High-Five Yourself.

So 2010 has started.  It’s 1% over already, actually.  What’s next?  First a quick look back since the last time:

In November I auditioned for Bay One Acts.  Two weeks ago, I also auditioned for The Lion in Winter with Chanticleers. I didn’t get either one.  The first one hurt a lot & I had to pump myself back up for a few weeks.  I almost backed out of the audition for Chanticleers because I was probably the least confident I’ve been in the last year.  I couldn’t find much drive or ambition.  It took some strong conversations with the wyf – she could easily tell the wind was out of my sails, and I was getting frustratingly namby-pamby in all discussions about the acting stuff while we were back East for the holidays – to remind me that it’s completely unreasonable to expect to do a great job in EVERY single audition I get.  I can’t expect a high-five from the auditors every single time.  Which is tough, because who doesn’t love a high-five (aside from Howie Mandel)?

In critical retrospect, I was pretty unprepared & consequently ur-nervous about the Bay One Acts audition.  I didn’t rehearse my monologue much because I thought it was a shoe-in.  Then, the second half of that audition was a cold read during which I did a HORRIBLE job reading for comedy; I read for drama because I was nervous & didn’t want to risk being not funny.  I read their scene with three other people, and feel like I was the only one of the four who looked like a completely uncomfortable body on stage.  Now I look back on it and struggle not to shudder remembering how awkward I must have looked.  Horrible.  Just horrible.

The feedback from the director at Chanticleers was that I spent too much energy trying to memorize lines for the cold read instead of just acting with the script in hand.  I didn’t have enough variety in my tone & volume – I got the impression I came across as a dial-tone actor (think Topher Grace or Randy Quaid).  Not for nothing, though, it was a difficult reading scenario; I read with the director’s wife, a self-declared non-performer that did a bang-up job of doing nothing but staring at the script and reading the words in front of her.  It kind of felt like being on stage by myself, and instead of taking advantage of that & owning the scene, I hung back limply & worried about how to react to someone who isn’t doing anything worth reacting to.  Hence, delivering a dial-tone performance.  What I learned from it, as I’m sure it won’t be the last time, is that I have to constantly sell myself as the character I’m reading, no matter who or what else is on that stage.  That takes confidence, which I can’t afford to lose again.

So, next.  I need confidence-building activity.  I’ve checked TBA for future audition opportunities & haven’t found much that sounds practical.  I’ll check again this week once their staff is back in the office & have updated listings, but I’m leaning towards a class for the first few months of 2010.  I’ve picked out three options, all in ACT’s halls:  Voice Building for Singers (so that I can stop being scared away by musical auditions), Improv (a safe way to go that’s almost guaranteed to help my confidence), or Audition Technique (to help de-mystify the process a little further & hopefully learn some coping skills for mistakes I make).

Let me be clear:  I’m NOT giving up on doing this for a living.  Challenges be damned, I still KNOW how great it feels to be on stage & entertaining folks.  That’s what I want to do.  I want to be awesome at it, so when I’m complete crap in an audition, I question myself.  But every actor deals with sucking every once in a while – some get addicted to it (coda to Topher Grace & Randy Quaid). I don’t know exactly what I have to do to get where I’m going, but I have accepted that it will be a process with pitfalls & peaks, like anything else.  That’s the whole reason I built this website, actually… to document the process.

So I need to be honest here if nowhere else.  Hence the documentary above about two failed auditions.  But I’m moving on.  I’m gonna high-five myself.  After all, high-fives are the glue that hold society together.  That’s actually all a clap is – a self-fulfilled high-five.  So high-five yourself and clap hands in 2010.  Then buy my t-shirt.  (Stay tuned.)


Can’t seem to sleep. Brain’s still too active – it’s crackling, like a slow-burning log on the fireplace. Can’t sleep until it’s out. Been a few high-energy days in a row, and I guess it’s taking a while to calm down today. Figured I might as well blog until I start to ember.

I think one of my next projects is to put together my acting resume and get some headshots. I really think I need more of this acting stuff in my life, and it’d be great to do it for a real audience and maybe even not have to pay for it. The classes are great, for sure, but they’re a) expensive; and b) exclusive – as in I can’t invite friends into the audience. I’d love to be in something that people can actually come see. So I’m going to get headshots, a resume, and start auditioning.


Comedy hasn’t fizzled out completely, just been stoking the actor fires a little more frequently. Although I did think of a new bit today in the gym. Gotta work on that one before I forget it. Could add to the five or so minutes I’ve already got, then tighten up the whole thing & make it my first set. That, my friends, could happen this summer. THIS SUMMER.


I would love to go back to my ten year reunion & say I’m married, live in San Francisco, am gainfully employed, am acting, AND am doing a stand-up routine. That would be a proud day for me; I don’t care how good Hylton’s soccer career is going, I’ll still be proud.

Hylton. Hmmph. I’m interested to see where he ended up. Big heart he had. Even bigger brain. His ego was rumored to match, though I can’t say I ever saw much evidence of that. But if that’s what he had going for him, I hope he put it to good use. Either to good use, or to pursue what made him happy, which, apparently, may have been farming, soccer, and lots of Bibles. I’ll bet the bookshelf in his bedroom has at least three versions of the Bible on it. He’s probably only read two.

OH! So this one dude in my acting class completely blew off his final scene & his scene partner. He gets the Douche Bag of the Month Award. Let’s call him Douchey Le Dickbag. Mr. Le Dickbag waited until the first week after scenes had been assigned, and then just STOPPED attending class. And never bothered to tell his scene partner until he randomly showed up at one of her culinary events TWO DAYS AGO. They were supposed to do their final scene next week, and he tells her on Tuesday, “Oh, yeah, I dropped that class.” Now she has to rehearse & deliver a two-minute monologue that she’s never seen or heard before. In six days. I have faith in her ability to pull it off, but I just hope SHE’S convinced she can do it – otherwise, the whole thing could turn her off from acting altogether, which would be a shame because I can tell she likes it & would probably do some pretty great stuff if she kept at it. But now all that’s at risk because of Douchey’s ultimate dose of up-fuckery.

He’s dead to me. No, I’m serious. That’s just a completely irresponsible attitude, and all this shit is just supposed to be FUN. If you don’t want to do it, don’t take the damn class! Don’t risk a scene partner’s experience and slough it off like it’s not a commitment you’re breaking. Shit’s too important to people. Take some frikkin’ accountability, you frikkin’ troll doll. (Literally – this douche LOOKS like a 5’9 version of a Troll Doll, with hair that makes him seem 3″ taller.)

Alright. Rant over. I’m off to dream of a world where people don’t rob from the bank of scholarly trust.