Looking Back Through ’11 (Part 4)

PART 4

Tom and Jery

At the end of September, my BFF Tom moved back to the East Coast.  I had a hard time dealing with it through the rest of the month.  I was crying on the way home from dropping him off at the airport.  It wasn’t the bawling, I-can’t-control-my-car kind.  It was more like the angry if-I-could-stop-my-eyes-from-watering-so-you-don’t-get-the-satisfaction-of-seeing-me-cry-I-would kind.  I held on to that sadness and even now, still can’t see a blue mini cooper without him popping in my brain.  But with the show to distract me and my favorite holiday, I began to deal with his choice.

My favorite scary movie!!! Along with Poltergeist and The Exorcist.

October, my favorite month!  That’s usually when all the fun scary stuff happens, like haunted houses and scary movies.  And of course, there’s Halloween.  I love the thrill of getting scared.  It’s kind of exhilarating.  I don’t dress up for Halloween anymore.  I haven’t in years!  I think I’ve only dressed up for costume parties.  And even then, not often.   I think I associate the holiday with the cooling of the weather and the crunching of leaves under my feet.  I find that sound really soothing when I am out walking in the day.  At night, it’s a little like “Shut up!! People are gonna know where I am at!”  It’s kind of sad that I always assume the worst about people when I am walking about at night.   I think the getting mugged really took a lot of that adventurousness that I had when I was a teenager.

Oh, speaking of scary movies: Paranormal Activity 3 came out…and it sucked!! I think I may have jumped once.  The big ending that was supposed to “mess you up for life” (yeah, the commercials really said that) was LAME!!!!  So lame that merely typing it in caps and making bold wasn’t enough.  It needed to be italicized too!  If you were scared by that, I would be shocked.  I am the biggest chicken and I really wanted to just scream “are you frakin’ kiddin’ me?!”  I regret going to see this movie.

The Purple Gang. And we are SO hard core! So watch it!

Due to the rash of children committing suicide, October became the National Stop Bullying Month.  Yay!! It’s hard enough just to walk with your head high for who you are without having people making you feel less than.  The 20th was designated as the month to wear purple as a show of solidarity that you are against bullying.  Thankfully, I wasn’t alone in that belief.

I went to a cool conference that was all about figuring out ways to bring the theatrical experience to the audience in different ways.  It was enlightening and supremely informative.  The only downside is that I don’t really have a place to test these ideas out.  Also, figuring out the logistics of them would be a pain in the ass as well.  I regret that I didn’t get that much audio to make a podcast for it.  But I even more regret paying $37 for parking for 5 hours in San Francisco!

The Occupy Movement grew from just Occupy Wall Street into a much bigger force to be reckoned with!  Which is good because, this whole gap between the have and have-nots only seem to keep growing and growing.  It’s no wonder that all, yes ALL, politicians aren’t in the loop when it comes to what the people really want.  Have you noticed that they all promise everything just to get into office and fail to deliver.  They got what they wanted, why bother with the rest?

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Ending of H2$

November marked the opening of H2$ and it’s run began.  So many smiles and happy times with that fabulous cast.  I love them all.  Hot stuff!  I’ve heard nothing but good things from the people leaving the auditorium, and read an accurate middle of the road review of the show, but the tickets sales were a bit on the lacking side.  I even got to have my first TheActorvist.com contest for free tickets, and got about a hundred hits on that post but only one entry!  I don’t know if maybe the show wasn’t something people weren’t interested in seeing or if the prices were too high or if people thought it was a bad show.  While the sales were disappointing, it was fun. And as much time as I had the chance to spend with them, I regret that I didn’t spend more.  Oh, and I regret that my Podcast isn’t working.  It featured a pretty good interview with Brett Carlson.

Aside from the show, the month was slow.  Thanksgiving was uneventful, but pleasant.

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Hong Kong's Times Square. Do you see what the hearts are saying?

Which brings us to December!  It’s currently 4:45 on the last day of the year.  People are already starting 2012 and the East Coast begins it’s countdown in about 4 hours. Looking back at this month, there were only two things significant about it.

The first is that we closed out H2$ with a bang!  While perfection was never achieved like I so wanted, the attempt, I feel, only made my enjoyment of the show that much greater.

The second thing that happened was our 3rd annual Pajama/Donut/Game Day!  Again a very pleasant success.  Basically my friends and I hangout in our pj’s the entire day, doing nothing but having a good time and allowing our childish indulgences come forth.  It’s basically our version of Disneyland.  With this being our third year, I wonder if we have to now add a new element to it next year.  No, no, that’s like a 5th anniversary thing.  Nevermind.

SO, that was my year.  Not very exciting and filled with regrets.  But there were a lot of lessons learnt as well.

I look forward to 2012 and possibly the end of time with optimism and hope that people will change.  That the good of very soul will step forth and show itself to everyone else and the world will become a much better place to live.

Thank you all for being a part of my life and I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in 2012!

All the world’s a stage.  Now get out there and Break A Leg!

Looking Back Through ’11 (Part 3)

PART 3

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I cannot believe that I forgot the most important event of the year.  Ugh!  Sometimes, I wonder how I survive!

Sadly, in early March, an earthquake created a devastating tsunami that affected a large part of Japan, and essentially the world.  I say the world, because of the Fukishima nuclear power plant that was damaged in this event.  There was a meltdown, and at this point in time, it’s no longer news here in the U.S.  In just a few months, there has been amazing progress made and if you want to see what I mean, check out these pictures on Totally Cool Pix.  In regards, to the triple meltdown, about 2 weeks ago, the plant has reached “cold shutdown ‘conditions'”.  According to the Canadian Press “A cold shutdown normally means a nuclear reactor’s coolant system is at atmospheric pressure and the its reactor core is at a temperature below 100 C, making it impossible for a chain reaction to take place.” So now that things have cooled enough, the work to actually shut the plant down  will begin.  This is still expected to take 30+ years to reach complete decommission of the plant.  Interesting side note: The government also says the amount of radiation now being released around the plant is at or below 1 millisievert per year — equivalent to the annual legal exposure limit for ordinary citizens before the crisis began. – Canadian News.

Thousands of people perished and thousands more displaced, and yet, they are rebuilding their homes and country quicker than the U.S.’s involvement with the Katrina Fallout still!  Remarkable for them and sad for us.

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July was a mess of things, ideas gone astray, cool events, and a lot of nursery stuff.

I don't remember the name or the Artist of this piece. I apologize, but if you know I would love to give credit!

I finally got to drag myself down to the art walk which was the ONLY time this year that I was able to go!  I was really really bummed.  In 2012, unless I have a show, I plan on going to them each month.  I know Campell has the same thing happening as well, so I may switch off between the two, because sometimes, the museums still have the same stuff up from the last walk.  That was one of the coolest pieces of this particular event for me.

At work, they asked me to step into the role of a social media admin which is all well and good.  I don’t mind it at all, but when I have to spend more than a little time finding something cool on the web or in the nursery, I am rushed.  You know how when you are looking for something interesting, it takes a while to find a blog or article that captures what you want, be it information, gift ideas, or useful tips.  For a business, you have to be sure the content is factual and non-offensive.  But because we are always looking for “the most efficient way,” there is always the question, “How long do you think it will take?”   It’s hard to want to peruse for cool stuff, when there’s that little voice in your head saying “Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up!”  I found out that in another nursery with a successful social media campaign the admin who works 4o hours a week is alloted 20 hours to just focus on this kind of thing.  Half their shift and they have a very successful campaign.  Just sayin’.

Charles Ross came to town with his frakin’ awesome One Man Star Wars Show!!  THAT was awesome!!!  I geeked out over how much fun and just clever this was.  If you get the chance to see him perform, DO IT!!  This is the show you are looking for.  *Waves hand over your face*  Yeah, I Jedi Mind Tricked ya!  I regret that he can’t perform his one man LOTR!  That is something I would love to see!  Check out his videos!

I got to perform in my first ever Flashmob!  There were so few of us that it was like a Flashbunch?   It was fun, very quick and virtually painless.  Looking back on the video, that’s where the pain is.  hahahaha!  And no, I am not showing it again.  If you missed it, it’s in the blog…somewhere.

Oh, yeah, and I celebrated another birthday with the revelation: that I really need to get a move on this whole acting shindig.  I am wasting WAAAAAYYY too much time just thinking about it.

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August was bitter/sweet.  Bitter because I learned that I have to really fight to get what I am supposed to get.  I am speaking of the contract that fell through.  I just guessed that when people talk of the industry being cut throat, I was expecting that of actors and not so much of the board of directors and all that junk.  But I have learned from the experience, so I can’t say it was a total waste.  That was a tough lesson to learn though.

What was really sweet was that I got to attend a seminar that is designed to help you break past the barriers that you are putting up around yourself.  And I learned SO much from that.  So I began relearning things that I “knew” about theatre and hopefully will be able to find it useful in creating future opportunities and abilities for myself.  It’s exciting.  In a way, it’s like I am rediscovering theatre.  I love it.

And that’s all for August.

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September brought us the 10th Anniversary of the 9.11 attacks on the WTC.  Something that riled up the country enough to allow us to go to war without finding out all the facts and helped to put us into the financial crisis we as a nation are in today!  Considering that hundreds of billions of dollars are  put into this useless war for oil that could have been used to revitalize our country’s economy (well, I guess it probably wouldn’t have gotten this bad.) it’s a wonder our debt is so high and still climbing.  The Republicans are trying to pin all of this on Obama in an attempt to take back the presidency, and with their constant in your face assault on the pubic  with it all over tv, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens.  I just want to point out that it was the Republicans in the Oval Office for 8 of the 10 years we have been in this predicament.  A fact that they conveniently overlook.

Some old and new favorite people: Top Row: Adam Weinstein, Lea Simon, Karl Schweitzer Bottom Row: Cindy Powell and Melissa Weinstein

Aside from that, only one thing happened for me in September that was significant.  I began to work on my next project, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.  Gawd, they couldn’t come up with a longer title than that?  I got to work with some old favorites and meet some new people who quickly became faves!  H2$ took up so much time that I really didn’t have any time for anything else.  And I didn’t mind it a single bit!

That was my Q3.

How did you do?  Did you do anything that you really enjoyed? With only a few hours before 2012, did you regret anything in your Q3?

Looking back through ’11 (Part 2)

PART 2

As I stated in Part 1, once we reach this point of the year, we tend to review the things we did during the year.  Some people look back to see if they’ve accomplished any of the goals that they’ve set for themselves.  Some look back in regret.  Some people look back to learn from mistakes.  Some, like me, do a combination of them.

I am not big on self-promotion.  Call me shy.  So I’ve never looked for accomplishments.  I often review with a combination of regret and what did I learn.  Of course, though, you already know this.

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April was a fabulous month!  The main reason was because this was the month that we got to see Xanadu at The Retro Dome starring Adam Berry.  It was such a wonderful campy and fun show that I loved every moment of it.  I laughed until I was teary eyed.  It was just so good!  My only regret is that I didn’t see it more than once!  It totally would have been worth it.

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May was a huge month! Somewhere in the end of 2007, I was watching “New, Now, Next” on Logo television. It was sort of like Mtv, but played most queer or queer-friendly artists.  At the end of one episode, there came this song on and it made me want to dance.  It was super catchy, and this cute little blonde girl was struttin’ her stuff.  I was totally diggin’ it!  In her, I saw a young Madonna and fell in love with her, just as I did Madonna.  Of course, this young girl who was telling me to “Just Dance” was Lady Gaga.  I’ve been a huge fan of hers and love the gumption this girl has to make it.

Store

Well, in May her long awaited 3rd album was released, and I had to get my hands on it. From the day I got it until about a week ago, I have had it living in my car’s cd player non-stop.  I just find the poetry of the words magnetic.  Music is deeply personal to everyone so some songs or music don’t mean the same things.  This whole disc is something that I connect to in a way that I haven’t latched on to in a very, very long time.  I’m considering writing a series of posts about the individual songs and why they speak so loudly to me.

But Gaga wasn’t the only thing happening this month, I took a ride up to Pacifica because my buddy Sam Valenzuela was working on a play that dealt with immigration and the things people do to try and live a better life.  The play was called The Boxcar.  It was a gripping account of a group of men that hitched a ride on a freight train to get into the US to work.  This sadly was based on true events and all the men but one died on that train.  If you ever get the chance to see it, please do.

The movie Bridesmaids stormed into theaters and killed at the box office.  It is destined to become one of those favorites in a culty sort of way.  It had an amazing cast that just played the parts to perfection.  I regret that I don’t have that movie in my collection. Yet!

This was the first time that I caught a glimpse of the upcoming show SMASH and have been dying of anticipation for this show to start.  I can’t believe that it’s only a few weeks away!!!  Yippee!

Sadly, the amazing Arthur Laurents passed away in May as well.  He was a youthful 93.  He will be missed.  The theatre world really lost a treasure.

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June was a surprise month for movies.  I saw Super 8 and LOVED it.  I wanted to love Green Lantern, because that is one of my favorite superheroes, but it wasn’t great.  It was enjoyable, but not that WOW! that I was hoping it would be.  I was a little devastated.  I’m not gonna lie.

Anthony Wiener caves in and resigns after sending phone pics of his junk to some girl.  The republicans were all huffy about it, but yet when one of their people gets caught hiring male escorts it’s not a big deal.  Ugh, it was disgusting and I say do away with the lot of politicians and have regular people serve as the governing body of the nation for a year.  Politicians are just making matters worse.

And I picked up my little novel again to re-read and strengthen the story and character building and the like.  I still have yet to let people read it though.  I regret not being on top of that better.  Poor time management on my part.  I’ll totally cop to that.

So how did you do on the second quarter of the year?  I hope you’ve all accomplished what you set out to do. Things seem to be getting crazier as the year progressed.  Do you agree?  Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Looking back though ’11 (part 1)

As is usually the custom, once we reach this point of the year, we tend to review the things we did during the year.  Some people look back to see if they’ve accomplished any of the goals that they’ve set for themselves.  Some look back in regret.  Some people look back to learn from mistakes.  Some, like me, do a combination of them.

I am not big on self-promotion.  Call me shy.  So I’ve never looked for accomplishments.  I often review with a combination of regret and what did I learn.

In January, I learned of a cool little indie museum called Empire Seven Studios in San Jose.  My friend Kyle had a show there.

I loved that his pieces were filled with whimsy.  The volume of pieces that were up in the studio was insane.  There had to have been easily over a hundred of them. I scored two works and love them both.  The one that is officially mine looks like a bunch of tiny blotches that look like a body with arms and legs painted in.  The way that it’s done makes it look like it’s a dancer.  The other belongs to Perry and it looks like it could have been part of a Dr. Seuss story if you aren’t close enough.  I regret not being able to by more of these cool works.

What I love about Empire Seven is that there isn’t any pretense.  As you can see, the walls are decorated (I don’t know for certain if it’s by the Artists or not, but I think it is.) and it reminds me of how I decorated my first apartments. When I walk into other museums, the stark white walls just seem so authoritative.  I know it’s so you can focus on the art, but I feel like I am supposed to behave as though I am  in a library with whispered tones and a look that says ” I am deep in thought”on my face. This place says, come and check out what some local people have created or just come and chat with some cool cats.

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The cast of "Bless Me. Ultima"

In February, I began working on my second project with Teatro Vision.  It’s a wonderful company, and it provided me with a nice change of pace from musicals or comedies.  My love of this company is so much more profound than I remember from my first experience with them.  I learned to not only question everything, including my beliefs  (are they really mine or what I was taught?) and ask questions.  Through them, whether by osmosis or a new habit, I became more informed about the events of the world.  That is something that isn’t really talked about in American news.  To pay attention to all the things that are happening in the world, not just what the big cable networks are telling you is news.  Find independent sources of news like KPFA which has MANY links from which to check out.

This second time around, made me feel more connected with my heritage. I know it sounds like I am being outrageous for the sake of it, but let me clarify.  Even after working on “Hero” with Teatro, I was still too self conscious to speak Spanish words.  I remember having to learn some Spanish in 1st grade and some of the kids would make fun of us on the playground. I don’t even know why I was in that class.  I spoke perfectly fluent English with complex sentences.  Maybe it was the brown skin. So, I have made it a point for myself to not be what people believe I am. I didn’t bother learning any more Spanish after that school year, and in high school I learned French.

With this cast being 3 times bigger than my first experience, I was surrounded by all these wonderful amazing incredible people that were an honor to work with. And I began to learn some Spanish. Little by little, I hear a word here and there and I try to remember what it means.  But merely speaking a language isn’t all that I am talking about. I am finally beginning to see the beauty in the culture itself and learning about it’s past.

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I'm gonna do this!!!

 

In March, I decided that I was going to join the AIDS Lifecycle.  On a whim, I decided this. So when I look into the details, I find that registration has been closed for like 2 months! I was a little disheartened, but then I figured, well, hell.  I can ride next year!  So I requested to be added to their early registration alert.  So any day now, I will be expecting an email saying it’s time to sign up.  So while I may regret not being able to ride last year, I am hoping that I get everything ready and train for it this year!

Also in March, we celebrated our 15 year anniversary!  There were no bells. There were no drinks.  There was only, wake up and go to work to pay taxes and rent and bills.  And there still are no Equal Rights….

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I didn’t have too many things to regret the first part of the year, thankfully.  Well, kids, Quarter #1 is over.  What did you learn during the first three months of 2011?  More importantly, what do you regret and how will you make sure not to repeat it in 2012?  Comments are always welcome.

 

365 days left until…

Courtesy of http://www.AztecCalendar.com

we find out what all the hype is about the highly anticipated date of 12/21/12.

There’s a ton of people that say that this is the day the world is going to end.  As much as I love the History Channel shows about Nostradamus, apocalyptic futures, and other things like this, I don’t think it’s all gloom and doom.  For those of you who don’t know, the Mayans were an incredibly advanced society in many things, but most importantly, astrology.  They knew so much about the night sky and watched the cycles with an eagle eye.  Because of this, they were able to create an insanely accurate and complex calendar that starts over every 5120 years, give or take a decade or so.  My understanding of why this particular calender cycle is so riveting is that the Mayans revered the number 13 and used it as a building block for the calender.  Some say 13 is related to the planet Venus.  The site Calendars Through The Ages explains the calendar as:

The Maya calendar uses three different dating systems in parallel, the Long Count, the Tzolkin (divine calendar), and the Haab (civil calendar). Of these, only the Haab has a direct relationship to the length of the year.  A typical Mayan date looks like this: 12.18.16.2.6, 3 Cimi 4 Zotz.

12.18.16.2.6 is the Long Count date.
3 Cimi is the Tzolkin date.
4 Zotz is the Haab date.

 

So it’s no wonder it’s such a detailed piece.  It’s got a lot of stuff to cover.  Also, it’s believed that the birth of Venus is the starting date of the calendar. In Long Count form the date would be 13.0.0.0.0.  But back to 13.  Some say that we are in the 12th cycle of the calendar.  Some say that we are in the 13th.  If we are in the 12th, then the 13th is supposed to be very active in regards to stronger storms and earthquakes which will cause a lot of damage.  If we are in the 13th, then this is supposed to be the last cycle of all.  It is said that at the end of the 13th cycle, the Mayan god will return to Earth.  And because I am such a UFO freak as well, I’ve seen a lot of documentaries about the possible link between aliens and ancient cultures.  And it’s fascinating.  I’ve got more to say about that, but it’ll be later.

I recall hearing or reading that the end of the cycles are supposed to represent an “awakening” of sorts.  In tarot, the Death card doesn’t necessarily mean Death. It also stands for change.  I am wondering if the end of the cycle is just going to prove something so profound that the way we live now is forever and deeply altered.  In a way, it will be the end of life as we know it.  In a very real sense of the words.

There is a ton of speculation about what is going to happen.  One theory is that the magnetic poles are going to shift and this will wreak havoc on the world.  Another is that the upcoming solar storms that we are expecting will scorch the planet.  The religious people think that Jesus is going to come on down and all that jazz.

I am hoping that we will once and for all learn that there is intelligent life somewhere else out there in the cosmos.  It is mathematically improbable that in a universe as vast as ours, we are the only place to have our existing conditions to create life.  Whether it’s a widely covered news report of a UFO or if the feds finally say “Yep, we caught us an alien at Roswell” I would be excited.  But, as we humans show a kind of sadistic curiosity toward more “inferior” things like ants, what would happen to us if a more advanced civilization showed up? Would I still be excited?  I would, but also a little fearful too.

This video is really interesting.  It talks about 2012, the Mayan calendar, AND the I Ching.  I remember this program, and I remember them talking about another ancient text or book that follows this same pattern of time ending in 2012.

I love to know what your thinking.  What’s your prediction for next year?