Where have I been?

Right here, of course. And I’ve been here doing absolutely nothing exciting. I’ve been playing a lot of basketball, reading a lot and being a slacker. July 4th weekend was a long one for me–we got a four-day weekend–but I was pretty bored before it was all over.

Basketball has been ok, but we’ve been getting worked. We’re now 0-3, but I guess we’re showing improvement. I don’t really wanna’ talk about why we stink, but we do. Now that we’ve got guys showing up, I hope we start to learn how to play together (I don’t know some of the guys on our team).

I’ve mostly been reading poker books. It’s not the most entertaining reading, but I’ve been improving my game, so it’s worth it. I would like to read some good fiction, but that’ll have to wait.

I’d like to go to Florida soon, but I’m afraid it won’t work out until September when I hope to get back to Gainesville for the Tennessee game. I will definitely be getting back for that one, but I’d like to get back at least once before then. I’m just kind of playing it by ear (read: waiting for really cheap plane tickets to fall into my lap). I’ve really been craving Newberry Backyard BBQ.

I really wish I had something else to say…anything…but I don’t. I really need to jump back into acting.


Sorta’ bored

Since I got back from Europe, I’ve felt a little down. Nothing serious, but I just haven’t felt spectacular. I can think of a lot of reasons for this, but I think a big one is I’m just kinda’ bored. I feel like life is good in Dallas: I have a good job, a good paycheck, some good friends, and I’m comfortable. But all that’s the same every day and I think it’s wearing on me.

For one, I feel like it’s time to continue pursuing acting. I haven’t done much since the short film in February (which I should be getting a copy of soon) and I’ve been putting it off for some reason. I think, mostly, I’ve been waiting on a few other things to settle out before I move forward. I’m good at multi-tasking, but I’ve always preferred to take things one at a time if I can get away with it. I think the next thing I need to tackle is this acting thing.

I don’t generally experience a lot of emotion, but I’ve been experiencing a bit lately. Nothing serious, but I definitely feel a bit of a quickening and I’m paying close attention to it. I’m not sure what’s up. Maybe it’s nothing.

Another basketball whoopin’

We got worked last night. Our first problem was that only 3 of our teammates (of 8) showed up before game time. We were able to recruit a random guy to play with us, so we didn’t have to forfeit, but that was little help. Our fifth guy showed up a few minutes into the game, but we’d already spotted the other team 7 or 8 points and it was downhill from there. I can’t remember the final score… probably because I don’t want to remember it.


My first ‘celebrity sighting’

Really, it wasn’t a celebrity sighting at all, but it makes me feel special to say it that way. I went to Starbucks to read some of a new book I bought (more on that below) and the guy behind the counter says, “This may seem a little strange to ask, but are you into acting at all? Have you done any work in student projects?” I told him I had and he said he recognized me from a short student film he saw this weekend. I said, “Oh, well cool. I hope you liked it.” He said he did like it, he thought it was funny and that he was there to support his cousin, who directed one of the other shorts. Anyway, it was strange to be recognized as an actor. Strange, but nice. Hopefully, I’ll get to experience more of that in the future. I don’t feel I have a big need for validation… but it’s still nice sometimes.

Good run at poker

I’ve been playing well and/or getting lucky for a couple weeks now. My bankroll was hurtin’ for a while there, but then I went back to my bread n’ butter: Sit N’ Gos. I’ve more than tripled my bankroll in the past couple weeks and I’ve used some of the cash to help finance my trip to Europe (I transferred some money to a co-worker’s account in exchange for a ride to and from the airport). I also bought another poker book today. I’d already read most of it in Barnes & Noble, but I wanted to buy it so I can re-read it when I’m done. This was the first book that I bought directly with money from my poker account and it felt good. I’m sure it’ll pay for itself quickly.

Only 7 hours at work tomorrow and I’m out for two weeks!

I don’t feel I need to elaborate on that too much, so I won’t.

Kendra will win The Apprentice

Same story here.


Third and (hopefully) final day of filming

One reason I haven’t posted the name of the short that I shot is that there isn’t a name yet. The producer was soliciting ideas from one and all yesterday, so I’ll be trying to think of a clever name.

Anyway, yesterday was the final day of principle photography and it went pretty well. I really felt comfortable all day and finally felt at home with the idea of being on set and having other people depending on me. It was a really fun experience and went very smoothly. It’s been neat to see practical applications for my training and I’ve really felt prepared while shooting. It’s also been reassuring to have the director, assistant director, producer and other actors tell me that what I’m doing is funny and real. A couple times, I’d finish a scene and then have someone tell me they really liked what I did, that it was funny, or just worked well for that scene. And that was reassuring because sometimes I wouldn’t necessarily be going for funny, but just doing what I felt the character should be doing at that time.

All in all, this was a really great experience and I feel fortunate that this was my first shoot. The people I worked with were excellent and I really learned a lot about making a movie and what it’s like as an actor to film something substantial. I’m grateful that I shot a short as my first movie and I think it was just the amount of work and commitment that I could take at this point. Between working full time, having a friend in town and making the short, I’ve been really exhausted, but it’s been worth it.

The class that made this movie will be making five more as the semester goes on. I’m going to keep in touch with people in hopes that I can land a role in at least one of the other shorts. I will be getting a DVD copy of this short sometime in the next couple months and the “premier” for all the shorts for the semester is May 7. I can’t wait to see the finished product and I hope it’s good. It’d be great if I can be in two shorts at the premier, too.

I said that I this was “hopefully” the final day of filming because there’s a possibility we’ll have to do some re-shoots next month. I hope I can dodge that bullet, but I might have to redo as scene or two before it’s all over.


Second day of filming

Obviously, the novelty of counting the days of filming will be lost if I ever land a feature film, or even another short for that matter. I’m not really counting the days of filming for this particular project so much as I’m chronicling the first ever days of my filming experiences.

Today went pretty well. We shot three scenes–two interior and one exterior. The interior scenes were fun and a lot easier than the exterior scenes have been. For one thing, I was sitting down for most of the shoot, rather than standing in cruddy shoes on hard dirt. For another, everyone felt closer, which made it feel more like a big group effort than a sort of sprawled production.

The second interior scene we shot is the last scene in the film. One of the little funny things the director has thrown in is that my character wears the most hideous sweaters ever, and they get worse as the film goes on. So, during the last scene, he’s wearing an old-lady sweater with terrible colors (basically black with bright green, pink and yellow patterns and little balls sewn into the shoulders). Also, it had shoulder pads. Anyway, the other actor and I felt that it was a little awkward to end the scene the way it was written. We thought it would be appropriate for the other character to comment on how good my sweater looks (because it would contrast with an earlier scene where he calls my sweaters “Cosby Sweaters”). So, we ad-libbed a couple lines about my sweater at the end. Anyway, my reaction to one of the other character’s comments kept making people laugh… in fact, on one take, one of the sound guys and the director laughed out loud. The irony is that those are probably the two people who should be most upset about someone laughing out loud while the film is rolling.

Anyway, it was fun. The exterior scene was a pain because it was drizzling and it took forever to set up (even though it was only about a 45 second scene). Tomorrow, all our scenes are outside, so I’m not really looking forward to that. The good news is I don’t have to be on location till noon and we’ll be wrapping tomorrow evening.

So far, it’s been a blast. I can’t believe people actually get to do this for a living.


First day of filming

Well, it couldn’t have been better. We had some technical difficulties, which meant some extra standing around, but that turned into rehearsal time and I think it helped us a lot. I shot two scenes and I thought they went pretty well. Nothing spectacular, but the director, assistant director and producer all said I gave them exactly what they wanted, so I feel I really can’t do any better. I’ve already realized that I’ll never be completely satisfied with anything I do, so my goal should be something more objective like making sure the director is completely satisfied.

Anyway, both scenes went well and things were pretty easy overall. I didn’t take any pictures with my own camera, but the producer got some, so hopefully I can get some (digital) copies. I guess kind of a funny movie fact is that I had my script in my hands in both of the scenes today. The script called for a clipboard, but someone else had to use it for something, so the director just said, “Why don’t you just use that?” I imagine it’s not often that an actor is carrying around his script while shooting scenes. It was kind of comforting to have it near, but I realized how easy it would be to use it as a crutch.

Tomorrow, I’m shooting the first and last scenes of the short, so that should be interesting. I also might be shooting a quick outdoors scene and it sounds like we’re re-shooting one of the scenes from today because an actor flubbed his lines. I guess that’s just part of the process.

My first (friend) visitor

My buddy and old roommate is coming to Dallas for a few days for a job interview (which I was able to get him at my company). So, he’s coming in tomorrow and he’ll leave on Tuesday morning. My mom came to visit back in July, which was super, but not the same as having a friend visit. I’m looking forward to hanging out and having some company. Even for introverted people, being a hermit can be a real drag after a while.

This is not the first friend I’ve had come to town, but the first friend I’ve had stay at my place.

Then to Vegas

My buddy leaves on Tuesday morning and then I head to Vegas on Wednesday morning. I’ll be there till next Saturday. A buddy and I are staying at the Bellagio for free thanks to some hookups his dad is getting. I’m looking forward to playing some poker and blowing some money. I hear there is all kinds of stuff to do in Vegas and I have a feeling I’ll feel like I’m leaving when we were just getting started.

Then to L.A.

I haven’t been since early December, so it’s about time! I’m going for work, but I hope to meet up with the ol’ acting coach–I haven’t seen that joker since August or something. Maybe I’ll have a rough-cut of the short by then and we can discuss it and talk about what I have to do to improve to being a mediocre actor.

Ok, I’m beat. I’m going to read over tomorrow’s scenes real quick, then go to bed.



Tomorrow is my first day of filming and it’ll be the first time I hear someone yell “Action!” to get things rolling. It’s exciting, but I hope it’s more of a metaphor for the beginning of my acting career. It’s hard to see any further off than this little short film, but I hope this is a new beginning. I’ve been preparing for this for a while and I’m ready. I’m super excited and I can’t wait to be on set and see the finished product in a few weeks.

Anyway, I’m taking my camera, so hopefully I’ll get some good pictures to remember this by. Hopefully this will be the first of many movie sets I’m on.


Irony is fun

Well, I was saying how poorly Thursday’s audition went… and then I just got an e-mail offering me the lead. I’m really excited, but also conflicted. I read for three parts in another student film today and the audition went really well. I felt much, much better afterwards than I did on Thursday. Also, they asked if I had any conflicts this weekend–when they’re shooting–and I said no. Of course, technically, at the time I didn’t have any conflicts. Now I have this small conflict where I’ve been offered a role in another film.

Anyway, I e-mailed the ol’ acting coach asking him for input. I have till Monday at 6pm to tell Thursday’s auditioners if I’ll do it. Although I’d love to book both jobs, I almost hope today’s audition didn’t go as well as I thought and I don’t book it. At least that way I won’t feel bad for having to bail on someone. But it also seems like that’s part of the business. I audition for stuff that overlaps just like they audition multiple people for each part.

Anyway, it’s exciting that I booked the first short that I went out on. Also, the role I booked looks pretty fun. The short is a mockumentary about “free-running” and it’s pretty funny and well done. It seems really tongue-in-cheek and ridiculous, which is very much my style.


Mediocre audition today

I drove out to the University of Texas (UNT) in Denton for an audition after work today. It was for a short student film, so I didn’t feel all that much pressure (it wasn’t like I had to prepare to read for DeNiro or anything). I think I could’ve done much better with a little more preparation time, but that’s just life. Basically, I didn’t see any sides until I happened to talk to a guy who’d already auditioned and had his copy handy. I read it once, got called in as soon as I’d finished reading and went through the normal introductions. Then, I read through the copy once more and basically went straight into my read. The read was tough because it was basically a monologue. For a monologue, it’d be nice to have a bit to prepare.

Anyway, my acting coach prepared me for most of this, so I wasn’t thrown off. I just didn’t do a good enough job of preparing quickly. I’ll find out tomorrow or Saturday if I booked it. I doubt I did, so this time I won’t be disappointed if I don’t get the call.

Two more auditions on Saturday

I have two more auditions on Saturday. One is for another student short (I think I’ll be reading for the part of a rich-kid amnesiac who’s got to remember who he is in time to claim his inheritance) and then I’ll be reading for a feature film. It’s a Christian film whose target audience is teenagers… the strange thing is I’ll be reading for the part of a 16-18 year old. I’ll be 25 in a month.

Anyway, at least I’m experiencing “the process” and learning more about myself. I wish I had a mulligan on today’s audition, but I kinda’ get a mulligan each time I get another chance to read for something.

New car comin’ soon

I’ve been driving the same car for almost five years and I freakin’ hate it. In about 7 weeks, I’m going to be getting a new one. Nothing is official or final yet, but I’m moving that way. This seems like great timing because I don’t know how long my car will last and, if I keep getting auditions, I’ll be doing a lot more driving soon. Today’s audition was about 45 miles from my place. The two on Saturday are both 40 miles away from here, but only 20 miles from each other. I don’t trust my car to drive that many miles too many times before it croaks.


Student Film auditions

Today, I got a couple auditions for student films. One’s a 10-minute short and the other seems to be longer, though I’m not sure it’s feature length. The short audition is Saturday and the other is on Thursday. Both the parts I’ll be reading for seem very doable and I think I’ll make a good showing.

There are two problems: Both auditions are about 45 miles from my place. One is at UNT (in Denton) and one is at UTA (Arlington). They’re basically at opposite ends of earth. I’m glad the UTA audition is on Saturday so I won’t have to mess with traffic. The other problem is that both films shoot on exactly the same dates. Obviously, this is only a problem if I book them both, which is unlikely. My acting coach says “…cross that bridge…”, so I’ll just wait and see.

For now, I’m excited to have two auditions and I don’t feel any anxiety. It’s ironic that the Meisner class I took robbed me of several nights of sleep, but when I have two auditions jump out at me it’s no big deal.