Friday, June 30, 2006

Roadtrip Day 3 Music Log:

The Clash (The Clash)

Talk radio

Everything in Transit (Jack's Mannequin)

When Animals Attack (Institute)

Local Houston radio

Some Devil (Dave Matthews)

Every Breath You Take (The Police)


We made it to Austin, grabbed a bite at a Mexican bar, and are officially calling the trip a victory.


We're finally in Houston, and my big brother is all checked in to his new apartment. Not bad.

Now for a few brief errands, and we're off to brave the holiday weekend traffic to Austin. Where we'll likely shop for stuff for his new place -- the dude lives like a monk (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Lake Charles, Louisiana

We just left Lake Charles, our first stop since leaving New Orleans.

Y'know, Lake Charles sounds like a resort town. Not so much.

Most. Foul. Taco Bell. Ever.

Next stop: Houston (hopefully).

Baton Rouge

We're on the road again, just crossing through Baton Rouge on the way to Houston.

Roadtrip Day 2 Music Log:

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (Pavement)

Chute Too Narrow (The Shins)

Come on feel the Illinoise (Sufjan Stevens)

Stubbs the Zombie (Soundtrack)

Strange Mess of Flowers, Disc 1 (David Garza)

Sonic Nurse (Sonic Youth)

The Clash (The Clash)

Lower 9th Ward

We drove through the Lower 9th Ward this morning, which was the hardest hit by Katrina.

The devastation up close is nothing like what's shown on TV, and these picts probably don't show it accurately, either. It looks like the place was bombed.

I feel sick.

New Orleans

We're in New Orleans, and getting ready to have dinner with a college friend of my brother's who works as a security guard at the seminary at which he's also a student.

The destruction that's still here after a year is sobering.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bourbon Street

We just spent a fun several hours walking the French Quarter, including Bourbon Street (which is sporadically fun, lame, hopping, and just tawdry), ending up at the Cajun Street Market for dinner, then Cafe Du Monde for coffee au laite and beignets -- deep-fried dumpling-like donuts with obscene amounts of powdered sugar.

I am so going to need to run once I finally get back to Austin.

All of this courtesy of my brother's friend Everett, who was a great host.

Hammond, LA

We're stopping off at Hammond, LA, to top off before hitting New Orleans, which we should hit right about rush hour. Nice.

So hot ...

So, my brother's new-to-him car keeps trying to overheat. Lucky for us, if we turn off the air conditioning, we're fine.

So, the last couple of hours to Jackson have been toasty, which sounds fun, but isn't.


After staying in West Memphis(AR), grabbing a quick bite at a Waffle House (my brother had never been), and a quick loop around Memphis (TN), we're in Mississippi, heading to New Orleans (by way of Jackson (MS; not Jackson, MO, or Jackson TN; both of which we've seen)).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Roadtrip Day 1 Music Log:

London Calling (The Clash)

You Could Have It So Much Better (Franz Ferdinand)

We Hate Your Hate (Broken Social Scene)

Hail to the Thief (Radiohead)

We Don't Have To Whisper (Angels and Airwaves)

Vertigo (U2)

we are the night sky (deadboy & the Elephantmen)

The Bravery (The Bravery)

Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk

Plans (Death Cab for Cutie)

St. Louis sunset

I snapped this pict of a St. Louis sunset, as we scooted around the city on our way to Memphis.

Springfield, IL

We're just now leaving Springfield, IL. This was our first stop for the trip, and we gassed up and got pizza.

I don't know the last time I ate at a Pizza Hut, but it's something my brother and I did way back in ID-land, so we gave it a whirl. Not bad, and our server was waaay effucious (spelling? Whatever. Think "Heidi" all growed up and having let herself go).

I think Springfield is where Marvel Comics had the secret headquarters of G.I.Joe's nemesis, COBRA.

And I think it's known for that Abe Lincoln thing...


They finally found my luggage, We're on the road. Freaking finally. Time to have some fun...

We've landed

We've landed. Hower, our luggage (though gate checked) is missing ...

Getting on the plane...

I'm just now getting on the plane for Chicago. When I should be landing in Chicago.

Y'know, I could have spent a hundred bucks less and got 4 more hours of sleep to end up in Chicago at the same time.

Not that I'm keeping track.

And those are my knees, perv.

United Airlines sucks...

I'm supposed to be in Chicago right now.

I'm meeting my brother, who's driving from Ann Arbor, MI, to pick me up, and we're roadtripping to Houston (by way of New Orleans) for his new job.

I'm supposed to be in Chicago right now.

The flight was on time last night. At 5 a.m., as I'm heading out the door to get a side with silver-screen debut acting buddy Aaron Hallaway, I get notice the 6:40 a.m. flight was delayed until 8:30, due to a "crew rest delay."

They wouldn't switch me to a 6:30 American Airlines flight, unless I was an international traveler in danger me missing my connection -- even though there were 3 seats left when they closed the door.

At 8 a.m., 5 minutes after the next American flight to Chicago had left, they informed the gate agent (not her fault) the flight is now further delayed 'til 10:45, 'cause they're short one flight attendant. Is this a union thing? The flight is only 1/4 full.

I'm supposed to be in Chicago right now. My brother is.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Spider-Man 3" teaser trailer is up!

Comic Book Fanboys/Movie Lovers/Kirsten Dunst fans (or Tobey Maguire fans; it's his B-Day today) unite!


48 Hour Film Project (Group A screening)

this is an audio post - click to play

I saw the Group A screening for the 48 Hour Film Project today.

My picks'd be:
  1. Hidden Places
  2. The Arrival
  3. You Bleed, You Buy/Latino Roadshow/Jimmy Rigged

Cell phones for the homeless

Did I miss a memo somewhere?

I was at lunch, stopped for a light before crossing over Austin's MOPAC/Parmer intersection. I saw one of the regular transients with his sign requesting money, walking up and down the line of cars, when -- I kid you not -- he put his sign down to take a cell phone call.

He was asking for money.

Has a cell phone.

This is the same guy last year for whom I was moved to run over and grab a big Wendy's lunch, came back, couldn't find him, then nearly ran over him coming out of the grocery store with 4 12-packs of Bud Light.

He's asking for money, drinks a lotta beer, and has a cell phone.

I am amazingly disappointed right now...

Monday, June 26, 2006

"Tysus & Zianne" Update: Alex Lawrence

Here's another update on the Tysus & Zianna computer-animated short for which I did the lead voice over.

This time, I'm focusing on Alex Lawrence, the film's writer/director/producer, and principal behind D.H. Lawrence Productions.

Check out Alex's Website -- The guy's quite a bit of a renaissance man.

He's got a bunch of nice stuff on his site, and I'm particularly struck with his being a computer modeler, and concept artist -- not a combination you see a lot, and one that's definitely in demand.

Like I said, there are a lot of good pieces on the site, but in particular, check out the following for Tysus & Zianna kinds of stuff:
  • Concept Art (has 3 pieces from Tysus & Zianna, Including the Death Knight, whose bum I totally kick)
  • Digital Stills ("The Citadel")
  • Animations(Check out the The "Wheel of Time - theatrical trailer" to get a flavor of what Tysus & Zianna could be -- and this was 5 years ago!)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Interviews for "Tysus & Zianna"

I did some interviews for Tysus & Zianna Wednesday night -- whatta blast.

Dan Parsons is freaking amazing. His lighting and setup created a warm, professional, studio-like ambiance, and the hi-def camera (in capable hands) puts out an incredible picture.

The interview was lot of fun, and I left with a ton of "what I would have done different" ideas rolling around my head. Not in a negative way at all -- this was my first interview of this kind, some I'm giving myself grace. I just noticed things about myself watching the playback, and can make corrections and more interesting choices the next go-round.

I guess that's one of the big things I took away from the night -- just a like for a character, it's important to make strong choices for the interview.

We then watched some of Dan's other stuff, including his/Alex Lawrence's previous CGI animated piece, Wheel of Time. Five years ago, and the thing is tight, compelling, and fluid, and the technology (and Dan and Alex) have just gotten better.

The interviews'll be used to tease Tysus & Zianna on the upcoming Website over the next year, and'll be added to the DVD for distribution.

I'm really excited to be a part of this.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I went to the Alliance gig Monday night

I went to the Alliance panel and party at MOMO's Club Monday night.

It was a good, informative meet, with a lot of big local industry folks giving of their time and knowledge to help Texas "raise the bar" for film and commercial work. There was also an update on the state legislation/incentive front (go to the Texas Motion Picture Alliance Web page; read; become informed; become a part of it).

The attendance was much skimpier than the previous meeting (which was insane and hot and dangerously overcrowded). There were probably south of 125 people, whereas last time saw north of 300. Not sure what the deal was, but when I finally left, I noticed an abnormal number of empty parking spaces and meters on West 6th street, so maybe it wasn't just the event that was short on attendance.

It was a good experience, though, because the three panels (Talent Agents, Coaches, and Casting Directors) were candid, and so giving of their info -- and they were entertaining, to boot.

On the relational side, I touched base with 14 or so people I know, and met a few more, including a couple of coaches with whom I wanted to meet and talk with in person. A bit of a banter weight evening from an Adam perspective, but great on the quality, if not quantity, of folks ... ;-)

I am so off my game, though; not a single business card given out. What up with that, Adam? All you did was trade numbers and Emails via phones. Kids with their toys today ...

Oh, and check out the official Alliance site for details about that group.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Alliance meets today!

"The Alliance is having another Panel and Party!"

The Alliance is a group of talent agents, casting directors, coaches, and other Biz folks, and "exists to develop and promote Central Texas area actors, and to ensure continued use of Austin for TV and Film."

The party starts at MOMO's Club at 5:30 p.m., with the real meat at 6 p.m., and drinks and networking opportunities for all hours afterwards.

Check out the official notice.

His name is Cam ...

Learn his name. Learn to laugh at him.
A Stikfas named Cam.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day -- I hope you're enjoying it!

I'm having a great day, though I'm a bit recently ambivalent.

I just watched the original Transformers Season 2 episode, "Autobot Spike", as a sort of semi-homage to the holiday, and I teared up a bit in some of the relations between characters Spike and Sparkplug.

I couldn't get myself where I needed to be in Friday's audition, but I tear up at a cartoon.

I need to stop thinking so much during auditions.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I just auditioned for "The Hitcher"

I just auditioned for the remake of The Hitcher, and ... it is what it is ...

This was an intense audition where I'm a deeply religious dad, and my wife and kids have just been killed in front of me, and I'm dying. It's a brutally tough part (for a bunch of reasons), and I thought I was going to be able to get myself where I needed to be for the audition.

Not so much.

Fortunately, Beth Sepko gave me good direction that let me take it further than I was taking it on my own.

This role is incredibly important to me for a couple of reasons. First, it humanizes the film's main characters in a way the original (still excellent) did not. Secondly, it's a dark, cathartic place for me to go. I really want this role, but it certainly won't be "fun".

But, the audition is what it is, and it's done. God willing, something comes of it ...

Voice session for "Tysus and Zianna"

I had a good recording session last night for Tysus and Zianna, the animated short for which I auditioned last week.

Alex Lawrence and Dan Parsons are really talented, entertaining, and enjoyable folks with whom to work, and fellow voice talents Candace and John rounded out the cast.

We recorded at a home studio that was new to me, owned by John Arispe, and it is a solid, double booth studio, well-constructed with all the necessary gear, and John (and his son, John) both really know their stuff.

The recording session itself was a little unconventional, because normally each actor's lines are recorded independently of each other, then mastered later. Last night, we ran through the script in a linear fashion, recording all of our lines together. This makes it quicker from a production perspective, but longer for the actors. It does make it easier to react off of each other, though.

There are also several physical and fight moments in the short piece, so I had to do a bunch of grunts and various other sounds of exertion that had me working up quite a sweat. Mixed appropriately, they should sound cool. Mixed inappropriately, and these could be so used against me ...

Anyway, good, fun session last night, with talented folks with whom I'd choose to work again (I'd been wanting to work with Dan in particular for a few years), so a very positive experience overall.

Now, I'm off to an intense audition for the remake of The Hitcher, which is a brutally tough role that scares me ...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Getting my blog banned in Utah...

There was an episode of "Picket Fences" that was banned by the network's Salt Lake City affiliates in the nineties because it featured a men's urinal. I've got 6 times that, Utah!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Feeling good ...

Today, in the space of 10 minutes, I got two phone calls. The first said I had an offer on my house. The second said I got the lead in an animated film.

All this on the way to the airport to head out to CA for non-Biz business travel, which could suck, but hey, it's still the Bay Area.

Monday, June 12, 2006

If I were stranded somewhere, I want two tools ...

If I were stranded somewhere (uninhabited island, abandoned Death Valley gas station surrounded by giant mutant ants, etc.), I'd want two tools:
  • Vise-grip pliers
  • Heavy-duty, all-metal hammer
If the vise-grips are large and sturdy enough, and I'm able to use them as a hammer, I could forego the actual hammer in lieu of a multi-head, ratcheting screwdriver. But that may be cheating the "only two tools" scenario.

Everyone should have a pair of vise-grip pliers.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Voice over audition today

I had a good, quick voice over audition for a partially animated upcoming film, Tysus and Ziana.

Alex Lawrence and company made it a good, comfortable audition, and I got to read for a couple of parts (the titular main character and a "death knight" (which is so cool)) a couple of times.

Tysus and Ziana is what I'll call a fantasy piece (so that I don't give too much away), and from the couple of sides I cold read, it's pretty well written and not hoky -- which is tough to do with fantasy (seriously; watch Tom Cruise in Legend; and that's Ridley Scott).

I realized today I haven't auditioned at the Dougherty Arts Center since Nightlife (I so could have been a vampire, or jaded journalist, or whatever), and there's something sentimental and real that I like about the experience (it's not the parking, though; definitely not the parking -- freaking construction).

The audition was short, because there was no wait, and I have a mongo sinus infection, so I had to hold myself together and get my voice where it needed to be for a brief window before I said "thank you" and bailed so I could cough my lung up in the parking lot next to my truck (seriously, check the parking lot west of the Dougherty Arts Center; it's probably still there, angry and flopping around like a salmon that just got a bad haircut).

Anyway, short audition, but enjoyable, and the folks seemed together and pleasant.

I do need to stand during auditions, even when they have chairs and ask me to have a seat. Unless it's industrial VO, why sit?

This is part one of my possible "3 days, 3 auditions", with this being the committed fantasy, tomorrow possibly being campy, and Monday being the most emotionally demanding audition I've ever done. Diversity of roles is one of the things I love about being an actor.

I need to decide whether to do tomorrow's audition, and I pray to get to do Monday's before I fly out of town...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Environmental Irony

It's an Ozone Action Day in Austin. It's one of those "hot, sunny, still days when conditions are most favorable for the accumulation of unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone."

People are supposed not use exhaust-producing tools (lawnmowers, etc.), drive only when necessary, and carpool.

This weekend is also the 2006 Republic of Texas Biker Rally, where thousands of non-carpooling vehicles will descend on the capital of Texas.

I find this funny.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I bought something because it was on sale ...

Please understand, I don't buy things just becuase they're on sale. I buy them because I want them, or because I "need" them (loosely speaking).

Yesterday, I bought something I neither "needed", nor wanted (necessarily).

I went in to (grudgingly) buy one thing, and there was a "half-price off the second" deal going on. So I rooted around until I found something that I actually had forgotten at one time I thought I "needed", and bought it.

I don't do that. Usually.

And what was I buying?

Shoes. Freaking. shoes.

I don't buy shoes, either, but I'd had this pair for 4 years, and the inside soles, outside soles, and laces had all finally given out. So I was (grudgingly) buying shoes. Which I don't do. Generally.

And I bought two pairs, only because the second pair was on sale.

I don't buy shoes. I don't buy things just because they are on sale.

Usually. Except this time.

I don't know me anymore ...