Saturday, October 27, 2007

California fires status

If you're like me, and have friends and business associates affected by the California wildfires, you might be looking for a way to keep track of the blazes, so you know whether or not to call.

And if you're actually impacted by the blazes, you may be trying to find out what roads are closed, where to temporarily relocate yourselves, pets, large animals, and so on.

Enter a couple of Google Maps, one each for the main San Diego County and Los Angeles area fires:

The KPBS is the better done, more frequently updated map, and has more (and more useful) additional Web 2.0 resources for tracking fire impacts to impacted folks.

But both maps are useful resources for people in need.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Catch Adam in Austin before he leaves

Before I leave Austin, I've got rolling shindigs between now and next week.

Below are the more public ones, and don't feel like you have to fit into any particular "bucket" -- come to the one that works for you, because I'd love to see you.
  • October 24 (Wednesday)
    What: Soyanara Texas! Hola, North Carolina! (The "Working Stiff" Edition)
    Where: Opal Divine's Marina (north)
    When: 4 p.m. to whenever
  • October 25 (Thursday)
    What: Soyanara Texas! Hola, North Carolina! (The "Biz/Acting/Gaming" Edition)
    Where: Opal Divine's Freehouse (downtown)
    When: 4 p.m. to whenever
  • October 26 (Friday)
    What: Agency party (not for me, per se, but another place to say, "Bye!")

Voice acting video game interviews

Since I'm a voice actor and a gamer, I look for interviews with actors on their techniques and processes for video game worlds.

A couple have popped up for one of my more anticipated games -- Mass Effect from Electronic Arts BioWare.

First up is an MTV Multiplayer interview with Seth Green, the wunderkind creative and voice actor behind things like Robot Chicken (but to me, he'll always be Oz from Buffy, with his leaving signifying a brief downturn in the watchability of the show).

Then there's this video interview with veteran actors Keith David, Lance Henriksen, and Marina Sirtis.

David has some good stuff to say (including the fact that "acting is acting -- it's either good acting or it's bad acting"), as does Henriksen (with nuggets highlighting some of the differences between voice acting and on-camera acting).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Soyanara Texas! Hola, North Carolina!

Wow, things can change quickly.

I've just accepted a new job in North Carolina, and I start the first of November (yes, less than two weeks from now).

Which means I'll shortly be making a break from my more than ten-year home of Austin, on to the next phase this adventure.

This is wicked exciting, and wicked hard for me. I've been blessed on so many fronts in the decade I've been in Central Texas -- with relationships, professional ties, and acting.

Now, I'm choosing to say goodbye to the day-to-day blessings of those things.


In my current acting training, there's a rule that says I don't make a change in what I'm doing in a scene unless and until I'm compelled by something more profound.

I was compelled by something more profound.

Besides being an actor, I'm a lifetime gamer. And I'm a wicked good business development guy.

I've been taking concerted steps for almost three years to position myself to move into the video game vertical market (it's unfortunately very closed). Almost out of the blue, an opportunity opened that lets me apply my technical background, my mad Biz Dev skillz, my enjoyment of PC and video (and table top, come to think of it) games, my people passion, and my creativity in one place. I'm pretty sure I've never had a such a mutually excited interview process; it just so felt like that "perfect storm" of opportunities for my skills and passions.

So I said, "Yes."

Not tepidly. Not half-heartedly. Full-on, let's-make-something-happen, "Yes!"

(Oh, I negotiated; would you want to hire a person who doesn't know how to negotiate?)

So, what's the new gig?

Can't say yet, but watch this space. Or maybe this space. But probably at least this space.

And while I said it's wicked exciting, I also said it's also wicked hard.

Yes, I'm finally in the video game industry in a big, makes-sense, impactful kind of way. But I'm also leaving Austin.

I have had some of the same friends for the entire ten years I've been here. I'm solidly networked in the business and technology markets here. I've been growing as an actor here for almost six years. Austin rocks in and of itself.

Which is part of why this job -- and this move -- appeals to me.


I'm one of those guys who genuinely likes change. I look for opportunities in change (for myself and other people). The problem with me liking change so much is I'm comfortable with it. But, for me, comfortable is bad. It fosters personal laziness and lack of risk-taking.

What better way to get uncomfortable than to move into a new vertical market, and a new part of the world where I don't have a support base?

That'd do it.

And there's more too it, but I don't think it makes sense to get into it too much here. Suffice it to say acting is hugely important to me, but knowing myself, I have to be careful not to make things like acting too important. It doesn't make sense for me to allow acting to become a god that takes away from more important relationships and responsibilities. I guess it's shorter to say that I'm an adult, and sometimes that sucks on the hard-decision front.

Am I ending relationships in Austin? Of course not -- just the day-to-day phase of those relatiobships. I suspect I'll be back to Austin regularly, but I'm going to be investing heavily in my North Carolina life. It's the InterWeb age, though, so there are six ways to Sunday to hit me up.

Am I giving up acting?

Don't be ridiculous!

My incredible agent will continue to represent me aggressively. I'll be adding East Coast representation, and working in a state that has a good interactive and film incentive program. I'm still available to those long-standing Texas clients who have been willing to fly me out for auditions and gigs. I'll be a short hop from New York. I already have to get on a plane for West Coast gigs, so no big whoop there. My voice travels everywhere.

And weird as it sounds, I'm excited about hopefully getting out - of - my - skin uncomfortable on the acting front. I have some ideas for some fun, gutsy stuff, and I'm hoping I can onboard some to-be-local-to-me NC actors.

Good times are coming.

Like I said, things are happening fast, but I hope to have three quick fairwell get-togethers (social, professional, and acting) in the next couple of weeks. Watch this space.

I'm grateful to the folks who have challenged me, supported me, trained me, and otherwise contributed to my success in my more than decade of there - is - not - enough - time - in - the - day frantic doings. I wish I could sit with every person and say why you rock. I realize that isn't likely to happen.

Let's face it, it's easy to keep in touch with me.

I've got this this Website, which is obviously my main avenue for communicating to the wonderful men, women, and others keeping tabs on my acting and ramblings.

In case you haven't been paying attention, I also use Twitter quite a bit to track folks and keep peeps informed of my day-to-shenanigans and ruminations (think of it as micro-blogging). It's not all deep stuff, but I do consciously use the service strategically to keep you abreast of my professional doings (and I try to avoid the insipid "I'm eating macaroni" type posts).

If you're into Windows Live Messenger (including Yahoo! Messenger, since they inter-operate), send me a request to stay in touch. If I feel close enough to you, I'll add you as a contact. ;-)

If you're a gamer with an Xbox 360, send me a friend request via Xbox Live (Hitachi Wasabe). You can school me online.

And if you're a professional acquaintance of mine, track my career path via

Thank you, and here's to the adventure!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Austin's Best Veterinarian

I've mentioned my mentor in this column in passing several times. This is a guy with whom I've met and by whom I've been inspired for more than six years.

He's a mentor in a bunch of areas -- relationship, small business, and spirituality. He's also a comic book and toy fan like me. We have barbecue every Friday. We watch films in the theater all the time.

He's also a veterinarian. And, in the Austin Chronicle's annual "Best of Austin" for this year, he takes the Best Veterinarian crown.

From the Austin Chronicle write-up:
Why would you trust your beloved but banged-up four-legged buddy to someone if you weren't sure they loved animals? With vet Mark Cotnam and his staff, every day is bring-your-pet-to-work day. Their love of animals as well as their quality of personal service and medical experience make these dog-and-cat experts the clinic of choice for our readers' furry extended family. And the best part? They only take walkies … errr, walk-ins.
Dr. Cotnam and the whole staff are top-notch, personable, and professional. They've been the clinic for my dogs since we've been in Austin, were there through the whole "Loki ordeal" (I so miss that dog), even when they weren't directly involved in the specialist stuff.

You find that less and less often in the services industry.

Well deserved!

Friday, October 12, 2007

My brand ...

OK, I've been meaning to write about this for a while, and a question over on inspired me to jump the gun a bit (shut up; I was going to write about it).

The initiating question was simple (ha!):

Is there one word, a pinnacle, that describes you? What is it? Why?

-if you have a package, show us that too!
First, yes, I laughed at the wording of the second part of the question. But that's because I'm horribly immature. And I just realized I want that on my headstone ("Adam Creighton: He was Horribly Immature").

So how do I respond to a question like this? Because, honestly, it's a hugely important question, and I take an active role in packaging "Adam Creighton" as a brand.

Just one word? How do you even do that? One of my pet peeves is the reductionism of the individual -- none of us can be reduced to one word.

One word? Maybe "Integrity" -- I'm willing to lose a job for my integrity, suffer the slings and arrows of critics, yadda yadda yadda.

Two words (and another facet)? "Professional Creative" -- It's a differentiator for me from many of the folks that are the former or the latter. Not that it's a competition (I've written on that many times before; read the whole post for the "competition nugget").

A "branding package"?

Yeesh / [snicker]. Uh, here are a few:

"Technology Manager. Independent Creative. Llama Wrangler."

"A Voice & Film Actor, living a Mortal life."

"Living a passionate, ecstatic, and urgent life."
I don't like the idea of answering this question, because I don't know how I keep it keep it from coming off as being self-aggrandizing or braggadocio.

But here goes. ;-)

Honestly, I professionally see myself (Adam Creighton) as a brand, and all of the things I do are products and services that are logical extensions of that brand. And I actively and constantly work on my brand.

Notice my site? Are you a regular reader of some or all of my 7 active blogs? Notice my logo? Notice the packaged consistency? Notice all of the things I do (and just wait, there are some bigger, more WTF ventures on the way)?

Do you know me personally? Do you find any common thread there?

Integrity? Professionalism? Creativity? Immaturity?

Erm (again). Very little good comes from late night blogging.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do a still photo shoot of some new toys, and then play some video games. Because I just finished reading a 115-page script I'll be table reading for the Austin Film Festival Sunday.

(How's that for self-aggrandizement?)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Comic book artists take on literary characters

I really dig media intersections.

And I'm a comic book guy. And I'm also fairly well-read on the literary side.

So when I stumbled across this site, which is a collection of comic book artists' takes on literary figures (both from the literature, and the folks creating the literature), I easily blew through a blissful hour.

Adam Hughes's rendition of Raymond Chandler? Bruce Timm's H.P. Lovecraft? Dave Cockrum's War of the Worlds? Neil Gaiman's Sunday (from G.K.Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday)? Tom Grummett's Winnie the Pooh (a favorite of mine for some reason)? Mike Mignola's Dracula?

Why are you still here?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Last night's showcase went phenomenally well.

Hectic and down to the wire, we of the Bohemian Theater Troupe got into the space (Beerland in Austin) for the first time at 5 p.m. -- for a 7 p.m. showcase.

Given seven scenes and three monologues, each of us only had time to run through the most problematic parts of our blocking quickly, as lights were being struck, microphones placed, and furniture and props positioned.

We also had the incomparable CK McFarland guest sitting in as we went through our craziness, and giving us last-minute blocking and set suggestions before she ducked out to teach her own class.

For my scene partner (Risa Schroder) and me, this was particularly tough, as we had added the Tango to our Angels in America scene (the shared dream sequence between Prior and Harper), and our space kept shrinking as furniture obstacles were added. Even after we'd "figured out" our blocking (and never having the chance to work through our full scene), we were told the couch for two scenes was going to stay onstage, and be moved to extreme upstage between those scenes. That meant we had to change our dancing from downstage to upstage (front to back) to stage left to stage right (side to side). And we were told we had to avoid going too far to stage right, as a permanently mounted ceiling speaker was creating a blind spot for the lights.

And we didn't get to try any of this blocking with the new directions.

Further cutting into our available time was me -- as the one guy with the truck -- picking up curtain stanchions, computer carts, couches, and so on.

Oh, and I had like 45 minutes of makeup to get into drag. And I had to get into costume, and we were second up (after a fantastic monologue from Levan Owens).

Our coach / The Bohemian Producer Steve Prince framed it pretty well for the audience at the outset, though.

He basically said the showcase was us putting scenes on under "extreme duress". Our doing the scenes for the audience was the first time we were doing the scenes. There was no tech rehearsal, there was no full-on walkthrough. If we can do this, in theory we can blow up auditions.

The goal is for us to just go up there and make things happen.

I feel really good about how our scene went.

First, I looked and felt fabulous. Lynn Burnor did an amazing job on my makeup, and I'm so grateful she shared her mad makeup skilz to drag queen me up -- which cut into her prep time (which didn't show at all in her and John O'Connel's scene -- funniest thing of the night).

I looked fabulous, with industry friend Tonya lending me a cute blue kimono, and me spending yesterday shopping for matching sexy women's underwear and frumpy house slippers.

And because the lead-up to actual performance was so crazy, we were incredibly free to do whatever. There was no "getting it right" in this context; we were there to make something happen.

No, it wasn't perfect. There a few "acty moments" as we tried to balance moving the scene forward with unexpected projection needed when the sound system came up a little short. But Risa (she is amazing) and I did a great job.

While Risa and I had memorized our lines (flat) separately, since we both knew what was happening in the scene, we agreed not to get tripped up if we missed or jumped lines.

That said, I don't think we missed a single line or exchange. And I wasn't thinking about acting; I was just amused by this conservative Mormon invading my gay dream, and then finding out I actually liked her and wanted her there.

And Jeff Carley generously stepped in at the nth hour to by our "angel", and fully bought into his role. Good guy, that.

The payoff?

People were incredibly generous and complimentary (and several gentlemen offered to buy me drinks).

But my favorite was a particular casting director shocked and amazed that I would do what I did, and pull it off. She wants me to be daring, and now there's a whole bunch of room between what I "normally" do and what I did last night. Bring on da work!

Man, I'm jazzed.

Then it was off to Fadó to hang out and enjoy time with fellow cast members and friends who came to watch the show. Great times.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

See Adam in drag tonight!

Tonight, you can see me and several other members of the Bohemian Theater in our second live public showcase.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m. at Beerland (show up early, seating is limited), and I'll be playing Prior from the play / film Angels in America. This is obviously challenging for a bunch of reasons, and I'm looking forward to really putting myself out there. Dunno if it'll "work", but we're going to make something happen!

If the thought of cross-dressing ol' me isn't enough of a draw, there will be nine other scenes and monologues from some of the top acting talent in Austin. Come see what these folks have to offer, and enjoy a night of great acting.

I hope to see you there!

(Oh, and in case there was any confusion, this is not a family-type event.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Nice headshot

You've probably noticed one of my new headshots gracing my Website. It's from the theatrical shots, which I like (the uncropped version is below), and my photographer, Rhea Willis, does a great job.
Adam Creighton Theatrical Acting Headshot
Another new headshot of which I'm particularly fond isn't mine -- it's a new one for Marc Hustvedt -- who was a fellow Austin actor who's now become a successfully working LA actor. This pict is by photog Dennis Apergis, and is a great dual-purpose (at least) commercial and comedic headshot (it almost screams, "Put me on 'The Office'!").

Marc Hustvedt Commercial headshot
Networking is awesome, but good headshots open doors when you're not there in person. (And it's necessary for you to have the professional and acting skills to follow through.)