Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dumbest business moves ...

Not really related to acting, per se, but there are definitely lessons in here that apply to it.

Over at CNN, they're running a story on the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business.

There are some doozies -- seriously, they thought they could get away with giving shares of stock to a corpse (#48).

But #77 is my favorite:
"After Bank of America announces plans to outsource 100 tech support jobs from the San Francisco Bay Area to India, the American workers are told that they must train their own replacements in order to receive their severance payments."
Wow, that is pretty dumb...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mixer last night ...

So Monday night was the inaugural north version of the Reel Women Monthly Mix.

Attendance was a bit light, which I hope doesn't hurt the effort moving forward, but there was a good group of folks there.

I got returning actor Adam to come along, and introduced Jason to this generally productive networking opportunity Reel Women creates.

I got to say hi again to Reel Women chair Sherry, TEXFX dude Gary, awesome DP Mark, and special effects/makeup artist Meredith.

I also met a slew of new folks (which I really enjoy), like screenwriter/producer Jamie, writer/director Debra, music dude Dominique, and actresses Priya and Laticia (love that outrageous french accent!).

I was bummed a few folks who told me they would be there weren't, because I think they would have enjoyed it.

But it was a good time, and I'm excited for the next north iteration of the mixer.

Then Adam and I took Jason and introduced him to Halo 2 and Rocketball ...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reel Women NORTH mixer today (Jan. 29)

Reel Women is trying a Monday night mixer up north tonight at the new Opal Divine's Marina On MoPac/Parmer.

You don't have to be a member, and you don't have to live north to attend.

I'm hoping this is popular, so it becomes a more regular deal! (It's not going to replace the monthly downtown one, but it would sure help us northern folks.)

See you there!

Details from

Location:At Opal Divine's
Marina, Mopac, just north of Parmer (basically on the Fry's parking lot)
Monday Mix Date: Monday, January 29th Mix Time: 6:30 - 8:00pm

By popular request, we've added a mixer on the NORTH side of town to make it
easier for the Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, etc., crew to join us. This
won't be a monthly activity, but if it's popular enough, we'll do them regulary.
Same information as the "First Monday Mixes": no agenda, no schedule; just food,
drink, networking. You don't HAVE to live on the northside to join us --
everyone is welcome!

Open to everyone!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

How I spent my "free" day ...

I mentioned yesterday since my workshop got cancelled, I was going to spend that carved-out day doing other Biz stuff. Since I told you about it, you deserve an update.

First, I felt so much like warmed over death yesterday, not spending the whole day semi-conscious in bed was a huge win. So there's that.

  • Tax prep -- Most of yesterday was pulling together revenue, tax, and related info for 2006, putting 2005 to rest, and getting a jump on 2007. Not sexy, ridiculously time consuming, but really needed. And, overall (so far), more encouraging than last year.

  • Reading -- I read the first 7 issues of the Moon Knight re-launch from Marvel, and pulled out one (may turn into two) possible monologues for future use. Besides the monologue gain, I'm fascinated by license reboots, and how a company goes about making a license that could be considered tired or hackneyed (Batman fans may claim as much), and do it in a fresh and convincingly viable way. Also, I'm pretty much at the affect of a lot of stuff lately, and even this title's treatment and commentary on gods and faith has got my wheels spinning.

    I also read up on two guys by which I'm pretty inspired -- Marvel's EIC Joe Quesada, and artist Steve McNiven; I think I'll write a separate post about those guys later.

    There was other miscellaneous reading for acting on the comic book, trade pubs, religion, and video game front, too.

  • Making movies -- I made three mini stop-motion animated movies last night (two 2D and one 3D), playing with a bunch of tools and software combinations to see what the best balance of work and quality is. I'm getting pretty excited about this stuff, and may a couple of the prototypes I'm not worried about getting "out there" (and anything I youtube I'll obviously republish on this blog). These videos are sans audio (other than sound effects, since my voice is hacked by my sore throat and congestion, but I'll hopefully add that stuff later.

  • Video study -- I spent some time going through video game cut scenes in two games -- Lost Planet and Dead Rising. As a voice actor, I'm looking for what works, what doesn't, and why. Even though both of these are from Capcom, they're handled very differently, with Dead Rising having a better presentation. There's a little more about my consideration of these two games in my Lost Planet mini review.

  • Acts of kindness -- I did help a fellow actor with car trouble, so that kind of counts as Biz-related, right?
So, that's yesterday.

Today is more tax stuff (*grumble*); more stop-motion stuff (yay!); and taking care of myself so I can get past this sick thing and get back to running and acting stuff.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

"Seven Surprises from Sundance" ( ...

I haven't been posting my thoughts on the Sundance Film Festival, entries, and competitions.

But do check out this quick article from

No workshop today ...

Things happen for a reason.

Today I was supposed to be teaching an all-day workshop on marketing for actors.

For various legitimate reasons, attendance fell through at the end, and we decided to cancel the workshop.

Today, I woke up with a nasty sore throat and vision-impairing congestion.

But since I had planned to do an all day acting workshop, I'm now going to do all-day acting "stuff". I've already typed out a new monologue (lifted from the excellent Moon Knight relaunch), and I need to start some tax work and then do some shooting and animating.

It would be easy to have not written anything about the workshop not happening, and let it quietly go by.

But so what? I'm fine with it not happening. I know there's a desire for my stuff, so if it's meant to happen, it'll happen. Plus, now I've got this day carved out that I can fill with craft and biz stuff. And I'm telling you, so you can hold me accountable (if you're so inclined).

Good day, despite the sore throat/congestion thing.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Eulogy (II) ...

OK, so let's talk about this.

But first, we need to got to two weeks ago:

"Oh, and I hate hate hate next week's class. Hate it."
I try not use "hate" that much. And "next week's class" was delayed from last week to this week, due to the ice storm.

All caught up?

The reason I hated it more than usual (I think I often hate Meisner class, until I get there), is how it was teed up:

"Next week, you will all do a eulogy. Imagine the person who means the most
in the world to you. Now imagine them dead. Got it?"
The elaboration was I was supposed to take someone I care about who's perfectly healthy (that's key), and imagine a scenario where they could have believably died (but are not likely to in the real world), and believe it. Prepare for the eulogy however I would in real life. Create a scenario for who the classmates in the room are. Buy into that.

Then deliver the eulogy.

"This is the work. This is the cost."
I'd been putting it off for last week, and was just about to start it when class was delayed (with the instructions, "Don't over prepare for this -- try to peak emotionally next class"). I was seriously relieved. "Don't over prepare"?!

This is a big freaking deal. What if the floodgates opened and I couldn't stop? What if I didn't react the way I should talking about the death of a loved one? What does that say for my acting, or my love for that person?

Monday night, I started to write out the words of the eulogy. The good stuff, the funny stuff. Tuesday night, I thought in detail about the circumstances of the death. Very mechanical.

"Know what that was like. What it felt like. What the smells were. Believe
Wednesday morning, I wrote some more things. I wouldn't normally write, I don't think. But I also made sure not to type. Scrawled it out in my deteriorating handwriting.

Wednesday night, I started the drive down to the school. I started talking out loud about the death.

I was so overwhelmed I had to stop 10 seconds in or I knew I wasn't going to make it to class. Knot in the throat so hard I thought I was going to choke. Tears flooding dry eyes to that point where vision was blurry and I couldn't see straight.

I filled the drive with gingerly poking at parts of the eulogy (from memory, not looking at what I wrote down), and the details of the death.

I mean "poking", too.

Imagine sitting in a room. The only light comes from a candle. There are no windows but there is a door. Stretched across the door is a giant translucent balloon, and it's the only thing keeping the sea out. Fascinated, you walk over and poke it every once in a while, stopping when the skin gets stretched and looks like its going to leak, spread, and burst, and you run across the room cowering over your candle. Not that that's rationale. Then you do it again.

Rationale doesn't really fit in here.

I would start down a path and feel emotion welling and I'd run back and look at it across the room.

Um, anyway, that was the drive there.

I get to class, and there's a brief talk about some other stuff, some fun at my expense (I'm good with that).

Then, eulogies.

This is eleven people putting themselves in a place where they're talking about losing the most important person in the world. Why that person was important. What was good. How they died (sometimes).

So painful, so important.

When it was my turn, I lost it to the point where I almost couldn't start -- and probably had at least three false ones.

And I believed it. The death, what happened leading up. What I was doing certain nights. The ache. My class staging an intervention. The smells. They survivor's guilt.

And we get done and break.

"Go call people. That's the difference between Meisner and Strasburg. With
Meisner you get to go call the person afterwards."
I know this sounds weird if you're not in the acting world. But it's not freaky weird. It's not Strasburg. Not Method. Not destructive or marginalizing.

"Living truthfully under imaginary circumstances."
It's about building an "emotional Rolodex" so that I can roll that authentic emotion onto scenes I have to do.

It is freaking tough, though.

More talking about practice for this week and what next week will look like. Some stuff down the road with which I will have a problem. Some laughing, some joking.

Then the payout.
"I hate to do this to you guys, but stand up. Close your eyes. Everyone say, 'I
love you' -- say the person's name -- 'and I'm going to miss you.'"
We do, and eleven people are instantly back in the emotion of their eulogy. Laughing one minute, then totally connected and broken the next.

He made his point.

I didn't get the gig, but ...

I didn't get this gig.

But I did get an Email from the director, after the audition, and before the shoot date, letting me know he appreciated the audition, I wasn't selected, and he hoped to see me soon.

What a great, simple, stand-up thing to do.

So often in this Biz I audition, and unless I get the gig, the other side is a black hole. I know I didn't get the gig when filming starts, and I'm not there, or if I see notice for the release of the picture or project.

Anyway, I appreciate this.

And Jeffrey's a talented guy -- check out his stuff.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My fans / stalkers ...

I posted earlier about my not being on "Friday Night Lights" last night.

At work today, I walked into my office to this:
Picture of the Wall-o-Adam
That'll teach me to not sign any sort of agreement with the guy I got to digitize my headshot negatives. Turns out Costco does nice 8x10s.

And in the center is a modified page, with a teaser promo for last night's episode, "Featuring Adam Creighton".

I guess this was actually up yesterday in preparation for last night's show, but I was ... um ... working from home (yes, I was actually working).

Anyway, this is one of the funnier things that's been done to me, and warms the cockles of my heart. I'm surrounded by good folks.

And I didn't know my heart had cockles.

I wasn't in "Friday Night Lights" ...

So, I wasn't in "Friday Night Lights" last night. Not only was I cut, but the whole "Driver 1 / Driver 2" sequence was cut out, which had some good stuff.

I'm not too broken up about it, because that's the nature of the beast, and it doesn't take away at all from my having done "Friday Night Lights", and that whole experience (and getting paid for it).

I was in class last night, so it was late when I actually watched the episode. And I pretty much knew I'd been cut beforehand, given the lack of any voice mails about my performance when I turned my phone back on.

And for those holding out hope that I'll end up on the "deleted scenes" section of the Website -- don't hold your breath. The scenes they post are great, generally because they're key scenes with key cast members. And the one clip posted so far for "Little Girl I Wanna Marry You" doesn't have "Part I" after it, so I'm not expecting more from that show.

As an aside, it was been cool to start conference calls on the toy job front today with unexpected, "Adam, I watched 'Friday Night Lights' last night, and I can't believe they cut you!"

This from unexpected people I didn't know read my blog or supported my acting career. I really appreciate that support and encouragement.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Eulogy ...

Tonight in Meisner was brutal and important and emotional and probably one of the most important, if not the most important acting night of my life.

And I'm not going to talk about it, because right now that would just undercut it. And it may have been more a me thing, anyway.

I may write about it later. I may not.

That's how I roll.

I'm in "Friday Night Lights" tonight! (Maybe.)

I'm heading off to class, so just go read this post.

Cute anti-heroes ...

Picture of Hasbro Hero Squad toys The Punisher and Ghost Rider
I'm pretty sure by definition, anti-heroes aren't supposed to be cute.

Don't tell Hasbro, whose second wave in their Marvel Super Hero Squad toys includes Marvel's arguably #1 and #2 antiheroes -- Punisher and Ghost Rider (yeah, wave #1 had Wolverine, but Punisher puts the "anti" in "anti-hero", and Ghost Rider's powers are, um, hell-based).

I pick up toys for a bunch of reasons. Toys that are disjoint tend to catch my eye. So does smart marketing. Ghost Rider's got a movie this February, and not only did the Thomas Jane Punisher movie somewhat take the bad taste out of the 1989 Dolph Lundgren version, but (in theory) there's a sequel slated for this year (though it may not happen or go direct to DVD in a year that has Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, Transformers, Shrek the Third, The 300, etc.), and Marvel's recently relaunched the Punisher War Journal comic (in tandem with their Civil War arc).

I likes me toys and funny books ...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Industrial audition today ...

I had an audition today for an industrial that will shoot this week.

The audition was for an Enspire Media project, and I know the product well (in the technology sector), and the role (growing high-tech presenter).

And the actual audition was with Jeffrey Travis, for whom I auditioned last year for the Flatland movie. Jeffrey's a good, easy going, professional guy for whom to audition.

I was not as off-book as I should have been, which is my bad on planning and timing. But it is what it is.

Big weekend ...

For me, a lot of it is all about the journey.

I really want be growing. Constantly and in Big Ways. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Intellectually.

It's not like I have a choice about growing. But rather than just growing older, fatter, more lazy, and more comfortable, I hope I can constantly force a positive upswing when I look at my life from end to end ("end" being whatever "now" is).

This weekend was a good growing weekend as I ducked out for a focused retreat for three days. Good growing, but tiring.

There was stuff I learned or reaffirmed about myself, and validations and inspirations for my acting, everywhere.

Like this thing:

Saturday night, I caught a band. The drummer was in his Plexiglas drummer's box, and the guy -- who I've watched a lot -- was under serious emotion, and it had nothing to do with his performance, per se. I mean, his face was contorting with it. I could see occasional tears coming down his face.

And here's the thing: He kept playing. He didn't miss a beat, didn't slow down, didn't give up. He came with whatever he had, knew his stuff so much by heart, performed with the emotion, rather than be impeded by it.

There's a lesson there for me as an actor.

Whatever I show up with is OK. Whatever else is going on, I have a job to do, and if I have my stuff so memorized and ingrained in me, intense emotion is at worst not a deterrent, but at best enhances my performance.

And it is what it is, regardless.

This was freaking cool picture to see and get and by which to be motivated for my own artistic craft.

There was other stuff, but this is enough for now ...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My "Friday Night Lights Episode" (now Jan. 24)

Guide listings updated Monday night, and it looks like my "Friday Night Lights" episode is now next week -- January 24th -- and tonight's episode is a repeat of "Homecoming".

Again, my episode is 1.13, "Little Girl I Wanna Marry You", and Wednesday night is NBC's new slot for the series.

Also, even if they cut out all of my menschy driver-ness, watch and support the series -- it's an important Central Texas project. And it's good.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The end of an era ...

Adam Creighton. Actor. Video game armchair analyst. Comic book junkie.

And, yes, toy collector.

Which brings me to this post.

I collect toys. Mainly action (don't-call-them-dolls) figures that are unique, or iconic, or great sculpts, or inspirational or entertaining in some way.

One of my favorite series is the Marvel Legends series from Toy Biz (including the Marvel Legends ICONS). And while I feel like they've missed the mark a couple of times (and gotten a bit lazy on a few of the sculpts), the quality and diversity across the board (and the variants) have kept me coming back for more, and they're the biggest part of my modern collection.

But Toy Biz is passing the Marvel Legends baton to Hasbro, and I'm not crazy about the first foray.

I mean, I was a bit nervous before, but I ran into the retail versions yesterday, and they left me cold.

On the Legends front, I looked at X-3 Beast, Planet Hulk, Banshee (who's, um dead), and Emma Frost. Most of the sculpts aren't great (Banshee looks disproportionate, and sexy Emma looks like she's wearing an adult diaper). Even the Planet Hulk figure, which looked like a good sculpt in prototype, looks like it's made of cheap plastic, and the jointing looks weird.

On the Hasbro iteration of Icons, Wolverine and Thor aren't great sculpts, and the paint job on Wolverine in particular is bad (oh, I get it, that's supposed to be arm hair).

So why did Marvel/Toy Biz make the decision? Business.

Marvel awarded Hasbro 5-year rights to create toys off of Marvel's more than 5,000 characters (comic book and movie spin-offs), with the option to extend, depending on what entertainment properties are released during the time. The underpinnings of the agreement are the Spider-Man 3 and 4 and Ghost Rider movies. And Marvel did a sweet deal on the arrangement -- guaranteeing themselves $205 million in royalty and service fee payments, with $70M due at the release of Spider-Man 3, and $35M for Spider-Man 4 -- this is planned revenue for those two years.

And Hasbro does some really good stuff with the Marvel IP -- they're just really uneven in quality and craftsmanship. Their Marvel Super Hero Squad rocks (with the exception of Daredevil and Iron Man, but that's admittedly a preferential thing). And they've done some solid other work, like their Spider-Man Origins Spider-Man 2099, but they did muff up the jointing by not giving it the consistent foot joints like most of the other Origins line has -- seriously messes up the pose ability of the figures.

And Hasbro's sculpts for their second series of Legends (especially Quicksilver, Yellowjacket, and Thor) look good. As do the wave two Icons of Dr. Doom and the MAX-inspired Punisher.

Oh, and the Spider-Man Origins Signature Series line of Mego-like heroes? Retro awesome, and I'm seriously going to get a Captain America, even if it does sorta look like a doll.

So what's Toy Biz going to do? Actually, it's going away. Sort of.

Toy Biz becomes Marvel Toys (though they evidently buy the domain, first). And, since they're jettisoning the Marvel Legends line, they're free to do other stuff.

Like independents. Like Judge Dredd and The Darkness (both look great, and the latter will probably be timed with the video game I'm so stoked about). and the the Pitt 10-inch build-a-figure looks incredible, and makes the Hasbro Marvel Legends wave one build-an-Annihilus look ... wussy.

Ooh, I want The Maxx figure from Marvel Toys!

Hmm. Yknow, I have blogs for my acting (this one), video games (and industry analysis), comic books, movies/tv/videos, and music. It may be time to create a toy blog ...

Friday, January 12, 2007

I'm teaching a marketing workshop!

Many of you have been asking about the posting that's showing up on multiple news groups and Websites.

Yes, it's true -- I'm teaching a marketing workshop. I've been busy the last several months (and especially over the holidays) helping folks with marketing their acting, collateral, business plans, Websites, and the like.

So, at the encouragement of my film coach and the Austin acting community, I'm doing workshop.

Below are the details (and if it goes well, there will be more of them):

Two Chairs Studio, 1701 East 6th Street, presents:

with Adam Creighton From beginner to working professional - how to market yourself and catch the attention of the people who need to know you.

From one of Austin's top CASTING DIRECTORS:

"Adam Creighton is one of the most professional, well-marketed actors I know. His creativity constantly gets my attention, and keeps him on my radar. I'm so impressed that I actually keep items he has created on the refrigerator in the office. I think of him constantly because his name and likeness is everywhere! And that's a really good thing!"

Donise L. Hardy, CSA
Casting Works LA

January 27th 10:00am til 6:00pm
Cost: $100 Limit 15 participants

Success in acting isn't just about performance - success comes from your talent, hard work, dedication over the long haul - and from MARKETING YOURSELF!!!

Join actor Adam Creighton as he shares how to achieve a new level of self-marketing in your acting business. Adam will detail specific examples that have worked for him, and how to apply techniques from professional careers to the world of acting. Here's what the workshop will cover:

  • Why marketing matters to you as an actor

  • Resumes and Headshots

  • 10,000 foot view of marketing

  • Marketing Collateral - What it is and how it works for you

  • Make it look professional!

  • Lessons from the Professional Career

  • Electronic marketing

  • Direct-mail marketing

  • Cards

  • Professional gift giving

  • Websites and Website critique

  • How to create opportunities for yourself

  • Q & A

For enrollment (or if you have questions) contact:

ADAM CREIGHTON is a working actor -- and an actor who markets the hell out of himself. "Hard-wired to be professional", Adam has found a way to consistently bring those skills into his acting, while always focusing on innovative ways to market himself and constantly stay in touch with what's happening with the business in Austin and elsewhere. Most recently, Adam was the lead in "Pray with Thanksgiving" (eleven72 Films) and you can see him this month on the NBC series "FridayNight Lights". He is represented by the Collier Talent Agency.

Biz day meetings and parties ...

Earlier today, I went to lunch with Jason from Invisible Strings, the "audio guy" for the "Pray with Thanksgiving" short I did last year. We shot the breeze, talked Biz, and thought through mutual opportunities. Jason is a good and talented , and if you need film, television, or game music and audio, choral or orchestral arrangements, or transcription services, I think you'd be hard pressed to find all of that of such caliber in one place. And he's local.

Then it was off to the release party for the new Caught in the Act Magazine, which (as far as I can see) was a smashing success.

As parties go, it was a great time for me, and this town is so blessed to have so many wonderful, talented, beautiful, validating people that call it home. I am so blessed. A lot of folks with whom I've built Biz history over the last several years, and folks that have gone through some recent, pretty intense training with me.

Creative types, what do you want? I hazard you'll find it in Austin.

Oh, and now I'm doing Samurai again, because I made a commitment to someone. And that's not a light deal.

As far as the magazine goes, it's a good foray. It's got room to grow, and there's a lot of effort and talent packed into those few pages.

Check out the myspace -- and the online version is (hopefully) coming soon:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Biz industry party tonight!

Tonight is the launch party of the premiere issue of Caught in the Act Magazine. This is a glossy, full-color, Entertainment Weekly-style magazine about the Austin Film and Theatre scene.

The party is at Molotov Lounge (719 W 6th St. in Austin) from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. Ish. Molotov is next door to Mother Egan's (for you Network Austin folks), and across the street from Opal Divine's (for you Reel Women people).

The event is open to the public, so if you can make it, come support this new publication showcasing the Central Texas creative community -- I'll be there.

(Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, there's a blurb about me in the mag.)

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Meisner: Reloaded" ...

Tonight was a pretty lightweight class. Not that it wasn't worthwhile, but it was review, technique, talkie talkie, etc.

A bit of repeating, which (appropriately) is hard. Not technique hard. Doing hard.

Some of the things that are sticking with me from tonight:
The goal is not to be a character made for a scene -- it's to be a person living out moment.

I'm adding things to my toolbox that work, and getting rid of things that don't.

Life experience is temporary, so don't use it.

The minute I stopped lying, I became the greatest actor I will be. Now it's just about raising the stakes.

Acting is athletic.

In class, we take sides. That's what actors do -- we take sides.

I will never be done repeating. Eventually, I'll be repeating through the eyes of my character. That's when I know I've got this stuff down -- I'll know that I've got this when something I repeat affects me in a way it would not in real life.
Oh, and I hate hate hate next week's class. Hate it.

Commercial audition ...

Did a commercial audition today over at Casting Works LA.

I was late due to a accident at the convergence of IH-35 upper and lower decks. I was on the upper deck for a half an hour. Yeah.

I think that's the first time I've been late to a commercial auditon. That sucks.

But ... a year ago, I would have been crawling out of my skin. Now, since I've been Miesnated, I used the time to observe stuff around me, refresh monologues, and chill.

And I let it go when I hit the audition, and I feel good about the audition.

And I got to see fellow agency talents (and former classmates) Anika Kunik and Tom Procida (Tom's doing Friday Night Lights, too!).

Now, off to class...

Meisner, Round 2 ...

I'm about 5 hours out from the kickoff of the second ("don't-call-it-advanced") session of Meisner tonight.

I expect new challenges, new unexplainability, and new growth. And hopefully I can finish the whole session ("there is weirdness in the wings").

Here's a dump of last session Meisner-related posts (some loosely related, some more so):
  1. I'm scared ...
  2. I survived ....
  3. Thoughts on Meisner so far
  4. Good Meisner week ...
  5. The Network Austin Mixer tonight at Mother Egan's
  6. The responsibility of an actor ...
  7. Busy Biz week ...
  8. Meisnering(ish)-esness
  9. I'm pissy (2)
  10. Meisning
  11. comMeisnerating
  12. Busy on the acting front
  13. Nervous for class tonight ...
  14. Last night was rough...
  15. The one where I was a jerk ...
  16. That pretty much sums up class tonight ...
  17. Acting made me a better manager today
  18. I'm tired of sucking ...
  19. Bittersweet ...
  20. Yesterday was a good acting day
  21. Good night ...
  22. Want to study Meisner?

Monday, January 01, 2007

And now for something completely new ...

I don't typically make New Year's resolutions. This isn't one, but it is a new year, and it's time for a change.

Not in acting, per se. The change on the acting front (God willing), will be a leapfrog of greater, more productive, more amazing things this year than 2006. It will be continuing this ride with the incredible people I've been blessed to meet in the Biz, and meeting new incredible ones. Doing more work.

But the change I'm talking about is on the toy job front.

Bear with me for a little bit, and please realize this is not about self-aggrandizement.

And when I say toy job, I don't mean to demean the non-acting stuff. I give that stuff my focus on passion like I do other stuff in life. For the most part, I don't know how not to work hard at stuff I'm given to do.

Though I've been blessed with amazing opportunities over the last decade, I've ostensibly been in the same vertical market all that time, and I feel it's time for a change.

I'm really good at managing software/programs/services. I've migrated large-scale systems from one functional group to another, from one geography to another. I've worked in Rome (Italy, not Texas) and in mainland China. I've got software patents. I've built teams from the ground up, and said goodbye to them when I've taken on other opportunities (or they have). I've learned that my management style is professional and playful and collaborative and collegial. And that it's important -- for me -- to err on the side of honesty, but not transparency; diplomacy, but not politicking.

I've learned what's important to me in my management style is building people, rather than building things. I've learned to fight good fights for the right things. I've learned to let unimportant battles go.

I've learned all of that helps me build good, important things. And I have fun doing it.

I've learned that I have worth as a human being. And nothing I do (or don't do) takes away from my worth as a person. Who I am defines me, not what I do.

There is tremendous freedom in that. Freedom and knowledge and daring and responsibility. (I'm like Spider-Man.)

So it's time for a change. I got to thinking how once -- being basically a director for programs and services -- I was asked to step in and manage a physical remodel of BigHugeCorps' Austin offices. I did it with no knowledge of commercial construction on a ridiculously short time line with a shortage funds and a wealth of expectations. And I did it on time and under budget and gave them more and better stuff than for which they asked.

I'm an actor. I hadn't done that before. I also hadn't previously pitched a video game or TV show.

That and other stuff has me thinking, "Crap, I really can do a lot of different stuff."

Again, this is not about self-aggrandizement.

I could (and may) stay in the same vertical market, and (God willing) continue to be productive and successful and growing. Or, I could embrace that loving change side of me, and do something really, really different. Really big. Really exciting. Really scary.

I can't speak for other people, but for me it would be easier to stay in what I know. Be the senior guy. Work with the people I know, doing the same kind of stuff. Working with the knowns.

But how exciting would it be to do something I haven't done before? Become the newb (but not a n00b). Do something that takes my feet out from under me, makes me rely on the stuff I really know. Not the stuff related to BigHugeCorp, but the stuff I really know. The stuff that made me successful there. Before there. Hopefully after there.

The guts of my skills. The Core of me. What works, independent of where I'm officed (or cubicled, or streetcornered).

How cool would it be to work for a job that feeds my professional and my creative, my organized and my eclectic. That embraces my white collar process methodology comic book collecting video game playing and critiquing fly fishing recreational running ass whole-heartedly.

What if I turned my passion for playing and writing about video games into a career ("Hello, Electronic Arts")? What if my toy job was actually a toy job ("Hello, Hasbro")? What if I traded my desk job and computer in for a crow bar and tool belt, and moved to demolition or construction, because I love the physical labor, the wiping a pad clean for something new, or building that physical something new.

I've written all of this, knowing it could go nowhere. Maybe I won't find the "different stuff" that also takes care of the "life stuff." Maybe I'll be one of those people -- who for no fault of their own -- struggle in between gigs for a long time. Maybe I'll get cold feet.

I just know, right now, it's time for a change. It's time to be intelligent, but a little less careful. It's time to jump, not knowing where or when I'm going to land. With or without a parachute.

Ripcord ...