Sep 30, 2010

Playground Anonymous

I hear some weird things on the playground. They come from parents most of the time. Kids are pretty boring, actually...

Grandpa pushes young granddaughter on the swing while "keeping an eye on" the older one. He calls over to her:

"Jennifer, swing. Swing, Jennifer!"

She has never not been swinging.

"Hold on, Jennifer. JENNIFER HOLD ON! JENNIFER!! You hold on now."

She has never let go of the swing the entire time.

"JENNIFER. Just swing and hold on. Jennifer..."

She is swinging like a champ all by herself. She seems to have tuned Grandpa out. Grandpa gets the message:

"Jennifer, got off the swing. GET OFF THE SWING JENNIFER. Go take a break. GET SOME WATER AND TAKE. A. BREAK, JENNIFER!"

Jennifer sighs and gets off the swing. She goes over to the bench, takes out her water bottle and sips casually. Grandpa is still pushing the younger granddaughter rather forcefully as he glares at Jennifer. After a loaded pause, he can't take it anymore:

"Jennifer, relax. RELAX! Drink you water and sit back. Drink your water and sit back. TAKE A BREAK JENNIFER."

He then turns to me and confidentially says:
"Sorry about that, guy. You know, you just gotta INSTILL it in them, or..."

I smile knowingly and mumble something about how I hear that, boy howdy. I continue pushing my sunny, giggly kid on the swing and silently make a vow not to try to "instill" anything in her for the rest of the day, at least.

Sep 26, 2010

Anyone checked in on Skynet lately?

I recently downloaded a virus-scanning app to my phone the other day. It works pretty well, except that it's ad-supported which sometimes makes for a confusing narrative.

Case in point, last time I ran a virus scan:
"Your phone is very clean."
read the screen as usual, followed by a green-checked list of clean files. However, the small banner ad at the bottom (for life insurance?) was made up of a single, jarring sentence:
"When will you die?"
Taken together as two sentences (excluding the bullet-list), I was looking at the beginning of a very odd, existential conversation that I couldn't resolve for the better part of the day.

I'm still having trouble not thinking my phone has it out for me.

Aug 27, 2010

One... Crazy Summer

Or was it Fall? Don't trust any temperature over 30!

The weather in Seattle this summer has mirrored a bit of the nutzoid, roller coaster-y business that we here at Beets Central have been experiencing, career-wise. It's been lots of great stuff, to be sure. The type of opportunities, along with their all-at-once-ness, has made this a rare and welcome season of bounty. I suppose I wouldn't be a Westerner if I didn't sit back and soak it up a bit. Not to say I'm entitled beyond being the right person for the job, but, well, it's nice to be the right person for the job for a change. More than once, even.

Of course, I wouldn't be an East Coast kid if I didn't also squint into the bright lights a little. I want to hang on to these successes, to bank them a bit and leverage them into more things like them. Less greedy than hoarding, I think. Perhaps more difficult than the lack of film and TV work in Seattle is the uphill struggle to produce any momentum with your successes here. Once the summer is over, these exciting new credits sit quietly on the resume and become old news. Holding the top positions for months, perhaps longer, before another "big job"rolls through.

Not to get all gloomy, though, and truthfully my overall ambition is pretty focused. I'm working with the good folks at WA FilmWorks to help keep local actors informed about what's going on to bring, keep and foster film production here in the Northwest. And I do know it's not about waiting for those big jobs. There are plenty of opportunities that come up locally, between indie film stuff, voice-overs and commercial work. As always, though, it's a matter of continuing to be the right person for the job - as a friend recently said, "it's all about the hustle." Indeed, the mantra this summer has been I just want to work.

And just to round out the summer, I managed to get cast in another indie feature. Stay tuned for more info there. In the meantime, check out "The King George Job" episode of Leverage on TNT, this Sunday at 9/8c. I'm the British customs chap at the end. Cheerio!

Jul 21, 2010

Try it! It's delicious!

I was cleaning out some of my accumulated Internet gatherings today and stumbled across a nearly-abandoned account of mine (apparently just called now that Yahoo! owns it).

If you're unfamiliar, a web-based bookmarking service that I used for about 5 seconds before getting distracted by LOLCats or FaceTube or my own reflection or snack food... yummmm...

Nonetheless! It was kinda fun going through some of the sites I wanted to remember once upon a time. So now, I'm passing the weird savings* on to you, gentle reader:

*actual monetary savings subject to not existing.

**recommendation: do the latter before you do the former. Got that? It's former after latter, or, latter first, then former. Not vice versa. FOR GOD'S SAKE ARE WE CLEAR??

May 31, 2010

Late to the party... again

So I went and joined Twitter for real this time (over to the right, third section down). I'm not usually an impulsive person, but sometimes I study and weigh an issue for a stupidly long time, come a decision and then proceed to completely do a 180 when someone makes even a remotely good argument against what I'd decided.

In this case, the decision had been "I'll use Twitter under a mysterious handle and refuse to say anything informative. By keeping it cryptic, I'll fly in the face of the very shorthand that is Twitter culture! Using guerrilla poetry tactics, I'll knock the system on its ear!" What happened, what always happens when I get a wild hair to rage against the machine, is simply that people didn't notice and got confused. The truth is, I'm not really an against-the-machine rager. More like a make-a-reasonable-change-from-inside-the-machine- while-providing-team-building-spirit-and-good-humor. Also in this case, the agent provocateur was my dad. As is his way, he managed to inadvertently point up, once again, a simple truth: Some things just aren't important enough to use for any purpose other than what they're meant for. Like using a screwdriver as a swizzle stick. Sometimes a cigar is just a euphemism for a long thing that you put in your mouth and light on fire. Life is short and often boring. Pick your battles. He didn't say all this, I'm still working out some guerrilla poetry.

So yeah, Twitter. Getting to know you... just don't try anything funny. I've got whole machine in here just waiting for a reason to get all raged against. I mean it this time!

Apr 14, 2010

Why I love living here: part 837

I know this stuff is old news to Seattle folks in-the-know, but just this week I've used all three of these and thought 'pon how insanely convenient they are. And the only thing better than insane clowns is insane convenience. I totally missed my calling as a copywriter.


1) BECU's Snapshot ATMs - Man, do I love these. No deposit slips, just pop in your card, press a few buttons, in goes your signed check or cash, and you're done. It'll even spit out a receipt with a snapshot of your check on it (hence the name, duh). Fight the power: join a credit union!

2) ORCA Card - Just so much easier than cash or even a bus pass. No worrying about zones or transfers or switching from KC Metro to Sound Transit or whatever. I'm testing my limits of nonchalance whenever I get on the bus now. Just how little energy can I use to pay my fare? It's a fun game.

3) - A few minor glitches and negligible functionality oversights are nothing compared to the fact that this is like having a magic, real-time bus finder in your pocket (or on your desktop). Honestly, once I found this, I rethought our current car situation (we still need a car, but hey: rethinking!). It made me love public transit all over again... for the very first time.

Apr 6, 2010

Simply enchanted by the sound of my own voice

In case you haven't deduced that I tend to let things go for a while by the frequency of posts on this blog (oh, hello April 2010!), I am proud to announce that after more than 12 years of procrastinating, I have finally recorded a Professional Voice Demo. TaDa!

No more idle complaining that I never get hired for voice work, to say nothing of the fact that this is a long-overdue checkbox for my agent who took me on specifically to cast me as a voice talent (at least I had acting to fall back on... uh, right?).

Well, better late than never. Let the Pizza Hut radio spots commence!