Planet OConnor

Welcome to 2012

The new year is less than a week old and already plenty busy. Before I get to all that, I’ll do a quick recap of the year we just wrapped up.

I would be lying if I said 2011 wasn’t a challenging year. Just like nearly everyone else I know, I dealt with a lot of changes – some good. some bad, some just different, but when all things are considered 2011 was a much better year than 2009 and 2010 so we’re clearly trending in the right direction. Some highlights:

  • I did a lot of shows all over Los Angeles – mostly “reading/essay” shows, which got me on some new stages, introduced me to some new people all over town and, since some of the shows were recorded for various podcasts, got me a bit more into the ears of the world’s cyber-citizens.
  • TWO of my spec ‘sitcom pilots’ were recognized in 2 different writing contests,  which raised my profile a little bit and gave me an excuse to finally travel to Austin Texas for their unbelievably awesome film festival.
  • I picked up some interesting freelance work – “adapting” the scripts of some Japanese anime feature films for their english-language DVD releases.
  • I had a lot of fun teaching some very funny & creative people in both improv and writing classes.
  • I wrote. a lot. You have no idea how much time I spent sitting right here, typing away… which is one of my favorite pastimes.
  • My home-away-from-home; Bang comedy theater got a big injection of new people, ideas & energy. This is always a good thing and it has definitely increased my excitement to “get down to the theater” just to see what is going to happen next.
  • I put my long-running punk-rock advice blog, Ask A Punk on “extended hiatus” after three and a half years of weekly posts (never missed a deadline people!) I didn’t take the site down, so if you’re interested, you can still go check it out and read every post. I’m still getting mail from some readers, which is nice, and I tell them the same thing I’ll tell you: I reserve the right to start it back up at any time… so stay tuned.
  • I entered the world of podcasting with an East Coast friend and, even though we’re still developing our ideas, it has been a lot of fun taking on the new challenge – both technically and creatively.
  • I saw Bigfoot. Twice.

Looking ahead now to 2012:

  • I already have some exciting shows scheduled (see the calendar link to the right of this post) including, in a few weeks, a return engagement at Comedy Central’s “Sit n Spin” show… one of my very favorite gigs here in Los Angeles.
  • Next week I start teaching a ‘level 2’ improv class at Bang.
  • I’m in the final draft stage of yet another spec sitcom pilot and the outlining stage of the one after that.
  •  Even though I put AAP on hiatus,  I’m still hitting my weekly deadlines on my cartoon blog, Another LA Cartoon. The feedback I’ve gotten on that has been thrilling and there might, might even be a small “gallery showing” in my future. More on that as it develops.

I hope 2012 is a great  year for you, for me & for everyone.

( PS: OK, I didn’t see Bigfoot. )

Glock and Spiel.

 

People thought I was kidding, but I’ll keep you all guessing for now:  A combination Gun Show & Talk/Comedy show is in the works. GLOCK and SPIEL.

December Lull ??

Here in Los Angeles “The Holidays” is an unavoidably slow time of year. From approximately Nov 15th to Jan 4th, when it comes to trying to do (creative) business,  the first sentence on everyone’s lips is: “Let’s talk about this after The Holidays.”

It is easy to find this mindset annoying, especially when you’re trying to get things done, but that sort of angst is futile… better to just give in to the holiday vibe. Know in your heart that everyone is too distracted to focus on any old business and of course it being the “end of the year” no one has any budget left for new business.

So what do you do?

You use the time to work on your own projects and ideas free of the worry of looming deadlines or fast-approaching pitch meetings. It is a time to quietly GET STUFF DONE.

With that in mind I can tell you that I have been keeping myself plenty busy. I’m preparing an essay piece I’ve performed live a few times for possible inclusion in a book (sweet!) I’m hammering out a 2nd draft on the latest feature comedy spec,  and submitting scripts & short film stuff to some 2011 festivals. On the ‘Blunt Farce’ side of things, work is progressing on episode 3 of Bud Fallbrook, but since it is animation, it is painfully slow going.

…but there is little to complain about. We’ve all more-or-less survived another (rocky) year. This weekend I’ve got some holiday parties to attend that I know will be sweet affairs, populated by some of my favorite people in the world. We’ll talk about the year that was and our plans/hopes for the future and remind ourselves how blessed we are regardless of any obstacles or frustrations currently blocking the path to our dreams.

Happy & Safe Holidays to Everyone.

November News

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.

Batter Up !

Argh. Opening Day got rained out back at Fenway Park. I don’t think these sorts of things are ‘Bad Omens’ but after a long Winter’s wait, I was itching to see some hometown baseball. Maybe tomorrow.

Meanwhile back here in reality, well… L.A. reality anyway, I’m still waiting to hear on a few things… which is typical I know, but I’m not just sitting around staring at the phone. I’ve submitted ‘Tiny Spaceship’ to five more film festivals, in Atlanta, Austin, Milwuakee and Los Angeles and I’m finally making some real writing progress on my latest project – a spec pilot for a half hour single-camera “workplace comedy.”

A few people asked what the heck that picture was in the previous post. I thought it was fairly obvious but apparently I was wrong. So here goes: The original picture is from the ‘Planet OConnor’ header (above) which I have cartoon-ized using the same process I use for ‘Another LA Cartoon.’ I’ll be using that image as my ‘gravatar’ here on WordPress and elsewhere. It is also the image I’m using for my twitter feed etc. That’s all. No big mystery.

…and we’ll wrap this post up with another picture (submitted by a friend/fan) from the growing collection:

thomasmuffins2

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