Tuesday, March 29, 2005
In 2 hours, we did 5 warm-ups and 5 two-actor scenes -- three takes a piece (each with different direction, each with two camera angles). Absolutely staggering, and a gift to be a part of.
Van Brooks is a strong coach, and this class took the format of getting our scenes, learning the lines flat and workshopping characters outside of class, then showing up each week as if we're on a movie set, ready to work
-- rehearse and shoot our scenes. Van shoots everything on a Panasonic DVX100AP HD camera -- a rig I'd absolutely love to own for my own film making -- and a boom and light kit.
Last week, we diverted from the formula a bit and just rehearsed hardcore, which let us hit the ground tonight doing warmups and shoots for the scenes Van had written for us.
I was Edwards -- a homicide detective -- and with my favorite brown "detective ensemble", I kicked ass ... in the looks department ...
Actually, my scenework wasn't half bad either, especially my take as a savvy "handler" detective, pushing through a faux innocent perp (played convincingly by Kristi Wright).
Yeah, I get a lot out of training with Van ...
Best scene work: Tom Procida, in every one of his six performances. Followed by Buzz Rahm, playing a sickening-sweet psychotic/sociopath. Absolutely creepy believable.
Greatest freeze frame: Tammy Holland, with an absolutely near commercial headshot-quality still (she was playing a forensic psychiatrist).
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
More interesting folks on airplanes ...
OK, sometimes when I'm on an airplane I just want to be left alone to sleep, or need to be left alone to work.
Usually, I'm fighting my fascination with people, to see if my seat mate will take interest in me.
So it was tonight from SFO to Phoenix with James, CEO of Patrons of Art, LLC, a company that represents mid- and end-term artists to keep their stuff in shows and galleries, so they don't fade into obscurity, and are "more than starving artists."
James has done a lot of stuff (and is very proud of his accomplishments), and as a self-proclaimed "eligable straight bachelor in the art gallery world", is a bit of an abberation, if not a total freak in this particular vertical market.
Check out his company at http://www.patronsofart.com.
Heh. Reads like "Patrons o' Fart".
Wonder if James knows that?
Everything happens for a reason ...
I was pretty bent out of shape yesterday early in the morning when I missed my United Airlines flight. Yes, I was running late, and only got there 20 minutes before take-off, but evidently, since everyone but me checked in 30 minutes early, they ... left early. Seriously. Didn't know they could do that ...
Anyway, the United rep was unhelpful (and rude), so I went with an America West flight to make my 1 p.m. SF meeting.
As a rule, I don't like to ride in planes with smaller, less cleanly seats, but I found myself seated next to Rex, an up-and-coming rocker and recording artist.
Rex is absolutely fascinating, and passionate about what he does. He's made it through to fast and hot burn that can finish a lot of musicians, has stayed focused, and has a vision, end-game, and excitement that I find invigorating. Think a young, on-fire David Grohl -- passionate and
intensely hard working.
Methinks we'll be hearing from this guy soon.
Everything happens for a reason ...
Saturday, March 19, 2005
MangAdam is my everything-voice-related representation. Maybe a little Ego. Maybe a little Id. Maybe one of multiple personalities that keeps shrinks alternately shivering in fear or rubbing their hands gleefully. Maybe just a fun branding extension of little o' me.
Anyway, check him out here. This is one of about a dozen new representations of me, done by a mentor/buddy/co-geek named Mark. He absolutely rocks.
MangAdam (c) Copyright 2004, 2005 Adam Creighton.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Thursday, March 17, 2005
I'm off to the Austin Fado's St. Patrick's Day street party!
It's an annual tradition -- so raise a pint and kiss me, I'm Irish!
(Like you need an excuse.)
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
I had a coaching session with VO actress and director Marci Winters Allen, who is in town this week for SXSW.
This was a really good session, and Marci is a talented, energetic and fun coach with whom I was very comfortable working.
She identified some of the same hang-ups my ongoing coach (the awesome Lainie Frasier) is constantly trying to get me past ("Slow down, Adam", "Watch ending sentences with the same intonation -- it makes you sound sing-songy", etc.).
She also gave me new tools in the form of tongue-twisters I hadn't used before ("black bugs blood", "Unique New York, unique New York, you know you need unique New York", "The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue"), and other tongue-twisters that I think most VO actors use (let's hear it for "Toy boat"!).
The epiphany for me was in the area of some of the visualization stuff ("You are this character. What color are you? What animal are you?").
This is by no means new stuff to me, since it's part of my toolkit for filmwork. But the epiphany was I was segregating my "voice" toolkit from my "on-camera" toolkit. After my session with Marci, I've started looking at my tools and techniques in the whole, and have seen some immediate benefit to my acting. Suh weet.
Plus, Marci let me be Captain America for a few lines. Ah, Cap, you rock ...
Acting for Film:
So even though I just had my weekly class Monday night with my current coach Van Brooks, Van called be as I was driving down to Marci's and generously offered to let me play in class for a 2nd night in a row with a new troupe of folks.
Like Monday night's class, the format for the evening was run like an audition, with us treating the whole thing as if we were auditioning for a film -- cold read and all.
Unlike Monday, I felt really good about the experience. I was auditioning for the role of Paul, a violent punk with issues brought in for questioning in regards to "conspiracy to commit murder."
Before I was called in, I stripped down to my t-shirt, messed the hell out of my hair (this is a big deal; seriously, have you seen my headshot?), and I went with my headshot and a loud, angry, and fractured read.
Did the "Casting Directors" like it? They said "no", and had me do a slightly quieter ("but still angry"), more "focused" read.
But the point is I went for something, and I went all-out and hardcore. And when we watched it on tape, we decided we all actually really liked the read.
Which brings up an interesting issue. I might do an audition, and the CDs not like it, but it may rock on tape -- if it's ever seen ...
Ah, such a fickle biz we're in!
Anyway, sitting in on this class reunited me with class alumns Rocky, Sara Kendrick, and "The Mastery" alumn Todd Sauders (the Roadhouse Relics artisan).
I also got to work for the first time with Kendra, Brent, and Nick. I also got to watch and listen to Jessica Robertson, an absolute pro, and blast to be in class with.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
So after getting out my current acting class (at freaking 11:30 p.m.), I got to pal around with other South-by freaks, listen to Reckless Kelly (I really like their stuff), and The Gourds (this was my first time seeing them; Lotta energy, good sound).
I ran into Will Wallace again, who accused me of following him around. (I'm not. Maybe a little. You'll know when I'm following you, Mister. Or something. Anyhoo ...)
I spent most of the evening with Elizabeth Mason (after we hadn't seen each other since, oh, the night before), and though I didn't chat with a bunch of folks, I saw my agent (she rocks), Vivian Vives with Barcelona Films, Alex Smith (The Slaughter Rule), etc.
I chatted with Belinda, a nice gal visiting from London for SXSW a bit out of her element, and ran into Elizabeth Wheat, an absolutely stunning actress I hadn't seen since we took a class together with Mona Lee.
I also met Josh Squires and Jon Flynn (a friend of Elizabeth's) with VIR Productions. Flynn makes my screwball-hilarious superball kid bro-in-law look absolutely sanguin. No joke. In a good way. Anyway, Josh and Flynn over at VIR(Latin, "Courage")Productions were a ton of fun (and made "fuhgetaboutit" fun again), and I'll be keeping an eye on the good stuff they're doing.
All of this is absolutely exhausting with nasty allergies, where everything I do feels like I'm swimming with a 250 lb. man in combat boots standing on my neck and shoulders. But what else am I gonna do? I mean, really ...
I lasted until 1:30 (ish), then called it a night.
Monday, March 14, 2005
I went to an after party last night for Southern Belles, directed by Paul S. Myers and Brennan Shroff.
The party was hosted by the studio and Collier Talent Agency, because my agent and the film's producer used to agent at Abrams together.
Since the allergy capital of the world has been kicking my butt for the last several days, I was less than engaging, and really sucked it up on the meet-n-greet front.
I did chat a bit with Will Wallace, amd I'm stoked about his next film -- whether or not I'm in it (seriously, I carry the script around in my bag; it's that fun). Also met Craig, and I'm embarrassed to say I missed his last name and how he knew Will. (Hey, I said I was having an off night.)
I chatted briefly with funny man Rob Nash, Kristi Wright, and Anika Kunik, and Richard Ricks. I also met Brett, who's new to Collier Talent. I haven't seen his work yet, but he seems like a nice guy.
I also met Michael Conway, the writer behind Termination, in which Anika costars. Termination screens at the new Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar March 12/17/19 at 11:00/11:15/11:30 a.m.
When things started to wind down (little bit) at party spot Lucky Lounge, fellow actor's Tom Procida and Elizabeth Mason ducked out to Halcyon for a late-night dinner (their paninis aren't half-bad).
Then I called it a night. Yeah, not an interesting ending, but an ending nonetheless.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Friday, March 11, 2005
Left alone for an hour, they ate a copy of The Cat in the Hat. Seriously, what kind of monstrous creatures would eat one of Dr. Seuss's most well known and loved literary offerings?
Freakin' Cujo doesn't have anything on these mongrels.
Animals. Absolute animals.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
This was one of those phone calls like, "Can you do an audition in a half an hour?"
"How about in an hour and a half?"
"Great! I'm Emailing you sides!"
This was my first audition with Tracy Roswell, so I enjoyed getting in front of another Texas Casting Director. She and her team made for coordinated, easy going audition.
Monday, March 07, 2005
I refer to everything by my camel-cased abbreviation codenames, but I came back soaking wet and hit the keyboard with 2-4 pages of dialogue/treatment a piece for "Rf" -- an interstitial, fairly visceral short; "tP" -- a meta narration (think a film version John Barth might endorse); and "Uj" -- a horror/suspense deal based on a nightmare I had a couple of weeks ago that I had no interest in remembering, and has no interest in leaving my noggin.
So Rf, tP, and Uj join my other works in progress, Bd, StT, tB, tG, CBH, and perhaps my favorite, CoP.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Today's STAPLE! was the first of possibly an annual national convention, serving as "event for the purpose of promoting the display and barter of independent creative media" (largely indie and underground comic books).
I was there because (A) I like comic books, and (B) we fanboys of comic books, animation, and video games are all really of the same ilk, and at some point, maybe these guys will turn their incredible stuff into animation (and/or video games), and need a voice guy).
Best to build the relationships now ...
There were a bunch of incredibly talented folks there, and only a handful that I was able to chat with to any extent:
- Chris Moreno is an incredibly talented, pleasant guy. I'm looking forward to his Dracula vs. King Arthur (seriously, it's pretty impressive) through Silent Devil Productions.
- Christine Pointeau has some really startling stuff. Her India Ink sketches and watercolor graphic novels are stunning. She does graphic novels, sketches, posters, greeting cards and the like. Here realistic (but still cutesy) raccoon stuff is what sold out a the show, but I was more impressed by her Western-flaired stuff.
- I finally got to meet the Aaron Romo and Chris Moujaes, the guys at Squirrelworks.com, producers of Coz/Effect, Fairview High, Good Gravy, Lunch Break, and the new Battlegate and Soul Stone. Squirrelworks is represented by JINDesign; Scott from JinDesign and I have been trying to meet for months, at the prompting of mutual friend Chel Simon (an outstanding actress and friend).
- I met Carlos A. Samudio, J. Daniel Garcia and Christopher Tupa of Hopper Comics. Funny, personable guys whose upcoming sketchbook is looking really, really slick. Plus they gave me a pen. I like pens.
- I chatted with Jason DeGroot with Repercussion Comics, and picked up his self-published Kreetor #1. We got to chat about the indie self-publishing model, and I'm amazed at and humbled by the level of effort to which these guys will take to get there stuff to people like me. I'm looking forward to the The Kwiddex Protocol -- the teaser art is really arresting.
- I talked to the guys over at Antarctic Press, because after 20 years of publishing, they were arguably the mainstays of the conference. Plus, they do DVDs and CD-ROMs, so they were a natch for giving my character VO demo. Which they refused. Even after much prompting. Anyway, though they're probably best known for their Gold Digger and How To Draw Manga IP, Chris Reid was there, and I picked up Legends From Darkwood, a fun manga-ish piece about folks who hunt and eat, uh, unicorns. Chris is dry and hilarious in person, and his book matches. I also picked up David Hutchison's Junction 17. This is probably one of the most gorgeously colored books I've seen in a while -- it's like reading Ghost in the Shell or Blood: The Last Vampire (really, it's almost that good).
- Before leaving, I hung out for about 45 minutes just listening to Rafael Navarro, creator of Sonambulo!. Rafael (or "Rafa" to his friends; so "Rafael" to me) is also one of the storyboard artists on Justice League, one of my favorite currently-airing cartoons (he also does such shows as Stripperella and Xiaolin Showdown). Rafael is incredibly passionate, animated person to watch and listen to, and he's funny (kind of in any articulate, Animal House John Belushi kind of way), artisticly talented, and just, I dunno, deep. His Captain America absolutely rocks, in the way a Rafael Navarro/Alex Toth/Bruce Timm Cap should rock. Cap's still my boy ....
Plus, I won a raffle and got a free T-Shirt. Heh. Free stuff ...
Of course, by doing this, I missed Pauly Shore's appearance at the Hasting's just 3 blocks from my house. Whoever says acting doesn't involve sacrifice needs a nipple twisting ...
The option in town is down to PhotoMagic, and (so far), they don't seem to be quick, or conscientious, or able to do much beyond do mass productions.
I went to pick of a number of proofs today (new theatricals and a 2nd run of my commercial shot), and there were printer-induced error lines across all of the proofs; PhotoMagic obviously hadn't even QAed the picts.
So now I have to wait who knows how long again, which makes the cheaper out of town options I turned down (to avoid turnaround lag) look all the more appealing ...
This is even more frustrating in that I've already done all the work -- scanned the negatives, done the color correction, produced the digital files. All they have to do is print the things ...
It was for a lot of narration over a live-action story (think a dysfunctionally domestic version of Sam Weisman's George of the Jungle).
The piece is smartly written, very engaging, and the narration really determines the pacing of the shoots.
It was a bit heavy as far as VO auditions go (an hour-plus and 14 different voices), so Aaron and Clark got a heck of a bargain with a professional voice actor.
Not that I mind. These guys are serious and conscientious about this thing, and I hope I get to play along. The advanced FilmWorks folks tend to turn out some pretty impressive stuff...
Friday, March 04, 2005
I like to audition as much as possible, and I think professional actors should audition more often for student projects -- it (hopefully) gives student "casting directors" a little better sense of what a professional audition is like, and maybe gives a more positive experience than just friends auditioning for friends.
Come support independent art (especially comic books), and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
I'll be wandering around, evangelizing about the synergy/opportunity between voice actors, comic books, video games, and the like. And I shall be handing out my character voice demo. Many copies of my character voice demo. A plethora, one might say.
There's also a pre-party Friday night at 8 p.m. at Austin Books (5002 North Lamar Blvd.). I've got a VO audition right before that off Lamar, so I should be there for a little while.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
We talked about a lot of stuff: My voice and film work, his upcoming album (he's off to LA to finish some last-minute mixing), and a bunch of what I'll call "synergistic opportunities" for us in areas of branding, video gaming, and live performances (among other things).
Aaron, Jennifer, and I are looking at concrete ways to leverage each other's skills and markets to get us all a bunch more work.
Hey, we're in the Biz -- we all want something ...
And to be honest, Aaron pretty much, uh, rocks. So check him out if you get the chance. You get three chances in March (9, 11, 23) to catch him at an early happy hour accoustic set at Jovita's in Austin (1619 S. 1st St.).