Friday, October 29, 2004

I got to be Captain America!

I recorded an audition today for the Marvel Enterprises contest, "THE ULTIMATE VOICE TALENT SEARCH".

Marvel is making an animated DVD of The Ultimates (their modern incarnation of the Avengers), and are using the contest to find voice talent. OK, granted they're not likely to actually cast the primary roles for this thing, and are probably using it as a PR campaign (and looking for entertaining fanboy footage to add to the DVD extras on the disc). But where others told me they saw low payoff not worth their time, I saw opportunity.

By filming a professionally coached voice session of the sides, I got practice on mic, was able to flex my acting chops, have a shot at wowing the submission reviewers beyond what they're expecting, and got some more audio for my unofficial voice demo and new video clips for "The Cutting Room" section of my website. (The clips and that section of the site will go up after I sync the mastered audio from the CD-ROM to each of the 5 scenes on the MiniDV tape.)

I filmed my audition at the Production Block in Austin, under the direction of the incomparable Lainie Frasier (voice talent, coach, director, and producer). The Block has been more than generous to me in my brief career, and you can't get much more talented (or genuinely likeable) than Lainie.

Besides the short-term benefit, Captain America is my all-time favorite hero. One of my professional performer goals is to be Captain America, so this opportunity is a short-term bone in that long-term target.

Next stage of the competition is going to LA for a recording session, though I suspect they may pass on my submission once they realize I'm a professional actor. The audition's done though, so everything else is gravy.

Monday, October 25, 2004


This just in from Great-stuff-by-which-to-be-inspired: It's been a big couple of weeks on the comic book, video game, music, and (as always) the relational front. Some highlights below.

  • Music: Has Been (William Shatner, arranged and produced by Ben Folds)

    I think a person could do worse than to have a life as rich and accomplished as William Shatner: Movie and TV star, writer/director/producer, novelist, pop culture icon, and singer/songwriter.

    His latest offering, Has Been (arranged and produced by Ben Folds), is a fantastic album. It features a variety of styles (gospel to twang) and flavors, from the tongue-in-cheek "Common People", "You’ll Have Time" (with a gospel feel), and "Ideal Woman", to the Denis Leary-esque rant of "I Can’t Get Behind That" (featuring Henry Rollins), to the poignant "It Hasn’t Happened Yet" and "What Have You Done", to the non-defensive (but cleverly combatitive) titular tune. Also featuring the likes of Folds, Jon Auer, Adrian Belew, Matt Chamberlain, Joe Jackson, Lemon Jelly, Aimee Mann, Brad Paisley, and Sebastian Steinberg, the whole thing is a tribute to what makes Shatner, Shatner: Having fun with who he is and what he's accomplished.

    "Live every day, like you're gonna die. Because you're gonna."

    Ah, Bill, you always know just what to say to me. You're going to inspire me all the way to the grave, aren't you?

    And the word "titular" still makes me grin.

  • Comic Books: Astonishing X-Men (Written by Joss Whedon, art by John Cassaday)

    Joss Whedon is a masterful writer, independent of medium. As if his comic book creation, Fray, wasn't enough, Whedon's taken on marvel's merry band of mutants in a new series, Astonishing X-Men.

    Whedon does that rare trick of being true to a franchise while shocking the hell out you with unexpected twists. The difference with the shock factor between Whedon and someone like Chris Claremont, is the former will shock you with things you realize are totally in keeping with the character, whereas Claremont would shock you by going against type (Colossus killing Riptide during the Mutant Massacre storyline.)

    Only Whedon could get away with a Willow-esque take on Shadowcat, and introducing a character like "Ord of the Breakworld" that we can totally take seriously.

    Wonder if Marvel is wishing they'd used Whedon's X-Men script ...

    As an aside, don't get me wrong -- I'm a huge Claremont fan (despite his First Flight novels). Chris kept my love of comics alive in the pages of The Uncanny X-Men while Mark Gruenwald was busy trying to kill it at the same time in the pages of Captain America, my all-time favorite hero.

  • Video Games: X-Men: Legends and Star Wars: Battlefront

    Dang, not one, but two franchise licenses done right with video game treatments. Comments below are related to the XBox versions of the games.

    X-Men: Legends is a Role-Playing Game (RPG) treatment of the X-Men license from developer Raven Software and publisher Activision, and it is great on every front -- graphics, gameplay, story, voice over, and extras. It's an accessible game for the RPG fan, the X-Fan, the "good video game fan", the "co-op video game fan" (up to 4-way skirmishes), and the comic book fan. If you're all 5, then this is a really, really good game.

    Really, whoever thought to put RPG and X-Men together is like the person who first dipped his chocolate bar in peanut butter. The game has been so well received, that Activision recently announced a sequel.

    Star Wars: Battlefront isn't a stellar sing-player game (though it's very good), but it hits the suite spot for Star Wars fanboys. It's pretty cool to have Battlefield 1942-esque skirmishes across the franchise locals (Hoth, Bespin, etc.), and to have heroes jump in to assist in attach you. For example, while playing as a stormtrooper quelling a rebellion on Tatooine, suddenly Darth Vader joined the fray, blocking Rebel blasters and whacking the scume with his lightsaber. Truly satisfying.

    Multiplayer is the game's strong suit, with XBox live support for 16 players (with a ton of additional bots for good measure).

    The game also features a bunch of unlockables (like concept art from the movies) and cutscenes from the film (unfortunately, they cutscenes are from the "Special Edition" theatrical re-release, but at least don't appear, so far, to be from the "Special-special re-rerelease" of the trilogy that shipped at the same time as the game.

  • Relationships: Mentorship

    OK, networking is important, but it's inherently selfish ("what can you do for me or my career"), usually superficial, and ultimately not rewarding beyond a couple of avenues (work, etc.).

    Building relationships, on the other hand, is hard work, rewarding, and deeply personal.

    I've been meeting with a guy in a descipleship/mentor/accountability relationship for going on 4 years. Mark is a local businessman, husband, father, and elder in his local church. I meet with him for advice and accountability so I can be a better husband, dad, businessman, performer, and person. This week, I was struck by how much this relationship gives me.

    No in his 50s, Mark is one of my closest friends. In a lot of ways, we're different ages of the same guy -- we're both husbands, and we're both married and have two girls. We both know we need to put our convictions above our selfishness, and we know that personal growth isn't optional, but positive or negative movement is. We share the same hobbies -- movies, comic books, toys, etc.

    This week, he brought awesome finished drafts for my upcoming MangAdam release ( (c) Copyright 2004 Adam Creighton); we talked about the same cartoons and comic books we'd read over the past week; we talked about our fandom to artists like Joss Whedon and Chris Claremont. We talked about how tough (but still how ultimately rewarding) it is to be the only guy in an all-girl household. Mark said being in his fifties is the best time of his life and being comfortable in his own skin.

    And we both finished our day talking about how were both bummed to be missing the Death Cab for Cutie concert.

    A Mentor is someone who gives you advice, leads by example, motivates you when you need to get something done, and convicts you when you need to stop doing something. A mentor is someone who you aspire to be like.

    Mark is a mentor, and a friend, and I'm thankful for the relationship that blesses both of us.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Had another audition today -- this time, for the City of Orlando's Office of Tourism. This is a print deal, and they're working the Texas "Work at Will" status, but it'd still be a decent chunk of change to stem the outbound flow from constant classes and coaching ... ;-)

Friday, October 15, 2004

The audition for the Chevrolet commercials at Casting Works LA (CWLA) went really well today.

Only bummer of it was it turns out they're looking for fly fishermen -- which I didn't know. Given that I've been a fly fisherman since I was a kid, that would a been a nice thing to know (so I could have dressed more the part, rather than "30-Something Professional").

Ah well, at least they've got me on camera saying, "I've been a fly fisherman since I was 5 or 6 years old." If you think about it, send positive, fly fishing-esque thoughts toward any Chevies you pass on the roadways.

This biz is all about vibe, I'm told ...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Tomorrow, I'll be auditioning for a SAG regional commercial for Chevrolet. They'll be casting approximately 80 roles for 36 vignettes, so it should be a madhouse.

I'm actually both excited about the opportunity and relaxed about the audition. There are no sides or scripts -- they're just searching for "the look", and beyond the control I have over my dress and general appearance, I can't influence their decision.

So I don't have to act -- just "be" ...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

It's official: I've just signed with Heather Collier and Collier Talent Agency as my new representation!

"Heather is a veteran in the world of talent management. A graduate of Northwestern University, Heather began her career in agenting in Chicago. Right out of college, she worked for Elite Chicago as an agent for runway models. She then made the transition from modeling agent to talent agent by becoming a kids’ agent, representing children for both print and on-camera work at Stewart Talent, also in Chicago. Heather then decided to move to New York, and began working in the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency. At Abrams, Heather represented adult actors for film, television and theater. She not only handled the careers of well established actors and actresses, but was active in signing and scouting new talent. Heather also had an opportunity to work in Abrams’ Los Angeles office. Heather is thrilled to be in Austin, and very excited about working with actors again."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Last night's monthly meeting at MOMO's went well on a bunch of fronts. We gave some floor time to another acting group, Cast Local, so they could chat about who they are, what they do, and where they're going.

We also gave updated information on the upcoming Austin Callback community film showcase -- we're now accepting demo reels for the showcase!

Rounding out the evening, Patrice Pike took the stage. In my book, Patrice is one of the most motivating examples of a powerful, talented, bust-your-ass hard-working artist. Besides, she's a pleasure to see and hear. Patrice is playing every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. in October.