As predicted in my last post, 2011 has already proven to be a very different kind of year. I’m not alone in thinking that things have turned a corner (in a good way) both personally and professionally. So far in 2011 I have moved across town to a new, and infinitely better location, I have had more meetings than I had in all of 2010 and I’m basically feeling good and I’m eager to see what comes next.
I have also finally gotten invited back to do the Sit-n-Spin show at the Comedy Central Stage. Since they book months in advance, I don’t have an exact show date yet, but the new producers contacted me and approved one of my submissions. I am thrilled. It is a great show, run by great people, in a great theater. I know it might sound a bit ‘Hollywood-y’ to say that sort of stuff, but in this case it happens to be true.
In other news: I forgot to mention that Ask A Punk turned three years old back in January, a milestone for any blog. Ask A Punk and my LA Cartoon blogs are now both ‘top hits’ in google searches too. Is that really a big deal? I honestly don’t know, but I think it is pretty cool.
Onward people! Strange times call for action!
As cliche’ as it might seem, 2011 already feels like a whole different thing, doesn’t it? Will hopefully have some good, or at least interesting, news soon.
Meanwhile this is a pretty funny clip even though, obviously, he isn’t talking about me.
October was an admittedly slow month. I got a lot of work done but didn’t have much to really report. A lot of writing and some progress on various projects via Blunt Farce etc… but November is already shaping up to be a different animal altogether.
Actually have a couple “meetings” scheduled, a few of which have taken a while to get. I have also already booked two shows on new (for me) stages. You can find full details/addresses by clicking on the “upcoming shows” tab to the right, but here are the basics:
At 7:30 pm on Friday November 5th I’ll be doing the first ever “Word Salad” show at the “Paper or Plastik Cafe.” This should be a great night with some of my favorite storytellers, and (apparently) free baked goods, all for five dollars.
Then at 8pm on Thursday November 18th I’ll be reading a story at “Literally Funny.” at “The Last Bookstore.” I’m really thrilled to get the chance to be in this show – a fairly high-profile weekly ‘readings’ show that was named “Best of LA” in the annual special issue of the “LA Weekly.” …so I better bring the funny.
This year will definitely be ending on a high creative note.
The first week of ZODIAC THRILLERS was a blast. A Sell-out crowd got to see four great improv sets from four great teams… but in the end VIRGO won and will advance to the ‘Night of Champions’ on Aug. 28th. Pre-sales for next week’s show are already going strong, so guarantee your seat (and save yourself 2 bucks) by buying in advance online. Where? at the BANG WEBSITE of course.
In other news: Should have a couple more bookings for ‘spoken word’ shows around town by the end of the month.
I have completed the outline for my next comedy feature and will begin hammering out the 1st draft on Monday. For the first time I won’t be using ‘Final Draft’ screenplay writing software… The copy on my laptop has become extremely buggy as of late… so I’ll be trying out Celtx instead. If you do your writing on a MAC, check this program out… it is free and so far it seems pretty stable (note: This was not a paid endorsement, just a report and observation.)
Episode 2 of Bud Fallbrook is in the production stage. I locked the script last week… ok so it is only a five page script…but at least it is locked. I’ll start recording the voices this weekend. Meanwhile I have started working on building new backgrounds and testing out some animation ideas.
I’m still working on shortening some of my various punk rock stories and spoken-word pieces so that I can try them out on some local stages that have strict “5 minutes or less” time limits… That works out to about 700 words max… which, for me, is practically a haiku…. but it is a good challenge.
This week I put up the 100th “Ask A Punk” post… I know I recently put up a big self-congratulatory “2 year anniversary” post… but I thought it was/is worth noting.
I have been getting a lot of good feedback lately on some of my other writing samples that have (finally) getting some good circulation around town… I’m excited to see what might happen next.
Stay Strong Everyone !
As 2010 starts I have been plugging away as usual – Doing a lot of writing, finishing some projects, starting others, abandoning some of them (hopefully temporarily) etc. I have been plugging the Bud Fallbrook cartoon that I launched on Blunt Farce and I have been angling to get on some new stages to tell my comedy and punk-rock stories. As I said, just moving along, pushing the ball a few yards downfield and basically just doing what we all should be doing, that is: Creating more stuff and not asking for or waiting for permission… just doing it.
I’m not going to pretend this makes me unique. Every week I get emails and IMs from my talented and creative friends linking me to THEIR latest written and/or videotaped works. I am always inspired by this. It is further proof that the old way of doing things is dead. Sure, we all want to get paid (or paid more) for the things we create, but we no longer have to wait for someone else to grant us a platform… We can (and must) create it for ourselves. So please, feast your eyes/ears on some of the great stuff I’ve been WATCHING lately…. Work from my creative friends as they flex their artistic wings and search out their audience or demographic niche or whatever they’re calling it these days.
The WISE GUYS… Character comedy and NFL insights.
The Stalker Chronicles – Sweet Sinister Surrealism.
A little bit of everything from the CacklePops –
Super Duper Character comedy from The Karen Show –
That is just some of it. There is more to come. I still enjoy watching TV but I can’t remember the last time I channel-searched my cable looking for something capital-N “New” …. it is all on the web now, wating to be discovered… and as soon as I get a web-enabled TV, it’ll be even easier to watch.
“There ain’t much time left, you’re born out of this insane abyss and you’re going to fall back into it, so while you’re alive you might as well show your bare ass.”
— Jim Carroll
Just a few days ago I was in Northern California to attend the funeral of a woman who was just a month shy of her 103rd birthday when she died. I was lucky enough to have met her once a few years ago and had a great conversation with her. She was witty, “sharp” and completely aware of the world around her and of her place in it. There is a different kind of grief at a funeral for a centenarian… Since there is truly no sense of “she was taken so soon,” you realize that 99% of the sadness you’re feeling is really for yourself – for your loss, for the fact that you’ll miss her and for the less-escapable-than-usual fact that you too will someday be the guest of honor at a similar gathering… This final fact was made even more clear at the end of the service. Because this was a quietly traditional sort of funeral we were present to watch the lowering of the plain pine box into the earth and we all took our turns at the shovel, helping to cover her coffin in a final act of giving.
Today I woke up to discover that Jim Carroll had died at the comparatively young age of sixty. Granted, he did his physical body few favors throughout his life and I’m sure no one was more surprised than he was to be blowing out 60 candles on his last birthday cake. According to his official website, he died at his desk, working. I first became aware of JC in 1980 when, by some miracle, his first single “People Who Died” managed to get airplay on the one (dinosaur) rock station in my tiny hometown. I ran out and bought the album only to discover that the single quickly became my least favorite song … all the other tracks just blew me out of my chair. It was only after this introduction that I became familiar with all the books/writing that preceded his musical career. For me Jim Carroll bridged the gap between Rock and Punk… I think he was equal parts both and neither. Throw in his books and poetry and you had sort of a new Jim Morrison for the new (and meaner) seeming End Times that were the early 80’s (ask anyone who was there.) I got to meet him once after a show in Western Massachusetts. He had done some readings and some singing/guitar playing at a very small venue… nothing fancy. Afterward I chatted him up like the typical fanboy that I was, and I was struck by a guy who had made his choices and lived his life on his own terms, admitting that those terms weren’t always built on the healthiest of choices… but he owned them all and marched on.
This evening, when I got home from my daily (because I’m still not working) three hour walk, I discovered that Patrick Swayze had also died. This is also sad. By all accounts he was a good guy who put up a valiant and graceful battle with cancer. I hope he rests in peace as well… but I was also bummed that his death was now going to completely obliterate any coverage/recognition that Jim Carroll might have (finally) gotten this week… It was like Robert Mitchum all over again…
I’m a biiig Robert Mitchum fan. Even when I was a little kid, I knew a true badass when I saw one. I simply dug the guy long before I had the vocabulary to figure out why. When he died in 1997 I thought that he would finally get the sort of media coverage and send-off that would do justice to his career and (more importantly) his life – lived on his terms. ….but the next day Jimmy Stewart died… and once again strong, silent, slightly sinister Mitchum was overshadowed by a media-frenzy of grief over the passing of one of the biggest legends in Hollywood history. Tough break, kid.
…and finally, this morning I walked my beloved old ibook (G3) laptop down to the mac repair place and was given the bad news that the motherboard was fried… effectively meaning it would cost much more to repair the computer than it would ever possibly be worth (and nearly what it would cost to replace the machine altogether.) In its own small (and not so small) way this was a sad thing for me too. I bought this computer with money I had earned as a writer and, over several years of faithful service, it helped me earn quite a bit more cash. It definitely doesn’t “owe” me anything. Sure, it is a bit silly to get so attached to what is, essentially, just a “tool,” but we do get attached to such things and grow accustomed to how they look, sound, function & feel. Obviously I still have my “home” computer, so I can still work, write and update my social media, but I’ll miss the comforting heft of the thing in my backpack and the handy convenience of being able to set up shop at the library, at my girlfriend’s or at the cliche’-ridden coffeeshop. Yeah, the more I think about it, it is pretty silly to get worked up about a crashed computer, especially in light of all the other “loss” I’ve commented on in this post, but I’m ok with that… I’m also thankful that I am such a consummate nerd: I had (of course) backed up alllll of the data and work that was on my laptop… including 3 scripts in progress and a 1st draft of a book, as well as scads of notes, outlines, projects & ideas… so I didn’t really lose any data, just hardware.
I know this is not my usual sort of planetOCONNOR post. I don’t normally use this space to prattle on and on about “what is on my mind today” and all of that… but the truth is, it was a very tough day, after a tougher-than-usual week, and I wasn’t sure what to do with, or where to put, what I was feeling… So I decided to post it all here. Luckily I know (thanks to the “statistics” that wordpress provides) that there is precious little chance that anyone is going to stumble upon this post accidentally anyway… and I’m just fine with that.
Like the quote at the head of this post says: “There ain’t much time left.” Our blessing and our curse as frail humans is that we spend most of our lives forgetting or pretending to forget one simple fact: Our time here is limited and will come to an end, whether we’re famous celebrities, regular folks or motherboards. No one and no thing lasts forever. No exceptions.