubled up on you. Thanks for playing!

I'm late!

Sort of. I told myself, since rehearsal starts at 12, and I don't want to go to the gym at eight at night, that I needed to leave here at 9:45.

Well, you can look at the time/date stamp and see that that didn't happen.

And I still have to make a sandwich, too. I can't wait for May. That's when I can just relax in my beloved Big Apple.

Which reminds me. D-Day is t'm'row. I'm pretty sure I know which way it's gonna go. I slept on it last night, and nothing changed.'ll know soon...

Monday, March 06, 2006

decision pending

So, I'm finally taking the initiative in picking a city. By Wednesday, it will be done, and I won't look back. It's been interesting; a couple of days ago I was leaning hard towards NY. But I went to the movies on Sunday morning, and I was reminded of why I want to be in them. So we're back to square one. But I'm gonna do the research, meditate, pray a bit, and make a decision. And then we're off to the races.

Chaos reigns in my rehearsal process. I can't even begin to explain it. I felt myself shut off during last night's rehearsal. Here's a tip out there for everybody: if you're teaching a bunch of people to do something, and there's a possibility that all of their hard work may go for naught, don't tell them that while you're teaching them. Not a whole lot of incentive to commit 100%.

Anyway, my main frustration with this process is that I'm the only one here from out of town - all the rest of the cast live year-round in Cowtown. So they've all got these other distractions and life things that are taking them out of rehearsal. The only reason I'm here is to do this show. So I don't have a whole lot of patience with a bunch of people screwing around. I'm here to let's work.

All right, off to write a couple of letters, and then the gym - hopefully by then I still have a shred of motivation left.

and the Oscar goes to...

Just watched the Oscars (on TiVo, because I had rehearsal through the whole thing). Quick thoughts:

- Lots of pictures won lots of awards. It seemed like Memoirs of a Geisha was winning something every time I looked up.

- Very happy that Crash won Best Picture. It's the only one of the five nominees I saw, and I thought it was great. I kind of got tired of the Brokeback hype machine.

- I was, however, very happy for Ang Lee.

- And I was THRILLED that Three 6 Mafia won. How many Americans will be singing, "you know it's hard out here for a pimp" t'm'row morning? Buy the soundtrack. It's good.

- I was happy that Rachael Weisz won - The Constant Gardener was an outstanding movie. Would have liked for Terrence Howard to have won, but you can't argue with PSH.

- I thought that Jon Stewart was a great host. Not sure that the audience loved him (they really only love Billy Crystal), but I did. The fake commercials were great.

Time for bed.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Not that I really ever need an excuse to procrastinate, but some days you've just got to do nothing, you know? Especially when you've got the whole day off. I mean...really.

Actually, the main reason why I'm in a holding pattern is that I can't pick up my paycheck before 4, and I don't want to go into the "city" more than once, so I'm delaying my trip to the gym so that I can workout and then swing by work and collect my CASH. Payday is good times.

All right, all right, I'm going. Got a hot date with a treadmill...heh heh heh...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

(temporary) home sweet home

Another break for rehearsal 'til Friday AM. I think that this time I'm just going to get house-type stuff done - laundry, change sheets and towels, balance my checkbook (which I'm usually a freak about doing) - and hit the gym. The new workout plan's going quite well, thank you.

I talked to the folks at work, and it looks like I'm going to continue napping in the lap of luxury. They originally wanted to move me closer to the theater, but considering that I was on tour for the last two months of '05 and then in a hotel for the first part of '06, I really just want to stay in one place. And I'm just starting to get settled in I didn't want to leave again. And now it looks like I won't have to.

I've got to admit, even though I'm a total urban dweller, I'm kind of digging living in the 'burbs. I found the Whole Foods this weekend, which will totally aid my healthy lifestyle (although it will abuse the hell out of my wallet). And I don't mind the 22-minute commute - gives me time to listen to my iPod, and relax a bit. The only time this will suck will be when I want to get a couple of drinks after a show...but I really should be cutting back on the alcohol intake, anyway.

Time to make dinner...salmon burgers from Whole Foods...mmm...